NBA 2K12 Developer Insight #6- Training Camp

  POSTED September 12, 2011

Jerson Sapida, Gameplay Producer, brigns his first Developer Insight for NBA 2K12. He introduces the new Training Camp mode for NBA 2K12.

 Screenshots Gallery

Before I get into the details of the feature, let me first take this time to thank you, our fans, for the overall success of last year’s NBA 2K11.  It’s been a hectic and fun dev cycle for 2K12 (yes, both can co-exist) and I’m excited to share with you what we’ve put in for this year’s game.  Now on to the Insight!

During the development of NBA 2K12, one of our main goals was to create a mode where the user can learn both the basic and advanced moves that the game has to offer.  This should be a mode where someone new to 2K basketball can just jump in and master the controls with ease.  At the same time, it should also offer veterans of the series something deeper to give them that extra winning edge.  But we didn’t want to stop there.  To make learning the moves fun and easy, we implemented a Feedback System.  This system works in 2 ways: first, you will see the move performed by the AI, showing you the buttons needed to be pressed and/or stick input.  Second, the Feedback System precisely detects when and where you made a mistake when you are attempting to do a particular move. 

And with that, Training Camp is born.


Training Camp takes you through all the facets of NBA 2K12’s gameplay.  The moves are categorically broken down by Lessons.  There are a total of 9 lessons in all:

  1. Jump Shots – Shots such as the fadeaway, escape dribble pull-up, stepback jumper, spin jumper, etc.
  2. Layups and Dunks – Master the Shotstick with moves such as hop step layup, reverse dunks, change shot, etc.
  3. Triple Threat – Learn the moves at your disposal pre-dribble; jab step, protect, and dribble launches.
  4. Dribble Moves - Moves with a live dribble; crossover, in-and-out, behind the back, etc.
  5. Post Offense – Learn the all new post system; spin fake, aggressive drive, shimmy shots, etc.
  6. Post Defense – How to counter and defend post moves.
  7. Off-Ball Offense - Moving without the ball; moves such as screens, jukes, spin cuts, and stutter cuts.
  8. On-Ball Defense – Learn how to shut down the ballhandler.
  9. Passing and Offense – Advanced passing such as give-and-go and alley-oop.


Before I go any deeper, let me first talk about the Mentors in the mode (as you probably noticed in the image above).  For each lessons in Training Camp, a Mentor awaits.  His role is to teach you all the moves from that lesson and provide you with tips on how to master them.

For instance, in the Jump Shots lesson, Kobe Bryant will be training with Michael Jordan.  You will be in control of Kobe during training.  As you progress through Training Camp, new Player/Mentor pairings awaits you.  Dwight Howard and Hakeem Olajuwon is another one. 

The Mentor’s role in Training Camp is the following:

  1. Show you how to do each particular move
  2. Provide you with additional tips that can be applied in competitive play
  3. Challenge you to a test after each lesson

Learning Moves

As soon as you begin training and practicing a specific move, the Mentor will first show you how the move is performed.  During this, you will notice a controller graphic on the screen.  While the Mentor is demonstrating, the controller will actually mimic his movements.  Think of it as watching someone who has mastered the game showing you the commands.  The on-screen controller displays the following:

  1. Buttons/Stick required to do the move are highlighted to show you the gesture
  2. A step-by-step description of the command

The controller graphic is really helpful since it will give you visual feedback on how the move is actually performed.  If a particular move requires a half-circle gesture with the Left Stick, you will notice the Mentor move his stick in that direction.  This is very helpful since it will also show you where it needs to start and end from.  There is no more guesswork required.

If you run into a move that comes off as particularly difficult, the Mentor will be there to give you some pointers.  For instance, when you fail a move, the Mentor might give you a tip to steer you in the right direction.  You may be pushing your stick too soon or too early, not holding a particular trigger, or flat out just not listening to a word he says.  Either way, he’ll be sure to let you know. 

At any point during training, you can ask your Mentor to show you the move again.  Use the Mentor Assist when you are having any trouble performing a move. 

Moves Challenge

At the end of each Lesson, the Mentor will want to make sure that you remembered everything he taught you.  Let’s say you finished going through all of the Post Offense moves with Hakeem.  After doing so, he will challenge you to a game.  In order to pass the challenge, you must use the moves you learned during the lesson.  There is a required score that you must meet in order to pass.  Once you accumulate enough points, you can then move on to the next Lesson.  Don’t worry, he’ll take it easy on you.  Or will he?

To those new to the NBA 2K series definitely check this mode out when you get the game.  Even if you are a longtime 2K gamer, I still recommend jumping into Training Camp.  There are new controls and mechanics in NBA 2K12 that you will want to know about.  New post moves, dribble moves, Shotstick controls, and defensive controls, just to name a few.  Future gameplay insights will delve into these mechanics in detail, but for now I will say that there will be much to learn in NBA 2K12.

At any point in Training Camp, you can quit out and resume it again at a later time.  The game will save your progress to your Profile save file. 

Oh, one more thing before I sign off: as an added incentive, there is a special reward to those who complete Training Camp.

Until next time...

Jerson Sapida

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