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NCAA Hockey: Road to Tampa Bay (NHL 94) - 2023 NCAA ROMs - Final Update


Sean

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THIS. IS. MARCH!

Hi everyone! I have FINALLY finished the complete overhaul of the music, logos, presentation, and rinks of this ROM and I am excited to share the results. I haven't merged the regions for the superset yet, but in the spirit of the conference playoffs, here are the east and west ROMs in a .zip.

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The branding on the ROMs has changed from ESPN+ College Hockey Gameday to NCAA Hockey 23: Road to Tampa Bay. Only the ECAC and Hockey East are on ESPN+, so the fictional NCAAtv covering games felt like a much more natural fit.

Integrating Unique College Assets

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Team branding has also been shifted to embrace two unique aspects of college sports - rankings and mascots. When possible, a mascot was either emphasized or replaced a team's current logo.

NCAAtv Presentation

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The pre-game experience has been updated with new background graphics (thank you @Drezz) and new background music (thank you @smozoma, Stompin' Tom Connors, and The Alan Parsons Project). Colby Cohen replaces Barry Melrose, because the imaginary NCAAtv network wanted a college hockey alumni doing pre-game.

In-Game Experience

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The in-game experience has been changed somewhat radically - stats have been entirely recalibrated, the crowd wears team colors, center-ice logos have been turned, and organ music has been redone to have more modern songs or college arena/band classics. Lines are as accurate as possible. Line charts were taken from CHN Now app.

The most noticeable change will be stats - I did a preliminary round of ratings based on season and per-game numbers and then followed that up with a sweep through each team to ensure greats felt like greats and no one who will be an accountant in two years time plays like a future NHL legend.

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Download here!

 

NCAA Hockey 23 - Road to Tampa v1.0.zip

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Dev Notes

- There will be no outdoor patch or "expansion pods" for the foreseeable future

- I cannot watch 62 teams and make notes on 20 players. If a player you like has bad ratings, it is because he has bad counting stats. Stats were generated using counting stats put on a percentile scale and then placed in a custom range of overalls for each stat that was different across positions. A manual sweep was conducted to accommodate for injured players or D3 games. Goalies were rated manually.

 

 

Edited by Sean
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11 minutes ago, I got the puck said:

Your set is f****N BRILLANT!!! Thank you so much for these roms!!! 

Cheers!!

Thanks! I appreciate your support through the years with all my weird little projects :)

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Version 1.1 is live, with JKline's NCAA trophy mod added in.

Also, some developer's notes:

  • I enjoy playing with either 5 or 10 minute periods and line changes on - the game was tested and rated that way as well, so if you want to feel the biggest difference between a powerhouse like Michigan and an upstart like Stonehill, then take that route.
  • Penalty box player sprites could be better - I will see where I missed something before v2
  • Replacing the cup on the bracket screen does not mean that the cup is completely out - they lift it at the end of a tourney. I will also check that out and see what I'd be working with to change it. I believe it's the rink palette, which may be a challenge

Thanks for trying this out everyone - 21 downloads on V1!

 

 

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4 hours ago, seamor said:

Replacing the cup on the bracket screen does not mean that the cup is completely out - they lift it at the end of a tourney. I will also check that out and see what I'd be working with to change it. I believe it's the rink palette, which may be a challenge

Sprites for the Cup are at 6E944. They are indeed the rink palette. It's not something that I've tinkered with before since you have to get to the end just to test. Appears to be 6 groups of tiles that make up the image, 4 side views and 2 end views. If you were going to change it you would need something roughly the same shape to get it to match up with the "player lifting the Cup" pose.

Cup tiles.jpg

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Looks like Jkline beat me by 5 minutes. If you're interested, I have tinkered with it for my IIHF Roms, sadly I have not found how to change the colour palette so you're kind of stuck with silver

But the only thing I can add is that save states and two player head-to-head are your friends.

Unless of course you want to play four games in a row every time you make a tweak...

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6 minutes ago, halifax said:

I'll post on social media for maximum download count. Boom!

Thanks!
 

If it gets enjoy traction, maybe at some point there can be a short tournament like some of us Discord folks did in 2020. 

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54 minutes ago, jmastert said:

 

You have always made my dreams come true, thanks for that..

 

And you've always checked out my projects :)

Hope you're doing well!

 

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9 minutes ago, seamor said:

And you've always checked out my projects :)

Hope you're doing well!

 

i am doing good and even more  fantastic since i got ducks and now college hockey in my life. I would love to commission a project from you one day.. love supporting your work.. you have brought joy to my  life lol .. but doing good bud, hope all is good with you and hope you finish that hockey book i believe you were working on..

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13 minutes ago, jmastert said:

I would love to commission a project from you one day.. love supporting your work.. you have brought joy to my  life lol .. but doing good bud, hope all is good with you and hope you finish that hockey book i believe you were working on..

Your high praise really means a lot - but I do this simply for fun and also would never want to get paid, since I think it puts us in tricky copyright territory and if you're paying the other hackers here who are much more talented deserve it!

I ended up transitioning that book project into something else and it was pretty neat - got to talk to some NHL and media guys and practice some digital design/content stuff.

If you ever have any ROM ideas or notes on how projects like this one could be better, shoot me a PM and I can add it to the list.

Have a good one :)

Edited by seamor
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Awesome man!!! I know next to nothing about NCAA hockey (except Matthew Knies, since I'm a Leafs fan), but I know that I like your ROM. Love all the little touches with the fans in particular. The "YOU SUCK" sign made me laugh. Seriously great job!

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12 hours ago, AdamCatalyst said:

Awesome man!!! I know next to nothing about NCAA hockey (except Matthew Knies, since I'm a Leafs fan), but I know that I like your ROM. Love all the little touches with the fans in particular. The "YOU SUCK" sign made me laugh. Seriously great job!

Thanks! So much of it was because I was able to build off of your work and JKline's, I really appreciate the foundation you guys laid!

 

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1 hour ago, segathon said:

Student Section.png

love this

 

Thanks! Maybe at some point I’ll do special editions for a few teams (Michigan gets a “GO BLUE”, Penn St. gets a “WE ARE”, BC gets “SUCKS TO BU”), since it’s my favorite part of the ROM too. 

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  • Sean changed the title to College Hockey Gameday - 2023 NCAA ROM(s) - Neutral Site Rink ROMs out now!

Hey all, 2.0 is out now!

  • There is now a folder in the download with all six ROMs redone with neutral rinks
    • The advantage is set to 1/1, which in my opinion, creates good balance
    • The dasher is now yellow to look more like an NHL rink, and the ice logos is this stock logo the NCAA uses for hockey so you can make whatever tournament you want (if you want to edit it, it's in the first logo slot and uses the arena palette)
  • Hopefully can get the outdoor ROM done before December.

Edit: finding some bugs that came with the change. Marking here so I know: benches, and color of boards on ref screen.

Neutral Ice.png

 

Edited by seamor
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  • Sean changed the title to College Hockey Gameday - 2023 NCAA ROM(s) - Neutral & Outdoor Rink ROMs out now!

Hello (again). 3.0 is live now.

Outdoor Net.pngOutdoor Menu.pngSnowy Scoreboard.png

  • Outdoor Rink is set up, with lots of details I enjoy. There have been a few outdoor rink templates (including my own), but this is in my opinion the truest look. The glass is "transparent" and the lighting is ever so slightly tinted yellow to give a sunshine/stadium lighting effect.
  • The scoreboard is snowy, the splash screen is Soldier Field, and teams that I have seen wear alternate uniforms outside receive updates to wear those jerseys. A few football inspired uniforms too.
  • Bugs have been tracked and fixed.

 

Edited by seamor
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Just now, von Ozbourme said:

Have to say, I like the look of that rink.
I've been sketching ideas for my own outdor rink, but in leaning for a much older style without glass means I can't borrow that awesome transparent look.

Thanks!
 

Let me know if you need anything from me that might help with whichever path you choose. Excited to see what you do!

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Found a bigger bug in the Pool B/D version - will patch soon. Apologies to any Michigan State fans who cannot play outdoor games in this specific ROM.

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Bugs patched - sorry to those who downloaded! Typically playtest as BC vs BU, didn't expect there to be an issue with a team pointer table.

This is also the final patch for the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy!

Edited by seamor
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