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Old 13 December 2007, 18:18   #61
Photon
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Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
The Amiga 500+ is a nice machine, but useless without a Kickswitch to 1.3, thanks to a lot crap coded games. Amiga 600? Well... forget about it, it's useless like a dick on a pope.
Think about this for a moment. You're a game coder is 1988. You're also a psychic, so you know how C= will change the boot sequence, move structures around, and change library functions. Congrats! Your game is future compatible for more than 3 years! Until they change stuff around again.

I'm saying, don't be too hard on programmers, future-compatible is the one thing no-one can be. My perception is that very few games used fixed ROM addresses, graphics lib structures etc. Maybe it's because most games I played were cracks, where the loader had been replaced and things in general patched to work on whatever machine the cracker was testing it on?

Not following the HRM is no excuse, of course. As for the library coding books -- well they were fuck all expensive and wrote about everything but how to write code that works. In c syntax. c games? I don't think so.

To make a game work, really all you have to do is put a loader after the bootblock, read that with trackdisk.device, and run the loader. ECS had some differences in the copper, but seeing as few games did advanced trickery with the hardware, it's basically only the copy-protection that could cause problems.

If you have to switch kicks running a cracked game, blame the cracker for not being future-compatible. Or not.



Zetr0: It's no great revelation that the software giants make wads of cash despite piracy. On the other hand, it's no surprise developers leave a platform where piracy is disproportionately extreme and other platforms allow them to sell more games due to a smaller proportion of the users copying games. If a 10yo could copy 10 PS games in 30 minutes, PS would be dead as a dodo and devs would have fled like humm,... fleeing fleas!


On the Amiga, the number of copied games vs originals was extreme. I still say almost no PC kids have 200+ copied games for their PC. And with today's game prices (which have always been much higher than, say the price of CD albums) piracy should be even more rampant! But on PC, the number of machines is so much larger, and a healthy chunk of those PC owners buy games, that the market is still big. And on consoles, having to chip them and using torrent and cd burner software pretty much ensures a huge target audience of 6-12yo's free from piracy.

If the devs can't see any way to keep their company going, what are they supposed to do? Work for free on stressful 1 year projects? The days of writing a game with 12K of code and making enough to give each dev member a Lotus were pretty much gone. If they can't keep going, they can't stay and support the platform's users, no matter how much they love the platform or how good new platform hardware is.

Sorry if I go on a bit about this reasoning, but I'm passionate about this subject I wish we could see again the hectic days of hundreds of small devs making fun games...
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Old 13 December 2007, 18:29   #62
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Originally Posted by Photon View Post
Think about this for a moment. You're a game coder is 1988. You're also a psychic, so you know how C= will change the boot sequence, move structures around, and change library functions. Congrats! Your game is future compatible for more than 3 years! Until they change stuff around again.


Personally, with boot menu & that czech 1.3 emulator-boot-thingy on a flopp I've played everything I ever had. OK, "State Of The Art" and/or "9 Fingers" didn't work so well...
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Old 13 December 2007, 18:49   #63
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If you have to switch kicks running a cracked game, blame the cracker for not being future-compatible. Or not.
Really? I never had a Amiga 500+, but a few friends. I pretty sure a lot of original games refused to work on a plus machine. Any A500+ "victims" here?
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Old 13 December 2007, 18:57   #64
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Yes, there were plenty of "originals" that failed to work on an A500+ (thus speaks the voice of experience)
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Old 13 December 2007, 19:04   #65
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@Photon

A good and interesting argument, it would be enjoyable to have a civilized discussion on Piracy with you, as unfortunately most people are too crazy for either side and it turns into a flame war.
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Old 13 December 2007, 19:22   #66
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The biggest problem with the A500+ in my opinion was that it came with 1MB chipram as standard. Most games require 1MB so the average user won't upgrade.

A lot of games assumed there is 512K at $c00000 (the trapdoor ram) and with this not being present in your average A500+ that was a bigger problem, not the kickstart
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Old 13 December 2007, 20:33   #67
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Zetro, i agree, nice to see sensible comments about the topic rather than an excuse to call someone "gay" etc

Anubis, When i say my collection is complete i meant, i had a few hundered games on my 500. The usual AA titles, sensible soccer, hunter etc and quite a few i wanted but never found......Strangers AGA genetic species, tennis champs data disks to name a few. Im not bothered about pd games and the thousands of rubbish games that were released.

Paranoid, enjoyed reading your comments, you took time to read and address each one. Thanks

One other point id like to make is commodore were the producers of the hardware, from keyboard to sound chips, disk drive, etc. They even did the os.

The PC is not a single machine, its a generic box with an OS from a multi billion pound company (microsoft), a gfx card from a multi million pound company (ati, nvidia)

Sound cards from dedicated companies

Cd & HD drives

The list goes on.........

The amiga was one of the, if not THE last of the traditional home computers, where all the guts were kept inside the keyboard.

"back in the day" people thought the hardware would last for years.

I remember when i bought my A500+ i went for the 512k version as the sales assistant said, no need to buy 1mb version as games will never need 1mb!!!!! I "took a gamble" and went for the 1mb anyway.

Sounds daft but back then, every game ran happily on an amiga as 3d as we know today hadnt really been seen and arcade games such as chase hq and outrun trasfered to the amiga rather well.

Then a few months later (`92) i saw in a shop, doom running on a 486, the machine was about a grand and i was blown away.

the amiga will be doing that one day i thought

i was right!

didnt quite work out how id imagined tho, never mind. happy days
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Old 14 December 2007, 09:25   #68
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For every hacker who pirates a game there are 20 who buy it. Even hackers buy a few games once in a while anyway.

Being able to trade copied games with friends just makes the platform more popular (everyone wants it) so more units are sold and more games are pirated but also more games are sold too. Everybody wins realy.

People say piracy killed the Dreamcast, I say Sega stopping production is what cause developers to drop the platform with half finished games and that killed it. There were plenty of games being developed to keep it going, too bad SEGA was broke and pulled the plug.
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Old 14 December 2007, 15:13   #69
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Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
Aparantly you didn't like to play civilization and colonization?!

Keypad made those games much more enjoyable. (I had to get external USB keyboard to play them on my laptop )
I owned both A500 and A600 with HD
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Old 14 December 2007, 15:16   #70
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It is done! Now, what's in your box?
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Old 14 December 2007, 15:24   #71
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It had nothing to do with the demise of the Amiga or C64. If anything, it helped it. Commodore made money on selling hardware and nothing else, so they didn't care what you fed their machine.

Nowadays, the hardware is sold at a loss and the money is made on licensing, so it could hurt a console. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it's a common rumor.

It did probably hurt software companies to the extent you believe someone would have paid for all the software they copied (they wouldn't).
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Old 14 December 2007, 15:35   #72
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Did piracy kill the amiga?

Hey, the amiga was made for piracy!
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Old 14 December 2007, 16:08   #73
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You cannot keep on selling a machine with basically the same hardware for a decade. It loses its competitive advantage, so you have to resort to price cuts (but lower profit margins too). Management did not address this issue (hey, this quarter will have less profits if we invest in R&D!). If you read the history, they designed about a billion machines, and actually decided to make about 1. I wonder how much money was wasted in that for no revenue.

And what they added was pathetic. A4000 was pathetic, a very small team could have probably come up with the same improvements, let alone a company as large as commodore at the time. Don't get me wrong, it is a good machine, but you may as well stick with the A3000 + some improvements rather than the expense of a whole new machine. It might even cost less overall due to less R&D costs although unit build price will be higher. Less time to market too. Same goes for A600. Instead of working on virtually another A500 or A3000, the same employees could spend their time on other things. If A500 was cutting edge or they had excess resources, sure an A600 would have been great (in same way as a1000 to a500), but it was old crap, so its life expectancy was small.

Piracy would have an effect on a small market, but root cause of the market being smaller in the first place was due to loss of competitive advantage. I mean, why would anyone buy an Amiga over a PC in 1992 if you have not owned any computer before? I certainly would not have. Keep in mind VGA was in 1987, and SVGA in 1989. Look at the number of new games produced, sales of the amiga per year, etc to see the effect of the improved PC standards filtering through to the right price points. I think 1990 was the peak year of amiga sales, and when the A3000 needed to be released with 256 colours (pref 64K) and 16 bit sound to keep ahead of the PCs, with a cheap version of the A3000 to also replace the A500 in 1990.

End rant.......
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Old 28 December 2007, 10:54   #74
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[warning, bad english inside]

I think Amiga was not killed by piracy: piracy has never kill a platform, usually make it strong and widespread: Playstation and PC are good examples.

Amiga dies because there were not so many games, expecially there was too few adventures and too many platform. I think amiga died when Doom was released
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Old 28 December 2007, 11:21   #75
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Originally Posted by musashi5150 View Post
The biggest problem with the A500+ in my opinion was that it came with 1MB chipram as standard. Most games require 1MB so the average user won't upgrade.

A lot of games assumed there is 512K at $c00000 (the trapdoor ram) and with this not being present in your average A500+ that was a bigger problem, not the kickstart

In that case, that was stupid programmers fault. There are several reliable functions you can use at bootup to detect correctly what extra ram is available on a machine, and the times I saw this piece of shit code just beggars belief:

move.l #'FUCK',$c00100
cmp.l #'FUCK',$c00100
beq.s slow_fast_detected

Lots of games failed because of the mirror 'trick', when a simple call to exec in the bootblock would have given them the correct results.
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Old 28 December 2007, 14:57   #76
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@Galahad

LOL, I don't even code asm, and I am thinking who in their right mind would code in such a way on a multitasking system with no memory protection. But coders do copy other coders. I haven't done this before, but I suppose it is the exec function AvailMem you are referring to that could be used instead, are there also any others? Seems straightforward to me, except maybe it wasn't available in early OS versions like KS1.1, and then coders just kept on doing the same thing?
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Old 28 December 2007, 17:31   #77
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@Galahad

LOL, I don't even code asm, and I am thinking who in their right mind would code in such a way on a multitasking system with no memory protection. But coders do copy other coders. I haven't done this before, but I suppose it is the exec function AvailMem you are referring to that could be used instead, are there also any others? Seems straightforward to me, except maybe it wasn't available in early OS versions like KS1.1, and then coders just kept on doing the same thing?

I simply used Allocate Absolute of about 8 bytes at addresses I knew would be clear on a freshly booted system (i.e. loaded from a bootblock).
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Old 28 December 2007, 19:04   #78
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I'm reminded of all the switches I had on my A500.. 512/512 or 1 meg chip, NTSC/PAL (originally it was NTSC, and I got so annoyed at using a PALBoot disk so much), and a switch for my AdSpeed.

I have to say, though, usually I saw little compatibility problems like that as coders 'hitting the hardware' so to speak, to get a little extra performance or something out of the machine, not bad programming.
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Old 29 December 2007, 11:23   #79
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For every hacker who pirates a game there are 20 who buy it. Even hackers buy a few games once in a while anyway.
Now, that's a, shall we say, interesting statistic. Can you back that up? No-one would be happier than I if that were ever true on any platform!

Quote:
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Being able to trade copied games with friends just makes the platform more popular (everyone wants it) so more units are sold and more games are pirated but also more games are sold too. Everybody wins realy.

People say piracy killed the Dreamcast, I say Sega stopping production is what cause developers to drop the platform with half finished games and that killed it. There were plenty of games being developed to keep it going, too bad SEGA was broke and pulled the plug.
Well, Calgor touched on this, but sure, no platform lasts forever. In the case of the Amiga, maybe it was a combination of the nextgen Amigas still not being competitive enough in performance and price vs consoles, or devs foreseeing another 4 years of making less and less money and preferring the (at the time) piracy-free and bigger market of consoles and PCs with CD-ROM. C= could have churned out machines all they wanted; when all the cool things are happening on another platform, users and devs will switch.

Before the SNES/Megadrive, Amiga still looked better than any console. So gamers didn't mind the load times. But when consoles went from 32K cartridges and flickering sprites to perfect full framerate graphics on huge cartridges and CDs, the Amiga became a platform where you had to wait tons longer to see less cool games.

I think another major factor was that in (late) 1995, there was a Windows that could run games without installing floppies in DOS, there was Quake, Myst, etc., and CD-ROM Multimedia finally caught up with and surpassed the CD32 et al. Before that, gaming on PC was copying a fat pile of disks, installing them in DOS, and editing config.sys growling "my sound card is FINE! I played five games with it minutes ago!" :P
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Old 29 December 2007, 12:00   #80
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Now, that's a, shall we say, interesting statistic. Can you back that up? No-one would be happier than I if that were ever true on any platform!



Well, Calgor touched on this, but sure, no platform lasts forever. In the case of the Amiga, maybe it was a combination of the nextgen Amigas still not being competitive enough in performance and price vs consoles, or devs foreseeing another 4 years of making less and less money and preferring the (at the time) piracy-free and bigger market of consoles and PCs with CD-ROM. C= could have churned out machines all they wanted; when all the cool things are happening on another platform, users and devs will switch.

Before the SNES/Megadrive, Amiga still looked better than any console. So gamers didn't mind the load times. But when consoles went from 32K cartridges and flickering sprites to perfect full framerate graphics on huge cartridges and CDs, the Amiga became a platform where you had to wait tons longer to see less cool games.

I think another major factor was that in (late) 1995, there was a Windows that could run games without installing floppies in DOS, there was Quake, Myst, etc., and CD-ROM Multimedia finally caught up with and surpassed the CD32 et al. Before that, gaming on PC was copying a fat pile of disks, installing them in DOS, and editing config.sys growling "my sound card is FINE! I played five games with it minutes ago!" :P
Thats part of the reason, the other was simply a programming reason.

All of the new Playstation and Saturn and PC stuff was all coded in C, the Amiga whilst having C wasn't being used to its fullest unless you were banging the hardware directly.

All of a sudden, the Amiga because an expensive version to program, because its the only one that has to be coded from scratch, the other versions would all be variants of the same C source code.

Coupled with developers getting bored of the limitations of the machine and wanting something fresh to code for.

The Amiga had a bloody good run of it, it had a longer life than most machines of the same era.
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