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 Post subject: DDR for NES...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:30 pm 
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Hey all, glad to have found these forums.

I'm an established NES collector looking to delve a little deeper into my hobby and begin programming. I have thorough experience with higher-level languages and some assembly experience.

That said, some questions before I dive in head-first.

1. I know at some point chatter about this project existed, but I can't get the search here to work, and any pointers to the thread (if it exists) would be appreciated.

2. Are there copyright issues with homebrewing using existing licensed-release sprites / music from NES games? Specifically, if I produce and release a homebrew with stolen material, will I get my arse sued. This one alone would be enough to put a damper on the whole project....

3. Does anyone care!

thanks -Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:50 am 
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1. At least one of them is here.

2. Yeah, every problem imaginable, depending on the material. Copyright, trademark, and possibly derivative work. If it's a free release there might not be anything to sue for, but working paranoidly (is that a word?) in the shadows doesn't sound like as much fun. I'm sure you could find an artist (actually, having a demo working with any kind of sprites would be a big encouragement), and I'm absolutely certain you could find many musicians.

3. If you mean about a DDR-type NES game, then yes. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:54 am 
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Do enough people with an NES devcart own a Power Pad in order to be able to test such a program?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:12 am 
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If anyone with a dev cart was to pursue this project, I do indeed have an extra power pad that I could part with. If it's for the sake of development, I could send it for shipping charges only.


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 Post subject: testing
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:51 pm 
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The good part is that there's not a whole lot of testing that needs to be done for this game. Forget about collisions and such...it's the simplest possible thing to program. Most of the problems will probably result from making it interesting...just having arrows up on a screen with music isn't very spectacular. And since the backgrounds would be computer controlled...no real worries.

That said, my idea which may complicate things...or make them simpler and nicer...was to use the "arrows" as a scrolling background, and have them move vertically up past a static background page that would draw first. This should make things smoother, allow for other sprites to move about the screen and minimize slowdown. You could even make the "glow" with palette swaps so they don't need to be animated at all.

Syncing the scrolling rate with the music playback rate should not be too much of a problem, doesn't most NES music follow the same meter? Even if it doesn't isn't it just a variation on a hexidecimal scale? Even through trial-and-error and assuming no slow-down you could just plug in numbers and come across the right synch rate for each song.

And I guess my concept is out of the question...I wanted to make my first one entirely Mega Man music...you'd select the game (MM2, MM6, etc), then select the boss you'd like to "fight" and it would play the music from the level, while you danced to it. How well you did would govern how well your sprite was beating up on let's say Bubble Man, and if you passed the song you'd conceptually beat the boss.

But of course this is a selfish idea since there are so many talented NES composers that should be on the first NES DDR game...even before the legal considerations obviate themselves.

Thanks for your responses thusfar -Dan


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 Post subject: Re: testing
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:16 pm 
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dangevin wrote:
That said, my idea which may complicate things...or make them simpler and nicer...was to use the "arrows" as a scrolling background, and have them move vertically up past a static background page that would draw first.

That would complicate things. When you have eighth note taps (seen on all three difficulties of "PARANOiA"), arrows can overlap. Would you use backgrounds for all quarter notes and sprites for everything else?

Quote:
You could even make the "glow" with palette swaps so they don't need to be animated at all.

You'll still need to swap the four frames of the animation for the white segments inside the arrow that light up in the order 3, 0, 1, 2, changing every sixteenth note. But MMC3 CHR swapping can handle that easily.

Quote:
Syncing the scrolling rate with the music playback rate should not be too much of a problem, doesn't most NES music follow the same meter?

Most NES games use three, four, six, or eight tracker "rows" per quarter note.


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 Post subject: Re: testing
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:05 pm 
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tepples wrote:
That would complicate things. When you have eighth note taps (seen on all three difficulties of "PARANOiA"), arrows can overlap. Would you use backgrounds for all quarter notes and sprites for everything else?


I can't see any way to make sprites work as the arrows. There's the possibility with quarter notes' top halves or bottom halves being on the same line as half-notes...and if it's a jump (two arrows simultaneously) moving into a jump with the opposite arrows there's the potential for up to 16 sprites on the same line, won't fly. Even with a mix of bkgd tiles and sprites, you've got potential slow-down on a song with lots of steps, they're all on the screen being repositioned every draw, NG. With bkgd tiles though, for the quarter notes I could just make more variations of tiles...some would have like the top-half of one for quarter-steps, then the bottom half of the same quarter step at the top of another tile right below to give the illusion. Better yet, I can make big arrows if I just use 4 tiles (2x2) to make up each arrow...and this will eliminate the problem entirely. The other advantage being...then they're BIG. And at that size I could still fit 7 full arrows end-to-end on screen from bottom to top, that definitely gives enough time for the dancer to "read ahead."

Quote:
You'll still need to swap the four frames of the animation for the white segments inside the arrow that light up in the order 3, 0, 1, 2, changing every sixteenth note. But MMC3 CHR swapping can handle that easily.


This doesn't sound too bad. Kinda like question-mark blocks in SMB?

Quote:
Most NES games use three, four, six, or eight tracker "rows" per quarter note.


Although I don't anticipate a big headache from synching the tunes to the scrolling, it IS the most important part of the programming aspect so I figured I'd ask. It's digitally precise so what, me worry? :)

I will be reading everything I can get my hands on for the next week or so, it's been almost a full decade since I've coded anything. BUT it's like falling off a bike, you never really forget how :) Thanks for your help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Quick question: Might Squeedo be useful in any way for a NES DDR game?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:23 am 
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Only as a generic flash card, unless it has some sort of I/O that can read PlayStation compatible game controllers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:28 pm 
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I designed Squeedo for music, so it has those 4 extra sound channels. Now that could make a huge difference in a game like this. Currently only my hacked version of the MCK driver supports it though.

With the PIC being the expensive part on there though, it could add $10 - $20 to the final selling price (compared to something simple like UNROM). That's without the comms adapter/cable and probably no WRAM.

Since the PIC has that expansion port (normally used for the comms adapter), it possibly could take a PSX controller there. If 4 I/Os + 5VDC/GND is enough. Interesting idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:13 pm 
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Oops, I didn't know quite how Squeedo's audio expansion worked, so I was thinking about the IRQ system. Any further comments?

How essential is the PSX controller port? I can see why a PS1 dance pad might be useful given the limited availability of Power Pads, but how much sub-frame timing will be used in the scoring system?

Oh, and might dmc_saw be useful anywhere in this quasi-project?

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I was -_pentium5.1_- until I screwed up. This is why I screwed up. ^_^


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Hmm, am I the only one who thinks the fun retro factor of this would be lost if it were to use a PSX dance pad rather than the original NES Power Pad?... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:56 am 
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Nahh, especially if we make a new cartridge that has its own CPU and graphics processor, merely using the NES for its power switch.

</sarcasm> :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:56 pm 
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blargg wrote:
especially if we make a new cartridge that has its own CPU and graphics processor, merely using the NES for its power switch.

The rumored "Hellraiser cart" (which in fact was supposed to be for a game other than Hellraiser) had a separate CPU and PPU and fed just the controls, audio, and pixel stream through the cart interface. But Nintendo itself has done this at least four times:
  • Wide Boy (prototype Game Boy on Famicom)
  • Super Game Boy (commercialized version of Wide Boy for Super Famicom/NES)
  • Wide Boy 64 (prototype Game Boy Color on N64)
  • Game Boy Player (commercialized GBA on GameCube)

Who knows what Wii will see on the next system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:28 pm 
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tepples wrote:
The rumored "Hellraiser cart" ... was supposed to be for a game other than Hellraiser ...
Huh? I don't see any relevant evidence on this page:
http://www.planetnintendo.com/thewarpzo ... aiser.html (The only other game it mentions being made for the Supercart was for testing purposes. I intentionally linked to the old version of The Warp Zone since the new version has broken images.)

Also, tepples, are you suggesting that Wii's Virtual Console feature might eventually be supplemented by special hardware for certain special purposes...?

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Warning: I am not a serious developer (yet), but CS and EE really interest me.
I was -_pentium5.1_- until I screwed up. This is why I screwed up. ^_^


Last edited by 85cocoa on Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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