Thursday, April 19, 2012

OOTP13 - a review

A few weeks back the members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance were approached by Brad Cook of Out of the Park Developments for reviews of their new simulation game.

I volunteered to do a review.  Formal and fair warning:  Brad provided me with the game and a license key.  This kind gesture did not influence my review in any way.

Since originally downloading the game, there have been a few updates.  These required a complete ~175 MB download.  I think that the updates were because it was a new version.  It now appears to be stable.  A minor update appeared and it was a fraction of the original file size.

Brad asked the reviewers to run the upcoming season in Commissioner Mode and to enter the results in a spreadsheet.  My season simulation has the Giants beating the Yankees in the World Series.  That's not a bad thing.

After taking care of the "let's see what happens in the future" test I jumped backward, just after WWII.  I became the manager of the Cubs for the 1946 season.  I'm a fairly hands off manager and had assembled a winning record at the end of August.  The screenshot shows a glut of info.  And that isn't a bad thing, either.  Want to see how the other teams are doing?  Click it.  Want to see a replay of a game?  Click it.

By the middle of September I was still winning, but 9-1/2 games back.  A different screen shot shows various leaders in the standard categories, including WAR.  Someday I'll figure that one out.

Here's the team page for the Cubs in that sim. Not terrible, but there are better teams.

OOTP13 is rich in tweakability.  Don't like the colors they give your team?  Change them.  Different logos?  Change them.  Want to allow your players to have facial hair?  Click the box.  Yes, it is that granular.

I tried managing a team from 1871, thinking that I'd be able start small and work myself into a nice position with a big time club.  Nope.  I got fired for mismanagement.  Twice.  Well, with two different teams.

Brad offered a few screen shots to help the reviewers. At first I told myself I didn't need them. This is my review.  Then I told myself, I'd be a fool not to use them, as the game is so rich, I could get lost trying to find 'just the right screen'.  The following images came from Brad.

Do you want to bench Albert because you found a player with better eye/discipline?  Sub him out.  I don't think you want to do that.

Some of the media outlets could learn a few things about sharing info with the fans.

It is like you're watching MLBTV or ESPN.  Except here you get to click.  And pause.  Slow down time to figure out who you should be trading.

I reviewed OOTP13 on a Windows 7 machine with 7GB RAM and plenty of hard drive.  When I started the program, it took a bit to build and populate the databases.  Rather than saying "17% complete" it would show a progress bar and a baseball factoid.  Could be a baseball quote or some interesting stat.  A nice touch.

The game is also available for Mac and for Linux. 

Over the years I've played other baseball sim games.  None are as rich and fully featured as OOTP13.  Whether you're looking to build a dynasty or just find out a "what if" situation, OOTP13 is the baseball simulation game for you.

The best feature of OOTP13?  Simple complexity.  It will allow you to scratch the surface or delve deep, depending on what you want to do.

If you want to purchase a baseball sim, I'd highly recommend OOTP13.