English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 11 October 2017, 18:29   #401
Brick Nash
Registered User

Brick Nash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 192
Akira, I think people are misunderstanding me and assuming I'm wanting to avoid learning the more technical side of things. I'm not, but it'd be far easier to visualise if in a tutorial they could say "In a game this would be used like so...." or "This is used to do this which in a game would do this". Just somehow link what's happening on screen to game making, even if it's highly simplified.

Also, I don't think game design is the issue. If you know clearly what you want then the game is designed. Implementing it is the hard part.

Additionally, I think that statements like "Someone who cannot realize the transferable skills present in a tutorial based on the creation of demos, maybe should reconsider making games for Amiga". That sounds very much like "If you're not smart enough then tough" and maybe that's partly why the homebrew scene isn't as strong as it could be?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the feedback and I'm not having a go at you or anyone, but if I ask someone how to make soup and they give me a recipe for stew and say "it's pretty much the same". Why not just be specific and give me a recipe for soup in the first place?

It all seems just a bit cryptic and feels like you have to get from A to B via Z.
Brick Nash is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
Old 11 October 2017, 18:44   #402
Steril707
OCS rocks!

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Munich/Germany
Posts: 233
I have to admit, I learned most of my early knowledge from the Jeff Kandle "demo making" tutorial. It's german though..

If you can read german, I definitely recommend that one.

I tried Photons videos, but after a while I lose concentration with listening and watching. I prefer reading about technical stuff and being able to copy and paste stuff immediately...
Steril707 is online now  
Old 11 October 2017, 18:59   #403
Akira
Registered User

Akira's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 18,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brick Nash View Post
Akira, I think people are misunderstanding me and assuming I'm wanting to avoid learning the more technical side of things.
Not at all. At least not from me. I am giving general advice for anyone interested in making Amiga games. I am on the same boat and I cannot really grasp ASM on the Amiga fully, or how the machine works. So I am sharing my approach.

Quote:
Additionally, I think that statements like "Someone who cannot realize the transferable skills present in a tutorial based on the creation of demos, maybe should reconsider making games for Amiga". That sounds very much like "If you're not smart enough then tough" and maybe that's partly why the homebrew scene isn't as strong as it could be?
I resent that you quoted half of what I said. The second part says: "start training in programming in general and also try to understand game design first". A lot of people never programmed a thing and the first thing they want to do is an Amiga game. That's only for special people who could figure it out, most of us would come out damaged from the experience.

I didn't say "if you are not smart enough fuck you", it says "start with something more manageable at first and then get into the Amiga".

But I did imply that making stuff for Amiga isn't a walk in the park. There's a lot of effort involved and one must be willing to do so.

Quote:
Just somehow link what's happening on screen to game making, even if it's highly simplified.
But here's the thing: there's nothing to "show for" when you are initializing the Amiga, shutting down the OS or things like that. All things you can learn from any other tutorial, Photon's included. This is why I recommended anyone to look at stuff like that too.

There's a lot of boring shit you have to learn and do before you can even plonk a funny sprite and move it on screen much like this demonstration on the C64:
[ Show youtube player ]
See how easy that is? And would be almost as simple in 6502 asm. Almost.


You want a recipe? Here's mine:

- Learn a simple machine first, let's say C64. Program it in BASIC
- Move onto 6502 ASM for the C64. You will be able to directly and quickly make the connection between what you did in BASIC and what you have to do in ASM.
- Get into Blitz Basic, which will let you start with BASIC and learn the Amiga platform, while it will also allow you to add in-line assembler as you need and learn it
- Finally have a go at full assembler after having made a bunch of stuff in Blitz

This is not as simple as "recipe for making soup". Unfortunately you have to learn a lot of spanner-head shit that is in the way for you to get to the fun stuff, and if you plonk yourself directly into 68k asm and Amiga, you might end up discouraged. Even with Blitz if you don't use assembler, you end to understand how the chipset works, how a blitter is used, etc. On a C64, you poke a value to an address and it will do a funny thing immediately.

I get this is why a bunch of people use Backbone, but that ends up in a shitty result. A middle ground has to be met, and it won't be quick or easy, but you can ease in to it rather than become a martyr and go head first into it and get demotivated at how annoying it is to understand.
Akira is online now  
Old 11 October 2017, 19:06   #404
gazj82
Registered User

gazj82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cambs / UK
Posts: 271
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.
gazj82 is online now  
Old 11 October 2017, 21:41   #405
PortuguesePilot
The Son of Luso
PortuguesePilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Setúbal, Portugal
Posts: 368
Excellent insight, gazj82! Many of us already knew these issues but coming from a programmer himself - especially someone with experience with other computers - delivers a heavier punch.

Also: IMO 8bit graphics aren't necessarily a bad thing. Look at Bignonia's games. They all rock! But yes, I know what you mean. Hence why I said more than once that a really good Amiga game probably has to be a team effort (programmer, graphic artist, musician, etc).

Cheers!
PortuguesePilot is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 00:00   #406
NorthWay
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Grimstad / Norway
Posts: 392
So I've been thinking about this topic for some time and I think I disagree with those who see the 64 easier than the Amiga (but wait, there's more angles to this).

If you try to do this "right" - go through the OS, throw around windows, screens, rastports and what have you - then there is a lot to figure out before you get anywhere and not too much help. The OS books are 3-4 inches thick in total and the number of games and similar that has taken this path is a minority. (And no, I don't have enough knowledge to do it myself.)

If you instead short-circuit the process by leafing through the HRM coding to the metal then you basically have a more advanced CPU and more advanced chips.
And this is where I think the Amiga actually is easier: The 68K is more expressive and less limiting than 8-bit cpus, and the custom chips will do a lot for you - things that the cpu would have to do on the 64 and for which you can select to do at 25 fps or less if you simply run out of cycles.
The HRM is actually very clear and pedagogic(sp?) IMO, and most of the parts where it is lacking comes with pre-cooked solutions today. The parts missing is as I see it:
- system takeover / allocations
- interleaved bitmaps / blits
- re-arming(re-using) hw sprites vertically
- scrolling techniques

My personal opinion on why the 64 sees more activity is ironically that it is more limited: We like to push limits and on the 64 they are lower and easier to get close to. Getting close to the limits on the Amiga means a lot of work - just look at stuff like advanced sample compression, synthesized waveforms, >4 soundchannel playback, masses of background graphics and bobs (possibly with real-time mask generation, LZ/delta decompression and horizontal flipping). Just look at some of the threads discussing ports and how something as basic as picking a palette is hard to get right; you don't get too much of that on the 64.

To quote Orson Welles: "The absence of limitations is the enemy of art".
NorthWay is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 00:25   #407
Akira
Registered User

Akira's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 18,315
Agreed with what you say too, NorthWay, but ignoring the system leads to issues we experienced many times in the past, like software running only in one type of machine.
Since it's 2017 and we all have many different Amigas, and many of those have varied expansions, you have to code for the lowest common denominator, so hitting the killswitch completely is probably not a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthWay View Post
To quote Orson Welles: "The absence of limitations is the enemy of art".
Excellent quote, and very true
Akira is online now  
Old 12 October 2017, 00:41   #408
OmegaMax
Sonic Boom

OmegaMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 85
For me personally the c64 is easier then nes,master system and I tell others to start assembly on c64 until they have a very good grasp on assembly then move on.Also the c64 has loads of code for it which is very helpful,anyone that can hold their own weight in programming can clearly see the amiga is more difficult to program,feel free to disagree.For me I'm wrapping my head around the amiga hardware as it's different then all the systems I've programmed on,but like every other system it takes a few months to really understand the hardware.It's only been a few hours a week for me on amiga and about 2-3 weeks so far I've learned sprites,the blitter and now onto scrolling"I'm not claiming to have mastered these but I understand them" anyway I don't want any of my comments to discourage others so keep at it.

Last edited by OmegaMax; 12 October 2017 at 00:53.
OmegaMax is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 04:53   #409
OmegaMax
Sonic Boom

OmegaMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 85
I'm done sharing code and trying to explain,when people think demo coding is the same as game programing,and c64 is no different than amiga.Brick Nash pm me when ready and I will share source code and explanation in chat,instead of wasting my time.

Last edited by OmegaMax; 12 October 2017 at 05:13.
OmegaMax is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 05:39   #410
alpine9000
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 370
It's certainly a hard slog to get up to full speed with Amiga hardware programming.

You can see how I learn't both the hardware and ASM in my github repo:

https://github.com/alpine9000/amiga_examples

It took me 27 mini educational projects before I finally started the game that ended up as Blocky Skies.

My next games are written in mostly C rather than ASM, but that's just because the generated code is generally good enough, and I am a better C programmer than ASM programmer.

Last edited by alpine9000; 12 October 2017 at 07:58.
alpine9000 is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 08:20   #411
Steril707
OCS rocks!

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Munich/Germany
Posts: 233
I am coding in Assembler, because I have to deal with C# in my daily job, and I need something completely different for my free time.
Steril707 is online now  
Old 12 October 2017, 09:09   #412
OmegaMax
Sonic Boom

OmegaMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 85
alpine9000,your code does help,thanks bud
.
OmegaMax is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 11:05   #413
phx
Natteravn

phx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Herford / Germany
Posts: 1,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brick Nash View Post
Also, I don't think game design is the issue. If you know clearly what you want then the game is designed.
No, it is not. This wrong assumption is also the reason for so many projects failing.

You have to know all the capabilities and limitions of your hardware and design the game around it. You should not "design" something, when you have no idea how to implement it.

Also you should be aware of your experience and the experience of your team (graphics, music, etc.), where you can only be sure about when you did some smaller projects before.

Do not design something which is beyond your experience or the hardware capabilities. Unfortunately, you have to collect a lot of experience and knowledge to be able to judge that.
phx is online now  
Old 12 October 2017, 11:46   #414
gazj82
Registered User

gazj82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cambs / UK
Posts: 271
This is exactly why I kept my first game extremely simple. I went in completely blind knowing nothing at all about programming an amiga in any capacity. I picked something I had already done on a Spectrum and something I knew could be done in a sensible time frame.

But I learnt a lot and a second project would be an advancement ofnthe first.
gazj82 is online now  
Old 12 October 2017, 18:23   #415
Akira
Registered User

Akira's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 18,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaMax View Post
I'm done sharing code and trying to explain,when people think demo coding is the same as game programing,and c64 is no different than amiga.
Weird, I really fail to see where you got any of those notions from on this thread. You clearly misread, at the very least, everything I wrote.

All that was said is that any coding examples on Amiga help for the most basic tasks, like enabling the features you want to use (sprites, blitter, disk access), regardless of the focus they have (game or demo), and that a simpler architecture like the C64 could help people get their feet wet with assembler before they delve into something more complex like an Amiga.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phx View Post
No, it is not. This wrong assumption is also the reason for so many projects failing.
You have to know all the capabilities and limitions of your hardware and design the game around it. You should not "design" something, when you have no idea how to implement it.
Very well said. I also feel this point is usually underestimated.
You see it in threads here, there's a lot of over-estimation of what the Amiga can actually do, many times.
Akira is online now  
Old 12 October 2017, 19:13   #416
saimon69
Bedroom musician

 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: los angeles,ca
Posts: 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Very well said. I also feel this point is usually underestimated.
You see it in threads here, there's a lot of over-estimation of what the Amiga can actually do, many times.
That is because at the end most of us were more consumer than developers and so the real matter of getting the most out of Amiga hardware was largely misunderstood, and having a lot of talented coders showing you literal miracles did not help :P

I remember in 1988 before to start working on Powder me and the other graphic artist were thinking on how to do a R-type style shooter in EHB - very likely overestimating the machine capabilities, with arcade size enemies and such...

Last edited by saimon69; 12 October 2017 at 19:25. Reason: added some more in the topic
saimon69 is offline  
Old 12 October 2017, 19:44   #417
Steril707
OCS rocks!

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Munich/Germany
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by phx View Post
No, it is not. This wrong assumption is also the reason for so many projects failing.

You have to know all the capabilities and limitions of your hardware and design the game around it. You should not "design" something, when you have no idea how to implement it.
Also, people (e.g. me!!! ) often forget that you need a gameplay idea as well, before starting to learn a machines innards...

I remember when I started on the C64, I did that with coding a christmas platforming game. I had a Santa Sprite and enemies running around, platforms, music (which I did in Goattracker). Even a Scrolltext at the top of the screen.

Then I noticed I didn't have any idea what the actual game should be, and up to this day this is somewhere on my hard disk rotting.
Steril707 is online now  
Old 12 October 2017, 23:00   #418
OmegaMax
Sonic Boom

OmegaMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steril707 View Post
I remember when I started on the C64, I did that with coding a christmas platforming game. I had a Santa Sprite and enemies running around, platforms, music (which I did in Goattracker). Even a Scrolltext at the top of the screen.

Then I noticed I didn't have any idea what the actual game should be, and up to this day this is somewhere on my hard disk rotting.

I've done that also and had no idea/design for the gameplay
[ Show youtube player ]

Last edited by OmegaMax; 12 October 2017 at 23:14.
OmegaMax is offline  
Old 15 October 2017, 17:13   #419
Lisiak4
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by britelite View Post
Because people in the Amiga scene spend more time whining on forums and having delusions of Amiga making a comeback in the mainstream instead of actually producing something themselves.
Crap.
Lisiak4 is offline  
Old 15 October 2017, 20:32   #420
Dunny
Registered User

Dunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Scunthorpe/United Kingdom
Posts: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisiak4 View Post
Crap.
Not really. I see many threads come and go where someone's enthusiasm for the Amiga causes them to ask "Why isn't <game x> on the Amiga? The Amiga could totally nail it!" followed by many old-hands explaining why not, with more enthusiastic chaps explaining how it could be done (often with totally impractical solutions - such as rendering 3D models as sprites in every conceivable position, rotation and animation).

Then the threads die because:

1. The people who can code such things know it can't realistically be done

and

2. The people shouting about how the Amiga could totally do <game x> have no clue about programming in general, let alone programming for the Amiga.
Dunny is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is the technically most impressive A500 game? mc68060 Amiga scene 67 03 June 2015 23:32
The Tales of Grupp - Another impressive homebrew ZX Spectrum title! Neil79 Retrogaming General Discussion 3 24 February 2015 20:19
New One Of "Homebrew" 68k Amiga Magazine Idea fishyfish Retrogaming General Discussion 6 16 April 2013 09:57
Impressive and Amazing PD Software! Any thoughts? hamster Retrogaming General Discussion 0 18 July 2004 02:42

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:50.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.41206 seconds with 15 queries