The World Championships Series


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Alright I said I would start posting these before this year was out and since there is just over 24 hours left, I should probably just do it.

Introducing the IIHF Hockey series.
The idea was to make each of the NHL(PA) games for Genesis into its contemporary IIHF version. Complete with period correct art style, team assets and players. Ultimately the goal was to make it look like something EA might have released back in the day.

Rosters, for the most part, have been taken from each year's World Championships. Some provisions were made in cases where say, some teams only had one goalie, so I borrowed a backup from that year's Olympic roster, or had to improvise some data because apparently no one found it important enough to record what sweater numbers the Estonian National team wore 26 years ago... what the hell eh?

I start with IIHF 94.
[Full disclosure, this is actually the third version of this game I'd made as the first was a foolish attempt to mod an original NHL94 ROM. Soon after I discovered that 30-team ROMS was a thing and made a second while I was just learning the craft and used an old Blitz league ROM to train on. I found a couple of critical errors, mainly how player cards were set up and some colour palette issues that were in the base ROM. Rather than keep polishing the dorodango, I opted to start over using my improved skills on a clean wboy 30-team ROM. I am much happier with the results]

Some features:
This game includes the top 30 international teams based on their finishing position after the 1994 World Championships.
The Ice surface has been reverted back to its original 1994 goodness.
Player ratings were a bit of a contentious issue, I opted to use as many player stats as was available in the original game and basically based everyone else off that.
Player cards are almost complete [Who knew that finding 26 year old photos of South Korean hockey players would be almost impossible?] but at least even the "default player" pics are all unique. Many starting line ups were based on who actually had a photo available.
No mind was paid to whether teams were in the "A", "B" or "C" pool as far a play offs go.
I toyed with the idea of patches like weight bug and helmet sprite, but decided to stick to the default, again for the period correct feel. Might revisit that later.

Anyway, here are some previews.
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And without any more ado.

 

IIHF 94.bin

Edited by von Ozbourme
updated rom
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On 12/31/2020 at 12:09 AM, von Ozbourme said:

Rosters, for the most part, have been taken from each year's World Championships. Some provisions were made in cases where say, some teams only had one goalie, so I borrowed a backup from that year's Olympic roster, or had to improvise some data because apparently no one found it important enough to record what sweater numbers the Estonian National team wore 26 years ago... what the hell eh?

Not much help on the South Korean player photos... :lol:

Estonia
2 Kulpin Vyacheslav D
4 Rozhkov Gennadi D
5 Toruke Andrus F
6 Trubachov Oleg D
7 Rodin Dmitri D
8 Pochinok Roman D
9 Morkovnikov Sergei F
10 Parvoja Mati F
11 Puzanov Oleg F
12 Agnevshchikov Aleksandr D
14 Korshunov Mikhail F
15 Eapost Eduard F
16 Osipenkov Igor F
17 Loginov Ivan F
18 Boikov Sergei F
19 Dmitriev Aleksandr F
21 Lebedev Valeri F
22 Sildre Olle F
23 Zakharov Anatoli F
24 Valiullin Eduard F
1 Ahi Andrus GK
20 Skvortsov Vyacheslav GK

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7 hours ago, Jkline3 said:

Not much help on the South Korean player photos... :lol:

Well geez, thanks a lot eh. ;)

Where did you find Estonia's numbers though? I have about four sites that I found decent for reference and the best I could do was adapt eliteprospects' stats from 1993.
[And if you happen to have Slovakia and Kazahkstan's numbers as well...]
I'll repost an updated ROM in a bit.

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Posted (edited)

Game two in the World Championship Series will be the "first" game.

Released in 1991, IIHF Hockey was sort of the North American version of EA Hockey for PAL regions. The major difference however, is that it features the top 24 international teams based on final finishing position [as opposed to the IIHF's four year aggregate ranking system] with rosters from the 1991 World Championships including the last ever Soviet team.

[Interestingly enough, it was actually easier to find roster data overall than it was for '94. I only had to improvise on half of Belgium's team numbers]

Other features include:
Not much as I mainly just gave the original game a complete asset overhaul for the international teams. Given that this was only the third game I'd ever modded, it made things easier to stick to basics.
Reinstated the old square crease as the IIHF still used that at the time.
Still based player ratings as much as I could on players that were already "featured" in NHL Hockey. I would soon learn that this would mean a lot of players with some very low stats.
Couple of Easter eggs in there that might give away my home town, but they shouldn't detract.

Not much else to say about this one, so here are some pics. Hope you guys like it.

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IIHF Hockey (91).bin

Edited by von Ozbourme
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I've accumulated a lot of media guides and stuff over the years... Never thought those Division C things would come in useful!

Slovakia

3 Hecl Radoslav D
4 Jasečko Stanislav D
5 Smerčiak Marián D
6 Marcinko Miroslav D
7 Sekeráš Ľubomír D
8 Kledrowetz Juraj D
9 Plavucha Vlastimil F
10 Haščák Oto F
14 Pohorelec Dušan F
15 Pucher René F
17 Rusznyák Karol F
18 Šatan Miroslav F
20 Rybovič Ľubomír F
21 Jánoš Branislav F
22 Kontšek Roman F
25 Medřik Stanislav D
27 Varholík Jan D
28 Kolnik Ľubomír F
29 Daňo Jozef F
30 Paukovček Pavol F
1 Hartmann Eduard GK
2 Dragan Jaromir GK

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Kazakhstan

2 Nikitin Igor D
3 Zemlyanoy Igor D
6 Fedorchenko Viktor D
7 Bystryantsev Viktor D
8 Troshchinsky Aleksei D
9 Koreshkov Yevgeni F
10 Belyayevsky Igor F
11 Kryazhev Oleg F
12 Medvedev Igor D
15 Komisarov Maksim F
18 Shafranov Konstantin F
19 Kuskov Sergei F
20 Pchelyakov Andrei F
21 Sokolov Andrei D
22 Shipulin Roman F
23 Raisky Andrei F
26 Tunikov Vadim D
27 Borodulin Mikhail F
28 Sagymbaev Erlan F
29 Filatov Anatoli F
25 Eremeev Vitali GK
30 Nabokov Yevgeni GK

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3 hours ago, von Ozbourme said:

Where did you find Estonia's numbers though? I have about four sites that I found decent for reference and the best I could do was adapt eliteprospects' stats from 1993.

Let me know what your sites are, I muddled through Russian in college so that opens up a whole other side (and sites) of hockey that is more interested in the international game.

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14 hours ago, Jkline3 said:

Let me know what your sites are, I muddled through Russian in college so that opens up a whole other side (and sites) of hockey that is more interested in the international game.

Damn that is helpful. I've google translated some sites, Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, German.. but it's definitely harder to find them when your search tends to ignore the non-English ones.

As I mentioned, eliteprospects is usually the most complete for information that I can find with most international teams. But even they are missing player numbers for quite a few teams and season stats for the players in lower tier leagues.
legendsofhockey.net has an IIHF section that is pretty decent too. Site was built in 1997 and looks like it was never updated since and they stopped adding stats in 2014, but that's not a problem when I'm only concerned with the '90s.
Beyond that, I've found some sites that specialize, like the Aussie hockey hall of fame [found some team photos that I used]. Got British team info off a scanned programme page on a UK hockey site after following a link to a Tony Hand article. Got one Ukraine team photo from a retired player's facebook page. Came across a defunct Asia hockey league site... Luckily I like the act of researching, otherwise the quest for any kind of accuracy would drive me insane.

I do find quanthockey.com is nice for stats when making player ratings, but I also find it lacking for uniform numbers and when dealing with some lower pool teams.
hockey-reference and hockeydb are typically only concerned with the North American pro ranks, and thus all but useless to me, but like you say, typical North Americans don't take as much interest in the international game as I do.

I may have to humbly PM you before I post some of my later editions...

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Posted (edited)

Time for IIHF Hockey '92!

Released in 1992, this game is the first sequel in the World Championship series and features the top 24 teams based on their final placing in that year's tournaments.


Game features include:
Based on the NHL Hockey (1991) engine and fills the gap I accidentally left between 1991 [NHL Hockey ©1991] and 1993 [NHLPA Hockey '93 ©1992] oops.
[Yeah I forgot that the year indicated the time of playoffs and the Pittsburgh vs Minnesota threw me. I suppose I could have just changed first one I made, but it was already done. And I liked having the Soviets, so why the hell not make both.]
So South Korea is out, Australia is in, and to dress up the roster update, [this is '90s EA, not 2010s EA] a number of graphical changes have been made.
Also, another shout out to @Jkline3 for the help with the roster numbers. Although it's too bad that the goalie bytes are greyed out in NOSE for this ROM, so any third stringers had to stay home.

On to the previews.
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IIHF Hockey 92.bin

Edited by von Ozbourme
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Time for the third chapter in the World Championship series.

The '93 installment ushered in a change for the EA hockey franchise. The IIHF was not a fan of the fighting in the previous games and decided to not renew their licence unless it was removed. EA opted to keep the fighting [and even took the opportunity to make it more brutal with the addition of blood spilling injuries] and continued on without the IIHF licence. This didn't affect the quality of the new game as you know who can't revoke the licence to use their name? Countries. And this time out, EA was able to licence the names of the players representing the national teams of those countries. So 1993 features a name change and part of the reason why I refer to this as the "World Championship Series" [as opposed to just "IIHF" series].

Presenting: International Hockey '93!

Game features include:
Full rosters for the top 30 teams based on finishing position in the 1993
World Championships including, for the first time, real player names to go with their sweater numbers! [some of which had to be creatively shortened due to spacing constraints. [John Vanbiesbrk sympathizes]
Ice surface updated to 1993 markings. [had to change the original centre ice logo containment circle as the lack of ellipse bugged me]
Some features were coded in before the IIHF pulled the plug and remained in the finished product, like mentions to the IIHF in the lengthy Ron Barr delivered history lessons on each team.
The bottom half of the new "EA World Championship Trophy" might look familiar to savvy fans.
The caron on the top of the SEGA "S" might be cheeky reference to a long standing IIHF sponsor.
The ability to make players bleed, just not Gretzky, because he's not in this game.

The previews:
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International Hockey 93.bin

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Posted (edited)

Things are going to get a bit interesting for a bit. After discovering slapshot67's 32-team ROM, I realized that I didn't want to scrap the 30-team ROM I had already mostly completed, but it presented an intriguing possibility. So...

Presenting IIHF '93!
Seeing the immediate popularity of the '93 edition of EA's burgeoning franchise, the IIHF realized that they would be best to maintain their relationship with the publisher. This decision was made early enough that EA could even release a 1.5 edition for that year if they were inclined to double dip. [never!]
Some changes were even made to differentiate the two games making it appealing enough to purchase both versions.

New game features include:
With the list of teams increased to 32, all 32 ranked member nations at the time could be included in the game. So welcome 31st ranked Isreal and 32nd ranked South Africa.
For the first time, the World Men's Ice Hockey Championships logo is displayed in game. Showing the logo for the '93 A Pool tournament in Munich, Germany.
The center ice logo was standardized for all teams, opting to display the IIHF globe logo, so all games are played in the Olympiahalle in Munich.
The IIHF did negotiate to have their branding increased, even adding their primary sponsor to the jumbotron ad.
The IIHF was still not a fan of the fighting, but a compromise was made where a fighting penalty would result in a 10 minute misconduct. [since typical match penalties were too hard to manage]
The players get to carry around the IIHF championship trophy when they win the playoffs.

Lets get to the back of the box previews
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IIHF 93.bin

Edited by von Ozbourme
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Okay so it's been a few days. I thought this one was done, but encountered a series of major bugs when doing the final pass, but here goes nothing.

Hot on the heals of Midway's NBA Jam - Tournament Edition, EA and the IIHF come to an agreement that results in:
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Features that differentiate this game from the original IIHF 94 include:
More teams! Welcome Spain and South Korea as the total number of teams is expanded from 30 to 32!
Some graphical enhancements to emphasize highlight the involvement with the World Championships in Italy this year!
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So long Ron. Hello Ron! As our partnership with Mr. Barr comes to a close, we are happy to announce that Mr. MacLean has agreed to become our new presenter! [also happy that I found out how to apply the original colour back to the photo]
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Realistic branding and sponsorships. Feels like being at a real game!
[sadly, the zamboni uses some weird sorting and i was not able to reliably modify the colours]
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Center ice now features some international federation logos including Canada, Finland, Russia, U.S.A, and more!
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Win the IIHF World Championship trophy!
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See scores from around the league!
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Brought to you by!
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Back of the box sales pitch aside, it should also be noted that this game is based on skip and slapshot67's original 32-team ROM. Thanks guys!
Unfortunately that also means that like 32 team roms, this game includes the Winnipeg Freeze bug. [or in this case the Ukraine Freeze bug.  ...Ukrainian from Winnipeg, always getting crapped on]
I originally tried the player card breaking "fix" to alleviate the freezing, but I noticed that it also breaks the ability to play a full playoff run. And given the emphasis on World Championships, I felt it the lesser evil to just leave it as is. So just know that when playing in Soviet game, "U" breaks game! [this only affects Ukraine and U.S.A.]

Anyways, adoing no further.

IIHF 94 Champ Ed.bin

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