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NES Programming


Organized - Nerdy Nights

 Friday, April 04, 2008 - 02:42:40 PM 
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Roth (54)

(Rob Bryant)
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For anyone coming on to ask about programming for the NES, here is a sorted list of beginning tutorials written on this forum by bunnyboy.

Nerdy Nights - Week 0 (Intro)
Nerdy Nights - Week 1 (Number Systems and Core Programming Ideas)
Nerdy Nights - Week 2 (NES Architecture Overview)
Nerdy Nights - Week 3 (6502 ASM, First App)
Nerdy Nights - Week 4 (Color Palettes, Sprites, Second App)
Nerdy Nights - Week 5 (Multiple Sprites, Reading Controllers, More Instructions)
Nerdy Nights - Week 6 (Backgrounds)
Nerdy Nights - Week 7 (Subroutines, Game Layout, Starting Pong)
Nerdy Nights - Week 8 (16 bit math, pointers, nested loops)
Nerdy Nights - Week 9 (Numbers, Bin -> Dec)

Advanced Nerdy Nights #1 (CHR Bank Switching)
Advanced Nerdy Nights #2 (MMC1 CHR and PRG Bank switching, WRAM + Battery)
Advanced Nerdy Nights #3 (Horizontal Background Scrolling)
Advanced Nerdy Nights #4 (Sprite 0 Hit for a Status Bar)

Nerdy Nights - Hacking 1 (Hex Editing)

Nerdy Nights - Sound 0 (Intro)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 1 (APU Overview and Square 1 Basics)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 2 (Square 2 and Triangle Basics)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 3 (Periods and Look-up Tables)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 4 (Sound Engine Basics)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 5 (Sound Data, Pointer Tables, Headers)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 6 (Tempo, Note Lengths, Buffering and Rests)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 7 (Volume Envelopes)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 8 (Opcodes and Looping)
Nerdy Nights - Sound 9 (Finite Loops, Key Changes, Chord Progressions))
Nerdy Nights - Sound 10 (Simple Drums)

Since there have been alot of questions lately about how to program for the NES, I recommend this thread be stickied and updated each time a new tut gets posted here. Have fun, and be sure to thank everyone who contributes for being awesome : )

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Edited: 09/19/2013 at 04:02 PM by NintendoAge Moderator

 Friday, April 04, 2008 - 02:52:03 PM 
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dangevin (214)


(Dan Langevin)
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I'd do it but it looks like I don't have that option?
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 Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 03:39:10 PM 
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Pax (1)
(Eric Ettes)
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Great stuff

Thanks bunnyboy!

 Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 02:05:11 PM 
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Stan (70)

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Just curious is 6502 considered little or big endian?
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Stan's regular Game Boy Want Thread: http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?StartRow=1&...

Stan's Atari 2600 Want Thread: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/184455-stans-2600-gimmi...

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 Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 02:10:57 PM 
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bunnyboy (71)


(Funktastic B)
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Little endian (least significant byte comes first) like z80 and x86.
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 Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 10:27:21 PM 
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Sivak (35)

(Sivak -)
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Little endian... the backwards method of things.
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 Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 10:31:23 PM 
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Mr. Gimmick (49)

(Gimmick, Mr.)
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Originally posted by: Stan Stepanic

Just curious is 6502 considered little or big endian?




Is that a Gulliver's Travel's reference?

I read too much...

The terms big-endian and little-endian are derived from the Lilliputians of Gulliver's Travels, whose major political issue was whether soft-boiled eggs should be opened on the big side or the little side. Likewise, the big-/little-endian computer debate has much more to do with political issues than technological merits.



Edited: 05/24/2008 at 10:32 PM by Mr. Gimmick

 Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 12:12:07 AM 
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Stan (70)

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Yeah, that's actually where it comes from. Some programmer back in the late 70s or early 80s made up the term using that idea from the novel whenever there were big debates about endianness. Big won out because it's more natural, but there are still people who claim the other is better. I guess most systems and computers at this time used little.
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Stan's regular Game Boy Want Thread: http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?StartRow=1&...

Stan's Atari 2600 Want Thread: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/184455-stans-2600-gimmi...

Looking for Chinese or Russian translation, CONTACT DAS BEAST (me)!

CHRIS LEACH MEHFECKING LIVES!!!!!!!!


 Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 12:19:58 AM 
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dangevin (214)


(Dan Langevin)
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Originally posted by: Mr. Gimmick

Originally posted by: Stan Stepanic

Just curious is 6502 considered little or big endian?




Is that a Gulliver's Travel's reference?

I read too much...

The terms big-endian and little-endian are derived from the Lilliputians of Gulliver's Travels, whose major political issue was whether soft-boiled eggs should be opened on the big side or the little side. Likewise, the big-/little-endian computer debate has much more to do with political issues than technological merits.


...which in turn Dr. Seuss (Geisel) borrowed from for inspiration to "The Bread and Butter Battle," his children's book about the cold war. Happy fun time!


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 Friday, July 11, 2008 - 04:16:54 AM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

(Aaron Private)
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Where do you find an asmblr to program it????

I`d LOVE to start making NES games, allready working on 6809, which is pretty fun on my COCO 1. I`m only 14 though.......BUT MY COCO 1 HAS 64K LOL.

 Friday, July 11, 2008 - 12:10:46 PM 
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VileRedFalcon (21)

(Chris Hughes)
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Originally posted by: aaronrls01

I`m only 14 though.......BUT MY COCO 1 HAS 64K LOL.


I would have guessed 13.


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 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 04:30:55 PM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

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Your very nice, Accepting a smart kid to be a programer....I think not?

I am better then you would think. I`m starting a Hi-Res game after this...

Finishing my text screen game.

And MAYBE TRY to make a Game to run on WIlliams DEFENDER software. That would be cool.

Maybe even make it a conversion kit to something. I was going to make color asteroids......


Small game, Maybe 5K?

That`s all I can hand right now is small games, Since I am one kid starting high school and sorting lots of things out right now.

 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 04:47:01 PM 

persona-non-grata (214)

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Seriously, it took you two months to make up that comeback? I am impressed.
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 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 05:08:34 PM 
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dangevin (214)


(Dan Langevin)
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^ he was debugging it.
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 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 05:14:51 PM 
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arch_8ngel (52)


(Nathan ?)
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^^^ NICE!

Fitty, before spending all that time learning to program...you would be better served spending a week learning to touch type properly. It will save you hundreds of hours pecking keys, as it seems you must be doing to consistently make so many incoherent posts.
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 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 05:20:09 PM 

persona-non-grata (214)

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Hahaha! Yeah, seriously, as a CompSci major in college, being able to accurately communicate with others is essential, especially in programming. If you can't clue others in to what you're talking about, you're in for a world of hurt in the professional world. Speed and accuracy, boy, that's what you need!

And maybe an English tutor...
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Edited: 09/04/2008 at 05:20 PM by persona-non-grata

 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 05:59:09 PM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

(Aaron Private)
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I don`t type half bad, You have to admit. I`m BARELY out of high school.

I just go "Back" to NA.

My game needs to be programed all in one nite, so I don`t have to try to remember where all the Subroutines and programs are....I`m not good at rembering stuff I re-wrote 5 Times XD (They were all just compactions)

And the fact that my assembler doesn`t use source code, Makes it harder then what had to go through, Not alot harder, But doing a 5K game, it helps a bit.

G2g 2 guitar lessons Be on l8er hopefully. And I debug faster then 2 months XD!


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 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 06:04:05 PM 

persona-non-grata (214)

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I was typing 45 wpm at 85% accuracy at your age, son.

I think I'm over 80 wpm now, but I flub up the accuracy a bit more nowadays. That said, what the hell are you programming in assembly for?! Go download yourself a free Java client, read some OOP tutorials online, and do it like a man
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 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 09:02:44 PM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

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Lol, I`ll pass. I got EDTASM+, and it just confudles me. I`d rather just have it list the instructions and "read" it.

I`m trying about 45 WPM, too.

I don`t type slow. About 50 seconds to type this......Not too many mistaks, Eh?

 Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 09:04:34 PM 
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arch_8ngel (52)


(Nathan ?)
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This kid blows my mind!

I don't have to admit that, because you type like you're texting someone, but instead of pecking keys with your fingers, you're using your closed fists

After a keyboarding class at that age I was up to about 90 wpm at 90%, at least
It's fallen off a bit since then, but my numbers would still let me be a professional typist if the situation demanded it.
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 Friday, September 05, 2008 - 03:06:52 PM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

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That`s cool. I chicken type really fast, so there`s some typo`s.

EDTASM+ is supposed to make it easy and make it "source code", like JMP MOVEUP or something, but It makes me so confused when I`m making a program. I`m just one of those people who doesn`t like Easy assembly....

 Friday, September 05, 2008 - 04:50:22 PM 
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arch_8ngel (52)


(Nathan ?)
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If you're serious about programming at all, I would highly recommend learning C++ (or some other modern language) first. That way you will at least have a firm understanding of the constructs of programming. Get into the hell of ASM after you already know you are capable of writing routines/logic that actually work.

Given your penchant for typos on the forums I can't imagine that it is easy to debug your ASM.
At least modern code in a modern compiler will link to all your syntax errors and let you find your mistakes.
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 Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 12:19:57 AM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

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Well ASM program I use doesn`t let typos. If it`s not an instuction, it errors.

My game`s going good, have boarders all set up, and movement, Death, and the live left screen is done. I have to add title screen, Game over screen, and the ateroid Move/Set/Take off. That`s just going to be when I have ALOT of free time, Since I haven`t felt like programing in weeks.

I don`t have any software to learn C++ or anything.

Pretty much learned Javascript (The basics), Know HTML like the back of my hand.

I guess C++ is one of the only things left, Although I would like to learn Flash....

 Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 12:35:15 AM 
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Zzap (42)


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Man, I guess you'd be awefully surprised to learn that there's more languages in the world than asm, javascript, html, c++ and flash
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 Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 12:41:16 AM 
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Buk Fitty (0)

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I know there are, But I don`t like to program all those because I feel like I have done nothing special to make this High-Graphic program. I like knowing what the program does and when, I like it challenging, Which is why I really like assmebly best.

There`s also TONS of Microprocessors to learn languages for....Well, 6809`s good for all 8-Bit or me, Because the best a Z80 can do Is Donkey Kong 3, and that`s nothing compared to the complexity of Williams games...

Now to the 16 Bit......


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