1. OO804

    OP OO804 Advanced Member
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    I'd like to maybe learn to develop after market games, nes, snes, dos, I hate all those hi-bit retro aesthetics stuff, it's not the same, I want to work within the constraints of the original hardware, and run on original hardware (not exactly a new idea many have done it), but are there modern tools to make it easier for one person with no life to do, I'm sure it was very difficult at the time for the devs, but can you use things like drawing tablets and software to draw pixel art, music trackers etc or does it still have to be done the old way?
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    You could use drawing tablets and trackers back when, indeed many would have. Just cost a lot more to get it all in the first place. Modern software is also a bit less crash happy and inclined to autosave. True pixel art within console constraints is a bit harder as most people favour the aesthetic rather than the constraints* but there are still a few things.

    As far as making it easy. Not really. Some proof of concept compilers have been made for high level languages on the 16 bit stuff but going much beyond text adventure, slideshow, visual novel or the like is not going to happen. You might just about have a library for mod playback but as you will be implementing it in assembly then how much that saves you (and how much it handicaps you if the hardware exceeds MOD/XM/whatever's basic parameters) is a different matter. There are some nicer assemblers I guess but it is not like labels and comments were hard back when and there are only so many shortcuts/macros you can really do. You will still then be learning assembly for old and limited processors and the attendant hardware layouts/functionality.
    Back on expense then a max size as it would have been back in the day cartridge is usually nothing drastic to do or assume your emulator/flash cart users have trivially (modern PC won't care that you have an 8 megabyte ROM and most flash carts these days support SDHC which starts at 4 gigs). Some of the custom stuff cooked up to expand resources in a massive way (see that SNES video streaming thing) might get a bit more fun though.


    *choice video
     
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  3. OO804

    OP OO804 Advanced Member
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    thanks for the response/link, I guess I'll be doing it the old way (if I ever get around to it), even changing slightly like expanding the colors/sprites like shovel knight just doesn't feel right to me.

    If I could do some mapper things, like make better mappers for original consoles to do things that weren't explored because consoles moved onto the next gen, then I'd be interested in that, but that's tough.
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Can't say I, even as a hardware or bust ROM hacker, get the fetish for restricting yourself to old hardware for homebrew purposes but to each their own.

    Does not seem that tough. Most things have reasonable homebrew designs for flash carts ( https://web.archive.org/web/20070623024735/http://www.reinerziegler.de/ )

    Making a page/bank selection protocol is not very hard; there are a few things you can use to talk to the cart, or these days sticking a little microcontroller in there to respond accordingly to a certain pattern of (potentially illegal or just never happen in normal operation) requests.
    Kick one of those to either more storage beyond what any imagined for the original stuff (though you might have the fun of handling or restrictions of main loop having to be in the always visible window) or results of your audio chip, graphics chip, control inputs if you are expanding the functionality and yeah.

    Getting support for it on emulators is the hard part as you would have made yet another custom/HK/pirate mapper.
     
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  5. OO804

    OP OO804 Advanced Member
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    yeah, I'm pretty noob to understand the technical stuff but I'll learn but it seems possible, put something in the cart, continue expanding the consoles pushing them farther then they went before the dreaded polygons (imo) showed up would be the goal.
     
  6. SpiffyJUNIOR

    SpiffyJUNIOR GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Most music trackers have been open-sourced or reverse engineered and have been ported to windows or linux. If I were you i'd start with something simple like Fasttracker 2 or Impulse Tracker, however OpenMPT supports both of these and might be a better pick if you dislike either's UI. You will have to keep original hardware implementations in mind however, modules with high amounts of channels (think 16-32 and above) take a lot of CPU power to playback.
     
    Last edited by SpiffyJUNIOR, Nov 20, 2020
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  7. Andy2001
    This message by Andy2001 has been removed from public view by Veho, Nov 23, 2020, Reason: Unrelated. Read the OP next time.
    Nov 23, 2020
  8. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08
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    Depends on how far back you want to go. For GBA I think there are some tools to make life easier but anything older will be quite lacking in anything resembling modern tools. You could always try your hand at ROM hacking, it's easier than making something from scratch. Super Mario World romhacks have been done to exhaustion yet I am still constantly amazed at the things people manage to make with them these days.
    Many retro games have pretty good ROM hacking tools made for them already but if you want something unique nobody else has be prepared to learn some assembly to make it happen.
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Nov 23, 2020
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  9. tech3475

    tech3475 GBAtemp Addict
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    NESMaker?
     
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  10. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    GB Studio may be something worth looking into for you, it's a drag and drop game creator that can create GB/GBC games and requires very little actual programming knowledge. You can import your own assets, including sprites and music created by separate programs so if, for example, you wanted to use a drawing tablet/pixel art creator for your sprites and backgrounds you could totally do that.

    The current stable version only supports standard GB style (so black and white, essentially) and just jRPG games, however there's a beta out right now for GB Studio 2.0 that will let you create GBC games and adds functions to support other genres like point and clicks, platformers, and I think shoot em ups now, too. Whether or not they can truly "stress" the hardware in the way you're referring I couldn't say, but it's certainly worth a shot if you just don't know anything about game dev/programming.
     
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  11. OO804

    OP OO804 Advanced Member
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    thanks for advice/suggestions, I'll look into them, but I don't really just want to make a game, I know rpg maker and things can do that with good results, like to the moon etc.

    I more want to learn about the process, hardware specifics and potential, improve my drawing, writing, music skills, so yeah, if i go through with it, it will probably be a long process and a lot of work, but that's fine as the main benefactor would be me just using retro games/hardware as an art outlet.

    You can't exactly make a movie or modern game yourself but old games I think you could do a lot with effort if you are efficient with your time.
     
    Last edited by OO804, Nov 27, 2020
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Film (and other long form video).
    Internet seems full of examples of this one -- I certainly watch hours of video a day sometimes from people messing around in their garage with gear that costs not a lot. You might have to play to your strengths (if you have a phone then filming at night gets harder, as do massive zooms, however do it in daylight or with a nice bright light and all good).
    Some of them have other skills and maybe some loaner gear from work but plenty do not.
    You have plenty of examples of low budget stuff going back decades as well and made on a shoestring with a handful of people.

    Games. Fair few people have done some very impressive stuff with unity and unreal engines, and how many games from the pros do that too?
    Also while you somewhat dismissed it above this also says nothing of the looks retro but at the time would have been "yeah we might see an arcade machine do that in 10 years" or "yeah you can do it, for one sprite on a plain background with no music and nothing else happening on the whole game" (see a lot of the demoscene) option which any number of people have used to great effect over the years to make things still talked about/known today where so many efforts in said unreal and unity engines are barely remembered even by those that played them.

    You can do the old hardware thing if you want but 99% of the time anybody doing that is doing it to teach themselves low level coding, electronics (the line between digital logic and low level coding gets rather blurry, and indeed most of the best coders I see doing this sort of thing come from an electrical engineering background more than straight coding or physics). If you want to do art (be it music, graphics, animations and the like) a la 8 and 16 bit then go for it, many have a great time making such things just like they might have a good time mimicking any other art style. However jumping in with serious/hard restrictions in palette, tile size restrictions, memory restrictions governing object count, maybe animation restrictions and all the rest (which often enough newer systems gained more and more to eliminate or render as small as possible ( http://pineight.com/gba/managing-sprite-vram.txt )

    Videos



     
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  13. OO804

    OP OO804 Advanced Member
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    I'm kind of too old and have some health issues to get into traditional film making etc, even youtube style which I know is affordable so that ship kind of sailed.

    Also I'm kind of the techy loner type to get the 'kicks' out of the making of the art process rather than the finished product, and there's no more 'selfish' media than making a game by yourself, because you have to do everything.

    I've seen so many ambitious fangames get abandoned because they're obviously hard to make with small teams and people burn out, I'd like to finish one, although not a fan game.

    I grew up as a kid with LTTP, FF6, chrono trigger, secret of mana etc being the high watermark for art, even though I was watching tons of movies in the theatres, so I'd like to make something like those, was also into lucasarts, sierra, I guess they hit me hard, the new nostalgia type of games have 'better' graphics/more action packed, but aren't as good.

    Every console has its charms, and the limitations would help to prevent the scope from being too large for one person.

    I'm not totally opposed to a modern mimick game though, I'll have to see how much more difficult it is using original hardware, I suspect you are correct that it will be maybe not worth it, in the end, not many people will care if its on a snes cart or a pixel game on steam, some after market cart games have came and went and nobody cared, some new pixel art games made a big impact, so it depends on the game quality I suppose, but I'm mostly doing it for myself not trying to be some stardew valley success.
     
    Last edited by OO804, Nov 28, 2020
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