AdamCatalyst Posted December 27, 2021 Report Share Posted December 27, 2021 (edited) NHL 94: 2022 Edition by Adam Catalyst v6.0 updated 2022 06 12 Hello there friendly strangers, After seven months of work, here is the final major 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. Here are the top reasons you might want to give it a try… Gameplay 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, fewer penalty calls, custom energy depletion and recovery rates balanced for more realistic line rolling and shift length, and player ratings that have been carefully calibrated for more realistic gameplay on the ice. Furthermore, two bonus patches have been included, so you can easily modify the more realistic ROM with a Rookie mode for easier to score goals, or an Arcade mode for those who want faster gameplay and less realism. Rosters, Ratings & Lines Up-to-date custom rosters, ratings, and lines, built on smozoma’s 16-point player rating system (the original game was limited to a 7-point system), all based on extensive 2021-2022 regular season player data. Graphical Refinements The 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 so much more Of course there is the weight bug fix, but also a custom weight scale, less variance in Hot/Cold rating randomization, immediate goalie control by pressing the (Y) button with a six-button controller (clockwise), a custom 3-Stars of the Game rating formula, 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 v6.0 - 2022 06 12.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 revised. Graphics: High Score Production revised. 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. Above Top Row: The original face-off animations had a linesman that was looking in the wrong direction (Top Left & Centre), freakishly long & thin stick blades, seemingly random black pixels on some frames (Top Left, Calgary uniforms), 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, re-drew the sticks to be more realistically shaped & taped, and perhaps most importantly, turned the Linesman’s head to face the right direction. We all need to do our part to improve the state of NHL officiating. Main Menu Settings: Default teams set for the 2022 Stanley Cup finals. 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. 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 slightly refined. Arena Names: All up-to-date as of January 2022. Pre-Game: Match-up position names have been simplified to “Forward,” “Defence,” & “Goaltender.” 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. 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. Above Right: The Scoreboard Banners have been re-coloured using dithering to better approximate the official team colours. Furthermore, Banner lettering and Scores were made brighter, a modern NHL logo was 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. 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 audience (or any players in the penalty box.) I loved slapshot67’s adaptation of the SNES 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. 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 added in. Graphics: Horizontal seam in the glass has been erased. 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) Above Right: It's 2022, far past time to move to composite sticks. This image shows an example of how all players were coloured to emphasize a consistent sense of depth, with more realistic shadows and highlights. In-Play Sprites: - 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 with demo play 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) 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 his superlative work. Rosters Rosters & Lines: Updated based on aggregate 2022 regular season player usage data. Rosters & Lines: 800 total players have been included, 25 players per team (14F, 8D, & 3G). 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) Above: Here are the top sixteen players rated a 90 or over. If you don’t see your favourite player here, I guarantee I rated them an 89! Gameplay Controls: Goalie control can now be accessed immediately by pressing the (Y) button with a six-button controller. (clockwise) 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 have been balanced to reduce the penalty rate from the original, and approximate the real body checking and penalty rates of each team in the 2022 season. 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. Above: The 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, drawing more realistic shadows on the players arms and back as they move, setting consistent mouth colours with a more realistic “chirping”, and refining the coach to match the other sprites a bit better, with a more realistic shadow too. Above (Botton Left): 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. The Sauce’s excellent ROM is shown here for relative comparison only, no criticism implied of his inspiring work. 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. Text: "Cross Check," "Face-Off," and "Fight Instigator" renamed to "Cross-check," "Face-off," and "Instigator" as per the official NHL rulebook. 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: Instant Replay controls graphic revised. (author unknown) Graphics: Custom Stars of the Game icon and revised typesetting. Above: From Left to Right, various 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. 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 for greater visibility. 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 Gameplay: An optional Arcade Mode patch has been included, for those who prefer faster action. Gameplay: An optional Rookie Mode patch has been included, for those who are still learning how to outsmart the CPU. Artwork: 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. 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… Gameplay: Reduce the rebound rate of the puck to be way less bouncy. Gameplay: Enable energy Recovery for players sitting in the penalty box. Line-Changes: Enable line changes to be initiated without possession of the puck, preferably with a dedicated button. Gameplay: Improve logic for how icings and offsides are calculated to use puck position instead of player position. Gameplay: Prevent the goaltenders from skating into the trapezoid areas. Sprites: Redraw Sideboards Referee to better match the art style of everything else (requires “de-compressing” shared tiles.) Gameplay: Program the CPU to pull the goalie when trailing by 1–2 goals (currently only pulls with a two goal deficit). Gameplay: Reduce the energy depletion rate for Speed Bursts. Gameplay: Increase the amount of CPU Body-Checking without increasing the amount of penalties called. 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.” Penalties: Re-name “Roughing” period that causes an injury 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 player sprite shading details that have been lost from the original. If you were able to help me implement any of these changes, please let me know! 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. Tony H. Stopping & Crossover Rate logic. 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. The ZIP contains the ROM, release note, and optional patches. NHL 94 [h] 2022 AC v6.0 - 2022 06 12.zip Edited March 18 by AdamCatalyst Minor screen-cap updates. 7 3 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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