Community

Monday Tip-Off: Why We Don’t Charge For Mods

Modding the 2016 NCAA Tournament into NBA 2K14

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.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We have a good thing going here at the NLSC, especially when it comes to our modding community. Although the changes to the file formats beginning with NBA 2K15 PC have presented some challenges, our community remains dedicated to creating some outstanding mods. Fantastic work is also being done to keep old favourites up to date, and breathe new life into the retro basketball gaming experience. We can be proud of the work we do here.

Of course, every hobby or “scene” has its issues, and modding is no different. I’ve written about some of those issues in previous Monday Tip-Off and Friday Five articles, because I do want to see our community continue to get better and better. With the release of NBA 2K17 and a brand new season of modding looming on the horizon, I thought that I’d dive deeper into the reasons behind some of the rules and procedures in our modding community. This week, I’d like to discuss an issue that came up just the other day, which I realised we’ve never really explained in detail: why we don’t charge for mods.

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The Friday Five: 20th Anniversary of the NLSC

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.

If you’ve connected with us on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen that this August marks the 20th Anniversary of the NLSC. As it happens, today also marks my 15th Anniversary as the NLSC’s Webmaster/Administrator. Time certainly flies; it seems like only yesterday that I was in high school, a couple of months short of turning seventeen, and being handed control of my favourite website. I’d like to think that for the most part, I’ve done a pretty good job in the role. While there have been some tough moments, I’ve certainly enjoyed running the NLSC, from creating mods and content to all of the discussions in the Forum. Well, most of the discussions!

I take pride in the work that I and the rest of the NLSC Team put into the site, as well as what our community has been able to achieve with modding and other ventures. Even though the NLSC is not my day job, my aim is to always approach it with professionalism and dedication, because I truly believe that we are a site with a great heritage. For twenty years – beginning as an NBA Live fansite, and in time expanding to cover NBA 2K and other basketball games – we’ve always been by basketball gamers, for basketball gamers. For this week’s Friday Five, I’d like to reflect a little on that heritage, and my involvement with it.

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Monday Tip-Off: Reflections on NBA Live Community Events

At EA Tiburon for the NBA Live 16 Community Event

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.

When I logged into Facebook this morning, “On This Day” presented me with a look back at previous posts that I’d made on July 25th. As it happens, on this day last year, I made a post letting my friends and family know that I’d be heading to the United States in the near future. The trip was for an NBA Live 16 community event that was being held at EA Tiburon in Orlando, but as I didn’t have clearance to talk about it openly just yet, I held back on the details and simply posted a teaser photo. I also had to be very coy on the NLSC Podcast, when discussing upcoming playtesting sessions and expressing a desire to be a part of them.

The NBA Live 16 event was one of the best that I’ve ever attended. While the game still had a ways to go – then and now – it was fun to get some early hands-on time with it, and experience the improvements. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with the developers and provide feedback to them directly. On top of all that, the whole event was extremely well-organised, with every detail taken care of, and maximum time allotted for gaming. Past events were fun and productive, but several years of organising them have definitely given EA Sports’ community managers the opportunity to make them better and better.

Since it’s been almost a year since the last one I attended, I thought that I’d reflect a little upon the NBA Live community events that I’ve been a part of. Hopefully, last year’s won’t be the last.

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Back to Business; Help Support The NLSC

NLSC Logo

I’m happy to report that the move to our new host was a success! The NLSC has actually been on its new server for a couple of weeks, but we did experience a couple of teething problems while we made sure everything was set up as before. However, everything should now be working: the main site, the Forum, the Downloads section, our upload facilities, and the Wiki. Thanks go out to the techs who helped us move everything over to our new home!

As I mentioned when I announced the move, we are now paying for our own hosting. Previously, we received dedicated hosting in exchange for advertising space, but such generous deals basically aren’t on offer these days. Because we are a non-profit website, we’re appealing to the community to help us pay for our hosting moving forward, to ensure that we can continue to provide all of the same facilities as before. This requires us to utilise dedicated hosting, rather than cheaper shared hosting, as the latter does not allow for those facilities.

We’re currently paying around $90 US per month for our dedicated hosting. If twenty people are willing to contribute $5 US per month, we’ll be able to completely cover the costs and keep doing what we’re doing for a long time to come. Should there be any funds left over, I’d like to put that money to use for monthly giveaways, and developing new content.

If you’re willing and able to contribute to the hosting fund, you may do so through Patreon or GoFundMe. A huge thank you to the individuals who have contributed so far; your support is greatly appreciated! If you don’t have the means to chip in, that’s quite alright; we hope that you’ll support us by continuing to visit the NLSC on a regular basis, and enjoying all of our features and content.

As previously mentioned, the NLSC will not be charging for downloads or any of our other content or facilities, nor putting anything behind a premium paywall. Because we’re a non-profit site, we just need a little help paying the bills, if we want to keep providing the community with file hosting facilities, a Forum, and everything else that we do here at the NLSC.

For more information on the move and the hosting fund, please check out the FAQ below. Thank you once again for your patience and understanding during the move. It took a little longer than I hoped, and we had to fix a few things up once we got to our new home, but it’s back to business as usual, and onward and upward from here on out!

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The Friday Five: 5 Things You Learn During a Server Move

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.

If you’re tried to visit the NLSC throughout this week, you’ll have found that we’ve been out of service for much of it. If you’re reading this now, however, chances are everything is back to normal and our big server move is finally complete. I was hoping to avoid having this much downtime, but we ran into a few complications along the way. As I’m writing this week’s column, we’re fortunately in the home stretch of the server move, and it won’t be long before it’ll be business as usual. As you can probably imagine, I’m quite relieved!

I’ve mentioned before that in running the NLSC for all these years, I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve gained fascinating insights into the development of basketball video games, and through my duties in the NLSC Forum, I’ve learned about dealing with different types of personalities. Through developing content and implementing new features for the NLSC, I’ve also gained some useful technical skills and knowledge. Undertaking our most recent server move has certainly been a learning experience too, so I thought I’d reflect upon that in this week’s Five. Without any further ado, here are five things that I learned moving the NLSC to a new server.

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Monday Tip-Off: What The NLSC Means To Me

NLSC Logo

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.

As I write this week’s Monday Tip-Off, we’re still preparing to move to our new server. We’ve encountered a couple of snags, but if all goes well, we’ll be at our new home within the next couple of days, hopefully with as few interruptions as possible. My apologies for the downtime in the Forum and Downloads section in the past twenty-four hours; I had anticipated a quicker move, and did not want to jeopardise the proceedings that were already underway. There will be some further interruptions and downtime as we complete the move, but if you’re reading this, we’re either back up and running temporarily, or the move is complete.

In trying to sort out the server move over the weekend, as well as taking care of a couple of other matters, I haven’t had an opportunity to prepare a column or video feature for today. With Monday rapidly drawing to a close here in Australia, I’ve found myself scrambling to find something to write about, while I continue to take care of matters behind the scenes to get the NLSC onto its new hosting. After tossing around a few ideas, one topic came to mind that was quite obvious, given the circumstances.

What does the NLSC mean to me?

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Update On Our Server Move

NLSC Logo

As many of you will have no doubt noticed by now, the NLSC Forum and Downloads section has been inactive for most of the past 24 hours. This is because we’re in the process of moving to our new server, and the Forum has been deactivated so that we don’t lose any data in the process.

Unfortunately, the process is taking a little longer than we anticipated. However, we are making progress, and hopefully it won’t take too much longer. Our apologies for the inconvenience, as we were hoping that there wouldn’t be this long of an interruption. The Forum and Downloads section will have to remain deactivated for the moment, as it’s important that we don’t lose anything or mess anything up during the move.

While the main site should be working, we’ve been informed that some people are being redirected to the deactivated Forum. We’re not sure what’s causing that issue, but it should be resolved as soon as the move is completed. If you’re still running into any problems after the move is completed, please let us know, and we’ll look into it. We’re hoping that the move will end up going as smoothly as possible, but if we miss something in our double-checking, by all means give us a heads up.

If you’d like to keep up to date with the status of the server move, or get in touch with us, connect with the NLSC on Facebook and Twitter. With any luck, everything will be back to normal and back up and running very soon. Thank you all again for your patience and understanding!

Important Announcement About Our Future; Help Support Us!

NLSC Logo

I have an important announcement about the future of the NLSC. Our current host will be closing their hosting services as of July 7th, so we’ve been making preparations to move to a new home before that happens. I’m pleased to say that we have made the necessary arrangements, and will be moving to a new server in the near future. There will be some downtime while this happens, but everything will be moving across. I’ll try to keep everyone informed as best as possible, via the NLSC Facebook and Twitter accounts.

To keep doing what we’re doing – specifically, providing a Downloads section with upload facilities – the NLSC requires dedicated hosting. Until now, we have received such hosting in exchange for advertising space, which has been a very generous offer to say the least. Unfortunately, there aren’t any deals like that on the table these days, so we are now paying for our own hosting.

Because dedicated hosting is more expensive, and we have been a non-profit website for close to twenty years now, after much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to ask the community for assistance with our hosting costs. At present, we’re looking to raise at least $100 USD per month, which would allow us to cover hosting costs, and put some money towards things like giveaways and content creation.

Let me stress before I go any further: we will not be charging for content! We can’t legally charge for mods (so we certainly won’t be), download and upload facilities will still be free, registration for the Forum will be free, and all our articles and other content will be free. We will not be providing premium content behind a paywall, or making any other sweeping changes. We just need some help paying the bills, because our modding community requires some facilities that we just can’t offer if we’re on cheaper, shared hosting.

Basically, if we can get twenty people donating at least $5 USD per month, we’ll be able to cover our expenses. As I said, should the community’s generosity extend beyond that, I have plans to use those funds for things like monthly giveaways, and new content.

If you’re willing and able to support us, you can do so through Patreon or GoFundMe. I understand the controversy in making an appeal like this, but I do not want to see us go off the air, or lose important features such as our Downloads section and its upload facilities.

On behalf of the NLSC Team, I thank you for your consideration, any contributions you are willing and able to make, and your continued support of everything we do here. Once again, I will try to keep everyone informed about the impending move, which hopefully shouldn’t cause too much of an interruption. I realise that some of you may have some further questions that need concise answers, so please see below for more information. Also, a huge thanks to our current host for all the support, and essentially saving us some eight years ago when we needed to find a new home.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #142

NLSC Podcast Logo

It’s Thursday once again, so a new episode of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are fulfilling our digital broadcasting duties this week with Episode #142, featuring more topics related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and the past week of action in the NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • We discuss the most recent NBA Live 16 roster update, including the addition of Elton Brand and the latest ratings adjustments.
  • A rumour regarding the expansion of the NBA Live development team has been brought to our attention. We don’t have any inside information, but we have a few thoughts on the possibility all the same.
  • The good news: face scanning has come to NBA 2K16 PC. The bad news: a lot of gamers probably won’t be able to take advantage of it, at least not yet.
  • We reflect on the issue of content creators getting burned out, talking about our own experiences and offering some advice.
  • Jimmy Butler became the fourth Chicago Bulls player to score 50+ points. On a less positive note, it looks like Joakim Noah is out for the season.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day saw some wild games in the NBA, including a career high 52 points by Kemba Walker.
  • A couple of players from the Class of 1999 are looking to make a comeback in the NBA.
  • Matthew Dellavedova has been voted the dirtiest player in the league. Will we still defend our fellow Aussie?
  • Andre Drummond set a new record for free throws missed in a single game. We take the opportunity to discuss the Hack-a-Whoever strategy.
  • We offer up some suggestions of players who may be traded before or at the deadline.
  • The NBA might appeal to international fans – like us – by scheduling some morning games in the future. Yes, we’re all for it.
  • This week’s Bold Predictions see…well, more bold predictions. Last week wasn’t kind to us.
  • We end Episode #142 of the NLSC Podcast with an interesting trivia note coming out of the Chicago Bulls/Golden State Warriors game.

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 Things I Want To Do with The NLSC in 2016

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season, and safely made it through all your celebrations. While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, I’ve always found the beginning of a new year to be an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button as it were, and set some goals while making a fresh start. After taking a bit of a break towards the end of December, it feels good to get back to work with renewed energy in January.

2015 was another fine year for us here at the NLSC, and I’m pleased with the content that we were able to provide. However, I’m always aiming to make things bigger and better, week by week, month by month, year by year, and to that end, I’m looking forward to striving for that goal in 2016. Since this is the first time New Year’s Day has fallen on a Friday since I started writing The Friday Five, I thought I’d use today’s column to outline a few goals that I have for the site this year.

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New Year’s Eve 2015

New Year's Eve

As cliche as it is to talk about how quickly the year has passed…man, it feels like 2015 was over in the blink of an eye! All of a sudden, we find ourselves on December 31st, waiting for midnight to roll around so that we can ring in the start of a brand new year.

I’d like to thank everyone for your support of the NLSC throughout 2015. It’s been another great year for us, as we’ve been able to cover this year’s NBA games in depth, chat to developers on the NLSC Podcast, benefit from exciting developments in the modding community, and bring you some new original content. I’m hoping to make 2016 an even bigger and better year for the NLSC; it’ll be our 20th Anniversary in August, so it seems only appropriate!

In 2016, I’m hoping that we can bring you more news, more mods, more tutorials and resources, more columns and opinion pieces, more video features, more Podcasts, more interviews, and all around, more fun and interesting content aimed at basketball gamers. I hope you’ll all stick around and be a part of it.

For now though, I’ll leave you with some advice for the evening. If you are ending 2015 with a bit of partying, have a great night, but be safe and responsible. To that end, I’ll uphold a tradition by leaving you with Lutz’s immortal words of wisdom:

Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2016!

Monday Tip-Off: Moderation in Moderating

NLSC Forum

We’re at midcourt, the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to basketball video games.

August 26th marked my fourteenth year running the NLSC; you may have seen my post celebrating the occasion in the Forum, or on our social media pages. I’d like to think that I’ve done a good job over the years – I’ve certainly tried my best – and improved in the role along the way. Creating content for the NLSC can be time consuming and at times arduous, but it’s something I do enjoy. I also enjoy taking part in the Forum, but that also involves a task that can be even tougher: moderating.

That is to stay, it’s the approach and philosophy of moderating that can be tough. Performing the actual functions of moderating is certainly straightforward enough. However, there’s a delicate balance to maintain, when the aim is to foster a welcoming and friendly community that is as drama-free as possible, while also allowing everyone to speak freely and not feel bullied by the moderators. So, to tip things off this week, I wanted to give everyone a bit of an insight into how we try to maintain that balance.

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Monday Tip-Off: Fanboys, Haters, and the Basketball Gaming Community

Fanboys, Haters, and the Basketball Gaming Community

We’re at midcourt, the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to basketball video games.

In last week’s Friday Five, I talked about aspects of online culture that I dislike. While I’d rather not spend too much time dwelling on the negative – incidentally, that would be another pet peeve of mine when it comes to online culture – I did touch on something that I’d like to talk a little bit more about today for Monday Tip-Off: fanboys and haters within the basketball gaming community.

I don’t want to make a sweeping, generalised, melodramatic statement such as “Fanboys and haters are ruining the basketball gaming community”, because that’s not exactly true. Unfortunately, such a statement isn’t completely without merit, either. At the very least, it’s reaching some incredibly silly levels, with severe tunnel vision and an almost complete lack of perspective. Granted, this is often the case in any fandom, but since this is our community we’re talking about, I’d like to see us do better.

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The Friday Five: 5 Aspects of Online Culture I Dislike

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 basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 are in stores now, and to that end, it would make sense to discuss one or both of them in this week’s Friday Five. However, I’d like to spend a bit more time with both games before I offer up any impressions, and discuss certain elements of them in detail. Furthermore, this week’s topic – five aspects of online culture that I dislike – is one that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while. The timing isn’t completely inappropriate either, as we see a lot of this stuff pop up whenever new games are released.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I maintain that we have a good thing going here at the NLSC, and I do like being a part of an online community. I also believe that the World Wide Web in general is a fantastic invention that continues to innovate, and it’s done a lot to make video games a bigger business, and an even more enjoyable hobby. However, there are some negative traits that permeate online culture, especially in gaming communities. When it comes to the five things I’m about to discuss, I think we need to either grow up, or get over ourselves…or maybe both.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #120

NLSC Podcast Logo

In the middle of the 2015 NBA Finals, and just a few days before E3, it’s Episode #120 of the NLSC Podcast! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the NBA Live 16 cover announcement, everything we know so far about NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, the on-going clash between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2015 NBA Championship, and more.

  • We didn’t have to wait long to find out that Russell Westbrook is gracing the NBA Live 16 cover. What do we think of that choice?
  • With the release of a screenshot and a preliminary features list, we note that there’s more optimism surrounding NBA Live 16 compared to recent years, especially with the game’s presence at E3.
  • After breaking down this week’s NBA Live 16 news, we get up to speed with some NBA 2K16 information, including clarification on a couple of matters that we’re glad to see.
  • We comment on three areas where NBA Live 16 needs to show improvement: off-ball movement, animations, and the addition of a shot meter.
  • Kotaku recently published an article describing a lengthy Association experience using skoadam’s URB roster for NBA 2K13. Unfortunately, it got our name wrong.
  • We answer some mailbag questions about community spirit and Forum participation…and possibly get a little sentimental in thanking the people who support us in doing what we do.
  • It’s been an interesting NBA Finals so far: scrappy, and at times ugly, but not boring. What do we think will happen next?
  • If LeBron James leads the Cavaliers to the title, what does it mean for his standing amongst the greats? We discuss some recent proclamations about The King, and address the issue of “haters”. (Caution: Rant Warning)
  • Two Nike fanboys are quite pleased to hear about the company’s new deal with the NBA, beginning in 2017. Yes, that would be us.
  • We end with a Tweet by Brandon Jennings, which suggests that he’s not a fan of NBA Live.

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.

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