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The Friday Five: 5 Retro Modding Ideas

The Friday Five: 5 Retro Modding Ideas

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five suggestions for retro modding projects.

As the stigma fades and retro basketball gaming increases in popularity, inevitably we start thinking about modding as well. After all, classic games are a blast to revisit as-is, but mods can breathe new life into them, too. Many of the modding tools are still available for retro basketball games, along with resources and archived mods to learn techniques from (or indeed, build upon). Even with the limitations of older titles, we’re capable of creating some outstanding mods that will facilitate new experiences on the virtual hardwood.

Needless to say, there are some challenges to overcome here. The audience is smaller, so anyone engaging in retro modding will be toiling on projects that are seen and used by fewer people. To that end, there are also fewer active modders for retro games, so some of the more ambitious projects may not have the level of detail we’d like, or be truly viable. Major roster mods in particular may need to use placeholder artwork, or whatever assets are available. That shouldn’t stop us from looking into retro modding, however. There’s always lingering interest in seeing new updates for old favourites, and there are plenty of retro modding ideas that we can and should at least consider.

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Monday Tip-Off: Hitting The Modding Wall

Monday Tip-Off: Hitting The Modding Wall

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with some thoughts on how it’s all too easy to hit the modding wall.

Modding can be a ton of fun. To that point, there have always been people in the community that have enjoyed modding games more than playing them. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that some people would prefer to tinker with a broken but moddable game than play a great game that isn’t modder-friendly. I personally prefer the latter, but I do understand the thought process. There’s tremendous satisfaction in crafting fantastic mods, particularly comprehensive projects. As long as you’re modding for the right reasons, by all means indulge that creativity!

Of course, like just about any creative endeavour, there are tedious moments. Hitting the modding wall takes a few different forms, but it usually comes down to reaching a stage in the project that isn’t fun, or is technically challenging. It may be repetitive work, or a limitation that you have to find a way around before you can continue. The modding wall will often delay projects, and in the worst case scenario, derail them and cause them to be dropped altogether. It’s not a good feeling, especially when you’ve been so excited about an idea and sunk hours into a project. It’s possible to break through the modding wall, and the first step is to realise that you’re not alone.

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The Friday Five: 5 Specific Details Roster Mods Can’t Include

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five specific details that we can’t include in roster mods for various games.

There are a ton of creative things that our community has done with roster mods over the years. Sometimes the games have been conveniently flexible in what can be done with their roster files, while other times we’ve had to devise clever workarounds. For the most part, the community has been very understanding when limitations have stood in the way of 100% accuracy, especially when it comes to retro roster mods. At the same time, it usually requires some disclaimers to be posted. If you go back and look at the readme files for Lutz’s rosters, you’ll see FAQs addressing these concerns.

Unfortunately, there are some details that we just haven’t been able to include in roster mods for NBA Live and NBA 2K. It’s seldom been gamebreaking, but for those of us who strive for as much accuracy and detail as possible, it’s still a bummer. Of course, that’s also because they’re the kind of inaccuracies that invite messages telling us that we’ve “forgotten” to do something, even if the release notes are clear that it can’t be done due to technical limitations. Once again though, a vast majority of mod users do understand the situation after those limitations have been explained. I can think of five specific details that can’t be included in roster mods for one reason or another.

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March Modness 2022 Tips Off Today

NLSC March Modness

It’s that time of the year again, so we’re tipping off our fifth annual March Modness! The event is a celebration of modding, and the modding community that we’ve built and maintained over the past 25 years. Naturally we support modding all year round, but we’ve nominated March as a time to get extra creative and productive!

As always, March Modness includes a giveaway. All you need to do is upload a new mod to the Downloads section with “March Modness” in the description, and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of NBA 2K23 PC. The mod can be for any basketball game that can be modded, including retro titles. Full terms and conditions can be found below. Congratulations once again to Pep, the winner of last year’s giveaway!

Additionally, I’m taking this opportunity to announce a change to the way I post bulletins about recent uploads. For years now, I’ve been using the term “File Additions” for those bulletins, as it’s what our founders used when they first began maintaining a Downloads database back in the mid 90s. It’s something I’ve kept out of tradition, but in order to move with the times and remove any ambiguity, those posts are now going to be titled “Mod Releases”.

I’m looking forward to this being an exciting and productive March Modness. As always, I’ll be looking to get in on the fun myself with a few releases. The modding bug does bite from time to time, and this is obviously the month to indulge it. Stay tuned for those releases, and all of the great work that I’m sure is coming this month!

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Monday Tip-Off: The Helping Hand of Default Assets

Monday Tip-Off: The Helping Hand of Default Assets

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a reminder of the importance of default assets in our modding endeavours.

Since the very beginning, one of the primary goals of our modding community has been to add content to games. When we were founded as the NBA Live Series Center, this usually meant adding players such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley to the rosters of NBA Live PC. Once Legends and historical teams became a staple of NBA video games, there were other missing players to add. We’ve also sought to expand the selection of classic teams, as well as create retro season and all-time rosters, NCAA and foreign league total conversions, and many other fantastic projects.

The biggest projects have generally required several new assets to be created, in particular year-specific jerseys and courts, and missing player faces. Needless to say, the workload is much lighter if several assets that we need are in the game by default. At the same time, it’s something that we can take for granted. Not only can the default assets facilitate a range of modding projects – both minimalist and large in scope – but we can use them to quickly assemble fun scenarios on the virtual hardwood. Modding has opened up a world of possibilities with basketball video games, but I can’t stress enough the importance of content being readily available within the default assets.

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NLSC Podcast #403: These Labours Of Love

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #403 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

The second game of our Semi-Finals series in the NLSC NBA Live 10 Tournament was marred by some technical issues, but we had much better luck with other games during a Parsec session. We recap one of the wildest games of NBA Jam Tournament Edition that we’ve ever played, using a fantastic 2014 season roster mod. Another highlight came when we revisited the PC version of NBA Live 96, and couldn’t help gushing about the presentation. Double Dribble also got a run (CORNER THREE!), though it did show its age. In this week’s mailbag, we discuss the arguments for and against paid mods, and how to avoid burnout when working on big modding projects.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

March Modness 2021 Giveaway Winner: Pep

NLSC March Modness

This is a very late announcement, but congratulations to Pep, winner of our March Modness 2021 giveaway! Pep continues to make great updates for NBA 2K14 to this day, and also won the giveaway back in 2019. Pep has won a copy of the Standard Edition of NBA 2K22 PC, and will also receive an NLSC t-shirt, courtesy of Arcane Team Apparel.

A big thanks as always to everyone who entered this year’s March Modness contest, and continues to share their mods with our community! Don’t forget that we offer free and permanent file hosting for our modding community, in order to preserve these great releases for years to come. With NBA 2K22 released and a new season of modding underway, I encourage everyone to make use of our facilities. For more information on uploading and adding files to our Downloads database, be sure to check out this tutorial.

The Friday Five: 5 Ideas To Benefit Modding

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five ideas that could really benefit the modding scene.

When it comes to our modding community, there’s never been a question of talent, passion, or fantastic releases. There have been changing trends in the community throughout the years and challenges that we’ve faced, but one thing has remained the same: people are releasing some really cool stuff. Of course, there are ways that we could improve upon what we’re doing, and how we go about it. In previous articles, I’ve discussed the need to be cooperative, collaborative, and generally helpful. I like to think that we collectively do a good job of that, but things could be better.

If you look at the most impressive modding projects in the history of our community, you’ll see that they were the work of several people. Likewise, the reason that new faces are able to get involved with the hobby is that the people that came before them were willing to share knowledge and resources in the form of modding tutorials and mod templates. I’m grateful that those individuals have made those contributions in addition to their own releases, but I believe that we can do more. To that end, today I’m suggesting five ideas that could benefit the modding community, particularly in regards to big projects, working with multiple games, and helping others get started.

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NBA 2K19 Classic Seasons Mods Now Available

NBA 2K19 Classic Seasons Mods

If you’ve tuned in to the NLSC Podcast as of late, you will have heard Dee4Three and I talking about the Classic Seasons mods for NBA 2K19 PC, created by Stildo33 and company. With the server shutdown last year, it’s obviously been more difficult for the rosters to be distributed.

Fortunately, that’s no longer the case! Stildo33 has uploaded the rosters so that they can be downloaded the “old-fashioned” way, along with the necessary art packs. You can find all of the download links here in the NBA 2K19 Modding section.

Presently, the Classic Seasons mods for NBA 2K19 cover 1988-89 through to 1993-94. The releases that are currently available came out last December, but new versions are being worked on. Additionally, further seasons are also in the pipeline, with the 1995 mod already well under way.

If you’re still playing NBA 2K19 PC, and even if you’re not, I highly recommend checking out the mods. A lot of care and attention to detail has gone into them, and as you can see from the videos and screenshots users of the mod have been posting, it’s resulted in highly accurate performance. The mods have been put to good use in games being played over Parsec, and you can check out some highlights over on our YouTube channel. Congratulations and thanks to Stildo33 and company for all of their hard work so far!

NLSC Podcast #379: It’s Something Unpredictable

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #379 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

Owing to a mixture of fatigue and satisfaction with NBA 2K21, we’ve been getting our virtual hardwood fix elsewhere this past week. NBA 2K20, NBA Live 10, and even NBA Live 95 have been in the rotation, though NBA 2K20 reminded us of some woefully inaccurate ratings for players on the historical teams. We’ve also still trying to get more games working on Parsec. A recent favourite is receiving regular roster updates, and we’re inspired to brainstorm some out-of-the-box modding ideas. In this week’s mailbag, we consider the potential impact of NFL 2K on future NBA 2K titles. We also get philosophical about times in our lives that we’d revisit, for basketball gaming and other reasons.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

The Friday Five: 5 Decisions for Retro Season Mods

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a breakdown of five decisions that have to be made when making retro season mods.

When I discovered the NLSC in August 1997 via an Altavista search – yes, before Googling was a thing! – I was enthralled by modding, or patching as it was called back then. As I’ve said before, the ability to give my created Michael Jordan actual bio data and edit the jersey numbers of original players was honestly mind-blowing. Like a lot of gamers, I’d tried to keep the rosters of my favourite game up to date, but the editors that our founders made opened up the possibility of creating detailed roster modifications and then sharing them with other people. I was hooked.

As the current roster update for NBA Live 96 also featured retro season rosters, I discovered that concept at the same time, and it likewise drew me in. I went on to create several current roster updates over the years, as well as a few retro season mods. With official updates handling the current rosters – quibbles with their quality aside – big retro projects are more in vogue these days. We’re seeing some fantastic retro rosters for recent NBA 2K titles, and I love it! Speaking from experience, there are a few decisions that you have to make when you’re preparing to make retro season mods, in order to have the best chance of success. Today, I’m outlining five of them.

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NLSC Podcast #378: The Hangar & The Workshop

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #378 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

Having sorted out our issues with Parsec, we’ve enjoyed a full week of basketball gaming. From epic clashes with video game legends in NBA Live 10 to co-op play in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, we’ve had a lot of fun on the virtual hardwood and blacktop this week! Spotlighting recent modding developments leads to us discussing various ideas for retro rosters, as well as philosophies for rating players. We also react to the recent leaks regarding the cover players for the standard and Legend editions of NBA 2K22. In this week’s mailbag, we’re looking back at the NBA 2K21 Next Gen trailer, and discussing some interesting issues with licensing and likeness rights.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NLSC Podcast #369: Do You Want To Make A Mod, Man?

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #369 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

An annoying issue in MLB The Show 20 leads us to reflect on some of the flaws in our all-time favourite basketball games. We conclude that there isn’t a title that we wouldn’t change something in; content, a mechanic, or a noteworthy bug that needed fixing. Also, March Modness may be over, but we’ve still got modding on our minds. For anyone looking to get into the hobby, we offer up some advice, and discuss the various possibilities. In this week’s mailbag, we’re throwing it back to NBA Live 2001, and discussing the benefits of the User vs. User experience.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

The Friday Five: 5 Underrepresented Seasons in Retro Mods

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five NBA seasons that tend to be underrepresented when it comes to retro roster mods.

Full retro season roster mods are a huge undertaking. Even if a game features a large amount of retro content in the form of historical players and throwback team art, there will still be a lot of work to be done as far as adding players and creating their faces, not to mention jerseys, courts, and logos. To that point, a modder seeking to make a retro season roster will likely choose the year carefully. Some seasons will require less work than others – especially those in the 90s onwards – because of the amount of assets that can already be utilised.

Of course, there’s another factor that goes into one’s choice of seasons for a retro mod: popularity and notoriety of the campaign in question. I’ll admit to always thinking of the 1996 season when it comes to retro roster ideas, because that’s when I really got into basketball. Generally speaking, I’m also partial to years where the Chicago Bulls were on top. However, with a rich history spanning over seventy years, there are many NBA seasons filled with stories and highlights that should inspire more retro mods than they do. That’s not to say that these seasons don’t have any retro mods already, but all the same, I’d argue that they’re underrepresented in roster projects.

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Monday Tip-Off: No, You Don’t Deserve to Get Paid

Monday Tip-Off: No, You Don't Deserve to Get Paid

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with some blunt truths about paid mods, and modders that insist that they deserve payment for their work.

Way back in September 2016, I wrote an article explaining why we don’t allow paid mods in our community. I intended it to be an article that I’d link to whenever the subject came up, and over the years, it’s proven to be handy to have at the ready. The short version is that from a legal standpoint, charging for mods could land us in a lot of hot water, and we’d rather avoid that. It’s also never been the done thing in our community, and we’ve been committed to that stance for almost 25 years now. The fact of the matter is that it could cause a lot of headaches, and we don’t want that.

There’s another reason that we’re against the practice of paid mods, however; one that hasn’t really been discussed. The simple fact of the matter is that you don’t deserve to get paid for your mods. I don’t deserve to get paid for the mods I’ve made over the years, either. No one deserves to get paid for creating mods for a basketball video game, or any game for that matter. The key word here is “deserve”, which implies that one is entitled to be paid, and that simply isn’t the case. Please don’t get me wrong here. I don’t say this to diminish the efforts of modders in our community and beyond. It’s important to understand and accept this blunt truth though, so let me explain.

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