Developers of the NBA 2K series are tasked with a tough assignment each year: How do they improve upon last years entry? In their latest trailer for the game the developers themselves try to answer that question with an insightful look at the work they’ve put into this years edition.
The main idea behind the latest trailer is the added realism; making for the game’s AI to act uniquely to certain coaching decisions and creating new challenges for the players as the AI adjusts their strategy from game to game. Mike Wang (2K’s Gameplay director) stars alongside Scott O’Gallager and Jerson Sepida (gameplay producers for 2K) as they each candidly give their thoughts on the new gameplay.
Wang references the 2014 NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers and their adaptations to each other as an inspiration. Matthew Dellavedova’s emergence into the starting lineup (and who was often an annoyance for reigning MVP Stephen Curry) and the Warrior’s coaching decision to play small ball were directly mentioned. Wang adds “Basketball is a game of situations. The way players react too as they see schemes on the floor. The way the coaches can see the patterns that you’re trying to do and recognize it and try to adapt to it.”
Sepida praises the improved motion system. The AI relies heavily on this to improvise the best plays on the spot to make in a given scenario. Sepida gives an example using Stephen Curry in an off ball screen scenario while noting “He’s not stuck in anything he can continually evaluate the floor.” O’Gallagher mentions this was something the team was unable to perfect before.
Wang also showcases the game’s new collision system. A major complaint among longtime fans of the series was the tendency to get stuck into an animation when colliding with an opponent, often resulting in loss of possession. Wang puts confidence that this problem is erased with its new physics based system.
Up to 4 sizeup signatures moves are given to the player, a major step up from the usual 1.
A new footplanting technology was briefly glossed over. With this new technology the game detects when a player’s toe touches and leaves the ground. While this may seem like a minute thing this is said to help with visual authenticity and physics. With momentum being a long standing problem, this new feature is something fans may want to take notice of.
NBA 2K16 drops September 29 for Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC. Those with preorders get the game five days earlier