The Australian National team will be playable in the upcoming NBA 2K17 and it’s certainly got aussie hoops fans excited, but this is not (officially) the first time the Australian Boomers have been featured in the 2K franchise.
This is due to the mammoth job the team behind the NBL2kMOD project, the first digital replica of Australian basketball in the world of gaming.
If you’re not aware of the game, that’s fine, it has a few hoops to jump through before you can take the court as an NBL legend.
The game is accessible by purchasing NBA 2K13 for PC (available for less than $15AUD if you shop around) then downloading and installing the three zip files from http://nbl2kmod.com.
The NBL2kMOD offers a gargantuan range of rosters with over 100 teams ready to go head to head against a friend or the CPU.
No matter if you want to play as the West Sydney Razorbacks or take on the Hunter Pirates because you like to reminisce about two now-defunct teams, you can.
Teams included in NBL2kMOD:
- Every team from the 2004/05 season up to the 2014/15 season
- Every championship team since 1980
- 22 classic teams from the NBL since 1980
- Two Australian Boomers teams (1996 and 2014) and one New Zealand Tall Ferns squad (2014)
- The NBL 25th Anniversary Team which was announced in the 2003/04 season
- The 2012 South and North All-Star teams.
The creators of NBL2kMOD say the project has been a longtime project of love, aimed at giving back to the Australian basketball community.
“There has always been a lot talk in the community regarding the development of an NBLMod for NBA2k and I didn’t want to be a just another person saying that’s a great idea, I actually wanted do it”. Said one of the games admins who prefers to remain anonomous.
As the game developed it became clear that this was also a chance to show respect to the NBL and its players.
“At first, I had no idea what I was getting into or where I wanted to go with the project but, as time went on and with quality people becoming involved with the project we’ve finally created something that any NBL fan can get behind.”
This is your chance to find out who was better in 1995, the South East Melbourne Magic with Sam Mackinnon, Tony Ronaldson and Adonis Jordan or the North Melbourne Giants with Darryl McDonald, Chris Jent and Pat Reidy?
Not only does the NBL2K mod have jerseys, players, detailed and accurate faces, courts, and period correct advertising, but the attention to detail is astounding.
Examples of the thought and detail put into the project are on show in games where defunct teams from the 80’s and 90’s feature a score table which is merely two wooden benches, as opposed to the up to date scorers tables of today which are seen on court when the user plays with recent NBL teams.
With such amazing attention to detail, I asked the NBL2KMOD Admin what goes into creating a team:
“Research, research, research” the admin made clear.
“The key thing is to do a lot of research to ensure we are as accurate as we can possibly be. It was very time-consuming sifting through magazines, basketball cards, old tapes, and spreadsheets to find the exact information needed”
The hours spent to maintain this project went beyond one man, it was spread over a large group of Australian Hoops faithful. A number of key volunteers being the difference between the project continuing and falling over.
“There are a number of developers, beta testers, and contributors on this project. Two guys by the name of Brad and Wilson who have stuck by this project through thick and thin. Their efforts and contribution should not be overlooked”
The team did not compromise on detail, resulting in each and every team member spending gruelling hours, especially prior to the game’s initial launch.
“Everyone’s contribution varies. I took a few weeks off my job once to focus solely for the first release, In recent times I have had to take a step back so I can focus on my job. However I still find myself touching up something, a court, jersey, or making a roster adjustment.”
Throughout the project fans of the game have been vocal, often asking for the game to include their favourite team. So far the team have done their best to continually expand the rosters, but fans don’t often realise it’s not something easily done.
“Let me put it this way, if we took every suggestion that came our way we would be creating every team from every season and as much as we would love to do that we just don’t have the time to do so”
Adelaide 36ers fans will find their team particularly well represented, with many of the developers avid 36ers fans.
“I won’t brush over the fact that working on the Adelaide 36ers teams has been a great joy. They were really supportive of the project from the beginning and have been great in supplying artwork and resources to help ensure we create a quality product”
Fans of the game will be able to go head to head on the 6th of August with the eSports Gamers League holding an event at the home of the Adelaide 36ers, the Titanium Security Arena with champions being crowned for Mario Kart 8, Pokémon Go Gym and the latest update for NBL2Kmod.
“This is to showcase our product to an audience who may not have heard of the NBL, our mod, or have the software and equipment play it. I would like to make it very clear we are ONLY doing this for the love of the project, not one person on the team is making any money through ticket sales, hiring costs, or is being paid any hourly rates to be there. All proceeds go to the group putting on the event and we strongly support the eSport gaming movement in this country
Many ask if the NBL2kMOD will be updated for the most recent NBA2k games but unfortunately, due to the project being solely based on volunteers the time required to deliver this would be unrealistic.
The NBL2Kmod website currently cannot be reproduced on home consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, but the team hope that with the addition of the Boomers squad to NBA 2K17 perhaps things could change in the future:
“One would hope that 2K Sports see the value in supporting a project like this and MAYBE, just maybe it could happen… No promises though.”
eSports Gamers League – Event information
eSports Gamers League – Ticket Sales