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HOW DOES IT WORK?
All NES games are long strings of hexadecimal data...8 bit numbers which tell the system how to perform. Some hex values provide instructions, some act as details for those instructions, some act as memory addresses. Back in the 80s, developers would write programs in 6502 Assembly Language, which is a low level programming language that is still dramatically easier to work with than pages of straight hex. Their 6502 would be run through an assembler, which would spit out the HEX data that the NES can read. That data could then be put onto an eprom chip. And that's how most games were build.
NESmaker, though, allows for that 6502 Assembly data to be procedurally created as you make changes to an intuitive, graphical front end. The software comes with a library of modifiable, pre-existing engine code that is linked to the infinite possible changes you can make to your game by just dragging and dropping selections. Ultimately, when you press the test button, it automates the process of writing the 6502 code based on your choices, runs it through an assembler, and opens the created rom file in an emulator. From there, it's just a single button push to get it on a cartridge using a flashing device by Infinite NES Lives.
Beginners never have to concern themselves with the steep learning curve of learning how to code in 6502 ASM to make a NES game. Games can be easily created by choosing appropriate options from drop down menus and selection boxes. More advanced users will enjoy being able to rapidly prototype ideas, and can dig as deep into the code base as they'd like, all the way to building an engine from scratch and using NESmaker to help keep assets organized.
WHAT IS NESMAKER?
NESmaker is software for PC that allows users to create brand new, hardware playable, cartridge based games for the Nintendo Entertainment System in a modern development environment. Users with zero coding experience can begin building their dream NES games without ever writing a line of code, while more advanced users can make use of NESmaker's development tool chain while going as far as writing entire engines from scratch. NESmaker can help users of all skill levels create new experiences for this classic gaming system! NESmaker games will play on any hardware based system that can play NES games, and on any NES emulator that supports mapper 30.
Joe Granato IV
CEO & Creative Director
Joe Granato IV is a multidisciplinary creative. By day, he is a professional videographer, filmmaker, and documentarian; by night, an enthusiastic programmer, musician, and novelist. In addition to his creative work, he is a teacher and mentor. He has taught game development, music production, and filmmaking in different educational environments for fifteen years. Along with NESmaker, he is Senior Videographer at Ringling College of Art and Design, where he also teaches Writing for Digital media.
Austin McKinley is an award-winning author, cartoonist and video producer. From 2009-10 he was the lead writer and a production artist on “Cold War: Clambake,” a text-based role playing game on Facebook. In 2012-13 he was the lead artist on “Haunts: The Manse Macabre,” a crowd-funded turn-based RPG. Austin’s worked in comic books, local television, and created video segments for live performances with the Sarasota Orchestra. He wrote and illustrated Squareasota, a weekly cartoon in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for seven years.
Front End Developer
Josh Fallon is an electrical and software engineer. He has spent the majority of his professional life writing code and designing systems in higher level languages, though for the past 20 years, has never strayed too far away from the metal while working with various microcontrollers. He attributes his expertise to being a life long gamer. Working on NESmaker has combined his passions and interests and focused them into a product which will allow others to be inspired by the types of games that once inspired him.