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Friday, April 11, 2014news@insidemacgames.com


Out Of The Park Baseball 15 Ships April 18 To Pre-Orderers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Out of the Park Developments has announced that Out of the Park Baseball 15, the latest version of their long-running, award-winning series of baseball management games, will ship on April 18 to all customers who pre-order copies by the end of the day on April 17. OOTP 15 will be released to the rest of the world on April 21 through the OOTP Developments web site. Shortly thereafter, the game will be available on other online outlets as well.

"This is the version of OOTP that will set the bar for all editions of the game to come," said said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. "Support for 3D ballparks and 3D in-game ball flight is the stepping stone to 3D players on the field next year, and that will open the door to even more innovations in the years to come."

OOTP Developments recently hired a full-time 3D programmer who is currently refining the 3D elements in OOTP 15. He will continue to work on the game's 3D features in the coming months and years.

A recap of the new features in OOTP 15:

2014 Opening Day Major League Roster Set

OOTP 15's 2014 roster set includes all Opening Day major league team rosters, as well as the complete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. OOTP 15 also features the Venezuelan and Dominican summer leagues for the first time. All major league (and certain minor league) player ratings are based on Baseball Prospectus' industry-leading player forecasting system PECOTA. The thousands of remaining minor league players are carefully rated by hand by our established research team.

3D Ballpark Support and 3D In-Game Ball Flight

OOTP 15 is the first step toward visualizing full 3D action on the field. Players can import 3D ballparks saved in the popular Collada (.dae) format, and the included ballpark editor lets them properly overlay the ball location diagram used by the game's simulation engine, including adjustment of wall heights, foul territory, and so forth.

The result is a new optional in-game view that renders realistic 3D ball flight in the stadium model. Future versions of OOTP will build on this 3D engine and will eventually feature thrilling 3D animations of on-field play. Exciting times are ahead!

Additional Real International Leagues

OOTP 15 includes seven new international leagues that add thousands of real players, including stats and carefully adjusted ratings, to your baseball game experience. Several league settings have been tweaked or added (for example, a free agent posting system) so the game can model league interactions in a realistic manner. OOTP 15 features these international leagues:

  • Japan (including one minor league)
  • Korea (including one minor league)
  • Taiwan (including one minor league)
  • Mexico
  • Cuba
  • The Netherlands
  • Italy
Each league is available as a template, so players can choose which ones they want to include in their OOTP baseball universe. They can scout the next superstar from overseas and watch grizzled veterans leave the US for playing time in other countries (Manny Ramirez, anyone?). Those ex-major leaguers may even eventually attempt a comeback in the US leagues.

Or players can try a totally different experience by managing a team in a small European league.

New Ratings System

In previous versions of OOTP, the player ratings were absolute numbers based on the hidden internal player ratings. The problem with this approach was that players didn't know if a 60/100 power rating was actually above or below league average. OOTP 15 introduces a new optional rating system that calculates average player ratings for all positions at the start of the season and then displays player ratings throughout the game in relation to those averages. So, for example, a 60/100 power rating is actually above the league average (which is always 50 in the 1-100 rating scale) - by one standard deviation, to be exact.

A Revamped Interface

OOTP 15's interface features an extensive overhaul, starting with a default design for widescreen resolutions (16:9 or 16:10), instead of the 4:3 ratio used in the past. This results in a cleaner look with more room for statistics and other information. The graphic design team also reworked the menus and added tooltips to most menus and buttons, so beginners will find the game easier to navigate.

In addition, the Manager Home, League Scores, League and Game Setup, and other screens have been overhauled, and there are new screens that take advantage of the multi-league baseball universes made possible by the addition of real international leagues. Those new screens feature all the news, scores, schedules, stats, and more from around a game world.

Historical League Improvements

OOTP 15 makes it much easier to create the historical league many players have always dreamed about. The league creation wizard has been completely redesigned and offers new functionality - for example, it's easy to set up a historical league with teams from different eras, or create a fictional league with a specific historical player pool.

More League Options

OOTP 15 also includes useful settings like minor league service time roster limits, options to limit contract lengths, spring training length customization, and more.

But Wait, There's More

And as in years past, OOTP 15 offers a lengthy list of other new features, including:

  • Enhanced player history tracking (yearly salary, 2nd & 3rd place award finishes, grand slams, walk-off hits, 1-hitters, and other game performances)
  • The ability to offer jobs to coaches and scouts while those jobs are still occupied
  • Reworked team control options
  • Teams may retire uniform numbers
  • Improved news stories and in-game play-by-play
  • Improved online league functionality
  • Improved AI throughout the game
  • Improved first-year player draft and negotiation
  • Almost every other area of the game has been tweaked and improved
In addition, iOOTP Baseball 2014, the iOS version of the game for those who enjoy managing their teams on the go, is currently in review with Apple. The expected release date on the App Store is April 17, but it could be earlier or later, depending on Apple's review process.

iOOTP Baseball 2014 will offer these new features:

  • iOS 7 support (iOS 4.3 will be the minimum required)
  • A redesigned interface
  • Retina display support
  • iPhone 5/5S/5C support
  • Opening Day 2014 rosters
  • A Player Editor (edit everything from name and contract details to ratings)
  • AI improvements, including a direct port of the new player evaluation AI in OOTP 15
  • Bug fixes and various other improvements
Learn more at the links below.

Out Of The Park Baseball 15 (add to watch list)
OOTP Developments (add to watch list)
Buy Out Of The Park Baseball 15



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Build An Empire In Settlement: Colossus
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Alawar Entertainment' s Settlement: Colossus is now available for purchase and download from Mac Game Store. The game challenges gamers to build an empire from the ground up. Settlement: Colossus features 62 locations to explore, 30 types of resources to gather, and more than 100 upgrades to purchase.

Build an empire out of its grass hut roots! Take the role of a 300-year old emperor cursed to live without his true love until he appeases his god for a grievous offense. Gather resources, research new tools and build bigger and better accommodations as you care for your people and attract new citizens to your fold. Featuring outstanding graphics and a breathtaking score, Settlement: Colossus is as epic as it is thrilling!

Features:

  • 7,000 items to find
  • 30 types of resources
  • 62 locations to explore
  • More than 50 mini-games
  • More than 100 upgrades
Requirements:
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • 900 Mhz Processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 600 MB HD Space
  • 128 MB VRAM
Settlement: Colossus is available now for $6.99 (USD).

Settlement: Colossus (add to watch list)
Buy Settlement: Colossus



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Eschalon: Book III Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameBanshee has posted a new review of Basilisk Games' recently released Eschalon: Book III. The final title in the old school fantasy RPG series gives players the chance to answer questions about four powerful gemstones and the clouded past of the protagonist.

The maps in Book III work really well.  Basilisk Games like Larian Studios has always been good about rewarding players for taking the time to explore carefully.  In Book III, Basilisk added 30 "secret areas" to the maps, and you gain experience points plus some other reward -- like a treasure chest, gold pieces, or even an attribute point -- for finding them.  As an example, when you start out the game in an inactive volcano, if you happen to notice and follow a narrow path in one corner of the map, then you find a chest with a skill book inside, which is a nice welcome gift.  In general, the maps are designed well, and they have a nice mix of flora and inside/outside elements to keep gameplay interesting.
Click over to the link below to read more of the article.

GameBanshee: Eschalon Book III Review
Basilisk Games (add to watch list)
Eschalon: Book III (add to watch list)
Buy Eschalon: Book III



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Wasteland 2 Presents Post War Los Angeles
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a Kickstarter update InXile Entertainment recently offered new information about the company's upcoming post-apocalyptic Wasteland 2 RPG. The new post includes details about the game's current beta status, interface, new barter screen, and a few more details about the game's Los Angeles area.

The current L.A. with its nearly four million inhabitant’s needs water imported and thus may seem like a naturally semi-arid climate, but this is primarily due to human influence. With most of the human presence wiped out by the war, the creation of small and mostly toxic lakes of water by the post-war storms, and the shifting of air and water currents, the Los Angeles of Wasteland 2 is a lush area. Nature has reclaimed much of the ruined cityscape.

In L.A., we decided to make many of its recognizable landmarks key locations, including the aforementioned LA Coliseum and Hollywood, but also such spots as the Watts Towers and the Griffith Observatory. Our design process started with, “What would be the most bad-ass areas in L.A. for the player to visit”? We then sprinkled these areas with weird cults and weirder creatures. One example is the Pistol Packing Priests faction (conceived by our lead writer Nathan Long), which were previewed in the first Wasteland 2 novella. This burgeoning religious cult believes the apocalypse was God's justice brought to man, but the task is left unfinished, and it is up to them to sweep the last vestiges of sinfulness off the earth, by word and by bullet. Mostly bullet…or hammer…or any other blunt/sharp/shooty object.

Read more at the link below.

Wasteland 2: Beyond the Current Boundaries
Wasteland 2 (add to watch list)
Buy Wasteland 2


Grail To The Thief To Offer Adventure To Visually Impaired
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

An IMG reader recently emailed us about a Kickstarter campaign to fund Grail to the Thief from For All To Play. The interactive audio adventure is designed to be accessible to blind and visually impaired players as well as non-impaired gamers and follows the exploits of Hank Krang, a thief who travels time in the hopes of stealing priceless artifacts. For All To Play is hoping to gather at least $8,000 before the campaign's May 4 conclusion.

WHAT IS GRAIL TO THE THIEF?

Grail to the Thief is an interactive audio adventure for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux that can be played using only sound, without the need for visuals. The game has been designed with the needs of the blind and visually impaired in mind but is also designed to be played by the non-impaired. Our goal is to deliver an exciting, immersive experience in which the player will always be fully aware of what is happening through the use of voice-overs, sound effects, ambient sound and music.

THE TEXT ADVENTURE, SIMPLIFIED

In Grail to the Thief, players will make their choices through a conversation tree, eliminating the confusion and frustration that comes with traditional text adventure games, which require players to type in commands to progress.

INSPIRATION

The game is a nostalgic throwback to childhood favorites such as Zork, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Day of the Tentacle, and Grim Fandango, and draws inspiration from old BBC radio dramas and the movie Time Bandits.

ABOUT THE GAME

The game stars Hank Krang, a dirty thief from the near future, who recently had a self-aware time machine called the Time Excursion Digital Interface, or TEDI, fall into his lap after a poker game. He has decided to use this technology to go throughout time, stealing priceless artifacts. On his first adventure, Grail to the Thief, Hank travels to Arthurian times in search of the Holy Grail.

HISTORY

The idea for the game came about when we were conducting research into game design for the visually impaired. During this time, we discovered that few games are available to the blind and visually impaired, and many of the games that are available are severely dated, lack the quality and polish of games for the sighted, and rely on synthesized computer voices such as screen readers in order to play.

Grail to the Thief is designed to address these problems, and the game will be just as accessible and exciting an experience for blind and visually impaired gamers as it will be for non-impaired gamers.

Click over to the page below for more information.

Grail To The Thief Kickstarter
For All To Play


Mac Games News for Thursday, April 10, 2014

Craglorn Introduced For The Elder Scrolls Online6:00 AM
Hotline Miami Opens Fire At MGS6:00 AM
The Wolf Among Us Episode 3 Available Now6:00 AM
Torment: Tides Of Numenera Discussed6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 10, 2014 on one page


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