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NHL 94: 2023 Edition by Adam Catalyst


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NHL 94: 2023 Edition by Adam Catalyst


v1.1 updated 2023 01 17

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Hello there friendly strangers,

Here is the latest version of my 2023 ROM. The goal is to try to provide the most refined and realistic up-to-date versions of this all-time classic game. I'm thrilled to be able to share this with you. Here are the top reasons you might want to give it a try…

image.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, fewer penalty calls, custom energy depletion and recovery rates (balanced for more realistic line rolling and shift length), and player rating distribution curves that have been carefully calibrated for more realistic gameplay on the ice.

image.pngRosters, Ratings & Lines

Eight hundred players obsessively rated, up-to-date rosters, and realistic lines, based on extensive 2021-2023 regular season player data and analytics. All of this is built on top of smozoma's 16-point player rating system (the original game was limited to a 7-point system).

image.pngGraphical 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 is to bring the most graphically refined version of NHL 94 ever made, while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original art direction.

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, 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…

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


-Adam


p.s. I'd be flattered if you wanted to lift any of my mods for your own ROM. Anyone who contributes to making hacks or ROMs for nhl94.com is welcome to PM me, and I will happily send you source files, including Tile Molester bookmarks and palettes.

 


 

Current Version 

NHL 94 [h] 2023 AC v1.1 - 2023 01 17.zip


Previous Versions 

NHL 94 [h] 2023 AC v1.0 - 2023 01 10.zip

 

Box Art
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Features & Modifications

Title Screens

  • Graphics: EA logo refined.
  • Graphics: High Score Production screen restored to be closer to the original.
  • Graphics: Splash image updated with my personal 2022 MVP vote.
  • Graphics: Masthead re-drawn to match EA’s current NHL23 lettering.
  • Title screen Logos removed.
  • Credits re-coloured & edited.

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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 the 2022 seedings.
  • Settings: 7-minute period length option added.
  • Settings: Line Changes default set to on “On,” because that's how I roll.
  • Graphics: Team Logos updated, with up-to-date 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 official NHL headshot images, custom 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.

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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 2023. Arizona State welcomes you to Mullet Arena.
  • Pre-Game: Match-up position names have been simplified for better accuracy to “Forward,” “Defence,” & “Goaltender.”

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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 custom drawn NHL logo.
  • Graphics: Side-boards Score-Keepers revised.
  • Sprites: Zamboni driver revised to better match the perspective of the side-boards.

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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, 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.
 

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.
  • Graphics: The Crease's blue ice now has texturing like in the original NHL 94. No self-respecting goalie doesn't chew up their crease with their skates.
  • Graphics: Extremely minor lighting details in the original ROM that were 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: 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)

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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: - 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, because grey pixels have better puck feel, more flex, and are lighter weight.
  • Graphics: On-Ice Player Numbers changed to white for better legibility against the ice.
  • Graphics: On-Ice Player Star for Player 1 colour was changed 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 revised 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)

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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 extensive 2021–2023 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.

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Above. 192 official NHL headshots used in-game), all individually cropped and colour graded for visual balance.
 

Ratings

  • Team Ratings: Team attribute & overall ratings updated as per January 1, 2023 regular 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: ustom player ratings based on a mix of real-world data and gameplay oriented parameters. The goal is 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 95 for McDavid, before Hot/Cold variance.
  • Player Ratings: Weight scale modification patch. (smozoma)
  • Player Ratings: Edit lines bug fix patch. (smozoma)

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Above: Here are the top fourteen 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 2022–2023 season.
  • Gameplay: Hot & Cold range of variance has been reduced by ~25%, and the frequency of variance has been reduced by ~50%.
  • 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: Goaltenders have slightly more lateral movement range now (without the puck).
  • 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.

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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, 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 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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Graphics: "Hockey Night" Banner slightly re-coloured because the previous colouration, was… I just didn't like it.
  • 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.

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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

  • Artwork: Matching box art was made! The artwork is high resolution, print quality, and stays very close to the original North American box design. It is available to the top of this first.

 
 


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 research or  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

  • Goalie Control with a six-button controller.
  • 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.
     

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.

 


     

    I hope you enjoy!

     

    NHL 94 [h] 2023 AC v1.1 - 2023 01 17.zip

     

    Edited by AdamCatalyst
    Updated for version 1.1
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    Change-Log


    2023 01 17 - Version 1.1

    Weight Watchers Edition

    Player weights and catching/shooting hand are now using an automated database lookup (NHL.com with EliteProspects as a fallback) to significantly reduce human error and more easily keep up-to-date. Hundreds of other minor updates were made, mainly to player ratings.
     

    Title Screen

    • Graphics: Splash image minor refinement.
    • Graphics: Masthead refined for better visual balance.
    • Credits: Credits copyright year updated.
       

    Rosters & Lines, & Ratings

    • Rosters: BUF, CGY & EDM updated.
    • Lines: COL & DET updated.
    • Lines: COL line order fixed.
    • Rosters: Names updated for Chris Tanev & Nicholas Paul as per NHL media guide.
    • Rosters: Jersey Numbers corrected for 12 players.
    • Ratings: Catching/Shooting hand corrected for 2 players.
    • Ratings: Weight updated for ~250 players.
    • Ratings: Miscellaneous minor updates to hundreds of players.

    image.gif

     


    2023 01 10 - Version 1.0

    Initial Public Release

    This first version for 2023 is built on top of the final released 2022 ROM (2022 06 12 - Version 6.0). All changes in that version are intact, with the following updates:
     

    Title Screens

    • Graphics: New Splash Image.
    • Graphics: Masthead updated.
    • Credit sequence updated.
       

    Main Menu

    • Graphic: EDM & SJS banner & logos updated.
    • Graphics: Player Photos added for new players, and some old photos have had minor improvements.
       

    Pre-Game

    • Graphics: Playoff banner colours adjusted for SJS.
    • Arena Names: Arizona has been updated.
       

    In-Play

    • Graphics: CAR Home uniforms, and on-ice logo updated.
    • Graphics: EDM Home & Away uniforms, and on-ice logo updated.
    • Graphics: SJS Home & Away uniforms, and on-ice logo updated.
    • Gameplay: Goalies given very slightly more lateral room to move without the puck.
       

    Rosters & Lines, & Rating

    • Team Ratings: Team attribute & overall ratings updated as per January 1 2023 season data.
    • Rosters & Lines: Every team is up-to-date as of January 8, 2023.
    • Ratings: All skater ratings reviewed, and most, if not all players have been revised.
    • Rating: New statistical model for goaltender ratings.
    • Ratings: New statistical model to set CPU behaviour for shot attempts, body checks, and penalized infractions.


    Extras

    • Matching box art was made.

     

    Edited by AdamCatalyst
    Updated for version 1.1
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    Yes!

    I said it with your 2022 release as well - but this is the closest we will ever get to a remaster because of how perfectly fine tuned everything is. Amazing work!

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    2 hours ago, profit90 said:

    Your center ice logos are fantastic..... Nice and wide (big). Very nice!

    Thanks! In truth, they were adapted from NHL Rewind, which was a suggestion from @kingraph. Some were just retouched, some were heavily modified, some were re-drawn form scratch, etc.

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    19 minutes ago, Jpark said:

    Yes dude! I'm very happy to see you come back @AdamCatalyst! Seamor took the words out of my mouth. I love all the work and effort you put into your roms. 

    Thanks man! I trust that you'll keep a watchful eye on Seattle, and let me know if you see room for improvement, just like before. :)

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    Great hack! Its awesome well done!

    I'm sorry but I just came across a weird bug. I was watching a demo game and after a while all the players just sort of stopped playing and were just standing there occasionally moving a couple of steps back and forth. The crowd animations and clock timer continued to tick down. After the period, the next period began normally and the game continued.

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    If he made any tweaks to the cpu defensive awareness, that may happen. EA has this thing called "step-up logic" that they've used in their AI parameters for decades.

    Basically, if a player moves within a certain range of another player they will engage, but if you alter those values to affect the distance between them, it creates dead spots. Offensive players won't move forward, defensive players won't attack. It's a tricky little piece of code to get the balance right.

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    7 hours ago, Superegz said:

    Great hack! Its awesome well done!

    I'm sorry but I just came across a weird bug. I was watching a demo game and after a while all the players just sort of stopped playing and were just standing there occasionally moving a couple of steps back and forth. The crowd animations and clock timer continued to tick down. After the period, the next period began normally and the game continued.

    Thanks for letting me know! I've run hundreds of simulation games, and I've seen emulators bug out and ROM crashes, but never anything like that. (The known list of bugs for this game is epic and hilarious: https://www.nhl94.com/html/bugs.php ) It makes me think something unintended is happening. Can you give me any other details at all, such as the teams you used, and literally everything you can remember about the settings used for the demo? I want to try and see if I can load up a whole mess of identical demo games, and get it to happen myself. Will probably be the most informative to get to the bottom of it.

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    2 hours ago, Drezz said:

    If he made any tweaks to the cpu defensive awareness, that may happen. EA has this thing called "step-up logic" that they've used in their AI parameters for decades.

    Basically, if a player moves within a certain range of another player they will engage, but if you alter those values to affect the distance between them, it creates dead spots. Offensive players won't move forward, defensive players won't attack. It's a tricky little piece of code to get the balance right.

    OH! Yes, that sounds perfectly logical, the exact combination of players on the ice, their awarenesses, the puck position etc. could all lead to an AI stalemate. Thanks for the insight! I assume this is caused by everyone's awareness being too low to see eachother, is that right? In any case, can you tell me any more, or point me to a relevant forum thread?

    EDIT

    Just reviewed the original ROM ratings distributions for Offence & Defence, and compared them to my distributions of the same. My distributions were done purposely very similar, with one major exception: the median and mode of my Forwards Defensive Awareness is significantly lower. If my understanding of what you are saying is correct, nudging this curve back to conform to the original should reduce the problem. Assuming of course this issue better, not worse, in the original.

    Edited by AdamCatalyst
    Brainstorm.
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    3 hours ago, AdamCatalyst said:

    Thanks for letting me know! I've run hundreds of simulation games, and I've seen emulators bug out and ROM crashes, but never anything like that. (The known list of bugs for this game is epic and hilarious: https://www.nhl94.com/html/bugs.php ) It makes me think something unintended is happening. Can you give me any other details at all, such as the teams you used, and literally everything you can remember about the settings used for the demo? I want to try and see if I can load up a whole mess of identical demo games, and get it to happen myself. Will probably be the most informative to get to the bottom of it.

    New Jersey and Pittsburgh. 

    I just ran another demo of the two teams (20 minute periods, penalties and line changes on) and it happened again. Here is a screenshot of the situation when they stopped playing. It's different from the 1st time.

    Screenshot_20230115-065525_MDemu.jpg

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    1 hour ago, Superegz said:

    New Jersey and Pittsburgh. 

    I just ran another demo of the two teams (20 minute periods, penalties and line changes on) and it happened again. Here is a screenshot of the situation when they stopped playing. It's different from the 1st time.

    Thanks for this!

    Was the previous game also with line changes on?

    And in your screen-cap… where is the puck?

    I'm keen to get on this tonight, but it will likely take days to fix, as I will need to adjust ratings for all skaters.

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    5 hours ago, AdamCatalyst said:

    OH! Yes, that sounds perfectly logical, the exact combination of players on the ice, their awarenesses, the puck position etc. could all lead to an AI stalemate. Thanks for the insight! I assume this is caused by everyone's awareness being too low to see eachother, is that right? In any case, can you tell me any more, or point me to a relevant forum thread?

    EDIT

    Just reviewed the original ROM ratings distributions for Offence & Defence, and compared them to my distributions of the same. My distributions were done purposely very similar, with one major exception: the median and mode of my Forwards Defensive Awareness is significantly lower. If my understanding of what you are saying is correct, nudging this curve back to conform to the original should reduce the problem. Assuming of course this issue better, not worse, in the original.

    In the 2nd gen of 3D NHL games on PC (2000-2005) when we broke open the AI, there were a bunch of label to some of the functions (stepuptimer, stepupdefault? I think) which were also found in earlier iterations of the series 95-99. The code wasn't commented but fragments of the text were still there.

    Since NHL Hockey and NHL95 on PC were similar in structure to the Genesis version, Ì wouldn't be surprised if that code made its way through every iteration... even up to now.

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    42 minutes ago, AdamCatalyst said:

    Thanks for this!

    Was the previous game also with line changes on?

    And in your screen-cap… where is the puck?

    I'm keen to get on this tonight, but it will likely take days to fix, as I will need to adjust ratings for all skaters.

    Yes. I've never actually turned line changes off.

    I think the puck is in possession of the highlighted player. I think the puck was also in possession of a player the other time but he was facing towards the camera so it was more obvious. He just stood there doing nothing.

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    55 minutes ago, Superegz said:

    Yes. I've never actually turned line changes off.

    I think the puck is in possession of the highlighted player. I think the puck was also in possession of a player the other time but he was facing towards the camera so it was more obvious. He just stood there doing nothing.

    Thanks again for all this! Very helpful. I’ll get digging ASAP. If you would be interested in testing a beta as soon as it is ready, please send me a PM. 

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    I had an idea. It's kind of ridiculous but as an added feature maybe add support for CD audio, whatever the equivalent is on genesis for MSU-1 support (MSU-MD?) so the CD audio tracks from NHL 94 on Sega CD can be used.

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    1 hour ago, George said:

    I had an idea. It's kind of ridiculous but as an added feature maybe add support for CD audio, whatever the equivalent is on genesis for MSU-1 support (MSU-MD?) so the CD audio tracks from NHL 94 on Sega CD can be used.

    Hah! Must be something in the air. Someone on Twitter suggested this to me, and sent me a bunch of resources on the matter. I just don't have time right now, and I question my technical ability to do this, but I'm not saying no. Will give it a look when I find time. In truth, I would love to port my mod to the Sega CD version, but I don't know how to do that either.

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    13 hours ago, Bobr9988 said:

    Кстати русский вратарь из нешвила аскаров провша

    Sorry, I'm not sure what you are saying about Askarov, BUT, I do know that I accidentally got his catching / shooting hand wrong. Will be fixed in the next release. After I release 1.0, I did some major refactoring of my bloated spreadsheet, and finally introduced a method to get player Hands & Weight from NHL.com, and then EliteProspects as a backup. When I did that, it corrected about a hundred players weights, and two players hands, including Askaraov.

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