A screen shot from the EA Sports video game NHL 18 is seen in this handout image. EA Sports.

‘NHL 18’ video game looks to reflect young guns

Made-in-Vancouver hockey title looks to capture skills of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and more

A new generation of talent led by Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine has not only energized the NHL, it has forced video game developers to up their game.

“NHL 18,” the made-in-Vancouver hockey title out Friday, features an array of slick moves including one-handed dekes, puck flips and between-the-leg shots and passes.

“Our goal this year is really to capture the speed, the skill and the creativity that you’re seeing in the new NHL with all those young player coming in,” game producer Sean Ramjagsingh said in an interview.

It’s not just a tribute to the young guns. Ramjagsingh reels off a list of moves including the (Peter) Forsberg tuck and the (Pavel) Datsyuk flip.

In the past, Ramjagsingh had been reluctant to include such glitz because he felt hard-core fans would think they were too rare or arcade-like. The new generation of player has changed that.

“But now you’re seeing those kids pulling those moves off at high speeds strategically to create new passing lanes or to get shots off in traffic. So they’re part of the sport, you see them every night as part of the highlight package.

“So for us, we saw that and used it as an inspiration for ‘NHL 18,’ bringing those moves into the game.”

Ramjagsingh says the special moves are “easy to learn how to pull off, but difficult to master in the right situation at game-speed.”

“NHL 18” features the fledgling Las Vegas Golden Knights. You can play as the real team or build it from scratch yourself. You can also create a 32nd team in another city — your own expansion franchise, complete with logo, name and everything else associated with a new franchise.

The arrival of the Knights forced developers to revamp some of the game framework.

“The way our game was developed, the code itself wasn’t meant to handle more than 30 teams,” said Ramjagsingh, who has been with EA Sports since 2000 and was first involved with the franchise with ‘NHL 09.’

Developers headed down to Las Vegas to take pictures of T-Mobile Arena from just about every angle to be able to recreate the Knights’ new home. Edmonton’s Rogers Place had previously got the same treatment.

“For us building an arena in the game is almost like building an arena in real life, in terms of the way that we build it — looking at the schematics of it, building the geometry out and then putting the textures in to make it look (like) the right colour, the right fabrics inside the arena.”

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Okanagan nurse assists Rohingya refugees

Crystal Grymaloski volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse disaster response mission in Bangladesh

Jaws of life used to extricate injured motorist

A collision took place on Highway 97B near the Countryside Mobile Home Park late Monday afternoon.

Robbery suspect charged

A 32-year-old man faces three charges in connection with robbery attempt at Vernon convenience store

Funtastic announces co-managers

Board members Diana Williamson and Akbal Mund step down to become managers; Rob Ellis new president

Science Centre hosts Snake Charming session

Huffman wants us to remember that reptiles are our friends

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Vernon missionary recounts last trip to the “Pearl of Africa”

After seeing Uganda, Winston Churchill called it the Pearl of Africa.

Most Read