12:36 PM - June 6, 2015 by ChaseB
One of the best things I read this week came from Kotaku. Rowan Kaiser wrote a feature about his ongoing time with NBA 2K13 on PC. (And on a personal level, I'm a big fan of Kaiser's work, so it was a double dose of goodness for me.)
The feature is about how he's modded NBA 2K13 and turned it into an alternate reality where he mixes today's stars with the stars of old -- and even those that never were like Len Bias -- and creates a new NBA concoction all his own.
And I believe this article really speaks to a lot of what many within the Operation Sports community are all about. It's about realism with a twist. It's about controlling your environment but allowing for the organic to happen. It's about fighting against the negatives because you want to love the positives so much.
In his case, the biggest negative is a shaky simulation engine, which again, is really high up there on the list of things that continually come up with all sports games here. And the simulation engine bothers him because he's trying to create a believable world within the unbelievable. A 30-team controlled franchise where he tries to setup some interesting parameters -- interjecting himself into the story at points -- and seeing how everything comes together, which is hopefully in a "believable" manner.
My favorite part of the article comes near the end as he describes why he keeps playing this game:
And I think that in so many words explains why many people love sports games and get attached to certain versions. Games like College Hoops 2K8, or NCAA Football 2014 or NFL 2K5 are remembered and continue to be played because they're the last of their kind on top of being really good games. And old versions of an ongoing series like NBA 2K can still be remembered and played for similar reasons.
So many are quick to move on to the next year's version because we're fiends like that, but this type of interaction with an "older" sports game makes it understandable why there is such outrage when old games get turned off, and why people fear "always-online" in many situations, and why many believe editing tools should be more and more prominent: You create a world, you want to live in that world, and you want to fix that world so you can live in it for as long as you believe it to be worthwhile
In a way, that can all sound very much like something out of Star Wars where you just want to bring balance to your game and peace to your virtual world. Or it can sound very scary and more like a dictatorship where you demand that things must run this way, or they are otherwise invalid and unacceptable.
Regardless, it's why we play the game, and it's why many keep coming back.
Source - My Crazy, Russian-Modded, Alternate Reality NBA (Kotaku, Rowan Kaiser)