NLSC Podcast – Episode #206

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re a little late this week due to some technical difficulties, but everything has been sorted out, so Arcane and I are coming at you with our thoughts on the latest news in basketball gaming, some tales from our basketball gaming experiences over the past week, and a few thoughts on the forthcoming 2017 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • We’ve received our first proper glimpse at NBA Live 18, including a bunch of screenshots and some cinematic gameplay clips. We reflect on some of the community’s reactions, and provide our own take.
  • The PC versions of NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15 are no longer available on Steam, which is potentially bad news for completionists and retro basketball gamers.
  • NBA Playgrounds has received a big patch on PC and PlayStation 4, containing several tweaks and additions demonstrating that Saber Interactive are paying close attention to gamer feedback.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming includes a long-awaited cutscene in MyCAREER, and another decent session of 2K Pro-Am.
  • We wrap up Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Topics include LeBron James’ new milestone, predictions for the 2017 NBA Finals, and Chris Bosh’s future.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Biggest Developments in Modding

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of what I believe are the five biggest developments in modding.

I’ve said it many, many times before, but our modding community has done some great things over the years. Of course, creating all those amazing mods hasn’t always been easy, and in the case of some games, it’s taken a while after their release to develop all the necessary tools. Even today, there are obstacles that make modding difficult at times, and there are some things that we used to be able to do that we presently cannot. Obviously, the goal here is to do the best we can with the tools at our disposal, and keep trying to develop new methods and resources that will help us to tinker with basketball video games as desired.

With that in mind, we only need to look back at the major developments in modding to find inspiration. As a community, we’ve been able to overcome a lot of obstacles in being able to modify NBA Live and NBA 2K, and in one or two instances, the developers themselves have helped us along the way. In the spirit of recognising all the advancements in modding, and hopefully providing some inspiration to keep doing what we’re doing, I’d like to discuss five major milestones that I believe have marked some of the most important developments in the hobby. Without them, modding would certainly be far more limited, if not impossible.

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First NBA Live 18 Screenshots & Videos Revealed

NBA Live 18: LeBron James

It would seem that we’re not going to have to wait until EA Play 2017 to get our first proper look at NBA Live 18. While there’s obviously still a lot yet to learn about the game, we’ve got our first glimpse of what it will look like, by way of the first official screenshots and some gameplay videos posted by prominent YouTubers.

The first NBA Live 18 screenshots feature LeBron James, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, and Russell Westbrook, and they all seem to be pretty on-point. A lot of advertising for NBA Live at EA Play features Westbrook, so for what it’s worth, it seems there’s a good chance that he’ll be the cover player once again. If so, it would be the first time in the history of the NBA Live series that a cover player is repeated.

Gameplay clips are from cinematic angles, but they do obviously show the players in motion and the new animations that the team has been working on. There’s also some behind the scenes footage from the recent EA Sports event that produced the previously posted off-screen screenshot.

Check out all of the screenshots and videos below after the jump; more will be added as they’re released. I’ve also gone ahead and launched an NBA Live 18 section in the NLSC Forum, so head on over there to join in the discussion, in addition to sharing your thoughts in the comments below. A couple of people in our community will be heading to EA Play 2017 in June, so be sure to post any questions you’d like them to ask, or things you’d like them to look out for, over in this thread. More NBA Live 18 news should be coming soon and we’ll be doing our best to keep on top of it, so stay tuned!

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Wayback Wednesday: The Supreme Update Mod for NBA Live 07

Basketball in the Supreme Update Mod for NBA Live 07

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the Supreme Update Mod for NBA Live 07.

Over the years, several amazing mods have been released in our community for both NBA Live and NBA 2K. Certain mods stand out as landmark releases though, delighting the community and inspiring other modders to produce great work of their own. Since it’s the tenth anniversary of NBA Live 07, and today also marks the 38th birthday of cover player Tracy McGrady, I thought that I’d talk about one of the most significant mods made for the game: the Supreme Update Mod. Undoubtedly one of the best projects to come out of our community, it’s about time that I profile it in a Wayback Wednesday feature.

It was one of the most comprehensive updates for a PC version of NBA Live, and a great example of teamwork and cooperation in the modding community, as well as technical innovation. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

We have a couple of new file additions for NBA 2K14 PC today, specifically a pack of Draft prospect faces, and a custom soundtrack. Check out both mods at the links below!

Blang
2017/18/19 Prospect Faces (8 Players)

VipeR
NBA 2K14 VipeR Trap Soundtrack

Monday Tip-Off: Green Releases in NBA 2K

Green Releases in NBA 2K17

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on the future of green releases in NBA 2K.

A few weeks back, NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang made a candid statement about the future of green releases. Beluba’s goal is to wean basketball gamers off the concept of green releases being guaranteed baskets, in order to strive for more realism and competitive balance. We’ve seen NBA 2K17 take a few steps in that direction, with several tuning updates focused on shooting mechanics being pushed through since the game’s release. Generally speaking, those updates have sought to reduce the number of green releases by making them more difficult to achieve, tweak the percentages of near-perfect releases, or re-balance the shooting in some other way.

Results have been mixed, and a lot of gamers have expressed frustration with the constant changes to shooting in NBA 2K17. On top of some tweaks seemingly being either too effective or largely ineffective, there’s been a concern that changes that are made in order to enhance the online experience are negatively affecting single player gameplay. Beyond that, opinion is divided as to whether green releases should be guaranteed baskets – assuming the attempts aren’t blocked, of course – or whether they should simply have the best odds of being made, according to a player’s ratings and attributes. I have to admit, at times I’m a little torn myself.

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NBA Live 18 Off-Screen Screenshot featuring LeBron James

Off-Screen Screenshot of LeBron James in NBA Live 18

A new off-screen screenshot of NBA Live 18 has given us our first proper peek at the game. Taken by Chris Denker at an EA Sports event this past weekend, it features LeBron James in the foreground, with Avery Bradley a little out of focus in the background.

NBA Live 18 was shown to a select few gamers at the event, so depending on the nature of any Non-Disclosure Agreements that were signed, we might start hearing a few tidbits and impressions of the game very soon. As previously noted, NBA Live 18 will be playable at EA Play 2017, so at this point, it seems that news is right around the corner.

Being that it is an off-screen screenshot, it’s obviously not the best quality, but the detail on LeBron James is certainy noticeable. Click the thumbnail below for a closer look:

Off-Screen Screenshot of LeBron James in NBA Live 18

ThaLiveKing has posted a solid breakdown of the screenshot here in our Forum, comparing it to a screenshot of LeBron James in NBA Live 16. Feel free to join in the discussion there, as well as share your impressions in the comments section below. With the preview season just about ready to tip off, we’ll certainly be looking to stay on top of all the NBA Live 18 news and set up a few interviews with the development team, so stay tuned.

NBA Playgrounds Patch 1.1.0 Out on PC; Consoles Soon

Ending a game of NBA Playgrounds

Since the launch of NBA Playgrounds, Saber Interactive have been keeping tabs on gamer feedback, and working on a patch to address various issues. Patch 1.1.0 is now available for the PC version, and will come through automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection. If it isn’t pushed through, restart your Steam client.

The patch should be hitting the consoles soon. It adds several new players including five versions of Shaquille O’Neal, the ability to play with friends, a shot meter, and several adjustments for a better gameplay experience. The full patch notes are as follows:

New Features:

  • Added: The Challenge Mode feature, which allows you to challenge other players to online matches
    • You can now switch between unranked challenges and ranked games in the online mode
    • To challenge another player, you must switch to the challenge mode in the online menu and define a challenge code. By default, your challenge code is your nickname, but you can change it to your own, personal code. The person you are challenging must enter your code.
    • If you have been challenged, please enter your challenger’s code and press “Accept”.
    • All challenges are unranked and your ranking/ELO will be unaffected by the results of the challenge.
  • Added: Toxicity system/Disconnection Manager, which penalizes players who abandon matches in any other way than surrendering
  • Added: 5 new versions of Shaquille O´Neal in various teams from his career (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic)
  • Added: 15 new players join the roster
    • The following players were added: Dennis Rodman, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Giannis Antetokoumnpo, Kenny Smith, Gary Payton, Klay Thompson, Devin Booker, Tony Parker, Kemba Walker, Seth Curry, Tiny Archibald, John Starks, Tracy McGrady, Pete Maravich
  • Added: A shot-meter was added to help finding the perfect timing for shots, dunks etc.
  • Added: Steam Cloud Save support
  • Added: Steam Big Picture keyboard management

Notable Changes:

  • Adjusted: Shots were adjusted to make the system more accessible and unified throughout all variations
  • Adjusted: The steal action was adjusted further to better fit the intended gameplay
    • It is now possible to perform a steal action when behind an opponent
  • Changed: 3 pointers no longer fill lottery pick bar
  • Increased: The difficulty of 3 pointers was increased
  • Reduced: The number of steals required for the Las Vegas Challenge #2 was reduced to 10 (was 15)
  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the Paris Challenge #4 was reduced to 6 (was 7)
  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the London Challenge #1 was reduced to 6 (was 10)
  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the Las Vegas Challenge #3 was reduced to 8 (was 12)
  • Reduced: The inbound time was reduced to adjust it to the overall style of the game

Notable Fixes:

  • Fixed: Issues related to the strength of the force feedback effects were addressed

Feel free to share your impressions in the comments below, as well as here in our Forum. A couple of our members are already working on tools and methods for modding the PC version of NBA Playgrounds, so stay tuned for more information on that as well. For some of our impressions of NBA Playgrounds, check out Kenny’s article, as well as Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast.

File Additions for NBA Live 08

NBA Live 08 Cover Art

Download a new face and portrait for James Harden, accurate as of the 2017 season, in today’s lone file addition for NBA Live 08 PC. Check it out at the link below!

-Rosedz
James Harden Face & Portrait

File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

The latest file additions for NBA 2K17 PC include a couple of jersey updates from pinoy21. Check them out at the links below!

pinoy21
Cleveland Cavaliers Orange HWC Jersey
Golden State Warriors Jerseys (Updated to v2.0)

The Friday Five: 5 Tips for Creating Basketball Game Content

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five tips for anyone who wants to get involved in creating content for basketball video games.

So, you love basketball video games, and you want to create some content for or based on them. That’s great! The ratio of creators vs. consumers in any community rarely favours the creators, so any time that somebody new wants to create entertaining and informative content for basketball games, it’s most welcome. From our original content and talented modding community, to popular YouTubers and the EA Sports Game Changers, people are talking about basketball games, finding ways to help their fellow gamers enhance their experience, aiding the developers, and providing something interesting and entertaining to read or watch.

Although there are some well established platforms on which to create basketball gaming content, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To that end, I thought that I’d put together a shortlist of tips for anyone who wants to get involved in creating mods, videos, articles, and so on. Having observed what makes other people’s content successful (and in my opinion enjoyable), as well as having tried my hand at more than a couple of creative endeavours related to basketball games over the years, these are some traits and techniques that I like to keep in mind. Hopefully, some of them will be useful to aspiring content creators within the basketball gaming community.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #205

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we share some more thoughts on NBA Playgrounds, reflect on a touching moment in our modding community, and catch up on the latest results from the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • A new member in our Forum who’s going through a difficult time made a mod request, which was quickly fulfilled. We’ve got a good thing going.
  • Following on from last week’s Podcast and Sunday Substitute article, we provide some updated impressions of NBA Playgrounds. One of us is a little more positive this time around!
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has not only consisted of some games of NBA Playgrounds, but also a fun run of 2K Pro-Am victories, and successful MyTEAM challenges.
  • We wrap up Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast with some thoughts on the 2017 NBA Playoffs, which have reached the Conference Finals. Zaza Pachulia not surprisingly gets a mention.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

Wayback Wednesday: ESPN Integration in NBA Live 07

ESPN Menu in NBA Live 07

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at ESPN Integration in NBA Live 07.

If I’m being completely honest, then I’ll have to admit that for a variety of reasons, I’m not the biggest fan of ESPN’s coverage of the NBA these days. They are obviously one of the league’s biggest partners though, and through ABC, their presenters have the call for the NBA Finals. Their branding is instantly recognisable to basketball fans, and it makes sense that EA Sports would also want to partner with them to bring authentic television presentation to NBA Live. It’s a relationship that began over a decade ago, with the implementation of ESPN Integration in NBA Live 07.

Although ESPN branding is now very prominent in NBA Live, it was a few games before it truly took over. It was a gradual transition in some respects, but as the original fifteen year agreement between the companies demonstrated, they were both in it for the long haul. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Basketball Games SHOULD Borrow Ideas

NBA Live 16: Basketball

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on the issue of NBA Live and NBA 2K borrowing ideas from one another.

Fact: NBA Live has borrowed ideas from NBA 2K. Fact: NBA 2K has borrowed ideas from NBA Live. A lot of basketball gamers may be inclined to sneer and suggest that it isn’t the case, but there are numerous examples in both games that prove it to be true. Right stick dribbling controls, face scanning, temporary player cards in the team building modes…a lot of features and concepts have been adopted by one game after first appearing in another. There may be differences in the way the ideas are implemented, with each game putting their own spin on them, but the basic concept is similar to the original feature.

You might suggest that NBA Live and NBA 2K need to have something unique about the experiences they offer, or take different approaches to certain common features. That’s a fair comment, and something that I generally agree with. However, both games ultimately have the same goal: to realistically portray the sport of basketball, specifically the style we see in the NBA, and provide gamers with experiences that accurately replicate aspects of the league in detail. With a common goal and audience, it only makes sense that there’s some overlap in what both games are doing. To that end, basketball video games absolutely should borrow ideas from one another.

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