DualShockers has been invited to attend a developer’s call with the 2K Sport’s NHL 2K10 team which includes: Ben Bishop (Producer), Abe Navarro (Lead Gameplay Producer) and Anthony Yampol (Gameplay Producer). We will be live blogging this event for you guy’s to get an idea of what these conference calls are like and hopefully you’ll get a laugh at my inane ramblings and thoughts during the call.
4:45 PM – Log in to the conference call and it is on hold with a terrible elevator music clad hold pattern. I am playing Overlord II while I wait for the festivities to start.
4:59 PM – 1 minute until official kick off of this conference call and I am still listening ot elevator music.
5:01 PM – The music torture has ended and Chase from the PR firm has hopped on to make sure that we are alive and inform us that it will be a few minutes before we start.
5:02 PM – We are all muted and the elevator music restarts, I wonder if anyone has ever gone mad listening to this? Prior someone’s kid was screaming in the background, Chase informs is this is why we are muted.
5:06 PM – Hold pattern has ended and the call is set to begin.
5:07 PM – Ben kicks off with an overview. Second year of development and are looking to get things in that were missed for the last iteration.
5:09 PM – What is the biggest change from 2K9? Gameplay and visuals are better this year.
5:10 PM – Why would people want to upgrade to this years version? New strategies, AI, better gameplay and visuals.
5:11 PM – What have you learned from last year? Adjusted to the code and now familiar with the working with the Wii.
5:12 PM – How much do you pay attention to the competition? They do look at competition as well as what is going on in the real sport, they are happy to have other game’s like EA NHL 10 to help grow the sport.
5:13 PM – Are you slowing down the pace of the game? Abe answers – hockey is fast paced so it wont necessarily be slowed down
5:13 PM – What about Avatars? Mii’s were fun and avatars are a possibility in the future.
5:14 PM – What is your favorite mode in the new game? Ability to play franchise against real players, Mii super skills competition, franchise online, super skills again.
5:15 Pm – Jesus, this is a lot of typing on my part!
5:16 PM – With franchise releasing every year, is it hard to change it enough to interest players? It isn’t too hard we try to listen to the fans, editors and competitors as well as filling in what we missed from the prior year
5:17 PM – How do you please the gamer and the simulation fan? They aim to focus more on the fun factor rather than catering to one side
5:18 PM – What old school games did the dev’s play in the past? Ice hockey on the NES, Blades of Steel (fuck yes!), NHL 93 & 94
5:19 PM – How do you decide what you will change? Read reviews, talk to players and fans then discuss as a team what can be changed
5:20 PM – Do NHL players ask for any changes? They are always speaking with players, but no details on them bitching at their stats.
5:21 PM – I just realized that my minions are dead, perhaps I should have paused my game while being on the call.
5:22 PM – Will there be regular roster updates? YES!
5:23 PM – How did controls change form 2K9? Passes are more fluid and easier, also on offense the R stick puck handling has been improved, on defense you can control your stick
5:24 PM – What can we expect in franchise, mini games, etc? Financial business side of hockey, geared for the hardcore fan.
5:25 PM – Will Stumble shot be over powered? No
5:26 PM – I suddenly have an urge to take a slap shot.
5:27 PM – Can players sliders be shared with others? Yes
5:27 PM – You can now invite friends form any mode to play.
5:28 PM – The AI is smarter and defends better with more realistic reactions. Each team in the NHL have a specific defense and offense which is altered by sliders.
5:29 PM – Sliders will be able to help shape different experiences for the hardcore fans.
5:30 PM – Will historic players be able to be used in custom teams? No historic players are licensed.
5:31 PM – Can you break the glass? No. I say boo to that!
5:32 PM – Is there more emphasis on analog controls? You can put the puck behind you, between your legs and you can lose control of the puck if you do it too much.
5:33 PM – Default camera has been changed to help view ability.
5:34 PM – Is it easy to get new NHL uniforms? Yes, the NHL is awesome and they get 2K things like uniforms before they release
5:35 PM – Miis are available for the superskills challenges.
5:36 PM – Will Wii version support Motion Plus? Yes, with Wii motion plus three things have changed: shooting, passing and stick handling
5:37 PM – Difference between 360 and PS3? Identical across the board and they tried hard to keep the Wii version as close as possible.
5:37 PM – No game for the PSP this year, perhaps next year.
5:38 PM – Can you and 3 friends play online on one console? Depends on the console
5:39 PM – What DLC can we expect? Roster updates mainly
5:40 PM – You can take snapshots or videos of your game and put them on 2K site and then put them on your PC.
5:41 PM – Man I should have gone to the bathroom before this call!
5:42 PM – Will there be a draft combine for NHL? No, not this year.
5:43 PM – Injuries in online leagues? No.
5:44 PM – Lines are opened up for Q&A to the public, release the hounds! 62 questions were asked and answered.
5:45 PM – Players can play hurt and injuries will vary. Different injuries will affect their stats but they will return with time.
5:46 PM – You can make shots from your back. This intrigues me deeply.
5:48 PM – One guy has decided to ask 4 questions, apparently he is special or at least that is what his mom tells him. He is also reading the questions like he has never seen them before.
5:49 PM – We tried to make the Wii version fun and bring the Miis in to make it fun.
5:50 PM – Hitting the puck in the air or hand pass? You can’t hit the puck but you can try to grab it with your hands.
5:53 PM – $10 price point cheaper than EA and only PS2 version as well? They are trying to get the game in as many hands as possible. Wii and PS2 versions are cheaper for those who have not jumped to the next gen just yet.
5:55 PM – There are some tutorials to show off the new features and rules for players that may not be huge fans of NHL. It will not share the commentary features that NBA has.
5:57 PM – The call is ending. Good bye and good night!
I really want to play Blades of Steel now!
Thanks to the 2K Sports Team for having us on the call. We look forward to the next one that will focus on NBA 2K10. All times listed are EST. Stay tuned for our coverage of the next conference call shortly.