The Tuesday Triple: My Basketball Gaming Pipe Dreams

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.

I have been active in the NLSC community for almost 9 years now and there are still these unattainable pipe dreams that I have and simply cannot let go of. I have made Street mods for damn near every PC basketball game since NBA Live 2005, I did my best to help to narrow the modding ability gap with all the tutorials I have done over the years, and I have gotten to assist great tool makers like Leftos and Vlad create the modding tools we use today. I have done a lot, but there are at least three ideas I have that I know will just never happen for me.

NBA 2K14 Street Mod Failed MultiCourt

Free Throw – The ‘Perfect’ Street Mod

I will admit that some of my Street mods have been downright lazy. I have made ones that were literally nothing more than all the teams playing on a single street court and wear practice uniforms, enjoy, eh. Then I have my creative lapses, where I go on a creation binge every 6 years (NBA Live 06 and NBA 2K12) and make courts, and just rehash and reuse them for the next few years. It certainly does not live up to the quality I would like it to be.

This year’s mod is probably the best one I’ve made. Plenty of uniform choices, almost two dozen courts, and actual gameplay changes. Still, there is soooo much more I wish I could do. I want the player-specific uniforms of 2K’s Blacktop mode in the 5on5 game modes like I had in NBA Live 07. I want a Blacktop mode worth playing like NBA 2K10, but with the newer presentation elements. I want there to be a customized structure to the mod, like Midnight Ballers for NBA Live 07. There is just so much I can not do because either Live PC allowed for it and 2K PC doesn’t, or because 2K is removing features year after year. I just need to accept that my ‘perfect’ mod can’t happen.

Jumper – The Rabbit Hole

I reference ‘The Rabbit Hole’ project a lot. You can see its explanation above, long after Leftos and I started brainstorming this amazing project while playing Trials (timestamped!), of all games. Essentially we were going to create an external program that would reference NBA 2K PC’s memory to extract box scores and stuff to have our own in-depth addition to Association mode. Everything from TV ratings, suspensions, improved accessories for injuries, player demands, player chemistry, attendance changes, moving teams to different cities, and so forth. It was going to turn NBA 2K PC games into nothing more than a way to play a team manager-esk game.

But then he had to go and sellout by getting hired by 2K. Ahh, I think about all those ideas we had, and get depressed…then I realize that the mastermind behind how it was all going to actually work with the game is now working on NBA 2K15, then I get really excited. Of course there are limitations, I doubt 2K will allow for players to get suspended and have personal issues pop up during MyGM, but a lot of the other ideas would be amazing in the actual game…but not as amazing as it could have been if this idea actually happened. I don’t have the programming expertise and I don’t know if anyone else would be up to tackling it. I guess I’ll just stick with running Blacktop ‘leagues‘ with NBA Stats Tracker.


Three Pointer – Making My Own Game

There are like, no indie basketball video games. Everything indie and basketball hasn’t been much more than mobile HORSE clones or text-heavy managers. There are a couple of alternatives on PC, sure. FreeStyle Street Basketball and stuff like Fronte del Basket. Basketball is a tough sport to replicate for gameplay it seems, and understandably so.

So what would I want to make? I have no idea. I have thought about and RPG kind of game, a turn-based 1v1 game, some top-down view ideas, and just many other ideas that wouldn’t even compete with NBA Live 95. I would be better off figuring out Java and editing NBA Live 2004’s menus to change the game to behave how I want it to, like the NHL04 Rebuilt 2014 modders do. Or just modding NBA 2K1x.

I should have kept count of how many times I sighed while writing this article. I know I will never be completely happy with a street mod, that ‘the rabbit hole’ will never become a reality, and that I will never learn programming to make my own game. These are facts, but they are still pipe dreams.

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June 25, 2014 1:18 am

Great read.

Got me to thinking about the ideas my cousins and I had growing up about making not only basketball but all sports games better. Who am I kidding. I think about that now. Every time I play.