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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:48 pm 
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MottZilla wrote:
Your first point is like most of your points, just some generalization.


It's a good way to teach me about generalizations by starting with a generalization yourself. ;)

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Making a fun game in NROM for one is harder to do than with a mapper because when you're limited to 32K PRG and 8K of CHR that severely limits what kind of game you can do.


Tell that an Atari 2600 homebrewer, who has even fewer resources to work with, yet still manages to put a fun game together.

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Don't bring up Super Mario Brothers because it is an exceptional game written by a professional company and god knows how long they spent making it. How about you mention some other NROM games that are as impressive? Or is that the only one you got?


How about start reading the posts you are responding to? ;)

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I agree with part of what you are saying in the sense that someone probably shouldn't use MMC5 unless they really need it.


Why is that so? I think people should have a right for free mapper choice! If I would be a MMC5 fan now, I would be offended by your statements!

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Using the most common mapper for your needs certainly is the way to go. But it's not up to you to determine what they need.


Are you telling me this to reassure yourself that I have no control over your mind?

Damn, and I thought I could make you all my slaves through a clever mix of mind control and charme... Guess I must have failed. :(

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MMC3 is certainly what most people would prefer as the scanline counter is very desirable even if all you are doing is a status bar and maybe a few other effects with it.


You know, on the SNES, you even have 4 seperate layers to stack on top of each other. Think how much you can accomplish with that!

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It's also very helpful if you need to bank smaller amounts of CHR for animation of BG or Sprites.


Yes, your sprites will animate much smoother. And you can even animate your clouds and flower tiles in the background...

You aren't quite exactly telling me any news here. But go ahead if it makes you feel better.

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Your point about scaling down games makes no sense either. Ofcourse you could scale down just about anything but that's just stupid unless you have a good reason to do so.


Lol, then why ARE YOU GUYS developing on the NES at all???? Working in 2009 on NES games is the ultimate way to scale down your ideas on a minimal hardware. The whole time, you are dealing with self-inflicted restrictions by choosing this kind of platform.

Now come on, and prove my point by saying: "But yeah, since the NES is sooo limited, we need to have good mappers to accomplish anything!"

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You know I think most of us wouldn't even care about Castlevania 3 if they had "scaled down" the game to do it as CNROM.


But you surely would agree with me that people cared a tiny little bit about Castlevania, right? THE game which started the whole franchise. THE essential game, to which Konami came back when they designed Castlevania 3 (NOT Simon's Quest)?

Sorry, but your "argumentation" is just hilarious.

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Basically I think you're acting elitist and putting people down.


And I think you are not elitist, yet still putting people down.

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I'd certainly find your comments offensive if I was working on a NES project with the MMC3.


And yet, that doesn't hold you back either to deliberately misread and ignore ALL my arguments I previously wrote. But it felt good to let that anger out, right? ;)

Anyone else who wants to "discuss" what makes a great game?

And btw, I commend the moderator for the creative choice of the thread topic, so that NOTHING will be misunderstood. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:10 pm 
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6502freak wrote:
And btw, I commend the moderator for the creative choice of the thread topic, so that NOTHING will be misunderstood. ;)

I had to write something; it wouldn't let me split the topic with a blank subject. Feel free to edit your first post in this topic to change the subject.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:22 pm 
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tepples wrote:
6502freak wrote:
And btw, I commend the moderator for the creative choice of the thread topic, so that NOTHING will be misunderstood. ;)

I had to write something; it wouldn't let me split the topic with a blank subject. Feel free to edit your first post in this topic to change the subject.


I changed it now. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:20 pm 
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hmm, I don't see anything wrong with using mappers to work on a game. Personally, I don't feel as though I'm ready for more advanced mappers right now. CNROM seems to suit my needs for the time being, but when I feel better about my coding (and maybe even plan things ahead of time a bit better), I'm sure I will go ahead and venture that way hehe

If someone wants to REALLY limit themselves, there is always the minigame compo. I feel like I pulled off a decently fun game for being limited to 4k, so anything is possible really. I mean hell, Memblers pulled off a 1023 byte game, and I'm not lying when I tell you that my son and I have a blast playing that game two-players haha Button mashing goodness ; )

So, the way I see it, if you want to challenge yourself, limit yourself to the extreme, otherwise, do as you please.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:21 pm 
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I don't care about Atari 2600 homebrew. The system is garbage. I don't consider any 2600 game to be "fun". Why don't you go hang out at a 2600 forum instead.

I'm not developing on the NES right now. But if I were it would be for the fun of making a NES game. You know, enjoyment. I'm not going to "prove your point" by saying whatever crap makes you feel smart. You're acting like a huge ass. And believe it or not no one here including me has to prove anything to you. Infact if you know better than all of us why don't you go start your own forum.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:46 pm 
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6502freak wrote:
Tell that an Atari 2600 homebrewer, who has even fewer resources to work with, yet still manages to put a fun game together.


There's a game as enjoyable/fun/good looking as say, Battletoads on Atari 2600?

I personally find the Atari to be so limited that games really aren't that fun on it. Pitfall! is a miracle (basically the equivalent to, if not superior than SMB1's condensation) but I don't enjoy it as much as I could. Honestly, if they had another 4k to work with that would be great.

And I don't agree with the argument that SMB1 is a special case and we can't replicate that. True, it's an extraordinary display of compression, but your muscles are capable of moving in a manner that would type that same code, so you can do something similar in terms of compression. But it's true, this is basically the only NROM game that did anything that impressive, and there comes a point where you can't do anything else.

I like to think, what would someone who has a NES really like to see? Someone who doesn't have an SNES or anything else; what would they like to see? Well, I know they don't want to see anything boring like Lunar Pool or the other NROM games; not even another SMB1. They want to see something with good graphics, sound, and gameplay. Something that's not so limited/repetitive. I can take this MMC3 board which allows for more PRG space and a scanline counter; that, I could really work with. The only thing is that it -has- to be for the NES. The rest is up to me.

Most of us do NESDev to see what the NES can do. That's the one thing that we don't expand on/change. We all love our NES, and we don't want to move away from the system itself. That's why we come up with all these things to improve the quality of games we make on the NES. And it's a fact: certain things cannot be done with NROM that can be done with other mappers. A powerful mapper does improve the possibilities in terms of overall quality for a NES game. It does not improve the quality by itself.

I do find this argument rather thought-provoking. It does make sense to ask: why develop with super mappers when you can just develop for a more powerful system? Doesn't that take the fun/point away? But the answer is: because we love the NES.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:45 pm 
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The most impressive CNROM games are Dragon Quest 1, and Egypt. That's about as close to NROM as you can get without being NROM. (Don't bother mentioning those games that are NROM with "bankswitching" for copy protection)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:31 pm 
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6502freak wrote:
Ambitious developers most certainly don't rely on mappers. They work on the gameplay until it's perfected. [...] Like I said, people gravely underestimate how much work went into the DESIGN of those games. Adjusting the game mechanics until they play perfectly.

It's very similar with Apple, whose products distinguish themselves in the subtle refinements of their designs. Other companies make mp3 players that look similar, but subtle elements are left out. For a sidescroller, perhaps the single biggest thing that affects the feel of the game is the physics of the jump. Even within Nintendo games, a Mario jump is very different from a Samus jump (especially Super Metroid), where Mario is much more constrained by momentum.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:23 am 
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blargg wrote:
For a sidescroller, perhaps the single biggest thing that affects the feel of the game is the physics of the jump.

But there's still no reason to prevent those that can program good jumps from also using background animations, more detailed sprites and an occasional parallax effect. A good community mapper would give homebrew programmers all the possibilities.

I think that the programming of a game is mostly mapper-independent. No mapper will do your physics for you, or the scrolling engine, or anything else. Sure, having extra RAM or ROM might have an impact on how you design the code, but the logic will be basically the same with or without a mapper. Mappers simply allow you to polish things up a bit, something that shouldn't be frowned upon. The NES is still doing all the work.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:03 pm 
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^^I think the limit is pretty much mmc5. At that point the nes is stil doing most of the work (mmc5 uses tricks to enhance this). After that point you're basicly taking over control.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:32 am 
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Okay everyone seems on a NROM vs MMC5 debate here.
Personally most of my favourite NES games (Castlevania, Mega Man 1-2, Contra, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Battletoads) uses mapper 1, 2 or 7, which uses some mapper, but not some extremely powerful mapper and managed to be absolutely awesome IMO.

Sure I love Castlevania 3 and Just Breed which uses MMC5, and I like many games (SMB3 and Mega Man 3-6) using MMC3 pretty much, but they are sequels to games with simpler mappers.

But if I were to nominate a "super mapper" to be available, I'd definitely vote for a MMC5 clone. It has everything, all bankswitching modes thinkable, graphics extansions, large amounts of SRAM and a fast multiplier. Everyone seems to think about the MMC3 but I think it's over-rater, altough it can allow smaller CHR bankswitching than the MMC1, and have a crappy scanline counter, it's about all it can do better than it. If you use CHR-RAM you don't want to worry about the former, and the scanline counter is really limiting, but it's true that in some case it would still be better than sprite zero hits if you are having more than one split point on your screen during gameplay. Also it lacks MMC1's 32kb PRG bankswitching and one-screen mirroring, which could be essential.

Anyway it is pretty clear that the mapper have a strong influence on :
- Amount of different graphics
- Amount of levels and music present in the game
- Whether or not you can save your game
- The presence of on-boad SRAM can increase possibilities of the game engine

The following elements are not affected by the mapper :
- How detailed the graphics are drawn
- How good your levels are
- How good the music is
- How fun it is to play the game

Hironically, today the most advanced homebrew NES game ever made is NESnake 2 by Matrixz which uses NROM !! It has very great music, very good gameplay and is very fun. It does also have quite good graphics for a snaks game. It looks better than SMB in fact, but it doesn't make any sense to compare a snake game and a platformaer.

Know why so many of us can't release a really great NES game ? We really are thinking too hard instead of just throwing creative ideas straight in a programm ! Everyone on this thread is thinking way too hard. I want's until I came here, but now I'm thinking too hard instead of acting.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:51 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
But if I were to nominate a "super mapper" to be available, I'd definitely vote for a MMC5 clone.

Do they even make 5 V CPLDs that will hold an MMC5 clone?

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Everyone seems to think about the MMC3 but I think it's over-rater, altough it can allow smaller CHR bankswitching than the MMC1, and have a crappy scanline counter, it's about all it can do better than it.

You forgot the MMC3's bankswitching of $C000-$DFFF, useful for sample playback.

Quote:
the [MMC3] scanline counter is really limiting, but it's true that in some case it would still be better than sprite zero hits if you are having more than one split point on your screen during gameplay.

Or if you don't want the complexity of having to ensure that a tile near the split point is opaque if you want a split point within a complex scrolling section.

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Also it lacks MMC1's 32kb PRG bankswitching and one-screen mirroring, which could be essential.

Essential for what? Multicarts?

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Anyway it is pretty clear that the mapper have a strong influence on :
- Amount of different graphics
- Amount of levels and music present in the game

Perhaps 6502freak's point is that few hobbyists have the dedication to make enough "different graphics" and "levels and music present in the game" to justify more than NROM.

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- Whether or not you can save your game

An eight-character password can reliably save 32 bits plus an 8-bit checksum. Perhaps 6502freak's point is that few hobbyists have the dedication to make a game that needs more than 32 persistent bits.

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The following elements are not affected by the mapper :
- How detailed the graphics are drawn

In the case of CHR RAM boards, some compression formats have an easier time with less complex tiles than with more complex tiles.

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- How good the music is

You need an MMC3 or FME-7 class mapper to use lots of samples.

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Know why so many of us can't release a really great NES game ? We really are thinking too hard instead of just throwing creative ideas straight in a programm ! Everyone on this thread is thinking way too hard. I want's until I came here, but now I'm thinking too hard instead of acting.

I think 6502freak's point is that a hobbyist's creative idea is likely to fit in 24,592 bytes.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:50 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
Know why so many of us can't release a really great NES game ?

Lack of time, probably. I always see people saying how great NES programmers back at the time were, but there was nothing special about them. In fact, today we have more knowledge and better tools to make games better than they could. The big difference is that they were paid to do it, and invariably dedicated quite a few hours of each day to their projects. I have to squeeze a couple of hours at the end of the day whenever I can to work on my project, and that's why it's so hard to finish it.

IMO, the difference in complexity between NROM games and mapped games (that are similar in gameplay) is negligible. You'll just spend more time generating data for the project with more CHR and PRG, but getting the basic engine working shouldn't take longer. It's simply not true that games running on simpler mappers are easier to make. It can in fact be the opposite, such as in cases where more ROM and RAM would allow you to store data in a more friendly way for your code, and without it you have to use tricks to achieve the same goal (do more with less).


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:42 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
It can in fact be the opposite, such as in cases where more ROM and RAM would allow you to store data in a more friendly way for your code, and without it you have to use tricks to achieve the same goal (do more with less).


This is one thing. For example, I'm lucky if I can even put 1h per day on my project. These days, that hour is mostly taken for making my map editor and I can't wait that it can get out of the alpha stage. But once it will be stable enough to generate data, I may not have the time to make some crazy code to compress everything since I don't have the luxury of time.

The extra space may allow me to make a game without worrying too much about fitting everything in the smallest space possible. Of course it may sound sloppy and I do agree with that but since I'm doing it for fun and today we don't have to worry about the cost of chips and everything: who cares? My goal is to have fun making a nes game first and I'm more than happy with that. If I can optimize it latter to fit in a smaller space then I will be even happier. And if this allow me to take a simpler mapper or even none then even better.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:26 am 
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Oh you are right about the lack of time, partially right at least.
A professional would do that 40 hours per week, but I'm glad if I do 2 or 3 in average, so we would take about 20 times more time to complete the project than a professional.

But also each time you wonder which of the many possible way you'll handle something instead of just handling it the first way that comes to mind is lost.

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