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Old 23 August 2016, 00:36   #1
albino
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how commercial amiga game would be those day?

I was always wendering how a commercial game made for amiga 500 would look like if he was done in 2016 supported by today's technology...
Would it be slighly better that what we had back in the day or completly different?
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Old 23 August 2016, 01:01   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albino View Post
I was always wendering how a commercial game made for amiga 500 would look like if he was done in 2016 supported by today's technology...
Would it be slighly better that what we had back in the day or completly different?
Some of the games released back in the day already appeared to be the result of extensive witchcraft ;-) ("Elfmania" for example)
So technically its hard to imagine anything beyond that.
But the question is a bit difficult to answer, because its not a real situation.. and "What if" scenarios usually bring along a lot of other follow up questions..
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Old 23 August 2016, 01:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXeler0 View Post
Some of the games released back in the day already appeared to be the result of extensive witchcraft ;-) ("Elfmania" for example)
So technically its hard to imagine anything beyond that.
But the question is a bit difficult to answer, because its not a real situation.. and "What if" scenarios usually bring along a lot of other follow up questions..
I was thinking, maybe they would have devellop better optimisation programme wich would alow the ocs/ecs to create more impressive graphisme and animation. in 1994 programmer already manage to create impressive visual like brian the lion or mr nuts! maybe they could have gone beyond, as you never know what this hardware is capable of...
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Old 23 August 2016, 02:15   #4
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Amiga 4K. Just imagine.
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Old 23 August 2016, 10:15   #5
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I imagine that games could be made much more stunning today, simply being able to make modern development tools on a fast PC with practically infinite storage/memory/speed means that you can effectively do more work in less time and can spend more time focusing on the details. Just look at demos/intros made for OCS 68k today vs. 20 years ago.

Games made 20 years ago could probably also have been made even more amazing back then but since there is a hard cap on development time spent, it would have been too expensive to do that, and it is always a balance between cost and output quality.

If you check C64 demos, it is very clear that what they can do with the platform today would be considered impossible 25 years ago.
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Old 23 August 2016, 10:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXeler0 View Post
Some of the games released back in the day already appeared to be the result of extensive witchcraft ;-) ("Elfmania" for example)
So technically its hard to imagine anything beyond that.
But the question is a bit difficult to answer, because its not a real situation.. and "What if" scenarios usually bring along a lot of other follow up questions..
maybe in terms of programming, but i think most of the old games were somewhat lacking in the presentation department. In need of better overall production. and team sizes were very small, compared to both modern commercial games teams and contemporary console teams.
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Old 23 August 2016, 11:45   #7
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I recently developed an Amiga game using cross development tools. Obviously being a home brew game developed in my spare time my game was at a much lower standard than commercial games, but the speed of development was insane.

I could do a full build including converting all graphics and audio files in 3.5 seconds. Partial builds were practically instant.

After that my game would be running in fs-uae a few seconds later. And using "warp" mode in fs-uae meant I could "fast forward" things like track loading or even the game. I included some auto play features so I could fast forward to specific sections of game play I was working on.

All of this meant from making a change in an assembler file to testing the relevant part of the game was an insignificantly short amount of time.

And this ignores the amazing power that winuae etc provides to developers.

So I would say if experienced Amiga coders with a big budget produced something using today's tools the results would be worlds apart from what we saw in the 90s.

If only it would happen.
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Old 23 August 2016, 12:19   #8
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Quote:
Some of the games released back in the day already appeared to be the result of extensive witchcraft ;-) ("Elfmania" for example)
So technically its hard to imagine anything beyond that.
Yes, the late Amiga 500 games most likely reached the technical limits of the hardware.

But all of them were made by small teams, for example all graphics in Elfmania were made by just one artist. Modern commercial game development teams usually have more, even if it's just a 2D game.

So if Elfmania was done for the A500 in 2016, by a larger version of Terramarque with more talented staff and resources, who know the Amiga 500 inside out (having made games for it for over 20 years now! ), then I would imagine that the end result would be something like The King of Fighters 2000 on the Neo Geo, but with Elfmania characters and better graphics.

For example a four times larger staff would be able to produce a four times larger game, so in an "Elfmania 2016" there would probably be around 24 playable characters, and also 24 stages and 24 musics. The game would require 1MB of RAM, come in 6 to 8 disks, with a HD install option, and also there would be a CD version (assuming that Commodore has given the standard A500 model a built-in CD-ROM upgrade by 2016).

Quote:
So I would say if experienced Amiga coders with a big budget produced something using today's tools the results would be worlds apart from what we saw in the 90s.

If only it would happen.
It will happen someday, I'm sure of it. One day we will start to get games like Darius Gaiden, Ninja Baseball Batman and Castlevania Symphony of the Night, all running on a standard Amiga 500 with 1MB of RAM.
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Old 23 August 2016, 13:42   #9
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here are some modern games

[ Show youtube player ]
[ Show youtube player ]
[ Show youtube player ]

Well, I preffer "old skool" than these
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Old 23 August 2016, 13:52   #10
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Haha.
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Old 23 August 2016, 20:06   #11
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@Selur

Lol, that Centron3D looks and sounds badass.

---

I thought a little bit more about the hypothetical situation where commercial Amiga 500 game development would have continued into the modern times.

It's an interesting thought experiment: What if Amiga 500 just never died, and simply continued to exist as an infinitely popular common piece of technology, and almost every home would simply have one, much like every home now has refrigerators and microwave ovens? Software demand for the machine would remain to be constantly high and steady, just like it was in the best years, and this state would simply continue one year after another.

Modern PCs and Playstions and Gamecubes would come and go, but the Amiga 500 and Commodore would just simply stay alive alongside them, for some strange reason that no-one understands, and in 2016 the A500 would still have something like a 20% share of the worldwide gaming market. And Commodore wouldn't release any new machines anymore, because they simply don't have to: they already have a winner.

In an alternative reality like this, what kind of games would be made? Where the limit would be, if big companies and super talented programmer teams just pushed the hardware more and more, and used millions for this purpose?

---

The results would without a doubt be very interesting, and I would really like to have a glimpse of such an alternative reality; the thought of thousands of unseen high quality A500 titles is very exciting.

In all likelyhood, the A500 would at least have a lot of 2D conversions of popular 3D games, just like Game Boy Advance got 2D versions of titles like Splinter Cell, Ace Combat, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, and many others.

Also popular isometric 2D games, like Diablo and Fallout, would get Amiga conversions, as well as many Playstation 2D RPGs, like Persona 2 Innocent Sin, Breath of Fire, Disgaea, and so on. Some of them might be a little bit of a stretch to do on an A500, but this wouldn't matter; the developers would simply get the money and the orders to DO IT.

Also I think that the A500 would get 2D versions of every game in the Grand Theft Auto series, and also lots of classic 8-bit and 16-bit game conversions and collections, such as a NES Megaman and Ninja Gaiden Collections, as well as lots of good quality conversions of 16-bit arcade and console games, and so forth.

And of course there would be many exclusive titles, with absolute awesomeness...imagine the action of Turrican combined with the visual effects of Lionheart, combined with the mood of Agony and Shadow of the Beast...a kickass shooter/slash'em up with a Conan the Barbarian and Nightwish inspired heavy metal soundtrack.
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Old 26 August 2016, 01:49   #12
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Don't forget Championship Manager 23 and Lemmings 15.
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Old 26 August 2016, 12:08   #13
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Don't forget Championship Manager 23 and Lemmings 15.
Indeed, new sequels are always welcome.

I think Amiga would do well in the modern gaming market, we even have many zombie game franchises that people seem to like a lot these days: Ubisoft's Zombi, Horror Zombies From the Crypt, and the Blitz classic Zombie Apocalypse:

[ Show youtube player ]

And Xbox 360 games like Dead Rising could also be easily converted to the Amiga. We just combine a Dungeon Master style "mall crawler" like Zombi, with mouse controlled Operation Thunderbolt style shooter, a little bit like that Zombie Apocalypse, but with full screen size sprites. It would work great, I'm sure of it, and surely talented programmers could get it run on a standard A500 with a reasonable frame rate.
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Old 26 August 2016, 14:31   #14
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I think that if the A500 continued as a commercial platform, it would look much like the Gameboy or the ZX Spectrum in its latter days. Quick, awful "conversions" of popular titles from other platforms made quickly by low-skilled programmers.
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Old 26 August 2016, 14:39   #15
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I'm afraid Amiga would have tons of Zuma, Puzzle Bobble, match 3 games.
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Old 26 August 2016, 18:05   #16
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The purpose of this topic was only to figure out how far the ocs/ecs hardware was capable of, taking into account the new technologies in terms of programming.
I made a mistake in using the word commercial in the title..
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Old 26 August 2016, 19:58   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albino View Post
The purpose of this topic was only to figure out how far the ocs/ecs hardware was capable of, taking into account the new technologies in terms of programming.
I made a mistake in using the word commercial in the title..
I Think you can look at demos from then and now. The purpose of those is pretty much always to push the platform of choice and show new tricks.
The C64 has had a more extreme development in that area even making use of newly found hardware bugs and such. In that respect the A500 can likely be pushed some more.


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Old 27 August 2016, 11:25   #18
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Are there any A500 scene demos that would focus on sprites and BOBs? Which would demonstrate the maximum amount of moving and animating 2D objects on screen at once?

I ask this, because most demos seem to concentrate on all sorts of special effects. And although some of them look very impressive and surely push the OCS/ECS, the techniques and effects shown may not be practical in actual games.

If we think about 2D action games, they're mostly all about showing sprites and bobs in screen. In shooters you need lots of small to medium size objects, and in fighting games and street brawlers you need several big characters on screen without slowdown. And when anyone starts to make a game like these, they'll soon bump into the limitations of the OCS/ECS chipset. And this is where the "pushing the limits" starts.

And so, if we speculate on how far the A500 OCS/ECS could be pushed, in the terms of actual games rather than flashy demos, I think it all comes down to maximizing blitting speed and sprite multiplexing techniques. And when the "official limits" of the Blitter are reached, and it says "sorry, I can't blit any more objects this frame", then the next step is to invent clever tricks and techinques that make things appear and move on screen, either with the blitter or without it.

Some later Amiga OCS/ECS games like Mega Typhoon show what the standard machine is capable of:

[ Show youtube player ]

Surely if the A500 can put that amount of stuff to the screen, then also games like Darius Gaiden and other arcade 2D blasters of the 90's should be possible to do.

In fact this could be a good "challenge to the demoscene": make a short shooter level that shows as much stuff flying on screen as in Darius Gaiden, and to the end put a great boss fight too. Just rip the gfx from the arcade version and give it a go. Show us Blitz and AMOS coders what the Assembler is capable of.

Here's a longplay of Darius Gaiden:

[ Show youtube player ]

Stage 2 boss shown at 4:40 is particularly cool, surely the Amiga 500 could handle that?
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Old 27 August 2016, 14:37   #19
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Mega Typhoon is really amazing. I was shocked when I first saw it, pushing that huge amount of stuff on screen without slowdown. What the game really miss is a cool soundtrack though.

I always wondered, even more after seeing Mega Typhoon... with the correct compromises and team of competent coders, could we get a playable port of Batsugun? This is usually regarded as the game that made the transition of the shoot'em up genre from "Old school" to "Bullet Hell"

[ Show youtube player ]

We will never know
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Old 27 August 2016, 18:01   #20
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The engine of Mega Typhoon surely feels fast enough for a game like Batsugun. Although obviously some compromises would be needed, but nothing major. If you compare the two gameplay videos, you'll notice that both for example use similar techniques for player bullets: many bullet images are shown in one sprite/bob.

It would be great if someone would make a "professional analysis" of Mega Typhoon, and look how it's made, and make an article like this Stardust analysis: http://www.codetapper.com/amiga/sprite-tricks/stardust/

This way everyone would know the techiques used in it, and can replicate them in their own game projects. With the help of the Codetapper website's Stardust analysis, even I managed to replicate the stardust tunnel effect in one day with Blitz Basic 2 (simply used two "Blocks" to draw the 6 tunnel frames and it ran at 50fps).

---

But I quickly analysed the Mega Typhoon video, and I *think* that the game works this way:

1.
The game uses dual playfield, with 8 colors in both fields. The scrolling background gfx are in the back layer, and moving objects in the front layer. This way it doesn't have to repair the "background damage" caused by all those bob blits.

I think this is the only way how huge bosses like the one seen at 6:10 could be possible.

2.
The 8 color graphics are hidden by brave color choices, like purple, pink, orange, cherry red and yellowish sand green. Also at some strategic points along the level, certain background colors are changed to provide different colored ground later. For example at 3:30 there is a long forest, and after the forest ends, the basic ground color is different.

And player bullets at least are sprites, and they provide some extra colors, like cyan. Also Player is a sprite, notice how the craft wing stripes use the same cyan color as the player bullets.

3.
And in addition to the above, there is some sprite multiplexing going on, which can put about 30 bullets to screen...enough for a screen full of action.
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