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NHL 94: 2023 Edition by Adam Catalyst


AdamCatalyst

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8 hours ago, smozoma said:

FYI people buying repro carts even knowing they can get it free for emulators

https://www.facebook.com/groups/nhl94/posts/10159453453287844/

Maybe the modders here might want to work together to source a cartridge printer who can make some batches of these things to sell for less than the ~USD$50 (incl shipping)  or at least get a cut.

Or make a deal with the printer so they send you a cut

Well, fellow modders, let's talk if this interests you. I can go either way. My $0.02…

- It bothers me to see repro carts made that I haven't specced the label, cartridge etc. We put so much work in to this stuff, it sucks not to be the one to finish the package. I've actually thought of posting a cartridge label, so at least the bootleggers would use that rather than some screen-cap.

- I personally don't want to cross the line of re-selling others intellectual property. In my mind, the ROMs we make are for users who have already paid their dues to EA etc. I can't ethically accept a penny for EA's copyrighted material, nor do I have any kind of licence whatsoever with the NHL or NHLPA whose assets I am using.

- I don't want to see users over-paying. I have *no* idea what fair market value is for repro carts, but if I could offer them for less, I would.

- If there was a quick and easy way to provide the artwork & ROM to an on demand manufacturer who spit them out at a fair price, I'd be all for that. I personally don't want the hassle of dealing with any of those logistics, nor do I want the ethical (and potentially legal) complication of profiting from someone else's IP.

Please feel free to disagree with me on any of this! Lot's of grey areas with this stuff. Just because I think a certain thing is "ethical" it doesn't mean that I think a contrary opinion or point of view is in any way "unethical."

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4 minutes ago, BlueJacketRebel said:

So i'm curious about something, you can sell the original NHL 94 for whatever someone will pay2222 for it but once you mod NHL 94, you can't make any money off of it?

Once money gets involved, things get weird. Adam did a ton of work on this ROM, but it's also built on top of the work of many other people - several of my own hacks are in there. How do you divide up the credit and the money? Will people start arguments about "you used my hack in your hack, you owe me money" etc...

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32 minutes ago, AdamCatalyst said:

Well, fellow modders, let's talk if this interests you. I can go either way. My $0.02…

- It bothers me to see repro carts made that I haven't specced the label, cartridge etc. We put so much work in to this stuff, it sucks not to be the one to finish the package. I've actually thought of posting a cartridge label, so at least the bootleggers would use that rather than some screen-cap.

- I personally don't want to cross the line of re-selling others intellectual property. In my mind, the ROMs we make are for users who have already paid their dues to EA etc. I can't ethically accept a penny for EA's copyrighted material, nor do I have any kind of licence whatsoever with the NHL or NHLPA whose assets I am using.

- I don't want to see users over-paying. I have *no* idea what fair market value is for repro carts, but if I could offer them for less, I would.

- If there was a quick and easy way to provide the artwork & ROM to an on demand manufacturer who spit them out at a fair price, I'd be all for that. I personally don't want the hassle of dealing with any of those logistics, nor do I want the ethical (and potentially legal) complication of profiting from someone else's IP.

Please feel free to disagree with me on any of this! Lot's of grey areas with this stuff. Just because I think a certain thing is "ethical" it doesn't mean that I think a contrary opinion or point of view is in any way "unethical."

Ah yes, I forgot about the problems that selling carts while associated with this site could potentially bring...

The guy on facebook was saying people on Etsy sell them for $25 while the more official-/stable-seeming site he used sells them for $38, and once shipping was added in, it was about $50.

I'll continue recommending people by EverDrives instead..

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9 minutes ago, smozoma said:

Once money gets involved, things get weird. Adam did a ton of work on this ROM, but it's also built on top of the work of many other people - several of my own hacks are in there. How do you divide up the credit and the money? Will people start arguments about "you used my hack in your hack, you owe me money" etc...

With that said going forth, the rom hackers should collaborate and do a community rom each year. Set it as long as someone does work on the rom they get an equal share of whatever is made. Make sure everyone agrees to it going in.

Edited by BlueJacketRebel
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23 minutes ago, BlueJacketRebel said:

So i'm curious about something, you can sell the original NHL 94 for whatever someone will pay2222 for it but once you mod NHL 94, you can't make any money off of it?

 

No prob, I think I can explain.

I don't know what the original end user agreement for EA cartridges was, but I suspect that by purchasing a physical cartridge the consumer owned a license to play the game from that cartridge. If the consumer sold that cartridge, presumably the license was sold with it. Whether or not the license explicitly stated that, it's how such products were treated back in the day, before the era of one-time or non-transferable licenses digital content. However, I'm sure that the consumer were never in any way licensed to dump the code off of the cartridge, and resell any portions of it.

Typically ROM hacks are distributed as patches, without the original game code, to circumvent this potential legal problem. That way the end user provides the original ROM, and then modifies it with the Modders hack. However, in the case of my ROM hacks, I'm integrating unlicensed material from both the NHL & NHLPA, which would mean that even just the hack portion of my ROM doesn't circumvent the legal issues.

Copyright violations are rampant, and usually the copyright holder doesn't bother to issue a case and desist because it doesn't appear to be reducing potential income streams in a significant way. Furthermore savvy publishers know that some copyright violations can actually increase interest in a product, and some legal actions can cause a backlash against a brand. I personally believe that someone employed by EA to monitor violations of their intellectual property is aware of this site, but unless the copyright violations are being done at an alarming scale, or if they are being monetized, it's in everyone's best interest just to let people be.

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31 minutes ago, smozoma said:

Once money gets involved, things get weird. Adam did a ton of work on this ROM, but it's also built on top of the work of many other people - several of my own hacks are in there. How do you divide up the credit and the money? Will people start arguments about "you used my hack in your hack, you owe me money" etc...

Introducing money would be a great way to end some beautiful friendships, co-operation & collaboration amongst Internet strangers. :)

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43 minutes ago, AdamCatalyst said:

 

No prob, I think I can explain.

I don't know what the original end user agreement for EA cartridges was, but I suspect that by purchasing a physical cartridge the consumer owned a license to play the game from that cartridge. If the consumer sold that cartridge, presumably the license was sold with it. Whether or not the license explicitly stated that, it's how such products were treated back in the day, before the era of one-time or non-transferable licenses digital content. However, I'm sure that the consumer were never in any way licensed to dump the code off of the cartridge, and resell any portions of it.

Typically ROM hacks are distributed as patches, without the original game code, to circumvent this potential legal problem. That way the end user provides the original ROM, and then modifies it with the Modders hack. However, in the case of my ROM hacks, I'm integrating unlicensed material from both the NHL & NHLPA, which would mean that even just the hack portion of my ROM doesn't circumvent the legal issues.

Copyright violations are rampant, and usually the copyright holder doesn't bother to issue a case and desist because it doesn't appear to be reducing potential income streams in a significant way. Furthermore savvy publishers know that some copyright violations can actually increase interest in a product, and some legal actions can cause a backlash against a brand. I personally believe that someone employed by EA to monitor violations of their intellectual property is aware of this site, but unless the copyright violations are being done at an alarming scale, or if they are being monetized, it's in everyone's best interest just to let people be.

Didnt EA use the weight bug check for NHL 94 Rewind? I thought I read that somewhere.

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7 hours ago, BlueJacketRebel said:

Didnt EA use the weight bug check for NHL 94 Rewind? I thought I read that somewhere.

I have no idea. But it is possible to write the same piece of code as someone else without infringing on their copyright. As long as it was arrived at without having reverse-engineering knowledge of the “original.” This is sometimes referred to as “clean room” development. Furthermore, for a copyright to be enforceable, there has to be a certain degree of novelty in the work. For instance, fixing a typo would not be novel. And in some cases, there may be a very limited amount of ways that something could possibly be written, eschewing the possibility of novelty. Some bug fixes would fall into that category.

Please take everything I say with a grain of l salt. I’m not a lawyer, but was legally required to have basic copyright competence for my professional certification. But that was many moons ago, and I’m too lazy to go looking things up. 

I was actually under the impression, that NHL94 for SEGA CD had already fixed the weight bug?
 

Edited by AdamCatalyst
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Rewind appears to use my weight bug fix and true ratings fix. They credited me in the credits. It's their game, I appreciate the shout-out.

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4 minutes ago, smozoma said:

Rewind appears to use my weight bug fix and true ratings fix. They credited me in the credits. It's their game, I appreciate the shout-out.

I didn't know that, kind of awesome!

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On 5/19/2023 at 10:27 PM, BlueJacketRebel said:

With that said going forth, the rom hackers should collaborate and do a community rom each year. Set it as long as someone does work on the rom they get an equal share of whatever is made. Make sure everyone agrees to it going in.

I'd be more inclined to see a site store, even if it was just an Ebay store, where anyone could order anyone's ROM burnt to a cartridge. Any proceeds could go back into the site server costs, or whatever. But I certainly wouldn't want to be the one to manage such a thing, and I kind of doubt anyone really would want to do it. I'm already doing what I want to be doing. :)

 

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On 5/20/2023 at 2:04 PM, smozoma said:

Rewind appears to use my weight bug fix and true ratings fix. They credited me in the credits. It's their game, I appreciate the shout-out.

i hope you're getting royalties for fixing their game for them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made an account just so I could hop into this thread and offer heartfelt thanks on behalf of myself and my son. We have spent hundreds of joyous hours together recreating this season's greatest (and for our beloved Sharks, most embarrassing) contests through your mod, AdamCatalyst. It has been a wonderful way to connect with my nine-year-old hockey fan and has rekindled my love of the game, both on the ice and in the cartridge slot.

Using a flashkitMD clone from AliExpress we even created an NHL '23 cartridge to play on our Genesis. Sitting side-by-side in front of our '94 Panasonic broadcast preview monitor is our favorite way to play. I'm happy to share the custom label we made and recommendations for making your own. (For personal use only, of course. Adding to the discussion above, a commercial release would be inadvisable without permission from all rightsholders.)

nhl2023_cart.jpg

Edited by macifom
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My son just reminded me that we may have discovered an issue, at least when playing on real hardware with our custom cart. You can setup a playoffs run in 'Two - Teammates' mode but after winning the first game, the setting switches to 'Two - Head to Head' and cannot be changed. Haven't tested this in emulator. Would it great to be able to win the playoffs together!

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12 hours ago, macifom said:

I made an account just so I could hop into this thread and offer heartfelt thanks on behalf of myself and my son. We have spent hundreds of joyous hours together recreating this season's greatest (and for our beloved Sharks, most embarrassing) contests through your mod, AdamCatalyst. It has been a wonderful way to connect with my nine-year-old hockey fan and has rekindled my love of the game, both on the ice and in the cartridge slot.

Using a flashkitMD clone from AliExpress we even created an NHL '23 cartridge to play on our Genesis. Sitting side-by-side in front of our '94 Panasonic broadcast preview monitor is our favorite way to play. I'm happy to share the custom label we made and recommendations for making your own. (For personal use only, of course. Adding to the discussion above, a commercial release would be inadvisable without permission from all rightsholders.)

nhl2023_cart.jpg

Thank-you so much for taking the time to share all this. You made my day. Seriously, thank-you.

This whole project started as I was preparing a retro video game collection for my brother-in-law. He'd recently been through cancer twice, and I wanted to do something special for him. I stumbled across this place, and was going to give him a custom version of Sauce's 2022 hack, but I would learn to insert the Austin Matthews photo from the real EA22 on the splash screen. Once thing led to another…

My brother-in-law's health recovered rapidly, he was (and is) back to work, but his son ended up getting into my '22 hack instead! I still haven't had the chance to visit with them and to play a match with my nephew, but your story reminds me that I need to make that a priority.

As for the bug you reported, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I know *nothing* about that one, in fact, I've never knowingly messed with that subsystem, and don't have much of a concept of how it works. Busy at the moment, but will definitely take a look. Will need to compare it to some ROMs that don't have that problem, to see if I can isolate what is happening. If I do get that fixed I will PM you, so if you set up an email reminder on PMs you can get a notice.

Thanks again for writing.

-Adam

 

p.s. This work is based on countless hours of work by this community, and many individuals selflessly sharing their findings and methods. A hat tip to all my fellow modders and the supporting community, who's work is embedded in all our ROMs.

 

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16 hours ago, macifom said:

My son just reminded me that we may have discovered an issue, at least when playing on real hardware with our custom cart. You can setup a playoffs run in 'Two - Teammates' mode but after winning the first game, the setting switches to 'Two - Head to Head' and cannot be changed. Haven't tested this in emulator. Would it great to be able to win the playoffs together!

I think it's a bug in the original game. Here is someone asking about it a year ago on reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/NHL94/comments/uuekgi/nhl_94_sega_genesis_help_needed/

 

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22 hours ago, smozoma said:

I think it's a bug in the original game. Here is someone asking about it a year ago on reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/NHL94/comments/uuekgi/nhl_94_sega_genesis_help_needed/

 

Oh man! That's disheartening. If only they'd spend 29 years doing play testing like we do.

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On 6/4/2023 at 12:40 PM, smozoma said:

I think it's a bug in the original game. Here is someone asking about it a year ago on reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/NHL94/comments/uuekgi/nhl_94_sega_genesis_help_needed/

 

You're correct. It is a bug in the original (and thus any subsequent mods). A couple times a year, my friend and I would play as teammates, and sometimes totally forget that when we won the 1st playoff game, it would switch to head-to-head. So we would just start over, and cycle thru the team that we thought would advance, and just keep playing that way for each round.
It's too bad, because it is a cool mode instead of always competing against each other.

Edited by Brad1981
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a bit of experience making repros so was able to put together a physical edition for myself without too much trouble. If anyone needs tips on making their own cart shoot me a message 😊

NHL2.jpg

NHL1.jpg

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On 6/28/2023 at 4:03 PM, Genesis Does said:

I have a bit of experience making repros so was able to put together a physical edition for myself without too much trouble. If anyone needs tips on making their own cart shoot me a message 😊

NHL2.jpg

NHL1.jpg

What's the process on making these and how much does it cost? (I'd rather people make their own than get them from random sellers who pretend they are official/rare and charge a premium). If you can post a guide here (instead of DMs), it will benefit everyone down the line :).

(I can move the guide to a new topic so it's easy to find)

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Hey AC,

I don't envy you at all on days like this. I had to turn off twitter notifications for all the cap friendly postings about signings. Thankfully most are minor league signings but I've seen some good one too. 

Good luck on next years ROM. Thanks for doing it.

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On 7/2/2023 at 8:46 PM, BlueJacketRebel said:

Hey AC,

I don't envy you at all on days like this. I had to turn off twitter notifications for all the cap friendly postings about signings. Thankfully most are minor league signings but I've seen some good one too. 

Good luck on next years ROM. Thanks for doing it.

lol. Yup, I’m not even trying! Last year I tried to keep pace, and ended up wasting so much time making changes upon changes. Will buckle down on rosters around training camp time. On a sabbatical for now. :)

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On 6/28/2023 at 4:03 PM, Genesis Does said:

I have a bit of experience making repros so was able to put together a physical edition for myself without too much trouble. If anyone needs tips on making their own cart shoot me a message 😊

NHL2.jpg

NHL1.jpg

I second what Smoz said. I don’t have any specific questions, but I would definitely be interested in knowing more. Would be great full of you’d be willing to put together a post. 

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