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McMikey

What did NHL '95 do to make it better than '94

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Ok folks this is a tough one. What did NHL '95 do right or try and do? I don't want to know what failed. Again this is a thought experiment. If you where a sales guy trying to sell NHL '95 to a 94 guy that has never played it what things would you say makes it better (Again i don't care if those things didn't work or made the game worse).

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Oh my. I'd have to actually go back and play it to try to even remember it.

I just remember loving it because I could score SO much easier w/ Hull from BEHIND the blue line, and then my older brother took the game out of the genesis and threw it away and said, "We are going back to '94. This game sucks!", and I've never played it since.

I've always just taken everyone's word that the game wasn't as good since I never ran into anyone wanting to play me in it over the years, only '94.

I'll definitely try to fire it up some time this week and give an honest assessment.

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Things I did like about '95 were:

* Season mode

* Create a player / Trade players (definitely fun as a kid)

* Abort game on menu screen option

* Team selection is by moving controller to home/away (like SNES '94)

* Records

* 2on2

* You can change lines without dumping the puck.

Not sure anything else was an improvement over '94. Sucks that they didn't utilize the 6-button controller! I also wonder if they fixed the body check stats so only in-game checks count?

6Q6Kniy.jpg

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Drop passes
Fake Shots (If I remember correctly... only played it about half a day)

Edited by aqualizard

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Season Mode was great. ( I wish it had a 20 game option though not just 84 games)

Also that end of season awards show was really nice.

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Mostly echoing what's been brought up already but:

- Season Mode

- Ability to win trophies

- Able to trade players

- Create a player

I can't think of anything about the gameplay that was better. It was all about the options, finally when a trade happened in the NHL you could replicate it and attempt to keep the rosters current. And if a new rookie came into the league you could just create him!

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Pretty much everything Raph said. I also liked the ability to block shots on defense.

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I went nuts with creating players and simming seasons with 95. I wasn't that into actually playing the games, though. But season mode and create-a-player were fun.

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I think because of the season mode, creating a player, and the fact the Rangers were awesome,, not to mention the other stuff like drop passes, and blocking shots that this was my favorite game as a kid to play vs CPU, nothing like going undefeated, and sweeping the awards ceremony.

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Things I did like about '95 were:

* Season mode

* Create a player / Trade players (definitely fun as a kid)

* Abort game on menu screen option

* Team selection is by moving controller to home/away (like SNES '94)

* Records

* 2on2

* You can change lines without dumping the puck.

Not sure anything else was an improvement over '94. Sucks that they didn't utilize the 6-button controller! I also wonder if they fixed the body check stats so only in-game checks count?

6Q6Kniy.jpg

WHY DIDNT I SEE THIS BEFORE?? This answers everything!!!

2zh0en8.png

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what? the clit of the trophy and Roenick's name and the podium guy....mean what?

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Like others said before quite a bit of additions to NHL 95

I copied and pasted an interview Jeff did with the SNES 95 engineer. And it looks like EA wanted to have a different look to the games each year starting in 95, and they made it different again in 96, but they kept the engine I believe from 96 until the 16 bit went RIP.

95 is my favorite game of all time, but it is quite different from 91-94 and I think that is why some people dislike it now.

Mikey we are doing a tourney on Feb 27th and hope to broadcast it live on Twitch. I'll be sure to get you the info on that if you need some B roll 94's younger hated brother. Also going to Tecmomadision the week before if you want any first hand reporting on other Video game events.

here is the copy and paste I talked about

To Jason Andersen (SNES NHL'95 Software Engineer)
From Jeff

I was wondering if you were the guy that worked on SNES NHL'95 as the Software Engineer?
Yes, I’m that guy.

As Software Engineer did you get the old SNES NHL'94 software to work from and just get to tweak it or how do you do it?
Did you have to start from scratch?

You’re talking about a project that I worked on in 1994. That was a long time ago, but I do remember a few things.
We had the '94 code base for reference. For most of the project I was the only programmer on the project.
Jonah came on in the last month, and really helped get it out the door.
NHL 95 really wasn’t one of my prouder accomplishments.
I guess it didn’t turn out too bad considering the 4 month dev cycle, that problem with the south end goalie is pretty in-excusable
(because of a bug, he never moves).
We had about twice that amount of time for NHL 96, and it turned out much, much nicer.


Do you and Jonah guys still talk?
I do stay in touch with Jonah.

I was disappointed with SNES NHL 95 and NHL 96.
I’m sorry that you were disappointed with NHL 95. I have not had much feedback from fans. When I commented about my disappointment with the southern goalie, the disappointment I have really has to do with the fact that I didn’t notice.The problem was a typo-graphical error. There were more than 2 dozen other people that could have noticed the problem with that goalie and said something … most notably the testers. I definitely share the blame for the goalie, but I’m not alone.
The Genesis 94 was created before the SNES. The SNES was a clone of the Genesis game, and ran at a much lower frame rate… For the 95 version, I was in charge of porting over updates from the Genesis to the Snes (so we inherited all the Genesis Gameplay elements). I believe the Genesis Lead is named Mark Lesser. There was a big push to increase the frame rate beyond the 20 FPS that the SNES 94 game ran… we brought it up to about 45FPS … in terms of frame rate, a big improvement. Still not the 60 FPS that the machine is capable of (another thing I was disappointed about).
I worked for Visual Concepts, my boss was Greg Thomas. He picked up the contract from EA in late March, and we got the archive around the first week of April. Greg assigned me to the project.
I was told that another developer had been working on the 95 version for about 6 months, but that their lead died, and they were unable to complete the project. I don’t know which developer, and we never received a copy of their work.


Weird you didn't get his work.
Even if you got his work would it have been like Genesis NHL'95 with long legs and bad graphics and fast gameplay?
Most likely it would have been just like Genesis. Ultimately, the same producers were in charge.

Why would SNES even get a new Developer?
EA back then, didn’t do a lot of SNES in house. They made more money on Genesis, and SNES was more of an after-thought. Because of this, they had a tendency to farm out the work on SNES. Often times you try new developers because you weren’t happy with the developer you were working with before. Sometimes, it’s a matter of costs. I couldn’t say exactly how Visual Concepts ended up getting the contract for NHL 95.
The graphical line look was determined by the Art Director, and the production staff. The production staff wanted the graphical enhancements to the rink, the crowd, etc. We probably had access to the Genesis for reference, and art staff at Visual Concepts did the rest.
As far a monetary compensation goes, I was working on salary for Visual Concepts. At the time I was working about 80 hours per week on the project.
An hourly translation would be about $8.00 an hour.
EA owns all the copyrights for the code.
I’m sorry you don’t like 96. I am proud of that project for a number of reasons. One of my favorite additions to that version of the game, is that way the defensive players will swap zones, so that there is better coverage. This was Scott Probin’s brain-child, but I still thought it was really cool.

I’m not in contact with the people who make NHL today. The entire time I’ve been in this industry I’ve worked in the capacity of a contractor.
In this capacity, we do what the client asks for. In our case, the client is the publisher/production team in charge of the project.
I’ve never really gotten to choose what I’m working on. I’ve spent my career doing whatever work is made available to me.
After NHL I worked on a lot of Madden, and NCAA Football products. We get paid as we go, by milestone.
We only get paid if the production team is happy with the milestone, so all our efforts are put into making the producer happy.At some point I hope that our company will make enough money, to where we could self-finance a project. Then we could actually have full control over a project.

From NHL94 to NHL95, the Programmer on Genesis made the big changes in the code. It was really the design/ production team that decided what changes he should make to the project. All the different production titles are confusing… Generally speaking the lower level the title (Assistant Producer/ Associate Producer) the more work you actually do on the product from day to day. Everything has to be eventually approved by the higher level production though (Line Producer/ Executive Producer/ or just Producer).

Back with the SNES and the Genesis, those consoles are very slow computers. As a result all the programming is done in assembler. High level languages like C could not be used, because they would take up too much memory, and run too slowly. There is no automated way to convert a program from the Genesis to work on the SNES, and vice versa, so generally speaking, people that were good at 68k assembler, would work on Genesis, and people good with the 65816 CPU would work on the SNES. The processors are very different beasts. For all the similarities between the Genesis and the SNES, the hardware is still very different. Someone would have been hired to translate changes from the Genesis to the SNES.


So were you happy there was a change for NHL'95?
I was happy to have a job, working on video games. I really like the Super NES.

Did you think that SNES NHL'95 was as good as SNES NHL'94?
I know a lot of people thought that the '95 game was tuned too fast. I received all my tuning guidance from Kevin Hogan (the producer lowest on the totem pole). The direction was based on trying to match what they were doing on the Genesis.

I think the SNES NHL'94 gameplay runs more smooth than Genesis NHL'94 yet Genesis FPS is so much Higher. Can you explain please.
The game play speed, and the Frames Per Second are 2 different things. In game time, lets say that it takes 1 second to move half way across the screen. If the FPS is low, lets say 10 FPS, you will see 10 different positions as the player moves across the screen. This will likely look like the guy is teleporting from place to place. At 60 FPS, you would see 60 different positions, it will move a lot more smoothly.
What I describe above applies mostly to motion. Most of the animations play at 10-15 FPS, regardless of framerate. The original 94 code is more than adequate for playing smooth animations. It just didn’t move things around the screen, as smoothly as the machine is capable of doing.
The tuning changes made to the game play, so that players would skate faster.
I’m certain Mark Lesser did those based on what the
producer Rob Martyn in charge of the project were asking him to do.


The Art Director for NHL94 and 95 was Nancy Waisanen What was she thinking for NHL95?
The graphics are really bad.
I really couldn’t say what she was thinking.
The production staff wanted the graphic more enhanced?
Marketing and production wanted the graphics to change from year to year, so that it looks like a different game.
Anyone one with a producer title, is part of the production staff. Titles have changed a lot over the years at EA.
Sometimes it’s hard to say what a person did based on their title.


Do you know whatever happened to Michael Brook?
I don’t know Michael Brook, or what happened to him.

Thanks for the interview Jason Andersen (SNES NHL'95 Software Engineer).

I wonder who was the lead developer that died while working on the SNES '95 version for about 6 month?

Now if I could get Genesis NHL'94 Producer /SNES and Genesis NHL'95 designer Michael Brook
Genesis NHL'94 and NHL'95 Programmer Mark Lesser
Genesis NHL'95 Producer and SNES NHL'95 Supervising Producer: Rob Martyn
SNES NHL'94 Assistant Producer and Genesis NHL'95 Associate Producer and Designer: Scott Probin
Genesis NHL'94 and NHL'95 and SNES NHL'95 Executive Producer Scott Orr
SNES NHL'95 Producer and Designer: Kevin Hogan
SNES NHL'95 Assistant Producer: Ken Rogers
SNES NHL'95 Technical Director: Dave Walker
SNES NHL'95 Technical Director: Evan Robinson
Genesis NHL'94 and NHL'95 Technical Director: Rob Harris
Genesis NHL'95 Technical Director: Colin McLaughlin
Genesis NHL'95 Art Director: Nancy Waisanen
What is with the big yellow penalty boxes? Wow it took a lot of people to make the color worse than the year before.
Genesis NHL'95 Graphics: Doug Wike, Lori Champney, Cynthia Hamilton, Ian House, Kendra Lammas, Alyson Markell, Terry Falls
SNES NHL'95 Art Worker
S.Green , Matthew Crysdale, Doug Wike, Lori Champney, Cynthia Hamilton, Terry Falls, Ian House, Kendra Lammas, Alyson Markel

Especially these 8 people
Please explain why for the big changes for NHL'95?

Rob Martyn, Mark Lesser, Michael Brook, Scott Orr,
Scott Probin, Kevin Hogan, Ken Rogers and Nancy Waisanen


Let's get on this NHL'94, NHL'95 credit people!

Does some Asian guy have the NHL'94 software in Japan?
Even thou NHL'94 was done at EA in Vancouver B.C. Canada.
How hard is it to find this '94 software?
They should release it to somebody that can make little changes.

We '94 vet have mastered this hockey video game and scored nearly every way possible you can in this game so
we need new challenges new features like block shot, fake shot and have more harder slap shots that go in. smile.gif

SNES NHL'94 best hockey video game ever so far................ Until when?? 2094?? Should be now!!!!!!

Quote from Darrell (aka Halifax)

"I always say 'how can anyone not enjoy a SNES NHL'94 game...where your manual goalie can theoretically win you a game by itself?'
Not to mention I love everything else about the game."

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So cool, thanks for the copy/paste above. And good luck in Tecmo Madison! I'll be watching the streams as much as I can!

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Very cool, thanks Segathon.

Your site and tourneys were the inspiration for us to start Retrothon.

Very cool site and tourney's.

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nice write up of the improvements Raph! Haven't played it in years and forgot about a lot of them.

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To Jason Andersen (SNES NHL'95 Software Engineer)

From Jeff

...

I don't know how he got that interview, but I know how he didn't get any more :P

Who wants to do an interview that boils down to "why did the thing you made suck so much?"

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On it's own, NHL95 didn't suck. If the NHL series had started in 95 - it would have been a great entry. But NHL94 happened first...

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Quote from Darrell (aka Halifax)

"I always say 'how can anyone not enjoy a SNES NHL'94 game...where your manual goalie can theoretically win you a game by itself?'

Not to mention I love everything else about the game."

lol. ahh the memories.

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Can anyone verify that NHL '95 was the first game you could make a defenseman play forward on a regular line? I might be wrong but thought I remembered that?

Pretty convenient when you have a Dustin Byfuglien or Brent Burns type on your team....

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Can anyone verify that NHL '95 was the first game you could make a defenseman play forward on a regular line? I might be wrong but thought I remembered that?

Pretty convenient when you have a Dustin Byfuglien or Brent Burns type on your team....

I think that was 96.

Thanks Coach Mac and Kingralph! Still working on the stream will do a separate post when I get it up.

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I mean honestly, everything they added was cool. Blocking shots, season mode, awards, trades, even the Quartz-themed scoreboard was pretty good. They just wrecked the fundamental gameplay.

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Just started a season on my Everdrive with 95.

Suprisingly fun.

The scoring is varied, the defensemen and player positioning is smart.

The season aspect with stats from all the teams is great, much like TSB.

I am 10-1-0, with 2 ot wins.

I may try a season with each year.

The worst thing is the look. I just really think 92, 93, and 94 look so much better.

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it's not a bad game, for SNES, at least. what was the bit about the goalie not moving? I don't recall that issue.

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It's so floaty. They made it fast, yes, but the players and the puck have no sense of weight.

I played it for the full seasons and stat tracking but I gave up in the playoffs. In my postseason there was a glitch where I had home ice in every game.

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good points. "floaty" is a great way to describe it. and, yeah, they seem to have no mass. at best, they are tiny points with huge graphics attached. it's awkward. it does have flow, though.

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My best friend in high school only ever wanted to play 95 (as usual I'm talking SNES). I could never convince him 94 was far superior! He thought 94 was slow whereas I think 94 just has more variation in speed and momentum compared to 95. 95 lacks that feeling of weight and momentum. But overall, its still a very good hockey game compared to most.

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Drop pass and fake shots were a nice addition, also the "weight" bug was corrected significantly changing player impact. if I remember correctly, I bought 95 on release day after playing 94 , nhlpa93 and was initially disappointed. After a day or so playing and getting use to the faster more dynamic game play I never looked back. It was not until around 2008 when I discovered the nhl94 site that I played 94 once again. Me and my buddies also used the player trade/custom features for 2 vs 2 .

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The change to the game engine is pretty jarring if you have 94 legs. And it's hard to adjust to 94 if you played a bunch of 95. Both great games but you should not play on the same night. Kinda like binge drinking and all you can eat sushi.

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