The technology behind NBA 2K13

Brian Tong goes behind the scenes with the critically acclaimed NBA 2K13 to check the tech behind the latest entries in one of the best sports video game franchises.

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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.

I believe I can fly...

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.

A wireframe of poetry in motion

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.

You have no idea how intense this was

NBA 2K13 hits store shelves tomorrow. You can check out a full review of the game and more on GameSpot.

About the author

Brian brings his high energy and edgy style to the CNET family, showcasing the latest and greatest in the tech world with substance to back up his style. Brian regularly appears on CBS, CNN, Headline News, and local TV stations and radio networks while hosting several of CNET's popular franchises.

 

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