The Road to 1.0 is a series of articles chronicling the journey of this mod from conception to full 1.0 release.
What began as a test to see if I could hack and incorporate standard scoring fantasy points for players on the Player Metrics page in StatsLab X has turned into a long and challenging side project that is finally about to conclude. Exactly 18 months (and now two weeks) from the date the project started, the Final 1.0 version of OOTP Fantasy Baseball Leagues will be released on Monday September 26, 2011!
It’s hard for me to fathom how far this little project has come from the initial build I previewed to a select group of OOTP community members (E.G. The PEBA) last year nor how much has gone into creating, testing and revising it since. But at long last, the end of the 1.0 development cycle is almost at hand.
A long strange trip
I wanted to know what it would be like to see my longtime NABL solo league players in applied in a fantasy-based environment. I got an eighteen-month obsession that has dominated most of my free time. This process has seen me walk through the birth of my third child, change jobs, start and flame shamefully out of the PEBA, and other assorted real-life events. But I truly think the final result and the experience coding the mod has been worth the stress and loss of sleep. In addition to growing my skills in PHP and CodeIgniter, I’ve also expanded the scope of technical understanding in a few important areas:
- Further experience in UNIX server administration. Simming and pushing OOTP updates to a web server when not running an online league can be a bit tedious and time-consuming. Thanks to a couple of shell scripts, this process is pretty straightforward now. And my UNIX knowledge has grown further as well.
- A better understanding and respect for number crunching – OOTP is all about the numbers. Lots and lots of them. I quickly learned some new techniques to speed the processing of stats and more efficient ways to query them as well. This leads me to…
- A greater understanding of a technology I’ve been using for 14+ years, SQL. Reviewing Frank’s Esselinks’ StatsLab code showed me better ways to query and work with a huge amount of OOTP data efficiently through some of the most complex queries I’ve ever written. It’s helping me in my day to day work understanding and working with my code writing and problem-solving tasks for X Plus One.
- Git and Github – I had previously pushed my ActionScript library FoxR to Github, but had yet to really dive in wholeheartedly and run a project using the site. Thanks to OOFL, I’m a huge Git and Github fan and can name it as a core competency.
My roll call of thanks
Projects like this one do not happen in a vacuum or encompass just one person. So here are some of the people who have helped make this mod what it is today.
- Frank Esselink – Author of StatsLab. This is THE must-have online league mod for OOTP and gave me a starting point from which to craft my code. Frank graciously allowed me to use some of his work and adapt it into my own and I say thanks for providing me with an excellent starting place. I hope you find things in my work you can apply back to future versions of StatsLab as well.
- John Rodriguez – Commissioner of the PEBA and OOTP Community Leader – I came to know John working closely with him on the OOTP Beta team, as the commissioner of my short-lived stint with the PEBA and as a leader in testing this mod. He is a passionate and dedicated fan of this game and his league is #1 in my books amongst active OOTP Online Leagues. He brings passion, dedication, and competence to anything he participates in. Without John’s help, this mod would only be a shell of what it is today and honestly might not have never seen even it’s initial 0.1 beta release last fall. So thank you for your passions, dedication, and evangelism, John.
- The Beta Testers – Many members of John’s PEBA league and other OOTP community members have contributed time, thoughts, and bug reports for the mod. These include:
- Pete Grassi
- Mike Topham
- Tyler Babcock
- Kevin Lewis
- Paul Tanner
- Bill McKenzie
- James Konopka
- Robbie Wartburg
- William “Bill” Thomas
- Markus Heinsolm and Andreas Raht – Without the immense efforts of these two guys and their supporting team, there would be no OOTP Fantasy mod because there would be no Out of the Park Baseball game. Since I converted my baseball simming with OOTP 5 game, it has transformed my understanding of baseball and increased my enjoyment of the game tenfold. So thanks guys for making, in my and others opinions, the best and most addictive sports sim game on the planet.
I thank the OOTP community at large for their gracious support in what has been a challenging but worthwhile endeavor for me. I hope everyone gets as much out of playing the mod as I have from working on it. Enjoy, let me know your thoughts and feedback, and lets PLAYBALL!
Lastly, I dedicate the final 1.0 release to two baseball fans that we lost this past summer.
- Eugene Huber – My father-in-law and a dedicated New York Mets fan who passed quite suddenly and unexpectedly this summer. Gene and I never saw eye to eye when it came to who should be top dog in the National League every year (yes, I insisted it be the Giants) but he had a passion for sports (golf and tennis being other favorites) and was a proud and loving grandfather to all his grandkids. His passing has left an irreplaceable hole in our family.
- Bill Thomas (kagnew76 on the OOTP forums) was a highly respected and liked member of the OOTP community who also died this summer. Bill was an energetic beta tester of the original alpha preview and made his chat room available for our original live draft sessions last summer.
OK, it’s live. Now what?
Well after 18 months of coding the fantasy baseball mod, it’s time to PLAY some fantasy baseball! As the regular MLB season winds down, I hope to see OOTP online leagues spinning up their fantasy web sites and starting to get some competitive play going. I for one look forward to the challenge and see how some online GMs (and maybe some solo players) get their leagues going.
Keep watch here on this mod website or the official OOTP forums thread for news and updates on future plans and developments.
Having an issue downloading, installing, or using the mod? Check the Admin Guide for instructions on setup and troubleshooting.
Maybe you think you’ve found a bug? Use the Github Issues page to see if it’s already been logged. If not, you can submit your bug for review.
Get the mod today and start playing OOTP Fantasy baseball!
Download the latest stable release version from the official home page. All the documentation you need is right there with the included Administrators Guide. New for 0.5 is the Commissioners Guide which includes all the instructions necessary to run your fantasy leagues.
Sound off on the forums. Head over to the OOTP Fantasy Leagues forums to let us know your thoughts on the mod. Interact with other users and let us know if you’re running an OOTP Fantasy League.
Want to contribute?
OOTP Fantasy Leagues is 100% free and open-source, and the source is publicly available on GitHub. Head over to the official Github page, fork it and send a pull request with your updates.
Want to help test?
Testing assures everything works as expected and that everyone gets the best fantasy experience possible. You can request to join the OOTP Fantasy Beta team. You’ll get access to join the beta demo season, access to the private development and beta testing topics on the mod forum, and exclusive access to features and changes BEFORE they become public. Use the official contact form to request to join the team today.