NLSC Forum Story Thread Interviews: Martti.

Gilbert Arenas in Martti.'s NBA Live 07 Dynasty

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.

We missed posting an interview last week as things got a little busy with file additions and other news items, but we’re back in the swing of things this week, as we chat to Martti.. In addition to running the annual Story Thread of the Year Award in recent years, Martti. has maintained some excellent story threads of his own, with inductions into the Dynasty Hall of Fame. Read on to learn more about his Dynasty and Association experiences, as well as pick up some tips for creating an award winning thread.

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).

I try to post as much news from around the league as possible, and as many game recaps. I keep an eye on transactions, do them myself if I feel fit, keep up with real life trades and so on. In my recaps, I try to give the most essential information about the match, I mostly focus on statistics. I used to recap all games back when I was playing NBA Live because I would play all the games because of the fourth quarter intervention option. I tried to write stories, but it just wasn’t for me.

Jeremy Lin in Martti.'s NBA 2K13 Association

What motivated you to begin and maintain a story thread?

Looking for patches for NBA Live 06, I found NLSC and as I was looking through the site, I found the stories. They seemed really interesting and I started a story. At first, it didn’t go too well, my recaps were messy and I didn’t get many replies. But I kept at it, and with more replies and positive feedback, it was easy to keep going.

What drew you to the mode you chose to play?

I haven’t played online and back in Live 2005, 06, Dynasty Mode was the way to go for me. I enjoy picking a team and building it how I like it. The other modes are fun for a little while, but Dynasties went for 25 seasons. I never went that far for me, as I didn’t like it personally when all the players are generated rookies. I like stories by others like that, but it’s not fun for me to play with generated players. In 2K, Association mode is really enjoyable with the little touches, like the trade finder or trade block in 2K10, president Obama, custom draft classes, etc.

Has maintaining a story thread enhanced your enjoyment of the games? If so, how?

It has, keeping a story makes me want to play the game and I really enjoy playing; sometimes when I haven’t played in a few days, I check out my story thread and get the desire to play some more. Keeping a story makes me like my team a lot, especially if it’s been a few seasons and playing more and getting to the Draft and free agency is exciting.

How did you decide on the style that you use for your story thread?

I wouldn’t say I stole it, but I did get the style from other story threads. I like the clean-cut look and one of the first stories I followed closely was by Pursuer. I really liked his simple and clean style. I didn’t copy it exactly, but I definitely got the template from there. I’ve played around with different styles – weekly recaps, MyCAREER player journal – but this style has stayed with me to this day.

What’s your favourite part of running a story thread?

Making trades and feedback from the community. I love making trades, sometimes I can make too many, but I like to acquire as many of my favorite players as I can. Like with my current story, I’ve acquired Gerald Green and Larry Sanders via trades. In my last story I traded away LeBron to make it more interesting for me. Positive feedback from the community is also enjoyable, I got a lot of good advice when I traded LeBron.

What’s your least favourite part of running a story thread?

Double and triple posting. Sometimes it’s hard to post with no replies, as you think nobody is interested in your thread, but the views still pile up, so I keep going. In Associations, unrealistic trades are the worst thing. When teams trade their only point guard for a center although they have three already. Like in my last story, the Kings had Cousins, Nene, Perkins and a second rookie, rated 58, as a starter at point.

Nerlens Noel in Martti.'s NBA 2K14 Association

Tell us about some of your favourite moments from your story thread(s).

Getting the MVP with Dwyane Wade in my last Heat story is #1 for sure. I hadn’t won the MVP before, as in most NBA Live games it went to a power forward with good statistics, most of the time the guy (who was mostly Kevin Garnett) didn’t even make the Playoffs. In 2K, it went to LeBron most of the time, so beating him after I traded him was great.

Which other story threads do you enjoy reading?

I follow almost all of the stories, the list would be pretty long to name them all. Lamrock, Sit, Valor, The X, Andrew, Axel., Kenny, Phil89, Thierry…I know I forgot someone, but these guys have all inspired mine.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own story thread?

Don’t stop if you are not getting replies is the the most important thing. Make updates easy to read, not 20 lines of text with no spaces between paragraphs. The replies will come, don’t worry, just stick with it. Choose a team you like, don’t just pick a random team, that isn’t the key to success. It might work, but from personal experience I can tell, going with your favorite or a team you cheer for is much easier then a team you picked randomly.

Thanks again to Martti. for taking part in this series of storyteller profiles! Be sure to check out his current Association thread featuring the Rockets, as well as his Heat and Wizards threads in the Dynasty Hall of Fame, and stay tuned for a new Story Thread Interview, coming next week.

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