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Out Of The Park Baseball 15 Debuts
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, is now available. OOTP 15 includes a revamped interface, 3D ballpark support and 3D in-game ball flight, more league options, the 2014 open day major league roster, and additional real international leagues. The introduction of 3D ballparks and 3D in-game ball flight to the game is still receiving some polish and OOTP promises to fix remaining bugs with free updates throughout the summer.

"Baseball is a sport played worldwide, even in my home country of Germany, and I'm thrilled that we can make OOTP 15 an international game with its inclusion of real leagues, with real teams and players, in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, and other countries," said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn.

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

(While the 3D feature is in a working state in OOTP 15, there are still some noticeable problems, and OOTP Developments is committed to fixing those issues with free updates throughout the summer. The company has hired a full-time 3D programmer whose only focus is this functionality.)

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 was also recently released and offers 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
Out of the Park Baseball 15 is available now for $39.99.

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