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NBA Live 2001 Wishlist

The NBA Live 2001 Wishlist was compiled using the suggestions of the NLSC Team and fans in the community via email and the NLSC Forum. It was submitted to the production team on April 10th, 2000.

Major Additions

  • Add a slam dunk competition and the rest of All-Star Weekend, two-ball, million dollar shot etc.
  • Add a team practice mode that allows you to play 5 on 0, as well as rebounding, free throw, three point and fast break drills.
  • Add 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 games.
  • Add a tournament mode for 1 on 1 (2 on 2, 3 on 3) games.
  • Add playground games like HORSE or 21.
  • Add interviews or paper articles after games.
  • Add a scenario mode, i.e. replay classic games or important parts thereof.
  • Add a career mode where you take care of a single player (like player lock in single games, but for a whole career).
  • Extend GM mode so that you are responsible for the franchise’s finances, being able to deal with details like ads, ticket prices etc.
  • Add the opportunity to create your own dunk animations.
  • In season mode, report rumors from around the league.

Presentation (Visual)

  • Add a second and third referee.
  • Add correct cyberfaces for bench players and coaches and make themreact to the game.
  • Show injured players in streetclothes.
  • During halftime and game pauses, keep the game graphics as a background for the menus, e.g. so you can see polygon cheerleaders dancing or coaches talking to players in the background.
  • Have players wait by the scorers table to enter the game during the actual gameplay and not just in the substitution cut-scene.
  • Make the crowd cheer and raise their arms after important or spectacular plays, not all the time.
  • Add more crowd action during opposing players’ free throws.
  • Introcude different crowd behaviour depending on the importance of games and the success of the home team.
  • Add more player and crowd excitement in the arena after a comeback victory, last second shot and especially after winning the championship.
  • Make the arena half-empty when your team is doing badly.
  • Add some colored people to the crowd (at least in the “PC version” of the game).
  • Add some new crowd animations like people holding up posters, flashing cameras etc.
  • Make different arenas look different (not just the floor textures).
  • Before games, show the outside of the arena, like in the FIFA series.
  • Add realistic banners for each arena, e.g. retired jerseys.
  • Add all arena names.
  • Add correct court and jersey graphics for every team.
  • Brighten the floor textures a bit.
  • Add NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals logos.
  • Add practice gear for each team.
  • Allow users to pick which jerseys their team should wear for each game.
  • Add polygon cheerleaders and mascots.
  • Show players warming up before games.
  • Re-check the animation of the net after a swish.
  • Display more stats of the current game instead of career stats during a game.
  • Display more statistics during the game, e.g. leading scorers/rebounders, FG% by quarter, a scoring flow-chart, lead changes, individual player-stat recaps during the game (e.g. a comparison of FT% for career, season and game).
  • Improve the current-run feature so it can for example show a 19-2 or 35-4 run.
  • Add multiple free throw camera positions as in NBA Live 98.
  • Add cameras that are further away from the court so you can see a bigger portion of the court.
  • Add cameras that can follow a certain player.
  • Add a Doom-style first person camera view.
  • For the follow cam, use a faster transition when the possession changes.
  • Add a timeout sequence (player cut scene, also use coaches here).
  • Auto-save some highlights during the game and show them during timeouts, at halftime and after the game (like the halftime show in “Lakers vs. Celtics”).
  • Make the game show replays after three-point plays, buzzer-beaters and game-winning shots.
  • Show pop-up dialog boxes with the players’ data during the introduction of the starting five.
  • Bring back the rotating Jumbotron from NBA Live 99.
  • Add more different outside courts.
  • Add some animations to the outside courts, e.g. cars driving by.
  • During halftime and game pauses, keep the game graphics as a background for the menus, e.g. so you can see polygon cheerleaders dancing or coaches talking to players in the background.
  • Use a TV-style presentation with logos in the corner or in connection with stats and scores displayed during games.

Presentation (Audio)

  • Improve play-by-play commentary. The second commentator needs to be more active.
  • Add more player-specific comments like “Gary Payton now has 10 assists” as well as game-specific comments, e.g. about current runs.
  • Improve the introduction of the starting-five, e.g. mentioning the players’ height and college as well as coaches and the road team (booed by the crowd). Add different introductions in different arenas.
  • Make the crowd cheer and shout after important or spectacular plays, not all the time, and make them boo bad calls by the refs.
  • Add more arena-specific sounds like organ music.
  • Add more player chatter like trash talking.
  • Have the commentators say the names of created players instead of jersey numbers more often, e.g. by adding a lot of sound files with common first and last names.
  • Let the commentators sometimes use players’ nicknames.
  • Make the crowd shout “Air Ball” when the opposing team shoots one or during free throws by opposing players.
  • Before the game, make the commentators comment on the standings, injured players, keys to win this game etc.
  • After the game, make the commentators comment on key plays, top scorers, the standings again etc.
  • Try to find songs without explicit lyrics.

Player graphics and animations

  • Let players celebrate more after big shots, three point plays or comeback victories.
  • Do not let players jump that high, except in Arcade Mode. Make sure players’ heads do not reach rim level.
  • Do not let players dunk without run-up from too far away.
  • Don not let players fly 10 feet backwards the air when trying to defend a dunk, except in Arcade Mode.
  • Distinguish a bit between fast break dunks and dunks in traffic, i.e.
    players should prefer normal dunks in traffic and more fancy stuff like 360s in 1 on 0 situations.
  • Let players do ordinary two-handed and one-handed dunks after receiving an alley-oop pass.
  • Use fewer hand changes on layups.
  • Make sure players use the correct hand for a layup, in NBA Live 2000, layups often look odd.
  • Add more jump hooks/baby hooks instead of sky hooks.
  • Add signature animations, i.e. moves that are only performed by a certain player, e.g. Rick Barry’s underhanded free throw, Hakeem’s Dream Shake, Sabonis’ behind-the-back bounce pass, Mutombo’s finger-wiggling, Iverson’s crossover etc.
  • Add more spectacular moves that can only be performed by players with high ratings, e.g. behind-the-back passes, wrap-around dribbles, fake behind-the-back passes, no-look passes etc. Make sure that these moves are only performed by CPU players when appropriate and that they are user-controllable.
  • Take greater care of some players preferring ceratin moves, e.g. Jabbar should shoot sky-hooks while Chamberlain should prefer lay-ins and jump shots; Stockton shouldn’t crossover like Tim Hardaway etc.
  • Add lead passes, lob passes, touch passes, one-handed bounce passes, off-the-glass passes and one-handed alley-oop passes.
  • Make sure players do not use the glass for a frontal layup.
  • Add some quicker layins and dunks to avoid blocked shots in traffic.
  • Make rebounders sometimes tip the ball to gain possession.
  • Let players do real tip-ins instead of catching the ball with two hands and jump-shooting.
  • Add signature free throw rituals.
  • Allow dribbling and shooting with the opposite hand.
  • Improve dribbling animations so that the ball clearly touches the floor.
  • Add an effective crossover from a standstill.
  • Improve shot-blocking animations so that players swat balls away and do not block shots by just sticking their arms up.
  • Add different shooting animations, e.g. Dell Curry quickly flicking the ball off his wrist and Jason Williams elevating high into the air.
  • Add different animations for floaters and running jumpers, e.g. when the user shoots while holding down the Turbo button.
  • Generally improve shooting animations.
  • Add an animation of a player trying to do an offensive foul.
  • Improve the animations of fouled players so that they do awkward moves to attempt to still score after being fouled.
  • Add some jerky and odd-looking animations for players with low ratings.
  • Add a greater variety of dunks.
  • Make players hang on to the rim and make the rim bend after dunks.
  • Use a greater variety of players for motion capturing, e.g. to get different animations for players on different positions.
  • Use different shoes for different players.
  • Improve the overall body model; in Live 2000 arms and legs are too fat.

Handling

  • Lose automatic hand changes and double pumps during dunk and layup attempts and add the opportunity to do this manually, e.g. by pressing the Shoot button again or pressing the Fake button in mid-air.
  • Add the opportunity to control shotblocking better, e.g. by having to press the jump button once for jumping and again for moving the arm.
  • Add a user-controlled way to switch from a dunk attempt to a layup.
  • After the user misses a shot, reduce the time it takes him to do anything useful afterwards, e.g. getting his own rebound.
  • Allow the user to move players that are still celebrating the last play.
  • Add a button combination to commit an intentional foul.
  • Make all actions addressable, i.e. make it possible to map actions on offense without the ball to different buttons.
  • Add keys to do finger-pointing, taunting, trash talking etc. on your own (sometimes resulting in technical fouls and ejections and players reacting differently to taunts as well).
  • Add a key to complain to the ref(s) with different reactions from ref(s) ranging from technical fouls to calling in favor of the complaining party next time round.
  • Find a way to waste less time in out-of-bounds situations. A second and third referee may help avoiding a lone official run the entire court to pick up the ball.
  • Allow the user to prematurely go to the substitutions screen and change the lineup while the ball is in play, so that the CPU will automatically make the substitution during the next dead-ball situation.
  • In the Substitutions screen, add (in addition to 3-point, small etc.), an option to re-insert the starters.
  • Add keys to manually move the camera during gameplay.
  • Add keys to substitute single players without going to the Pause screen.
  • When the game is automatically showing a replay, add a hotkey to save it.
  • Add a hotkey to call timeouts.
  • Add a pause key that only pauses the game without loading the pause screen.
  • Add a boss key that instantly takes you back to the system from anywhere in the game and another key that takes you back to the main menu.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Generally improve the player AI even more so the game becomes more of a challenge, with less “cheating”, i.e. making the user miss his shots or having CPU defenders stick to their men with no reaction time.
  • Improve the behaviour of CPU teammates for defensive rebounders. There are too many offensive rebounds in NBA Live 2000, usually because defenders get pushed away.
  • Improve CPU fast breaks, using 2 on 1, 3 on 2 etc. situations and following guidelines like one player in the middle carrying the ball and others cutting in from the sides.
  • Let CPU players drive to the basket more often.
  • Do not let CPU defenders fall for absolutely every fake.
  • Make players setting screens hold their ground longer. In NBA Live 2000, they leave so early that you often cannot use their screens.
  • Improve the behaviour of CPU players being double-teamed, i.e. they should protect the ball better or pass it.
  • Improve the ability of CPU teammates to pick up loose balls.
  • Generally improve post play.

Team Strategy

  • Improve CPU behaviour in the final minutes, e.g. intentional fouls and quick three pointers when down by a few points in the final minute, also taking advantage of timeouts.
  • Do not shoot too many three pointers in the final minutes, especially when the game is long decided.
  • Reduce the intensity in the final quarter when the game is decided already.
  • Let winning teams dribble out the clock and not attempt a shot at the final buzzer.
  • Make the CPU teams use the shot clock better.
  • Exploit mismatches better, and let the defending team react to mismatches, e.g. by double-teaming.
  • Add more options to the team match-up screen, e.g. designated double-teamers and non-double-teamers.
  • Give a player’s first position higher priority than his second position to get a more realistic rotation.
  • Generally make the auto-subs more realistic; many bench players should play 20+ minutes.
  • Allow starters to play at their second position as well.
  • Pull starters from the game in the second half if the score is lopsided enough. In no case put the starters back into the game for example 2 minutes from time with a score of 120-80.
  • Reduce bench time for players in foul trouble, NBA Live 2000 exaggerates this a bit.
  • React to players doing badly by benching them or by making them stop taking too many shots.
  • In games with a quarter length of less than 12 minutes, find ways to give bench players some court time.
  • Increase the difference in style of play for different teams, e.g. some teams playing a more physical style, others running more fast breaks etc.
  • Let the CPU change its team’s settings in the Team Strategy screen, e.g. only double-teaming opponents’ go-to-guys.
  • Add zone defense as a defensive strategy (as long as the refs recognize it when illegal D is turned on).
  • In Arcade Mode, choose less conservative strategies for the CPU team, e.g. 3 point shooting and full court press.

Realism

  • Slow down the overall gameplay.
  • Make it possible for the ball to hit the rim and still go in, not all made shots should be swishes.
  • Add airballs that only hit the backboard and miss the rim.
  • Make some missed shots bounce off the rim, others roll off, hit the rim twice etc.
  • Allow some long rebounds after full-court buzzer beaters.
  • Enable collision detection at all times, e.g. avoid passes just going through defenders and players’ hands going right through the rim and backboard.
  • Stop players from shooting jump shots when directly under the basket.
  • Stop players from missing easy shots under the basket, even if their ratings are low.
  • Increase the effects of height difference, e.g. avoid unrealistic scenarios like Avery Johnson blocking a dunk by Shaq or John Stockton pump faking and shooting over David Robinson.
  • Call a foul when rebounders go over the back of opponents, the CPU gets a lot of offensive rebounds that way in NBA Live 2000.
  • Do not count a basket when the ball has gone through the rim from below and back in from above.
  • Reduce the number of steals.
  • Add tie-ups and jump balls.
  • Make players dive to the floor and jump out of bounds after loose balls.
  • Do not make offensive foul calls depend on Turbo being used near a defender, e.g. no charging should be called on a player when the defender is behind him.
  • Add loose-ball fouls. Especially stop the user from being able to push opponents that don’t have the ball around at will.
  • Add more shooting fouls, but fewer 2+1 situations.
  • Make players argue with the refs and add technical fouls for this.
  • Improve goaltending calling.
  • Improve illegal defense calling.
  • Do not make injuries only occur after flagrant fouls.
  • Add the 10 second free throw rule and do not let the FT meter get faster after a while.
  • Allow the user to select a free throw shooter for technical foul shots, also when a player is fouled and injured.
  • Allow other players than the small forward to make a throw-in.
  • Allow players to run the baseline for the throw-in after a made basket.
  • Add officials’ timeouts (“TV timeouts”) and 20 second timeouts.
  • Add player tussles and fights.
  • Make the CPU shoot a higher percentage in Superstar mode.

Season Mode

  • Add the possibility to simulate only parts of games, so you can e.g. play critical parts yourself.
  • Track more player stats like NBA records, career highs, season highs or triple doubles.
  • Improve simulated scores, adding blowouts, overtime games and a noticeable homecourt advantage.
  • Make it possible for bench players to get more playing time in simulated games.
  • Be more flexible when creating starting lineups, e.g. when the CPU has Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell on their team and no good forwards, then both should start.
  • Display box scores of games by non-user teams.
  • Save stats from every game during a season and make it possible to re-view them later.
  • Display scores from around the league during a game.
  • Show highlights from other games at halftime.
  • Show plays of the week.
  • Let players have cold and hot streaks during a season.
  • Let a tough schedule influence players’ fatigue ratings.
  • Let season standings/streaks influence players’ morals.
  • Make some players demand to be traded when things are going badly.
  • Make it possible to compare players when the CPU offers a trade.
  • Make fewer trades between CPU teams.
  • Make the CPU initiate multiplayer deals.
  • Improve the trading AI, taking better care of what a team needs, e.g. at what positions a team is weak.
  • Allow three-way deals.
  • Make the CPU teams move injured players to the injured list.
  • Make the CPU teams sign and release CBA-caliber free agents during the season.
  • Implement 10-day contracts.
  • Add long-term or even career-ending injuries.
  • Add suspensions.
  • Somehow handle the jersey numbers of traded players.
  • Improve the syntax of the injury reports in the “At a glance” screen.
  • Increase the overall intensity for playoff games, important regular season games as well as game between rival teams like Indiana and New York.
  • Add the NBA Finals MVP award.
  • Add the All-NBA 2nd and 3rd team and the All-Rookie 2nd team.
  • For All-Star and All-NBA selections, ignore the difference between PG and SG as well as SF and PF.
  • Ignore all positions when choosing All-Rookie teams.
  • For each user team, give the user one vote for All-Star substitutes.
  • Add an option to control only your own team’s players in the All-Star game.
  • Add an All-Star MVP award at the end of the All-Star game.
  • Add a more spectacular presentation of postseason awards.
  • Add pre-season games.
  • Make the short schedules more realistic, e.g. 2 games against teams in your own division, 1 game against others, no coast-to-coast trips in a single day.
  • Improve the customizability of the season and playoff schedule.
  • Make it possible to exclude players from a re-draft when starting season/franchise mode.
  • Let the stats in played games affect the stats in simulated games (optional).
  • Make it possible for a user GM to hire and fire different coaches.

Franchise Mode

  • Add real salaries instead of points.
  • Add more details of player contracts like team or player options on additional years.
  • Add more details of the NBA’s salary cap like players achieving Bird status.
  • Add oppurtunity to bargain with free agents, i.e. offering more money when someone refuses to sign.
  • Allow the user to make offers to free agents before CPU teams sign them.
  • Make it possible to preview the chances of a player re-signing with your team, so you can react before the trading deadline.
  • Make it possible to extend player contracts during a season.
  • Generate rookies long before the draft so you can view the prospects and plan ahead.
  • Distribute good generated rookies more evenly among positions; in NBA Live 2000 the best created rookies are usually small forwards.
  • Make sure generated players have good coherence between their ratings, e.g. dunking ratings could be determined by height and jumping ratings; good strength and height could imply good rebounding ability etc.
  • Distinguish better between different ratings when rookies improve, e.g. players usually improve their awareness, strength etc., but not their speed or jumping.
  • Make the development of created rookies a bit less predictible, so that e.g. a second round draft pick can turn into a great player.
  • Add a rookie camp to test/scout players.
  • Allow trading for draft picks.
  • Add an option to not automatically sign drafted players.
  • Trades or draft picks should not be made impossible just because there are 15 players on the roster already.
  • Add college stats to players’ scouting reports.
  • Add real college players for the first 4 drafts in franchise mode.
  • Add the opportunity to create players for later drafts.
  • Allow editing of players during farnchise mode.
  • Let the number of minutes played influence player rating development.
  • Improve awareness and clutch ratings of players who just won a championship.
  • Allow players’ ratings to change more frequently than once a year.
  • Grant access to the practice court during franchise mode, e.g. to test new players.
  • Make it possible to improve players’ ratings by practicing, maybe adding more training options like pushing weights.
  • Give the user some control over when a player retires.
  • Implement the Basketball Hall Of Fame and nominate players for it after it each season.
  • Let the game make up scouting reports for NBA players just like the ones for created players.
  • Move the All-Star game to a different city every year.
  • Allow new users to join in at the end of a season.
  • When franchise mode lasts many season, occasionally make expansion teams join the league.
  • Add the opportunity to join the NBA as an expansion team, using expansion draft and everything.
  • Make it possible to play any number of years you want, e.g. 17 years, 29 years, 200 years etc.
  • Introduce different difficulty levels for GM issues.

Menus

  • Keep the menus as simple and fast as possible. Reduce the number of screens one comes across when going from A to B. Reduce the size of
    frontend graphics.
  • Add an option not to load the video at the beginning.
  • Store control settings with the user name, i.e. same user = same settings.
  • Add the opportunity to save default team strategies like “Box out” or “Crash boards on”.
  • Add the opportunity to make adjustments on the team strategy before the game without having to go to tipoff and press ESC then.
  • Between the 1st and 2nd as well as the 3rd and 4th quarters, default to the Pause screen.
  • Alter the stats screen so that more data fits on the screen at a time.
  • Bring back NBA Live 97’s information windows for single shots in the shot display.
  • Alter the shot display so you can see both teams’ shots at a time (by showing a full court instead of one half).
  • Use snapshots the user made as backgrounds.
  • Allow more space for descriptions when saving a roster or replay.
  • When saving over a previous file, keep the old name by default.
  • During halftime and game pauses, keep the game graphics as a background for the menus, e.g. so you can see polygon cheerleaders dancing or coaches talking to players in the background.

Editing

  • For the sake of the numerous people who are making add-ons to make this great series even better: make the game print error messages instead of just crashing to Windows when something is wrong, e.g. a missing cyberface or team logo.
  • Add the opportunity to create your own playsets.
  • Add the opportunity to create your own lineup for quick-subbing.
  • Add an option or cheat to remove rating limits for player editing (for the sake of people who daily have to answer e-mails by people who want to create a player with ratings of 99). If people spoil their game by creating players that are too good, it’s their own fault.
  • Allow editing of a player’s career stats.
  • Allow editing of all player data from within the game, e.g. CAREERPKG, DUNKPKG.
  • Allow editing of non-created players’ hairstyles and headbands.
  • Add a greater variety of hairstyles, e.g. dreadlocks, also more different hairstyles for white players.
  • Add the possibility to create your own hairstyles.
  • Add tattoos, biker shorts, finger tape and a choice of high and low shorts.
  • Add the opportunity to create female players.
  • Add the opportunity to delete players from the game.
  • Add the opportunity to edit in-game graphics like jerseys, shorts, shoes and courts.
  • Add the opportunity to import MP3s into the game.
  • Add the opportunity to import artwork for custom teams.
  • Make it possible to change artwork for custom teams at any time during a season.
  • Allow editing of custom teams’ jerseys.
  • Add the opportunity to import rosters, faces etc. from NBA Live 2000.

Console Version

  • Implement as many features of the PC version as possible, especially the rookie draft.

Miscellaneous

  • Do not further increase the game’s hardware demands.
  • Add more cheats, secrets and easter eggs, e.g. hidden teams with various silly characters (other than the EA Sports team 😉
  • Make backboards crash after hard dunks (Arcade Mode).
  • Add more funny and silly stuff to Arcade Mode, e.g. a flaming ball.
  • Use a greater number of difficulty levels (or maybe player boost sliders like in NHL 2000).
  • Make it easier to unlock the Legends (maybe via cheat code).
  • Add George Mikan to the 50’s Team.
  • Add Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the 70’s Team.
  • Add Clyde Drexler to the 80’s Team.
  • Add more legendary players and teams from the past.
  • Add the Eastern and Western All-Star teams for exhibition mode.
  • Add the Dream Teams and more national teams from around the world.
  • Add NCAA teams and teams from foreign leagues.
  • Add NCAA and FIBA rules (for people who make their own NCAA or foreign rosters).
  • Add more different logos for custom teams.
  • Put custom teams’ names on their jerseys.
  • Add the opportunity to move, not copy players to a custom team.
  • Include coaches’ names and data in the rosters.
  • Add the opportunity to practice free throws
  • Introduce pure coaching mode.
  • Allow practicing and 1 on 1 games on NBA courts as well as 5 on 5 games on the outside courts.
  • Add a greater variety of rules to choose from for streetball games.
  • To avoid multiplayer cheating, make it possible to view the opponent’s controller skill level.
  • Make it less time-consuming to view multiple replays, e.g. add the possibility to create a sequence of replays.
  • Add an opportunity to view replays from outside of the game.
  • For the View Players screen, add a summary of players’ awards, All-Star selections etc., and keep it updated in franchise mode.
  • Add a second CD with more videos.
  • Add videos for specific players.
  • Add some videos with old b&w footage to go with the Legends players.
  • Add the opportunity to save online games in the middle of the game.
  • Save screenshots in a more common format, e.g. JPEG.
  • Make saved stats better readable.
  • Allow the user to save a player’s career stats in the View Players screen.
  • Some names were mentioned for commentary: Marv Albert, Kevin Harlan, Hubie Brown, Cheryl Miller, Chick Hearn, Stu Lence.
  • A lof of names were also mentioned for motion capturing: Vince Carter, Vince Carter, Vince Carter … [snip] … Vince Carter, Allen Iverson.
  • Keep the bugs out of NBA Live 2001 like you kept them out of NBA Live 2000.