3/12/14 Edit: OOTP 15 is coming out April 21st.
Over the 6 or 7 years that I’ve been running MPH, I’ve received several emails and DMs on Twitter about magazines, products, publications, and all that sort of thing, people wanting me to plug their product/magazine, and I’ve always turned every one of them down. That’s not what I’m about, I won’t plug things just to plug things, I have to geniunely believe my readers/audience will get something out of that thing. Which brings me to OOTP.
So as I think many of you know, I’m an avid player of the OOTP (Out of the Park) series of baseball sims. I occasionally tweet about various dynasties I’m playing, usually always Met dynasties (though my current one is a friends’ that he sent to me of an alternate US major league). I’ve been playing OOTP since version 11, and I have to say it is simply the most amazing simulation I’ve ever seen or heard of. Each version builds upon its previous incarnations, and the result, in my opinion, is OOTP14 being the best sim on the market. And the recently announced OOTP15 sounds like it’s going to be even better, with the additions of the DSL/VSL into the game, amongst other awesome things.
Let me spend a few sentences here to tell you what OOTP isn’t. OOTP is not fancy bells and whistles while you PLAY the baseball game. You actually can’t play the game, you can only manage, and even then, it’s very limited graphically, and pretty damn static. If you’re looking for a game with fancy bells/whistles/graphics and all that, OOTP isn’t for you.
If, on the other hand, you enjoy deep, realistic minor leagues (and uh… if you don’t, why are you reading my site? lol), if you enjoy reading about a Marcos Molina, or a Casey Meisner, or Rob Whalen, or Chris Flexen, years and years before they make the majors (or flame out on the way!)… well… imagine that feeling, multiply it by a zillion (because you won’t be just READING about them, you’ll be drafting them, developing them, and watching them), and you have OOTP in a nutshell.
The feeling of getting attached to players and prospects happens all the time IRL (I still love Mike Carp), but… the notion of it happening in a video game seemed absolutely foreign to me, and then I found a dynasty that clicked for me between versions 11, 12 and 13, ultimately playing that league for something like 30 in game years. I signed a free agent OFer after the 2018 season, Hector Rodriguez, and suffice to say… he anchored the Mets lineup for the next 17 seasons, and even at the end, with his ratings declining to nothing, I didn’t want to let him go. I agonized over the decision for a few days IRL before finally letting him walk in FA. In that same dynasty, I drafted a kid named Jim Doran with the 1/1 pick who ended up anchoring my rotation from 2020 to 2035.
The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel as you do the same, as you build a team whichever way you deem best, it really is like a substitute for baseball. OOTP is highly versatile, you can mimic RL as highly detailed as you want, there’s mods that allow you to have real colleges and high schools throughout the country as feeder leagues.
The Rule V draft is in the game, too, as is the IFA signing period (while the individual team ‘pool’ thing isn’t there, each team is limited to $3m in signings). Penalties exist for going over $3m. The Rule IV draft (aka the June draft) is in the game, as well, and OOTP15 is apparently going to have real players all the way to 2017 coded into the game this season. Free agency exists, of course, complete with chasing them, while keeping under the cap your owner limits you to (in the case of the Mets, that’s $17.50). Success in each season earns you a higher and higher budget, and you can decide what to do with it. Dump more into scouting and player development (that’s what I do), allocate more to FAs, extensions… it’s all in the game.
OOTP is a FANTASTIC simulation game, it’s kept my attention for years, and hours out of every day. It WILL keep your attention for hours at a time, you might even end up asking people for advice (should I sign this FA for 5/75 or sign a stopgap for 1/10 and wait for this prospect to develop further? Should I trade Wright for prospects and do a complete rebuild, or should I stay the course?)
There’s also historical and fictional play, if you want to play as the ’69 Mets and try to turn them into a dynasty, or the ’86 Mets (thankfully cocaine doesn’t exist in OOTP). If you don’t want expectations of players, you can play a fictional game, with all fictional players, and know/expect nothing. The possibilities are endless with OOTP. I would absolutely 100% recommend buying it, it’s WELL worth the $39.99 price tag. OOTP15 can be preordered now, if you go to www.ootpdevelopments.com. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
I don’t own anything about it. I just know that this is the greatest sim ever. Hey, I’m Tejesh Patel, I’m not putting my name on the line for something that isn’t good.