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Crazy Climber

How come no Zelda quality NES homebrews?

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Hello

Don't get me wrong here, I am not putting down games like Glider, etc.. I do like Puzzle games but I just wonder with the NES being capable of so much more why isn't there a larger homebrew scene for game styles like Metroid, Zelda, Final Fantasy, etc..? I look at the quality of homebrews for the Atari 2600 and they really push the system to it's limits, I mean the music/graphics/gameplay is BETTER than games released back in the day if you ask me. Now the NES homebrews I have played are great games but they don't seem to really use the full potential of the NES. Could you imagine great new super mario style platformers or awesome Zelda style action RPG games being made by homebrew developers? It would be amazing! How come there is no scene for that? I would think they are super hard to program, sure, but we get Beggar Prince and WuKong for the Genesis...and still just puzzle style games for the NES. Anyone know why? Is it apples and oranges as far as programming goes? I really want to stress I am not putting down any current Homebrew efforts on the NES. Just looking for something different, like what Beggar Prince did for the Genesis :)

Here is all the games I know about, is there other homebrew games available somewhere? (not reproductions, homebrews)

http://www.retrousb.com/index.php?cPath=30&osCsid=e7a36090a5881b314c3ddca17709f6c4

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Hello

Don't get me wrong here, I am not putting down games like Glider, etc.. I do like Puzzle games but I just wonder with the NES being capable of so much more why isn't there a larger homebrew scene for game styles like Metroid, Zelda, Final Fantasy, etc..? I look at the quality of homebrews for the Atari 2600 and they really push the system to it's limits, I mean the music/graphics/gameplay is BETTER than games released back in the day if you ask me. Now the NES homebrews I have played are great games but they don't seem to really use the full potential of the NES. Could you imagine great new super mario style platformers or awesome Zelda style action RPG games being made by homebrew developers? It would be amazing! How come there is no scene for that? I would think they are super hard to program, sure, but we get Beggar Prince and WuKong for the Genesis...and still just puzzle style games for the NES. Anyone know why? Is it apples and oranges as far as programming goes? I really want to stress I am not putting down any current Homebrew efforts on the NES. Just looking for something different, like what Beggar Prince did for the Genesis :)

Here is all the games I know about, is there other homebrew games available somewhere? (not reproductions, homebrews)

http://www.retrousb.com/index.php?cPath=30&osCsid=e7a36090a5881b314c3ddca17709f6c4

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I think the difference between the 2600 & the NES is considering stuff like Zelda and other NES blockbusters had entire production staff behind them (not to mention the creativity of Shigeru Miyamoto) it's a hard act to follow :P But hey, anything is possible :)

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Making a game like SMB or Zelda is probably hundreds of man hours of work, minimum - that's I think the main reason there aren't more such homebrews for the NES. It's a multi-year commitment, minimum, if you're working alone.

 

Here's some other NES homebrews you might have missed though. I think many of these are incomplete, but some of them are very professional:

 

http://bobrost.com/nes/games.php

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I think the difference between the 2600 & the NES is considering stuff like Zelda and other NES blockbusters had entire production staff behind them (not to mention the creativity of Shigeru Miyamoto) it's a hard act to follow :P But hey, anything is possible :)

 

 

Making a game like SMB or Zelda is probably hundreds of man hours of work, minimum - that's I think the main reason there aren't more such homebrews for the NES. It's a multi-year commitment, minimum, if you're working alone.

 

Here's some other NES homebrews you might have missed though. I think many of these are incomplete, but some of them are very professional:

 

http://bobrost.com/nes/games.php

I totally understand what you guys are saying, yes, an insane amount of work but have either of you seen Beggar Prince or Ledgend of WuKong for the Sega Genesis?

www.beggarprince.com

Another good example is the Atari Jaguar, games like Protector are awesome!

Is it just easier to program for the Genesis and Jaguar than the NES? I would think the NES having a HUGE collecting scene and a fairly decent homebrew scene would have at least one team that made some crazy good homebrew games and maybe even pushes the limits of the system? Did we just get "super" lucky on the Genesis with the "super" fighter team? I guess if you took Songbird away a lot of the Jaguar homebrews would have never been made. Is the NES just missing that one team of super fans that could make awesome Zelda style homebrews? I guess what I am saying is although it is a crazy amount of work it seems to be happening on other more powerful (and less popular) systems so why not on the NES? There has to be something else besides it being a lot of work, is the NES just a total bitch to program for compared to other systems?

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You should make a Super Wasp!

 

I'll be converting one of my 7800 games then I can compare like with like on each machine.

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Honestly I think the difference between nes homebrew and atari /Coleco homebrew is on the nes late in its lifespan commerically the limits were tested and broken for a lot of games.So there is no mystery on what the nes can do as with atari/coleco commerically the limits might have been tested but never really broken so homebrewers are trying to throw alot of punishment that way to see how far they can push the envelope and get a graphically pleasing game that makes everyone go wow.Not a programmer but I think all these old consoles are programmed in assembly and the differences besides processors kb's of ram and size limits they are probaly around the same learning curve to program for.

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I totally understand what you guys are saying, yes, an insane amount of work but have either of you seen Beggar Prince or Ledgend of WuKong for the Sega Genesis?

Both games are translations of pre-existing titles, though, so you can't really use them as a benchmark. Pier Solar, OTOH, is an ambitious RPG that's being made from scratch...and has been delayed long past the originally planned release date. I'm not complaining, but it's a telling comparison.

 

Is it just easier to program for the Genesis and Jaguar than the NES?

IANAP -- at least not really -- but my impression is that the Genesis is a more pleasant platform to work with, with fewer (or more easily manageable) idiosyncracies.

 

I applaud the Bob Rost class's efforts, but everything I've seen from them has had that slightly chintzy quality I associate with Color Dreams, Action 52, et al. Either the play control is wonky, the game itself is very simplistic, or both. Maybe I've missed a couple gems -- any recommendations?

 

BTW, maybe the OP isn't aware of Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril, which is the one title I've seen that approaches the kind of quality he's talking about. It looks and sounds great, though the demo is fiendishly (and intentionally) difficult!

Edited by thegoldenband

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I totally understand what you guys are saying, yes, an insane amount of work but have either of you seen Beggar Prince or Ledgend of WuKong for the Sega Genesis?

www.beggarprince.com

Another good example is the Atari Jaguar, games like Protector are awesome!

Is it just easier to program for the Genesis and Jaguar than the NES? I would think the NES having a HUGE collecting scene and a fairly decent homebrew scene would have at least one team that made some crazy good homebrew games and maybe even pushes the limits of the system? Did we just get "super" lucky on the Genesis with the "super" fighter team? I guess if you took Songbird away a lot of the Jaguar homebrews would have never been made. Is the NES just missing that one team of super fans that could make awesome Zelda style homebrews? I guess what I am saying is although it is a crazy amount of work it seems to be happening on other more powerful (and less popular) systems so why not on the NES? There has to be something else besides it being a lot of work, is the NES just a total bitch to program for compared to other systems?

Beggar Prince is actually a translation hack, with extra stuff included by Super Fighter Team. It says so right on the front page of beggarprince.com:

 

"Developed by C&E, Inc. in Taiwan, Beggar Prince was localized, debugged, partially reprogrammed and otherwise prepared for official worldwide release by Super Fighter Team."

 

So SFT didn't actually make the game from scratch. Same goes for Legend of Wukong.

 

Making even a 128K game, on the NES or any other console, is quite an endeavour, any way you look at it. It may not take a huge team to make a big NES game (unlike the current-generation consoles) but it's still too much work for one guy, and the chances of a complete loss of motivation along the way are very high. That's why few ever bother to tackle such a project. And then there's also the lockout chip issues to work out, where to get NES cart casings and electronics... Let's face it: The pre-NES consoles get more homebrewer attention because they're generally more homebrew-friendly, especially in terms of project scale.

Edited by Pixelboy

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Hmm, I had no idea that Beggar Prince and WuKong were just translations. Were they originally Japan only releases or something? I thought they were made from scratch Homebrews. Not that it changes my opinion on them, I still think they are great games, just a little less impressed if all they did was ad english to them and change a few things (is that what you mean by translations?)

I saw that fortress of Peril game on the NES but I thought it was a reproduction since the discription used the word reproduction, another quick read and I notice it says "more than a reproduction" which I assume means homebrew? I usually avoid the reproductions of unreleased NES games since, well, they were usually unreleased for a reason - lol. I also really like to support the Homebrew scene and would rather give my money to people programming new games than reproductions of NES protos that are usually more for serious collectors than players for various reasons. If it is a new homebrew effort I will be picking it up for sure, would love to play a new platformer on the NES.

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I totally understand what you guys are saying, yes, an insane amount of work but have either of you seen Beggar Prince or Ledgend of WuKong for the Sega Genesis?

www.beggarprince.com

Another good example is the Atari Jaguar, games like Protector are awesome!

Is it just easier to program for the Genesis and Jaguar than the NES? I would think the NES having a HUGE collecting scene and a fairly decent homebrew scene would have at least one team that made some crazy good homebrew games and maybe even pushes the limits of the system? Did we just get "super" lucky on the Genesis with the "super" fighter team? I guess if you took Songbird away a lot of the Jaguar homebrews would have never been made. Is the NES just missing that one team of super fans that could make awesome Zelda style homebrews? I guess what I am saying is although it is a crazy amount of work it seems to be happening on other more powerful (and less popular) systems so why not on the NES? There has to be something else besides it being a lot of work, is the NES just a total bitch to program for compared to other systems?

Beggar Prince is actually a translation hack, with extra stuff included by Super Fighter Team. It says so right on the front page of beggarprince.com:

 

"Developed by C&E, Inc. in Taiwan, Beggar Prince was localized, debugged, partially reprogrammed and otherwise prepared for official worldwide release by Super Fighter Team."

 

So SFT didn't actually make the game from scratch. Same goes for Legend of Wukong.

 

Making even a 128K game, on the NES or any other console, is quite an endeavour, any way you look at it. It may not take a huge team to make a big NES game (unlike the current-generation consoles) but it's still too much work for one guy, and the chances of a complete loss of motivation along the way are very high. That's why few ever bother to tackle such a project. And then there's also the lockout chip issues to work out, where to get NES cart casings and electronics... Let's face it: The pre-NES consoles get more homebrewer attention because they're generally more homebrew-friendly, especially in terms of project scale.

I get it...almost...the Jaguar seems to be an exception to this rule. The Jaguar has some pretty solid homebrew games, and it is definetily more of an advanced system (and less popular) than the NES. So answer me this. Is the Jag easier to program than the NES or are those Jag programmers just crazy? :)

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I get it...almost...the Jaguar seems to be an exception to this rule. The Jaguar has some pretty solid homebrew games, and it is definetily more of an advanced system (and less popular) than the NES. So answer me this. Is the Jag easier to program than the NES or are those Jag programmers just crazy? :)

Can't answer that one for you, CC.

 

(Cue for someone from the Jag programming scene to step in...) ;)

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Well, remember, with homebrew stuff, or even hacks, the person making the game is making it because they love to do it, they will probably see little (if any) money at all for it. As a result, making a simpler game and getting something out there to be proud of is a lot more important than making some huge story or really in depth game play element.

 

Not saying tey don't exist, just that there's not going to be much out there.

 

We're fortunate that the atari consoles have such a huge fanbase still, though as nostalgia drags on, the NES will start getting a good head of steam going too.

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Both games are translations of pre-existing titles, though, so you can't really use them as a benchmark. Pier Solar, OTOH, is an ambitious RPG that's being made from scratch...and has been delayed long past the originally planned release date. I'm not complaining, but it's a telling comparison.

 

Pier Solar has also been in development for like 5-6 years (total).

 

It's takes a lot more than just technical knowledge of the system to develop a game. I've never seen the Jag homebrew games, but there's always exceptions to the rule (relative to a more complex system requires more effort to achieve to what is considered acceptable by the system's library standards).

Edited by malducci

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Also remember that 8 and 16-bit titles have bigger workloads not only in terms of total hours necessary to make a decent game but diversity of skill - just look at how long the credits list is on any given NES title. And those are Japanese people, too, who are born with the ability to program computers. Even on Atari titles, there is collaboration (one person might do sound, one graphcis/animation and one gameplay/engine) though a one-person project is reasonable. For this reason, a full-length ARPG one-person project on the NES is not reasonable right now, although someone will always prove a given "You can't" statement wrong eventually. Also, people don't have that much free time with the economy on the downturn, and the moon is in the seventh house, so there's that too.

 

When someone builds a magical program that lets us make NES games with a drag-and-drop tileset and pull-down menu events and logic, which could happen somehow I suppose, then we will have many of such games. There's sort of that for PC, RPGmaker, and it's not bad at all. Most games announced for that are canceled, and some releases are pretty buggy/unfinished. It takes a lot of commitment to make a game, any game, since it's not like making picture or even a digital video, you constant find that although it works fine one way, doing something different causes everything to fall apart.

 

For a look at what a small game company can do (albeit a jumped-on-jesus one if you're into that), check out spiritual warfare for the NES - it's bible zelda. Another not-so-amazing zelda style title by a relatively small company (although a licensed one, unlike wisdom tree) is Arkista's Ring.

 

And SNK is hardly homebrew, but here's a collective fistbump to those involved with the making of Crystalis.

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Yeah I haven't looked to deep into NES programming but a good IDE(cough*integrated development environment*cough) is a big + to any homebrew, and if I recall from looking into NES programming assembly is the only supported language but that may have changed. I think decent homebrew can be created as long as the game is planned properly and there's enough commented source code available.

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Hello.

 

Hmm, I had no idea that Beggar Prince and WuKong were just translations. Were they originally Japan only releases or something? I thought they were made from scratch Homebrews. Not that it changes my opinion on them, I still think they are great games, just a little less impressed if all they did was ad english to them and change a few things (is that what you mean by translations?)

 

Beggar Prince and Legend of Wukong were both originally developed in Taiwan by C&E Inc. and Gamtec, respectively. Super Fighter Team partnered with both companies, acquiring the rights to the games, to officially localize them and otherwise prepare them for proper worldwide release. What this means is that we translated the scripts from Chinese to English, then I personally edited and rewrote the text to add aspects of humor, character development, et cetera. The larger part of the work consisted of bug fixing; Taiwanese companies make lots of great games, but they don't always put in the time to properly debug them. This means we go into the games hunting for and fixing every bug we find, that they didn't find, with none of the original source code to guide us, and with no contact with the original programmer(s). While certainly not requiring as much work as producing an original game from scratch, it's still a lot of work -- especially since we're dealing with someone else's code (which must be reverse engineered and understood before we can make any changes to it).

Edited by Clean Larry

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So far as 100% new and original games are concerned, Super Fighter Team developed Super Fighter Block Battle and managed / assisted with development of Zaku for the Atari Lynx. Zaku was in development for 6 years, so I can tell you for sure it's not a quick and easy feat to go about creating a large, new game for a classic console (Zaku is a 512k game).

Edited by Clean Larry

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Yeah I haven't looked to deep into NES programming but a good IDE(cough*integrated development environment*cough) is a big + to any homebrew,

 

Personally I don't use an IDE for my game building on the 7800. I use my favourite editor and a make file based build system. However, I program for a living so my tastes in a development environment are radically different to a tinkering type homebrewer.

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention that CC65 also supports the NES. So you can develop in "C" too.

Edited by GroovyBee

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Hello.

 

Hmm, I had no idea that Beggar Prince and WuKong were just translations. Were they originally Japan only releases or something? I thought they were made from scratch Homebrews. Not that it changes my opinion on them, I still think they are great games, just a little less impressed if all they did was ad english to them and change a few things (is that what you mean by translations?)

 

Beggar Prince and Legend of Wukong were both originally developed in Taiwan by C&E Inc. and Gamtec, respectively. Super Fighter Team partnered with both companies, acquiring the rights to the games, to officially localize them and otherwise prepare them for proper worldwide release. What this means is that we translated the scripts from Chinese to English, then I personally edited and rewrote the text to add aspects of humor, character development, et cetera. The larger part of the work consisted of bug fixing; Taiwanese companies make lots of great games, but they don't always put in the time to properly debug them. This means we go into the games hunting for and fixing every bug we find, that they didn't find, with none of the original source code to guide us, and with no contact with the original programmer(s). While certainly not requiring as much work as producing an original game from scratch, it's still a lot of work -- especially since we're dealing with someone else's code (which must be reverse engineered and understood before we can make any changes to it).

Ah, I see. I still consider both games to be homebrews but now I get why there are not any other Genesis (phantasy Star quality) RPG's besides WuKong and Beggar. I hope you guys find some more Genesis games to translate/fix because your first to are awesome! Do you know what the deal with the Jaguar is? How come they keep pumping out the homebrews? Programming a 64 bit game has to be hard, right?

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