Exclusive Interview with Rich Grisham, Director of Business Development at Com2uS

Get inside the mind of a successful podcaster! Read the OG Interview with Rich Grisham and learn the secrets to building a thriving show.

OG Interview with Rich Grisham

Welcome to our exclusive interview with the renowned Rich Grisham. Known for his remarkable achievements and unique insights, Grisham has become a distinguished figure in his industry. In this in-depth discussion, we delve into his personal journey, his sources of inspiration, and the secrets behind his success.

This interview provides a rare glimpse into the mind of a trailblazer, offering valuable lessons and insights for aspiring professionals. Whether you’re familiar with Grisham’s work or new to his story, this interview promises to inform, inspire, and intrigue. Dive in to explore Grisham’s world like never before.

Patches Chance: Okay. All right. You still there, rich?

Rich Grisham: Yes, I am.

Patches Chance: All right. So, I guess we’ll go ahead and get rolling. So one of the big things last year was the new onscreen tutorials. Mm-hmm. helping players, kind of new players dive in and learn on the intricacies, cuz it’s such a complex strategy game. What else, kind of joined the mix this year that makes Out of the Park Baseball 24 the right time for new players to jump in?

Rich Grisham: Well, you know the best answer to that question is the community. I am regularly and, just almost on a daily basis, delighted by how welcoming the community of out-of-the park baseball is. Whether it’s in our Discord, which has I think almost 12,000 members mm-hmm. or whether it’s in our forums, which have been around for a couple of decades. I’m not trying to criticize anybody – quite the opposite, but unlike some gaming communities where people that are new can be intimidated, it’s really the opposite. Whenever a new person pops up in Discord on the forums and says, Hey, I’m new to the game, any suggestions or advice, it’s incredible how quickly people jump in and help. It’s a very welcoming, friendly community because it’s relatively small and close knit. People really get a kick out of, helping newcomers enjoy the game. And as you mentioned, there’s so much to it, right?

There’s the base game with the franchise mode, which is so deep, you could do an hour and a half on all the stuff going on there, or whether it’s perfect team, which is, you know, online persistent, competitive, but yet also is a much smaller slice of the game than franchise mode. The community really does a great job, not just in those areas where I mentioned, but also, we have a bunch of people who are streamer affiliates who stream, there’s three to four hours of live streaming of Out of the Park Baseball almost every day on Twitch. Last year we really invested in the in-game experience to help people. And this year, it was much more about doing our absolute best to empower the community to help each other because these days it’s so much easier to find information than ever before. And so, you know, we put our Discord and we put our Twitch streams and we put everything sort of front and center in the game.

So that’s really, this year the focus on helping new players is on helping them communicate with each other and get very specific targeted help. It’s one thing to have a tutorial that needs to be sort of encompassing everything. It’s another thing when someone says, I really wanna know the best way to sign an international free agent. Like, that’s a very specific thing. And when people say those specific areas they need help with, they get help very quickly from our amazing community.

Patches Chance: I have to commend y’all on the online manual is a great resource for players and fans, you know, for fans getting in. But it doesn’t matter how good a manual is, how well you work the text, how well you work the search function, there’s always gonna be something you think of something you run into in the game where you’re like, okay, I wanna do… And I don’t know how to do that. And yes, being able to go to the community is completely, it’s that instantaneous connectivity because someone who’s been playing the game for a few years probably knows right off the top of their head exactly how to do that little thing you’re trying to find the button for. so yeah, that definitely, I think the community makes a big impact.

I’ve definitely noticed the onscreen tutorials are very helpful, in getting used to different things, but there’s a lot of it I feel like you just have to play through. And that’s, that’s the way a lot of games are that you’re gonna have to play and you’re gonna have to fail a little to realize the way that you missed things so that you can change it for the next run.

Rich Grisham: Exactly. Yeah. And, you know, look, I’ve been playing this game for over 10 years. Both before I joined the organization, and since, and today I had to ask, one of the guys on the team, how do I, where do I find this button? Because again, like you said, there’s so many different kinds of things you could be looking for. I needed to find a button as to where the commissioner mode is cuz I’m doing, a prediction every day for the Cubs for the Marquee TV network, and so I gotta be able to control both the teams. And I made a mistake when I set up the live start, I didn’t turn the commissioner mode on, so now I need to turn it on again.

I’m like, where is that button? I know I should know this and I can eventually find it. Mm-hmm. but if I ask somebody who knows, I’ll find out in 13 seconds as opposed to 20 minutes of me poking around.

Patches Chance: And then finally you realized it was right in front of you.

Rich Grisham: It was right there. Exactly. You got it.

Patches Chance: So another one, you know, the historical league mode in Out of the Park Baseball 2024 is a great edition. We’ve seen kind of further expansion in recent years. This is the big example on, a larger game sim scale. I think it was in NBA 2K 23, that with my NBA eras, the way they introduced historical aspects to the franchise mode in that game is really just fantastic.

And I’m always excited to see, you know, further expansions of that in every game. But with Out of the Park 24 specifically, there’s the option to include Negro Leagues and jump back to play in that era with the Negro Leagues being spotlighted in MLB the Show 23 for the first time this year. How long have the Negro Leagues been in out of the park, that you know of? And are there any plans to continue to expand, include additional historical players or teams?

Rich Grisham: So we, when we first licensed the game with Major League Baseball was the first introduction of the Negro Leagues. and that was, I, you know, I should know this off the top of my head, I think it was 2016, might have been 2017, but the, the Negro Leagues have been in the game for a long time now, and there’s a couple different ways you can just play the Negro Leagues as they were with the players and the teams. And you can do that now, and you’ve been able to do that for like I said, 6, 7, 8 years.

But you can also, and again, this isn’t brand new at all, you can also basically say, you know what, I’m gonna right the wrong and I’m going to allow all the guys that were in the Negro League teams into the major leagues, you know, way before Jackie Robinson changed the world in 1947. So you can go back and start a season in the twenties and say, I’m gonna remove the color barrier and I’m gonna, you know, make all of these guys free agents and just have either myself place them on teams or have the AI, you know, draft them and they become members of the various major leagues.

Patches Chance:  Actually try to answer that question of, you know, what would’ve happened if John Donaldson and Rube Foster and Jackie Robinson and Martin Dihigo and all these different names had actually been in the MLB when they should have been.

Rich Grisham: I mean, baseball history would be completely different and would be, you know, I don’t even know how to say it other than just saying it would be better. 

Patches Chance: It’s a dark part of the history, but it’s important to remember because of its importance too. The evolution of the support.

Rich Grisham: I love baseball. One of the things I love about baseball is it’s been around for so long, but I have a hard time really sort of enjoying the aspects of the game before in 1947. And I’m not trying to sound like I’m grandstanding, it’s really just comes down to education. I’ve read Hank Aaron’s great autobiography, “I Had a Hammer”, you know, which, which was really enlightening to me, not just about Henry Aaron, but if you don’t know and if you don’t read or you don’t research you might think that, oh, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, everything got great, right? No, you know, minority players had a miserable experience for 10, 15, 20 years after the fact. If not longer.

Patches Chance: I mean, you don’t, you don’t really have to go that far back. I mean, you go to the nineties, right? Yeah. there’s the, the Marge Schott situation… Where she was the owner of the Cincinnati Reds and just lambasting her players and saying the most bigoted, terrible things you could possibly imagine.

Rich Grisham: Yeah. But like, you know, it blows my mind when I’m reading that, you know, Henry Aaron and Willie Mays couldn’t stay at the same hotel as the rest of the guys on the team. Or there were quotas… You could only have so many African-American ball players on your team, you know, and I also didn’t realize that the National League was much better about bringing African-American players and minority players into the fold than the American League was for a long time. When when you watch baseball these days, there’s a lot of those things that you don’t really realize and understand.

And to baseball’s credit, they do a, I think an amazing job of celebrating Jackie Robinson and what he did. And they also do a great job of celebrating Roberto Clemente and they do a great job of celebrating Lou Gehrig. There is no reason to sort of continue to dwell on the sense of the past from when you’re running a sport. But on the other hand, I do give them a lot of credit for recognizing every single April 15th how important that day is.

So, you know, it’s just, it’s, it’s the kind of thing where, I like where baseball is today and I do have a hard time sort of really sort of, believing isn’t the right word, but I do have a harder time now than ever sort of looking at teams from the twenties and the thirties and before then and sort of thinking to myself, well, you know, these were the best teams and the best players. Cause they weren’t the best players and they weren’t the best teams, they were just what was on the field at the time.

Patches Chance: It is entirely possible that there were big players from the Negro Leagues era in the MLB in the national leagues that would’ve continued to be the greatest players. But there’s probably a lot of who would not have been.

There’s absolutely probably a lot who would’ve been lower tier players who would not have gotten the star and the opportunity that they would’ve… Because there were more talented players who deserve those opportunities.

Rich Grisham: No doubt about it.

Patches Chance: So, shifting topics a little bit, one of the biggest aspects of any sports franchise mode is trading… And it can be one that’s tough to get right. First, can you talk about the new dynamic trading deadline day feature they added this year? 

Rich Grisham: Yeah. This was something I don’t, I’m not a game designer I would never purport to be. But this was something where, you know, I feel like I at least had a little bit of in influence on it. So it’s certainly a little favorite of mine. One of my, you know, one, I, I love sports video games. I always have, and I always will. One of the things I love about FIFA is the transfer deadline day where, you know, it counts down the clock and it shows you who’s moving around and there’s an element of anxiety and, and, and almost thrill and nervousness to it. And, we’ve been talking about it for years and there’s A real time aspect to it. A real time. Exactly. Right. And we’ve been talking about it for years.

It wasn’t new, but, you know, we, we, we were able to really crystallize what we wanted the trade deadline experience to be this year. And, we basically just wanted to introduce a level of excitement because again, it’s different now than it was even 10, 15 years ago. Right. Like now in Major League baseball, the trade deadline day is a big deal. MLB network is on all day long deals are coming in, it’s happening on social media. Like, we wanted to bring some more of that level of excitement in the moment to the game.

And that’s where this all came from, right? It was like looking at what other games do, like we always do, and, and looking at what’s happening in the real world of Major League baseball. And we just wanted to, to make it thrilling and real time and, you know, have a fear of missing out. Right. If you don’t make that offer, oh my gosh, the guy just got picked up, you know, just got traded to another team.

Rich Grisham: We wanted to put as much of that into it as possible. And I think we did a, a good job.

Patches Chance: That aspect, the feeling that really stands out to me, cuz I, I’ve played through the trading deadline day a few times now and, you know, as a newer player who’s still kind of getting used to some of the intricacies. And so I don’t make a lot of trade offers myself because I’m not as used to the system yet. Right. So I’m still right, still figuring out what is a good way to go about that. but I get plenty of trade offers that come in and every time one comes in, I go, should I wait for the next trading cycle? if I wait one more, will I get a better deal?

Rich Grisham: Right? Yeah.

Patches Chance: But then you run the risk of, okay, if I wait one more, then maybe it’s over.

Rich Grisham: Right?

Patches Chance: Maybe, maybe then I’m outta of time and and I can’t get ’em or get rid of ’em. Yep. So, yeah, it, it definitely that’s what you’re going For. And then the other two big, additions for trading this year was the hard mode mm-hmm. and the trading reputation system. Can you talk a little bit about those?

Rich Grisham: Yeah. The, the, the trading reputation system was, again, it’s another thing that’s really sort of based off of what we’ve seen happen in the real game, in the real world. For example, the Tampa Bay Rays are known for just being really, really good at trading. You know, they see the players they get seem to perform better than the players that they send off. Yeah. And so that has made a lot of real world teams wary of trading with the race.

And so we really wanted to introduce, a better mechanic representing not just that, but also you know, who is good to do business with and who might not be good to do business with. So, you know, if you’re the kind of person who, negotiates and negotiates and then doesn’t pull the trigger a bunch of times, your reputation will change based upon your actions and your behaviors. And teens will be more willing or less willing to deal to do deals with you. So it’s, it’s just another one of those parts that we wanted to introduce something new and interesting based upon what you do or what you don’t do. And that was the impetus for, for the, the upgraded trading reputation. And same thing with the hard mode. You know, we’ve heard loud and clear that, at times trading can be too easy. and, and players can build these super teams if they want

Rich Grisham: to.

Patches Chance: And so we wanted to make sure that For those, and, and I feel like, the, I don’t know for sure that this is something that factored into y’all’s decision, but something that I feel like could add to it is every year, every sports game comes out and what is the joke on every Reddit, on every forum, on every tweet, look at this trade I pulled off. Right? Look at this idiot AI who, who traded for this terrible player.

Rich Grisham: Yeah.

Patches Chance: And so the problem, I mean, part of the problem is you can manipulate a game forever, you’re eventually gonna pull off something like that.

Rich Grisham: Yeah, Exactly.

Patches Chance: But I feel like, you know, hard mode changes that and kind of crystallizes the challenge of it so that you don’t feel like you can just get away with any trade.

Rich Grisham: That’s right. And, and part of the beauty of out of the park is you can have a bunch of different games going with a bunch of different settings. Right. Sometimes you just wanna have fun. And sometimes someone’s idea of having fun is, I wanna trade my backup shortstop for show, hey, Otani, right? Mm-hmm. And if that’s what you wanna do that day, go for it. You know, where else in the world can you do that except out of the park baseball? And other times you wanna, you wanna be like, all right, I want to feel like what it’s like to be a real general manager really running a team in Major League baseball where I gotta be really, really good and I gotta know what I want and know what the value is and put together a deal with another guy who’s just as good and just as smart. And, and that’s where the, the training hard mode comes in is some of our players really, really want that significant challenge.

And not for nothing. Some of our players are actually people who work in major league baseball front offices and you know, we got some feedback that helped us make that mode a little bit better as well. And so we all almo, it was almost like we wanted to make sure that, you know, we, we could measure up to, you know, what the real world is like when it comes to trading because we value, you know, and we market the game based upon authenticity mm-hmm. And so we wanted to make sure that we could give players the most authentic, level of trading that we got. Cuz trading is such a huge part of baseball, but it’s also, again, like every team is really, really smart.

Rich Grisham: You know what I mean? Yeah. Like, you’re, you’re only gonna be able to pull off a trade with the team if they’re getting something that they want of value and you’re getting something that you want of value. So that’s where that came from. And again, we recognize that sometimes people want that and sometimes they don’t. And both of those things are okay and we want, we want people to be able to have fun and have a challenge. And sometimes those can be different experiences mm-hmm.

Patches Chance: Yeah. It’s, it’s just a different way to play. Yep. I think when you’re coming at it versus, you know, wanting to challenge yourself versus just trying to relax or have fun in the sandbox. I mean, it’s kind of not unlike, because it’s the most popular sandbox game now Minecraft playing in creative creative mode versus challenge mode. Yep. It’s the same kind of concept, being able to, you know, Exactly. Actually give yourself survival challenges and have to try, or you just wanna build stuff. You know, why not put Craig Visio and Jeff Bagwell and Sammy Sosa and Barry VAEs on all the same team? What’ll happen?

Rich Grisham: Would That be fun?

Patches Chance: Wouldn’t it be fun?

Rich Grisham: Wouldn’t that be fun? Yes, exactly. so no, I’m totally with you. I’m totally with you.

Patches Chance: So similarly, you, you kind of mentioned this, but I don’t know if you can tell any stories without name dropping or anything, but are there like examples of that feedback y’all gotten from actual m l b front office people and how y’all communicate as you try and keep up the authenticity?

Rich Grisham: Yeah, I mean, we do, we have relationships with a number of major league baseball clubs and they’re all different, right? sometimes we have conversations with people in the organizations a few times a year, sometimes a couple years go by and the only conversation is, Hey, you know, when you guys have the update, could you let us know? Teams use the game in different ways for very different things.

Like some, some of the teams use the game to almost like do a little bit of scouting, right? Like, they have, these teams all have like the best scouting information in the world, but like, what you can do with out of the park is you can, you know, sort of look ahead and say, oh, who’s on this team’s AAA and aa? And if, if they were playing, what would their numbers look like? So it’s almost like just an easy way to, to scout and sort of see what a player might look like. Other teams use it for like coaching staff reps, right? Like, you know, in, in preparation for a game, they’ll, they’ll load up a scenario and be like, all right, it’s a, it’s a seventh inning, it’s a getaway day.

We know we only got three guys in the bullpen that can throw, now it’s a seventh inning first and second one out. Our starting pitch is tired. What do we want to do here? Right? And they go around and everybody gives their feedback and then they press a couple buttons and sees what happens. You know, and those are just a couple of examples. And so what happens is we have a, you know, it, it’s, it’s an occasional, but it’s a regular feedback loop from, from different people.

Rich Grisham: And some, sometimes it’s the manager of a club, sometimes it’s like, someone in the front office. Sometimes it’s from the scouting department. Like we, we get information back from all these different folks and you know, I, it’s hard to come up with something super specific, but like I

Rich Grisham: can tell you for example, that like, you know, we have been able to give, you know, modified versions of our game to, you know, a couple different teams based upon what they said would help them, do some of the analysis that they like to do. And ultimately some of those things make their way back into the game. And, you know, like the sort of the, the mindset of people when they’re trading or when they’re scouting have definitely gone into helping us upgrade the trading and the scouting, modes in, in the game.

But again, we also have to balance it with, you know, it is the video game and it needs to be fun. And if you make something too complex or too difficult, that actually winds up being a negative. So that’s a long-winded answer. And I don’t know if I answered it, but I mean, there’s a lot of feedback that we’ve gotten over the years that we sort of both organically and explicitly will work into the game one way or the other.

Patches Chance: Yeah. Well, and it’s always a balancing act between mm-hmm. adding the complexity while still keeping it approachable and fun and manageable. you got it. And, and honestly it makes a lot of sense that teams, that some teams would look at it because of how much baseball’s come to rely on analytics. And so ultimately that’s what this is analytics, it’s A game.

Rich Grisham: 100%. Yeah.

Patches Chance: But I mean, it’s a game builds on analytics And, and you know, the other thing that’s being able To simulate that is special.

Rich Grisham: Yeah, absolutely. And, and one of the things that we always make sure that we tell everyone, whether it’s the major League clubs or the minor league clubs, like we’re not saying that when we run a simulation a thousand times that this is what’s going to happen. What we’re saying is, if you played it a thousand times, this is what we think will happen over that aggregate. Or like right now, you know, with the Cubs, we do the daily predictions and, and send them the marquee, the predictions every day for what’s gonna go on in the Cubs game. And we run 162 simulations of that game with the announced lineups and the announced pitchers, and it’s not out of the park saying, this is what’s gonna happen, that the Cubs are gonna win 10 to three and here’s the winner and the loser. It’s like, well, we played the game 162 times, 80 times, the Cubs won 82 times the Dodgers won.

So we think it’s gonna be a close game. And you know, we think that probably, and I’m, you know, even looking at it right here, it looks like, you know, the guy who’s probably best positioned to have the biggest offensive day is gonna be Freddie Freeman and it’s gonna be, Patrick Wisdom and we just sort of provide the information and instead of saying, here’s what’s gonna happen, we just run it and present it and then the team at Marquee just sort of looks at it and makes their own determination from it as well. Mm-hmm. So, you know, there’s a lot of different ways you can use it, Take that data and then kind of draw your own conclusions.

Patches Chance: Because I mean exactly With Analytics, that’s ultimately always what it is, that it’s, yep. Raw data means what you want it to mean. It means what you read into it and what context you can add to it. And so, you know, it’s never a guarantee, but at the same time, chances are that’s the way the ships are gonna fall.

Rich Grisham: And it also says if this were run on a computer, here’s what would happen. But we all know that the games are actually played by human beings on the field. So anything can happen, right? Yeah. Anything can happen. But if you were to do it, a lot of times the tendencies show that this will always happen more often than not.

Patches Chance: And that kind of Well, and you know, one aspect of it is the ratings and everything and what ratings each team has. But as I think we talked about briefly last year, the best team in baseball is never necessarily the one that wins the World Series.

Rich Grisham: Especially now. Especially now.

Patches Chance: Yeah. Especially now.

Rich Grisham: Yep. Exactly.

Patches Chance: Right. And so just because the numbers say that’s the way things are gonna fall, you’re not guaranteeing that’s the way things are gonna fall. You’re just trying to get more context and a better idea and more information about the way it might go.

Rich Grisham: You, you’re a hundred percent right. You know, one of the things that I’d like to point out, and one of the things that we, we have some fun with is, you know, for 80% of the history of baseball, the top three or four teams were the only teams who had any opportunity to win a championship. So now that’s completely different. You can be the Astros of last year and be the number one team in the league and win the pennant. Or you can be the Phillies who snuck into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and won the pennant. And

Rich Grisham: so we’ve gone back and just for fun, we said, well, what if we had the, the 2023 rules in 1927? Well, yeah, the Yankees still won the World Series a lot, but not nearly as often as they won it. When we run it. Using those things like the history of baseball would be completely different. Completely different. Yeah. You know, the, the, the Yankees would not have won as many World Series, the Cardinals would not have won more, nearly as many World Series because the opportunities for them to be knocked off would be exponentially higher.

And that’s just another one of the examples of how, you know, you can use the game to see interesting things, trends that would or would not have happened. Same thing with, you know, bringing in the Negro League players. What would baseball have looked like different, it’s not saying here’s what would’ve happened, but it’s Saying what could have happened? Here’s what could have happened. And the more often that you would more, the more times that you would run it, the tendencies go in one direction or another.

Patches Chance: Yeah. Yeah. Which makes sense. lemme see, there’s also, there was an expansion of the International Amateur Free Agent system this year. Yes. how do you think that, you know, will continue to add, and we talked about this a little bit last year, but you know, y’all had recently done the Korean localization and added the cabal license. Are there any further plans to continue adding more international licenses or localization?

Rich Grisham: So the international scouting was a big deal because we’ve had, that was one of the areas of our game, which hadn’t really been gotten a, an upgrade for a few seasons. And so, and like a lot of things in baseball, a lot has changed with international scouting in the last four or five years, the rules and the finances. So we were really happy cuz that was, that was an area where we had been getting some of our, you know, most hardcore fans saying, Hey, you guys could really, we’d really love it if you would make this a little, you Can step things up a notch. Yeah, Exactly. So that’s really, that came directly from the community. That was exactly where that came from and we’re happy with how it came out and we’re getting a lot of good feedback on it. in

Rich Grisham: terms of, you know, other international leagues, like one of the things that we did this year was with the K B O license, we also introduced what we’ve had for the Major League Baseball for the last couple years. The concept of the live start. Right? So the live start is a really fun feature. In fact, that’s what we use doing our predictions for the Cubs every day. We do the live start for today. So based upon today’s injuries, today’s trades to everything that’s happening right now, here’s the situation.

We introduced that for the k b, so for our K B L fans, they can use that Live Star feature. So if they buy the game today and they want to play the season, they can play it from the start a few weeks ago or they can play it starting from right now. So that was a big feature for our fans in Korea that we’re excited about. We would love, love, love to add more licensed leagues and more international leagues. it just comes down to really relationships and then budgets. we have a fantastic relationship with Major League Baseball. We have a fantastic relationship with the K B O and that’s because we, you know, we, we’ve, we’ve been a licensee of Major League Baseball for years and with Kbo o our head, our company headquarters is in Seoul. So they have personal relationships Yeah.

With people at the K B O. We don’t yet have those personal relationships with some of the other leagues. we would love that. It’s not just as simple as writing a check. there’s more to it than comes down to that. And we’re such a small team. It’s, you know, it’s a challenge to be able to put all of those pieces together that said, you know, we have a roadmap and more international licenses are absolutely on that roadmap.

Rich Grisham: It just comes down to our ability to secure them, to properly budget them. Because when you have licenses, they’re expensive as they should be. Right? That’s what people want is licensed stuff. Mm-hmm. So the leagues, you know, the, the leagues charge appropriate fees for those and you have to work those into your overall p and l to determine, you know, can we afford this? And if we, if we do this, will this help grow our game enough to support the expense? So that’s really what it comes down to. Yeah, right. Exactly.

Patches Chance: so another big thing, and this is kind of not necessarily brand new in any way for outta the Park 24, but continues to expand every years it’s ultimate customization that it’s the sandbox where you can change every little detail, but, you know, for players that either they’ve been out for a few years so they don’t know how it’s changed or maybe they haven’t played it at all. Can you talk about just how in depth and customizable it can be like down to the game files?

Rich Grisham: Yeah, so we, the tag for outta the park baseball is the infinite baseball sandbox. You can within almost any amount of reason set up your baseball universe however you want. For example, if you wanna start with Major League Baseball as it’s run right now to this minute with the rules and the new stuff and the DH in both leagues and, you know, banning of shifts and all of that, you can do that if you wanna make a few tweaks and you’re like, I don’t like the fact that they banned shifts. I want shifts to be on and check a box. And shifts are now in on the other side you can say, you know what, I don’t like how the American League and the National League divisions are set up. I wanna construct an entirely new way to run baseball.

I wanna create new leagues, new divisions, new teams, and I just wanna have a fantasy draft and rebuild baseball in my own image with, instead of, you know, 30 teams, I want 50 teams or I want 20 teams. And I don’t wanna have, I want a DH in one league and not a DH in another league. And I wanna put, you know, Mike Trout in on the Phillies and I wanna put Otani on the Dodger.

Like you can, you can completely construct your own completely customized universe in terms of teams rules, who’s in the playoffs. If you wanna go back to 1955 where only one, you know, two teams qualified or playoffs and they’re in the World Series and everything in between, you can set up multiple tiers where you can have promotion and relegation like European football. Like you can literally create your own completely custom world using real teams, real players or fictional teams and fictional players or a mixture of both.

Rich Grisham: Or you can say, I want to put Hank Aaron and Dave Ruth and Josh Gibson and Mike Trout and Moki Bets and Satchel Page all in the same universe and, and just have like a complete blast. You, you literally can construct almost anything. I don’t wanna say anything cuz someone will say, well, you know, I wanted to have a 475 team lead. But yeah, within reason you can construct almost anything. It’s pretty amazing.

Patches Chance: The feature that, once I found it was my favorite little one is realizing that you can change the, photo for your manager owner. Yes. Yeah. And so, as a wrestling fan, I’ve done a lot of coverage in, of WW two K and W2 K 23. They, in the last couple years introduced the my GM mode, which mm-hmm. which allows you to put transparent photos that you can upload to represent your gm. So I followed that track and I found an old photo of Stan Hansen, which is a very popular wrestler or not very popular. He’s a huge wrestler from Texas in the eighties and nineties and was huge in Japan. but one of the most fun little tidbits is, you know, I can be, I can go, what if Stan Hansen was the GM of the Astros in 95? And he’s right there, he got his little picture right there. And it’s as I kind of found more of the things that was my favorite thing at the customization is realizing, you know, other games they let you do custom logos, but here you can change every little detail, you can change every little image file you want to, and you know, some players aren’t gonna wanna deal with all that minutiae and it’s still great without it, but if you wanna take the time and make it look exactly like you want, it’s there.

Rich Grisham: I’m just glad that you mentioned that because that’s a, that’s another example of how, you know, it’s, it’s both the, I guess the blessing and the curse of out of the park. There’s just so many directions you can go and so many little nuances. I’m, I’m constantly seeing and hearing people say, oh my gosh, I didn’t know I could do that. Right. Like, or I didn’t know that was an option. And you know, that’s the blessing. The curse of it is there’s so much that you can do and customize. Sometimes you might get completely lost and Yeah. And you know, you might look up and you be like, oh my gosh, like I don’t even know what I’m trying to accomplish anymore. I’ve gone down this crazy rabbit hole.

Patches Chance: But, you know, yeah, I, I discovered that feature, by picking the wrong image and breaking it because I picked an image that was way too big and then suddenly none of the buttons were selectable because it took up too much space. Yeah, that’s, so I had to just close it out and try again and it worked fine. But, but yeah, I mean that’s, that’s the risk is mm-hmm. you end up having bugs. You need to fix some little tweaks and everything, but it takes some time to get it all in place. I’m trying to think, oh, owner goals, that was the other big deal share mm-hmm. updated owner goals.

Rich Grisham: Yeah. That’s another one where those had not really been upgraded for quite some time and people were saying, Hey look, you should probably take another run at these and, and modify and tweak them. You know, a lot of the things that we do come directly from the community and, you know, again, blessing and curse, right. The blessing of out of the park baseball is every single year we get a new opportunity to deliver a new game with new features and new upgrades and new changes. You know, the curse is that you don’t have a whole lot of time to do it. Right. Like with, with, you know, with, with a, a game like out of the park baseball where the studio is so small, really, there’s only like four developers and they have to do everything, you know, the live service development, the bass game development, all of that kind of stuff. Right. Like, you know, so when we release out of the park every year, we are maintaining that game and servicing that game for about six or seven months. Right. We do patches and updates and, and and so all the time.

So we are, you’re only able to spend a couple, two or three months really doing design and development for the next year’s game. Yeah, absolutely. And so we really have to prioritize and figure out what can we do well with the resources that we have and the time that we have. And so that’s why some, sometimes it goes three or four, five years where scouting or international scouting or owner goals don’t get the love, but we’re doing other stuff and you know, so long story short, like we were able to, you know, we’ve been getting the feedback for a few years and we’re able to say, okay, we’re gonna, this is one of the things that we’re gonna do.

Rich Grisham: We’re gonna focus some time and some efforts on these owner goals and make them better, more like 2023. Cuz again, baseball has changed a lot in the last three or four years. Yeah. And owner goals changed too, right? Like, it’s a lot easier. It’s not easy, but it’s a lot easier to make the playoffs now than it was five years ago mm-hmm. and certainly than 10 or 15 years ago. And Yeah. You know, there’s, there’s, there’s a lot that’s changed and, and we had the feedback and we knew we needed to take a run at it again.

And we did. And again, we’re getting good feedback. We have some, you know, some, some other feedback that we’re gonna, you know, obviously look to improve. We’re always looking to, to improve, but that was definitely something where we knew it had been enough time and we needed to focus on it and make those a little more realistic to what baseball’s like in 2023.

Patches Chance: Yeah, no, that makes sense. and that was, I listened to, I think it was the Outta the Park podcast mm-hmm. talking about the owner goals. And one of the things that was pointed out, which I think makes perfect sense is that, you know, their side goals, but if you get in the playoffs and win the World Series, the owner’s not gonna care what goals you

Patches Chance: hit. So you know Exactly. You wanna focus on them, but if you can succeed Yeah. They’re still gonna be okay with things.

Rich Grisham: That’s exactly Right. You know, winning cures all The other thing, the other thing that I find all, you know, I don’t morbid is I’ve seen a couple people say this like, look, you know, if you don’t like your owner, right? If you think his goals are unrealistic, put it in commissioner mode. Make his date of birth to where he is, like 120 years old and very soon your problems will all disappear. I’m like, I don’t think that is not an intended, that is not an intended outcome here.

Patches Chance: I mean, if it works, it works.

Rich Grisham: Yeah. Not an intended outcome, not something we endorse. Probably shouldn’t have even said that, but, you know, it’s, it’s out there and, and you know, it’s outta the park. Baseball wacky things happen and outta the park baseball, there’s no good No. Getting around that.

Patches Chance: No, absolutely. that’s kinda all the big stuff I wanna talk about. Is there anything else you wanna talk about with the game? Kind of, you know, just what fans can look for this year?

Rich Grisham: Well, I wanna just, i, we sort of started, but I wanna make sure I wanna give a tremendous amount of credit to, we have an affiliate group of people who stream the game mm-hmm. every day. And they are tremendous. They, they are such, champions for the game and they are right now nearing the end of a self-organized 35 hour live stream athon where they’ve been streaming outta the park baseball straight now. They’ve been handing it off every couple hours to, to different people on the streaming affiliates. And

Rich Grisham: there’s nothing more gratifying when you’re part of a team that creates something to see other people be able to not just enjoy it, but share that joy with other people purely because they want to. Right? Like, they’re not on the, you know, they don’t work for the company, they’re not on the team. They’re, they’re affiliates. They’re people who have said, Hey, I’d like to be an affiliate, and by being an affiliate on, of ours, you get Twitch drops, which people love, right. So they, it helps them generate more viewers and build out their community. But like, I cannot express how wonderful it is that the, these kind of things happen because, you we do streaming on our own channel and we get a bunch of nice viewers, but it’s, it’s one thing to stream on your own channel, your own game.

It’s another thing when people, on their own time where people could do anything they want to, you can choose how to spend your time and your money in any way these days. They’re choosing to spend it playing out of the park baseball, showing people the cool parts of it, helping people understand. Like, it’s just, it’s an amazing thing and, and it, it’s, it’s such a great symbol of our amazing community. The community right outta the park baseball is, is and continues to be the best in the business as far as I’m concerned. And I it’s a thrill to see it happen. And I just wanted to, you know, say again how much I appreciate what they do and, and how much joy it brings to the community and how I think it makes people in the outta park community want to keep playing and, and be part of it.

Rich Grisham: Because over the years it just keeps growing and, and getting better and better. So I just wanted to make sure I mentioned that. I’m, I’m just so happy about that.

Patches Chance: Well, and that’s absolutely understandable. I mean, it’s been great. You know, there’s plenty of flaws in the kind of techno society that we’ve lost our way into, but at the same time we get to, connect and, you know, all sorts of different ways and now, you know, whether it be gaming or other things, creators have a whole new way to see the way fans appreciate their art, that it’s Yep. You know, back in the day you kind of just, you did it, you send it out there and you go, I hope they liked it. And you never know more and you go, okay, well the sales are good. So I guess, I guess they liked it, right? Versus now you can get that kind of realtime feedback, realtime back and forth of, okay, they like this, they don’t like this. Well, maybe we’ll change that next year.

Rich Grisham: Yep. You got it. It’s, it’s extraordinary and it’s the good part of the, technology based society that we live in now. It’s, it’s the good part For sure.

Patches Chance: that’s kind of all the big stuff I wanted to touch on. Thank you again for your time. I’m glad it worked out and, we’ll, I’m not sure where all I’m probably gonna, there’s gonna be a written interview and they’ll, some of the video clips will potentially go out on socials, any of that I will get from my people and then pass along to y’all so y’all can boost it and everything.

Rich Grisham: Awesome. Yeah. Well, I thank you for your time very much. I appreciate it. And I hope we keep getting to connect every year. I really enjoy Yeah. Spending time with you.

Kyle Prahl: Definitely Same good Vibes all around. Thank you gentlemen, both for your time today and, take care of patches. We’ll be in touch about, anything you need, just hit up either myself or Catherine. Okay.

Patches Chance: All right, sounds good. Thanks Kyle. Just, that patches chance email that you sent the invite to, if you could just pass the file along to that, whenever you have it, either Dropbox or Google Drive, whatever’s fine. Totally.

Kyle Prahl: It shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes or so before that gets cut, so That’s fine. All right. Awesome. Take care. Have a good rest, Rest of your Week.

Patches Chance: Thanks Everybody. Thanks y’all. Take care. Thank you.

Rich Grisham: Cheers.

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