Our podcast guys here at The Inner Circle are bringing you another industry interview and this time they are chatting with Sean O’Brien and Ryan Thomas from the NBA Live 16 development team. The developers talked about what they thought worked in last year’s version of the game, what has been improved thus year and how to create a more dynamic, realistic and customized basketball experience for players. At the beginning of the conversation the developers talk about their goal to rebuild the NBA Live franchise and their efforts to include RPG elements so players can experience the game according to their tastes. For example, the team will allow the option for scanning your own face with a smartphone and use that image on your character. After that the choices you make when creating your character will influence how you progress in the game. This attention to detail even goes as far as balancing your character’s physical characteristics. If you decide to create a tall character you will find that your ability to dictate his weight becomes more limited.

Your character’s skills will also develop according to your decisions and play style. If your want to specialize in shooting then key skills in that category will cost fewer skill points than
dunking skills. All of these choices are designed to keep players from creating freakishly large players with an uncanny knack of scoring goals from the other side of the court. You’ll find yourself becoming more useful when playing on a team because suddenly you are in an environment where not every player can be an ace at dunking or specialize in shooting. Your teammates will have to rely on the skills your character brings to the table.

Those are not the only things that have been improved in NBA Live 16. The developers paid a lot of attention to shooting and passing mechanics as well as the character animations when performing these actions. No longer will your character always go through the same animation every time he shoots the ball or makes a pass to a teammate. Your character will now move differently depending on when you release the button during an action and yes, the skills you developed will influence the outcome. An example was given during the interview of a character with a highly developed early shooting skill confronted by opposing players. That character will have a better chance of making the goal than another character with skill points spent elsewhere. The feedback system has also been overhauled. Last year you might have made a shot that should have been good but for some reason you missed it and you weren’t sure why. Now when you miss a shot the game will tell you exactly why; you might have chosen a player with poor shooting skills, for example.

Even the game environments have been upgraded. The team went to actual NBA stadiums and scanned the courts in order to provide realistic arenas for your basketball career. You will also hear a lot more commentary this time. The studio recorded a lot of new dialogue from actual ESPN commentators but also dug through their archives of previously recorded tracks and tuned them for use in NBA Live 16. The result will be an authentic experience with more commentary and lively crowd noise that you can hear in the background. The character animations saw a major upgrade which will provide for more realistic player visuals as they perform their various actions instead of appearing like robots following a programmed course.

Make sure to catch the newest podcast interview from The Inner Circle and hear about all of the other improvements you’ll find in NBA Live 16. Let us know what you think of the game and our interview in the comments section below.