NES Screen Tool

A place for your artistic side. Discuss techniques and tools for pixel art on the NES, GBC, or similar platforms.

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zanto
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by zanto » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:52 pm

I got the colors in the tool to work by completely changing how the PNG was colored.

I have another question: is it possible to work with metatiles on NES Screen Tool? Is that the same thing as metasprites? I couldn't get them to work properly. It's hard to create a map on this tool when I have to work with 8x8 tiles only. Is there a tutorial explaining how to use all the features? I found a video on Youtube, but it's very basic.

lidnariq
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by lidnariq » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:09 pm

You might prefer to use Tiled for that: the newest versions let you make one map ("tmx file") that is the set of available metatiles, and use that tmx file as the source of the tiles (now metatiles) for the actual level.

Trying to use a nametable editor (like NESST) will constrain you to only easily working with one-screen-at-a-time games.

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dougeff
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by dougeff » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:15 pm

You could also try MapEd Pro

http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7111

though the learning curve is a bit steep to start using it.
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

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tokumaru
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by tokumaru » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:59 pm

lidnariq wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:09 pm
You might prefer to use Tiled for that: the newest versions let you make one map ("tmx file") that is the set of available metatiles, and use that tmx file as the source of the tiles (now metatiles) for the actual level.
Cool, I didn't know Tiled could use other maps as tiles... Can you keep going and have multiple depths of maps using maps as tiles?

I personally find this kind of thing (tiles, metatiles) hard to manage manually, and the more depths you have the harder it is to make changes to this data, because there's so much dependency between the different elements... I generally prefer to write my own tools/scripts to generate most of this data on the fly, so I don't have to worry about manually maintaining a bunch of structures and tilesets.

If you don't want to write your own tools for processing your game's data, Tiled does sound like the best option.

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zanto
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by zanto » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:37 pm

I just checked those tools!

About Tiled, it seems to deal mostly with images, but I didn't see any options to deal with NES nametables or CHR files. Is it possible to do that or is the purpose of this tool different?

About MapEd, I forgot I had already tried it some time ago. Indeed, it's kinda hard to understand, and it keeps crashing when I click on the Cancel button on file chooser dialogs :P Maybe I'll try to find a tutorial for it online.

lidnariq
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by lidnariq » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:55 pm

tokumaru wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:59 pm
Cool, I didn't know Tiled could use other maps as tiles... Can you keep going and have multiple depths of maps using maps as tiles?
I think so. I haven't tested, due to not having a use case for it. It was added with https://github.com/mapeditor/tiled/pull/2708
zanto wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:37 pm
About Tiled, it seems to deal mostly with images, but I didn't see any options to deal with NES nametables or CHR files. Is it possible to do that or is the purpose of this tool different?
You do have to pre-bake your CHR and palette into an image for Tiled (e.g. viewtopic.php?p=117763#p117763 or Tepples's), but after that point it should be fine.

sdm
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by sdm » Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:11 am

Tool is great, but I have two comments:

1. When I have a project open and accidentally choose All-> Load Session instead of All-> Save Session the program does not ask, for example, "Save an existing project?" I just load sessions from a file right away. A few times I lost changes because accidentally and quickly instead of Save I chose Load.

2. Is it possible to scroll the map with the cursor keys at any value of jumps? Currently, the jump of the scrolled map / project is every 32 pixels (4x). It would be nice to be able to define any values or the option to jump every full NT screen (this is very helpful when you are designing a map for a game that is not scrolled, but has static screens - you can then clearly jump between the map screens (It is then much more convenient to cut and save each screen as a separate .nam file in such games).

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Terwilf
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by Terwilf » Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:25 am

I have a doubt, if it is possible to store so many metasprites, why can only 2 CHR tokens be loaded?
Image

These are the files needed to display a single character from a NES fighting game :wink:
Image

Another doubt I have, is if there is a way to completely visualize the title screens that take their graphics from various tabs, I have searched for information, but the tutorials I find are somewhat basic :oops:
Image

Note: The screenshots were manually optimized to reduce their size as much as possible...

Pokun
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Re: NES Screen Tool

Post by Pokun » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:29 pm

You can basically only use one pattern table for sprites and one for the BG per frame, A or B (though both can use the same). If you use 8x16 sprite mode sprites will use part of both tables though (check the wiki for details, I have never tried this mode), while the BG still uses the one you set it to.

If the title screen in a game is using CHR from both tables it is probably using both sprites and BG characters. I don't think you can display sprites in the nametable mode of NES Screen Tool, so I guess you can't see the full title screen in this program.

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