AMIGA alive

AMIGA alive

Thursday, December 29, 2022

History in the making: Amiga CD1200 tear down

Beth Richard, lead engineer of the CD1200, provides more in-depth information about the device's story as she's taking it apart.

As a follow up to the article about the rediscovery of the ultra-rare Amiga CD1200 drive, we're happy to be able to share even more information about it.

On July 17th 2022, Beth Richard, lead engineer of the CD1200 in 1993/1994, visited the Retro Computer Museum in Leicester, UK, making more history and providing invaluable information by talking about her experience, and actually taking the device apart.

A video of the event was uploaded to YouTube about a month ago.

Here's the video of Beth Richard taking the (presumably) only Amiga CD1200 in existence apart (on YouTube channel "PixelFix"):

Shortly after the video was uploaded to YouTube, Ms. Richard left a comment which provides even more insight into the background of the CD1200 (transcript of comment follows).

Ms. Richard's comment on the above video

"That was quite an experience! I'm so glad we got to do that.  

People look back at my work and assume that as the lead engineer, I was somehow a Commodore "Legend". I'll leave that to those to whom it really applies. I was a junior engineer at the time, near the beginning of my career. I think the best way I can describe how I ended up being the lead engineer on this project is a quote taken from Any Weir's "The Martian": "Ares 3. Well, that was my mission. Okay, not mine per se. Commander Lewi was in charge. I was the lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be 'in command' of the mission if I were the only remaining person. What do you know? I'm in command." It was very clear by the time I started this project that the end was near. I worked on this at a time where we thought it may be possible that someone would buy the company and take it seriously. Having demonstrated that there were ideas and projects with a roadmap into the future would be what someone would want to buy. Several of us were working right to the end to keep a portfolio of projects that could be turned on immediately, should a new owner wish it. (Like the work Dave Haynie was doing at the high end, and some stuff Greg Berlin had been doing too.). It was not to be. 

I'm so embarrassed about misspeaking that the date of Pearl Harbor was 7-Dec-1943... ***1941***!!!! I know that! How could my mind have been so bounced and distracted that I would have gotten that wrong? I might have had an excess of adrenaline at the time.  

Although I designed that in 1993-1994, I was particularly nervous about opening it because it isn't mine... it's the RCM's. And it's got to be the only example left in the world by this point. I offered to coach Andy through opening it as it's his museum's property, but he wouldn't have it. Sadly, in order to make it work, it needs the controller board to go into the A1200 and cable that came through the port on the rear of the A1200 to connect it to the drive. None of those seem to have survived. 

I know it was edited for privacy reasons, but when I was going through the names I saw on the PCB, I started with the first one on the list... mine. The names were actually the userIDs for our email addresses, each of which ended with @ ''. And the word preceding that cut was my userID: brichard. Since that email has been invalid since April 1994, I'm not terribly worried about people knowing it.  

And credit where credit is due: My spouse, Teresa, who has her degree in Engineering Management that included nearly the complete curriculum of Mechanical Engineering took a look at the lid spring and noticed the extra bend that was causing it to pop out of position. When she showed it to me, I recognized that the spring was not actually the original factory spring. It must have been broken at some point and someone replaced it by bending a bit of spring-steel wire to (nearly) match. In fact, that mechanism was not custom to the CD1200 - it was re-used from the CD32. So by comparing with a CD32 lid spring mechanism, we confirmed it was wrong and replaced the spring with one from a CD32. The lid works correctly again!  

Such a great day! Thank to Andy for inviting me to the RCM and being so gracious about the experience."

(transcript of @bethteresarichard3910's comment on

Great work by Ms. Richard, Retro Computer Museum, and all others involved! Thanks for sharing, and keeping the CD1200 alive.

Additional sources:


Sunday, December 25, 2022

AADevLog #6 - Merry Christmas! And, yes, it will become a game.

Merry Christmas everyone! So it's christmas, and I thought I'd pull out a couple of things from my harddrive.

You might have noticed this, well, attempt at a platformer that goes by the name of "Wheelchair Hero". I'm working on it on-and-off, but there is actual progress. One of the issues I had postponed was some sort of rudimentary color management, meaning some basic strategy regarding palette use. Another one was to add some strategy elements, so the... game?... doesn't get too boring too quickly. Anyway - here's another work-in-progress screenshot of "Wheelchair Hero", and, yes, it looks as if this will become a game. :-)

Wheelchair Hero with new elevators, NPCs, items, better colors

Also a little bit of work has been done on "reed" texteditor: a little update to the GUI layout, and it now shows actual settings' values.

"reed" on AmigaOS3.9

And while we're at it: When creating a game, why not create two? Or even three? So I started drawing assets for more playable stuff. This next one might be called "Attack on the Beach", and maybe you can make a guess what it's all about from this mockup-picture:

"Attack on the Beach" concept picture

Finally, something that I had on my mind for decades. With all the knowledge gained from hundreds of programming experiments and attempts, I thought it's about time to somehow tackle the challenge. I'm pretty sure everyone gets a "rough" idea what this one might be about from this early title picture. ;-)

"Airborne Trooper" work-in-progress title picture

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Thanks for reading, happy holidays & stay healthy!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

WinUAE, IBrowse, AmigaAMP updated

Great christmas gifts for Amiga users of all kinds! WinUAE, IBrowse, and AmigaAMP have received (sometimes substantial) updates.

WinUAE 4.10.0

WinUAE is the king of Amiga emulation. You can read about all the details on WinUAE's homepage, but here's the big one in this latest release: 100% cycle accuracy! Oh wow, this is a blessing not just for hardcore classic gamers and sceners, but for all Amiga software developers. Very good!

Go to for more information!

IBrowse 2.5.8

IBrowse developer team, again, proves its dedication to Amiga webbrowsing: this latest version contains all hotfixes since the previous one, and adds a round of new bugfixes and improvements, such as re-enabled Gemini protocol support and better stability.

Check out for more information!

AmigaAMP 3.33

Thomas Wenzel wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, and has released AmigaAMP 3.33. Improved sound playback and repeat/shuffle features make listening to some music on the Amiga even more enjoyable!

Go to for more information!


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Games galore #33: Maria Renard's Revenge, Karate Champ 500, Spheroid, Farmiga, GermZ

Is this a coronavirus-lockdown effect? Developers seem to have become increasingly productive - in 2022, new Amiga games have been and still are popping up like mushrooms after a warm, rainy day.


Maria Renard's Revenge

Pretty much whenever you hear something French, you can be sure it has beauty and taste. ("French fries" ;-) ) This is certainly true for this outstandingly beautiful new game, which is currently under development by DomKid. 

As the title suggests, Mademoiselle Renard is a bit of a damsel-in-distress, meaning in order to get her revenge, she has to travel various dungeons and landscapes populated with dragons, skeletons, giant worms, and other such species, and of course avoid being harmed by the aforementioned. A friendly bird is at her side, but darkness, lava pits, falling stalactites and similar obstacles don't particularly make her journey easier...

Long story short: "Maria Renard's Revenge" is an exciting, and just gorgeous looking gothic platformer!

Here's the latest work-in-progress video from DomKid's YouTube channel (2022-05-23):

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


Karate Champ 500 (work in progress)

Jean-François Fabre never stops: After "Amidar500", "Scramble500", "Pacman 500", and "Ms Pacman 500" (!) we're about to get "Karate Champ 500".

"Karate Champ" is another classic arcade game, but there was never an official version for the Amiga - only a slightly disappointing public-domain version. 

Well, it looks as if this is about to change, and with Jean-François Fabre's productions you can be quite sure it's going to be yet another great Amiga conversion, which is more or less pixel perfect to the original.

Here's the latest demo video from Jean-François Fabre's YouTube channel (2022-10-02):

Additional sources: (arcade game) (1987 PD game)

Spheroid (demo)

In "Spheroid", you have to guide a ball through increasingly complex maps made of tiles. Some of the tiles are switches, some are mined, others are transporters, walls, or break easily. On top of that, you only have a limited amount of steps your ball can make. 

So "Spheroid" is an arcade puzzler! It's a comparably simple, but challenging, well made game, with a fitting technoid soundscape, and lots of maps to get your little grey cells some exercise.

Here's a video from Saberman's YouTube channel (2022-05-26):

Go to Arkanix Labs forum to download "Spheroid" demo:

Additional sources:

Farmiga (beta v5)

Do you like the countryside and farming? Cows, sheep, chicken? Very good. "Farmiga" puts you in control of a little farming economy, complete with animals, crops, trading, and actual hog-shooting.

The graphics are mostly simple, but cute and effective, there's some enjoyable music playing along, the building and trading has enough depth to keep you occupied, and, well, occasionally you get to shoot some hogs. Oh, and the in-game currency is Polish zloty. "Farmiga" looks great and fun to play - if you like strategy gaming make sure you check it out.

Here's a video from Saberman's YouTube channel (2022-11-27):

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

Additional sources:


Beware, it's the... GermZ! A strategy puzzle game by the developers that brought us "Atarenium Falcon" (see also bonus "news" below). In "GermZ" you basically become a virus that wants to spread and win over other viri according to logic rules. 

"GermZ" is another simple, well-made arcade strategy game - and it has two great features seen too rarely in Amiga games: up to four players simultaneously (joystick and keyboard control), and a map editor - which means tons of fun for a long time!

Here's a video from Saberman's YouTube channel (2022-05-02):

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

Additional sources:

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...and some bonus gaming news:

Atarenium Falcon released

We've reported about this game before. Meanwhile, more precisely on May 1st 2022, the final version was released. If "GermZ" sounds interesting to you, or even if it doesn't, why not check out "Atarenium Falcon"?


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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #34"!

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Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Gigahertz-Amiga that never (really) was

When browsing the net, you sometimes stumble upon things that question your beliefs.

About 20 years ago, PowerPC was the Amiga's future. There had been talk about DEC Alpha CPUs, and other quantum-leap high-performance gear, but only phase5 had the guts to deliver: a dual-CPU board with a PowerPC CPU clocked at 233MHz! A quantum-leap it was, but it also came too late, and was too costly for most. Only a few years later the Amiga market would effectively be dead. Then came the retro movement, people brushing the dust off their old Amiga computers, and their assembler coding skills. Nowadays, we have a thriving hardware and software development scene, all rooted in the good old days: pure Amiga, classic Motorola 68k! If you like some extra speed, you can choose from several low-cost 68000 to 68060 accelerators, FPGA based CPU replacements, and a range of emulation setups, all of which are actively developed in recent times, and run M68k code. PowerPC accelerators have become unobtanium, and the few owners still there from the early days are not enough to make a visible impact on the scene.

Imagine this alternate reality: In 2013, 1Ghz PowerPC accelerators for the Amiga became available. By 2015 prices have dropped, and a transparent M68k emulation layer has been implemented for PowerUP/WarpUP. People are running M68k "Real3D" and "Imagine" on PowerPC, because emulation is faster than any available M68k CPU. By 2020, the 2GHz barrier has been broken, and while your PowerPC-native "Blender" port renders HD images for your new YouTube video, you're playing a round of DREAD. AmigaOS 3.1.4 and 3.2 were never developed, because AmigaOS3.9 and 4.0 have merged into a single product made of a M68k core for backwards compatibility, and PowerPC-native applications.

Well - back to actual reality. That was some nice fantasy, it just didn't happen that way.

...but is was close!

It was called UltimatePPC, and... yes. And yes. And yes. It is what it sounds like. No strings attached. It's the thing only few dared to imagine, because it was just too... outrageous. And it actually got built.

Prototype UltimatePPC card
(source: (archived))

Press release of May 22nd, 2012: AMIGA MEETS GIGAHERTZ

Gideon Zweijtzer (of 1541-Ultimate fame) and Rutger Bevaart have teamed up to bring renewed innovation to the Classical Amiga by announcing the UltimatePPC today, the ultimate CPU expansion card for the Amiga 3000 & 4000. This new card will bring unparalleled performance and many great new features to the Amiga series of computers that were not available previously and give current users a viable upgrade path for aging components. It also opens new possibilities for newer versions of the Amiga Operating System or alternatives to run on your classic hardware with great performance. The UltimatePPC puts your Amiga right back on your desk as the most versatile and fun computer that has ever existed!

Right now the UltimatePPC is in active development, we expect to be able to take pre-orders at the end of 2012. Please visit our project website at for availability information, specifications and detailed status reports.

Gideon & Rutger

(source: (archived))

Oh wow, this sounds so good. The endless possibilities. Hi-res video encoding and decoding, fast rendering of web pages, Doom, Quake, ...and did you see the SATA and DVI connectors in the picture? This is the ultimate thing for your A3000/A4000, no doubt about that. This is the next step after phase5's PPC accelerators, and it's a decisive one. This opens doors.

Prototype UltimatePPC card
(source: (archived))

So the project's website was, and if we do a little digging on the internet, we find an article on "Old School Game Blog" that publishes some more details about the "UltimatePPC" (which are taken from the project's specifications page):

The UltimatePPC provides many new features. The current shortlist of features for “Revision A” is,

  • 33MHz 68040 CPU
  • 1.0GHz Freescale PowerPC CPU
  • 128MB of DDR3 memory for the 68040
  • An additional 2GB of DDR3 memory on an SO-DIMM
  • USB2 host controller with integrated 4 port hub
  • SATA2 controller with two SATA ports
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet controller
  • Embedded 2D video with DVI connector


A 68040 at 33MHz isn't shabby at all in Amiga world, but a 1 gigahertz PowerPC, and an extra 2.1 gigabytes (!!!) of memory on a single board for your Amiga - that puts other accelerator boards to shame. And it has SATA, USB2, ethernet and DVI. And it isn't even built by a big company, but a bunch of guys from the Netherlands. This is just ridiculous. Commodore, Amiga, Phase5, Escom, Gateway, Viscorp, Metabox - what the heck have you been doing?

UltimatePPC beats all of them, by miles. A project status was given on the website - judging from the estimated completion dates, it seems to be from late 2011:

  • Initial Design, done
  • Building of development boards, done
  • Implementing CPU, System and PCI-E busses, in progress (expected Q2 2012)
  • Implementing low-level devices, in progress (expected Q3 2012)
  • Implementing drivers and OS compatibility, no estimated completion date yet
  • Testing, no estimated completion date yet
  • Production of boards, no estimated completion date yet

(source: (archived))

Did someone just say "PCI-Express on Amiga"? 

We don't know. And we'll probably never find out. In the last post on, from September 5th 2019, Rutger announces the end of the project: Priorities of private life have taken over, and friendship needs some care, too.

The last Wayback Machine snapshot of the website domain that shows UltimatePPC information is from January 29th 2020

This is where the short, but exciting story of "UltimatePPC" ends. That's sad. 

Well, we have to put this into context. It was 2011: Amiga companies had been out of business for years. Compared to about 10 years earlier, when phase5's PPC accelerators were released, the price of RAM modules vs. memory size had dropped through the floor. The cellphone market had exploded, pushing for ever more powerful low-cost CPUs. The RaspberryPi was just around the corner, and a modern homebrew/DIY scene, capable of SMD-soldering, started to emerge. From this point of view, it's no surprise the "UltimatePPC" was quite a quantum leap for the Amiga.

And it's also no surprise that it just stopped. Development of such a piece of hardware consumes an awful amount of time. If there's no competition, no audience asking for progress and providing some sort of income, no urging necessity behind it, then at some point it will just come to a halt, one or the other way. Since 2011, a lot of things have happened. It has become even easier to design and create printed circuit boards, FPGA chips have become powerful and affordable, and so on. The retro builder scene, and emulation on fast CPUs, has fully taken over, cementing the M68k heritage and future of the Amiga. "Next generation" Amiga computing is just being swept away by the renewed output of the classic scene.

But then...'s just too awesome. The "UltimatePPC" is incomplete - but it exists, somewhere. Wouldn't it be an intriguing idea to completely restart as if it was 2011, and resurrect the "UltimatePPC" with all the tools and know-how available in 2022?

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UPDATE 2022-12-26:
Thank you very much,, for reporting about this

And for providing more information:'s post about the UltimatePPC from back in the day:

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PLEASE NOTE: "phase5" refers to the company that was developing Amiga compatible hardware from around 1992 to 2000. At the time of writing no new, working Amiga-related hardware products from any later holder of the trademark name are known to exist.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

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

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

Inviyya II : Hyperblaster

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

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

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


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

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

Screenshot from the arcade original

Additional sources:


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

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

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

...Dive! Dive! Dive!

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

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

Additional sources: (1977 Gremlin arcade game) (1994 pd/freeware Amiga game)

Blockman Gets

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

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

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

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

Additional sources:


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

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

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

Go to "Flappadiddle"'s website for more information and download:

Additional sources:

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

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Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

AMIGA alive software: zx81paint 0.2

A new version of zx81paint has been uploaded to AmiNet.

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

Lines! Rectangles!

See Readme-file for usage information, and more.   

Get it from AmiNet:

Sunday, November 13, 2022

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

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

New "Duke Nukem 3D" ports

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

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

jfduke3d (as seen on its homepage)

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

Additional sources: (jfduke3d homepage) (jfduke3d Amiga code repository) (AmiDuke forum thread)

New "Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny" ports

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

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

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

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

"Spear of Destiny" in-game screenshot

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

Additional sources: (wolf4amiga / spear4amiga forum thread)


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

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

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

Additional sources:

Wonderboy 1200

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

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

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

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

Additional sources:

Robocop AGA (work-in-progress)

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

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

Here's the latest update video from Daniel Allsopp's YouTube channel (2022-11-02):
Additional sources: (RoboCop 1989 Amiga OCS game)


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

Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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

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

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

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

- few colors

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

- single reference platform support

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

- accept bad performance now, optimize later

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

Everything still looks pretty... flat.

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

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

Editing an NPC's path/waypoints

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

Thanks for reading, c u next time!

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Click here for an overview of all AADevLog articles

Sunday, June 26, 2022

AADevLog #4 - AROS and AmigaOS text editor

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

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

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

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

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

"reED" running on AmigaOS3.9 in 2022!

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

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

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

Thanks for reading, stay healthy!

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Thursday, June 23, 2022

AMIGA alive software: zx81paint 0.1

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

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

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

zx81paint v0.1, showing its included example picture

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

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

You can download it from AmiNet:

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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

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

Final Fight Enhanced

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

Final Fight 1989 original arcade graphics

Final Fight 1991 U.S. Gold Amiga version graphics

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

Final Fight 2021 Prototron Amiga early demo graphics

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

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

There's no public playable demo yet - but if you like, you can download the assembler source code and contribute to the development:

Additional sources: (original 1991 Amiga port)

Akumajou Dracula AGA (Castlevania AGA)

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

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

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

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

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

Additional sources: (1990 Amiga version)


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

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

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

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

Go to Amidar500's website for more information:

Additional sources:


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

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

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

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

Go to Scramble500's website for more information and download:

Additional sources:

CyberPunk Alien City

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

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

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

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

Go to the game's pages for more information and download:

Additional sources:

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

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Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Games galore #29: Caves & Cargo, Choctris, Attack of the Petscii Robots, Project Quest, Castle Danger

In this issue: a game inspired by "Gravity Force", another "Tetris" game, a character-set based action adventure, an original top-down view shooter, and a virtual board game.

Caves & Cargo

This is an arcade action game similar to "Gravity Force", under development by EAB user TheoTheoderich: Fly your spaceship through caves and collect cargo.

It's not finished, but a playable version has been released, and it looks like a lot of fun. Graphics are simple, but pleasant and effective, your spaceship sprite is small and agile, the game has a "2-player race" mode, and nice speech samples add some serious atmosphere. 

A slightly accelerated Amiga (FastRAM, or Amiga 1200) is recommended for good performance.

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

Go to EAB's forum pages for more details, and download links:

Additional sources:


"Choctris" is a Tetris clone with extras, originally shown at RetroKomp 2018 as an early beta. In Dec. 2021 an updated version was released - and, yeah, it's a very nice Tetris with tasteful graphics, decent sound effects, some hypnotic MOD music playing along, and some specials: different playing modes (classic tetrominos, additional tetrominos, "blind" mode), playing mode options, support for audio CD music playback when running on CD32 or CDTV, and a couple more.

"Choctris" runs on any Amiga with Kickstart 2.0 or higher.

Here's video from Ransom's YouTube channel (2021-12-08):

Head over to forum for more information and download links:

Additional sources:

Attack of the Petscii Robots

Dave Murray aka "The 8-bit Guy"'s character graphics based action adventure "Attack of the Petscii Robots" has been ported to the Amiga, and released commercially in both digital and physical form. 

It's an interesting project that has it's roots in the fixed character set of a Commodore PET 8-bit computer - and the end result, which is available for many home computers from Atari to ZX Spectrum, now also for the Amiga, is indeed a fun top-down view action game with some tactical elements.

The Amiga version has the same grid based gameplay as the other versions, but uses more detailed graphics. The game runs on any 512KB Amiga, requires an extra 512KB for music, and supports keyboard, one and two button joysticks, and CD32 joypad. Prices range from 10$ for the digital-only edition, up to 65$ for a physical boxed edition, hand-signed by the author himself, which includes among other goodies an actual CD32 compatible joypad! Not bad.

Here's a video from Amiga Fan's YouTube channel (2021-12-20):

Click the link below for more information, and purchase:

Additional sources: (original game release video)

Project Quest - Chapters 1 and 2

Electric Black Sheep's latest game production is "Project - Quest", a fantasy themed arcade action shooter similar to their previous one, "Project Horizon"

"Project Quest" is still under development, but you can already play chapters (levels) 1 and 2. Very much like it's predecessor, it looks great, with detailed graphics, nice little animations, and vivid colors. Sound effects are a great match for the visuals, and it has a moody background music score.

Here's a video from Electric Black Sheep's YouTube channel (2021-12-22):

Go to Electric Black Sheep's website for more information and downloads:

Additional sources:

Castle Danger

Not too often comes a (virtual) board game along: "Castle Danger" is a conversion of a Windows freeware game that was first released in 2001.

It's basically chess with guns - and, as opposed to the PC original, it has a 1-player mode with computer AI. If you like a nice round of grid-map based, turn based strategy playing with a buddy, or against the CPU, this game is certainly worth looking at.

"Castle Danger" runs on any Amiga with 1MB RAM.

Here's a video from famous retro gaming YouTuber Saberman's channel (2022-01-31):

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

Additional sources:

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 ...and some bonus gaming news:

Ambermoon Advanced

Great 1993 fantasy RPG "Ambermoon" gets a couple of updates from developer Pyrdacor: If we got that right there's a patched original of "Ambermoon", and extension of the original game called "Ambermoon Advanced", and a complete rewrite in C# (for Mac, PC, Linux) called "".

In any case lots of stuff for "Ambermoon" fans!

Check these links for the different versions:

You can also visit the developer's homepage at:

Additional sources: (1993 Thalion game)

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for "Games galore #30"!

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Support Amiga game development! Buy a game!