Out of the Park Baseball
|Out of the Park Baseball|
Business simulation game
|Platforms||Linux, Mac OS X, Windows|
|First release||Out of the Park Baseball
|Latest release||Out of the Park Baseball 15
April 18, 2014
Business simulation game
|First release||iOOTP Baseball 2011
May 5, 2011
|Latest release||iOOTP Baseball 2014
April 17, 2014
Out of the Park Baseball, abbreviated as OOTP, is a text-based baseball simulation for career, historical, and fictional play. OOTP was originally written in 1998, when lead developer Markus Heinsohn sought to combine realistic replay baseball simulation with career play to satisfy hardcore fans and casual gamers alike. "A friend of mine brought home a bat and a glove from a trip to Miami, so we started hitting tennis balls into the neighbor’s gardens. That was in 1991," Heinsohn told Inside Mac Games in a July 2012 interview. "We then formed a baseball club and started playing in organized baseball leagues in 1994. In the meantime I played all sorts of baseball computer games, but there was no management-related game that I liked, so in 1998 I decided to simply develop my own game, just for fun. When it was done in 1999, I figured it was probably good enough to earn some money with it, and that’s when it all started."
OOTP does not hold a license from nor currently have any affiliation with Major League Baseball.
In September 2013, OOTP Developments branched out into a new sport, hockey, with the release of Franchise Hockey Manager 2014, which features 23 leagues, including the NHL, KHL, and many others around the world.
The first version was released in May 1999 with the help of sportswriter Sean Lahman, who sold the game through his website. This initial version received attention from several online gaming sites. The breakthrough release came in 2001 with OOTP 3.
In 2002 Heinsohn joined with other independent developers to form .400 Software Studios to publish OOTP 5. Heinsohn and a few others split from .400 Software Studios in mid-2003 to continue work on the OOTP series as well as Inside the Park Baseball.
In 2005 OOTP was purchased by Sports Interactive, makers of Football Manager and NHL Eastside Hockey Manager, though Heinsohn remained the game's primary creative force. Out of the Park Baseball 2006 was released on May 31, 2006. Sporting a rewritten codebase and several new features, it was met with mixed critical reaction.
Out of the Park Baseball 2007 the eighth iteration of the game, was released on March 23, 2007, to much better reviews than its predecessor. Out of the Park Baseball 2007 is Metacritic's second highest rated game on the PC platform with a score of 96 out of 100, scoring higher than The Orange Box, and second to Half Life 2.
On September 20, 2007 Sports Interactive announced the amicable severance of relations with Out of the Park Developments and the OOTP franchise.
In December 2007 Out of the Park Developments released Out of the Park Baseball 8, a simple update of OOTP 2007 that adjusted for the split from SI and added a few new features.
OOTP Developments released OOTP X (10) on June 5, 2009. OOTP 11 was released to the masses on April 14, 2010.
On May 13, 2011 it was announced that OOTP 12 was expected to be released to the general public on June 22, 2011 and on June 20 for those who pre-ordered the game. OOTP 12 was shipped to the general public on June 22, 2011 and on June 20 for those who pre-ordered the game, as expected.
On April 5, 2012 iOOTP Baseball 2012 Edition was released to Apple's iOS App Store. New features in iOOTP 2012 included 2012 major league rosters, detailed player histories, a revamped user interface, a new fictional setup, the ability to use pitch-by-pitch mode, the ability to use the DH in any league, and more. The iPad HD version, which takes advantage of the iPad's larger display, was included free, as in the 2011 version.
On April 9, 2012 OOTP 13 was released to the general public after an April 6 release to those who pre-ordered the game. New features in OOTP 13 included: 2012 major league rosters; a real-time simulation mode that lets players watch games play out in real-time (or at a faster speed); interactive storylines that allow gamers to make decisions when situations happen (i.e., a star player becomes difficult—player can release him, trade him, or ignore the problem; each choice impacts fan attitudes, player morale, etc.); a revamped pitching model that more closely mirrors real life, where most drafted pitchers are starters and later become relievers, rather than being drafted as relievers; and random historical debut, which allows real players to show up at any point in history (perhaps Ruth shows up today and Koufax is drafted in the 1930s).
In addition, OOTP 13 offered a revamped user interface, more custom playoff options, Associations that can combine multiple leagues and share free agents, rules, and more, core gameplay engine and AI improvements, and more.
On April 4, 2013 iOOTP Baseball 2013 was released to Apple's iOS App Store. New features in iOOTP 2013 included 2013 major league rosters, achievements, a redesigned interface, new trading AI, a new player development system, more realistic player creation, historical career play with real rookies imported each season, and more. The iPad HD version, which takes advantage of the iPad's larger display, was included free, as in the 2012 version.
On April 12, 2013 Out of the Park Baseball 14 was released to everyone who pre-ordered the game; the general worldwide release was April 15. New features in OOTP 14 included: 2013 major league rosters; a recoded player origin system, allowing, for example, foreign players to be signed as free agents, like Ichiro Suzuki and Yu Darvish were; a recoded scouting system; a new fielding ratings development system; a new Player Development Center for tracking purposes; achievements; new trading AI; more realistic player creation; a new in-game "Pitch to Contact" option; and more.
On April 24, 2014 Out of the Park Baseball 15 was released on Steam. It was released on April 18, 2014 on the OOTP Developments web site. New features in OOTP 15 included: Opening Day 2014 rosters for all major and minor league teams; support for 3D stadiums and 3D in-game ball flight; support for 7 real international leagues with real teams and players in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other countries; a new optional ratings system; a revamped interface; historical league improvements; and more.
iOOTP Baseball 2014 was released on the iOS App Store on April 17, 2014. New features included: Opening Day 2014 rosters; the ability to edit players; a redesigned interface; iPhone 5 and full Retina Display support; and more.
Prominent OOTP gamers
Some renowned sports figures have played the game, including writer and statistician Bill James, sports journalist Roy Firestone, and retired MLB pitcher Curt Schilling. Other ex-MLB fans of the game include Jeff Montgomery, Don Stanhouse, John D'Acquisto, and Lary Sorensen, who all participated in the 2012 Seamheads Laundry League, an online OOTP league that also featured ESPN's Eric Karabell and Jerry Crasnick, among other journalists, bloggers, podcasters, etc.
On March 24, 2012, Curt Schilling was given an early look at OOTP 13 and tweeted: "WOW! Early first look at #ootp13 seems like they really upped the bar! New UI is outstanding so far!"
OOTP presents a minimal graphic depiction of a baseball diamond with text indicating positions and on-field action. Scrolling text allows one to follow the game as it unfolds. The game offers HTML reporting ample enough to engage baseball fans. Third-party developers have contributed utility programs that assist gamers in creating leagues, players, logos, and other game enhancements.
In 2001, a retail (physical media) version of OOTP3 called Season Ticket Baseball was released. Released a year later was its sequel, a retail version of OOTP4 titled Season Ticket Baseball 2003.
In 2004, Heinsohn released Inside the Park Baseball, which tracked the progression of an individual baseball player. Gamers followed a player’s career from before the draft, through the minor leagues, until possibly called up to the Major Leagues. Inside the Park Baseball was designed to work alongside OOTP 5, whereby one might insert a player into an OOTP 5 season.
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- OOTP 8 released!
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- Seamheads’ OOTP 13 ‘Laundry League’ Managers to Include Jeff Montgomery, Lary Sorensen, Other Ex-Major Leaguers
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