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/


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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"!
 
 
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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Games galore #9: Dread (update), Super Wormy, Smarty and the Nasty Gluttons, Dragon Slayer

This time we have two classics revisited, and two previously unreleased games. It's always an especially pleasant surprise when Amiga developers get together to rebuild and release some forgotten project. Here we go!
 

"Dread" (update)


"Dread" certainly is one of the most exciting Amiga game projects of the COVID-19 era, and among the most exciting game projects on the Amiga ever. Yes, it's THAT epic. Ok, it's been more than 20 years, but there's still that exhilaratingly satisfying feeling when you know Amigans won the "Doom can't be done" cause, and "Dread" is the final strike. KK/Altair is still working on the engine, and keeping the public up to date with several videos, the latest of which shows him painstakingly optimizing the image conversion process in order to get better color palette distribution. Whatever the case, it's a fascinating look into game development, and how this one will once and for all put an end to all arguments: the Amiga IS superior to the Atari ST! ;-)

Watch 'Dread Ep 04 - "Doom" clone for Amiga 500 - Revisiting the graphics' on YouTube (2020-08-30)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c00B3uE5FV8

Super Wormy


"Snake" is one of those classic games that'll never get old, and "Super Wormy" is a new variation of the concept. Written by Rob "Coagulus" Hewitt in BlitzBasic during the (first) Corona virus lockdown period, "Super Wormy" is a neat looking, smooth scrolling snake-type game, with an amazing, weirdly hypnotic soundtrack - straightforward arcade fun for gamers of all ages!

Watch a video of "Super Wormy The Worm-Like Snake. v1.0" (2020-07-21):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrbK74NE5yQ

You can download "Super Wormy" (v1.1) from English Amiga Board:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1416198#post1416198


Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-07-00073-EN.html
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=103271

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=103211


Smarty and the Nasty Gluttons


"Smarty and the Nasty Gluttons" is a super good looking, nicely animated, beautiful sounding game for kids and adults alike. It combines elements of a platformer with BombJack and DigDug, and does so with lovely handpainted screens, gorgeous sprites, transition effects, intro animation, and so on. The game mechanics are slightly more elaborate than usual, this looks like great fun to play, and the overall production quality easily meets professional standards.
 
The project dates back to 1992 when the original developers were unable to publish the game. Recently, the source code has been reviewed, and the full game completed. There are also plans to release the sourcecode, and create a physical package gamers can purchase. "Smarty and the Nasty Gluttons" requires an OCS Amiga with 1MB RAM and Kickstart 1.2, or better. And it's free for you to download (see link below) - great stuff!

Watch a video of "Smarty And The Nasty Gluttons - Gameplay" (2020-08-07):

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

You can download "Smarty and the Nasty Gluttons" from the game's homepage: https://smartygame.fi

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2020-08-00002-DE.html
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/07/smarty-and-nasty-gluttons-another-amiga.html


Dragon Slayer


With some impressive graphics and realistic sound effects "Dragon Slayer" almost enters horror game territory. There's not much missing and this game should be able to create some serious atmosphere in your darkened livingroom. It combines platformer and adventure elements with boss fighting sequences, and the game is said to have quite a large area to explore, consisting of hundreds of locations.
 
The game was initially developed by Christian Haller, to be released by Linel software in 1990, but is now being rebuilt and planned to be published for the first time. Check out these amazing sprites and GELs. Gods meets Barbarian meets... Space Harrier?

Watch "Dragon Slayer (old Amiga game, preview)" on YouTube (2020-08-11):
 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV7dZgzSaC8

Additional sources:
https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/dragon-slayer/
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-07-00076-EN.html
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1653730221606670/permalink/2551615681818115/
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/07/dragon-slayer-never-before-seen-amiga.html



* * *

... again we have some bonus gaming news:

Project Horizon


Since we last reported about "Project Horizon", a demo of the game has been released. And oh does it look and sound good. Well, see for yourself: 

Watch "Amiga - Project Horizon (DEMO)" on YouTube (2020-06-16):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDy09P8Trpc


You can download the demo from Indie Retro News' website:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/06/project-horizon-alien-blaster-wip-for.html


* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #10"!


* * *

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Games galore #8: Lala Prologue, Hydra Castle Labyrinth, Aztec Challenge CD32, Tiny Invaders & Tiny Galaga, Amigo the Fox

COVID-19 is still spreading, but that doesn't stop Amiga game development, new games keep popping up. Here's another snapshot of what's going on: 8-bit ports, arcade ports, and platformers all over the place! 
 

Lala Prologue 

 
In April this year arcade platformer "Lala Prologue" was announced. Inspired by "Lala The Magical" (by The Mojon Twins) for NES and other 8-bit platforms, created for the C64 / VIC40 / Plus4, "Lala Prologue" is now making it's way to OCS plus 512KB memory equipped Amigas.

A spooky theme throughout, in this game you'll evade enemies, negotiate moving platforms, avoid traps, and collect power-ups and keys to make sure Lala safely progresses through her adventure at the Great Witch Academy.

"Lala Prologue" looks good in 8 bits, and it surely looks at least as good in 16 bits - it's still work-in-progress, so far we know that it uses a 32 color playfield with two layers, and some bitmap tricks to get more detail on screen. There will certainly be updates, little changes in appearance, and so on, as it's still work in progress, but this is going to be another fun release for the Amiga!

Here's a work-in-progress video (2020-04-04):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOju2pX8iGE

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2020-04-00013-DE.html
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/04/lala-prologue-charming-platformer-is.html
https://readretro.com/lala-prologue-coming-to-amiga-500/
https://majikeyric.itch.io/lala-prologue (c64, plus/4, VIC20 versions)


Hydra Castle Labyrinth

"Hydra Castle Labyrinth" is a Metroidvania style game, ported to Amiga 68k by Artur "Arczi" Jarosik. 

Basically another platformer, but this version supports CD32-gamepads, which itself makes it something special. Of course you can use a joystick, too. A (very) fast Amiga - namely: Vampire board - is recommended to play the game.

"Hydra Castle Labyrinth" has already been available for many platforms - including MS-DOS, SEGA Dreamcast, AmigaOS 4 - and is a welcome addition to the range of 68k titles.

"Hydra Castle Labyrinth" 68k running on AROS m68k (2020-04-05):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRtcwMtM9ZA

Read more about Hydra Castle Labyrinth on ARTIGAMES' blog website:
https://artishq.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/hydra-castle-labirynth/

Click here to download "Hydra Castle Labyrinth":
http://netsurf.baderman.net/hydracastlelabirynth.lha

Support Arczi via his Patreon page:
https://www.patreon.com/ArtiGamesAmiSoft

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-04-00017-EN.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metroidvania
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metroid_(video_game)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlevania_(1986_video_game)


Aztec Challenge (Amiga CD32)

It's still a rare, and always exciting sight when a new Amiga CD32 game pops up. This one is new, yet old, and we get only one level, but beware, it's friggin' "Aztec Challenge" from the Commodore 64 and Atari 800!

A massive update to the original, "Aztec Challenge" certainly never looked better - this one plays butter smooth, has nice sprite animations, even cinematic 3D rendered cutscenes, and an impressive soundtrack. Yeah, of course, 16 bits can do more than 8 bits, but the attention to detail and overall love for the source material and the target platform is obvious.

Literally everyone who watches the video below and likes "Aztec Challenge" even in the slightest bit will be craving for the full game on CD32 - very, very nice work!

"Aztec Challenge EP01" for Amiga CD32 (2020-05-17):


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

You can download "Aztec Challenge EP01" for Amiga CD32 from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/game/actio/AztecChallenge_E01_CD32

Additional sources:
https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=102240
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/05/aztec-challenge-cd32-1982-challenging.html



Tiny Invaders & Tiny Galaga

Two arcade action super-classics ports by coder "Abyss" have been released for the Amiga, in pocket size: "Tiny Invaders" is a remake of 1978 Taito/Atari classic "Space Invaders", and "Tiny Galaga" is a remake of 1981 Namco classic "Galaga".

Well, they're not pixel precise ports, but lovely little interpretations of the original games. Obviously they're not feature-packed, but both games play smoothly, look great, and they're so tiny you can put both together on a single floppy disk, or easily send them over a (null)modem line.

If you need a quick round of arcade action these are perfect for you!

Tiny Invaders (by Abyss) (2020-04-27):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrNXGgJ7uJA

Tiny Galaga (by Abyss) (2020-05-25):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQQkWxQsj8I

You can download both games from Abyss' website:
aYS_TinyInvaders.zip / aYS_TinyGalaga.zip

(Note: there are two games titled "tinyinvaders" on AmiNet, none of which are related to this "Tiny Invaders" by Abyss)

Additional sources:
https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=85458
https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=85720
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/04/tiny-invaders-small-space-invaders.html
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=101924



Amigo the Fox

Around June yet another platformer was announced, that goes by the name of "Amiga the Fox". Jump, run, collect coins - just by looking at a screenshot it almost spells out "Mario!", and that's a good thing. This is clearly inspired my some other well known game, and is perfectly tailored to fans of the genre, probably esp. the younger ones.

Erik "earok" Hogan is creating the game using his "Scorpion" game engine, which means it's framerate is 50Hz, and it runs on OCS equipped Amiga 500s and upwards. For "Amigo the Fox" some extra processing power is recommended.

 Amigo the Fox WIP alpha 2 (2020-06-21):
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7_0sMdKfUY

Additional sources:
https://twitter.com/earok
http://www.amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-06-00056-EN.html


* * *

...again, we have some Bonus gaming news:

Boss Machine new preview video

Since we last reported about "Boss Machine" a couple of testing/preview videos have been uploaded to Daniel Stephens YouTube channel. The game looked great from day zero, but it's really starting to take breathtaking shape, see for yourself:


Boss Machine : New Scroll Delta (2020-05-05)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjsPLE06qys

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #9"!


* * *

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Games galore #7: EON, Super Metal Hero, Bagman, Legacy, Tapper, Verge World Icarus Rising

It's been a little while since Games galore #6 - we need to catch up a little, here are more games, and game announcements, from late 2019 and early 2020.


"EON" for AGA Amigas


"EON AGA" is a new Amiga game in development by Goblins / AmigaWave and Wonderboy Bobi (Francois Perez). It's the official port of "EON" for PC computers, created by Wonderboy Bobi in 2014.

In January 2020, a first video of "EON AGA" popped up on YouTube, and it immediately becomes obvious where this is heading. "EON" is a (very) "Shadow of the Beast"-inspired jump-and-run game, and as such it has big shoes to fill when run on an Amiga. "Shadow of the Beast" was a real stunner back in the day, and it still often serves as a demonstration of the original Amiga's graphics capabilities. Now "EON AGA" targets the later AGA-equipped machines, and of course it must not disappoint in the visual department - from what we can see in the videos so far, it easily succeeds, with nicely drawn, detailed graphics, lots of colors, and butter-smooth, fast, multi-layered parallax scrolling. It also already has some intro screens and atmospheric music.

"EON AGA" is still under development, we can expect a lot of improvements. It's main platform are stock Amiga 1200 and CD32 machines, but there have already been successful tests on next-generation/OS4 Amigas.

On June 28th, a new work-in-progress video was published on AmigaWave's YouTube channel ("EON AGA wip 02"):
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHWA4swXBG4

Visit "EON"'s facebook page for more details and updates:
https://www.facebook.com/eonamiga/


Additional sources:
https://twitter.com/CanalAmigaWave
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/06/eon-amiga-aga-shadow-of-beat.html
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/eon-dxg (2014 Windows version)



Super Metal Hero


"Super Metal Hero" by TenShu and Michael Gibs is a new platformer-shoot-em-up, to be published by Double Sided Games, with a release planned for Q4 2020. While earlier announcements stated the game would require a 68030 CPU and 4MB of FastRAM (see "Additional sources" below), now Double Sided Games' announcement just mentions a (stock?) Amiga 1200.

https://doublesidedgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/super-metal-hero-amiga-5-1024x614.png
"Super Metal Hero" seems to be somehow inspired by "(Mini) Metal Slug", which would partly explain the possible higher hardware requirements, but then this is just speculation, we'll have to wait for a final release to really know what hardware it runs on.

Whatever - it looks great, it sounds great, it moves great, it just oozes "arcade". This is certainly among the most exciting games of 2020.

Watch the latest gameplay teaser video for "Super Metal Hero" (July 29, 2020):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhFgm87kbs8

You can go to Double Sided Games' website and read their full 2020 games line up, including "Super Metal Hero":
https://doublesidedgames.com/announcing-2020-games-line-up/

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-02-00072-EN.html


Bagman


"Bagman" is an open-source remake of the 1982 arcade game, for Windows, NintendoDS and: Amiga! According to author Jotd, he's disassembled the original arcade game code to get the game mechanics (near) perfectly right.

"Bagman" original arcade game flyer
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e4/Bagman_arcade_flyer.png

There are two separate Amiga versions available: a "big" one for machines with gfx boards, for which some FastRAM and acceleration is recommended to get decent performance and playability, and a "small" one, which only requires 2MB of memory, and should run at 50 FPS arcade-perfect speed. The "big" version also requires SDL and AHI, but offers a quite unique "panoramic" widescreen mode. Long story short: this looks like another fine retro release, with a proper Amiga port, and classic fun original game!

Watch the "version 2C" work-in-progress game video:

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj4rYteTrL4

Find more information about "Bagman" remake on Jotd's website:
https://jotd.pagesperso-orange.fr/bagman/index.html

If you wanna dig really deep, you can find "Bagman" sources and developer information on GitHub: https://github.com/jotd666/bagman

Additional sources:
http://www.amigarevive.eu/new-games/new-amiga-game-bagman-remake-wip/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagman_(video_game)
http://www.indieretronews.com/2019/12/bagman-arcade-classic-gets-early-alpha.html
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=51741
http://www.pouet.net/groups.php?which=7403


"Legacy" (2003) port


Legacy is a first-person turn-based RPG originally released in 2003. It got ported to the Amiga from around 2013 to 2019, but that version never got published. Thanks to EAB member BSzili, since February 2020 an Amiga demo version is available, and it doesn't look shabby at all.

It's a typical dungeon crawler, with nicely drawn graphics, that runs in 320x240, or 640x400 (640x480 RTG) pixels screen modes. System requirements are an ECS or AGA Amiga with Kickstart 3.0 or higher, 1MB ChipRAM, 4MB FastRAM, 68020 or better CPU, and harddrive. Graphics cards (RTG) are supported. If you're using the Amiga's native chipset you can install some patches for better performance (BlazeWCP for WB3.1, or SystemPatch for WB3.0)

Currently there's no definitive info if a full version will be released. But if you're really into playing "Legacy" after you've tried it on your Amiga, you can buy the original full version of the game (by Redshift, for PDA devices) and continue playing - the game-save data is compatible!

Here's a game video from famous YouTuber Saberman's channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oANXGTNj5os

You can download "Legacy" demo from BSzili's website:
http://bszili.morphos.me
(NOTE: 2020-08-02 "Legacy"download link currently broken)

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=100916
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/02/legacy-pda-dungeon-crawler-will-be.html
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/02/legacy-pda-dungeon-crawler-was-in-works.html
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2020-02-00073-DE.html
https://www.mobygames.com/game/legacy_


"Tapper" 1982 arcade game port


In March 2020 EAB member "Old_Bob" published news about his new port of classic arcade game "Tapper" to the Amiga. It requires an Amiga with OCS chipset and 1MB of ChipRAM. That's cool, no fancy stuff here.

The arcade game was great, the Commodore 64 version was great, all existing versions of "Tapper" are great fun to play, and this new Amiga port looks just as if it would continue this great tradition of serving beer at high speed and satisfying your customers. We're very happily looking forward to the final release.

Here's an updated demo video from April (work-in-progress V.02a):

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XhvQRtzvx8

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=101226
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2020-03-00024-EN.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapper_(video_game)
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/03/tapper-arcade-beer-drinking-classic.html
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/tapper-31 (Windows, CPC, Atari 8bit, ColecoVision, Apple II versions)


Verge World Icarus Rising


Retro Bones Games presents "Verge World Icarus Rising", a voxelspace 3D racer with some shoot-em-up and exploration elements. You play as Nix, a smuggler on a desert planet, who needs to complete the "Death Run" challenge, in order to be accepted by the good guys and join the revolution against the tyrannical, corporate regime. Awesome.

You basically manoeuvre your air-/spacecraft through canyons at high speed. The game uses a voxelspace real-time raycasting graphics engine that's looks amazingly fast, and it's handdrawn titles, in-game pictures, and sprites are pixel art at it's finest, very reminiscent of 1950s/60s science-fiction artwork. The sound effects and music deserve special mentioning, as these too have been worked on to support the "classic sci-fi" atmosphere of the game.

Watch the latest work-in-progress demo video (June 4th, 2020):

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

Go to Retro Bones' website for more information, and "Verge World Icarus Rising" demo download:
http://retrobones.com/


Additional sources:
https://www.facebook.com/RetroBonesGames/
http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/03/verge-world-icarus-rising-unusual-wip.html

* * *

Bonus gaming news:

Inviyya update: Demo V2


We've met "Inviyya" before, we know that it's gonna be a great "R-Type" style shoot-em-up game - but just to remind you that you need "Inviyya", here's the latest demo version video (V2, of March 8th 2020) showing a couple of new features since the last one has been published:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD9G7CA4v5o

As always, go to Tigerskunk's website for more updates, and "Inviyya" demo download:
https://tigerskunk.itch.io/inviyya


Additional sources:
https://www.facebook.com/Inviyya/
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=84345
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=88840 

 

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #8"!


* * *

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Another coin-cell modification: memory expansion expanded!

Here's another example of a memory expansion's leaked battery replaced with a new coin-cell.

A little addendum to the previous article about replacing a Amiga A501's VARTA cell, but this time due to space constraints on the small memory expansion board, the new coin-cell drilled circuit board has been put next to the "mainboard".

The "expanded" memory expansion inside the Amiga 500
Three 3d-printed braces hold the coin-cell board in place. Two probably would've been enough, as the trapdoor cover gives a little pressure from below, adding friction, but we wanna make sure this doesn't move even when the Amiga shakes e.g. when being transported. A few drops of hot glue are a healthy bit of overkill, just for good measure. The good thing about hot glue is that it's not super-sticky, thus can be removed relatively easy if required. Again, this modification can probably be reversed 100%.

As always, the best thing about it, is: it works! :-D

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Music player AmigaAMP updated to v3.27

Good old AmigaAMP music player by Thomas Wenzel got another update, with many bugfixes and a couple of new features.

Here's a shortened overview of the latest changes
  • XSPF playlist support
  • MP3 playback via HTTP re-enabled
  • HTTPS support via AmiSSL
  • ReAction GUI: added time/remain toggle by clicking on time display
  • OGG file read error handling fixed
  • MPEG 2.0 file playback fixed
  • URL requester string is now static
  • MIDI support added
  • ADTS (AAC) playback added
  • ...and a lot of smaller bugfixes



Go to http://www.amigaamp.de for full details, and latest AmigaAMP download!
 

Sources: 
http://www.amigaamp.de/screenshots.shtml
http://www.amigaamp.de/log.shtml
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2020-03-00063-DE.html

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19 postpones Flashback 20/20 feat. Amiga 35

The good news is: it's NOT cancelled! But public health still comes first.

Due to the ongoing Corona virus outbreak, with social life in the Netherlands being restricted to a minimum since Monday 23rd, the organisers of the "Flashback 20/20 feat. Amiga 35" event, originally to be held on June 27th/28th, have decided to postpone it to September 12th/13th 2020. According to the announcement, event tickets will remain valid for the new dates. It is recommended to reach out to your travel booking partners, if required.

"We will make sure that we use the extra time between now and September to prepare for an even better event!", the announcement says.

https://www.flashback2020.com/uploaded/2020/03/logo-header-scaled-1920x0-c-default.jpg

Read the full announcement at:

https://www.flashback2020.com/news/event-postponed-until-september


Additional sources:
https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/03/23/stricter-measures-to-control-coronavirus

Sunday, March 15, 2020

COVID-19 cancels RETROpulsiv 15.0

The University of Applied Sciences Hochschule Augsburg also takes measures against Sars-CoV-2 virus spread.

Another retro computing event, the "RETROpulsiv 15.0" to be held at the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg from 04. - 05.04.2020 has been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 disease.

With numbers of infections still rising, schools, day-care centers, kindergardens, etc. will be shut down in Germany from tomorrow. Several German regional administrations have extended the restriction on public events to 100 (Bavaria) or 50 (Berlin) participants at most, or are forbidding such events entirely (e.g. city of Kiel).

https://www.hs-augsburg.de/Binaries/Binary31607/shapeimage-2.jpg
Stay clean, Amigans! Protect the elderly!

Sources:
https://www.hs-augsburg.de/Informatik/Events/Abgesagt-RETROpulsiv-15.0.html