Kevin Zurawel

Camp Counselor

Write Your First NES Game

Event Logo

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 9:00 PM UTC, for 1 hour.

AT THAT (In-Person Only) Regular, 60 minute presentation

Room: B


The “8-Bit” era of the late ’80s brought video games into the home with systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Game developers of the time produced iconic games and introduced genres that are still with us to this day, while working with hardware that had serious limitations. That legacy continues to the present day, as a thriving homebrew development scene continues to create new NES games that push the system to its limits. How do you start writing games for the NES, though? In this talk we’ll set up a modern NES development environment and create a “Hello World” game for the system playable on emulators or, with the right hardware, on an actual NES console. I'll walk you through how the NES works at a high level, and we'll learn some 6502 assembly - and how to turn your code into playable ROM files.


Experience writing programs in any programming language will be helpful. The main concepts to know about are variables, functions, if/else statements, and loops.

Take Aways

  • Set up a modern NES development environment.
  • Write some code in 6502 assembly language.
  • Create a playable "game" for the NES.
favorited by:
Josh Gretz Corinne & Holden Garcia Nick Heidke Scott Kuhl Matt Frye Dave Smith Dan Willman