October 22, 2014

Wanna have some fun? OOTP 11 Goes Deep

April 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m an addict…and what I’m addicted to is Out of the Park Baseball 11 from OOTP Developments (www.ootpdevelopments.com). I realize now that admitting there is a problem is the first step toward solving the problem.

It’s just that I don’t want to break my OOTP 11 addiction just yet because I have a 2014 World Series championship to defend!

Here are couple of things you need to know about me before we proceed with my review of OOTP 11:

1) I’m a baseball lifer – if you’re reading Seamheads you probably are as well.
2) I’m a gamer – video games take up a good part of my entertainment time

I play all kinds of games. First person shooters, military strategy, role playing games, sports games. You name it, I play it. Sometimes I’m in it for the action (like when I’m playing Splinter Cell Conviction) and sometimes I’m in it for the intellectual challenge.

That’s when I turn to OOTP 11.

If you like strategy – from the box office to the front office – then you’ll love this game. You see, I’m a stickler for detail. I recently gave up on MLB 2K10 because they get everything wrong when it comes to the way you run things in franchise mode. The game play was okay, maybe a “C” grade, but the off-the-field stuff that so interests me got an “F” and that’s why my copy of the game is currently sitting on the “used” shelf at the Game Stop down the street from me.

The thing is, I need my baseball gaming fix. It’s normally not easy for me to trade in a baseball game for my XBOX 360 less than a month after I got it but I was able to do so, without hesitation, because of OOTP 11.

You can customize OOTP 11 any way you want, from creating entirely fictional leagues to running a franchise starting at any point from 1871 forward. You can simulate the games or you can manage them and within those two choices you can change the settings to either speed up or slow down the process to your liking.

That’s the addictive quality of OOTP 11 – it’s whatever you want it to be. The number of options you have for how you do things is staggering and that allows you to manage your franchise (or franchises) any way you like. You choose EVERYTHING…

* The traits of  the members of your coaching staff from the Majors all the way down to Rookie ball
* Your scouting budget – commit resources to scouting the Majors, minors, amateurs and international players
* Ticket prices – you gotta have money to spend money
* Style of play – speed, power, pitching, defense can all be customized
* Favor veterans over rookies or vice versa

And that’s just a taste. There are just too many cool features in this game to list them all in one post.

You can check out this link for a longer listing of features:

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=54

One thing that I have to mention, perhaps the coolest of them all, is the fact that OOTP uses real players from any era in baseball history.  Everyone from Babe Ruth to Stephen Strasburg is in this game, courtesy of the Lahman Database (http://www.baseball1.com/). Actually, everyone from 1871-2009 is in this game.

You can enjoy the history of the game or the future, depending on what you prefer. I started a team recently with 2010 – current rosters are there, FYI – and now I’m in 2015. After the 2010 season – it was a rebuilding year! – I had the #1 overall pick and I selected an infielder by the name of Earl Jones. To get him signed I had to cough up a $9 million signing bonus plus a 5-year Major League contract worth $4 million a year. It was a tough call but my scouting director assured me Jones was the real deal so I pulled the trigger. He immediately jumped from college to the Majors and has posted a .397 career batting average in 3 1/2 seasons.

The Legend of Earl Jones begins!

That’s the beauty of OOTP 11 – it’s whatever you want it to be.

I should point out another cool feature that Steve Battisti of OOTP Developments described to me during a radio interview I did with him (link below)…you can play on-line against other human managers.

This part of OOTP 11 is like fantasy baseball on steroids. You don’t track real life stats but you do get to compete head-to-head in a fully detailed fantasy baseball world against other people. You manage against them, trade with them, etc. and you do so while managing your franchise the way a real-life GM would.

Some of you may remember the historical league Mike Lynch and the fellas put together here on Seamheads using OOTP. That’s where I first came into contact with OOTP, by the way. All of us in the league were assigned a franchise. We had the ability to put together a roster of players from any point in that franchise history and then we simulated an entire season’s worth of games, including the playoffs. It was ridiculously fun and with OOTP 11 you have the ability to do the same thing with a group of your friends, just for kicks.

If you’re looking for a downside, areas you might want to consider for potential problems, here are two things…

One, this is not an action game loaded with graphics. If you’re looking for that then you certainly know that a game for your XBOX 360, PS3 or Wii would be much better.

Two, if you have a slow computer the game will run slowly. It’s not a problem with the game it’s just that there’s a lot of data to manage and it will run as your computer runs. I played previous incarnations of OOTP on my old computer and found it to be a little frustrating at times – because my computer was fubar – but I’m playing OOTP 11 on my iMac and most of the game loads as quickly as a webpage does in my browser. The game is as fast as your computer.

The game is $39.99 and everything is downloaded from the web. You don’t need a bunch of discs or anything and it only took a few minutes for the game to download and for me to complete the setup. If you like baseball, have a mind for detail and are looking for a challenge then you’ll want to spend the $39.99 to get this game. You’ll get your money’s worth in a week or two, tops.

If you’d like a little more information you can check out my interview with Steve Battisti of OOTP Developments here:

http://www.kmox.com/pages/5534105.php (scroll down a bit past the NFL Draft guests)

You can also just go to www.ootpdevelopments.com

On a scale of 1-10 I’d rate the fun I’m having with OOTP 11 as a full blown 10.

Kevin Wheeler is the host of Sports Open Line on News Radio 1120, KMOX in St. Louis. Sports Open Line airs weekdays from 6-8 PM CT and can be heard outside of St. Louis at www.kmox.com.

In addition to his work on the air at KMOX, Kevin is also a hitting & catching instructor for All-Star Performance (www.all-starperformance.net) in St. Louis and performs the same duties for the St. Louis Gamers travel program (www.stlgamers.net), working with former Major Leaguers Scott Cooper and Matt Whiteside.

He began his radio career in December of 1995 working for the One-On-One Sports Radio Network (which became Sporting News Radio in 2001). The Kevin Wheeler Show was heard overnights on Sporting News Radio from 2002-2005. During that same period he was the Sporting News’ Minor League expert and a contributor to the Sporting News Fantasy Source publications.

Before embarking on a career as a member of the media and as a coach, Kevin served as a backup catcher at the University of Miami, FL where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 1994.

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