I'm making a NHL '94 Documentary


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I'd be most interested in finding the original programmers in hopes of being able to get some answers with regards to the game engine itself (when/why was fighting eliminated - the player stats still show a fighter rating). Were they aware of the "weight-bug"? What did they use to determine the player stats? Any great programming deadline stories, last minute fixes/additions etc.. Were some players "boosted" because they were favourites of the programming team? Do any of them still play?

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WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT NHL ’94????

Some kind of retrospective talk and other versions reviews, just like in these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWjep88kB9w

Short talk about the nhl94.com community, like in this one:

SNES!

Yes, SNES!

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Some kind of retrospective talk and other versions reviews, just like in these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWjep88kB9w

Short talk about the nhl94.com community, like in this one:

Yes, SNES!

Wow! Thanks for sharing DominikJagr! I watched all 4 parts to this review, I have never herd of this game before so it gave me a persecutive of someone that is starting fresh that will be useful in my doc. Sensible Soccer has so many things in common with NHL '94. I urge everyone here to take the time to watch it!!!

If anyone else know videos like this please post them, every little bit helps!!

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Speaking from the Genesis side and with regards to which people to interview about their love for the game, what makes it special etc......I'd suggest opinions from those (regardless of skill or level) who are active here and now. There is a crop of new rookies who joined and I'm sure they love the game as much as any coach who has X number of championships. They're probably the most excited people around. I don't believe talent or resume should be the biggest factors in who has their voice heard. Also, there are some integral guys who contribute behind the scenes (as well as play) whose opinions are also valuable (Kupuck, Brutus, Depch, Ice) and have been around a looooong time and are easy to get a hold of.

Edited by Uncle Seth
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Hell yea I'd love to be interviewed, give my opinion, etc. I have love this whole EA series since 92 came out when I was 9 years old and I am 31 now. I am in my 2nd year on the forum and can't get enough

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mikey,

This is an awesome project you are putting together. Let me know what you may need. Glad you've been using nhl94.com as a resource (sorry the site is so out-dated - I'm FINALLY getting around to updating it now). I haven't been as active around here the past few years, so I'm a bit out of touch on the latest and greatest happenings but, like you, I still play using the genesis at least once a week.

The people here are amazing and we'll all help to make your project a success!

-Evan

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Hey tru - just converting the existing site's code to be up to date, easy to manage and mobile friendly. We can use a separate topic to discuss new features.

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Hey tru - just converting the existing site's code to be up to date, easy to manage and mobile friendly. We can use a separate topic to discuss new features.

Please, this is something I've been drooling about for some time. New features, improved intefrace and so on. :) Got plenty of ideas!

Oh, and the documentary thing is great too. :) Looking forward to it.

Edited by Depch
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  • 3 weeks later...

I read recently Zlatan Ibrahimovic (big football/soccer star here in Europe) was a huge fan of Sensible Soccer/Sensible World of Soccer series and owned Commodore Amiga when he was a kid. That leads to me a suggestion. Ask ice hockey guys youre gonna interview about their experience with video games and gaming in general. Target audience of your documentary will be from NHL games fanbase but retrogaming fans also, such information might be interesting for them. And another suggestion (and a wish): Make a special uncut version or a bonus movie from all the footage that wont be used in the official movie.

Someone posted the Tecmo documentary (which I like a lot, I am a huge fan of the game), imo it is unbalanced is certain ways. The Tecmo event steals the whole movie and the documentary focuses on two three guys, the game itself or the community (tecmobowl.org) are not covered as they should. I know the movie was intended to be about the Tecmo event, these are just my two cents about what the well-balanced documentary about the old game loved by many should be like. Versions+history / making the game+background / community+forum+modding / live events / interviews with NHL players+NHL 94 players, all covered +- propotionally.

I hope it will be at least 50 minutes documentary and not just 25 mins :-)

Can't wait to see this!

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  • 3 months later...

Very very cool! I know this is old news to everyone but I'm just getting around to it now! So cool!

I'm sure by now McMikey you've found just how awesome and helpful this community can be. I used to be active on this site many years ago but frustrations over never winning a championship and a busy work schedule sent me into an early retirement. I'll always remember tho the good natured folk on here and the relative absence of difficult and negative personalities.

The tournament you have planned in Toronto this September is too good to be true. I would never forgive myself if I didn't take the 15 minute subway ride to partake! Just dusted off the old console and have begun some rigorous weekly thumb excerises to get me back in shape for the big day!

You probably have it all sorted out by now, but I hope your doc can give ample if not equal consideration to SNES!! For me, NHL 94 has always been a SNES game. Gens is so foreign and alien to me. I think you will find folks on here to be very passionate about the two 94 worlds and this could make for some entertaining content. You might be so bold as to say that it sits at the center of ANY conversation you might want to have about the game. Don't be afraid to ask those hard hitting questions! Which version is the version? Who is the better 94player - a SNES player or a GENS player? Is one easier than the other or is one more sophisticated and just a little bit more perfect?? I'm obviously very biased in the matter - I think it might be the case that most people side with the version they played and experienced first. I hope you can find some folks here or elsewhere that have informed experience in both camps, but any true story of 94 has to touch on this question at some point. oh yeah..SNES!

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These poor SNES guys. They all sound like the sibling that gets straight A's in school, always the good kid, listens to their parents .... but everyone likes the other kid who gets B's and is just cool.

Anyway, like it or not, the Genesis is the more preferred and iconic version of the game.

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Knox created the original game engine (EA / NHL Hockey & NHLPA93) along with Troy London, and the original John Madden Football, under Park Place Productions. Jim Simmonds joined the team for NHLPA'93. They didn't predict that the games would be released on a yearly basis and lost out on a fortune. Knox passed of colon cancer several years ago, and London was working on the 'Left Behind' series of games last time I checked.

Lesser was brought on as the lead programmer for NHL'94, but didn't have a hand in creating the original game engine. I wrote him a letter many years ago and he emailed Evan and thanked him for the memories. He did sign up on the forum, but he has never posted.

Mark gets a lot of credit, but his company is also responsible for the disaster that was NHL'95 -- I'm pretty sure that game engine they created was meant to last for a few years, instead of just one game.

This is the part of the NHL94 story I am most interested in. I do hope the real creators get recognized. (And I want to find out the story myself!)

I am sure Mark Lesser is a solid programmer, but the real credit goes to the person or people that:

1. came up with the game UI (birdseye vertical scrolling player profile view thingy)

2. came up with the game play UX (passing and taking control of whoever has the puck)

3. programmed the game engine, with the smooth skating feel and puck physics

In short, the person or people -- way before Lesser -- that came up with the "magic" that separated this hockey game from it's predecessors. (I am sure there are more things than the 3 I mentiond, and maybe I have them wrong, but my point is the look and feel of this game was already magic before Mark Lesser joined, and I hope the the doc explains this and gives credit to the person or people behind it. And I would love to know the real, full story. Was it really Know and Troy London that did all of this, and who did what between them?)

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  • 3 months later...

In the past few months that I've been browsing the forum more regularly, whenever I saw this stuff about a documentary, I just ignored it. I just assumed it was some amateurish thing. Didn't realize it was being made by a pro with experience in the industry. This is extremely cool!

Actually, the reason I finally took the time to figure out what this was all about, was that I was looking into the role of Jim Simmons, but then I learned about all this stuff of Michael Knox, Troy Lyndon and Park Place Prod. The real creators of the original game engine?! I did not know this! And Lyndon was involved in making "Left Behind" video games and got all mixed up in an SEC investigation?! And Park Place made both Madden AND the first few Joe Montana games!?. Mind blown.

Mr. McBryan, please say you're going to include stuff about whoever it indeed was that made the physics engine. That's the real key. The gravity/momentum stuff.

I've been reading a ton of retro game related stuff lately, and it seems that a lot of time, entire games where team efforts, unlke now where one person is put in charge of like...making sure everything purple is purple enough, or whatever.

So who knows, maybe the Park Place people couldn't even say who it was, because it was a bunch of them just tinkering around until things felt right. And Knox has passed. Lyndon is maybe in jail (jk).

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In the past few months that I've been browsing the forum more regularly, whenever I saw this stuff about a documentary, I just ignored it. I just assumed it was some amateurish thing. Didn't realize it was being made by a pro with experience in the industry. This is extremely cool!

Actually, the reason I finally took the time to figure out what this was all about, was that I was looking into the role of Jim Simmons, but then I learned about all this stuff of Michael Knox, Troy Lyndon and Park Place Prod. The real creators of the original game engine?! I did not know this! And Lyndon was involved in making "Left Behind" video games and got all mixed up in an SEC investigation?! And Park Place made both Madden AND the first few Joe Montana games!?. Mind blown.

Mr. McBryan, please say you're going to include stuff about whoever it indeed was that made the physics engine. That's the real key. The gravity/momentum stuff.

I've been reading a ton of retro game related stuff lately, and it seems that a lot of time, entire games where team efforts, unlke now where one person is put in charge of like...making sure everything purple is purple enough, or whatever.

So who knows, maybe the Park Place people couldn't even say who it was, because it was a bunch of them just tinkering around until things felt right. And Knox has passed. Lyndon is maybe in jail (jk).

Thanks hnfoo for finding our doc, Yes the rabbit hole is very deep. I don't want to give to much away at this point but Jim Simmons is a keystone figure that is the most underrated person is video game history and his story will be told.

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In the past few months that I've been browsing the forum more regularly, whenever I saw this stuff about a documentary, I just ignored it. I just assumed it was some amateurish thing. Didn't realize it was being made by a pro with experience in the industry. This is extremely cool!

Actually, the reason I finally took the time to figure out what this was all about, was that I was looking into the role of Jim Simmons, but then I learned about all this stuff of Michael Knox, Troy Lyndon and Park Place Prod. The real creators of the original game engine?! I did not know this! And Lyndon was involved in making "Left Behind" video games and got all mixed up in an SEC investigation?! And Park Place made both Madden AND the first few Joe Montana games!?. Mind blown.

Mr. McBryan, please say you're going to include stuff about whoever it indeed was that made the physics engine. That's the real key. The gravity/momentum stuff.

I've been reading a ton of retro game related stuff lately, and it seems that a lot of time, entire games where team efforts, unlke now where one person is put in charge of like...making sure everything purple is purple enough, or whatever.

So who knows, maybe the Park Place people couldn't even say who it was, because it was a bunch of them just tinkering around until things felt right. And Knox has passed. Lyndon is maybe in jail (jk).

Like you, hnfoo, I am very interested in giving credit to the real genius behind this game, and hope Mikey shines a strong light on that. (He did tell me he has it covered, and he has come through with everything else -- like the King of 94 trouney -- so I feel pretty good about it. Mikey is the man!)

I know a lot more about the situation than I did when I posted in this thread in June. Specifically, I am very confident that it was Jim Simmons that programmed the game in it's entirety -- engine, physics, AI, the whole thing -- up until '94, when Lesser came and added some sugar to what was already a masterpiece.

While "design" credit is given to many others, Jim Simmons programmed the first EA Genesis Hockey Game, as well as the first EA Genesis Madden game. The guy was like the Amadeus Mozart of videogame programming in the early 90s.

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Thanks hnfoo for finding our doc, Yes the rabbit hole is very deep. I don't want to give to much away at this point but Jim Simmons is a keystone figure that is the most underrated person is video game history and his story will be told.

Ha. I was going to use that exact phrase, "keystone" in my last post. As in "we need to know who it truly is!"

But anyway, it's so great that you are doing all this. Just so outstanding. I can't wait to see it, and I totally understand the not wanting to reveal too much, thing.

All the best.

Like you, hnfoo, I am very interested in giving credit to the real genius behind this game, and hope Mikey shines a strong light on that. (He did tell me he has it covered, and he has come through with everything else -- like the King of 94 trouney -- so I feel pretty good about it. Mikey is the man!)

I know a lot more about the situation than I did when I posted in this thread in June. Specifically, I am very confident that it was Jim Simmons that programmed the game in it's entirety -- engine, physics, AI, the whole thing -- up until '94, when Lesser came and added some sugar to what was already a masterpiece.

While "design" credit is given to many others, Jim Simmons programmed the first EA Genesis Hockey Game, as well as the first EA Genesis Madden game. The guy was like the Amadeus Mozart of videogame programming in the early 90s.

This is interesting and great to hear, aqua. If you wanted to pm me some of what you've found re: Jim Simmons (so as not to step on Mikey's toes), I would welcome it.

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