NHL 09, PC and PS2

Publisher: EA Sports
Credited: Yes

http://www.mobygames.com/game/nhl-09

NHL 09 is one of the first projects I worked on. Though this didn’t stop me from jumping into the project and getting involved in some of the more intensive areas of development.

Responsibilities:

Cameras – I worked on implementing new camera handlers and scripts for existing game play modes as well as the new Be A Pro gameplay introduced into NHL’09. Some of the Be A Pro scripts were so well received by EA that they were brought back to EA’s internal next gen development team as well.

TRC – I spent several week sorting out TRC violations picked up by EA’s testing team for the PS2 platform.

Gameplay – One of the more interesting aspects of development was modifying some of the controller input and player handling for the new Be A Pro game mode. Gameplay has to be changed to lock players to a single model on the ice, special care was required if that player received a penalty or subbed out.

Optimizing – We had some frame rate issues with a specific camera view that generally allowed the full ice surface to be visible at any one time during gameplay. Specifically on the PS2. I profiled and optimized some of the on ice “scratching” effects during these camera modes so as to reduce the processing overhead and hit the require 30fps target for release.

Multithreading – A couple of bugs were brought forward from previous years involving some bad locking technique on our asynch file loading. The result is that if you held the down button on the team or jersey selections screen you would eventually deadlock the PC and PS2. A small bug in the file loader caused the required mutex call to synchronize the file loading queue to be optimized out on release builds due to an improperly implemented RAII attempt.

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