We certainly love our basketball games here at the NLSC, so when it comes to modes like Dynasty, Association, and MyCAREER, some of us like to share the experience with our fellow gamers. In the Basketball Video Game Stories section of the NLSC Forum, several gamers maintain story threads chronicling their adventures and achievements in the virtual NBA. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be running a series of interviews with some of our most prominent storytellers, to get an insight into their experiences and discover why they enjoy maintaining story threads.
This week we’re talking to Lamrock, who has maintained several story threads for Dynasty Mode in NBA Live and Association mode in NBA 2K. Lamrock’s threads, which have featured a variety of teams in addition to his beloved Portland Trail Blazers, are well-known to other story thread enthusiasts for their in-depth coverage and professional articles, as well as blending in some humour.
For those who haven’t checked them out yet – and for those who have followed them, for that matter – please tell us a little about your story thread(s).
My story threads are often Blazers stories (since they’re my team) but I’ve done quite a few with other rebuilding clubs, like the Bobcats, Warriors and Raptors. I usually sim a lot of games since I prefer 82 game seasons and enjoy micromanaging my team just as much as playing the games. I try to make my stories innovative and use as many different mediums as possible (with mixed success).
My weird sense of humor tends to find its way into my stories, for better or worse. I guess the best way to describe my stories would be NBA satire.
What motivated you to begin and maintain a story thread?
What made me join the forums in the first place was X’s Bobcats Dynasty. I started a Live 2005 Dynasty using his “sim, intervene, play” method to get through the season, but didn’t post a story on these forums until I got NBA 2K7. I made a few threads which didn’t get much attention since there were no pics and it was buried in the Video Game Stories forum.
Basically, what’s always appealed to me has been that it’s been sort of an artistic medium, which I know makes me sound insanely pretentious. Even so, it allowed me to get a lot out of my NBA video games, and was a lot of fun.
What drew you to the mode you chose to play?
I play Dynasty/Association modes almost exclusively. Unfortunately, 2K hasn’t updated their Association mode since 2K10 (I don’t have a next-gen console, but from what I hear, myGM is two steps forward, three steps back) and the trade/draft/contract extension logic leaves something to be desired. The franchise mode is my favorite since it allows me to GM a team and see how the NBA evolves over the course of several seasons. I’ve entertained the possibility of a MyCAREER story, but Virtual Currency has turned me off that idea.
Has maintaining a story thread enhanced your enjoyment of the games? If so, how?
Absolutely. I like getting feedback from other Forum members, including them in my stories and being able to look back on the stories years later.
How did you decide on the style that you use for your story thread?
Years of refinement, really. My first few stories kinda sucked. There were no pics, my writing skills were lacking and straight-faced analysis of individual games really aren’t my forte. My stories improved when I realized what I enjoyed doing and what I felt was a chore, and adjusted my style accordingly.
What’s your favourite part of running a story thread?
My favorite part is when I get a few months into a season, and my thread starts to resemble a parallel NBA universe, where I can totally nerd out and speculate how the fictional NBA postseason will go.
What’s your least favourite part of running a story thread?
I’m a bit notorious for quitting stories early on in favor of a reboot. I think I’ve made the second most story threads, but have only completed a few season or more in a handful of them. Often times I’ll realize I’ve chosen a team I don’t like, or decide to upgrade to next year’s game or updating will start to feel like a chore. I definitely feel lame when I’ve ended several stories in a short period of time.
Tell us about some of your favourite moments from your story thread(s).
The X and Sit were my favorite Dynasty writers, and so it was cool when they returned to the Forum and started posting in my threads. I also really enjoyed writing NELLIEBALL! with all the silly plot twists and cheap Don Nelson jokes. It was also pretty cool to be able to download and edit real Draft classes in 2K10. Having a mix of real and NLSC Draftees really enhanced the draft process.
Which other story threads do you enjoy reading?
All of the X stories and Sit’s A Legend Is Born trilogy are my all-time faves. As far as current stories go, Valor’s Bulls, Martti’s Rockets and Phil89’s Wizards stand out. I like stories that go multiple seasons and have storylines.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own story thread?
Have fun. That’s the whole point, right?
Thanks again to Lamrock for sharing his thoughts with us! Check out some of his best stories in the Dynasty and Association Hall of Fame, and stay tuned for the next Story Thread Interview, coming next week.