NBA 2K is arguably the most enjoyable but frustrating video game on the market. Plenty of 2K gamers have stories of epic times when the artificial intelligence cheated its way into having fellow gamers take L’s. Players like LeBron James, especially in his Miami Heat era, were just as good as their real life counterparts. But what does a game developer do when a player’s video game character isn’t as good as the real life version?
This dilemma is what developers are currently facing with Golden State Warriors point guard, Stephen Curry. According to the developers, Curry’s style of play of long three pointers, off dribble jumpers and quick shots go against what they designed the game to be. And anyone who plays 2K knows it has its own set of laws that it strictly follows.
“Scoring in the paint and 3-point shooting have historically been the toughest areas to properly balance,” says Mike Wang, gameplay director of NBA 2K, adding that fighting 3-point cheese is “always on his mind.”
To that end, he and his team have developed a formula to keep 3-point shooting in check. For example, the game accounts for things like the difficulty of shooting off the dribble and volume shooting fatigue — meaning, if you just run around with your player jacking up shot after shot after doing three spin moves, you’re going to be shooting bricks, even if your player has a super high 3-point rating.
“Taking 3s off the dribble are also definitely discouraged in NBA 2K,” Wang adds. “Especially after over-dribbling beforehand.”