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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:30 pm 
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I like to start with a 12 pack of colored pencils and a graphing notebook.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:31 am 
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Banshaku wrote:
There is a good part that I had to stop so "working" is quite a loose term in that case even though I had the project all the time in the back of my head but now I can put a little bit of time on it, which is refreshing. At that pace, I will match the same schedule as duke nukem forever :lol:

As for little projects, it can be interpreted in many ways. For example, if you scope is quite big, trying to build everything in one shot is quite hard. In assembler, one bug sometime can make thing fails many places (especially when you refactor the names and now everything goes south by accident ^^;;) and hunting it on a huge scale is hard. For your situation, the little projects would be "units" that can be used in your goal projects, code that can be reused with ease. Those units could be the 4 way scrolling, handling meta-sprites format, compression of data, handling of music and sfx, AI, intro/cut scene management, fx with raster etc.

By separating in smaller units/projects with test assets, it will be easier to manage and you will have re-usable code for later. And isolating the feature will make it easier to debug, which is a plus.


So as of now my plan:
1. Add two screens and transition between them
2. Add barely prototype of the important interfaces
3. Add enemies and basic AI and combat mechanics

Use open game art and forget about being fancy.

P.S. Duke Nukem Forever eventually came out ;)

tokumaru wrote:
Maybe use one of the emulators with Lua scripting (FCEUX, Mesen) and write most of the game in Lua? I don't know if you can manipulate the memory-mapped registers directly from Lua or how that works in regards to timing, but even if you have a ROM with just a vblank handler to dump buffers to the PPU, the rest of the logic could all be Lua.


Actually, I need to take a look at it. I was just thinking yesterday, that It would be cool if some emulator provided a programming interface, that I can plug my code in instead of the CPU and Memory and work with PPU/APU directly ignoring timings. Otherwise I need to program all simulation myself.

Brad just posted Lizard code, where PC version is developed on emulated ppu/apu layers. But I'm much more comfortable with C#, compared to C++ to use his code. Maybe I'll port it.

qbradq wrote:
I like to start with a 12 pack of colored pencils and a graphing notebook.


I'm really bad at drawing by hand. I use Paint.net for that...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:30 pm 
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I could have said more :) I am on my phone so it's hard. When prototyping use the fastest thing that answers the questions you have. A lot of times drawing what you are thinking about is the fastest and easiest. Even if it's all straight lines and stock figures. That's what I start with :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:52 pm 
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The Lua scripting feature of FCEUX provides access to NES cpu memory so it's definitely possible to prototype the gameplay on the Lua side. Though as Tokumaru hinted, the rom should still have a typical NMI update routine. A minimal loop looks like this:

Code:
while(true) do
   emu.frameadvance()
   
   --game loop goes here
end



I'm not sure if it's possible to keep absolutely all the code in Lua; you'd probably have to poll the vblank flag instead of using an NMI.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:03 am 
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I'd be tempted to suggest the use of NDS / GBA as a platform to quickly prototype NES stuff. You would have tiled graphics, multi-track sound (including with pulse generators in the case of the GBA) and NES-like input. You would have access to high-level language and about 10x more CPU power.

Of course, this is said by someone who's been doing NDS development and no NES development so far, so better cross-check that with people who have first-hand experience.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:13 pm 
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PypeBros wrote:
I'd be tempted to suggest the use of NDS / GBA as a platform to quickly prototype NES stuff. You would have tiled graphics, multi-track sound (including with pulse generators in the case of the GBA) and NES-like input. You would have access to high-level language and about 10x more CPU power.

Of course, this is said by someone who's been doing NDS development and no NES development so far, so better cross-check that with people who have first-hand experience.


There's a number of similarities between the platforms, but:

- If you just want a platform to test game ideas, something PC-based would be easier and allow more rapid development than GBA/DS.
- If you care about NES restrictions (palette issues, attributes, etc), then the GBA won't help you test that. Using Lua on an emulator would be a pretty good way to force yourself to use NES limitations but with a higher-level language.

(I do think the GBA is a great system to get started with for learning console development, as it has many of the same general ideas as NES, but is much easier. But I'm just not convinced it would be advantageous for prototyping NES games.)

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