Interview: 9 New Features In NBA 2K10


TGIP:  Hi everyone, we’re here with NBA 2K10 lead designer Erick Boenisch to talk about some of the new features that the latest iteration of the series brings to the table.  Erick, thanks for being with us.

EB:  No problem.

1.  “Social Networking” Statistical Ratings

TGIP:  The NBA recently put the kibosh on tweeting and other forms of social networking during games, and team owners are making sure that their players are aware of the pitfalls of this new phenomenon.  This isn’t your daddy’s NBA, is it?

EB:  No sir, and 2K Sports is right there with “Social Networking” statistical ratings.

TGIP:  Explain to me how that works.

EB:  It’s like any other statistic.  Three point shooting, shot blocking, they’re all measured on a 1-100 scale, and this will be no different.

TGIP:  What’s the benefit of having a high “Social Networking” rating?

EB:  Well, for one thing, you won’t leave suicide messages on your Twitter and get sent to rehab.

TGIP:  Ouch.

EB:  Yeah.  A player with a higher rating will be less likely to lower team morale by complaining about team chemisty on his Twitter, blasting the general manager on his blog, or by posting a photo of himself wherein two hash bricks are leaning against his passenger-side door.


TGIP:  That sounds like a blast.  What is Shaquille O’Neal’s SN rating?

EB:  100, baby.  He’s the standard by which all others are measured.  Others with high ratings are Chris Bosh, Baron Davis…

TGIP:  What is Starbury’s rating?

EB:  12 out of a possible 100.

TGIP:  Really?

EB:  Oh, I’m sorry.  I was looking at the wrong column, that’s his 2-point field goal rating.

2.  Shaquille O’Neal Intellectual Property Theft Mode

TGIP:  What else do you have for us?

EB:  Well, we figured it would be fairly easy to model plagiarism, so we did that with “IP Theft Mode”, where teammates chemistry can suddenly drop when one makes a television show out of an idea the other had, and claims it was his idea.


TGIP:  And how does that effect gameplay?

EB:  It shows up in Association mode.  Team chemistry will plunge if you don’t do something to resolve the rift.

TGIP:  And how do you do that?

EB:  You get a menu option where you can either give the guy a producer credit or tell him to f— himself.

3.  Enhanced Training/Rehab Options

TGIP:  There seems to be a lot of depth to Association mode in this iteration, more than ever before.

EB:  Yeah- you will really feel like you are running the team, right down to managing how your stars come back from major injuries.  We’ve added a lot of depth this year…players even have “signature” training methods that have greater effects than the standard.

TGIP:  For example?

EB:  Well, Gilbert Arenas can train or rehab by sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber or oxygen tent.  That’s his signature menu choice.  He has other options too, like swimming, calisthenics, the treadmill, no-contact drills…you can micromanage every aspect of his recovery. 

TGIP:  Awesome!  His knee will finally be 100%.

EB:  Nope.


TGIP:  Any other signature choices?

EB:  Yao Ming has a choice unique only to him where he trains by taking nonstop 16 hour flights and getting worked to death by the Chinese National Team.  It actually WORSENS injuries.

TGIP:  Why would you choose it?

EB:  The game chooses it for you.

4.  CAPBLASTER! Minigame

TGIP:  I heard a rumor that you guys added some Easter Eggs this year.

EB:  (laughs) Yeah, you caught us.  If you hit a certain combination of buttons you can play “CAPBLASTER!”, a bullet-hell game featuring Rip Hamilton.  You control a $34,000,000 ship and every time some cap space floats onto the screen, you blast it to smithereens. 

TGIP:  What other features does Rip’s ship have?

EB:  If you hit circle, it plays a recording of him saying “Me, ref?”  The ship also has a special attack where it sulks if the 2P ship is getting most of the action.

TGIP:  Who is the 2P ship?

EB:  Kenyon Martin.


TGIP:  Old-school graphics…but why a space game?

EB:  It’s not science fiction- it’s an actual representation of the technology we’ll have access to by the time the Pistons are any good again.

5.  Delonte West Offseason Mode

TGIP:  Any new modes to tell us about?

EB:  Yeah- we’re branching out.  I can’t say too much about this one, but here’s a screenshot:


TGIP:  Let’s move on.

EB:  Yeah, I’m not sure that will make the final game, you know?

6.  Quitting On The Coach Option

TGIP:  Yes, back to basketball.  I heard a rumor of team-specific menu commands.

EB:  That rumor is a bit overblown- there’s really only one unique option and it’s for one team in particular.


TGIP:  What effect does that menu choice have?

EB:  The stats of all of your players go down by 30% across the board.

TGIP:  Does the option only appear if Mike Dunleavy is coaching the team?

EB:  We thought about that, but honestly, Baron Davis can quit on any coach. 

7.  Josh Howard National Anthem Customizer

TGIP:  Moving on, I see you added some spiffy effects to the pre-game options.

EB:  Yes indeed.  We animated the entire national anthem and introductions, and we’re letting the player dictate exactly how his players act during the anthem in Association mode.


TGIP:  What happens if a player doesn’t stand as if he’s got a broom up his ass during the anthem?

EB:  Nothing.

TGIP:  I said ‘player’, not ‘white player’.

EB:  Oh.  In that case, expect a lot of frightening emails from southern states.

TGIP:  Anything more to know about this mode?

EB:  Two players have signature anthem behaviors:  Josh Howard and-

TGIP:  Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf?

EB:  Bingo.  We snuck him into the game just for this mode.

8.  Joe Johnson Health/Energy Meter

TGIP:  I saw a screenshot somewhere of Joe Johnson with health bar…what is that about?

EB:  Oh, that’s another new feature!  Basically, we added a bar to alert Hawks fans to the exact point in the middle of the season where Joe runs out of gas and starts playing like s–t.  It happens every year so we can just re-use the code for NBA 2K11.  We coded it for about 45 games, which is actually a bit generous.


TGIP:  Is there any way to toggle whether or not Josh Smith takes perimeter shots?

EB:  Just like in real life, no.  But you can always just control him in-game and make sure he always goes to the hole.  And speaking of toggles…

9.  Memphis Grizzlies Selective Control Locks

TGIP:  That must be a segue into the team-wide control input locks.

EB:  Yes.  Basically, there’s a pass button in the game but every time we would do QA testing for the Grizzlies, it would never come up.  The team actually plays most realistically if you disable that input button.  It’s the only one we have on by default.


TGIP:  Are there any others in the game?

EB:  The Golden State Warriors can’t hit the pause button.  The New York Knicks can’t hit the button to contest shots.  Ron Artest can’t hit the button to put on his pants before boarding the team bus.

TGIP:  Fascinating.  Well, that’s all the time we have, Erick.  Thanks so much for dropping by, and congratulations on a great game.

EB:  My pleasure.


7 Responses to “Interview: 9 New Features In NBA 2K10”

  1. Card Game Says:

    Absolutely brilliant. Seriously, this was fucking fantastic.

  2. […] Are you ready for some basketball? The 2010 editions of basketball video games are coming out and here’s a look at the new features in NBA 2K10. (The Games I Play) […]

  3. this was freaking awesome dude

  4. taylor arnold Says:

    dude is dat delonte west thing 4 real???datz crazy

  5. I was skeptical about this being anygood at first but lol that was great

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