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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:40 am 
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http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017- ... -nes-games

Thought this article may interest folks here. Tokumaru's NES raycaster's briefly mentioned!


Last edited by Holt on Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:29 am 
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Cool! Nice to see people still thinking of my work when talking about NES homebrewing, considering how far this scene has got and the amount of cool finished games, while mine is just a tech demo. I definitely have bigger plans for raycasting on the NES, though! :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:32 pm 
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Great read! :o

And tokumaru, for being "just a tech demo", it's a very good example of creative use of the limited hardware. It's also very impressive looking.

Regarding the 8x16 mode and bigger screen factual errors, i've alerted the writer in case he wants to change it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Nice article!

Yeah the reason why Nes homebrew is as big as it is, is about balance as they say in the article. Besides being one of the most popular video game console of all time, it is retro enough, not too complicated and still somewhat powerful that can make smoothly animated games. Its biggest flaw though is the limited colors IMHO.

I think another system that is balanced well for homebrew is the PC Engine. It's more powerful than Nes and Master System but still doesn't have, unlike the Snes, tons of overcomplicated registers and memory mapping, also it has programmable waveforms and especially it has colorful RGB video! If it had been more successful outside Japan I think we would have seen lots of PC Engine homebrew.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Definitely easier to program for, coming from doing Atari VCS (2600) work. That, and the the generation gap is finally large enough that most have never played a VCS....

-Thom


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Agreeing on the pc engine - it should be super fun doing graphics for it, though i haven't tried so far. I love the aesthetics (and limitations) of many of the pc engine games. MSX2 is also a strong contestant for me. Still speaking about graphics, i don't know a thing about how fun an msx2 would be to program.

Getting a working PCE unit with a cd in the EU is as pricey buying a new console (switch), so the only chance it has at getting more popular in a post market would be in some sort of clone package if it can be made cheaper.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Yeah it's an expensive system, but on the other hand games are quite cheap, especially CD games. I know at least one guy was working on an FPGA clone. Kevtris was gonna include a PC Engine core in his FPGA project, but last I heard of that was that after an encounter with an infamous internet warrior on PCEngineFX forums he seems to had lost the mood for PC Engine stuff.

Yeah I also always loved the MSX2 and MSX2+, and would like to program for it in assembly some day.
MSX computers use the generic Texas Instrument TMS9918A video chip which is much simpler than the NES PPU. Only 11 registers, 16 colors, 4 sprites on a scanline and no hardware scrolling. MSX2 and MSX2+ uses Yamaha's upgrades of that video chip and introduces much more colors and hardware scrolling in one axis (and in both axes in MSX2+). I have never written an MSX program in assembly, but I'd guess MSX2 would be quite similar to program for as the NES in some ways, much more powerful in other ways (more colors) and more limiting in yet other ways (like scrolling in both axes).

It was a popular computer (except in North America) so there are quite a bit of forums and programming resources and of course MSX BASIC. Also BlueMSX is a cycle accurate emulator with good development tools or so I heard.


Last edited by Pokun on Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:21 pm 
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I'd prefer a PC Engine to Switch any day :D

It's actually kinda baffling that it's not more popular than it is. I still regularly hear people refer to it as an "obscure" system. Even among people who don't consider Neo-Geo particularly obscure.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Actually... that's a good point. The software library for the PCE is more attractive (and extensive) than what the switch currently has. :wink:

And i just looked up the prices for MSX2, they seem fairly reasonable. MSX2+ on the other hand... they seem to go for double the price :shock:

Too bad kevtris' clone might've been halted or canceled. :?

I wonder if substituting a cd reader with a micro sd reader would do.
+Cheaper than a cd reader
+less error prone.
+build an image library from your collection and never risk scratching those cd:s.
-CD:s are easier and cheaper to reproduce for homebrew puproses (for example in the case of an action 53 counterpart) than the hudson cartridges or micro sd cards.
-can't play original CD games out of the box

Just looking for leads to make PCE more viable for the homebrew scene.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:35 pm 
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Summon Johnny Turbo!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:44 pm 
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I'm pleasantly surprised that people are finally making full-featured NES games now. It really started off with the AtariAge kids putting things out on carts. Whenever NESdev even attempted getting together to make full-featured games for decades nothing ever panned out fully. Remember Neotoxin?

We're in the golden-age of homebrew finally. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Pokun wrote:
I think another system that is balanced well for homebrew is the PC Engine. It's more powerful than Nes and Master System but still doesn't have, unlike the Snes, tons of overcomplicated registers and memory mapping, also it has programmable waveforms and especially it has colorful RGB video! If it had been more successful outside Japan I think we would have seen lots of PC Engine homebrew.
From what I've looked at, PCE/Turbografxs range from around $80-$150 used. Doesn't seem too bad. I just bought a Master System, so I think I'm gonna wait a while before I consider buying another console.

And it's CPU is based off the 6502? That's really interesting. I've always kinda overlooked the turbografx; don't really know why.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:03 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
Just looking for leads to make PCE more viable for the homebrew scene.

It's never gonna happen. NES is interesting because of the cultural icon it has become, and the nostalgia people have for it. PC Engine is, well, for nerds.

What you seem to be looking for, is essentially a "new" homebrew platform with fewer quirks and awkward limitations than the NES while retaining the simplicity of doing machine code for it, for classic 8- or 16-bit style games. If people are going to adapt a "new platform" for their homebrew investments, there's really need for it to be an existing platform.
I think the "NesDev designs a console" thread was really going in the right direction, honestly.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:20 am 
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Sumez wrote:
NES is interesting because of the cultural icon it has become, and the nostalgia people have for it.
[...]
I think the "NesDev designs a console" thread was really going in the right direction, honestly.

I find this slightly contradictory.
Yes, the NES is a cultural icon. Which is exactly the reason why people would not care for a new retro-style console.

If you want to make games that merely look retro, you can use a PC.
If you want the authentic experience and an authentic product that could have been done in the 80s or 90s, you use a real NES.

But a console that didn't exist back then, but that uses some old-school limitations: That's neither here nor there. You have limitations, but you don't have the satisfaction of developing for an actual historic console.

I believe a new console designed from scratch, created with 80s or 90s limitations in mind, would not work.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:16 am 
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DRW wrote:
I find this slightly contradictory.
Yes, the NES is a cultural icon. Which is exactly the reason why people would not care for a new retro-style console.

Quote:
I believe a new console designed from scratch, created with 80s or 90s limitations in mind, would not work.


Well, that's sort of the point I was making. Since it would make no difference to most people if you were pushing the PC Engine or an entirely new retro-style console, why even go for the PC Engine?

It's not contradictory, because I agree that there wouldn't be any higher interest for a new retro-style console, but there would be other advantages such as not having to adhere to standards set by the original hardware, and instead new "retro hardware" could be designed around what would be cheapest and most effective with modern technology.

So, it would be hard for such a thing to get popular, but there'd always be a limited community for it - and if it's designed in a way that's fairly cheap to reproduce, that would help things along a lot better, I'd think. The "Retro VGS" was proof that you can definitely stir up some attention with a product like that, even if there's a risk the hype will die down quickly (and in this case, the whole product turned out to be a scam).
In the thread I'm referring to, I was actually wishing for a hardware design that would be easy to distribute along with the game itself, similar to how arcade games or plug-n-play consoles work. I think there would definitely be potential for such a thing. Just see how people are going nuts about that Skycurser game being distributed like a "real arcade board", and that's really just a Linux PC with a Jamma interface. Also the game sucks really bad.


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