- 25 hours on-demand video content
- Lifetime access
- Downloadable resources and exercises
- Certificate on completion
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- Last updated August 2022
This course is a complete immersion into the world of the Nintendo Entertainment System. We will learn how to program games for the NES using 6502 assembly while exploring the building blocks of computer architecture. The rudimentary hardware of the NES is a perfect sandbox for us to learn important concepts of low-level programming.
At the end of the course, you'll have a working knowledge of 6502 assembly language, a comprehensive understanding of the NES hardware, and a toy homebrew game project that we'll code together from scratch. We'll start with small examples and proceed to glue everything together in a final project that demonstrates how a simple NES game works.
We'll use a simple code editor, an assembler called CA65, and a NES emulator called FCEUX. All these tools are cross-platform, so you'll be able to follow along on either Windows, macOS, or Linux!
This is a self-contained course with no formal prerequisites. However, you will probably get the most out of it if you already know the basics of coding (if-else, loops, functions).
If you like retro game development and want to learn more about computer architecture and low-level programming, then this course is definitely for you!
Gustavo Pezzi is a university lecturer in London, UK. He has won multiple education awards as a teacher and is also the founder of pikuma.com.
Gustavo teaches fundamentals of computer science and mathematics; his academic path includes institutions such as Pittsburg State University, City University of London, and University of Oxford.
The 6502 processor is an extremely important part of computing history, powering many popular game consoles and microcomputers of the past, like the NES, the Commodore 64, the Apple II, and even the Tamagotchi.
Differently than other online resources about retro game programming, this course is not simply a documentation of assembly mnemonics that only experienced developers can digest. This course tries to be as beginner-friendly as possible, giving you the chance to learn assembly in a fun way.
Trying to understand how modern computers work under the hood can be overwhelming. The small architecture of the NES is our chance to take a step back and look at the fundamental building blocks of computing. So, if you want to really learn how digital machines work and finally lose your fear of the expression "assembly programming", then get ready and buckle up! We are about to go on a super cool nerd trip together.
"Deeply Informative, Interesting, and Fun! This is an excellent course that takes you through all the steps of programming a game on the NES; all the way from overviewing the actual circuitry of the console itself and getting basic colours appearing on-screen, right up to creating music and polishing away bugs. I had so much fun on this course and I'm really looking forward to making all kinds of things on the venerable NES system now!"
"Amazing instructor! Gustavo is a top-notch instructor and each lesson is done so well with helpful graphics that really help you understand the material. Can't recommend this course enough!"
"Finally a 6502 programming course for the NES!
I have been looking for a course like this for years, and I am so happy that Gustavo made this. I took his assembly course on 6502 assembly programming for the Atari 2600 a few years ago and was very happy with it. This course is even better.
Gustavo is a great teacher and he explains complex topics in a very easy to understand way.
I highly recommend this course."
"Get this RIGHT NOW! (if you're interested in NES programming).
I was skeptical at first (a great first line to say, I know), but this guy knows what he's doing. After aimlessly reading NESDev and asking for help, I thought I could never understand the NES. This guy is a lifesaver!"