Tools, Assets, and Recommended Reading

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Tools, Assets, and Recommended Reading

Post by F8Sean » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:41 am

This could get long but it could be useful to have some of these things linked in one place. I'll start with some of the essentials in my workflow and add anything commented below.

  • Graphics
    • TileStudio - A great tool for working on pixel art, animations, and maps all in one editor
    • Tilemancer - Another tile workstation, with a follow-up in development
  • Audio
    • Famitracker
    • Reaper 0.99 - If you need a free DAW with MIDI and VST support, v0.99 of Reaper is the last free version before they changed their license; useful for composition and MIDI VST auditioning
    • SynthFont - Similar to above
    • SFXR - Including this one because you may want PCM samples; see also Bfxr
  • OpenGameArt - Check the licenses before using content, but this is an archive of resources with various permissive licenses, some public domain
  • Mutopia Project - Classical music in MIDI format with various permissive licenses, some public domain
Articles/Lectures/Recommeded Reading What tools are essential in your workflow? What articles do you think every NESdev should read?
Last edited by F8Sean on Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tools, Assets, and Recommended Reading

Post by Kasumi » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:51 am

Graphics Tools
Aseprite - Best pixel editor I've ever used by far. Animations and layers as separate concepts, but no tiles, yet. (It's being worked on.)
I-CHR - Conforming NES background PNG image to NES Data and test ROM in one step. (Disclaimer, I wrote this.) At some point it'll be updated for sprite import that's just as easy.
Mesen - The best NES develoment emulator hands down. Excellent debugging and visualization features, excellent accuracy.
Pyxel Edit - Tile Editor tool which lets you draw directly on the map, and updates all the same tile indices with what you're drawing in real time as you do. This makes it easy to see the effects edits to tiles will have with all the different ways they may link up.
Shiru's Software - NES Screen Tool allows one to draw on tiles and create a map, plus export NES Data. It also allows Metasprite creation. NES Space Checker lets you see which bytes are "used" in your ROM.
Music Tools
NSF Importer - Allows the study of data within NES music files (NSF files). It doesn't allow you to steal them wholesale for your game, but if you want to see how a particular sound in a game is made, this can help.

OpenGameArt - Website with art that is usable with very permissive licenses. Some art there is already NES conforming. In particular, there's surt.

Easy6502 - Great quick tutorial explaining 6502 assembly. (The code the CPU for NES understands.) Does not cover any NES hardware.
General pixel art defintions+tutorial
Giant Collection of Pixel Art Tutorials
Advice for NES pixel artists - Only two posts. (Disclaimer, I wrote one)
NES Restrictions in Detail - (Disclaimer, I wrote this)
Nerdy Nights - Tutorial on 6502 assembly and NES hardware.

VGMaps - Maps from various games. (NES is directly linked, but other consoles can also be good to study.) Useful to study, not to steal!
Spriter's Resource - Sprites from various games. (NES is directly linked, but other consoles can also be good to study.) Useful to study, not to steal!

Edit: Added NSF Importer.
Edit2: Added OpenGameArt
Edit3: Well that's already in the first post, but still, check out surt there:
Edit4: Spriter's Resource and VGMaps
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