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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:11 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
First of all let me say "Hello." I've been a lurker on this site and forum for some time now and it looks like the time for me to "join" and dig deep into the documentation archived here has arrived.

An idea for a game hit me this morning as I zombied my way through work.. but not only did it hit me, it practically flooded my mind. So I wrote down all I could and as I wrote more ideas were pouring in. For some reason, without even realizing it, I was thinking about the game running on an NES. Which is why I'm here.

First let me get this out of the way. I'm a programmer. I've made several games before and I've made a handful of simple RPGs before. I started on Commodore 64 and Basic. I moved up to a 386 and Turbo Pascal and eventually Turbo C++. I even created two full-fledged RPGs for a TI-85 graphing calculator in high school. The common factor here is that all of these (even the calculator to an extent) were structured programming languages. I did copy & paste some assembler graphics routines for my Pascal and C++ games but never bothered learning how they worked. My senior year of high school, the first and only time they had enough people to form a Computer Science III class, we did a few weeks of x86 assembler but I never remembered past the one project we did.

So my hurdle here is tackling low-level programming. I'm here to ask for advice on where to start on my road for knowledge and for an evaluation on how difficult my projected project will be. The complexity of my vision is somewhere between Dragon Warrior I and II though on a smaller scale. Basically I see three main routines: exploration, battle and scenario. The exploration aspect seems to be the most complex aspect on a technical level and certainly doesn't require much in the way of needing advanced techniques for speed and action.

While I sift through the site maybe someone can give me a few places to start. My primary goal is to create a demo of a character walking around a four-way scrolling map. If I can get that far I'm confident the rest will be fairly simple in comparison.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:19 am 
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given you're not all that familiar with low-level nes programming perhaps you should have a look at neshla language, a assembly language with high level constructs and macros


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:16 am 
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Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
Yeah, it's just why NESHLA has been created for, to have both advantages of low-level programming and high-level programming. Anyway, I thing you should know how works the 6502 processor even with NESHLA. And I'm not sure how good or bad is this thing, I used it only once to just clear all PPU variables.
A project like this is surely harder to design than to programm anyway, due to my personnal experience. For now, there is no available NES homebrew RPG, even if I started one, it's suspended right now, for another game "simpler to programm".

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:32 pm 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
If you're new, then prototype the game on a PC first. Then you can port it to the NES piece by piece.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:37 am 
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I've been reading my 6502 book, and will continue to do so (I like learning about being so close to the hardware), but I'm wondering if I should switch to NESHLA as well. I've been studying C++, and find that to be my favorite language that I've messed with so far. I have a problem though.

I've never compiled a huge project. I tried to compile NESHLA with the C compiler in DevC++. It tells me that there is no file or directory called "compiler.h". The funny thing about this is that it's there, and I don't know why it doesn't read it. I have everything laid out in the project exactly as the source is when you download it. Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:34 pm 
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I'm taking a look at NESHLA now. Looks like a good knowledge of the low level is still required to use it but it could be ideal for what I'm looking to make.

This site looks interesting too:
http://k2pts.home.comcast.net/gbaguy/nesasm.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:39 pm 
Just be careful with his stuff. Alot works, but some doesn't, and he assumes that you are using NESASM to compile and not NESHLA. For a play-by-play of code that doesn't work on his site, just look around the Newbie forum area... especially at some of my other posts.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:12 am 
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GBA guy's tutorial is really unreliable and unaccurate. Read a 6502 book would be a good stating point (especially the one by Rodney Zacks).

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:16 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
Bregalad wrote:
GBA guy's tutorial is really unreliable and unaccurate. Read a 6502 book would be a good stating point (especially the one by Rodney Zacks).

Ah, okay. I was thinking about a 6502 book so thanks for the specific suggestion.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:47 am
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Roth wrote:
I've been reading my 6502 book, and will continue to do so (I like learning about being so close to the hardware), but I'm wondering if I should switch to NESHLA as well. I've been studying C++, and find that to be my favorite language that I've messed with so far. I have a problem though.

I've never compiled a huge project. I tried to compile NESHLA with the C compiler in DevC++. It tells me that there is no file or directory called "compiler.h". The funny thing about this is that it's there, and I don't know why it doesn't read it. I have everything laid out in the project exactly as the source is when you download it. Any suggestions?

neshla has its own compiler, in its bin folder, even if it compiled in devc++ it would be pc code, not nes code


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