What was the first NES homebrew game?

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dougeff
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What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by dougeff » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:23 pm

This article...

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.in/2016 ... r.html?m=1

...says that "Chris Covell's Solar Wars" was the first, in 2001.

Is anyone aware of any earlier NES homebrew game?

Also, I'm making a list of NES homebrew games and will write about them on my blog. But, I can't find information on lots of games.

Specifically, does anyone have information on that game Morphcat had on display in Berlin? I can't seem to find even a picture of it. And my last info says it's untitled. ?
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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by rainwarrior » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:27 pm

Mouser was from 1998, I think: http://nesdev.com/mouser.zip

It doesn't exactly run properly on hardware though. ;)

There's a bunch of stuff older than 2001 at: http://nesdev.com/archive.html

Even some stuff that's older than that by Chris Covell.

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by ccovell » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:56 pm

Solar Wars was actually released in October 1999, so that page has its dates wrong.

SW's source and a dev diary are still viewable here: http://www.chrismcovell.com/data/SolarWarsSource.zip

I'm sure before I started dev, there were games (???) such as Mouser and others used as programming examples.

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Great Hierophant » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:01 pm

ccovell wrote:Solar Wars was actually released in October 1999, so that page has its dates wrong.
Not anymore. :)

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Dwedit » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:01 pm

There were those example NES roms that came with Pasofami.
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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by strat » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:32 pm

This doesn't answer the question, but Sack of Flour by Bob Rost (and co) was the first NES homebrew I played, though the one that convinced me really good stuff could be made was Dikki Painguin in TKO for the Third Reich (also by someone in Bob Rost's class).
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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Gilbert » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:49 pm

This may depend on what contributes as homebrew. I think some of the unlicensed stuff on the FDS were originally developed by home hobbyists and later picked up by publishers such as Hacker, so these games may be considered borderline homebrew.
Also, there were people making stuff with Family Basic. I don't know other than self-satisfactory, whether they distributed these games to other people though. (I think the programmes could be recorded to tapes?)

So, unless you don't count the Famicom and focus only on the NES, and/or are more strict on what a homebrew is, it should be much earlier than that.

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by ccovell » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:16 pm

Great Hierophant wrote:
ccovell wrote:Solar Wars was actually released in October 1999, so that page has its dates wrong.
Not anymore. :)
Thanks. The 2nd paragraph still has 2001, however, and you mistyped "Joey Parsell".

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Bregalad » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:52 pm

I'm fairly sure that while there was homebrews like "Munchie Attack" or "Box Boy 4k", Solar Wars was the first to look, feel and play like an actual game, with music, sound effects and the like. Although it's gameplay is, to be honest, quickly boring when playing alone.

I think NESSnake 2.0 was the first "full" homebrew that is not a tech demo with music, sound effects, graphcis that uses a significant portion of the console's abilities and that can be enjoyed completely alone.

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Pokun » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:08 am

Gilbert wrote:This may depend on what contributes as homebrew. I think some of the unlicensed stuff on the FDS were originally developed by home hobbyists and later picked up by publishers such as Hacker, so these games may be considered borderline homebrew.
Also, there were people making stuff with Family Basic. I don't know other than self-satisfactory, whether they distributed these games to other people though. (I think the programmes could be recorded to tapes?)
Yeah I bet there where homebrew in the eighties by hobbyists, but with no internet to share them with they probably weren't very well known.

Family BASIC programs were shared by printing the source code in magazines or on recorded tapes (I don't know if there where any radio programs broadcasting Family BASIC tape data, but that is also a way), so that was the main homebrew community back then. IIRC the Pokemon creators started out programming with Family BASIC and picked apart a Famicom console in order to learn how it works, before they got recruited by Nintendo in the late eighties.

PC Engine had it's Develo BOX community in the ninties, code (BASIC and Assembly) was shared in magazines and the homebrewed executable programs, music and art came on CDs that came with the magazines.

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Great Hierophant » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:30 am

ccovell wrote:
Great Hierophant wrote:
ccovell wrote:Solar Wars was actually released in October 1999, so that page has its dates wrong.
Not anymore. :)
Thanks. The 2nd paragraph still has 2001, however, and you mistyped "Joey Parsell".
Apologies to Memblers, I fixed his name in two blog posts.

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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by dougeff » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:04 am

Thanks guys, this is the kind of information I was looking for.
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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by Dwedit » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:19 pm

Does "Super Maruo" count as homebrew? It was the first pornographic bootleg Famicom game, released a year after Super Mario Bros 1.
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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by dougeff » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:23 pm

After an exhaustive search, I've identified about 200 completed NES homebrew games. I plan to feature about... maybe 40ish of them on my blog.

On an unrelated note, I thought of a way to make Mario Kart on the NES. It involves using less than 50% of the screen, CHR-RAM, much slower frame rate (maybe 15 fps), and raycasting. It would look crappy, but I think you could simulate mode7 style perspective.
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Re: What was the first NES homebrew game?

Post by tepples » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:28 pm

If you want to do something like Mario Kart, make it more like Rad Racer along the lines of Sonic Drift for Game Gear.

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