Famous baseball manager Out of the Park Baseball is here for another annual representation. What can lead developer Markus Heinsohn and his studio do to one up the build from last year?
Last year included the first time that official MLB logos have been made available. Many users though felt this wasn’t that much of an upgrade as there are quickstarts or modifications available to provide the same experience.
OOTP has made things more convenient now. With the entire MLBPA roster set, this game is as MLB as it comes. Heck, MLB might as well buy the whole studio at some point when it’s branded this much.
Here is the excerpt from the full new features in OOTP 17:
OOTP 17 runs on PC/Mac/Linux and, like last year, it features the American League and National League logos, the World Series trophy, team logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 MiLB league and team logos, and historical MLB logos.
“Every year we make the most exciting, most immersive baseball management game in history even better, and OOTP 17 is no exception,” said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. “We’re thrilled to have the game fully licensed by MLB.com, MiLB.com, and the MLBPA, and we can’t wait for armchair GMs to try out the amazing new features available this year.”
In addition to the MLBPA license allowing the use of realistic FaceGen images of all MLB players, OOTP 17’s new and improved features include:
2016 Opening Day Rosters
The brand new 2016 roster sets include all Opening Day MLB rosters, via a free update to be released shortly after Opening Day, as well as the complete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. Will Jake Arrieta build on his historic 2015 performance and lead the Chicago Cubs to the promised land? Can David Price help turn around the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox? Will Johnny Cueto give the San Francisco Giants the boost they need? Can Mike Trout recapture MVP honors in the AL? Can Bryce Harper get even better in his 5th season? Will Giancarlo Stanton regain his form after his season-ending injury in 2015?
All MLB (and more than 2,000 MiLB) player ratings are based on ZiPS, the projection system created by well-known baseball writer and SABR member Dan Szymborski. The remaining MiLB players are rated manually by OOTP’s established research team.
OOTP 17 also features several US independent minor leagues and eight international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, Australia, and The Netherlands. All of those leagues feature real rosters, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic player biographical information, statistics, and ratings.
Historical minor leagues
OOTP has always featured the most comprehensive historical play available in a baseball management game, and OOTP 17 makes a huge leap forward in that area with accurate historical minor leagues from 1919 through 2015. Now when a player starts a league in the past, their team will have the correct minor league affiliates, including rosters full of real players, thanks to a new database containing over 150,000 MiLB players.
As the historical seasons pass by, the minor leagues evolve as they did in real life, with teams moving cities, changing their names, and switching MLB affiliations. For example, the Sacramento River Cats began in 1978 as the Oakland A’s AAA affiliate, switched to several other teams (including a second stint with Oakland) between 1979 and 2014, and became the San Francisco Giants’ AAA affiliate in 2015. Those changes will now be accurately represented in OOTP.
Beautiful redesigned game interface
OOTP 17 features a redesigned user interface that makes it easier than ever for armchair GMs and managers to get the information they need and access important game functions.
Improved 3D engine with moving player symbols
OOTP’s 3D in-game view has steadily improved since it was introduced in v15, and this year it’s better than ever, with improved MLB stadium models and player symbols that move around the field as the action happens. This is the next step toward showing 3D players on the field.
Automatically generated game headlines and recaps
OOTP has always featured a robust news system that reports on exciting events from around the league, and now it also offers an automatically generated headline and recap after each game, just like a real world news article.
Historical exhibition mode
Ever wonder how great teams of the past might fare against the modern era’s best clubs? That has always been possible in OOTP by creating a custom league, but now such “What if?” scenarios can also play out in a new mode that’s as simple as choosing any two historical teams and playing a single game or a series.
New GM and manager preferences
AI-controlled GMs and managers are even smarter in OOTP 17: They now evaluate players in unique ways, and GMs now have individual trading tendencies, so some wheel and deal on a regular basis, some prefer to stand pat, and others exhibit a mix of behaviors. In addition, GMs now have unique preferences for drafting, scouting, and development, so they’ll apply that personal style to their teams when setting budgets.
Recoded scouting algorithms
Scouts have always added realism to OOTP by introducing some “fog of war”: As in real life, they might be spot-on in a player evaluation, or they could be very wrong, and often they’re somewhere in between. That part of the game has been improved so it’s more realistic, offering an even greater challenge than before.
More realistic player career curves
OOTP 17 features even better player development algorithms, so their career arcs will feel more realistic than ever.
Better trading with defined team needs
Need to bolster the bullpen and bring in someone to create a platoon at third base? Players facing such situations can now define their team needs and expect other GMs to make trade offers accordingly.
AI improvements in trading, roster management, and dugout decisions
Opposing GMs and managers are now even better at trading, handling their rosters, and calling shots from the dugout during games. In addition, the game simulation engine has been improved for even more realistic results.
Redesigned in-game defensive engine
OOTP 17 features even more defensive shift options for human managers to choose from, allowing the AI to also better mimic many real world managers’ tendencies.
Multi-core processor support for fast sim speed
OOTP’s simulation engine, which was already the quickest in the sports text sim world, is now up to 40% faster than before, thanks to support for multi-core processors.