THE TALK SHOW
Host: Glenn Guzzo
Reminder: Send us your “Great Moments in Strat” – your playing experiences that you just have to share.
WORLD CUP FEVER
Why doesn’t Strat make a World Cup soccer game?
Mike, St. Pete, FL
If anyone could do this well, it would be Strat-O-Matic. Many years ago, Strat-O-Matic creator Hal Richman showed me a soccer game, from Scotland, I think, that was an imitation of Strat-O-Matic football. Richman has said for a long time that if soccer would catch on widely in America, it could become a new Strat-O sport. But it never has. The World Cup generates more interest than regular-season American soccer, but it’s still a niche sport in America. Maybe ESPN’s commitment to the sport will change that, but for now it’s tough finding even 1 percent of American sports fans that could identify the biggest soccer stars in the world.
50th Anniversary Ought to be Big
Love your Talk Show Blog always! Big Question: What surprises Is Strat-O-Matic Planning For 50th Anniversary Next Year? How about Big Time National Tournament In Glen Head (Like World Championship With SOM Tour Or STAR Does) On That weekend or Big Convention at St John’s again Or Yankee Stadium Or Cooperstown at The Hall Of Fame?
How about maybe The 1961 His 1st Set Ever Reprint with advanced rules with Special paper Or 50th anniversary Logo! Something Big From Mr. Richman maybe a Public Talk. See what you can do.
Joe Glus, Bronx, NY
Strat-O-Matic will not let this anniversary – 50 years since the first baseball set was released in early 1961 – go unnoticed. Though details are scarce concerning what special products and events might commemorate the occasion, we know a little. A Baseball Heroes set of at least 108 players is scheduled for release on Opening Day 2011. It is a supplement to a larger Hall of Fame set that will include previously released Hall of Fame players, plus 18 players chosen to the Hall since then, plus Negro League players in the Hall, plus a special Babe Ruth pitching card – a Strat-O-Matic first. Watch the SOM web site for further developments!
NEW HALL OF FAMERS ONLY, PLEASE
In my SOM forum, it sounds like a bunch of us are wondering if there will be a "shortened," less expensive Hall of Fame 2010 set for sale for those of us who already own the 2000 set (and Negro League set) and don’t want to pay for duplicates.
Larry, Coral Springs, FL
Not shorter, but significantly less expensive. Realistically, Strat-O-Matic cannot go to the printer with a run of 18 cards and hope to price that reasonably. SOM has announced that the new inductees will be included with the veteran Hall members, including the Negro Leaguers. This will be a unique set to get all these players in one group. When SOM issued its Hall of Fame 2000 set of 192 players, it said this would be a limited-run collectible with special, four-color printing on glossy stock. So we should expect the Hall of Fame 2010 set to be printed differently and more affordably.
Probably overlooked – I did so initially – is the functional compatibility of a supplement set printed differently. The Hall of Fame 2000 cards and SOM’s typical-issue cards are not the same size. For handling lineups and for storing cards in stacks, we’re going to appreciate a uniform set.
What is the plan for past hockey seasons? Is it to have every season from 1955-56 to the present or is SOM going further back? I do know they did the 1946-47 and 1950-51 seasons. I was just wondering what the plan was. I would like to see 1954-55, the year Detroit had two Hall of Fame goaltenders, Terry Sawchuk and Glenn Hall.
Bill Donnelly, Indio, CA
The 1963-64 season is on the way. Nothing else has been announced, but it seems certain that 1961-62 is not far behind since that would complete SOM’s run from 1959-60 to the present (in one format or another). The 1958-59 season would extend the link back to 1955-56. Tim Comely, who has researched the pre-expansion seasons, first for STRAT FAN and then for Strat-O-Matic, loves the historic NHL. I’m confident he’d be up for more old seasons if the game company thinks there’s a market for those pre-television years.
ONLY SEEMS FAIR
With Strat-O Baseball you can create/update player cards with the computer game. With the Basketball game the only thing you can change is the players name. I would really love to be able to do this with the Basketball game as well. Any chance?
Jack Bogan, Vancouver, WA
Only Strat-O-Matic Baseball has this feature. It was never included in the subsequent computer games – Basketball, Hockey, Pro Football or College Football. Which tells me that if SOM had it to over again, it would not have included the feature in Baseball. We do know that some have used card creation to create bootleg products. And we know that in the history of board and text-simulation games that rate real players, games that provide the formulas and wherewithal to create your own players have never lasted long once they did. That said, it sure would be useful to update those few computer cards that are later found to have errors.
DECODING GAME FILES
Most gamers play a ton of games each year. But what is interesting is that box scores are named in a helpful manner, like BOX 05-19-2010 RAN @ CLU.prt, but game files are named in a manner that leaves the gamer no idea what teams played, or when, like 2010TA32.H07. Why is this so? It makes things challenging when you go back & try to figure out exactly which game files to email to which opponent.
My second question surrounds naming games that aren’t finished; by naming all of them autosave.sav, anytime (as happened to me last week as a Greinke/Lincecum matchup unfolded) you leave a game midgame, then start another game, presto, once the first AB is recorded, your first game is gone. Couldn’t you name all autosave files helpfully (like box scores) and perhaps add in a timestamp or inning-stamp?
I am also curious why most Strat filenames still appear to be held to the old DOS standard of 8 character prefixes.
Mike SanClemente, Stratogists.com
Strat-O-Matic’s Bob Winberry replies: “The naming convention of game files includes pertinent information that the program uses when importing the data (such as team codes).
“If you appended the timestamp to autosave file name your hard-drive would start filling up since the file is written after each play. That’s why it uses the same name – so it overwrites the file and so that your hard drive doesn’t have a ton of autosave files on it. Very few people switch games in the middle then return to some game from another league, but if you want to you can easily do that by renaming the autosave file to something else before starting the 2nd game.”
MORE AUTOMATION NEEDED
Every time you make a trade or a transaction in the computer hockey game you have to manually reset your lineup and lines and also the number of players that are active, which is very time consuming. Can the computer manager be set like the baseball game where it automatically fills in the open spots in the lineup so you do not have to check it? If you do not check it you will not get the correct number of players in the lineup. I hope this can be corrected since this is the only thing wrong with the game. I use the autoplay and this would help greatly. Thanks.
Harold R. Rodgard, St. Clair Shores, MI
I empathize. I use autoplay with all Strat-O-Matic computer games for research and for testing. I also use it to play some games in seasons where I pilot one or several teams. To autoplay large blocks of games, we rely on the computer to automate many decisions. By appearing here, your suggestion on behalf of many will be seen by Strat-O-Matic.