Feature Article
NHL 2K10 Q&A: Part One

The Operation Sports community recently had a chance to ask Ben Bishop, Producer at Visual Concepts, some questions about NHL 2K10. This is part one of two.


Operation Sports: Will Playoff beards and Zamboni come back this year?

Ben Bishop: Yes, both playoff beards and Zambonis are back this year. The Zamboni mini-game will be available separately now too, so you won’t need to play through a period to access it.

OS: Any new playable camera angles and/or changes to the ones from last year? I'm particularly interested in the broadcast cam.

Ben Bishop: The main addition here is that we have a new camera this year called “Overhead”, which is similar to the current default 3/4 camera, except it’s higher up to give you a better view of the entire offensive and defensive zones. The other cameras available are very similar to what was in NHL 2K9. 

OS: Does "signature style" go beyond equipment? With the exception of Ovechkin, will we see any signature celebrations or authentic skating/shooting/goaltending animations for notable NHL'ers?

Ben Bishop: Signature style is definitely more of a visual thing in our case. We do have some unique celebrations and other motions we’ve been able to capture when we’ve had players like Ovechkin and Rick Nash suit up to do motion capture for us, but it’s certainly an area we hope to expand on more in the future.


OS: How in deep is the create-a-player and create-a-team?

Ben Bishop: Create Player and Create Team have both gotten overhauls this year, and Create Team in particular is significantly deeper than anything we’ve ever done before. The amount of customization available is huge, and you can create some really authentic looking uniforms if you feel like putting the time into it. And of course, this year you can take your created teams online to play with your friends against other created teams out there to see who’s the best. Stay tuned for quite a bit more info on Create Team in one of our upcoming Developer Insights on 2ksports.com.

OS: Will NHL2k(10) give us the option of playing on line leagues with injuries "on?" If the answer is "no," then has this option ever been considered?

Ben Bishop: Not this year. This is definitely something we would like to do, but just haven’t had the resources to implement yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to include it in next year’s game.

OS: Will 2k10 feature post release support (roster updates, patches if needed, etc)? For both systems (360 & PS3)?

Ben Bishop: We will have regular roster updates, and title update support is possible if needed.


OS: Is Online Franchise in? How many users can play in an online franchise?

Ben Bishop: Users this year will have the ability to invite online friends and other players into their franchise games. You can potentially play with a total of 8 human players in an online franchise game – 4 on each console.

OS: Will the franchise mode generate a new schedule every season? In 2k9 we had to play the same schedule every season.

Ben Bishop: Schedules after the first year will now be randomly assigned season to season so you indeed do get some variety.


OS: Will there be an All-Star game in franchise/season mode?

Ben Bishop: Due to the Olympic games this year, and lack of venue, there will be no All-Star game in franchise this year. You will however still be able to play with the All-Star teams that played in Montreal this past season.

OS: Has the franchise sim stats been fixed? Last year was very low compared to real life.

Ben Bishop: A lot of work was done this year to produce more accurate results from simming, so you will see better results across the board.

OS: Will there be a separate playoff mode from Franchise?

Ben Bishop: Yes, new to NHL 2K10 is a separate “Playoff Mode” which allows you to create an NHL Playoff or an International Tournament.

OS: How have contracts/free agency been improved?

Ben Bishop: The biggest change is that players now have ambitions, so they won’t have the exact same salary expectations for every team. Some players prefer a prestigious team, and others will be more strongly affected by motivations such as loyalty, fan base, and the team’s ability to win a Cup.


OS: Are the stick Handling Dekes mapped to the right stick or are they dial a deke (A+B+Right Bumper)

Ben Bishop: You can stick handle with the R-stick to bring the puck forehand or backhand, as well as roll it farther out or even behind the player. There are 1 on 1 Moves and Ovi dekes available, as well, which include several contextual animations, but that is a completely separate feature.

OS: What has been done to make the skating engine more realistic?

Ben Bishop: The biggest change to the skating engine was the addition of the new backwards skating model. The animations in general look much smoother now, and you will see more crossovers and better looking turns. You will also have the ability to position yourself more accurately, which is key for things like setting up at the point on the power play and angling players off towards the boards on defense.

OS: Will Stick Lifts result in High Sticking and Hooking?

Ben Bishop: Stick Lifts can result in Hooking, Slashing, and occasionally Tripping penalties. Stick Lifts can be a very powerful tool, but you have to know where you are on the ice and who you are controlling if you want to be successful with them. If you don’t think you are in the right spot to cleanly get to the opponent’s stick, or if your player has a low Discipline rating, you should either try to get in better position first, or attempt another defensive action. Otherwise, there’s a decent chance you’ll be spending some time in the penalty box.

OS: Will all NHL Penalties be present in NHL 2k10(Delay of game, High Sticking)

Ben Bishop: We don’t quite support every possible penalty in the NHL, but we did a lot of work on the getting the ones we do have to be called in the right situations and with the proper frequency.


OS: What new sliders have been added?

Ben Bishop: Here’s a full list of the gameplay sliders that are available in NHL 2K10:

Game Settings
Skating Speed
Speed Burst Length
Speed Burst Recovery
Fatigue Recovery
Shot Speed
Goalie Rebounds
Pass Speed

User Speed Burst Effect
CPU Speed Burst Effect
User Fatigue Effect
CPU Fatigue Effect
User Checking Effectiveness
CPU Checking Effectiveness
User Shot Accuracy
CPU Shot Accuracy
User Pass Accuracy
CPU Pass Accuracy
User Creativity
CPU Creativity
User Team Goalie Skill
CPU Team Goalie Skill
User Stick Lift Success
CPU Stick Lift Success
User Pass Interceptions
CPU Pass Interceptions

CPU Shot Frequency
CPU Pass Frequency
CPU One Timer Frequency
CPU Dumping Frequency
User Stick Lift Frequency
CPU Stick Lift Frequency
User Team Shot Block Frequency
CPU Team Shot Block Frequency
User Teammate Body Check Frequency
CPU Body Check Frequency
User Teammate Poke Check Frequency
CPU Poke Check Frequency
User Teammate Def. Aggressiveness
CPU Def. Aggressiveness


OS: Will there be custom soundtracks for PS3, or even the ability to play music from the XMB during gameplay?

Ben Bishop: We do not support custom soundtracks on the PS3 this year.

NHL 2K10 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 texbuk84 @ 09/03/09 09:36 AM
ok. they have me nervous a little bit but i still will buy.
# 2 FlyingFinn @ 09/03/09 10:38 AM
No high sticking for stick lifts
Same penalties as last year
# 3 CreatineKasey @ 09/03/09 11:22 AM
The online franchise sounds pretty fun. I'll consider it.
# 4 Flyermania @ 09/03/09 11:24 AM
Disappointing to see that the PS3 gets the shaft yet again on custom soundtracks.
# 5 kennyacid @ 09/03/09 12:01 PM
damn i shouldn't have read this....things dont look to good. Imma still get it but man very disappointing.
# 6 Gosens6 @ 09/03/09 12:09 PM
Franchise still seems a big lagging... Looks like ill have to go the NHL 10 route this year which is a big dissapointing. I had faith in 2K this year
# 7 asu666 @ 09/03/09 12:48 PM
I'd still love to know if I have to reset the camera before each game this year or if the prefered camera view is saved in the main menu. I loved the side cam last year, but it's a pain to have to pause and switch it before each game.
# 8 savoie2006 @ 09/03/09 05:22 PM
Gosens,they have a Franchise Insight next Monday, you may want to wait before you say it's lagging.
# 9 original6 @ 09/03/09 05:56 PM
Nice additions to the sliders, but do they work?
# 10 original6 @ 09/03/09 11:07 PM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
The say they do, but we shall see.
Duh-oh, no pinning frequency slider! The big thing for me is, as I stated in another thread, can the game sliders be adjusted to have the game flow and play realistic, yet have a cpu that is threatening and can score? My general experience has been once you slow the game down to a realistic speed, the cpu becomes harmless.

A big slider to check will be the defensive aggressiveness, since WWTC's gameplay vids are exhibiting a rather passive retreat and collapse cpu defense.
# 11 tabulaRasa @ 09/04/09 04:27 AM
They have pinning, even showed in a gamespot movie, and they have always had it. Funny that so few asked for pinning (when 2k have had it for years) in the sim department, but after Littmans movies all "sim-heads" require pinning....haha....so funny....

Anyhow, the movie over at 2Khockey looked good.
# 12 original6 @ 09/05/09 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
Well WWTC said that they have pinning. They were in the ign videos they should a while back.
Yeah, I know there's pinning in the game, but no slider to adjust the frequency of it like there has been in the past. Watching WWTC's vids just didn't seem gritty enough for my liking. I expect to see more board scrums and all. Perhaps his game lacked in boardplay due to the constant puck movement.
# 13 original6 @ 09/05/09 01:40 AM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
I think if you turn up the dump slider that will help it.
Good call. Other possibilities that could help would be checking effectiveness or defensive aggressiveness (more likely to pin near the boards rather than check?)
# 14 original6 @ 09/05/09 11:35 AM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
The other thing. If it works this year. It would be cool to set all four lines the way they should be in real life. I know the Sharks first line don't really dump and chase. That would be cool to have all the lines act like they do in real life.
You actually can do this with 2k9. The trick is setting all of them up before starting a season/franchise and then saving the roster file. Then load that roster file when starting a season/franchise and all of your strategy settings will still be there for each team. I used daflyboy's strategy settings suggestion and applied it to each team except my user-controlled on and it worked brilliantly. So, I'm guessing you'll be able to do the same with 2k10.
# 15 original6 @ 09/05/09 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
I did it, but it did not really work. Even one of the devs said it is much better this year. They also, said the teams play like their real counter part team. If that is the case that is SICK!
Hmmm, didn't really work? It worked fine on my 360 console.

I wonder what they mean by "it is much better this year"? That's a pretty vague statement
# 16 slickdtc @ 09/05/09 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by Flyermania
Disappointing to see that the PS3 gets the shaft yet again on custom soundtracks.
That ****ing blows, man. I missed out on custom soundtracks with the XBOX in the last gen, and now that the PS3 can get songs straight off an iPod or MP3 player, I was very hopeful that custom soundtracks would make it into the game. Plus, with MLB 09 The Show doing a great job with soundtracks, I was pumped for what could be. Alas, I am let down. I was really looking forward to hearing some of my favorite songs playing after goals, during breaks in the action, etc. Very disappointed in this. It was one of my favorite little features of MLB 09.
# 17 original6 @ 09/05/09 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
That is cool, maybe it work for you. I ask them and they told me it didn't work like the way they wanted it too. It wasn't real response. I think because they still attack the net too much. They say it works better now. Who knows.

Read this.

Ah, I see. I thought you meant that the way I was able to set each teams' strategies in a roster file and have it work in franchise/season mode didn't work. You're saying daflyboy's dump and chase strategies in general didn't work for you. Got it.

One year they did have team preset strategies that supposedly played like their real-life counterparts. I think it might have been 2k6? Anyone?

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