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The Friday Five: 5 Things I’ve Learned Running a Video Game Website

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

As we tip off a new year here at the NLSC, I still find myself in a somewhat reflective mood. As I said in my 2014 Year in Review, and a couple of times in my New Year’s messages, last year was a very good one for the site, and I’m looking forward to making 2015 even better. While preparing to do so, I naturally think back on we’ve done before: what worked and how we can make it better, as well as what hasn’t worked and how we can avoid it. That in turn got me thinking about some of the lessons that I’ve learned while running the NLSC.

So, before I get back to discussing basketball video games, compiling Top 5s, or giving opinions about the NBA, I thought I’d talk a little about some of the things that running the NLSC has taught me. I’d like to think that anyone else who’s looking to start some sort of online endeavour, be it a video gaming website, a YouTube series, or even a modding project, will be able to gain some knowledge and perspective from my experiences. Without any further ado, here are five things I’ve learned from running a video game website.

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The Friday Five: 2014 Year In Review

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

Another year is almost over, and with next Friday being January 2nd, this week marks the final edition of The Friday Five for 2014. It’s certainly been a fun and interesting year here at the NLSC, so I wanted to use this week’s column to reflect on the past twelve months, throw out a couple of “Best Of”/”Editor’s Picks” lists, and look ahead to what’s in store for 2015.

Before I go on, a big thank you to everyone who checks out The Friday Five each week, spreads the word about it on social media, and comments on the articles themselves. I enjoy writing the Five and (hopefully) giving you all something interesting and entertaining to read every week, so I really do appreciate your support of the feature. With that said, let’s get started with the Year In Review of 2014!

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Dumb Mondays: Should Bad Calls Be In Basketball Video Games?

This is Dumb Mondays, tipping off the workweek with silly facts, opinions, or predictions that you may or may not find interesting. This was originally JaoSming’s feature, but since he’s now at Visual Concepts and hard at work on 2KTV, I’ll be writing a few articles in his place. A new Monday feature may also be coming soon, so stay tuned!

If there’s one thing that sports fans can agree on, it’s that the referees are dumb. It’s not exactly a fair statement of course, as referees often have to make difficult calls and split-second decisions, with limited use of instant replay. Since no one is perfect, “dumb” is a harsh assessment of human error that unfortunately can occur at the worst possible time. Still, when a bad call goes against our favourite team, we’ll curse out the refs, calling them blind, stupid, and biased.

Bottom line, bad calls are like injuries; they’re an unfortunate part of the game that we hope not to see, but are bound to happen at some point. Therefore, I ask the question: since we want to see basketball video games continually become more and more realistic, would it be a dumb idea for them to include bad calls?

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The Friday Five: 5 Buzzwords We Need To Retire (And Why)

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

In this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look at some buzzwords that have entered common usage within the basketball gaming community. My feeling is that these words do nothing for our credibility as gamers and consumers, and only serve to stifle our ability to properly evaluate basketball games. These words are ill-defined and overused, to the point where they fail to be constructive, or in some cases, accurate.

I’d like to clarify that I’m not writing this article in an attempt to suck up to any video game developers, or indiscriminately dismiss criticism of the games themselves. That doesn’t do us any favours as consumers. However, I also believe that as a community, we should pride ourselves on having expert knowledge of basketball games, as well as the ability to properly critique and provide constructive feedback on them. To that end, here are five buzzwords that I think we need to retire, or at the very least, restrict our usage of.

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The Tuesday Triple: How We Handle Realism in Basketball Video Games

This is The Tuesday Triple! Originally, it was JaoSming’s answer to The Friday Five, but now that he’s at Visual Concepts working on 2KTV, it’s up for grabs whenever I have a topic that I’d like to cover in three points instead of five, or I can’t think of five items for a list or countdown. On this occasion, I’m using it to talk about how we handle realism in basketball video games.

Da_Czar’s creed sums it up in six words: Don’t play video games, play basketball. It’s a catchy slogan, the perfect mantra for anyone who wants to see basketball video games become as realistic as possible. For anyone who considers themselves a “sim gamer”, they’re words for us – and the developers, for that matter – to live by. Six words to eloquently and succinctly sum up what we want: realism in basketball video games, from top to bottom.

Do we really, though? Do we appreciate the realism that’s already present in basketball video games? Do we truly realise what realism means for the basketball gaming experience? Do we really know what we want?

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The Friday Five: 5 Historical BIG Moments I’d Like To See In NBA Live

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

BIG Moments have only been in two iterations of NBA Live to date, but I’m definitely hoping that the mode becomes a staple of the series, as it’s quickly become one of my favourite aspects of the game. I’m liking the improvements and additions that have been made in NBA Live 15, such as the hot spot challenges, scenarios where we’re invited to re-write history, and the wider variety of game situations. If there’s another element I’d like to see added to BIG Moments however, it would be historical challenges.

Now, this would be tricky to pull off, as it would require EA Sports to secure the likeness rights of various retired players. Additionally, the player that I’d most like to see represented in historical BIG Moments – Michael Jordan – is currently signed to an exclusive deal with Visual Concepts, which makes his inclusion in NBA Live impossible. However, let’s put all of that aside for a moment, and pretend that anything and everything is possible. With that in mind, here are the five historical BIG Moments that I’d like to see in NBA Live.

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Dumb Mondays: NBA Live 2003 PC Dev Console Fun

This is Dumb Mondays, tipping off the workweek with silly facts, opinions, or predictions that you may or may not find interesting. This was originally JaoSming’s feature, but since he’s now at Visual Concepts and hard at work on 2KTV, I’ll be writing a few articles in his place. A new Monday feature may also be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Did you know? The PC versions of NBA Live 2003, NBA Live 2004, and a few other games in the series featured a developer console that was disabled by default. It’s true; with a quick modification of a configuration file, the console can be re-enabled and used to mess around with the game. It has limited uses compared to, say, a first person shooter, and to that end, some people might be inclined to call the whole thing dumb. But hey, this is Dumb Mondays, so let’s have some fun!

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NLSC Forum Story Thread Interviews: Andrew

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 time, I’m talking to myself…well, not really, but as someone who’s maintained a few story threads over the years, I thought that I’d offer my own answers to the questions that I’ve been posing to other story thread enthusiasts. I hope that you enjoy the insight into my experiences creating story threads for some of my favourite basketball video games!

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The Friday Five: Weird Player Ratings in Basketball Video Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

From the moment that basketball video games began getting deeper and more sophisticated, properly representing a player’s abilities, skill level, and playing style through their ratings and other attributes became an important area of focus. Both EA and 2K invest a lot of time and effort – and in the case of EA’s partnership with Synergy Sports, money – in making sure that their official updates are detailed, and that player ratings are kept up to date and accurate throughout the entire league.

In years gone by however, and especially before regular official roster updates became a thing, it wasn’t uncommon to see some unusual ratings in the default rosters. Even games like NBA Jam, with its simplified and boosted player ratings, produced some noteworthy oddities. So, for this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look at some of the weirdest player ratings that I can recall in various basketball video games.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things I Loved About My NBA Live 06 Dynasty

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

For this week’s Friday Five, I was originally going to talk about some of my favourite trades or signings that I’ve made in basketball video games. However, most of the ones that spring immediately to mind are from my Chicago Bulls Dynasty game in NBA Live 06. With that in mind, I decided to save the topic of memorable deals for another day, and instead reminisce about what made that Bulls Dynasty so enjoyable for me.

As I’ve mentioned before, NBA Live 06 is one of my all-time favourite basketball video games, so I guess it’s only natural that my Bulls Dynasty became one of my all-time favourite basketball video game experiences. But what was it that held my interest, and made it such a fun Dynasty to play through? Without any further ado, here are five things that I loved about my Chicago Bulls Dynasty in NBA Live 06.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways You Can Help The NLSC

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

For those of you who may not be aware, the NLSC has been around for a little over eighteen years. While I’d like to think that those of us who have been a part of the site’s staff over the years have done our part to keep the NLSC alive and kicking for close to two decades now, we certainly wouldn’t be here if not for the support and contributions of our visitors and community regulars. As far as gaming communities are concerned, basketball games are unquestionably a niche interest, but we’re proud to provide facilities and a home for basketball gamers from around the world.

From time to time, members of the community reach out to me and ask how they can support or help the site. I certainly appreciate those offers, and welcome any constructive contributions that people are willing to make. There are times when we’ll look to add new members to the NLSC Team, but even if you’re not on staff, there are definitely ways that you can help us thrive and grow. In this week’s Friday Five, I’m outlining some of the ways that you can help lend a hand around the NLSC.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things You Should Know About Making Roster Updates

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

If you’ve been around the community for a long time, you’re probably aware that I’m not as active as I once was as far as patching is concerned. While the temptation is always there to get creative and put something out for the community, I’m finding myself with less time and motivation to work on any patching projects. As far as the content I’m currently producing is concerned, I’m enjoying co-hosting the NLSC Podcast and writing this column every week; compared to patching, I find it a lot easier to make time for them in between my other NLSC duties (and of course, my real life commitments and responsibilities).

However, the temptation to patch is sometimes difficult to resist, and as you may have seen, I’ve just released a new set of bootup screen updates for NBA Live 2005 through NBA Live 08. I do like the idea of releasing an update or two every now and again, though that of course leads to the question, “Why not make new roster updates every once in a while?” Well, there are a few reasons why I’m not doing that. In the interest of giving everyone an honest answer, I thought that I’d offer an insight into the development of the NBA Live roster updates, and why I’ve had to step away from them. Here are 5 Things You Should Know About Making Roster Updates.

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NLSC Forum Story Thread Interviews: Vespasian92

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.

It’s been a few months since our last feature, but we’re back today with a new interview. This time we’re chatting to Vespasian92, who has been around the Forum for a couple of years and is currently maintaining an NBA 2K15 story thread featuring his favourite team, the Sacramento Kings.

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The Friday Five: 5 Thoughts After Week 1 of the 2015 NBA Season

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

A new NBA season is underway, and the 2015 campaign has already produced a handful of spectacular highlights, as well as some compelling storylines. I’m following the action with NBA League Pass Broadband this year, and having caught three of the Chicago Bulls’ first five games, along with some other games that piqued my interest, I’m definitely enjoying my subscription so far.

The regular season, as it is so often said, is a marathon, not a sprint. There are many twists and turns along the way, and what seems like a big deal in November may well be long forgotten by the time March and April are upon us. Nevertheless, I have a few thoughts on the first week of the 2015 season, which I thought I’d share in this week’s Friday Five. Without any further ado, let’s tip things off.

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The Friday Five: 5 Early Impressions of NBA Live 15

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

NBA Live 15 is available now – on shelves and in digital format – and in the short time that it’s been out, gamers have been sharing their views on this year’s release from EA Sports. On the whole, the reception seems to be more positive than last year, with a lot of gamers feeling that while there’s still much work to be done, NBA Live 15 represents a noteworthy step up from NBA Live 14.

Personally, I’m inclined to agree with that sentiment. I certainly have my criticisms, and would like to see continued improvement in all areas of the game, but I’ve also enjoyed my time with it so far, and have seen quite a few things that I do like. I’ll be sharing plenty of detailed thoughts on NBA Live 15 in the coming weeks, but for this week’s Friday Five, I thought that I’d discuss some of my initial impressions of this year’s game. So, without any further ado, here are my thoughts on NBA Live 15 after the first few days of playing it.

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