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Old 21 October 2018, 22:15   #41
Mad-Matt
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PC Developers had no issue with telling players they needed to buy new hardware for there pc to get the full experience of the game. There was no real push to get players to upgrade there Amigas so the games were always made for the lowest configuration to the detriment of the game.

We were lucky that some developers took a chance that some Amiga owners had hard drives and that certainly makes those large adventure games more fun to play. The number of games that absolutely require a hd can be counted on one hand! There was no real push to upgrade cpu or memory unless you were into productivity. They certainly could have added midi options with no real effort to offer same sounds as pc versions should they be wanted (some sierra games do).

I do wonder if at least starting with the A1200 making the HD floppy standard would have helped us get more feature packed games that resemble their high end pc counterparts.
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Old 22 October 2018, 01:28   #42
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You can actually play the other versions on your native AGA Amiga anyway so it's all good either way

Last edited by NovaCoder; 22 October 2018 at 01:38.
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Old 22 October 2018, 01:58   #43
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Originally Posted by Mad-Matt View Post
PC Developers had no issue with telling players they needed to buy new hardware for there pc to get the full experience of the game.
I see this "full experience of the game" more as a marketing stuff.
Simply the PC parts were "so ill-conceived" that asking for a change was normal... Really, I hated that period of perpetual equipment change... just bought, already expired.

"PC" is where it is today because it was spread inside companies, not because of gamers. The Amiga was not see as a Professional Computer () by the masses even with the help of the A1000, A2000, A3000 & A4000...
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Old 22 October 2018, 13:06   #44
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Cant be solely the reason, plus i never knew any pirate who had 11 disk games! 99% were 1 or 2 disks, i guess even the cost of 11 blank disks wasnt worth it to some back then

Plus i know adventure games were niche even in their heyday, but reading more, Lucasarts said they were happy when a game hit 100k at that time. Makes Lemmings 55k first day sales on the Amiga alone even more impressive!
Honestly, the part about adventure games like that being more of a niche really surprises me. Not saying you're wrong! Just a surprise. As a kid with an Amiga 500+ (so what, like 90? ish) I knew another 4 Amiga uses who all played and loved the good adventure games.

And yes, including MI2 on pirate haha. A friend of a friend had access to a BBS for some pirated games, but most as i'm sure you know were hand-to-hand via word of mouth or copy parties. Including 11 disk games!

We all had MI2 on pirate (those i knew, i mean). There was even one that beat it i think? Was it beneath a steel sky?

The price of disks was dirt cheap. You could walk into a John Menzies and buy a pack of ten for what today would be a few quid iirc.

John
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Old 22 October 2018, 14:05   #45
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Maybe in England point & click adventures were a niche. According to the old UK mags action games dominated that market. But in Germany it was huge. On all (sales and readers favorites) top lists games like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, MI 1+2 or Indy III+IV were number one for month.
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Old 22 October 2018, 14:59   #46
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Maybe in England point & click adventures were a niche. According to the old UK mags action games dominated that market. But in Germany it was huge. On all (sales and readers favorites) top lists games like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, MI 1+2 or Indy III+IV were number one for month.
According to Amiga Power (UK magazine) in 1992 MI1 placed 4th in the top 100 games.

http://amr.abime.net/amr_amiga_power_top_100.php

Then again perhaps the monkey island series were a bit of an exception to the rule - i mean they were so enjoyable to play.

Also MI2 takes joint 2nd place with 96% in Amiga Formats highest scoring reviews. MI1 took 92% a year earlier.

http://amr.abime.net/top_scoring_reviews_4

(Btw this site is awesome!)

John

Last edited by project23; 22 October 2018 at 15:04.
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Old 22 October 2018, 21:55   #47
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Favorite version of Monkey Island 1 was the PC-CD version mostly because of the awesome music (linky below), but the Amiga version is the next favorite. The music again just gets to me. Its a bit sluggish in the gameplay though from time to time.

There are also the talky re-releases... as much as I love the work the voice actor did for Monkey Island 3 and it's cartoony style, it just doesn't translate very well to the originals. Reading "Okay doggy... you're coming with me" right before Guybrush sticks a dog into his inner coat pocket is just a lot funnier compared to hearing a wimpy voice say it.

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 22 October 2018, 23:47   #48
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this is true, the AMiga looked antialised but is because the type of the AMiga monitor used,1084s,philips CM8833
f you connect the microvitec 1438 , the Amiga pixels looks like a PC
Nope, even on a 1438, the Amiga graphics don't look like PC graphics. This is because the Amiga lowres screenmode causes scanlines, thereby shrinking the pixels. On a VGA lowres screen, there are no scanlines, so instead the pixels are twice as high as on Amiga.
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Old 22 October 2018, 23:50   #49
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Sure, there are a few Sierra games worth playing and they got a little better as time went by. The trouble is that *none* of the games they converted in-house were optimised to make the most of the Amiga's abilities because PC was their core market from day 1 and the Amiga never really caught on in the U.S.
To be fair, Lucasfilm only started to make use of the Amiga's graphical capabilities when they started to have VGA as their lead platform. Before that, they made all their graphics for EGA – with its ridiculous 64 colour palette – as can be seen in Zak McKraken or Indy III where everyone has the healthy complexion of an English tourist after one week on Costa del Sol.
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Old 22 October 2018, 23:56   #50
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as can be seen in Zak McKraken or Indy III where everyone has the healthy complexion of an English tourist after one week on Costa del Sol.
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Old 23 October 2018, 00:10   #51
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
To be fair, Lucasfilm only started to make use of the Amiga's graphical capabilities when they started to have VGA as their lead platform. Before that, they made all their graphics for EGA – with its ridiculous 64 colour palette – as can be seen in Zak McKraken or Indy III where everyone has the healthy complexion of an English tourist after one week on Costa del Sol.
Ridiculous yes (but then again all technical limitations are), yet with the power of dithering the Lucasarts artists did manage to do some cool stuff even under those limitations. I recently watched the postmortem on Loom on the GDC Youtube channel and there are some really interesting details shared in it.

[ Show youtube player ]

(around 28 minutes starts a section on graphics)
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Old 23 October 2018, 00:49   #52
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
To be fair, Lucasfilm only started to make use of the Amiga's graphical capabilities when they started to have VGA as their lead platform. Before that, they made all their graphics for EGA – with its ridiculous 64 colour palette – as can be seen in Zak McKraken or Indy III where everyone has the healthy complexion of an English tourist after one week on Costa del Sol.
Well, I wasn't just talking about the Amiga's graphical capabilities - Lucasfilm, for instance, made a concerted effort with sound on a fair few of their Ami conversions.

I think you're being a little unfair with your examples of Zak McKraken (CGA/EGA) and Indy III (CGA/EGA/VGA) also. They were converted during Lucasfilm's formative days (1988/89) on the Amiga when they were presumably learning the ins-and-outs of the platform (they dominated the 8-bit platforms, so weren't in a hurry to go 16-bit until the C64 started flagging in the U.S. market around 1988), so I think you can perhaps forgive them for not making the most of the Amiga's graphical capabilities until they'd done a few conversions first and, subsequently, began to hit their straps with games like Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour and Monkey Island in 1989/90. Fair enough - yeh?!

Sierra, on the other hand, didn't improve much over time (incidentally, they converted 40+ games in 6 years for the Amiga from 1986-92), and I'm sure it's predominantly because their in-house team didn't view Amiga conversions as a priority (and perhaps they were trading on their excellent reputation on the PC to help rack up Amiga sales also). If one was being really brutal in their assessment of Sierra's performance on the Amiga, they could be accused, on the face of it, of churning out Amiga conversions in the same manner and with the same intent as Probe or Tiertex did for our beloved machine.

Last edited by DrBong; 23 October 2018 at 05:36. Reason: Fixed sentences!
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Old 23 October 2018, 01:35   #53
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I do wonder if at least starting with the A1200 making the HD floppy standard would have helped us get more feature packed games that resemble their high end pc counterparts.
Missing HD floppy is IMHO the second biggest flaw of A1200 right after 4MB of FAST RAM or at least SIMM slot for it. And is it mostly never mentioned in the discussions. With properly working HD floppy (not like slow speed one in A4k) more games with all that fancy sounds and gfx could have been made on Amiga...
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Old 23 October 2018, 04:21   #54
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Missing HD floppy is IMHO the second biggest flaw of A1200 right after 4MB of FAST RAM or at least SIMM slot for it. And is it mostly never mentioned in the discussions. With properly working HD floppy (not like slow speed one in A4k) more games with all that fancy sounds and gfx could have been made on Amiga...

Or maybe by 1990 Commodore and game developers could have been convinced that this "new fad" of Hard Disk Drives in home computers was going to be around for a while and that casual consumers would expect that they'd be supported. I know, crazy.
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Old 23 October 2018, 09:38   #55
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That's a bit weird to take to most advanced PC configuration of that era and compare it to the lowest Amiga configuration at the same time.
The same things occurs with Wing Commander, the Amiga version is always compared with the PC one running on high end configuration.
Why does anyone one compare these games running on an Amiga 3000 with a HD ? Surely it wasn't the most common configuration among Amiga users but it was still an Amiga. And I guess the majority of Amiga users now have a machine that is on par with an A3000, or at least with an HD and some fast ram.
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Old 23 October 2018, 11:42   #56
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many PC users at the Amiga time using an 8086 or 286 at 8/10 Mhz like Amiga or Atari ST. PC was very expensive, so not far all fast PC configuration.
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Old 23 October 2018, 12:36   #57
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Yes. But when people compare games of that era on both machines, they always take the best PC configuration available and the lowest Amiga one (because not many people had an Amiga 3000 with HD for gaming purpose in that time they said... but I don't think many people had 80486 + SVGA + soundblaster just for playing).
I remember having the same debate for Wing Commander, comparing the game on high end PC to the ECS version on a stock A600.
That a bit the same thing comparing the A500 with the X68000 or even the Falcon030 with the A1200 considering the Amigas were much more affordable (2x more expensive for the Falcon, 6x more expensive for the x68000).
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Old 23 October 2018, 13:20   #58
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yes, it's true. Wing commander should be compared to similar configuration. i don't remember now the minimun spec for PC version, but if it was 386sx, it should be compared with CD32 version.
Same things also for Monkey 1 and 2.

With Amiga however is difficult to make comparison because the same games for Amiga and PC use different video adapter, different kind of music card or colors.
Many point and click adventures on Amiga were available only in OCS/ECS version and on PC in VGA 256 colors. Same things flight simulators.

On Amiga you can often compare the sounds, the speed and che scrolling fluidity
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Old 23 October 2018, 19:54   #59
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Well, I wasn't just talking about the Amiga's graphical capabilities - Lucasfilm, for instance, made a concerted effort with sound on a fair few of their Ami conversions.
I remember Zak McKraken not sounding much better than an ST soundtrack.

And even Tiertex made better soundtracks on the Amiga than on the ST.

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I think you're being a little unfair with your examples of Zak McKraken (CGA/EGA) and Indy III (CGA/EGA/VGA) also. They were converted during Lucasfilm's formative days (1988/89) on the Amiga when they were presumably learning the ins-and-outs of the platform (they dominated the 8-bit platforms, so weren't in a hurry to go 16-bit until the C64 started flagging in the U.S. market around 1988), so I think you can perhaps forgive them for not making the most of the Amiga's graphical capabilities until they'd done a few conversions first and, subsequently, began to hit their straps with games like Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour and Monkey Island in 1989/90. Fair enough - yeh?!
I think I'm perfectly fair towards Lucasfilm. The Amiga was already an established platform around the time they made their first adventure game, though that was primarily an 8-bit game. The following games were not, though, yet Lucasfilm persevered in using EGA as their lead platform, to the chagrin of both ST and Amiga users.
It is ironic, that the Lucasfilm adventures only started to look good on the Amiga when they started being down-graded from the PC, never when they could actually have been up-graded from the PC.
The only sensible thing for a company making graphics adventures would have been to use the most powerful platform available as the lead, and down-convert the graphics as necessary to later platforms, just as was the case for the Amiga when the Monkey Island games came around.



Just look at those pink-on-red skin tones or the way cyan is used as a highlight for grey. They didn't have to raise the number of colours or anything, just tweak the palette a bit. Sloppy.

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Sierra, on the other hand, didn't improve much over time (incidentally, they converted 40+ games in 6 years for the Amiga from 1986-92), and I'm sure it's predominantly because their in-house team didn't view Amiga conversions as a priority (and perhaps they were trading on their excellent reputation on the PC to help rack up Amiga sales also). If one was being really brutal in their assessment of Sierra's performance on the Amiga, they could be accused, on the face of it, of churning out Amiga conversions in the same manner and with the same intent as Probe or Tiertex did for our beloved machine.
To be fair, Sierra gave even PC users a bad deal since they used the IBM PC Junior as their lead platform as long as they possible could. Hence the blocky C64-style graphics.
Sierra didn't only mishandle the Amiga, they mishandled the PC as well until they finally switched from 1983 PC Jr graphics to VGA graphics in the early nineties.
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Old 23 October 2018, 21:30   #60
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I remember Zak McKraken not sounding much better than an ST soundtrack.

And even Tiertex made better soundtracks on the Amiga than on the ST.
That's another selective example, for mine. The conversions need to be looked at on balance in order to reduce bias and form a more objective opinion. As you said, Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken are essentially 8-bit games and were pretty much Lucasfilm's first two games for the Amiga. The simple fact is that you can't expect wonders from many devs when they're doing conversion work from day one, on a schedule and on a new platform. If you disagree, then I think you'd be comfortably in the minority.

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I think I'm perfectly fair towards Lucasfilm. The Amiga was already an established platform around the time they made their first adventure game, though that was primarily an 8-bit game. The following games were not, though, yet Lucasfilm persevered in using EGA as their lead platform, to the chagrin of both ST and Amiga users.
I disagree. Being an established platform is pretty much irrelevant when you're new to it; the Amiga had only been around 2-3 years by the time they first started conversions for the platform, and a white elephant platform at that as far as their core U.S. market was concerned. Even in 1988/89, the European success of the Amiga was of secondary concern for heavy-hitting American devs/publishers like Lucasfilm and Sierra when their U.S. sales on the PC and C64 were such large volume (and for some games made the Euro Amiga/ST sales look like shrivelled up small potatoes!). Moreover, it's not like Lucasfilm were Team 17 and came to the party on the Amiga in 1991 after having had ample opportunity to observe and learn vicariously from what other devs had done for years before them.

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The only sensible thing for a company making graphics adventures would have been to use the most powerful platform available as the lead, and down-convert the graphics as necessary to later platforms, just as was the case for the Amiga when the Monkey Island games came around.
No, from a business/sales POV......the most sensible and pragmatic thing for a software dev/publisher is to use a sufficiently powerful lead platform (ideally amenable to cross-platform development) that will yield the most sales, for any given game, in the core market in which you operate. For Lucasfilm in the captive U.S. market of the mid-to-late 80s, those platforms were the C64 and PC (and in its infancy it was the Atari 400/800/XL, 8-bit consoles and then the C64 following the 1983 videogame crash). They had no troubles whatsoever cross-developing on those platforms during most of the 1980s as their sales success will attest to. Like it or not, the Amiga/ST didn't justify being a significant priority at any stage of the game really for the likes of Lucasfilm and Sierra in the lucrative North American market.

Indeed, the Amiga and ST had proved to be huge white elephants in the U.S. market by 1988/89.....unlike Europe. While Amiga games were still selling well enough in Europe in 1992/93 (and Australasia, for that matter), it was far from the case in North America with the PC and consoles dominating virtually without peer.....so by that point even healthy European sales weren't nearly enough incentive for Lucasfilm and Sierra to continue even bothering to crank out Amiga conversions (mediocre or not!). If things had been different, then we might've been blessed with decent Amiga conversions (AGA if not OCS/ECS) of the next installment in Lucasfilm's Maniac Mansion series (Day of the Tentacle), as well as Sam & Max. They weren't and, sadly, we didn't!

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Just look at those pink-on-red skin tones or the way cyan is used as a highlight for grey. They didn't have to raise the number of colours or anything, just tweak the palette a bit. Sloppy.
Sure - and it smacks of CGA downward conversion syndrome for my eyes - but it's certainly no sloppier than many of the early devs that graduated from 8-bit platforms. Some 8-bit devs in the 80s just never got to grips with 16-bit platforms like the Amiga, ST and Archimedes and never produced anything resembling optimised 16-bit quality games. Lucasfilm at least learnt from the folly of their early conversions and produced a few Amiga gems like the MI games, but Sierra not-so-much unfortunately.

Quote:
To be fair, Sierra gave even PC users a bad deal since they used the IBM PC Junior as their lead platform as long as they possible could. Hence the blocky C64-style graphics.
Sierra didn't only mishandle the Amiga, they mishandled the PC as well until they finally switched from 1983 PC Jr graphics to VGA graphics in the early nineties.
Spot-on! This further illustrates my point above that the majority of devs in the 80s were either slow to adapt to new, more powerful platforms after being successful 8-bit pioneers (or at least still being in business at the point of transition from 8- to 16-bit development) or, worse still, never quite managed it at all.

Anyway, we're kinda straying from the topic of Hewitson's thread. That's my 4c....but your mileage may vary!

Last edited by DrBong; 23 October 2018 at 22:57. Reason: Fixed sentences!
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