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Old 11 October 2017, 19:06   #404
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gazj82's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cambs / UK
Posts: 257
Well I have just finished my first game on the Amiga (which is not great but it's a start!). I have released games before on the spectrum using AGD and the C64 using compiled basic.

These what I consider stumbling blocks :-

1. Getting set up development wise. Getting an Amiga set up that you can transfer data to and from is not easy and can be expensive. Emulation is an option but even this is not straight forward for the average person (I accept maybe most programmers are not average PC users). There is loads of conflicting information on what is best to use AMOS/Blitz/ASM/C and then what version of Blitz in my case.

2. The Amigas custom hardware. 8 bit machines have very simple hardware (esp ZX spectrum). There's not much to know or learn. Even the C64's sprites are extremely simple, one page from the C64 manual and you have got it. Bitplanes / Blitting / Dual playfields / ECS / AGA / Resolutions and Palettes with the Amiga, there is a lot to learn.

3. Documentation. The C64 and Spectrum have years and years of magazine articles, books (a huge amount available online and offline) with thousands of code examples in. Amiga documentation is harder to find. The Blitz manual can be found in PDF quite easily, finding it in print (which I find much easier to reference) is hard to find.

4. Artwork - I know for a fact artwork is going to hold back quality on any Amiga games I ever produce. I am an awful artist. I can just about fumble my way through some acceptable 8 bit graphics. My Amiga graphics are all going to look either like an 8 bit machine or like a 3 year old drew them.

5. Expectations - Don't get me wrong a game needs to be good on any platform, but a 1 screen arcade type game or even a flip screen game is much more accepted on the 8 bits. People wan't to see the Amiga do what it does best, that takes much more time than a one screen game and takes much more experience. Also most people's time doing this sort of thing is there spare time. A small 8 bit game is much more likely to get finished in someones spare time than a huge multi level Amiga platformer.

Lastly a bit about toolkits - I can think of good and bad ones. SEUCK is an example of a bad one. There is too many decisions forced on the user, hence most SEUCK games look the same. A great example is AGD on the ZX spectrum, it gives you all the tools you need to get going but it still needs you to write some code. This gives a great balance of ease of use but huge possibilities (well for a spectrum). Games made on AGD span a lot of genre's. SEUCK are well shoot em's up's and not even shoot em ups with variety.
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