Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Video Game Day

It's March 10 today which always brings in a specific video game character's name when you spell it out, and Nintendo has used that to brand March 10 as Super Mar10 Day. I have to admit that the campaign is fun in its own way, but I'm not here to talk about the Italian plumber who abuses turtles and eats magic mushrooms. Instead, it's time to come clean about some of the things I post on here and social media that have a video game flare to them.

Because I grew up playing games on 8-bit and 16-bit consoles as well as at the arcade, I have a fondness for those games whose graphics I modify regularly for my own use. That being said, I claim no ownership of said graphics. I simply modify for fun, publish them on this site or on social media, and plan for the next creation. I will also point out that I am, in no way, a graphic designer in any way. I just have some fun with images.

With that admission on this blog, video games are how a lot of people spend their free time as kids, and sports video games always get played because more than one person can play. I know I had friends who loved the NHL games as kids, and we'd play for hours on end some days, racking up goals and laughs as we battled one another for neighbourhood supremacy.

It's in this vein that I make up these graphics - fun and laughs. It's not meant to be taken seriously at all because I'm just some guy with a Twitter feed. What should be noted is that I'm trying to use these graphics to push the game to higher levels, most notably because the images involve Canada West women's hockey teams and players more often than not. If you see a video graphic here or on my social media feeds, it's likely me pushing something in women's hockey.

Of the games from which I've used graphics, the very first edition of NHL Hockey on the PC gets used a ton for lineups because I love the simplicity of the graphic, but the ability to really customize everything. They look like this.
I usually post these graphics when we get the lineups for both teams during Bisons women's hockey gamedays, but I've also used them earlier this year where I proposed lineups. As you can see, the 16-bit graphics make it fairly easy to customize the lineup screen for each and every team in Canada West, and it would be fairly easy to do for any other teams if necessary. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for lineup changes using the graphics above when the Bisons resume playing hockey.

You may notice that the banners at the top of this page and at the top of the lineup graphic above are the same. Those were adapted from NHL '94 on the Sega Genesis as that game's popularity continues today. Each NHL team used the city or region's name as opposed to the team name, so I did the same. The catch, though, is that I also used them for the gameday matchups on the recaps I write on the weekend. They look like this.
The key with these banners, however, is that I went directly to each school's website in order to grab the Pantone colours they use for their school colours so that these banners were an exact match to the school's colour scheme. I did the same for the NHL teams to see at the top of this page as well, so all of the colours seen in these graphics are as accurate as can be. Yes, I pride myself on that fact.

Some of the new graphics I've been throwing together involve an arcade game known as the NHL Open Ice 3-On-3 Challenge that was made by Midway as a hockey version of NBA Jam. Two players could be selected from any NHL team while the goalies programmed were the starters for each of those teams, and players would go mano-a-mano to outscore one's opponent. It was a fun game that highlighted some of the bigger stars in the NHL at that time.

What about big stars in Canada West women's hockey, you ask? Oh, they get the same treatment! Here's that game's screen!
These take a little more work considering the layers in the image that are needed, but the end result is that the team selection screen from NHL Open Ice looks really good with the nine Canada West teams and the players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan in their places. This new graphic will get more play next season when previewing the series against upcoming opponents for the Bisons as leading scorers or players on streaks can be featured!

I'm always looking for more fun hockey video games where I can pull a few screen grabs from and mock up something fun. If you have suggestions, feel free to leave there here. I'm always on the hunt for a fun hockey video game, so every suggestion will be vetted!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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