Making Your First Change

Okay, you’ve set up a bunch of tools, built the game, and even played it briefly. You’re probably wondering when you get to start making your own game. The answer is, right now!

Let’s do something really simple to start - let’s change the title screen a bit. Pick a name for your game now. (Don’t stress over it; this will be easy to change later!) We are going to change the title screen to show it.

First, use your IDE to open source/c/configuration/game_info.c. You should see a fairly simple file. In fact, it just has a few constant variables with details about your game. It should look something like this:

// A bunch of information about your game - used on the title screen, as well as 
// the credits, and anywhere else you fancy!
const unsigned char gameName[] = "Quirk's Adventure";
const unsigned char gameAuthor[] = "YOU!";
const unsigned char gameAuthorContact[] = "Tweet at us! @your_twitter";
const unsigned char currentYear[] = "2018";

These are all C strings used later in this file to draw the name on the title. (and a couple other places.) Change the text after gameName[] to be the name of your game. If your game name contains quotes ("), be sure to escape the character using a backslash. (\")

The next line is the game’s author. Change this to your name, or some other way you like to be identified.

The line after is a way to contact you - we used Twitter in our example, but change this to whatever you like! Or, set it to an empty string ("") to remove it entirely.

If you want to see the code that uses this, look at source/c/menus/title.c. No need to change it yet!

Now, compile and run the game again (Press ctrl+shift+b in Visual Studio Code, or run create-nes-game build && create-nes-game run in the Cygwin terminal).

New title screen

The title screen should now show your game name and author. Congratulations, you’ve officially started programming your NES game!

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