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.
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.
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.
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!