Hoop Universe (Working Title)

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Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:45 am

Updated 12/11/2018

Let me start by just recognizing that what I'm attempting to do is insanely and maybe laughably ambitious, but it has been fun so far so I'm going to keep going until it becomes impossible. I'm creating a 2D PC/Mac basketball game from scratch using a platform called Stencyl. The 4 key elements that I'm most focused on, and that make up any good sports game IMO, are visuals, gameplay, depth and customization.

Visuals:
The best way I can describe the feel I'm going for is a next-gen version of classic 90's SNES/Genesis games. The graphics are all in PNG format, so I can achieve pretty decent quality but since everything is sprite-based, the animations will have a retro feel. There are 3 classic camera angles: Horizontal (think Techmo or NBA Showtime '94), Vertical (like Jordan vs. Bird) and Diagonal (i.e. NBA Live 95).

Gameplay:
I'm not trying to make a pure sim game. That experience is already available and pretty well done by the industry powerhouses. My goal is to get sim stats but at a faster pace for those of us that only want or have time to play for 30 mins at a time.

Depth:
I want to create a "world building" experience in a basketball game. Players can create any number of leagues within one game - pro, college, high school or other amateur, international, pick up, etc. This will be done mostly through out-of-game editing/modding (see below), however I also hope to build robust in-game mechanisms for player and coach movement to capture the fun of draft day and trade deadline chaos, recruiting, free agency and the coaching carousel.

Customization:
This game is being specifically designed to encourage external modification. There will be limited in-game customization but huge amounts of external modding capabilities using common applications.
Graphics: Stencyl uses PNG files for all graphics, which is great for customization/modding because the files can be edited directly with whatever image editing software you like. Faces, jereseys, courts, logos, menus and broadcast overlays will all be very easy to customize. Shorts are going to be a little more difficult for very boring reasons that I won't get into but I'm working on it. Beyond just the superficial changes, animation modding will be possible as well.
Databases: League, team, roster and player data including ratings will all be stored in TXT files in CSV format. The ratings are stat-based (at least the ones that you can gleen from stats). I'll eventually release the formulas I'm using so that a roster can be created nearly automatically. The trick is going to be a developing universal system that spans pro/college/amatuer leagues.
Sounds: Music and stadium sounds should be easy to change around. I am hoping to be able to develop a color commentary system also. True play-by-play isn't going to be possible but I'm imagining sound bites based on the in-game action (i.e. dunks, 3-pointers, dimes, steals, blocks etc.) which can then be customized with different broadcasters it broadcast teams.

Release Timeline:
This is a hobby project that I'm working on between a full-time job and being a dad. I have no timeline.

Pricing:
I was initially thinking I'd make it "pre-modded" with real players and teams and just make it free but I've waivered back and forth on that a lot. Since customization seems like it may easier than I initially thought, I'm going to keep things generic to avoid licensing issues reserve the right to charge $5-10 on steam if a full-fledged game ever comes out of this. In the meantime all testing releases will be free on NLSC.

Latest Release:
12-11-2018: https://forums.nba-live.com/downloads.php?view=detail&df_id=10996
- This release is meant for the purpose of testing out the customization options. See customization guide in README file.
- There are minimal in-game features. You can select a player and run around a court. That's it.
- For the next release(s) Iíll be working on adding MANY more animations and working on the text sim elements such as game simulation & recruitment/free agency.
Last edited by Dr B on Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby [Q] on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:15 am

So you're thinking like a Double Dribble style game with generic teams?
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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby Andrew on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:43 am

It'd certainly be interesting to see an idea like that come to fruition. Retro-style gaming has certainly become popular; whether or not that translates to a basketball game remains to be seen, but it could be a really cool project.
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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby Dr B on Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:08 pm

[Q] wrote:So you're thinking like a Double Dribble style game with generic teams?


I'd use real teams and players but just for free download/use here at NLSC. I wouldn't purchase licenses, sell the game or ads. Similar idea to modding, but just starting from scratch to provide a new engine for everyone to mod.

My real vision with this is to make more of a "basketball universe" than any one league. Within the same game you would have pro, college, international, whatever you want.

As far as graphics go, the program uses PNG files for sprites so the graphics can actually be pretty decent. They're just 2D. When I look at NBA Live 96 emulation screens in photoshop each original "pixel" is 49 pixels (7x7) so it would be about 7x the resolution of NBA Live '96.
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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby DaCrispy on Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:37 pm

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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby Sid33 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:48 pm

Hi, I was wondering if you're still working on it or no, I had the same idea of join someone to create a basketball game (management or playable).
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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby Dr B on Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:38 pm

I am still very slowly but surely working on this idea. It's still going to be quite a while before I have something shareable but I found an art/animation style that I'm happy with and I'm working on creating animations. Below is a very early sample. Player faces, jerseys and courts will all be customizable PNG graphics. I plan to post testing releases as early as I can with things as basic as just running around to get input and let the community help design the game.

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Re: Crazy idea...

Postby Dee4Three on Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:49 am

Dr B wrote:I am still very slowly but surely working on this idea. It's still going to be quite a while before I have something shareable but I found an art/animation style that I'm happy with and I'm working on creating animations. Below is a very early sample. Player faces, jerseys and courts will all be customizable PNG graphics. I plan to post testing releases as early as I can with things as basic as just running around to get input and let the community help design the game.

[ Image ]


This is really neat.

Looking forward to seeing more progress!
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:05 pm

Updated first post. Here are some screens from the first release:

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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby DaCrispy on Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:37 am

:applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Andrew on Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:40 am

That's cool, I'll have to check it out. There's definitely a market for retro-themed basketball games, as Basketball Classics has demonstrated.
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