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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:53 pm 
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Lately, I just don't find anything interesting happening here. I haven't seen any progress in anybody's projects. Is this website dying? Is NES homebrew dying? Is SNES homebrew dying, yet again? Is there another website that people are joining?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:04 pm 
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I'm a little bored too. Not many conversations I feel the urge to participate in. A lot of the things being recently discussed is redundant stuff we've already talked about countless times before, and the rest appears to be just stuff I was never interested in anyway, such as reproductions and hardware modding.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:54 pm 
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Still more going on here than GBdev or PCEdev or Genesis forums.

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nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:14 pm 
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For many times I asked for help, emulation related... and nothing. I only see cosmetic, good-looking NES emulators instead of true NES hardware findings, or support for emulation authors (me).

The last good finding was the $2006/PPU Y increase race condition. I had asked about the flickering scorebars... and... bad guesses, as bad sprite hit timing, bad MMC3 IRQ timing and so on.

Good times of nesdev mailing, where Matt Conte (Nofrendo) was discovering the works of noise channel. -_-;; Now the worries is all about a good looking NES emulator GUI. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:23 pm 
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Re: SNESDev, maybe the community's just small enough that the slowdowns in individual hobbyists' schedules don't average out. Also, Espozo seems to have reached a point where he more or less knows what he's doing, which really sucks the life out of that particular subforum...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:11 pm 
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Zepper wrote:
For many times I asked for help, emulation related... and nothing.

That's probably because people don't have those answers. Answers come from research, so you can't expect answers to specific issues if the research hasn't been done yet. One way to change that would be to invest your time into researching such things yourself, if you have the equipment. For a lot of things, just an NES and a Flash cart is enough. For other things, you might need more expensive hardware.

Quote:
I only see cosmetic, good-looking NES emulators instead of true NES hardware findings, or support for emulation authors (me).

Maybe you should consider making such findings, instead of expecting them to pour in.

Quote:
Good times of nesdev mailing, where Matt Conte (Nofrendo) was discovering the works of noise channel. -_-;; Now the worries is all about a good looking NES emulator GUI. :(

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, most people just want emulators to play games. They don't care about cycles, open buses or race conditions.

I guess that when things slow down we have two options: we can let it die or we can work harder to produce more content and do more research in hopes of injecting more life into this hobby of ours. Maybe it's time to choose.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:39 pm 
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In my opinion, the last good hardware finding was Rahsennor's discovery six months ago that reading controller ports an even number of cycles after OAM DMA completely avoids DMC double clock glitches.

Even if we don't keep learning new things about the hardware, we can still make games using the knowledge that we have. But then making games could be considered less interesting if you consider pixel art and game design to also be known quantities.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:45 pm 
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psycopathicteen wrote:
I haven't seen any progress in anybody's projects. Is this website dying? Is NES homebrew dying?

Why do you think this? As far as I can tell NES homebrew is more active than ever. There's been a lot of people sharing progress of active projects here. The homebrew forum, and the 2016 nesdev compo subforum both have multiple threads that have shown active progress in the last few days. We have continual questions streaming into the nesdev forum that indicate a lot of new people have been picking it up.

I think we're doing pretty good here?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:35 pm 
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I agree with rainwarrior, at least with regards to nesdev stuff. I haven't seen this many projects (and full-on completed games, including many on cart) in a very, very long time. I can't speak for others, but for me, it's delightful -- just like in my youth with published games, there are some titles that interest me and others which don't. It's almost like a renewed renaissance, and I think that's awesome.

snesdev is a different thing, but I can think of at least 4 separate projects going on (purely based on the subboard here). And to be fair, I honestly haven't seen any snesdev stuff in over 15 years. There's a random thing here and there (like a buddy of mine who made some SNES Christmas demos), but games, nope.

If you want people to "do more" with these systems, the limiting factors tend to be:

1) Level of interest (i.e. get some advocacy efforts going and get new developers interested),
2) Complications from tools (let's just get this out in the open: most people I've seen doing actual gamedev are making their own tools, and many of them are made for them alone); complications means "end users" who might not have familiarity with the innards see the tools and go "what the hell is this?" -- heck, even I do that every time I see some new "NES blah blah tool" come out) -- many of the existing tools we have are neglected or bugged (ex. YY-CHR has several versions, the latest I think of which is busted, and knowing this becomes tribal knowledge),
3) Complications from understanding the systems. I don't want to expand on this because I could write a bloody book on the subject. But when we see new folks on the forum show up wanting to learn how to make things on the NES or SNES, they really have no idea where to even begin. For the NES, Nerdy Nights is the usual go-to; for the SNES it's usually bazz's pages on the wiki. The problem is that writing these guides and walk-throughs in a coherent manner is massively time-consuming (as someone who wrote documentation for both systems, let me tell you, the way you write/depict something so that it's absorbed better is skill that many lack (I even put myself in this category)). I see a lot of talk/want but not a lot of "do". And I don't do it because I think after 2-3 days of doing it, I'd wake up one morning and say "I'm burnt out from this". Writing documentation/guides is gruelling at times -- and it's not just about writing, it's about editing, too.

If the concerns are with regards to emulators, I'd also beg to differ. There is at least one from-the-ground-up SNES emulator being developed, higan still gets attention, and SNES9x is still getting attention (yes really). On the NES front, this is pretty disgusting.

If the concerns are with emulation and "new discoveries" hardware or behaviour-wise, I think that's understandably slowed down. There's only so much you can figure out about a system to the point where most everything works. The NES stuff seems to be now mainly focused on figuring out wonky pirate cart mappers, while the SNES stuff seems to be focusing on the unreleased/prototype CD system (though I really don't see the point in bothering with it but that's just one man's opinion); byuu has already stated that there are always behavioural quirks in the console that surprise him when he discovers them).

But in general, when I see someone advocating "more XYZdev needed", I have to ask if that's healthy. More is not always better. Same goes for forum posts/subjects, etc.. TL;DR (and again, opinion): it shouldn't be about quantity, it should be about quality.

If it's all about concerns over boredom and lack-of interest, then I'll point out (what I consider to be) the obvious: you folks do realise you're getting older, right? For example I turn 40 next month. As a teenager and young adult I had a lot of energy and spunk and desire to do things. Once the realities (and pursuits) of life, work, survival, money, happiness, etc. kick in, you find your energy levels lower than when you were younger. The adage "you're only as old as you feel" is true, but I feel 80 (10 years ago I felt 60, 20 years ago I felt 40).


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:20 pm 
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93143 wrote:
Espozo seems to have reached a point where he more or less knows what he's doing, which really sucks the life out of that particular subforum...

:lol: I also got hit with college classes (Even though I'm still in high school, I signed up for them because they improve your grade). I only have a fraction of the free time I had last year. Most of the time, if I'm not doing schoolwork now, I want to do something that doesn't require burning mental energy. It's so sad, I haven't even gotten done with animation, much less collision detection and background scrolling and enemy AI and that sort of stuff. A problem I've run into is that a metasprite routine is too complicated (and as a result, slow) for something like a bunch of bullets, so I said I was going to hardcode displaying objects like that, but then if they were generated by an object with a lower priority, it wouldn't exist for the first frame. I guess that wouldn't be too bad, but there are some instances where I want to have a sprite appear for clipping other sprites over a background, Equinox style. I'm seriously considering a Metal Slug port again, because I wouldn't have to design any assets (I think I'm a pretty good artist, but way too slow and I can't compose anything) and although it would be difficult, it would really be impressive in showing off the system (especially if I can get it to run at 60fps unlike the original game) and there seems to be a fair amount of demand for it (many people have wondered if one exists. If it was made in 1996, it would look like total crap). I've demonstrated how the 4bpp scoreboard can be made entirely by changing colors on BG3 line per line. You can also largely avoid any sprite palette issues by the idea I came up with and backgrounds could be done the same way, although hard coded because it doesn't need to be any more complicated. The biggest problem would be getting what palettes are used for every different tile in the background. I don't even know how you'd manage that, especially with MAME's lack of a tile viewer for Neo Geo games.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:56 pm 
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I still check here every day, it just happened that a bunch of life happened to me which ate up all my time and motivation, and I haven't recovered yet or else I'd have more personal stuff to share rather than random oddball replies to threads.

Although there's something interesting that was mentioned; when you post something and it's just radio silence. Some people prefer nobody to reply unless they have information, where others (like me) appreciate posts acknowledging that the thread has been read but just nobody has an answer. It's like Stack Overflow etiquette versus forum etiquette; one makes it feel like nobody's paying attention, the other adds noise but you know that someone heard you.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:06 pm 
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SO has other ways to acknowledge your answer is being read, such as comments from the asker asking for clarification on an answer, an accept by the asker, or an upvote by someone else who found the answer useful.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 pm 
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Comments, yes, but upvotes and accepts aren't part of BBSes, so radio silence after a post feels like it's being ignored, if you're not used to that being the way things work.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:26 pm 
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Discourse has ♥ upvotes. So does the comment section of Cyanide and Happiness. So does phpBB with the Post Love extension.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Discourse has ♥ upvotes. So does the comment section of Cyanide and Happiness. So does phpBB with the Post Love extension.

Ew, gross. :P


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