March 22, 2013 - After over a year of blood, sweat, and tears—and fans going wild with anticipation, Web Sim Hockey 2.0 is finally online! It’s now up to you to enjoy!
Enter into the new era of online hockey games thanks to the perfect mix between managing your teams and taking part in our buzzing online community.
What’s new with Web Sim Hockey 2.0?
- Pictures of real players thanks to our licensing agreement with the NHLPA
- Completely revamped interface
- Additional people, who make up the GM’s entourage (team owner, assistant-coach, doctor, etc.), give you important information and your objectives
- News feed to help you better manage all of your leagues
- New multi-league chat system
-Badges you can earn thanks to your accomplishments
-Inter-league GM rankings
-GM Hockey and Finance attributes to better evaluate your skills
-GM status to monitor your involvement with your team(s): Experience, Reputation, Social, and Participation
-New multi-league messaging system
-And much (much!) more!
Become an interim GM—for FREE!
Do you want to test drive the new version?
All you have to do is apply for a position of interim GM. Then, you can manage this team for FREE until the end of the current season.
If you enjoy the Web Sim experience, you can then renew your subscription to the league or leave it without any hassles.
Do you want to join a new league or renew your subscription? It’s now or never! Take advantage of our limited-time offer. Register or renew today for only $9.95! -- Available here: websimhockey.com
March 5, 2013 - It has arrived. After much anticipation in the simulation community, the release of Franchise Hockey Manager Beta Edition is available for purchase. The idea behind the beta release and not a full copy is so hockey sim community users help test and work out the kinks. All this needs to get sorted before an official release at the start of the 2014 National Hockey League season.
Copies have been selling quickly and the official link can be found here on General Manager Games. Purchase Here.
As per OOTP Developments, this is what can be expected
The tentative playable list for now is NHL, AHL, ECHL, KHL, DEL, Elitserien, SM-Liiga, WHL, OHL, QMJHL, and the top two levels in the UK. There are 3-4 other leagues that are fairly close, probably no more than a month or so away, and about 6 that will be longer-term projects (and that last group will grow). Of the playable leagues, the most at-risk ones are the CHL leagues; they're a package deal because of the Memorial Cup, but the player ratings in a couple of them may be a little more incomplete than the other playable leagues right now. I'd prefer to keep them playable, but if I look at them this weekend and decide one or more isn't in a useable state (or at least in one that I can get useable with a late night or two), they could get pulled temporarily.
What's playable is largely determined by the amount of work researchers have been able to get done. We're not excluding leagues because we think they're worse or less significant than the ones we have working right now; it's just a matter of getting the research complete enough.
Team and league data is mostly finished; player data varies widely by league. There aren't a lot of specific attributes set in the database at the moment; instead, a template/target ability system is used to generate realistic attributes for the players. This is a deliberate decision on my part; I don't want a repeat of the EHM problem where huge numbers of players had very haphazard-looking collections of attributes because only a handful of them were actually completed. So the database work is being done in a way that prioritizes setting some basic parameters for the players first that will ensure a fairly realistic set of attributes (e.g., defensive centres get good defensive ratings, nobody has NHL-level speed but no acceleration at all, etc.), and then the fine details get filled in later. In most cases, that fine-tuning work is just beginning; some leagues are a little farther ahead in that regard.
Player histories outside the NHL are mainly nonexistent; I'm hoping we can reach an agreement with one of the big database sites to use their information, rather than going through the nightmare of entering it all manually.
The accuracy of rules implementation varies widely from league to league. Some things (e.g., the AHL developent rule) are approximated or abstracted right now, others (some of the more unique KHL roster rules) aren't implemented at all. It's a little too broad a topic to detail league-by-league, but we're trying to get things as realistic as possible within the constraints of the game (which includes the need to keep things fairly modular so customization remains possible, as opposed to doing a bunch of behind-the-scenes hardcoding.)
Rosters will be as up-to-date as we can get them for the playable leagues. The unplayable ones will range from accurate (where researchers are currently assigned) to about a year out of date (unassigned leagues, which are mainly low-level ones - the bottom end of the minors, Junior A, and leagues in most lesser European hockey powers.)
Non-playing staff aren't done as thoroughly as the players. In the best case, they exist and have the correct names; in the worst, they're not there at all and will be replaced by randomly-generated staff. Their undeveloped state is partly intentional - they can have a significant effect on player development, so for the moment we need dependably neutral values for them while we make sure the development model works properly.
The AI is OK at a few things right now, mediocre at many others, and just plain bad in places. It can choose lineups and build lines reasonably well and has a crude but effective grasp of tactics, but isn't that great at managing its roster. Not terrible, it just signs some strange contracts, tends to bungle the re-signing of its own players, and likes to collect and hoard starting goalies.
The trading AI in particular is very much a work in progress. We try different things, sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse. It wasn't that awful a couple of weeks ago, but in the last few builds...well, on a scale of Mike Milbury to Sam Pollock, right now it's at Rejean Houle.
Very good in places, but there are still some issues; at the moment, scoring has been too low in the last few builds and we're trying to figure out why (as I write this, we think we've found the problem - an issue with mysteriously inflated goalie ratings - but haven't implemented and tested a fix yet.)
The nature of the ratings will lead to a few noticeable stats oddities; PIM distribution is one that comes to mind - the NHL and a couple of other leagues should be OK in this regard at the start of the game, but the solution (a specific attribute setting) will take a while to implement across the rest of the database.
Tracking of advanced stats (Corsi etc.) isn't incorporated yet ("real-time stats" - hits, takeaways, etc. - are, though.)
Placeholder graphics for team/league logos and player faces, of course. Hopefully there'll be some community solutions to that quickly. We've added a way to have team logos change over the years for historical play, but it doesn't appear to be working properly right now.
The look of the game won't be unfamiliar to anyone who's played OOTP. Functionally, there are aspects that have a ways to go: columns that don't sort right, screens that require too much clicking to arrange the right way, that sort of thing.
The in-game interface (where you can actually watch a game's play-by-play) is very rudimentary at the moment; the play-by-play text is being worked on but right now all you'll get is a short notice of whatever event (shot, turnover, goal, etc.) has just occurred. It also seems to have a couple of nasty crash bugs that can hit at the end of the game.
Stability and crash fixing are priorities this week, but we won't get everything fixed. Some testers are reporting a lot more instability than others, and we're still trying to figure out the reasons. For most people, it's possible to let the game run hands-off for multiple seasons without it crashing.
Speed-wise, it's similar to OOTP, probably a little slower if you had the same number of teams and leagues running. It's not ever going to be a game where you can run a season in 30 seconds and build yourself a 30-year league history while you have lunch, but as a general rule you'll be looking at minutes to run a hands-off season, not hours. Historical mode in particular flies by, since game only has to deal with the NHL (Right now, leagues can't be turned off in modern mode; all the playable ones are active, which tends to slow things down. We'll try to make them selectable soon so you can pare your game down to just a league or two being playable.) The first version of the beta will be one of the slowest ones you'll see; it should get better from there.
No Mac beta version to start with; sorry, there are just too many other things to be done right now. We still want to have one, and will let you know when we have more news on that front.
Lots to talk about here. First off, Historical mode isn't going to have a great deal of flexibility in its setup to begin with. That'll improve as we go along, but to start with the setup options will be limited.
For the players, you'll have to let player ratings be recalculated annually (rather than using the same player development model used in the modern mode); players will always retire at the correct time (after their last real-life active season in organized hockey) rather than having the option of letting them choose their own time to retire; and the draft is giving us enough problems right now that it may be taken out pending repairs if we can't get it straightened out by the weekend (which would only leave you the options of either having players assigned to their historical teams automatically, or appearing as free agents.) The draft problems extend to expansion drafts; at the moment, expansion teams have to fill out their rosters with free agents.
As with the modern mode, it won't be possible to set up a fictional league at the moment. You may be able to change some team names, but that will likely cause problems unless you change absolutely nothing but the name.
Inclusion of the WHA is still undecided, but at this point it's probably not going to happen by Monday. Very soon, though, I hope. (And the WHA players will all be available, regardless.)
Right now, the database has ratings for every player who was active in 1947, and every player who debuted in the NHL and WHA between then and 1978-79 (I'm actually partly done with 79-80 and I think I can squeeze in another year or two before Monday if there are no fires for me to put out elsewhere.) So you can get three decades of play in if you start right at the beginning. You could probably play a little into the 80's, but the player supply will dry up. I'm hoping to add at least a couple of new years per week during the beta.
No historical coaching/management staff yet, and don't think there will be in this year's game. That said, I've been thinking about how to handle that lately and it seems like a good longer-term possibility. No historical arenas yet, either; that should be coming in this version, but the modern ones (or randomly-generated ones, in some cases) are used right now.
All dollar figures in historical years will be in 2013 US$. We'll switch over to the OOTP method of historically-correct figures eventually, but right now it's better to have a single frame of reference for testing - it makes it a lot easier to evaluate the contracts the AI is offering, for example, if it's all in modern amounts.
I'm reasonably happy with the way the historical aging/development model seems to be working, but it hasn't had a lot of testing. Having more people looking at it will definitely be useful.
There appear to be some significant issues with the AI's roster handling in historical games; Malte's trying to get those under control right now. There's a weird tendency for the AI to not offer its best players new contracts when their old ones run out and just leave them on their protected lists, where they own the rights but the guy can't play.
We've had to shut off a lot of the league customization features for the sake of short-term stability. They'll come back, but for now you'll largely be limited to playing the preset leagues in their default format. Obviously, we want to make it a lot less restrictive, but that needs to be handled in a controlled way rather than throwing it all in at once and then trying to untangle the problems that result.
No functionality at all at the moment, and I can't make any promises yet about a timeline for when it'll happen; that'll depend on what the workload looks like in the coming months - it's going to need a big, dedicated chunk of time to do properly.
Same story. Not in now, we want to add it but can't say for sure when it's coming.
Here are the most recent screenprints from the beta release.
KHL standings in mid-season:
Contract screen for Ryan O'Reilly, showing his new deal:
Review of GM Hockey Legacy 2012 A somewhat more cartoon-like take on the coolest sport on earth. November 5th, 2012
It's November, and that means that (most) years, my nights would be filled up by flipping through various hockey games, checking box scores and fiddling around with whatever fantasy line-up I've put together for myself. Of course, the NHL's lockout of the NHLPA and subsequent cancellation of games throughout November have left a hole in my autumn routine. In it's place has been a myriad of games, including a new wave of hockey games perhaps aiming to take advantage of the momentum that hockey had built for itself over the last few years and the lack of availability of hockey for most of the country.
We've already briefly discussed FHM, which will come out within the next few months, but being released to the public soon is a dark horse hockey simulator from French-Canadian developer Jean-Francois Cabana. GM Hockey Legacy is a lighter, more stream lined and fun-oriented text-based simulation engine of hockey for the consumer looking to get their hockey fix. While this game won't stand up to the rigid stability and demands of say Football Manager or Out of the Park, that isn't it's purpose: instead, its built to be a fun, simply and somewhat more cartoon-like take on the coolest sport on earth.
After installing the game (which comes with a separate and somewhat amusing audio file), you're prompted to start a new game or continue with a previous game. The menu overlays are simple and efficient here, and that is a trend that continues throughout the user experience.
After setting up a new game (in which you can choose your name, attributes, starting point, team and so on), you go through a myriad of pre-season necessities such as a player draft (featuring up-to-date 2012 draftees), signing coaches to any vacancies and other standard fare. Most of these menus require your attention to complete -- and because they are an early necessity, may frustrate some players who wish to click through their rosters and look around before making any franchise-altering decisions. But for the most part, management after the first few screens is very open ended.
After the initial stages of setting up your game are complete, you're presented with a newspaper overlay as your main screen, from which you can read recent developments around the league and manage your team/league from various drop-down charts.
The graphics and drop-down charts are different than most modern sports sims on the market, resembling something more from the turn-of-the-century or straight out of a Super Nintendo. Whether or not this is good or bad will basically depend on your preference. The player 'photos' are cartoon-like images that may-or-may-not resemble the actual player, and the newspaper overlay actually reminds me of the old overlay you'd see in the post game in Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball.
Personally, I like the overlays and graphics because they engross you in a bit of a different world, but people who want Sidney Crosby to look like himself on every screen may have trouble finding the ultra-realism from the vanilla version of the game.
Pierre McGui.. I mean MacLeish shares his update
Where the realism does come into play, however, is the game's stats and simulation engine, which does a fine job of representing hockey as we know it to be. After running through months and months of games, the stats engine holds up pretty well, even when accounting for wacky changes and the whims of a "general manager" who might not know what he's doing.
There is very little 'gameplay' in terms of making decisions in the actual games. You simply select from some pre-game options, including lines, line-up, strategy and so on, and then click through a series of "Continue" prompts as the game stops in between periods and highlights. As long as you're not looking to watch a game like in Football Manager or be able to make multiple in-game decisions like in Out of the Park, the management and simulation experience in GM Hockey Legacy is strong.
There is an entire list of Team management options, as well as things I've never seen before in a hockey sim. The World Championships and Olympics are represented, you can look through stats from a variety of different screens, the team management and GM options are nicely separated and so on. There's even some option called "BigDeal Ramon corner' under the newspaper which might have something to do with prospects or maybe not -- I'm still not sure.
Overall, GM Hockey Legacy is a game that is going to greatly satisfy some and disappoint others, and the numbers for each side will basically be dependent on how many people are looking for a realistic simulation engine that really works, but may not necessarily be very pretty to look at or flashy in its presentation. If you're looking for something that is kind of a cross over between a text sim and a console game, this is not for you. If you're looking for something that has a lot of different simulation and scenario options and, for what it does, just works, then give this one a try.
Total score out of 10
Game has a very realistic statistical engine, but lacks flexibility with in-game changes.
Customization Game includes a separate database editor with install. In-game customization is limited.
The realistic simulation engine could make things somewhat predictable over multiple simulations, however the tightness of the simulation itself allows you to go through nearly endless scenarios.
Online Few interactive options may lead those who like deep online experiences to stray away, but the games browser-based stats display could provide for some creative possibilities with online leagues.
Presentation Interesting nostaglic graphics display, and a separate sound set-up that may turn off more casual gamers. Fairly par for the course with games of this scope/scale.
October 25, 2012 - There are two things I've always loved to do. Follow sports and tell stories. From an early age -- as soon as I could walk, really -- I was playing sports, watching them on TV, and using my imagination to create worlds of my own. I loved playing the early console games: your early Maddens, the NHL 94 type games, Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball and so on. I played them so much that I wore out the cartridges. At some point though, there was something about the lure of text-based simulation games -- PC sports, really -- that drew me away from the standard console fare.
While my friends were spending their junior high years trying to score 90-points-per-game in Madden or breaking the 200 point barrier in NBA Live, I was hard at work on meticulously crafting my own worlds in text based simulations or even on paper. I was always searching for a perfect balance between realism and the way I thought things should be. I kept detailed paper logs of extracurricular things that happened -- steroids scandals and accidental deaths, coach firings and shocking-but-realistic player movements. I made all the personnel changes that I felt were obvious for every real life team to make. Then, I took it further. I created my own leagues in my own worlds. I drew out maps of imaginary bodies of water and land, constructed towns with their own key imports and exports, their own population and financials. I created fairy tale super hero players and villains. Gave names to the biggest stars (Andrew McAnders remains the greatest cornerback in MSFL history).
Before long, I was only really playing console games for something to do. I was only doing it because it was what everybody else did: drop $60 on the latest roster update and game feature retread and get bored with it in two weeks. And then I'd go right back to my simulation worlds. As games have gotten more advanced, the amount of work I've had to do on paper has decreased. I've had to keep track of far fewer things in my 'world' then before. More of it is now done by the games themselves.
Over time, Out of the Park Developments and their tremendous line of OOTP Baseball games have come to be the peak of this, for me. I've lost, seemingly, days of my life in my own world, where I create the rules and watch these tiny pictures of men... these complicated arrangement of 1's and 0's live their artificial lives out through the example I've set. I've attempted (and failed) to take the Cubs to a World Series victory. I restored the Yankees to dominance in 2007 when it seemed as though their dynasty was finally over. And currently, I'm embroiled in a wonderful campaign with the Seattle Mariners, in the year 2018. In 2016 we lost Game 7 of the ALCS to the Cleveland Indians, and then in 2017 fell to the Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series in six games. Can we return to the Series and claim the trophy before the window on our carefully built roster closes? Can we do so before our owner becomes frustrated with us and we are forced to move on to other shores? Time will tell.
And that's the beauty of the simulation to me. The story is all inclusive, totally expansive, and whatever I want it to be. I've played, by hand, over 1,000 games in this Seattle Mariners dynasty alone. The story is rich. I have a personal connection with so many of the characters now. When I traded my (on paper) team Captain, SS Dustin Ackley, in the 2017 off-season, I felt a legitimate sense of remorse. The emotion was real because to me, the story was. And if the real Dustin Ackley never becomes more than a mediocre infielder on a middling team, so what? The Dustin Ackley I know -- the Dustin Ackley of my world, is a captain and a hero.
What OOTP brought to baseball games, hockey has missed for several years. Sports Interactive's release of Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 is the closest we've come to the type of open-ended game I expect from a strong sim. But it was clunky, riddled with bugs and not very intuitive to a user who wanted to tell an expansive story over lots of years. There was tons of micromanaging.
As hockey has, for about a decade now, been the sport with which I have the strongest connection and by which I find the most illuminating stories, you can imagine then that I've been fairly disappointed that no one has stepped up to create a game of OOTP's scope for hockey. And then, swooping down from the clouds came OOTP in the spring of 2012 to announce their next creation: Franchise Hockey Manager. If, in your head, you imagine me dancing through my house to parade music when I heard this news, you wouldn't be far off.
Finally, a chance to create my own world in Hockey, as I've always wanted. Now, Franchise Hockey Manager won't be out for a few more months and so who knows exactly how great it will be, but when you are talking about the absolute class of the sports sim industry, you don't look much further then the guys at OOTP and this has left me very excited.
So what will I be doing at GM Games? Well, as you may have guessed, I'll be writing a lot of hockey simulations, particularly Franchise Hockey Manager. Aside from just a standard review, I hope to immerse you in a user's true experience with the game once it comes out.
QUEBEC, Oct. 12, 2012 - Due to the NHL's lockout, the 2012-2013 hockey season is definitely taking a hit. Hockey fans worldwide are, unfortunately, penalized by the entire situation.
Web Sim Hockey, the popular online hockey simulation game that enables users to put themselves in the shoes of the GM of a professional hockey team, will satisfy hockey fans' thirst for everything that is ice, goals, and stats. We're going to simulate the 2012-2013 season as though it was still on!
Every day at 8:00 pm ET, games will be simulated according to the schedule that had been originally set up by the NHL. The page www.websimhockey.com/lockout will let you view all virtual matches, standings, and statistics for all league players.
This data is public and available to the media. It is a new source of information for sports journalists that are looking for hockey news during the lockout.
If you have any questions, interview requests, or require further information contact:
VP Communications and Marketing
Web Sim Sports INC
QuebecCity,Jan. 25, 2012 - The company Web Sim Sports INC., specialized in online sports gaming, launched a unique hockey simulator inJuly 2009,Web Sim Hockey. (www.websimhockey.com)
Web Sim Hockey is a multiplayer strategy game played entirely on the Web.
The goal of the game is to manage a professional hockey team in every aspects : finances, drafts, trades, lineups, on-ice strategies, etc.
Web Sim Hockeyis on the rise since its launch with more than 7500 teams being managed every day in over 315 virtual leagues.
The site generates no less than 275,000 monthly visits and 4.25 million page views.
Partnership with Laurentian University in Ontario
As part of the Sports Administration program, offered by Laurentian University (www.spad.ca) in Ontario, Web Sim Hockey is being used for educational purposes to provide a realistic management experience for the students.
« We are very impressed with the extent of the simulation and believe it is a very valuable tool for our course - The Business of Hockey. » saidDr. Ann Pegoraro, director of the School of Sports Administration in the Faculty of Management.
With the help of Dr Pegoraro, the experience will then be exported to other universities inNorth Americaso that other students can experience this simulation as a real-life learning tool.
June 27, 2011 - Updated Features from WebSimHockey.com
(As per WebSimHockey.com - Press Release)
Many new features
Since last fall, many new features were added to our site:
- Improved user interface
- Player types
- Trophies (individual and team)
- New “card” mode for to make it easy to view attributes
- New lineup page
- New strategy/practice module
- Multiple minor upgrades
These changes were requested by our community and have had a positive impact on our game as a whole. The continuous development of our simulator is one of our strengths and we are dedicated to this constant improvement. We know that we can count on you to suggest new ideas, as proven by the extensive list of suggestions you have already provided.
More new features to come!
In order to offer you a 2.0 version of Web Sim Hockey, the most wanted development according to our community members, we need to prepare the infrastructure of our site to make it ready for the latest technologies in web applications.
We have already started this process, and although it is a work in progress, we are able to confirm major additions in the coming year, including:
#1 - Community/GM Ranking Module
This module will allow GMs to manage all their teams using a central dashboard. You will have access to all the important team information in one place, with links redirecting you to wherever action needs to be taken.
A global messaging system and alerts will also be available for simplified management of your teams.
Obviously, the community aspects will be greatly enhanced with the ability to add friends, post comments on their pages, track the progress of their team, and much more.
Above all, this module will keep track of your activity. Primarily, you will see your achievements (trophies, various achievements, etc.), but also your weaker moments (expulsion of a league, voluntary replacements, etc.) Other community members will then be able to assess the quality of your work.
And finally, there will be global standings using GM ranking points that you accumulate throughout your seasons. Will you be the best Web Sim Hockey GM?
#2 - Tournament Module
This module will allow potential members to try Web Sim Hockey with a simplified, free version.
What is most interesting for you is that you will be able to play any of your teams in a global tournament. These tournaments will take place during the course of the regular season. Challenge the other GMs and beat the champions to become the ultimate Web Sim Hockey champion!
There will be tournaments of all kinds with different entry criteria: entry cost, minimum/maximum strength of a team, minimum GM ranking points, etc. Private, fully-customizable tournaments will also be available. The possibilities are endless!
#3 - Other new features
Big modules are fun, but taking care of the little details makes the difference. As has always been the case, since we are online, we will continue to improve the site by regularly implementing small but important updates.
250 leagues, 6,000 teams!
We are thrilled that 95% of our leagues and users are based in Quebec, Canada. It is now time for our English friends to discover our game and spread the word. Imagine where we will be when our Quebec members’ excitement reaches the other provinces and countries!
We are very aware and appreciative of the faith you place in us and we will continue to earn that faith by giving you the best we have to offer so that you can continue to enjoy the best online simulated hockey game on the market.