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MLB 08 THE SHOW Weekly Update: Road to the Show 2.0

Eddy Cramm's Avatar + Posted by Eddy Cramm on Feb 21, 2008 // Senior Designer, MLB 11 The Show

Hi everyone. Eddy Cramm (Sr. Designer) and Aaron Luke (Designer) here to bring you the next installment of our MLB 08: The Show blog posts. This time around we are going to talk about some of the details behind Road to the Show. Coming into this development cycle, we knew we were dealing with a feature that was very well received by the public in its first go-around. That being said, we still saw a lot of room for improvement. We decided to focus on three main areas, but honestly, we ended up changing a lot more than that. We wanted to add depth to the game play experience to better reflect what a player has to do as he develops in a professional system. We wanted to give the gamer more information up front so that he had a better understanding of how his decisions are affecting his career player. And we also wanted to really improve the management system so that goals and movement happened as realistically as possible.

This year’s edition boasts enhancements to nearly every aspect of the mode, so much so that we’ve dubbed it Road To The Show 2.0. Starting with the front-end aspects, the PS3 Create Player system has received a major overhaul to include modifiable geometry of nearly every aspect of the head and face. If that weren’t enough, we’ve also added several new batting stance and pitching style animations, along with a handful of new player accessories to aide in the customization of your created player.

RTTS 2.0 features an all-new Advancement System that acts as a road map for the player’s career progression, featuring advancement goals given by the team’s manager. The RTTS player is evaluated based on the player’s current skill set (attribute levels) and the player’s statistical performance; to decide what role within the organization the player will be given, as well as what skills are lacking and need attention. Advancement goals are then given, which encompass both attribute improvements and statistical goals, for the sole purpose of improving the player’s skill set to reach the next level. The goal durations will range based on the type of player you are. Starters will have longer durations, with higher expectations, whereas bench/bullpen players might have shorter durations and slightly lower expectations. Once you have achieved enough goals, or your player is simply too good statistically to be ignored, you will then become qualified for the next step in your career.

We spent a lot of time dealing with the balance of this mode. In order for a mode like this to feel right, there has to be a sense of realism as to how you progress. If we push you through too quickly, you don’t feel rewarded and if we hold you back you will feel helpless. So when we started balancing things the first question we asked was, “When does a player hit their peak?” With some research we found that most Major Leaguers start hitting their prime around 28 years old. So using that as a point of reference we started looking at how many years does a ballplayer play to get to this point. We determined that it is 9 years into a professional career on average for a player to work their way up from the minors to that peak level. So using that information, and knowing how many attribute points the player has available to him before he maxes out, we adjusted the criteria so that you will progress and regress at a very realistic pace. Knowing that you can relate your performance directly to how it happens in the pros is totally satisfying and makes the mode that much more enjoyable.

The manager messaging system has been revamped as well to provide the user with career progression specific messages including: organizational changes, advancement goal progress and results, and promotion/demotion related messages. The previous “good game” style messages are a thing of the past, so you’ll need to pay more attention to your messages in order to keep up with the organization. Statistically speaking, we’ve gone and added a new Game Stats tab within the RTTS Locker Room screen that displays all of your player’s stats for every game within the current season. This new screen will display every game the RTTS player participated in – whether you actually played the game or simulated through it – for the entire current season. For position players, you’ll have an at-bat-by-at-bat display of your stats including how you reached base and where you ended up, or how you recorded an out. Pitchers will have inning-by-inning stats that show your pitch count based on the strikes vs. balls totals along with the hits allowed, earned runs allowed, walks allowed, and strike outs recorded within each inning.

The in game situational goals have received several improvements including broadening the goal result types, the addition of training points to the varied results, and an on-screen display of the result and the points earned/deducted. This year you will be rewarded for positively performing towards your goal, so even though you may not have achieved the goal entirely, if you aided the club in your efforts, you’ll still be rewarded. Achieving and failing goals will net training points that will vary based on the goal type and the current game situation. A simple goal of reaching base safely will reward fewer points in the beginning of the game, than it would in a leadoff slot in the 9th inning. Upon completion of the game and returning to the front-end, you’ll be presented with the Career Update screen where you’ll notice we’ve added an entire breakdown of every training point your earned (or lost) based on the type of stat or goal they apply to.

Within the gameplay, we wanted to add goals and situations that really detail what it is like to play the game. Last year we focused on the basic events: hitting, baserunning, and fielding the ball; but there is a lot more that a ballplayer needs to know to be successful. So this year we added fielding situations where you may have to position yourself correctly for a double play or be in the right spot for a cutoff. You will have to make sure that you cover the base on a steal, or on the back end of a double play. Personally, my favorite feature is an element in baseball that has existed forever, but is never utilized in games – 3rd base coaching signs. This year, one of your goals might be “Check your 3rd base coach for a sign.” If you get that, your goal is to know what that sign means and act accordingly in game. Your base coach may also ask you to sacrifice, hit and run, steal, or just swing away. As you progress through RTTS, you will have different levels of help to learn the signs. In AA, we will pretty much spoon-feed you the correct answer, but once you get to the majors, you will be expected to know what the signs mean. This is by far my favorite addition to RTTS because it adds a level of authenticity that baseball video games have lacked.

Overall, RTTS 2.0 has a lot more depth, balance and logic than the inaugural version and will really give you the sense of what it’s like to work your way up the professional ladder like no career mode ever before. If you liked Road to the Show last year, you will love it this year. And if you didn’t like it last year… you will probably STILL love it this year! And if for some reason, you still don’t like it this year? We have a lot more in the works for next year.

Thanks for your time and we will see you in The Show!

//Add Your Own

64 Comments

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1

+ Scodo_Thope on February 21st, 2008 at 8:06 am said:

Demo was cool! Nice work !


2

+ Stunt on February 21st, 2008 at 8:07 am said:

The demo was great, the game is looking to be the best baseball game this year!


3

+ THATPSPGUY on February 21st, 2008 at 8:19 am said:

yeah the Demo was great. i might buy this right after we get IN GAME XMB AND HOME!!! better be today…….


4

+ ftwrthtx on February 21st, 2008 at 8:50 am said:

Loved the demo.

Why not make the stats transfer between the PS3 and the PSP?

I would gladly buy both versions if I could keep the same season going between the 2 and just transfer the stats back and forth.


5

+ Kazammm on February 21st, 2008 at 9:32 am said:

Ah, thats nice, but where’s the PS Store update for today? I am really hoping for HOME….


6

+ TouchyEd on February 21st, 2008 at 9:43 am said:

You guys really need to implement a BLOG rule: if anyone mentions HOME or INGAME XMB in any topic that doesn’t relate to those two subjects, they get a warning. If they mention those items a second time — they get banned. No questions asked.

There. I’ve just mentioned them in a topic about The Show. I deserve a warning (and expect to receive one). If you catch me talking about it again, ban me. Please.

I’m seriously ready to abandon ever coming to this website again. I’m just sick to death of all the whining about topics that are completely unrelated to the BLOG topic.

As for The Show, I think it looks great! The demo was awesome. I’m curious to see how the new version of “The Bigs” will compare.


7

+ Jeigh on February 21st, 2008 at 9:59 am said:

I like TouchyEd’s idea. I’m sick of people screaming about those two things all the time (notice I didn’t mention them- no warning for me :P ). If there’s something to say, I’m sure you guys will mention it. And how these guys would know about things outside their work, I have no idea.

I was fairly pleased with the demo, though figuring out how to properly pitch and bat was unpleasant. At first I figured I needed to just hit the red area. Didn’t work, so I figured I needed to hit the blue area. Worked better, but finally I figured out I needed to do both. A little heads up on that would’ve been nice for those of us new to the series/genre. Also, I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to try out that Jukebox feature. Still, overall I enjoyed it very much so.

And with the features you’re mentioning here it sounds like there’s plenty to enjoy. Keep up the good work! :D


8

+ ftwrthtx on February 21st, 2008 at 10:04 am said:

To further what TouchyEd added, why not have mods like in the forums? I’d volunteer to help keep the comments relevant.


9

+ MrCamo on February 21st, 2008 at 10:07 am said:

Home and In game XMB launch today!! in a parallel universe…. It will come when it is ready, for now this looks like a complete baseball game that will bring you into the game like no other.


10

+ reson8er on February 21st, 2008 at 10:22 am said:

From what I have played in the demo, and what you guys are attempting to capture, its the first time I actually I wish I was a baseball fan.

The demo was very very fun and playing a game with that much eye candy doesn’t hurt either.

You never know, this game might just be the thing that finally converts me…


11

+ cmargary on February 21st, 2008 at 10:30 am said:

@reson8er

I never saw many baseball games but like to play baseball games for some reason… give it a try…


12

+ reson8er on February 21st, 2008 at 10:35 am said:

@ cmargary

I’m ever so close… I really enjoyed the demo :D


13

+ C-h-a-o-s on February 21st, 2008 at 11:02 am said:

I loved 07 The Show and will be picking up 08!

I am not sure if it was me or what but PSP version of the demo cut off after inning 3. Usually when a demo ends it shows a screen. This just went straight to the PSP memorycard screen.


14

+ GamerMan76 on February 21st, 2008 at 11:22 am said:

The only thing I was disappointed on was the crowd .. how every same color shirt white guy jumped up and snapped his finger.. how every woman with a black shirt did the same dance..

I know this is about the baseball game but could you at least random the colors and the sex of the same action to at least look different even if ti is the same action.

Baseball games are as much about the players as they are about the fans and how they react to the game and their home team.

Other than that the game looks really good and I liked how the players felt and reacted, since this is my first baseball game i have played since the Sega Gamegear I do have to say it looks really good and it most likely will be my first baseball game purchase even with the badly animated crowd.


15

+ KANNAB1S on February 21st, 2008 at 11:25 am said:

this game is going to be absolutely amazing, only problem i will have is trying to find time to get in some of the other great games coming out this year


16

+ Seanscythe2 on February 21st, 2008 at 11:41 am said:

Big Home Beta Update http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2008/02/21/home-beta-gets-a-significant-update-next-week/

We’ve just received an email detailing a huge update to the Home beta next week. The update will bring the version number to 0.8.3 (taking us ever closer to its release at v1.0.0) and the information comes from the beta message board on the official PlayStation site, so we’re certain it’s legit. There’s a lot of stuff to go over, so we’ll pick out the most interesting bits and paste the full patchlist after the break.

Improvements to the UI and graphics engine mean that Home will look much prettier and be more functional from here on out. You will be able to check who’s online from your friends list as well as who is in Home right now. A bubble machine has been made available to all beta testers, to test the new “Home Items” system. Video streaming is now made possible too, so you don’t have to wait for a video to download completely before watching it.

The most exciting part of the update is the unveiling of the Marketplace in the main square. The Marketplace is stocked with clothes and furniture as well as other, undisclosed, content. We can’t wait to see what’s there. Game launching is also now available, though it is currently limited. Games can be started within Home, however the party will not be automatically generated within the game. Also, players with different versions of a game (such as American or European) won’t be able to start a game together. The patch notes clearly state, however, that this is only temporary and will be fixed before launch.

There’s so much more included in the update, but we’re running out of room! Check after the break to see the full patch list.


17

+ cmargary on February 21st, 2008 at 11:51 am said:

@15

Yes… and that means HOME will not come out in more months ahead :P… so stop asking for home… ask for the in game xmb better lol


18

+ cmargary on February 21st, 2008 at 11:53 am said:

sorry… was @16 not 15…

by the way… the ps3 web prtal only said an add on for pain (a character) and monster demo… thats all for today? :|


19

+ lakaihigh on February 21st, 2008 at 11:58 am said:

@ cmargary – I don’t need to ask for Home lol I’m in the beta! I don’t think seanscythe was asking for home either…

Peace,
Lh


20

+ Seanscythe2 on February 21st, 2008 at 11:59 am said:

that sucks if true I don’t care for an extra character and demo of a game I already have. Come on sony give us something worthy of our support and stop messing around.


21

+ Seanscythe2 on February 21st, 2008 at 12:01 pm said:

No not asking for it just letting everyone that isn’t in the beta like myself know that there is an update and that is all. Which sucks!


22

+ TouchyEd on February 21st, 2008 at 12:10 pm said:

…neither of which has absolutely ANYTHING to do with this blog topic. Take your off-topic rants elsewhere.


23

+ LX on February 21st, 2008 at 12:16 pm said:

I’ve never been a huge baseball fan. I think the last game I played was Ken Griffey on the SNES. So when I downloaded this demo I really wasn’t expecting much at all.

Suffice to say I was blown away by MLB ’08. I was initially impressed with the graphical quality and as I played it just became more and more apparent how much time and effort has gone into creating a very realistic game (aside from players occasionally walking through one another that is). The game was also very fun and my girlfriend (another person who really isn’t into baseball) and I replayed the demo countless times.

This is a game I initially had no interest whatsoever in, and I intend on picking this up on day 1. Kudos to the development team.


24

+ Seanscythe2 on February 21st, 2008 at 12:17 pm said:

TouchEd i’m sorry if I bothered you so SHUT UP!

It’s annoying that we get these lame blog post when there are far more important topics that get ignored all the time. 1 year it’s been 1 year and we have little to know info on home and sony fans that arn’t luck to be in the beta want to know. So take your smug little self and back off.


25

+ cmargary on February 21st, 2008 at 12:20 pm said:

@lakaihigh

…and I was not talking to you or to seanscythe, maybe no one from here… but just look the the people of GDC day one post… that what I was talking about.. for the people that really wait for it even that spring began in march :S


26

+ cmargary on February 21st, 2008 at 12:24 pm said:

@TouchyEd

Yes we are tired of off topic thing but many people really wanted to know.. anyway it wasn’t a post asking for something or a post insulting anyone or even a post saying sony sucks or the ps3 sucks like some people here…

Anyway any post is good to me if is not asking for home or in game xmb and I really want both…


27

+ THATPSPGUY on February 21st, 2008 at 12:35 pm said:

I think Touchy Ed is just that. A bit too touchy. Yeah I said the DEMO WAS GOODon topic. I said I would even buy it. only after that did I mention HOME and that is MY RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. You can’t take that away from me or anyone else.
When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming? When’s HOME coming, when’s IN GAME XMB coming?

was that enough for ya?


28

+ WHAT on February 21st, 2008 at 12:36 pm said:

I loved the Demo, can’t wait to get this in my hands. Only problem is I will not buy any games till Sony starts delivering things I thought would be their day one. So my 18 games I have now will have to do.


29

+ Killer_Paul on February 21st, 2008 at 12:38 pm said:

come on Sony, tell us something official about PS HOME ! im begging you….


30

+ THATPSPGUY on February 21st, 2008 at 12:43 pm said:

I’m not buying anymore games until they give us what they promised(home and in game xmb) I really want to buy this game. But why should I support those that don’t support us? Answer that question. 2.9 million PSN users in North America, Thats $1 447 100 000 spent by us alone on the console. I would think that would be enough initiative for the Head honchos to finally give us the two things we all want. Why are they making us suffer like this. First those damn stupid IN SHIRT XMB, that was a total insult to your consumer base. Did you think we would find all of that funny? HELL NO! It was blatantly RUDE!!!!
So until Home or IGX comes out, I will no longer be buying any SCEA games! Including this one. I will stick to Burnout and Warhawk as it seems their publishers give a damn about their LOYAL CUSTOMERS. Better yet, YOU’RE FIRED!!!


31

+ Snake26 on February 21st, 2008 at 12:44 pm said:

Give us HOME and In-Game XMB!


32

+ GamerMan76 on February 21st, 2008 at 12:55 pm said:

Apparently this topic needs to be readdressed …. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2007/08/02/comment-monitoring/

It seems what said was going to happenn has fallen slack since then Aug, 2nd 2007


33

+ THATPSPGUY on February 21st, 2008 at 1:00 pm said:

Since we launched the blog we have been extremely liberal in our monitoring policies because we wanted you guys and gals to get to know each other and share ideas. Lately, however, we have been getting complaints that there is so much noise accompanying each post that people can’t separate the good meat from the chatter. We definitely hear you. So, we are going to step up our moderation of off-topic, nonsensical posts or posts on topics that we have already addressed (Yes, we hear you on wanting more demos … consider that box suitably checked). If you have suggestions not related to the particular topic of a post, please use our comment form.

How has anything been off topic? we are talking and posting about Sony games and experiences.(good and bad)…… I think that maybe we should all post about Home and In Game XMB on every blog post until either of two things happen.
1. They release home and xmb
2. They take down the blog for a lack of REAL INFORMATION like they did at the start.

The former will probably never happen but the latter might happen any day now. Do you know what I’m talking about. How smart are you and yes this game is AWESOME!!! Hope it has home integration.


34

+ Sir Cedric on February 21st, 2008 at 1:04 pm said:

Eddie, can you mail me a bootleg version of Sony PS3 football? Pun not intended; (football/bootleg). Just joking. It’s been a long time since we’ve talked about Sony football.

NFL GameDay 08 and NCAA GameBreaker 08 would look and play just as good as MLB 08. I’m going to buy MLB 08 now just because you worked on it.


35

+ lakaihigh on February 21st, 2008 at 1:06 pm said:

@ thatpspguy – dude. chill. take your spam to the playstation forums and be gone from the sony blog. your presence is annoying

Peace,
Lh


36

+ Seanscythe2 on February 21st, 2008 at 1:08 pm said:

I would hate to see a riot on ths forum, Think of how many customers there are that want sony to deliver on so many things but have seemed to forget about. You don’t say everyone will get to enjoy home between nov/dec then when that time gets here you leave us in the rain.

I say it’s time to put up and give us something to be proud we stayed loyal to you for so long. It’s been long enough, 2.0 no IG-XMB, Nov/Dec no Open Home Beta, We are tired of telling friends that well just wait just wait just wait and you will see all this cool stuff.


37

+ lakaihigh on February 21st, 2008 at 1:11 pm said:

@ sean – this is not the place to make harsh itterations of you call staying loyal. please take it to the comments section or dump your garbage off at the playstation forums. keep your posts on topic and stray from mentioning about your dire desires for home and igxmb.

Thanks,
Lh


38

+ Ghostm on February 21st, 2008 at 1:17 pm said:

Just saw the PSN update rundown and let me tell you guys now. The majority of you are going to be very pissed.

On another note, it seems very slow on the news front for Sony today.


39

+ reson8er on February 21st, 2008 at 1:19 pm said:

Since there seems to be a lack of coherent response based on the subject of the post itself, allow me to reiterate my feelings:

MLB 08 THE SHOW looks and plays amazing. This is coming from a person who really doesn’t like baseball (I understand it, but get bored to tears watching it)

By the way, this blog post is regarding the PS3 version I believe. Great job Mr. Cramm & Mr. Luke, I look forward to getting more info on the game.


40

+ lakaihigh on February 21st, 2008 at 1:19 pm said:

@ ghostm – why is the majority of people on here going to get pissed? from what i saw sony’s putting out a ps1 game – something everyone wants and a demo for a great game that everyone should buy. you should piss off for spamming and causing hate here man.

Peace,
Lh


41

+ Ghostm on February 21st, 2008 at 1:22 pm said:

@ lakaihigh

You’re entitled to your opinion. We’ll just see when they post the update info. It’s not that I’m causing hate buddy.


42

+ lakaihigh on February 21st, 2008 at 1:26 pm said:

@ Ghostm – when you come out say that the majority of people here are gonna be pissed they have no reason to be except that you are giving them a reason and you spread hate. oh and thanks for letting me have an opinion. i appreciate that.

cheers,
Lh


43

+ MrCamo on February 21st, 2008 at 1:34 pm said:

Every blog entry ends up in the same place. They need a standing blog post labelled, rant and raves, XMb, HOME, AND auto coffee maker. Come on SONY, i paid 600.00 for my PS3 and won’t even make me a cup of coffee? LOL @ My own joke….


44

+ reson8er on February 21st, 2008 at 1:38 pm said:

MrCamo is right, an ongoing Rant & Rave Post where everything not related to the topic could be redirected to… would be AWESOME.

As it is I usually have to read through 30-40% crap before I can read real comments.


45

+ Solace on February 21st, 2008 at 1:52 pm said:

Insert topic here
/IGNORE “topic”

/END

There. I just made pretty much every post by trolls on this blog.

OT: I’m not a baseball fan either, but I played the demo and actually enjoyed it. I had fun beaming the batter in the head. ;)


46

+ Solace on February 21st, 2008 at 1:56 pm said:

(topic) Insert blog topic here (/topic)
/IGNORE “topic”
LINE: “Where’s InGame XMB?”
LINE: “Where’s information on Home because I’m too lazy to read what’s already been posted and widely available online?”
LINE: “Where’s FF7? I know that it’s Square’s title and that Square holds the license to it and only Square can decide if/when to release it, but how come it’s not on the PlayStationStore?”
LINE: “Where’s Resident Evil? I know that it’s Capcom’s title and that Capcom holds the license to it and only Capcom can decide if/when to release it, but how come it’s not on the PlayStationStore?”
LINE: “Where’s MarvelVs.Capcom? I know that it’s Capcom’s title and that Capcom used to hold the license to it but can’t release it until they re-obtain the rights from Marvel, but how come it’s not on the PlayStationStore?”
LINE: “How come I never get the demo I want on the PlayStation Store even though the game isn’t set to come out 6+ months away?”
LINE: “How come people are happy with their PS3s when I can’t seem to understand and accept that it’s an entertainment device and not the end of the world? It’s not fair! It’s not! It’s Not! It’s NOT!”
LINE: “How come I spend time making posts thinking I’m cool and that Sony will cater to my endless whim if I throw a tantrum instead of doing something worthwhile in life? How come Sony won’t have a “LIFE” available for download at the Store? I don’t have one and it’s not fair that they won’t make one for me”
LINE: “Aren’t I so cool to say that something sucks? It’s so 1992. I’m retro.”
/END

There. I just made pretty much every post by trolls on this blog.

OT: I’m not a baseball fan either, but I played the demo and actually enjoyed it. I had fun beaming the batter in the head. ;)


47

+ reson8er on February 21st, 2008 at 2:02 pm said:

Too Funny Solace, and sadly right on target lol.


48

+ TouchyEd on February 21st, 2008 at 2:22 pm said:

…yet another BLOG topic getting sucked down by off-topic nonsense. Take your silly whining to the FORUMS.

As for The Show, can someone explain the pitching to me? Is it a three-button press mechanism? Or just two?


49

+ Solace on February 21st, 2008 at 2:29 pm said:

@TouchyEd
It took me a bit to figure it out, but here’s how it seems to be:
– press X, O, /\, or [] to select the type of pitch you want to throw.
– press X to start the strength meter to determine the strength of the pitch.
– press X again on/near the white line to determine the accuracy of the pitch.

I’m pretty sure that that’s how it works. Kinda like HotShotsGolf…only for baseball…


50

+ GamerMan76 on February 21st, 2008 at 2:29 pm said:

@TouchyEd

I find that it is once press to start the action. 2nd for the strentgh in the red area. 3 which direction left or right in the dark blue. The demo was weird where sometimes it showed the yellow line in the blue and sometimes it didn’t, where the sweet spot straight was.

Also as a non-baseball fan myself, I found myself getting really into this game and I am impressed except the minor downfalls that I had mentioned before.

Also batting took me to realize that I can’t just swing at anything pitched to me.. I still have yet to figure out the guessing box and how that will help me.


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