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Old 13 September 2015, 11:43   #112
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Nuernberg
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Originally Posted by matthey View Post
A 1MB A500 is the best target currently for a wide audience but it is challenging for a good game when not using assembler and banging the hardware which have steep learning curves and other disadvantages. Most active users have several MB of memory especially with UAE and FPGA hardware gaining in popularity. Even targeting a 68020 with 2MB of memory gets most active Amiga users. Unfortunately, targeting AGA loses many ECS owners unless RTG is also supported which isn't too difficult although sometimes slower and banging the hardware is out (IMO, the OS should be used when it is fast enough and capable enough).

Low spec games are great but I believe higher spec targets can be more easily created. I think this was some of Olaf's point. However, the Amiga slow motion revival is not to the spec Hollywood would need. Maybe some kinds of non-processor intensive games would be possible on targets other than UAE. Hollywood itself is compiled so improving compilers could help the situation but new more powerful 68k hardware than even the FPGA Arcade and Mist would be necessary and available at a reasonable price. The Natami link makes me sad as it was the right target and had so much promise.

GCC has problems in most versions with generating LINK/UNLK even with stack frames off. Vbcc and SAS/C do not have this problem. The default in vbcc is to have stack frames off because it generates the most efficient code .

GCC 2.95.3 had a solid 68k backend but lacked a good peephole optimizing assembler for the 68k. Vbcc today has the world's best 68k peephole optimizing assembler but the backend is basic. A peephole optimizer (and instruction scheduler) is somewhat limited on the 68k because most instructions set the CC. Vbcc does many sophisticated high level optimizations too. There just isn't much motivation (beyond fixing bugs) to improve the 68k backend with the current state of the 68k and Amiga. Lack of motivation for a dying platform is the reason why many games are never started or abandoned. Is there any other way to solve this problem besides new 68k Amiga hardware?
what I mean is todays "Amiga" are Smartphones so most still active game developers from amiga time are today developing for smartphones. It is "mission impossible" to try to persuade them to develop specific for Amiga, expecially for low-spec hardware like A500. There are reasons why games on such a hardware mostly turn off the OS and directly bang the hardware (often in asm), but for that you need lots of experience. The old devs are really slowly getting old and not interested anymore, the younger devs lack the experience and interest to learn the amiga hardware. One resource for game developers was the demo scene that is not much left anymore, others were students when developing for amiga in spare time. I doubt that many students today even have ever heared of amiga. So in my view if we want developers that become interested to support amiga again we have to offer easy-to-use cross-platform developer tools that support also commercial platforms. One example is Antiryad, another one Hollywood (both commercial). Possible would also be to port opensource cross-platform 3D engines and similar. It is unrealistic to hope for exclusive amiga games that also run on low-spec hardware like A500, time has moved on and even in the golden times there were only few of them like some jump-and-run.
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