We Shoot We Score!
Announcing Our Newest Game:
Franchise Hockey Manager!

Love hockey? Whether you're a new fan of the sport or you've spent years following the NHL, the KHL, the Swedish Hockey League, or any of the other leagues around the world, you'll want to check out our latest game, Franchise Hockey Manager 2014 (FHM).

We'll launch FHM 2014 worldwide on September 3, 2013 for PC and Mac. You can pre-order the game for just $29.99, but hurry: this special price only lasts through August 19. Starting August 20, the price will be $39.99.

> > > Click to Pre-Order FHM for PC Windows and Mac OS X < < <

Download links for the full version:

PC Windows

Mac OS X

Click here
to download

Click here
to download

If you order before the release date, you'll be able to immediately download and start playing the pre-release version of the game. We welcome you to post your thoughts on our FHM forum. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest FHM news.

The Only Hockey Management Game You'll Ever Need

We've spent 15 years working on Out of the Park Baseball, so we know a few things about sports management games, and we've applied all those lessons learned to Franchise Hockey Manager 2014. Take control of one of more than 300 teams across 19 leagues and run every aspect of its operation: set lineups and strategies, draft the next crop of superstars, haggle over trades, negotiate with free agents, navigate the choppy waters of injuries, and prepare your players for the grind of the regular season and the playoffs.

Launch a 2013-14 season and guide your club through unlimited seasons of championship chasing or travel as far back as 1947 and take control of your favorite NHL or WHA team. See if you can replicate their success or chart a new course through history. And, of course, you can also create a custom league configured the way you want, with fresh fictional players ready to turn into a new crop of superstars.

You can expect a new version of FHM every September, just in time for the latest NHL season.

To get ready for FHM 2014's September 3 release, we'll leave you with the first installment in our Road to Release series.

FHM 2014 - The Road to Release, Part 1: All About Ratings

As in Out of the Park Baseball, FHM 2014 uses a wide variety of mental and physical ratings that govern a player's success - and as in baseball, hockey players typically see their abilities improve over time before decline inevitably sets in and they head toward the twilight of their careers.

Players' ratings are divided into six groups: Offense, Defense, Goalie, Mental, Physical, and Hidden. While Hidden ratings can only be seen when you turn on commissioner mode, most of them don't change. The Offense, Defense, and Goalie ratings can increase or decrease each month according to a series of checks the game performs for each player - see producer Jeff Riddolls' in-depth explanation of the process on our forum to learn more.

The short version is that checks against a players' Coachability rating determine how likely it is that any of their Offense, Defense, and Goalie ratings will improve each month. FHM automatically assigns the best position coach to each player, and a check against the coach offers another opportunity for a rating to improve. Failed checks in the first two steps mean the player will receive a penalty against any chance of improvement, although that chance will never equal zero.

Those ratings can't exceed their potential ratings, but there is the occasional chance that a potential rating will increase and offer more headroom for improvement.

Checks against Physical ratings happen twice a year. They are most likely to improve when a player is young - any chance of improvement ends at age 28. Some of the Mental ratings will almost never change while others may improve by one point, at the most, every four years.

The ratings are listed below. For an in-depth explanation of each one, see Jeff's Game Systems: Attributes post on the forum.

Offensive Ratings:
Getting Open
Offensive Read
Puck Handling
Shooting Accuracy
Shooting Range
Defensive Ratings:
Defensive Read
Poke Checking
Shot Blocking
Goalie Ratings:
Low Shots
Poke Checking
Puck Handling
Mental Ratings (Goalies):
Mental Toughness
Goaltender Stamina

Mental Ratings (Skaters):
Team Player
Physical Ratings:
Hidden Ratings:
Big Games
Injury Proneness
Pass/Shoot Tendency

Player Aging and Retirement

Slightly less than half of a player's ratings will decline over time, primarily the Physical ones. On average, typical first-line NHL stars will see a decline to baseline skills in about four years, with another three or four years before they become fourth-line players whose careers are close to wrapping up.

When you turn on Commissioner Mode, you'll see an Aging rating among the hidden ones. Aging changes according to events in a player's life - major injuries will force a premature career decline (if they're still young, normal improvement will somewhat counteract that) while players who remain relatively healthy will have more years of productivity. With a bit of luck, a few players will remain superstars much longer than most.

Each August, FHM performs a retirement check according to each player's current age, Aging rating, and number of seasons left on his contract. While the game is aggressive about ensuring that quality free agents find new homes during the offseason, players at lower levels will likely end up retiring if they don't receive any contract offers.

In general, most players in high-level leagues who have productive careers and remain free of major injuries will probably retire in their late 30s.

Jeff's Game Systems: Player Aging and Retirement post on our forum goes into this subject in more depth.

Stay Tuned For More

Thanks for reading this newsletter. Look for two more installments in the FHM Road to Release series, one covering the intricacies of custom and historical leagues and the other delving into scouting, background leagues, and other related topics.

We'll see you at the rink!

The OOTP Developments Team

> > > Click to Pre-Order FHM for PC Windows and Mac OS X < < <

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