rainwarrior wrote:There are all sorts of permutations of weird technical possibilities that you could pull off on the NES, but a lot of them really aren't typical. Like, if you're trying to faithfully "fake" the look of an NES game, you probably don't want to be trying special tricks that aren't really part of the NES experience.
For instance, MMC5 8x8 pixel attributes were only used in 1 game, to my knowledge (Just Breed), and it was a Japan-only RPG. It's a thing you could technically pull off on an NES, but it's not characteristic of NES games at all. Part of the reason it wasn't used is that having 8x8 pixel granularity in the world can quadruple the complexity of your map (ROM size constraints, RAM constraints, extra collision tests required, etc.) so even if you had the special MMC5 hardware for 8x8 attributes, it's a significant burden on the NES to make a world that puts it to use!
A palette change for a status bar is an advanced and atypical technique. A clean palette change during normal background rendering is elite tier. Something like this usually comes with weird design constraints, and these are things you don't really consider when you're just looking at one technical issue; you only find them when you try to build a whole game. Suddenly you find this one technical feature you implemented is dictating how you have to design your maps, etc. A lot of these techniques aren't seen much for good reason (though sometimes it's just that we have better knowledge and tools now than back then).
An emphasis change like Noah's ark is fairly easy to implement. It's not typical, but it's very doable. Your water line has to be straight, this way, though.
Anyhow, I don't really understand the point of trying to push the NES graphical capabilites to the limit without actually using an NES. It doesn't matter what was technically possible or not. Just make a nice game, and if you like the NES look, imitate the parts of it that feel good to you, and ignore the rest. If it's important to you that it be NES-faithful, for some reason, you should probably stick to normal techniques that look and feel like real NES games, not technical obscurities... but... never mind my opinion. I don't know what motivates you. If you can make a good game out of it, do whatever suits you.
Thanks for the honest feedback.
Sounds like you have had to go through this on a programming level and why one might avoid it.
The motivation for myself as designer is to get a feel for the limits (believe it or not having limits makes pixel art easier) so I can make a base. I'm quite interested in how far the NES was pushed in it's sunset years, and what the true limits are. Hopefully this will then be a defining factor in the look of the game.