Hello again, it's been quite a while since my last update, over a month actually, so I thought it was finally time to show off a little progress. Now to be honest, not much has happened in this time beyond some technical progress with the disassembly and us now having a composer. Progress is all round rather slow due to our small team and thus having all of the graphics ready asap isn't really a priority for me right now, but rest assured the project isn't dying, it's just not my number 1 thing to do right now and work is still being done.
But just because things haven't moved much doesn't mean I don't have a treat instore for you all, I proudly present what the title screen will look like in SMW NES:
Now I'm sure that you will immediately think this is impossible, in fact part of the large update delay was in hopes of us being able to get this working first to prove it's legitimacy as no one seems to believe it's doable.
So to prove it's real I'll explain how this works; it's cheating. By using interrupts during render we are able to change not only the graphics bank loaded but also the screen palettes which means that the upper and lower halves of the screen can be totally unique from one another. The bootleg already uses interrupts to display the logo graphics and also to keep the logo in place, so all this is doing is making more full use of that trick by performing a mid-frame palette swap, so this NES screen has 8 background palettes present. The 'L' in the logo is a sprite overlay to make up for a missing colour combo in the palette and then the lower part is using some clever background positioning to cover up palette limitations. Last thing is the berries, they are sprites on the title screen, though in game they will just be background objects. To ensure my mockup was 100% accurate I also remade the upper and lower halves of this image in NESScreenTool, a screen mapping editor for the NES, and sure enough it was able to be displayed as shown here, so hopefully that's enough to prove that this is legit despite everyone I've shown calling it fake.
As for technical progress, it's slow but getting there, more banks have been reverse engineered, more uncompiled source code has been found (and also made use of for labelling memory addresses) and more strange implementations of functions are being uncovered. I wish we had more to say in this department but we really don't have the manpower to get things done more quickly here, PalaceSwitcher has said that at the current rate with our current team, it's likely to be at least 2 years at minimum before this project will be done, and that's probably on the lower end of the estimate.
I'd like to ask again that anyone with programming knowledge who would be interested in porting SMW to the NES to please get in touch with us, graphics I can handle on my own when needed, music now has a dedicated new member (Shauing on our Discord, thank you for joining us if you read this), but reverse engineering and programming is something we are very much in need of help with.
We aren't experienced devs, we are pretty new to this in fact and regardless of that it's a monumental task to rework a game into a full port of this scale with just 3 members, only one of which is capable of programming. This is more than just a simple hack, we aim to create a full port and even opensource the reworked engine one day for others to use for making their own advanced NES games but we simply can't make much headway alone, so if you are interested or can point us towards someone who might be able to lend a hand please let us know, it'd help us a lot.
Anyway that's it for this post, the project crawls forward as ever, so thanks for reading and take care everyone!
Links: Discord Server: https://discord.gg/uHWgznJhGA
:::: GitHub: https://github.com/palaceswitcher/SMW-NES-Disassembly