iOOTP Baseball 2012
Road to Release 2012 - Part 1!
As spring training winds down and Opening Day beckons, baseball fans everywhere question the moves made by major league General Managers. Hereís your chance to prove you know more than they do.
iOOTP Baseball 2012 is the follow-up to our successful first entry into the mobile market last year. This is the first of three Road to Release articles that will give you the inside scoop on whatís new in this version of the game, which is scheduled for release on April 5, 2012. Thatís right: youíll be able to get your hands on the game just as many teams are playing their Opening Day schedules, letting you see if your simulated season begins differently.
As last year, iOOTP will be $4.99, and it will be a Universal app, which means the iPad-optimized version is included at no extra charge. On the iPad, iOOTP takes advantage of the larger screen to display more information. And if you own multiple iOS devices, youíll only have to pay for the game once to play it on all of them.
My name is Sebastian Palkowski and I'm the Lead Developer of iOOTP Baseball 2012. The game is based on the award-winning OOTP series, which will release its 13th version just one day after iOOTP is available on the App Store.
In iOOTP Baseball, you take over a ballclub as GM and Manager and try to take it to the top by winning the World Championship. To do this, you have an unlimited number of seasons and the tools to reach your goals are the same ones that real GMs and Managers have at their disposal: you can set your lineups, rotation and bullpen, sign Free Agents or release players you don't need anymore, draft new talents in the yearly Amateur Draft, trade with other teams, sign your own players to contract extensions, and move players between your Reserve List and the 25-man active roster.
You can play out all your games, making the call when to steal, put in a relief pitcher, move your fielders, and so forth, or you can concentrate on the GM side and let the CPU simulate your games.
iOOTP Baseball has so much content that I want to use this first article to give you an overview of what to expect from the game. If youíre an iOOTP and/or OOTP veteran, youíll still want to read on since Iíll be including screenshots that show off iOOTP 2012ís revamped interface. Road to Release articles two and three will focus on the new features.
The first choice you have to make is the type of game you want to play: "Major League" is probably the most important mode. It puts you right into the upcoming 2012 season, starting with the opener in Japan. You choose which team you want to take over and then itís up to you to make the right moves. As a diehard Red Sox fan myself, this year is a dream: Who should play shortstop? Who will fill in until Crawford comes back, and will he bounce back from last year? What about the new closer and will Daniel Bard be up to the task as a starter?
The above screen is always the starting point for you: you get all the important information about your team and can easily reach screens to change settings or find stuff like standings, schedules, and stats.
Each team has the real 25-man active roster and 10 top prospects available. We try to make the most accurate rosters as possible; ratings are based on season projections and edited by hand to include injuries and correct salaries. Note: we have to submit the game early to Apple, so the initial release will have correct rosters up to 3/25; however, we will issue a free update with Opening Day rosters shortly after release.
All players in iOOTP Baseball are detail-modeled with biographical data, morale, character ...
ratings for batting and base running ...
pitching ratings and ...
ratings for defense.
As you can see, all players in iOOTP Baseball are detail-rated on a number of levels. But what would baseball be without stats? Right, something would amiss since our game has plenty of them.
Each player has all the basic stats (plus a few advanced ones) you would expect from a baseball game. The best is: they get stored for every year he plays, so you can look up the stats for each year (and the totals) of your number one pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft after he retires 20 years later as a member of the Hall of Fame.
This year we added a history for season awards and a general player history:
But to get stats, a player has to play, and which players get to start is your decision. To manage your team you have a number of screens available. First the Lineup screen:
You can set your starting lineup against RHP, RHP with DH, LHP, and LHP with DH. That gives you total control over your lineup. But be careful: players expect certain roles on the team, so if your starting cleanup hitter is struggling, think twice before you move him down the chart -- he might get angry at you and even ask to be traded!
After you set your lineups it is time to manage your pitching. Like in real life, it is up to you if you want to go with a 4- or 5-man rotation and set up your bullpen accordingly. Maybe you have a good reliever you want to try in the rotation. Just give him some spot starts and see the results. Maybe that will let you save money for an expensive Free Agent and invest in a big bat.
Last but not least, you can give the CPU instructions to handle your roster in games if you don't want to manage every game:
The possibilities are endless, so don't miss your bus stop when you try to find the optimal settings.
One thing that makes iOOTP so unique is the world it creates. It builds up a world you can dive into, an alternate world that develops differently each time you play. As I mentioned earlier, players have morale and get unhappy if you play them wrong or, even worse, put them in reserve. However, nothing is more exciting than a nobody who comes in as an injury replacement and rocks at the plate just long enough to seal you a spot in the post-season.
To present you all this, iOOTP received one of the biggest News and Play-by-Play databases directly from its big brother, OOTP 13. It contains more than 50,000 lines of text it builds its news from, so you will not get the same news over and over again.
Here is just one example:
That's it for the first article. I didn't even touch stuff like Trades, Signings, Drafts or the In-Game mode. We will tackle them with all the new stuff in the second article, which will be available later this week.
The last screenshot is a teaser for the next article; it even contains a hint for one new feature. Can you guess it?
If you are interested in iPhone/iPod screenshots: RtR - Part 1 iPod/iPhone