You probably know the drill by now if you've been paying attention. Any items noted below that have already been incorporated into the game are my errors solely, and for that I apologize in advance. I compile this list over the course of the year, revising the previous version and adding new entries (or subtracting old ones) as I see fit, and trying to add in appropriate material from fellow aficionados who've piped up on the board.
I’ve said it before… “if you don’t ask, you
don’t get,” and that's why I keep pumping these lists out year after year. That, and Dave has certainly been reasonably
responsive to our requests in the past, so I urge you yet again to not only sound off in this thread, but reach out directly to Action via e-mail or phone and let 'em know what you'd like corrected and/or added to in the new game.
1. 1) 1st line of pbp crawl sometimes reads “passes to player X” or some variant therein. Who passed to player X? Should always say who passed to whom. Always.
2. 2) I'm wondering how the injury system could be tweaked to heighten realism and add color. First, it would be interesting to have pbp give some indication of injury, even if only generally (e.g. “Player X is injured, clutching his right arm,” “Player Y is injured, holding his left wrist” etc.). Second, why not make injury notification more ambiguous (like real life!), or at least provide it as an option to be turned on or off? Instead of saying “Player X injured” “Out until Date Y,” pbp would read “Player X injured, limping on his left foot” “Out for 4-6 weeks.” No coach really ever knows exactly how long a player is going to be out for, and certainly not with injuries of a more serious nature. Presenting the injury assessment as a timeframe rather than a return date set in stone would be right in line with how injury recovery is commonly experienced and related to the public, and presumably, to the coaching staff. Third, how about adding to pbp close shave/false alarm injuries, which you see/hear frequently during real life game broadcasts? For example, “Player X is shaken up but will remain in the game,” “Player Y is in pain, but he’s walking it off,” “Player Z is limping, but he’ll stay on the floor” etc. etc. etc.
3. 3) The game accounts for shooters who are hot and cold, and reflects that in pbp (“he’s hot!” “he’s cold”). How about bringing more stats into the in-game pbp either way for additional color (e.g. “Jordan’s missed 5 in a row” or “Bird has hit his last 4 shots”)? And can we get more variations on the hard coded “he’s cold?” (e.g. “he’s can’t buy a bucket,” “nothing’s going in for him,” he’s missing everything right now,” etc. etc. etc.).
4. 4) Inbounding the ball is now part of pbp. I’m not sure how much of the following is also incorporated into the game, but you could also allow for the inbound to be deflected back out of bounds, stolen, turned over due to not being inbounded in time, or defended well enough forcing the inbounding team to call a timeout.
5. 5) Continue to work on lowering the amount of replicating lines in the default pbp file, thereby enhancing the variety of the pbp experience. Remove as many duplicate variants as possible and replace them with unique lines of text. The AMG PBPlaybook (shameless promotion) – readily available at John Gardiner’s Sports Replays Fields of Dreams website as part of the AMG Custom PBP file download – is a great source of new material.
6. 6) When pbp indicates fight on the court, between whom? Players should be listed to heighten realism. “Player X and Player Y going at it!”
7. 7) Looks like some free throw language has been hardcoded into the PBP engine, which is cool, but I'm not sure if it goes quite far enough. At times I've seen something to the effect of "hits the first." But I can't recall reading "sinks the second," and I definitely haven't seen "makes the third" (despite seeing a number of attempts involving three free throws). I suggest that if the 2nd and 3rd examples (or something like them) aren't part of the possible free throw sequencing, then they should be added. Conversely, you could (and should!) add similar hardcoded language for missed freebies, also which I don't believe I've seen (e.g. "misses the first" "can't hit the second" "whiffs on the third").
Baskets made at the end of the quarter need the pbp colored icon (i.e. “2” or “3”) and the player’s point tally. Or has this been fixed?
9. 9) With Ball Movement turned on and Player Photos displayed on the game-screen, is it possible to tether player photos to the player name displays on fastbreak/drive animations, rather than just seeing a text box move to the basket?
10. 10) Every year I play with the latest iteration of Action! PC Basketball. I don’t know what others have experienced, but until recently (the following entirely changed for me with the installation of one of several patches to the 2016-17 version) I could select “Computer Coach Both Defenses” yet still retain complete manual control of the Player Coverage portion of the Defensive Strategy/Offensive Strategy window while AI ran the rest of my team’s defensive strategy (Global and other Defense adjustments, etc.). I don’t know why that was the case, but it was fantastic, and I was dismayed to see it go as I had grown very comfortable and happy with the personal control/computer control defense splits. Moving forward, I’d like to suggest that the user be given the ability to either a) customize the level of computer control of their defense on an area by area basis (there are six areas of Defensive Strategy) by clicking something like a “Computer Control” or “User Control” checkbox in each area, or b) if “Computer Coach Both Defenses” is selected in the Game Preferences/Game Play Setup tab, then any future Defensive Strategy adjustments made by the user function as a manual override and remain in place until the user allows for the computer to resume control of that particular aspect of Defensive Strategy. To sum up, the overall idea would be akin to a real life head coach having an assistant coach run the defense, but retaining the right to interject as he/she sees fit to make varied defensive adjustments without the assistant coach overriding said adjustments (which unfortunately is currently what the computer does, at least in my experience).
11. 11) Until player photos from both teams are visible on the game-screen court at the same time, perhaps a good baby step would be to show both sets of on-court player photos during the opening tip-off and any other jump ball situations.
12. 12) It appears that players with the full-court display are locked into positional set areas (even without “Lock Player Display Locations” checked), with limited range of movement within those areas. It would be much more realistic/immersive to see a wider range of placement for the players, not always locked into one set positional area of the court.
13. 13) There are now more than 200 user created NBA half-courts, and nearly 900 NBA full-courts, not to mention another 340 Action created half and full-courts and a selection of ABA courts. Would it be possible to separate the two types of courts within the dksports-data folder as to make it somewhat easier for the end user when selecting/assigning NBA/ABA courts to various teams?
14. 14) When playing with “Starting Lineups” activated for pbp, it just looks strange to read about a team being “26 and 12.” I get that this is technically accurate, but can the “and” be replaced with a “-“ and just call it a day?
15. 15) In the “Play” box, correct the following pbp line - “Player X beyond the arc .” (remove space between “arc” and the period).
16. 16) Have the Injury report include the date the injury occurred, along with the last date of the injury duration, or otherwise indicate if a particular injury is a new one since the user last checked. This would allow the user to more easily determine which teams he/she needs to visit to select an inactive player to replace the injured one.
17. 17) Game Film recaps cut off longer pbp lines (expand box or allow for wraparound text), don’t seem to include player subbing after too many personal fouls in a quarter (e.g players with two fouls in the first quarter are almost always sent to the bench – not noted), don’t always reflect the inability of the team with possession to get a shot off at the end of the quarter (i.e. ending the quarter with the time on the clock and no indication of an effort to get a shot off) and could benefit from start of 2nd/3rd/4th quarter jump buttons (allowing for more effective navigation throughout the file).
18. 18) Tip-in buckets occasionally suffer from unrealistic rebounding pbp language (e.g. “Player X brings it down” or “Player Y grabs the rebound” followed by “tips it in”). In real life, no announcer is taking the time (though technically accurate) to indicate a player has rebounded the ball before tipping it home. Can these type of plays be adjusted so as to avoid the awkward line sequences (i.e don’t spell out the rebound, just call the tip-in – “Player X with the shot” “Off the rim” “Player Y with the tip-in”)?
19. 19) Blocks rebounded by the blocker occasionally suffer from unrealistic pbp language (e.g. “Player X crushes it” or “big rejection by Player Y” then “Player X/Y grabs the rebound”). There are a variety of block types reflected in in-game pbp, both big and small, and that’s a good thing. Can these type of plays be adjusted so as to avoid the awkward line sequences (i.e. don’t follow, um, “vicious” block lines with the blocker rebounding his swat)?
20. 20) Current “off the top of the board” pbp language needs refinement, first indicating ball off the rim and then caroming off the top of the board, as you would almost always see in real life (taking a shot and hitting the top of the backboard without hitting anything else is extremely unlikely). It seems that pbp skips the “off the rim” step on the missed shot and goes right to “off the top of the board.”
21. 21) Ball in bucket animation (i.e. made baskets with “Ball Movement/Green Ball with Made Shot” options selected) could stand to be tweaked somewhat. There are a number of instances where the ball graphic does not fit well within the diameter of the basket.
22. 22) Under Game Preferences/Game Play Setup tab/Play Calling box, instead of using the popular basketball parlance of “quarter” to delineate the passage of game-time, the game uses the more hockey identified term “period.” Technically, that’s absolutely right – the official NBA rulebook uses periods, with no mention of quarters – but in the realm of television, radio and the printed word, how often do you see/hear/read about what happened in a pro/college basketball game referred to as “periods” (notable exception, “Overtime period”)? As someone who watches, listens to and reads about a ton of NBA, I’d suggest it’s occasional at best.
23. 23) Here’s a design suggestion or three… Somewhat increase the size of the in-game Bench pop-up window (i.e. “Team X Bench”) so that when it appears approximately in the center of the user’s screen, it more or less exactly covers the full-court display, resulting in a cleaner look (i.e. no baseline out of bounds area visible). Also in the same Bench window, center the lineup information so it matches the other centered elements below. Or, scrap the preceding suggestions and just re-size the Bench window so if fits snugly around all of the elements, and center the team name at the top.
24. 24) And another few design suggestions, this time for the Plays area of the in-game screen. I don’t understand why there’s an active “Timeout” checkbox and an active “Timeout” button here. Why not remove the checkbox, or if there’s good reason to keep it, add it to the “No Fouls” “Steal/Foul” row (there appears to be enough room), then center the revised row, along with the “Quick Foul” dropdown below it, therefore making all elements in the area consistently centered?
25. 25) Speaking of the Plays area of the in-game screen, I think if you’re simming with player/coach photos, jerseys and logos installed and activated – all readily available, particularly for those playing NBA – there shouldn’t be any duplication of these elements within the Plays area. In situations where all four graphics are visible, there shouldn’t be two of the same logos in this area (making three of the same on screen, if you include the logo next to the team’s name on the scoreboard) – the graphic to the right of the buttons should be a player photo from the team with possession, and not another one of that team’s logo (the ideal makeup in these situations would either be Team X logo, Team X coach photo, Team X jersey and Team X player photo, or Team X logo, Team X coach photo, Team Y jersey and Team Y player photo). In dead ball situations with only two graphics (bracketing the buttons), to the left should be the possessing team’s jersey, and to the right the player/a player photo from the team with possession (and not another instance of the possessing team’s logo). Finally, there’s an occasional glitch with the two graphic setup whereas sometimes a player photo doesn’t show to the right of the buttons, but a black outline (think picture frame) does show, clearly indicating a programming intention to have a player photo displayed (and for these purposes a player photo has been properly assigned and should, in fact, be visible).
26. 26) For a “basket interference call,” in order to be consistent, and presuming pbp results icons are turned on, there should appear in the pbp crawl both a “2” colored icon (the points are awarded to the offensive player who took the shot), and the running tally of the points the effected player has scored. Or has this been fixed?
27. 27) For additional color, have timeouts indicated in pbp as “timeout called by team X” or “coach X wants a timeout/timeout called by coach X” (the former may already take place, the latter does not). I’m thinking I’ve seen pbp indicate a coach’s name when calling timeout, but it doesn’t seem to happen very often.
28. 28) Regarding a player’s Drive Rating, if during a game pbp indicates a long rebound, shouldn't the resulting white band play options and green play buttons be in sync (i.e. shoot/drive/pass options noted/activated in both locations), as well as include a full set of ratings at both locations (i.e. shoot X, drive Y, pass Z)? This is currently not the case, and would be an improvement in both consistency and design aesthetics.
29. 29) When shooting fouls are called, substitutions can be made just prior to the second (or third) free throw, but sometimes there’s no accompanying pbp text to indicate the players subbed in. During other deadball situations the substitutions are always named. Pbp should always name players when substitutions are made. This may be fixed already.
30. 30) Beefed up in-game runs/stats would be nice: “Team X is on a 15-5 run in the last 3:30” “Player X steps to the line,” followed by “Player X is 5-7 from the line today.” So would pbp indicators like “Player X with his 4th block of the game.” While the game does this somewhat already, this area could be improved.
31. 31) Stats/minutes by a player at each position he plays in a replay game/season would be fun to track (on the player card, for starters). Also for the player card, additional advanced player stats like Win Share (WS), Win Share Over 48 Minutes (WS/48), True Shooting Percentage (TS%), Total Rebound Percentage (TREB%) and Usage% would be good to have.
32. 32) Can officials/referees be included/listed in the pbp (perhaps during team introductions, if activated), or in the game box-score (Cactus does this)?
33. 33) Add dynamic subbing throughout the season for computer controlled teams. In other words, if a player is injured the computer should place that player on the inactive list, then take another player off the inactive list and add him to the active roster (utilizing the depth chart, presuming it’s been filled out). Otherwise, it’s a pain in the butt to have to manually check 30 teams (in a modern NBA league) every game day to insure injured players are rotated out for inactive players, to say nothing about simulating portions of or an entire season where injured players are not replaced with a healthy player (not very realistic). This enhancement/option would also direct the computer to return the injured player back to the lineup once he had recovered, and return the substitution to the inactive list.
34. 34) Observation: there should be no pbp where you don’t know who the principals are. This manifests itself most often with passing, many time (but not exclusively) on the break or in the half court. 1st line of pbp crawl might read “passes it to Player X” or “dished to Player X.” Sometime 1st line of pbp crawl is “Team X in transition,” “Team X on the break” or “Team X bringing it up” followed by a second text line, “passes it to Player Y.” Should always name player who’s doing the passing. Always.
35. 35) How come the team nickname (e.g. Celtics) isn’t incorporated more into the game pbp? Presuming manual entry by the user on the “Modify Team” page, it’s viewable on the team page, roster reports, etc. Why is it allowed/utilized in some places, but less so (if at all) in others? Wouldn’t this make in-game pbp that much richer to increase the frequency of team names appearing (as opposed to using “Los Angeles L” etc. the vast majority of the time)?
36. 36) Plays #128 (“sets up the offense”) and #161 (“is setting up a play”) appear to be tied into team based pbp and not individual (i.e. it’s “Boston sets up the offense,” not “Bob Cousy sets up the offense”). Couldn’t this be randomized, sometimes one, sometimes the other, similar to the way results are presented with the game opening tip (sometimes the team is mentioned, other times it names the player who controls the tip)? May have been addressed, not sure.
37. 37) Assists rarely are indicated in the pbp crawl – I think this should be tweaked upwards somewhat.
38. 38) Fast break results – a score, steal, block, thrown away pass, turnover, rebound – should be strictly limited to the players shown as fast break participants (both offensively and defensively) on the in-game court screen. This is not always the case, as from time to time players not indicated as part of the fastbreak turn up in the pbp affecting the play.
39. 39) At times pbp will indicate one player “towering” over another. Which is a nice bit of color, but what’s the definition of “towering?” I ask because sometimes this bit of pbp text pops up and it seems like one player is only a few inches taller than his opponent (in other words, not so towering). I suggest the definition that the game’s programming uses be at least 6” taller.
40. 40) While playing a recent modern era NBA game, with the computer down double digits against a human opponent, the computer called a timeout with five seconds remaining to substitute back in its entire starting lineup. This type of AI end of the game subbing should be adjusted, if it hasn’t already, as it’s wholly unrealistic. May already be fixed.
41. 41) In my research for building new NBA based league projects, primarily using BasketballReference.com, I'm seeing a number of modern NBA players with minutes played at 4 positions over the course of a season/career (this data, though open to interpretation, is available for the past 15 NBA seasons). This makes for some hard decisions in positional assignments, as there are penalties assessed for playing out of position (the Action Basketball Manual reads “Players are rated for up to three real-life positions. When playing in a position other than one of his real-life positions, a player's effectiveness is reduced”). In order to accommodate these outliers and not penalize them for playing their fourth position, why not add a second "spot" position designation to the player cards?
42. 42) I’m very happy that Action implemented the “Favorite Shot” enhancement in the 2014 version of the basketball game. One small detail worth fixing, IMHO - on the “you’d most likely not hear it expressed that way by an announcer” tip, Kareem’s skyhook in pbp is often presented as “Abdul-Jabbar shoots the skyhook.” Technically true, but sounds/reads awkward. More organic and far more likely to be heard IRL would be “Abdul-Jabbar skyhook,” “Abdul-Jabbar with the skyhook,” and “Abdul-Jabbar puts up the skyhook.”
43. 43) “Brings up the ball” – hardcoded pbp to indicate Team X/Player X advancing the ball, needs further variety as it appears very often. How ‘bout “out of the backcourt” or “dribbles into the frontcourt?” etc. etc. etc. Not clear if this has been addressed.
44. 44) Injuries incurred in-game that allow for the injured player to return in the course of the same game could stand to be lengthened in some cases, as far as the actual time on the sidelines is concerned (e.g. return in the next quarter or after the half). Observationally speaking, in these situations it appears that a player is rarely, if ever, out for longer than a few minutes. May be fixed.
45. 45) In pbp, consider noting substitutions for players, rather than for positions (currently reads “Kevin Love at Center for Minnesota” as opposed to “Kevin Love replaces Al Jefferson for Minnesota”). Or include both approaches, and randomize it.
46. 46) How about enabling a “2 for 1” strategy option at the end of quarters (a textbook strategy in real life), whereas an NBA team in possession of the ball with more than 24 seconds on the game clock, but less than 48 seconds on the game clock endeavors to generate two offensive possessions to their opponents’ one before the end of the quarter?
47. 47) Like in Action! PC Football, could a “spy” or “shadow” defensive strategy be added, whereas a single player can be keyed in on regardless of the team’s defensive scheme (man to man or zone)? IRL this is most often found at the college level.
48. 48) Users with less than 20/20 vision shouldn’t be penalized selecting a large font size for the in-game pbp crawl and seeing longer text lines cut-off. Is it possible to allow for wraparound pbp text so nothing is cut-off?
49. 49) Expand input/display characters allowed for player names/nicknames, the naming of photos, arena names, college/school. I understand some of the other Action products allow for longer names. Also, while “&” displays correctly in the School slot on the Modify Player card and the Team Roster Info tab, it displays incorrectly on the Player card itself (for example, see Sixer Maurice Cheeks, out of West Texas A&M).
50. 50) Consider further revisions to the “Modify Player” player card, allowing fields that account for the ever increasing foreign born players who didn’t play college ball or players straight out of high school (high school or foreign league experience would be listed), the player’s years of experience, and whether he shoots left or right.
51. 51) How about adding to the box scores team rebounds, spelled out points in the paint, points off turnovers, and spelled out second chance points? ESPN.com and many other sports oriented websites include this information in their box scores.
52. 52) Under the “Leaders – Shooting” tab, after running a season long 82 game NBA simulation, several players included in the “Shooting” column (left side) have FGAs in the low hundreds, and a few around 100 or even less. In the Leader Boards as a whole, I strongly suggest rolling minimums be in place (which don’t have to be visible to the user) to make players’ inclusion as league leaders truly meaningful. In my experience, whatever the media format (television, internet, etc.), whenever category leaders are discussed it is usually done so with minimums firmly in place, which are often referenced at the same time as the leaders being presented (i.e. a list on a typical sports website showing 3% leaders notes “minimum 200 attempts”). NBA league minimum information may be found here - http://stats.nba.com/help/statminimums/ and here - http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/rate_stat_req.html
53. 53) Visualizing data in chart/graph format is all the rage. Presenting a simple game-flow chart as part of post-game goodies (e.g. box-scores, game film, etc.), would be a fine addition. ESPN.com uses these - see http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/game?gameId=400949246
54. 54) Allow for additional placement of a coach’s photo, paired with the team logo, on the “Team Roster/Coach/Game Plan” tab, as well as under the “Team Reports” tab.
55. 55) Just like with player photos, allow for multiple versions of coaches’ photos. I play exclusively NBA leagues comprised of franchise greats, either all-time, or broken down by the various decades. It would be nice to have different (younger/older) photos of Phil Jackson to use with the Bulls/Lakers, and there are countless other examples in my leagues of multiple teams coached by the same guy but at a different stage of his career.
56. 56) It would be of tremendous help have the pbp editing utility include a testing widget, or at the least, list multiple examples of how the pbp text for a particular default call is generated in-game. Trying to figure out if a customized pbp line is going to read correctly in-game without any testing method other than actually playing games and hoping the line(s) pops up is a difficult and time consuming way to go about one's business. Not at all efficient or user friendly. An improvement in this area would be very much appreciated by those who wish to take advantage of this great customization feature.
57. 57) Expand the search functionality of the pbp utility so that it queries the entirety of the pbp file, not just the 200 default call “titles,” with the ability to return a plurality of hits, rather than the single hit as currently constructed.
58) A few thoughts pertaining to the use of sound in the game, particularly as it relates to pbp (some of these may have been addressed already – I don’t use sound frequently)-
- Suggested sound applicable situations and sound-file add-ons either provided by Action or collected and installed by modders:
i. buzzer for 24 second violations
ii. whistle for time-out
iii. dunk sound for driving dunks/fast-break dunks (doesn’t seem to happen)
iv. made basket sound that’s not a “swish” (shot off backboard/bouncing in off rim/lay-up)
v. blocked shot sound for rejections
vi. cheering by home-team for crunch-time buckets (e.g. last few minutes of a close or somewhat close game)
vii. crowd chanting “Defense! Defense! Defense!” at opportune moments
viii. crowd chanting “Airball! Airball! Airball!” at the appropriate time
ix. crown chanting “Nah Nah Nah Nah, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye!” at the end of game with mid-large leads
b. In some instances the game uses crowd sounds (cheering mainly) in an incorrect manner. Two examples I’ve come across: home team cheering for the visiting team when it steals the ball, and home team cheering for an out of bounds turnover that gives the ball to the visiting team (these may be fixed).
c. Give the end-user the ability to add/customize sound files to the game (for example, in-game organ riffs or snatches of songs), like other APC titles.
d. Add opening screen music, like other APC titles.
59. 59) "Wouldn’t it be nice to see incorporated into pbp…” rules infractions and fouls division (again, some of these might now be included in the game)-
a. In the circle/blocking foul under the basket/in the restricted area
b. Five seconds/back to the basket or throw-in violation
c. Eight seconds/fail to advance from frontcourt to backcourt
d. Three second violation/ illegal defense (guarding an opponent, results in free throw)
e. Kicked ball
f. Clear path foul on the breakaway
g. Double foul/foul called on each team at the same time
h. Double technicals/T’s called on both players involved in an infraction
i. “Hack-A-Shaq”/away from the ball fouling
j. Shot over or off the side of the backboard/stanchion (turnover)
k. Ball stuck between the basket and backboard results in jump ball
l. Shot pinned/blocked after ball hits the backboard (count the basket)
m. Up and down violation
60. 60) “Wouldn’t it be nice to see incorporated into pbp…” additional color division-
n. Coach ejections (maybe this happens? I’ve never seen it…)
o. Throwing the ball off an opposing player when falling out of bounds
p. Give and Go
q. Pick and Pop
r. Rebounds back tapped to another player (“tipped/tapped back” rebounds appear in pbp; add hard coded “backtapped” language, which is heard frequently on broadcasts)
s. Hardcoded “heat check” pbp language when a player who’s hot finally misses (frequently heard on broadcasts)
t. “The crowd wanted a foul/the crowd didn’t like the call” (a variation of this may appear in pbp, but could use more variety and frequency)
u. Hits the trailer/on the fast break
v. Cherry picking
w. Chase down blocks on fast breaks (may already exist)
x. Tip/rebound dunks
y. Fronted by/fronts his man (defense in the low post)