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mcdowell31's Blog
The basketball court as an open world 
Posted on September 30, 2018 at 06:36 PM.
Why 2K?

I try to be reasonable. I try to immerse myself into the context of the situation.

You have the absolute best simulation. This is simply basketball: It does not need sauce, sprinkles, bells, whistles... it is an entertainment unto itself.

Every year there is an over-used, automatic immersion animation that is absolutely dumb:

The first one that drove me crazy was the layup celebration 2-minutes into the game with a score of 4-2: Foot stomping "yeah I'm the man" and "you can't stop me". It would have made more sense in the final 2-minutes if a team came from behind and took the lead. But noooo... it would insert itself like an internet pop-up early and often. Not good.

That was removed and replaced with: "We got scored on because of you". Another half-baked idea as a majority of times the player was pointing and talking to... no one. Again, too much. Appropriate? Yes... once maybe twice per game on A TEAM WITH LOW MORALE.

Thank goodness that was taken out. But, the misuse of cinematography has lingered on and on like a bad odor: Yes, the zoom-ins on absolutely... nothing... not action in what is ostensibly an action sport thus an action video game. But, I've beat that horse in this blog without end. I'll stop this portion for now because I actually have some cinematic ideas that would easily make MyLeague a living, breathing, IMMERSIVE (game companies seem to love this word without good ideas of what it is) WORLD.

I should be playing, but instead, I'm here. What is the overused, noncontextual animation thus far in NBA 2K19 MyLeague?

DRYING THE FREAKING BALL.

Again, I'm 6-minutes in and for the second time my team "dries" the ball with their jersey: I have no choice, no agency in this. THE BASKETBALL COURT IS AN OPEN WORLD.

It makes no sense: I've played in reality and I cannot recall seeing anyone doing this. I have not seen kids at the gym do this and they play your game and are pretty impressionable.

From a logic standpoint: Who would dry the ball with a sweaty jersey? What would be more logical? Pass the ball to the referee with a "This ball is wet." In reality, the referee would stop the game and fix the ball, or immediately toss it back with a "Play on". This is not a real video game solution because ball drying adds nothing to the story of the game playing out on the screen.

There is nothing idiosyncratic about ball drying BECAUSE ANY PLAYER CAN DO THIS AT RANDOM. It is not triggered by anything; there is no cause and effect as found in open world immersion.

From a roleplaying standpoint: The player I control NEVER gets/gives tactile feedback to indicate the ball is wet and his control is compromised. Even if that were a possibility, I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS IN AN NBA ENTERTAINMENT VIDEO. It's not really a story element.

Every time I see these type of things I feel like it is a non-basketball person who is padding their resume with this lifeless, robotic, looping crap. The only upside is they can say "I worked on 2K".

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...
Gain some control over looping characteristics: Once maybe twice on any of these and they would not seem so dumb. I hate putting it that way, but apparently, the staff thinks we're dumb.

CONSTRUCTIVE IDEA
Not everyone can be a basketball head: Any creative activity is about good source material.

PLEASE stop with the illogical, Hollywood-inspired, flying-by-seat-of-pants junk that the consumer has no control over, and use instead...

NBA Entertainment videos as inspiration: Every professional basketball trope known to humans is in this library. I promise you it will make a marked difference in immersion.

Besides, you've paid for the license. The NBA would give access and the product would be... mature. The age minimum is ten. Most of us are not ten.

Love you guys.

Footnote: I started playing at 2 PM (eastern zone) when I was driven to type this. It's now 6:20 PM. I do not like overly emotional posts. When I finished the above, I put it away for rereading before posting. I occupied myself on/off until 9-minutes into the third quarter to cool down. The ball-drying animation popped again. Being fair, this is only the third time in 33 game minutes. It's tiresome though: I've seen it too much, and it's not logical. It's just immersion-breaking.

It's going to be a long 365 days.
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