The Tuesday Triple: Tips for PC Patchers

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This is The Tuesday Triple, where I attempt to break down random topics into three points, and maybe an “and one” if I need it. Similar to the established Friday Five by Andrew, the topics will be related to basketball video games and their communities as a whole.

It is amazing for me to look back on my almost 9 years of being active here in the NLSC community and see how much, and how little, has changed. When I first found the NLSC, I was looking for updates for my friend’s PC copy of NBA Live 2000. When I was forced to make an account that I never used in 2003, it was to learn more about the recently released NBA Live 2004. Finally, in 2005 I posted for the first time, sharing a mod I created for NBA Live 2005. While the technology, tools and games have changed over the years, I am genuinely surprised how the patching culture has evolved, but still deals with the same issues. Here are some tips I have for patchers releasing patches for the current or past NBA games.

NBA Live 2005 Hoop it up modMy first mod, Hoop it Up 2005

Free Throw – Do It for Yourself

Yes, the titles of these points are going to sound very self-help like and cheesy, but really how else can I say it? You should only be actively modding and patching these games if you are doing it for the benefit of yourself as the highest priority. Whether it be for the need of fixing a game’s bug, a want for fictional updates, or just for the kicks of making something silly, you should not be patching unless you are getting something out of it for yourself.

At the same time monetary gain is not, in my opinion, something that should motivate anyone to patch. The same can be said for those trying to patch for recognition or personal “fame”. It is no longer surprising for me to witness a patcher breakdown and quit, as has happened multiple times recently, because they were not happy with the lack of a spotlight on themselves, or the money (i.e. donations) weren’t good enough “support” for them to continue.

The common trend here is the personality of those who last a while within this community, and those who disappear. Those who are patching things that are interesting enough for themselves to keep doing it year after year, and who are truly patching for themselves and their own interests, are the ones that continue to have fun and stick around with patching for a long time. Those who come around to be the next “star” of the patching world, or are looking to make a quick buck, are the ones that fizzle out, usually in some kind of manner detrimental to the community.

SUM 07 Team SelectMy first huge community project, SUM 07.

Layup – Do It for the Community

Making patches or resources for the community is usually the second step for a patcher after doing their own work. They may get requests to make certain patches or they could get roped into a larger mod. Either way, the first point remains; there needs to be some kind of benefit to the individual as they help the community as well. At the same time, there is that added pressure of working with or helping others.

The biggest issue I have seen with the communal aspect of patching really revolves around patch sharing or stealing. It is very easy for patchers to get attached to the files they’ve created; we’ve all felt it. Yet, in the same way with everything else, if it gets put on the Internet, it is nearly impossible to control. Putting it gently, $#!% happens. There are multiple sites that cover PC basketball mods and, unfortunately, many I’ve seen have posted my own and other NLSC patchers’ work without permission. This is where the first point helps alleviate any anger I feel when this happens year after year. Yes, someone else has uploaded my patch, took credit, or modified it without my permission, but at least I made it for myself to enjoy. Heck, you can look at it as just another way for more users to use something you made. Again, it doesn’t make it right, but it does limit any negative feelings if you focus on the good your patch did for yourself and the people playing with it, rather than focusing on the person who wronged you.

NBA 2K14 Rucker Park DayStreet mods, I will never stop making and enjoying them.

Three Pointer – Do It for Fun

It all revolves around having fun. Creating patches for basketball video games, or modding any video game, should be fun either during the creation process or provide a fun result. Back with NBA Live 07, which was a completely terrible game out of the box, the fun for me came with putting in dull work and ending up with fun gameplay at the end. With NBA 2K games, which have been damn decent out of the box, the community got to focus on enhancing the game rather than fixing it. So now, I not only end up with fun gameplay afterwards, but I also have fun with the creative aspects of the patching process.

Trust me when I say this, having fun patching minimizes the effects of the negative things that can happen in our community. Of course we have patch stealing rules here at the NLSC that we enforce, and patchers should report these cases when they pop up. But when things happen outside of the NLSC’s or the patcher’s ability to control, and the response is to just quit, I do not feel their mind was in the right place to begin with.

Hopefully this (admittedly generalized) advice is helpful for any current, lapsed, or future patchers in our community. If you have anything to add or wish to counter any of my points, please hit up the comments and I’ll be sure to reply. Thanks for reading!

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8 Comments on "The Tuesday Triple: Tips for PC Patchers"

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February 11, 2014 7:23 pm

Great articles! One thing that you forgot to mention – or perhaps you didn’t want to hurt patchers feelings – is that the vast majority of those who make patches nowadays don’t have the slightest idea about the real game of basketball played on the court nor they even played in a team or shot some hoops in their life. The first obvious result is their patches lack any kind of reluctance with reality which could be still fun unless they declare their work is realistic.

The overrated/underrated players issue in roster updates comes to my mind as well. And when it is done by veteran patchers then things get even worse. I was checking out 2 of the main patches/mods that came out in the last 2 or 3 days here on NLSC when I noticed two underrated players with 66 at rating, one is a future draftee from Europe who dominated every international competition U19 over the last 3 years in scoring and rebounding, the other one is a young big man who is a huge surprise this year in the NBA with almost a double-double per game but he playes for a team completely ignored by the infamous ESPN and other biased news reporters.

It makes me sad that patcher don’t pay attention to the “real NBA” and they just act lousy with their biased attitude towards star players who they didn’t really support in the first place before those players stepped into stardom. So you were absolutely right: everybody is begging for attention from others and demands fame while real success in life comes with a passion, dedication and hard work.

February 13, 2014 3:38 am

Who are the two players you mentioned.

February 13, 2014 8:12 pm

I don’t like to give away the answers just like that because people take everything for granted these days instead of doing their own research. But here are some extra hints for you. One was named the 2013 FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year, the other one has a brother in the NBA. 😉 66 overall rating for both of them is definitely an understatement made up sadly by the best patchers on NLSC…

February 14, 2014 10:17 pm

If you’re going to give constructive feedback on rosters, hiding it behind riddles and clues doesn’t really help anyone out. 😉

I don’t think problems with ratings comes down to people being clueless about basketball. The ratings systems aren’t perfect to begin with (especially the way overall ratings are calculated; I even wrote a Friday Five about that a few months ago) and it can be difficult to rate players when comparing their performance in different pro leagues and college.

Having maintained roster updates for many years, I can guarantee that it’s also easy to lose track of players here and there, given there’s over 400 players in the league. That’s where detailed, constructive user feedback definitely comes in handy.

February 15, 2014 3:49 am

I agree with Andrew about one thing: the positive vibe we should keep among patchers. 🙂 With my riddles I was trying to stimulate people to think outside the box and to avoid hurting veteran patchers feelings by denouncing their flaws. I will give away the answers just because of the lack of feedback in here: 1. Dario Saric, 2. Miles Plumlee.

A few more thoughts…

Being clueless about bball decides perhaps how (wrong) you make the skills & tendencies of the players on the roster and not the overall rating ’cause the latest is handled by the game engine somehow.

In my opinion ratings are important because – and you missed this most important part – they decide how (realistic) the game will be played. People complain about the sliders and adjust them all the time when in fact the roster file is decisive regarding the gameplay. Even if I have the best sliders, if the roster file is all wrong my game will play like…Angry Birds and not the NBA. :)) The sliders reflect our personal preferences as game users while player ratings in the roster file reflect the game itself and how it will develop (when you play multiple seasons). So yeah, ratings/realistic gameplay it’s kinda important to me but I realize for the vast majority of the users it doesn’t matter so we can drop this debate, no need to feed our egos.

February 15, 2014 5:02 pm

Fair enough, but having done rosters for so many years, I can say that it’s frustrating when a user doesn’t just come out and say what the problem is. For example, I once had someone keep telling me that I’d completely messed up the Lakers roster. When I pressed him for a few posts for more details, he finally said that I’d got a couple of players around the wrong way in the rotation. A minor mistake based on the boxscores of a recent game, one that was easily fixed if I knew exactly what I was looking for in response to the complaint.

So yeah, I understand where you’re coming from, but any veteran patcher should be open to polite, constructive feedback. 😉

It certainly is a possibility in some cases that a lack of knowledge about the sport is affecting a person’s ability to properly handle the ratings. I do think people ultimately care about that – and realism in general – but sometimes simply get it wrong. Indeed, focusing on the overall rating is a good way of getting the individual ratings wrong.

At the same time however, there’s difficulty with accounting for the level of play in different leagues and over 400 active players to keep track of. Sometimes you create base ratings for a player based on the data available and some guesswork (especially rookies, before they’ve shown what they can do in the NBA), and you don’t get around to updating the ratings once more data presents itself.

So yeah, in all fairness it isn’t necessarily a lack of knowledge or care, but in any event, user feedback from people who do care and know what they’re talking about is certainly important and helpful in maintaining and enhancing roster updates. 🙂

February 14, 2014 10:20 pm

As I said in this week’s Podcast, this is a must-read for patchers, new and old. It is very easy to get caught up in ego and petty squabbles, which ultimately hurts the productivity and atmosphere of our talented modding community. Excellent advice for a healthy patching mindset.

February 17, 2014 4:41 pm

Seeing that SUM Mod makes me wanna play 07 again. With the patch installed of course.