Life is Sport Games

This was my original 'about me' web page. I'm updating that page and just thought I would blog the original as a way of archiving it.

True to Life Baseball' was developed beginning on June 10th, 2012. I had always enjoyed baseball dice/board games, but found that the most popular ones available were not statistically accurate enough for my liking. In playing an entire season, the average runs would be off by as much as 12%. While this will happen in shorter trials, after 100+ games, 12% is a rather high error factor. It was from this experience that I set a goal of having the runs stay within 5% of the actual average for any given season. I wanted to be able to get this accuracy with a game that could still be completed in 45 minutes on average.

As it happens average runs per game varies from season to season. This is why the 'formula' to create pitching cards is not identical for every season, but varies to make certain the average runs, hits, and ERA's all are reflective of that specific seasons stats. In the last 60 game test run before release, runs and hits were all within 3% of actual game stats for the season tested. Individual ERA's had a greater fluctuation given that no pitcher had more than 12 starts or about 90 innings pitched. Just like in real life, 1 or 2 bad outings can balloon a pitchers ERA, so for individual ERA's, a starting pitcher would need his full 200 innings pitched in order to realize true to life results. Relievers ERA's are never quite as accurate because they typically only pitch 70-85 innings. The probability is correct, its just that the sample size is smaller so the actual results have more variance. Similar to the probability of flipping a coin and getting heads. Everyone knows there is a 50% chance of getting heads, yet if you flip a coin 10 times, you may get heads 7 times. It isn't until the sample size is large enough that you begin to see the actual probability of 50%.

I have always been fascinated with probability and statistics. As such, the advanced game is as much a simulation as it is a game. What I think makes it fun is its accuracy, combined with how much detail and choices there are in playing the game. As the player/manager, TTL baseball gives you the power to impact your scoring chances by the decisions you make. If your up against a Cy Young type pitcher, you may be more aggressive on the base paths knowing runs will be at a premium. 

My initial inspiration for working on a dice/board came when my laptop computer bit the dust. I really wanted to create something that was hands on and didn't require a computer. Ironically, I spent most of my time on a computer in either Excel or Word when I was creating this game. Since I immensely enjoy playing this game myself, I made sure it has a very high solitaire suitability.

As far as my business background, I operated an Ebay business since 2005. My store name there is RareBookHaven. It was reasonably successful until mid 2009. Just after the housing market tanked my sales went down dramatically. To the point where I was selling my inventory and only breaking even after paying Ebay, Paypal fees, and taxes.  Still it was a good experience and I am happy to say that I never had a single negative feedback on Ebay.  

I also have an inventory of vintage Pentax camera lenses and collectibles that I may list on  the TTL website from time to time under a separate category. 


James Formo    

Written by James Formo — October 01, 2014

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