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NHL 94: 2022 Edition v5.4 by Adam Catalyst


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NHL 94: 2022 Edition by Adam Catalyst


v5.4 updated 2022 05 22

NHL 94 - Screenshots - 0.5 Title Screens - Title.png
 

Hello there friendly strangers,

After half a year of work, here is the (presumably) final version of my NHL '94 ROM. I set out to try to make the most refined and realistic modern version of NHL '94 that I could muster, and I’m thrilled to be able to share this with you now. Here are the top reasons you might want to give it a try…
 

NHL 94 - Screenshots - 5. Centre Ice Face-Off.pngGameplay Revisioned

The gameplay has been adjusted for a more realistic modern hockey feel, with harder to score goals, easier to hit crossbars and posts, more realistic speed burst, custom energy depletion and recovery rates balanced for more realistic line rolling and shift length, and player ratings that have been calibrated for more realistic gameplay on the ice.
 

image.pngRosters, Ratings & Lines

Up-to-date custom rosters, ratings, and lines, using a 16-point player rating system, based on EA's NHL 2022 ratings profiles, heavily modified by 2021-2022 regular season player data.
 

image.pngGraphical Refinements

TThe most obvious change is the move to composite sticks, but there are hundreds of graphical refinements beyond this, including title screens, logos, banners, player photos, scoreboard, audience, face-offs, player sprites, scorekeepers, Zamboni driver, and more. The goal was to bring the most graphically refined version of NHL 94 ever made, while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original art direction, and updating it for more realism & refinement.
 

image.pngAnd so much more

Of course there is the weight bug fix, but also a custom weight scale, less variance in Hot/Cold rating randomization, a custom 3-Stars of the Game rating formula, five minute overtime, line changes on by default, a Vegas / Washington / Winnipeg Menu & Player Cards crash fix *, and more.
 

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

cheers,

-Adam

 

 

NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v5.4 - 2022 05 22.bin.zip


p.s. If you are Clockwise, Kingraph, Naples, The Sauce, Slapshot76, Smozoma, or anyone else who has contributed to making ROMS for nhl94.com, 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.
 


 

Features & Modifications

Title Screens

  • Graphics: EA logo refined.
  • Graphics: High Score Production screen restored to be closer to the original.
  • Graphics: Splash image replaced with EA NHL 22 Austin Matthews photo.
  • Graphics: Masthead re-drawn to match EA NHL 2022 lettering.
  • Title screen Logos removed.
  • Credits re-coloured & edited.

NHL 94 - Screenshots - 6. Face-Offs - Comp.png

Above Top Row: The original face-off animations had a linesman that was looking in the wrong direction for the implied perspective (Top Left & Centre), freakishly long & thin stick blades, disproportionally dark shadows that sometimes overlapped the image frame (Top Centre), stick shadows that would overlap incorrectly (Top Right), and a frisbee instead of a puck. 

Above Bottom Row: I’ve painstakingly gone through the 108 possible sprite combinations that can occur during a face-off, revised every issue I could find, added in composite sticks with tape, and perhaps most importantly, turned the Linesman’s head to face the right direction. We all need to do our part to improve NHL officiating.
 

Main Menu

  • Settings: Default teams changed to the East & West conference winners.
  • Settings: Playoff brackets updated to 2022 seeding.
  • Settings: Line Changes default set to on “On,” because that's how I roll.
  • Graphics: Team Logos updated, with official colours relatively mapped to the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive colour space.
  • Graphics: Team Banner colours adjusted to be uniformly consistent with the logos.
  • Graphics: Player Photos all updated with the NHL’s 2022 images, cropped & colour graded.
  • Hack: Bug that would causes crashes upon cycling through the Player Photos for Vegas, Washington, and Winnipeg has been eliminated. Please note, this comes at the cost of preventing saved stats from showing under player names.
  • Typesetting: Player names centred vertically.
  • Main Menu: Re-wording of a couple menu options for greater clarity.

image.png

Above Right: All logos were revised or re-drawn by hand, and matched for visual weight. Official team colours were relatively mapped to the Sega MD/Genesis colour space, and banners were matched to key logo colours, with some minor re-wording in the menus
 

Pre-Game

  • - Graphics: Play-off Banner colours modified & dithered to look much closer to the authentic colours used in the menu screens.
  • Graphics: The Pre-Game Announcer's picture frame has been altered to be more consistent with the design of similar elements throughout the game.
  • Graphics: Ron Barr image restored to be closer to original.
  • Arena Names: All up-to-date as of January 2022.
  • Pre-Game: Match-up position names have been simplified for better accuracy to “Forward,” “Defence,” & “Goaltender.”

image.png

Above: The colour palette available for Playoff Banners in the original game (Left) is extremely limited, but with a little trickery (Right) the banners now look much closer to the authentic team colours within these restrictions.
 

Arena

  • Graphics: Audience colours throughout have been slightly adjusted to have more uniform tonal contrast. 
  • Sprites: Audience members throughout have had a myriad of minor errors fixed.
  • Graphics: Ice Colour lightened slightly. The darker colour was giving me eye strain.

image.png

Above: Over time, the beloved Ron Barr's original image (Left) has been modified to use fewer colour (Centre). I've restored it to its original glory (Right), with a few tweaks, and revised his picture frame to be more consistent with the other picture boxes in the game. Also, I re-drew the Rangers logo as best as I could for The Sauce.
 

Arena - Sideboards view

  • Graphics: Scoreboard Banner colours modified & dithered to look closer to matching the Menu Banner colours..
  • Graphics: Sideboard Scoreboard has re-drawn NHL logo.
  • Graphics: Side-boards Score-Keepers revised.
  • Sprites: Zamboni driver revised to better match the perspective of the side-boards.

image.png

Above Right: The Scoreboard & Playoff Tree Banners have been re-coloured using dithering to better approximate the official team colours. Furthermore, Banner lettering and Scores were made brighter, the NHL logo was re-drawn, the audience was tweaked, and the Zamboni driver and Scorekeepers were revised…

Above: The original Zamboni driver (Left) looked like a small ruddy-faced hunchback. This became much more obvious when Clockwise introduced the excellent scorekeepers graphic (Centre), as the the driver (who is closer to our point of view and should therefore be larger) would seem conspicuously tiny when he would pass in front of the larger scorekeepers. I loved slapshot67’s scorekeepers graphic, so I simply gave it a minor revision (Right), and then matched the style and perspective of the Zamboni driver to fit the scorekeepers and the perspective of the scene better.

Above: Lastly, a random example of errors in the audience. Look at the old guy in the first row (Left & Centre). 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. (Right)
 

Arena - Ice view

  • Graphics: Centre ice logos updated, adapted from NHL Rewind designs to match the perspective of the ice.
  • Graphics: Goalie crease outline modification. (Author unknown)
  • Graphics: The Creases now have texturing like in the original NHL 94. No self-respecting goalie doesn't chew up their crease with their skates.
  • Graphics: Minor lighting details in the original ROM, but incorrectly coloured so as to be invisible, have been restored to be visible.
  • Graphics: Bench coaches refined.
  • Sprites: Bench players “chirping” animations refined to be less cartoonish.
  • Graphics: Score-keepers revised.
  • Graphics: Bench area modifications. (slapshot67)
  • Graphics: Bench backup goalie hack. (slapshot67)
  • Graphics: Net re-design. (slapshot67)
  • Graphics: Goal light modification. (slapshot67)
  • Graphics: Face-off circles modification. (Author unknown)
  • Graphics: Trapezoid line modification. (Author unknown)

NHL 94 - Screenshots - 5. Centre Ice Face-Off Comp.png

Above Right: Note the re-designed composite sticks in the Face-Off window. This image all shows an extreme example of how all players were coloured to emphasize a sense of depth, with more realistic shadows and highlights. The excellent Naples & The Sauce ROMs are shown here for relative comparison only, no criticism implied of their superlative work. If you haven’t already, go check them out!
 

In-Play

  • Sprites: Uniforms have been 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.
  • Sprites: Face-off animations revised.
  • Sprites: Players given grey composite sticks.
  • Graphics: On-Ice Player Numbers changed to white for better legibility against the ice.
  • Graphics: 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.
  • Graphics: 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.
  • Sprites: Goaltenders masks tweaked to reveal their faces.
  • Sprites: Puck and its shadow revised.
  • Sprites: Player Helmet colour patch. (Clockwise)
  • Sprites: Player Stick tape patch. (Clockwise)
  • Sprites: Improved Checking animations patch. (Clockwise)
  • Sprites: Player Eye colour patch. (Clockwise)
  • Sprites: Player Boots & Gloves colour patch. (Clockwise)

image.png

Above Right: The Scorekeepers in-play have been revised to consistently match the art style used for the Scorekeeper in the Sideboards view. Also, they have been modernized with touchscreens!

Above: Note how in the original (Left) the player one indicator is distractingly very high contrast, while the player two indicator is much more difficult to see with low tonal contrast. Brightening the colour of the ice (Centre) helps, but then the already muddy looking player numbers become very difficult to see. I’ve re-balanced the colours (Right) so that the player one indicator is quieter while still being easy to see, the player two indicator is equally easy to see, and the the player numbers are much clearer to see against the ice. There's also a new puck, and revised puck shadow. The excellent Naples ROM is shown for relative comparison only, no criticism implied of their superlative work.
 

Rosters

  • Rosters & Lines: Updated based on aggregate 2022 regular season player usage data.
  • Rosters: Shortened all last names to a maximum of 10 characters, to avoid cosmetic glitches in the game. This affected ~20 players in the game.

image.png

Above. 216 official NHL 2021–2022 headshots (only 192 included in-game), all individually cropped and colour graded for visual balance.
 

Ratings

  • Team Ratings: Team attribute & overall ratings updated as per end of 2022 season data.
  • Player Ratings: Underlying system has been changed from the default 1-6 scale to a 0-15 scale for more accurate differentiation of players. (smozoma)
  • Player Ratings: Custom player ratings based on the characteristics from EA’s NHL 2022, modified using a mix of real-world data and gameplay oriented parameters. The goal was to make gameplay more contemporary, and individual player performance more realistic.
  • Player Ratings: Custom overall rating formula.
  • Player Ratings: Much more parity between the best and the worst of the league, with all players having a minimum 52 rating, ranging to a maximum 94 for McDavid, before Hot/Cold variance.
  • Player Ratings: Weight scale modification patch. (smozoma)
  • Player Ratings: Edit lines bug fix patch. (smozoma)

image.png

Above: Here are the only twelve players rated a 90 or over. If you don’t see your favourite player here, I guarantee I rated them an 89! And actually, Anderson was only supposed to be rated a 91, and the ROM seems to rate Bobrovsky lower most of the time, but at some point I need to learn to live with imperfections.
 

Gameplay

  • Player Ratings: Attribute rating distributions have been careful set and thoroughly tested to produce a faster more contemporary feel to puck movement & gameplay, with better goaltending throughout.
  • Gameplay: Body Checking and Aggressiveness balanced to approximate the original physicality and penalty rate.
  • Gameplay: Hot & Cold range of variance has been reduced by ~25%, from a displayed maximum variance of -9/+8 to -7/+6.
  • Gameplay: 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.
  • Gameplay: Player Speed Burst set to 25% of the original, for a more realistic feel and higher difficulty. No more winning every loose puck race.
  • Gameplay: Custom Stamina Depletion & Recovery rates.
  • Gameplay: Weight / Checking bug fix patch. (smozoma)
  • Gameplay: Second-Assist bug fix patch. (smozoma)
  • Gameplay: Overtime set to 5 minutes.
  • Stars of the Game: New custom formula.

image.png

AboveThe original (Left) benches had floors coloured like the ice, and the players chirped with unhinged jaws, with no supervision from a coach, let alone a backup goaltender. Over time (Centre), utterly fantastic changes were made by slapshot67, adding a more realistic floor, fitting in a coach, and a perfectly matched backup goaltender! I've built on this work (Right) by getting rid of the leftover teal coloured shadow behind players leaning forward, setting consistent mouth colours with a more realistic jawing, and refining the coach to match the other sprites a bit better.

Above Right: Line change energy bars with inverse quasi-logarithmic gradations, calibrated with the custom energy depletion rate for ideal shift length.
 

In-Game Overlays

  • Graphics: Referee pop-over refined.
  • Graphics: Linesman pop-over revised.
  • Graphics: 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.
  • Penalty: “Cross Check” renamed to “Cross-check” as per the official NHL rulebook nomenclature.
  • Penalty: “Face-Off” renamed to “Face-off”  as per the official NHL rulebook.
  • Penalty: “Fight Instigator” renamed to “Instigator” as per the official NHL rulebook.
  • Penalty: “Injuring” renamed to “Elbowing.”
  • Graphics: Line Change Energy bars have been drawn to use an inverse quasi-logarithmic scale, more representative of ideal shift length and degrading player performance.
  • Graphics: The green for the line-change energy bars has been altered to be little bit more… energetic.
  • Graphics: Custom Stars of the Game icon.
  • Stars of the Game: Typesetting & layout refined.

image.png

Above: From Left to Right, four different evolutions…

1. The Goalie’s mask has been revised to now show a bit of their face underneath (Right).

2. When the crease got modernized (Centre) it lost the texture of the original (Left). I’ve restored the original texture into the modern crease (Right).

3. There was originally no Stars of the Game icon, and a simplistic formula for choosing the stars. A couple of excellent patches later, and we have a stars icon (Centre) and a better formula! I've built on this (Right) with a new star icon, revised typesetting, and a new custom Stars of the Game formula.

4. I really liked The Sauce’s wide take on the EA logo (Centre), as well as the bevelled style of the original (Left). I’ve mixed the two styles together, and refined it to better fit the allocated vertical space.
 

In-Game Menus

  • Graphics: NHL & NHLPA Logos re-drawn for greater authenticity.
  • Graphics: “Hockey Night” Banner slightly re-coloured to be more visual appealing to me personally.
  • Hack: Bugs that would causes crashes upon cycling through Player Cards for Washington (and possible also Vegas & Winnipeg) has been eliminated. 
  • Typesetting: The “Change Goalie” option for “no goalie” is now in all-caps.

image.png

Above: The Player Cards system (Left) developed bugs over time, as the ROM was expanded from 28–32 teams. Looking at a goalie for Vegas or Washington would immediately crash the game (Centre), until now (Right). * 

 


Extras

Matching box art was made! 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.

NHL94 2022.png NHL94 2022 [h].png
 


Known Issues

* Vegas / Washington / Winnipeg Player Cards may crash if User Records are turned on, and there are stored goaltending statistics for these teams. A potential fix was being investigated, but is not at a workable state. For this reason, User Records are recommended to be left off.

* User Records may incorrectly store user data if playing with Vegas / Washington / Winnipeg.

 


Future Wish-List

I’ve run out of time to work on this project, but if I did find more time, here is what I would like to focus on next…

  • Line-Changes: Enable line changes to be initiated without possession of the puck, preferably with a dedicated button.  
  • Pulling the Goalie: Program the CPU to pull the goalie when trailing by 1–2 goals (currently only pulls with a two goal deficit).
  • Sprites: Improve the comparatively low visual quality of the on-ice officials throughout. Requires “de-compressing” shared tiles.
  • Penalties: Rename “Cross-check” to the proper “Cross-checking” penalty name
  • Penalties: Re-name “Injuring” to “Illegal Hit”
  • Player Cards: Eliminate the crash that occurs on player cards for Washington when user records are turned on, and the goaltender has saved stats.
  • User Records: Restore system to be as fully functional as possible.
  • Player Sprites: Restore some shading detail that seems to have been lost from the original. 

     

Credits

This project was built decades of work by the NHL94.com community, and never would have been possible without them. I’m sure there are more contributors than I could ever possibly know, let alone acknowledge, but I will do my best…

Contributors

This ROM contains contributions from the following individuals…

Brodeur30

  • Rink & Net collision logic.

chaos

  • Hot/Cold variation logic.

Clockwise

  • Player sprites helmet colour patch.
  • Player sprites hockey tape patch.
  • Player sprites improved checking animations patch.
  • Player sprites eye colour patch.
  • Player sprites boots & gloves colour patch.

Dervin10

  • Roster extractor & importer tool development.

kingraph

  • Scoreboard graphic hack.
  • Stars of the Game graphic hack.

slapshot67

  • 30 to 32 team ROM re-structuring.
  • Scorekeepers graphic hack and original design.
  • Bench area graphic modifications.
  • Bench coaches hack and original design.
  • Bench backup goalie hack and original design.
  • Net graphic re-design.
  • Crease graphic revision.
  • Goal light graphics revision.

smozoma

  • 0–15 Player Rating scale patch.
  • Credits editing logic.
  • Edit Line Ratings bug fix patch.
  • Player Overall rating formula logic.
  • Player weight scale modification patch.
  • Second-Assist bug fix patch.
  • Stars of the Game formula logic.
  • Weight / Checking bug fix patch.
  • EARE tool development.

wboy

  • 28 to 30 team ROM re-structuring.
  • Player photo logic.
  • Player energy depletion & recovery rates logic.
  • Speed burst rate logic.
  • NOSE tool development.

Author unknown

  • Face-off circles graphic modification.
  • Trapezoid line graphic modification.
  • Goalie crease graphic modification.
     

Special Thanks to…

kingraph - tips & resources.
Sauce - resources for rosters, ratings, and lines.
smozoma - utterly invaluable tips, resources, tools, & support.
…and everyone at nhl94.com who tested Betas or provided feedback.
 

Extra Special Thanks to…

Ena - for nothing less than everything.

 


     

     

    NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v5.4 - 2022 05 22.bin.zip

    Edited by AdamCatalyst
    Updated for version 5.4
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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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    Posted (edited)

    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.

     

     

     

    Edited by AdamCatalyst
    Deleting outdated links.
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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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    • 1 month later...
    On 12/27/2021 at 9:34 AM, AdamCatalyst said:

    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?

     

    Hey, man!  Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  Sorry I missed it when you sent it.  I kind of pop in and out of here through the season and I missed what you sent back.  As most adults, I've always got something going on that keeps me away from old school games way more than I wish!  Sparing you my life story, I'm at home recovering from a surgery, so I fired up the NHL 94 ROMs for a few days here.  Your ROM still plays awesome.  The small graphical changes make a huge difference! 

    As far as the Pens go, I think it's interesting that the "official" EA NHL Rewind game actually has the opposite of what you have.  Not that either of you are right or wrong, it's just interesting that it's opposite.  I guess it just goes to show how annoying it can be to jam a team with jerseys that don't fit the template at all into said template, even if their home and away jerseys are a simple black/white color swap.  

    To me, the way you have it in the ROM reminds me much more of the new (old) third jerseys with Pittsburgh down the front.  Those jerseys are primarily black with just gold and white stripes at the bottom.  The home and away jerseys (to me, at least) are a pretty even black or white and gold split.  The problem is that the shoulders of the actual jerseys are black or white and the sleeve is gold, where the game makes the sleeve match the jersey body and gives you the option to change the shoulder color.  To me, I've always preferred the shoulder patches on the game being gold on both jerseys, since this pretty much splits the color of the jersey evenly between black or white and gold, which is essentially what you get with the real jerseys, even though the striping pattern is impossible to match.

    At the end of the day, it's your ROM and your awesome project!  I'm just adding my two cents.  Either way, it's light years better than the original NHL 94 uniforms.  In the 93-94 season, the Pens white jerseys actually had gold shoulders and would have fit nearly perfectly into the template.  On the game, they left out the gold shoulders on the white jerseys and inexplicably added red(!?), while the black ones had gold shoulders on the game, but in real life the away jerseys were the current alternate jerseys, without any gold on the shoulders at all.  Stranger yet, the SNES version, which had a different jersey template, nailed the Pens jerseys with 100% accuracy, even with the different home and away jerseys.  

    IMG_0640.JPG

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    Thanks for all the kind words of support! I've been working on a major revision (4.0) for the past month, likely the biggest changes I will ever make to this thing. Here is what's coming down the pipeline…

    1. Player rating system has been switch from a 1-6 scale to a 1-15 scale for more accurate differentiation of players.
    2. Every, single, player, has been re-rated.
    3. All rosters and lines have been re-done from scratch.
    4. Gameplay rebalances: Reduced checking effectiveness & CPU hitting.
    5. Gameplay rebalances: Improved CPU goaltending, slightly harder and more accurate shooting.
    6. Custom the Stars of the Game formula.
    7. All the Player Photos have been re-done with the official 2022 NHL images.
    8. Numerous minor graphic tweaks.

    The gameplay is noticeably different. Even more parity between the best and worst players. A touch slower skating on the high end, a touch faster puck movement on the bottom end, better goaltending across the board, and generally just a bit more realistic gameplay, IMHO. Most of this work is already done, and I should be reaching the first complete alpha release of this within days, followed by a beta for play testing in about a week. Because this will be the most dramatic change, I really want to be certain on the gameplay balance before I release it.

    Do you have a favourite teams that you are super-opinionated about? If you are interested in reviewing what I have put together for that team, particularly its lines, please feel free to drop be a PM. I will share with you what I have (spreadsheet) for that team, along with the consideration parameters, and I will seriously consider any feedback you have.

    Version 4.0 should be out within weeks. I hope that you will come back and try this out once it is ready!  Furthermore, I intend to put out a final version for the season somewhere between the trade deadline and the playoffs. 

    cheers,

    -Adam

     

    p.s. Furthermore, beyond this, work has started on re-doing all the on-ice logos to better match the perspective of the ice, based on the Rewind version assets. That work won't be a part of the next release, but will almost certainly be released not too far behind. And then there will be at least one more round of refinements, bug fixes, etc…

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    On 1/4/2022 at 12:48 AM, inthequantum said:

    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!

    FYI, I am looking forward to your feedback when version 4.0 come out. Switching to the new rating system has allowed be to better differentiate players, and McKinnon is one of the top players that I think has benefited from this. When I out out v4, I will also upload the ratings in a CSV for anyone who wants to review them, debate them, whatever.

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    On 2/5/2022 at 1:18 PM, brianski71 said:

    Hey, man!  Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  Sorry I missed it when you sent it.  I kind of pop in and out of here through the season and I missed what you sent back.  As most adults, I've always got something going on that keeps me away from old school games way more than I wish!  Sparing you my life story, I'm at home recovering from a surgery, so I fired up the NHL 94 ROMs for a few days here.  Your ROM still plays awesome.  The small graphical changes make a huge difference! 

    As far as the Pens go, I think it's interesting that the "official" EA NHL Rewind game actually has the opposite of what you have.  Not that either of you are right or wrong, it's just interesting that it's opposite.  I guess it just goes to show how annoying it can be to jam a team with jerseys that don't fit the template at all into said template, even if their home and away jerseys are a simple black/white color swap.  

    To me, the way you have it in the ROM reminds me much more of the new (old) third jerseys with Pittsburgh down the front.  Those jerseys are primarily black with just gold and white stripes at the bottom.  The home and away jerseys (to me, at least) are a pretty even black or white and gold split.  The problem is that the shoulders of the actual jerseys are black or white and the sleeve is gold, where the game makes the sleeve match the jersey body and gives you the option to change the shoulder color.  To me, I've always preferred the shoulder patches on the game being gold on both jerseys, since this pretty much splits the color of the jersey evenly between black or white and gold, which is essentially what you get with the real jerseys, even though the striping pattern is impossible to match.

    At the end of the day, it's your ROM and your awesome project!  I'm just adding my two cents.  Either way, it's light years better than the original NHL 94 uniforms.  In the 93-94 season, the Pens white jerseys actually had gold shoulders and would have fit nearly perfectly into the template.  On the game, they left out the gold shoulders on the white jerseys and inexplicably added red(!?), while the black ones had gold shoulders on the game, but in real life the away jerseys were the current alternate jerseys, without any gold on the shoulders at all.  Stranger yet, the SNES version, which had a different jersey template, nailed the Pens jerseys with 100% accuracy, even with the different home and away jerseys.  

    IMG_0640.JPG

    No worries, I totally get that. Just because I am obsessed with my project here, I don't expect you to be. :)

    When I go to wrap up the new centre-ice logos, I will review what you wrote here. One of my concerns, that I didn't;t mention before, is making sure that Boston and Pittsburgh are adequately differentiated. I know it's not a real concern, since they never play eachother both wearing road jerseys, but an internal mandate of mine. Anyway, I will review what you wrote, and check out how they did it in Rewind before I finalize that element. Thanks again for sharing!

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    • 1 month later...

    Hi folks! Getting some PMs about a trade-deadline version. Good news! It's already done. The last detail was awaiting the league's decision on Dadanov. However, it won't be released for at least a day or two or three, as this is the big 4.0 update, with all new, well, lots of things, and I am still wrapping up all new photos. If you want to play test the beta with all new rosters, ratings, lineups, etc., just send me a PM.

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    1 minute ago, Bobr9988 said:

    everything is cool, each rum is just a bomb, but in Arizona the Russian goalkeeper Ivan prosvetov is correct and you have prosvotov .

    Oh geeze, sorry about that! Will correct it, and re-upload it in just a minute…

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    • AdamCatalyst changed the title to NHL 94: 2022 Edition v5.4 by Adam Catalyst

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