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Old 08-25-2006, 08:11 AM   #1
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the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

Welcome to the terror dome ladies and gents. This isn’t for the faint of heart as we go deep into the heart of nba 2k7’s AI. There is no better test for computer AI than how it operates against an overaggressive apparently unknowledgeable weekend warrior video game basketball enthusiast. Not to our surprise IGN happened to have just the novice we needed to get the job done right


Now I hand this presentation off to Operations Sports own Czar of the telestrater Sam40.

Good morning. I know you all can’t wait as I can’t for the game to be released. So while we wait lets see if we can find out what’s really under the hood of this self-proclaimed NBA simulation.

For the first part of our in depth discussion you all will need your very own downloaded copy of the first 2 IGN play of the day videos. As we breakdown the film I think you will join me in acknowledging this is seemingly one of the most intelligent playing basketball simulations I have ever witnessed. (please note I have been playing inside drive 2004 extensively the last few weeks to see if 2k7 would make the grade) While the true test will be upon release lets see what we can see.

In an effort to focus on the Ai we will be dissecting the Lakers offense and Cavalier computer controlled defense against and despite the button mashing prowess of IGN’s finest.

Que up the video please.

After the tip the Lakers setup what appears to be a high post offense with the center and pf on opposite sides of top of the key and Kobe and Lamar on the wings. As you pause notice the spacing of the cpu offensive players this will become an integral part of how nba 2k7 gets the job done right.

@0:08 of your video watch a Smush rubs snow off the high screen by Kwame, notice how Smush creates space by keeping a nice angle when snow gets rubbed by the screen. FREEZE IT(EXCITEDLY) ..

Notice how the post defender at the high post guarding the man who set the screen, does what we call a show on the screen .. that is he protects the lane while his man fights over the screen to prevent Smush from coming off the screen and going directly to the basket. He switches from overplaying his man on the right to the left to protect the basket and stop the cheesers favorite of just run around a screen and dunk.

( actually it is a partial show on the screen a full show would have him step all the way out and force smush further out on the floor. That is what will activate a pick and roll situation)

This allows snow to fight over the top of the screen .and get back into position.

( some of the os bretheren commented on how good the plays were run in ID 2004 so during my last few weeks of research I analyized that aspect and the key to the plays in ID appeared to be the spacing on the floor and the timing and effectiveness of players coming off screens. As well as an apparent INTENT of the cpu to run the play TO SCORE, and not just go through the motions .Keep that in mind as that is Exactly what we see here. )

Lakers Possession number 1

@ 0:11 Smush passes to Kwame at the high post and watch Lamar do whats called a duck in . He plants himself under the basket forcing the defense to play him there. If he is matched up with a smaller defender this would be a great time to post him for the quick dump.
User tip
If your running this play and have a mismatch at this position it is the perfect time to select Lamar and use that new feature (forget the name) where you cycle through the players and select one guy and have him post up or come off a screen) and post up Lamar for a quick score to keep the d honest about anticipating the screen)

@ 0:12 watch as once Kwame gets to the opposite side of the foul line Lamar makes his move to come off the screen. Notice the slight pause by Lamar as he watches the defender decide not to chase him but cheat over the top of the screen .

User Tip
Which would be the perfect time to use the icon lead passing to fade Lamar to the corner once d starts cheating over the top. Use the fade to corner to beat up on cheating defenders! Icon lead passing is the real deal !!

@ 0:14 notice how unlike 2k6 Lamar creates space when coming off the screen by coming off at an angle which creates space even though the defender cheated the screen which makes the defender have to cover more ground to defend the jumper (which would then allow for backdoors if the cpu was inclined to do so later in the game.) Lamar pulls up for the open J and misses.

Lakers Possession number 2

@ 0:37 Smush gets the team back organized. He brought the ball up at @ 0:33 but they had nothing so he reset and guys got in position for a set play. After getting setup they run what appears to be a similar set to their first possession with PF and C at top of key and Kobe and Lamar on the wings.

@ 0:39 Mihm comes out to set the high screen for Smush who again creates space and again the post d protects the paint by doing a partial show. Right before he comes off the screen Kobe and Lamar interchange ( change sides of the floor )

(Last time the play was ran kobe stayed on that side of the floor in the baseline corner)

Instead of going to the corner like kobe did (maybe a different play I don’t know. If it is indeed a variation of one play then this game is a different beast all together but regardless this is still some good stuff) Lamar posts up. He is fronted by Bron
Bron and Smush keeps his spacing making it impossible for his defender to help without giving up open 3 to smush.

NOTE
Importance of cpu play variation is there are only so many plays that a team can run but different people can score off of the same play in most instances also it would greatly help replay value if the cpu was able to vary certain plays with small litte wrinkles to keep game play fresh. Unless you play a team 4 time you should only see these wrinkles come playoff time.

@ 0:40 FREEZE IT (like Vitale ) This is very impressive defensive ai


User Tip:
A great defensive team will rotate on the pass. Even in a man to man defense depending on where you are on the floor you rotate from on the ball to deny or deny to help or help to one the ball. Again great teams don’t wait for the ball to be caught. They will rotate when the ball is in the air.

@ 0:40 Notice how Gooden leaves kwame while the ball is in the air. Then simultaneously the man guarding Kobe slides down into deep help because of the rotation of Gooden to the double team. Also notice Big Illguskus (I’m not going to spell it right so forget about it He will be Big Illy from here on out) drops deep into the paint as if he is aware that he might have to rotate to kwame OR back out to his man… Notice he doesn’t fully commit to Kwame but rotates half way. (freaking brilliant)

@ 0:42 as they double Lamar hard in the short corner and Kwame first wait’s to give lamar space to operate until he sees the double team. He then dives to the basket

@ 0:43 Lamar makes a beautiful pass to Kwame and Big Illy rotates to him. The evil genius user does not rotate and they leave Mihm open for the J. the person guarding Kobe wisely decides they rather have Mihm shoot than Kobe and Mihm hits the open J.

Right now its time for a commercial Break but when we come back be prepared for more in depth analysis from your very own Sam40.

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Last edited by Da_Czar; 08-25-2006 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

lol - only got through part of your post but can't wait to read when I get to work. Nice job S40
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

WOW, from your heading, I thought Mike Fratello was breaking down a video, and thought Memphis was looking to trade for Allen Iverson......LOL
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FootballForever
WOW, from your heading, I thought Mike Fratello was breaking down a video, and thought Memphis was looking to trade for Allen Iverson......LOL
My Bad !!!
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

cool, and that was only 2 possessions... 2k7 must have got you in the mood for writting

keep the report coming
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Old 08-25-2006, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

Great analysis! When I was casually watching the vids, I noticed an authenticity that I've never seen before. But when you analyze it like you did, you see how much work VC put into the nuances of gameplay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samuel40
If your running this play and have a mismatch at this position it is the perfect time to select Lamar and use that new feature (forget the name) where you cycle through the players and select one guy and have him post up or come off a screen)
They included that? Nice! That was essential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samuel40
Instead of going to the corner like kobe did (maybe a different play I don’t know. If it is indeed a variation of one play then this game is a different beast all together but regardless this is still some good stuff)...

NOTE
Importance of cpu play variation is there are only so many plays that a team can run but different people can score off of the same play in most instances also it would greatly help replay value if the cpu was able to vary certain plays with small litte wrinkles to keep game play fresh. Unless you play a team 4 time you should only see these wrinkles come playoff time.
I'll be happy if they just take advantage of the 1st open option. That would create some variety. Last year the CPU seemed to want to run plays all the way through even when someone opened up earlier.

But some variations would be sweet. Someone slipping or popping instead of rolling for instance. Even running a play from the opposite side of the court would help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samuel40
@ 0:40 FREEZE IT (like Vitale ) This is very impressive defensive ai

@ 0:40 Notice how Gooden leaves kwame while the ball is in the air. Then simultaneously the man guarding Kobe slides down into deep help because of the rotation of Gooden to the double team. Also notice Big Illguskus (I’m not going to spell it right so forget about it He will be Big Illy from here on out) drops deep into the paint as if he is aware that he might have to rotate to kwame OR back out to his man… Notice he doesn’t fully commit to Kwame but rotates half way. (freaking brilliant)
This is fantastic to see.
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

And were back with the man.. the myth.. the legend in his own mind… Sam40

Thanks Lets head right back into the action. Coming up the AI shows that be it a structured offensive set or a secondary transition opportunity It is prepared to give you a run for your money.

Lakers Possession number 3


@ 1:23 we catch up to the action with Kobe pushing the ball up the right side of the floor after a missed free throw. A great example of how the cpu seems to force the tempo without rushing or making bad decisions just because they pushed the ball up the floor.

@ 1:25 we find our favorite user doubling Kobe as he crosses the half court line. Kobe passes the ball to Mihm who is running full blast and comes to one of the most fundamentally sound and realistic jump stops I’ve seen in a video game.
Notice he didn’t just take a small hop because of how fast he was moving. He takes a large jump to catch the pass in the air and comes down with it in triple threat position.

@ 1:26 watch the cpu defender guarding Smush rotates over to guard Kwame who would have a lane to the basket if not covered.

@ 1:28 the defender guarding Lamar sees parker open and moves toward him then knowing its to late to challenge the shot dives down and finds Lamar and Boxes out and lo and behold guess who gets the rebound??? That right folks Gooden. That is attention to detail on the defensive side of the ball. Intelligent play not going out to Smush and staying home for the rebound.

User tip:
Double teams not only give up open shots but also leave you open for offensive rebounds due to the possible mismatches due to defensive rotations. So think carefully about who and when you decide to double team as the price could be considerably more than just an open shot as teams tend to shoot better than 50% on second chance opportunities. Also consider progressive fatigue if your constantly using turbo to cover distance to rotate because of double teams.

Brillant play by the cpu reacting to the action on the floor and not a script. Also notice Lamar was open earlier on rotations and took the extra dribble for the mid range J. While Smush hits the tre. It called player tendencies people … to borrow a phrase… its in the game.


Lakers Possession number 4

@ 2:10 parker brings the ball up court to … Can you guess ? That’s right folks (Jim Carey Voice doing James T kirk Impression) another ill advised double team by novice user.

User goes for the swipe and puts himself way out of position and Leaves Lamar WIDE open on the left wing. Now does the cpu go thru its preprogrammed option of run this play for Kobe ? as my favorite method actress Whitney Houston would say “Hell to the Naw”

@ 2:11 ball is passed to Lamar and user makes mad dash into the paint. Please notice that the post defender Big Illy (I think. it’s a blurry mess) does not run out to Lamar at the 3 point line because it would leave Mihm wide open. So Big Ill waits

@ 2:12 Lamar head to the basket with a strong dribble and Big Illy rotates to Protect the basket By some stroke of divine inspiration our favorite whipping boy makes the correct move and rotates down to mihm. Proving that indeed a broken clock is right twice a day. And Lamar knocks down the jumper. Also notice that Big Illy does not get the block but does challenge the shot. Very key as some guys online just play as the center and rotate over and block everything which isn’t all that realistic.


Lakers Possession number 5

@ 2:30 after a horrific pass by the user the Lakers reset after frantically trying to push the pace with Lamar to make something happen in transition. They move the ball back into Smuch’s hands and reset.

@ 2:33 watch Kwame get Great position in the middle of the paint. Parker looks him off as now they are looking for something in particular on offense

@ 2:36 Kobe clears to the left side of the floor and notice the spacing

@ 2:37 watch as Mihm jumps to the pass to prevent it from being stolen and then squares up Even though Mihm is in the mid post look how much space he has between him and Kobe on the left baseline corner. Kobe comes up shooting with the defender playing off but still challenging and knocks down the beautiful J

Well its time for us to pay the bills here again. Don’t go anywhere because will be back to finish this amazing first quarter of Video.
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: the Czar breaks down play of the day. Targets AI!

Wonderful job breaking down the Offensive AI. Anxious to see the wrap up of the first quarter.
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