I had a bunch of those books. I didn't even have an NES! (Though I desperately wanted one...) But I was so enamored with video games that I pored over them.
There has been recent focus on ML research trying to win or beat games. What if the goal was merely to have an agent that would manage to explore the largest game "area" possible? Has that been done before?
edit: same thing as mentioned by ArtWomb in another comment
>" This would make a cool art installation. If you can get access to one of those giant screens that you see demo'd at E3. You can visualize the entire Land of Hyrule from Lengend of Zelda. With a tiny Link navigating his way through the world ;) "
Also Ultima III: Exodus would be interesting. I suspect it's "black out tiles behind walls and in trees" effect is done through the attribute table but don't really know what it does when elements scroll offscreen.
This is a very neat trick and it seems like it works really well, I’m kinda surprised I’ve not seen anything like it before.
At the time the only way they could do this was either spend HOURS playing the game and recording or screengrabbing it, or ask the developer nicely for a level layout.
It would be nice to see WideNES be used in this way to create new walkthroughs for games, or for large print posters etc.
They did crazy hours to do the game from start to end by themselves and screencapping everything.
If you've got any questions, fire away!
The Nesdev wiki is the bible for writing NES emulators. It has all the technical documentation you'll need to implement the various aspects of NES hardware. It also has plenty of test ROMs, which are incredibly useful for verifying implementation details!
Fair warning, while it's pretty easy to get a half-decent 6502 emulator up and running, implementing the PPU is incredibly tricky. If you don't have a lot of experience writing emulators, I'd recommend starting with a simpler system, like the CHIP-8, before tackling the NES.
"In the mid 1980s, [...]. Boasting the best sound, the best graphics, and the best games of any home-console to date, it pushed the envelope for what home-gaming could be."
I challenge it as a big, fat lie! Yes, the games might be really great but the best sound and the best graphics in the mid 80s were offered by Amiga (released in July'85 while NES was released in NA in Oct'85.) I know that Amiga has been released as a home computer but originally it's been intended to be game console. So here are my two cents.
I wonder if this could snapshot the state of the game, use spare CPU capacity (including other cores) to simulate in the background and feed in various inputs, and try to give a preview of the upcoming map? It wouldn't have to get very far; trying a few common input patterns would suffice.
I also wonder if this could apply some heuristics to see if the sprite layer scrolls consistently with the background, and if so, provide a preview of upcoming sprites too. If they consistently spawn at the same point, render them at that point.