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AnyKeyz

Deadlines, deadlines. 

I used to respect them back in the days. But did I ever set deadlines for myself back in 2005? I remember I was coding a free game for a growing French community and members were testing new functions as we went along. I published 19 different versions of this game called GM Hockey Renaissance. I respected the deadline for GM Hockey 2009. Totally busted the one on Destinée Hockey. Yeah, that's where it started.

But Hockey Universe 2017 breaks all records. Struggling to finance it, before a gentle German giant joined me in this adventure. The new game was put on the ice for years, we worked on improving past titles, created a racing simulator, a new multiplayer hockey game and even considered a TV broadcasting sim and a mobile puzzle game along the way. We then decided to come back to our baby, learning new programming languages and strating from scratch.

The delay is not a matter of a lack of effort. Think about it: I have been working every day of my life for the past 12 years. Let this sink in. I wake up, make some coffee and code. Nobody is forcing me to do so (actually, it did concern my partners over the years). But waking up every morning and be part of a creation process is a blessing. And actually, it is not the whole truth. I do take a few days here and there for Christmas and for maybe a weekend during the summer, so secretly sert an appointment with my psychiatrist already.

This game is coming out, ready for the next season. My partner doesn't allow me to mention a date, because he is aware that I have a twisted relation with deadlines. So my friends, I am proud to tell you that Hockey Universe 2017 will be released one day.

*Because I know most of you don't care about my articles and only want to see new game pictures at the bottom of them, here is a picture of a potato.



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AnyKeyz

As far as I can remember, I always provided my titles with a built in editor (except for that obscure boxing sim I coded in 2004 that only sold well...in Japan?!). I love the idea of users creating and editing their own players and teams. However, there were always limitations regarding the amount of teams, league names and divisions due to my lack of vision during the initial steps of conception.

This time, I decided to improve this aspect of the game. While it is not the perfect (you can create leagues from 20 to 32 teams), it will provide users with greater liberty in order to create custom games. League name, logo, as well as division titles can all be edited, but the best part comes from the "Edit Team" function, where user are able to alter multiple information. While no expansion draft feature is planned for this 1st release, 150 cities are available to the player for teams and custom logos have been created as well, to help you design the team you have in mind.

Editor screenshots:

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Some of the custom logos:

Antlers.png.9eeece4de19f4b7140677ecb659fec3c.pngBandits.png.cd5efed7814f0ca23b07118c6db909a7.pngBears.png.54130aabbaf525ccab16f99944a8203c.png590a0c82dbcbf_BlueDevils.png.fc4c71e141b20b69b9537aa3d4a5bfbe.pngBoars.png.888d0d913e6e0ba661f02cc1f605fd2a.pngBulls.png.1a3a6937506d2dfb81a4eb9a87f53314.pngCaporals.png.59223a4c8ca7dbc2416c7d569b47292f.pngCaptains.png.f16a4f5a3d4f8528c769520719f3d18d.pngCHA.png.f2394eb2105f3adc83abdc3bfe3b67b2.pngCobras.png.0b2c73236513d882c20b27e0b979ca16.pngDinosaurs.png.c19431927ba00886f64ebc37eab6d278.pngDragons.png.e998fdf00fff659bc0df346e05878376.pngEagles.png.0cd33e085f3dc08fe4466f11d5fece25.pngFalcons.png.392b281c0eaf081ba5b723a1e7a1c292.pngFoxes.png.cb2b8176f585bb78f4fc8a72e33b75b6.pngGorillas.png.73613dc2dd76545fd34bf9b75fa8557f.pngHorses.png.3d2253336549fedd099dca5d1dd43a04.pngHunters.png.296795c35d42d30760de641b5e7b5141.pngLions.png.7890f2b5231588aa232b9d583f36eaf2.pngOctopus.png.1d0e23b3e843cc828327a90b5880f5a4.pngOutlaws.png.23de6e313c7c788b1c99339974ae8730.pngOwls.png.a07fb937801e0157feaaeef9cb6e29c3.pngPiranha.png.e036e9a3926ec656b6257c42556d1930.pngPolars.png.54e2b1565752e98516600785d55be040.pngPrimals.png.754794c3df53ab6fd6454b51a05f5a40.pngRaccoons.png.d5fecf4a1bac17699dc65883c74b7f77.pngReapers.png.1677944765e7c17574ecc74ac32d5bc8.pngRhinos.png.5a2900a0e5b844027654f6fa99bb3e46.pngRoosters.png.37e42359bc1b92bba6e137ebb4c7b86d.pngRoyals.png.090da4b0b37c3f7159c83286fc157050.pngSnake.png.f07d0822314b4ed7aa69916afa3e4df6.pngSpartans.png.d54b0c4b6fe3a028a50f9c3c5a4d20e8.pngSteels.png.f161900835d6165c591e2755eef10208.pngVikings.png.a9c4e61226c7a2f6abe417555d32fb4c.png

AnyKeyz

20 years ago, a friend and I bought this goofy looking PC game named Gazillionaire from a bargain bin at Woolco. We became immediately hooked to this independant business simulator software. The engine was simple yet brillant, but what made it truly special to my eyes was this "Hot Seat" feature. Each turn, my friend, then me, made moves in order to conquer the galaxy. It was pretty much the ancestor of the infamous "Play By Email" feature and then became Online Multiplayer as we know it.

As I moved along with Hockey Universe 2017 developments, I had to withdraw some features due to time limitations (all the RPG elements, among other things). But we decided to keep the "Hot Seat" feature. With all the portable devices today, we thought that HU17 would be the perfect party game among hockey fans. And from there, depending on the game success, it will be fairly easy to convert the code into a completely online simulation game in the years to come.
 

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AnyKeyz

May 2002:

I leave a good job in the CGI industry to create this game idea I have in mind, a hockey simulator. Following some tv appearances, I sell a first version of the game on the road, burning cds and meeting customers one on one. Another version of the game is launched in PC magazines. Then, I went away for a few years, before coming back with a new free French version.

Quickly, the community is growing. Our games gain in popularity and we enjoy a "succès d'estime". We then go back commercial, in both English and French, cover all seasons from 1980, develop a Multiplayer version of it. I met partners and investors that are still my friends to this day. Company is sold, bought by a gentle German giant named Christian and the adventure continues.

Here I am, 16 years later, standing in front of my computer, trying to think about functions that never appeared in any simulation games. A little bit behind of schedule as always, feeling the pressure at the back of my neck. This is the best feeling ever. I wouldn't trade my place with anyone. Hockey Universe 2017 will be the definitive version of what I had in mind. I still have lonbg hours to invest in it, but I am making sure the 2002 version of me would be proud of it.

I now invite you to follow our last steps to the release on this blog. It will have a personal vibe to it, as we get closer and closer to...something special let's hope. Thanks for being there.

 

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