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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:35 pm 
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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.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:51 pm 
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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.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:52 am 
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Didn't the doc part just come out?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:52 am 
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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)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:30 am 
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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 :)


Last edited by Bananmos on Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:34 am 
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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.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:45 am 
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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.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:25 pm 
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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.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:19 pm 
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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?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:16 am 
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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.

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You registered an account just to bash on an enthusiast?

Pretty awful behaviour if I had to say...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:39 am 
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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


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:27 am 
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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.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:40 am 
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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:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:02 am 
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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.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:43 am 
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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.


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