Every modern game system from Nintendo has an iteration of the Super Smash Bros series, but old systems seem forgotten. Super Tilt Bro is a homebrew for the NES porting the versus platformer style to our beloved system from the 1980's.
Super Tilt Bro's history began with Sylvain Gadrat finding its old NES gathering dust in a storeroom. Initially, the plan was just to play good old games, but Sylvain was also intrigued by the 8bits CPU powering the beast. Learning how to program with this CPU was surprisingly easy, 8bits processors are incredibly simple as they come from a time when everybody hacked them directly with assembly. Sylvain literally felt in love with the 6502 processor. The only missing thing was a project, a project to commit to as long as there is something to learn, a project too big to be realizable ... Porting Super Smash Bros!
Every time Sylvain worked on the project, he learned something. Finding more than three ways to implement state machines using strange behaviors of a specific CPU is an incredible feeling for a geek. It was like dissecting a generation's childhood. It was archaeology, in the computing sense of the term. Implementing state machines, game agents, basic physics and all mechanics composing a game was, each time, a new adventure. From feature to feature, from game component to game component, the "too big to be realizable project" became credible. What would it take to get an actual good game from it?
Super Tilt Bro was presented in some inner-circles, most notably in homebrew and smash bros communities. This leap to the public allowed the project to gather feedback, eventually leading to the definition of a list of necessary features for a release ... A list of features the project's one-man-team can pull out.
To be continued ... Seriously. Super Tilt Bro is an open source project and there is no plan to stop developing it any time soon.
Super Tilt Bro is a homebrew for the NES. As such, it is developed entirely in assembly language. Programming the NES in assembly is the most straightforward way to do it, a big part of the job is to speak directly with the hardware, there is no operating system to help and when it comes to performances, assembly lets us use tricks not even documented by Nintendo.
As a project initially though to learn, the game engine was implemented from the ground up. Not relying on existing projects means that all the code is new and allows it to be more than free with the WTFPL license. Literally, the "do What The Fuck you want, Public License" allows everybody to use Super Tilt Bro as they wish and is equivalent to releasing it in the public domain. Note that releasing in the public domain is not possible in France, so we need this kind of licenses.