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Old 21 June 2016, 16:42   #41
Daedalus
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Originally Posted by ReadOnlyCat View Post
To others: oki, not a port, you can have my catnip. But definitely not a native version either. Just a "it's about the same as the ST so don't worry/bother" usual Amiga version.
I had always thought the programming was done on the Amiga and then adapted during development for the PC. Just because it doesn't make the best use of the hardware doesn't mean it's not native, it just means it's a bit of a waste. But anyway, I don't think there is much the Amiga chipset can do to help that sort of game. It's all polygons, so a lot of 3D computation and palette mapping, so the only real thing the chipset can do is fill the requested polygons, the rest is up to the CPU, thus reducing any possible advantage the Amiga hardware had over the ST.

Well, apparently the Amiga version has more colours than the ST version, so if it runs similarly with the same speed CPU that's an obvious improvement right there...
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Old 21 June 2016, 16:47   #42
Steve T
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Yeah, that's what happened (unless you were at a surface port and launched without permission, in which case you got a fine and a criminal record). But if the copy protection was removed incompletely, perhaps the criminal record part is still there even though the police at the starport part isn't. Was just a thought anyway...
I guess if you're just hanging around in space, scooping gas for fuel it might send the bounty hunters after you like i think it does randomly for a regular criminal record - though I can't recall if that happened in Frontier or the sequels.

hmm, infact no, i think thats wrong, the copy protection will give you a few chances, then next time you land, if its incorrect again, you just get a gameover screen, no chance to blast off the surface like for a regular in-game offense or be chased by bounty hunters for stealing their game.

I was talking about the regular pirates anyway, you're guaranteed to meet them if you use full time acceleration, you can't outrun them because as soon as you go to full time, they catch up to you. I think in the Amiga version you just get them as singles, in the DOS versions you might meet groups of enemy (much more entertaining), but it might depend on how you use time acceleration.



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@Steve T

Just main thrusters in the version I had anyway. Vertical control was only available for launch, and was otherwise automated by attitude control. In the external views you could see them firing to adjust but there was no way of manually firing them like there is in Elite: Dangerous.
I think it's GL Frontier for windows adds numpad controls for all the thrusters, very useful imho, it would be great to have this implemented in the Amiga version if possible.

I'm talking specifically for landing though, For landing in the disk version, you have to set the ship for manual/computer control, set the target speed to 0 and it sorta floats down (as i'm sure you know), except its **** and sometimes works, sometimes leads to a crash, esp if you need to abort at the last second and need to change attitude to blast upward, manuvering the end of your ship into the planet.
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Old 21 June 2016, 17:32   #43
Daedalus
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hmm, infact no, i think thats wrong, the copy protection will give you a few chances, then next time you land, if its incorrect again, you just get a gameover screen, no chance to blast off the surface like for a regular in-game offense or be chased by bounty hunters for stealing their game.
Well, you were asked for the code when you docked, but it was when you asked for launch permission that you were arrested. You could land no problem, but they denied you permission to leave the station and impounded your ship for piracy. It meant you could leave a surface port without permission, but then all the police are after you and no starport will deal with you, so it's effectively game over anyway.

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I was talking about the regular pirates anyway, you're guaranteed to meet them if you use full time acceleration, you can't outrun them because as soon as you go to full time, they catch up to you. I think in the Amiga version you just get them as singles, in the DOS versions you might meet groups of enemy (much more entertaining), but it might depend on how you use time acceleration.
Yeah, that's different then, definitely not security forces so. I dunno, in some systems you were almost always guaranteed to get caught by a bounty hunter or pirate but not in others, so maybe you're just hanging around in the wrong neighbourhood

Only getting one enemy at a time is annoying though! I do remember reading about this being a sort of a bug - three or four ships would be after you but the distances are rounded badly or something like that, meaning that only one is close enough to attack when the time control is slowed down to normal, all the other ships are way too far away.

Quote:
I think it's GL Frontier for windows adds numpad controls for all the thrusters, very useful imho, it would be great to have this implemented in the Amiga version if possible.
Yes, that would be very nice indeed! GL Frontier was pretty much a rewrite though so it's probably not likely to be an easy thing to patch into the Amiga version. I wonder if the GL version is easily portable...

Quote:
I'm talking specifically for landing though, For landing in the disk version, you have to set the ship for manual/computer control, set the target speed to 0 and it sorta floats down (as i'm sure you know), except its **** and sometimes works, sometimes leads to a crash, esp if you need to abort at the last second and need to change attitude to blast upward, manuvering the end of your ship into the planet.
Yep, it would be great for that alright. I managed it a few times but it was never pretty so I just let the computer do it. Setting the target speed to 0 and alternating between automatic and manual control seemed to work well but the novelty wore off very quickly...
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Old 21 June 2016, 18:24   #44
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Well, you were asked for the code when you docked, but it was when you asked for launch permission that you were arrested. You could land no problem, but they denied you permission to leave the station and impounded your ship for piracy. It meant you could leave a surface port without permission, but then all the police are after you and no starport will deal with you, so it's effectively game over anyway.
let you go if its wrong a certain amount of times, to allow for a data entry mistake by the player. you can fly to other bases and don't get a record or chased, iirc. However, I'm 99% sure it is instant game over once you've used up so many tries, the game won't let you do anything more... I think you're thinking of the 'outstanding fines' situation, just for piracy and murder etc in game.

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Yeah, that's different then, definitely not security forces so. I dunno, in some systems you were almost always guaranteed to get caught by a bounty hunter or pirate but not in others, so maybe you're just hanging around in the wrong neighbourhood
yeah if you're getting nowhere then head over to sol/barnards star and start trading, but it is possible to take down heavily armed opponents with the start ships, or take some extra fuel to bug out if the opposition is too tough for your pulse laser

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Only getting one enemy at a time is annoying though! I do remember reading about this being a sort of a bug - three or four ships would be after you but the distances are rounded badly or something like that, meaning that only one is close enough to attack when the time control is slowed down to normal, all the other ships are way too far away.
I'm sure there was a version which behaved differently, perhaps it was the DOS conversion which introduced a workaround.

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Yes, that would be very nice indeed! GL Frontier was pretty much a rewrite though so it's probably not likely to be an easy thing to patch into the Amiga version. I wonder if the GL version is easily portable...
I always assumed it was a port of the DOS version. But if you're going to do all that, remember the Amiga doesn't have a version of FFE at all...
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Old 26 August 2016, 16:57   #45
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Anyone else have an issue where certain versions have a graphical corruption where the game only uses workbench palette colours? For example I can't get the special edition version to run and use its own colours (from HD, on my real amiga), just the 16 lurid shades that my workbench uses, on the same machine (A1200 030) the WHDLoad version runs fine but has some other bugs like disappearing mouse cursors.
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Old 26 August 2016, 19:34   #46
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Going from memory of hours and hours spent on this game.

The copy protection doesn't put a criminal record in you, after you get it wrong 3 times, you are instantly jailed and its game over. I had an uncracked version of this before getting a properly cracked version and I am 100% sure that's what happened.

Also, what has been said about time acelleration is true. If you don't use it, you can fly by pirates, but if you use it, you'll get an instant "Enemy warning". But if you look carefuly, you'll see you moved a little bit towards your destination. The problem is that some systems are really *hoarded* with pirates, I remember one on the very close to the start of the game was really very very hot with pirates, I remember getting TWO ranking upgrades in a single travel because of this. I learned with time to avoid those systems, not because the battles were hard, but because it took ages to reach destination... but I really can't remember which ones anymore...

And I always landed on planets manually. It's easy to do it and safer than use auto-pilot. Use auto-pilot to get close, then switch to manual and do it yourself.
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Old 26 August 2016, 23:41   #47
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Yep, I can't stress enough how much full time accel breaks this game almost completely, making it much easier and far duller to play... Experimenting with the WHDLoad Amiga version recently, as well as collision issues/ invulnerability, you will never get a multi-ship fight that way & imho the combat is dull as a result.

(btw, i'm not trying to tell anyone how to play this game, its a sandbox so you make your own experience with it & If you're just trading up for money, then i guess its fine to break the game in this way... but trading is by far the dullest way to play this game (& perhaps other games of this ilk), making tons of money or getting big, invulnerable freighters, flying around at 5x just to get to the destination as quickly as possible to offload another shipment of robot arms at sol, how is that fun?

Anyway, If you just use 4x time then the game seems to behave normally, as if you weren't using it at all, using a cobra (default Lave start point) and travelling around nearby systems the behaviour of the pirates is clear; they begin at the inhabited planets as soon as you jump into a system and travel out to meet you. So all things being equal, you will meet them about halfway into the system, and depending on the system you may meet them in force.

I've ended up with far more interesting dogfights this way (5 or more at a time, you'll usually have a few missiles to evade at the same time - yes i've played the game a lot so even with no shields and a default laser i still usually win - but it can get pretty tense)

using 5x time it just feeds one pirate at a time to you, for whatever reason, i have no idea if you can 'fly by' pirates and get all the way to the destination, they seem to catch up after overshooting the interception, i've only experimented with the cobra mk3 so perhaps I simply need a faster ship to do this... I don't use autopilot at all...
Funny though, I'm sure I remember using 5x and still getting into multi-ship fights, but perhaps that was the PC port i played a bit in the late 90's.

Last edited by Steve T; 26 August 2016 at 23:46.
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Old 27 August 2016, 20:15   #48
lordofchaos
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Not sure if it's been mentioned before... I found the safest way to land on planets using auto-pilot, switch to one of the status screens during the landing process, (e.g. cargo status screen) it reduces the chance of exploding massively.
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