This page is a mirror of Tepples' nesdev forum mirror (URL TBD).
Last updated on Oct-18-2019 Download

NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding

NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211746)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13 ... -required/

This seems to be utter bullshit. Thoughts? Does Joe post on here at all?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211747)
With the "module" structure, it looks like something analogous to RPG Maker, Dezaemon, and SEUCK, none of which is bullshit.

See also JoeGtake2's posting history.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211748)
You registered an account just to bash on an enthusiast? Did you even take time to learn that a game has already been made with the toolkit as-is?

The only "problem" is see is that specific engines may cause some saturation of play-alikes, but they're even planning to add quite a bunch of modules (what the KS is for) which should remedy that at least halfway. There's also the risk when something becomes "too easy" that there will be an output of low-quality designed games as the stakes are lower (see game maker), but then again, you don't need to play them.

Honestly i think this is a great entryway for people to get into NesDev. Once you've made a couple of games inside their engines, you might want to dive in.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211749)
This is a pretty amazing project and long overdue. I've been following it somewhat recently, and these guys seem to really know what they're doing. It is good that you can create new modules for your game style, and I'd imagine it's possible to edit the asm for existing modules, though I don't see that information anywhere so it's just a guess.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211750)
Yeah, amazing is the right word. :) I can see how this could help me realize a few side projects and ideas in the "some other day" drawer that i currently can't find the time to scale otherwise (really hope the generation of a project folder comes with editable source!)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211751)
This does look like a much more serious project than Joe Cracker's NES ROM Maker and its magical "Find bug" button, that's for sure!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211760)
Ive paid $80 for GameMaker 2(when on sale) and its great so this is just amazing even if it cost a small fee. It cant be easy to script a complete engine like this. I dont know what the OP issue is. Maybe he should watch the documentary first before judging. Great idea and I will be backing this project.
I would like to know if it supports different mappers and battery saving.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211762)
mouser remake when?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211763)
I'd really like to see some way to combine this with NESHLA or a similar language.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211766)
It will probably work, but the output will be so limited. Even desktop maker tools, with unlimited space and RAM constraints, produce mostly toys. I expect the first and maybe second goal will happen, meaning an influx of zelda and mario clones by 10-year olds.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211767)
Let the 10 year olds have fun too! And it also means good games coming out (not ONLY 10 year olds will have fun with it). So everybody wins.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211784)
tokumaru wrote:
This does look like a much more serious project than Joe Cracker's NES ROM Maker and its magical "Find bug" button, that's for sure!

I remember that, haha.

The main thing I find amusing about this project is that I originally started out with RPG Maker XP. I stopped using it because I felt like somebody else was doing the work for me. It felt like I was saying: "I don't want to have to choose the tens of thousands of details required to make a unique game, I want somebody else to choose them for me." Once I found my way to nesdev and realized there was very little such help available (along with many other factors influencing my decision) I never looked back. Funny to see the scene come full circle and provide this sort of solution to others. I am very interested to see how the scene changes over the next few years, assuming this tool is funded and continues to gain more attention.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211785)
Funny thing: the first version of RPG Maker was released for the Super Famicom (among others).
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211786)
lidnariq wrote:
Funny thing: the first version of RPG Maker was released for the Super Famicom (among others).

:shock:
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211787)
I could see it becoming a bit of a sport pushing the templates/modules outside what they were meant to provide as an experience, depending on what restrictions they enforce.

Personally I wouldn't want to squash some of my more endeared design ideas into these templates, but it could be a creative pastime and maybe even teach me something new about design in general. If anything turns out good, that's a bonus.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211791)
The issue I have is that Joe has seemed to have started a new kickstarter without actually finishing off the last one:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13 ... eation-doc

Granted, there's a bit of crossover between the projects, many of the tools created for the last project will be able to be recycled and sold for this new one, but the 'estimated delivery' for the previous kickstarter was 2015.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211794)
NES homebrew isn't exactly known to be delivered on time. It's perhaps a fault a project holder should try to avoid (it's far too easy making an optimistic projection on the time scale), but i think most backers expect this by now.

You can also view it this way:
-the toolkit kickstarter finances the tool coder guy taking on developing the tool as a job.
-Joe gets to spend more time on mystic searches and less on the tools.
-the tool gets better, which no doubt also feeds into the shape of mystic searches.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211801)
Didn't the doc part just come out?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211804)
It’s on the nesdev frontpage, even. :)

(amazon won’t take non-us cards though. Seems a fairly new policy because i paid for another movie via amazon in 2017)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211812)
Looks pretty cool that someone is finally making this. I took my NES console to a global game jam weekend once (https://globalgamejam.org/2014/games/messed-intentions)

...and while it was a fun experience creating an oculus rift experience mirrored on the NES, the NES part of the development was pretty slow-paced, due to me having to write a lot of stuff from scratch, even when re-using my existing game engine code. Explaining the graphics limitations to the artist working was also a challenge - and bugs in my homemade graphics conversion tool also didn't help. Seeing the contrast in how quickly people got things working in Unity made me think then that a dedicated game-maker for the NES would be so cool to have... then you could just show an easy to-use tool for people to play around with and try their ideas, without a programmer always being on the critical path.

And I think most of us must have thought about starting a gamemaker like this at some point. So one thing I would have totally done if this were my project: Give up on all those goals to make it generate "optimized" 6502 code and just stick a modern microcontroller in there that runs at 100+MHz and can easily run all the game logic and do a full VRAM update with no problems. And then just re-purpose the NES CPU to be a HDMA unit/soundchip.

So wouldn't that be totally cheating? Yes, definitely... but is it anymore cheating than using a gamemaker in the first place?

And more importantly, would the target audience (the people who want to make NES games with no coding and/or the people who just want a NES-cart to play on their real NES) *really* care about such implementations details? I'd argue not. And if the goal is to outsource the coding aspect and remove the need for a coder to be involved, why not go the full way and outsource the code execution to more capable hardware?

So while I admire their ambition to make a gamemaker that outputs code more true to the NES's heyday, I think their choice of hardware platform is going to force them to spend a lot of time on trying to write optimised code that functions well in the various game scenarios that the target audience will want to make. And even then it's hard to escape the fact that the most impressive NES games required quite a lot of game-specific tweaks to look impressive, whilst putting other restrictions on what you could use your screens, tiles and frame cycles for. I shudder to think about writing the docs to explain the subtle performance guidelines to people used to gamemakers that have almost no performance limitations, or at worst just force you to change some "rendering quality" settings... and I'm not sure this is the best use of their time.

But then again, it is their retro project which is meant to be a fun experience for them and keep them excited about bringing their vision to completion. And I already share part of that excitement, even with restrictions it might have. And I hope their journey will allow me to bring a working gamemaker tool to a future game jam along with my NES... and maybe even inspire more such projects in the future :)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211813)
Well, it interests me. I'm a technical artist, and I've done my share of assembly programming, nes rom hacking, etc. I even got a homebrew nes "game" working. But it is a little too hardcore for me at this point to program all the memory management stuff, so a streamlined tool would definitely be of great interest to me.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211814)
Quote:
And if the goal is to outsource the coding aspect and remove the need for a coder to be involved, why not go the full way and outsource the code execution to more capable hardware?


There's plenty of software tools that already does that. On the nes, on the other hand... a lot of former kids from the 80s and early 90s dreamt of making their own nes game. Now they can (within limits). That's the niche and that's the purpose.

Furthermore, the frame which the machine imposes on the designer, dev or artist has a certain quality in itself. On a modern machine, definitions are floaty and formless and so you need to be very disciplined in order to grow a distinct, well trimmed garden: setting up a sensible master palette for your game, be sure not to overalias, avoid drenching everything in too many, too soft ease curves or other symptoms of modern indie game making that results in averageness.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211819)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
It’s on the nesdev frontpage, even. :)

(amazon won’t take non-us cards though. Seems a fairly new policy because i paid for another movie via amazon in 2017)

You can also find it on
http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/thenew8bi ... /183913860

This one is definitely available outside the USA as you can pay with PayPal here.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211823)
So has anyone watched the documentary they released? Is it a fun and exciting story to smile at? Would you dare to watch it with "normal" friends, in hope of them being able to relate to your quirky hobby? :P

And does anyone know what format the vimeo download is when purchasing the movie? Do you get a DRM-free file to play on your standard movie-box setup?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211849)
I think it looks cool. If I had this as I were a teenager maybe I would have completed at least one game... :roll:
I still wonder how that's going to be possible technically, I mean... programming is still very useful for deciding what your game is going to do. If you're not programming, it means everything is already pre-programmed and not very customizable.

Quote:
You registered an account just to bash on an enthusiast?

Pretty awful behaviour if I had to say...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211854)
I watched the doc. It's "normie-friendly", but I wouldn't call it fun and exciting. I mainly watched it to see all the familiar people's faces :P
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211862)
They have a series of videos explaining their software...

https://youtu.be/BrDEV-CaMHk

https://youtu.be/skeDKMN6hJI

https://youtu.be/w6RxYGWo0K0

https://youtu.be/nfxS-LHNyYw

https://youtu.be/wV-rfyG5LTE

https://youtu.be/Rg7m1vMkC90

Personally, it looks very impressive, but it does seem to be (currently) very geared toward development of top-down, non-scrolling action adventure game. In another video, they explain that there will be other modules for making other types of games, but I don't believe those are finished yet.

...oh, I see the other modules planned on the kickstarter page.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13 ... g-required

1.adventure
2.platformer
3.RPG
4.Brawler
5.shooter

$36 will get you the basic software.

$88 for software, kazzo, and a blank cartridge

$256 ...that, plus access to beta tests

$2048, sponser a module (they will work with you to make your game)

$10,000, your game created by them



The software will connect bits of pre-made code together, that you can edit...if you know ASM. And it will link all the graphics and animations and rooms together using pointer tables and lots of includes (asm6).

My only issue, was they were a little vague about music. "you can do it all with famitracker" is easy to say, but having spent the greater part of the past 3 years learning this stuff...I can assure you, IT'S NOT EASY.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211865)
dougeff wrote:
The software will connect bits of pre-made code together, that you can edit...if you know ASM.

That's the best news i've heard so far. Makes a whole lot of difference if you can modify or even replace a block. They should write it on the front page haha
+viewing asm in functionable blocks may be a good way to teach one of the most difficult parts (for me at least): program structuring and memory management.

Quote:
but having spent the greater part of the past 3 years learning this stuff...I can assure you, IT'S NOT EASY.

Do you refer to any specific part?
Composing (in regards to what the game "demands" of the music)
Mixing
Sample cutting
The tracker interface itself
Choosing driver
Exporting
Getting it to work along with a game?

Quote:
but it does seem to be (currently) very geared toward development of top-down, non-scrolling action adventure game.

Even with the different modules (wonder to what extent they're cross compatible - probably not a whole lot out of the box? but extremely cool if i'm wrong), i think the biggest hurdle is going to be level format. It seems to be the largest indentation a dev can make by technical decisions on the general presentation. Probably not always true, but how the BG boards are structured means a whole lot to any game viewed within its genre.

DRW wrote:
You can also find it on

Thanks! :beer:
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211866)
re: music...
All of it, but specifically getting music to play correctly in a game WITH sound effects (in-game sounds). Not easy.

Also, I can envision a day in the near future where people are coming here to ask 100 questions about how to fix problems with their nesmaker games. Maybe they should set up a separate forum.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211871)
dougeff wrote:
I can envision a day in the near future where people are coming here to ask 100 questions about how to fix problems with their nesmaker games. Maybe they should set up a separate forum.

Once it starts to become an issue, I'll consider it, just as NES Hardware and Flash Equipment once had a Doctor PC Jr. sub-forum.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211875)
dougeff wrote:
re: music...
All of it, but specifically getting music to play correctly in a game WITH sound effects (in-game sounds). Not easy.

Also, I can envision a day in the near future where people are coming here to ask 100 questions about how to fix problems with their nesmaker games. Maybe they should set up a separate forum.

The sound engine nesmaker currently uses is ggsound. GGSound's famitracker converter makes it pretty seamless to use sfx (you just prefix a track with sfx_, then use the sfx from your game after doing the normal export. its as easy as that, no massaging of data or code required.). I think their intention is to try to bridge from the famitracker text export to ggsound so the user doesn't have to fiddle with python or scripts, just import the file, or something, but their long term plan is to create their own tracker within the tool, as I understand it, from talking to Joe, hiding all those details completely.

I agree I think the amount of maintenance ahead of them for the modules they are planning is likely to be rather large, but it looks as though this kickstarter could reach dizzying heights in terms of funding so perhaps they will be able to tackle it.

Given the amount of maintenance they will have to do, I really hope someone eventually persuades them to use source control...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211876)
A NESMAKER faq, wiki or plain manual separate to that of NesDev might help mitigate the potential load of questions. Especially if their tools' help section links straight into it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211890)
Bananmos wrote:

would have totally done if this were my project: Give up on all those goals to make it generate "optimized" 6502 code and just stick a modern microcontroller in there that runs at 100+MHz and can easily run all the game logic and do a full VRAM update with no problems. And then just re-purpose the NES CPU to be a HDMA unit/soundchip.



I'm on the same page with you here. I really have no idea how difficult it is to do custom hardware design like that however this would have had pushed NES development to another level without all of those limitations.

Perhaps someone capable can try to do this
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211891)
I'm excited by this kickstarter project and hope it all goes really well, to create a re-usable NES engine is tough enough, let alone then developing all the front-end tools for use by non-progamming types and making it actually usable by them!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211895)
It uses UNROM mapper 30. There FAQ video gave me some of my answers I was wondering about. The Kickstarter is going up fast so I have no doubt it will reach all its goals and I like that because I wanna make a shump first. Hopefully it will do way over and we will have other mappers to use. I would like NROM for simple games. Mainly because the boards are cheap and I have a lot of m27c512 eeproms.
I think this software even for people that know how to code and all could find this useful for prototyping is just one example. Some people use Gamemaker just for prototyping with its drag and drop before going to Unity for example. Personally hate drag and drop and I use GML in GameMaker myself.
I could see some more advanced people using this to make a quick base game then opening the rom or whatever is needed and use ASM to make a more advanced game. Correct me if wrong.

Considering software(legally) is expensive as hell. This is a pretty cheap price.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211903)
I'm big on beginner friendly tools. Already have the Infinitelives programmer and a few carts.

I'll plunk down for the $36 dollar package (software only) and try to field questions. Fortunately, that's way off in August.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211906)
In the FAQ video he says a month after the kickstarter or so there will a Beta released but they say keep in mind its for testing only till the official release.
Here is my issue. It takes mapper 30. That the UNROM 512? So in other words gotta buy the boards? Not sure if flash carts can take that mapper and forget about using donor carts.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211909)
UNROM512 is almost compatible with ordinary UNROM, but with two major changes:

1- UNROM512 usually (not always) supports self-flashing. This probably only relevant for save games.
2- UNROM512 rarely supports multiple banks of CHR RAM. Whether this will be a requirement depends on each engine they write.

However,

3- 512KiB of UNROM requires 5 bits of latch and 5 bits of OR; a donor isn't going to be a good match anyway because any existing matches will either only provide 4 bits of latch and 4 bits of OR, or will only provide 8 bits of latch: there are no pre-existing options that will allow a game that large without adding multiple 74xxx ICs beyond the ROM
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#211918)
If games aren't forced to use the mapper 30-specific features (self-flashability and switchable CHR ROM), emulators can run them as oversize mapper 2. And if they aren't forced to use 4 Mbit capacity, third-party UNROM/UOROM boards will run them.

I seem to remember reading years ago about an UNROM clone using an open-drain/collector "bus driver" IC that, based on an input bit, could switch between "non-inverting buffer" and "all outputs high". A 6- or 8-bit IC like this paired with a 74377 might allow for a 2-chip mapper (without the self-flashability).
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212010)
I'm going to create some retarded game and then everyone in the NES homebrew community will buy it because *we have to support the scene*.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212011)
Im going to create some retarded games for myself and in the name of science!

There is tons of bad and some great homebrew games imo. This I dont think will change much as far as selling games unless you get a team together and work on a game for a few years. More skilled people in ASM Im sure would be needed also to make it more unique. Then after all that it wont make money off what time and supplies you have put into it.
Happens with a zillion indie games for pc every year it seem.
If some kid thinks he will make money off his simple nes game he made in a day and others are working on large scale projects then I feel bad for the kid. He would have a hard time paying for the boards, shells, ect also. Maybe Im wrong guess time will tell.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212012)
Erockbrox wrote:
I'm going to create some retarded game and then everyone in the NES homebrew community will buy it because *we have to support the scene*.

:mrgreen:

This is exactly what I sometimes think when I see some homebrew games:

Port a decades-old mini game to the NES that you can find on any Windows PC, give it a deceptive box artwork that makes it look like an action war game, offer the limited edition with some military-styled bonus material and people will lose their shit: "Awesome!" "I will buy this!"

Same with a game that consists of nothing but pressing a button and activating a random number generator that decides whether you win or lose: People will fincance you with thousands of dollars, despite the only person in your team that created anything of worth being the pixel art designer.


But try to program a little jump'n'run that is admittedly a bit short because it was designed to be like a 1985-styled arcade-like black-boxart game, but it has all the things from a real game: Jump physics, platforms, different opponents, scrolling, attacking etc.
And the people will complain that the gameplay is too repetitive and that the graphics look like on the Atari 2600.
And of course the game doesn't serve the box artwork justice. Despite the box artwork scene being a faithful rendition of what the game is about.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212013)
DRW wrote:
Same with a game that consists of nothing but pressing a button and activating a random number generator that decides whether you win or lose:

Since when were we talking about Mario Party? :P
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212014)
It sounds like Russian Roulette, but equally could mean my Rock Paper Scissors game.

Also, made me think of these song lyrics...
"Never win first place, I don't support the team"
-Pink

Quote:
gameplay is too repetitive and that the graphics look like on the Atari 2600

DRW, I got the same complaints about my game, and I also didn't make any net profits, for 2 years of work.

Complaining about it isn't going to improve my situation, nor my attitude. I prefer to be happy to be part of the whole "scene".

EDIT, I really liked the boss fight in your game, btw.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212016)
It seems that the technical aspect never mattered much to the consumers of homebrew games anyway. Players don't usually know how difficult something is to code, so presentation and fun are ultimately the most important factors affecting the success of homebrew games.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212017)
Actually on second thought, there's the possibility/risk that the scene for forum selling or kickstarting games might take a blow if people with less serious commitments to homebrewing were to announce games and not deliver anything worthwhile. Compare with the atari 2600 crash. + expect a higher % of vaporware.

Still, i think it's nice that more people get either
1) a gateway to get further into retrodev
2) a good place to start making games
3) determination make the most of this tool; perhaps including heavy modification and replacement of templates - or perhaps play within the rules in creative ways.
4) a fun and maybe insightful pastime
3) something to show their friends: hey i made this (with the help of templates, but still, can you beat my level?)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212019)
dougeff wrote:
It sounds like Russian Roulette, but equally could mean my Rock Paper Scissors game.

It's indeed "Russian Roulette" or rather: The sequel, "Super Russian Roulette".

If people program those silly kind of games for fun and release the ROM or even try to sell it on a cartridge: Fine. It's not for me, but I don't mind either.
I did similar stuff when I started programming back in 2001. Like creating a car race game with text characters in the Windows command prompt where each player is assigned a key and pressing the key moves his car. So, whoever presses his key the fastest gets to the finish line first.

But if a game like "Super Russian Roulette", that's pretty much still the same bland gameplay as it's low profile predecessor, starts a huge Kickstarter campaign and people actually pay $ 84000 for this, then I'm totally baffled.

dougeff wrote:
Complaining about it isn't going to improve my situation, nor my attitude. I prefer to be happy to be part of the whole "scene".

In my case, it's not like I'm actively complaining that much.
After all, I programmed the game mostly for myself, to have a game with a female main character. And I'm probably the one who plays it the most, so programming it was definitely not a waste.
It's one of my four games that could never be thrown out of my list of video games ever.

It's just that I noticed this strange discrepancy:
Put together a real game and people will point out all the shortcomings.
Create some complete nonsense and people will be thrilled.

dougeff wrote:
EDIT, I really liked the boss fight in your game, btw.

Thanks. Did you get to the last level? The final boss is a completely distinct character with distinct movements from the regular bosses.

tokumaru wrote:
so presentation and fun are ultimately the most important factors affecting the success of homebrew games.

But in the case of "Super Russian Roulette": Where is the fun? I just don't see it.
Put the lightgun to your head and press the button.* That's it. This game is literally simpler than "Duck Hunt". At least in "Duck Hunt" it actually mattered where you point the lightgun.

So, when I do a game that is as simple as "Kung Fu", my game gets called Atari 2600-like.
But when these guys do a game that's even simpler than "Duck Hunt" or "Wild Gunman", then people praise them.
What am I doing wrong? Should I do it like Brian Griffin and put my current adventure game on hold, just to create something completely stupid that I find ridiculous myself, but that the people will eat up and I'll make a ton of money?


* Or press the button without putting the lightgun to your head, it doesn't really matter.
Besides, since when are video game about pretending? So, this game intends me to do stuff (pointing the lightgun to my head) that's not at all required by the technical aspect of the game (since it only registers the button press). That would be like "Super Mario Bros." expecting me to actually jump every time I press the A button and all people seriously, unironically playing "Super Mario Bros." like that.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212020)
DRW wrote:
But in the case of "Super Russian Roulette": Where is the fun? I just don't see it.

Yeah, I don't see it either.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212021)
promotion and slickness of presentation is way more important than anything else. i think super russian roulette nailed both pretty well.

a lot of people out there have a fondness for the NES but don't realize that people are still making games for it. so when those people see a new game being promoted well, they get excited. if they don't see your game being promoted, though, they certainly aren't going to search it out. promoting yourself here and at NA is really only a tiny fraction of the possible customer base.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212022)
toggle switch wrote:
promotion and slickness of presentation is way more important than anything else. i think super russian roulette nailed both pretty well.

I could understand this if it was just an average game: Do an average game, present it well and people will buy it.

But this one is a game where the gameplay is literally just pressing a single button and getting the result of a random number generator on screen. No amount of advertising should be able to compensate for the fact that the game is barely a game at all. And yet, they still got a shitload of money.

So, if mediocre game + good presentation = tons of money, why isn't no-gameplay game + good presentation = a few hundred dollars? Why is the result still tons of money in the tens of thousands?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212023)
i mean, you call it a mediocre game (and i'm inclined to agree).

but it did win the audience choice award at fantastic arcade, so clearly there is an audience for this sort of game.

Quote:
So, if mediocre game + good presentation = tons of money, why isn't no-gameplay game + good presentation = a few hundred dollars? Why is the result still tons of money?


like i said, presentation is the most important thing. gameplay is clearly secondary on a game that nobody buying has even played yet.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212024)
DRW wrote:
But this one is a game where the gameplay is literally just pressing a single button and getting the result of a random number generator on screen.

The general public doesn't know how easy it is to interface with the Zapper and has no idea what a random number generator is, they just want to drink and listen to the funny things the cowboy has to say.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212031)
The game has the best animation and vocal sound of the entire NES library. Those are two things the general public can appreciate on a technical level.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212034)
I for one bought Russian Roulette (though post-kickstarter) and was pretty disappointed. I knew I was getting a glorified number generated, but really liked the concept and suggested presentation. So it wasn't like I was expecting much.

But what killed the fun:
1) Not apparent from the kickstarter is that the cowboy is always hardcoded to play as an extra player. And when he dies, all his taunting stops, pretty much degrading the remaining gameplay presentation into the text-mode Russian Roulette game Tepples made years back

2) It's a party drinking game that limits the maximum number of player to just 3! It baffles me that the developer would make a crippling limitation like this. Was it designed by someone with social phobia who doesn't dare to let more than two friends inside his house? :P

3) On top of all, you're supposed to enter names for each individual player... WTF? Just remove the player management altogether and let the guys with the drinks decide who joins in and who's out

These design-choices pretty much feel like game-breaking bugs, and prove that even the simplest game formula can end up disappointing. So the cartridge has mostly been sitting on the shelf. It annoys me how easy these things would be to fix with a patch, but source code is not available, and I'm not really into ROM hacking.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212035)
pubby wrote:
The game has the best animation and vocal sound of the entire NES library. Those are two things the general public can appreciate on a technical level.

Yeah, the graphics artist is the only one worth his money.
However, it still doesn't explain the success to me (other than the mentioned fact that people are obviously content to play a very, very simple game as long as it is advertised well).

Because do people not see that the animation was not used for huge sprites in an actual gameplay (like if you included the full-size arcade sprites of "Street Fighter III" into an NES fighting game), but that this is nothing but a pretty static character with very choppy animation?

Even if people don't know about technical stuff, shouldn't they realize that the cowboy barely actually does anything that has to do with the gameplay?

To put it in non-programmer terms: Don't they see that the cowboy is just like the cutscenes from "Ninja Gaiden" and not at all like a huge version of the player characters and enemies of "Ninja Gaiden"?

And vocal sound: Yeah, they got a guy to speak something into a microphone. Very impressive. "Gauntlet II" and some other games already did this decades ago, so it shouldn't even be a novelty to common fans of the console.

Bananmos wrote:
It annoys me how easy these things would be to fix with a patch, but source code is not available, and I'm not really into ROM hacking.

The good thing is: You can tell this to the people who made the game.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212037)
You're bitter. The game sold well because of the graphics, sound, good gimmick, good marketing, etc. The gameplay was not a selling point, and people did not care/expect much in that department. Sales do not always correspond with the quality (see Hollywood blockbusters for an example). Lots of bad products sell strongly.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or don't, and stop caring about sales.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212038)
That game doesn't appeal to me much just like drinking games overall doesn't, but i think there's one more thing to be said:

The fun isn't meant come from human-computer interaction in this case - It comes from the interface enabling a certain form of human-human interaction. It's the most overlooked aspect of any interface, yet it sometimes mean a lot or even everything.

Field study example:
Museum. World map on the wall. Instruction to look at the tag of your shirt/blouse/top/dress/sweater//tee and put a magnet marker on the world map where your garment has been made.
Placing and looking where others have placed it (or trolled) is a pretty banal game in itself. But the fact that tags are in the back of your garment means you probably need someone else to look at your tag. Interaction and conversation ensues, especially in school groups and pensioner trip groups. Materials and guides around to reinforce the experience so the convo doesn't land in contextual vacuum.

It's not about the map and marker (zapper and RND) - it's what you make of it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212039)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
The fun isn't meant come from human-computer interaction in this case - It comes from the interface enabling a certain form of human-human interaction. It's the most overlooked aspect of any interface, yet it sometimes mean a lot or even everything.

This would be good and well if there actually was any interaction between the players that belongs to the game.

Sure, you can sit around with your drinking buddies, playing this game and making jokes. However, you don't need this game to drink and make jokes. And it's not the game that actively encourages you to make the jokes.

The actual gameplay does not include that much interaction between each other. Every player does his turn separately. You're not encouraged to do certain things to your human opponents. (For example, you cannot communicate to the game that you actually pointed the gun to one of the other players instead of to yourself with the game reacting accordingly.)

Unlike with a game like "Monopoly", whatever funny interaction comes out of "Super Russian Roulette" stems purely from the general group dynamics, but not from anything the game encourages you to do.

pubby wrote:
You're bitter.

I'm not really that bitter. I'm talking about it here in the thread once because the talk was about crappy and cheaply-made games that any beginner could design, but it's not like I'm musing about "Super Russian Roulette" all day and curse the developers.

I simply find it strange that you can get people's attention with such a worthless piece of software:

pubby wrote:
The game sold well because of the graphics

O.k., fine.

pubby wrote:
sound

The sound isn't "good" in the way that anybody composed a kickass NES soundtrack. It's simply "good" because it uses speech. It has a human person saying things. Not that hard to accomplish: Letting a guy speak into a microphone.

pubby wrote:
good gimmick

Debatable.
It has a gimmick, yes. But good? It's Russian Roulette.

Had they at least implemented some amusement park shooting gallery game, like those water pistol games where you have to hit a target to move a plastic horse on a racetrack.

But Russian Roulette is: Pull the trigger and see if you were lucky to get one of the empty chambers.
It's as gimmicky as rolling a single die and hoping not to get the 1. Then giving the die to the next player and he does the same.
(There's a reason why dice are usually coupled with board games. Or, if not, why the rules are slightly more complicated than: "Whoever gets the 1 first loses.")

pubby wrote:
good marketing, etc. The gameplay was not a selling point, and people did not care/expect much in that department.

And that's exactly where people are morons:

It's not a five dollar toy pistol with a full/empty chamber simulation mechanism.

It's a video game. For a vintage console even, so it's targeted towards a niche market of real fans or nerds and not just towards random 10 year olds with their smartphones.

It's a product for the NES, a console where people in their 30s play "Super Mario Bros." and "Contra" and where they take delight in the AVGN ripping on those countless crappy games that disappointed us in our childhood because we were deceived by the marketing department.

And for this 80s console, people suddenly stop caring about gameplay as long as the marketing department does its job? And they pay $ 80000? Really?
As I said: Morons.

pubby wrote:
Sales do not always correspond with the quality (see Hollywood blockbusters for an example).

At least a Hollywood blockbuster needs money to be made in the first place, so the makers at least put much work into it. Even the most stupid Adam Sandler film costs millions to make.

"Super Russian Roulette" equals a guy and his friends filming some crappy movie with a hand camera in his backyard, without an interesting plot (i.e. not like "Blair Witch Project", but really just a children's project) and people praising it to no end.

pubby wrote:
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or don't, and stop caring about sales.

I don't really care for sales. They are a nice addition, but not my main motivation.

I'm just totally baffled that such a stupid piece of software that was probably put together in a week's worth of work sells so well.

The guys who did that game are the homebrew equivalent of companies like LJN who mostly only published crappy games.
But while those companies are criticised and ridiculed by the fans (and rightfully so), those same fans bow down to even worst games if they come from independent homebrewers.

The following statement comes full circle:
Erockbrox wrote:
I'm going to create some retarded game and then everyone in the NES homebrew community will buy it because *we have to support the scene*.

And that's all I have to say about it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212040)
DRW wrote:
This would be good and well if there actually was any interaction between the players that belongs to the game.

Sure, you can sit around with your drinking buddies, playing this game and making jokes. However, you don't need this game to drink and make jokes. And it's not the game that actively encourages you to make the jokes.

The actual gameplay does not include that much interaction between each other. Every player does his turn separately. You're not encouraged to do certain things to your human opponents. (For example, you cannot communicate to the game that you actually pointed the gun to one of the other players instead of to yourself with the game reacting accordingly.)


I'm sorry, but i think you may have missed my point entirely. Interaction does _NOT_ have to be bound to the way an interface makes you or forces you to use it. Let's use monopoly as an elaborated example - rules state that if i refuse to buy a property, it goes up for auction. Good example of rulebound interaction, which is a type of interaction far from representing the whole spectrum. Now the auction itself is almost entirely human - it's just triggered by a rule and bound by norms and expectations of human behaviour. Russian roulette offers you a a similar tool (and a culturally loaded one at that) to come up with your own interactions with your drinking buddies. That's wholly different from just drinking and making things up. It provides a framework to play a game, but the game is almost entirely human.

Sure, you don't need this game to drink and make jokes, but how's that relevant? The game provides a template for playful interaction just like a plastic shovel and a sandbox gives a kid means to play in a certain informed, specialized and thematically altered way, yet still being able to do just about whatever they want. You can still dig a random patch of earth with your hands, but that's not really the point, is it?


Btw on a personal note, i think dealing and auctioning or otherwise just socializing while playing (all human-human) are the only good parts about monopoly. So many better board games out there.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212043)
DRW wrote:
But this one is a game where the gameplay is literally just pressing a single button and getting the result of a random number generator on screen. No amount of advertising should be able to compensate for the fact that the game is barely a game at all. And yet, they still got a shitload of money.

And Hasbro sells a bunch of copies of Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Hi Ho Cherry-O. And around certain Jewish holidays, you can find spinning tops for sale, intended for playing a game conceptually similar to HHCO. Is that supposed to lead to interaction in the same way as Super Russian Roulette?

Quote:
The sound isn't "good" in the way that anybody composed a kickass NES soundtrack. It's simply "good" because it uses speech. It has a human person saying things. Not that hard to accomplish: Letting a guy speak into a microphone.

And finding the right voice actor. And writing the right lines. And running the right post-processing so it both fits in the ROM and sounds clear when played back.

Quote:
Had they at least implemented some amusement park shooting gallery game, like those water pistol games where you have to hit a target to move a plastic horse on a racetrack.

Then it wouldn't have worked on an HDTV. (That is, without a "receive coordinates from the Wii Remote, use them to mask the composite signal, and feed the result into the light gun's photodiode" accessory that has been prototyped but whose mass production is presumably delayed until 2026.)

Quote:
It's as gimmicky as rolling a single die and hoping not to get the 1. Then giving the die to the next player and he does the same.

I remember seeing type-in BASIC programs like that two decades ago. One was called "Groan"; the one in Write Your Own Apple Games by Stuart Anstis was called "Diddle". It's one step in gameplay complexity below Craps, I guess.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212098)
I think games are fun!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212105)
I see some people making comparisons to the Atari 2600 scene. Here's the only lasting negative effects I've noticed over the years:

* Some of the C and assembly crowd decided to be prejudice and intentionally hinder efforts
* Some game makers early efforts/tribute and/or novelty games got demonized (usually by the crowd above.)

Other than that the scene continues to grow. Interesting, horrible, "generic but pretty", "unique but ugly" and everything in between has been made with varied success.

Classic gaming evolves or it turns into a negative mess with a dwindling population of "experts".
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212160)
I'm pretty excited aboot this, it may very well be the first Kickstarter I support.

I have ideas of an Astrosmash and Ganja Farmer ports to the NES.

How long till the SNES Maker becomes a reality? :twisted:
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212161)
I actually went ahead and backed this! This literally is my first kickstarter that I've backed. I like the idea of making games for old consoles. In fact I'm not really a PC gamer and actually prefer console gaming. I only got the software.

Currently there are about 1,000 people backing this. If I had to make a prediction I would guess that only about 10% or less of these people will make serious projects.

Making games is incredibly difficult and takes much more commitment than the average person would guess.

As for the SNES maker, hopefully if people see that NES maker was successful and people are interested in it then others might release their own tools too in a similar fashion.

For example, gamester81 is working on Justic Beaver, which is one of the most advanced SNES homebrews out there. Him and his team that are working on that project could release their tools and do a SNES maker kickstarter. There is a coder who is making a new genesis game Tanglewood, after he is done with this game he could also release all of this tools and make a genesis maker.

It just depends on if people want to sell or share their own resources when they make homebrew games.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212163)
The tools used by "pros" don't even resemble Game Maker. It'd be a lot of work to make a SNES/Gen dev tool fit the easy Maker form, far from as easy as you make it sound. Though for 32k + 12k per module, perhaps some could be persuaded, haha.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212165)
Erockbrox wrote:
It just depends on if people want to sell or share their own resources when they make homebrew games.
calima wrote:
The tools used by "pros" don't even resemble Game Maker.

Yeah, it's not like developers program tools that enable themselves to create their games with a few clicks. Many things in the games are probably included by hand. Also, many parts are written specifically for this very game.

So, there's a huge difference between making a singular game and making a tool to make games. The sum of the tools that you use for one game does not equal a game maker tool.

For example, in my case, I only have a bunch of tools:
A program to convert bitmap files into NES CHR data.
FamiTracker and the FamiTone programs for music.
And a tool to convert text files that contain dialogs into C arrays with the corresponding format that are needed to display the texts in the game.

That's basically it.

Tile values for character animations are coded by myself for each character type. I don't feel like creating a complicated tool where you can drag and drop tiles.

Level data is done by hand as well. Because unlike "Mystic Searches", my meta tiles for a screen do not have a fixed 8 x 8 or 16 x 16 pixel size. My meta tiles are stored by-object:

For example, one meta tile might be a house. It stores the width, the height, the palette index, the information whether it's treated as a wall or walkable space and then all separate tile values.

Inside the screen data, I simply put the meta tile type and its x and y position and that's it: Two bytes per object per screen and minimal writing.

That's why I'll probably design the screens by hand instead of spending a huge amount of time to create a program where I can drag and drop the objects.

You couldn't turn my game into a completely different game without doing a good bunch of at least manually editing text data, most of them in C syntax.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212166)
slobu wrote:
Classic gaming evolves or it turns into a negative mess with a dwindling population of "experts".


While i agree principially, nes homebrew has been on a steady course of organic growth (with the occasional growth peak as a consequence of popular titles such as battle kid, super bat puncher, and i expect HH'86 is one such, too) nowhere close dwindling.

In an organisation, healthy growth is not too much, not too little. You need to have capacity and be able to pass on knowledge and culture at the same rate of growth. If a company needs to establish whole new divisions wholly consisting of freshmeats, that's huge risk as the growth may unintentionally self-harm the corpus of the venture. Of course, homebrew isn't a company but a decentralized network of hobbyists and enthusiasts each with their own drive and aim, so it's more sturdy in that sense. There's still a very material reality though.

New tools for new niches are always good, and i'm looking forward to see what NESmaker and its users will bring to the table. I'm sure some stuff will be brilliant! Though, the cheer popularity of NESmaker might be a potential problem the community needs to tackle in some way - how do we pass on information in a way that's helpful to the new crowd while maintaining time to do what we want? The NESDEV wiki, 6502.org, the newbie subforum here, Nerdy Nights, and this wikibook are the goto resources, but even they are geared towards the technically interested (as has been a requisite).

Next problem, and i think it might potentially be a more serious one. I hope this will not happen, but in case it does, i think a discussion wouldn't hurt.

There's a really limited niche market that i think is bordering saturation already.
NESmaker is a highly effective means of production in the sense that
-it lets you put out a game at the fraction of the time it takes to develop a game from scratch.
-it drops the bar for minimum competence required to make a game
-it similarly drops the stakes in that less invested time, insight, effort and experience is required.

These things are benign in themselves. But i think we can expect (pardon the cynicism and please remember that i'm positive about this) a higher ratio of shovelware, as all these parameters allow you to make a product without experience. Everyone has a dream and an idea, but being able to make good design is a long road of hard earned experience.
When you're able to make a product without it being informed by reasonable amounts of prior design experience, the product is likely to be of questionable entertainment/use value.
For hacking and retrodev, that's what freeware is for. The kazzo bundle, however, is geared at making commercial products (or rather, cartridges in general are because of the high reproduction cost). And then it also really helps having experience doing business and marketing if you're planning on self-releasing.

Worst case scenario (not saying this will happen, just that it's a possibility): KS gets flooded by vapor/shovel/burn, much like the board game scene has experienced with the availability of self-publishing aids/printers (the board gaming scene is huge and a lot more sturdy than the homebrew gaming scene, mind you), which narrows the opportunity to put out your "blood sweat and tears" game you've been making over 3-5 years on the table.

I don't know what happened in the 2600 homebrew scene, but ostracizing someones' creative output just because it was made with a process-cutting tool doesn't sound very friendly - or productive.

Some strategies i can think of:
-Much like the record industry, there might be a new need/natural market demand for publishers to curate releases and guarantee professionalism as far as commercial things go. That will help retro/homebrew gamers make informed decisions and be able to make a fair judgment in what would could be a "wild west" slightly akin to the Atari 2600 baloon market. If you put things to scale, the record industry is a pretty matching analogy - lots of practitioners of the musical trade (and increasingly so with the arrival of cheap, easy-to-use recording gear and DAW:s), high physical reproduction and distro costs paired with the free-for-all realm of internet. + the competition for plain attention is tough as nails.

For individual devs/small teams:
-Make sure your game offers something Mapper 30 + NESmaker currently can't (then again that might not be part of your vision, or a reasonable step for your first homegrown game).
-Get really good at marketing, (downside: spend a lot of time on marketing you'd otherwise spend on design and development).

Silver lining:
-The popularity of NESmaker will likely expand the market itself for new-made NES games too, as more retro gamers become aware of the homebrew scene.

Lastly, a philosophical question:
-Is it really homebrew if it wasn't bedroom coded? "Indie" seems more appropriate somehow.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212172)
FrankenGraphics wrote:

I don't know what happened in the 2600 homebrew scene, but ostracizing someones' creative output just because it was made with a process-cutting tool doesn't sound very friendly - or productive.


In 2600 land, Batari Basic made it really easy for people to make games. Like NES Maker, a talented and dedicated developer can make something awesome with it, or somebody can just release some quick and dirty garbage. It's a little bit different from NES Maker (Because it still requires programming), but it does handle all the hard work for you, so that making an Atari game becomes a breeze.

But the 2600 homebrew scene is still thriving, despite the existence of some quick and dirty garbage games. The biggest differences, as far as I can tell, are:

1. With more games, very few people buy EVERYTHING that gets released (which means that sales of any given game would be a bit less)
2. Games get noticed based on quality of the game instead of just by existing.

If you make a good game (either in plain assembly or using Batari Basic), people will notice it, play it, and buy it. If you make trash (in either assembly or basic), people might not.

The other interesting thing with the 2600 scene is that there's really a single publisher, AtariAge, that's well respected. Al (the guy that runs it) does a pretty good job of curating things so that it's not filled with garbage. That's nice for developers and buyers. As a developer, if AA picks up your game, it's good advertising for you. As a buyer, you know if you buy from AA, you won't get total trash.

Another big difference in the Atari homebrew world is that more developers give away their roms for free (even if they also sell a cart). I don't know how that impacts things sales-wise. (my suspicion is that it doesn't decrease sales as much as you might think, but I have no idea)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212177)
All I know is, when I first arrived on nesdev I mentally prepared myself for the scene *already* being flooded with great titles and that it might be really hard to make something that would even get noticed at all. I got lucky and got in early apparently, but now that nesmaker is coming along I realize I never did this for any external reasons whatsoever, I create because I must. It's what my old friend Ted calls an "imperative to create." If nesmaker completely saturates the market and my planned kickstarter fails and I am able to only produce 5 copies of my next game for close friends, so be it, I am going to complete the game anyway. The very act of creating and playing my own game is the #1 reason why I do this to begin with. In this social media drenched world it is actually pretty challenging to maintain this attitude since from all angles the world seems to be screaming: "MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF YOURSELF"; but I am using all my strength to do so (maintain the attitude of create for its own sake) because I don't think I'd remain sane doing this for any other reason, financial or social or otherwise.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212180)
Well, this brings up another point...

I like to do things that haven't been done yet. I don't want to remake a game that already exists.

If 100 people make a sci-fi RPG NES game, then I would be 99% less likely to make one. I would make something else, but not that.

Also, with the low quality issue is another problem. You get lost in the flood. When lunar magic came out, 1000 Super Mario World versions came out. 900 of which are probably not good. Which ones? There might be some website that tracks all the releases, and ranks them, but it's very slow to try to figure it out for a casual observer.

But, with so much output, you might get 2-3 really good games coming out. That would be cool.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212181)
dougeff wrote:
Also, with the low quality issue is another problem. You get lost in the flood. When lunar magic came out, 1000 Super Mario World versions came out. 900 of which are probably not good. Which ones? There might be some website that tracks all the releases, and ranks them, but it's very slow to try to figure it out for a casual observer.

Console Proles would argue that this is part of why consoles have lockout chips, so that the console maker can sort out the absolute crap and allow desirable games to surface more easily.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212182)
dougeff wrote:
Well, this brings up another point...

I like to do things that haven't been done yet. I don't want to remake a game that already exists.

If 100 people make a sci-fi RPG NES game, then I would be 99% less likely to make one. I would make something else, but not that.

A planned future title of mine will be in the style of Dragon Warrior 1. nesmaker presumably will be able to pump out games like this easily, yet, I am still planning to do the entire thing myself including the engine even if it functionally seems 100% the same as what nesmaker could make. This is truly proof to me I do this for no other primary reason than the pleasure of coding and creating, itself. Everything else is just extra. Even if there are 100 similar games out, I'm still willing to compete against those, because I believe in my ability to tell a unique story, write good music, etc.

Coming up with original gameplay mechanics is something I still find confounding. I know some have said the owl in my game is original, but I mean it's not really, tons of games with familiars already existed (Mega Man 5, Shatterhand, 8 Eyes, and probably others). I have one idea for an original puzzle game, which I've attempted to mock up in pico 8, but I have yet to unearth any "game" there.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212183)
The only thing that bothers me is that a large percentage of "newbies" who would otherwise stick with 6502/C and NES tutorials until they got proficient enough to develop their own games will simply give up on that and be satisfied with "only" a game in the mold of what NesMaker will potentially offer, much like how 95% of RPG Maker games look and play the same. I really don't want to see the "learning how to program old consoles is archaic, a waste of time and borderline wizardry" mindset coming back with full strength after the organic growth of programmers and projects for the NES we had with so many new people coming in willing to learn and produce a finished game.

gauauu wrote:
But the 2600 homebrew scene is still thriving, despite the existence of some quick and dirty garbage games.


Which doesn't mean much when 90% of the console's contemporary library was shovelware already :P
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212184)
GradualGames wrote:
I know some have said the owl in my game is original, but I mean it's not really, tons of games with familiars already existed

I think the uniqueness is that you've combined a familiar subgame with a boomerang subgame. Not to mention the inventory/ability subgame. Shatterhand as an example doesn't do that. Often, unique features are "simply" new combinations of smaller, non-unique features. Identifying and combining subgames can sometimes be the key.

re: what drives a homebrewer - I think we can all agree the personal drive for homebrewing is varied. Some want to show off technical feats or elegant code, others want to tell a story, somebody wants to create for the sake of creating, others show and tell. Some are building up a portfolio, some might take a few hours off work from what profit margin there is to justify the time it takes, others needs a noncommercial hobby distinguished from work.

I think some of the old timers on this forum dropped off eventually because maybe they were primarily interested in uncovering the nooks and crannies of NES programming, but that's speculation on my side.

For me, physical release and knowing people enjoy something i've been part of doing are strong drives. I also take great pride in whenever i manage to become better at what i do, but the kick isn't as sweet if i hide it in my drawer on some drive. I should know since i've hidden much of my creative output there for a long part of my life. Oh, and i definitely want at least a solid percentage of my efforts to be recognized in the form of hundreds of copies eventually, i don't know why. It's just the way i tick.

punch wrote:
I really don't want to see the "learning how to program old consoles is archaic, a waste of time and borderline wizardry" mindset coming back with full strength after the organic growth of programmers and projects for the NES we had with so many new people coming in willing to learn and produce a finished game.

I sympathize with this sentiment.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212185)
Contrasting the nes scene with the atari scene, I'm willing to bet there will be far fewer games made with nesmaker relative to this scene than batari basic games relative to the atari scene, simply because of the asset complexity involved with making an nes game. Even with the coding done for you, you still have a TON of work to do. I'd almost say coding is a fairly small portion of an overall game's project lifecycle.

One interesting thing I noticed is an awful lot of people on nesmaker's KS page and facebook page have asked about having some kind of asset store they can just piece a game together with. They have made no such promise, just tools for creating assets. I suppose it's possible with the extra funding they will wind up offering this anyway though.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212187)
Well to tell the truth, i plan on trying my luck making a few asset packs and try to sell them. If they net me a little bit of income, i can take some hours off and spend more time on the nesdev related things i do want to do. If it doesn't pan out, well, that's time i ought to have spent om my involvements instead, haha - but in return i get some more experience which could be handy for said projects.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212188)
GradualGames wrote:
Contrasting the nes scene with the atari scene, I'm willing to bet there will be far fewer games made with nesmaker relative to this scene than batari basic games relative to the atari scene, simply because of the asset complexity involved with making an nes game. Even with the coding done for you, you still have a TON of work to do. I'd almost say coding is a fairly small portion of an overall game's project lifecycle.


That's true. On Atari, you don't really need music, and can release a game with terrible programmer art and nobody complains about the graphics. To make a decent NES game, you need a lot of graphics and sound.

Quote:
Well to tell the truth, i plan on trying my luck making a few asset packs and try to sell them. If they net me a little bit of income, i can take some hours off and spend more time on the nesdev related things i do want to do. If it doesn't pan out, well, that's time i ought to have spent om my involvements instead, haha - but in return i get some more experience which could be handy for said projects.


That's a great idea. If someone is willing to pay money for the game maker, I'd be surprised if they aren't willing to pay money for high quality graphics.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212192)
gauauu wrote:
GradualGames wrote:
Contrasting the nes scene with the atari scene, I'm willing to bet there will be far fewer games made with nesmaker relative to this scene than batari basic games relative to the atari scene, simply because of the asset complexity involved with making an nes game. Even with the coding done for you, you still have a TON of work to do. I'd almost say coding is a fairly small portion of an overall game's project lifecycle.


That's true. On Atari, you don't really need music, and can release a game with terrible programmer art and nobody complains about the graphics. To make a decent NES game, you need a lot of graphics and sound.

I continue to feel that while the scene is orienting itself these days towards late-era nes graphics (which is awesome), that early era black box nes graphics are still a valid and charming style, just as atari is. Roth's games all have this characteristic and they're some of the best nes homebrews being made.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212193)
DRW wrote:
Level data is done by hand as well. Because unlike "Mystic Searches", my meta tiles for a screen do not have a fixed 8 x 8 or 16 x 16 pixel size. My meta tiles are stored by-object:

For example, one meta tile might be a house. It stores the width, the height, the palette index, the information whether it's treated as a wall or walkable space and then all separate tile values.

Inside the screen data, I simply put the meta tile type and its x and y position and that's it: Two bytes per object per screen and minimal writing.

A list of (x, y, thing) is exactly how Super Mario World does it, as any Lunar Magic user will know.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Lastly, a philosophical question:
-Is it really homebrew if it wasn't bedroom coded? "Indie" seems more appropriate somehow.

One might define "homebrew" as indie plus unlicensed. "Unlicensed" means a console game not endorsed by the console maker, and in this comment, ceoyoyo defines "indie" as any studio too small for venture capital. Another view is described in inclusion criteria for BootlegGames, where KingPepe2010 defines "homebrew" as unlicensed games that are "made as a hobby and usually don't have a full-time development team behind them."
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212205)
I am a big console video game player. I prefer console games to PC games. That being said, the NES was the first console that I ever played and was my introduction to video gaming. My appeal to making a new NES game is that the console has significant importance to me. Making a game for this console seems like something that I am obligated to do, as strange as that sounds. Like as if I have a special connection to the console. The NES was part of my life and represents in a way "who I am".

Sometimes I like to think of it like this, when you make a game for a console its like you get to join the club of all of the other games on that console. Currently I'm really not part of the NES "club" so to speak because I haven't produced anything for the system. But when I do make something I get to join the ranks.... as if I now belong to something.

What's also really cool about making a new game for a console is that in my opinion, you literally get to redefine what that console is all about. Because you have made new content for a console it is as if that console is somehow different now, because now it can do something that it couldn't do before. So by making a new NES game you have the opportunity to change literally the identity of that console.

With the release of NES Maker the NES homebrew community I believe will see a lot of new comers. People of all walks of life will be trying to make something, but only few will succeed. I think the majority of people will just drag and drop something together and then flash it to the cart and then play it on their NES and this will satisfy them completely. Even if they don't make a full game or sell their game. I think the appeal of just saying "I made something" is what the majority of people will be interested in.

Only the hardcore developers will try and make something substantial. In fact, I suspect that the average kickstarter backer will get their reward (software, flasher) play around with it for a few days. Then determine that it's too hard to actually do a project and then just give up. Honestly, that's what I think.

I don't think any of the devs here making new NES homebrews need to feel threatened by the release of NES Maker. In fact as more people enter the community you might actually see an increase in sales. All of the NES homebrew prior to NES Maker will then be considered classics because they were made the old way and might be more sought after because they are more rare.

Also did you know that even if you make an NES game with no sound and atari 2600 graphics that this can still be a legitimate game? Some people think that you *must* use the consoles resources and potential to its max, but this isn't necessarily so. You can still have an NES game which looks like an atari game. There is nothing wrong with this as games are works of artistic expression.

The thing is that we will never know what is going to happen until it actually happens.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212212)
I don't feel threatened by NES Maker per se. But I suspect that many clueless people might assume that my game was made with that tool just because it's also a top-down action adventure.

Just like people thought that "Haunted Halloween" is a "River City Ransom" hack.
Because, sure: The fact that it plays totally different, that's probably because of the hacker skills.
But the main character sprite has a similar graphics style and that's something that cannot be changed, so the graphics style of one character is of course a clear giveaway that it's a hack.

Or when people call by game "City Trouble" a beat'em up. It is a jump'n'run platformer with a weapon and standard "get hit by touching the opponents and flicker for a few seconds" colision checks. But since the sprite style is similar to early NES titles like "Kung Fu", it's a beat'em up, sure.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212235)
DRW wrote:
I don't feel threatened by NES Maker per se. But I suspect that many clueless people might assume that my game was made with that tool just because it's also a top-down action adventure.

I predict developers will feel pressure to include set pieces that showcase engine features not in NESmaker modules.

DRW wrote:
Just like people thought that "Haunted Halloween" is a "River City Ransom" hack.
Because, sure: The fact that it plays totally different, that's probably because of the hacker skills.

Hence my question about identifying games that share code.

DRW wrote:
Or when people call by game "City Trouble" a beat'em up. It is a jump'n'run platformer with a weapon

They get confused because a handheld electroshock device behaves the same as punching. In gameplay terms, a melee weapon with range no longer than a fist is as much a "weapon" as brass knuckles. I don't classify HH85 as a beat-em-up either; it's a platformer with a melee attack. But I guess to some, a short-range melee attack (as opposed to a ranged weapon, stomping, dash attack, or avoidance) means beat-em-up.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212236)
tepples wrote:
I predict developers will feel pressure to include set pieces that showcase engine features not in NESmaker modules.

Well, I have battery save, scrolling (even without artifacts since I use MMC-1 and can therefore change between hoizontal and vertical mirroring) and hopefully my game will fit into 256 KB instead of 512.

tepples wrote:
They get confused because a handheld electroshock device behaves the same as punching. In gameplay terms, a melee weapon with range no longer than a fist is as much a "weapon" as brass knuckles.

It's quite longer than the hand since the electricity that comes out of it checks for collision too.

To me, a beat'em up as opposed to a jump'n'run is a game where the opponents hit you with their own attacks. In "Kung Fu", "Double Dragon" and "Final Fight", you don't get hit by the opponents by simply walking into them.

If you run into an opponent and lose energy, without the opponent actually doing anything, and then you flicker for a while and are invincible, then this is obviously not a beat'em up.

In my game, I don't think it has anything to do with the taser. Nobody considers "Rush'n Attack" a beat'em up since the knife is like a fist.
I assume it's purely because of the similar graphics style:
Attachment:
Crossover.png
Crossover.png [ 4.16 KiB | Viewed 1770 times ]
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212238)
In a perfect world, that ^ mockup would've been a game.

Quote:
Well, I have battery save, scrolling (even without artifacts since I use MMC-1 and can therefore change between hoizontal and vertical mirroring) and hopefully my game will fit into 256 KB instead of 512.

Scrolling and mode of scrolling sets it aside. Smaller size won't be something users notice, but a scrolling adventure topdowner is differently featured enough.

Quote:
o me, a beat'em up as opposed to a jump'n'run is a game where the opponents hit you with their own attacks.

This is a very sensible distinction. I guess people find it close at hand to associate brawling, fighting and martial arts with beat em ups, though...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212247)
Giant scrolling bosses might not be possible. MUAH HUAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAAAAAhhhhhhh........... :twisted:
*edit* Actually...have those ever been done with sprite 0 hit?? Just occurred to me.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212251)
GradualGames wrote:
Giant scrolling bosses [...] Actually...have those ever been done with sprite 0 hit??

1 week left, just wait and see... :wink:
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212253)
GradualGames wrote:
Giant scrolling bosses might not be possible. MUAH HUAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAAAAAhhhhhhh........... :twisted:
*edit* Actually...have those ever been done with sprite 0 hit?? Just occurred to me.

I don't know about sprite 0 hits, but there are many cases of giant bosses in rooms where floors have little to no details (i.e. just horizontal lines), so you can't tell that the floor is scrolling along with the boss.

One way to improve that technique is to use a few sprites to decorate the stationary platforms, but I don't think any games did that.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212256)
Even if the next couple of games I make are possible to do in nesmaker, my guess is they won't REALLY quite be the same. In other words, there are dozens of tiny details in how entity state machines work which would likely be very different. Like, I'm sure I could customize nesmaker to make a platformer and use the graphics I'm using for my current game and it would look KINDA like the game I'm making now, but getting it so it is tuned and FEELS just like the one I'm working on---there are so many fine grained details down at that level, I would be TRULY ASTOUNDED if this tool can visually allow enough customization to capture every detail. the "feel" of characters even in well trod genres can often be startlingly different due to these details. You guys all know what I'm talking about.

Something like an RPG though, those fine grained details would be harder to detect by an attentive player, probably. Though, the menu system might wind up different from what one has envisioned, not to mention the stats system for your party and enemies.

I guess I'm trying to say I think even if one is not doing anything particularly new engine wise, it STILL should be possible to differentiate from what's possible in nesmaker, just by virtue of selecting (i.e. coding, yourself) many dozens of details at the micro-level that this tool will likely not expose (unless you edit the code, but at that point you might as well be making your own engine anyway)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212261)
Quote:
my guess is they won't REALLY quite be the same.

A friend/colleague sometimes remind me that the devil is in the details (friendly advise when i'm obsessing over them and spending too much time on them), though for a game, i'd say the soul is in the details. Subtle things you might not even consciously notice at times.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212279)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
Quote:
my guess is they won't REALLY quite be the same.

A friend/colleague sometimes remind me that the devil is in the details (friendly advise when i'm obsessing over them and spending too much time on them), though for a game, i'd say the soul is in the details. Subtle things you might not even consciously notice at times.

100% agree. When you use a maker, unless you replace absolutely all of those details somehow, you get somebody else's soul. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I think for many of us pre-nesmaker creators that's the whole point: To put our soul into something. I find it hard to say "I made this," if that isn't true.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212297)
Can't you just create something in NES maker and then "hack" your own game and make custom changes outside of the software by hand. I think they mentioned you can mine for the data in NES maker and then use it for your own homebrew.

Even though I'm not an expert coder I usually like things heavily customized. I could see myself doing most of the game with NES maker but then adjusting some nitpicks that I have by hand.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212326)
I assume you won't need to hack your own project, because hopefully you'll have access to the assembly code generated for your project.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212661)
The New 8 bit hero's posted a new video on their main youtube channel showing off a platforming like game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMHhNobyewQ

I honestly can't wait for this. I actually got an NES to USB adapter so I can test out my games on a emulator with an official NES controller. I only got the software reward because I figured that I already have an N-8 flashcart everdrive, but oddly it seems mapper 30 isn't supported on the N-8 yet. I'm hoping that someone very shortly will add support for mapper 30 in the next N-8 firmware update.

I really hope that other software developers can see the potential of these game engine programs for older consoles and try and make similar engines for other consoles too. For example I would love to see:

An Atari 2600 maker
An SNES maker
A Genesis maker
An N-64 maker

and such.


Also does anyone know what this is...

https://sourceforge.net/projects/nesrommaker/

It says its an NES rom maker program, but I don't understand it. Seems like it was released years ago and has no affiliation with NESMaker from 8 bit hero's.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212673)
Quote:
showing off a platforming like game.


You can download it from here.
http://troll.thenew8bitheroes.com/

Apparently it was made in 8 days, sort of to demonstrate the concept / address troll comments.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212687)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
Quote:
showing off a platforming like game.


You can download it from here.
http://troll.thenew8bitheroes.com/

Apparently it was made in 8 days, sort of to demonstrate the concept / address troll comments.

I can't run this. I don't know which emulator supports mapper 30.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212689)
checked, you can run it in fceux
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212762)
But it says that it's "not supported at all".
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212764)
Did you download the latest fceux version? The ROM definitely works with it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212765)
Yep, 2.2.2 is too old. New mednafen also runs it, older doesn't.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212767)
Hey everyone - so...this is Joe, proprietor of this wacky concept. Even though I have met so many of you and done everything in my power to be a force for awareness for what everyone here is doing over the past three years and hoped I'd fostered good will, I dreaded coming here and finding this community's backlash to this project, and have been sort of putting off coming to see what was said in this thread. I honestly feared the worst. I was pleasantly surprised to see at least a good handful of you have voiced some level of support, or at least helped correct misinformation. I wanted to come on personally and answer some questions.

First and foremost, this project could not exist without the NESdev community. We've been very adamant about that. Brian Parker, Tokumaru, Shiru, EDB Holland, Memblers (Joe), Tepples (Damian), Sivak, Kasumi, Rainwarrior (Brad), Gradual Games (Derek), Frank Westphal, Sly Dog Studios (Rob), John White, KHAN Game (Kevin), and so many others...many of you whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in person...have all been a part of the project's development. I say this because, to those who haven't met me, I want to clear up the idea that I'm some outsider to this community. I've been adamantly trying to foster interest and excitement for new NES games, practically as a full time job, for three years. I've also worked closely with Dain Anderson (Nintendo Age), chiptune artists like Inverse Phase and Jake Kauffman, and several others NOT heavily involved in this community that are also integral part of its development. I've channeled my contacts at IGN, successful YouTube 'celebrities', friends at major educational institutions, Los Angeles Magazine, a dozen or so nerd conventions, podcasts, friends in the media, friends at major game studios, etc...to help bring awareness to the homebrew community. I've been holding Homebrew nights at a local brewery and filming it, exposing new crowds to new games that this community is creating (seriously, we've been VERY patiently waiting on Lizard to be our next episode!). I can't stress enough - I support everything you guys are doing, and likewise I have always found NESdev to be one of the most supportive places on the internet.

As for our intentions with NESmaker, why we launched it, and how we hope it helps this thing that we all are so passionate about...

Here's the full story, for anyone who wants to reference it.

As we were building our NES game, we began building our own suite of tools (as does almost everyone who builds for the NES) that interfaced with the ASM through a front end. For logical things like screen building or animation table design or text string creation. One thing that separates us, possibly, from many individuals making homebrew games is that we were fortunate enough to actually have a small development team, with one of the team members specifically devoted to said tools. Well, about 18 months ago, we were demoing an early build of our game at Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and many people wanted to know how we created it. We began to show the ASM, and then the tools, explaining how they worked in tandem to create the necessary data tables. After doing this, we had continual mad rushes to our booth for people who wanted "that NESmaker tool thing". We let people play around and see their results on real hardware. They wanted it for themselves. We explained that the tools wouldn't do much good and that it was just a bunch of in house tools that helped speed up writing the ASM. We pointed people in the direction of Shiru's screen tool and FamiTracker and things like this as great resources, but people insisted. So we had a sit down with our tool developer about ways we could combine our tools into one meta tool, and then cleverly begin to break our ASM into malleable, organized chunks that were tethered to the tool, that could be exposed in a graphical way and easily, intuitively modifiable comparable to more modern object oriented game development WYSIWYG tools like GameMaker, RPGmaker, Unity, Unreal, etc.

So for over a year, we tinkered with possibilities, the whole while showing it off at conventions such as RetroGameCon, Portland/Seattle Retro Gaming Expo, Dragon Con, Emerald Coast Con, Game On Expo, and several others. We held workshops, teaching ASM basics and demoing how our tool manipulated the ASM at UCLA, University of Baltimore, RIngling College of Art and Design, and a bunch of others. As a proof of concept, I built a game with the tool for last year's Global Game Jam and documented the process. We took feedback and continued to morph and mold the tool set to be increasingly capable in diverse sets of choices within the finite engine. This was as much for our needs as it was for potential needs to make future projects. Again, this is similar to the efforts that many you have done in creating your own tools that you continue to use, however we had the benefit of having someone whose job was expressly to work on this.

After a year of doing this out of pocket, it was to a point where we could easily crank out adventure games that were incredibly customizable via an intuitive front end, with the ability to make a lot of deep modifications without having to get into the code, which was great for someone like our teams artist, Austin, or even our tool developer Josh, who weren't skilled in 6502 ASM, but are both incredibly capable creatives with vision, and could now help with our game and even create their own. But of course, we wanted the tool to be able to do more than create adventure games. So we started pushing it and tugging it and massaging it, making it even more capable from the front end, until we got to the point that without digging into the code, one could repurpose the engine to do all sorts of things and at least approximate many genres.

All the while, we continued to get requests for the tool from people who had seen it at conventions. When I say requests, I'm saying hundreds of people. We got together with Paul Malloy from Infinite NES Lives and built a system for one-click deployment to a cartridge. At that point, we debated whether or not to make this tool available to the people that wanted it. There was a lot in the tool that was hacked together for our purposes, and we realized it would need a lot of work on UI design, and needed lots of tweaking to actually be as intuitive to a new user as it had become to us. We wanted to build more comprehensive graphics editors, a music composition tool, more options for arranging memory to fit genre needs (allocating more text allotment for RPGs, scrolling capability for platformers, etc). Thus...the Kickstarter, to allow us to hire our tool developer, who is a freelance programmer for a living (it's how he feeds his kids and keeps his lights on) full time for as long as possible. We decided that if people wanted it, we'd build it and make it as cool as we possibly can. If they didn't, no harm no foul.

Which brings us to now.

As to some of the concerns I've seen on this thread...

One of the things I've noted is the concern over the shovelware that will be created as a result of this tool. I do understand this concern. Honestly, I do. However, I want to offer an anecdote from my decade of teaching game development (I taught game development in Baltimore City Public Schools for many years, and helped shape and pilot the curriculum for the city's CTE program). While teaching, I had a mixed bag of students as far as interest and competency goes, some of whom were still struggling with basic algebra and had never seen a line of code. I used to start them off in GameMaker. We would launch straight into the GML (which, if you're unfamiliar, is a pretty simple high level proprietary scripting language), and most of them would straight up shut down. It was *too hard*, not because it was beyond the, but because it was foreign and because they couldn't get beyond their own sense of it being too hard. So then, I began teaching the simple drag and drop functions, which they'd immediately latch on to and would gain profound confidence, which also spawn their ambition. They'd start asking "Well...how could I do this cool thing I want my game to do?" I'd tell them that the only way to do it was by using code. At that point, we'd go back to coding, and I swear, even the least capable student in the class would say, "Man, why didn't we just START with code? It's so much easier!". And I'm talking about the exact SAME kids who originally considered coding too hard. This all taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to developing games. I want you all to consider for a moment the number of people who are members of these forums who had the highest level of ambition to make their NES game...but who got six months in to learning ASM and completely gave up. Their output is effectively zero, let alone *shovelware*. Instead, it's...nothing at all. We all know the unfortunate truth is this makes up the vast majority of people who join this community. In fact, most of them end up running to a tool like GameMaker or Unity or RPG maker, not because they've lost the ambition to make a NES game, and not even because they are incapable, but because they've been defeated by the sharpness of the learning curve and simply are not confident in their ability to ever learn. In my best vision for NESmaker (and this I've said from the beginning), I see it as a jumping off point to give new NES developers the confidence, instant feedback of their creative ideas. And then, for many, become a gateway to wanted to go beyond what our engines are capable of and begin futzing with the ASM in ways that don't completely break everything, building up confidence in their ability to write in ASM. And then, before long, to toss NESmaker to the side and join the ranks of those programming their own unique engines from scratch. To be clear, i'm of the opinion that the best way to build an NES game is to learn ASM, memory management, all the hardware limitations, and all of the other nonsense that comes with this passion pursuit. However, considering that the generation with a nostalgic affinity for this system is starting to age out of this pursuit, and with so many other, easier, more versatile options for creating games (that would be shiny alternatives to someone who doesn't have nostalgic affinity for the system), it seems that only positives can come from expanded awareness and desire to create new carts. That means more people are buying hardware to play it on, and with more people buying more hardware, more people wanting a larger collection of games to play, and with the demand for more new games, more people interested or reinvested in this console as a creative outlet, etc.

But let's go worst case scenario. Lots of people get NESmaker, they never push it beyond making clone games with the default engines. Well, that's effectively what the ROM hacking community has been doing for decades now, except in this case, at least it's legal and more malleable on the user side. Rom hacking has absolutely kept interest and investment in the system alive, and has actually produced some great 8-bit experiences, tools, and fundamental understanding of what the system can do. Even if 1% of the Kickstarter backers make really cool games that are worth playing, that's 14 new NES games that may not have existed otherwise. And yes, despite Unity and Unreal and GameMaker being simple tools for creating games, leading to plenty of shovelware, they've also helped developers create amazing games for their respective platforms too. Hopefully, the same will be true for this. That's our goal.

Closing thoughts on all this...
I really hope to continue to enjoy the support this community has already shown me over the last few years for what we're doing now. I actually hope some of you guys try this out, break it completely, write your own underlying, vastly superior game engines, and use it mostly as another proverbial tool in your screen editor/graphics editor/music composer toolbox, or maybe use it for rapid prototyping proofs of concept. I anticipate many of you will still have reservations, even after this lengthy explanation. Feel free to contact me in an email (a few from these forums already have) at joe@TheNew8bitHeroes.com if you have questions or just want to talk more about it all. I can't stress enough, this entire project is only meant to enhance what everyone here is doing, not to replace or subvert it somehow. Everyone who has met me will hopefully attest to that being true. NESmaker is simply a case of necessity being the mother of invention.

Thanks for listening to this rant. You guys are all awesome, even those of you who will disregard NESmaker as somehow less genuine for making what they've toiled over too easy...know that whether you're a supporter of this or not, I have utmost respect for, and am very grateful for, everything you're doing for this as creative pursuit and an art form!


Sincerely -
Joe

*********************
EDIT: I just noticed that it was user Sonny_Jim who launched this thread. I'd like to note that I believe this user created an account simply to bash this project, as he only has two posts, both of which bash this project...this user seems to have some sort of inherent vitriol for me for unknown reasons...he launched a similar post on Reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/shittykickstar ... ogramming/

I'm usually not one to call someone out on this sort of thing...there are plenty of valid criticisms for what we're trying to do - but since I've always enjoyed NESdev's lack of trolling (from my experience, anyway), I thought I'd point this out. I apologize this project has attracted a troll to these forums. :-/

*********************
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212773)
Well said, Joe! Nice to see the tool wasn't brewed in closed doors and suddenly shown to the world, I didn't know that.

I have nothing but great expectations for what games are to come in the near future. As for the shovelware, if a game is actually good it only makes it stand out more by contrast.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212782)
Quote:
we began building our own suite of tools (as does almost everyone who builds for the NES)


I wish. NESmaker puts my game design set-up to shame. My first game was started by me entering hex bytes in a hex editor, and dancing with glee when ANYTHING popped up in my emulator.

But, it gives me ideas for how to do things in the future.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212788)
What an awesome inspiration speech. :)

Thank you for pointing out this problem of how we all gotta code sooner or later. I think that those drag and drop methods are only babysteps for making simple little projects before one can go and jump into something deeper. As much as I've seen from NESmaker, it's very good because it generates the boring system stuff code and easily generates what the user chooses and then it lets the user change that code to their own wish.

This is one type of my favorite game dev tool types that I've always wanted to have and use. Thank you for making this tool! Will it be free and open-source to use and port to other projects? For example, what if I bundle my game made with NESmaker into an emulator that's specifically made just for that game and make it a standalone game? I'd like to be able to release the source code under something like BSD license, but I'm not sure would that be legal. Could you please let me know?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212789)
JoeGtake2 wrote:
But let's go worst case scenario. Lots of people get NESmaker, they never push it beyond making clone games with the default engines. Well, that's effectively what the ROM hacking community has been doing for decades now, except in this case, at least it's legal and more malleable on the user side.

On the plus side, we potentially get more evidence in operating system distributors' favor for substantial noninfringing use of NES emulators. (See what I wrote earlier about Red Hat's exclusion thereof from Fedora.) But on the minus side, maintainers of ROM categorization tools would end up either A. bloating their database (what's a "Terrick" or a "Yeppick"?) or B. dropping the PD category altogether.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212791)
Quote:
A. bloating their database


To my surprise i found my "Roller Derby project" as an empty entry on a rom database as someone had linked to my site. It couldn't be anything else than an empty entry as i've never released a rom, so they must've based it on my badly unupdated progress tracking subpage. Not much point in listing it until there's something that's even remotely playable and not just a set of half baked features. Any game might be a project/work in progress, but not every project should count as a game (just yet). This one in particular is my trial and error thing which i put 15 minutes into here and there.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212854)
I'm one of those people who don't know how to program NES games at all, but can say exactly how I would make a game if I could. That is why this tool works for me.

- Joe, please make the NESmaker program such that you can easily share custom code between users, such as custom sprites and blocks/tiles. If people can share code easily between projects then your program will blossom. If one person figured out how to make 4-way scrolling possible and they decide to share the code then others should also be able to take that code and drop it into their project too.

- Joe, please if you can add support for mapper 30 on the N-8 everdrive.

- Joe, about Mystic Origins. I don't like how you can spin jump onto and destroy useful items that you can uncover under bushes and such. This is like being able to destroy coins in Mario Bros. I also don't like how when you play your instrument that the SELECT button changes the pitch of the notes. This means that sometimes I use my left thumb to hit SELECT when I hit A and B and then I use my right thumb to hit SELECT when I hit the D-pad buttons. In this current set up, it is very cumbersome to try and play songs because I'm switching my thumbs and fingers all around. I suggest you play Zelda Ocarina of Time and study how they did songs. Usually it was just 3 notes repeated over twice. Instead of doing the SELECT idea to change the notes, why not just only use the D-pad to produce notes and the A and B buttons to change the pitches. You can easily get 12 notes out of this with the following options: A and B not pressed = 4 unique notes on D-pad. A pressed and B not pressed = 4 more unique notes on D-pad. A not pressed and B pressed = even 4 more notes on D-pad. Also it seems like you have a note counter on the top right part of the screen. What is this? Do you have to pay for notes to make songs? Every time I play a note, my note counter goes down and then after I have zero notes left my sounds from my instrument then sound fainter. Does this mean that once I hit zero notes in my counter that my songs no longer work? Songs should be FREE to play at anytime just like in Zelda Ocarina of Time.

Here Joe, this is how the songs should be done. Zelda already got it right. Keep it simple.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd60Sgob99I

Also you said:

Quote:
I dreaded coming here and finding this community's backlash to this project, and have been sort of putting off coming to see what was said in this thread.


Honestly, Joe, while there may always be some trolls, I'm pretty sure that 99.9% of this community gladly welcomes and accepts your NES endeavors.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212872)
hi joe, first of all i want to say that i'm not trying to put down your project, in fact i have designed a much simpler tool to assist in building my game, and have already started the planning process for something quite similar to nesMaker for future projects. it looks really impressive, and i'm surprised at how versatile it appears to be already.

Quote:
But let's go worst case scenario.


the worst case scenario to me, is not that tons of people create shovelware games. that doesn't concern me at all. what concerns me is that people will take those projects to kickstarter, or other commercial venues, and give NES homebrew in general a bad name among the (large) percentage of the population who doesn't know any better. that could very adversely affect projects like mine, and other people who have actually taken the time to write thousands of lines of code. i kind of dread having to prove that my game wasn't made with nesMaker, and having it compared to games that were.

however, i am in complete concurrence that this community needs better tools for beginners. i gave up myself a couple of times (once in the early 2000's and again in probably 2008 or so) after seeing the available tools to work with. finally i found NESICIDE and decided to just create my own level editor. i'm not opposed to the project in general, but i think these are real concerns for people trying to make commercial projects.


as for this sonny_jim guy, having read that thread on reddit, he is a rude, arrogant jackass. don't worry about him!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212874)
@Erock - responded to Mystic Origins questions elsewhere for ya! :-) As for mapper 30 on everdrive...we don't have control of that. We had a successful test of hacking Troll Burner as a mapper2, and it played fine (minus mapper 30 features like tile anim from chr ram bankswitching) on an Everdrive. So like everything else with the NES, if you're cool with the caveats, you should be able to hack a solution (or we'll make a dummy proof output option for mapper 2, which really just changes the header and disables a few routines). As for sharing assets...you can, within scope. For instance if two people have the same graphics loaded up and the same base code, they can absolutely share *assets* (graphics+collision+attribute data), screens, etc. Also, the code snippets are in ASM files...we are slowly organizing the code for easy access to lots of common functions (AI routines, collision routines, even things like physics engine). You could just open the particular code and replace what's inside. We are currently working on tendrils to the tool so you don't even have to go looking. Just open from within the tool.

@Toggle - have no problem with constructive criticism at all! :-) I'm wondering if there is any logic to an approval process for a sort of *seal of quality* type paradigm. As a content creator, I want no part of that, because it makes me bias. But I'd be curious if there is a reputable institution that exists that would be interested in that part of it, or even a aggregator of reviews like Rotten Tomatoes or Amazon has, that could help with things like this (that way it's not down to a single person's opinion either). Some level of QC that would be a badge of confidence. Again, I don't want to do that part as a content creator myself, but...something like that might be interesting, what do you think?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212875)
btw, that reads a bit more negatively than i intended, so i just wanted to add that i wish you all the success in the world with this project, it really does look awesome.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212876)
one thing (that i'm not sure translates well here) that many 'game-makers' do is include a splash screen that says something like "made with tool x".

users can then pay a commercial license to remove said splash screen for commercial projects, which i guess weeds out a lot of people from releasing sub-par work on a commercial level. like i said, i don't think this necessarily translates well, since you're already charging for the program itself, and most of the stuff i'm talking about is free to use. also anybody with a bit of programming knowledge could just hop inside the code and delete that part.

but... it's something. i mean, are you really licensing all that code out *for commercial use* for $38? pretty cheap!

but yeah, changing the fine print on that now might not be a very popular move.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212877)
$36. For 3 years of my life building an engine and a tool that can do it. And 30% of that is to cover fees and taxes. Yes. It's as close to free as the team can make it and continue to support it. If this can leave the legacy of helping others get into this and give a resurgence for interest in developing for the console, then I'm pretty happy. Before the thing is released, we'll be analyzing some options as to how to prevent the shovelware, but also, NOT discourage young first time developers. :-)

If it gets to the point where one can't tell whether a game was made with our tool or from scratch, then I'd say it'll probably do fine and KS and produce at least a relatively quality product that wouldn't diminish the perception of NES devs at all. If that makes sense.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212886)
JoeGtake2 wrote:
we'll be analyzing some options as to how to prevent the shovelware

I would suggest this should not be prevented. There is no need to prevent it and there is no good reason or mechanism to do so without harming the value of the NES Maker.

NES development isn't some kind of frontier gold rush. The people making any money at all from it are very few. It's even less profitable than extremely "shovelware" clogged venues like iPhone and Steam. This situation is not helped by trying to keep the amount of games being release on NES smaller.

This will only result in the increased value of NES production, not lowered. The value of an NES release is not some slice of a fixed pie of every NES release; each new one makes that pie bigger. Even games that you think are low quality are of at least small value to someone else; especially the person that made it. I also greatly appreciate the efforts of people like Bunnyboy and the people making the Analogue NT so that there's new stock to replace the old machines!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212888)
One more point in the pro basket is that an increase of people making their own homebrew carts, small, medium or large scale, will also likely help cut reproduction costs a little. Cost of hardware is extremely sensitive to how large bulks of components are ordered, and likewise when the contract goes to a manufacturer in china, populating a large batch of boards is cheaper than ordering smaller runs.

In medieval times there were guilds (brewers' guilds among them) designed to protect the trade and keep newcomers/younger generations/women/foreigners out. While operating mostly out of self interest, the institution of the guilds walked a moral balance between providing economic stability and causing stagnation of development (not to mention a lot of place-seeking individuals spiritually smothered by gatekeeping).

Neither imbalance nor stagnation is good. We need to grow, and we need to at least allow a discussion how to best take care of the scene (blunt conservatism isn't the answer, i'm not saying that).

For me the ideal institution for helping homebrew thrive and raise the quality is already here in one shape: the nesdev compo. Peer reviews help us get better, and some of the winners might even take the confidence and rank to get to new heights on their adventure.

I can imagine a NESmaker compo being a totally benign way to help the scene.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212892)
JoeGtake2 wrote:
As for mapper 30 on everdrive...we don't have control of that.

If you write a mapper 30 implementation for everdrive and send it to Krikzz, I'm sure he'd gladly include it in the next official OS update, and until then you could distribute the extra mapper to people who need it. (This is what I did to get mapper 31 supported.)

There tends to be several months between Everdrive OS releases, so I'd suggest doing it very soon if you want it to be ready down the line when it's needed.

Everdrive development info:
http://krikzz.com/pub/support/everdrive-n8/development/

Everdrive N8 forum:
http://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?board=15.0


PowerPak mappers, on the other hand haven't seen an official update in many years. :( ...but you can still build a mapper and distribute it yourself. Some development info links are at the bottom of this wiki page:
https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/Powerpak


The only reason FCEUX has mapper 30 support is that one interested person submitted a patch. At the time there weren't any publicly available ROMs for it, they just wanted to play their own dumps of some RetroUSB releases. This is also why it doesn't have widespread support: there still aren't that many publicly available ROMs.

To get mapper 31 into a bunch of emulators, I submitted a reference implementation to FCEUX, and then made test ROMs and distributed information to make it easy to support and test.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212904)
I ordered an EverdriveN8 on the Black Friday sale, and Krikzz was even kind to add the USB port I nagged for, with no extra charge. That generosity has made me feel a little bad for not yet getting around for doing some mapper development, due to work and IRL hobbys taking prededence in the last month.

But a mapper30 implementation felt like a good "Hello World" test, so here's half an hour's work, pretty much a straight copy-n-paste of Krikzz's mapper2 example.

Everdrive mapper30 work-in-progress

Seems to run fine for me at least - fans are spinning in Troll Burner. But I haven't yet implemented the 4-screen/1-screen mirroring bit as I'm not sure how to interpret the iNES header/config settings. I'll try to get that fixed tomorrow. Does anyone know of some test roms that I could try it on to verify it's all working as it should?

I'm really amazed how dead-simple this was. Getting an Everdrive N8 sure was an upgrade from my Powerpak - the USB development is just beyond awesome and should make me a bit motivated to actually try to make the 8x8 attribute and offset-per-tile-mode mapper I've head in my head for a while. I used to use TheFox's serial loader on my Powerpak, but that obviously doesn't support mapper development out-of-the-box, and reverse engineering the Powerpak boot ROM didn't sound too appealing. Plus the Everdrive's example files win bigtime over the Powerpak's. Big thumbs up to Krikzz for making this process such a child's play!

Ironically, the biggest hurdle was spending hours on getting Altera's software working. Intel's website wouldn't let me download without registering, the registration webform would give an "error" with no clues as to what feel it didn't accept, until I re-ran it in chrome incognito mode. The download was gigabytes of data, and even more gigabytes of install I had to sit through for ages. Last time I tried FPGA evelopment it was with Xilinx's tools which were almost as painful. FPGA development tools really do top the list of the most bloated modern software that makes me wish for the good old 8-bit days...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212905)
Bananmos wrote:
haven't yet implemented the 4-screen/1-screen mirroring bit as I'm not sure how to interpret the iNES header/config settings. I'll try to get that fixed tomorrow. Does anyone know of some test roms that I could try it on to verify it's all working as it should?

I haven't seen any test ROMs for this mapper, and I think something like that would go a long way to getting other emulators to implement it.

The 4-screen/1-screen thing is a recent proposal. I don't think any public ROMs exist to demonstrate it. I don't think FCEUX implements it either.

Edit: FCEUX's bug tracker has an open request for the 4-screen feature, apparently with a test ROM.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212918)
Here's my mapper 30 test ROM using 1-screen arrangement : http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?p=197768#p197768.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212949)
You guys are awesome, and your feedback and support is humbly appreciated. :-)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212951)
Bananmos wrote:
I used to use TheFox's serial loader on my Powerpak, but that obviously doesn't support mapper development out-of-the-box, and reverse engineering the Powerpak boot ROM didn't sound too appealing.

It should be pretty easy to do mapper development actually. Just copy your mapper file in the mappers directory and upload your test ROM which is set to use said mapper in the header. It might not be immediately obvious, but the mapper file is always uploaded with the ROM, not loaded from the CF card. Did you encounter some problem with this approach?

The only caveat I can think of is that custom loaders (the first $400 bytes in the .MAP file) are ignored.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212969)
Quote:
It should be pretty easy to do mapper development actually. Just copy your mapper file in the mappers directory and upload your test ROM which is set to use said mapper in the header. It might not be immediately obvious, but the mapper file is always uploaded with the ROM, not loaded from the CF card. Did you encounter some problem with this approach?

The only caveat I can think of is that custom loaders (the first $400 bytes in the .MAP file) are ignored.


Oops... now that I look at the readme.txt of the pc2nes I've had on disk for quite some time, it does say this. Heh, not sure how I managed to miss that... was it a feature you added in a later release of pc2nes?

Still happy with my Everdrive purchase - the dev examples are a bit better, the USB transfer seems faster, and it seems to be an FPGA with more memory bits too, if I read the specs correctly. But I might actually try to repeat this for my Powerpak, as I've already got Xilinx tools installed.

And thanks for the test roms rainwarrior-glutock. I'm almost there with having both of them working, but when I go from hard-coded to automatic selection something goes awry. I'll try to look at it in the weekend. Two things which did confuse me though:
1) UNROM512_4screen_test.nes actually seems to use pattern table 0 for BG, which is probably why the last of the four screens display as garbage for me (as pattern table 0 gets overwritten with 4-screen data) Is this fourth garbage screen as expected?
2) mapper30-testROM-20170608.nes doesn't actually have vertical mirroring set in the iNES header, as per rainwarrior's original proposal for disambiguating the mappers

Also, would anyone happen to know where I can find a definition of what the map_cfg register contains? map_cfg seems to be the vertical mirroring bit, but the others I'm not 100% sure of yet. They're written by the everdrive OS at some point, and I think they map to bits in the iNES header. But not sure exactly how.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212971)
Quote:
I can imagine a NESmaker compo being a totally benign way to help the scene.


I found some strange video of some dude saying he is going to hold a NESmaker competition and website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yvEdE-VBR4
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212972)
Erockbrox wrote:
Quote:
I can imagine a NESmaker compo being a totally benign way to help the scene.


I found some strange video of some dude saying he is going to hold a NESmaker competition and website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yvEdE-VBR4


Does he have any fucking shame? There's so much wrong in that video/pitch. We have $$$ and prizes without charging people a cent, and yet this nobody wants you to pay 10 dollars to vote and 25 to submit a game in his made up contest. Is he insane or is this an elaborate troll targeted at us? Guy's supposed to be 40 for god's sake.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212978)
I... feel weirded by that video. Definitely not what i had in mind.

Not meaning to bash on him for having initiative, but i found these things a bit troublesome:

-It's hard to get people behind an idea with all its specifics that you've developed all on your own.
-Is it really okay to use brands wholly unaffiliated to your cause? Including logo, as you see a bit deeper into the video.
-Having to pay to submit to a compo for the chance of winning back an admittedly large fraction sounds a bit like a gambling scheme, to be perfectly honest.
-if that is not the intention, that is still sort of how it comes across, which wouldn't help it.
-If it's about love, not money (as stated in the video), why not begin with a humble, freely hosted message board and see how things grow from there?

Only reason i can see for a submission fee is a symbolic one (like 1$) to filter out any plausible spam and make jurying / peer review more managable, should there be an overwhelming flood of entrants.

Might just be that he's isolated and doesn't know there's two major sites (here, NA) to rally around, exchange ideas and springboard from if needed.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#212981)
Bananmos wrote:
Oops... now that I look at the readme.txt of the pc2nes I've had on disk for quite some time, it does say this. Heh, not sure how I managed to miss that... was it a feature you added in a later release of pc2nes?

Nope, it was there always. It was actually somewhat easier to do it this way rather than read from the CF card.

Quote:
Still happy with my Everdrive purchase - the dev examples are a bit better, the USB transfer seems faster, and it seems to be an FPGA with more memory bits too, if I read the specs correctly. But I might actually try to repeat this for my Powerpak, as I've already got Xilinx tools installed.

Yeah the FPGA in Everdrive is much more powerful than the one in PowerPak, not just in memory bits.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213023)
Hey everyone - yeah, I think this might be the same guy that hit me up about it. I haven't figured out exactly how to respond, because I don't want to discourage anyone from doing what they feel might help the scene. However, I do want to be sure that it is known there is no affiliation.

We were definitely planning some game-jam type events at conventions for sure. I personally want to hold two contests, which I'll put up the money for myself if I can't find a sponsor. I want to hold a contest to see just how deep someone can get with NESmaker in the way it was intended (take a genre as coded, and build something truly remarkable and evocative), and then another (which will appeal to those here) to demonstrate who can break the thing the coolest and develop something completely unique and unexpected with it.

Also, I've already teamed up with a few schools to use this as a primer to help begin to teach ASM. That's super validating, and is the stuff I really hope this tool brings about.

FYI - a quick mapper2 iteration of Troll Burner (there IS a rogue subroutine which was suggesting bus conflict, but I found it!...this might even show up on the mapper 30 version). This has been tested on Everdrive and about a half dozen emus, so it seems like this will be a solution (with the tradeoffs of losing chr-ram bankswitch-aided animated tiles and flash saves). Again, this is a bit hacked together, but figured you guys would enjoy! :-)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213036)
TheFox: Must have been pretty blind then, and will RTFM more in the future. Pardon me for spreading untruths about your awesome utility, which only recently looks to be partially retired in my coding-flow. :)

Joe: I've made a new version of my mapper30 for the everdrive.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15es4lW ... h7juB/view

That should let people play it on an everdrive without missing out on the animated tiles.
(although IMHO you should probably consider animating them with CHR-RAM writes anyway, as all those 8kB banks could be put to better use... but your choice :wink: )

A feature still missing is the ability to write the PRG-ROM to emulate the Flash ROM functionality of a real mapper30. This would probably need Krikzz's help to make sure the everdrive OS writes the entire ROM back to the sd card for mapper30 games with the battery bit set.

But assuming that's possible, then I don't think it should be too difficult, as long as I can rely on games writing every single byte of the flash sectors when they save their data, then it should just be a case of identifying the right write command sequence and pulling the /wr line low.

Dealing with games that would rely on sectors being cleared to FF would be much harder, as the verilog logic would somehow need to find spare cycles to loop through a 4kB sector and erase the PRG-ROM to FF, and it seems like way too much work to support an esoteric use-case. What's more, I kind of like the idea that relying on the FF values could be a poor-man's copy protection scheme if they are worried about everdrive/powerpak mapper30 support increasing piracy of new homebrews. :roll:

By the way, I assume Nesmaker will in fact make use of Infinitelives 4-screen version of mapper30, rather than the original version? 4-screens do make a lot of things easier, and it is what the NES hardware was originally designed to use, with the mirrored 2kB looking mostly like an afterthought to bring the console costs down.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213039)
Bananmos wrote:
Dealing with games that would rely on sectors being cleared to FF would be much harder, as the verilog logic would somehow need to find spare cycles to loop through a 4kB sector and erase the PRG-ROM to FF, and it seems like way too much work to support an esoteric use-case. What's more, I kind of like the idea that relying on the FF values could be a poor-man's copy protection scheme if they are worried about everdrive/powerpak mapper30 support increasing piracy of new homebrews. :roll:

Any game that wants to treat flash as a log-structured file system, programming small strings until a page is full and copying the latest version of each string to an empty page once full, will probably need the $FF values to know which pages are empty and which parts of each page aren't used yet.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213165)
I was watching videos, and one shade of purple is really off. Is that going to be fixed?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213170)
Standing alone the NesMaker project is a wonderful thing. With all the respect for you and your team, i still feel a little bit unfair for Mystic Search's backers because this project will certainly delay its release date. With your vision, further refinement of NesMaker is probably the necessary and unavoidable step to complete Mystic Search but again these extra modules have really nothing to do with Mystic Search. That's just fact. Maybe most backers doesn't mind at all but still... Just my two cents...
A side note i'm very surprise that people who want to create nes hombrew games are so much more than the ones who want to play it :D
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213197)
@Psycopathicteen: Hm - is shade of purple way off? I'll have to ask Josh what palette he used. Is there a better one? This would be a fairly easy fix as far as I know, and might even be able to be variable.

@Geod: We polled the community more than a few times - those who were vocal about it were very adamant in support, except for one or two folks. You're partially right about the extra modules having nothing to do with Mystic Searches - but you have to remember that since the tool is in the state that it is in, it's no longer just me working on Mystic Searches. Austin, for instance, no longer has to dig into code to make changes that previously only I could make. Josh can work on monsters and AI and boss building, where as before, I had to do 100% of that sort of work. Etc. This helps, and honestly allows us to be more efficient, even though it doesn't seem like it.

For those who haven't seen the latest video - if you want to see the sort of sub-tools that may even speed up workflow for those developing from scratch that we want to include in NES maker, check this out about our Pixel editor and how it works. :-)

https://youtu.be/tV9TF9T7Avk
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213200)
Bananmos: is that already working? How do I compile the v code?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213210)
JoeGtake2 wrote:
@Psycopathicteen: Hm - is shade of purple way off? I'll have to ask Josh what palette he used. Is there a better one? This would be a fairly easy fix as far as I know, and might even be able to be variable.


The 4th column, 2nd row. It should be blue violet.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213226)
Is there a general palette that is considered the most accurate? (Yes, I know that there is really no such thing as an *accurate* palette, but is there one that is generally regarded as the most accepted as accurate?)

I've been given a few different answers through this throughout the years. At this point, we tend to match paired emulators. But if there's something this community feels is more accurate, that's an easy update.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213230)
I was looking around, and I think this palette is accurate. You can tell if it's a good palette if the colors are equally spaced.

http://drag.wootest.net/misc/nespalette.png
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213234)
JoeGtake2 wrote:
Is there a general palette that is considered the most accurate?

No there isn't, really.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213235)
Quote:
Bananmos: is that already working?


Yes, it is working for these 3 ROMs:
1) The Troll Burner ROM (uses vertical mirroring, although there's no actual scrolling in the game)
2) The 4-screen test ROM rainwarrior linked to (the 4th screen does display corrupt CHR, but I *think* that's how it's supposed to look. Would be great if someone with a real infinitelives 4-screen mapper30 cartridge could confirm this)
3) The Mapper30-singlescreen test ROM glutock posted (but you need to set the vertical mirroring bit, otherwise it'll assume it's 4-screen mirroring

But I can't guarantee there won't be some bugs left. More test ROMs would be useful if anyone is keen on writing some. (I'm not ATM, should really be packing for my vacation... :) )

Quote:
How do I compile the v code?


You don't need to compile the code yourself to run it, as there is an .rbf bitfile included. If you've got an Everdrive N8 with a micro-usb port you can load it with the usb-tool Krikzz provides.

If you don't have the usb port, to put the .rbf on the SDcard and make the OS load it, you apparently need to follow these steps (which I haven't tried myself).

But if you do want to mess around with the verilog yourself, here's how:
* Get an Altera Quartus release that supports the Cyclone II. I got this really old version.
(to download it you need to create an account, and I had great trouble getting through their buggy form. Chrome incognito mode solved it for me)
Get the fpga-mapper-sample.zip file from Krikzz's webpage
* Then just paste the .v files from my .zip into the project and synthesize, and you should be good to go.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213250)
edit: nevermind, I did it all again and now it worked, not sure why. Nice work! Any reason you're not certain other mapper 30 game will work? When this gets fully confirmed it's a big plus for the NESmaker project.

//
Okay, I have everdrive n8 by krikzz, using on real NES frontloader (not clone).
Using this ROM: http://troll.thenew8bitheroes.com/ (it works in fceux, is mapper 30)
Just rename the file to 030.RBF (to stay in standards in the folder), the game loads!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213302)
Quote:
Nice work! Any reason you're not certain other mapper 30 game will work?


Nah, mostly just the regular caution about claiming something 'works' without reservations, when you've only done limited testing on it. :)

But two things that stand out are:
1) I haven't put in any logic for bus conflicts. But I don't think the Everdrive supports bus conflicts anyway when glancing through the code - the logic for prg_oe is outside the mapper-specific verilog code, and seems to always output high when the prg r/w is low. So bus conflicts will never be there, which should be fine if the NES code was written defensively - always assume you might have them, but don't rely on them being present. But I can't guarantee no mapper30 code has been naughtily written to relly on them...
2) No support for flash ROM writes yet, as mentioned previously. And not much point in fixing that unless the OS supports it too.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213456)
How hard would it be to port a game made with NESmaker to the Super Nintendo SNES?

Also I'm curious, is the reason why it's called NESmaker is because NES Maker wouldn't work due to some sort of trademark on the word NES from Nintendo?

Also if I make a game with NESmaker and put it on a cartridge, can I put the words "For play on Nintendo" on the label? I've always wondered about this because can't I make an NES game and say on the label "Not for play on Playstation or Xbox" and then put the Playstation logo and Xbox logo on my game cartridge just for eye candy?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213458)
Quote:
Also if I make a game with NESmaker and put it on a cartridge, can I put the words "For play on Nintendo" on the label? I've always wondered about this because can't I make an NES game and say on the label "Not for play on Playstation or Xbox" and then put the Playstation logo and Xbox logo on my game cartridge just for eye candy?


You mean like so? :wink:

(seriously though, you want to avoid using or mentioning registered trademarks. I guess "for play on the NES" is ok).
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213459)
As far as I can tell, the only exceptions permitting trademark use is when the trademark is either abandoned or genericized. Otherwise you basically just mayn't use one.

Kinda makes sense, when you consider what they're supposed to denote.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213461)
U.S. courts recognize nominative fair use of a trademark when describing your product as compatible with someone else's product, provided you do nothing to falsely imply that a business relationship exists. This defense means a trademark owner cannot assert the mark as an ersatz patent to prohibit sale of complementary goods, along the same lines as the functionality doctrine.

International Trademark Association's fact sheet on fair use of trademarks implies that the same is true of the European Union:

Use of the GILLETTE trademark by a third party, to indicate that its blades are compatible with Gillette’s handles, will not infringe Gillette’s rights, irrespective of the blades’ being an essential part of the whole product (razors) and not a mere spare part or accessory, provided the use is necessary to indicate the intended purpose of the product and is made in accordance with honest practices in industrial and commercial matters. (EU)


As usual, run your business model past your lawyer. Once the consultation proceeds to trademarks and labeling, ask your lawyer if something like this on the box and label would be sufficient:

For use with Nintendo Entertainment
System. Not endorsed by Nintendo.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213462)
NES does happen to be an active trademark.
Search here for serial number 85808681.

I don't know how much fair use you could claim when it's part of the title of your product, and unambiguously refers to the object of their own trademark. Like, there are several companies using the wordmark NES but only Nintendo is using it for a video game system.

Personally I decided to just to roll the dice by using NES in a website URL and a twitter account. If push came to shove I could move, though.

Also we're having this discussion at NesDev.com so...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#213570)
gauauu wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:

I don't know what happened in the 2600 homebrew scene, but ostracizing someones' creative output just because it was made with a process-cutting tool doesn't sound very friendly - or productive.


In 2600 land, Batari Basic made it really easy for people to make games. Like NES Maker, a talented and dedicated developer can make something awesome with it, or somebody can just release some quick and dirty garbage. It's a little bit different from NES Maker (Because it still requires programming), but it does handle all the hard work for you, so that making an Atari game becomes a breeze.

But the 2600 homebrew scene is still thriving, despite the existence of some quick and dirty garbage games. The biggest differences, as far as I can tell, are:

1. With more games, very few people buy EVERYTHING that gets released (which means that sales of any given game would be a bit less)
2. Games get noticed based on quality of the game instead of just by existing.

If you make a good game (either in plain assembly or using Batari Basic), people will notice it, play it, and buy it. If you make trash (in either assembly or basic), people might not.

The other interesting thing with the 2600 scene is that there's really a single publisher, AtariAge, that's well respected. Al (the guy that runs it) does a pretty good job of curating things so that it's not filled with garbage. That's nice for developers and buyers. As a developer, if AA picks up your game, it's good advertising for you. As a buyer, you know if you buy from AA, you won't get total trash.

Another big difference in the Atari homebrew world is that more developers give away their roms for free (even if they also sell a cart). I don't know how that impacts things sales-wise. (my suspicion is that it doesn't decrease sales as much as you might think, but I have no idea)


AtariAge is the top of the food chain when it comes to cart production. The other major competitor has a name never spoken by AtariAge members :) I've used some skilled individuals to make my carts when I didn't feel like bothering Albert.

Everybody cares about physical, limited releases. Digital sales don't work and seem to deter further cart buyers.

It's a strange situation where some people will only buy new games if they are exact copies of old games. And, yet.. somehow my quirky new titles also get some sales. So, there are signs that a single developer can succeed even if not copping off of old IP. I hope the same is true on the NES side.

I just ponied up for the $100 kickstarter option. So, yeah. I hope we come up with a section for NES Maker newbie questions. :)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214367)
Quote:
If you don't have the usb port, to put the .rbf on the SDcard and make the OS load it, you apparently need to follow these steps (which I haven't tried myself).


So, I didn't have the foresight to buy my Everdrive with the USB port, and I can't seem to get the method that was linked to here to work.

Here's some screenshots. I edited MAPROUT.BIN with a hex editor, renamed the .rbf file to 030.RBF and put it in the MAPS folder, but troll burner still won't run. I reformatted the SD card, made sure I had the newest OS version, checked the rom info in the menu to make sure it says it's supported, still nothing. It says "loading..." and then goes black. No sound, nothing.

Can anyone see if there's something I've neglected to do here?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214368)
Hmm, I only tried it with USB port and I'm on vacation in Bali at the moment so can't try out the process I linked to.

But looks like nesrocks did it successfully. Maybe you could try PM:ing him and see if he can give you the output file he got working? (or even better, share it here)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214369)
I didn't edit MAPROUT.BIN, I just redownloaded the zip and renamed edfc-fpga.rbf to 030.RBF and put it in the mappers folder. Granted, the first time I tried this it didn't work for some reason. I redownloaded everything (both the troll burner demo and the zip file) and tried again and it worked. I can't share my files for maybe a month because my everdrive is now at the other house. : /
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214370)
Okay, I think I figured out the problem ( or at least where the problem is ). Nesrocks got it working on their front loader, and I was using my AVS, so I thought I'd pull out my old toaster NES and try it there and... it worked. Animating background tiles and all.

So I guess the question is, why doesn't it work on my AVS? I'm going to test it again on my toploader once I get it set up, just to be sure.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214371)
MistSonata wrote:
So I guess the question is, why doesn't it work on my AVS?


Could be any number of factors including timing, loading, drive strenght, or just plain bugs in the implementation esp when it comes to running aftermarket hardware/cartridges/mappers. You have to realize *ANY* clone console is still going to have possibility for compatibility issues. Good news is the FPGA in the AVS can be updated with patches to correct problems that create these incompatibilities. Recently there were reported issues with mapper30 on the AVS with black box challenge carts. I discussed this with bunnyboy and he put out a firmware update that corrected the issue. You might want to try v1.30b2 that's on the AVS page now.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214376)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Could be any number of factors including timing, loading, drive strenght, or just plain bugs in the implementation esp when it comes to running aftermarket hardware/cartridges/mappers. You have to realize *ANY* clone console is still going to have possibility for compatibility issues. Good news is the FPGA in the AVS can be updated with patches to correct problems that create these incompatibilities. Recently there were reported issues with mapper30 on the AVS with black box challenge carts. I discussed this with bunnyboy and he put out a firmware update that corrected the issue. You might want to try v1.30b2 that's on the AVS page now.


Sadly, updating the firmware didn't do anything that I can tell.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214393)
Hmm, that's odd about the AVS not working. Not sure why, but it could be that my Verilog code is problematic - first mapper I tried writing after all, so can't guarantee it doesn't do something funny.

I don't have an AVS to test on though, so the only way would be for someone with an AVS to try what works. Or if someone sees a glaringly obvious problem in the Verilog and recommends an alternative implementation. Source is includes for anyone who wants to check it out.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214535)
Bananmos wrote:
Hmm, that's odd about the AVS not working. Not sure why, but it could be that my Verilog code is problematic - first mapper I tried writing after all, so can't guarantee it doesn't do something funny.

I don't have an AVS to test on though, so the only way would be for someone with an AVS to try what works. Or if someone sees a glaringly obvious problem in the Verilog and recommends an alternative implementation. Source is includes for anyone who wants to check it out.


I could try using different Mapper 30 roms, but I don't know any off the top of my head apart from Mystic Origins.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214658)
Hmm, I seem to recall that the Everdrive had problems with the HiDef NES and Krikzz had to do a major refactoring of the mappers to make it work.

And looking at the files in the development folder it looks like the available mapper examples files (which I based the mapper30 implementation on) pre-dates the hidef NES, so would have the same problems. But the mmc5 example OTOH is from August 2017, so might have the fixed.

I'll be back home from vacation this week and will see how the mapper30 code runs on the HiDef NES.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214693)
JoeGtake2 wrote:
Hey everyone - so...this is Joe, proprietor of this wacky concept. Even though I have met so many of you and done everything in my power to be a force for awareness for what everyone here is doing over the past three years and hoped I'd fostered good will, I dreaded coming here and finding this community's backlash to this project, and have been sort of putting off coming to see what was said in this thread. I honestly feared the worst. I was pleasantly surprised to see at least a good handful of you have voiced some level of support, or at least helped correct misinformation. I wanted to come on personally and answer some questions.


That's a natural fear to have, as tools often touted for good, always get used for nefarious uses. See Unity, See asset-flip/fake-games made with Unity on Steam.

JoeGtake2 wrote:
All the while, we continued to get requests for the tool from people who had seen it at conventions. When I say requests, I'm saying hundreds of people. We got together with Paul Malloy from Infinite NES Lives and built a system for one-click deployment to a cartridge. At that point, we debated whether or not to make this tool available to the people that wanted it. There was a lot in the tool that was hacked together for our purposes, and we realized it would need a lot of work on UI design, and needed lots of tweaking to actually be as intuitive to a new user as it had become to us. We wanted to build more comprehensive graphics editors, a music composition tool, more options for arranging memory to fit genre needs (allocating more text allotment for RPGs, scrolling capability for platformers, etc). Thus...the Kickstarter, to allow us to hire our tool developer, who is a freelance programmer for a living (it's how he feeds his kids and keeps his lights on) full time for as long as possible. We decided that if people wanted it, we'd build it and make it as cool as we possibly can. If they didn't, no harm no foul.


There will always be interest in tools, even if people don't really have the skill to use it. Such tools don't exist very long, or operating systems (*cough*cough*windows*) change too much over time rendering the tools inoperable, and any knowledge of how to use them becomes lost.


JoeGtake2 wrote:
Which brings us to now.

As to some of the concerns I've seen on this thread...

One of the things I've noted is the concern over the shovelware that will be created as a result of this tool.


That's a valid concern, veeery.


JoeGtake2 wrote:
I do understand this concern. Honestly, I do. However, I want to offer an anecdote from my decade of teaching game development (I taught game development in Baltimore City Public Schools for many years, and helped shape and pilot the curriculum for the city's CTE program). While teaching, I had a mixed bag of students as far as interest and competency goes, some of whom were still struggling with basic algebra and had never seen a line of code. I used to start them off in GameMaker. We would launch straight into the GML (which, if you're unfamiliar, is a pretty simple high level proprietary scripting language), and most of them would straight up shut down. It was *too hard*, not because it was beyond the, but because it was foreign and because they couldn't get beyond their own sense of it being too hard. So then, I began teaching the simple drag and drop functions, which they'd immediately latch on to and would gain profound confidence, which also spawn their ambition. They'd start asking "Well...how could I do this cool thing I want my game to do?" I'd tell them that the only way to do it was by using code. At that point, we'd go back to coding, and I swear, even the least capable student in the class would say, "Man, why didn't we just START with code? It's so much easier!". And I'm talking about the exact SAME kids who originally considered coding too hard.


That's my issue with a lot of "Framework" packages of libraries that exist for existing tools. People don't actually know how to code anything because they don't have any concept of how the underlying code works. The nice thing about "javascript" that we see in web browers, is that current games (that don't use webasm) in the browser can just be inspected and you can get an idea of how the game actually works. RPG Maker MV, and Visual Novel Maker are current HTML5 game engines that students can use and inspect code to see how code works, but the underlying libraries may still feel like a blackbox since too much stuff is on top to see how it works.

JoeGtake2 wrote:

But let's go worst case scenario. Lots of people get NESmaker, they never push it beyond making clone games with the default engines. Well, that's effectively what the ROM hacking community has been doing for decades now, except in this case, at least it's legal and more malleable on the user side. Rom hacking has absolutely kept interest and investment in the system alive, and has actually produced some great 8-bit experiences, tools, and fundamental understanding of what the system can do. Even if 1% of the Kickstarter backers make really cool games that are worth playing, that's 14 new NES games that may not have existed otherwise. And yes, despite Unity and Unreal and GameMaker being simple tools for creating games, leading to plenty of shovelware, they've also helped developers create amazing games for their respective platforms too. Hopefully, the same will be true for this. That's our goal.


About the extent of "preventing shovelware" I'd suggest three things:

1) Boot screen (showing both the tool name, and any modules loaded into it, be it icons or just some kind of barcode)
The reason boot screens exist is to identify the software used, and to credit the tool maker if no money changed hands, this is reasonable unless some extra space needs to be squeezed out.

2) Credit screen (again, showing the tool name, modules, and credits for the tools used)
Likewise with the boot screen, but this should also be triggered with a button sequence on the menu if it's not available.

3) Compile date and time, checksums.
This should be prominently displayed somewhere (menu, settings, options), especially when used with real hardware (eg FC/NES, NT Mini, AVS) so that any bugs found can be checked against the version of code used.

And IMO, the reason so much shovelware ends up being created with GM/Unity is because there is an asset-flipping steam-scamming industry around it. NES or SNES tools are not really any more likely to have for-profit shovelware, but because the amount of working compatible hardware out there is not going to be growing, so it's very likely these games will be distributed as rom files, which means they will mostly not be profit-driven.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214733)
Quote:
About the extent of "preventing shovelware" I'd suggest three things:

1) Boot screen (showing both the tool name, and any modules loaded into it, be it icons or just some kind of barcode)
The reason boot screens exist is to identify the software used, and to credit the tool maker if no money changed hands, this is reasonable unless some extra space needs to be squeezed out.

2) Credit screen (again, showing the tool name, modules, and credits for the tools used)
Likewise with the boot screen, but this should also be triggered with a button sequence on the menu if it's not available.

3) Compile date and time, checksums.
This should be prominently displayed somewhere (menu, settings, options), especially when used with real hardware (eg FC/NES, NT Mini, AVS) so that any bugs found can be checked against the version of code used.


In the end such measures serve more to arbitrarily filter out games made in easy to use application development suites. I've had to hide which compiler I use several times in order to get fair treatment.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214739)
slobu wrote:
In the end such measures serve more to arbitrarily filter out games made in easy to use application development suites. I've had to hide which compiler I use several times in order to get fair treatment.


Agreed. Not only that, but there's precious little space on the cartridge to begin with, so making a splash screen and a menu that you can't get rid of in NESmaker seems more like a punishment for not knowing how (or not wanting to bother) to program an NES game from scratch. Splash screens and secret menus make more sense for things like Unity or Gamemaker where space isn't a big issue and people can use the program for free.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214753)
Counterpoint: 512k is actually really big for an NES ROM? (i.e. pretty much as big as it ever got in the commercial era)

The size of a splash screen would mostly be dependent on its graphical content but one could easily be done in <1k or 0.2% of the ROM.

Completely different story for an NROM 32k game.

(I don't actually like splash screens, personally, but I definitely think it isn't a significant space concern here.)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214754)
Someone on this forum would make a tool to disable the splash screen. It would only be effective for a week.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214756)
Quote:
Someone on this forum would make a tool to disable the splash screen. It would only be effective for a week.


From what I understand, the asm code is changable...so "anyone can disable it" is more accurate than "someone would disable it"
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214757)
IMO there is no real need to signal if a game was made with NESmaker or not. If you're playing such a game, and can't tell if it was made with a specific tool then isn't that a good thing? In comparison, if it's obvious the game was made with a specific tool then why do you need a splash screen to tell you that? It really doesn't take much research to determine if a game on any platform is a worthwhile purchase provided you recognize any pre-order is a gamble.

Telling a certain group of people making NES games they need to wear a Star of David sounds pretty elitist to me... I hope most would agree it's not our place to try and regulate things of this nature.

Now if the NESmaker creators wanted to put their own branding in a splash screen as a form of advertisement for their tool or whatever that would be a different story obviously completely up to them. They could also choose the options available to enabling/disabling it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214761)
Agreed. It seems the only reason for a splash screen (unless nesmaker team wanted it for advertising) is to protect the egos of "real developers," which doesn't seem like it adds value to anything.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214762)
Honestly, I think lots of people would even enjoy having a splash screen for this?

I agree that it will be trivial to defeat as an overt watermark, but I also think it's bizarre that people think the point of the splash screen is to make this stuff wear a badge of shame. Like if you're a person that thinks this is the purpose of the splash screen, I don't understand why you'd even be a customer/client of NES Maker in the first place.

A splash screen is branding, advertisement for the NES Maker, but just as much as that it can easily be a statement of pride in and support of it. If you like what this platform has made possible for you, I could definitely see wanting to acknowledge it with a splash. Isn't this a symbiotic relationship, not an antagonistic one?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214763)
My comment was primarily in response to the mentions of the splash screen aiding in the prevention of shovelware. But perhaps I misinterpreted what was being said as we discussed how the feasibility of such a screen may warrant it being there or not.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214764)
I don't think it was a misinterpretation, really, but people are saying a lot of different things about it at once. Looking back in the thread, the specific suggestion seems to have started as "engines like Unity and Gamemaker do this..." but everyone's got a slightly different angle on it. Maybe nobody was saying that specifically...

I just think it's absurd if you try to think about Unity forcing a splash screen on their users if they thought it was supposed to mark low quality games. That would be insane. Conversely it seems equally absurd to me to request that NES Maker have a splash screen for that purpose.

Unity puts splash screens on their games to advertise their product. Also their engine is free to try, and you can buy a license to be able to replace that splash screen. (Costs a lot more than $30, BTW.) I think the advertisement is a good reason for NES Maker to have one by default. Someone who feels that they are a brand worth supporting may want to leave it in. This can also cultivate a sense of community around it. I think a splash screen is a good idea, here.

On the other hand, if you believe NES Maker will only produce crap games that need to be marked and identified, you're clearly not interested in buying or using it, and catering to you isn't going to help their project or community, as far as I can tell. At least, that's how I'd view such a request if it were me.

(So maybe the splash screen issue itself is a red herring, but this thought applies to any similar request.)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214767)
Another possibility is measures that make it more likely that a developer won't bother unchecking the splash screen. Remember splash screens like these?
Code:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
© Mirage Studios. Licensed
through Surge Licensing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
III: The Manhattan Project
© 1991-1992 Konami

Code:
Tetris © 1985-2006 Elorg,
a Tetris Holding company.
Concept and design by Alexey
Pajitnov. Logo by Roger Dean.
Tetris and the song
Korobeiniki are trademarks
of Tetris Holding.

Elements created by Nintendo
© 1981-2006 Nintendo.


Ability to customize the splash screen with the NESmaker credit on the bottom half and other appropriate notices on the top might encourage the developer to be lazy and leave it there in order to give notice of copyright in the game and in, say, the webcomic it's based on.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214789)
rainwarrior wrote:
I don't think it was a misinterpretation, really, but people are saying a lot of different things about it at once. Looking back in the thread, the specific suggestion seems to have started as "engines like Unity and Gamemaker do this..." but everyone's got a slightly different angle on it. Maybe nobody was saying that specifically...

I just think it's absurd if you try to think about Unity forcing a splash screen on their users if they thought it was supposed to mark low quality games. That would be insane. Conversely it seems equally absurd to me to request that NES Maker have a splash screen for that purpose.

Unity puts splash screens on their games to advertise their product. Also their engine is free to try, and you can buy a license to be able to replace that splash screen. (Costs a lot more than $30, BTW.) I think the advertisement is a good reason for NES Maker to have one by default. Someone who feels that they are a brand worth supporting may want to leave it in. This can also cultivate a sense of community around it. I think a splash screen is a good idea, here.

On the other hand, if you believe NES Maker will only produce crap games that need to be marked and identified, you're clearly not interested in buying or using it, and catering to you isn't going to help their project or community, as far as I can tell. At least, that's how I'd view such a request if it were me.

(So maybe the splash screen issue itself is a red herring, but this thought applies to any similar request.)


You kind of point out the issue and reason in your post.
So Unity is Free, with a Splash Screen. This means that for the "free" you "advertise" the product.
For a fee you remove the splash, this makes people want to buy your product, so you get more money.
If you think your game is not worth paying the money to remove the splash then it means you know your game sucks. Hence its shovel wear . By paying to remove the splash it shows you think you game is good enough to sell to cover the cost of the engine. Having the Splash seen as bad, is good for Unity because it means no game maker who wants to sell something will actually sell their game on the "Free" version and Unity get more money.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214790)
Well, I don't agree, but I don't really want to argue about it further.

Presuming that premise was true, though, it doesn't seem relevant to NES Maker, which has no free version.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214796)
Perhaps it's more relevant to The Games Factory, which has (had?) a paid edition for hobbyists (with a noncommercial license and a splash screen on exit stating so) and a more expensive professional version (with a commercial license and no splash).
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214801)
rainwarrior wrote:
Well, I don't agree, but I don't really want to argue about it further.

Presuming that premise was true, though, it doesn't seem relevant to NES Maker, which has no free version.

Wait. NESmaker will have a splash screen AND it won't be free!? Ouch... That's the most unfortunate combination.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214803)
No one here knows if there will be a splash screen... The creators NEVER mentioned anything about there being one.

We've just got on this silly side tangent for probably too long now discussing how we think there should or shouldn't be one present. It's obviously completely up to the NESmaker creators..
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214805)
The games made with NESmaker are fully editable by ASM, Joe said it many times, so I don't think a forced splash screen would make sense. Not to mention that it would be easy to hack your own game to remove it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214814)
I do think that pre-providing a splash screen would be a nice thing to let people opt in to. Sorta like the various middleware splash screens you get on some games (although there it was clearly a term of the licensing).

Get something that looks nice and let people's works choose to wear it as a badge of pride, if they want.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214819)
Seconding what lidnariq said.

If it's there but easy to omit even for someone with limited or no prior programming experience, it might even be a rallying point for the nesmaker community.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214876)
So I tried the HiDef NES, and it *mostly* runs ok when using the usb tool.

And it seems to work fine. Oddly enough, it did freeze on me once after I died. But I couldn't reproduce this, so for the moment I assume it's buggy code, or some intermittent connector glitch.

So no clues as to why it doesn't work on the AVS. MistSonata: Did you have success trying the newer firmware for the AVS? I don't have any direct plans to buy an AVS in the near future, so there's not much I can do to test it. But it would be nice if we could figure out what the problem is.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214968)
Hello, I'm a complete newbie to NES Dev (my first post here), and it was with excitement I found out about NesMaker. As the entry level to development is much easier. Thank you, Joe, for your efforts and great set of tools.

I was a bit surprised, after getting such a overwhelming support from the community ($250k through KickStarter), that the tool wasn't made free (for non commercial projects at least), even when the campaign got more than 2x what it pledged for -- we all have to pay our bills though. Releasing it as open source, some might argue, be even better to it's development and spread usage across devs. We have to respect the creator's decisions and be grateful that such a tool exist. Although, I saw it's real strength in the hardware kit (burn your own cartridge) and I was tempted to buy it.

It's hard to crack NesDev and this tool seems to be a great resource.

Peace
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214975)
Quote:
Although, I saw it's real strength in the hardware kit (burn your own cartridge)


I find this statement really odd. The "hardware kit" looks like a really slow&painful process to test your stuff on the real thing, and it will obviously only work with Mapper30 games (and perhaps other boards that happen to use FlashROM).

Really, if your main concern is running your code on a real device, you'd be far better off with a Powerpak or Everdrive.

For the Powerpak, TheFox has created the pc2nes program which allows loading you .NES file onto it quickly, as long as you make a USB-joypad cable. (which is a simple soldering job, just cutting up a NES joypad cable and a USB-to-serial cable)

For the Everdrive it's even better: You can get the Everdrive with a USB port on it (though this isn't included on the board by default - I specifically asked Krikzz when ordering mine). Krikzz provides an uploading program for this, which means even faster uploads testing than on the Powerpak for big ROMs.

For repeated testing on a real device, the ability to just run a PC program really helps development. The only annoying thing is having to stretch my arm to reset the NES manually between tests... but that's still nothing compared to having to transfer the cartridge between the kazzoo/NES, and dealing with a possible glitchy connector in the process. :)

Sure, the Powerpak/Everdrive are a bit more expensive than a Kazoo+Mapper30 cartridge, but not unaffordable. And they support loads of mappers and not just one. I backed NESmaker without any of the hardware, since I may only need Mapper30 programming ability when/if I create something with NESmaker worth replicating to multiple carts to sell/give away...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214980)
Bananmos wrote:
Really, if your main concern is running your code on a real device, you'd be far better off with a Powerpak or Everdrive.

Up to a point. To my knowledge, the PowerPak doesn't support writing back to flash for save, nor PRG ROM larger than 512 KiB.

Bananmos wrote:
For the Powerpak, TheFox has created the pc2nes program which allows loading you .NES file onto it quickly, as long as you make a USB-joypad cable. (which is a simple soldering job, just cutting up a NES joypad cable and a USB-to-serial cable)

For some, the word "soldering job" itself rules out "simple".
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214992)
Quote:
Up to a point. To my knowledge, the PowerPak doesn't support writing back to flash for save,


I think this would be doable for the Powerpak, as the source for the S.MAP file is available for patching. But there's not much point in doing this before we have any NES software that supports saving to flash.

For the Everdrive we'd need Krikzz to update the OS. But again, not much point until there's software that writes to flash.

Quote:
nor PRG ROM larger than 512 KiB.


Neither does the Mapper30 cartridge bundled with NESmaker. You'd need to get some other flash-based cartridge if you need such a large size, and I know of none for sale ATM.

Quote:
For some, the word "soldering job" itself rules out "simple".


Then you pay someone else to do it for you. Should still come out way cheaper than the $52 the Kazzoo+blank Mapper30 cartridge costs.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#214993)
Bananmos wrote:
I think this would be doable for the Powerpak, as the source for the S.MAP file is available for patching. But there's not much point in doing this before we have any NES software that supports saving to flash.

Doesn't Study Hall use the self-flashable configuration? Or do you specifically mean free-to-download NES software supporting self-flashable mapper 30? If the latter, then someone's going to have to buy the Kazzo and rewritable cartridge just to be able to test a test ROM.

Bananmos wrote:
Quote:
nor PRG ROM larger than 512 KiB.

Neither does the Mapper30 cartridge bundled with NESmaker.

Correct. I was momentarily thinking of another project I'm currently attached to, which uses mapper 28 instead of 30.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#215006)
tepples wrote:
Doesn't Study Hall use the self-flashable configuration? Or do you specifically mean free-to-download NES software supporting self-flashable mapper 30? If the latter, then someone's going to have to buy the Kazzo and rewritable cartridge just to be able to test a test ROM.

Unless I'm mistaken a kazzo + mapper 30 flash board is cheaper than either an everdrive or powerpak, so I don't know what comparison you're making here. Yes someone has to have some kind of hardware to do a hardware test. What is the complaint for?

The free test option is emulators. (Is relying on a PowerPak or Everdrive emulation of flash ROM behaviour really any better than an emulator? IMO the tricky stuff about flash is things like variable clear times, which you probably should verify on real flash.)

Also re: 512k mapper 30 can't support more than this, the registers are fully packed. That's the limit of the mapper.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#215026)
Quote:
Doesn't Study Hall use the self-flashable configuration? Or do you specifically mean free-to-download NES software supporting self-flashable mapper 30?


Free-to-download would be better, but thanks for letting me know about study hall. I might order in place of the test ROM then, and see if Tapedump can substitute for a Kazzoo dumper. :)

Quote:
The free test option is emulators. (Is relying on a PowerPak or Everdrive emulation of flash ROM behaviour really any better than an emulator?


In my opinion, yes. But it varies greatly depending on how much you are pushing the system. And arguably emulators are very advanced now and suffice for most uses. I mostly use them myself now, whereas ten years ago I would be primarily using the real system.

And yes, Powerpak/Everdrive have the main weakness of being an imperfect clone of the particular mapper you're using. But mapper behaviour is less likely to be a critical part of your game design than PPU/APU quirks.

But there is also something special about seeing your game actually run on the real system - even knowing it should match emulation, it's only when you see it running on the real thing that I truly get the "yeah, this really does run on my childhood fav console!"-feeling". It's a motivational boost that is more about emotion than logic. But your mileage may vary here, of course.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#215028)
Bananmos wrote:
MistSonata: Did you have success trying the newer firmware for the AVS? I don't have any direct plans to buy an AVS in the near future, so there's not much I can do to test it. But it would be nice if we could figure out what the problem is.


I tried running the rom before and after updating the AVS, and then before and after updating the Everdrive firmware (with a format and reinstall afterwards, just to be thorough). Nothing changed that I could see, best I could get was a black screen.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#215040)
Bananmos wrote:
And yes, Powerpak/Everdrive have the main weakness of being an imperfect clone of the particular mapper you're using. But mapper behaviour is less likely to be a critical part of your game design than PPU/APU quirks.

Oh, I meant for testing flash. You can still test all the PPU/APU stuff without flash saves. You can even test loading a save without flash emulation (just put the data in the ROM).

Of course it'd be nice to be able to test everything at once, but at least flash saving tends to be a pretty isolated task (like you probably don't want to be doing much else at the same time anyway).
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216159)
Sonny_Jim wrote:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1316851183/nesmaker-make-nes-games-no-coding-required/

This seems to be utter bullshit. Thoughts? Does Joe post on here at all?

NestorLab is Free man,and every body can download it,and with no coding,and for NES Homebrew.
but this is very expensive.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216183)
NestorLab...is in version 0.0.1. Looks like a text editor and a title editor. No examples. No documents. No comments from the author in over a year.

And the screenshot of the ASM code makes me very nervous "BPL -5". So...no labels then? Am I to calculate branches manually? No thanks.

http://nestorlab.free.fr/screenshot.php
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216208)
dougeff wrote:
NestorLab...is in version 0.0.1. Looks like a text editor and a title editor. No examples. No documents. No comments from the author in over a year.

And the screenshot of the ASM code makes me very nervous "BPL -5". So...no labels then? Am I to calculate branches manually? No thanks.

http://nestorlab.free.fr/screenshot.php


Kickstarter NESMaker is to new and there is no tutorials.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216211)
Actually, Joe from the NESmaker team has already started doing video tutorials for absolute beginners. They will surely explain the user interface in proper time for the release. It's my personal projection but it wouldn't surprise me if it came with a decent reference + faq to ease the pressure of questions from users.

Given that NESmaker is not released just yet (there's a closed beta going on just now), that's pretty cool.

Consider this: NESmaker has an anticipated install base of 2,500 users (that's how many who backed the project, at least). It is as good a guarantee it will be maintained and have a community of users supporting each other. I'm under the impression there's a pretty lively discussion group on facebook, and someone has started an independent BBS for its users, all before its release.

+, it comes with a handful of engine modules to learn from, modify or simply use as-is (which it is being advertised for).

NestorLab seems to have a user base of... maybe the author, if not abandoned? Not being avaible in english is of course the authors rightful choice too, but to me it kind of comes off as a signal that the author isn't interested in having a userbase except for his/her own needs. In other words: don't expect support or development.

It doesn't seem to do anything NESICIDE already does, which has at least a few users, and a maintainer who's actively asked on the forums for suggestions for improvements. If you're looking for free alternatives providing a bit of an GUI helped environment, that might be worth checking out.

Most people here seem to stick with asm6 or ca65 / cc65 (which NESICIDE and apparently NestorLab is built on top of). Still others use NESASM. Honourable mention: Ophis, an assembler written in python. Few use it, but it works just fine.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216217)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
Actually, Joe from the NESmaker team has already started doing video tutorials for absolute beginners. They will surely explain the user interface in proper time for the release. It's my personal projection but it wouldn't surprise me if it came with a decent reference + faq to ease the pressure of questions from users.

Given that NESmaker is not released just yet (there's a closed beta going on just now), that's pretty cool.

Consider this: NESmaker has an anticipated install base of 2,500 users (that's how many who backed the project, at least). It is as good a guarantee it will be maintained and have a community of users supporting each other. I'm under the impression there's a pretty lively discussion group on facebook, and someone has started an independent BBS for its users, all before its release.

+, it comes with a handful of engine modules to learn from, modify or simply use as-is (which it is being advertised for).

NestorLab seems to have a user base of... maybe the author, if not abandoned? Not being avaible in english is of course the authors rightful choice too, but to me it kind of comes off as a signal that the author isn't interested in having a userbase except for his/her own needs. In other words: don't expect support or development.

It doesn't seem to do anything NESICIDE already does, which has at least a few users, and a maintainer who's actively asked on the forums for suggestions for improvements. If you're looking for free alternatives providing a bit of an GUI helped environment, that might be worth checking out.

Most people here seem to stick with asm6 or ca65 / cc65 (which NESICIDE and apparently NestorLab is built on top of). Still others use NESASM. Honourable mention: Ophis, an assembler written in python. Few use it, but it works just fine.

But The Money,The Software Is Very Expensive,When I Talk with NESTorLab project Maker He Taled me That The Software Will Have Tutorials In The Future.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216218)
I don't fully understand this. So will NESMaker be free or paid or both? Will making commercial games require paying for a license or royalties?
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216220)
8bitMicroGuy wrote:
I don't fully understand this. So will NESMaker be free or paid or both? Will making commercial games require paying for a license or royalties?

Here Is The Image Of chating with The NesTorLab Programmer.
He telled Me With French That The Software is in development and it doesn't be completed yet because there is another important projects,and the project development is paused,the develompent will be in the next years.and there will be a tutorials in the next moments,he tell that the tutorials will be in an another doublage.
that's it.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216221)
8bitMicroGuy wrote:
I don't fully understand this. So will NESMaker be free or paid or both?

Paid, 36$ for the tool + example code modules.

Quote:
Will making commercial games require paying for a license or royalties?


Nah, it's a one-time purchase for a license to the NESmaker software itself. Generous nes source modules included.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216222)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
8bitMicroGuy wrote:
I don't fully understand this. So will NESMaker be free or paid or both?

Paid, 36$ for the tool + example code modules.

Quote:
Will making commercial games require paying for a license or royalties?


Nah, it's a one-time purchase for a license to the NESmaker software itself. Generous nes source modules included.

Ok Have No Fear there is The hackers!!!!!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216223)
robocop wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
8bitMicroGuy wrote:
I don't fully understand this. So will NESMaker be free or paid or both?

Paid, 36$ for the tool + example code modules.

Quote:
Will making commercial games require paying for a license or royalties?


Nah, it's a one-time purchase for a license to the NESmaker software itself. Generous nes source modules included.

Ok Have No Fear there is The hackers!!!!!


Have fun hacking your way out of court.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216224)
??? 36$ is a very reasonable price. It's basically 3-4 pies of pizza. More importantly, it's honest work made by homebrew community members. Please don't disrespect it by talking about pirating it...
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216226)
I have also talked with the creator of nestorlab, user name schade at this forum. He seems very knowledgeable and I believe he will try to make his project work. One day.

And I have spoken to Joe, currently making NESmaker. He has more resources (the kickstarter $), and is using a well known assembler (asm6) and I have seen his beta version working (YouTube).

NESmaker has already made a game. That says a lot. Maybe there will be some bumps on the road, but it helps that hundreds of people will be using NESmaker and helping each other out.

I may purchase NESmaker in the future.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216227)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
??? 36$ is a very reasonable price. It's basically 3-4 pies of pizza.

It depends on the exchange rate between your country's currency and the United States dollar. In less developed countries, food (such as pizza ingredients) and services (such as making pizza) are much cheaper than in the United States because overall wage levels and property values are lower. See purchasing power parity and Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216242)
tepples wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
??? 36$ is a very reasonable price. It's basically 3-4 pies of pizza.

It depends on the exchange rate between your country's currency and the United States dollar. In less developed countries, food (such as pizza ingredients) and services (such as making pizza) are much cheaper than in the United States because overall wage levels and property values are lower. See purchasing power parity and Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis.


But in those countries, Pizza is likely considered an American luxury meal, so would be more expensive than most local restaurants. So the price might still be about the same ;-)

Source: 2 years of personal experience ordering pizzas while living in China
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216243)
There are plenty places with cheap pizzas around here. The big chains (Domino's, etc.) can be pretty expensive though... I only order from those on days when they sell 2 for the price of 1 (only then you'd get 3-4 of them for US$36).
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216249)
Classic nesdev.com, discussing the price of pizza. :lol:

Just don't pirate the NESMaker software, there's no debate, it is morally wrong, end of story.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216250)
You can't tell pirates not to pirate, you know they eventually will. That certainly won't be encouraged here, of course.
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#216349)
tepples wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
??? 36$ is a very reasonable price. It's basically 3-4 pies of pizza.

It depends on the exchange rate between your country's currency and the United States dollar. In less developed countries, food (such as pizza ingredients) and services (such as making pizza) are much cheaper than in the United States because overall wage levels and property values are lower. See purchasing power parity and Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis.

Yes, for example in Switzerland for $36 you probably could only get between 1.5 and 2 pizzas. (assuming you're ordering good ones at restaurant, not buying cheap pre-cooked crap in a supermarket)
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#217000)
Personally, the NESmaker development lead me here and to all of you wonderful people and your lovely work.

As for the concerns about shovel ware, as a comic artist on the web, I can tell you that the increase in access to software tools and publication resources have indeed exponentially increased the number of forgettable and poorly crafted works. But even more notably, it's brought in some amazing folks who otherwise would never have been able to make their comic.

Better access to tools and publishing has raised the bar for what people will pay attention to. There is no way to fake beautiful art that offers a compelling encounter. Kickstarter is flooded with lazy or poor quality comics looking to cash in, but they rarely get funded or take the spot light. The comic projects that do remarkably well on Kickstarter, at conventions, or at retail don't just appear one day and blow up. It almost always takes 10 years of building skills and a readership before a cartoonist becomes an "overnight success."

I suspect that NESmaker and the homebrewing community can expect to see a comparable experience. Many more forgettable titles with creators that disappear in a few months, but also new voices and talent coming in as well. Sure, there will be games that blow up and become a hit that you might not think deserves to, but that's just how it goes in the arts sometimes. NESmaker doesn't really change that. What it might change is punching a new way in for folks who don't know where to start or are too intimidated to try otherwise. I guess we'll see.

Anyways, it's nice to see such thoughtful conversations here! Cheers!
Re: NESMaker Kickstarter - Make NES games without coding
by on (#217624)
I have pre-ordered the NESmaker software. I'm hoping it can help me learn how NES games are structured and how to interface with the programming.

What readings would you recommend to begin using NESmaker when it is released?

Has anyone tried using a NESmaker rom on the Famicom Mini?

Thanks.