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 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.
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season, and safely made it through all your celebrations. While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, I’ve always found the beginning of a new year to be an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button as it were, and set some goals while making a fresh start. After taking a bit of a break towards the end of December, it feels good to get back to work with renewed energy in January.
2015 was another fine year for us here at the NLSC, and I’m pleased with the content that we were able to provide. However, I’m always aiming to make things bigger and better, week by week, month by month, year by year, and to that end, I’m looking forward to striving for that goal in 2016. Since this is the first time New Year’s Day has fallen on a Friday since I started writing The Friday Five, I thought I’d use today’s column to outline a few goals that I have for the site this year.
1. Finish up our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content
It’s been fun and nostalgic to dust off some old favourites – and interesting to discover that a couple of games are better than I remembered – as we’ve tipped off some celebrations of NBA Live’s 20th Anniversary with retrospectives and other content. Truth be told, we were a little late in getting that content out there as the series did debut in 1994, though it first came to PC in 1995. As I’ve admitted on the NLSC Podcast, I was perhaps a little overly ambitious with some of my plans for the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, and a couple of delays have meant that it will now be extending into 2016.
However, while the timing could have been better, I’m still keen to get all the content out there for you to enjoy, including articles, videos, and even a few patch releases. I’m hoping that those of you who have enjoyed that content so far don’t mind that the rest of our celebrations are going to be a little belated, and are looking forward to some more fun stuff coming your way. I would have liked to have wrapped everything up and posted all this stuff on time, but now that it’s tipped off, I do intend to play through to the final buzzer, so to speak; no rage quitting here! In any event, you can expect to see the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content continue (and wrap up) this year, ahead of the release of NBA Live 17.
2. Make better use of the NLSC Wiki
The NLSC Wiki is something that we’ve been trying to make a “big thing” for a while now. Andreas was the one who suggested creating a wiki for our resources several years ago, and while we have been able to put it to good use to some extent, it definitely could be better. The problem here is that there’s some overlap with the Forum as far as modding resources and the like, and the 1% rule makes it difficult to get a lot of people involved. That’s not intended to be a shot at the community; I certainly understand that everyone is busy with their own lives, not everyone has the same knowledge, and a lot of people are simply here to find info or chat, not inform and create. It’s kind of how it goes with Internet culture, so it’s definitely not just us.
All the same, I do want to push our Wiki as a project for the community in 2016. I see what the Fallout community has done with The Vault, and I admit, I’m a little envious. The Wikia network obviously has a lot of fandoms covered. Even the Commander Keen series has a thriving and informative wiki! I’ll certainly be doing my part in adding content to our Wiki, but I would like to once again invite the knowledgeable and dedicated members of our community to lend a hand in creating resources for their fellow basketball gamers. Whether it’s polishing up articles and adding extra details, or creating new guides and information pages, it all helps.
3. Increase discussion in the NLSC Forum and on featured content
In a similar vein, I’d like to see more people getting involved in discussions in the Forum, and in the comments sections of articles posted here on the main site. While there’s always a lot of activity in our modding sections, and any threads relating to bugs or technical support, there seems to be a reluctance to discuss the games in more detail. Generally speaking, these days we seem to have less people talking about what they’re playing, and sharing tips, tricks, and observations with their fellow gamers. Whatever the topic, if it’s not related to modding or technical support, a lot of people seem a bit shy about getting involved in, or indeed starting conversations.
As such, in 2016, I want to encourage everyone to speak up, have their say about NBA Live and NBA 2K (whether it’s positive or negative), and get involved in some good discussion. I also want to encourage people to make use of our off-topic sections, as the community is a friendlier place when we’re all talking. The same goes for feature articles here on the main site, as I’d love to use them to tip off more discussion in the community. Comments on front page articles are now also open to guests, though I certainly still invite anyone and everyone to register. My advice on how we can all improve the community moving forward? Speak up, get involved…quite simply, be chatty, and talk to one another!
As a side note, if you do encounter any problems while trying to participate in discussion, whether it’s a technical issue, friction with another member, a concern about the moderating, or anything that’s preventing you from being a vocal member of the community…let us know about it, because those are problems that we’d like to resolve as soon as we possibly can. Use our contact form, or hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter.
4. Continue to expand our original content
I was very pleased to add some new forms of original content to the NLSC in 2015. In addition to the aforementioned 20th Anniversary of NBA Live features, we’ve also added Kenny’s columns, Monday Tip-Off, and Wayback Wednesday. It’s been great to have another voice in our editorials with Kenny’s articles, and I’ve enjoyed being able to write some columns in formats other than The Friday Five. While the list format of the Five is useful, I’ve liked having a second column that doesn’t have to adhere to a set structure. I’m also intending to change things up a bit with Monday Tip-Off here and there, so that it won’t always be an opinion piece. On some occasions, it might be a video, or some other fun thing to start the week.
As you may have seen, I’ve been producing some videos for Wayback Wednesday, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing that. It’s new and challenging for me, and with YouTube being long established at this point, video has obviously become entrenched as a popular medium for gaming content. As such, there will be more videos on the way, in addition to our columns and of course, the weekly NLSC Podcast. I’d like to get even more articles, videos, and original content onto the site, specifically content that not only critiques, rates, and discusses the quality of the games, but also reflects upon our experiences with them, and ways to maximise our enjoyment of them. To that end, we might be looking to expand our staff in the not too distant future.
5. Get back into modding…at least a little
While I’ve moved into producing different content for the site in recent years, and it’s all stuff that I’ve really had fun creating, I have to admit that I do miss releasing patches and mods. Obviously, there’s only 24 hours in a day, and since the NLSC isn’t my day job, I have to ration my time accordingly. As the years have gone by, that’s meant less and less time for patching, on top of the other projects that I’m interested in doing for the site. Burnout has also been an issue for me, as I’ve been involved in the community and modding scene since the early days of NBA Live. However, from time to time, I’ve definitely felt an urge to be creative, and produce a patch.
While I don’t think I’ll ever be as prolific as I once was (and sometimes still wish I could be), I would like to release some more patches and mods in 2016. It’s my goal to do that as part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, and I’d also like to get a little more involved in NBA 2K modding. Discussing projects I’ve always wanted to do on a recent episode of the NLSC Podcast has me thinking that I’d like to give a couple of them a shot. Aside from that, I’ll always do what I can to support our talented modding community, through maintaining our resources, the Forum, and our upload facilities. I’ve said it before, but I’m proud to be a part of a community that is as talented and creative as ours is, and I expect to see more great stuff this year.
There’s much more that I want to do, and expect to do, with the NLSC this year. However, for the moment, I’m done talking about it. I want to start putting those plans into action, and delivering more content to you, the loyal NLSC supporters, and the wider basketball gaming community in general. I hope that you’ll stick around and be a part of what we’re doing here, as the site celebrates its own 20th Anniversary in 2016…yes, we have been around that long! In the meantime, your feedback and suggestions are most welcome in the comments below, as well as in the Forum. That’s all for now, so thanks for checking in, have a great weekend, and please join me again next Friday for another Five.