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Well, it looks like the acute stupidity known as the NHL Lockout is finally nearing its end. A new hockey league simulator from the folks behind the excellent Out of the Park Baseball series is slated to hit the desktop early this year. Just in time for the holidays, Out of the Park Developments announced a robust initial feature list for FHM 2013. The fact that one can start any NHL season back to 1947 with the game progressing seamlessly from season to season is a great feature.
Considering the utter incompetency of the Columbus Blue Jackets since their birth earlier this century, I can’t wait to get my hands on FHM 2013, so I can set things right — at least in my imagination!
A truly global game, FHM features NHL, AHL, OHL, WHL, Liiga, EIHL, KHL, SHL, and many more leagues, with hundreds of real teams and thousands of realistically rated real players included. If you have an older version of the game Franchise Hockey Manager 2014 you can upgrade your game to the latest version using this patch.
Using it you will make sure that your game runs bug free and you benefit from the latest features available. Straight from the creative minds that brought us Out of the Park Baseball comes a new sports simulator geared toward ice hockey.
Stat junkies will find plenty to love, as every player has detailed information kept for every season.
There was also a moment in my first season where my top three goalies all became injured at the same time. As mentioned earlier, there is a steep learning curve when it comes to learning the ins-and-outs of the game’s interface. When I first played FHM months ago, I had problems with the game randomly crashing, but I am happy to report that hasn’t been an issue after their latest patches. There is a ton of potential within Franchise Hockey Manager, but it could have arguably used some more time in development before its initial release. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Anyone interested in joining the beta program for FHM simply need to pre-order the title when it becomes available on March 4th.
You get access to the current beta version of FHM, as well as all upcoming iterations up to and including the actual release version in September.
In addition to the beta and release date announcements, OOTP also treated the world with an array of new Franchise Hockey Manager screenshots.
Hopefully, I will be able to post my impressions of the beta when it becomes available next month.
Franchise Hockey Manager 2 is the second hockey management game from the makers of the award-winning Out of the Park Baseball series. After months of beta testing Franchise Hockey Manager 2014 has been released to the public! If you want to edit anything in your league, simply turn on commissioner mode and change player ratings, modify financial parameters, and much more. Launch a 2013-14 season and guide your club through unlimited seasons of championship chasing or travel as far back as 1947 and take control of your favorite NHL or WHA team. When you start a new game, your league will come alive with news articles, messages from other GMs and players, announcements of upcoming milestones (a player’s 500th career goal, for example), and more. Players also have their own personalities, and their attitudes can affect their performance.
FHM also features the FaceGen engine, which offers realistic portraits for all your players.
The short version is that checks against a players’ Coachability rating determine how likely it is that any of their Offense, Defense, and Goalie ratings will improve each month. Those ratings can’t exceed their potential ratings, but there is the occasional chance that a potential rating will increase and offer more headroom for improvement. Slightly less than half of a player’s ratings will decline over time, primarily the Physical ones. When you turn on Commissioner Mode, you’ll see an Aging rating among the hidden ones.
Each August, FHM performs a retirement check according to each player’s current age, Aging rating, and number of seasons left on his contract.
In general, most players in high-level leagues who have productive careers and remain free of major injuries will probably retire in their late 30s. Franchise Hockey Manager allows gamers to run their own hockey organization or league, and features the same attention to detail that is the hallmark of Out of the Park Baseball. In Out of the Park Baseball, I am currently playing an OOTP game running the Cleveland Indians that started in 1920, with the hopes of ensuring the New York Yankees never win a World Series.
Franchise Hockey Manager has a similar text-based appearance to its sibling, and it comes with many of the same bells and whistles. From the title screen, you are able to begin as general manager for teams across the world, not just the NHL. You are in charge of lineups, including penalty killing, powerplay and who you want to bring in as extra attackers.
There are even advanced statistics that I wasn’t familiar with before starting the game.

This option, which is my favorite way to play OOTP Baseball, is unfortunately a huge disappointment.
Coaches were fired seemingly every other day (San Jose even hired and fired two coaches in one season!), and at least a half dozen GMs got canned before the season’s halfway point. My AI assistant had already called up another goalie to replace them, but I still needed to have a backup for him. While I did get the hang of it after a while, it was still far less accessible than its OOTP Baseball brethren. That is one significant plus in regards to this simulator — it has a dedicated development team supporting it, and it is constantly releasing patches to improve the overall experience. Out of the Park Developments, producers of FHM and the legendary Out of the Park Baseball series, made the announcement last week. The pre-order price is $29.99, which is a ten dollar savings from the actual cost of the game. The folks at OOTP were pretty clear that save games wouldn’t survive the beta process and certain features are yet to be added. A truly global game, FHM is the deepest, most immersive, and most customizable hockey management game in the world. Oversee team finances, keep an eye on the salary cap, check on your assistance coaches and scouts, watch the waiver wire, put together trade packages, make contract offers to free agents, and much more.
Take control of your favorite team and set lineups and strategies, draft the next crop of superstars, haggle over trades, negotiate with free agents, navigate the choppy waters of injuries, and prepare your players for the grind of the regular season and the playoffs. You’ll read about hat tricks, thrilling come-from-behind victories, key trades, devastating injuries, and other important happenings.
A veteran may become disgruntled if his contract will expire soon and you haven’t offered him an extension. Their faces change as they age and as their moods change, and their jerseys change when they switch teams. While Hidden ratings can only be seen when you turn on commissioner mode, most of them don’t change.
FHM automatically assigns the best position coach to each player, and a check against the coach offers another opportunity for a rating to improve.
They are most likely to improve when a player is young – any chance of improvement ends at age 28.
On average, typical first-line NHL stars will see a decline to baseline skills in about four years, with another three or four years before they become fourth-line players whose careers are close to wrapping up. While the game is aggressive about ensuring that quality free agents find new homes during the offseason, players at lower levels will likely end up retiring if they don’t receive any contract offers. However, it also has a fair amount of shortcomings that might be expected from a rookie effort. I discovered leagues that I had never heard of, including Asia League Ice Hockey (the only such league outside of Europe and North America), four leagues in England, and a third tier Finland league. You can tweak the tactics of every lineup as well, with options to change forechecking, aggressiveness and more to whatever suits your playing style.
Playing an individual game basically consists of watching play-by-play text slowly scroll down the screen. Perhaps most surprisingly, I received multiple job offers despite only having 25-30 games under my belt. The game wouldn’t let me call up anyone from my AHL squad, and it refused to let me sign a goalie off the streets even though I had enough cap room. I feel bad for comparing it to a simulator that has been around for over ten years, but FHM could learn a thing or two in terms of its user interface. There is still a lot of work to be done, especially in terms of computer AI and team management (not to mention an overhaul of the play-by-play system), but it is promising that major updates are still being delivered. Hardcore hockey fans should give it a look, as it is still capable of whetting your appetite, but I would recommend downloading the free trial first. Choose one of 21 leagues around the globe and select a team to guide to glory - or create your own hockey universe, or choose a historical start date as far back as 1931.
Take control of one of more than 300 teams across 19 leagues and run every aspect of its operation: set lineups and strategies, draft the next crop of superstars, haggle over trades, negotiate with free agents, navigate the choppy waters of injuries, and prepare your players for the grind of the regular season and the playoffs. And, of course, you can also create a custom league configured the way you want, with fresh fictional players ready to turn into a new crop of superstars.
Failed checks in the first two steps mean the player will receive a penalty against any chance of improvement, although that chance will never equal zero. Some of the Mental ratings will almost never change while others may improve by one point, at the most, every four years. If you just want to stick with the NHL, you can play historical leagues all the way from the late 1940s to present day. There is a pretty deep learning curve in terms of navigating the game’s menu system, but once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
You can go in and mess with lineups and tactics, but you can’t physically do anything while the game is simulating. When the simulation stopped to tell me I received a job offer, it was already too late — the teams had already hired someone else.
I tried proposing a deal to another team, but they wouldn’t accept anything right away.

It can be difficult to maneuever throughout the myriad of screens available, and sometimes it requires more clicks than seemingly necessary. There’s also an in-depth scouting system that monitors young players across the world while also providing development updates on those in your own system. Yet despite their recent hiring, the game still gave me the option to go in and negotiate a contract with them. Eventually, I had to change the position of one of my backup centers to goalie just so I could play my next game. One small example: why not make the scores at the top of the screen clickable, that way they go directly to their box score?
If anyone is capable of making a top-class hockey simulator, it is the folks at Out of the Park Developments. This is as close as you'll get to sitting in a General Manager's office without drawing a paycheck from a team.
Your team’s owner even checks in regularly during the season to rate your current job performance.
Needless to say, my team got destroyed, and it was the beginning of the end for my once-promising season.
Oversee team finances, keep an eye on the salary cap, hire your staff, put together trade packages, make contract offers to free agents, and draft the newest generation of stars.
New For 2015 New Game Engine: The heart and soul of FHM 2 - the game engine - has been completed redesigned from the ground up. With the new engine, every second of a game is simulated and the engine keeps track of exactly which zones the puck and all players are, at all times. This allows us to simulate the flow of a hockey game much better than before, with each event playing out through the engine.
Revamped Tactics System: You can trade for, sign, draft and develop the best and most talented players, but thata€™s only part of the challenge in Franchise Hockey Manager 2.
In order to truly reach full potential, you will need to put in place the optimal strategies to get the most out of your players. The tactics system and the entire game engine in Franchise Hockey Manager 2 has been rewritten.
It is now far more robust, detailed and it provides far more depth, better immersion and a bigger tactical challenge.
Or, if you'd prefer, you can have the computer take tactical control, or borrow a successful tactic created by another user. If youa€™re the general manager of an existing team, youa€™ll have to make tough choices about which players to protect from the expansion draft - should you stick with your veteran goaltender or turn the reins over to your young unproven talent? As an expansion franchise you will have the unique challenge of trying to build a contender from the spare parts of other teams. But with shrewd moves and some patience, your new expansion franchise could quickly become a contender! Facegen: Franchise Hockey Manager 2 will bring Facegen technology to the series, to greatly enhance immersion. Players and coaches will receive individual portraits, wearing their team uniform or colours, and the pictures will age, gain or lose weight throughout a career.
Facegen also allows for custom user-created jerseys to be used for each team, as well as individual user-created portraits. During a game, each event (good or bad) will change the GR, so you always know how well a player performs on the ice. Since the calculation includes the role of the player and the situation on the ice, you can get a pretty good picture of the performance. Not all players are goal scorers and will have their names show in the score sheet - now you can accurately track how everyone is contributing to your team's success or failure, from your stay-at-home defensemen to your grinding 4th line forwards. Redesigned Fictional Mode: We have removed the fictional mode from FHM 2014 and replaced it with a new version that is much more streamlined and stable.
Pre-season games: Need to make some tough roster decisions to get your team ready for the start of the season?
Before the regular season starts, use these games to prepare your team for the regular season and find out who will make the squad.
Historical changes: We've added new historical seasons to the game, so you can start even further in the past - all the way back to 1931. In addition, you can now continue your game when reaching the last historical year and turn your game into a fictional league. We've added historical dollar values and a season preview, so you always know the situation for every season you are just about to start.
Greatly expanded news section: We added many additional news types and expanded the text of all news to give you more immersion and help bring your league to life. New player development system New training system New player roles New player happiness system Retiring players can now become staff - Is your former star forward your next head coach?Revised staff contracts New player fatigue system New player consistency system GM and Coach scores Redesigned screens, such as lines, tactics, manager-home, and playoff screens Extended draft logs - Looking back to see who some of your draft busts and booms were is quick and easy.

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