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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Please note that I only suggested it to John when I met him at an event. He said that it would have to up to the SNES programmer to see if he was interested in releasing/selling his tools.

Since NESmaker was so successful. It seems as if it would only make sense if they also did a kickstarter and did some sort of SNES maker tool.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Part of my hypothesis for this, if you'll recall, is the asset complexity gap between NES and Super NES. It appears to be confirmed by this review of Sydney Hunter, which took marks off for underusing the S-PPU. Apparently you have to have parallax, not just TG16-class graphics, if you want to sell a Super NES game.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:14 pm 
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I think the key lesson is...if you want a COMMERCIALLY successful SNES game, it should have multiple layers (parallax), or Mario Kart style perspective, or professional quality artwork.

But, freeware homebrews, should be free to look like Space Invaders to be "good" (see Classic Kong).

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Thing is, if I see a homebrew severely underutilizing the platform it was coded for, I'll hardly be interested. When someone targets a specific console, I expect them to use most of the features it has to offer, and I expect the game to look AT LEAST like the typical games made for that system back in the day (If they go the extra mile and try to surpass what the typical games had to offer, even better!), otherwise I'll feel underwhelmed.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:59 pm 
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Which means you see a lot more projects that should have been TG16-scale either get scaled back to the NES or just released as a PC game instead.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:16 pm 
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I don't know about the TG16 thing, because one of the first rules pseudo-8-bit games break is the single scrolling background layer, and the TG16 could only fake a second layer using sprites. I've seen many games that could slmost pass for NES games, if it weren't for the background parallax layer. Aspect ratio is disregarded very frequently too, since all displays are wide-screen nowadays. Pixels artists also appear to feel tempted to sneak in 1 or 2 extra sprite colors. The sprites-per-scanline limit goes out the window fairly frequently too.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:24 am 
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I bet you could do a decent rendition of Shovel Knight on the Super NES using Mode 0, with perhaps some cleverness required for certain cases. I'm not sure the MMC5 quite covers it...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:49 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
I don't know about the TG16 thing, because one of the first rules pseudo-8-bit games break is the single scrolling background layer, and the TG16 could only fake a second layer using sprites.

Or shifting around a repeating pattern in CHR memory, analogous to what NES games started to do in Battletoads and MetalStorm and what I think Donkey Kong Country does with its snowstorm effect. Or have the parallax and playfield on separate scanlines, as seen in a bunch of NES games including Vice: Project Doom and The Curse of Possum Hollow. But the games I've seen blasted for "not looking 16-bit enough" have no parallax at all: the aforementioned Sydney Hunter, Flicky, The New Zealand Story, Insector X ("I wonder if it would have killed Hot-B to add a layer or two of scrolling to the backgrounds. [...] I would have really felt like I was playing a 16-bit system instead of a late NES title."), and especially Ninja Gaiden Trilogy which removed line scrolling parallax that had been in the NES game.

tokumaru wrote:
I've seen many games that could slmost pass for NES games, if it weren't for the background parallax layer. Aspect ratio is disregarded very frequently too, since all displays are wide-screen nowadays.

The TG16 has an anamorphic display mode, which I've mentioned earlier. It increases the dot clock rate from 5.37 MHz (like most TMS9918-inspired VDPs) to 7.16 MHz. This squeezes about 336 pixels across the width of the screen, and both 5.37 MHz at 4:3 and 7.16 MHz at 16:9 have the same pixel aspect ratio. I'm just a bit disappointed that the Super NES has nothing between 5.37 and 10.74 MHz.

tokumaru wrote:
Pixels artists also appear to feel tempted to sneak in 1 or 2 extra sprite colors. The sprites-per-scanline limit goes out the window fairly frequently too.

As far as I know, the TG16 VDC has 16 16x16-pixel sprites per line, roughly comparable to the Genesis and Super NES limits.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:30 am 
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93143 wrote:
I bet you could do a decent rendition of Shovel Knight on the Super NES using Mode 0, with perhaps some cleverness required for certain cases. I'm not sure the MMC5 quite covers it...


There is a C64 port coming, so I mean SNES would have to be a shoe in right?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:33 am 
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tepples wrote:
tokumaru wrote:
I don't know about the TG16 thing, because one of the first rules pseudo-8-bit games break is the single scrolling background layer, and the TG16 could only fake a second layer using sprites.

Or shifting around a repeating pattern in CHR memory, analogous to what NES games started to do in Battletoads and MetalStorm and what I think Donkey Kong Country does with its snowstorm effect. Or have the parallax and playfield on separate scanlines, as seen in a bunch of NES games including Vice: Project Doom and The Curse of Possum Hollow. But the games I've seen blasted for "not looking 16-bit enough" have no parallax at all: the aforementioned Sydney Hunter, Flicky, The New Zealand Story, Insector X ("I wonder if it would have killed Hot-B to add a layer or two of scrolling to the backgrounds. [...] I would have really felt like I was playing a 16-bit system instead of a late NES title."), and especially Ninja Gaiden Trilogy which removed line scrolling parallax that had been in the NES game.

tokumaru wrote:
I've seen many games that could slmost pass for NES games, if it weren't for the background parallax layer. Aspect ratio is disregarded very frequently too, since all displays are wide-screen nowadays.

The TG16 has an anamorphic display mode, which I've mentioned earlier. It increases the dot clock rate from 5.37 MHz (like most TMS9918-inspired VDPs) to 7.16 MHz. This squeezes about 336 pixels across the width of the screen, and both 5.37 MHz at 4:3 and 7.16 MHz at 16:9 have the same pixel aspect ratio. I'm just a bit disappointed that the Super NES has nothing between 5.37 and 10.74 MHz.

tokumaru wrote:
Pixels artists also appear to feel tempted to sneak in 1 or 2 extra sprite colors. The sprites-per-scanline limit goes out the window fairly frequently too.

As far as I know, the TG16 VDC has 16 16x16-pixel sprites per line, roughly comparable to the Genesis and Super NES limits.


Parallax is the "lens flare" of 16bit right? I mean when a game showed off on the NES it did parallax which meant "it pushed the machine to the limits".


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Oziphantom wrote:
There is a C64 port coming, so I mean SNES would have to be a shoe in right?

Okay, but that's not exactly a 1:1 port.

The screen resolution means you couldn't do a 1:1 port on the SNES either, but you could get a lot closer. Maybe 1:1 with a cropped playfield. I'm not familiar enough with Shovel Knight to be able to say whether cropping the playfield would substantially damage gameplay.

(Unless you could manage the whole game accurately in Mode 5 or pseudo-hires, using a 432x240i frame which gives you not quite enough DMA bandwidth to refresh 4 bits per pixel per field. Since sprites are locked at lowres, you'd need software rendering for all moving objects, which combined with the necessary parallax tricks probably implies a fairly beefy cartridge coprocessor - a GSU or SA might do the trick. But even if you managed all that, it would still leave you with an interlaced picture and very little ability to mitigate the ensuing flicker... plus I'm not at all certain that scaling up each axis separately so the image fits perfectly on a 16:9 screen is even possible on all, or any, such displays.)

The SNES retaining the Super Famicom's external audio pins (and the S-SMP's ability to credibly mimic the 2A03) means the music shouldn't be a problem. You might even be able to manage the whole thing internally on the S-SMP, but then you'd get channel dropouts for sound effects...

...

I was mostly just commenting on the fact that the original game uses multiple parallax layers (at least 6 by my count, so even in Mode 0 you'd need to use tricks) and busts the NES palette slightly. The developers justified the former with handwaving about mappers, and the latter by pointing out that the colours they added look good. And then there's the fact that it's widescreen 240p (and the devs don't even seem to realize that using all of a 240p display is itself an accuracy issue). Basically, the game is a good example of what tokumaru was talking about.

Then again, by all accounts it's an excellent game...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:57 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Part of my hypothesis for this, if you'll recall, is the asset complexity gap between NES and Super NES. It appears to be confirmed by this review of Sydney Hunter, which took marks off for underusing the S-PPU. Apparently you have to have parallax, not just TG16-class graphics, if you want to sell a Super NES game.


I agree that assets are more complicated... If you're going to make an SNES game, people will wonder why bother unless it uses some of the SNES capabilities? (Similarly, if you made a NES game that looks like an Atari game, people will wonder why you made such a bad looking game)

That said, I think you're over-obsessing over the details of this one review. That one guy wanted parallax on this game. That doesn't mean every game has to have parallax.

And like DougEff said: there's a difference between "we're making these homebrew games because we want to" and "I'm trying to make a commercial success"

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:31 pm 
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gauauu wrote:
If you're going to make an SNES game, people will wonder why bother unless it uses some of the SNES capabilities?

Because there is no retro platform with visual capability greater than that of the NES and GBC and less than that of the Genesis and Super NES that is well known in the Americas or Europe. Thus any game on the low end of this gap ends up having to be scaled down to the NES and GBC, and any game on the high end of this gap needs additional budget to make its graphics at least comparable to the Genesis and Super NES launch lineup.

gauauu wrote:
And like DougEff said: there's a difference between "we're making these homebrew games because we want to" and "I'm trying to make a commercial success"

A "because we want to" project with no chance of recovering the cost to house and feed the developers for the duration is practically limited to projects of less than about 1000 man-hours. Anything greater than that whose visual style lies in the gap between NES and Super NES then has to go to the PC market, which I assume is more tolerant of TG16-class visuals.

The man-hours needed to jump this gap are a big part of why no SNES homebrew scene.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:29 pm 
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tepples wrote:

The man-hours needed to jump this gap are a big part of why no SNES homebrew scene.


I respect your opinion, so please realize I'm not trying to be difficult here, but I'm not sure I buy what you're arguing. Many homebrewers (including me) don't consider the market in thinking about making a game. We just do it for whatever weird reason personally motivates us. (So why haven't I made an SNES game yet? Because I haven't finished my big NES project yet. )

The GBA (as you know) had a good homebrew scene, and the visual expectations were similar to the SNES. That scene thrived because it was an easy platform to program for. There weren't as many for-profit releases as on the NES, but the community and scene were big. I think the SNES scene would be the same way if the biggest factor was just the high expectations of visuals.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:26 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
I don't know about the TG16 thing, because one of the first rules pseudo-8-bit games break is the single scrolling background layer, and the TG16 could only fake a second layer using sprites. I've seen many games that could slmost pass for NES games, if it weren't for the background parallax layer. Aspect ratio is disregarded very frequently too, since all displays are wide-screen nowadays. Pixels artists also appear to feel tempted to sneak in 1 or 2 extra sprite colors. The sprites-per-scanline limit goes out the window fairly frequently too.


I think a TG16 games like this is above than a nes can do 8-) :
https://youtu.be/OHyvX5dzwEI?t=10m17s

In this game many techniques are used to fake more layers .

Quote:
It increases the dot clock rate from 5.37 MHz (like most TMS9918-inspired VDPs) to 7.16 MHz

No it's 5.37 up to 10.76,but the 10.76 mhz it's a true hi-res mode,it's not like the snes one.

Quote:
As far as I know, the TG16 VDC has 16 16x16-pixel sprites per line, roughly comparable to the Genesis and Super NES limits.

Exact, but the sprites bandwith is not increased when you switch to an higher dotclock,it's still the same in 5.37,7.16 and 10.76 :?

Quote:
That said, I think you're over-obsessing over the details of this one review. That one guy wanted parallax on this game. That doesn't mean every game has to have parallax.

I agree, tetris is here to remind us of this. :P
And don't forget, sydney was coded in C and even the switch version has no parallax .


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