Brad Davidson is the current producer of NBL 2k Ultimate. As far as NBL fans go, there might not be any more committed than this man.
NBL 2k Ultimate is a mod of the NBL 2k13 game which can be installed and played on your PC by following the instructions on their page here.
It is a faithful recreation of the NBL world. There is every championship winning team with the stadiums to match. There are professionally created faces of several of the current stars such as AJ Ogilvy and Casper Ware. Each week another update is released and it follows along with the current NBL season. Everything from the pink kit for Perth’s breast cancer awareness around to the injury replacement of Kevin Lisch has been kept up to date so far.
You can find the game here. It’s free to add to your PC with a copy of NBA 2k13 installed and takes no time to get going. Plug in your Xbox or PS3 controller and it’s just like playing the 2K games, only you with the Perth Wildcats, Adelaide 36ers and classic teams such as the Melbourne Tigers all playable.
As a huge fan of the game, I got in touch with Brad to have a conversation about what keeps him going, visions for the future of the game and plans for its future development.
Hi Brad, take us through more of your background and history with the game?
I became hooked on Basketball in the early 90’s, initially was just an NBA fan but once I went to a few NBL games in person I quickly grew to love both. I was a floor sweeper for the 36ers during the late 90’s and have been a regular at 36ers games ever since. Basketball and especially the NBL has given so many great times I am glad I am able to do something to help the league I love so much.
NBL 2K Ultimate is impressive and incredibly detailed, take us through how it started and what inspired you to get it going?
My former partner, also from Adelaide, began the mod several years ago and I got on board shortly after. We wanted the game to feel like a store-bought game so we went to great lengths researching and implementing what we could to give the game a real authentic feel.
The game allows you to edit almost everything from floors, arenas, faces, and advertisement. I want players of the game to load up a game and say, “I remember that court” or “I remember those jerseys” etc. I also like to make sure the advertisements are spot on and era-specific. These businesses supported our NBL, so I feel I need to acknowledge them.
In the game there is a large back catalog of teams including all the major championship teams, how did you handle the challenge of putting all these teams together and what were some of the challenges you faced along the way?
This is the area in the game I thought I could really show off my knowledge and show attention to detail. It’s easy to get today’s NBL right but to make accurate courts, players, jersey’s and photo’s from teams 20-30 years ago is where we could get a real “wow” factor. These teams did take a lot of time, doing research and trying to get every fine detail right takes time but those who have played as the retro teams have given me great feedback.
Which of the teams was most challenging and which one is your favorite? Tell me more about what keeps you going?
The early to mid-80’s teams were the most challenging, but I really wanted to do it right and pay justice to those pioneers who helped pave the way for the NBL we have today. Thankfully I could find a lot of footage thanks to YouTube and Boti Nagy’s historic articles and photo’s. My personal favorite would be the 1998 36ers. I was at every game during those years and we had such a fun up-tempo style of play with some truly great 36ers legends.
Some of the faces are incredible and really add to the sense of immersion in the game. Tell us more about the process of putting together the faces in the game?
Myself and the guy who originally started the mod have invested several hundred dollars of our own money paying to have accurate faces made for players. I can make faces to an extent but this is by far the hardest part of the game. We have had a few people donate to the mod but the mod is not for profit so all donations go into paying to have good quality faces made for the game.
The detail is always very up to date, even to the point of including the special pink jersey for Perth in the upcoming update. Take us through how you go about creating and updating these? Do you have plans to include the heritage month later this year?
I try to be like the current 2K games and release a up to date roster every week. I include all development players with proper photos and details, injury updates and rotation updates. I did not have time to make the heritage jersey’s last season but I definitely want to this year and have every jersey worn in an NBL this season in our game available to use.
I look forward to seeing this and again kudos to the ongoing updates, its great to jump on pre-round and play with the teams playing this weekend.
Are there any other updates you are considering?
I have been thinking for some time of doing an all-time roster for every team, even the retro teams. I would also like to get more videos up on the Facebook page and our YouTube channel soon. One other thought is to try and get a few current and former players to play the game and record the game then upload on YouTube and Facebook.
All-Time roster! If that comes out I think I might end up with too little time on my hands.
You are from Adelaide, how do you feel about the adding of Josh Childress and do you see Adelaide as legitimate contenders this season?
I love the signing, we have a great young Aussie core and Childress’ experience and leadership will do us wonders. The great thing about Childress is he can play and guard multiple positions and when healthy one of the elite players in our league.
I definitely think this puts the Sixers up there as legit title contenders but as we saw last season with Perth coming from the bottom with only a few rounds before the end of the season to win it, anything can happen. Maybe I could get to take on Josh in a game of 2K Ultimate while he is in town, now that would be something.
Laying down the challenge their Brad. That would be something and it would be great.
You have quite the collection of basketball DVDs online. What is your favorite game and take us through why? Favorite player ever and why?
I started recording a lot of games during the 90’s when we would get one NBA game televised per week and a few NBL games. I have never been a person to watch regular TV shows so I would record these games and re-watch them when I wanted to watch TV and no basketball was on at the time. This is how it started and I eventually was able to get copies of all those games I never got to watch as they were not televised here in Australia.
My favorite players all time are Nick Van Exel from the NBA and Kevin Brooks from the NBL. I like those players as they showed emotion when they played, I have always loved players who get the fans involved and know how to put on a show. I don’t have a favorite game but have been able to meet both Van Exel and KB which was an awesome experience.
What are your predictions for the rest of the NBL season?
I predict Illawarra to come storming back late in the season when they get over this brutal away stretch. I think it will be very closely contested like last season, the great thing about the NBL right now is that its so hard to predict and any team can win any given night.
We can go as far to say that the NBL might be the most competitive league in Australia which is great for the game.
If someone wants to install the game on their PC, how would they do it or how can they get more information.
Unfortunately, you cannot mod console games as you cannot edit files that use a disc which means this is not available on Playstations or Xbox. If interested in getting the game on PC eBay and Amazon have plenty of cheap copies of NBA2K13 available. Instructions on how to download and install the files are on our Facebook page @NBL2KUltimate. If you require further help you can message the Facebook page and I am more than happy to help you through getting set up.
If someone wants to get in touch, donate or just know more about the game where can they go?
For now, the Facebook page is the best and only way to get in touch. I do eventually want to set up a Twitter account but am yet to do so. Donations are welcome but I do stress the mod is free of charge and all donations are used to improve the quality of the game for us all to enjoy. Please feel free to message the page with any inquiries and please like my page, share the page and help spread the word. My ultimate goal is to see 2K show interest in our NBL and include our teams on their standard releases every year.
To find out more head to the NBL 2k Ultimate page, get in touch and jump in.
Find the game and the page here.