Hoop Universe (Working Title)

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Hoop Universe (Working Title)

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

Updated 5/28/2019

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.

How You Can Help:
Any ideas or feedback are welcome. Post below with any bugs, anything you like or don't like about the current release, anything you wish other games had and any ideas you have to make this game better. The next thing I'm working on is a control/mechanic for shooting free throws (also possibly something that could be used in a 3-point contest) and I have a few ideas but I'm interested to hear your ideas.

Latest Release:
5-28-2019:
Windows Download: https://forums.nba-live.com/downloads.php?view=detail&df_id=10996
Mac Download: https://forums.nba-live.com/downloads.php?view=detail&df_id=11069
- Added dribbling and crossover animations.
- Added athletic stance/squat animations (currently cannot move from squat but this will be used for shuffling, step backs, etc.)
- Added player indicator and name to player's shadow.
- Added indicator to nearest player (will be used for various offensive off-ball controls)
- Added more detailed hoops to practice sceen in horizontal and vertical camera angles.
- Added teamates to practice scene.
- Added layering system to allow for a 3-dimmentional effect.
- Added gamepad support.
- KNOWN BUG: Game Crashes if attempting to change leauges at player select screen.
Last edited by Dr B on Wed May 29, 2019 2:05 pm, edited 2 times 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

PCF 18 :D
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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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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby slimm44 on Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:32 pm

Following. Keep up the good work. This looks very interesting!
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URB WHERE SIM HAPPENS [35 Complete Seasons Mods] DOWNLOAD HERE

1984-85 through 2018-19 Rosters

Elite, Ultra, All-Time, Draft, All Star, Olympic and NCAA Rosters


What makes this mod “sim”? Here are a few of the features that set this project apart from all others:

- Every art file (jerseys, arenas, cyberfaces, accessories, courts, dornas (advertisement at half court), etc is realistic and none will crash game play
- There is no missing art file in the entire project

Every player in every roster has:
- Accurate statistical ratings and tendencies to work with 2k's simulation engine while still providing realistic game play
- Realistic ratings and tendencies that affect game play but not the simulation engine ie dribbling, athletic ratings, post tendencies, etc.
- Realistic physical attributes that decrease after major injuries or as the player gets older
- Accurate play types
- Accurate contracts

- Accurately updated Coaching profiles and playbooks

- Draft classes that have realistic player information for every player

- A few slider sets designed to be a base for realistic game play

Give URB a try and please leave feedback. We're confident that you will agree this is the most realistic and accurate 2k project there is!
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby [Q] on Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:59 pm

Los Angeles Schooners starting center Frank Ford!

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Wasn't sure about the format until I accidentally changed the camera while I was running around to the iso camera and I just had to smile as it instantly took me back to playing NBA Live 95

BTW how do you get screenshots? Print screen kept giving me a white rectangle
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby DaCrispy on Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:24 am

Bandicam is what I use for screenshots when I am not able to use the built-in ShadowPlay on my GTX 1050 Ti.

Good Quality No Watermark

Lightshot is also good if you want cropped out screenshots of anything on your desktop.
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Andrew on Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:09 pm

I picked up Bandicam a couple of years ago as well. I'd definitely vouch for it.
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:56 pm

Thanks guys. I like the customization work! I've been testing out the face customization and I'm happy with how things are working so far. I'll avoid posting my own customized images because that can probably be viewed as using likenesses and trademarked logos for advertising purposes.

For now I'm just working on animations whenever I can. Hopefully in the next release you'll be able to dribble, try out a few different crossovers, a jumper, a step back and maybe even a dunk.

I'm using a mac for this so I use the screenshot hotkey that is similar to print screen. Here's a screen of the new hoop in the horizontal view... although I just realized the shot clock is an old style.

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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:00 am

The art in your game reminds me of Sega Genesis Double Dribble (Not a bad thing!). I like the art work in that game, and got a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby MadbaLL on Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:36 pm

sincere congrats for what you have done so far... i'll be definitely following this (Y)
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:04 pm

Dee4Three & MadbaLL - I appreciate the support. As much fun as it is to build this game, fame animation can be tedious. It's motivating to hear that people like the work.

Dee4Three - I used to LOVE Konami's arcade-style games. Run and Gun and any of the wrestling games were my go-to any time I was in an arcade. I will definitely take that as a compliment. If I can achieve a mix of that and the early/mid-90s EA sports feel I'd be really excited.
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby dunkle93 on Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:26 am

I sent you a message before but I’d like to help any way I could with this. I’ve always wanted to make a game like this myself but not really the best designer. But if you gave me info on how you do your stats, jersey colors, etc, I’d love to help. Truthfully my ideas go beyond basketball too in sports. I have a list of leagues that would be perfect, via international leagues and teams. I even wanted to do rom hacks but not really intelligent enough in the process to do it.
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:43 am

dunkle93 - Thanks for the offer. You are exactly the kind of fan that I'm developing this game for. I'm the same way, I want to customize and build leagues. I tried hacking roms a few years ago with moderate success but it wasn't quite what I wanted so I figured I'd try to make my own game as crazy as that may be. For now, what you can do (and what would be most helpful for me) is test the limits of my customization functions. The readme file within included with the game includes instructions on how to customize leagues, rosters and art. You can use any spreadsheet software as long as the database files end up in .txt files and any image editing software to edit the .png files. Add as many leagues as you can think of and let me know if you run into issues or bugs. As for the ratings, they're not actually currently linked to any gameplay so I'm not sure that they're the formulas I'll end up using. I'll wait to share the formulas for testing until it'll actually matter for gameplay.
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Sun May 19, 2019 12:44 am

Progress has been slow but I'm hoping to have a small update out in the next few weeks. It won't include all the things I hoped to have in place by now - had some animation file issues that needed to be fixed and set me back a little - but starting to get some basic menu navigation and dribbling mechanics in place as well as a layering system (to give a 2D game a "3D" feel). Also added gamepad support. Here are some teaser screens. Ignore the "college" line in the bio's. That's just something I'm experimenting with.

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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Andrew on Mon May 20, 2019 12:42 am

Awesome, cool to see some new teasers!
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Dr B on Wed May 29, 2019 2:11 pm

New release posted to the downloads. Updated links and release notes in the first post. As I said, it's not the update I was hoping for after all this time but I had to do a lot of things to reorganize files and that will hopefully make future updates faster.

Next step is adding some side shuffle/step back animations as well as a shooting animation. I have a few free throw control ideas I'm playing around with. I'm thinking I may even be able to turn it into a 3-point contest mini game as well at some point. Feedback is welcome and any ideas you have about other things that would be cool to see in a game like this, let me know!
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Re: Hoop Universe (Working Title)

Postby Andrew on Thu May 30, 2019 11:28 pm

Good stuff! I've got a bulletin scheduled for the front page.
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