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Old 03 August 2020, 16:32   #1
Brick Nash
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Thinking of jumping ship from Amos to Blitz

Just as the title says - I'm thinking about switching to Blitz from Amos.

This is mostly just down to the fact that just about everyone says Blitz is much faster in regard to the end product. I'm just wondering how it's much faster? Is it just a better interpreter? Also, how much faster is it than AMOS (Ballpark)?

From what I've seen by scanning the manual, I picked up on a few things that were similar to assembly, but mashed in with familiar BASIC stuff. I've heard it's not as well documented as Amos, but is more flexible in the long run

I downloaded the Ultimate Blitz CD and installed it on my WinUAE setup, and I'm now faced with a blank Editor screen (Ted 1.1) and not much else.

So, will it be worth my while diving into this?
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Old 03 August 2020, 16:36   #2
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Blitz compiles always. It has no interpreter. When you hit the run operation you get a progress bar across the bottom of the screen and it runs.

Even Blitz can't beat Bebbo's GCC however.
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Old 03 August 2020, 16:43   #3
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Even Blitz can't beat Bebbo's GCC however.
Thanks for the info.

Is that a compiler? Can it be used with Blitz?
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Old 03 August 2020, 16:46   #4
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Indeed, if you wish to use a high level language and you're comfortable with C/C++, I'd recommend Bebbo's GCC (or the other GCC environment aimed more at demo coding by Bartman).

If you do wish to stick with BASIC, I've found Blitz to be considerably faster than AMOS for most tasks but also somewhat less friendly for beginners.
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Thanks for the info.

Is that a compiler? Can it be used with Blitz?
It's a C/C++ compiler
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Old 03 August 2020, 16:53   #5
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Indeed, if you wish to use a high level language and you're comfortable with C/C++, I'd recommend Bebbo's GCC (or the other GCC environment aimed more at demo coding by Bartman).

If you do wish to stick with BASIC, I've found Blitz to be considerably faster than AMOS for most tasks but also somewhat less friendly for beginners.

It's a C/C++ compiler
I was actually thinking of giving C a go for a Megadrive project, so that might be quite good timing to check it out.

Cheers!
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Old 03 August 2020, 17:58   #6
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Quote:
This is mostly just down to the fact that just about everyone says Blitz is much faster in regard to the end product. I'm just wondering how it's much faster? Is it just a better interpreter? Also, how much faster is it than AMOS (Ballpark)?
I don't know the exact speed difference between AMOS and Blitz, but if you want to get a quick idea about the speed of Blitz, then here is a simple moving BOB demo with collision detection which has been created for the purpose of "speed testing", and which I tried to make as fast as possible:

https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=98866

In the thread I have listed how much stuff it can draw at 50 FPS in different situations, and in the demo itself you can test different object combinations at 50 FPS or 25 FPS.

---

Also a few years ago I made some tests to see if I could theoretically convert Streets of Rage 2 to Blitz:

https://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p...6&postcount=42

Which you might find interesting since you have been working on the Streets of Rage 1 conversion for AMOS.

---

But as people said, C is probably a great choice too.
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Old 03 August 2020, 20:17   #7
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Originally Posted by Master484 View Post
I don't know the exact speed difference between AMOS and Blitz, but if you want to get a quick idea about the speed of Blitz, then here is a simple moving BOB demo with collision detection which has been created for the purpose of "speed testing", and which I tried to make as fast as possible:

https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=98866

In the thread I have listed how much stuff it can draw at 50 FPS in different situations, and in the demo itself you can test different object combinations at 50 FPS or 25 FPS.

---

Also a few years ago I made some tests to see if I could theoretically convert Streets of Rage 2 to Blitz:

https://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p...6&postcount=42

Which you might find interesting since you have been working on the Streets of Rage 1 conversion for AMOS.

---

But as people said, C is probably a great choice too.
Great, thanks for the info!

At the Moment C is looking really tempting as it's used across a few platforms so that would be great. I already have Notepad++ installed so I have an editor and I'm setting up both Bebbo GCC and VBCC to check them out.

Is there any recommended documentation for Amiga based C that would be useful? My first thought was "How do I address the Amiga hardware?" and stuff like that.

I doubt I'll be continuing with the Streets of Rage conversion. At least, not under Amos anyway. I know beat 'em ups pretty well so maybe I'll try Final Fight in C, although that game seems to be cursed.
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Old 03 August 2020, 20:26   #8
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Well, there is the Amiga Hardware Reference Manual, but that is aimed 100% at low-level hardware access and tends to be coupled with assembly as a result. Using the info with C is possible, but realise you can easily hang the machine or break the OS by banging the hardware directly. Alternatively you can either use the OS or use some middleware (that is to say, I do believe there are some game oriented C libraries for the Amiga somewhere).

I can't really help you with OS based game programming as I have little experience in it, but the hardware reference manual is online and can be found (together with a bunch of other documentation) here: http://amigadev.elowar.com/
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Old 03 August 2020, 20:43   #9
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Well, there is the Amiga Hardware Reference Manual, but that is aimed 100% at low-level hardware access and tends to be coupled with assembly as a result. Using the info with C is possible, but realise you can easily hang the machine or break the OS by banging the hardware directly. Alternatively you can either use the OS or use some middleware (that is to say, I do believe there are some game oriented C libraries for the Amiga somewhere).

I can't really help you with OS based game programming as I have little experience in it, but the hardware reference manual is online and can be found (together with a bunch of other documentation) here: http://amigadev.elowar.com/
Thanks! I have a hard copy of the Hardware Reference Manual somewhere so I'll dig it out. I'll need to actually learn C as well, but I've done similar languages so it shouldn't take too long to pick up.

I'm just using emulation too, so any bungles I make (and there'll be a lot) won't cause any permanent damage.
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Old 03 August 2020, 21:13   #10
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If you're thinking of C/C++ for games development, you might want to look at Gamesmith. Files and manual available on the FTP: https://grandis.nu/eabsearch/search....xclude=&limit=

Dave Haynie even reviewed it once: http://www.amigareport.com/ar319/review1.html

I've never personally used it but I've always told myself to learn it. Maybe one day
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Old 03 August 2020, 21:40   #11
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GameSmith is only good on 020+ due to CPU-assisted blitting but it's great on AGA systems.
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Old 03 August 2020, 21:52   #12
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I think programming wise there is one main difference. AMOS is a sandbox. If your program crashes, it does inside AMOS environment. If your program crash in Blitz, it will guru your Amiga. So AMOS is safe, but less powerful, slower and no AGA.

I can understand AMOS very well, great documentation and very friendly interpreter. Unfortunately I can not get into Blitz. Maybe I am just dumb. There is a lot of talented and skilled Blitz coders here. Good luck.
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Old 04 August 2020, 10:37   #13
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I think programming wise there is one main difference. AMOS is a sandbox. If your program crashes, it does inside AMOS environment. If your program crash in Blitz, it will guru your Amiga. So AMOS is safe, but less powerful, slower and no AGA.

I can understand AMOS very well, great documentation and very friendly interpreter. Unfortunately I can not get into Blitz. Maybe I am just dumb. There is a lot of talented and skilled Blitz coders here. Good luck.
Amos is lovely. It's so easy to install and get to grips with, but it's just too slow.

I've been flicking through the HRM and I might just bite the bullet and go for assembly. I'm familiar with all the registers and moving things around between them/branching etc. so I've no real excuse.
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Old 04 August 2020, 15:31   #14
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I once cut and pasted a corkscrew scroller from Amos to Blitz changed minor syntax and it worked I posted all about it somewhere on eab I then did Speed tests filling a screen with Tiles, tests between Blitz and Amos and there was virtually nothing in it with Turbo Amos probably beats Blitz.

Blitz is better or Blitting Bobs and Screen Copying(software scrolling)

Amos does have that seamless BOB collision that doesn't seem to be in Blitz.
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Old 04 August 2020, 19:27   #15
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C + OS programming + Final Fight? Forget it! Mix C with assembly (hardware banging), that's the only way. Also, I don't recommend GameSmith, it's old, unsupported and buggy? Examples crashes my Amiga. Better try https://github.com/AmigaPorts/ACE.
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Old 04 August 2020, 19:56   #16
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From a quick glance, ACE looks great. I would've liked to see it do more (eg. collision detection) but it looks like a good starting point.
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Old 04 August 2020, 22:35   #17
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Personally, if I changed my language on the Amiga, I'd choose the C.
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Old 05 August 2020, 09:15   #18
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C + OS programming + Final Fight? Forget it! Mix C with assembly (hardware banging), that's the only way. Also, I don't recommend GameSmith, it's old, unsupported and buggy? Examples crashes my Amiga. Better try https://github.com/AmigaPorts/ACE.
Honestly, I don't think I'll be doing Final Fight. I looked at some videos of the old Amiga port and it barely ran with just a few of those big sprites on the screen. Maybe if the smaller SNES graphics were used instead of the arcade's, but even still.

So, maybe something that hasn't been done before. Gang Wars was a mediocre arcade beat 'em up but I think I cold make it playable with some decent hit detection and tweaks, and the sprites are a reasonable size. I'm not that familiar with other genres, so that one works for me.

I've been very tempted by assembly, and just by chance I stumbled came across this old Bullfrog tutorial:

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/redb...f-article1.pdf

I also managed to track down the actual coverdisk which came with it, and I have to say - it's making things so much clearer just looking at this demo and how things are structured. Assembly was always really scary, but it actually doesn't seem that different to other languages, bar keeping track of the bits/keeping addresses even etc.

A lot of ASM tutorials that I've seen tended to ramble with very little visual reference for what was being said, and a lot of them just seemed to describe what to do in long winded paragraphs rather than showing you how to do it in code. It's like someone describing to you how to fix a car engine and then handing you a tool box without ever actually opening the bonnet. Even the HRM seems to describe more than show. At least, that's how it feels to me, but I'm a very visual person, so I understand that these tutorials will work well with most people.

For me though, the Bullfrog tutorial seems real easy to understand, and I'm having a lot of "Ah-ha!" moments from just scanning over what's there.

Tally ho!
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Old 05 August 2020, 09:45   #19
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Would you mind sharing the link to the cover disk ?
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Old 05 August 2020, 09:51   #20
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Would you mind sharing the link to the cover disk ?
Of course. Look for October 1992 Coverdisk 39a - Devpac

http://amr.abime.net/coverdisk_index_4

There's also this page with all the tutorials in the series linked:

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/redb.../bullfrog.html
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