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How I started.. Playing Sports Sims

Started By Chris, Apr 13, 2014 04:18 PM

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#1

Chris
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Let me start..

I thought this would be an interesting thread to start here at GM Games. I am really curious to know about how you found out about playing these types of games. We've had several blog entries from our feature contributors telling us their story about how they got started playing sim sports.

History:

I don't consider myself someone with a great memory lol but here is how I think it all got started and how it evolved. For a long time I have always been fascinated with the statistics in sports. Being a fan, playing sports my whole life, I was always interested in box scores. My grandparents would always have a daily paper and I would grab the sports section and be really interested in reading the box scores that tell a little bit of a story of how the game went. From then on I knew stats and sports, athlete performance had a lasting effect on me.

But it evolved further to wondering why teams won, why teams lost, and understand the aspects of a manager or franchise.

I think it all started on NES. I owned a copy of Baseball Simulator and my friends in the neighbourhood and I just played the crap out of Baseball Stars. I think my mom at one point had a 40 dollar late charge with Blockbuster on a copy of Baseball Stars being a few weeks late. Man did I ever love that game from the team building perspective, money, salary caps etc.




Later on Baseball Simulator was pretty fun, but I think I ended up playing Baseball Simulator 1.000 on SNES more, minus the dumbass magic part of that game lol.



Baseball was my sport growing up but I loved all sports and my background being Lithuanian, I have been bred to love Basketball. Along the journey at blockbuster I rented my first copy of Tecmo Super Bowl. I would play out full seasons with my friend during sleepovers and we would almost get a whole season done from early afternoon till about 3-4 am. Losing in the playoffs with eyes barely open was an empty feeling when it was all over, lol! But was simulating it ever fun as well. Stats were realistic, player personnel moves had significance etc. Loved this game.



I found some joy in basketball from copies of NCAA Basketball (which didn't simulate well but played well), and played a lot of Tecmo Super NBA Basketball. Tons of fun and loved my mid-range jumpers from the elbows (which normally was a low percentage shot) but loved seeing Michael Jordan hitting those while growing up.



From a hockey perspective my first simulation game was Wayne Gretzky Hockey, which I believe was way ahead of its time. As time progressed Baseball Mogul showed up on the scene. It instantly was a hit to me, it took what I wanted these games to become to the level where it made me feel wrapped up in this world. I helped run a league named BMIL that lasted for years until we switched to OOTP .. I have been a user on the OOTP forums since 2002 and I have an interesting private message with Markus from 12 years ago that makes me smile to this day.



As the modern games came out I pretty much played about everything. Countless hours of Championship Manager (CM) even though I wasn't a huge European Football / Soccer fan but the game was just THAT good. Eastside Hockey Manager was developing and the games got more sophisticated.



I still firmly believe this genre made some of the most addictive games ever made. If you really believe and are intrigued with a great simulator algorithm and AI world, these games will keep you playing through all hours of the night. "Just sim one more day"..

Hey, share with us your story. I would love to hear it personally. I helped create this site so these games, the developers get the attention they deserve, but also, we get a chance to mold the games with the dev's in our desired fantasy world's.

What's your story??



#2

Leeds Mav
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[Part one - the early years]

As an English kid in the 60's & 70's I had a very sports game deprived childhood. Our games of football, rugby and cricket didn't lend themselves so readily to card & stat games as your American 'stop start' sports did. I was always good at maths and loved stats so I would have really loved your stat games like Strat-O-Matic, but we had barely heard of the sports let alone the games replicating them. The best we could have on the video front was Pong



Computers had yet to become personal and consequently I was in the later half of my twenties before I could afford an Amstrad 9512PCW[/URL] a very basic thing that had an illuminated green/black screen and ran from twin 3"" floppy discs. It cost around £500 (about $800) and could do limited word processing plus after a fashion .... PLAY GAMES !






By now American sports had made their way onto our TV screens and we even played some of them, I was helping to run an ice hockey club in Oxford which for a fleeting moment actually signed Gary Unger at the end of his career but before he played a game he came to us and asked for his release as Peterborough were going to pay him more. Going back to the Amstrad it had an American Football game called 'Head Coach' which try as I might I've been unable to find any screenshots for the PCW but that whiled away many hours despite being basically dots moving around on the screen. All I seem to remember was that if I ran the 'reverse' play my dot always got pounded behind the line of scrimage but it was my first real introduction to stat based computer games without really knowing much of the rules of the game.



Eventually consoles started to appear and I was finally able to get my hands on sports video games. The Sega Megadrive (called Genesis in America) was my first and my favourite game was the EA hockey series NHLPA Hockey, the best of which was the '93 version which even had blood seeping head injuries not in later versions as EA decided it might not be good for their image lol



My first introduction to baseball had come around this time, just before the 1993 expansion. We had a channel that showed it live a couple of nights a week in the wee small hours and my first video game was MLBPA Sports Talk Baseball.






Edited by Chris, May 16, 2016 - 09:09 AM.

Nigel Laverick
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#3

Leeds Mav
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My favourite batter to play with was either Eric Karros or Eric Davis, can't remember which one, because he always held his bat upright with his hands at his waist rather than over the shoulder as nearly everyone else did ! I always seemed to get more hits with him. I didn't know too much about the intricacies of baseball at that time and it took me ages to hit the ball but I wasn't as clueless as the guy on this video, undoubtedly the funniest video I've seen for a long while






By now computers were starting to be affordable to the masses and along had come Chamionship Manager 2, the real start of the successful long running Football Manager (FM) series



I bought all of them from CM2 to the current day FM14 and they were great, they were football but they weren't very stat based just as football isn't. The stats don't really matter at the end of the day - it's all about the ball in the net.


My first real breakthrough on a stat based sports sim came when somehow, I can't remember how, I discovered OOTP 6 / 6.5

I still didn't really know what I was doing as I experimented with a few online leagues but soon dropped out as finances, options, waivers and other things were a complete mystery to me. Gradually I learnt myself what things did and meant and by 2008 I was ready to take the step back into the online world. I flitted through many leagues, not finding what I was looking for. Participation was still limited in those days, forums were very impersonal and I was conscious of being quite a bit older than your average American online player. Eventually I came across the MBBA just re-booting with 1995. No fancy webpage just forums but the commish was good and the GM's were a solid crew. I stuck there and despite a few gaps I am now on my fifth franchise there in (game date) 2015. They required a certain amount of writing, a few paragraphs here & there, which helped in the immersion but at the pace of three 10-day sims a week quite often was to much for me.

In 2010 I took the plunge and applied to get into a league I had always admired, the PEBA. I had always thought that the amount of creative writing was beyond me but with a bit of friendly coaxing from founding commish John Rodriguez I managed to prove I could do it and they became my main league. The forums there are immense and I learnt lots of previously hidden intricacies from the friendly forums which really are a community with over 81,000 posts to date. The slower pace of two 7-day sims a week helped me to produce better writing but even that was a struggle at times with shift work. I got my reward last year in my fifth game year in the PEBA when I won my first ever online OOTP championship



This year, having taken early retirement in late-2012 and struggled with time management initially, I began to look for something different and found it I think in One Day at a time sims. The slow pace is perfect for me to slip some writing in and I find the chat box a wonderful thing. I was never a fan of instant messenger things as my time on the computer was generally limited, snatched in-between work, meals and sleep. A message always popped up as I was rushing off but now I answer to no-one I find the chat box great to dip in & out of.

So that's my life story of sports video games which kinda degenerated into my ootp history lol


Edited by Chris, May 16, 2016 - 09:09 AM.

Nigel Laverick
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appointed April 28th, 2014

 


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#4

Garethw87
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I'm not too sure what my first ever manage sim game would have been. I think it would be... Championship manager. I remember vividly playing Championship manager 01/02 - as mentioned, this is a very dangerous game, as you will not want to stop playing it, ever!

I don't get too drawn into many games. World of Warcraft, supposedly people die playing this game? I can't play it more then about a week at a time, and now, I don't ever play it. But I can list the games I have been totally addicted to and have stole large portions of my life:

NHL 94 (still does in 2014!)
Extreme Warfare Revenge 4.2 (Wrestling Sim)
Championship Manager 01/02
Eastside Hockey Manager 2005
Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 - the single greatest manager sim ever made. I have played this game for too many hours.
Giants Killers - a soccer sim on the old Dreamcast console was really, really good!
Football Manager 2008 - the best FM game there is!

My story however isn't 'how I started playing' but it's a story nonetheless!

Out of the Park Baseball 8. I'd known about OOTP but never really bothered. I loved VR Baseball 97 on the PSX and I always had MLB games, NFL games, NHL games etc. They were shown on TV here in England so it was interesting to see a different style of sport then what we are used too. However, I always would load up OOTP 8, click around and imagine that, yes its a great game, if you can understand it! I had the Football manager UI layout burnt into my brain and I couldn't get used to OOTP. After some months I finally loaded it up and thought, no, I am going to learn this game once and for all. So I sat and read and clicked and read. I had wikipedia open to learn the baseball ratings and slowly I managed to understand who was who, and what screens did what. From there I've bought ever OOTP (just got 15 today!) and It even motivated me to go and play baseball for my local team 'Oldham North Stars'.

#5

Marinersfan51
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I got my start playing sports sims quite a while later than the rest of the folks in the thread, mostly because I am quite a bit younger then them (I am not quite 19). A diehard sports fan since the Mariners historic 2001 season, my first sports video game was NBA Live '05, but they didn't consume me until MLB 2K7. After playing out the first month of the season and having every one of my regulars with 40 HR, I decided to sim into the future. All I can remember is that I reached the 2070s and the best player in league history was a fellow named Ichiro Pujols.

My real love was baseball statistics and a desire to run a ballclub. I was beyond excited for MLB Front Office Manager, and beyond disappointed when I tried to play the incredibly broken game. After a few months I ventured back out and looked on the internet for a game that could satisfy my desire, and I found two, Baseball Mogul and OOTP. After browsing through screenshots, I decided to give the Baseball Mogul demo a try, I was actually turned off of OOTP because if its prettier graphics, perhaps mistrust from Front Office Manager. Baseball Mogul didn't have the Mariners roster right and I disagreed with the player ratings, so I decided to give OOTP a shot. I fell in love. I bought OOTPX and have purchased every version since, including OOTP 15, which has consumed the last few days of my life.

I also play Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2 which I picked up early last year and PFS, which I have been playing since 2010. I eagerly await BTS.



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#6

wilhelm
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I began to love basketball as a kid when i watched a basketball anime (Slam Dunk). And since then, I just fell in love with basketball. I started out playing NBA Live games but fell there's something missing. And i happened to find out about Draft Day Sport Basketball simulation game where i can actually take control of the basketball team.

 

slam-dunk_79917-1600x1200.jpg



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#7

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EHM 05 hooked me into Sports Sim games, besides playing the hell out of the NHL 2k5 and 2k7 games.  Love building up a team.  Re-ignited my love with EHM07 and have been playing that, FM13, and OOTP 14 since. 



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#8

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I am 49 year old that started playing tabletop sim games as a 12 year old. The two games that stood out was APBA baseball(no longer a baseball fanatic but was a total sports geek as a kid)and the Avalon Hill Title Bout. I still play Title bout on the PC and various other games. Just hard trying to find time to play as work keeps me busy. I found this site the other day and those sim juices started flowing again lol. 



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#9

pcc006
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APBA and OOTP baseball. Baseball is my first love, college basketball not being far behind. 



#10

MattLumberjacks
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I guess the first gm game I played was the gm mode within the EA NHL games. I favored the mode because I always found it more fun to be playing a team of my own creation rather than the teams that some real gm has assembled. Eventually, I wanted a game with more depth and decided upon the recently released football manager game. The toughest part was probably the fact that I hardly knew nothing about football/soccer and therefore had to learn the strategies and desired players. I enjoyed it enough that eventually, I bought a few other gm games such as EHM, OOTP and that Euro Truck simulator game (does that count?) However, more recently I've acquired more priorities business in my life and as a result was looking for a smore simple game. Eventually I found gameplanhockey through a reddit comment on /r/hockey and have been pretty satisfied since.



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#11

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Wolverine Studios Basketball Games



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#12

ethshew
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love this site so far



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#13

matteise
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My journey into simulation sports started with an obsession into "customization" world of early NCAA Football for PS/PS2 circa 2001/2002.  I was the type who spent the first week -- or two, inputting roster names.  The joy I would have upon completing that and then beginning dynasty mode with rosters is something I will never forget.  I simply did not care how tedious this was, I had to do it.  NCAA Football was my heart and joy for many, many, many years.

 

In terms of baseball, I remember the days of High Heat and Triple Play (and unfortunately all too short of the days on NCAA Baseball), but career/season long modes were always something I loved.  That said, it was not until Season Ticket Baseball (OOTP 4) that I simply became HOOKED on simulation sports.

 

I was fortunate enough to join a league early on in my STB/OOTP days that lasted for quite some time.  I was taught the ropes and brought shown how great the camaraderie and challenge an online sim league could be.  My interest in OOTP only continued to grow.  Along with the simming came an interest in customization (HTML League reports, baseball cards, podcasts, websites...etc...etc) and it kept growing.  

 

After taking a break from OOTP for a year or two (this was several years ago), the itch for it came back.  After simply joining a league (MLB Pro) early in its development, I have since taken over as Co-Commissioner and am back to being an OOTP diehard.  I am always looking to see what can be done and truly enjoy sharing the fun of a league with all of my fellow GM's and the OOTP community as a whole.


[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


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#14

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Started with card and dice board sports games Avalon Hill, Strat O Matic and 3M games. When the pc came out now the gaming experience than ramped up remember using Floppy disks. Play games like Wayne Gretsky, Tony LaRusa, Earl Weaver, NCAA Basketball and Football, Championship Manager and East side Hockey. Jack Nicklaus golf. Loved the Front Page Sports FB and Baseball.



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