Some Ideas To Make MyPlayer Better...
The following article is a guest post from Jeremy Hartman. If you are ever interested in doing a guest post or series of posts, let us know with an e-mail.
Every year when the latest iteration of NBA 2K is released, I race home to crack the game open and begin hatching my master plan to make the virtual NBA Hall of Fame. I head directly to MyPlayer mode and decide if my created point guard will be a 6-foot-1 Kevin Johnson clone or the next coming of Penny Hardaway at 6-foot-7.
I really don’t even bother with the other modes. I’m strictly a MyPlayer junkie. The amount of hours I spend in this mode borders on the insane. With that being said, the mode can oftentimes become a grind. The initial story wears off, and you really just continue trying to play games in order to gain new badges or attributes. However, I believe there are some simple ways to make the mode more engaging, and even more realistic. Here are a few ideas that could bring virtual NBA life more in line with reality.
Where I’m From – I enjoyed the Spike Lee twist to MyPlayer this year, but I’m not really from New York and feel like that took a bit of the personal aspect out of the mode for me. I’m a kid from rural West Virginia; the New York tagline didn’t really suit me. I’m sure folks from legendary basketball states like Indiana wanted to live out their dreams as well. Allow me to pick my town and state again, and let me create my own high school much like NCAA Football used to do in the Road To Glory mode. There can be generic versions of uniforms we could easily edit with colors and font, and you could even have the player participate in a respective state playoffs before choosing a college.
Speaking of Higher Learning – The college recruiting pitches were a welcomed addition to MyPlayer this year. They should be kept in the game and more schools should be added. I realize there are some potential legal hurdles with adding schools, but it’s worth the old college try. Also, allow me to stay in school another year if I so choose. In this year’s version, I thought I would have to make a decision whether to stay or go after my freshman year. Imagine the surprise when the cutscene ended and I was in the draft! Take advantage of the new rules allowing me to declare for the draft and get feedback on where I could potentially be drafted based on interviews and my performance at the Draft Combine. This could help me decide if I want to stay in the draft or head back to school to improve my stock.
Draft Combine – As of now, there is no true way to know where your MyPlayer will end up during the draft. I tried multiple times to get drafted by a different team this past year but still ended up in Charlotte. Add the NBA Draft Combine and let me participate in the drills and mock interviews. The drills could be simple to implement as many of them are already in the MyPlayer practice mode. Interviews with general managers was in previous versions of the game, so those could also be put back in play. At the end of the combine, provide my player with feedback on where he could potentially be drafted at and let me decide what I want to do. If I feel really confident in my potential as a top draft pick, let me choose to skip the combine altogether and test fate.
Is It The Shoes? – If you’re a die-hard MyPlayer person, you’ve inevitably spent time deciding which shoe company to support and which shoes to wear. You’ve also likely created multiple custom pairs of shoes to match your team’s uniforms. Unfortunately, if you are a Nike fan, you’ve had to spend hard-earned VC to buy the shoes as there appears to be no Nike shoe deal in the game this year. Custom shoes carry a hefty 3,500 VC price tag. Shoe deals for multiple companies should be brought back to the game -- with a slight adjustment. Top draft picks often sign shoe deals before they even play an NBA game. This should be represented in the game as well. If I am going to be a lottery pick in the upcoming MyPlayer draft, why not have shoe companies fawning over me and trying to get me to sign with them? Add some cutscenes with reps from various shoe companies making their pitch to me and let me decide which option I like best. This opens up a plethora of possibilities as the shoe contracts could be incentive-based and only last for a certain number of years. When a player’s shoe deal is about to expire, have rival shoe companies make a pitch to get you to jump ship. This happens with all of the stars, so it should happen in MyPlayer as well.
Summer, Summer Time – After players get drafted, many times we go right into season play. Why not take advantage of the NBA’s summer season and allow us to participate in one of the NBA’s Summer Leagues against other rookies and potential free agents? The games do not have to be long -- potentially three-minute quarters. It adds another level of realism to the game, and it could be another way for the franchise that drafted you to provide feedback on your role for the upcoming season. This could even be taken a step further with NBA Preseason games. I do believe there should be an option to simulate these games if the player wanted to, but the possibility of an attribute upgrade would make them worth playing.
Gold Medal Dreams – Many current NBA players have hopes of representing their countries in the Olympics. Make this available in MyPlayer as well. With the recent screenshot release of Paul George in his Olympic uniform, this could be a possibility in 2K17. Add the option of having the Olympics every four years during your MyPlayer career as the FIFA series did with the World Cup. This would add another goal for players to shoot for in hopes of wearing their country’s respective colors.
Tweet & Retweet – Social media is big business these days. NBA players are having their tweets re-posted on ESPN when amazing feats happen during the playoffs. I would like to see the feature be brought back to MyPlayer. Give me the opportunity to tweet out marketing campaigns again. Allow me to tweet other stars to see if they want to team up to form a Big 3 in LA. And of course, who could forget the ability to talk serious smack to another player or just have some fun via Twitter.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of features that could be added. Many of the features currently in the mode, such as connections and other endorsements, should continue to play a vital role in the game. What features would you like to see added to provide more depth and realism to the mode?