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MLBM 2016 - General Discussions Talk about MLB Manager 2016, the baseball management simulation for iPhone/iPod/iPad/Android

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Old 01-25-2017, 03:52 PM   #1
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Markus AMA on Reddit, Jan. 25 2017

Markus held an AMA on Reddit today, Wed Jan 25 2017, which you can read in full here.

While most of the questions and discussion were related to the upcoming release of OOTP 2018, Markus did field a few MLB Manager questions. Below are the questions with Markus's replies.

Question: Are there going to be any new features for MLB Manager this year?
Markus: We're still in planning stages, but we definitely plan to add owner goals this year.

Question: Markus, side question. Will we see a new Mobile version this year?
Markus: Yes. MLB Manager 2017 will be released a few days after OOTP 18.

Question: A developer said there would be a complete overhaul for MLB Manager. Is that true?
Markus: We wanted to do it this year, however we had to push it back to next year. So MLB Manager 2017 will be a gradual improvement and not a complete recode like we initially planned, sorry.

Question: The mobile version of Football Manager has shown that a mobile game of this sort doesn't have to go the kid-friendly route with enormous buttons and cartoon characters. Have you considered changing the UI and visual design of MLB Manager to move away from the current "casual" style?
Markus: Well, I think the mobile game should be a bit more casual, we are targeting a totally different user base with this. So I think we'll remain on that path...

Question: Any update on the upcoming version of MLB Manager? That's the one I play the most. I also have a few ideas for the game of you'd be interested in hearing.
Markus: Yes, MLB Manager 2017 will be released shortly after OOTP 18.

And that was it for the MLB Manager-related questions. So to summarize the good news vs. the bad news:
  • Good: There will be a new version and it will be out shortly after the release of OOTP 2018. Yay!
  • Bad: Not a complete overhaul as was suggested by Markus a few months ago. New features will be limited; only one mentioned was "owner goals". Big button, cartoony style will remain in place; MLB Manager will remain the "toy" offering that (according to Markus) is designed for a "totally different user base".
I don't think any of this will generate much excitement in the community of gamers who play this game. I understand that the AMA was focused on OOTP 2018, but I think enough was revealed here to suggest that if you had any expectations that MLB Manager would move closer to the sophistication and features of its parent, OOTP, you'll probably be very disappointed. Personally, IMHO, I don't think it's a good move to keep the game dumbed-down and limited to a tiny subset of features from the PC/Mac version. I suspect the core audience for MLB Manager is probably much, much closer to the core audience for OOTP than Markus suggests it is--"Football Manager Touch" is having great success on the tablet platform and I don't see why an "OOTP Touch" couldn't have similar success. Perhaps it's time to look at a strategy similar to what SI does for Football Manager on tablets: one version (FM Touch) that is full-featured and nearly identical to the PC/Mac version; and one version that is much more stripped down and limited (FM Mobile). If I had to bet, I think the more feature-rich version would do very well, and encourage the players who have only used the full version of OOTP to try the tablet version as well, particularly if you could access your saves from the cloud (thereby allowing you to play the same save on your PC or tablet--FM Touch allows this).

Any thoughts about Markus's AMA?

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Old 01-25-2017, 04:01 PM   #2
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Since I am now a bit more saddened by this news tell me more about FM. As in soccer? And SI? Not sure who that is. Available for Apple or Android or both?


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Old 01-25-2017, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Since I am now a bit more saddened by this news tell me more about FM. As in soccer? And SI? Not sure who that is. Available for Apple or Android or both?


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As an owner of Football Manager Touch 2016, I would highly recommend it. It is football as in soccer and SI stands for Sports Interactive. It's available for both Apple and Android. Tons of leagues and tons of gameplay. If you have any other questions, I'd be glad to answer them.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Since I am now a bit more saddened by this news tell me more about FM. As in soccer? And SI? Not sure who that is. Available for Apple or Android or both?
Yes, it's a soccer sim, very popular in Europe and increasingly the US.

I've played FM going back to 2005, PC initially then later the tablet version, and I've enjoyed the game very much. It was my gateway to actually following soccer and understanding the tactics etc. The developer, SI, is a big company with lots of resources, so it's a bit unfair to assume that OOTP Developments could adopt a similar multi-version, multi-platform strategy, but I feel it's a missed opportunity to not grow MLB Manager in the direction of increased sophistication and customization. These incremental updates will probably keep the current user base satisfied for maybe one, possibly two more years, but to really take off I think they need to do something that's closer to FM Touch, even if it's not completely identical to the PC/Mac version.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:20 PM   #5
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As an owner of Football Manager Touch 2016, I would highly recommend it. It is football as in soccer and SI stands for Sports Interactive. It's available for both Apple and Android. Tons of leagues and tons of gameplay. If you have any other questions, I'd be glad to answer them.


Wow. I am a gamer and the more available teams the better. I have some questions if you don't mind. I looked it up and it is available for iPad. Thanks for getting me there.

Does it have national teams?
Can you create a league with teams from different leagues?
Do you have to okay or can you just simulate?
Are there past season teams available?
Is there an editor?

Sorry. I'm a bit excited.



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Old 01-25-2017, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillupi View Post
Wow. I am a gamer and the more available teams the better. I have some questions if you don't mind. I looked it up and it is available for iPad. Thanks for getting me there.

Does it have national teams?
Can you create a league with teams from different leagues?
Do you have to okay or can you just simulate?
Are there past season teams available?
Is there an editor?

Sorry. I'm a bit excited.



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It does indeed have national teams, but you cannot create a league with different teams. You can simulate instead of playing, it's what I usually prefer to do. There sadly are no past season teams. There used to be a player editor, although it's paid and I believe it's not available for FMT but for the toned down FMM (Football Manager Mobile).
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xepicx2729 View Post
It does indeed have national teams, but you cannot create a league with different teams. You can simulate instead of playing, it's what I usually prefer to do. There sadly are no past season teams. There used to be a player editor, although it's paid and I believe it's not available for FMT but for the toned down FMM (Football Manager Mobile).


So there are 2 games? I saw the one Football Manager Touch 2017 for $19.99. And just found the mobile version for $8.99. What are the big differences?


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Old 01-25-2017, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillupi View Post
So there are 2 games? I saw the one Football Manager Touch 2017 for $19.99. And just found the mobile version for $8.99. What are the big differences?


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Yes, two games. From my knowledge (I own FMT 2016 and FMM 15, I'm assuming not too much has changed) FMT is much more like the computer version. It contains many more leagues as well as having a better game engine allowing the player to watch highlights in 3D as well as better performance in the menus. I would suggest you get one of them, it's an amazingly fun game.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:47 PM   #9
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Markus AMA on Reddit, Jan. 25 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by xepicx2729 View Post
Yes, two games. From my knowledge (I own FMT 2016 and FMM 15, I'm assuming not too much has changed) FMT is much more like the computer version. It contains many more leagues as well as having a better game engine allowing the player to watch highlights in 3D as well as better performance in the menus. I would suggest you get one of them, it's an amazingly fun game.


It does sound good. Two more questions and I do appreciate your quick answers.

Is the US represented National or MLS?
If you buy for one device (iPad) is it free to download on another (iPhone)?


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Old 01-25-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillupi View Post
So there are 2 games? I saw the one Football Manager Touch 2017 for $19.99. And just found the mobile version for $8.99. What are the big differences?
FM Touch is a full-featured variant of the full blown PC/Mac game. Lots of tactical depth, deep management features, many leagues available to play, thousands of players, etc. Very immersive and you can spend a lot of time tweaking your team and its tactical priorities, training routines, roster, etc. There is a 3D match engine, too.

FM Mobile is a bit like MLB Manager: a big-button game that has stripped down the gameplay to only the most essential elements. It's actually quite fun, but it's more of a quick pick-up type of game where you can sim several seasons pretty quickly. Matches are shown in 2D, with moving dots simulating the movements of players on the field.

So, with Touch you get a game that is much closer to the PC/Mac version, but the tradeoff is you have to pay more money (compared to FM Mobile, which is priced a little higher than MLB Manager).
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:52 PM   #11
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It does sound good. Two more questions and I do appreciate your quick answers.

Is the US represented National or MLS?
If you buy for one device (iPad) is it free to download on another (iPhone)?
FM Mobile is pay once for both iPhone and iPad. No MLS, though.

FM Touch is only available for iPad. MLS is available, though the complex MLS rules related to player contracts etc. are only approximated, which I don't mind, but some US-based players complain about.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:54 PM   #12
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fm mobile is pay once for both iphone and ipad. No mls, though.

Fm touch is only available for ipad. Mls is available, though the complex mls rules related to player contracts etc. Are only approximated, which i don't mind, but some us-based players complain about.
+1
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:58 PM   #13
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+1


Thanks. Much appreciated. I think I'll try the stripped down version first and see how I like it. Sorry we used the MLB board to talk about a different game.


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Old 01-25-2017, 07:36 PM   #14
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Football Manager is incredible. Unbelievably popular here in England for many, many years. I started playing it way back in 1993 under its old title Championship Manager on my Atari ST. I spent so many hours of my childhood playing it. I don't have the time to play the complex PC version these days but I still play FM Mobile, it's a great game.

But - I enjoy MLB Manager even more. The ability to customise your league and it being much harder to totally dominate all other teams year-in, year-out give it the edge for me. I'll buy the 2017 edition to support the developers no matter what, but disappointed to hear the big changes they suggested aren't coming yet. It does feel like their heart isn't really in it at the moment. The game's logo doesn't even appear at the top of these forum pages.

I agree with the OP that the core audience probably isn't that much different to the full OOTP. I would play the full game if I didn't have 2 young kids and little spare time. Instead I play MLB Manager because I can play it on a busy train on my commute to work.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:12 AM   #15
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I just can't imagine how anyone who downloads MLB manager can be considered a "casual" gamer. The game by its nature is for people who want a sim style experience. I don't get it.

Anyway, it's clear MLB manager has the lowest priority in the company. They're adding whatever owner goals is simply so they don't have the blacklash of putting out a game 2 years in a row with no upgrades.

I'm happy he game is coming out again, but it's abundantly clear how little the company views the game. I think that is the wrong move, the population is moving towards cell phones and tablets and away from pcs. Their core audience is in the pc I get that, but the way to attract new users is mobile. You can't convince me otherwise.

I still get the feeling one day they're just gonna give up on the game altogether. So I have 0 confidence in any overhaul ever, and I guess I'm just happy we're getting a 17 version.
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:11 PM   #16
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I just can't imagine how anyone who downloads MLB manager can be considered a "casual" gamer. The game by its nature is for people who want a sim style experience. I don't get it.

Anyway, it's clear MLB manager has the lowest priority in the company. They're adding whatever owner goals is simply so they don't have the blacklash of putting out a game 2 years in a row with no upgrades.

I'm happy he game is coming out again, but it's abundantly clear how little the company views the game. I think that is the wrong move, the population is moving towards cell phones and tablets and away from pcs. Their core audience is in the pc I get that, but the way to attract new users is mobile. You can't convince me otherwise.

I still get the feeling one day they're just gonna give up on the game altogether. So I have 0 confidence in any overhaul ever, and I guess I'm just happy we're getting a 17 version.
Like you, I'm really puzzled by OOTP's attitude toward this game. It seems like they view it as something fairly lightweight that will capture and hold the attention of someone who might play WGT Baseball or MLB Perfect Inning, but it's not that kind of game at all. MLB Manager appeals to people who enjoy the strategic and tactical aspects of baseball, but also REALLY like statistics. The only way they're going to grow their audience for this game is to add features that support strategy, tactics, statistical depth, and--importantly--customization. And regarding customization, in the last (and current) version of the game, they broke or refused to update the very limited customization options they had allowed in the previous version, namely custom logos and ballparks (although, to be fair, they did eventually fix the custom ballpark option after the game had been out for several months). Improve those core features and the game will grow and succeed--stick with the casual gamer and you'll find that those guys are all playing Baseball Superstars 2017, not MLB Manager.

By the way, "owner goals" sounds a lot like "own goal" to me--in soccer, that's a catastrophe and if MLB Manager 2017 ships with only one or two new features, that would be a similar kind of mistake.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:18 PM   #17
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I appreciate the update. I am not looking for an overhaul. Just some additions like playoff customization, exhibition series games similar to OOTP, and discounts offered similar to OOTP. 19.99 for all seasons is more than OOTP17.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:46 PM   #18
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I am not looking for an overhaul.
Well, you're going to get your wish, then.

I find Markus's comments in the AMA a bit confusing, to be honest. On the one hand, Markus said several months ago that the idea was to make MLB Manager much more (if not entirely) like OOTP. At the time he said this, I was happy to hear it, because it sounded like the developers were ready to let this game grow up and become a serious and deep baseball simulation. It's pretty cool even in its current limited form, but Markus was suggesting that they were ready to take it to the next level. That was exciting to hear. But that's not going to happen, and although I can guess that the reason has to do with resources and development schedules, I find it hard to reconcile the Markus of six months ago ("we'll overhaul the game to make it more like OOTP") with the Markus of the AMA, who says the game is really about casual gaming and casual gamers. Huh? Then why did he say (almost promise, not quite, but almost) that the game was going to get much, much deeper and sophisticated. Seems like a bit of a disconnect there, and makes me think they don't really have a long-term strategy for the game. Maybe they do, but it's coming across as a lukewarm commitment to maybe doing something someday.

In the end, sure, I'll keep playing the game, because there's no real competitor for it on the iPad. I'm in the unfortunate position of not having a PC or Mac that I can install OOTP on (my work laptop is locked-down by my employer), so my main personal computing device is a tablet. Which works out fine 99% of time, but in this particular instance, not so much. But that's my boo hoo predicament and probably most people don't share my pain. I'll just keep dreaming for the day when MLB Manager grows up and we give up the big buttons and silly cartoon graphics for something a little more, um--ah, who am I fooling, it's just a game. And I like it, and I appreciate the work and effort put into making it.

Let that be my last word on this: I appreciate the fact that the game exists at all!
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Well, you're going to get your wish, then.

I find Markus's comments in the AMA a bit confusing, to be honest. On the one hand, Markus said several months ago that the idea was to make MLB Manager much more (if not entirely) like OOTP. At the time he said this, I was happy to hear it, because it sounded like the developers were ready to let this game grow up and become a serious and deep baseball simulation. It's pretty cool even in its current limited form, but Markus was suggesting that they were ready to take it to the next level. That was exciting to hear. But that's not going to happen, and although I can guess that the reason has to do with resources and development schedules, I find it hard to reconcile the Markus of six months ago ("we'll overhaul the game to make it more like OOTP") with the Markus of the AMA, who says the game is really about casual gaming and casual gamers. Huh? Then why did he say (almost promise, not quite, but almost) that the game was going to get much, much deeper and sophisticated. Seems like a bit of a disconnect there, and makes me think they don't really have a long-term strategy for the game. Maybe they do, but it's coming across as a lukewarm commitment to maybe doing something someday.

In the end, sure, I'll keep playing the game, because there's no real competitor for it on the iPad. I'm in the unfortunate position of not having a PC or Mac that I can install OOTP on (my work laptop is locked-down by my employer), so my main personal computing device is a tablet. Which works out fine 99% of time, but in this particular instance, not so much. But that's my boo hoo predicament and probably most people don't share my pain. I'll just keep dreaming for the day when MLB Manager grows up and we give up the big buttons and silly cartoon graphics for something a little more, um--ah, who am I fooling, it's just a game. And I like it, and I appreciate the work and effort put into making it.

Let that be my last word on this: I appreciate the fact that the game exists at all!
I understand your concerns if you don't have a PC. I use the app a minute here or there and it is convenient to do so. That is definitely the benefit of the app. But if I have time to actually boot up a computer and play something it's the PC version which allows you to do almost anything. I can't limit myself to just the app.

I did not buy OOTP every year, but since the app was introduced I have purchased the app and the last 3 PC versions. This is why I just want a few updates, not an overhaul. I can get the overhauls on the PC. App 5 minutes over break.
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