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Old 25 May 2010, 00:23   #68
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madrid / Spain
Age: 50
Posts: 253
Now let's take a closer look to what those 8-bit active groups are actually doing. I pretended to do so many posts ago, but the thread got heavily distorted due to flaming. I hope we can talk about it now without getting it wrong!

I'll just focus on what the spanish homebrew Spectrum scene has lately achieved, with a handful of active groups releasing frequently almost professional quality games and two particularly remarkable examples both released in limited but professionally packaged commercial editions simultaneous for Spectrum and MSX, with professionally printed box and manuals, factory duplicated and labelled cassette tapes, and mini-cds with extras and files to play the games on emulators.

For "Corona Encantada" cover art Alfonso Azpiri, famous spanish comics ilustrator and author of classic covers for dozens of 80's 8 bit games (recently compiled in this book) was hired. Music for "Invasion Of The Zombie Monsters" (still for sale but soon to be freely downloadable) was made by Cesar Astudillo, aka "Gominolas", who also made tons of BSOs for any AY3-8912 sound based machine back in the days and is also a relly nice guy, as you could see at his last RetroMadrid live performance I recently youtubed. Speaking about youtubes you can see trailers of both games [ Show youtube player ] and [ Show youtube player ].

Now, what's my point here? I've had always the impression that "assembly or die" radical amiga fans have the misconception that assembler and/or C++ coding grants professional looking games, which is not entirely true. Professional commercial quality games require rersources. Resources as time and money. Basically a company to invest the money in full time talented artists. Without that, a C++ or assembler coded game would not neccesarilly look (or sound) better than any amateurishly AMOS written work.

But that's only half of it. Forget now about professionally ilustrated covers and nice and catchy quality music. Now focus on the coders. Many of them are now writting Spectrum, CPC or MSX assembler stuff, as in the games above. But most of them were just a handful of years ago entering our local Spectrum comps for games written in BASIC. Yeah, BASIC as in ZX Spectrum BASIC... and they were neither dissmissed nor ignored for it. In fact they received fair critics. People could like or dislike the games, but no one ever suggested the effort would have only been worth if they had been made in assembler. Some times I feel the classic Amiga fandom pretends to skip that stage in the belief that professional level assembler coders are going to pop out from the blue to make us wow at their hardware pushing low level visual game effects. I think that we have been sitting and waiting for long, but it just didn't happen.

Amiga has the power to make games like Corona Encantada or Invasion with better sound and graphics and without the need to code in low level programming languages. We're just not using it. That's why I honestly think 8 bits scenes have new homebrew games regularly and classic Amiga does not. And that's also why I stated elsewhere that I truly appreciated Arcade Underground's comps approach of "use whatever tool you feel like" instead of "write the ultimate assembler code". I bet that given time it could give unexpected results.

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