Some of you may be familiar with the fictional countries Koana Islands, Ianoia or Gunsovolk of which I am the creator. I tried a few times to start up a dynasty over on the Out of the Park Baseball forums for Koana Islands’ Super Ligan that went for over 100 in-game years and manually did promotion and relegation (before the game could do it automatically!). I also hit the front page of Reddit with my maps and even got an article in the Smith Journal magazine (I’d never heard of it either) which was pretty cool and I’ll happily share it on here if there’s interest.
Anyway, my Koana Islands Super Ligan save eventually fell out of my group of hobbies for a few reasons. Firstly, whilst history is never really my strong point, I went about growing the league poorly. The first season had 20 teams and when it came to adding further divisions in the league pyramid I just whacked in another twenty teams and called it a day. There was no slow evolution and things like the DH rule were in effect right from the inaugural season in 1890-something. Hardly the stuff of realism. Now I know this is my world and my history and we could spin the DH rule as being something that the Koana Islands created and the MLB just adopted it 80-years later, but the moment something suspends one’s disbelief all thoughts of realism go out the window and the game stops being an alternate reality and starts becoming a game again.
That brings me onto issue number two with the old save. Despite my desire for OOTP to run Promotion and Relegation as successfully as it manages to do everything else, the fact remains that the AI just isn’t coded for dealing with drops in revenue and the financially uncertainty that comes with relegation. Having avoided Pro/Rel leagues for the last few years, I’ve been doing a dummy run in OOTP22, just tinkering with settings to see if the AI logic has been improved at all; and it hasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a go at Markus and the team, but rather an observation that might help people make a decision on if P&R is for them.
For example, in my test sim, I had two divisions of 20, let’s call them Division A and Division B. The bottom three teams from A were relegated to B and the top three teams from B were promoted. B had finances that were 50% less than A along with 25% less attendance on average. Quite simple. As the years passed, teams went into complete financial ruin and Ivychurch in Division B was a good example. They signed players to whopping contracts that made even the biggest of A team’s eyes water. Not terribly unrealistic, you can argue that the team is pushing for promotion which they eventually failed to achieve. However, at that point in real life, the team would cut their losses and trade away their best assets (particularly as some of them were good enough to play for the top teams in A) and rebuild with cheaper alternatives in Free Agency. They might’ve even traded some of their highest earners and got worse players in return in an attempt to balance the books without going for a complete rebuild. Ivychurch didn’t do that, they instead decided to hold onto their best players until their contracts expired, sending the team deeper and deeper into debt until they were so poor they could only sign rejects in Free Agency to Minor League deals. They then went three straight seasons with 24, 19 and 22 wins respectively (out of 162 games). If they had traded away their best assets early, they may still have dropped down the standings in the following years, but at least they wouldn’t have been complete no-hopes.
They were the lucky ones really, because they had no place further to fall. The same issues arise with teams in leagues that have relegation as a threat. Teams that are already in massive debt and have relegation looming cling onto their star players that are hitting Free Agency at the end of the season, rather than trying to cut their debt down and grabbing a few young prospects to make a push for promotion the following year. Some teams might carry on as usual, hoping for a turnaround before the season is through, but others would be facing reality and the AI just isn’t coded for dealing with relegation. This meant – particularly in the lower tiers of the pyramid – teams had no money and no players, meaning I had to play God and give them a financial boost and sign players for them, because teams would enter Opening Day with just 5 players on the books sometimes; again, suspending one’s disbelief. I want to just set and forget… and watch.
Lastly, the thing that bummed me out the most was I wanted to have leagues in all four of my fictional nations yet my world.dat only consisted of the Koana Islands inserted into the rest of the world. There was no way for me to add nations once the game had started, and that prevented me from gaining the full enjoyment of my fictional universe. Out of the Park now allows nations to be added during a save, and I think I’ve tweaked the settings “under the hood” to ensure Promotion and Relegation is a viable option; I guess time will tell!
This ‘Intro’ has dragged on but I do want to explain what it was going to be. Essentially, I enjoy just watching the years pass and teams rise and fall, I do watch the occasional pennant race and even the odd game mid-season, but otherwise I watch from afar and just take in the universe I’ve created. Each post I do will be a chapter in a book covering things from an individual game to player signing, right the way up to an entire season overview. Whatever takes my fancy, basically.
If you have any questions about anything at all, feel free to ask in here but otherwise, welcome to the Southern Union – a political and economic union containing the eight nations I have created – which is situated in the Indian Ocean…
The Southern Union
The Southern Union (SU) is a politico-economic union of eight member states that are located in the Indian Ocean. The Southern Union’s main activities take place within Omfattandestad which is located in the Koana Islands.
Koana Islands (pronounced Co-ahnah Islands), officially the Direct Democratic Republic of Koana Islands is a country situated in the South Indian Ocean. It’s closest neighbours are Australia to the east, Gunsovolk to the west, Ianoia to the south and India to the North. The capital city is Omfattandestad. The Koana Islands is made up of 32 islands, of which 11 are uninhabited and are national parks. The biggest island, Koana Island has an area of approximately 574,925 square kilometres and is home to the vast majority of Koanians. All up, the 32 islands provide an area of 931,223 square kilometres, roughly the size of Spain and Sweden combined.
Around 93.4 million people reside in Koana Islands, with the majority concentrated in the central part of the mainland. The native language of most of the population is Koanian, which is part of the North Germanic language family and is most closely related to Swedish and English. The second official language of Koana Islands – English – is the native language of 5.5% of the population, although most people under the age of about 30 can speak very good English. Koana Islands is a unicameral direct democracy with a central government based in Omfattandestad and local governments in over 10,000 municipalities. A total of about five and a half million residents live in the Greater Omfattandestad area (which includes Omfattandestad, Blanka Island and Jonestan), and a sixth of the country’s GDP is produced there. Other major cities include Viksida, Ny Aucklanda, Humoor, Embleton, Vizhune and Conneaut.
The Koana Islands, founded in 1482 by early settlers from the Kalmar Union who were disillusioned with life within Scandinavia, expanded quickly. When Willem Janszoon’s boat Duyfken attempted to reach shore on Koana Island he was reportedly attacked by the settlers who feared their simple way of life was under attack.
The Kalmar Union collapsed in 1523 when Gustav Vasa became king of Sweden and the Koana Islands eventually became entirely independent, although this has never been written down formally.
Günsovölk was discovered by Frederick de Houtmann in 1595 on his voyage to Bantam. Some 30 years later Dutch pilgrims arrived on the islands and settled in the what is now known as Kuntzvoll as an autonomous country to the Dutch Republic. In 1815 Günsovölk formally separated from the Netherlands, wanting to be led by it’s own royal family as opposed to Willem I. The monarchy still stands today although has limited ceremonial duties.
Home to 42.2 million people known as Günsians, the native language is German, with Dutch spoken predominantly to the north of Gilsemans Island. The capital city is Shoof, which is the most populated city at 2.7 million residents.
There was a large influx of German immigrants after the first King married a German ‘commoner’ which is why there is a lot of German influence even today.
Ianoia (pronounced EYE-an-oh-ah), officially the Republic of Ianoia is an English-speaking nation in the Indian Ocean nation situated to the southeast of the Kingdom of Günsovölk and south of the Direct Democratic Republic of Koana Islands. Around 57.4 million people call Ianoia home, and call themselves Ianoians.
The history of Ianoia is sketchy, but most people agree it was settled by early Koanians around 1520, some 250 years before Captain Cook’s first voyage arrived in 1770 where locals and sailors exchanged friendly greetings. Herman McCutchen, a cook on-board the Endeavour, married a native Ianoian girl and settled in the now capital city, McCutchen; the most populous city at just over 2 million inhabitants.
Whilst Koanian is spoken fluently by around 5% of the population, English was adopted as the official language in 1789.
Le Grout (pronounced LE-Grew) is a small Atoll situated in the Indian Ocean with a population of 2.5 million citizens. It was discovered by Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec in 1771 and Charles de Boisguehenneuc landed and claimed the island for the French crown shortly after. Until 2013, the Islands were one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Le Grout was also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Following much debate over the last few decades, Le Grout secured their independence from France in 2003 and officially joined the Southern Union as the fourth nation in 2009.
French is spoken by it’s inhabitants and the capital city is Audaux.