- 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.
"Absolutely amazing course! I've been wanting to learn 6502 and specifically NES programming for a couple of years, but everytime I tried to follow tutorials on other video platforms or websites, it immediately went too in-depth or skipped over some of the fundamental stuff. This course absolutely makes sure you understand all the fundamentals you need to know before you start programming. And every subject gets the same amount of attention, making sure that you get a chance to really absorb all the information and build a complete understanding from the architecture to the programming. This course is worth more than it currently costs! If you're interested in programming the NES but still have some doubts, trust me and buy this course. No regrets :)!"
"Amazing course! This course was a very comprehensive, well organized and very well explained introduction into everything NES! Can't wait to get into creating my own game and to see what Gustavo brings us next!"
"Great Stuff! Just finished this and it was well worth the time and effort. Super thorough content as usual covering pretty much everything needed to make a NES game from scratch. Really enjoyed, highly recommend. Thanks Gustavo!"
"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!"