Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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IRSUP2a03
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Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by IRSUP2a03 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:17 pm

After finding out about NESMaker(all the rage), I was wondering if there was anything before it that done similar, such as Game Maker for any old game console.
Last edited by IRSUP2a03 on Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I don't know what to use as a subject...

Post by lidnariq » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:20 pm

In an extremely narrow sense, RPGMaker had a very early SNES port.

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Re: I don't know what to use as a subject...

Post by IRSUP2a03 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:24 pm

I know, I have that game, but my copy is in Japanese, and also it is VERY inconvenient, as I don't want to make ONLY RPG's and as well it's for SNES and nothing else, I've heard of RPG Maker for PC from 95 to MX, and I would like to make a platformer.
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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by tepples » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:57 pm

The Famicom and Super Famicom counterpart to SEUCK is called Dezaemon. I am not aware of anything like that for platformers.

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by rainwarrior » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:22 pm


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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by IRSUP2a03 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:32 pm

I have used Family Basic, it was not that useful for me, because I am used to Commodore Basic :shock: , so I am used to different syntax, and to worsen it, I can't even make a game with visuals, as I don't know the POKE's and PEEK's, or whatever it is on Family BASIC, for visuals, so I can't make MARO BRUDDAHS(my Mario clone I just made up as I'm typing this) in FBASIC, so I have tracked down the manual for it, on a computer that "died"(Hard Drive won't work), and I don't remember where that file is, and I decided to give up on FBASIC, sooooo... ANYTHING ELSE?
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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by koitsu » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:53 pm

Short answer: no.
Long answer: no, there were no "generic tools" to make games in a "magically simple way" "back then". Commercial companies made their own games from scratch, using entire teams of people, developing their own tools in the process. These were all intellectual property; nobody at that time was making generic and free tools for making NES games. Nintendo probably would have sued them anyway***.

If you want to get into making NES games -- your several forum posts within very short periods of time, i.e. less than 24 hours, are indications that you do, but this is not very promising or open-minded -- you're going to have to learn how the console works, and get started with assembly language.

If you don't want to start with assembly language, but are more willing to learn something like C, you can try nes-starter-kit which just got released a few days ago. However, you are still going to have to learn assembly or deal with it in some way eventually -- there is no debugger for the NES (or NES emulators) that let you correlate lines of C code to actual 6502 assembly code. So, you will need to learn some 6502 assembly either way. For help with nes-starter-kit, talk to the author directly (or on GitHub Issues) in that thread.

Please remember: you want to program games on a system made over 30 years ago... yet you don't want to learn anything from 30 years ago. You're not being very realistic. That's just my opinion though.

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by Drew Sebastino » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:20 pm

koitsu wrote:If you don't want to start with assembly language, but are more willing to learn something like C, you can try nes-starter-kit which just got released a few days ago.
For someone with absolutely no programming experience, is there really an advantage to learning C over 6502 assembly, regardless of whether or not there are C tools available?

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by koitsu » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:10 pm

Yes: you can find a billion examples and tutorials and books on how to learn C and do things in it, plus learn on a different platform (ex. present-day PCs). This is not the case with 65xx assembly. If you think this forum is equivalent (ed. how did my spell checker turn that into equivocal? Hahaha) to that, then you are wrong.

I shouldn't even have to mention the learning curve of learning and working on a console -- in any PL.

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by FrankenGraphics » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:10 am

On the other hand, going for C first is prolonging the inevitable. Sooner or later, you have to touch assembly anyway.

And even if you use neslib exclusively, you might end up scratching your head when it circumstantially scrambles your palettes with its fade in/out routine.

I think using C makes a lot of sense if you’re already familiar with it, but if you’re new to either, starting with assembly isn’t too bad.
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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by na_th_an » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:58 am

IMHO, and from experience, starting with C is a good idea if you are of the kind (like me) who NEEDS results SOON. Also, writing your first game loop and game logic in a high level language is certainly easier if you are unexperienced. And then nothing stops you of digging deeper and learning the arcane. The 6502 is the easiest (for a human to read and write) assembly language I know.

In really depends on your mindset and your background. I'm sure that most people who have coded in high level languages proficiently will find it easier to begin their first project in C. Just getting the grip with a new system with lots of stuff you must know and understand is already a daunting task.

On topic, games don't write themselves, no matter if you have the best "tool". From the OP's message about Family BASIC it seems he doesn't want to try very hard. And you have to if you want to make a game, specially for 8 bits systems. I'm in the process of finishing and releasing (need to write the docs) my open source, modular engine written in C which ideally anybody could use. It has everything you need to make your game, *but* you are *required* to understand the platform and learn quite a number of basics.

There are no shorcuts, I'm afraid.

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by tepples » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:02 am

koitsu wrote:Long answer: no, there were no "generic tools" to make games in a "magically simple way" "back then". Commercial companies made their own games from scratch, using entire teams of people, developing their own tools in the process. These were all intellectual property; nobody at that time was making generic and free tools for making NES games. Nintendo probably would have sued them anyway***.
[...]
*** - Tepples, if you reply to this sentence with some long legal diatribe speculating and pontificating, I will strangle you. :P
Then I'll take the discussion of commercial-era middleware to another topic.

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by gauauu » Tue May 01, 2018 9:01 pm

koitsu wrote:there is no debugger for the NES (or NES emulators) that let you correlate lines of C code to actual 6502 assembly code. So, you will need to learn some 6502 assembly either way.
I agree entirely with your main point, that even if you learn C, you're going to need to also learn assembly. That said, if you have cc65/ld65 export a debug map, mesen will attempt to display your C code next to the assembly in the debugger.

(Which makes it easy to see just how horrible your idiomatic C becomes when compiled for 6502)

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by koitsu » Wed May 02, 2018 2:07 am

gauauu wrote:I agree entirely with your main point, that even if you learn C, you're going to need to also learn assembly. That said, if you have cc65/ld65 export a debug map, mesen will attempt to display your C code next to the assembly in the debugger.

(Which makes it easy to see just how horrible your idiomatic C becomes when compiled for 6502)
Cool, thanks! Didn't know this was implemented (or if I did, I'd forgotten)! I don't use Mesen too much, as much as I do support it and have used it for some games -- so that's my fault of course. :-)

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Re: Did anything do what NES Maker does before NES Maker?

Post by Sour » Wed May 02, 2018 3:28 pm

FYI, 0.9.5 added support for source-level debugging which lets you step through the original code, rather than just seeing the original code as comments like it did in previous versions (displaying the original code as comments is still supported though). This also works with C projects, but it will work better with assembly projects (syntax highlighting, some minor issues, etc.): https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php ... 86#p215486

There's an option in the right-click context menu on the code that allows you to switch between disassembly & source views (the option is only visible if a DBG file was loaded)

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