The Complete Beginner's Guide to NES Development

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

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cpow
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Post by cpow » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:22 pm

404
:(

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tokumaru
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Post by tokumaru » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:33 pm

I guess this project didn't go very far, huh?

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cpow
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Post by cpow » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:19 pm

tokumaru wrote:I guess this project didn't go very far, huh?
I'd love to take it up myself. I'm not much of a writer, though, or at least I don't think I am. I have trouble finding the sweet spot between writing too much detail to cause boredom and writing not enough to cause disinterest. Even have that problem in casual conversation...

I actually started thinking about how best to convey the reader through the experience. I think it'd be great to make an adventure tale out of making a NES game. I would love to be able to weave the lessons into a sort of parallel adventure where you're reading about some character's activities and at the same time learning things. Each chapter (level, really), would provide opportunities to gather experience points, items, etc., useful in later levels. Viscious code snippets snip and spit at you from the page!

But then I get stopped by the inevitable. Why spend time writing about the 6502 innards...it's been done before. Why spend time writing about computers, assemblers, or code constructs -- it's been done before. In general, except for the PPU, APU, and mapper technical detail, all of the NES has been described just about anywhere else...so why not just create a document full of links to prior art.

The answer...probably...is that if I [or anyone] *did* spend the time writing a Complete guide, it'd be read by a few, maybe a lot if you're lucky. Even something like "Racing The Beam" I'm sure has a paltry readership compared to oh...I don't know..."Hunger Games". It'd be a fun adventure in the creating and in the feedback from those that might actually read the finished work. But in reality would anyone wanting to create a NES game pick up such a work and read it cover-to-cover? Not I...I'm an engineer. I need Google, and that's about all.

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Post by tepples » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:38 pm

cpow wrote:Why spend time writing about the 6502 innards...it's been done before. [...] In general, except for the PPU, APU, and mapper technical detail, all of the NES has been described just about anywhere else...so why not just create a document full of links to prior art.
Good point. But the CPU examples in the old 6502 books would need to be adapted to use NES I/O rather than Apple II, Commodore 64, or Atari 400 I/O. That raises copyright issues if the old 6502 books aren't freely licensed.

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infiniteneslives
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Post by infiniteneslives » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:43 pm

tepples wrote:That raises copyright issues if the old 6502 books aren't freely licensed.
It falls into all the outs for 'fair use' though. Educational, partial use, non-fiction, and no effect on the market. Not to say there couldn't still be a problem but it seems pretty safe.

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Post by slobu » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:34 am

Bob Rost is usually pretty permissive about adapting his work
http://bobrost.com/nes/

Maybe changing the coursework to use NESICIDE and cc65 would be a good idea.

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cpow
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Post by cpow » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48 am

slobu wrote:Bob Rost is usually pretty permissive about adapting his work
http://bobrost.com/nes/

Maybe changing the coursework to use NESICIDE and cc65 would be a good idea.
Problem with that is...it's coursework. The lecture slides are mostly high level discussion and administrivia, which hopefully was filled in with a deluge of technical discussion during class hours - or the students definitely didn't get what they paid for!

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