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Author Topic: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?  (Read 2600 times)

Dr. Chill

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NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« on: December 26, 2015, 03:03:19 am »
I plan on making a simple game for an old console, a simple 2D platforming single-screen-per-level game. Those kinds of games like Mario Bros. and Bomb Jack that give the player a type of thing to remove from the screen to progress, whether it be collecting it or killing it or whatever.

The problem is that I have no idea how to make a game. All of my experience in game-making is in hacking various games by other people(almost none of said projects have been shown on this site). Before I go looking for info on how to develop for a console that my game won't even be on, I just want you to answer a question.

Which of the following would be easier for me to program for and why/how would it be easier?:
-Nintendo Entertainment System
-Game Boy

All answers are appreciated.

FAST6191

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Re: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2015, 05:27:43 am »
Has this hacking other games included assembly hacking to any serious level? I ask mainly as here are not many terribly usable compilers for the NES or GB/GBC -- some have gone just beyond the proof of concept stage but where you could happily write C all day long for the GBA you would struggle on anything 16 bit or older for that, slim possible exception for the Amiga. This is not just "oh if it was for real I would have to do some inline assembly"  but more "I am limited to non real time things and possibly text adventures".

For my sensibilities/mindset I would probably go with the GB/GBC as the almost Z80 stuff it uses I know more of it than the 6502. Both are simple enough and very popular embedded devices though. Each has hardware enhancements to improve the memory/storage it has (NES mappers and GB/GBC memory bank controllers aka MBCs) and I would probably favour the GB/GBC again here.

In the end it would six of one, half a dozen or another unless you want to play it on hardware, in which case I would say GB/GBC flash carts are probably marginally more developed than NES ones. Though in both cases it would amount to see what everdrive are doing for the console in question at this point in time. Above all that though I would say make it for the PC if this is your first -- nice debugging, nice tools and you can happily make something that looks like it would have been on the NES or GB/GBC. If you want it as a learning project for the hardware then OK but if you are more interested in making a game then don't do this as your first.

henke37

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Re: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 05:46:13 am »
If you want to code a game from scratch for the first time then I recommend Flash. But if it has to be a console, go for the DS. It is pretty much just a beefed up GBA, so you'd be a fool to not take advantage of the near identical, yet so improved, hardware.

FAST6191

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Re: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 06:28:09 am »
Oh yeah if you are looking at the GBA then scratch that, grab a copy of http://devkitpro.org/ and go for the DS.

That said I would have to wonder if the PSP is not a better option still -- after the key leaks your cost of entry is a memory card for it, granted some DS flash carts are probably a similar price, and the extra hardware power means you can more or less write code rather than have to consider the hardware.

tvtoon

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Re: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 10:36:30 am »
If you want to consider GBC, then it is better and easier to program stuff for than NES or GB. Both are equally troublesome, but I agree with FAST6191 that the GB CPU is easier to stick, but not featured as the NES one.

Now, if you want something really simple, do as Henke37 stated... :)

Dr. Floppy

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Re: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 12:13:27 pm »
NES/6502.

It's easy!


nesrocks

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Re: NES or Game Boy: Which is easier for Homebrew?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 10:35:39 pm »
If you have no deep technical knowledge and want fast results I strongly recommend you make a game for pc using GameMaker. http://www.yoyogames.com/showcase