College Hoops 2K8 conference call summary

Posted November 14th, 2007 at 3:19 am


Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call relating to College Hoops 2K8 with representatives of various sites. The game’s producer Zach Timmerman fielded questions and spoke to the new features and improvements to 2K8 as well as the general direction of the franchise.

Those who have followed along with pre-release coverage would probably be familiar with a lot of the topics that were covered so I went ahead and took notes on what I found to be the most interesting things that were discussed.

-They wanted to work on some aspects of the game that would appeal to the more casual crowd this year. The title has tended to cater towards the hardcore. While they still did a lot for that group, they focused on making the game more accessible and fun.

-Negligible differences between the 360 and PS3 versions. PS3 has the sixaxis, 360 has some online specific things that the PS3 can’t do (such as relating to friends lists).

-When evaluating what to work on for the next year they look to message board response and suggestions, playing other games, and watching college basketball to make sure they are as true to it as possible. Want to make sure the game feels fresh and realistic. The community plays a role as they check fan sites frequently collect information based on the response.

-On a personal level the most exciting new feature would be 2K Share. This is something that will really be big with the hardcore crowd.

-Those who own NBA 2K8 would get a different experience from CH 2K8. It represents the college game with specific college style plays, bigger focus on zone defense, and a smart AI that works to find open shots within the flow of an offense. The isomotion controls are different by default (uses buttons). It does work off the same engine as the NBA game.

-The NBA and College development teams collaborate a great deal, especially at the beginning of the year when they plan ahead. They try to differentiate though so people get unique experiences with each.

-The All-American Training Challenge will translate to the games by improving your skills. You get to go up against specific stars from the past that they signed to be in the game.

-The 6th Man Advantage will provide a home court advantage. That is something that means a lot statistically and when it comes to win/loss records. They worked hard to make sure it was very well balanced. Unfortunately it sounds as if the strength of it is solely based on crowd size. So there is no differentiation from a Duke with the Cameron Crazies vs any other sold-out arena.

-Momentum is felt through the player confidence and 6th Man features.

-No classic teams online however the 6th Man Advantage does come into play in online games.

-2K Share is something they’ll be working in to the other 2K Sports titles. Pretty much anything that can be edited can be shared. With the roster files even things such as player appearances and court changes. Interestingly it was said that they’ll be able to monitor what is shared to make improvements for the future. For example they can see what people tend to do with the sliders and it may identify what people aren’t happy with out of the box.

-The demo should be out for the 360 very soon.

Greg Oden actually dropped in for a few minutes to talk about being on the cover and his experience with the process behind that. I found myself amused by how laid back he always is.

It’s great to have the interaction between communities and the developers. This call gave me a good sense of what to expect from College Hoops 2K8. I enjoyed 2K7 although I lost interest after a couple weeks. I think with the addition of 2K Share and the 6th Man features it will have much more longevity this time around and I’m especially looking forward to those aspects of the game.