NHL 2K10 Interview


posted 9/11/2009 by Ben Berry
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Finally here are the follow-up questions and the answers provided by Ben Bishop.
Can you describe the various injury scenarios a player in NHL 2K10 can be involved in? Can players play injured? Is this choice given to the gamer? Are statistics drastically affected, and are the statistics those related to the current injury, or all stats? How many different types of injuries does the game allow?
NHL 2K9 introduced a very robust injury system that was expanded upon in NHL 2K10. Users can control how many injuries occur in a game by adjusting the injury slider. All players can be injured by making contact with another player, the boards, or the puck, with their durability rating being a key factor. We have a number of different injury types in the game. Below are a few examples of the classes we have. They are applied to most major body parts, and the data was taken from actual NHL injuries.
·         Muscles
o   Contusion
o   Spasm
o   Cramp
o   Pull
o   Tear
·         Tendons
o   Strained
o   Tendinitis
o   Hyper-extended
o   Dislocated
o   Twisted
o   Torn
o   Ruptured
·         Bones
o   Sprained
o   Hair Line Fracture
o   Fracture
o   Compound Fracture
To answer the question about stats being affected, we are assuming you mean the player’s attributes, which in turn affect statistics. If so, yes, there are classifications of injuries that will allow a player to remain in the game, but he will do so with attributes that are adjusted to reflect the current injury. An example would be a sprained wrist. If you had Alex Ovechkin sprain his wrist, it might drop his Puck Handling, Passing, Poke Check, Shot Accuracy, and Hand Eye attributes by a small amount. It’s unlikely to be enough that you’ll want to scratch him in upcoming games, but for a third or fourth line player, you may want to call someone up to fill his spot until he is back at full strength.

Are there any differences in franchise mode games played online against live opponents vs local to the console against AI, other than the competition? Is this taken into account in statistics?

No, there is no difference. It’s essentially as if you have an online opponent subbing for the CPU. Stats are still tracked as they normally would in an offline Franchise game, standings will be affected in the same way, and you will progress as if you played the game offline. That’s the great part about it, as now there are unlimited options in terms of what type of opponent you can have.
 It was mentioned that there were features that didn't make it into this years version do to time constraints. Can you run down the top 5 features that would at the top of the list if development on 2K11 started today?
Unfortunately, that’s not something we can get into the specifics on quite yet, but rest assured, we’ve got some pretty interesting ideas being thrown around. You can count on us taking a close look at things NBA 2K10 and MLB 2K10 have implemented that we don’t have, along with what various other sports games out there have to offer. And of course, we will definitely be putting a lot of consideration into the feedback we get in reviews and on message boards for NHL 2K10.
The competition to NHL 2K10 has placed an increased emphasis on fighting it its upcoming release. What is the development teams thought on fighting in hockey games, and has the NHL provided any guidance as to how it prefers fighting to be handled?
We feel like fighting is something that is a part of the sport, so it is important for it to be included in the game. The key thing is to try to portray it as accurately to real life as possible. So you’re not going see 3 or more fights in every game, and you’re generally only going to see players drop the gloves that typically do in the NHL. We added a new fighting engine to NHL 2K9, and made some small tweaks to it for NHL 2K10. Our bigger focus this year was on the actual game play though, and we feel like our current implementation of fighting fits in with it rather well. We also do work closely with the NHL to make sure that what we include in the game is a good representation of what you might see in a real game.

During the developer call, it was mentioned that Alex Ovechkin and Phil Kessel were involved in the development process. Were lesser marque names involved? If so, do you look for input from players who specialize in different facets of the game (face-offs, fighting, defense, goaltending, etc.) Do you solicit specific players (ie Ovechkin) involvement from players, or does it come naturally as they see and play the game?

We had Ovechkin and Ryan Kesler do some motion capture for us this year, and we’ve been able to maintain relationships with several players over the years that helped us out in a variety of ways. Our cover athletes always play a big role in specific areas (Joe Thornton with face-offs, Marty Turco with goaltending, etc.), but we’ve also been fortunate enough to work with players like Igor Larionov, Darren McCarty, Steve Ott, Anson Carter, Matt Carle, Kyle Turris, Ken Belanger, Jason Marshall, and plenty of others. Besides motion capture, we’ve done things like recorded player chatter, had strategy sessions, gotten feedback on player ratings and the game itself, and brainstormed feature ideas for upcoming releases. The development team can watch games until we’re blue in the face, but actually sitting down and talking with someone who is out there on the ice on a day-to-day basis is a great resource for us.
It was mentioned that Ovechkin selected a song for the tracklist. Which song did he pick, and can the full playlist be provided
I believe we’ll be releasing the full track list soon, but the song Ovechkin chose was “Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos. It’s a great song, and it fit in well with our overall soundtrack. We’re definitely happy with this year’s batch of music.

We'd like to thank Mr. Bishop for taking the time to answer our additional questions as well as Chase who help set everything up.

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