NES Zapper games and possibilities of "hacking" their timing....??

Discussion in 'Nintendo Game Development' started by FrenchyToasty, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. FrenchyToasty

    FrenchyToasty Rising Member

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    Zapper games on the NES have this blinking when you shoot and also a white square, I know that when playing a game like Duck Hunt, (or any other with multiple shootable targets) the game also detects which target was shot with the timing of when the trigger was pressed and what "blinking" target what displayed at that time.

    Wouldn't it be possible to hack the timing so that each "shot" lasted a larger number of frames? Or even change the blinking sequence and its timing?

    In the end I guess the important question is; theorically wouldn't it be possible to hack Zapper Games to work on HD displays by altering the blinking sequence?
     
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  2. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

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    I'm not sure you'll get a response from the Zapper on certain HDTVs. The first thing you'd want to test is if you can get a proper response to the screen being white/bright or black. If that worked well enough, then maybe you could try altering games to compensate for the digital processing frame delay. But each TV would have different amounts of delay.

    So it might be possible. However ReroUSB I think I heard might release their own Zapper that would work on HDTVs.
     
  3. FrenchyToasty

    FrenchyToasty Rising Member

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    I see, I personally use an everdrive on an Hidef Nes modded NES.

    If we could get some sort of option in either which would set certain delays for these games...

    I don't know where to look to edit all that, I guess we could count frames to identify the delays but I'm not qualified to do that either...

    I am personally just really interested to see if it's possible because I still have my old tv in my retro gaming room.
     
  4. Collingall

    Collingall Robust Member

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    I believe its also an issue with the Zapper hardware, its designed to work with the refresh rate of crt televisions. Sometimes the zapper will work on cfl backlit lcd displays but the timing is off due to video lag.
     
  5. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

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    The Zapper lightgun actually only registers "Light" or "No Light". Light guns that came later on are more sophisticated than that. Because of this if you point the Zapper at a flickering light source instead of the TV you can actually get hits to register sometimes.

    The HDTVs that are mostly LCDs don't work as you said because of display lag and also they might fail because the light level might not be bright enough for the Zapper's sensor. But the first problem is the lag. The fastest HDTVs are still over a full frame of NES video. Usually two or more frames behind.

    So in theory if you hacked a game to display the hit box white square for a few extra frames then maybe it would work. You'd also have to extend the blank frames too. As I said in my first post, the best thing to do would be to program your own Zapper test program unless one already exists to test what behavior you can get out of the Zapper on your LCD HDTV. If it can "see" light and no light when pointed at your TV well enough then it would be worth it to proceed to trying to modify a game like Duck Hunt.
     
  6. Greg2600

    Greg2600 Fiery Member

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    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/metsasta/modern-mallard/

    I love that he innovated in this way, but there are several glaring problems with the concept. I actually backed a tad to comment (since this ain't getting funded)....

    Having the end user insert into a cartridge case is just not practical. Why not 3D print a separate housing? Not to mention, now you're limited to just Duck Hunt, while there are several other better NES LG games we'd rather play. On the crowd fund, I'm afraid the product might be too niche to generate 125K basically on product purchases alone. However, there IS a market out there for it, but it needs to be more user friendly as I suggested, and have a retail partner, say Stone Age Gamer, who would get this to the right eyeballs. Most of the community have not heard of this project. But I guarantee if it were sold as a true plug n play device, with game support beyond duck hunt, on the typical retro websites, it would sell quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  7. Monkey

    Monkey Member

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  8. Greg2600

    Greg2600 Fiery Member

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