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Pearate    7

Hey !

Why don't we create a clone of NHL'94 ?

I know we don't have the source code, but we can try to create our own NHL'94 game.

With all the editors and tools of the modern Age, it won't be so difficult. 

Let's dream !  An improved IA who can beat top players. Arena for every team, commentary, etcetera 

Edited by Pearate
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smozoma    100

OK, start it up

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Pearate    7

OK, let's do a Mega Brainstorming.

Step by step, I presume we need to find an Engine for the development. I do know some (I need to refresh my memory, and post the suggestions later)

And then we see what code we need to use.

First questions, do we keep the Pixel Art ? 2D or 3D, or a mix ? Do we do a perfect clone or something similar to Old Time Hockey, with the NHL'94 gameplay ?

What do we want in this game ?

Suggestion :

  • A perfect Online play, with automatize result upload.
  • Editing possibility, for teams, players, leagues, Arenas...
  • Commentary
  • Gameplay improvement (Original gameplay +  addition from 95-98 versions)
  • Possibility to edit the strategy for teams
  • A better AI (specially for the goalies)

 

That's a good start, I'm waiting for your suggestions :P

 

 

 

Edited by Pearate

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naples39    52

I would love love love for this to exist, and would be willing to work on it long term, but it's no trivial task and I have no clue where to even begin.

While we're in fantasy land though:

-unlimited team number, easy to add. Probably you choose team, then roster year.

-jersey selection before games

-optional enhancements to 94 gameplay; pass speed, turning tightness, lane filling in O-zone for wingers to one-time from slot...etc

-HD graphics to see more ice surface (full side to side view)

-online play with stat tracking, league support

Sigh...

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aqualizard    42
On 9/9/2017 at 8:40 AM, Pearate said:

First questions, do we keep the Pixel Art ? 2D or 3D, or a mix ? Do we do a perfect clone or something similar to Old Time Hockey, with the NHL'94 gameplay ?

What do we want in this game ?

I would say:
Step 1: Make a near perfect clone.
Step 2: Make sure it is bug free, and plays like NHL94 was supposed to
Step 3: THEN add enhancements

I even think the pixel art angle is cool.  I vote for keeping it pixelated!

 

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Premium    18

The reason NHL '94 is good is because it is the way it is. Tinker too much with the game and you will end up with a NHL '95 type thing. For example, if you edit the goalies too much you may mess up the near-perfect manual goalie system.

The ROM hacks we have available are almost enough to make the optimal version of NHL '94. Some things are missing such as the ability to quit the game,  aim your one-timers manually or the ability to poke check at will on goalie control (not during a penalty shot). Besides that, the only problems are the minor bugs such as the penalty shot bug.

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Pearate    7
21 hours ago, Premium said:

The reason NHL '94 is good is because it is the way it is. Tinker too much with the game and you will end up with a NHL '95 type thing. For example, if you edit the goalies too much you may mess up the near-perfect manual goalie system.

The ROM hacks we have available are almost enough to make the optimal version of NHL '94. Some things are missing such as the ability to quit the game,  aim your one-timers manually or the ability to poke check at will on goalie control (not during a penalty shot). Besides that, the only problems are the minor bugs such as the penalty shot bug.

The reason why NHL '95 sucks, is because they change the engine of the game, and the feeling of play was lost.

The idea here is to keep the alchemy of the original NHL '94 with some enchantment.

Edited by Pearate

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Pearate    7
12 hours ago, naples39 said:

I would love love love for this to exist, and would be willing to work on it long term, but it's no trivial task and I have no clue where to even begin.

While we're in fantasy land though:

-unlimited team number, easy to add. Probably you choose team, then roster year.

-jersey selection before games

-optional enhancements to 94 gameplay; pass speed, turning tightness, lane filling in O-zone for wingers to one-time from slot...etc

-HD graphics to see more ice surface (full side to side view)

-online play with stat tracking, league support

Sigh...

 

 

11 hours ago, aqualizard said:

I would say:
Step 1: Make a near perfect clone.
Step 2: Make sure it is bug free, and plays like NHL94 was supposed to
Step 3: THEN add enhancements

I even think the pixel art angle is cool.  I vote for keeping it pixelated!

 

 

10 hours ago, smozoma said:

Python's pygame could be a good starting point

https://www.pygame.org/news

 

 

I love this :)

I think recreate a near perfect clone is a good start, in pixel art with the HD in mind.

+ support for online play. And then the enchantments.

Here some links :

How to start   (French)  Python seems to be a good choice for the language

A list of possible engine

Other tools :

For 2D 

For sound and music :

Physics :

Online :  

Engine :

Edited by Pearate

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McMikey    22
16 hours ago, Premium said:

The reason NHL '94 is good is because it is the way it is. Tinker too much with the game and you will end up with a NHL '95 type thing. For example, if you edit the goalies too much you may mess up the near-perfect manual goalie system.

The ROM hacks we have available are almost enough to make the optimal version of NHL '94. Some things are missing such as the ability to quit the game,  aim your one-timers manually or the ability to poke check at will on goalie control (not during a penalty shot). Besides that, the only problems are the minor bugs such as the penalty shot bug.

I think premium is right. The only thing I would add is the ability to host the game in the cloud. So you play with a browser (not with an emulator). Then you get rid of lag and it would be easy to connect online, even play with your phone (if you wanted to).

NHL '94 game server that can host online tourneys and keep track of players stats automatically, just like any game that is made new today.

 

So then aqua is also right... build the exact clone (or use the normal code as much as possible) and make it work on a modern engine to run it on a server. The game is so small and straight forward compared to today's online games.

16 hours ago, aqualizard said:

I would say:
Step 1: Make a near perfect clone.
Step 2: Make sure it is bug free, and plays like NHL94 was supposed to
Step 3: THEN add enhancements

I even think the pixel art angle is cool.  I vote for keeping it pixelated!

 

 

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Pearate    7
5 hours ago, McMikey said:

I think premium is right. The only thing I would add is the ability to host the game in the cloud. So you play with a browser (not with an emulator). Then you get rid of lag and it would be easy to connect online, even play with your phone (if you wanted to).

I just discovered this already exist :blink:

http://www.ssega.com/play/nhl-hockey-94/1181

You can play a multiplayer online, use a joypad, and download your saves too  

http://www.ssega.com/page/help

We need to contact an admin from this site

Edited by Pearate

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naples39    52
On 9/12/2017 at 8:28 PM, Pearate said:

I just discovered this already exist :blink:

http://www.ssega.com/play/nhl-hockey-94/1181

You can play a multiplayer online, use a joypad, and download your saves too  

http://www.ssega.com/page/help

We need to contact an admin from this site

This is just a browser-based emulator. It's not much different from what we already have.

I agree that the top priority is to faithfully re-create NHL 94 gameplay. However, if that is the only goal, then just use emulators as we're doing now, and end discussion.

If a bigger goal is to have a real open-source version of the game that can add gameplay and non-gameplay features, and be more easy to make user mods, this online emulator doesn't help at all.

Edited by naples39

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CoachMac    98

Looking at the last 6 months, it looks like 94 is dead.

Does anyone play anymore?

ETB League was the last fairly good league and it had had a forfeit for the Finals and 2 of 20 coaches quit.
VHL Season 4 had 1 coach finish his season and barely 50% of the games played and a playoff that is still dragging on as it enters its 6th month of play.
Surviving Summer had almost zero participation.
Mikey and Halifax organized an awesome Live Tournament in Las Vegas and barely got 50 people to show up.

No Plabax!
No Trudatman!

:amazing:
 

 

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Pearate    7
18 hours ago, naples39 said:

This is just a browser-based emulator. It's not much different from what we already have.

I agree that the top priority is to faithfully re-create NHL 94 gameplay. However, if that is the only goal, then just use emulators as we're doing now, and end discussion.

If a bigger goal is to have a real open-source version of the game that can add gameplay and non-gameplay features, and be more easy to make user mods, this online emulator doesn't help at all.

This was just an answer to McMickey, who wishes an emulator in a browser.

Edited by Pearate

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smozoma    100

I was going to work on a ladder thing for nhl94online.com but i just never find time for it.. i think a ladder could be something to get people playing again...

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TomKabs93    7
6 hours ago, CoachMac said:

Looking at the last 6 months, it looks like 94 is dead.

Does anyone play anymore?

ETB League was the last fairly good league and it had had a forfeit for the Finals and 2 of 20 coaches quit.
VHL Season 4 had 1 coach finish his season and barely 50% of the games played and a playoff that is still dragging on as it enters its 6th month of play.
Surviving Summer had almost zero participation.
Mikey and Halifax organized an awesome Live Tournament in Las Vegas and barely got 50 people to show up.

No Plabax!
No Trudatman!

:amazing:
 

 

Yeah, our sweet beautiful game looks like its reached the end of its incredible competitive lifespan.

 

It could bounce back, but thats looking pretty unlikely at the moment as like you said, this has been 6 months with no pulse.

 

Theres a whole lot of conflicting opinion drama regarding WHAT exactly killed 94s momentum, but to me it looks like a few different things caused a snowball effect of death. Some people lost interest because of 1 thing, others for something else, and then people lose interest because others are losing interest, and we end up with this.

 

Its especially hard to motivate some of the more competitive people to play when the competition levels are at such a low level.

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McMikey    22

The access to competitive NHL '94 has to involve or it will die out. Emulators and desktop/laptop are dying as well. 

I haven't played a single game of NHL '94 online. So I'm no expert on that process but until you can play NHL '94 on a tablet or phone (with a USB controller or keyboard) you will, of course, see a decline. I have tons of experience with network television and there biggest threat and what will kill them, in the end, is streaming services (NETFLIX). In a way, NHL94.com has the same problem. What worked for to play 94 five to ten years ago is becoming obsolete. 

There are thousands of people out there that want to play NHL '94 but the access is limited as you have to have computer knowledge to play. If this game was on the PlayStation network and playable though modern consoles, you would have almost unlimited competition and the talent of players would be insane.  So the answer might be as simple as to convince EA Sports to re-release the game online. A simple www.change.org might be all that it takes to get the puck rolling. This might sound stupid at first but at least this is a free option. 

32 minutes ago, TomKabs93 said:

Yeah, our sweet beautiful game looks like its reached the end of its incredible competitive lifespan.

It's not the game that's dying its the medium at which its played on. 

 

Resist,

M

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halifax    90

The medium is the message.

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Premium    18

Momentum stopped (possibly temporarily) because the leagues kept catering to the slackers. Even after the Plabax League, the community still came up with leagues primarily designed for slackers, and guys who would show dedication to the game were constantly brushed to the side.

The slacking here is at an extreme. Go anywhere else and you will see that people will find the time to do something if they really want to do it. Here, we constantly have to listen to excuses and wait 25-30 days to finish a season due to guys who claim they are "busy" and have no time to play NHL '94.  Despite the fact that these guys are so damn busy.. they keep signing up, and whenever you boot them / suggest they don't play, you are the bad guy!

It gets silly, especially when you look at another community with similar demographics such as the Tecmo Community and see that they have no issues there. No tolerance for bullshit, less coach turnover, quicker seasons, more seasons, more fun. They are still going strong, and they get 100% completion regularly. I've been around for six years, and I've never played in a league with 100% completion.

There is definitely still an interest in the game. The game is too fun for people to stop playing. What really drives the interest level (in my opinion) is the quality of the online experience, which is primarily measured through leagues.

I think the community could be active with the right league setup. I find the game fun, but I don't like waiting 30 days to play minpind, and I don't like waiting 25 days for AJ to play a playoff series.

 

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CoachMac    98
4 hours ago, Premium said:

Momentum stopped (possibly temporarily) because the leagues kept catering to the slackers. Even after the Plabax League, the community still came up with leagues primarily designed for slackers, and guys who would show dedication to the game were constantly brushed to the side.

The slacking here is at an extreme. Go anywhere else and you will see that people will find the time to do something if they really want to do it. Here, we constantly have to listen to excuses and wait 25-30 days to finish a season due to guys who claim they are "busy" and have no time to play NHL '94.  Despite the fact that these guys are so damn busy.. they keep signing up, and whenever you boot them / suggest they don't play, you are the bad guy!

It gets silly, especially when you look at another community with similar demographics such as the Tecmo Community and see that they have no issues there. No tolerance for bullshit, less coach turnover, quicker seasons, more seasons, more fun. They are still going strong, and they get 100% completion regularly. I've been around for six years, and I've never played in a league with 100% completion.

There is definitely still an interest in the game. The game is too fun for people to stop playing. What really drives the interest level (in my opinion) is the quality of the online experience, which is primarily measured through leagues.

I think the community could be active with the right league setup. I find the game fun, but I don't like waiting 30 days to play minpind, and I don't like waiting 25 days for AJ to play a playoff series.

 

:big_smile:

When the Premium Retro League expands we will be happy to have you!

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