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NHL 94: 2022 Edition by Adam Catalyst


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NHL 94: 2022 Edition by Adam Catalyst

Hello friendly strangers,

tldr; I would love it if you would try out my first ROM! (Updated v3.0, 2022 01 04)

1. NHL94 - AC 2022 01 04 - Title Screen.png

It is based on the TheSauce’s 2022 v2, but significantly modified, including…

  • All new player ratings, based on EA’s NHL 2022, with a different gameplay feel.
  • Significant graphic refinements, including title screen, logos, banners, scoreboard, audience, player uniforms, crease, menus, and more.
  • Slightly different rink geometry, slightly harder to score goals, slightly easier to hit the post.
  • Less variance in Hot/Cold rating randomization.
  • Five minute overtime, line changes on by default.
  • Vegas / Washington / Winnipeg Menu & Player Cards crash fixed.

Every single change is documented below. I would love it if you would give it a try, and give me any feedback!

If you are The Sauce, Naples, Seamor, Smozoma, Clockwise, Wboy, or anyone else who has contributed to making ROMS for this site, I would be so flattered if you were interested in lifting any of my mods for your own. I would happily send you my source files, including Tile Molester bookmarks and palettes.

cheers,

-Adam

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v3.0 - 2022 01 04.bin.zip

p.s. That was the short version, here is a full ongoing changelog, with a breakdown of all modifications…
 


NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v3.0 - 2022 01 04

To Washington with love…

  • Menu and Player Card bugs that would causes crashes on Washington (and could cause issues with Vegas & Winnipeg) has been eliminated. Please note, this comes at the cost of those two screens showing slightly less data.
  • Menu Player names centered vertically.
  • Menu options re-worded for clarity.
  • Arena Names for LA & Winnipeg have been updated.
  • Pre-game match-up position names have been simplified to be more accurate.
  • Hot & Cold range of variance has been reduced by ~25%, from a displayed maximum variance of -9/+8 to -7/+6.
  • The “goal” area of the net has been reduced slightly, making it slightly more difficult to score, and slightly more likely that you will hit the post.
  • End of Period cosmetic glitch fixed.
  • Stars of the Game layout refined (screen cap updated below).
  • Roster updates limited to CHI Malcom Subban replaced by Arvid Soderblom, and DAL Braden Holtby rated higher.

…and to Nashville and New Jersey with apologies

  •  a glitch in my rating system had left virtually every NSH & NJD player with an incorrect rating. My apologies. It's been fixed, and lessons have been learned.
     

13. NHL94 - AC 2022 01 04 - Washington.png

Above Left: No more menu crashes for Washington, even with User Records turned on. Also, re-worded menu options.
Above Right: What Vitek Vanecek’s Player Card previously looked like, and what it looks like in v3.0.

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v3.0 - 2022 01 04.bin.zip


NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v2.1 - 2021 12 28

Rookies on Fire

  • Raised the ratings for eight of the top scoring rookies in the league.
     

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v2 - 2021 12 28

Gameplay Refinements

  • Scoring was too easy. You've got to work harder for it now, as shot accuracy has been reduced for the majority of players.
  • Many of the weaker players in the league have had their ratings updated with more differentiation in their play style (too many were rated identically).
  • Less extreme difference between the best and worst players in the league. McDavid is now rated a 95, the lowest rating is a 43. 
  • Minor edit to team ratings.
  • ROM naming syntax has been retroactively revised, and will stay consistent like this.
     

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v1 - 2021 12 25

Initial Release

I just discovered this site about eight weeks ago, and have been enjoying playing The Sauce’s 2022 ROM (among others). I wanted to modify his ROM to have an Austin Matthew’s title screen and tweaked Toronto Maple Leafs lineup for my brother-in-law, with a hope of giving it to him as a Christmas present. But then one thing led to another… I've worked as a designer and design educator for years, and so I couldn't resist trying and use some of that experience in refining some visual elements. Here is a complete list of all the changes made to date…
 

1. Title Screen

  • Title screen image replaced with EA NHL 22 Austin Matthews photo.
  • Title screen logo re-drawn by hand to closer match EA NHL lettering.
  • Credits re-coloured to work over the previously aforementioned image.
  • Credits edited.
     

2. Main Menu

  • The game would crash on the menu screen if it tried to display the Washington player cards. This has been patched so that the error is cosmetic only.
  • Every Team Logo was re-drawn, or re-coloured & edited for greater authenticity.
  • Team Banner colours adjusted to be uniformly consistent with the logos.
  • Headshots for the Toronto Maple Leafs updated to use their current official NHL images.
  • Line Changes default setting is “On,” because that's how I roll.

2. NHL94 - AC 2022 01 04 - Menu.png

Above: Examples of the re-drawn and re-coloured logos and team banners, as well as the revised language usage in the menu.
 

3. Pre-Game

  • The Pre-Game Announcer's picture frame has been altered to be more consistent with the design of similar elements throughout the game.

®3. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Pre-Game.png

Above: The Announcer's picture frame has been much more consistent as possible with all the other picture boxes in the game. Also, I spent extra time re-drawing the Rangers logo as well as I could for The Sauce.
 

4. Scoreboard & Audience

  • NHL logo for the scoreboard was re-drawn for more detail.
  • Audience Members colours have been slightly adjusted to have more uniform tonal contrast. A handful of minor errors in the sprites for the blue audience member were also fixed. (These were actual errors, like his hair disappearing on some frames, or a shoe appearing on someone's shoulder in others.)

4. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Scoreboard.png

Above: Re-coloured banners, re-drawn NHL logo, brighter banner lettering and score, and an example of errors in the audience. Look at the old guy in the first row. Notice how he has two light shoes over his shoulder? Now look at him near the top row. Notice how when the tile was repeated, they forgot to erase one of those two shoes? A bunch of little errors like this, that no normal person notices or cares about, have been fixed.

 

5. Player Cards, Records, etc.

  • NHL & NHLPA logos on the Player Cards & Records screens re-drawn (and re-coloured) for greater authenticity.
  • “Hockey Night” banner in the Other Scores page has been re-coloured to be more visually appealing to me personally.

5. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Player Cards.png

Above: New NHL & NHLPA logos, and more consistent official team colour usage throughout. 

 

6. In-Game & on the Ice

  • Ice colour lightened slightly. The darker colour was giving me eye strain.
  • The creases now have texturing like in the original NHL 94. No self-respecting goalie doesn't chew up their crease with their skates.
  • The in-game timer logo has been re-drawn to match the old EA Star logo in the style of the original graphic, but wider and smoother like The Sauce’s excellent version, and shorter to fit the allocated space better.

8. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Crease Timer.png

Above: A new old-school timer logo and crease. Also, lighter ice and more audience tweaks.

  • Centre ice logos all either revised or re-drawn.
  • All uniforms have been re-coloured to have consistent official colour use, and a greater sense of depth with as realistic as possible colour shifts for shadows and highlights. Tests were done comparing demo play against video footage of each team, to try and give the most accurate impression of how team’s look in motion, and not necessarily what is the most accurate in still. Lighter shadows under the players complete the look.

6. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Uniform Depth.png

Above: The most extreme example of how all players were recoloured to enhance the sense of depth, with more realistic shadows and highlights. Naples & The Sauce ROMs shown for comparison only, no criticism implied of their superlative work.

  • On-Ice Player Numbers changed to white for better legibility against the ice.
  • On-Ice Player Star for Player 1 colour was change to have less contrast against the ice, and to be less distractingly conspicuous compared to other visual elements.
  • On-Ice Player Star for Player 2 was left the same colour, but because of the adjustments to the ice and player one star, the player two star now appears more distinctly.

7. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Player Selector.png

Above: Reducing the tonal contrast between the player one indicator and the player two indicator, and increasing the tonal contrast of the player numbers against the ice. Naples & The Sauce ROMs shown for comparison only, no criticism implied of their superlative work.

 

7. Game overlays

  • “Cross Check” penalty renamed to “Cross-check”  as per the official NHL rulebook nomenclature.
  • “Face-Off” renamed to “Face-off”  as per the official NHL rulebook.
  • “Fight Instigator” renamed to “Instigator” as per the official NHL rulebook.
  • The “Injuring” penalty always annoyed me. Renamed to “Elbowing”.
  • Line Change Energy bars have been drawn to use an inverse quasi-logarithmic scale, more representative of ideal shift length and degrading player performance.
  • The green for the line-change energy bars has been altered to be little bit more… energetic.
  • Stars of the Game icon re-drawn.

8. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Line Change Energy Bar.png

Above: Inverse quasi-logarithmic line-change energy bars.

 

9. NHL94 - AC 2022 01 04 - Stars.png

Above: A revised Stars of the Game icon icon and typesetting. Naples ROM shown for comparison only, no criticism implied of their superlative work.

 

8. Rosters

  • Since this is based on The Sauce’s 2022 v2 ROM, it has all the same players, with the exceptions of BOS G Troy Grosenick replaced by Tuuka Rask, SJS F Jonah Gadjovich replaced by Evander Kane, and VGK F Nolan Patrick replaced by Jack Eichel. None of these replacements are active as starters or on any lines.
  • CHI Calvin de Haan, OTT Michael Del Zotto, PHI James van Riemsdyk, TOR T.J. Brodie, and WAS Trevor van Riemsdyk have had their name formatting adjusted.
  • The Leafs lines have been adjusted, the rest are exactly how The Sauce specced them.
     

9. Ratings

  • By far the biggest change, all players were re-rated, using a mix of data and parameters that would require a whole post to explain. The goal was to make it a blend of both more realistic, and more like EA’s NHL 22.
  • Highest ratings (99) for each attribute were given out to ~0.5-1.5% of players.
  • Overall rating formula calculation is also custom, modelled after EA’s NHL 22 rankings.
  • Team ratings have been set based on standings and stats current as of the Christmas 2021 break.

9. NHL94 - AC 2021 12 25 - Ratings.png

Above: If you, or anyone you know, make spreadsheets like this in their free time, please seek professional help.

 

10. Gameplay

  • Speed Burst reduced very slightly in speed, to what personally felt right while playing.
  • Overtime set to 5 minutes.

 

11. Extras

  • Matching box art was made. This post is already long enough, so I will include it in a second post below.

 


Future Wish List

  1. Re-do the on-ice logos to match the perspective of the ice, based on the Rewind version assets.
  2. Improve the goaltending.
  3. Composite sticks. Seriously, it’s 2022. Time to ditch the twigs. I’m thinking a medium-dark grey will work well, light enough that it doesn’t obscure the tape on the sticks.
  4. Referee colours. There are weird splotches of grey on the refs pants. I think these are meant to convey shadows or highlights, but I think it can be done better.
  5. Customize the formula that calculates the three stars of the game to take into account (or more heavily value) shots and saves.
  6. Replace all the Player Photos with the official NHL 2022 images.
  7. Rename “Cross-check” to the proper “Cross-checking” penalty name (I can’t figure out how to re-map memory addressed when I do this…)
  8. The Vegas, Winnipeg, Washington menu bug. Find a solution that does not give a cosmetic glitch.
  9. Fix the Player Cards screen from crashing with the same aforementioned teams.
  10. Customize all lines and rosters (currently based on The Sauce v2).
  11. Restore the User Record system to be as fully functional as possible.
  12. Increase CPU player shooting rate.
  13. Switch from a 0-6 rating system to a 0-16 rating system for more accurate differentiation of players.

I don't know when, if ever I will get to these fixes. But if you wanted to collaborate or any of these things, I'd totally be up for that! And as always, please report any errors, give any constructive criticism, leave any feedback etc. I only discovered this site in late October, and I have no doubt I have made some rookie mistakes along the way. Your experience can help me do better.

cheers,

-Adam

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v3.0 - 2022 01 04.bin.zip

 

Edited by AdamCatalyst
Updated version 3.0 ROM
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p.s. Here is that aforementioned cover artwork. I did one very faithful to the layout of the original Genesis release, and one with the front slightly re-arranged in order to have an image frame better suited to the official EA photo for this year. If anyone wants my original 60 meg Photoshop file to edit their own way, just send me a note.

NHL94 2022 [h].png

NHL94 2022.png

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nice

there is a 3-stars hack already which gives nice results for 5-minute period vs games: https://forum.nhl94.com/index.php?/topic/12181-tool-hack-applicator-aka-smozrom/

Quote

- Improved Three Stars rating formula

It used to rate guys like this:

goal: 11000 star points, assist: 10100, shutout: 75000 points, sv%:95%: 23000 pts, shot:10 (or 1000 if the game is tied). Not very exciting.

I made it:

goal: 11000, assist: 7000, shot: 500, check: 500, goal against goalie: -11000, shot against: 4000, shutout: 2200

 

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I'm loving this!  I have been a loyal player of naples's ROMs for years (and will continue to be!) and this fresh coat of paint, if you will looks awesome!  I, too, am a stickler for the visual details.  This is the greatest looking ROM I have seen around.  I'd honestly love to see the original "remastered" this way, too.  

 

As someone who notices small visual details, though, I do wonder one thing.  I am a huge Penguins fan.  And one thing that puzzles me is why all three of you guys have the Pens wearing different styles of jerseys home and away.  The NHL 94 Genesis template doesn't do the current Pens jerseys any favors, and it's impossible to recreate them perfectly.  But I wonder why all three of you have the white jerseys having gold shoulders and the black jerseys not having gold shoulders, rather just a thin gold outline.  Since the actual jerseys are essentially the same with just the black and white flipped, I'm curious why the same (either way) isn't done for both home and away on the ROMs.  Not criticizing...just wondering!

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On 12/27/2021 at 3:24 AM, brianski71 said:

As someone who notices small visual details, though, I do wonder one thing.  I am a huge Penguins fan.  And one thing that puzzles me is why all three of you guys have the Pens wearing different styles of jerseys home and away.  The NHL 94 Genesis template doesn't do the current Pens jerseys any favors, and it's impossible to recreate them perfectly.  But I wonder why all three of you have the white jerseys having gold shoulders and the black jerseys not having gold shoulders, rather just a thin gold outline.  Since the actual jerseys are essentially the same with just the black and white flipped, I'm curious why the same (either way) isn't done for both home and away on the ROMs.  Not criticizing...just wondering!

Thank-you so much for your kind words! Seriously, that made my morning.

As for the Pens, I can't speak for anyone else, but I can share my rationale. I started with exactly what you said, trying to accurately map the official colours onto the limitations of the system. Then testing and revisions were done focusing on how the players look in motion. I found that if shoulder patch was white on the road jerseys, the overall impression of the uniforms was way too black and white, without enough yellow presence. However, I found if the shoulder patch was yellow on the home jerseys, the overall impression the uniforms was too white and yellow to my eye. But that's just my personal opinion. I'd love to get yours. Here is a version with the ROM, where the Pens shoulders have been set to yellow, and black and white have been swapped for road and away. As a pens fan, does this play better for you?

 

Edited by AdamCatalyst
Removed old ROM version.
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2 hours ago, Tabs3121 said:

This looks awesome and thanks for all your hard work. Not to jump the gun, but do you think there will be a trade deadline version of this rom?

Once again Thank you.

Thank-you for the feedback! Yes, I plan on doing a trade deadline version. There is still more work to do, and I want to move away from depending on The Sauce's rosters and line combinations to make it more fully original. The only issues are that life is unpredictable, and I am crazy busy the next few months. But I will try my best to get it done.

 

 

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This is fantastic and I appreciate the length of the detail you went through in the art.  As the person who fixed the "severed leg" in the stands, I DO notice and appreciate those kinds of things! :)  

With regards to center ice logos and logos in general, I thought the NHL Rewind version did a pretty good job redrawing all of the logos.  I have copied a few for some recent ROMs

wild.png

 

CDL_season_02_000.png

07_center_ice.png

If you were interested, I can send you the screenshots of all the teams from Rewind.  Just PM me.

 

Again, fantastic job!

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1 hour ago, kingraph said:

This is fantastic and I appreciate the length of the detail you went through in the art.  As the person who fixed the "severed leg" in the stands, I DO notice and appreciate those kinds of things! :)  

YES!!!! I was wondering where that original severed leg went… that was you! Thank-you for that!

I would be very interested in the pixel art for the Rewind centre ice logos in particular. Honestly, I ran out of time on the work I was doing on those, and was thinking of re-doing it, with that wider sense of faux perspective. If you were able to get me that artwork at a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio, that would be amazing, but even just seeing it any any form would be helpful.

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32 minutes ago, AdamCatalyst said:

YES!!!! I was wondering where that original severed leg went… that was you! Thank-you for that!

I would be very interested in the pixel art for the Rewind centre ice logos in particular. Honestly, I ran out of time on the work I was doing on those, and was thinking of re-doing it, with that wider sense of faux perspective. If you were able to get me that artwork at a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio, that would be amazing, but even just seeing it any any form would be helpful.

Haha, yes, here's the appropriate way to fix that leg: https://forum.nhl94.com/index.php?/topic/20168-how-to-bring-back-the-green-guy-in-stands-fix-severed-leg/

The way I originally fixed that leg was part of the hack to bring back the scoreboard logo.  I don't think I ever got around to putting my notes on that, but essentially it was remapping tiles.  I don't remember if I got rid of the green guy to use for the scoreboard (i.e. if the two methods are compatible). 

 

 

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There is a single 16 colour palette used for the in-game banners, arena, ice, audience, scoreboard, time clock, player starts, arena… you get the picture. A teal banner could absolutely be done, but it would require a ripple effect of other substantial and changes that I just don’t think anyone wants to take on. 

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Adam, I want to first thank you for your amazing work on this rom, I find it extremely enjoyable to play!

I am a Colorado Avalanche fan, and I was looking at the ratings of the players. Could you please let me know how you decided to rate players (especially the overall rating)? I am sure every fan of each team in the game will want different ratings, but I am specifically targeting Nathan MacKinnon who was given a 85 overall ranking. He is widely considered a top 3 player overall in the NHL, and his rating is only 2 points better than Mikko Rantanen (83 overall, and a highly skilled player as well). Gabriel Landeskog comes in at 80 overall. I do think Rantanen should be closer to 88, and Landeskog closer to 84 overall.

Nathan MacKinnon is the one I am most shocked by as he should definitely come in the 90's overall, and I honestly didn't get a chance to compare his ranking to Conor MacDavid and Auston Matthews who are considered the other two top three players in the NHL. Cale Makar at 88 seems great, as he is now considered the best defensemen in hockey, right next to Hedman(TB) and Fox (NY).

Here is how ESPN ranked the top 100 players in the NHL for the 2021-2022 season:

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/32495545/nhl-rank-predicting-top-100-players-2021-22-season

 

Would it be possible to see all the players ranked in your rom in an excel grid? This is also where you can tell me to go ahead and do the work and create my own ROM with my ratings : ) I am a HUGE fan of your rom, and was more curious to how all the players rank up against each other rather than requesting you to update my team to rankings I believe they should be. I just provided that for discussion, as Nathan MacKinnon is still pretty good in the game ;)

 

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No prob! I'm very glad to hear you are enjoying it. I have many improvements in the works, and I hope you'll be willing to try those out when I publish them. Now, I'll try to succinctly answer your questions…

1. First, please note that the ratings you see in-game are modified by a random fact each match, by the game itself. Actual underlying ratings have been assigned from a scales of 0–6 for each attribute. However, to achieve the gameplay I want, the actual range of assigned values is even smaller than this. 

2. Take a look on this site for the NHL Roster Tool, which will allow you to export the ratings from any ROM. I've dumped the ratings from my v2.1 ROM here for you.

3. How I've rated each individual attribute is way too difficult to explain, but the end goal is for each player to play accurately, regardless of what the numbers say.

4. Overall ratings are not assigned, but are in fact calculated from the attribute values, using a custom proprietary formula. My formula was specifically made to give very similar results to EA's NHL 22. Don't take that number too seriously, it means very little.

All the players you mention have great ratings. The goal is for them to play relatively accurately compared to the other players in the game, not to rank them in real life, or even in the game.

FYI, I will be lowering the level of randomization in the next version of my ROM. Still play-testing through the next version.

 

 

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v2.1 - 2021 12 28.csv

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Hi Adam -

Thank you for the in-depth follow up here. I appreciate it! I will look at the dump you provided and dive in a bit more. 
 

I look forward to the new adjustments that you make with upcoming rom version releases. Keep up the great work!

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17 hours ago, AdamCatalyst said:

 

3. How I've rated each individual attribute is way too difficult to explain, but the end goal is for each player to play accurately, regardless of what the numbers say.

 

An original/unique way to edit your ROM ratings... standing by your methodology...bringing in something "fresh"...

600lw6.jpg

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New version uploaded tonight, highly recommended bugfixes. Previous versions had an error that was screwing up player ratings for Nashville and New Jersey. That's been fixed now, along with all the Washington glitches and crashes.

 

 

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