Mario Kart NES?

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

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jonnymopar
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Mario Kart NES?

Post by jonnymopar » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:38 am

Not asking for ROMs, but I was wondering if there were any games out there, hacks or otherwise, for NES that were similar to Super Mario Kart for SNES. Sorry for the dumb ass newbie question.

tepples
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Post by tepples » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:13 pm

The NES PPU doesn't have mode 7. The closest thing to Mario Kart or Blur (racing with weapons) is RC Pro-Am.

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Bregalad
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Post by Bregalad » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:43 pm

What about Rad Racer ? It sure doesn't play like Mario Kart (there is no characters, items etc...) but it's a nice fake 3D racer for the NES.
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Shiru
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Post by Shiru » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:05 pm

I recall a pirate cart with a motorcycle 'fake 3d' racer with Mario characters.

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koitsu
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Post by koitsu » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:32 pm

tepples wrote:The NES PPU doesn't have mode 7. The closest thing to Mario Kart or Blur (racing with weapons) is RC Pro-Am.
The yellow car cheats.

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RLError
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Post by RLError » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:37 pm

Try Galaxy 5000. You might like it.

yesyesyall
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Post by yesyesyall » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:53 pm

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxie_500 galaxie 500, while you're at it

Drag
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Post by Drag » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:30 pm

koitsu wrote:
tepples wrote:The NES PPU doesn't have mode 7. The closest thing to Mario Kart or Blur (racing with weapons) is RC Pro-Am.
The yellow car cheats.
That's how they keep the game fresh and exciting. ;)

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miau
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Post by miau » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:36 am

Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally could be considered as the spiritual predecessor to Mario Kart. Although it isn't really anything like it except for the Mario/Luigi thing going on and maybe the fact that Soyo Oka worked on both games' soundtracks.

RT-55J
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Post by RT-55J » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:46 pm

tepples wrote:The NES PPU doesn't have mode 7.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of performance could we expect from a software renderer?

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Post by Shiru » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:04 pm

Not enough for a fast-paced game, for sure. This was achieved with Z80 @7 MHz, a lot of RAM, and framebuffer directly accessible for CPU at any time, and the code was well optimized.

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tokumaru
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Post by tokumaru » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:56 pm

RT-55J wrote:Just out of curiosity, what kind of performance could we expect from a software renderer?
If you use the type of look-up tables I used in my raycaster, it might just be fast enough to be playable, depending on the resolution you use.

If you use the same size of software pixels as my raycaster (8x2 hardware pixels), the screen area the 3D track occupies is 32x48 software pixels (256x96 hardware pixels) large and there are 256 possible angles, you'd need a 48 pixels in a column x 64 angles x 16 fisheye correction angles x 2 axis = 98304-byte look-up table to render the 3D view. Each track would also occupy a lot of space, because they have to be stored uncompressed if we expect to read pixels from them fast enough. Even if an image is as small as 256x256 pixels that's 65KB or PRG-ROM.

The table would tell you where in the track's raw bitmap to fetch the color of each screen pixel, relative to the camera's position. For each pixel, you'd have to perform two additions, read the pixel from the bitmap and write it to the screen. Finally, you'd have to write the 384 tiles to the name table, but you can do it across multiple VBlanks since there is always a hidden name table.

The logic would go something like this:

Code: Select all

for each of the 32 columns:
	calculate the look-up table pointer based on the absolute and relative angles;
	jump to one of 4 loops depending on the quadrant of the absolute angle;
	for each of the 48 pixels:
		read the horizontal offset from the table;
		add the offset to the camera's horizontal coordinate;
		read the vertical offset from the table;
		add the offset to the camera's vertical coordinate;
		make a pointer to the track's bitmap using the results;
		read the pixel from the bitmap and shift it into the tile buffer;
	next pixel;
next column;
I won't dare guessing how much CPU time that would use, but the bright side is that it would be fairly constant. The fact that you have to bankswitch in order to read each pixel from the bitmap doesn't help, but that's still faster than decompressing data that would fit in a single bank. I think it would be interesting to see a demo of this, even if the results are not good enough to warrant an actual game (pretty much the same case as my raycaster).

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Hamtaro126
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Post by Hamtaro126 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:28 pm

RLError wrote:Try Galaxy 5000. You might like it.
You mean the full video title: Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000,

BTW: That would make an awesome game!
AKA SmilyMZX/AtariHacker.

Drag
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Post by Drag » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:09 pm

I think you'd have better luck doing something like what Wacky Races does on GBC. I don't want to say it's impossible to do realistic 3D on the NES, but the NES is definitely ill-equipped for it to be practically possible, short of some kind of flashy demoscene-esque demo.

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Post by Shiru » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:21 pm

Mario Kart-like game could be made with usual pseudo-3d road, actually - that way Street Racer (a Mario Kart clone) was made for Sega Genesis. On SNES it uses Mode7, and on PSX and Saturn it has polygonal 3D. So it looks very different on every system, but plays similarly.

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