NBA 2K13 News Post

One of the best things I read this week came from Kotaku. Rowan Kaiser wrote a feature about his ongoing time with NBA 2K13 on PC. (And on a personal level, I'm a big fan of Kaiser's work, so it was a double dose of goodness for me.)

The feature is about how he's modded NBA 2K13 and turned it into an alternate reality where he mixes today's stars with the stars of old -- and even those that never were like Len Bias -- and creates a new NBA concoction all his own.

And I believe this article really speaks to a lot of what many within the Operation Sports community are all about. It's about realism with a twist. It's about controlling your environment but allowing for the organic to happen. It's about fighting against the negatives because you want to love the positives so much.

In his case, the biggest negative is a shaky simulation engine, which again, is really high up there on the list of things that continually come up with all sports games here. And the simulation engine bothers him because he's trying to create a believable world within the unbelievable. A 30-team controlled franchise where he tries to setup some interesting parameters -- interjecting himself into the story at points -- and seeing how everything comes together, which is hopefully in a "believable" manner.

My favorite part of the article comes near the end as he describes why he keeps playing this game:

"Why do I, someone who primarily makes a living writing about strategy games and RPGs, and someone who generally prefers soccer to basketball, let NBA 2K13 take up 1000+ hours of my life? Why this instead of Mass Effect or Crusader Kings 2?

The answer is that I get the same thrill watching what might happen within a system I enjoy. Itís about setting up the pieces and seeing what happensóan alternate history where Catholicism canít hold central Europeówhat happens next? If I take these two characters with me on this mission, what happens next?

If I put Larry Bird and Chris Mullin on the same team as rookies in consecutive years, will they work will (sic) together, or is it too much shooting? (Thatíll be the Dallas Mavericks, and yes, itís worked well.)"

And I think that in so many words explains why many people love sports games and get attached to certain versions. Games like College Hoops 2K8, or NCAA Football 2014 or NFL 2K5 are remembered and continue to be played because they're the last of their kind on top of being really good games. And old versions of an ongoing series like NBA 2K can still be remembered and played for similar reasons.

So many are quick to move on to the next year's version because we're fiends like that, but this type of interaction with an "older" sports game makes it understandable why there is such outrage when old games get turned off, and why people fear "always-online" in many situations, and why many believe editing tools should be more and more prominent: You create a world, you want to live in that world, and you want to fix that world so you can live in it for as long as you believe it to be worthwhile

In a way, that can all sound very much like something out of Star Wars where you just want to bring balance to your game and peace to your virtual world. Or it can sound very scary and more like a dictatorship where you demand that things must run this way, or they are otherwise invalid and unacceptable.

Regardless, it's why we play the game, and it's why many keep coming back.

Source - My Crazy, Russian-Modded, Alternate Reality NBA (Kotaku, Rowan Kaiser)

Game: NBA 2K13Reader Score: 8.5/10 - Vote Now
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Member Comments
# 1 jpollack34 @ 06/06/15 01:02 PM
Excellent article.

Totally agree. Essential to immersion nowadays is editing. Without it I lose interest in a game in a few weeks. It's absolutely essential. And you can see the industry being pulled in that direction. You keep the fans invested for long stretches of time through customizibility (we are all unique and want something different). With so many options nowadays that's going to be key.

The one genre where this has been lagging behind, sadly enough, is the sports genre. But that's changing too because as certain AAA developers are taking away editing options (which will lead to enthusiasm for them equally dwindlng in the long run - you see it already), the indie scene will rise to the occasion (think Golf Club). And the indies will continue to do so to meet the demand.
# 2 RayRay34 @ 06/06/15 02:59 PM
Still play my copy of 2k13 on the ps3 because of my rosters i made, and pretty much for the same reasons listed in the article
# 3 bxphenom7 @ 06/06/15 07:19 PM
Great read. This is why I wish editing and overall customization was prioritized these days
# 4 DJ @ 06/06/15 09:15 PM
I love reading stories like this. I've got a franchise going in NBA 2K11 that I need to revisit, as I've mixed in current day (at the time of the game's release) teams with classic teams. It's interesting when different generations of teams square off.
# 5 joosegoose @ 06/06/15 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by WISports
They won't put too much editing in games in fear that people won't buy the following year's game, unfortunately.
I always hear this (especially with regards to PC modding), but I've never understood the argument. What determines whether or not I buy future games is how much they were improved upon, my ability to edit/mod older titles has nothing to do with that.

I still play modded MVP Baseball 2005 every now and again, and I love that modders have been able to give the game new life even today. If EA decided to revive MVP tomorrow and work on a newer version with improvements, it would be next to impossible for me to resist buying, despite my enjoyment of the old, modded title.
# 6 nickthemajin @ 06/06/15 11:04 PM
Makes me really miss the mod scene on PC for 2k games. With 2k15, the mod scene regressed by years. Ultimate Base Roster and NCAA mods were god tier. On PC on 2k14 you could start a franchise in the 60s and use real draft classes with accurate cyber faces all the way up to 2017. So goddamn fun. 2k15 made that so much harder to do.
# 7 sfx @ 06/07/15 12:04 AM
My aversion to buying the newest version of the game has always been due to the time I've invested in my world. I'm still playing MLB The Show 11 because I've spent so much time on the RTTS character. With the ability to carry that universe into the new games, I'm almost guaranteed to buy the new version year after year. That is an essential feature that all sports games should have where possible.

Also, years ago, I used to fanatically play Front Page Sports titles on the PC. My memory may be shaky but I felt like their sim engine was pretty good because they simulated every play. I feel like now it's up to an RNG for instantaneous results. I may be wrong about that but the time spent having my game sim in the background was well worth the immersion I gained for it's realism.
# 8 eye guy @ 06/07/15 03:23 AM
It's why Cities: Skylines is a labour of love. C:S is my first PC game for a long, long time and I only purchased the game because of the modding community. The way the game unravels can happen in so many different ways depending on the mods available.

Editing tools should definitely be available on all platforms for those that can expand on the game. I can only imagine what 2K basketball would be like on current gen consoles, had these tools been available.
# 9 tril @ 06/07/15 08:27 AM
I think thats the intentions with MLB THE SHOW. the ability to import an existing legacy mode into a newer version of game allows the alternate reality to truly play out, without compromising new features.
Hopefully all other sports games will incorporate this feature.

Some games are good enough that a user will continue to play older versions of said title. Like it says in the article, I continue to play CH2k8, and NCAA14 for this reason

In addition with other titles, Ill usually import 1 or 2 draft classes, then use the draft classes created by the game's engine to play out a legacy mode.
# 10 jpollack34 @ 06/07/15 08:43 AM
Originally Posted by eye guy
It's why Cities: Skylines is a labour of love. C:S is my first PC game for a long, long time and I only purchased the game because of the modding community. The way the game unravels can happen in so many different ways depending on the mods available.

Editing tools should definitely be available on all platforms for those that can expand on the game. I can only imagine what 2K basketball would be like on current gen consoles, had these tools been available.
Excellent example. Instead of seeing customers as passive and something to be exploited, developers should be viewing them as partners in development. Don't compete with your own community (something you see with AAA developers all the time).
# 11 daveberg @ 06/07/15 02:30 PM
The ultimate base roster is perhaps the greatest basketball mod ever made, if it wasn't for the clunky control schemes and the last gen graphics, I would have stuck that out for years to come. 2k15 would be on a whole other level if it had customisation like that.

But hey, they can't even get the look of the legends uniforms right, next gen, let alone give us the tools to expand on that universe.

Maybe i'll fire up 2k14, see if I can revert.
# 12 pHiLKizer @ 06/08/15 09:17 AM
NBA 2K14 on PC + Ultimate Base Roster (which is still being updated) is a situation in which I'll be playing for YEARS to come or until they figure out a way to bring UBR to next gen NBA 2K games.
# 13 2kNerd @ 06/08/15 01:04 PM
This is the direction many of these games are heading.

Think of it as a combination of OOTP Baseball and The Show...a historical simulation mashed up with the actual game.

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