What would you ask Jim Simmons?


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where is the code mofo? preferably with a scarface style torture

Yep, question #1 for sure. Maybe some reference notes? :)

Did he come up with the north/south game design? Who had that vision?

Why is he so awesome?

Did the game come out as he had hoped?

Is he aware of how legendary this game is?

How does it feel to know that your creation has led to millions of hours of gameplay over the years?

What aspects of the final version was he most proud of?

Was there anything he wanted to include but couldn't due to time/budget limitations?

Seriously, a copy of the source code would be solid. I'll be your best friend.

That's all I got for now off the top of my head...I'll post again when I think of others. Bo/VC GDL Playoffs on Twitch now...lol

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How did he feel about being taken off of NHL 94 and replaced by Mark Lesser?

What would he have done differently with 94?

Which game does he like best 92, 93, or 94?

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Jim Simmons is the guy. He made this game. He made a masterpiece in the very first NHL Hockey, and all the way up to NHLPA '93, and Mark Lesser added some great bells and whistles on what was already a masterpiece.

I am interested in:

1. Has he ever checked out this site? (NHL94.com)

2. What did he think of NHL'94, and the work of Mark Lesser?


Also, I would seriously encourage him to recreate this game in a modern language. There have been hundreds of hockey games programmed. His was the only one that had the magic. Other people made snowmen. He made friggin Frosty the Snowman that came to life and could dance and sing! He is a super talented programmer that has the Midas touch to make gold. (As many people are aware, he also made the early Madden games.) I truly believe he is much more talented than he himself believes! In a world of hacks composing Chopsticks over and over he is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart making magic that will live forever. So....

3. Ask him if a kick starter raised $100,000 would he take a contract -- with all $$$ going to him -- to recreate this game in a modern language, and make it open source with no license restrictions, so others can modify it?

This would be the ultimate dream!!! I know for a fact he still programs using modern technology, so he is totally capable of recreating his magic but in modern form. I bet we could get the community to contribute music and pixel art, and have him do the code. Mikey, use your powers of persuasion to get him to consider this!! (That would be a great angle for the documentary, too!) Wow, I am excited just thinking about this whole idea!

Edited by aqualizard
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Ask about the artificial intelligence. It's more sophisticated then many realize and isn't "flat". Play the exact same game/settings/teams a few times in a row and you'll probably see different results, and different players hot/cold (beyond whats mentioned in pre-game info such as guys coming off the bench to score a few).

The CPU has random intervals of higher and lower resistance to scores goals, makes plays, take shots. Most who've played enough know that in many games against the CPU, you can go minutes without scoring regardless of skill/experience/advantage. Then all of a sudden you can score 4-5 goals in the next minute. This has always intrigued me and would be great to know some of the inner workings of the AI. I think this also makes the game more entertaining because the AI adds that element of unpredictability.

-Evan

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Ask about the artificial intelligence. It's more sophisticated then many realize and isn't "flat". Play the exact same game/settings/teams a few times in a row and you'll probably see different results, and different players hot/cold (beyond whats mentioned in pre-game info such as guys coming off the bench to score a few).

The CPU has random intervals of higher and lower resistance to scores goals, makes plays, take shots. Most who've played enough know that in many games against the CPU, you can go minutes without scoring regardless of skill/experience/advantage. Then all of a sudden you can score 4-5 goals in the next minute. This has always intrigued me and would be great to know some of the inner workings of the AI. I think this also makes the game more entertaining because the AI adds that element of unpredictability.

-Evan

I'm with evan...I'd love to know more about this.

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Ask about the artificial intelligence. It's more sophisticated then many realize and isn't "flat". Play the exact same game/settings/teams a few times in a row and you'll probably see different results, and different players hot/cold (beyond whats mentioned in pre-game info such as guys coming off the bench to score a few).

The CPU has random intervals of higher and lower resistance to scores goals, makes plays, take shots. Most who've played enough know that in many games against the CPU, you can go minutes without scoring regardless of skill/experience/advantage. Then all of a sudden you can score 4-5 goals in the next minute. This has always intrigued me and would be great to know some of the inner workings of the AI. I think this also makes the game more entertaining because the AI adds that element of unpredictability.

-Evan

What makes the d men rush up the ice and crush the puck handler. I agree about ai and I have railed about it before. I can score 6 maybe 7 a minute at best, but when the computer refuses to give back the puck I am screwed.

Is there a hidden stat?

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How did he come up with the "look" of the game. Was it always going to be vertical? or did he think of doing other angles?

Was there any hockey games like (Ice hockey or Blades of Steel) or another game that was not hockey that you got ideas from?

How much did he know about hockey before starting this game?

Can you believe this game spawned NHL94.com and the people that frequent that site are NOT virgins? :P

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I'd also love to hear about how game development was back then.

How many people were on the team (coders, testers, art/graphics, upper management, etc.)?

What model/specs computer were they programming on? Any pictures of the workplace?

Any stories that people in modern game development could appreciate?

-Evan

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  • 4 years later...

Hey guys,
I actually corresponded with Jim Simmons myself.

I did not want to divulge too much at the time, because I didn't want to rain on Mikey's parade.   But! A lot of time has passed, and I think I should release an interview I had with Jim Simmons  (kind of a fan boy thing where I ask a bunch of questions).  I am going to email him and ask if it is ok.  The guy is a freaking genius.   I wanted to see his story in the documentary, but I am not even sure how to see it, or how much screen time he has...

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On 5/8/2020 at 10:18 PM, aqualizard said:

Hey guys,
I actually corresponded with Jim Simmons myself.

I did not want to divulge too much at the time, because I didn't want to rain on Mikey's parade.   But! A lot of time has passed, and I think I should release an interview I had with Jim Simmons  (kind of a fan boy thing where I ask a bunch of questions).  I am going to email him and ask if it is ok.  The guy is a freaking genius.   I wanted to see his story in the documentary, but I am not even sure how to see it, or how much screen time he has...

https://www.tsn.ca/tsn-originals/video/tsn-original-the-goat-of-hockey-games~1883180

@aqualizard did you mean this video?

Edited by PenguinFan1985
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3 hours ago, PenguinFan1985 said:

No Mikey made a documentary called Pixelated Heroes which is(was?) available on this site for $5: https://xotv.me/channels/39-pixelated-heroes

Mark Lesser had a lot of screen time, I don't recall Jim Simmons being in it much (if at all?). And deep programming details weren't covered, so @aqualizard I don't think you're stepping on any toes.

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Upon rewatch, Simmonds was in the doc for less than 30 seconds, stating that he was thrilled to get the opportunity to "run the project" and work on hockey (this was for the original NHL hockey game). He was also enamored with the Sega Genesis hardware. 

I seem to recall Mikey saying he'd found out some ground-breaking stuff - but that not all of it would make the final cut. I wonder if he would ever release the full interviews?

Edited by jer_33
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