AMIGA alive

AMIGA alive

Monday, October 18, 2021

AMIGA alive software: xiffview 0.5

Yet another update of IFF ILBM imageviewer xiffview for Linux computers. Now it can double- or triple-scale image, display individual bitplanes, give color information, and a couple of other features have been added.

xiffview is slowly turning into quite a usable tool. In addition to the aforementioned, it also got a brand new status bar for user messages, a rudimentary online help, and it displays pixel coordinates when the mouse moves over the image.

When the mouse pointer is positioned over a color palette cell, color information is displayed on the status bar in RGB8 and RGB4 format.

Using keys F1 to F8 you can disable display of individual bitplanes of the image, which might be helpful for sprite data generation, color analysis, and other things.

The C code generated by command "to-sprite" now contains a placeholder "xSPRITENAMEx" in the variable names used. You can use it to search-and-replace with your desired sprite name - for example, if you replace it with "ship", this will give you varnames like "sprite_ship_newvsprite", "sprite_ship_colors", etc.

xiffview 0.5 displaying one of four ILBM bitplanes

As always, see AmiNet readme file for more information.

You can download xiffview from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/misc/unix/xiffview


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Games galore #25: Shadows of Sergoth (pre-order), 1987 Rescue in Berlin, Jackal, Jake and Peppy, Crazy Columns full version released

Are you not entertained? Don't worry, we have more new Amiga games!

"The Shadows of Sergoth" available for pre-order

We've reported about beautiful dungeon-crawler game "The Shadows of Sergoth" before, when the first demo was released - let's just sum it up quickly: it's a quite polished enhanced version of an 2018 Amstrad CPC game of the same name, it looks and sounds great, is almost 3d, and if you like this kind of stuff you need to have it.

Since Oct. 6th you can pre-order the full game as digital download, and physical, boxed edition. The box contains three floppy discs, a printed instruction manual, a real compass (!), a die with 20 faces, stickers - and you get the digital download on top of that. That's a really nice package.

The full game requires 2MB ChipRAM (as opposed to 1.5MB ChipRAM for the demo), a faster Amiga is recommended (A1200 / 68020), and the release date has been set for Nov. 13th 2021.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FBB0s54VkAQk1RC?format=png&name=small

Go to DOUBLESIDED GAMES' online store to place your pre-order, or download the demo:
https://doublesidedgames.com/shop/commodore/commodore-amiga/the-shadows-of-sergoth/


Additional sources:
https://doublesidedgames.com/the-shadows-of-sergoth-for-the-commodore-amiga-is-now-available-for-pre-order/
https://twitter.com/DSidedGames/status/1445783848839639048

Jackal Amiga port (demo, work-in-progress)

1986 Konami arcade game "Jackal" (aka "Top Gunner") gets a remake for OCS/ECS Amigas. "Jackal" is great, it's a bit like "Commando" meets "SWIV", and being an oldskool arcade title, it's got that certain look and feel that just makes you want to play.

After a first demo was released in August, a second one was in September, proving the author's dedication, but this is still work-in-progress. The pictures below are taken from the game's website (see link below), and you can find demo videos on YouTube. The graphics are obviously appealing, and there's a nice rendition of the original arcade music playing along - but being an unfinished product everything is of course still subject to change.

https://img.itch.zone/aW1hZ2UvMTE2Mjg5OS82ODEyMDkzLnBuZw==/347x500/9995Yt.png

https://img.itch.zone/aW1hZ2UvMTE2Mjg5OS82ODEyMDk0LnBuZw==/347x500/lc2XPH.png

Go to NeesoGame's Jackal web page for more details, and name-your-own-price download (currently demo release no. 2):
https://neesogames.itch.io/jackal-amiga-port

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2021-09-00051-EN.html
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-08-00069-DE.html

1987 Rescate in Berlin / 1987 Rescue in Berlin

This kind-of-movie-spin-off point-and-click adventure game by Jose A. Gonzalez / Irongate was announced with a preview video early this year. 

In quite an obvious reference to John Carpenter, you direct this very Kurt Russel looking guy through various screens, examining objects and talking to people, on your quest to find some important floppy disk. 

With nice, detailed graphics, and sprites with big heads, "1987 Rescate..." (or "1987 Rescue in Berlin") features Jose's characteristic visual style, and you get to hear some really decent music, including a cover of Carpenter's "Escape from New York" theme, and everyone's favourite song, "Girl from Ipanema".

Since July the full versions in Spanish, English, Italian, and Czech is available as digital ADF, and boxed edition with printed manual.

Here's a video from Amiga Fan's YouTube channel (2021-08-12):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhAGoa3w5hY

Go to the game's web page for more details and order:
http://www.xente.mundo-r.com/jojo073/pages/1987.html

Additional sources:
https://www.amigafrance.com/forums/topic/1987berlin/
https://forum.amiga.org/index.php?topic=75264.0
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-08-00048-DE.html

Jake and Peppy, Apollo (Vampire) V4 SAGA game

Maybe the first "true" next-generation Amiga game is "Jake and Peppy" - it exclusively requires a Apollo Vampire V4 SAGA board to run on.

It's basically a top view shoot-em-up - with an amount of on-screen colors and graphical detail unseen on the Amiga before, and a crisp 16-bit soundtrack. Apollo Core's 68080 with AMMX, and the Vampire's enhanced video and audio capabilities make it possible. This is not your 30 year old floppy disc game - this is shiny and new, super high-res, super smooth, eye-poppingly colorful, dizzying arcade action for those who are not afraid of FPGA.

Here's a video of "Jake and Peppy"'s latest features, from Quetzal's YouTube channel (2021-08-29):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKdIq1qII0A

You can download "Jake and Peppy" demo from AmiNet:

http://aminet.net/package/game/demo/Jake_and_Peppy_0.80B

Additional sources:
http://www.apollo-core.com/knowledge.php?b=3&note=36454

Crazy Columns 1.02 full version released

We've reported about Tetris-style game "Crazy Columns" before, so we'll keep it short and snappy: a new version has been released!

Some of the new features are an online highscore table, animations, and added sound effects. And it's still 1 or 2 players, keyboard or joystick, multiple playing modes and difficulty levels, and runs on any Amiga with 512KB ChipRAM.

Here's a video from Salvatore Forenza's YouTube channel (2021-08-31):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKSk67zZgmE
Go to...
https://www.crazy-columns.hoffer-industries.com
...to download the game, and support the author with a little donation!

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-08-00055-DE.html


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...and some bonus gaming news:

Lionheart Java remake

Now this is really pretty cool: Byron 3D Games Studio has created a Lionheart remake - in Java!

Lionheart is among the best known and most beautiful games ever on the Amiga - maybe the most beautiful - and this remake gets it right: it looks pixel perfect identical. There are of course little differences here and there, but overall it's just... Lionheart. Nothing less, nothing more. Perfect.

https://www.b3dgs.com/v7/page.php?lang=en&section=lionheart_remake

If you're into game development (in Java) you can take a look at the LionEngine that's been created for the game remake:

https://www.b3dgs.com/v7/page.php?lang=en&section=lionengine

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #26"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Games galore #24: Blood, Cybersphere, MeMo, "Creeping Me Out: Hex Night" demo

Even more games, no time to lose: more first person shooting, yet another puzzle game from Simone Bevilacqua, and two point-and-click adventures in this issue of Games galore.

"Blood"

Shortly after "Exhumed" (or "Powerslave") another MS-DOS first person shooter based on the "Build" engine was ported to the Amiga by BSzili: "Blood", originally from 1997, first shown on the Amiga in June 2021, and uploaded to AmiNet in September, goes deep into horror territory, with graveyards, crazy monks, and rolling heads.

It's an exciting 3d shooting game that requires a powerful AGA Amiga with FPU - 68040 and higher - Kickstart 3.0 or higher, 32MB of RAM, harddisc, and, just as "Exhumed" does, game data files from the PC version (see links below). 

(Note: the AmiNet readme says a 68060 is required, but we have seen video of "Exhumed" running on 68040, so we're assuming "Blood" has the same CPU requirements, thus probably runs on 68040, too.)

Watch a video of "Blood" running on Amiga 1200 / 68060 @ 66 Mhz with Roland SC-88 MIDI expander music (yay!) on anouk33's YouTube channel (2021-08-03):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbC-Tk4QH6o

You can grab "Blood" from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/nblood


Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/09/blood-classic-ms-dos-fps-makes-its-way.html
http://www.jonof.id.au/buildgames/blood.html (PC shareware / game data)


"Cybersphere"


We take the occasional look at the next-gen Amiga gaming scene with "Cybersphere", a point and click adventure from GDG entertainment, not to be confused with the Breakout-style 1994 OCS/ECS Amiga game of the same name.

"Cybersphere" was announced in June 2021, and by now we can purchase the finished product - see links below.

Being a Hollywood-MAL based piece of software, it requires quite some harddisc space, and is available for many platforms - the game CD contains versions for AmigaOS4, MorphOS, AROS (x86), plus Windows 32-bit (runs on 64-bit systems, too), Linux 32-bit (runs on 64-bit systems, too), and MacOS.
 
Here's a video of "Cybersphere" from AMIGA FACTORY's YouTube channel (2021-06-19):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8rFhIVwJUY

Check out the game's website for more details...
https://www.gdg-entertainment.it/cybersphere.html

...or just directly go to the online shop for purchase:
https://www.bitmapsoft.co.uk/product/cybersphere-collectors-edition/


Additional sources:
https://blog.amigaguru.com/introducing-a-brand-new-game-cybersphere-by-gdg-entertainment/
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-06-00038-DE.html


"MeMO" updated

Simone "saimo" Bevilacqua at it again - over the summer of 2021 he's updated his variation of the good old "Memory" card game concept with bugfixes and new features. "MeMO" is actually a pretty old game that dates back to 1996.

What sets "MeMO" apart from the competition is that it's a saimo game, which means it looks great, plus it has some super laid-back fusion music, allows two players to play simultaneously - a feature rarely seen in computer card games - and it has some AI trickery designed to make "MeMO" a totally non-frustrating experience.

The game requires 68020 CPU, 1MB ChipRAM plus some other RAM, ECS chipset, PAL video, and AmigaOS 2.0 (or higher).

Here's video of "MeMO" from Simone Bevilacqua's YouTube channel (2021-08-01): 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YyQbO4NEw0

Go to MeMO's itch.io page for more information, and purchase/download:
https://retream.itch.io/memo

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-06-00068-DE.html


"Creeping Me Out: Hex Night" public demo

We've reported about the game before so we won't go into too much detail here - but a new (v1.0j, July 2021) demo release of Michael "Mixel" Dawes' beautiful point-and-click jump-and-run adventure "Creeping Me Out: Hex Night" is certainly worth mentioning.

Here's the - pretty impressive - "CMO Hex Night Demo Launch Trailer" from Mixel's Lab on YouTube (2021-06-28):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwM-AXMSCck

Go to the Mixel's website to download the demo:
http://mixelslab.com/cmo-hex-night-amiga/

Additional sources:
https://twitter.com/MFDawes/status/1410241306987798532
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-07-00004-DE.html

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #25"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Competition Pro: An unconvenient truth

Actually I don't like the Competition Pro joysticks too much. A kind-of review.

I think the Competition Pro puts unnecessary strain on your wrist, and has some other disadvantages.

Classic red-black color scheme Competition Pro joystick

You'd probably intuitively grab the Competition Pro's stick more or less from above. That position, plus the height of the body, the placement of the fire buttons, that'll make you put your thumb towards the edge of the top casing instead of across (unless you use the fire button on the opposite side), and the small footprint area of the bottom casing, makes the entire construction work kind of like a lever, twisting your wrists in opposite directions. Depending on the individual specimen of Competition Pro joystick, the spring and microswitches involved with stick movement / directions might be pretty strong, requiring unnecessary force, potentially increasing wrist strain. In addition to the sub-optimal way the (probably left) fire-button-hand is placed regarding overall grip and stability, pushing down the button creates an unnatural motion of the stretched out thumb more towards the index finger than towards the center of an imaginary Tennis ball in your hand, quickly exhausting the thumb's muscles. If the fire buttons slightly tilt, and cant, which they occasionally do, exhaustion is even quicker.

And then, while most microswitches are great, they're also sometimes pretty loud, esp. when put into a bulgy casing like the Competition Pro's. Depending on the situation the clicking of the switches can get a little annoying.

I prefer Quickshot I's, which you'd typically grab more or less horizontally, thus typically applying some downward force. Combined with a much wider footprint area, overall lower-profile body, the (body) fire button positioned less close to the body's edges, and suction cups on the bottom, the Quickshot stands much more firmly, esp. on hard, plain surfaces. It's pretty usable even with one hand only.

A 30 year old, heavily used SVI Quickshot I - is it better than a Competition Pro?

The Quickshot I doesn't have microswitches, but you can easily service it's open tin switches, and they're hardly audible when in use. The stick wears out over time, reducing force required. With a stick moving that smoothly, you can put your steering hand's fingers near the lower end of the stick, creating super fast changes in direction, and almost eliminating wrist strain from both hands.

Of course the Competition Pro is still a great product. It has a lot of advantages - it's die-hard construction and build quality, iconic looks, comfortable ball-stick, and more. Many people got used to it, and rightfully love it.

Certainly not everyone will agree with the above analysis of the Competition Pro's construction and handling. And to be honest it's not 110% serious - it's based on very little test data, and heavily biased. ;-)

But one day it just had to be said: The Competition Pro is not necessarily the best, the only usable joystick in the world. This is just an example where personal experience differs from widespread opinion. Why not try a different joystick? Computec has some not-so-fancy-looking, but really well-working models. Quickshot I and II are great microswitch-less designs. And there are many others.

Computec Quick Gun Turbo Pro - a great Competition Pro alternative

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Games galore #23: Supercars II AGA, Chases of Death, Swapped Arts, JetHuntERS, Primal Blade

There's no short cut, we gotta get them all: an updated racing classic, and lots of work in progress.

Supercars II AGA

Top-view racing classic "Supercars" gets a new release in AGA shape that goes by the name of "Supercars II AGA". This actually isn't a new game, but more like an updated version of "Supercars II". You still drive around a course on a scrolling map, still try to outmaneuver, or simply blast away, your opponents - and it's still great fun, or maybe now even more, with 256-color graphics and some other little enhancements.

Here's a video of "Supercars II AGA" from laurent blot's YouTube channel (2021-07-14):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSHy247A2Wo

You can download "Supercars II AGA" (v0.85) from author JOTD's Amiga web page:
https://jotd.pagesperso-orange.fr/amiga.html

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106982
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/06/supercars-2-aga-rebuilt-adapted-to.html

Coagulus' "Chases of Death", "Swapped Arts", "JetHuntERS"

Early this year, developer Coagulus published previews of three games he's working on:

Chases of Death

A remake of a simple, but highly addictive 3d-racing-and-shooting game, that was released for the ZX Spectrum in 1983 as "Deathchase" and got very positive reviews. You drive your motorbike through some sort of stylized forest, avoiding crashing into a tree, and hunting for some other motorbike. 

Left: ZX Spectrum "Deathchase" (1983), Right: Amiga "Chases of Death" (wip)

Swapped Arts

...for AGA Amigas looks like some sort of puzzle game involving some of the painting masterpieces of the old masters - but this is really just an early preview, currently one can only guess what the actual gameplay and appearance of "Swapped Arts" might be when it's finished.

JetHuntERS

This is a sequel to Coagulus' own "JetHunt", which was very much inspired by side-view cave-exploration classic "H.E.R.O." released in 1984. But gone are the days of quiet and calm cave rescue missions - it's the JetHunt "Elite Reconnaissance Squad". The game preview looks like a straightforward horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up with nicely drawn imagery, and some demo-ish visual effects.

 JetHuntERS (wip) title screen

Keep in mind that all three games are work-in-progress, lots of changes are to be expected, and so far no release dates have been given.

Visit Coagulus' YouTube channel for the game previews, and updates on his developments:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Coagulus/videos

Additional sources:
https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1481611
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-05-00043-DE.html

 

Primal Blade

In June 2021, developer and 3d-artist Dante Mendes shared a video clip of his upcoming game "Primal Blade" on twitter.

It shows a really beautiful looking side-scrolling fantasy jump-and-run, hack-and-slash game with parallax scrolling, Copper effects, sound effects, and some decent music playing along. If you liked "Gods" and "Shadow of the Beast" you'll certainly like this one, too.

A druid going up in flames in "Primal Blade" preview video
https://twitter.com/dantemendes/status/1402281507474100224

Keep an eye on Dante's twitter page for future "Primal Blade" updates:
https://twitter.com/dantemendes

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2021-06-00026-EN.html

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #24"!


* * * 
 
Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

AADevLog #1 - xiffview 0.4, CLI 3d-printing, and a little bit of research

Over the last few months I've looked into several different subjects with no particular focus, but I got some results nontheless.

You might have seen the latest release of xiffview (v0.4), my little IFF ILBM picture viewer for Linux. It's a side product, created to simplify development for the Amiga, but I have a couple of further ideas to turn it into a really useful tool, e.g. add cropping, bitplane manipulation, etc. Anyway, for now it has learned something about palettes and sprites - see AmiNet readme file.

Another side product of some hardware changes happening in my workplace is a CLI controlled .gcode 3d-printing program written in quite Amiga-ish C code, which I call "reprint". It's currently very beta, and for Linux, but it successfully sends g-code to the printer - maybe another brick in building 3d-printing support for the Amiga? Some day I'll try to wire up something, then recompile "reprint" for Amiga, and keep my fingers crossed. ;-)

And then there's this little question that's been nagging me for years: when writing C code, is it good practice to copy stuff to local vars?

Here's what I mean by that: I have a tendency to create a large struct that holds my program's data, settings, pointers, etc., then access that data as members of that struct, e.g. in (inner) loops. I always wonder if this creates a complicated set of CPU instructions when compiled to assembler, esp. when accessing "deep" members - thus if it would be better to copy member data from global struct to a local variable, then use that variable e.g. in (inner) loops.

For single access this is obviously not an issue - but what about repeatedly accessing such member data? So I did some actual testing.

Looking at this piece of repeatedly struct-member-accessing (pseudo) C code...

for (loops) { n = some_pointer->some_member.some_number; }

...and comparing it to this piece of (pseudo) C code, which first copies to local var, ...

my_n = some_pointer->some_member.some_number;
for (loops) { n = my_n; }

...one would probably assume it's obvious the latter version is faster, because the code inside the loop looks vastly simpler. On the other hand someone somewhere suggested it wouldn't make a (noticeable) difference due to compiler optimization.

After a few test runs (pretty much using the pseudo code above), I think it can indeed be considered good practice to copy to local var. Results vary strongly, esp. on my 8-core Linux machine, but on the Amiga the latter version of the code is near-consistently about 25% faster than the former. With the struct member inside the loop, the compiler, or someone else, obviously didn't see we're accessing the same data over and over again. There are probably a hundred things to keep in mind, e.g. loop-size vs. CPU cache, size of struct, location of member, amount of data, compiler abilities, etc., - but it looks as if copying data to local var should indeed be preferred. Under certain circumstances it executes faster, and in most cases it's much more readable and saves a lot of typing.

What do you think? Any experience, opinion?

C u next time!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Games galore #22: Exhumed, Dread (demo release), Henry's House, Krogharr, Polar Panic

Amiga game development is moving fast - so are we: this time we have two first person shooters, a port of an 8-bit platformer, a new fighting game by the author of "Invyya", and another new jump and run game.

Exhumed

Recently, a couple of PC games based on the "Build" 3d engine were ported to the Amiga - on of which is 1997 PC first person shooter game "Exhumed", also known as "Powerslave".

Well, what can u say - great stuff! Ancient Egypt is a nice subject for a game, and from an Amigan's point of view this is next-level first person shooter gaming finally making it's way to the Amiga (along with DREAD, Blood, and others) on a regular basis. It requires a fast CPU (68040/68060/FPGA/Emu), AGA, 16MB RAM, harddisc, Kickstart 3.0 or higher, and some data files from the PC version (see links below).

Watch a video of "Exhumed" on Amiga Fan's YouTube channel (2021-05-06):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_UJ-luz2oY

You can download "Exhumed" ("Powerslave") for Amiga from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/game/shoot/pcexhumed

Additional sources:
https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106747
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/05/exhumed-powerslave-egyptian-themed-fps.html
http://www.jonof.id.au/buildgames/ps.html (PC demo / game data)


Dread demo released

Yeah, you heard the news, it's on facebook, it's on YouTube, it's pretty much everywhere: DREAD demo is out!

Now you can more or less play Doom on your 7Mhz OCS 512KB Amiga 500. It's amazing, and not much more has to be said about this great project by KK/Altair.

Here's a video of DREAD running on several different Amiga configurations from 68010 to 68040 (2021-09-27):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRFaX3HJtHk

You can download the demo (ADF and executable, zipped) from KK's website: http://devkk.net/Dread-1905-Amiga.zip

 

Henry's House

...is a conversion of an 8-bit (C64, Atari) platform game from 1984 that got very positive reviews.

You control Little Henry, climbing ladders, jumping around, collecting things, and avoiding obstacles. The game has some visual similarities with maybe Donkey Kong, or titles like that, and adds a couple of nice effects on top.

Thanks to coder Marecheck / MC Studio it's now available for the Amiga.

Here's a video of "Henry's House" from conversion author Marecheck's YouTube channel (2021-05-06):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLqu-E1krxY

Go to MC studio's website for more information, and download of "Henry's House": https://www.mcstudio.pl
(you can click the UK flag for English language)

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-05-00019-DE.html
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/06/henrys-house-first-of-many-8bit-to.html
https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Henry%27s_House


"Krogharr" announced

In May 2021 the author of Inviyya announced a new project for OCS Amigas that goes by the name of "Krogharr". It's a fighting game in development, that seems to sit somewhere near Golden Axe and Barbarian II. Only static graphics have been shown so far - but these look pretty amazing, with detailed, manga-esque game characters, somehow watercolor-style background graphics, and a lo-fi, atmospheric color palette. Judging from the reviews Inviyya got, this will be another great game by Tigerskunk.

https://www.amigafrance.com/wp-content/uploads/hm_bbpui/117758/rufgreco4yvhzw6obi2wv4lupdf60ear.png

To keep up with the latest news about "Krogharr" visit the game's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/krogharr/

Also keep an eye on the author's itch.io pages: https://tigerskunk.itch.io

Additional sources:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106945
https://www.amigafrance.com/forums/topic/krogharr/
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-05-00031-DE.html


Polar Panic

Remarkably detailed sprite graphics, and a seriously groovy soundtrack are two of the features of upcoming, work-in-progress jump'n'run game "Polar Panic".

Not too much is known about this project so far - the game uses the Scorpion engine, an early video has been released around mid-May 2021, and it looks quite promising!

Watch "Polar Panic Amiga Edition v1.1" on Gaz Marshall's YouTube channel (2021-05-13):

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4FWXA8znX8

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/05/polar-panic-new-wip-amiga-ocs-game-with.html

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #23"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Games galore #21: Turrican 2 AGA, Follix, ArtPazz, Knight Rider 77, Super Delivery Boy

It's been quite a while, we've got some serious catching up to do, let's go: Turrican returns to the Amiga in AGA colors, Simone Bevilacqua is developing some slick puzzlers with cool graphics, Luigi Recanatese goes full retro-racing, and as always we have some beautiful platformer.

Turrican 2 AGA

Yeah, it's Turrican, the legend. At the end of April 2021 a ("back"-)port of the MS-DOS conversion of Turrican 2 was released to the public. It's still work-in-progress, but judging from user comments it's already really good. 

Not much needs to be said about this - everyone has played Turrican, it's one of the best action-shoot-em-up-platformers on several platforms, Amiga included. And now it looks even better!

As expected from an AGA game, "Turrican 2 AGA" runs on Amiga 1200 and 4000 (and emulators, of course), some FastRAM is recommended for best experience.

Updated AGA graphics and Turrican gameplay - you certainly don't want to miss this. A third demo version has just been released. A very exciting project, very much looking forward to further progress.

Here's a video from Saberman's YouTube channel (2021-09-29):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw0CVwbn-mI

If you want to try the latest demo of "Turrican 2 AGA" yourself, you can find a dropbox link in the forum thread (as of now latest release is on page 8):
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106735

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/08/turrican-2-as-in-progress-ms-dos-amiga.html

Follix, and ArtPazz

Developer Simone Bevilacqua from Italy - creator of games BOH, SkillGrid, and many more - always comes up with nice new ideas, and gives his productions a recognizable, polished style. 

He's been working on "Follix" and "ArtPazz", two arcade puzzle games, which introduce some technical marvel that goes by the name of ALS (AMOS Layer System), allowing for some visual effects rarely seen anywhere else on the Amiga.

Here's a video from Simone's YouTube channel showing "Follix" gameplay (2021-07-10):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4mO9JiaGQ0

In both games you move tiles to restore the proper order of things and advance to the next level, but the presentation is very different. While "Follix" is more fast paced, and feels very arcade, "ArtPazz" with it's recreations of famous historic paintings and laid back music creates an entirely different atmosphere.

And here's another video from Simone's YouTube channel, showing "ArtPazz" gameplay (2021-03-17):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqf3FWCT09g

Read more about Follix and ArtPazz, and find more of Simone's creations on his itch.io website:
https://retream.itch.io/follix
https://retream.itch.io/artpazz

Make sure you visit Simone's patreon page and show your support:
https://www.patreon.com/RETREAM

Additional sources:
https://www.lemonamiga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17560 (ArtPazz)
https://www.lemonamiga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17621 (Follix)


Knight Rider 77

Now we're getting reaaaally retro. So you think an Atari 2600 is an old gaming platform? You have no idea. We're talking b/w TV game consoles retro here, the ones with built-in games and a switch. Or just a built-in game, no switch. 

"Knight Rider 77" by Luigi Recanatese, uploaded to AmiNet in April 2021, is one of those good old, very simple, quick and fun to play arcade games.

It's a straightforward racing game, looks super fun, and requires an Amiga with 1MB RAM.

Watch a video of "Knight Rider 77" on Per-Ola Eriksson's YouTube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ97VH1tygc

You can download "Knight Rider 77" from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/game/race/Knight


Super Delivery Boy

This is a platformer featuring simple, beautiful, smartphone style graphics, some cute abstract dudes, nice music, and all the game mechanics that make platform games fun. Does that sound good to you? Demos have already been released for you to download (see below), and a physical, boxed version is planned with a release date tentatively set to some time near end of 2021.

Here's a video from Amiga Fan's YouTube channel (2021-07-03):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku9gAK0nUuI

Go to NEESO games itch.io page to find out more, and download "Super Delivery Boy":
https://neesogames.itch.io/super-delivery-boy


Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-05-00012-DE.html
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/05/super-delivery-boy-neesogames-upcoming.html

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #22"!

Check out "Games galore" main page with all articles -
click here!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

AMIGA alive software: xiffview 0.4 (update)

IFF ILBM imageviewer xiffview for Linux computers has a couple of new features, one of which is a command mode that allows you to extract image data as C code for sprite creation.

If you're a C programmer and want to create sprites with your program, this might be interesting for you. xiffview now has a command that takes a couple of arguments, namely x and y coordinates, height, bitmap numbers and color indices, and saves image data from that region of the image to a C code file for use in your program. 

xiffview v0.4 with test pattern image

Also xiffview now includes a "contrib" folder with a test pattern image for you to play with, and a generic Makefile kindly contributed by S. Haubenthal (thanks!).

And it now shows the image's palette below the image display.

See Readme-file included for more information.

You can download it from AmiNet:
http://aminet.net/package/misc/unix/xiffview

Monday, August 16, 2021

IBrowse 2.5.5 released

IBrowse has received another update, increasing it's version number to 2.5.5.

According to the release announcement, not much has changed visually, this is a maintenance release primarily addressing bugs, but also bringing a couple of new features - here's a quick (incomplete) overview of the changes in version 2.5.5:

  • catalog translations updated (Danish, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish)
  • improved cookie information display
  • added third-party cookie detection / blocking
  • added AmigaOS3.2 detection
  • performance improvements (memory management, JavaScript)
  • bugfixes to form submission (OS4), installation (OS4 with "Enhancer Software"), <EMBED> tag handling, resumed downloads

IBrowse 2.5.5 demo in 32 colors (imageset) on a 64 color WB screen

Ibrowse 2.5.5 demo displaying AmiNet.net

Go to IBrowse's homepage for more details, download, and purchase:
https://www.ibrowse-dev.net/news.php?id=1628931465

 

* * *

Note: The installer script from the demo archive seems to have some small bugs - read below on how to fix.

Bugs were encountered installing IBrowse 2.5.5 demo (downloaded 2021-08-15 from ibrowse-dev.net) on a Amiga 1200 / KS3.0 / WB3.1, choosing "68020-030" version in installer dialogue. Line numbers in the screenshots below might be slightly inaccurate (e.g. due to additional comments).

Error "GETENV: String too long!" is probably caused by a "getenv" that doesn't properly evaluate under AmigaOS3, you have to make a little change to this "if" statement (near line nr. 1640):


Error "Unterminated string literal" might be a quoted string that has to be properly terminated on the same line (near line nr. 1507):

...and it works! :-)

Fixed installer script completes installation!

Friday, July 2, 2021

AmigaOS 3.2 Native Developer Kit updated, rel. 3

Hyperion and the team of AmigaOS 3.2 developers show their dedication with an updated release of the Native Developer Kit.

The new NDK was released on June 30th 2021. According to the file description, it improves compatibility with different compiler environments. Also there seem to be "strategic" changes, simplifying future updates (see "ReadMe" picture below).

Probably not directly related to the NDK's contents, but also mentioned in the file details is what appears to be a new strategy of distribution with wider availability through additional sources.

An odd feature of this latest release (just like rel. 2) might be that it's incomplete by design (see "ReadMe" picture below), and it speaks of a "worthwhile endeavour" of "seeking out on earlier NDKs" - umh, maybe not exactly "worthwhile". (But we've done the work for you, see link at end of article.)

Whatever the case, this is certainly another welcome update, and a must-have for all Amiga developers.

A look at the NDK3.2R3 ReadMe file

Go to Hyperion's website to download AmigaOS 3.2 Native Developer Kit release 3:
https://www.hyperion-entertainment.com/index.php/downloads?view=files&parent=40

If you don't have one of the earlier - complete - NDKs, you can get the "Amiga Developer CD 2.1" with NDK3.9 (yes, 3.9 comes before 3.2 in Amiga land) and lots of other stuff from your preferred vendor, or download NDK3.9 from Haage&Partner's website - here's a link: https://www.haage-partner.de/download/AmigaOS/NDK39.lha

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Amiga Art Contest 2021 is on

The "Amiga Art Contest 2021" has begun! There has never been a shortage of creativity on the Amiga, and once again this year Amiga artists can submit their work to 10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast's art contest.

Pixel graphics, 3d rendered graphics, photo retouche, sound modules, animation - pretty much everything "creative" is accepted as long as at least the final result has been created on an Amiga computer.

You can take a look at the 2019 and 2020 submissions to the contest for inspiration, if you like. 

This year, a couple of nice little prizes for the winners in each category have been added, for extra creative motivation.

Head over to their website for more information:

https://www.amigaartwork.com

https://www.amigaartwork.com/uploads/1/2/5/7/125726688/promostill_orig.png

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Games galore #20: Souverän Soccer, Wrong Way Driver, Flighty Fox, Athanor 2, Inviyya released

As always: good news on the Amiga gaming front, lots of stuff going on. A refreshing, very cool looking, almost-3D soccer game, an arcade driving game, a new clone of a very notorious modern classic, a point-and-click adventure, and the release of a new shoot-em-up.

Souverän Soccer, work in progress

Daniel "Daytona675x" Müßener, aka GoldenCode, is working on "Souverän Soccer", which is a remake of SNES game Super Formation Soccer (1992), aimed at stock Amiga 1200 and CD32 machines.

Next-Gen-Amiga gamers might have heard the author's name before, as he's also the creator of "Atomic Bomberman Fan Remake" for AmigaOS4/AROS/MorphOS.

 "Souverän Soccer" is an attempt to recreate the bitmap-scaling, 3D-scrolling visual experience known from SNES graphics hardware on AGA Amigas, and from what we can tell so far it's a successful one. Low-res full screen graphics, redrawn at 50hz, with distance shading and copper gradients for hundreds of colors - not bad at all!

A very exciting, and promising, project, and another proof of the seemingly endless capabilities of the (AGA) Amiga, we're very much looking forward to some sort of public release. 

Here's his latest work-in-progress video, published May 18th 2021, on his YouTube channel Dän Bänän:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wjCSwKmDL4

You can make a donation to the author of the game on his website at: https://www.goldencode.de

Addtional sources:
http://www.amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2021-03-00017-EN.html


Wrong Way Driver

From the people who brought us the awesome TinyInvaders, TinyBobble, TinyGalaga, and Tinyus, comes another nice production by the name of "Wrong Way Driver". It was released around April 2021, and works on all Amigas, no expansions required.

It's a simple, but great looking, great sounding, and well playable mini arcade game, in which you control your car along a six lane highway, driving the wrong way. You have to avoid oncoming traffic, and take care of your fuel supply by collecting fuel tanks. As all aBYSs productions, it looks polished and is technically flawless - you just have to admire the beautiful multi layered parallax scrolling, and smooth scaling of the player's car.

You can download "Wrong Way Driver" from aBYSs' website:
http://abyss-online.de/eab/aYs_WrongWayDriver.adf

Additional sources:
http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/04/wrong-way-driver-new-amiga-game-from.html
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=106549

 

Flighty Fox (Scorpion engine demo)

Now this is not a "full" game, more of a demonstration of parallax scrolling done with the Scorpion engine. And it's a clone of the most played, and most dangerous game ever, the one that must not be named. And it looks even more difficult and frustrating than the one game that must not be named.

(Well, of course it looks really good, and sounds as good. As far as "playability" goes in the-one-game-that-must-not-be-named type of games, this one is top notch, too.)

So for your own safety, we'll just leave you with a moment of silence here, to enjoy the beautiful parallax scrolling and music of "Flighty Fox" from the safe distance of your YouTube player, in a video from Saberman's channel:


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

But if you're a real trooper, go ahead and download the game from "earok"'s website:
https://earok.itch.io/flighty-fox

Additional sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flappy_Bird
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-04-00037-DE.html

 

Athanor 2 - Legend of the Birdmen

In April 2021 substantial news were published about upcoming point-and-click adventure "Athanor 2" by Eric Safar and Francois Gutherz, a conversion of Safar's Amstrad/Schneider CPC game of the same name released a couple of years ago. Shortly after first screenshots from the Amiga version had been presented, a pre-release video was uploaded to YouTube.

A point-and-click adventure isn't about a complex physics engine, but all about graphics, storyline and atmosphere. And "Athanor 2" has tons of graphics, the very beautiful, handdrawn type. 

An Atari ST version has been released previously, from which we can guess the Amiga physical release package contents: game floppy disks, a booklet/manual, some sort of coins with runic writings on them, a vial, a little octopus amulet, ...

...ohyeah, this almost spells out "atmosphere"!

Watch "Athanor 2 - Legend of the Birdmen" Amiga pre-release video on Eric Safar's YouTube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H4jfGa0ImU

Check out the author's website, or sources below, for more details:
http://www.safargames.fr

Additional sources:
https://www.lemonamiga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17707
https://www.amigaimpact.org/2021/04/athanor-2-amiga-remontre-ses-pixels/
https://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&num=15117
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2021-04-00033-EN.html
http://www.indieretronews.com/2019/07/athanor-2-legend-of-birdmen-new.html

 

Inviyya released for Amiga and CD32

The very promising "Inviyya" horizontal shoot-em-up game is delivering: With final versions released you can now experience it in it's fully polished glory, on your own Amiga and CD32!

Here you can watch a video from YouTube channel "Amiga Fan"...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx3SwMbf9Rc

...but of course you're much better off purchasing the actual game:

The digital download edition is available at:
https://tigerskunk.itch.io/inviyya

Boxed "Collector's" and "Budget" editions for Amiga (1MB RAM required) and Amiga CD32 are available at:
https://www.polyplay.xyz

The boxed "Collector's Edition" features awesome stuff, including 3.5 inch floppy disk, MicroSD card with disk image and bonus material, a "mission patch" to iron onto your shirt, a booklet with short story (by Constantin Gillies), game manual, poster, and sticker! 

The CD32 version media is an exclusive visual CD-ROM with transparency effect in Digipak, instead of floppy disk.

Additional sources:
http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2021-04-00034-EN.html


* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #21"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Games galore #19: Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns, Citaldel update, Renegades Deluxe "re-release", Bean Vs The Animator

Again a good round of really nice stuff this time - an arcade remake, updates to OCS/ECS first person shooter "Citadel", some sort of "re-release" on AmiNet, a modern lightgun game ahead of it's time, and a little bonus for fans of platformers.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

Yet another remake of an arcade classic, and yet another game built using the Scorpion engine. In Feb. 2021, an early alpha version of "Pitfall II" for Amiga was released to the public!

Activision's original "Pitfall II" for the Atari 2600 was a real stunner upon release, with its huuuuge playing area, context sensitive music, improved graphics, and more. It was later released by SEGA as an arcade game.

Highly active Amiga game (engine) developer Eric "earok" Hogan is working on this new version of "Pitfall II", which is based on the C64 version, and requires an Amiga 500. A little bit of acceleration (e.g. Amiga 1200) is recommended for smooth performance.

The game is in alpha stage at the moment, but it already very much looks like "Pitfall II"!

Watch a video of "Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns" alpha version of Per-Ola Eriksson's YouTube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu-5Jlkes9g

You can download the playable and completable alpha version of "Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns" for Amiga here:
https://mega.nz/folder/t6QCTTaY#0PvV--pintbZN1y6VyHnhg



Additional sources:
https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=1459891
https://www.indieretronews.com/2021/02/pitfall-ii-lost-caverns-earok-has.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitfall_II:_Lost_Caverns

 

Citaldel update

1995 game first-person shooter "Cytadela"/"Citadel" - from Poland is undergoing some updates by the original authors.

"Citadel" is certainly one of the better first-person-shooters on the Amiga, and probably the best that runs on OCS/ECS Amigas. It received very good reviews when it was first released.

In March 2021 the original authors annouced some updates to the original game. There are no to little gameplay changes planned, but some fixes and enhancements, like optimizations for faster Amigas, better animations, and things like that.

You can watch a video of "Cytadela"/"Citadel" running on a (emulated) high-spec Amiga on Kane's YouTube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu-k4-aK8Zk

It looks as if as of now no updates have been made available to the public, so a little more patience is required.

Meanwhile, you can download the original 1995's "Citadel" from Polish Amiga Portal (Polski Portal Amigowy) (Polish and English version available):
https://www.ppa.pl/rodzynki/cytadela.html


Additional sources:
https://www.ppa.pl/forum/strefa-gier/42682/cytadela-update
https://www.lemonamiga.com/games/details.php?id=1863

http://amiga-news.de/en/news/AN-2021-03-00008-EN.html


 

Renegades Deluxe "re-release"

Just a quick note about "Renegades Deluxe" from 2014, which is a new version of 1995 PD classic "Renegades":

"Renegades Deluxe" has recently been uploaded to AmiNet - which is great, because this beautiful 2-player-split-screen-deathmatch "Alien Breed" clone apparently hasn't been available elsewhere for some time.

Here's a video of "Renegades" and "Renegades Deluxe", including some background information and awesome prototype cover art, from CaptainNow Creations' YouTube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50mrcqfYU40

Go to AmiNet to download "Renegades Deluxe" (2014):
http://aminet.net/package/game/2play/Renegades_Deluxe

If you're looking for the original "Renegades" game (1995), you can download it from myabandonware:
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/renegades-6sx

 


Lightgun game "Bean Vs The Animator"

Have you ever held a lightgun in your hands? I bet not everyone did, because most lightguns we know depend on the cathode ray of a CRT (cathode ray tube) TV. Many CRT screens, especially millions of home TVs, have been replaced with LCD flat screen ones over the last 20 years, so lots of lightguns became useless.

But with the help of increased CPU performance, HD video, kickstarter, and indiegogo, the Sinden Lightgun was created, or is still being created - a lightgun that works with LCD displays. Somehow, it wouldn't be long until Amigans picked up such a thing - and here we have it: near the end of Feb. 2021 the first new Amiga lightgun game in a looooooooooong time was shown to the public, Terminator-style shoot-em-up "Bean Vs The Animator"! (You can also play it with a mouse.)

The Sinden Lightgun doesn't seem to be widely available yet, and the game is currenly just an exclusive pre-release (see video below), no release dates or further updates have been published so far. But from what we can see there's some great artwork here, some serious atmosphere and level of difficulty, and a lot of shooting. Plus it's a game you can play with a lightgun, plus it supports a lightgun device so modern it's not even available - yay!

Watch a video of Amiga Bill from "The Guru Meditation" reviewing his exclusive edition of "Bean Vs The Animator" (2021-02-25):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nel33AfkPd4

Additional sources:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-sinden-lightgun/
https://www.sindenlightgun.com/
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2021-02-00057-DE.html


* * *

...and some bonus gaming news:

Minkey

In Feb. 2021, this new platformer was announced via great and well-known retro scene website indieretronews:

http://www.indieretronews.com/2021/02/minkey-high-quality-amiga-platformer.html

(Out of respect for the author of the game and indieretronews - the game's preview video is set to "unlisted" on YouTube - let's just leave it here with this little note. Click the link for more details and game preview video. By the way, the game looks great.)

* * *

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #20"!


* * *

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Amistore in Germany has closed its doors

We've just taken notice that German Amiga online shop Amistore.de has become a victim of the Corona virus pandemic.

Finding out today is especially sad as Amistore.de is currently still listed on Hyperion Entertainment's website as a vendor of AmigaOS, and just yesterday the latest release of AmigaOS3 for classic Amigas was made available to customers. Also this week in Germany a lot of restrictions introduced to fight the Corona virus have been lifted.

Amistore.de's website currently says (rough translation):

"

Dear customers,

due to numerous legal changes, we've decided to discontinue sales through this shop. You may contact us at any time via media-net-point.de.
We still have a lot of Amiga parts in stock.
We ask for your understanding.

Your Amistore.de team

"

amistore.de as of 2021-05-15

Looking at the history of the website at...

https://web.archive.org/web/20200513043211/http://www.amistore.de/

...we find this message from probably March 2020 (rough translation):

"

Dear customers,

due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus we close our shop as of now until April 4th 2020 for the time being.
Also we have to take care for our employees.

Open orders will still be processed!

We ask for your understanding.

Your Amistore.de Team

"

About two months later, it seems to have been replaced with the one that currently can be seen there. The Corona virus certainly leaves its marks all over the world.

Best wishes and good luck to Amistore.de team, hope to see them around (again)!

AmigaOS 3.2 released!

There wasn't too much noise surrounding the follow-up to AmigaOS3.1.4, but the patience has paid off, and now they're breaking the silence: It's been less than 24 hours since the completion and release of AmigaOS 3.2 has been announced via facebook, and Hyperion's website!

Great news for AmigaOS users: The next updated version of official classic AmigaOS has been released. Here's a quick rundown of some of the changes and new features:

  • ReAction GUI toolkit is included, with lots of bugfixes, and classes backported from AmigaOS4
  • "DAControl" and trackfile.device provide near-perfect ADF handling and integration. Amiga disk files can be created, formatted, erased, ejected, etc. and mounted via double-click on Workbench icon.
  • New help system and reference manual included
  • Improved AIFF, GIF, JPG, WAV, PNG, BMP, CDXL and ANIM datatypes, and new datatypes for icons (.info files) and ACBM images. AmigaGuide datatype can now display inline images, picture.datatype is much faster, sound.datatype supports up to 32 bit resolution, text datatype adds search functionality.
  • Workbench updates: title bar with date, CPU and tasks information, windows resizable from any border, windows can be iconified, window contents can be sorted increasing/decreasing, wheel mouse support
  • a partition mounter, and "find" utility
  • shell TAB autocompletion, configurable
  • a "history" command
  • updates to Early Startup Menu, including optional step-by-step execution of Startup-sequence

...and many more! This is really just a short excerpt from the official announcement. (Of course a new iconset is included, too.) See link below for full list.

AmigaOS3.2 is available on CD-ROM, containing ADFs for emulator use, a ready-to-run AmigaOS environment that can be copied to your harddisk, all Amiga models' disks and kickstart ROM images (oh, wow), and printable labels.


Congratulations to the developers!

Go to Hyperion's website for more details, and AmigaOS3.2 vendors:

https://www.hyperion-entertainment.com/index.php/news/1-latest-news/290-amigaos-42-for-all-classic-amigas-released-and-available