Check out the new NHL 11 blog from Assistant Producer, Gurndeep Sumal, as he talks about goalie gear.
"If you’re wondering how we’re able to put this much equipment in for the goalies as compared to what we put in for skaters, it’s all based on memory used in game. For goalies, there are only ever four goalies in the rink at any one time as opposed to 36 different skaters. We have to account for every single skater and goalie potentially having a different piece of equipment, which can add up quickly. The more equipment we have to load, the longer our load times are and once in the game it will affect the framerate. Not to mention, when you play online and all the equipment information has to be shared so everyone is seeing the same thing.
Back to the gear, one of the biggest changes to the goalie equipment this year is that we’ve increased the amount of recolorable zones to nine (for sets that are complex). This also includes the older equipment that has been in the game in previous years like the Bauer X: 60 or the Vaughn V3 sets. Even with 9 zones some of the equipment may still be a little off due to the sheer amount of customization that a specific set may have but we’ve tried to make it as close to real life as possible. So why not add more zones for more authenticity? See the paragraph above on load times, memory and framerate!"