Ever notice that half the Staples Center crowd is either tied up in traffic or too famous to arrive on time for the Lakers' tipoff? NBA 2K11 has, and the video game's "dynamic crowd" feature will reflect that.
The gang at Visual Concepts studied attendance numbers and watched footage of broadcasts from every NBA arena over the course of the season, comparing that to factors such as star players visiting or the home team's record or playoff contention at the time.
So not only will this govern capacity at tip-off, you'll see it through the game. The stands won't be full for the second-half tip, because a third of folks will still be in line for nachos or taking a dump. If you're getting jocked by 20 midway through the fourth on a school night, say goodbye to half your crowd. That sort of thing.
As with other aspects of the presentation, this will have a different meaning in Association, which is the game's persistent franchise mode. Visual Concepts says more details about that are coming, but it sounds like it will be tied to your position in the standings, especially if you're fighting with your nearest rival for home court or the last play-off slot. Next week, I'm told, we'll learn more about this and other new features in Association.
Crowd dynamics have been a pet detail of mine, especially as developers have tried to make its enthusiasm - or lack thereof - more authentic in recent titles. This is a very interesting detail to me, mostly because I know how sensitive the NBA is about image management and presenting its product. But the cold hard fact is not every game is a sellout, and not everyone's standing and cheering throughout. So good for 2K Sports for adding fluctuating attendance to the narrative you're building with your team's performance.
See more at the developer's blog below.
Presentation [2K Sports]