AMIGA alive

AMIGA alive

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Games galore #12: Atarenium Falcon, New Bubble Story, Magica, Super Sprint AGA

Roughly covering July to September 2020's Amiga game developments, in today's issue we have a somehow unusual original game, a couple of remakes of 8-bit and arcade titles, and as a bonus the full release of a classic.

Atarenium Falcon

Around early August "Atarenium Falcon" by Last Minute Creations popped up, as an in-development game demo. Obviously a direct ZX81 port, written in 8086 assembler, under the influence of Iron Maiden. The medium is the message here - it's an Amiga game.

So you're an Amigan, and in this game you kind of have to reclaim stolen coal from yourself to win the game. Doesn't that sound great?

This arcade game looks a bit unusual, yet cute and interesting. With it's quirky backstory - see game's website, link below - you kind of wonder what little surprises it may have in store.

"Atarenium Falcon" was first presented at the Decrunch 2020 in Wroclaw, Poland where it placed 2nd in the GAMEDEV competition. The demo version is still a bit rough around the edges, a final version is announced, but no release date has been set.

 
You can download the in-development demo from the game's website:
https://lastminutecreations.itch.io/atarenium-falcon

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/08/atarenium-falcon-new-amiga-game-demo-by.html


New Bubble Story

 
The development history of "New Bubble Story" by Alain Treesong, Mike Parent, and musicians mAZE and Ixien, is a bit of a convoluted one - let's just say it's a remake of 1987 multi system game "Bubble Ghost", and Amiga 1200 game "Super Bubble Remix".

Which basically means it's fun! In this arcade action game your goal is to control a ghost, and safely blow a bubble to the exit of some haunted house. Mouse movements control the ghost's screen position, mouse buttons rotate the ghost left and right to get the correct blowing direction.

Presentation screen (from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kZTxy7UtWA )

The upcoming "New Bubble Story" is a rewrite from scratch, with new levels and sprites, old levels improved, animations, lots of music, and probably many more changes. From what we can see and hear so far the game looks and sounds cute and super polished, and with the unusual "analog" mouse-input method on top of it this is pretty certainly going to be a home-arcade smash hit.

The game is in a early stage of development, label "Agima" is planning to release it in 2021, including a physical boxed edition. It's target platform is an Amiga 500 with 512K ChipRAM and 512k FastRAM.

Here's an early gameplay video from July 2020:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-VCqVir-sU

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=102986
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/07/new-bubble-story-upcoming-amiga-remake.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kZTxy7UtWA


Magica

First released for Amstrad CPC, single-screen arcade platformer "Magica" recently made it's way to the Amiga, thanks to coder Andy Noble. This is another cute looking game, with gameplay similar to "Bubble Bobble".

Stun enemies with your magic, then kick them to stun other enemies, or to create some potion, then collect potions to be able reach the level exit door. Awesome. Good old arcade fun, with a beautiful title screen painting setting the perfect mood for the little wizard and potion sprites you're about to meet. The game requires a standard Amiga 500 to run.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_0qcRu-BB4

You can download "Magica" Amiga from Andy Noble's website:
http://andynoble.co.uk

Additional sources:
https://www.usebox.net/jjm/magica/
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/games/new-game-magica/
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/09/magica-rather-lovely-amstrad-game-is.html


Super Sprint AGA development update

Single-screen top-view racer "Super Sprint AGA" is making progress. You've probably played "Super Sprint" for hours on an arcade machine or some 8-bit home computer, an Atari ST, or even an Amiga, and in case you haven't, you should've done so, and do so now - but regardless, in any case you should make sure you keep an eye on the game's upcoming new AGA Amiga implementation.

If you're interested in the development process, you can follow the author's YouTube channel and watch his development update videos. As he says in his latest video (#12): "...it's starting to look like a bit of a game..." - well, this is a bit of an understatement, in fact it is very seriously starting to look like a very good game.

Here's "Super Sprint AGA Development update #12" video on YouTube (2020-10-09):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxF0vGbEJoM

Check out "Super Sprint AGA"'s facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/supersprintdrs/
 
Additional sources:
https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=101722


* * *
....and some bonus gaming news:

Dawn Patrol full version free download

Amiga Future magazine has added the full version of WWI flight simulator "Dawn Patrol" to it's collection of free downloads. The game received very positive reviews back in the day when it was first released. Several archives are available, e.g. ADF images, and WHDLoad installers. "Dawn Patrol" requires an Amiga with 1MB of free RAM.


Go to Amiga Future's games download section to find "Dawn Patrol" full version:
https://www.amigafuture.de/app.php/dlext/index?cat=46

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-09-00066-EN.html
http://hol.abime.net/282
http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=1732
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/dawn-patrol-2ah
https://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/dawn-patrol/


* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #13"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Friday, October 30, 2020

COVID-19 cancels Amiga Meeting 2020 live event, online event planned

As Germany faces it's second wave of Corona virus spread, serious restrictions apply to public gatherings, forcing the "Amiga Meeting" to cancel it's live event, and go online.

From Monday, Nov. 2nd 2020, Germany will be locked down to large extent - but not as much as during the first wave of infections in March/April - for the duration of the month. As a result, the "Amiga Meeting" community event, held since 2000 by the Amiga Club Hamburg and the Amiga Club Schleswig-Holstein, and planned for Nov. 6th to 8th, has been cancelled. According the their website, too few people declared interest to personally attend, given the expected circumstances. As a substitute, an online event at Discord is planned for Saturday, Nov. 7th 2020, 13:00h (CET).

http://www.amigameeting.de/amiga/layout/meeting2019.png

Go to http://www.amigameeting.de for more information!

The online event will be available at: https://discord.com/invite/F7pkkg2

Stay home, stay safe, join online!

Monday, October 26, 2020

New printmag: AMIGA ADDICT - preorder now!

Awesome news from the printed side of things: A new magazine is underway!

Continuing the tradition of great english language Amiga magazines like AMIGA FORMAT, CU Amiga, and others, AMIGA ADDICT is a new printed magazine from the UK. 

Or more precisely: not "is", but "will be" if all goes well. For the first issue at least 500 preorders are needed, for the publishers to get an idea of the market, and cover production costs.

Some of the first issue's contents are: PageStream review, RaspberryPi Amiga 600, Cloanto interview, Simon Butler interview, contributions by AmigaBill and Kim Justice, game reviews, and much more. Preview pictures and articles look very promising. It's a full color A4 print, and it seems it's created on Amiga using PageStream. Both printed, and digital download versions will be available.


The new printmag's logo design

This is a great chance to obtain what might be a future historic magazine issue, and support an Amiga startup along the way!

Go to...

http://www.amiga-addict.com

...and preorder the first issue!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Amiga Art Contest 2020: A tiger and a mouse on a tablet

Having invested some time on getting a graphics tablet running, and equipped with a now 68040@40MHz driven Amiga, the deadline of the Amiga Art Contest 2020 by Douglas from 10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast (10MARC) and Pixel Vixen popped up somewhere, and pretty much from out of nowhere I started painting...

The graphics tablet is a "Lifetec" branded Tevion/Aldi LT 9310, powered by a homegrown floppy-port-PSU, and connected to the Amiga 1200's internal serial port at 19200 baud and 200lpi, using FormAldiHyd driver from AmiNet.

FormAldiHyd requires MUI, which makes it look a bit nicer than if GadToolsBox had been used, and probably saves the author some typing, but ultimately it's an unneccessary dependency. Anyway, FormAldiHyd hooks into AmigsOS's input handler system, thus is more or less application independent.

PersonalPaint 7 was chosen as the paint program - it's quite fast, straightforward, and system friendly. Basically what I wanted is just some software that's able to properly set pixels on screen according to my hand's movements. 640x512 hires interlaced is my preferred screenmode, and you cannot be more Amiga than a 32 color picture - this will be the artwork's geometry.

Work-in-progress, using graphics tablet and mouse

The tablet works! But over hours of painting it turns out you need some strong nerves to keep going despite all the hiccups. Practice makes a huge difference, once you get an intuitive idea about the graphics tablet's dimensions and haptics - both it's overall physical features, and it's drawing area - and the speed the system is able to handle, you can make really good progress, but the tablet becomes unresponsive from time to time, or stutters badly - resulting in interruptions in workflow, and sometimes random dots and lines in the drawing area. (PersonalPaint's multi-undo is very helpful here.) I wasn't able to identify the bottleneck, experimented with FormAldiHyd's settings, New8n1.device as a replacement for AmigaOS's serial port driver, etc. Most times just touching (moving) the mouse would re-enable graphics tablet input, but at some point I kind of gave up and would keep using the mouse for a couple of minutes for painting, then give the tablet another try.

The tablet is still amazing fun to use, and moving a pen is incredibly much faster and smoother than moving a computer mouse with your entire arm. This may affect the results: I ended up using a drawing tool other than pen/airbrush only for the peace symbol, everything else you see in the final result is hand and finger movement. (Ok, maybe the tiger's eye was flooded.)

After three days of occasional painting sessions, I thought from here on it might get worse, so I stopped. When doodling around the first concept that came to my mind was something with a dog - as you can see it turned into a tiger-dog. I had some horror themed ideas, like a Hound of the Baskervilles or so, but then some positive vibe won't do any harm, and the little mouse was created.

'Nuff said - here's the picture:

The final result, as submitted to the Amiga Art Contest 2020

A lot of amazing pictures (and MODs), have been submitted to the Amiga Art Contest 2020, showing there's no shortage of creativity in the community. Tiger and mouse are very proud to be among the contestants. Thanks, 10MARC, Pixel Vixen, and all artists and judges! 

Head over to...

https://www.amigaartwork.com

 ...to see the rest of images!

Watch 10MARC's Amiga Art Contest 2020 presentation and results video (live-streamed on 2020-10-17, 15:00h):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR7PE1uFfiI

Make sure you visit "10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast" website...

http://www.10marc.com

...check out their facebook page...

https://www.facebook.com/10MinuteAmigaRetroCast

...and keep an eye on their YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/c/10MinuteAmigaRetroCast/

Follow Pixel Vixen via twitter at:

https://twitter.com/lapixelvixen

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

New Apollo 1240/40 cooling system

My "Frankenstein" Apollo 1240 accelerator needed some decent cooling, so I built something.

The ACT Apollo 1240 is a great accelerator for the A1200, but it requires some extra care. Among the quirks and issues owners of an Amiga 1200 with 68040 or 68060 accelerator have to deal with is heat, especially when using higher- or overclocked CPUs, in a desktop computer case, and when there's no manufacturer supplied cooling mechanism available. The 68040 CPU present on this specimen of the ACT Apollo, with a 80Mhz oscillator, gets unpleasantly hot, so it is likely to become unstable, wear out, and/or damage other components.

To provide some improved cooling to the CPU, a second heatsink was added next to the first one, where previously a 30x30x7mm fan had been positioned. The fan would now require a case and air duct that fits the Apollo 1240 plus a potential 3.3V voltage converter for potential 68060 upgrade, inside the Amiga 1200 desktop case, and direct air towards the CPU and heatsinks in a reasonable way.

Blender 3d modeling fan case
Blender 3d modeling fan case

Using Blender I created a 3d model, printed it, refined it, and re-printed it.

(Current) final version in the center



The 3rd incarnation of the model is the (current) final result. The fan more or less rests on three legs inside the case, and has been glued into place with hot glue, sealing off gaps. The case is 3d-printed from PLA at 0.1mm layer height, with spacer sockets on the bottom to leave room for solder and solder pads below, and glued to the Apollo PCB, also using hot glue.

New cooling system with fan, case and heatsinks

First test runs have shown:

a) The cooling effect seems to be pretty strong! From the previous installation with a CPU temperature that's painful to touch ("ouch! burns!"), it went to somewhere hot that still allows sustained finger contact to CPU or heatsink. Certainly a huge improvement.

b) The noise level is easily tolerable. The fan motor is quite audible at times, but there's comparably little hissing from the air moving through the plastic case. Maybe this can be improved further with a more elaborate shape of the case / air duct.

c) Hot glue is awful because it's somehow neither fish nor flesh, but it's easily removable and makes a very good seal for small gaps in plastic parts. The Apollo 1240 has very few features for extra parts to be be attached to, the CPU might get too hot for direct contact with PLA. Applying and removing hot glue worked very well - at least for development.

b) Overall height, and some space restrictions, are at the borderline. An extra millimeter here and there would be nice - maybe a little cutting and scratching will do, or it's just Amiga case inconsistencies. Otherwise the fan case 3d model might need some modification.

It kind of looks like a mech...
Room has been left for the 68060 voltage converter, but a SCSI connector or second SIMM socket probably won't fit anymore.

One of the heatsinks was already there, so the other one got cut for the 68060 voltage converter "jumpers",
red
(left of CPU) and white wires are repairs by previous owner

I'll see how the PLA takes the temperature, and if the system remains stable in the long term and under heavy use. Also time will show if hitting the Amiga's keyboard above the cooling system and Apollo board will affect the installation. I guess with lots of warm air around, the new fan case will deform if there's mechanical pressure from one of the other computer components applied to it.

For now I consider it a success, entering "real-life" testing stage - 68040 power at 40Mhz, plus there's a chance this new cooling system will allow a 68060 to be installed on the board. :-)

* * *

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Games galore #11: Chicken Coop, Monkey Lad, Dodgy Rocks, The Shadows of Sergoth

Chicken, monkeys, rocks, and shadows - pick your favourite, and have a good time playing an Amiga game! Do we see a trend where developers are working towards advanced yet mature tools for game creation, like using Construct 2 for DaemonClaw, Dread being planned as an open engine from the beginning, or RedPill and Scorpion engines evolving and being used as a basis for two of the games in today's article?

Chicken Coop

This looks like one of those games you just can't resist. "Chicken Coop" from Jacek Nockowski was created using the RedPill game engine, it's another platformer, and it's a really cute. 20 levels to play, collect stuff, fight chicken! The graphics are minimalistic, loveable, and effective. The sounds are simple, and hilarious. And then of course there's that cut scene. Don't miss this one.

Note: Looks like it should work on any Amiga, but the extracted archive size is about 1MB, so you'll probably need a little bit of extra RAM and/or harddrive?

Here you can watch a video of "Chicken Coop" (2020-07-14):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa9nbLv3KHA

You can download "Chicken Coop" from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/game/jump/ChickenCoop

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/07/chicken-coop-new-amiga-game-from-jacek.html

https://www.facebook.com/groups/redpillgamecreator/ (RedPill engine)


"Monkey Lad" demo, "Scorpion" engine

In case you haven't heard about Erik "earok" Hogan's "Scorpion" engine before, just think of it as a game construction kit he's building (see "additional sources" below for more info).

After Amigo the Fox now comes "Monkey Lad", another "Scorpion" based game, inspired by 1986 SEGA title "Alexx Kidd". This is not a full game, and not planned to become one, but much more another test for the engine. Very cool, this looks more elaborate than "Amigo the Fox", certainly utilizing new features of the engine, and makes you look forward to more stuff like maybe ropes in the next game?

Watch a video of "MonkeyLad" on YouTube (2020-09-12):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vywq3vIwz4A

You can download "Monkey Lad" from earok's website:
http://earok.net/games/monkeylad.adf
 
Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/09/monkey-lad-welcome-to-alex-kidd-demo.html
https://github.com/earok/scorpion-engine-demos (Scorpion engine on GitHub)
https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=97450 (Scorpion engine thread)



Dodgy Rocks

Do you like "Flappy Bird"? You're gonna love "Dodgy Rocks". It's a new stress-test for your nerves, requiring an OCS/ECS Amiga with 1MB of RAM.

"Dodgy Rocks" is far more complex than "Flappy Bird", but you'll get the idea pretty quickly nontheless. Dodge rocks to get points, or kick and smash them to get more points. If that doesn't sound like fun to you then you must be a PC guy.

Seriously, it's far better than "Flappy Bird" - it's actual fun to play! "Dodgy Rocks" is a game by John Girvin, ported to the Amiga by Rob Cranley.

Watch a video of "Dodgy Rocks" on YouTube (2020-09-10):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgcNLDT1nGw
 
You can download "Dodgy Rocks" for Amiga from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/game/actio/DodgyRocks

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1428039
https://nivrig.com
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/09/dodgy-rocks-new-amiga-game-from-nivrig.html



The Shadows of Sergoth

Ah, the dungeon crawlers. After the beautiful "Black Dawn Rebirth", here's the first playable demo of "Shadows of Sergoth" from Doublesided Games, and it's just as amazing.

The visual style and graphics quality of "Shadows of Sergoth" are pretty awesome, music is super moody, and it's classic dungeon crawling - if you like the genre you can't go wrong with this one. A little kingdom, spells, humans, dwarfs, monsters, and more is what you get in this almost-3D fantasy game -  and did I mention those eyes? Very nice eyes.

"Shadows of Sergoth" requires 1.5MB ChipRAM, and a little bit of extra processing power is recommended. You can disable some game features for better performance on lower-end Amigas.

A commercial release of the game is planned, which will include digital download and physical editions.

The Shadows Of Sergoth demo, DOUBLESIDED Games (2020-09-16)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVjLWEgJe5I

You can download the demo from Doublesided Games' website:
https://doublesidedgames.com/games/the-shadows-of-sergoth/


Additional sources:
http://www.amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-09-00033-EN.html

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #12"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Games galore #10: BlitzWays, Ftype, AstroBlox Revisited, Hansel and Gretel, Tiny Bobble, Green Thang

Indeed it's games galore, they just keep'em coming.

BlitzWays

Around July 2020 "BlitzWays" was announced by author Sebastian Hartmann, a new puzzler for Amiga 500 with 1MB ChipRAM and Kickstart 2.0, or better. "BlitzWays" is similar to games like Mah-Jongg, written in BlitzBasic, and has an impressive development time of 28 years! Well, according to the game's website it was put on ice several times. In the game, your goal is to find "paths" ("Ways") between tiles, and thus remove them from the board. Some decent in-game music, and a time limit to get the job done should make for a fun time playing this. Check out the game's backstory, it's a nice one. We're happy to see the game coming to life - finally!

Watch "BlitzWays" on YouTube (2020-07-01):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfNsZ2EO1tM

Find out more about "BlitzWays"' history and features, and download the game from Sebastians website: https://www.wertstahl.de/ways/

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/06/blitzways-brand-new-amiga-500-game-from.html


Ftype, early demo

Also around July "Ftype" popped up - another new shoot-em-up game. Currently there's only an early work-in-progress demo available, the finished product will certainly look more or less different, but so far we get what seems to be a decent top-down view, vertical scrolling shooter, with nice color palette and detailed graphics. Certainly one to keep an eye on.

Watch a demo video of "Ftype" (work-in-progress) on YouTube (2020-07-06):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdf7tb6k8Ck

Go to Indie Retro News' website to download early WIP demo of "FType":
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/07/ftype-upcoming-amiga-shoot-em-up.html

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1410796


AstroBlox Revisited

In early August somewhat abstract puzzler "Astro Blox Revisited" from the Decrunch 2020 scene event was published. You push "blox" into their designated spots, which may require some serious planning due to obstacles and special blocks which behave in special ways. "Astro Blox Revisited" won the top spot in the GAMEDEV competition at Decrunch 2020, and, yeah, it's really fun to play!

Watch a video of "AstroBlox Revisited" (2020-08-01):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMcc27pbD0o

You can download "AstroBlox Revisited" from scene.org:
https://files.scene.org/view/parties/2020/decrunch20/gamedev/abr.zip


Additional sources:
https://demozoo.org/productions/282295/
https://www.pouet.net/party_results.php?which=1719&when=2020

Hansel and Gretel

Also from the Decrunch 2020 event comes "Hansel and Gretel", written in AMOS Pro, by stoopi, jojo073, and Magnetic-Fox. It's a simple but beautiful platformer with a little bit of puzzling that made it to position three in the event's GAMEDEV competition.

Watch a video of "Hansel and Gretel" on YouTube (2020-08-01):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=867yMAAajSQ

You can download "Hansel and Gretel" from the YouTube video page, see description there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=867yMAAajSQ

Additional sources:
https://demozoo.org/productions/282297/


Tiny Bobble

From "Abyss" who brought us "Tiny Invaders" and "Tiny Galaga" also comes "Tiny Bobble", which was released in August 2020.

In contrast to the two previous "tiny" releases, this one is specifically aimed at being a near-perfect arcade port, and there is a reason: there is of course a well-known commercial port of "Bubble Bobble" for the Amiga made by Firebird in 1989, but to fans of the arcade machine it was always a bit of a disappointment. This version lacked a lot of details that even a C64 would have no technical problems pulling off - it seems it's just a lazy port that's not utilizing many of the Amiga's hardware features.

"Tiny Bobble" steps in to fix this. And it does! It has a lot of improvements over the 1989 Firebird version, like original arcade screen size, original set of items (150 as opposed to ~40), double frame rate, animated screens, additional screens from the arcade original, and more.

Now this really looks much better than the previous port! Of course it still plays smooth and fast, sounds great, and supports one or two players.

Here you can watch a video of "Tiny Bobble" (v0.9beta, 2020-08-13):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlsivG4Z_WQ

You can download "Tiny Bobble" from Abyss' website:
http://www.abyss-online.de/static/download/aYs_TinyBobble.adf

Additional sources:
https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=86851
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-08-00017-EN.html
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1419137


Green Thang


"The Green Thang" is a funny looking character reminiscent of Kermit the frog in a space suit. It's also the name of the game this character stars in, another unfinished, previously unreleased production that was released in mid September 2020. It contains only two early test levels of the game, but these look amazing, like a blend of Zool and Superfrog. So you get the basic idea, it's a platformer, and a very nice one, with flawless fast scrolling, bubbly sounds, and this loveable character in a suit. Very good to see this thang out in the public - make sure you read it's backstory, quite interesting.

Here you can watch "Green Thang" on YouTube (2020-09-18):

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF6v_43WhsY

You can download "The Green Thang" from "Games That Weren't" website: https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/2020/09/green-thang/

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/09/green-thang-unreleased-action.html

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #11"!
 
 
* * *