The Making of Retro City Rampage’s 8-bit Prototype

By: Derek Yu

On: February 28th, 2013

This is an great video by Brian Provinciano explaining how he developed the NES prototype that eventually became Retro City Rampage (available now on XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, and Steam). In the video, Brian shares tons of insights into the constraints of NES hardware and the heroic effort to make a complex game for it. It’s a must-watch for fans of homebrew.

Here’s a link to NESHLA, the NES assembler that he wrote for the prototype.

  • 2bit[EDDnorris]

    This video is like watching developer poetry. When people have the time to do something right, beautiful things happen. Thanks for sharing.

  • Manboobs

    This guy is just insane… He’s like the John Carmack of indie gaming. I love it.

  • Shellac

    That was quite amazing. I know next to nothing about programming, let alone programming with these kinds of limitations. He does an excellent job of conveying the passion he has for his work.

  • Maurizio Cerrato

    Sir, you deserve a medal!

  • Ben Foote

    The fact that he basically made the same game twice (NES…and the modern version) he should be given a medal just for sticktuitiveness. The fact that the game is fun is just gravy on top!

  • Davioware

    Wow. That was incredibly interesting. It’s amazing to see what would have been possible.

  • hryx

    First, this video is completely fascinating and he explains the hardware limitations concisely yet comprehensively.

    But what tweaked my imagination is that he released his high-level ASM macro code. What if tools like this were open & free back in the 1980s? With tools like that available, how many NES developers could have focused their limited time and resources on game-making instead of overcoming extreme technical challenges elegantly (or at all)? What kind of games would we have played?

    That’s one of the beauties of the current game-making landscape. With so many useful, free, comprehensible tools, people can focus on logic, design, and content.

  • Ben

    They will write righteous hiphop about this video in the future.

  • TipChunes

    This is awesome! It is crazy to see somebody live that kind of childhood dream. Very well done video and glad to hear how the NES works.

    Though I can’t help to wonder how he pays rent? Where does somebody get the time for this sort of thing?!

  • Jasper Byrne

    I really admire the dedication it took to achieve this. It looks like the full game could easily be a NES classic, if released in its heyday!

  • Anil

    its insane, so they were able to make this in old times..