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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:35 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
(not sure if loopy's packs added that or not)

I believe only enough to run Castlevania III. I believe that stuff like ExRAM graphics and multiplication were intentionally left out, so it's not the "super mapper" that the real MMC5 is.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:06 am 
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It's worth noting that the 29F* series of flash chip can usually drop into sockets intended for EPROMs, so they are a much nicer thing to use for development / anything.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:12 am 
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koitsu wrote:
8bitMicroGuy wrote:
Why would you want to suddenly send me $100?

Because that's my way of helping indie developers, other than giving advice with code/etc.. I did this with 93143 (sent him money to get an EverDrive or SD2SNES, I forget which). He's working on a port of a game to the SNES which is incredibly timing-sensitive, so being able to test on real hardware vs. emulators has been beneficial to him. I've also helped with some of the NESDev Compos by donating to provide the winnings.

In case that explanation isn't sufficient, here's my reasoning: a lot of people don't have the funds to get the equipment they need, and that can be frustrating, which later turns into diminished morale, and finally dismissal (e.g. "I wanted to do this NES project, but I don't have enough money to get real hardware, everything is so expensive, so screw it!"). I've been there, I know how it feels. And while I'm not rich or anything, I live comfortably within my means, and money is just money (I loathe money). Plus, I get good feelings from helping people out. We live in a day/age where people find it intimidating/scary/weird when another person just wants to help with no strings attached -- instead (especially in the US) the norm is "I'll front you the money, but in exchange you have to put my name in big lights somewhere" -- and I find that despicable (that's more of a business transaction, not helping someone out/a donation). I just like helping people. Honest.

But you can always say no, too! Some people, if accepting stuff like that, feel a deep sense of humility and like they "owe" the person who helped, and thus will turn down help to keep from experiencing that feeling. I totally understand that too. And others are just sensitive about their privacy/anonymity, and I definitely respect that as well.

Hope that answers your question. :-)

And yes, go with either EEPROMs or flash. Don't bother with EPROMs. Honestly though, the "most convenient" way is to get a PowerPak. If you run into odd mapper problems that work on emulators but not the PowerPak, the mapper code on the PowerPak can be updated (I believe loopy here on the forum has updates to the PowerPak mappers).

But as I understand you're wanting to do MMC5, which the PowerPak's mapper set doesn't have support for right now (not sure if loopy's packs added that or not), so you might have to build a devcart... but it's going to be painful -- MMC5 carts are not as prevalent/easy to find as other mappers. Are you absolutely sure you want to go with MMC5? The main limiting factor (from what I've read) seems to be your need for more actual RAM. That's going to be a tough one. Honestly your project sounds like it's better-suited for the SNES, especially when I read about your need for a multiplication operator (the 65816 doesn't have this natively, but the SNES does offer MMIO registers that do hardware multiplication and division). The topic of C on the 65816 (and what tools are available) has been discussed in other threads -- you're going to have a hard time finding such tools.

Gee, thank you very much :) Now I see a piece of sunshine from those crowdfunders.
However, I've been really struggling on learning the NES assembly and everything and it really helped me to learn about microcontroller assembly. I'm very happy about that, but I'd be sad if I'd have to throw all NES-ish knowledge away to learn SNES. Still I gotta admit that NES sucks because of the lack of colors and the timing challenge. I might migrate from NES to SNES, but I'm not sure if I'll have the same inspiration and tools and help during/about/in development of "SnesCraft" *googling* Dang! That name is already used for a Minecraft texturepack! How different is NES from SNES? What do I need to learn about SNES after I understood the NES? Is there a Nerdy-Nights-like tutorial for SNES? Would it be bad if I make the game look like SMASB3 (my way of saying SMAS:SMB3) and don't use the real 3D options? Are there devcarts like Powerpak for SNES? What tools should I start using?

Sorry for much questions, but I'm really stressed out to find that MMC5 business will be very hard.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:52 am 
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8bitMicroGuy wrote:
I'd be sad if I'd have to throw all NES-ish knowledge away to learn SNES.

I haven't messed with the NES before because I knew that what I wanted to do wasn't possible on the NES, but I have worked on the SNES and from what I've heard, the SNES from a programing standpoint, is just like the NES, except expanded upon, so you aren't throwing away your knowledge. They are both using 6502 family processors, (with the NES being the 6502 and the SNES being the 65816) so you will find that many of the opcodes are the same, and they both use and accumulator, an x, and a y. Here's a complete list of SNES opcodes: http://wiki.superfamicom.org/snes/show/65816+Reference In fact, there are several usefull things on that website, http://wiki.superfamicom.org/snes/show/HomePage and bazz's tutorials are what got me started, but unfortunately, they are using the WLA assembler instead of ca65... One thing on the SNES I think you need to learn from scratch are the registers, which can also be found on superfamicom.org. http://wiki.superfamicom.org/snes/show/Registers. If you want to ask any questions, don't be afraid to ask anyone. No one here bites. :wink: You know, maybe you should change your name to 16bitMicroGuy. :P


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:27 am 
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Quote:
In case that explanation isn't sufficient, here's my reasoning: a lot of people don't have the funds to get the equipment they need

To be honnest, NES development (and computer development in general) is an overall cheap hobby. One of the cheapest if you consider the time it takes building something and that amount of money you have to invest. Everything you need (NES, powerpak, EPROM programmers, EPROM, custom PCB) costs around the hundreds dollars.

If instead your hobby is sport, let's say bike (it's another of my hobbys) you have to buy a bike for a few thosand dollars, and regularly buy new brakeplates, new tires, new mechanical components that gets used, etc... and it constantly costs a lot. I only use bike as a vehicle I use everyday, but if you do it for sport, you'd need to buy an even more expensive bike and better equipment... Definitely much more expensive than NES/FC development.

There is other sports, but in the end it's the same deal, you always have to invest in expensive equipment, with the notable exception of running.

Music ? Music instruments are very expensive. It depends on the instruments, but basically every instrument counts thousands of dollars. Precussions are about the worst, the price of a set of tubular bells can be around $20k for example. Even drum sticks, which are basically two pieces of wood, have a ridiculous price for what they are. Singing is cheap fortunately :)

Music is often played as a group which means the group needs to be funded somehow most often with both a good volunteer work from the members and their money. Definitely more expensive than NES development.

As for art, I am not very knowledgeable but I am pretty sure any tools involving professional drawing are expensive as well, professional game photographic equipment is incredibly expensive (I have a co-worker that is into this), and if you want to do homebrew films, good luck. Writing books might be cheap however.

So in each cathegory of entertainment/hobbies we can find expensive and cheap ones, but my point was that NES development is not a relatively expensive hobby, although there is hobbies which are even less expensive.

Finally @8bitMicroGuy, if you need some specific hardware, just ask, there is chances someone has duplicates they are ready to send for free, or for less expensive than what you could find on ebay. Keep in mind many sellers in ebay are just huge profiteers and that prices have increased ridiculously during the past 10 years. But often there is no real alternative if you want to buy a very specific item and cannot find it in real life garage sales. Unfortunately, as for console the only one I have I might not want to keep is the USA toploder I modded to be usable with AV, but it's probably not best suited for you.

Quote:
I'm very happy about that, but I'd be sad if I'd have to throw all NES-ish knowledge away to learn SNES.

Both consoles are extremely similar in hardware and design, with the notable exception of sound which is absolutely completely different. So unless you spent time studying the NES' sound, you didn't loose your time because your knownledge is directly transposable in the SNES.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:17 am 
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You can get very far in console development using just emulators and no hardware for a while. I wouldn't call the hardware a requisite so long as you are conscious of emulator quirks to not take advantage of and you do plan on testing it on hardware eventually. At least during the "getting into it" phase investing in a lot of hardware is getting a little too far ahead, I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:19 pm 
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I kinda felt the opposite. Until I was very familiar with the hardware, I was not confident writing software in just an emulator. My first several attempts at getting programs to run on a PowerPak + NES taught me a ton of stuff that emulators couldn't.

Now that I am used to the hardware, I am very comfortable just writing for an emulator, because I know pretty well how to do things the right way. I still test on hardware, but only very seldom, because hardware surprises are pretty rare for me now.

Like, we can give advice to a new developer who doesn't have hardware to work with, and in theory they can obey the "rules" and not fall into the gaps between emulation and hardware, but it's hard to beat the real thing for teaching you. I certainly remember something a lot better if I see it fail firsthand, rather than just somebody telling me not to do it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:32 pm 
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Also, as a community, those with hardware can provide testing for those without.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:53 pm 
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Yeah, true. There is a lot of support here. Lots of people willing to test on your behalf.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:08 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
Yeah, true. There is a lot of support here. Lots of people willing to test on your behalf.

Significantly fewer people have socketed MMC5 boards, I believe.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:15 pm 
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Which is another reason to recommend FME-7 if you can squeeze your design into it. At least l_oliveira has a socketed FME-7 board.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:44 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I kinda felt the opposite. Until I was very familiar with the hardware, I was not confident writing software in just an emulator. My first several attempts at getting programs to run on a PowerPak + NES taught me a ton of stuff that emulators couldn't.

Now that I am used to the hardware, I am very comfortable just writing for an emulator, because I know pretty well how to do things the right way. I still test on hardware, but only very seldom, because hardware surprises are pretty rare for me now.

Like, we can give advice to a new developer who doesn't have hardware to work with, and in theory they can obey the "rules" and not fall into the gaps between emulation and hardware, but it's hard to beat the real thing for teaching you. I certainly remember something a lot better if I see it fail firsthand, rather than just somebody telling me not to do it.

I think the challenge for most people is going to be not just learning the mnemonics of 6502 assembly but also usable design patterns and things like collision detection, animation, etc... the list goes on. I doubt having hardware in front of you is going to teach you more about PPU quirks or the DPCM counter until you know what you're looking for, anyway.

But, everyone's experience varies.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:22 pm 
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I didn't mean learning the advanced quirks, I just mean about making software that will actually run on the hardware. There are lots of mistakes that NES developers commonly make when they're starting out that will run fine in an emulator, but not on the NES. Many of me early experiments just wouldn't run when I tried them for the first time on an NES after I got a PowerPak.

At least, that's how I found it, coming in.

Most of the advanced techniques I've pulled off I'd say were actually due to debugging emulators and their ability to inspect what is going on at a very detailed level. If I'm doing something weird, I probably do want to test it on hardware just to make sure it runs, but usually this kinda stuff just runs as expected on the NES, for me.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:51 pm 
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8bitMicroGuy wrote:
Gee, thank you very much :) Now I see a piece of sunshine from those crowdfunders.

Just hit me up in PM if you ever want to take me up on it.


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