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New to this but homebrew curious

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Hello all, my name is Bryce. I'm normally not one to do forums but the Internet brought me here while I was looking for info about homebrew roms to put on my 3ds❣️ and after thinking about it for the tenth time, I figured I should join up. I saw there's an introducelf section, so I decided to force myself to step outside my comfort zone because I think it's good for me.

    I've been interested in 6502 since I reacquired an Atari 8-bit PC and then started thinking about making something for NES. I haven't made any progress really, though. 😅


    I have a background in IT and have been through Nerdy Nights using nesasm some, though I'm thinking of switching to ca65. I looked at a handful of other resources, but haven't really dug in yet.


    I am about through listening to all of the Assembly Line podcast episodes a second time (which is really fun), mostly while I mow.


    If you want to watch me embarrass myself you can do so
        on my bro's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/flyingonblades/
        or on my IG: https://www.instagram.com/multiboot.os/


Screenshot from 2021-08-09 22-25-55.png

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4 hours ago, multiboot said:

I have a background in IT and have been through Nerdy Nights using nesasm some, though I'm thinking of switching to ca65.

Better do it now before it's too late.

While I don't have any personal experience with nesasm, I've almost exclusively heard about that assembler in the context of all the weird gotchas it has, and the ways it causes people grief, or makes things more troublesome than it should be.
CA65 definitely isn't perfect either, and I do have a few issues with it, but it's also incredibly good, and is very versatile once you get into using macros and other features to make your code more manageable. Also, it actually uses zeropage instructions to target zeropage addresses, unlike nesasm. 😄

Similarly, there also seems to be a bunch of very common beginner mistakes that I see shared among people who use Nerdy Nights as an entry point. I think it's great that you've gotten started making something already, so you probably have enough experience now with how the hardware works to really peruse the NesDev Wiki for details about best approaches etc.
IMO I found this article to be one of the best introductions on how to properly handle your frame loop and PPU buffering techniques across all NES projects:


Definitely check it out before attempting anything that requires continuous updates to the background layer (ie. anything with scrolling, updating score counters, or, eh, basically any NES game 😄).


And welcome to the forum!

Edited by Sumez
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Oh, another tip, definitely get the Mesen emulator. Its debugger is out of this world, it's crazy how versatile it is, and if you've built a project using CA65 (with debug symbols enabled) it can even display your original source code directly in the debugger instead of machine code. It's a whole different beast from FCEUX's cumbersome interface.

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Thank you for the warm welcome @BortLicensePlate, @JamesRobot, @Bearcat-Doug, @DoctorEncore, and @Scrobins!


@Sumez, I read that nesdev wiki article about vblank/nmi and found it very enlightening. I was definitely of the "do it now" mindset and will keep in mind to save vblank time for drawing with as little logic as necessary. The fact that NMI code will happen during main was also something I had not thought about. I can't say I absorbed everything I read, though. I'm sure I'll be referring back to that page for some time.

I don't expect anyone to look at these or let me know if I've misunderstood anything, but here are the notes I have from following Nerdy Nights, so far.

Sorry for the oily stains, sometimes life just leaves some bacon on your notes.


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