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Everything posted by LaTormenta

  1. Right, given that I have three weeks off work for the first time since forever (enforced - I was pretty much told to take some of my leave entitlement last week!), I am going to try and plough through some of the churn in terms of creating the ROM. I have spent the past couple of days simplifying the logos for each of the teams (as best I can without completely redoing them) and currently have the following as a starter for ten: These might still look pretty "busy" but they are damn near minimalistic compared to the originals. The next step is to try and get them to 8 colours and in 48x48 (selection screen) and 48x32 (ice logos) sizes for incorporation into the game. I appreciate that the palettes for the ice logos are dictated by the jersey colouring, but I just want to ask a question about workflow... How on earth do you guys process the images without them looking a complete mess? For instance: I am unfortunate enough to own a copy of Corel PaintShop Pro. If I reduce the colours in PSP, the transparency in the PNGs vanishes. If I resize in PSP, the results are awful. GIMP seems to do a better job of colour reduction (with dithering) but the resizing is still a bit so-so (and I appreciate that some of this is trying to fit a square peg (lots of pixels) into a round hole (limited W x H). IrfanView seems to be epic at resizing but it buggers around with the colours again. I do not currently own PhotoShop (but might end up starting a subscription for this and a number of other reasons) but I wanted to check if any of you have a tried-and-tested workflow that you wouldn't mind sharing? Earlier, I managed to get this: Looking like this: ...But then I had issues with the transparency going, with the black using up one colour. I am pretty happy with the result up to now but I just want to check that I am not missing something obvious (or some sort of wizardry that gets passed down from NHL '94er to NHL '94er...). (And, as always, I am not looking for this to be perfect, just a respectful approximation of the original logo!) Once I have nailed these, I have pretty much everything else together to put into the game. It has just taken me a while to find the time to plough through the initial graphics without getting, well, harangued by my better half! Whilst I have some time off work, she is still in every day (and out of the house, due to what she does), so I have plenty of time now to do the heavy lifting. Cheers.
  2. Surely EA cannot drop the ball / puck with this one?! Whilst the licensing rights for the original players might have long-expired, you would think that the current arrangement with the NHL, NHLPA etc. would allow for, say, the 2020/21 rosters and teams that are already to be included in NHL '21 to also be included in NHL Rewind '94. Given that no-one would really moan if the game were just available (i.e. it needs no particular bells and whistles adding to it), it is easy money for EA for very little effort. £10 / £15 to be able to play it on the PS4 / PS5? It is a no-brainer and I would probably play that more that NHL '21 when it inevitably pops through my letterbox! Good lord, an online option...
  3. I might be up for a GENS tourney but could do SNES if needed*. That said, this would be strictly on the condition that you guys don't chirp at me too much for getting my ass kicked! * This assumes that I can figure out how to connect my Genesis Mini to the internet (I am sure I have the relevant widget somewhere) and then join games via RetroArch, if that is possible.
  4. Thanks, @kingraph, for the update. Oddly, I sent @McMikey a DM via Twitter last week on the same issue (rather speculatively and not expecting a response, to be fair!). I will keep an eye on this thread and see how things unfold (and hopefully, he will be able to find a way to monetise it on YouTube given all the hard work that was put into the documentary).
  5. I knocked this up at the weekend, which I am currently using in Retroarch with my Genesis Mini. I have tried to clean-up / replace the text and logos as I will use this as a template for future covers (but need to sort the "presents" and credits sections another time). Matthews is there simply because he is the cover player for the current gen version of the game (at least in the UK), before anyone moans! It will no doubt need resizing for use but this is the cover in its native size. Hope it helps.
  6. @Sauce - Great work, as always. Thanks!
  7. @UltraMagnus- This is outstanding. Thanks for this!
  8. @clockwise - Aye, I know what you mean but I just want to have as good a stab at it as I can whilst I have the time. Once I find something that works, I will be able to plough through the rest. Plus, as stupid as this sounds, I actually find it quite relaxing!
  9. Thanks @kingraph, appreciated. If I struggle with the speed, I might knock down the CPU setting a percent or two and see what that does.
  10. Thanks everyone. Apologies if the constant stream of questions is a bit grating. Blame it on a combination of lockdown madness and the fact that the better half just rolls her eyes when I talk about this sort of stuff... Also, this is a pretty steep learning curve for me, so it's probably making me a bit needy! @clockwise - Good shout on the edited logos I have (relatively) quickly knocked these together based on the edited versions I prepared yesterday and your comments above. I think that they look pretty decent but I definitely prefer the "face" option than the text (although I could probably tidy up that one by replacing the triangle with an equilateral one with thicker lines). Also, point taken on the paletter values. Cheers. Conscious that there is still a lot of detail here, I have had a quick go at downscaling one of the logos and then doing a quick-and-dirty "pixel clean-up" on it (keeping in mind that I am most certainly not gifted artisitically), which has resulted in the following: (1) Initial downscale (2) After clean-up / detail reduction Or, at 300%... (I know that the flesh colour needs to change to match the standard colour.) I have to be honest, when I first opened the 300% one, I laughed aloud. It might have been instinctive, as the difference between the original image and the rough final version is a bit jarring, plus the giant looks decidely more jolly than threatening. That said, unless someone tells me otherwise, I am not sure that there is much else I can do? If this looks workable, it might be a decent template approach for the other logos, as most look like they could be rejigged to fit inside the circle with a bit of effort. Si
  11. Sorry if this is already dealt with elsewhere on the board. If so, feel free to point me in the right direction! I recently bought (and hacked) a Mega Drive / Genesis Mini and, along with everyone else that owns one, have loaded with it maybe 1,000 old school games across the Sega, Nintendo & TurboGrafx systems up to now. Neo Geo and others to follow. Anyway, I have (obviously) NHL '94 and pretty much every other hockey game on the older systems loaded up. I prefer the MD / Genesis version of the game and am using Genesis Plux GX (v.1.7.4) as my emulator. However, the game seems to run a little fast compared to the original game (which is actually plugged into an actual MD at the side of the Mini as I type). Other than the controls (I am using a Hori pad and, whilst I know it is cheating, have opted for analog controls up to now, although the same issue applies when using the d-pad), everything else in the emulator is stock, settings-wise. The "CPU Speed" setting is 100% and the region (in this case, NTSC-U) is correct. Is there a general consensus on what the best / most acccurate emulator is for NHL '94 on the MD? Cheers.
  12. Right... I know I should be sorting the kit colours out first (it is on my "to do" list) but I have had a stab at simplifying the Belfast Giants logo to see how it might look with a bit of TLC. It is one of the more detailed logos, so I figured that it would be a good place to start. The next three images are as follows: (a) the origina (originally transparent)l; (b) edit 01 (retaining the flesh colouring); and (3) edit 02 (full Nosferatu skin!). The colour palette has not been sorted yet but the current scheme is generally in line with BG's home kit. The colour tones are pretty much consistent in the original image, so downscaling the palette will be easy enough This is what the "skin tone" version like quickly scaled down (with a high pass sharpen) and then zoomed in to 300%: Honest opinion, does this look any better / more workable? Again, I am not after perfection but I am not sure how this will look in the game. I could probably strip away more detail from the (Belfast) giant if needed, such as the bracelet and some facial details (such as the face paint and the headband). I just wanted to check first before I go too OTT. Don't worry, I am not going to (I think) be this needy throughout the whole process. I just want to get the logos sorted to start with so that I can tick them off the list and get cracking with the fun stuff. Thanks again. Si
  13. Thanks, @Jkline3, @smozoma, @The Sauce, @kingraph and @DeterminedApathy All of the above is really helpful and gives me something to work with. And yeah, I am not aiming for perfect, just mostly recognisable. I have 500x500 .PNG files of the 10 logos that I need (plus one for an extra team, MK Lightning, who might end up joining the league in 2021), so I think that I am going to have a stab at simplfying them first over the weekend and then downscale them after reducing the palette. I might also do a bit more Googling to see if I can find any alternatives (Fife's old logo is not too different to the current one and the historic Manchester Storm logo can probably be jazzed up so it is fit for purpose) and higher resolution versions to start with, especially if I am going to start buggering around with text and simplifying details. Rather than resizing from 500x500 (or whatever alternative sizes I find) to 48x32, I suppose that I can always zoom out and screengrab the smaller image, as (oddly) it seems to produce better results than resizing in Photoshop (at least, presumably due to the filters etc.). That might help me replicate the sportslogos.net approach. At the very least, I will have a cleaned-up version of the original logos that I can do something with. @The Sauce - What is a full colour swatch review? I could probably Google it but you did mention it...! Also, odd question regarding the colours. If a team's logo is pretty boring (see Dundee), can you add, say, a single coloured pixel somewhere in the logo order to use it as part of the kit? I am not sure how it would look but it just crossed my mind as I was typing. God knows why the logos are so horrible. That said, you want to see the jerseys over here. They look like something you would see in Nascar - a thousand sponsors and garish as hell! The teams need the money but it means that they end up getting sponsored by random local businesses whose logos are equally crap. Also, you know what the most painful thing is going to be? Capping everyone's ability at a maximum of 70!!! Ok, that is a little harsh but yeah, it's going to be interesting. And fun. Mostly.
  14. Right, so this has taken a little longer to start than I anticipated when I first created this thread almost a year ago. Blame work and having absolutely no spare time for anything "fun" (if that is what you can realistically call slaving over hex files for hours on end!). Anyway, given that I have a bit more time on my hands at the moment due to working from home instead of being in the office 12+ hours a day (although, ironically, this damn pandemic is actually creating work for me...), I have finally gotten around to starting this project (or, at least, the important part in terms of editing the game). For context, there is a real risk that the EIHL in the UK will not go ahead this year, due to the fact that we only have 10 teams and finances are really tight at the best of times, let alone where social distancing rules at sporting events are going to hammer our (essentially beer money) teams. To put it into context, our most successful coach, Andrew Lord (3 titles and 2 cups in 6 seasons with Cardiff Devils) has just signed for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, as this is considered a huge step up from coaching the (arguably) best hockey team in our top league over here. Not to diss the Rabbits, but it is does not feel the same as, say, a coach leaving the Seattle Sounders to coach Manchester City or Liverpool, if any of you guys follow football (so help me God if you call it soccer! ). So, I figured that getting the custom EIHL mod in circulation might be a good gift to some of the fans to tide them over. Plus, if the league actually starts later this year, maybe it could be used for a few fan tournaments here and there. Thankfully, all it needs is a hacked Megadrive (Genesis) Mini and a couple of joypads nowadays! To get to my query, I have (as mentioned above) everything that I need to get going but I am a little concerned that I might have an issue with the logos in the league. Let me explain... I found what looks to be a useful idiots guide to hacking NHL 94 a while back (https://pucktheory.com/community/threads/bihl-graphics-mods-and-roms.1382/), which I suspect most of you will have seen at some point (and I have no idea if Ken posts on here - if so, thanks for the awesome guide!). I have spent a chunk of today trying to get my ice logos in order (in advance of using TM to insert them into the game) and, frankly, they look awful. I have followed the steps in the guide (i.e. change the colour palette and then downscale / downsize to 48 x 32 pixels (resolution: 100)) but I am concerned that I am going to get to the end of the process and the logos will look so rubbish that I would be better off not using them at all. For example, here are a couple of the EIHL logos for reference (sorry, I do not know how to resize them): When I follow the steps in the above-mentioned guide, the logos look like follows (albeit, for the purposes of this post, made significantly larger so you can see them!): These are the original (downscaled) PNGs (and yup, I know they need to be converted to BMP in due course): I appreciate that, due to the limitations of the game, the logos are never going to be perfect (far from it) but I am not sure whether the issue is because: (a) I am an idiot and missing something glaringly obvious; or (b) the logos contain too much detail and would benefit from a lot of Photoshop TLC to simplify them for downscaling purposes. I have had a look on the forum for something that might help, but am struggling a bit. It might be that they look awesome when imported into the game, but I was (being a sucker for following a guide) going to import them much later into the process and am worried that they might be unusable and that I might be better off just using a simplified version of the EIHL logo: (Yes, I know that it is an awful logo. That said, us Brits are not known for being particularly "out there", are we?!) I just wanted to check if anyone has a preferred (and ideally idiot-proof) way to convert logos into files that can then be imported into TM in due course? As much as I would like to claim that I could draw the logos in TM or an equivalent app, the sad reality is that I am absolutely terrible with that sort of thing! Again, apologies for the huge gap between my initial posts and this one. I have spent more time playing NHL 94 than actually editing it (and have been making good use of the updated files here, so thanks everyone for sharing them). My old Mega Drive (Genesis) is also presently gathering dust, as I have bought and hacked a Mini and feel like I have been transported to the future being able to use Bluetooth controllers with the game for the first time!!! (No, I am not that old, but I am that behind the times when it comes to hacked consoles etc.). Cheers all. Si
  15. @kingraph @smozoma @Jkline3 @clockwise @The Sauce - Thanks for all of your comments / suggestions. Apologies for the tardy response - work has been getting in the way of play, as always... It is just under a month until the beginning of the EIHL season, so (now that most rosters are pretty much complete in time for pre-season friendlies etc.), I am going to start cracking on with the donkey work over this week. Christ knows how long it is going to take but at least it sounds as if I am starting from a pretty decent starting point thanks to all of the resources on this forum. Watch this space... And apologies in advance for any stupid questions!
  16. Hi all Off the bat, I should mention that I am a newbie to editing NHL94. I have waded through the forum and have collated a lot of (really useful) information in relation to editing the BIN for the Megadrive / Genesis version of the game but could do with some advice before cracking on. As a starting point, I plan on create a version of NHL94 that is tailored to the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) in Great Britain. Whilst a pretty modest league compared to other European leagues (both in fan base and quality), the league has its fanatics (including myself) and I figure that it is worth taking some time to get a working BIN in order that can be updated each season. Who knows, it might even lead to the odd local tournament, given how close knit the supporters tend to be. (My username comes from my local team – Manchester Storm.) The EIHL features 10 teams, each with a roster of around 20 players. The 2019/20 season starts in September and the final kits and rosters for many of the teams are still to be finalised but, up to now, I have undertaken the following preparatory work: Rosters I have collated the roster details that are currently available for each team in Excel (ranging from 70% to 100% complete, depending on the team) (i.e. name, position, jersey number, dominant hand and weight). I am planning on using NOSE to input these into the BIN. Weight brackets I have prepared a basic formula in Excel that converts the kg weights I have to lbs and then places them into the NHL94 brackets (rounding down or up to the closest weight bracket as appropriate). I am planning on using NOSE to input these into the BIN. Player attributes I have prepared a (basic) formula in Excel for randomising attributes for each player based on the league position of their team during the 2018/19 season and by reference to the range of attributes for the Cardiff Devils team in NHL19 (as the sole EIHL team in the game). This is because rosters in the EIHL routinely change completely in the off-season and the players can be unknown quantities, so this seems a pretty good / fair way of ensuring that the top teams are of a higher standard than the lower ones within certain pre-defined ranges. I am planning on exporting the attributes from the BIN using the NHL Hockey Roster Tool, replacing them wholesale with the new ones and then importing them back into the BIN. Logos and player cards I have collecting PNG versions of the 10 team logos ready for conversion to useable 16 bit images. I will collate images for certain players (to replace the NHL player cards) as things progress. In terms of what I would like to do to the game (in an ideal world), the plan would be to (in order of processing): reduce the selectable teams to 10 (using EARE); change the name of the ROM (using EARE); update the rosters for the teams, deleting any unused players in each roster (or adding new ones as required) (using NOSE); update the attributes for the (new) players (using the NHL Hockey Roster Tool); change the kit colours for each team; change the ice logos for each team (or use a generic EIHL logo for the time being, as long as it does not interfere with the kit colours) (using a combination of Genesis Image Ditherer and Tile Molester, if I can figure it out!); update the kit colours to reflect the 2019/20 kits (using NOSE?); update the team banners to reflect the update kits and team names (using Tile Molester); update the Ron Barr text so that Aaron Murphy is referred to as the commentator (a Freesports commentator that covers EIHL games in GB) (in Hex Workshop); replace Barr’s photo with one of Murphy (using Genesis Image Ditherer and Tile Molester); update the game text generally so that references to the NHL and Stanley Cup are replaced with EIHL and EIHL Play-Off Trophy (instead of referring to the PredictorBet Play-Off Trophy) (in Hex Workshop); and replace the opening splash screen with an EIHL image and some EIHL-related text under the NHL text (i.e. “NHL 94 (EIHL Edition)”) (using Genesis Image Ditherer and Tile Molester). My knowledge of hexadecimal is pretty much zero, so I suspect that a lot of this is going to be very much trial-and-error, although there is a wealth of information on these forums that I can work with as a starting point (thanks!). I suppose that my main questions at this (early) stage, which are probably pretty basic compared to many questions that get asked here, are: is the order above sensible or is it going to cause me any issues when editing (e.g. will changing the rosters first cause problems when updating the player cards); and does anyone have any practical recommendations about how to go about updating the BIN (e.g. in terms of preparation and workflow order). Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks Si
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