NBA 2K11 Presentation and Cameras

  POSTED September 15, 2010

Check out this amazing details and screenshots about NBA 2K11 Presentation, Dynamic Attendance, Cameras etc.

 Screenshots Gallery

Pregame Opening Presentation

The dev team watched a ton of NBA games and focused on some of the more interesting approaches TV Broadcasts take to kick off their shows and worked them into our game presentation flow. I won’t spoil all of the different openings, but, ‘oh say can you see’ these pics below to get an idea. What I will tell you is that we have different types of opening sequences. Some take place inside the arena and some take place outside of the arena.   

Dynamic Attendance
Have you ever noticed that at a Lakers home game, during tip-off, the seats aren’t quite filled yet? As if half the ticket holders are stuck in 405 during rush hour. 

Well, when you tip with Bynum come NBA 2K11, expect to see a couple of empty seats that won’t be filled until half way through the 1st Quarter. And this doesn’t just happen in LA, it happens in pretty much every city. We took attendance numbers and watched a lot of footage from every team in the NBA to make sure the numbers were as accurate as possible. Depending on which city the game is being played in, and who the players on the scheduled road team are, the arena may or may not be at full capacity at the start of the game. Over the course of the game, the arena will fill to its capacity at different rates.. 
Also, check out the arena at the beginning of the 3rd quarter to notice that some of the crowd takes its sweet time getting back to their seats. If you’ve ever been to an NBA game in person, you know that the lines for EVERYTHING (bathrooms, concession stands, etc…) can take a while so we thought it would be cool to represent this in the game. And if you are the unfortunate victim of a stomping on your home court, don’t wait for our NBA2K11 crowd to stick around for triple zeros.

This is just a basic overview of the Dynamic Attendance feature. Look for Erick Boenisch to go into more detail about how this works in The Association. It’s pretty cool.

New Scorebug Design
The home base of every sports broadcast is the ‘scorebug’. Like the dashboard of your car, this continually displays the core data for the game. Our new scorebug not only keeps you informed, much like a broadcast, but it also gives a heads up if you’re turning the ball over too much, committing too many fouls, and more!!. It also simply let’s you know who’s currently on the floor.

This was actually the first change we made to the game. Eeyup, I can recall that day. We moved the scorebug from its old position at the top/center of the screen to the bottom/right of the screen. This accomplished 2 key things:

1) From a visual standpoint, it just makes the game look more like an actual broadcast.
2) It opened up the ability for changes to the default camera system (see below).

Once the position was established, a lot of polish went in to what is displayed and how it’s displayed. From “the little things”, like different animations when the numbers increment depending on how a team scored (2pts or 3pts), or the entire scorebug slightly fading away (don’t worry you can still see it) when a ball handler happens to be standing on it. To “the major things”, like in-game updates: Fouls, timeouts, violations, etc... This is all done in the style of a major network broadcast.

‘The Little Things’

Updated Cameras

When Major Networks come to town, they place the majority of their cameras in the same positions. This is done for a variety of reasons: some creative, some logistical. But the result for fans is a core visual game flow similar from night to night for an easy visual comprehension. With this in mind, the new camera system in NBA 2K11 acknowledges these camera positions and their assigned behavior, This will bring forth a gaming experience similar to what you might see on a major sports network.

Broadcast Camera (Default Camera)
The first order of business was to re-work the default camera. Well, actually this was the second order of business after redesigning and repositioning the scorebug. From a design standpoint, since the scorebug was going to live in a different place, it opened up opportunities to do things that we were unable to do with the camera in 2K10. The adjustments on the surface seem subtle in still pictures, but once the game starts to move, you get a better sense for what weimproved.

The next move was to create a system that would allow us to adjust the focus (what the camera is looking at) and focal length (think zoom) dynamically. 

Comparing 2K11 to 2K10 in motion side by side, you notice that in 2K11 we frame the action a certain way or we zoom in or out depending on what is going on in the game. In 2K10, the camera didn’t really encompass this feature with the exception of Key Zoom. For example, when a jumper goes up in NBA 2K11, the focus & focal length adjust to follow the flight of the ball while maintaining the proper framing that is needed to prepare for a potential rebound if the shot happens to miss. This is one of those nuanced features, that, had I not told you just now, you probably wouldn’t have noticed. This is a good thing because the new system is at work in the gameplay videos that have been released and no one has had an issue which can only mean good things!

It’s not just about following the flight of the ball on jumpers – The-in game action dictates the camera adjustment. The idea is to make it feel like the camera operator is making adjustments on-the-fly to frame the action as it happens. The ball is always live (always has been actually) and the camera system is now smart enough to account for this.

You can see the first look at the Halftime Show in the gameplay video released today: Watch it here. This does not have Around the League (explained in next paragraph) as this is saved for the NBA Today 2.0 / Audio Insight coming soon.

Halftime presentation has added some extra depth. In the past, halftime had one segment which broke down your current game with stats and highlights. That stays the same. New to 2K11 is the second segment: ‘Around the League’. This segment updates you on current scores and schedules and also includes leagues standings data. This way you are never far from the latest news and notes around the NBA while you are plowing through your My Player season. You’ll see Damon Bruce break down all the action. Again, this will also be addressed further in the Audio Insight by my man Joel Simmons.

Playoff Specific Presentation
We wanted to differentiate Playoff & Finals games from Quick Game and regular play in The Association. We’re hoping that seeing the changes in presentation going from an 82 game season in The Association to the Playoffs is welcomed by the hardcore and casual fan alike. The atmosphere during the Playoffs just feels different. I am sure Erick will speak to this more. 

But one thing I can tell you: Just like TNT or ESPN, when the playoffs start, the production gets an upgrade. So goes with 2K11. Increased game intensity means more camera cuts, more camera angles and a pumped up crowd that will amp up the game environment. Combine that with more post game celebration, that includes confetti and more dynamic player reactions, and you get a post-season that really feels like an NBA post-season. Maybe even a certain surprise upon winning the NBA Championship?

The Pressbook is back and has seen a few upgrades from last year. 

Upload 1 Photo At A Time - For anyone who plays 10 – 12 minute quarters, *raises his hand* and falls asleep while uploading the entire 200+ photo slideshow, you will now be able to upload specific photos to your 2KShare.

Better Photo Variation 
Did you tire of seeing 13 different photos of Kobe Bryant taking a jump shot? Me too! Fixed! 

Wish we went a little closer on some of the photos? Me too! Fixed! 

The closer shots are REALLY cool when intense guys like KG are screaming or showing some sort of emotion. What’s even COOLER is when a photo like this is accompanied by that player’s actual signature (poster style) – which brings me to …

Players Signatures - The NBA has the player’s signatures on file digitally, so we were like, “Hey, can we use those?” and they were like, “Sure.” Get ready to see signatures on photos of signature moves (not just jumpers), high level dunks and all contact dunks. 

Home Cookin’ (Home Crowd Participation)
Next time you play as the road team and pull off one of those Signature Gather moves (as seen in the Controls Trailer), you might just see a couple of the wanna-be referees in the crowd stand up and beg for a traveling call from the guys who get paid to be officials. Not only that, but when calls go against the home team, you’ll see some the crowd react in a similar fashion. 

This was done in an effort to give the home crowd a little personality and to mimic the kind of stuff that YOU may do when attending to game (I can’t be the only one who does it). It also shows that the fans know what’s going on in the game. The best part about this is the percentage of the crowd reaction differs from city to city. 

It’s pretty cool that the spectators aren’t there just because we have to make the stadium look full. Another example of this (which is my favorite) is certain players doing their signature rituals on their home floor before tip-off, and the crowd actually responding to them . Nuts right?

Jordan Player of the Game Reel and Other In-game Presentation
A boat load of presentation elements have received some nice upgrades for 2K11. The most significant upgrade is the Jordan Player of the Game segment. This season we have infused the reel with a variety of filters and quick cuts to really give you a show at the end of the game. Combined with music from the NBA2K11 Soundtrack I am sure it will get you excited for another run. 

The mascots and cheerleaders have also become more of a focal point in-between plays. No longer are they just background fodder. During timeouts, and/or between quarters, you will be treated to a cheerleader routine topped with some mascot wackiness. 

But for me, what is even more exciting than dancing bears is really seeing the psychological game between the refs and the coaches. If a coach is not pleased with a call, you will see the coach unload on the ref. A bad play on the floor by a player will trigger a more visceral response from Coach, but I am sure Phil Jackson will be his usual zen self. The coach and refs are no longer dormant chess pieces but really a part of the game. 

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