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Old 22 May 2016, 08:46   #1
naviward
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Blitz Basic vs E vs Something Else

Hi all, I'm thinking of trying out some Amiga programming, mostly just to play around with graphics stuff and maybe do a small game if I have time.

I did a bit of Blitz Basic and E (ehrm, the language) back in the day (nothing fancy, simple workbench stuff), so those were my first thoughts, but I'd be open to anything that was good (apart from full on ASM. My background is in OO languages. Don't mind learning a bit of ASM for optimisation though).

Which language would you suggest I try first?
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Old 22 May 2016, 11:04   #2
Coagulus
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Well I'm a Blitz person. It has assembler built in too not that I really use that (probably should though) and there is lots of example code out there. But it's whichever works for you.
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Old 22 May 2016, 16:19   #3
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Blitz for graphics stuff. You can easily assembly-optimise your Blitz code.
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Old 22 May 2016, 18:56   #4
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Blitz Basic was my first choice, so it's nice to know it's a good place to start.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 23 May 2016, 03:18   #5
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Of course, E also has a built-in assembler, but it hasn't got the hardware-banging graphics commands of Blitz.
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Old 23 May 2016, 17:57   #6
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E has OOP unlike Blitz BASIC so it really depends on the kind of game. Do you want to do chipset graphics or graphics card? Real-time or adventure?
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Old 23 May 2016, 18:17   #7
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OOP for small to medium project I've read that it's not worth it. Even ID Software flipped to C++ very late and it was just a subset of it.
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Old 23 May 2016, 18:33   #8
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For such memory/CPU constrained device, a mixture of high level structured language and asm is a sensible choice. So yeah, Blitz or C with in-line asm will do
Amiga E is another option as it provide in-line asm and generate quite compact code.
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Old 23 May 2016, 21:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamelito View Post
OOP for small to medium project I've read that it's not worth it. Even ID Software flipped to C++ very late and it was just a subset of it.
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That's why I asked if it would be real-time or an adventure. Adventure games can be huge and complex with puzzles that would be greatly simplified by reusable code. Real-time game design focuses more on micro-optimization in the main loop where OOP just gets in the way.
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Old 23 May 2016, 22:36   #10
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It'd be real time, although relatively simple to start with. I'm happy to start OOP then optimize while I learn/hit performance walls.
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Old 27 May 2016, 10:30   #11
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AmigaE will seem more natural than Blitz BASIC but keep in mind that inheritance has 3 times the calling overhead of a simple subroutine so OOP is not always worth it.
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Old 27 May 2016, 11:02   #12
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I used Amos / Pro / Compiled and Blitz Basic 2 back in the day and BB2 was considerably quicker than Amos. Even compiled Amos was way slower and didnt even always work. BB2 did AGA and gave you full control over most of the Intuition libraries unlike Amos. The basic syntax of the two may be similar at a logic and flow level but so are virtually all other similar level basic / compilers. To anyone that thinks you could do an exact command for command conversion you are simply just dreaming TBH. Screen setup, sprite / bob control etc etc etc totally different between the two languages. After all in Amos wheres the Slice, copperlist, individual bitplane controls, DPaint anim brush bobs etc etc commands. Same as the is no AMAL or Packed graphics / mods / sounds in BB2. Both good but very different languages once you get past the surface.

On the Amiga I would imagine C would be better than C++ due to the lack of compiler optimization and general lack of development. C++ on Windows (Visual Studio) used to compile slower code than the C equivalent until around v6. From around then C++ compiler optimization has been the main focus for many years and now days produces very good code.
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Old 28 May 2016, 00:16   #13
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Thanks, that's very helpful.

I've mostly been tinkering with struct style objects anyway, too simple a program for inheritance, but nice to know that I shouldn't be tempted by them.

Speaking of C, I'm not really familiar with the C compiler options on the Amiga. Which would you recommend?
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Old 28 May 2016, 11:03   #14
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It's usually SAS/C or VBCC nowadays.
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Old 28 May 2016, 21:38   #15
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Nice, SAS/C looks just my sort of thing.
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