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Old 10 September 2015, 18:16   #63
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Age: 33
Posts: 1,138
You know everything that has been discussed here in this threat is stuff Adam and I have been talking about nearly every day over the last ten years. Many years ago Adam noticed the trend in how people were starting to take an interest in retro gaming, and as the Amiga was our passion we got a few people together online and formed a team, Underground Arcade. Our goal was to produce games for Amigas with very specific target requirements, basically 1MB OCS machines, 2MB AGA machines, or expanded machines with hard drives and extra RAM (and next-gen Amigas) but really make it clear that there are three target categories. The idea was then to make a website inspired by the new app store trend that was starting which would work in Amiga browsers. On it you would browse through the available games, add them to the cart and purchase them with Paypal or Credit Card. It would offer options for physically published games as well as downloads, with prices to match. This way, we could establish a central hub for all new Amiga games to be made available from. It would also include a PD library with all the best PD games from previous years. PD games of course would be free to download, or you can purchase them on floppy disk for a small fee.

Does that sound like a better idea than several Amiga developers all having their own separate web pages with their game available from, or just uploading it to Aminet where it sits in the Recent list for a week or two before being forgotten forever. Or being an attachment on a single forum? No one ever finds out about games like this! There's no promotion, no advertising. By having all the new games on one single site, all with nice banner artwork, screenshots and video previews, and even user ratings and comments, we provide a way for people to stay informed about what's available, encourage community interaction and the shared enthusiasm will help drive up the amount of attention the games get and the sales as well.

It's funny, but Adam also envisioned that we'd eventually have a much better, open-source game creation suit which uses code from the Mr Beanbag engine and allows you to modify parts of the code as well as being a GUI/map-editor similar to Backbone, and using modules which are optimised for certain routines, and the kind of game he wanted to make with it would be a massive Metroidvania style game because it would ensure a maximum amount of features, which was basically what he wanted Halloween Nightmare to be. He told me this after Tricky first released her Halloween demo of Mr. Beanbag, which inspired us to make our Halloween Nightmare demo in Backbone back in 2007.

But back then there was hardly anywhere near as much interest in the Amiga as there is today, so his plan was to get people interested in both developing and playing Amiga games again. One way was by writing a review about Backbone, and later writing a tutorial on how to use it to make games. The other plan was to start annual Amiga games making competitions, to use the spirit of competition amongst the idle community to get some more new games out there. Both plans were moderately successful since we did get quite a few entries for the competitions over the years, some from people who later went on to make better Amiga games and release them (like Tracker Hero, which is awesome) and of course we've been kinda flooded with Backbone games. And I don't think it's a bad thing, because they're made by guys who wouldn't otherwise be able to make a game due to not knowing how to code. And sure, you can say "Learn to code!" but that's what I started to do back then and I'm still a total amateur!
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