Saturday, April 26, 2014

#PackADailyCircus #ootp15 - Moving to OOTP 15: Initial Thoughts

The Tribecards Pack-A-Daily Circus Giveaway Game is upgrading from OOTP14 to OOTP15. I am doing a straight import. I realize there will may player name conflicts, etc. I don't think it will be an issue other than newer players that I created in 14 will have fictitious base stats compared to their live counterparts. I am not changing those players out because I don't want to cause those teams to lose what they've been building.

As part of the move, I am going to be giving my thoughts on the new OOTP 15 during the season.  As we get things rolling, here are my initial thoughts:
  1. The game easily installs into the default location: its own folder that does not mess with previous versions of the game. That is a HUGE plus in my book, as I hate new versions of programs that arbitrarily install themselves on top of what you already have. 
  2. The new look mimics modern-day color schemes and the "flat" graphic look, a la Microsoft Metro or iOS7. If you like those looks, then you will be pleased by the new design. If you are not a fan, then this will be "one more thing" that has taken to the trend. I am not a fan of the look, generally, but I do like how OOTP15 wears it - at least at first glance. I'll let you know more once I get into the game a little deeper.
  3. As soon as I installed the game, I entered my key and selected "Import OOTP14 game" (or however it is worded). That process is not fast. I believe the reason stems from the way I set up PADCircus in the first place. Remember, I imported the WHOLE player list. Most games people play are not based on EVERY single player to have ever played the game. Haha!
    (screen shot of main screen during import)
  4. After the import, I was presented with the revamped Manager screen. WOW! This is way different than ootp14, and in a very cool way! The new manager screen has things like the Inbox for news, standings, upcoming schedule and more - all at a quick glance. I really like this, though it does take some getting used to because the other version was so sparse:
    As you can see in the image above, the buttons have all been reworked with the flat-style rendering. I have to admit, it gives the game a completely different feel.
  5. The new menu system takes some getting used to. In ootp14, each main menu was basically full of everything you could do from that option. In ootp15, there are submenus (ex: "Player Info" now leads to "List all players, Free agents, etc." Definitely takes some getting used to, trying to figure out how to do what you used to do. That is no different than most software updates, though. 
  6. As for duplicate player names, it occurred to me that I would have to import the full player list again in order to have that happen. So, for the purposes of PADCircus, I will *NOT* be doing that! I will continue to create new players as needed.
  7. I realize what I am about to say probably only applies to me, in the way I use ootp, but I wish I could assign a player to a team directly fro the "All Players" list. That is, I wish I could right-click, Assign to team, have it auto-populate the list of teams and then pick the team I want. Right now (as in ootp14), I have to click the player's name, edit the player, then assign him to a team. That's a lot of steps when you are talking about doing that for 40-50 players at a time across all the teams.
  8. The biggest difference in the interface I see are the removal of tabs. Instead of individually rendered tabs, each menu/choice gets highlighted as you hover over it. It makes for a much cleaner, unified presentation.
  9. For fun, I tried Tweeting the Koufax Perfect No-No through the game's interface. That took me to an ootp 13 page and said it posted to Twitter, but I couldn't find it on there if it did.
  10. I decided to try an exhibition game between the Tribecards and the Patricksmiths (both are Arkansas teams!). The set-up was easy, and I set everything to computer AI just for fun. The *REAL* fun came, however, when I turned on the experimental 3D mode! This is WAY cool!!

    As you can see in the screen shot above, the stadium is rendered in 3D with player names and pics shown on field. When you hit a ball, a 3D ball heads off in the direction based on what is happening in the simulation. This is seriously one of the coolest ways to watch a simulation, in my opinion. I usually just let the games run themselves with no on-screen display at all. But, this makes watching some of those games come to life. What a cool feature!
  11. I switched over to "Webcast" and was presented with an overhead 2D field with names, etc and an animated ball that flew on the screen depending where the batter hit it. I will have to figure out how to webcast and make sure that we webcast the PAD Circus World Series (maybe even the playoffs)!
  12. Hahaha, while playing the simulation, the background noises add a fun piece to the atmosphere. The fans get mad when the visiting team hits a homer, they cheer when their team makes a great play, etc. I don't if ootp14 had that or not, but it's another way to enjoy the games.
  13. After the 4th inning, I selected "Quick Play To..." and jumped ahead to the 9th. I let the game play it out and the Tribecards won the exhibition game 3-1! Too bad it didn't actually count! Haha!
Overall, my first impression of the game comes down to two things: The interface update makes things much cleaner (though it takes some getting used to) and the game itself adds some fun features while still keeping OOTP the award-winning program it has been. 

I'll be posting other thoughts as we move throughout the season here in the Pack-A-Daily Circus!

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