My suggestions for NESmaker

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Mihoshi20
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:47 pm

Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by Mihoshi20 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:27 pm

erockbrox wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:44 am
I wrote a post but somehow I guess my browser messed up and deleted it.

Anyway, I've been playing around with NEsmaker some more and noticed something that is kind of bugging me.

It's the whole idea that you are only able to view and edit a single screen at a time. In other words, it would be really nice if NESmaker could load the entire overworld area all at once and allowed you to zoom in and edit the screens this way.

For example Lunar Magic, the Super Mario World editor allows the user to load an entire level which is 30 screens long and 2 screens high and you are able to edit any part of this. NESmaker only allows to view and edit 1 screen at a time. So 30 edible screens vs 1 screen. Here are some pictures below to try and show what I'm talking about. Also I think I made a few typos in the text in the images below but just try and see over that.
I really don't believe it's fair to compare NESmaker to either Lunar Magic nor Hyrule Magic as they have far different scopes. Both are designed to edit pre-existing games and create derivative works of them where as NESmaker is designed specifically for making games from scratch. Lunar Magic has also been in development for 17 years and didn't even gain the magnify icon you point out until version 2.12 released in 2013 meaning it went 13 years without it and didn't even gain that icon bar at all until version 1.51 meaning before that time it was menus or nothing. I do however agree that many portions of NESmaker could use with some scroll bars in certain areas. The pixel editor especially could do with an overhaul.

It's probably more fair to compare NESmaker to Hyrule Magic as it has fewer versions, is as rough around the edges user convenience wise, and is designed to edit an adventure game as was NESmaker's original purpose. However NESmaker is still very much in beta, though I'd actually consider it to be more alpha software as they're thinking more about hammering out bugs and making sure all the pins to the asm code and CHR files work smoothly and working on the modular system right now than the user experience.

I do have hopes that after the official launch they will give more attention to the UI and User experience but I just don't think that is a priority for them right now. Which rather makes me dread what the august version will look like, especially with that beta hierarchy tree.
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TheNew8bitHeroes
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by TheNew8bitHeroes » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Our Map -> Screens doesn't work like those other programs. The map is not actually showing you any real data at all...it's showing you a referential thumbnail of a screen for easier navigation. Even if you could zoom in, you'd just be zooming in on the thumbnail, not an editable part of the screen.

NES data is stored screen-by-screen. A screen is made up of 16 meta-tiles wide x 15 metatiles tall worth of data. It's not like modern game development tools, where levels are just sort of endless strings of data values...the NES, and our engines, are very regimented sizes because of the way that the NES works with other things. We have, however, provided an easy way to see the screens next to, above, and below for easy collision lineup, and you can actually move between them with the arrow keys, you don't need to go back to the map.

I'm not sure if it will be possible to "show more screens" in the edit window and zoom or not...that would be a question for Josh, but above is the reason why this may differ from other software, which may work with the data very differently.

As for what the software will look like this month...strikingly similar to what it looks like now, but with added functionality (and some unused stuff removed to hopefully help avoid confusion). UI is at the bottom of our priority list...just bashing into functional form and letting people start playing in the sandbox is our top priority. :-)
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