AMIGA alive

AMIGA alive

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Games galore #32: Inviyya II: Hyperblaster, Gunsmoke, Depthcharge, Blockman Gets, Flappadiddle

Autofire! Another round of catching up with Amiga game development.

Inviyya II : Hyperblaster

Great shoot-em-up game "Inviyya" by Tigerskunk is about to get a sequel: "Inviyya II: Hyperblaster" was announced in the first half of 2022, and updates on development progress have been posted on the internet since. 

"Hyperblaster" looks even better than its prequel, and interestingly a NeoGeo port is in the works, too. So far there's no sound in the Amiga version, but according to the author's YouTube channel, sound has just been added to the NeoGeo port - maybe the one we'll soon hear in the Amiga (CD32) version? Check out Tigerskunk's videos for more "Hyperblaster" previews!

Here's the latest work-in-progress video on Tigerskunk's YouTube channel (2022-10-01):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drQrlMoEL0U

Gunsmoke

Erik "Earok" Hogan is working on an Amiga port of 1985 arcade game "Gun.Smoke", which is a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up similar to "Commando", but western-style. 

"Gun.Smoke" is one of the arcade titles that got ported to a lot of consoles and 8-bit platforms, but strangely never to the Amiga. Well, obviously this is about to change. The upcoming Amiga port is in early development stage, but a video posted on Twitter looks very promising.

Screenshot from the arcade original

Additional sources:
https://twitter.com/earok/status/1507694146487988228
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/03/gunsmoke-1980s-arcade-cowboy-shooter-is.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun.Smoke

Depthcharge

Even deeper into the depths of retro computer gaming: The year is 1977, Gremlin Industries (later to become part of SEGA) releases "Depthcharge" to the arcades. It's quite a simple, but also quite an enjoyable game that wasn't the biggest hit ever, but good enough to produce a lot of clones and remakes for numerous platforms.

Fast-forward to 1994: An Amiga version of "Depthcharge" is released as pd/freeware. It looks beautiful, but different from the arcade version.

Fast-forward again to 2022: "Depthcharge" is being remade by AcidBottle. At version 0.2 it's far from finished, but it already plays nicely, and captures the feeling of the arcade original near-perfectly...

...Dive! Dive! Dive!

Here's a video from ISB's YouTube channel (2022-04-05):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LtVLM-dgck

Do you wanna know more? Check "additional sources" below for possible preview releases of "Depthcharge"!

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=110209
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/04/depthcharge-1977-arcade-game-as-work-in.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depthcharge (1977 Gremlin arcade game)
http://hol.abime.net/5923 (1994 pd/freeware Amiga game)

Blockman Gets

So Pacman has a strategist brother that goes by the name of "Blockman". Nice. In this cute, slightly trippy game Blockman has to find a well-thought-out path through several mazes filled with pills, making sure he gets enough of them. 

Not only does that sound tasty, it's also addictive.

Here's a video from author Jayenkai's YouTube channel (2022-05-21):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo4Ur9SvCHE

Go to the game's itch.io website for more information and download:
https://jayenkai.itch.io/amiga-blockman

Additional sources:
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/05/blockman-gets-new-pac-man-inspiration.html

Flappadiddle

Finally for this issue, we have yet another neat little game by highly productive developer Jayenkai. "Flappadiddle", released in the second quarter of 2022, puts you in control of Flappy, a tiny yellow bird that has to avoid various obstacles on his way to the target platform, which transports him to the next level. The only protection he has are his flying abilities, and some intermediate landing platforms. 

So "Flappy Bird" meets "Space Taxi", kind of. It's a quick'n'clean production - graphics are simple but effective, sound is loud and quirky, it plays flawlessly, and the idea is a little stroke of genius. Great low-fi stuff!

Here's a video from author Jayenkai's YouTube channel (2022-04-24):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ-qFbGTTDk

Go to "Flappadiddle"'s website for more information and download:
https://jayenkai.itch.io/flappadiddle

Additional sources:
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/04/flappadiddle-this-amiga-game-is-bit-of.html


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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #33"!


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Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

AMIGA alive software: zx81paint 0.2

A new version of zx81paint has been uploaded to AmiNet.

zx81paint has just learned a couple of new things: 15 steps of undo, drawing lines and rectangles, better menu layout, and slightly improved keyboard control.

Lines! Rectangles!

See Readme-file for usage information, and more.   

Get it from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/gfx/edit/zx81paint

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Games galore #31: Duke Nukem 3D, Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny, Yoomp!, Wonderboy, Robocop AGA

OMG, it's been a long time since the previous issue - again we have a lot of catching up ahead: Huge names in this issue! First-person-shooters, arcade, movie tie-in!

New "Duke Nukem 3D" ports

This game certainly needs little introduction - "Duke Nukem 3D" set a new standard for first-person-shooter games for grown ups (and maybe not so grown ups). In the first half of 2022 two new Amiga ports surfaced.

One is "jfduke3d", which seems to be the slightly less resource-hungry of the two ports, and the other is an update of "AmiDuke". Both require a 68060 CPU, additional RAM, AGA chipset or RTG card, and some files from the original PC game. "AmiDuke" also requires AHI, and "jfduke3d" has TCP/IP multiplayer support (AmiTCP, Miami, Genesis, ...). See links below for more information.

jfduke3d (as seen on its homepage)

You can download both new ports of "Duke Nukem 3D" from AmiNet:

https://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/jfduke3d

http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/AmiDuke_RTG
http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/AmiDuke_AGA

Additional sources:
http://www.jonof.id.au/jfduke3d/index.html (jfduke3d homepage)
https://github.com/BSzili/jfduke3d/tree/amiga (jfduke3d Amiga code repository)
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1043667 (AmiDuke forum thread)


New "Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny" ports

Very much like "Duke Nukem 3D", notorious first-person-shooter pioneer "Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny" has many incarnations and needs little introduction. Also much like "Duke...", two new ports for the Amiga have been released early this year.

AmiSpear
Previously "AmiSpear" required an RTG card, now it's available for ECS and AGA equipped Amigas, too.

spear4amiga
Just a couple of weeks later another great new port appeared on AmiNet, it's called "spear4amiga". This one seems to have the lowest system requirements: according to the AmiNet-readme, it runs on an unexpanded Amiga 1200. A little more horsepower is recommended, though.

Both ports require some game data files from the original PC version. See links below for more information.

"Spear of Destiny" in-game screenshot

You can download "AmiSpear" and "spear4amiga" from AmiNet:

http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/AmiSpear_AGA
http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/AmiSpear_ECS

http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/spear4amiga

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=109873 (wolf4amiga / spear4amiga forum thread)


Yoomp!

"Yoomp!" might not be as well known as "Duke Nukem 3D" or "Wolfenstein", but it's still a big name: the game was created for the Atari XL, ported to Commodore 64, and there's a spin-off called "Jump!" for AGA Amigas that has certainly raised some eyebrows.

In Jan. 2022 a teaser of the original game of "Yoomp!" for OCS Amigas with 512KB RAM expansion was published. It looks a bit more retro than "Jump!" does on AGA, but it certainly doesn't fail to deliver on groovy music and colorful ball bouncing, eye popping arcade fun. A release date hasn't been set yet.

Here's a "Yoomp!" Amiga OCS preview video from Saberman's YouTube channel (2022-01-08): 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeOmbcG8mT0

Additional sources:
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/01/yoomp-ocs-amiga-version-of-yoomp-gets.html
https://www.ppa.pl/forum/strefa-gier/40490/a-moze-by-tak-yoomp-ocs


Wonderboy 1200

SEGA's original "Wonder Boy" from 1986 is a great jump-and-run (or skate) arcade game that was a bit of a hype when it was converted for home computers around 1987, and it got a lot of positive reviews. Finally, only about 35 years late, it looks as if we get to play it on our Amigas.

Developer "acidbottle" is working on a remake, and the latest preview video gives the impression that it's close to completion. "Wonderboy 1200" looks and sounds just as enjoyable as the arcade original - if you're into tomahawk-wielding toddlers, snakes, spiders, humongous eggs, and skateboarding, then it's the perfect game for you!

Here's the latest preview video from Acidbottle 0101's YouTube channel (2022-07-13):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy2FRhnU6tE

Go to the game's website for more information and downloads:

https://acidbottle.itch.io/amiga-wonderboy

Additional sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Boy_(video_game)
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/04/wonderboy-1200-arcade-game-from-1986-as.html


Robocop AGA (work-in-progress)

Daniel Allsopp is working on an AGA remake of 1988 arcade game "RoboCop" since 2021, and has been posting "development diary update" videos on YouTube, the latest of which is just a couple of days old. 

In stark contrast to the 1989 "RoboCop" game by Ocean, his remake looks totally AGA, and almost identical to the arcade original. No release date has been set yet, but if you watch a couple of Daniel's videos you'll see that a lot of work has already been done, and this is going to be a quality product. Awesome!

Here's the latest update video from Daniel Allsopp's YouTube channel (2022-11-02):
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xie22tAqbDs
 
Additional sources:
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/03/robocop-aga-robocop-remake-in-works-via.html

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=108422

http://hol.abime.net/1260 (RoboCop 1989 Amiga OCS game)

 

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #32"!


Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

AADevLog #5 - Will it become... a game?!

Creating your first action game from scratch can be quite a challenge, and cause severe frustration. But at some point you begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel - and that's where the real fun part begins.

My experiments in creating something that might become... a game?! ...have reached a stage where (except for sound) pretty much everything is in place: timing, user input, movement, graphics, limits, ...and it seems to work! Stably!

To achieve this within a somewhat tolerable time frame (= this lifetime), some fundamental decisions had to be made: 

- few colors

It turns out that Amiga color palette considerations can be very time consuming. To make progress, no attempts were made to max out the possibilities.

- single reference platform support

AGA compatibility has been dropped early on, OS3.x would be nice, but Kickstart 1.x support is a must for this project anyway (for personal reasons), so an Amiga 500 with Kickstart 1.3, OCS, 1MB RAM has become the single target platform. If possible, the... game? ...should fit into 512KB RAM. (256KB would be even better.)

- accept bad performance now, optimize later

This is something I really had to get into my head: It won't be fast! Not yet! Maybe never! I have a tendency to spend a lot of time thinking about loops, variable size, etc. without being sure the entire program architecture will work out. (Compare AA DevLog #0.) So to get a proof-of-concept of where and when things happen, the basic assumption was made that with some fundamental limitations set, the Amiga will somehow be able to handle the load within one, or at least two vertical screen refresh cycles, resulting in a usable frame rate. All other performance- or elegance-of-execution-considerations were dropped.

Everything still looks pretty... flat.

Well, despite my self-imposed rules, I still tried to make some routines scalable, reasonably "elegant" (?), or spent a little bit of time on thinking about speed. It just happens, and is part of the fun.

Having an ugly, but working prototype of the game, a level editor speeds up further development considerably. Creating the editor was comparably easy, as many of the functions required were already there from the game files.

Editing an NPC's path/waypoints

Now background tiles, foreground items, and non-player-characters (NPCs) can be easily added to the level - and as mentioned in the introduction, this put a broad smile on my face a couple of times. It's really fun to invent game mechanics - e.g. a path with waypoints for your NPC - and then be able to immediately see the effects in the game.

Thanks for reading, c u next time!

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Click here for an overview of all AADevLog articles

Sunday, June 26, 2022

AADevLog #4 - AROS and AmigaOS text editor

Publishing zx81paint on AmiNet led to me reviewing a lot of old C code, and creating an ASCII text editor is certainly an essential project for every C coder.

Actually it started a long time ago: In the late nineties, I was impressed by text editors like Microsoft's "Frontpage" and some MacOS programs, which were among the first to show "tabbed" documents, have integrated shell functions (e.g. recursive search), and some other features I hadn't seen before in GUI text editors. So my idea of a program called "proWEB" was born, an HTML editor with advanced functions like sophisticated TABLE creation, FRAME management, etc. Well, time has passed, web development has changed, my preferences have changed, operating systems have changed, and so on. But the idea of a great text editor, according to my personal taste, has remained. In it's first early incarnation for AmigaOS, "proWEB" didn't really get far. There was a second incarnation for AROS which got considerably further, but I was a bit over-ambitious, and under-educated in software architecture, so that one slowly but steadily came to a halt, too. 

Nowadays, having created a lot of smaller programs, slowly developing a usable concept of a program's architecture, and with some experience with C compilers (vbcc is my favourite) gained, I resurrected this old project again.

Among the first steps of resurrection was to find a nice short name you can easily type into your shell - so now "proWEB" has become: "reED", preferably spoken (and certainly typed in as) "reed", which is a reference to a) my name, b) editing, and c) Phragmites Australis. :-)

To my surprise it took me just a day to make all code adjustments from AROS' gcc to AmigaOS' vbcc, including lots of stylistic improvements, and I got a working executable. The code now doesn't use any special compiler features, and should work with gcc, probably SAS-C, etc. just as it does with vbcc. There were a couple of minor differences between AmigaOS and AROS that needed to be taken care of - for example my old AROS system used a font called "ttcourier" instead of "courier".

"reED" running on AmigaOS3.9 in 2022!

Looking at this old code from my "modern" perspective, it's quite a mess, a lot of things can be done much simpler. But "reED" is more sophisticated than I remembered: It has it's own GUI layout engine, it has a massive menu (which I use more like a notepad, many functions not yet implemented), uses ASL file requesters, it can edit multiple documents, it can mark/cut/copy/paste - and it has actual tabs with keyboard control! Colors might be a bit harsh, though. ;-)

I'm not sure if it makes any sense to devote lots of energy to this project - but it's a sort-of success even at the current stage of development. AmigaOS is great, AROS is great, and why not support both at the same time, it's really easy. (Well, gcc will do, but we still need an updated vbcc for AROS to make it perfect.) And in the end, AROS is just AmigaOS, so it just makes a lot of sense.

Let's see what other old (or new) stuff I can dig out from my harddrive... there are a couple of games I have to seriously review and rework...

Thanks for reading, stay healthy!

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Click here for an overview of all AADevLog articles

Thursday, June 23, 2022

AMIGA alive software: zx81paint 0.1

Do you like to create software for the Sinclair ZX81? This little paint program might come in handy.

zx81paint creates ZX81 character set images, and can save them in file formats suitable for ZX81 development.

Being the first release at version 0.1, it's quite a simple program, but it's already usable. zx81paint has its own file format for loading and saving, and can additionally save raw byte sequences of ZX81 character codes, and ASCII text BASIC program code for processing with "zxtext2p".

zx81paint v0.1, showing its included example picture

zx81paint requires Workbench 2.0. It opens a 320x256px window, so you might need a PAL Amiga, or adjust your NTSC Workbench size. Currently it's unaware of screen resolutions, so it looks best on 1:1-pixel-aspect-ratio screens e.g. Low Res, High Res Laced, or RTG screens.

See Readme-file included for usage information, and more.

You can download it from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/gfx/edit/zx81paint

Feedback on the program, esp. file formats written, is very much appreciated! Leave a comment below, or visit AMIGA alive on facebook or reddit. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Games galore #30: Final Fight Enhanced, Akumajou Dracula AGA, Amidar500, Scramble500, CyberPunk Alien City

Three arcade conversions, an AGA conversion of a classic Konami platformer, and a new cyberpunk themed shoot-em-up.

Final Fight Enhanced

1989 Capcom coin-op brawler "Final Fight" in it's 1991 Amiga version is one of the games that couldn't live up to it's full potential because of limited resources put into it's creation - especially from today's perspective, with highly experienced developers around, and new tools for game creation available, it's a bit of a disappointment regarding graphics, speed, and playability.

Final Fight 1989 original arcade graphics

Final Fight 1991 U.S. Gold Amiga version graphics

Developer Brick Nash aka Prototron has decided to change that situation, and is working on an enhanced conversion of "Final Fight". It's work-in-progress, and no definitive hardware requirements have been set, but an early demo runs on 68020-equipped Amigas. 

Final Fight 2021 Prototron Amiga early demo graphics

There's obviously still a lot of work to do, but it already has a couple of new features: parallax scrolling, an updated title screen, 2-button joystick support, and music plays while you're fighting.

Here's a video of the demo from Prototron's YouTube channel (2022-01-12):


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

There's no public playable demo yet - but if you like, you can download the assembler source code and contribute to the development:
https://github.com/Prototron77/Final-Fight-Enhanced

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=109488
http://www.indieretronews.com/2022/01/final-fight-enhanced-enhanced-amiga.html
https://www.lemonamiga.com/games/details.php?id=409 (original 1991 Amiga port)

Akumajou Dracula AGA (Castlevania AGA)

The game known as "Castlevania" in most places ("Akumajou Dracula" in Japan) gets a remake for AGA Amigas.

This fantasy themed platform adventure game is probably best known from it's initial versions running of Nintendo console hardware, and it's one the defining games of the genre.

An official Amiga version has been available since 1990, but now (finally!) it looks as if we could get a new, polished version for AGA Amigas which makes proper use of graphics hardware, and provides smooth gameplay. A "prototype" is available, and although unfinished it's already and quite obviously a huge improvement over the previous version.

Here's a video from Saberman's YouTube channel (2022-02-12):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf08o0VFugo

Go to the game's website for more information and download:
https://danteretrodev.itch.io/akumajou-dracula-aga


Additional sources:
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/04/akumajou-dracula-aga-upcoming.html
http://hol.abime.net/2953 (1990 Amiga version)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlevania_(1986_video_game)

Amidar500

After "Pacman 500" and "Ms PacMan 500", Jean-Francois Fabre continues to create great conversions of great arcade games with "Amidar500".

If you've never played "Amidar" you certainly should do so now. Originally released in 1981, it's one of the classic arcade games, just like Space Invaders, Pac Man, Centipede, and a couple of others. With it's grid-capture gameplay it sits somewhere between Pac Man, and Qix, another huge classic. So basically you get arcade history galore and tons of fun with this addictive game! 

 "Amidar500" runs on any Amiga with 1MB of RAM.

Here's a video from Jean-Francois Fabre's YouTube channel (2021-12-30):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuQbFbTu6yQ

Go to Amidar500's website for more information:
https://jotd666.itch.io/amidar500

Additional sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amidar

Scramble500

"Scramble" is yet another Konami arcade classic that got ported to the Amiga by Jean-Francois Fabre.

"Scramble" is pretty much the mother of all side scrolling space shooters, but there was never a proper port of the original arcade game for the Amiga. Well, now there is! "Scramble500" aims to recreate the original experience as close as possible, with faithful graphics, sound and gameplay, including all levels of the arcade version. Two- and three-button joysticks are supported, as is the CD32 joypad.

Here's the latest video from the author's YouTube channel (2022-02-23): 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f5ZNwWzgsU

It's a preview video, but a final version of the game, with added 2-player mode, improved graphics, and a lot of bugfixes, has already been released.

Go to Scramble500's website for more information and download:
https://jotd666.itch.io/scramble-500

Additional sources:
https://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2022-02-00073-EN.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramble_(video_game)

CyberPunk Alien City

Amiten Games has released a great looking work-in-progress shoot-em-up that goes by the name of "CyberPunk Alien City". 

Neon lights, green aliens, a hero with a big gun, and a groovy soundtrack - the game is still in early development stage, but a playable demo is available, and it totally feels "Blade Runner meets Mars Attacks!" - very promising!

The game requires an Amiga with 1MB ChipRAM, some acceleration / A1200 is recommended.

Here's a video from Amiten TV's YouTube channel (2021-12-08):


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

Go to the game's itch.io pages for more information and download:
https://amiten.itch.io/cyberpunk-alien-city

Additional sources:
https://www.indieretronews.com/2022/02/cyberpunk-alien-city-cyber-sci-fi.html

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #31"!


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Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!