Interview with Allen
McPheeter, Game Designer: Microsoft Baseball 2001
are some of the main advantages Microsoft Baseball 2001 has over the
previous version, Microsoft Baseball 2000?
Allen McPheeter: The biggest thing, what we're
most excited about, is the addition of the Baseball Mogul features into
the game. With that, we took what was a pretty fun single-game/arcade
experience and made it into a pretty fun season/career play experience.
That's very cool, because most sports games don't give you such a
substantial feature expansion from one year to the next.
you receive any assistance in development from professional baseball
players or managers? What were their comments on the game?
Allen McPheeter: No.
long was Microsoft Baseball 2001 in development? Did you set any
milestones or overcome any setbacks?
Allen McPheeter: It was about a 6-7 month
project. In some ways, it was a miracle that it shipped at all. My
previous project, with another company, involved transferring an
existing code base from one development team to another, which didn't
work. The project never shipped, because the code had never been
developed with changing teams in mind. On Baseball 2001, we actually
took over two separate code bases, one from Baseball 2000 and one from
Baseball Mogul, and merged them. I was really impressed with the way our
team made it happen.
Microsoft Baseball 2001 we see that there are "Front Office
Management" features added. What were the goals of these features?
How do you think they add to the overall realism of the game?
Allen McPheeter: We wanted to make a big impact
with Baseball 2001 by expanding the appeal of the game to a new set of
customers. Now we have something to offer to people who want the General
Manager challenge as well as those who want the on-field action
What makes that great, and more realistic, is that you
can't just assemble a team of superstars and beat the tar out of your
opponents. You've got to balance how much you're spending on player
salaries and how much you're receiving in revenues. And if you blow that
balance and go into debt, you've got a long uphill road to climb. It
makes you appreciate the players of average skill, who can contribute to
your success, as well as the big superstars.
do you think Microsoft Baseball 2001 has over its competitors?
Allen McPheeter: It's the only game that gives
you both a fun, great-looking arcade game AND a challenging financial
general manager simulation.
is your favorite part of this game?
Allen McPheeter: I love playing the general
manager stuff, but I just got back from the Major League Baseball
FanFest during All-Star week and was reminded (again) of how much fun
the arcade is.
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