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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:54 am 
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DRW wrote:
First of all, Nintendo has always been dickish towards this stuff. It started right in the 80s when they put strict license deals to publishers and tried to sue companies who recreated the lockout chip

To be fair, the company who did that, did so via illegal and super dickish methods.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:02 am 
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8bitMicroGuy wrote:
I sometimes have such a revulsion towards anything that's from Nintendo [...] Even the NES console. [...]Like, seriously! I'm so ready to boycot everything from Nintendo!

Just in case, there is a dozen of other very interesting platforms from the 80s/90s with great games. I'd name the Commodore 64, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, just to name a few.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:36 am 
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If you're looking to "move on" from the NES, PCE would be the obvious choice IMO :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:16 am 
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Sumez wrote:
If you're looking to "move on" from the NES, PCE would be the obvious choice IMO :)

Agree but the following 2 points makes me reluctant to such a move in the immediate:
  • It seems weird to develop for a system which wasn't even released in my country and that only hardcore gamers known exists. In particular, it took me a while to understand "PC Engine" had nothing to do with PCs.
  • It seems Hucards would be much harder to manifacture than NES cartridges (however CDs are easy to manufacture and the PCE-CD extension doesn't have any protection, as CDs were too new to be burnable back then).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:16 am 
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Here come you guys and your random retro platform suggestions... These "alternatives" were far less popular than the NES, which means that a lot of people aren't interested in them at all. C64 was popular in the US and Europe, PCE was popular in Japan (and significantly less so in the US I guess), but the rest of the world doesn't really care about those "obscure" machines. If you want to be relevant anywhere, you can't run from Sega and Nintendo.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:52 am 
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Exactly my point, so if you aren't going with NES, PCE just feels like the best choice, since it's almost like a superpowered NES. :) Of course, I'm a little biased because it's close to being my favourite console (and it should be pretty high on anyone's list, honestly).

If you're in a country where the C64 was ever popular though, there's a really strong community still keeping it alive, with a ton of homebrew happening. And like the PCE, it also has a CPU similar to the NES. So if you dig the community stuff, the C64 is a great choice, but I'm not personally a fan of the hardware or its original games library.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:00 am 
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I'm interested in doing something for the PCE at some point (when my schedule clears in... 2, 3 years? haha) - it looks like a great challenge to master or at least do something interesting with its graphical feature set. But would anyone play it?

GB, GBC and MD/genesis seems like closer goto options if NES homebrewing went bust.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:37 am 
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GB/GBC CPU has its own set of quirks, such as no true indexed addressing mode, though some other things are nicer on that platform. And good luck fitting your game into 32K, as that's how big Catskull's reproduction carts are currently. And it's also Nintendo controlled, though the GB patent is already expired and the GBC patent should expire a couple months from now, and Color Dreams/Wisdom Tree is famous for being the unlicensed NES and GB game publisher that Nintendo never sued.

Genesis is both easier and harder. It's easier in that MC68000 assembly is nice and C is practical. But it's harder in that players expect more art: 16-color tiles and sprites, bigger sprites, 2 layers, and line scrolling. There's also 4-operator FM to deal with, and musicians with PSG experience might experience growing pains in switching to that model.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:07 pm 
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tepples wrote:
And good luck fitting your game into 32K, as that's how big Catskull's reproduction carts are currently.

I'm working on something with elseyf which will change that eventually. Stay tuned... (but also - don't hold your breath). :)

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There's also 4-operator FM to deal with, and musicians with PSG experience might experience growing pains in switching to that model.

Is that 4 operators per voice?

To those composers it may concern: The general trick to multi-operator FM is to not go overboard. Usually, you can get the timbre you want out of just two operators, and using more is a sharp slope of diminishing returns, though useful sometimes. You can then use the spare operators for LFO-type effects like hardware accelerated vibrato at the very least. You can even let the carrier be the LFO for an easily approachable scheme. But yeah, there is a reason why providing floppies and ROM cards with premade patches for musicians became a sustainable job for a few with the know-how in the 80:s. (Well in fairness it was harder to acquire the skills then without a degree, too).

I have a 2-op fm module with tactile controls in my synth rack just to be able to quickly dial in the timbre i'm looking for, so i then can program that ratio into my less directly approachable 80s synth. That's even easier than memorizing particularily useful ratios, but there's also tested and true approximate ratio tables out there which you can orient yourself from.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:36 pm 
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At the moment, the Game Boy is probably the by far most popular hardware for new chiptune musicians, thanks to LSDJ (and the sound chip's incredible bass sound). So I really wouldn't worry about finding people who are interested in making music with it. The hard part of course is getting them to do something outside of LSDJ or NanoLoop.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:48 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
GB, GBC and MD/genesis seems like closer goto options if NES homebrewing went bust.

I thought the point was getting rid of Nintendo machines ? Because in that case anything in the Gameboy series is also out.

I think the Megadrive is also an interesting machine, despite the fact I hardly ever played the real thing - it was very popular here. Players expect more art, but not as much as in SNES, so that might still be manageable for a programmer to make half-decent art for it.

In conclusion I guess if I wanted to avoid Nintendo and develop for old popular machines, C64 and Megadrive, possibly Playstation 1 would be the way to go. PCE is great and all, but it's completely unknown in the region I'm living in.

I think it's really paradoxal - the reason why we love Nintendo platforms in the 1st place is because they had so great games, and that it's not a whole mess like the C64 where you had a bunch of pirated and hacked games and nobody could tell where they're from; on the other hand Nintendo being badasses against piracy from day one made sure they had full control over games released on their platform, which in my opinion greatly contributed in what made it so great. Also, I personally disagree they're bastards for shutting down fan Pokémon games. This was clearly an IP violation, with a third party releasing a game usinging a Nintendo branded name, that could make people belive those inferior quality games are from Nintendo. I think it's perfectly normal they shut them down; and if I was releasing a successful game I wouldn't want other people to sell clones using the same brand. Selling clones using another brand would be OK if it's clear it's a "pokémon-like" game and not a Pokémon game.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:33 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
Is that 4 operators per voice?

Normally, yes. Six channels with four operators each. But each operator has its own key-on bit so you can split channels if you're clever (only one channel has per-operator pitch registers though).


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