What drove koitsu away from nesdev

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

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Celius
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Post by Celius » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:07 am

Hyde wrote:
Celius wrote: *Nesticle SUCKS. Nintendulator does not suck. At all. 99.8% accurate. As apposed to Nesticle, which is 4.5% accurate.
Now how did you get those figures?
I just made those up, though I think I did hear that Nintendulator was 99.8% accurate somewhere. I was just making fun of nesticle, though. haha.

Roth
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Post by Roth » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:36 am

tepples wrote:If I had the time, I'd probably help out with a tutorial from the perspective of an NES software programmer. Would this chapter outline make sense?
  • 6502 tutorial
  • NES Basics (covers iNES format, tones on channel 1, and controller reading)
  • NES PPU Basics (palette, pattern tables, nametables)
  • Basic Mappers (CNROM, UNROM)
I'd recommend teaching the basics of 6502 assembly language on a slightly less forbidding environment before graduating into making ROMs for Nintendulator*. Should we use a C=64 emulator, an Apple II emulator, or head straight to Nintendulator?

* Nesticle sucks. Nintendulator sucks much less.
Yes, I think some documentation for us newbies would be awesome! I tried following joker21's "Programming that 8-bit beast of power, the NES," and didn't end up getting past nametables. I feel it's pretty tough to follow along. According to the top of the document, that was originally in a zip file with some other docs/tools. His site seems to not be there anymore, as well.

I'm gonna give that simulator that you posted a shot, tokumaru. I can't seem to find anything that I feel comfortable with experimenting in, so maybe this will really help. Thanks ;)

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Post by drk421 » Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:29 pm

If someone could add PPU emulation to that simulator, we would have an awesome dev tool. The source code is available too on his web page. Maybe (if my C skills improve), I might consider it as a project down the road.

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tokumaru
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Post by tokumaru » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:02 pm

I find that simulator pretty handy. Everytime I need to test a standalone routine I run to it. It's very usefull when programming math routines like division or multiplication, also when programming data compression/decompression routines... well, routines that are hardware independent, and can be tested separetely from the rest of the code.

In fact, I use that simulator for everything. I do all my nesdev'ing with that tool, as it can export assembled binary data. I think it is a very good learning tool. It helps you understand all the aspects of the processor, since you can view the memory, the stack, the registers, the flags without having to compile a ROM for this. You can see how each instruction affects the flags, and other stuff that is hard to get just by reading. It is a very good "do it yourself" kind of tool.

But I don't think adding PPU emulation to the simulator will be any good, because it would not be accurate at all if it didn't emulate ALL aspects of the PPU and then it wouldn't be a simulator anymore, but a NES emulator with strong debugging tools.

It would be great to have an accurate emulator able to assemble your code and run it on the fly, with debugging features for the CPU and the PPU. But that is just a lot to dream about....

tepples
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Post by tepples » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:36 pm

tokumaru wrote:but there is no actual graphic response to the code, wich people might find boring. Well, you can map memory to a text display... text isnt much fun, but it is better than nothing.
The 6502-based Apple II and Commodore 64 as well as the 8080-derived[1] IBM PC, ZX Spectrum, and Game Boy also use a memory-mapped text display, except that on all systems except the Apple II, you can change the font glyphs to arbitrary graphics.

[1] The x86 and GBZ80 are spiritual descendants of the Intel 8080.

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koitsu
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Post by koitsu » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:28 pm

But that Jeremy "you're a fucking nigger who just wants to get spoonfed and doesn't deserve our help" Chadwick has now become the spokesperson for people who find the nesdev community unfriendly, is ironic to say the least.
Just for notation purposes: this is a perfect example of the "you don't know jack shit" + "I do not show any form of emotion when communicating with you" + "I will present my knowledge in a form that supercedes your existance" attitude I mentioned in my PocketHeaven post.

If I was really all that unfriendly, I wouldn't keep Parodius running for free, and do my best to try and make a very tiny portion of the 'net a better place.

The rest of what you say is mainly based on IRC antics. I take general IRC as pure, raw entertainment, and absolutely nothing more. God, if #nesdev is the centre of all opinions, then I guess I really *AM* Hitler like TNSe said!

quando omni flunkus moritati...

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koitsu
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Post by koitsu » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:37 pm

Anonymous wrote:Check out FamiTracker ...
I've wanted a tool *exactly like this* for nearly EIGHT YEARS. Nice to see someone actually took the initiative to make -- and maintain -- such. Source code available to boot...

<3

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Post by Bananmos » Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:28 pm

Just for notation purposes: this is a perfect example of the "you don't know jack shit" + "I do not show any form of emotion when communicating with you" + "I will present my knowledge in a form that supercedes your existance" attitude I mentioned in my PocketHeaven post.
Hardly. It's just that I find it amusing that you, of all people, are accusing people of behaving elitist towards others.
If I was really all that unfriendly, I wouldn't keep Parodius running for free, and do my best to try and make a very tiny portion of the 'net a better place.
Like I said in my post, I have no desire to belittle your contribution to the nesdev community, and that certainly includes keeping this place running for free. (which I also explicitly mentioned) People have their good sides and their bad sides. The problem was the latter one was getting the upper hand. You were scaring away a lot of people, some of who would later provide us with the detailed hardware docs we have today. (and trust me when I say that many of us are forever grateful for these bordeline EE docs)
The rest of what you say is mainly based on IRC antics. I take general IRC as pure, raw entertainment, and absolutely nothing more.
Even if bullying and banning visitors in #nesdev for asking too simple questions might be highly entertaining to you, that doesn't compensate for the damage it does. And this didn't just apply to the IRC channel. It is not my intent to nag about 6 years old stuff, but if you claim elitist attitudes were your (partial) reason for leaving the nesdev community, then you seem to have a highly selective memory.

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koitsu
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Post by koitsu » Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:55 pm

It's a matter of opinion, Ban. If you base your entire personal opinion of me on my IRC behaviour, then there's absolutely nothing I can do to "redeem" myself, because that's all of me you've seen. I won't lose any sleep over it, and nor will you. Such is an endless loop...

Not to take focus away from me, but MickoZ is in the same boat I am with #nesdev -- banned+kicked+removed "for life", due to his behaviour in the channel. I've pointed him to this thread, so he might chime in with some historic references of his own (he likely has a very different memory of things than I do). But I sincerely don't want to make this thread into some flame fest (it's starting to border on that, but I think all of our intentions are good or neutral -- we're just discussing and reminiscing... if it gets worse, I assume Memblers will lock this thread).

Anyways, I'm beating a dead horse.

For what it's worth, you're one of the few who doesn't present that attitude I mentioned. You were always a lot of fun to talk to, and you're enthusiastic in the way you communicate -- you didn't communicate like an emotionless robot, and you use emoticons to express your tone of intent. I think, generally speaking, the community could use more of that, but like my post on PocketHeaven, my opinion is just that of one man. I'm no more or less important than anyone else.

I honestly would've hoped that most would've read my list and concluded "Okay, so it's his own experience... but what matters in the end is that he's happier doing what he does now than what he did before".

I'm generally happier solely playing NES/FC games (rather than focusing on development), but I'd be lying if I said I "miss" anything on IRC. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't miss some of the challenges of console dev; but I have other challenges in my life now which take precidence. All the (very few) true friends I made from NES development work I still talk to on a daily basis; as for the rest, well, I have my memories -- good and bad. Life goes on, and I'm getting too old for this kind-of thing...

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Post by Bananmos » Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:49 pm

Well... it wasn't my intent to invalidate your own experience. I suppose I got upset when seeing this story being told i a way I didn't consider truthful.

My first impression of you wasn't very positive. But when I got to know you better, I came to like you, and consider you a friend of mine. But at the time you left, you obviously weren't very happy and were taking it out on others. You kept bullying newcomers to the #nesdev channel, often using racist language. One of these I met IRL and knew to be a nice guy, if somewhat "teenagered". I tried to defend you and your behavior, but found myself disliking it more and more each day. In the end, I gave up trying to defend you and did my best to ridicule you instead. The last time we talked on IRC, it wasn't on very good terms. That was 5-6 years ago and we haven't talked since. Which I kind of regret now. Last impressions also last, even when they shouldn't.

I can relate to what you say about being happier just playing NES games than doing development. That's mainly what I do nowadays as well. But fortunately, it hasn't made me feel the same way about the time I spent learning what goes on behind the scenes in my favourite games. I'd almost say I enjoy them more when knowing how things like the cool vertical parallax scrolling in the Mega Man 2 intro really works. I also like to read these forums from time to time, talk to old friends and help others test their stuff and improve their code, just by proposing the wild ideas I no longer care to try out myself.

I've also started (a very slow) development of a puzzle game which I hope to make for the NES. Besides thinking a lot about what elements to add to make the gameplay more fun, work on it mainly consists of learning to draw nice low-color graphics, something I've always wanted to do but never took the time to learn when all my focus was on becoming a "l33t" coder. It might never see the light of day since it competes with lots of other hobbies I have nowadays, but for once I'm focusing on designing a fun game experience rather than just pushing hardware limits.

Even if I suspect your note about famitracker was directed at me, I'll be the first to second it. I've kept wanting to see a better tool for making NES music developed from scratch ever since I definitely discontinued my own tracker 5 years ago, even planning different formats and user interfaces myself, but never finding the motivation to start a new project to maintain, since I've realized I now value spending time doing non-computer related stuff with other people IRL much more than getting credit from people I might never meet. So I'm relieved to see someone else take the responsibility I stopped enjoying. There's still a few areas where NT2 does a better job (namely melodic dpcm) but I'm hoping jsr will fix these soon.

Well, I've been mostly rambling on about myself for the last few paragraphs. But last I'd like to say that I AM glad to hear you're happier nowadays then you were back then. Like you said, that's what really matters. I didn't mean to put you down, but I felt I had to give my side of the story.

And btw, if you'd still like to see your FF2j intro work on a real NES, I could check out your source and see if I can figure out what the bugs are.

Celius
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Post by Celius » Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:57 pm

I am always afraid that when I post here with a question, someone will tell me I don't know crap, and forward me to the qbasic site, or 6502 for begginers. And I HATE it! I try to be newbie friendly, because I know what it's like to be a newbie. And I got to figure this out all from scratch. Nobody told me about making NES games, I just googled NES developement tools, and I found this site. I was surprised that there even were people that were in to NESdev when I found this site. I didn't know crap about programming when I came here. Now I do, though. I try to be newbie friendly, because I really think it sucks when people tell you you don't know anything, and it makes you feel like crap. And when people tell you you don't know anything, they don't think about how that will make you feel, because somehow, they were never newbies, they were never treated that way, and it IRRATATES ME! How the heck did everyone figure all this out!? Everyone knows about how many cycles the cpu blah blah blah scanlines blah blah megahertz blah blah, and I just don't get it! There was no document on this, they all somehow just obtained this knowledge from god or something! ya know?

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Post by tepples » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:35 pm

I think a lot of the history of NES is in the archive of nesdev@Yahoo! Groups.

But seriously, I think people should update the wiki more often so that we have somewhere to point newbies.

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tokumaru
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Post by tokumaru » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:55 pm

I think no newbies should ever be discriminated or something... after all, EVERYONE has to start things from the beginning. EVERYONES has been a newbie at something at some point in life.

But sometimes, beginners try to advance too quickly, and telling them that is a task for the more experienced. If someone that never programmed before, that so far has only used the computer to write documnts in MS Word and to navigate the net, pops out from nowhere wanting to program a full-featured RPG for the NES, someone has to tell them it doesn't quite work like this.

It's just wrong to say "You're a stupid idiot, you'll never accomplish that!". But it's OK to say "Look, this is a little too much for you right now. Why don't you try something simpler?".

I can say that because when I started programming I had such BIG projects but could never finish them. I never got to finish any of them, 'cause I was trying to move to fast. Today I know that I could never had finished them anyway, with the knowledge I had. The sad thing is that now that I can think of ways to implement all the aspects of a game in my head, I lack the time to actually do anything. =(

The thing is: If someone doesn't know X, he can't go and try to do XYZ. He has to learn X, then Y, than Z. And nobody can help that person through some sort of shortcut, as there will be many important things the person would have learnt by trial and error.

I mean, a tic-tac-toe kinda game may seem unoriginal and pretty boring to program (and even play), but the concepts one will get from doing that will be of MUCH help when working on larger projects. A person can learn about movement based on controller reading, restriction of movement (simple collision detection), basic animation, simple maps, by working on a simpler game... but these are all essential concepts needed for larger games.

I don't think people in this board mistreat newbies/begginers. The people here are pretty helpfull, and much more decent than the ones we can find on larger forums/boards around the net. In many other places people are so extreme with beginners, and here they are very forgiving.

The same questions are posted here over and over and there is always an answer for them. Some other places would ban someone that asked a repeated question for a while. I don't think this place is bad at all when it comes to respect for beginners.

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blargg
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Post by blargg » Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:22 pm

What irks me about some newbies is an apparent lack of effort in understanding what they're doing. Teaching someone benefits the teacher as well as the student. Doing something for someone who doesn't want to understand (but acts like it) benefits neither party. On the other hand, good teaching materials go a long way even if someone doesn't want to understand how something works.

I was a newbie to NES development a couple of years ago, but I'm the type to give a good effort at understanding something before I ask for help. Each time I approach some new aspect of the NES, I gather materials and then slowly experiment. If I rushed things I would build only the illusion of understanding based on coincidences, that would eventually collapse. I guess when I started programming in C about 12 years ago I was rushing things, trying to make scrolling games. I look at that code now and shudder. :)

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tokumaru
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Post by tokumaru » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:04 pm

Yeah, I always loved platform games and that was the first thing I ever attempted to code, when I first made contact with the world of programming, about 9 years ago. Code from that times does look pretty bad, indeed!

I'm not as old in programming as you are blargg, but I think we were both learning it before there was THE internet. Back then, we were pretty much on our own. Back then, there was no place to cry for help. That may have contributed to the "experiment before asking help" attitude, as there was no way to get the help.

So, I guess there may be a new generation of newbies now, that aren't as eager for learning as they are for results. If some of them could cut'n paste everything, I bet they would.

But what good is it to have a "finished" game full of glitches because you didn't understand half of the stuff you did/used in the game? If it ever gets finished, 'cause most of the times it doesn't. If you take a look around the NES scene, even the most experienced coders haven't completed a game, and the ones that did, did simpler games. It's no picnic to finish a full-featured game on your own. And it gets even harder if you have a "real world" life, with jobs, relationships... AND if you are a newbie.

Enthusiasm is not a bad thing, that's for sure, but people have to be aware of their limitations as begginers, and at the same time make efforts to learn and break free form them, as knowledge comes from studying and hard work, not from plain reading or simply from time.

Rushing things can never result in quality software.

PS. is it just me or are we getting a little bit offtopic here? =P

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