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Old 01 November 2010, 11:53   #1
amigageek
 
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Preserving original Amiga game source codes

I think we need a new project that is devoted to obtaining and preserving the source codes of commercial Amiga games because otherwise they will probably get lost forever. Now the geeks will say: "We can disassemble the program and then we can already have the source code!"... but this is not the same! I think it's much more interesting to have the original code of the programmer, containing all the comments and tools used to create the game! And maybe some additional routines, graphics, or sounds that didn't make it in the final release version because of the lack of disk space. These are invaluable treasures and they should be preserved!

Take Gremlin as an instance. All sources of games as legendary as the Lotus Trilogy and Zool are probably lost by now, because they went straight to the skip when Infogrames closed the Gremlin studio. See here.

We should not let this happen again! Martyn Brown of Team17 once said in an interview that they still had all the original Amiga sources. Did anyone ever approach Team17 in an effort to release these? I know they have released the source codes of Alien Breed 3D II so they might be willing to release the rest as well.

I think there's nothing against releasing the source codes because most of them are in Motorola 68000 assembler and thus of little commercial value. You can't steal any code or use the engine in a new project because it's 68000 assembler and it would always be faster to rewrite the whole game in a proper language than to mess with that old code. So the source codes are really purely of historic and nostalgic value and no publisher should be hesitant to release these.

What do you guys think? Don't you agree that the original source codes including the documentation and additional tools and files constitute some invaluable treasures of Amiga history and we should try everything to preserve them before they are lost forever?

Thanks for your attention!
 
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Old 01 November 2010, 13:02   #2
jotd
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nice idea.

BTW turrican 3 source code & tools is already available (that's the only example of a commercial game I know of!!). Changing something and rebuilding the game would not be a piece of cake even with all the data!

But don't think that giving away 68000 code is harmless for companies. Don't think that recoding a 16-bit game in C++ so it is identical to the original is easy (even a 8-bit game remake is tricky). I've been there it's NOT easy.

Say, if the Bitmap bros would release sources for Speedball 2, we could figure out all the A.I. code and transpose it to C++. For the rest I agree it would be faster to recode from scratch (menus, animations...)

If companies want to preserve their original algorithms (A.I., speed/difficulty settings) they have no other choice than keeping the source code for them (and risk to lose it eventually)

See Putty Squad. Someone has the disks, could release it as a freebie but has no interest in doing this, plus he would take the tiny chance that the game would sell less on a yet-to-be-coded mobile version. Stupid but that's business.
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Old 01 November 2010, 15:35   #3
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Originally Posted by jotd View Post
See Putty Squad. Someone has the disks, could release it as a freebie but has no interest in doing this, plus he would take the tiny chance that the game would sell less on a yet-to-be-coded mobile version. Stupid but that's business.
If someone does have the disks why on earth don't they release the game in some way, shape or form?

I bet Cronosoft (http://cronosoft.orgfree.com/) would be extremely keen on making this game available for sale. This way the owner of the disks gets some return on their investment, and us Amiga owners are finally able to play this game.
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Old 01 November 2010, 21:52   #4
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Is there any site which has collected any ASM games? It could at least include Turrican 3, the ones Hitchiker has resourced etc? That would be useful.
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Old 01 November 2010, 23:14   #5
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EOB 1 & 2 has been converted to AGA by CFou! (great job!!) so I guess the asm code is a bit better than raw output.
I've got a reassemblable version of Battlechess (not really resourced, though) where I had hacked to replace trackloading by diskimage loading (to create a HD version)

BTW Cinemaware confess having lost all sources of their games

Near 1996 some editor wanted me to do a HD version of a football management game, and he sent me the asm source. I could not do anything with it (I don't remember the name of the game either!) so I either deleted it or it's lost in my backup CDs (knowing the name would help ).
I remember it was 68k assembler but the production machine was already a PC so I was having a hard time rebuilding it with phxass!!
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Old 02 November 2010, 00:48   #6
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Is there any site which has collected any ASM games?
For sure I know one polish site about asm game sources for atari 8 bit http://sources.pigwa.net/?page=3 ( QA and XASM are assemblers for sure )

Also I just find few minues ago something http://www.programmerfish.com/source...ames-released/
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Old 19 May 2015, 21:44   #7
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there is also Rolling Thunder and Frostbyte source code is in some tools disk maybe LSD don't remember after all those years. I have the OCB source code but you'll need to get authors permission if you want me to release it. Some other game do have their symbols which is more than nothing. Atari ST Star Raiders is also available.
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Old 06 April 2016, 00:41   #8
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there is also Rolling Thunder and Frostbyte source code is in some tools disk maybe LSD don't remember after all those years.
Did anyone has more Infos?
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Old 06 April 2016, 09:56   #9
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Here is Rolling Thunder

http://eab.abime.net/attachment.php?...2&d=1145903087

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Old 06 April 2016, 11:01   #10
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Some source files are missing..... And it's strangely the most intereting ones, like screen and footing.....
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Old 06 April 2016, 21:54   #11
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In the Zone there is missing footing.s and there is also screen.s but is incomplete and contains some invalid chars. I use DiskSalv on some RollingThunder.adf to check if there is something interesting and I found a bunch of files. Whole archiwum is in The Zone.

As I remember file Sound.s is from Atari ST version. I'm not sure but there were differences between resourced game and sources.

The Rolling Thunder is example how to write very slow game. About 5 fps. For fun I speed up title of game to 50 fps with blitter help but it still looks so ugly.

But there is one positive thing. So many things which can be optimized.

For example
Code:
;in
;	a0 - datas address
start:
	;save start of datas
		lea	datas,a1
		move.l	a0,(a1)
Above two lines of code eat 24 cycles and 6 bytes in relocation table. With one modification

Code:
		lea	datas(pc),a1
		move.l	a0,(a1)
will take 20 cycles and no bytes in relocation table. There is so many such places and I even thought about tutorial: how to speed up slow game on example: Rolling Thunder.
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Old 06 April 2016, 23:21   #12
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I've seen Supercars 2 & Lotus sources. Not sure if I'm allowed to release them (Codetapper got them directly from the authors and passed them to me for my remakes, was very helpful for the shop parameter!!). Did not contain gfx or sound, only src.
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Old 06 April 2016, 23:25   #13
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i've checked the DTA files. Those are basically PI1 files with header stripped, and glued one after the other.
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