Constraints can be annoying. Being limited in what you are able to do is frustrating. But the great thing about constraints is that they force you to think of new, creative solutions to work around them, ones you wouldn’t ordinarily try out.
A common thing I’ll do in creative projects is use random generators to determine names, species, clothing, scenarios, whatever I need to make the project work.
Video available! Watch NES Passwords: Notebook-based save game storage for a different take on the content of this post! Before the first NES game with battery backup, The Legend of Zelda, came out, you had two options:
Either you beat the whole game in one sitting Or you got these weird passcodes you had to type in to restore where you were.
Playing a video game with a friend is great. You get to have fun and bond while you stop the aliens together or compete for the high score. But what if you have more than one friend? Weird to think about, right? And what if you wanted to play a bodacious new volleyball video game with more than one friend at the same time.
Topaz the Rabbit talks about a big problem with big video games for
early consoles – how do you make it so you don’t have to beat the whole
thing in one sitting?
I built an NES ROM in 6502 assembler to illustrate how spaces and dashes
in Metroid passwords could be exchanged for each other.
Topaz digs into an addition to a 6-bit character password system.
Topaz tackles the age-old gamer question: Why did some battery
backed-up NES games ask you to hold down the RESET button when
you powered down the NES?