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1 hour ago, The Sauce said:

You’re trying to making a video game be “realistic.”  That’s not going to happen.  All video games are unrealistic in one way or another.  I get where you are coming from though but, I’m not sure how realistic you can make a video game, especially one that added features to increase scoring chances (the one-timer).  The irony of “realism” is that you’re looking to make it hard to score yet, scoring is up in the NHL over the last two seasons.  It’s the highest it’s been since 1992-93.  

I certainly do believe that by making the goals smaller, you’ll be able to achieve low(er) scoring games as you are making it hard for folks to score.  You may also be on to something with the low glove/stick ratings.  I’m not sure what a 0 vs a 6 rating does for the glove or blocker other than, making them stop more snappers and hard wrist shots on frequency.  But if you confirm that it causes even more rebounds, that is interesting to know and I’d be curious to test it on a non-custom rom (as I enjoy me some one-timers).

Haha Oh I've made NHL 94 Super Realistic in ways that don't necessarily translate to current NHL trends. Wait till you try out this Rom, then see if you still say "That's not going to happen". When I release this rom and you start playing it, i predict it will be a very eye opening experience for you.

As far as getting more rebounds I mean I know I'm getting more rebounds than before and I don't think I've really touched the Puck Control rating too much. Though there may be a big difference between a Puck Control Rating of 1 vs 2, with Puck Control at 1 possibly sometimes pucks bouncing off the goalie's body then going through the goalie becoming goals vs Puck Control at 2 that not happening.

I think I'll be releasing the smallest goal Rom with all goalies Glove Left and Glove Right at 0 because again I suspect that having those higher causes pucks to magnetically attract to Goalie's gloves on shots that are too far away from the goalie's gloves to be doing that. I don't want any pucks warping to Goalie's gloves unrealistically and becoming saves that should be goals. Whether there's a sweet spot with Glove Left and Glove Right I'm not sure but I don't want any "cheap saves" if I can avoid it since it's hard enough to score on the smallest goal as is. Turning those to 0 seems to do that, and we can investigate this further perhaps after I release the rom.

Here's the thing guys, after I release this rom, I mean if there's interest, if people are really playing games and testing it, I'm hoping we can start to make more conclusions about what these goalie ratings like Glove Left and Glove Right really do. Another thing is turning Defensive Awareness down a notch so that Def awareness is no longer equal to offensive awareness for Goalies. I'm hoping that lowering their Def Awareness makes Goalies more human-like, less robotic, and that combined with lowering agility 2 notches, well all these changes should work well since they are defending a much smaller goal. They don't need to move laterally as much or as fast, and frankly another issue I have is how goalies constantly take the wrong angle when a puck is dumped behind the net and they end up not even getting to the puck. (you know, they move left or right to try to intercept a dumped puck instead of actually going behind the goal, and they end up attempting to retrieve a dumped puck too late with that kind of an angle so what's the point of them even trying to get to a dumped puck with taking that angle instead of going behind the goal to wait for the puck) I wish there was a way to stop goalies from moving out of their goal to react to pucks being dumped behind the goal. But lowering agility would certainly slow them down and perhaps lowering def awareness may even stop them from trying to get to dumped pucks as much since we apparently can't adjust the angle they take, or control when they move out of their goal to try and get a dumped puck.

A lot of what I'm talking about here is hard for you guys to really get because you're playing on bigger goals right? When you start playing this rom it will change the way you think about these goalie ratings, because all the scenarios involving goalies are totally different. The great part about this is that we can lower a lot of these goalie ratings, to make Goalie's play more realistically without it causing them to give up a lot of goals because the goals are so much smaller.

I mean there's a lot of problems with goalies in this game, like them being too "fast" in general (isn't that why you turned down all Goalie's speed to 0)? Then you have goalies being too strong : you bump into them right, your player always falls down, Goalies never fall down when a player runs into them, right? So one thing I've done is turned off the "Interference" penalty, because the way Interference is called in NHL 94, it's not realistic to what Interference looks like in a real NHL game, so given how overpowered goalies are and how they never fall down or get knocked out of position from impact, imho Interference might as well be off, so you can crash into goalie's all you want without turning off the other penalties. (Thanks NOSE for that feature of allowing only some penalties to be turned OFF, while keeping others ON) Interference as a penalty imho serves no purpose really in NHL 94 because even if you bump into a Goalie, you can't cause the Goalie to fall down, he's just gonna cause you to fall down, so why are you penalized for that? If Goalies were able to be knocked down or out of position by players bumping into them, then yeah Interference should be a penalty, but that's not the case in NHL 94 with how overpowered the Goalies are. And in situations where a player blocks a Goalie from getting into position, an Interference penalty isn't even called.

So that's just an example of why I'm lowering Goalie's ratings like this, it's needed to make playing with a smaller goal realistic. And I say realistic, just in the framework of making the game more playable and closer to what Goalies really play like in a real NHL game. And in fairness, you can't really lower goalies ratings too much while playing on regular sized NHL 94 goals. The Goals are too big, you need Goalies to be super fast laterally (which still happens even with Goalie's speed at 0) because you have such a huge target to score on. That's why when playing on these smaller goals, you really need to lower Goalie Agility which really seems to lower their actual speed at moving left / right and around the crease. With a smaller target to defend they don't need to move much at all to make saves. (Though they can't just stand still in the center of the goal and save everything, my smallest goal isn't that small) Lowering Defensive Awareness I'm hoping lowers their ability to track players moving left and right with the puck or on one-timers but I don't want to lower Def awareness too much that's why I only lowered it by 1 for all goalies. By the way the lower accuracy of one-timers with the smallest goal and the new post / goal barriers is one of the first things that you'll notice, you pretty much need to aim most one-timers to have a shot at getting it on goal. It depends on a lot of factors, you can get one-timers on goal without aiming the one-timer but only if things align perfectly. (it'll be a very new and fun experience for you)

This will be real interesting when I share this mod and you guys get to experience all this stuff I'm talking about, and hopefully once you play this rom with the smaller goals we can really start going into more depth as to what all these goalie ratings really do since some of the goalie ratings are still somewhat of a mystery. Playing on smaller goals will cause you to notice things about goalies that you may not have noticed before, and this is why I'm so excited about releasing this rom. This Smallest Goal Rom is the real deal, I put a ton of mods and effort into this, and the reason why I haven't released it yet is because I just want to test it thoroughly before releasing it. When this gets released, probably by this weekend, you will get an incredibly eye opening NHL 94 experience full of long stretches of play without goals. It will be a big adjustment, you will learn how to be patient and be creative at finding new ways to score goals. And I just want to make sure the Goalies don't give up cheap goals while lowering goalie ratings which is way so much testing on these lower goalie ratings is required before release.

Edited by Brodeur30
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3 hours ago, profit90 said:

Is it possible to also release just the goalnet tiles so we can add to whichever rom we want... thanks

This should be doable, though with the smallest and medium goal sizes you need to edit a single-byte address in two locations in addition to editing goal tiles, since area inside of the top goal is not editable through the normal top goal tiles. To apply the smaller goals to any rom you would need to copy and paste all the goal tile artwork, then hex edit 2 single byte-addresses to get narrower top goal side posts, then apply the correct barriers code. I will release the smallest goal first in a custom made rom packed with other mods for your convenience, and you can then freely go copy and paste my smaller goal art so you can use this artwork in other roms. And I'll help you if you have any issues finding the codes needed to get the narrower top goal side posts.

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7 hours ago, Brodeur30 said:

This should be doable, though with the smallest and medium goal sizes you need to edit a single-byte address in two locations in addition to editing goal tiles, since area inside of the top goal is not editable through the normal top goal tiles. To apply the smaller goals to any rom you would need to copy and paste all the goal tile artwork, then hex edit 2 single byte-addresses to get narrower top goal side posts, then apply the correct barriers code. I will release the smallest goal first in a custom made rom packed with other mods for your convenience, and you can then freely go copy and paste my smaller goal art so you can use this artwork in other roms. And I'll help you if you have any issues finding the codes needed to get the narrower top goal side posts.

Thanks for this. Yes correct, i already have the hex codes in and now just looking for instructions on how to modify (or copy and paste) the goal tile artwork.

Top notch stuff. Keep up the good work.

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I did a lot of testing of goalie ratings and I'm still unsure of what Stick Left / Right does to the goalies, my best guess is that lowering it might allow the occasional puck to get through stick save attempts or diving save attempts and become goals but even with those at 0 or 1 (and with Glove Left / Right at 0) goalies still seem to stop most save attempts. Stick Left and Stick Right might affect the angles that pucks bounce off the stick or something minor, but it doesn't seem to have a noticeable affect on their ability to make stick saves. Still I will leave Stick Left and Stick Right as normal, and will continue to test goalies of different Stick Left and Right ratings to try to understand what that does to Goalies.

What I have seen a difference in is with lowering Goalies Agility. With the smaller goals I have reduced Goalies Agility. Lowering Goalies Agility to 0 makes them noticeably slower but I found that it becomes too easy to score so I bumped Agility back up to 1 for all goalies.

There are the Goalie Ratings in the rom:

All Goalies : 1 Agility, 0 Speed, & 0 Glove Left / Right.

Normal Stick Left / Right, and Normal everything else besides Puck Control.

Puck Control : All Goalies 0. Goalies still catch shots with Puck Control at 1, but generally shots with more power bounce on them, while slower shots they catch. Puck Control at 0 make them catch even less of the lower powered shots, but they still catch a lot of them. You will occasionally have a goalie mishandle the puck with Puck Control at 0 which doesn't seem to happen as often on 1. I put this as low as possible to create more rebounds off the goalie.

With the rom, some things are not complete, like the Reverse Angle of Instant Replay has glitches, you'll see, but on the normal Angle everything has been cleaned up as best I can.

The point of me releasing this rom is to get your feedback. This isn't the kind of mod that I just want to release and be done with it. I have packed into this rom a lot of new features and some of them don't work perfectly, and will need to be investigated further. You'll see what I mean, but when you start playing matches I really want to know how your games are going particularly vs CPU controlled teams, and if your games are low scoring or not. I think that the best way for you to score goals might be to get rebounds from hard shot deflections off the goalie, that's one of the best ways to score goals. With Goalie ratings too high, you simply won't be able to score goals so by lowering some of these ratings I will have made it a little easier to score goals though it will still be a big adjustment from what you are used to. I can tell you that goals have never been so satisfying for me than they are with the smallest goal and I want you to experience this for yourself.

A new skill that you will learn is when you get a rebound and have an open net, you now have a much smaller target to get the shot on goal and you will have to really learn to place your shot to make sure you can get the shot on goal. You've never really had to aim shots like this before and with the smallest goal it requires a lot of hand eye coordination and timing to place your shot even when you have an open net. That's where I think having more rebounds makes the smallest goal more fun, even if you get to a loose puck and open net, it's no guarantee you will score, but you will probably learn how to score goals this way, and if you master this technique the next step is to increase Goalies Puck Control and / or Agility to make it harder to score from rebounds. With Agility lowered you have a little bit more time to get the shot off before the Goalie recovers from a rebound, but learning how to master this technique is a lot of fun and I think it should be like that in the first version.

With Goalie Agility at 1, it'll still be plenty hard and a big adjustment compared to what you're used to with bigger goals. But if you really want a challenge, if you find scoring goals to easy with Goalie Agility that low, you can always increase Goalies Agility or Puck Control to make it harder to score. When playing on the smallest goal, you will become much more aware of what the goalie ratings do, and I hope this will lead to a more in depth discussion about Goalie Ratings!

Edited by Brodeur30
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Version 1 of the Smallest Goal rom has been released! See the first post. The rom features the smallest goal all set up plus a ton of other mods and features that I have put into it.

I have been working on the goalie ratings and I have settled on ratings that produce a lot of rebounds. As I said before, the "Reverse Angle" of Instant Replay isn't complete, when you go to it, the puck / post collision is good but you will observe some goal alignment issues and incomplete graphics on the top goal. But on the Regular Angle both goals are aligned with the boundaries and it produces a fun low scoring experience.

There are still a lot about the goalies that I am researching, but this should give you a good basis for you to experience for yourself what playing with smaller goals is like. Have fun! It would be great to hear your feedback on this : what you like, what you don't like, what kind of adjustment this is for you.

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Thank you jumbo90 for your comment. You've been a great help thus far. The one area that is still a work in progress is the goalies. To those who have tried the rom, I lowered the goalie ratings a good amount so that it won't be impossible to score goals when you first try it. I thought with the first version it was important that you are able to score goals, however if you start increasing the Goalie ratings to what they normally are, it will become harder and harder to score. So what I'm trying to find is a balance. My goal is to eliminate most of the cheap goals without making it too hard to score goals. This is a balancing act from a goalie ratings perspective as some of you may prefer playing on shorter periods, but if you are finding it too easy to score with the goalie ratings as they are, then I will start increasing some of the goalie ratings to eliminate some of the cheap goals whilst trying to not make it too hard to score.

Like in the version 1 rom, I turned goalies agility down and settled with goalie's agility at 1. (I had it at 0 but it was too easy to score) I lowered this to slow down the movement of goalies since they have a smaller target to defend, but goalie agility may still be a little too low. This is what I'm hoping to get your feedback on.

What would help is if I can find a way to keep the goalies closer to the goal so that they don't drift as far left or right beyond the side posts. But I also think there's a lot of testing that needs to be done on the goalie ratings, maybe increasing goalie weight or agility. I hope you guys are having fun with the rom thus far, but it's still very much a work in progress. The v1 rom is just a starting point for the goalies, I'm hoping that through testing and getting feedback, we can fine tune the goalie ratings and maybe find some goalie codes that eliminate most of the cheap goals without making it impossible to score lol.

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Version 1.1 of the Smallest Goal Rom has been released. This fixes an issue in version 1.0 in which all Players were Lefties in-game regardless of their handedness rating. This was due to a rom code that improves Goalie Diving Save Angles. In this new version, the rom code has been reverted to its original default value, which returns player handedness to normal, and disables the code that improves Goalie Diving Saves. In the ROM there are instructions on how to still get the improved goalie diving saves in the new version without it causing all players to be Lefties, which involves running 2 RAM codes in-game.

In addition to fixing that issue from version 1.0, I have also increased the weight of all goalies by 4 ratings points in an effort to lower the amount of cheap goals. I also made some graphical improvements including adjusting the color of the player indicator.

Edited by Brodeur30
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  • 1 month later...

OP, this is the right tack to start addressing the cart's nefariously bad goalie AI. In stark opposition with your approach, in the vein of realism, it's hardly realistic to play a contest without a goalie or to mass down-edit one's roster for some competition v. the CPU.

Your idea comes tantalizingly close to revamping the goalie AI, so dependent on EA's source code but so much unobtainium. Since falling victim to the allure of the early series, it became a twisted dream of my teenage mind to play a capable computer. 

Just to clarify, the smaller nets are featured on *both* sides of the rink? Might a setting allow one to apply the smaller net to only the CPU? If nothing else the CPU's goals against me were incentive for more involved play. What can I say. I relish a challenge.

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@Minni_North_Star Hey! We share the same twisted dream of playing against a capable computer. That's been one of my goals all along and a direct way to address that is to make the goal smaller. This lowers the accuracy of shots in general and particularly one-timers. You'll experience a more capable CPU opponent if you play against teams with highly rated player ratings particularly shot accuracy. 

I see that you're preferred system is SNES but if you give my version 1.1 rom a try maybe this mod will convert you to the Genesis version haha. 

On 2/28/2020 at 9:19 PM, Minni_North_Star said:

Just to clarify, the smaller nets are featured on *both* sides of the rink? Might a setting allow one to apply the smaller net to only the CPU? If nothing else the CPU's goals against me were incentive for more involved play. What can I say. I relish a challenge.

Yes the smaller goals are on both sides of the rink. Getting the smaller goal on the top goal required some tricks as you cannot edit the middle part of the top goal through the normal top goal artwork tiles but I found a way around it through another method. I also managed to adjust the puck collision with the posts of the top goal (and side / back netting) making that more accurate by bringing the whole of the top goal down by 3 pixels then re-editing the artwork. It was a painstaking task to achieve but it's really worth it as now when pucks do bounce off the posts, you'll notice that in my rom, they hit right off the post instead of being a couple of pixels off of where the posts appear to be. You'll notice in my rom that shots will miss high and will go over the net more and will go wide of the side posts more. So getting shots on target requires more precision and timing than ever before. Most one-timers for example will miss wide unless you time it right or you manually place the one-timer shot with the d-pad.

As far as applying the smaller goal to only the CPU that's not possible as the code that makes the goal dimensions smaller affects the barriers of both goals equally as well as the barriers between the puck and the boards which create a slightly longer and wider rink. So there's more room to maneuver behind each goal for example.

To your point though I can report that I have managed to hack the goalie A.I. to an extent for my version 1.2 which is still in the alpha phase. And you'd be happy to know that this hack does affect the home and visitor goal differently. So anotherwords the hack makes it easier to score on the visitor goalie than the home goalie. So if you want more of a challenge vs the CPU all you'd need to do is play as the Visitor team on this version 1.2.

If you're interested in this new version 1.2 let me know : basically the reason why I haven't released it yet is because it features this hacked goalie A.I. that makes the Visitor Goalie leave the net open too often leading to cheap goals. However if you play as the Visitor Goalie you can always take manual control of the goalie in these instances. This version 1.2 is still a WIP with this hacked goalie A.I. but it definitely provides a great challenge vs a CPU opponent if you are playing as the Visitor team vs a CPU Home team if what you seek is a challenge vs the CPU this is definitely it : it just may not be the exact kind of challenge you had in mind lol.

Basically what the goalie A.I. hack does is that it causes goalies to not stray as far left or right of the goal, because as you'll see if you test the version 1.1 rom, with a goal so small the goalies are programmed to skate beyond the side posts as if they are guarding the post of a bigger goal. With the smaller goal width this pre-programmed left / right limit puts them beyond the smaller goal's side posts. Still it's very playable even with this quirk but I wanted to get them to stop at the smaller goal's posts. I wasn't quite able to get them to stop exactly at the side posts but what I was able ot do is get them to skate towards the center of the goal when they reach the side posts now. So with this hack the goalies are programmed to turn and skate towards the center of the goal when they go too far left or right instead of stopping there. This works well with the smaller goal only it's not perfect as oddly the home goalie seems to perform this new motion more intelligently than the visitor goalie does as the home goalie ends up leaving less open space to score on when he turns and skates towards the center of the goal. And it's not an easy thing to adjust, control or balance since this hack was found purely by trial and error.

If you're interested in this new hacked goalie A.I. this version 1.2 that, I'm working let me know, but in the meantime check out the version 1.1 so you experience all this for yourself and so you can observe what I'm talking about with how the goalies are programmed to go beyond the smaller goal's side posts. It's not a major problem or anything but it was enough of an issue for me to get into hacking the goalie A.I. so they don't overshoot the smaller goal's side posts as they are programmed to do since they are programmed to defend the wider side posts of a larger goal. With this new hacked goalie A.I. that I'm working on, goalies now will turn and dart to the center of the goal and will leave the net open which the CPU A.I. is quick to take advantage, which the Visitor goalie in particular has a tendency to do often. What's cool about it though is that the Home goalie doesn't really have this problem of leaving the net open when he turns and darts to the center of the goal, basically he he'll stay closer to the goal line when he does this so he can still react to a quick shot near the post whereas the Visitor goalie often won't, so as a result scoring on the home goalie is quite difficult indeed with this new hacked goalie A.I. And to be clear this issue has nothing to do with whether the home goalie is playing on the top goal or the bottom goal in a particular period.

None of what I'm talking about here is an issue in version 1.1 which just has the normal goalie A.I. you are used to. And they still defend the smaller goal pretty well all things considered.

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this thread is excellent.  I wish there were people geeking out like this about the SNES version, but this is all to the good.  keep tinkering!

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