NBA Playgrounds dev talks performance updates, difficulty, resolution, chances of retail release & more

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The following information comes from a dev who worked at Virtual Toys, the former developer of NBA Playgrounds. When that company was shuttered, the owner of the studio opened Saber Interactive and completed work on the title.

On patching the Switch version to improve quality:

I know they’re already working on the patch and they are listening to the community to fix the bigger concerns. Also the current unreal engine 4 switch port is a bit rushed, a lot of optimizations are being added each day. So the game will surely get better on switch 🙂

On dealing with shot difficulty:

The idea is to release the button just before you reach the height of your jump, according to the player stats, the amount of stamina, the position in the court, etc… the timing will need to be more or less precise. If you try to practice 3 point with a player that has like 1 stats, you will get to find the spot easier, because every other time he will just miss. With players of 10/9 stats, you can do a bad shoot and still score because the shoot window is bigger.

On the Switch porting process:

From what I know, the switch version was even less problematic than the xbox one! great news for developers and gamers 😀

On the Switch portable mode’s lower resolution:

Lowering resolution is the easiest way of gaining performance in any platform, for example we did that in xbox one. Personally I would never do that in a portable device/screen, never did that in any PS Vita game for example, but the switch version was ported much later in the process, I was already out, so I didn’t had any voice at that decision. I hope they change that in the upcoming patch.

On reworking the time between inbounding:

It’s on the list, I hope they can fix it. I agree with you, the delay shouldn’t be THAT long. And they should get rid of the whistle too.

On any chance of there being a retail release:

Sadly, no.

On the game finding its own identity, and struggling to strike a balance between arcade and simulation:

The game indeed had an identity crisis at the start, Saber wanted a NBA Jam clone, while the heads of the Spanish studio wanted more depth, to the level of a NBA Street or “2K-lite”. In fact they tried to push the 3 vs 3, but Saber was against that.

I was in charge of the ball physics and other gameplay elements, and everything I did was based on the NBA Jam On Fire Edition, I also played a lot of NBA Street 2, AND1 Streetball, NBA Ballers, and a even a bit of NBA Live 16 and NBA 2k16 to get some extra references.

They wanted to give some extra depth to the game out of fear that if it was too arcade people will get bored fast. In my opinion NBA Jam is incredible fun even today, a simple gameplay done good is better than a complex system that is too obscure.

I recommended adding a shot meter, but it was rejected.

They are looking at the player feedback in forums, emails, etc… and they really want to improve the game, so I think the next patches are going to make this game even better.

from GoNintendo

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