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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Can't you just create something in NES maker and then "hack" your own game and make custom changes outside of the software by hand. I think they mentioned you can mine for the data in NES maker and then use it for your own homebrew.

Even though I'm not an expert coder I usually like things heavily customized. I could see myself doing most of the game with NES maker but then adjusting some nitpicks that I have by hand.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:21 pm 
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I assume you won't need to hack your own project, because hopefully you'll have access to the assembly code generated for your project.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:19 am 
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The New 8 bit hero's posted a new video on their main youtube channel showing off a platforming like game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMHhNobyewQ

I honestly can't wait for this. I actually got an NES to USB adapter so I can test out my games on a emulator with an official NES controller. I only got the software reward because I figured that I already have an N-8 flashcart everdrive, but oddly it seems mapper 30 isn't supported on the N-8 yet. I'm hoping that someone very shortly will add support for mapper 30 in the next N-8 firmware update.

I really hope that other software developers can see the potential of these game engine programs for older consoles and try and make similar engines for other consoles too. For example I would love to see:

An Atari 2600 maker
An SNES maker
A Genesis maker
An N-64 maker

and such.


Also does anyone know what this is...

https://sourceforge.net/projects/nesrommaker/

It says its an NES rom maker program, but I don't understand it. Seems like it was released years ago and has no affiliation with NESMaker from 8 bit hero's.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:40 am 
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Quote:
showing off a platforming like game.


You can download it from here.
http://troll.thenew8bitheroes.com/

Apparently it was made in 8 days, sort of to demonstrate the concept / address troll comments.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:35 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
Quote:
showing off a platforming like game.


You can download it from here.
http://troll.thenew8bitheroes.com/

Apparently it was made in 8 days, sort of to demonstrate the concept / address troll comments.

I can't run this. I don't know which emulator supports mapper 30.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:38 am 
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checked, you can run it in fceux

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:51 am 
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But it says that it's "not supported at all".


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:59 am 
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Did you download the latest fceux version? The ROM definitely works with it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:06 am 
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Yep, 2.2.2 is too old. New mednafen also runs it, older doesn't.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:51 am 
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Hey everyone - so...this is Joe, proprietor of this wacky concept. Even though I have met so many of you and done everything in my power to be a force for awareness for what everyone here is doing over the past three years and hoped I'd fostered good will, I dreaded coming here and finding this community's backlash to this project, and have been sort of putting off coming to see what was said in this thread. I honestly feared the worst. I was pleasantly surprised to see at least a good handful of you have voiced some level of support, or at least helped correct misinformation. I wanted to come on personally and answer some questions.

First and foremost, this project could not exist without the NESdev community. We've been very adamant about that. Brian Parker, Tokumaru, Shiru, EDB Holland, Memblers (Joe), Tepples (Damian), Sivak, Kasumi, Rainwarrior (Brad), Gradual Games (Derek), Frank Westphal, Sly Dog Studios (Rob), John White, KHAN Game (Kevin), and so many others...many of you whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in person...have all been a part of the project's development. I say this because, to those who haven't met me, I want to clear up the idea that I'm some outsider to this community. I've been adamantly trying to foster interest and excitement for new NES games, practically as a full time job, for three years. I've also worked closely with Dain Anderson (Nintendo Age), chiptune artists like Inverse Phase and Jake Kauffman, and several others NOT heavily involved in this community that are also integral part of its development. I've channeled my contacts at IGN, successful YouTube 'celebrities', friends at major educational institutions, Los Angeles Magazine, a dozen or so nerd conventions, podcasts, friends in the media, friends at major game studios, etc...to help bring awareness to the homebrew community. I've been holding Homebrew nights at a local brewery and filming it, exposing new crowds to new games that this community is creating (seriously, we've been VERY patiently waiting on Lizard to be our next episode!). I can't stress enough - I support everything you guys are doing, and likewise I have always found NESdev to be one of the most supportive places on the internet.

As for our intentions with NESmaker, why we launched it, and how we hope it helps this thing that we all are so passionate about...

Here's the full story, for anyone who wants to reference it.

As we were building our NES game, we began building our own suite of tools (as does almost everyone who builds for the NES) that interfaced with the ASM through a front end. For logical things like screen building or animation table design or text string creation. One thing that separates us, possibly, from many individuals making homebrew games is that we were fortunate enough to actually have a small development team, with one of the team members specifically devoted to said tools. Well, about 18 months ago, we were demoing an early build of our game at Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and many people wanted to know how we created it. We began to show the ASM, and then the tools, explaining how they worked in tandem to create the necessary data tables. After doing this, we had continual mad rushes to our booth for people who wanted "that NESmaker tool thing". We let people play around and see their results on real hardware. They wanted it for themselves. We explained that the tools wouldn't do much good and that it was just a bunch of in house tools that helped speed up writing the ASM. We pointed people in the direction of Shiru's screen tool and FamiTracker and things like this as great resources, but people insisted. So we had a sit down with our tool developer about ways we could combine our tools into one meta tool, and then cleverly begin to break our ASM into malleable, organized chunks that were tethered to the tool, that could be exposed in a graphical way and easily, intuitively modifiable comparable to more modern object oriented game development WYSIWYG tools like GameMaker, RPGmaker, Unity, Unreal, etc.

So for over a year, we tinkered with possibilities, the whole while showing it off at conventions such as RetroGameCon, Portland/Seattle Retro Gaming Expo, Dragon Con, Emerald Coast Con, Game On Expo, and several others. We held workshops, teaching ASM basics and demoing how our tool manipulated the ASM at UCLA, University of Baltimore, RIngling College of Art and Design, and a bunch of others. As a proof of concept, I built a game with the tool for last year's Global Game Jam and documented the process. We took feedback and continued to morph and mold the tool set to be increasingly capable in diverse sets of choices within the finite engine. This was as much for our needs as it was for potential needs to make future projects. Again, this is similar to the efforts that many you have done in creating your own tools that you continue to use, however we had the benefit of having someone whose job was expressly to work on this.

After a year of doing this out of pocket, it was to a point where we could easily crank out adventure games that were incredibly customizable via an intuitive front end, with the ability to make a lot of deep modifications without having to get into the code, which was great for someone like our teams artist, Austin, or even our tool developer Josh, who weren't skilled in 6502 ASM, but are both incredibly capable creatives with vision, and could now help with our game and even create their own. But of course, we wanted the tool to be able to do more than create adventure games. So we started pushing it and tugging it and massaging it, making it even more capable from the front end, until we got to the point that without digging into the code, one could repurpose the engine to do all sorts of things and at least approximate many genres.

All the while, we continued to get requests for the tool from people who had seen it at conventions. When I say requests, I'm saying hundreds of people. We got together with Paul Malloy from Infinite NES Lives and built a system for one-click deployment to a cartridge. At that point, we debated whether or not to make this tool available to the people that wanted it. There was a lot in the tool that was hacked together for our purposes, and we realized it would need a lot of work on UI design, and needed lots of tweaking to actually be as intuitive to a new user as it had become to us. We wanted to build more comprehensive graphics editors, a music composition tool, more options for arranging memory to fit genre needs (allocating more text allotment for RPGs, scrolling capability for platformers, etc). Thus...the Kickstarter, to allow us to hire our tool developer, who is a freelance programmer for a living (it's how he feeds his kids and keeps his lights on) full time for as long as possible. We decided that if people wanted it, we'd build it and make it as cool as we possibly can. If they didn't, no harm no foul.

Which brings us to now.

As to some of the concerns I've seen on this thread...

One of the things I've noted is the concern over the shovelware that will be created as a result of this tool. I do understand this concern. Honestly, I do. However, I want to offer an anecdote from my decade of teaching game development (I taught game development in Baltimore City Public Schools for many years, and helped shape and pilot the curriculum for the city's CTE program). While teaching, I had a mixed bag of students as far as interest and competency goes, some of whom were still struggling with basic algebra and had never seen a line of code. I used to start them off in GameMaker. We would launch straight into the GML (which, if you're unfamiliar, is a pretty simple high level proprietary scripting language), and most of them would straight up shut down. It was *too hard*, not because it was beyond the, but because it was foreign and because they couldn't get beyond their own sense of it being too hard. So then, I began teaching the simple drag and drop functions, which they'd immediately latch on to and would gain profound confidence, which also spawn their ambition. They'd start asking "Well...how could I do this cool thing I want my game to do?" I'd tell them that the only way to do it was by using code. At that point, we'd go back to coding, and I swear, even the least capable student in the class would say, "Man, why didn't we just START with code? It's so much easier!". And I'm talking about the exact SAME kids who originally considered coding too hard. This all taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to developing games. I want you all to consider for a moment the number of people who are members of these forums who had the highest level of ambition to make their NES game...but who got six months in to learning ASM and completely gave up. Their output is effectively zero, let alone *shovelware*. Instead, it's...nothing at all. We all know the unfortunate truth is this makes up the vast majority of people who join this community. In fact, most of them end up running to a tool like GameMaker or Unity or RPG maker, not because they've lost the ambition to make a NES game, and not even because they are incapable, but because they've been defeated by the sharpness of the learning curve and simply are not confident in their ability to ever learn. In my best vision for NESmaker (and this I've said from the beginning), I see it as a jumping off point to give new NES developers the confidence, instant feedback of their creative ideas. And then, for many, become a gateway to wanted to go beyond what our engines are capable of and begin futzing with the ASM in ways that don't completely break everything, building up confidence in their ability to write in ASM. And then, before long, to toss NESmaker to the side and join the ranks of those programming their own unique engines from scratch. To be clear, i'm of the opinion that the best way to build an NES game is to learn ASM, memory management, all the hardware limitations, and all of the other nonsense that comes with this passion pursuit. However, considering that the generation with a nostalgic affinity for this system is starting to age out of this pursuit, and with so many other, easier, more versatile options for creating games (that would be shiny alternatives to someone who doesn't have nostalgic affinity for the system), it seems that only positives can come from expanded awareness and desire to create new carts. That means more people are buying hardware to play it on, and with more people buying more hardware, more people wanting a larger collection of games to play, and with the demand for more new games, more people interested or reinvested in this console as a creative outlet, etc.

But let's go worst case scenario. Lots of people get NESmaker, they never push it beyond making clone games with the default engines. Well, that's effectively what the ROM hacking community has been doing for decades now, except in this case, at least it's legal and more malleable on the user side. Rom hacking has absolutely kept interest and investment in the system alive, and has actually produced some great 8-bit experiences, tools, and fundamental understanding of what the system can do. Even if 1% of the Kickstarter backers make really cool games that are worth playing, that's 14 new NES games that may not have existed otherwise. And yes, despite Unity and Unreal and GameMaker being simple tools for creating games, leading to plenty of shovelware, they've also helped developers create amazing games for their respective platforms too. Hopefully, the same will be true for this. That's our goal.

Closing thoughts on all this...
I really hope to continue to enjoy the support this community has already shown me over the last few years for what we're doing now. I actually hope some of you guys try this out, break it completely, write your own underlying, vastly superior game engines, and use it mostly as another proverbial tool in your screen editor/graphics editor/music composer toolbox, or maybe use it for rapid prototyping proofs of concept. I anticipate many of you will still have reservations, even after this lengthy explanation. Feel free to contact me in an email (a few from these forums already have) at joe@TheNew8bitHeroes.com if you have questions or just want to talk more about it all. I can't stress enough, this entire project is only meant to enhance what everyone here is doing, not to replace or subvert it somehow. Everyone who has met me will hopefully attest to that being true. NESmaker is simply a case of necessity being the mother of invention.

Thanks for listening to this rant. You guys are all awesome, even those of you who will disregard NESmaker as somehow less genuine for making what they've toiled over too easy...know that whether you're a supporter of this or not, I have utmost respect for, and am very grateful for, everything you're doing for this as creative pursuit and an art form!


Sincerely -
Joe

*********************
EDIT: I just noticed that it was user Sonny_Jim who launched this thread. I'd like to note that I believe this user created an account simply to bash this project, as he only has two posts, both of which bash this project...this user seems to have some sort of inherent vitriol for me for unknown reasons...he launched a similar post on Reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/shittykickstar ... ogramming/

I'm usually not one to call someone out on this sort of thing...there are plenty of valid criticisms for what we're trying to do - but since I've always enjoyed NESdev's lack of trolling (from my experience, anyway), I thought I'd point this out. I apologize this project has attracted a troll to these forums. :-/

*********************


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:53 am 
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Well said, Joe! Nice to see the tool wasn't brewed in closed doors and suddenly shown to the world, I didn't know that.

I have nothing but great expectations for what games are to come in the near future. As for the shovelware, if a game is actually good it only makes it stand out more by contrast.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:09 am 
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we began building our own suite of tools (as does almost everyone who builds for the NES)


I wish. NESmaker puts my game design set-up to shame. My first game was started by me entering hex bytes in a hex editor, and dancing with glee when ANYTHING popped up in my emulator.

But, it gives me ideas for how to do things in the future.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:05 am 
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What an awesome inspiration speech. :)

Thank you for pointing out this problem of how we all gotta code sooner or later. I think that those drag and drop methods are only babysteps for making simple little projects before one can go and jump into something deeper. As much as I've seen from NESmaker, it's very good because it generates the boring system stuff code and easily generates what the user chooses and then it lets the user change that code to their own wish.

This is one type of my favorite game dev tool types that I've always wanted to have and use. Thank you for making this tool! Will it be free and open-source to use and port to other projects? For example, what if I bundle my game made with NESmaker into an emulator that's specifically made just for that game and make it a standalone game? I'd like to be able to release the source code under something like BSD license, but I'm not sure would that be legal. Could you please let me know?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:19 am 
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JoeGtake2 wrote:
But let's go worst case scenario. Lots of people get NESmaker, they never push it beyond making clone games with the default engines. Well, that's effectively what the ROM hacking community has been doing for decades now, except in this case, at least it's legal and more malleable on the user side.

On the plus side, we potentially get more evidence in operating system distributors' favor for substantial noninfringing use of NES emulators. (See what I wrote earlier about Red Hat's exclusion thereof from Fedora.) But on the minus side, maintainers of ROM categorization tools would end up either A. bloating their database (what's a "Terrick" or a "Yeppick"?) or B. dropping the PD category altogether.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:25 am 
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Quote:
A. bloating their database


To my surprise i found my "Roller Derby project" as an empty entry on a rom database as someone had linked to my site. It couldn't be anything else than an empty entry as i've never released a rom, so they must've based it on my badly unupdated progress tracking subpage. Not much point in listing it until there's something that's even remotely playable and not just a set of half baked features. Any game might be a project/work in progress, but not every project should count as a game (just yet). This one in particular is my trial and error thing which i put 15 minutes into here and there.

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