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NBA 2K23: Da Czar Responds to Some OS Thoughts/Questions

NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge

NBA 2K23

NBA 2K23: Da Czar Responds to Some OS Thoughts/Questions

Da Czar, a long-time pal and one of the OGs here, has been peppering the forums during the last week with some responses to random OS questions/thoughts. I’m not trying to get him inundated with more questions or anything like that, but I did want to round up some of his responses in one place. I think it’s important to do this because Czar’s viewpoint encapsulates the “sim nation” mindset in many ways, and he’s also an NBA 2K23 developer (focused on AI and other gameplay elements).

Again, Da Czar was just answering random questions around the forums (some of you probably won’t even know what some of the questions are talking about), and he was under no obligation to do so. I’m going to be clear that you should not ask more questions in this thread — or if you do — don’t expect a response because this isn’t me trying to open the floodgates and put pressure on the dude. I’m basically trying to walk the tightrope here and highlight the info he has given without overloading it further with every random question out there.

Da Czar’s NBA 2K23 Q&A

NBA 2K23 The W

AIRJ23: In MyNBA those “center/right/left” tendencies for mid range and 3 pointers change for every player after every season which is annoying. I saw someone say the “center/left/right” tendencies don’t affect actual gameplay, but only affect simming. Is that true?

Da Czar: They don’t. They are only for the simulator. At least that is what the tendency engineer told me.

Yallasama: Mike [Wang] said they’ve added more signature jumpers than ever before. I’m so glad they actually named them, so now you can finally look them up because sometimes you weren’t sure before. Now you know if number X actually was the right jumper or is like X player’s jumper (by comparison).

Da Czar: The amount and quality of jumpers added is really something. I think many initially will have trouble timing them until you get used to the difference. At least I am anyway. Today I spent an hour just going into practice mode and trying out different guys jumpers. Some are so spot on. CP3’s pull up fade is one you should check out as soon as you get the game. That joint is spot ON.

EccentricMeat: I haven’t heard anything confirming or denying that player likeness can/can’t change over the years in MyNBA Eras. My guess, simply based off the fact that they are updating rules and expansion teams and even courts/logos in relevant years, is that players will also update to reflect their IRL look in relevant years.

Da Czar: I don’t believe [likenesses will change over the years during the playthrough]. Maybe Jordan has a few different models maybe, but if they did this for everyone I’m pretty sure they would have mentioned it.

nba 2k23 uniforms

Yallasama: [Talking more about the MyNBA Eras mode] …It’s already commendable you even tried. Hope to see more signature jumpshots from classic players like Anthony Mason & Michael Adams infamous push shot.

Da Czar: For a dev team, and I think we know that any dev team will probably never go as far as the creative community can. However, for a dev team, the squad went in on animations and stuff like that.

Like this was a labor of love man. Everyone on the team has a favorite era of hoops so we all really went hard on this mode. The OS crowd obviously knows more details than most, but I think it is safe to say anyone with reasonable expectations will really enjoy what was done here. It’s the biggest hit of nostalgia i have had since 2K11 and 2K12 days but it feels more authentic than that.

Hard to describe, and I don’t want to oversell because I am more lenient than a lot of OS users, but it’s just a ton of fun. Warts and all. It’s not meant to be an exact re-telling of the history of the league. Although you may be able to squeeze that out with enough work?

The filters really take you there though. Especially if you played the games of those eras. Gameplay is so solid too. What a year to have all these features. Hopefully it can hold its shape!

VDusen04: [while talking about AI “cheating” more or less on defense when you have a blow-by angle on a defender] I was so mystified by 2K’s decision in recent years to make it so unrealistically difficult to expose the advantages you’d earned against computer defenders.

Da Czar: In this and many instances it is not a basketball discussion. What you see is an advantage created by a move. The reality is the shot system and the body-up system do not share information. Each system has its own producers and engineers. They are separate and distinct systems so it becomes a technical issue that we attempted to solve…

This improves it but is not bulletproof. That will take more elegant and well thought out solution. It takes some time for the system to be mature enough to do really interesting things and share key information to make basketball situations play out more in line with user expectations.

jfsolo: Thinking about it, the reduction of the super wide angle of stonewalling should in theory allow easier blow-bys after the pump fake even without a cooldown, we’ll see though.

Da Czar: Without the cooldown, you might still catch a neutral instead of catching a loss for the dribbler. Remember the AI can react instantly and has perfect stick so your reaction time after the pump fake would have to be lightning fast or you might still get caught.

Even with the delay I have gotten caught in a body-up a few times. We have so many animations and launches that one time-out value may not work the same for every situation. So we tell you what we did to address an issue, rarely will I say yeah that is “fixed” because there are so many variables in game design.

VDusen04: Everyone plays the game differently so I don’t get too caught up in that with these videos. More, I’m just looking to get a peek at the Jordan Challenge details and whatever else pops out.

Da Czar: I heard a lot of people struggled with the way the game plays now. A lot of the old stuff they used to do wasn’t working so it’s a big adjustment for some of them. It really feels different and as you can see it moves different. Even when y’all get the game there will probably be an adjustment period.

FunGaming44: Do you know if we can turn the filter off? Some of us like to enjoy a more on court experience instead of a broadcast experience so it would be great if we can turn the old TV-style grain filter off or it would kill the immersion of the on-court experience.

Da Czar: Yes, you can.

alabamarob: There is now a “cutter help rules” option.

Description: This setting determines how off-ball defenders will help in drive situations.

If this works, then the PnR defense cheese is fixed.

Da Czar: This is off-ball cutter help, it is not necessarily tied to drive help — but when an off-ball cutter cuts to the rim. This stuff is technical, and I can’t really explain it all here, but you are in full control of this for your team so be sure to set it how you want it.

One thing to note and this is a video game thing about separate systems etc. but cutter help can also happen in pick and roll situations if the hedge man gets beat and we have to turn on drive help. When that happens, we are kicked out of the pick and roll help system and the roll man will only be picked up if you have cutter help enabled.

I know it can be difficult to understand and there is nothing visually for you to know which help you are in. Pick and roll, drive, and cutter help are all separate systems and only one can be on at a time. This complicates deciphering where help may actually be failing, and it is why just looking at a bad play in retail doesn’t give us information that can help solve those cases.

Basically, it is a huge headache — making progress but still a lot of work to do to get it to where I want it.

NBA 2K23 Gameplay reaction

vannwolfhawk: One thing I’m going off on your points is what they said in the blog about adjusting ACE to what’s happening. The user never really abused layups so was an adjustment needed? Same with the post.

But also maybe teams play differently where Robinson being a good rim protector changes their defensive scheme as opposed to a team maybe like the Nuggets?

Da Czar: Years away from something this deep. Great idea and it is on our board but….We still fixing the basics.

VictorMG: Do we have full control to tell the AI to help in each of those situations?

Da Czar: For user team. Yes. You always had drive and pick and roll. Cutter help didn’t work until last year, and it got turned on right before ship so there was not time to add it to the menu. This year we added cutter help so you have control over all three.

nba 2k23 presentation

vannwolfhawk: So let me ask you this to make sure I understand correctly.

When we have a PnR sometimes there is a delay in the roll man rolling and the ball handler will get to the elbow or 4-5 feet away from the screener attacking off the PnR before the roll man even starts to roll. I noticed it in videos today at times and it was like this last year as well. Because the roll man hasn’t left is this why the cutter help will not come sometimes for a tag? Because it’s more of a drive attack now then a PnR? Which help should come here? When does the help trigger between the 2? Also, is that maybe why we have help come from the strong side at times?

What about if in drop coverage? And the big gets beaten after stepping up to stop ball and the roll man is rolling behind him? Will that trigger as cutter help?

I’m sure it’s all complicated and not a simple answer, but I’m wondering if knowing the answer can help us understand which thing should be triggering or happening that maybe you could explain? Hopefully that all made sense?!

Da Czar: You are correct. It is complicated. Trust me I’m not trying to be coy or slick. Even I don’t fully understand how to consistently trigger the help on command. The AI has a bunch of checks it has to pass to send the help.

This is one thing I know that might help, Right now — and this could change but right now — if you want that rotate one defender to rotate early like you see in these videos to cover the roll man, play soft hedge (our simulated drop coverage). He rotates early as you can see in some of those videos if you want to simulate a tag on the roll man (our actual tag is still not working so we pulled it from the AI logic) but this is how we make it appear to happen.

In a catch hedge right now the rules are different and that rotate one defender is much stingier [in terms of] when he comes to help on the roll man. He will come if the cutter is wide open, but he won’t come automatically every time like he appears to do with the soft hedge.

In the future, I want to make this more streamlined so you can just say tag roller as a setting and not worry about which hedge defense you are in. To do that I need to redesign how the roll help is sent and somehow simplify it. So eventually it will be much more consistent, but it’s a going to take some time unfortunately.

I am open to any ideas you guys have that you think might translate well into code concerning when to rotate or how you think you guys would like to control it.

And yes, when the hedge man gets beat and we go to drive help after pick and roll help it looks crazy to have the drive help come from the opposite sides of the floor because he has to run past the hedge man, WHO IS RIGHT THERE LOL. So the drive help will come from that strong side because most times no one can get there in time.

We could not leave the corner but then help wouldn’t come from there when you needed it on drives from the point with 5 OUT. As the system matures, I would love to give you the option to skip that corner help and let you deal with the consequences, but it makes troubleshooting help failures a pain in the neck for now.

nba 2k23 the w

VictorMG: IIRC, we’ve always had Automatic, Help and No Rotation, and No Help for screen defense. Is there any chance we get a Help Plus Rotation option any time soon?

Da Czar: Auto is help plus rotation by default for right now. We can add that in the future for clarity in case we make auto for the AI something different.

vannwolfhawk: What is the button for DHOs [dribble handoffs] now?

Da Czar: Still B but you choose it in the menu. You can’t do get open and hand-off, you pick one.

vannwolfhawk: For your 5 out scenario, is there X out scramble logic in? [In simple terms, basically this is a weak-side defensive rotation where defenders are swapping matchups to guard open perimeter players. They end up sometimes running in an “X” shape during their scramble to recover.] I’ve seen it before and saw it last year a few times with the CPU AI doing X outs after double teams as well as after pick and pops. Those were awesome when they triggered, but It didn’t happen a lot.

Da Czar: Lot of good stuff, just picking this part cause it is quick. The scramble logic is there but it is all hidden in code. There is stuff that is in what we call “data” that is stuff I can manipulate and make rules for and tune. And there is stuff in “code” (engineers’ world) The scramble logic and when it kicks off vs. when it does not is in code.

The process of taking it out of code and into data where we can start to do really cool stuff is a process that can take an engineer 2-3 months depending [on the ask]. So in a 7-8 month development period that is a huge commitment. And while they are doing that, guess what? I’m not getting anything else defensive-related accomplished that I need from that same engineer.

Having said that, I can’t currently control exactly when that kicks in, but I agree it is clean as heck when it happens.

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Discussion
  1. Again, DO NOT NOW USE THIS THREAD TO ASK CZAR LOTS OF QUESTIONS.
    I put this together because I thought he had some really helpful responses to some Qs and want peeps to be able to access them more easily. He is under no obligation to be around more or answer more Qs etc. If you badger him, I will find you :)
    If Czar ever wants me or Steve to set something up for him on the forums so he can answer Qs in a specific thread, he of course can request it from us, but I think he likes just popping in and chatting it up when he feels like it, and I'm happy to keep it that way.
    I cannot wait for MyNBA mode..that labor of love man...whew.
    I might shed a tear or two when the game finally loads and I play "2K is here, spread gaming cheer!" from "Twas the night before 2k7" because I am that much a retro art guy.
    The 100 courts, the rosters, dornas..wheww the filters and presentation!! Man what!
    Thank you 2K. Jordan Challenge is crazy but this NBA Eras?
    I just wonder how many more throwbacks were added because the library was already massive before this, the team must have gotten every one since the 80s.
    Man Just to see the 1992 Clips with Harper running on the LA Arena with the proper uniforms? Or to finally do the AI crossover from his rookie year in the White and Red/blue "SIXERS" jersey ?
    Ok ok ok... Either way, excited for the game and thank you for the devs and team. Such hard work, so thank you from the same kid that geeked out when signature shots were in on 2k6 on PS2 to now this.:y7:
    Da Czar: Auto is help plus rotation by default for right now. We can add that in the future for clarity in case we make auto for the AI something different.
    ha, i knew it (or rather i suspected it). thanks czar for finally shedding some Light into that mystery after All the assumptions and uncertainties in that regard.
    Always nice to peek behind the curtain and see why some things are the way they are. Da Czar's contributions help build a valuable understanding. There's so many times where something about 2K makes me wonder, "But whyyyy would they do that?" and it's nice to get some answers that piece it all together.
    Thanks for this. And on the off chance that czar sees this or someone can relay this message to him that would be cool: Respect.
    Seriously Czar has all my respect for not speaking sideways or insulting gamers intelligence by using PR speak. Dude answers all questions truthfully and straightforward and that is how you know its a labor of love for him. Its appreciated 100
    That’s pretty lame that player models don’t change. Isn’t that the whole point of playing through an era anymore than 2-3 seasons? This feature only being on new gen I’m not understanding why it can’t be on current gen if it’s nothing more than a roster import with some new rules and branding which you can adjust in prior Nba 2ks. LAMEEEE. They don’t get the shoes right/ accurate either smh. Rookie Lebron playing in Lebrons that aren’t even out yet lol.
    Cityviewedits
    That’s pretty lame that player models don’t change. Isn’t that the whole point of playing through an era anymore than 2-3 seasons? This feature only being on new gen I’m not understanding why it can’t be on current gen if it’s nothing more than a roster import with some new rules and branding which you can adjust in prior Nba 2ks. LAMEEEE. They don’t get the shoes right/ accurate either smh. Rookie Lebron playing in Lebrons that aren’t even out yet lol.

    You can always pickup NBA 2K4 and play as rookie Bron my guy to play him with correct rosters and uniforms at that time.
    :cheers444
    Cityviewedits
    That’s pretty lame that player models don’t change. Isn’t that the whole point of playing through an era anymore than 2-3 seasons? This feature only being on new gen I’m not understanding why it can’t be on current gen if it’s nothing more than a roster import with some new rules and branding which you can adjust in prior Nba 2ks. LAMEEEE. They don’t get the shoes right/ accurate either smh. Rookie Lebron playing in Lebrons that aren’t even out yet lol.

    2k: *Provides the biggest possible overhaul of the deepest franchise mode in any video game ever, with well over a thousand moving parts that make it a living history of the NBA, while still ducking and diving around license issues and the limits of the code*
    This Guy: "Yeah, but you only were able to get it 95% right and accurate on the first try in the first week, and this is basically just a reverse roster update, so this sucks smh"
    No wonder 2K doesn't mess with us most of the time anymore. Ya'll unbearable.
    You can say what you want, but this is the single biggest addition for offline players in over a decade.
    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
    mtoo22
    You can say what you want, but this is the single biggest addition for offline players in over a decade.
    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk

    *for offline players that have a current gen console. if you are forced to stay on old gen just because you have a PC, then this Mode doesnt exist...
    jk31
    *for offline players that have a current gen console. if you are forced to stay on old gen just because you have a PC, then this Mode doesnt exist...
    I agree. If you have a PC you got the short end of the stick again. However I still applaud them for the efforts to make all this happen.
    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
    jk31
    *for offline players that have a current gen console. if you are forced to stay on old gen just because you have a PC, then this Mode doesnt exist...

    It is what it is...
    When I was stuck on current gen, I was still happy that they added to MyNBA, even though it didn't exist for me. I understood that it was a "Me problem" versus a 2k problem.
    We can still appreciate the work that is done even though it may not be for a certain select amount of people. Hell, it made me make sure to secure my Xbox Series S lol
    JAY_D1
    It is what it is...
    When I was stuck on current gen, I was still happy that they added to MyNBA, even though it didn't exist for me. I understood that it was a "Me problem" versus a 2k problem.
    We can still appreciate the work that is done even though it may not be for a certain select amount of people. Hell, it made me make sure to secure my Xbox Series S lol

    It happens every time a new console drops. The games on the old console generation begins to get less and less and rightfully so. At some point developers have to turn their full attention to the new generation of consoles.
    Cityviewedits
    That’s pretty lame that player models don’t change. Isn’t that the whole point of playing through an era anymore than 2-3 seasons? This feature only being on new gen I’m not understanding why it can’t be on current gen if it’s nothing more than a roster import with some new rules and branding which you can adjust in prior Nba 2ks. LAMEEEE. They don’t get the shoes right/ accurate either smh. Rookie Lebron playing in Lebrons that aren’t even out yet lol.
    Pretty simple to copy DNA from a different year roster over to your season roster so player model is correct though. If starting in 83, Jordan as a rookie in 84. By 91 season just go copy DNA from the 91-92 roster and import on your season you started in 83.
    Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
    IrishSalsa
    Pretty simple to copy DNA from a different year roster over to your season roster so player model is correct though. If starting in 83, Jordan as a rookie in 84. By 91 season just go copy DNA from the 91-92 roster and import on your season you started in 83.
    Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk

    Exactly... but does that mess up the commentators when they are announcing the player? I heard there was a mini issue with that too?
    IrishSalsa
    Pretty simple to copy DNA from a different year roster over to your season roster so player model is correct though. If starting in 83, Jordan as a rookie in 84. By 91 season just go copy DNA from the 91-92 roster and import on your season you started in 83.

    For most of the guys that have multiple player models, you can also just edit them in your league by going to Accessories and change the hair style option there. For guys like Chris Mullin, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing that have a younger and an older version, you can just quickly change them to the older version there without even messing with DNA, etc.
    jimbo3772
    For most of the guys that have multiple player models, you can also just edit them in your league by going to Accessories and change the hair style option there. For guys like Chris Mullin, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing that have a younger and an older version, you can just quickly change them to the older version there without even messing with DNA, etc.

    Doesn't it break them though?
    Commentators forget "who" they are etc
    ggsimmonds
    Doesn't it break them though?
    Commentators forget "who" they are etc

    I've just been messing with rosters and testing some sim stuff so far. So I'm not sure, but don't see why it would. You're not changing who the player is or importing DNA, etc. Does it mess up the commentator if you give them a wrist band or a knee pad or anything else from the Accessories menu?
    jimbo3772
    I've just been messing with rosters and testing some sim stuff so far. So I'm not sure, but don't see why it would. You're not changing who the player is or importing DNA, etc. Does it mess up the commentator if you give them a wrist band or a knee pad or anything else from the Accessories menu?
    I didn't know you could change hair on non CAPS. If so then yeah this is much easier way. So I can change Larry Bird's hair style from 83 into the 90s? Make Jordan bald and change any weights that might change through the years?
    Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
    IrishSalsa
    I didn't know you could change hair on non CAPS. If so then yeah this is much easier way. So I can change Larry Bird's hair style from 83 into the 90s? Make Jordan bald and change any weights that might change through the years?
    I think it depends.
    I was just tinkering with the mechanic a moment ago and there are absolutely a handful of players who have different appearances from which to choose. Moses goes from young to bald with goggles, Mullin from shaggy to crew, and Karl Malone from full head of hair to strong recession with a beard.
    Jordan and Bird, however, at least in the 1992 roster, seem stuck with their hair of the time.
    That said, you could still always just import the different era appearances of those two.

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