The next-gen edition of NBA 2K14 will feature an updated version of the game's real-world integration feature, NBA Today and story-based options in its MyGM and MyCareer modes.
During a recent press event in San Francisco, we spoke with Visual Concepts and 2K Sports senior producer Erick Boenisch. NBA Today is part of 2K's vision to deliver a "daily zap" to players that helps them keep in touch with scores from recent games, video highlights and more. In the current-gen version of the game, NBA 2K14 updates on a daily basis. It changes the in-game ratings of basketball players based on their real-life counterparts. It's a system that, when compared with its next-gen big brother, is less adaptive — and arrived much more quietly.
"[NBA Today] is a feature we put out there a little silently for our current generation of the game to kind of test it out and tune it before the next-gen one comes out," Boenisch told Polygon. "In the [current edition of NBA 2K14], it's like 'Hey, the Lakers played last night. They lost 115 to 114. Kobe had a pretty good game.'
"In this one, it's going to be like 'They lost on a last second shot. Kobe missed it but he shot 14 for 28. He had 31 points. Got in foul trouble late in the game.' And that's the kind of detail that you don't get from the old system."
"You'll get scores of games that are going on in real-life."
The feature works by streaming info from the NBA that 2K then processes and turns around for quick use. Boenisch called it "an entire pipeline" of data that streams in and out at all times.
"Even when you're playing the games, when it's halftime, they'll cut to games from around the league," Boenisch said. "You'll get scores of games that are going on in real-life in the half-time of your local game."
NBA 2K14 players can also expect a "complete reimagining" of previous franchise modes called MyGM, Boenisch said during a presentation at the event. Like past titles, this mode will incorporate role-playing elements. After crafting a new basketball player, which becomes the GM, players can level up attributes and special skills. Players will also negotiate new contracts and build relationships through the game's new conversation engine. According to Boenisch, players who wish to succeed need only to make interesting decisions.
"There are no right answers, and there are no wrong answers."
"In MyGM, there are no right answers, and there are no wrong answers," Boenisch said. "There are only actions and reactions. You create your own story."
This is also reflected in the game's MyCareer mode, which features interactive cutscenes and more than 40 hours of gameplay. During the presentation, we watched a handful of cutscenes in which a custom created character worked his way into the league from rookie status. In addition to dialogue options, the mode will also set players against a rival.
At the end of event's presentation, 2K Sports teased another upcoming feature called "The Park." Using a uniquely created character, it appears that players can roam around different courts and play free-style games with other players online. However, details were not provided at the time.
NBA 2K14 is currently available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. The game will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at their respective launches.