NBA 2K23 Producer Interview Behind the Scenes of the Jordan Challenge

The latest game, “NBA 2K23,” in the enduring basketball game series, was released on September 9th. In addition to the newly evolved “The City,” “2K23” also carries the long-awaited “Jordan Challenge” mode. Pound returns.

Thanks to 2K’s invitation, we interviewed Erick Boenisch, developer of Visual Concepts studio. We got a better understanding of the in-game Jordan Challenge mode and the new evolution of The City.

Here are the interview details:

Q: Jordan Challenges is an exciting mode in “NBA 2K23”. Like the Johnson Challenge, the Olajuwon Challenge, or even the Chamberlain Challenge. Will we have the opportunity to play the careers of more great historical players in future “NBA2K” works?

Erick: That’s a good question. It was fun to develop the Jordan model. Most team members are basketball fans, so the production process is full of passion and love. From the jerseys, the crowd, the filters, and the faces of the players, to the retro game experience, all of them have gathered our efforts.

As for your question, I won’t reveal our plans now, so there will be fewer surprises. Maybe I will give you an answer when I wait for 2K24 (laughs). Right now, I want players to enjoy Jordan Challenge because it’s a landmark mode for sports games.

Q: There are 15 games in Jordan Challenges. How do you decide which games in Jordan’s basketball career can be put into this mode?

Erick: I have to say, it’s tough to choose. We aim to look back on Jordan’s basketball career in the way of games. Among them, we restore his performance in the NCAA: the championship battle with Ewing in 1982. He also recreated his ’84 “Dream Team” experience, where you were able to fight alongside the baby-faced Chris Mullin (laughs). We’ve also included his not-so-reported experiences in Jordan Challenges. Aside from the much-talked-about three-peat and “The Shot,” we went back to the roots, focused on Jordan’s early career, and kept the game time within a reasonable range. At the same time, tell a good story thoroughly and interestingly.

The famous “The Shot.”

Q: The rules of the NBA league during the Jordan era were very different from today. In actually playing, I also found that the game experience of Jordan Challenges is very different from the mode under the current NBA rules. How did you reflect on the time? What about in the NBA?

A: We put a lot of effort into restoring the game. To make the game look more realistic, we want to reproduce each team’s style, tactics, player movements, shooting hotspots, and preferences, which have been restored in 2K23.

An excellent example is when you play against the Detroit Pistons, known as the “Bad Boys,” they will follow the “Jordan Law” to the end. The principle of “Jordan Law” is to lock Jordan’s breakthroughs and let him shoot outside. Every time Jordan goes inside, Joe Dumars and Dennis Players like Rodman with a ruthless style will bring it down. At that time, Jordan’s shooting ability was a relatively weak link, so “Jordan Law” made him suffer a lot.

Similarly, when you play 2K23 and control the Bulls against the Pistons, the opposing players will also implement the “Jordan Law,” and you can feel their aggressive and arrogant style of play. Jordan Challenges has truly restored history, and every detail you can think of has been handled accordingly.

Detroit’s “bad boys” really made Jordan suffer a lot.

Q: Each game of Jordan Challenges has set some unique goals, but are you worried that challenges such as 69 points in a single game, lore, and overthrowing Byron Russell are challenging to achieve in the game?

Erick: That question, yes or no. Jordan’s record of 69 points in a single playoff game is legendary. In 2K23, players can also try to get 69 points and reproduce that miracle. The challenge to complete is not only 69 points. You have to call ten rebounds, 3 blocks, and so on. However, we won’t make it difficult for the players. You don’t have to complete all the goals at once. You can plan well, first score 69 points in the challenge, do it again, and score 10 rebounds. Conduct. You can start the next game after reaching 69 points, regardless of other goals. As for whether you want to challenge yourself and achieve all your goals at once or if you wish to be more casual and focus on reliving Jordan’s career story, it’s entirely up to the player.

Q: During the Jordan Challenges game, we hear many nostalgic voices. As far as I know, the competition invited Mike Fratello and Ray Clay to re-record the broadcast and commentary. How did they feel about this mode? And did anything interesting happen while working with them?

Erick: The classic voices in NBA2K23 are not only Mike Fratello and Ray Clay. We also invited Phil Jackson, Jane Buss, Kenny Smith, Chris Mullin, Patrick Ewing, and Marve Albert (known for “The Voice of the ’90s NBA”).

Everyone is very enthusiastic about this model and passionate about telling the history of the NBA to the audience. Mike Fratello is so good. He sits there, doesn’t need any script, and the story continues. And what’s remarkable is that the history we tell in the game is first-hand information, not a manuscript or book written by someone, which makes history come alive. As for Ray Clay, he’s perfect enough as long as he does what he does best, uttering the opening remarks, broadcasting, etc., in our familiar voice.

Well-known NBA commentator Mike Fratello.

Ray Clay, Bulls announcer.

Q: Jordan Challenges uses different video filters according to the age of each game, which undoubtedly brings more nostalgia and immersion to the players. How did you come up with the idea of developing this filter system? what about? Did you encounter any difficulties during the development process?

Erick: We have been troubled by this for a long time. We spent half a year developing this filter system to make the game look more realistic and closer to the 90s. Although the elements, such as brightness and color, gave us a lot of headaches, fortunately, the final result was satisfactory. We restored the game effect of that era and brought the original experience to the fans.

Q: “The City” born in “NBA 2K21” has expanded a lot of gameplay content based on the original “Career Mode.” How did the idea of ​​the City come about at that time? Do you have any more exciting ideas for this mode later on?

Erick: The NBA2K community has been around for a few years, starting with 2K16 and continuing through 2K20. As the game enters the next generation, we naturally have the ability and conditions to make more exciting and prosperous content, that is, to turn “community” into “The City.”

Fans love the idea of ​​”The City.” suppose you’ve followed from 2K21 to 2K23. In that case, you can feel that we have inherited the advantages of “The City” before but also innovated this year: a dynamic matchmaking system, new events every Friday, ubiquitous Stadiums, lively urban environments, and more, and in “The City,” you can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5 at will. As for the future, let’s wait and see. I can guarantee that we will not let you down.

Q: In “The City,” many street corner areas have different styles. Landscapes such as jungles, medieval castles, volcanoes, etc., are all part of “The City.” Why are such diverse landforms used to display “The City”? Scene?

Erick: The feedback from fans has a high reference value for game production. Everyone does not want to play in the same building, and the same scene day after day, so we made changes this year.

We try to combine different themes and environments. For example, in the jungle area, we have placed scenes such as poisonous snakes and temples to make players immersive; in the castle, we have placed elements such as armor, and the experience will be completely new. These are the ideas that we have listened to the feedback from fans, got inspiration from them, and then generated ideas, so scenes such as volcanoes, castles, canyons, jungles, and even theaters came into being. It is worth mentioning that with the version update, more themes will be made for fans to play.

Q: In “The City” of “NBA 2K23”, the “Subway Station” function was added to allow players to go to the destination faster. This seems to change after you listen to the player’s suggestion. In addition, players, What other tips do we have for “The City”? What changes have you made on this basis?

Erick: Yes, we considered fan suggestions. As I said above, we attach great importance to the feedback of our fans. They often complain that walking is too time-consuming and so on. Well, we will add fast travel, you need to click, and you can instantly teleport to the place you want Places to go. In addition, the design of The Block, the reduction of the scale of “The City,” and the introduction of new game modes are all changes we made after considering the feedback from fans. In short, everything is for the players.

Q: As you said, the “The City” of “NBA 2K23” is generally smaller. How do you ensure that the game content is more abundant in the case of a smaller area?

Erick: I think it’s probably a more efficient use of space. In NBA2K22, we designed a lot of “useless” buildings. In 2K23, this situation has been optimized. We will plan the location of the mission and the play area, make the layout of the entire City more dynamic, make the composition more reasonable, reduce the superfluousness, and give players a refreshing experience.

Q: What kind of basketball community do you hope to build “The City” into?

Erick: I want “The City” to be a competitive, vibrant, fun community. At the same time, it is also a community that brings all NBA2K players together:

  • Meet new friends.
  • Meet equal opponents.
  • Create your personality.
  • Express your feelings in the game.
  • Be your most authentic self.

And most importantly, I want it to be a community where all players can have a great time playing and have a lot of fun.