The technology behind NBA 2K13
2K Sports' critically acclaimed NBA 2K franchise is no stranger to best sports video game lists. The CNET TV team recently went behind the scenes at 2K Sports' headquarters in Novato, Calif., just days before NBA 2K13 hits store shelves. The goal: to find out what's in their secret sauce.
I had the opportunity to jump into the company's motion capture studio, and suited up with markers placed strategically on my body. Lights surrounding the perimeter of the studio hit the markers, and the reflections allow them to be identified and processed by computers to capture wireframe animations of my body in action. I performed some of the sweetest crossovers and fade-away jumpers that even Kobe Bryant would be jealous of. Trust me.
This data is then given to the animators; the relevant animations are kept and then stitched together to create the seamless motion that you see in the game.
We sat down with Senior Game Designer Mike Wang, who showed off the tools 2K Sports uses to map the animations onto the control stick and the specific timing it takes to program moves. I even got a preview of what's coming next year, but if I tell you, I'll have to kill you.
NBA 2K13 is also known for its in-game commentary that feels organic and sounds like you're listening to a real game. I jumped into the company's state-of-the-art recording studio, which has a system that includes multiple monitors and dialogue prompts that complement pieces of a game you're watching while recording in real time.
The 2K Sports team then takes those clips and programs them seamlessly into the game, resulting in the best sports commentary you'll find in a video game. Let's just say, I won't be quitting my day job.
NBA 2K13 hits store shelves tomorrow. You can check out a full review of the game and more on GameSpot.