Sports fans are always looking for ways to one-up their rivals. But if you’re a hoophead like me, who is also a die-hard follower of the Golden State Warriors, there’s not much I can hold over my Lakers friends other than annoying them with countless flashbacks about Sleepy Floyd. You have championship rings and Kobe; I have one game. One game!
But that’s where Ogmento’s cool new app, “NBA King of the Court 2,” comes into play. Using GPS coordinates, the game tracks where you are and presents you with a basketball court -- a public park or a high-school gym, for example -- to shoot on. Score the most points and you can flip the court to any NBA team’s colors and logos. And the thing is, even when you’re in the Bay Area, there are plenty of Heat and Lakers courts that need to be changed back to Warriors, because their fans have already invaded and put up high scores. So the more you travel, the more you can flip enemy courts, while at the same time, if you’re home, you’re defending your high scores to make sure Golden State is well represented on the map.
“The idea with ‘NBA’ is, you take over a court, then you try to hang onto it as long as you can,” said the game’s producer, Tim Hernandez. “Ogmento is a location-based mobile gaming company, and we wanted to make a game that takes the player outside and takes gamers out into the real world. So why not take virtual basketball courts and put them in the real world? We launched ‘NBA King of the Court’ last year, and it was a big success. It was pretty much loved by a devoted fan base who spent hours and hours trying to take over as many courts as possible.
“We even have a ladder system where the more courts you possess, you can become King of the Court in your city, working your way all the way up to become King of the Court in the world. So for ‘King of the Court 2,’ we knew we had this passionate fan base, so we wanted to make sure that the gameplay was more interactive with motion-control shooting thanks to the [gyroscope]. You use your wrist to shoot a basketball in real life, so why not use your wrist in the game. It’s not like the Wii or anything like that. It’s just to help get you away from defenders and give you that pinpoint accuracy. It’s a very cool new control scheme this year. We also take a more fun approach to the courts for all 30 NBA teams. There are now interactive things in the background, and we also have both single and multiplayer modes now, where in single player, you work your way around the country, unlocking new courts as you conquer the map. So now in single-player mode, I don’t have to actually be in Chicago anymore to play on the Bulls court and shoot around.”
Talk about a great way to make NBA fans mad. I can already see the battle of L.A. between Lakers and
Clippers fans or the showdown in Texas as fans of the Rockets, Spurs and Mavs try to turn their state the color of their favorite team.
“The game really plays into rivalries,” said Hernandez. “You can go around and color the city in whatever skins you want, so you can go all over Los Angeles and put the Warriors’ colors over every court if you score high enough. It’s all about the competitions between players as they try to either take over a court or prevent the takeover.
“We went to the NBA All-Star Game last year in Orlando, and when we landed, all we saw were Orlando Magic courts everywhere, so we decided to make a change. We started playing, and we’re all from Los Angeles, so we started scoring and changing everything to the Lakers, and then, sure enough, minutes later, the Orlando fans all tried to win them back. They were all like, ‘What are you guys doing trying to take our courts?’ No matter where you are, there are going to be courts. It’s up to you to win them for your team.”
Throw in cheerleaders and mascots and you have the makings of an addictive app that gets better the more you hit the road.
“It’s really a territory thing as you try to be the top in your city, then move on try to be the best in the world,” Hernandez said.
In other words, time for me to paint the basketball world blue and yellow. This one’s for you, Sleepy.