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NLSC Podcast #283: A Chat With Izzy Snow

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Episode #283 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, my guest co-host is Izzy Snow, long-time community member, content creator, and the NBA Live 14 Gamer of the Year!

Izzy Snow joins the show to discuss his recent experiences with the full version of NBA Elite 11. This leads to a discussion of whether it was better for EA Sports to cancel the game outright, or if it would’ve been less damaging to release it and weather the bad reviews. We also talk about the current state of NBA Live and offer up some further thoughts on the issues with game modes, particularly Ultimate Team. In addition to revisiting NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360 and the question of where NBA Live needs to go from here, we also talk changes in the community, the need for competition, gaming habits as we get older, PC gaming and modding, NBA Playgrounds, and how Izzy became the NBA Live 14 Gamer of the Year back in 2014.

Tune in below!

Thanks once again to Izzy for joining the show this week, and be sure to let us know your thoughts on the topics that we discussed. Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Second Annual March Modness Is Underway

NLSC March Modness

March Modness is back for 2019! I liked the idea of last year’s event and was glad to see people in the community getting involved, so this is the next step in making it an annual event.

Basically, March Modness is both a celebration of modding, and a giveaway. In addition to our usual File Additions bulletins and spotlighting any big releases that come out during the month of March, contributors to our Downloads section will have a chance to win a copy of either NBA Live 20 or NBA 2K20 later this year, just by releasing their work.

To enter, all you need to do is release a mod and upload it to our Downloads section during the month of March 2019, with “March Modness” in the description. The mod may be for any PC version of NBA Live or NBA 2K, but it must be your own work and remain hosted in our Downloads section. Please see below for the full terms and conditions of entry, and good luck!

Once again, I’ll be getting into the spirit myself with a few releases. There are some projects that I’m working on that have been taking longer than anticipated, but I’ll be doing my best to get at least a couple of them out this month. Stay tuned for more details, and hopefully some great releases throughout our second annual March Modness!

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Monday Tip-Off: How We React When Developers Deliver

Developers Added Injuries to NBA Live 19 in Patch 1.19

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 few thoughts on how we tend to react when the developers of basketball video games deliver on the features and experiences that we want.

The number of patches required by modern video games is a sore point, especially when it comes to the matter of day one title updates. Even if you’re fine with the prospect of multiple patches post-release, there’s the possibility that the updates will end up doing more harm than good; a phenomenon we’ve seen on more than one occasion. However, there have also been times when patches have greatly enhanced basketball video games, fulfilling long-standing requests, addressing persistent legacy issues, or just adding something really cool. It’s better to have them than not.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve received such updates for both NBA Live 18 and NBA Live 19. For NBA Live 18, it was the addition of roster editing in a patch. This past week, NBA Live 19 received a significant update that added the City Edition courts, and – quite unexpectedly – in-game injuries. You would expect most gamers to react positively to the news, and indeed, most did. At the same time, there are people within the community that have reacted more cynically, suggesting that we shouldn’t offer up too much praise to the developers for what are overdue additions. This is an understandable view, but I’d like to examine the differing reactions in greater detail.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Future of Our Modding Community

RED Modding Center for NBA 2K14

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 few thoughts on the current state and future of our modding community.

2019 could be a great year for our modding community. Late last year, Vlad delivered a wonderful gift in the form of new versions of RED MC and REDitor II that are fully functional and completely free. The availability of these modding tools should allow for some great new releases for old favourites that are still being tinkered with. The community is also very active as far as updating NBA 2K19, with our most intuitive modders developing new techniques and resources. As far as the site is concerned, we anticipate being around for some time yet.

However, there are some disappointing trends and growing concerns. I’ve discussed a few of them before, but unfortunately, they persist (and in some cases, are just getting worse). In some respects, we’re at the mercy of current trends and culture, and some issues are difficult to curb without setting inflexible rules that ultimately run the risk of driving people away from the hobby. Nevertheless, I’d like to take the opportunity to weigh in on those matters once again, and try to steer our modding community onto a better path. To be as productive and friendly as possible, we must avoid the pitfalls and toxicity that have sunk other modding websites and communities.

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Monday Tip-Off: 2018 Year in Review

2018 Basketball Games

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 look back at the year that was 2018 in the NLSC community and basketball gaming.

For the last few years, I’ve used the Friday Five for an annual Year in Review column. With New Year’s Eve 2018 falling on a Monday, I decided to post a regular feature last Friday, and instead tip off a new week by wrapping up the outgoing year. It’s a little quirky I know, and not as well-timed as being able to tip-off a brand new annum on a Monday as January 1st 2018 allowed me to do, but that’s the way the calendar works. The first new NLSC feature of 2019 will therefore be this week’s Wayback Wednesday, and I think you’re really going to enjoy it!

Before we get there, however, we need to put a bow on 2018. Overall, I feel it was another solid year for the NLSC, our community, and basketball gaming in general. There’s room for improvement – both in the games that we play, and what we do here in our community – and I’m looking forward to championing those efforts as much as I can in 2019. It will be imperative that we continue to provide feedback to the folks developing basketball video games, support each other in our modding efforts, and avoid some of the toxicity that inevitably seeps into gaming communities. I do think we did an admirable job in 2018 however, so let’s reminisce.

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Monday Tip-Off: Toxicity in the Basketball Gaming Community

LeBron James dribbles the basketball in NBA Live 19

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 few thoughts on the toxicity that we unfortunately so often encounter in the basketball gaming community.

Yes, cranky old Andrew has something else to complain about today! I mean, the last four Monday Tip-Off articles were all about having fun with basketball video games, so it’s about time I grumble again, right? In all seriousness, this is a topic that I feel needs to be addressed, because I believe it’s an area where collectively, we can do a lot better: toxicity among basketball gamers. Now, there is a certain amount of irony in discussing the matter in that it’s being negative about negativity, but it’s important that we do take a look at what’s happening, and aim for a constructive solution.

Before we begin, let’s address the obvious point: the situation is hardly unique to the basketball gaming community, or the World Wide Web at large. Many blogs, videos, comics, and social media posts have been made about the toxicity that all too often permeates online culture. That in itself doesn’t make it right or a desirable state of affairs however, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t take steps to change our attitudes and behaviour. I’ve been a content creator and part of the online basketball gaming community for over twenty years now, and I’ve noticed an increased amount of toxicity in that time. Worst of all, in some ways, developers are pandering to it.

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Spotlighting Our Stories Section; Join in the Fun!

Enter the Dragan is one of the most active Stories in the NLSC Forum

The Stories section in the NLSC Forum isn’t as popular as it once was, in part due to changing demographics and basketball gaming habits. However, there has been some renewed interest in sharing franchise and career mode stories in recent months. To that end, I’d like to spotlight some of the tales that are currently being told on the virtual hardwood.

  • NLSC 2K Pro-Am team member Valor has been running with an expansion franchise – the Chicago Sharks – in NBA 2K17. Currently in the second season, they’ve been able to make some noteworthy free agent signings.
  • Speaking of NBA 2K17 stories, Phil89 is running one titled “Enter the Dragan“. It features the Phoenix Suns, who are currently squaring off with the Chicago Bulls in the 2019 NBA Finals.
  • A rather unique NBA 2K14 story is being told by truefaith0826. Set in the 1996 season using a combination of Ultimate Base Roster and U R Basketball assets, it features some fantastic presentation including video recaps and artwork from NBA Live 96.
  • Speaking of throwback stories, Kevin is running an NBA 2K17 story currently set in the 1997 season. Notably, he’s using an expansion team: the Montreal Hyenas.
  • Jumping over to NBA Live 06, Breems is attempting to re-write history with the 2006 Washington Wizards. The story already features a noteworthy trade, and is approaching the All-Star Weekend.
  • We’ve seen some great NBA Live 10 stories over the years, and cavs4872 is looking to recapture that with a new tale featuring the Houston Rockets. A couple of offseason moves have been reversed, and Allen Iverson has ended up in an unexpected destination.
  • Contributor Dee4Three has taken a fantasy approach to an NBA 2K17 story, pitting historical teams against each other with injuries disabled. It’s resulting in some interesting match-ups to say the least.

With NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 on the horizon, I hope that we can see further activity in our Stories section. As our interviews with various members of the community hopefully demonstrate, a lot of people have had fun sharing their franchise and career experiences with their fellow basketball gamers over the years, and it’d be great to see that trend return.

Whether it’s through written recaps or video content, franchise or career modes, a new game or old, I invite everyone to join in the fun! In the meantime, be sure to check out the aforementioned stories, the other active topics, and of course, the Story Hall of Fame for both NBA Live and NBA 2K.

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Monday Tip-Off: To Be, Or Not To Be, A Developer

NBA Elite 11: A tough game to be a developer on

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 few thoughts on the appeal of being a developer working on basketball video games, and a story about an opportunity that I had some ten years ago.

For those of us who have grown up playing video games of any genre, the prospect of one day being able to work on them ourselves is very appealing. From what we’ve heard from people in the industry – including former community members who have been hired by EA Sports and Visual Concepts – it is indeed an amazing and exciting career, in many ways a dream job. It does come at a price, however: long hours, harsh deadlines, and intense scrutiny from a target audience that can often be extremely toxic. Much is demanded of a video game developer, and it’s clear that you need to be all in on the job, as well as willing and able to weather the tough aspects of the gig.

I don’t believe that I’ve ever told this story publicly, but around ten years ago, I had an opportunity to join the team at EA Canada as a developer on the NBA Live series. As my continued presence here and lack of in-game credits would indicate, I didn’t take the job. It was a difficult decision for reasons I’ll get into shortly, but beyond any personal issues or possible concerns about the direction of NBA Live, I had to ask myself one rather pertinent question: did I really want to do it? Would it truly be a dream job for me, one worth moving to the other wide of the world for? In short, and with apologies to William Shakespeare: to be, or not to be, a developer?

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers! I’m glad to have you back at the NLSC as we tip off 2018, and gear up for another year of hitting the virtual hardwood. In that spirit, a new Monday Tip-Off article will be out shortly, but before that, I wanted to lay out some of our plans for a new year of basketball gaming.

I’m actually currently out of town, but as soon as I’m back, I’ll start catching up on any files that have been added to our Downloads section. It’s my hope that our modding community will continue to make good use of our hosting facilities, so that we may avoid losing mods that have been uploaded to hosts that routinely delete files after a period of inactivity. In any event, I’m sure that we’ll see many great releases this year.

On a personal note, I’d like to be a bit more active in the modding community this year, if possible. I had grand plans to do that last year, but unfortunately, things kept getting in the way. I do have a list of ideas for mods that I’d love to make if I can find the time, and with a couple of them already out there as beta/demo releases, I’m eager to give that a try. I can’t make any promises, but it’s certainly my intention to try to release some work here and there.

If nothing else, I’ll continue creating original content in the form of my weekly features. In addition to Monday Tip-Off, I’ll continue to post Wayback Wednesday and The Friday Five features every week. The NLSC Podcast will be back on the air – hopefully as soon as this Sunday – and we’ll do our best not to miss weeks as we unfortunately ended up doing last year. I’m eager to get some more video content out there on a regular basis, possibly in the form of a revamped Tuesday Triple. We may also be looking to finally add a few new content creators to the NLSC Team, so stay tuned for more details.

As always, I encourage everyone to make good use of our Forum, as I’d love to see lots of great discussion taking place throughout the new year. Our Wiki could always use a few extra helping hands as well, so if you have the knowledge, the time, and the enthusiasm, please feel free to pitch in and help keep our resources up to date.

Since it’s a new year, I will mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to push them too aggressively or more than a few times a year, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. A big thanks to everyone who has already dug deep and lent a hand in that regard. I hope we’ll continue to justify your generosity with our content and facilities.

With all that being said, let’s get Year 22 here at the NLSC underway! Thanks for being a part of our community!

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New Year’s Eve 2017

New Year's Eve Fireworks

And so, 2017 is all but in the books. I know I reflected on the year that was in my most recent Friday Five article, but I’ve generally made it a tradition to post a few final thoughts on New Year’s Eve. With that in mind, here goes!

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to run the NLSC for another year, its 21st in operation. It’s been great to see all the talented modders sharing their work with the community, and I’ve enjoyed releasing my own work here and there when I’ve found the time. As I mentioned in my Year in Review in the Friday Five, I’ve enjoyed creating original content throughout 2017, and in particular, covering some topics that have been on my To Do list for some time.

Something that I forgot to mention in last year’s New Year’s Eve message is that we’ve managed to post a daily update of some kind every day without fail since December 31st, 2006. Our archives currently don’t go back that far as we changed to a new content management system in 2011, but I promise you, the streak is indeed intact. One of my goals with the NLSC is to bring basketball gamers something new every day, be it a round-up of the latest additions to our Downloads section, news from the preview season, one of our regular features, or other information of interest to basketball gamers. I’m proud of the fact we’ve been able to do that for over ten years running.

This was our first full year with our current host, and I would have to say that for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing. Thanks to a combination of donations, our Patreon supporters, and advertising revenue, we’ve been able to cover the monthly hosting costs, and expect to be around for a while yet. As such, I’m hoping to do more fun things as we enter our 22nd year covering basketball video games.

Thank you for your support throughout 2017, I hope to see you all back with us in 2018. Until then, as is the tradition around these parts, I’ll leave you with Lutz’s words of wisdom for the occasion: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2018!

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The Friday Five: 5 Changes I’d Make To The NLSC & Community

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 discusses some of the changes I’d like to make to the NLSC and our community in general.

Tomorrow marks my sixteenth anniversary as webmaster/administrator of the NLSC. I took over the site from Tim on August 26th 2001, a little less than two months before my seventeenth birthday. In other words, at this point I’ve basically been running the site for half of my life, which is kind of an overwhelming thought to be honest! I’ve had my ups and downs during that time – personally, professionally, and with the NLSC itself – but I don’t regret taking the gig for a minute. It’s given me a lot of creative satisfaction, fascinating insight into one of my favourite hobbies, and some tremendous opportunities.

Like a lot of people, I often look at milestones and anniversaries as an opportunity to reflect and take stock of things. It doesn’t pay to dwell too much on the past, but no matter what you’re doing, it’s important to learn from experience. One of my goals is to keep the NLSC relevant and maintain a certain level of quality, while also looking to get even better. I’d like to think that I’ve had some success in that regard, but at the same time, there’s still work to be done. I may be covering some familiar ground here, but as I look forward to bigger and better things, here are five changes that I’d like to make to the NLSC and our corner of the basketball gaming community.

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Monday Tip-Off: The NLSC’s Biggest Move, One Year Later

NLSC 20th Anniversary Logo

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 reflections on the NLSC’s big move last year, which was one of the most significant in the history of our site.

Around this time last year, I was in the process of moving the NLSC from our old host to our current home. It wasn’t the first time that we’d had to move to a new host, but it was definitely the most stressful move we’d undertaken. On top of the usual downtime and teething problems, there was also an air of uncertainty. For the first time since I took over the NLSC, we’d be footing the bill for our hosting costs, rather than getting free hosting in exchange for advertising space. We also had a deadline, as our old host was discontinuing their services as of July 7th 2016, which meant if we hadn’t moved or at least backed up everything by then, everything would be lost.

Fortunately, it all turned out for the best. We found a new home, nothing was lost, and in terms of covering our expenses, we’re confident that we’ll be around for a while yet. Needless to say though, until everything was transferred and running smoothly, and the financial side of things had been sorted out, I was under a lot of stress. There were a few moments where it looked very bleak, and I found myself trying to prepare for the worst and figure out how to announce the unfortunate news. With our future now looking much brighter, I thought that I’d reflect a little on that time, and offer a little more of the back story.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers, and welcome to 2017! Hopefully, you’ve made it through the holiday season and New Year’s Eve celebrations safe and sound, and you’re ready for another twelve months of fun with basketball video games. We certainly are!

In addition to hosting our talented modding community for NBA Live and NBA 2K, we also aim to keep bringing you coverage of the latest basketball gaming news, and fresh original content. Last year, we were able to keep a fairly consistent schedule with our features, and we’re aiming to do the same this year. Be sure to check in every week for Monday Tip-Off, Wayback Wednesday, the NLSC Podcast, and The Friday Five. Our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content is also ongoing, Kenny has The Sunday Substitute, and we’ll be looking at introducing some other new content as well.

A couple of other things I want to promote at the start of another new year here at the NLSC are our Forum, and the Wiki. I’d definitely like to see more discussion taking place in the Forum in 2017, whether it’s our reaction to the games, our recent experiences, or sharing tips and advice with one another. I’d also like to see more discussion in the comments sections of our feature articles; remember, they’re intended to start conversations, not be the final word! As for the Wiki, I’d like to see it continue to expand, and become a definitive resource of information for basketball video games.

I’d also like to mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. I don’t want to push them too aggressively, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. We’re hoping that we can also use some of those funds for some more contests and giveaways in 2017.

I’m looking forward to working on original content, recording more podcasts (hopefully with some interviews this year!), seeing what our modding community comes up with, and getting involved in some modding myself when I can. And of course, I’m looking forward to another year of basketball gaming. I hope you’re all looking forward to that too, and will join us for the ride throughout 2017.

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New Year’s Eve 2016

New Year's Eve Fireworks

That sure went by fast, didn’t it? We find ourselves at the end of another year here at the NLSC. I’ve already reflected on the year that was in the December 23rd edition of The Friday Five, but as we get ready to ring in a new year, I thought that I’d offer up some final thoughts on the past twelve months.

Every year has its ups and downs, and we were seemingly dealt a big blow back in June when we had to seek out new hosting. At one point, it looked like we might have to either shut down or severely scale back our operations to suit cheaper alternatives. Fortunately, we were able to find a great new host and source the funding to keep us going, and we expect to be around for a while yet. A big thank you to everyone who has helped out in that regard; your contributions are very much appreciated!

Our modding community continued to do great work in 2016, whether it was for the latest game, or an old favourite. I think we hit the ground running when it came to NBA 2K17, and the community has been very proactive in working out methods and solutions, as well as churning out releases. We’ve also been able to add some new members to our Contributors group, and I thank them again for their hard work and the example they set.

In the world of basketball gaming, and real life basketball, it’s been an eventful year. We saw the Golden State Warriors break the Chicago Bulls’ twenty year old record of 72-10, only to become the first team to lose in the NBA Finals after going up 3-1. The Cleveland Cavaliers in turn became the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love delivering the city their first major sports championship in 52 years. On the gaming front, EA Sports announced a delay for NBA Live 17, which has gamers both optimistic and sceptical. Meanwhile, Visual Concepts delivered a strong (but occasionally problematic) release in NBA 2K17. The preview season for 2K17 brought some unexpected drama, but also some exciting news of improvements and additions in this year’s game.

For all the challenges we faced, for all the ups and downs, I think we’ve come through them stronger and just as dedicated to our coverage of basketball video games, and commitment to bringing you interesting and entertaining original content. It’s something we aim to continue throughout 2017 and beyond.

Thank you for your support throughout 2016, more good stuff is on the way. For now, I’ll leave you with the traditional reminder of Lutz’s words of wisdom: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2017!

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Help Us Expand The NLSC Wiki

It’s been a while since I posted a bulletin about the NLSC Wiki, so I felt it was time to make another appeal. While our community is doing some great work in creating and compiling various resources in the Forum, and we absolutely want that to continue, in the NLSC Wiki we have another handy resource that we’d like to develop further.

For those who are unaware, the NLSC Wiki features articles on all of the games in the NBA Live and NBA 2K series, as well as several other basketball video games. There are also articles on gameplay features and game modes, along with resources such as modding tutorials, file format guides, slider explanations, and cheat code listings. Episode guides for the NLSC Podcast and a brief history of the NLSC itself can also be found there.

I’ve recently spent some time updating the info on NBA 2K17 in the Wiki, though there’s still work to be done to make it a definitive source of information for NBA Live, NBA 2K, and basketball gaming in general. I’d therefore like to invite anyone who is knowledgeable about basketball video games to help us out in expanding our articles, adding new tutorials, and making sure that information on the games is kept up to date.

You don’t need to register an account to modify 99% of the Wiki, as only a few important pages are protected, or restricted to administrator-only edits. Of course, if you’re concerned about privacy, or plan on making frequent contributions, we certainly encourage you to sign up. Thank you to everyone who has helped out here and there so far; hopefully, we can continue building upon this resource! If you’d like to contribute but aren’t sure where to begin, please let me know so that I can offer a few pointers.

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