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[OOTP Developments] OOTP Dev talks indie game marketing at PAX East

Yesterday, 09:50 AM

With nearly 20 years of game marketing under its belt, the Out of the Park Developments team has learned a few tricks along the way. Rich Grisham, OOTP Dev’s CMO, shared them in the “So You Want to Market an Indie Game” panel during the recent PAX East video game expo in Boston. Also participating […]

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[Pennant Chase] The attempt to get the ship through rough water

March 21, 2018 - 10:49 AM

While I do think the recent changes have us on a path in a better direction, it has been harder than expected to get the levels to a satisfactory point. So I wanted to create a blog post that I could reference and update rather than keep trying to find messages on the message board.Here is how the "old" PC played out across Auto Leagues over a long sample size (one full month of games - we sim over 2700 Auto League games per day, so even a single day is a large sample...)Runs/Game: 8.77 AVG OBP WHIP:.244 .305 1.26Break down by player rank in the old world:90: .277 .348 0.9880: .260 .323 1.1170: .244 .306 1.2060: .236 .296 1.2750: .229 .284 1.3440: .217 .272 1.4130: .211 .264 1.5020: .199 .237 1.70The distribution there is pretty clean, and I'd like to be somewhere close to these numbers. What I'm seeing so far is that, while there have been spikes in offense that I've corrected, overall Runs/Game went down but OBP and WHIP went up, which means walks are more accounted for - which is good, this was always a slight sim flaw IMO.As of this morning, 3/21, I'm seeing runs/game up a little too high. I will post back here once I feel we have the right levels and I don't have to tweak - I think we're getting close, and I'm monitoring it twice a day so we can quickly get where I think we need to be.

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[GM Games] OOTP 19 partners with EA and will include brand new 3D engine

March 08, 2018 - 11:15 AM

Out of the Park Developments, an official licensee of MLB.com, the MLBPA, and MiLB, announced a partnership with Electronic Arts. The partnership includes the sale of and subscription access to the award-winning baseball strategy game Out of the Park Baseball 19 for all Origin™ users.

[This press release is made available courtesy of OOTP Developments with slight modifications.] 

“We are delighted and honored to partner with Electronic Arts to distribute our baseball game directly to  EA’s biggest fans,” said OOTP Developments CEO and lead developer Markus Heinsohn. “EA’s long history of sports excellence makes Origin a tremendous platform. A whole new audience will now experience the delights and agonies of running a baseball franchise across the majors and minors, from today or throughout the entire history of the sport.”

OOTP 19 unveils a new 3D in-game engine that, for the first time, has players pitching, hitting, fielding, and running the bases in Out of the Park Baseball.

Out of the Park Baseball 19 includes:

  • New 3D stadiums and player models with improved on-field movements, including running, sliding, jumping, and throwing.
  • New in-game screen design for an optimized virtual dugout.
  • 2018 roster sets with all Opening Day MLB rosters, as well as the complete minor league system from Triple-A to rookie leagues as well as the Arizona Fall League. All major league (and over a thousand minor league) player ratings will be based on the popular ZiPS player projection system. The 8 international leagues, as well as independent minor leagues in the US, also return this year with accurate rosters.
  • Rewritten scouting reports that give a more detailed and realistic look at players.
  • New tournament modes! Create a standalone tournament bracket and draw any teams in history into it. The possibilities are endless!
  • Ultra-realistic AI roster management and in-game decisions.
  • A reworked ratings module.
  • User voting for end-of-season awards

  • Many more improvements, including:
  • Redesigned interface, with the ability to choose between 6 different fonts
  • 800 custom team logos for fictional leagues
  • Improved Manager Home screen, with a more customizable layout and new widget options
  • A new stat — RA9-WAR (WAR based on runs allowed) — for pitchers
  • Delayed substitutions for injured players

 

The post OOTP 19 partners with EA and will include brand new 3D engine appeared first on GM Games - Sports General Manager Video Games.


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[GM Games] It’s Tournament Time! DDS: College Basketball 2018 is now available

March 08, 2018 - 11:01 AM

It is time to get ready to cut down the nets and DDS: College Basketball 2018 is bringing you the biggest and best version ever to let you fulfill your dreams of taking your favorite school to the top. So get ready to hop on the recruiting trail, coach – here’s a look at ten of the newest additions to the number one college basketball franchise on the market.

This press release is written and courtesy of the Wolverine Studios development company with slight modifications:

1) 2017 League Conversions

Right out of the gate we’ve got some big news – those dynasties you’ve been building with CB:2017….well keep on building them! For the first time ever you’ll be able to upgrade your league files to the new version!

2) Coach Rating Tracking and Improved Increases

We’ve put work into making the increase in ratings over time better distributed for the coaches with this version and have added a new feature to the coach card that will let you track the improvements in the ratings of a coach over time.

3) Rating Progression Tracking for Players

We didn’t just leave the progression tracking for the coaches either – the player card will have the same progression tracking for player ratings to see how your fabulous freshmen turn out over their careers.

4) Coach Lineage Information

Lineage is back but in a new and improved way. Now you will be able to track every coach that worked for every team and find out what happened to them over their careers. You wil be able to sort by team or by active head coach to see which legend of your association has the best coaching tree!

5) Improvements to AI in Recruiting and Tutoring

Recruiting is the key to any great college game and our recruiting AI has been honed over many years but each year we make it better and better. This year is no exception as we have worked with the AI to do an even better job of managing their resources and targeting players to up the challenge for you. The AI also does a better job of keeping poor students eligible and if you turn on the option for the AI to manage your operations it will handle tutoring of players as well.

6) UI Improvements and New Information

One of our goals is always to add new and useful information to the game. We’ve added an Assn. Info screen that will give you info about each conference and team so that you can see more information at a glance without having to hunt. The search option also remains if you have something in particular you know you’re looking for. We’ve also added a small drop box to the left window news tab to sort different news types and a few other touches here and there to make navigation easier and the screens to look even better than before!

7) Improvements to Walk-On and Recruit Generation

One additional area of improvement this season is in the generation of new recruits and walk-ons. With the recruiting improvements teams are doing a better job of filling their scholarships so the overall number of walk-ons has decreased and those that are generated are done so with a better stature for the kind of player they should be. We’ve also tweaked the recruit generation code to improve stats for players especially at smaller schools and to see that there are fewer outlier players.

8) New Asst. Coach Poaching and Job Offer Improvements

The coaching job search page now gives you more information about all of the jobs available including showing you if a team is on probation for unethical behavior. An even bigger new addition to the coaching feature is the ability to hire assistant coaches from other programs while they are employed – and it can happen to you as well! Assistant coaches who are entering their final contract year can now be lured away in the offseason for a better position. That’s great news if you like to play as the high powered schools…and you better keep some resumes handy if you’re coaching at a lower level school now.

9) Improvements in Relationship Feature

We’ve made a couple of changes here to make this feature even more interesting. The first is that your response options to the players are now changed a bit when you make a phone call to discuss their actions and secondly you’re going to get a response in the phone call to tell you how your relationship was impacted by the actions you took and the impacts vary based on the player themselves so you can never be quite sure what the reaction will be. The other change here is that we have built in some very rare incidents that you might experience to add a little bit more variety to what you deal with as coach.

10) New End Game Improvements

The last of our new items we are highlighting here has to do with end-game scenarios. We have made players try to react quicker as you can see from the screenshot above – down five with only 11 seconds left the player raced down the floor and launched a quick three. We have also worked to see that players have the ability to attempt a long range heave if possible so you never know what the closing seconds of the game will bring and nothing will be more exciting than watching your player drain one from half court to win at the buzzer!

So coach, what are you waiting for? Your destiny awaits at the top of that ladder. Take your school to the top of the basketball world, cut down the nets and build your dynasty with Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2018!

The post It’s Tournament Time! DDS: College Basketball 2018 is now available appeared first on GM Games - Sports General Manager Video Games.


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[Pennant Chase] All about the long overdue death of Range Factor

March 04, 2018 - 12:28 AM

The third big change slated for early 2018 is all about defense. I wanted to talk about it now, because it’s likely going to roll out with the player rank change discussed in my last blog post.As everyone knows, Range Factor is currently the stat used on Pennant Chase to add a defensive element to the game (beside Fielding Percentage, which simply determines the likelihood of a player making an error).Range Factor was not an element that PC launched with back in 2008. The only defensive element was Fielding Percentage. Range Factor came in later, once users started requesting a feature to add defensive strategy to the game. It was an easy stat to use, because we already had what we needed in the database: Putouts, Assists and Games Played. Range Factor is a simple stat. It’s just (PO+A) / GP. Another version of Range Factor breaks it down into PO+A per nine innings, which is a better version, but one that we didn’t have access to. The idea behind Range Factor is that a player who is involved in a lot of plays must be able to cover a wider portion of the field. Not surprisingly, this stat no longer has any value (if it ever did) in a world where many other attempts to measure defense have cropped up.Anyone who has watched a lot of baseball knows that a fielder involved in a lot of plays doesn’t necessarily have good range. Maybe he’s an infielder playing behind a lot of ground-ball pitchers. Maybe he’s an outfielder playing in a large ballpark. There are so many reasons why one player might accumulate more opportunities than his peers. Nonetheless, the Pennant Chase community embraced Range Factor with very few complaints. Sure, people would comment once in a while on its inaccuracy, but everyone seemed to accept it was the only way to measure defense in the sim. Most people seemed grateful there was some measure of defense involved, even if it was an imperfect one. Defense continues to be an incredibly challenging thing to measure. Newer technology has led to stats like “Ultimate Zone Rating” where statisticians analyze tracking data to determine if players made exceptional plays, but defensive shifts and other factors can result in inaccuracies. Data scientists try to get as accurate as possible by comparing historical data, but there’s a level of subjectivity that’s inherently baked into the entire formula.That said, there’s not much choice but to use a slightly subjective statistic if we want to make defense a part of the game. Defensive Runs Saved is now a popular measure, which attempts to figure out how many runs a fielder saved by quantifying his entire defensive performance. Defensive WAR uses both UZR and DRS to figure out how many wins a player contributed to his team with his defensive.By now, any baseball fan has heard about WAR. The concept of Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is to try to figure out how much value a player has over the average “replacement” player. WAR is far too complex to get into in this blog post, but it’s important to note that it’s relative to the player’s league and the position he plays. A second baseman who clubs 50 homers is likely to have a huge WAR because most second basemen don’t produce that kind of offense. WAR is also very subjective - so much so that there is no one universal WAR formula. Two major websites, Baseball Reference and Fangraphs, have completely different formulas (although they have aligned closer recently).So what are we going to use and what’s happening to Range Factor?Range Factor is going to be removed from the sim, but not right away. Since so many people have built teams around RF, I’m not going to yank it immediately. At the same time, I’m going to rollout the stat we’re going to use, which is Defensive WAR. We’ll be using the Baseball Reference calculation as of January 2018. It’s important to note, websites like Baseball Reference are constantly adjusting their WAR formulas, but I’m not going to be re-importing WAR for every player on a regular basis. So what you see on PC may not match any other website.The historical range of dWAR is basically somewhere around -5.0 to 5.0. Elite players tend to be over 2.0. If your dWAR is zero, that means you are a perfectly average player - your defense adds no extra value, but it doesn’t hurt your team either. If your dWAR is negative, it means you’re usually a liability in the field and not an asset. If your dWAR is positive, your defense can contribute to your team winning games that you may not have otherwise won. Okay, so how is dWAR going to work? It’s important to note that unlike Range Factor, dWAR is going to work on an individual basis and not a team basis. (Because of the flaws in Range Factor, it was added up and used at a team level in the sim. If your team RF was high, you could benefit.) But dWAR will come into play when the fielder is in action. Here’s the best way to figure out what the number means in PC: multiply it by 10 and then divide it by 3. That number is (roughly) the odds your player will make a positive or negative play any time a ball is hit to him. For example, if someone’s dWAR is 1.2, you’d get the number 4 (if you multiply it by 10 and then divided by 3). That means there’s a 4% chance your player will rob a hit any time the ball is hit to him. The opposite is true for a negative number. A negative dWAR means there’s a 4% chance your player will allow a hit that should have been fielded. (This is completely different than an error.) Yes, a player with a negative dWAR can sometimes make a good play, and vice versa, but that’s rare. Much like Range Factor, these impacts don’t show up in the box score, but they can have a very real effect. You can see how 4% odds add up when you consider how many times a player has a ball hit in his zone over the course of a game. In my trial runs, dWAR was impacting up to 5 or 6 hits a game, although the norm was between 2 - 4. And some games it never comes into play. What about WAR or oWAR?I chose to use dWAR because it’s one of the better options available to measure defense. But there is no great way to use overall WAR or Offensive WAR in the sim. When you start looking at overall WAR, it’s very dependent on the league and position played. It’s a measure of how valuable a player was at his position, not a measure of how great he was in the history of baseball or even if he was the best overall player that year, although people do tend to use WAR in that way. The other problematic thing is that there’s very little difference in WAR of great players. Adrian Beltre in 2004 and Mookie Betts in 2016 are just 1.5 WAR points away from Mickey Mantle’s 1956 season. I don’t think anyone feels those are remotely equal comparisons. But since dWAR is only impacting defense, and it does a good job of telling us if someone was a valuable defender, it’s much easier to use and get realistic results. We can all get behind Ozzie Smith or Andrelton Simmons robbing more hits than Manny Ramirez, and we can also agree that placing Manny in your outfield should come with a defensive risk.I’m really excited for this change. I think it’s going to keep a very important defensive strategy in PC, but it’s going to create value for the truly exceptional defenders. It’s also going to do something that Range Factor never did - create liabilities in the field, which creates tough lineup decisions for managers. Much like we saw people create entire strategies around Range Factor, I think we’re going to see something similar with dWAR.As usual, drop a note on the boards with any questions or comments.

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