NES development manual?

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stalepie
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NES development manual?

Post by stalepie » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:45 pm

Does anyone have an official Nintendo Entertainment System development manual that they'd be willing to share to the NESdev community?

I talked to someone at #nesdev who has a copy, but he wasn't willing to share. He said most of the information in it was already available at nesdev.com and that it was written in terrible broken English. I offered to pay him for it, or to pay for shipping to borrow it, in order to scan it into PDF form, but he wasn't interested.

I thought it would be a great boon to have the original manual that American developers used to make games in the 80s.

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blargg
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Post by blargg » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:49 pm

It's likely proprietary information (trade secret), and definitely copyrighted.

stalepie
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Post by stalepie » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:07 pm

What? So is reverge-engineered Super Mario Bros source code and all the ROMs you guys routinely share and play.

Screenshot graphics of video games is art from the game, which is copyrighted also.

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BMF54123
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Post by BMF54123 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:46 pm

What proprietary information/trade secrets? I thought the NES patents and whatnot expired...or does that not apply here?

mic_
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Post by mic_ » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:08 am

Other than as a collector's item I suspect the official manual would be useless. There's already lots of hardware docs about the NES on the internet, which - even though they have their limits - are way better than documents written by some japanese engineers with poor english skills. Try reading the Genesis or (especially) the Saturn docs from SEGA and you'll see what I mean. The only official developer's manual I've seen so far that was well-written is the one for the GBA.

stalepie
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Post by stalepie » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:40 am

What about these? They're pretty useful, aren't they?

http://emu-docs.org/Genesis/sega2f.htm
http://www.io.com/~nickb/atari/doc/stella.txt

I think every little bit of information would help, even if some of it is restated. It would help, for instance, to sort out what is false in some documents out there, and perhaps serve as a base for the Wiki. And for me it would serve as a confidence booster to see what the professionals had to work with back when they were actually making games.

But... I can understand if no one wants to scan it for fear of it being proprietary material -- which it is -- although for what it's worth I did once email David Perry about Sega Genesis development manuals and he responded with a chipper "Sure, I'd be happy to put it online. I will if I find one of my old copies" and "I'm surprised it's not up on the net already." So maybe I have it wrong, but yeah, it's been 20 years since the thing was commercially useful, and if it's occasionally (rarely?) being sold on ebay, then I don't see what's wrong with a PDF or .txt version being up online for hobbiests. I mean, even as a historical curiousity, I think it would have value, right? I mean, people collect Mario watches and Zelda stickers and stuff.

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Post by Roth » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:53 am

Stan Stepanic?

stalepie
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Post by stalepie » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:31 am

eh ?

mic_
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Post by mic_ » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:41 am

What about these? They're pretty useful, aren't they?

http://emu-docs.org/Genesis/sega2f.htm
http://www.io.com/~nickb/atari/doc/stella.txt
I haven't read the VCS doc, but that Genesis doc is pretty poor IMO. They manage to write long documents (though much of it is figures) but still leave out a lot of useful information. The Saturn docs are even worse.. it's like 1,000 pages (seriously) of engrish that reads like a data sheet. The YM2612 manual from SEGA is decent though, I'll give them that.

Don't get me wrong, feel free to spread the NES docs if you get hold of them if that's what you want - making information available is usually good. But I don't think they'll provide any new information (or explain things better) compared to the docs that are out there already. It's like 15 years too late for that.

stalepie
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Post by stalepie » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:04 am

If anyone has a copy and is too lazy to scan it online, I'll be happy to buy it from them (if you don't name too high of a price...) or borrow it from you (and pay for shipping, then send it back, after I scan it). Photocopies are good too, of course.

I'm not listening to teh naysayers here. Sorry.

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kyuusaku
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Post by kyuusaku » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:53 am

Due to their rarity relative to literally any other console's manuals (except Neo Geo), I don't think you could get a hold of them for anything under "too high of a price" since you'll have to purchase them from a collector who can't differentiate between valuable and invaluable information. The same could be said for the mysterious Intelligent Systems Famicom or any older first party equipment whose functionality and convenience without a doubt couldn't hold a candle to a free emulator, yet would command an outrageous price to other collectors who believe someday they'll learn to use them.
Last edited by kyuusaku on Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

strat
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Post by strat » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:55 am

I've got this 'Introduction to Saturn Game Development' dated April 13 1994, can't remember the site where I got it. It's pretty detailed and coherent (well, it's a SOA doc). I'll upload the pdf if anyone's interested.

stalepie
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Post by stalepie » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:00 am

Sure, I'm interested. Upload it to mediafire.com or somewhere (if you don't have a site)

strat
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Post by strat » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:07 am


stalepie
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Post by stalepie » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:26 am

Aww sweet, this rules!! Thanks so much

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