Questions from someone thinking about developing a NES Game

Are you new to 6502, NES, or even programming in general? Post any of your questions here. Remember - the only dumb question is the question that remains unasked.

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Questions from someone thinking about developing a NES Game

Post by jonebone » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:51 am

I'd like to get some of your "expert" opinions before I decide if developing a NES Game is actually worth it. First a little bit about me. I'm 24 and quite a talented gamer. Beaten god knows how many titles and used to compete on the internet back in my "gaming prime". I'm also the most intelligent person I know, although I have encountered a few people (especially in college) who were on a level of their own. I have a bachelor's in both computer science and mathematics, and had previous Computer Graphics experience by developing simple "games" in OpenGL / C++. (OpenGL is PS3 code for those of you who do not know).

So here I am debating whether or not I should actually try to learn 6502 assembly and put something together. I'm an extremely quick learner with the ability to teach myself anything. My only flaw is that I'm sort of a "perfectionist", so I would never put out a buggy game, or release a beta version of a game just to appease the masses.

A few serious questions now:

1. Would it be easier to try and just modify an existing game first? For example, making my own Mario levels, etc.

2. Which genre is the most complex to program, and which is the easiest? I'm assuming platformers would be kind of tricky with collision detection and boss programming. I'm assuming RPGs would just require a lot of in-depth development to make a worth while story and quest. Then puzzle games leap out at me as "easy", such as Tetris or Pac-Man. Very simple rules and loops should make those work.

3. How hard is the music / graphics aspect? I have no doubt in my abilities to code, but if the graphics are just as hard then I might not want to get into this.

Thanks for any tips you guys can provide. Right now I'm leaning towards not doing this (don't want to "waste" years of my life), but I always wanted to be a game designer. Perhaps just modding an existing game would be best for me.

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Post by SecretServiceDude » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:57 pm

Man up, dude. I say go for it. We're here to help.

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Post by Dwedit » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:11 pm

If you want to try out graphics, go grab a tile editor and make a few crappy graphical rom hacks.

If you want to try out Music, go grab Famitracker and play around with it.
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Post by MottZilla » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:24 pm

What is it you really want to do though? Is it just to make a complete game on the NES platform? Or is it a in general make a retro style game? You should try to figure out what exactly you want to do and hope to gain from it. Developing a full game for the NES isn't an easy task but you say you've done programming before so it should certainly be something you could handle if you put forth the effort. There are alot of people here that can help you if you want to proceed.

I was pretty interested in and still am interested in making a game on the NES. Though after writing my own NES emulator I sort of lean towards wanting to make a SNES or PS1 game more these days as while I don't mind limitations too much, I feel the NES is a bit too limiting for my preferences in game development, but it's more of a factor of time. So try to give it some thought on what you want to do. If you have a great idea for a game that could be done on NES you may as well go forward with it. You don't have to complete the conquest, but you can try to get started and poke around with how the NES works and try to get an idea of how to design a game that would work for it.

Again since you said you've programmed in C++ you shouldn't have that much of a problem picking up programming for the NES in ASM.

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Re: Questions from someone thinking about developing a NES G

Post by Banshaku » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:23 pm

jonebone wrote:and had previous Computer Graphics experience by developing simple "games" in OpenGL / C++. (OpenGL is PS3 code for those of you who do not know).
I don't want to be rude and sorry to be nit picking but OpenGL is an api for 2D/3D graphics and not ps3 code.

And regarding how hard it will be then it depends on how much time you can devote on. Prepare your mind for a lot of trial and error, fragmented documentation, new paradigms for programming, hardware limitation, etc.

If you already have on your mind that you don't want to "waste time" then maybe the nes platform is not what you're looking for. It's a hobby after all, not something you do to find a new job. If you just want to develop games and learn how to design them then you should stick with your C++ experience and do some coding with a game framework like Microsoft XNA one for example, or even direct-x if you're at it. The experience you will gain from this can be used later.

my 2 cent.

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