2K is cleaning up the code for the defensive AI for Next-Gen NBA 2K21. After recent departures within the company, @DaCzar has taken over as the lead for the defensive AI. Under Da Czar’s leadership, 2K is taking AI defense in a different direction – a better direction.
In a recent 43 minute NBA 2K21 Next-Gen defensive discussion live stream, Da Czar goes through many of the changes that were made. Read on for the full summary.
- Had 6-8 weeks to work on it after taking over, made some Next-Gen advancements, thinks it’ll take another year to fully grasp it.
- Defense can get a lot better with the vast engine it’s built on
- Defensively, 2K is “restarting”, creating a base to build off of
- Went through and cleaned up the data
- Thinks gamers will be pleased with the direction 2K is headed in defensively
- He thinks this is the strongest 2K has been (defensively) for some time
- Cleaned up defensive positioning — staying in spots that make more sense
- Changes to the Pick and Roll defense, better rotations, more instances of help defense
- Switching on defense has been improved
- You’ll have defensive options that you can choose that help vs just about every situation
- More situational decision making that factors in personnel e.g. defenders will go over screens vs shooters like Steph Curry, Trae Young, etc.
- Less double teams, double teams are now a “last resort”. A player will have to go off for something like 40 or 50 pts to trigger a double team. This is because other defensive tools are being used to stop the offense.
- May make improvements to defense throughout the year in patches
- Prioritized trying to eliminate the “why did the AI do that” type of situations
- Drastically improved transition defense
CHANGES IN PHILOSOPHY
- Designed AI with the philosophy to “keep the ball in front of them”
- Defensive pressure is more realistic, not an “all or nothing” pressure
PLAYING AGAINST THE AI DEFENSE
- Ball movement along the perimeter will be easier
- Pick and pops, drive and kick, and more ball swing opportunities should be more effective/open vs the AI this year.
- The game will feel more open and free