Yep: Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2

By Jim Rossignol on October 6th, 2010 at 3:20 pm.


A basketball management game. It’s been released! Okay. But yeah, this is so far beyond the horizon of relevance or comprehension for me that I almost didn’t post it. It’s like trying to comment on very hard equations. I see the symbols, but I can’t ever know the meaning. And yet: a basketball management game? I blinked at it for a bit, not really sure what I was looking at. Is that what I am looking at? It was worth a shot! There’s a full list of features here, and hey, there’s even a demo here, if you want to get stuck in. I downloaded it, but I didn’t know what was happening. I felt a bit unhappy. I clicked aimlessly through screens of numbers and words for a while, and then I put the kettle on. I’m making a cup of tea. Also, I’m going to invent a new sport. Geoff Frightening, I call it. I’m going to own all the sponsorship in that sector, I tell you.

Which sport have you been failing to manage, readers?

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45 Comments »

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  1. Neil says:

    Sounds like my experiences with football (soccer) text sims.

    I’ve been playing the beta of this particular game. The underlying engine is decent, but the interface sucks. One of those side-effects of one-man development.

  2. Ian says:

    The sport I’d like to be failing to manage is NFL. Somebody should make a decent NFL game. The sport is obsessed with preposterous stats as it is, so that’s half the battle won.

    • Ian says:

      “decent NFL management game” that is.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Especially if you have to deal with criminal charges and drug suspensions.

    • Ian says:

      Although let’s be honest, if a game told you that one of your highly-paid receivers was going to be suspended because he’d accidentally shot himself in the leg you’d decry it as nonsensical tosh. :D

    • Mr Bismarck says:

      What we need is a game that ties the NFL and the NCAA together, so that you can start off as a coach at a small college somewhere and one day end up as Al Davis’ sideline sock puppet.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Is being one of Mr Davis’s zombies a step up or a step down from being Jerry Jones’s piss-boy?

    • Temple to Tei says:

      A game that told you your Superbowl winning star wide receiver put a loaded gun into the waistband of some jogging bottoms, went to a night club and THEN shot himself in the leg when the gun slipped down his leg.

      That you would say is ludicrous.

      Thinking about it, it sounds like the sort of over-the-top detail that Dwarf Fortress puts in.
      Toady! Toady! Do a sports sim.

  3. Melloj says:

    Maybe it’s because I am Canadian, but I really wish that someone would make a new ice hockey manager. Ever since East Side Hockey by SI in ’07 – ’08 there has been nothing – and we all cry into our beaver pelts….

    • Matthew Minix says:

      The same company is working on a hockey game at the moment

  4. Ezhar says:

    Too many sports game reviews lately!

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    phlebas says:

    I have been failing to manage any sport at all, as usual.

  6. disperse says:

    Someone should add a Blood Bowl team management mode for FUMBBL. It could track player happiness (Gruok is very unhappy that his manager keeps putting him on the line of scrimmage), you could trade players between teams (with players from other races picking up Animosity), and manage multiple teams while maintaining a salary cap (sorry Gruok, we’re 50K over the SPP limit, you’re going to have to go). This would horribly break ranked matches but might work within a league.

    • Ian says:

      So would that involve playing as the team as well, or…?

      ‘Cause I’ve certainly wondered before about a a Blood Bowl management game. At least when your blodging, tackling, mighty blow-ing player died just short of his fourth skill you could wuss out and reload. ;)

    • disperse says:

      @Ian

      Well, the only sports management sim I’ve had any experience with is MVP Baseball 2004 (on the PC of course). In that game you could either play a game or let the computer simulate it automatically. Of course in a Blood Bowl game you wouldn’t necessarily want to sim through games. “What, half my team are dead or crippled after that game against the Ogres?!?”

    • Ian says:

      Oh I dunno… I mean in Football Manager (and Championship Manager, them games being my only sports management experience) it all going horribly wrong in some games is the thing that makes it all going right in others all the sweeter. :D

    • disperse says:

      In Baseball it would be fairly unusual if multiple players were carted off the field seriously injured or dead. (I’m guessing this is also the case for Soccer A.K.A. not-American-Football.)

      The worst case scenario for injuries in a Baseball sim is having a star player put on the 30-day DL.

    • Temple to Tei says:

      Fantasy Flight are doing a Blood Bowl Management Card Game…
      (I could be wrong, I looked at it yesterday and my memory is not so good)

    • disperse says:

      http://app.fantasyflightgames.com/blood-bowl-team-manager/

      Looks interesting. I wonder how they (or if they) decide the outcome of matches…

      Card games where you build your deck during the course of the game are in right now (see Dominion).

  7. jeremypeel says:

    I’ve been failing to manage base jumping. Accidentally. Falling off my Minecraft tower to a cruel death as I build it.

  8. Smeghammer says:

    Hold your left shift key, it maess you sneak/crouch and unable to fall off the cube you’re standing on. ;)

    • jeremypeel says:

      Oh man, I have. Sage advice indeed, but I keep falling regardless.

      With a little poetic license, what happens is this: I place the final block on a level, stand up to wipe the sweat from my brow and admire my handiwork, only to topple over backwards through clouds and foliage until I crumple on the ground far below.

  9. Gothnak says:

    I’ve been working on an F1 Management game, but as usual with home projects, i can’t be bothered after getting home from work to finish it…

    I have the cars going around Spa with representative times, but adding tactics, wear and tear, accidents, part upgrades, contracts, R&D, etc…. It’s all a bit much to face….

    Someone pay my wage for a year and i’ll get it done :).

  10. Rinox says:

    Cricket.

    It’s like the rules are changing every time you play. Crazy effing Brits. ;-)

    • phuzz says:

      It’s a kind of imperial IQ test. If a country can understand cricket, then we let them be part of the commonwealth.
      Unfortunately you’re obviously not ready yet, so you’ll have to be content with your below room temperature beer and holidays where it doesn’t rain the entire time :p

    • Rinox says:

      Being Belgian, I would say our beer is pretty much our only forte and as for your rainy vacations, we have those too! So you can keep your empire and cricket! ;-) (or crazy fancy dressed man baseball as I call it)

  11. Mr Bismarck says:

    ’ve been working on an F1 Management game, but as usual with home projects, i can’t be bothered after getting home from work to finish it…

    Don’t worry, the GPRM boys have already got not-finishing-an-F1-management game covered. So you’ll have to not finish something else.

    • Gothnak says:

      Yeah, i had a few chats with them about it with my 12 years of games development knowledge, i was going to give them a hand with the planning of getting it out.. That was 3 years ago :p

  12. David says:

    I used to play a football (or as I call it on my side of the pond soccer) management sim at hattrick.org. I ended up loosing interest in it and haven’t been back since my account was deleted for inactivity.

  13. Steve says:

    I’ve always found it strange that there are next to no American Football coaching games, considering the number of foot-to-ball manager games and the fact that American Football involves an awful lot more coaching.

    And why do discussion of this kind of game always involve references to crimes committed by players? As far as I know, Football Manager doesn’t simulate your players shagging each others wives/girlfriends and ask you to act on the matter.

  14. Davie says:

    I do not understand the appeal of management games. This is because a) I don’t give the tiniest crap for professional sports and b) why would you want to pretend to work in a stressful and yet relatively uninteresting real-world job? It’d be like roleplaying an overworked tax accountant.

    Sorry, I’m not trying to troll here, I just don’t get it.

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      drewski says:

      Surely you’ve rendered your own comment redundant by admitting you don’t care for professional sports?

      People like pro sport. People like the intellectual side of pro sport. People like simulating the intellectual side of pro sport. Most people will never get to own/run/coach a professional sports club or team, so faking it with a management sim is as close as they can get. In much the same way as most people won’t get to fight off an demon invasion of Mars, live for 6,2000 years and conquer the world or be a space marine fighting aliens, so they play video games simulating those things.

      Presumably if there were some huge section of the population absolutely fascinated with the machinations of overworked tax accountants, and very little chance for them to pursue that fascination vocationally, there would also be tax accountancy sims.

      So it seems we dodged a bullet there.

  15. datom says:

    There is an excellent American football text sim – Front Office Football.

    Showing its age a bit now (and not really in the same ballpark – haha! – as the most wonderful Out of the Park Baseball), but well worth a look.

    On the OOTP note, any OOTPers visit here? I noticed ‘Jason Moyer’ posting, a name I recall from the OOTP boards way back when I used to frequent them.

  16. Temple to Tei says:

    @ Davie -I guess the appeal is the same as a some of the 4X ‘spreadsheet in space’ games, tweaking your virtual car in Gran turismo, Civ or whatever other simulation game you wish to name.
    If you like the theme then there is a huge draw in something with such detail that it feels in-depth and real.
    It is either that or spend half-a-billion on a team yourself.

    @Steve -and I always felt Football Manager was all the poorer for it. Striker caught dogging -trade value slashed. Opposing player shagging your goalie’s wife -fisticuffs on the pitch and suspended for 6 games.
    Realism!

    Fantasy Football is huge in America -not so much managing a team but choosing individual players on a week by week basis. Having to draft for those players and deciding who to ‘play’ each week and who to ‘bench’, ie if you think a player is going to have a good week vs a weak team then you play them.
    This feels like a modern phenom as players shift around teams so quick, you end up supporting a simple colour of shirt rather than players. Personally found it hard to boo someone I was cheering a month ago as they swop teams.
    Which is how I grew out of baseball, followed devotedly for about 5 years, but as teams no longer resembled themselves I wondered who or what I was supporting anymore.

    Baseball has had stat fanstasy leagues for years. Well before pcs, sure datom could fill people in if anyone was interested. Never played any sims of them myself.

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      drewski says:

      Those sorts of controversies are pretty rare in football, though – you might get one serious one a year in the whole of English football, plus an assortment of minor ones.

      Given the risk of litigation – however small – if games start popping up “Scholes caught in cocaine scandal” headlines, it seems unreasonable for games to insert such scenarios.

  17. Kold says:

    I’ve just taken a 2nd Division B portuguese team to the first division.

    Yep. FM is fucking awesome.

  18. panther says:

    AFL (Australian Football League) management game Premiership Coach. I do love my aussie rules :)

  19. PineTar says:

    It’s a few years old now, but roster patches come out every season for Front Office (American) Football. Details can be found at: http://www.solecismic.com/index.php

  20. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Think of it as strategy games but with sports instead of shootings.

  21. iggypopbarker says:

    I bought the first one and, while a decent basketball simulation (MILES ahead of the competing game available on Steam, which is unplayably bad) it had a dodgy interface and perhaps the highest amount of random crashes + runtime error messages I’ve ever seen in a game – even after multiple patches.

    However, this one is already far more stable than it’s predecessor ever was, though the interface is still pretty unwieldy. I’ve already upgraded my demo to the full retail version. The ultimate Great If You Like That Sort Of Thing game, and this is before the mod scene have gotten going again yet (proper logos, player photos etc will surely be about within a day or two, followed by all manner of historical roster updates)

  22. Greg says:

    Oo, this is an instant purchase for me – thanks RPS!

  23. SAM-site says:

    Google Gridiron3 – it’s play by web, and thoroughly challenging.

  24. TedNash says:

    @Gothnak: What language are you using? I would love to be able to help out in my (considerable) free time. I only know C# though, which I don’t think is a main language for games.