Motorsport Manager

With a little support (i.e. cash) from SEGA, Playsport Games could have a great niche title on its hands …

As it is an unlicensed product the game will not feature teams, drivers or circuits from the Formula 1 world championship. Instead, “Motorsport Manager “will challenge players to take a second-tier single-seater team into the game’s F1 equivalent, the Grand Prix World Championship.

Honestly, I doubt I would find time to play; or rather it wouldn’t be a priority for me. I still hole it does well …


Blowing Off Steam. Time to Reconsider?

It is pretty well established in these pages that I don’t care for PC gaming, but that could change with the advent of Steam Machines.

These PC in a box ‘consoles’ could change my perspective, with several different options across a wide spectrum of prices, the only issue I see is market confusion. With 14 (and I assume more on the way) options, it is difficult to know where to start. Picking an ‘open’ hardware version, that allows for future upgrades (which may be every version being offered) is a great place to start. With the $500 getting started price point, I just have to reconcile a dedicated Steam Machine over a multi-use laptop that could also be connected to my TV.

The only reason I would even consider one of these boxes is to break into the world of iRacing. With the Steam iRacing listing showing Windows as a requirement, and the new Steam Machines being built to support ValveOS (Linux flavoring), I probably need to take a wait and see approach.


PC Batman Arkham Knight Woes

I know console games have their fair share of issues (… cough … Drive Club for the PS4 … cough …), but Warner Bros. suspending PC sales of Batman Arkham Knight has to be considered a huge disaster.

Drive Club’s launch and the lack of the striped dow PS+ version has been a PR mess for Sony, but a miss on a racing game doesn’t carry the same weight as a miss on a flagship title such as Batman.

Every time I consider PC gaming, issues like this (and patching, hardware expense, not having the same comfy gaming spot as my PS4, no large screen TV, etc), I always pause and say “no, thank you.”

One of these days I will do the Steam and iRacing thing …


Windows 10 Gaming Platform?

I rarely write about anything Windows related, and only occasionally touch on PC gaming related topics, but why not mix it up for a change. With the launch of Windows 10 only a few weeks away (July 29), there are a couple of tidbits that could impact PC gamers.

Somehow I doubt that MS can turn their Xbox assets into a vehicle to push Windows 10, but it sure likes like they are trying their level best …

Although there has been some speculation that Microsoft would sell its Xbox division, it’s clear now that won’t happen. Microsoft has said that Xbox will play a critical role in Windows 10, giving users an array of features, including the ability to get onto Xbox Live, to record game play and to stream games from Xbox One to a Windows 10 device anywhere in the home.

It is also odd to me that MS is looking to kill off DVDs:

In an odd twist, Microsoft has said that DVD support will be somewhat limited. While the operating system will readily handle DVDs as storage devices, those who want to use DVDs to play back videos will need “separate playback software.” A key reason is that Windows 10 lacks Windows Media Center or another platform that would allow for playback. So, if users are looking to watch DVD movies on their Windows 10 boxes, they’ll need to get other software before doing so. An end of an era, perhaps

Oh, MS finally killed off IE, which no one finds odd. Joy …


iRacing: McLaren MP4-12C GT3

I am not an iRacing subscriber, but just had to post this bit I read at and McLaren Automotive today announced plans to build a virtual version of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 racecar.

The MP4-12C GT3 marries Formula 1 and innovative road car technology with GT3 specification performance enhancements to create a new generation of racing car. will apply expertise in creating a state-of-the-art digital version of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 that will be available to iRacing members in 2012.

The car project is the second development from and the McLaren Group. Earlier this year, incorporated McLaren Electronics’ ATLAS Express data analysis software into the iRacing service, providing the more than 30,000 iRacers access to data acquisition and telemetry software similar to that used on every cars competing in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

One of these days I am going to get me a decent gaming computer, a force feedback wheel, and of course my own area to set everything up. I could really get into iRacing … one of these days. Until then I will have to keep racing on my PlayStation in the comfy confines of my living room.


LOTRO – Free Online Beta

Just for shits and giggles I signed up for the Lord of the Rings Online beta to see if I can get in on some of the relaunch fun before the actual free to play relaunch this fall. According to Eurogamer:

You’ll be able to play up to level 50 – the level cap of the original version of the game, Shadows of Angmar – for free. In the LOTRO Store, you will be able to purchase “convenience items”, expansion packs, premium content, additional character slots, potions and character customisation options.

We imagine that the content available to buy in the Store will include that currently sold in the Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood expansions, which between them have raised the level cap to 65.

The VIP offering will grant unlimited access to all premium content, priority server access, five character slots, a shared bank slot and a monthly stipend of points to spend in the LOTRO store “for one low price”. The price is yet to be revealed.

I would like to give this a go just to try out the Middle Earth world, and the concept of free to play is perfect for my pocketbook. I really need to upgrade my laptop to something more suitable for gaming.

One really interesting bit of this story concerns Dungeons and Dragons Online, which went free to play last year.

Since its free-to-play relaunch in September 2009, Dungeons & Dragons Online has attracted one million players, boosted revenues by 500 per cent, and even doubled the number of traditional subscribers to the game. A recent survey put it as the third most-played MMO in the US after World of Warcraft and RuneScape.

Of course that is not WoW is a distant contender, but I imagine the free to play concept will continue to catch on with other MMOs looking for their nitche in the market.


Out of the Park Baseball carries me through a dry spell.

I may going into a more detailed off topic (“Stuffs”) post over the weekend discussing what I have been up to and how I spent my time during my recent sabbatical … er Spring Break.

The PS3 has not been on except for some Blu-ray goodness, and the PSP has been stowed away since my last business trip the first week in March.

I have been play OOTPX/OOTP10 (online league) and have been getting familiar with the new OOTP11. I never would have guessed that a PC “game” would carry me during a down gaming cycle, but the OOTP series has legs. After taking a few versions off from the series, I have really enjoyed OOTP10 and I believe that OOTP11 may be the most exciting version since OOTP6.5.

When I have some time I will post some comments on OOTP11; or maybe at least see if there is a review or two that cover most of my opinions on the game. Believe it or not, I have not even looked for a review, jumped on any forums, or done any research on OOTP11. Strange times indeed.


OOTP 11 – Preorder Special

I decided to preorder Out of the Park Baseball 11 (OOTP 11) while it was $15 off. Getting OOTP 11 for $24.99 is actually $5 cheaper than I paid for OOTP 10 back in November!

It has been my experience that OOTP typically goes on sale for $10 off throughout the year, and maybe drops to $15 off at some point towards the end of the year (or at some point before the next version is released). I am not sure if I have seen the upcoming version this cheap. While I am really just getting into OOTP 10, having recently joined an online league for the first time in ages, I just decided that I could not leave well enough alone. I guess the addiction is back in earnest!

There were several items in the preorder announcement that caught my attention.

A Player Comparison screen, in which you can compare two players side-by-side

I know this is not much of a “feature” however it is about gosh darn time this is included. I guess by this point in the franchise the developers should concentrate on refinements.

More customizable news subscriptions, so you can get just the news you want in your inbox

Another one in the category of small nuances; I hate having to shift thorough all those messages and news items.

A handy comparison tab, where you can compare your simulated results with the actual real-world results from that season

This should be a fun way to see how bad I muck up Braves seasons!

Truth be told, I could have been perfectly content with OOTP 10, but OOTP 11 should be worth the money, especially considering I am getting it at a near bargain basement price.


A Long Race …

I have been posting and posting and posting, for a long time. Maybe too long; maybe not long enough. For better or worse, I have thrown up daily content for something akin to 7+ months, which is a pretty nice achievement, but I am going to have to end this run sooner or later. But not today.

I considered not posting today. It would have been a good day to end my streak because the 6 hour marathon called the 2010 Daytona 500 was rather draining. So it would have been easily excusable. The Daytona 500 had a great ending, so I figured I had to at least go down swinging. Congrats to Jamie McMurray.

Sunday Gaming
I got in some quality time with Out of the Park Baseball 10 (recently joined an online league), and of course continued my assault on the surprising good White Knight Chronicles: International.


OOTP Baseball 10 on sale – $24.99

If you have been sitting on the fence thinking about purchasing OOTP X, now is the perfect time as the game is $15 off to close out 2009.

It’s a perfect time to buy OOTP Developments games, because from now through December 31st, we’re offering discounts on THREE different OOTP Dev games: $15 off of Out of the Park Baseball 10, $10 off of Inside the Park Baseball, and $15 off of Title Bout Championship Boxing!

Baseball season may be over, and OOTP 11 may be in development, but $24.99 is a great deal if you are looking for some hot stove action to hold you over until spring (or the next OOTP release).


OOTP 10 – Just Getting Started

I have been attempting to get into OOTP Baseball 10, which I purchased on sale for $29.99 a few hours after the 2009 World Series ended. I say attempting, because the game in damn complicated. Maybe insanely in-depth is a better description.

I skipped the last couple of iterations of OOTP. Going back a few years, OOTP 6.5 and to a lesser extent OOTP 2006 were the last versions I played extensively. I have not played any version of OOTP in the last 18 months (probably longer). After being away from the game for an extended break, OOTP 10 is different, much different than the versions I used to play (that night vs. day thing), but at the same time sort of a welcome home experience. My biggest issue is just finding the time to really concentrate on learning the game.

Simple things can often be a chore, but for now we can chalk it up as user error. For example, during one of my games I received a message that one of my pitchers had been suspended for two games by the commissioner. Why? I clicked on the message, but that did not give me much info. After clicking around for a while I finally found what I was looking for under the player’s history section. Apparently he was a key figure in a bench clearing brawl.

OK, so the above example has nothing really to do with the game, but that is sort of the point. OOTP 10 is deep. Lots to do, lots to learn, and I have not even scratched the surface. Hopefully I will have some time over the next week or so (Thanksgiving) to really plug in deeper.

Right now I am just messing around with a Quick Start league with the 2009 MLB rosters, but I would like to start a season directly after the 2009 season (or at least with rosters more current than the start of the 2009 season) and play around with managing the Braves, just controlling the line ups, depth charts, and pitching. Of course this means that I have to find new rosters, and then figure out how to switch the game to use the new database. All of this use to be old hat, but assuming I can get a little free time, I am sure I can figure it out.


OOTP 10 – Hot Stove Style

Before game six of last night’s World Series I was torn between spending $29.99 on OOTP 10 (or OOTP X) or waiting for a while (i.e. until the next installment in 2010). I finally decided to download the game, went to order a license, and then pulled the plug. I figured if the Phillies pushed for a Game Seven, then I world order.

As circumstances would have it, I had to be at work very early this morning, so around 3AM I checked the OOTP site and the game was still listed at $29.99. So I figured what the heck, no time like the present; ordered a license. Timing is everything I guess because the game is back to its regular price of $39.99.

I started not to get the game because I have lived this long without the game, and I am not sure if I can get my money’s worth before the next installment. Then I started thinking that if nothing else, I could use OOTP 10 for some hot stove excitement. Hope springs eternal.


Dungeons & Dragons Online. OOTP 10 Sale.

Today is a slow news day; nothing new, exciting, or interesting to report from the various happening across the interwebs. I didn’t get to any of the topics that I wanted to address last weekend, so I have some catching up to do over the next few days. I do have a couple of PC gaming tidbits.

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
I downloaded Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
(D&D Online)
last night, but will probably not get a change to check it out for a couple of days. I figured it is free and it is Dungeons & Dragons, so why not check it out. Plus I wanted a chance to get some Eberron flavoring; I am not really familiar with this new’ish D&D product setting.

I am not sure what the angle is for this one; free seems strange for a major title, but maybe the previous D&D game got lost in the shuffle (or shadow) of all the other MMORPG, including of course WoW. Maybe this one is free to play, but you have to pay for extras? I am not really sure, but one of the reasons I never seem to stick with WoW is because of the monthly subscription fee. I rarely get my money’s worth, but with D&D Online that should not be an issue.

I just home my computer can actually run this one have way decently. I probably just need to bite the bullet and get a new computer, one more gaming centric, for Christmas.

OOTP 10 is $10 off
I missed the last couple of sales, but plan to cash in on this one. OOTP 10 is once again $10 off:

The World Series is about to start, and those of you who are rooting for the Yankees or Phillies are probably having a great time! But even if your favorite team has been eliminated, there’s still some good news: through the last day of the World Series, OOTP 10 is now $10 off! This will probably be your last chance to get a discounted copy of the game about which GameShark said, “Every single facet of building and running a complete baseball universe is included in this game. It produces believable results while giving you an unprecedented amount of statistical and player development information. The revamped pitching system is tops. This is the single best baseball management sim available!”

This is where I end up biting off more than I can chew. As always seems to be the case, I have a huge backlog of games. FIFA 10, Demon’s Souls, and D&D Online. I guess we are heading into winter, so that may help me find some gaming time!


WoW – canceled account again.

Over the weekend I decided to close down my WoW account. To be fair, WoW is a fun game, but I just do not get $14.95/month out of it. Around Thanksgiving or Christmas when I have a few days off I will probably reactivate the account, but for now I will move on to other interests.

After being inactive for 18 months, what did I learn? The game world definitely focuses on multiplayer interaction and leveling up as quickly as possible for raids, instances, prestige, and other whatnots. For the most part I play WoW solo, so I am probably missing out on all the good stuff, but I just do not have the free time to focus on leveling up my characters to try to get involved with the big boys.

Maybe next time I will tackle the game from a different angle and join a guild. I did that briefly the first time I played, but I only knew one person in the guild, so it was often impossible to hook up online with someone I knew. I still think that would make all the difference in the world.