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Old 14 December 2011, 04:52   #1
ImmortalA1000
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Good news! I lost my job!

Why is this good news? Why is it here on EAB forum topic? lol

Because it means I finally can get on with enjoying life a bit (which is still off topic!) AND start writing an Amiga game. Yes I have finally decided on what I will be using my spare time for probably the next year of my life.

I am doing a 3D Sega sprite scaling type game.....and it will be very loosely based on the arcade game Buck Rogers - Planet of Zoom. 'Based on' in the same way as Super Stardust AGA is based on arcade Asteriods (and yet looks and sounds nothing like as crap as that early arcade game).

I just need a few bits and bobs to complete a machine I can actually start developing on and then I can start properly. I have done some of the graphics during lunch breaks at work (until the ass face manager insisted we all had to answer phones even when sitting at our desks during our chosen time for 1 hour lunch!).

The Star Fighters are looking pretty awesome so far and the textured floor of the desert (what f%$ing desert you ask? lol) is also looking OK but I think I can make it better with some different algorithms and graphics for a more 80s arcadey sort of look. I have 8 different levels in mind, not 100% sure yet.

I may ask someone for some help with the music in the future which would be really appreciated.

I may also ask the odd coding question because I have some odd ideas about how to do stuff differently sometimes (like the time I tried to use EHB as a highlight system not a shadow system haha).

I hope to have a demo by the summer, a gameplay video of beta code by spring and some screenshots after Xmas (when I am happy with the colour of the sand ).

Important: This will probably take a year to finish but the game will be FREE.It will be copyrighted still so please remember that. Hopefully will offer a service to send it out on real disks for use on real Amigas.

(I am also hoping to do a nice SILENTreplica of Level 1 Stage 3 of the Megadrive game Mickey Mouse Castle of Illusion just because it makes an awesome little game demo to pass time with AND I believe it is quite possible with all the parallax using stock OCS features...we shall see. This is more for practice on Blitz coding for other things)
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Old 14 December 2011, 09:17   #2
musojon74
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I will help with music / sfx... :-)
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Old 14 December 2011, 10:24   #3
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Good luck with this. I look forward to reading about its progress and try it out.
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Old 14 December 2011, 10:34   #4
FOL
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lol, wish I was this optimistic, when I was made redundant 3 years ago.
Hope you can survive finacially.
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Old 14 December 2011, 10:43   #5
ImmortalA1000
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Bit strange I know haha. Well I worked there just long enough to pay a lot of stuff off and had my car written off so have a bit of cash on the way to spare as the cheque won't cover a replacement. Still owed about 300 bucks in wages which I was going to spend on a 4000/030 but hopefully will find a HDD interface for my A1000 which would be OK too
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Old 14 December 2011, 10:47   #6
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optimistic, bravo, i lost my job 2 years ago
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Old 14 December 2011, 10:47   #7
ImmortalA1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musojon74 View Post
I will help with music / sfx... :-)
Very kind of you thanks

I plan on watching every episode of Buck Rogers from the 80s with pen & paper to not down episode/timestamp with good clean SFX/instruments to sample to help everything along.

If this game goes well might do a version with vipers and cylons as a datadisk
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Old 14 December 2011, 10:52   #8
ImmortalA1000
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optimistic, bravo, i lost my job 2 years ago
You have to look on the bright side...wages were piss poor and hated every second of it so this is a good thing for me really...happy to escape

I will sell some funky laptops on ebay just as in the past part time.
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Old 14 December 2011, 12:09   #9
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Is your game going to be made in asm, or...?
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Old 14 December 2011, 13:30   #10
Akira
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Is your game going to be made in asm, or...?
He mentioned Blitz in his original post.
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Old 14 December 2011, 14:14   #11
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oooops, cheers Akira

Skim reading is a bad habit of mine...
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Old 14 December 2011, 16:38   #12
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core and well wicked ribbits, hope all goes well with this
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Old 15 December 2011, 02:49   #13
ImmortalA1000
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Is your game going to be made in asm, or...?
First attempt will be in Blitz yes but I know to make it work in less than 2mb will need ASM for realtime calculations and then it may run on a stock A500. The extra memory is for LUT for various things that will speed things up a lot so I don't have to do ASM for the engine. Put it this way...it won't look as bad as 75% of Amiga commercial games

I'm waiting for an insurance cheque at the moment and also for a couple of bits to turn up on ebay (a desk would also help so need to get one of those haha) and then I will be on it.

PS: I know I have about 10-15 pages missing from my Blitz 2.1 manual, if needed would someone be able to scan those few pages for me so I can print them out and put them in my ring bound manual? They are kind of important seing as they are Blitz mode commands! Moral of the story:ALWAYS check every page of a manual when buying stuff from fleabay!!

My Oblivion/Skyrim* a la SEGA 2.5D-o-vision is 100% ASM for sure this is why it is not scheduled to be released until after planet Nibiru has crashed into the Earth and wiped us all out

(*or Forbidden Forest 2.5D if that sounds too fantastical for an Amiga project)
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Old 15 December 2011, 03:42   #14
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This could be the start a very good venture.
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Old 15 December 2011, 08:57   #15
Coagulus
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http://math.ut.ee/~isotamm/PKeeled/T...Manual-ENG.pdf
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Old 15 December 2011, 16:42   #16
LuMan
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This looks very exciting indeed. Always great to hear of new game projects starting up. Be sure to keep us up to date with screenshots and vids

I managed to find a pdf of the Blitz Basic 2 manual. Not printed it out yet, but I may do it at work
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Old 15 December 2011, 18:13   #17
ImmortalA1000
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Won't be much going on until after Xmas probably, still need to sort out a lot of real world crap (car being written off stuff, trying to get last of my money owed out of this chicken sh!t operation, get a desk and some sort of add-ons to my A1000 or a replacement mobo for my dead A2000 etc blah blah zzzzzzzz)

I will probably do a blog on the web so as not to clog up this place, I like the idea of a coders diary. I guess the first place to start is with an answer to "Why?" so I will do this here.

Q: Why?

A: There is no simple answer really....so time to engage waffle engines to max!.....This is really chapter one of the story. Let's hope the story has a great ending with many brave heroes and a happy rescued heroine

Why do it? As some of you may know a guy in the UK without much hope of ever succeeding was so fired up he started his dream project half a century ago. Space Harrier for the Atari 8bit computers. He recently finished this game and that I guess was the trigger to actually wanting to do this. I've always toyed with the idea but if he could find the will to finish that project then so many of my ideas which never get coded can also be completed.

Why now? Because I worked at the worst place I have ever worked in my life up until recently (actual job and management) and it was literally killing me (I now have hypertension for a start....thanks to 18 months working there). I knew things were going to come to an end via liquidating the company and I knew they would replace me with some benefit fraudster working cash in hand there. So I decided the jump calculations were good and spun up the FTL drives and GtFOoT and signed on. I only ended up working there because I took out a massive loan 5 years ago to help with cashflow in my business and needed a steady income to pay it off. Only the PS3 remains from that money but I am still alive so it's all good. The death of my beautiful car to save my own (and subsequent skanking by dirt insurance company in writing off valuation) WILL NOT BE IN VAIN.

Why Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom? Well.......I probably have rammed this down peoples throats a lot but even today my most played game is Super Stardust AGA (ADF not CD ISO). It is a sublime game, I play it so much not just for the game design but because it is just great to play, everything is 'how it should be' in terms of controls. It's the same reason I play Lotus II on Amiga, the controls make it satisfying.

Now here we are, many decades later (OK three) after my fascination with trench space games from the early days of home gaming (Intellivision?) and somehow this stuck. I tried to write some on the C64 as an 11 year old but without ASM coding it was hopeless (I am optimistic......I even tried to write Pole Position for the VIC-20 in BASIC!)

Buck Rogers was great, but not on the C64 (was OK, actually has sprite multiplexing) but I don't know...where is the damn trenches! AND I always thought the Amiga was never really given the kind of game this covers let alone an actual port. Also Amiga games had their sites set low many times (due to sharing code with the ST in many cases) and graphics weren't always as brash and bold like arcade games. So that was it really, I decided to do a version of this game but in a way the authors of Super Stardust AGA would be proud of. The Coleco Adam 'Super' version is great though....needs some Amiga magic in the A/V dept that's all.

Why do you need this game? You don't, I do . It has to exist it's as simple as that really, I hope others will find enjoyment in playing it though of course. No compromise on graphics first of all, even if it means FPS drops from 25 to 20 etc I don't care, Konami's Salamander had slow down on the arcade but nobody complained in 1986. I have already done the Starfighter main graphic with all animation and even shadow outline. It's still a work in progress, but it started life as a rendered 3D image so about 9 frames of animation and size of the graphic just for your ship is around 80x32 pixels for a start.

I've also done the textured desert floor (for version A of game engine, version B will need much different method of drawing and hence source graphics) mountains in the background sky (which will end up being a copper list) and clouds (again will have a copper list on them so they blend with changing shade of blue in sky). Tesla coils are in there too but not the lightning bolts, also am not happy with Tesla coil graphics so will do them again.

Why use Blitz? OK yes I know saying you are writing an awesome commercial (as at 1990) quality Amiga game in Blitz is a bit like saying you are building a sports car with a 2.0L 16v Vauxhall engine and has a bit of the wiff of PD about it BUT in my defense my original design for the game sort of branched out from another project and there is a lot of memory being copied about the screen in chipram but very little stopping of the custom chipset to tell it what to do next due to the size of the chunks of data needed to be copied. So I thought perfect, Blitz has great built in libraries to tell Agnus/Paula/Denise to go do her thing and if you don't need to talk to those pretty ladies too much (even if they have way too much nail varnish on and huge shoulder pads!) Blitz should have a minimal hit in performance.

Bit of a problem now though because I have thought of another way of doing the desert terrain but it requires many smaller images to be blitted around. This is where if I am not happy with how it looks in motion on version 1 I will have to get help/learn ASM! The upside is it will look better, down side is that quality of scaled graphics on Amiga has only been done a few times, and two of those by Magnetic Fields (Lotus II OCS, Lotus III CD32) so.........don't hold your breath!

Why so long to finish? Because it is a huge project, just finding an authentic sample of the Starfighter lasers that I like will take me ages.....the realities are huge. The current Starfighter sprite took maybe 1 day for first draft but there is still even now some changes going on to lose the rendered/raytraced flat polygon look. I have also not written a line of code yet in Blitz to even test anything, will my first test program even compile?!?!?

Then there is the issue of not really having the equipment to do this, I don't even have a desk (great chair though haha) and I need to really put together a few things so I can work on this on a real Amiga. To be honest even a Power Computing XL HD floppy drive would be OK....but it must work on my A1000. Ideally I need an autoboot HD drive for the A1000 but hey I won't hold my breath. My 2 A2000s died last year so I have A2000 hard cards and no A2000.

Why for the OCS machines only? Well Amiga to me was, and always will be, the A1000. A500/600/2000 etc all the same sort of thing. AGA is not exactly exhaustively catered for in Blitz but I would imagine even a stock A1200 would run the game smoother. But no 256 colour graphics as it will just take too long. I promise though that the OCS version will have an extra 32-64 colours with some very cunning copperlists in play, in fact we will be using as much of the subtle shading abilities of the Amiga palette as possible.

Why don't you just go and get a job? Because I don't want to right now

One thing I am hoping is this will make other people feel they CAN do something, and find the energy to make it happen. I hope no matter how my game turns out or what people think of it that it will inspire others to do a game they always wanted to do. If that's all this project does then I am happy to be honest. We need to keep Amiga alive, and what better way than by people starting to write massively over spec'd games. Amiga was the best computer I ever bought in my life for NOT getting in the way of my creative processes. I am giving back something to all those vanguard developers of such amazing hardware and software as Digi-View and Dpaint III etc.



I suppose this concludes chapter one of telling my journey, you all know as much as I do now about this project
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Old 15 December 2011, 18:15   #18
ImmortalA1000
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Originally Posted by LuMan View Post
This looks very exciting indeed. Always great to hear of new game projects starting up. Be sure to keep us up to date with screenshots and vids

I managed to find a pdf of the Blitz Basic 2 manual. Not printed it out yet, but I may do it at work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coagulus View Post
These are the Blitz 2.0 manuals yes? I have Blitz 2.1 and the manual is like a filofax (damn the 90s!) and ring bound. I do have a Blitz 2.0 manual but I just want to make sure all the changes from 2.0 to 2.1 are detailed to minimize my mistakes.
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Old 15 December 2011, 20:25   #19
Graham Humphrey
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I don't think that is the manual from Blitz 2.0 as AGA support wasn't included as standard yet there is a section on the Display Library (which was only included in 2.1) and to me it looks the same.

However I do have the 2.1 ring-bound manual (only missing a few pages at the back but nothing important, unless they're the ones you're missing), so if you want any pages scanned let me know and I'll do it.
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Old 15 December 2011, 21:25   #20
synchro
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I would volunteer to make you a website for it if you need one ?
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