LaTormenta

Custom EIHL (GB) ROM - plan of action (and call for help!)

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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):

  1. reduce the selectable teams to 10 (using EARE);
  2. change the name of the ROM (using EARE);
  3. update the rosters for the teams, deleting any unused players in each roster (or adding new ones as required) (using NOSE);
  4. update the attributes for the (new) players (using the NHL Hockey Roster Tool);
  5. change the kit colours for each team;
  6. 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!);
  7. update the kit colours to reflect the 2019/20 kits (using NOSE?);
  8. update the team banners to reflect the update kits and team names (using Tile Molester);
  9. 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);
  10. replace Barr’s photo with one of Murphy  (using Genesis Image Ditherer and Tile Molester);
  11. 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
  12. 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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First of all, this is a great and well-researched project.  Thanks for putting in all the work ahead of time, I'm confident you'll be able to get this completed.  

I'll share my own preference in creating a ROM:

* Use the base 30 team ROM (you can use 32, but since you have 10 teams, not needed)
* Change the team names, locations, and abbreviations in NOSE
 - so you'll have the first 10 teams in alphabetical order as you wish
* Update the team strips (use NOSE)
 - remember, the home ice strips will be the same color as your center ice logo.  So EITHER you create the center ice logo first and know which colors you have to work with in the strips, OR create the strips first and recolor your center ice logo into the home ice palette.  Hope that makes sense, happy to explain further
* Update the center ice logos (palette should not change after strips have been completed...otherwise you will have to redo them again).
* Update the team selection logos
* Update the team selection home/away banner colors
* Update the in game team banners (first 10)
* Update rest of graphics in any order you want (splash screens, titles, logos, timers, ron barr, proset, etc)
* Update rosters in NOSE, limit selectable teams in EARE
* Update playoff matchups in NOSE  (optional) to keep matchups to the 10 selectable teams.
* Last step would be player card photos, once the entire ROM is complete.
 

You may also consider renaming the unused teams in the ROM as the "other scores" and "highlights" in between periods will reference those hidden teams.

Also, you may consider adjusting the music for each team if you have preferences, or just can't stand the Sabre Dance :lol:  

Good luck! Keep us informed of your progress!

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Amazing prep

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you get stuck on anything.

#1 tip: keep multiple backups as you go, so if ever you realize you made a mistake, you can go back to an earlier ROM.

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8 hours ago, smozoma said:

#1 tip: keep multiple backups as you go, so if ever you realize you made a mistake, you can go back to an earlier ROM.

Actually, it's the most important thing to remember, and yet, so easy to forget.  So good call...  I learned this the hard way when I started creating custom roms.

Good luck @LaTormenta!  There are lot of good resources/instructional posts within this site as well as folks who are happy to address questions.  

I'll add another helpful tip... if you do run into an error or whatnot (so, you "hit a wall" as it were), when asking your question to the community, give as much detail as to what you were doing when it happened and perhaps, include screenshots.  Having seen this play out here, over and over, as well as the fact that I work for a software development company, I can tell you that it's a challenge to help troubleshoot without details.  :)

Again, good luck!  Looking forward to the end result!

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On 8/7/2019 at 12:24 AM, smozoma said:

Amazing prep

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you get stuck on anything.

#1 tip: keep multiple backups as you go, so if ever you realize you made a mistake, you can go back to an earlier ROM.

THIS - a million times over, in bold and 72-point font. Nothing more dejecting than realizing you flubbed something along the way and have to start from scratch.

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@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!

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