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Old 17 January 2015, 00:20   #461
turrican3
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Originally Posted by RichAplin View Post
It'd slightly disagree (in terms of my games) with "not fully optimized Amiga ports"
I was more thinking about others games than yours,
it's really great to have your details about all of this.
Do you have some memory to share about "line of fire" development, i remember that i was amazed by this port for the atari st (i had 1st an atari st, shame on me ), of course the amiga version was better but you succeed to keep the atari st version really near the amiga.
did you have some tools to convert amiga stuff to the atari st ?
ps: it was surely a nightmare to convert arcade gfx to 16 colours !! like you said, it was impossible to keep paralax with just 16 colours.

Last edited by turrican3; 17 January 2015 at 00:50.
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Old 17 January 2015, 00:40   #462
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Originally Posted by Adrian Browne View Post
I seem to remember, all those years ago, when I got the 1 megabyte upgrade for my a500, the intro music magically appeared.
I tried the whdload version last night and oddly there was no music.
I altered the WHDLoad slave at one point to allocate 1Mb of memory and the music worked fine, but it introduced major access faults all over the place in the game. At the end of the 1st sub level for example, it would just start trashing memory. And it would only do it sometimes, very strange.

Incidentally when the game has 1Mb, it creates a 128kb block of every 16-bit combination of words reversed so that it can flip the character graphics more quickly when a character changes direction.
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Old 17 January 2015, 01:34   #463
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Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
I altered the WHDLoad slave at one point to allocate 1Mb of memory and the music worked fine, but it introduced major access faults all over the place in the game. At the end of the 1st sub level for example, it would just start trashing memory. And it would only do it sometimes, very strange.

Incidentally when the game has 1Mb, it creates a 128kb block of every 16-bit combination of words reversed so that it can flip the character graphics more quickly when a character changes direction.
I see. The music appearing was the only visible difference that I ever noticed, of course. Whdload is a very cool thing.
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Old 17 January 2015, 02:47   #464
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I think this is why some arcade ports had bad publicity in the amiga community, but societies had to win money, the rights for a so much big arcade hit was surely high and they had to make profits first, doing separate ST and Amiga graphics sets was surely financially risky. But it's felt like a betrayal to have an amiga version just a little better than the st version when you compare them to the best amiga 500 natives games.
Indeed. As at the time hardcore gamer, my expectations for conversions were at Exact Coin-op port! So, when 5h17 like the Tiertex ports appeared it was a HUGE disappointment
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Old 17 January 2015, 03:43   #465
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Yes. By working in the IT industry (not the video-game side that is), buying a licence without asking and getting the original assets is a joke, and in this regard, i can't believe how amateurish most companies were.
I fully agree, this is blatant incompetence.

Quote:
In this regard, Rich is not faulty at all, since he was just executing the job they gave him.
This is where I disagree because this assumes that the employee has zero influence and would immediately get fired if he insisted on particular requirements.

I have been working in the video games industry since 1998 and I know what kind of pressures lie on developers's shoulders but part of being a professional is about facing your boss and telling them the diplomatic equivalent of "sorry, I'm the expert here, I will do this but these technical conditions must be met first". In Richard's case that would have been something like "give me latitude to contact Capcom and obtain first hand data from them, you don't even need to get involved, I'll handle everything".

When you have technical and professional expertise and enough self respect you ought to grab yourself by the guts and tell management what is acceptable and what is not because that's why a coder salary is higher than that of other job roles in the industry: because no one else can do it. That sounds horribly pretentious and I cringe while re-reading it but it's a fact.

Coders are rare creatures, very rare. And they were even rarer at that time so there's no way Richard would have been fired if he had been insistent about doing the thing right: how else would they have gotten that game through the door? It's not like they had an army of coders both willing to work for free and actually capable knocking at their doors.

Essentially I'm blaming you Richard for having been young and not insistent enough. Just like I was when I entered the industry. God knows I'd kick myself in the jewels to be more assertive if I could redo it all.

Last edited by Nekoniaow; 17 January 2015 at 03:52. Reason: Damn, that first attempt was too harsh, I hope it's better now. Sorry if it's not. :s
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Old 17 January 2015, 05:10   #466
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Originally Posted by Nekoniaow View Post
Essentially I'm blaming you Richard for having been young and not insistent enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
Incidentally when the game has 1Mb, it creates a 128kb block of every 16-bit combination of words reversed so that it can flip the character graphics more quickly when a character changes direction.
Ha I'd totally forgotten about that. Indeed! :-)

Last edited by TCD; 17 January 2015 at 21:23. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 17 January 2015, 08:53   #467
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I must precise that the blaming part was written tongue in cheek. But after re-reading my post it's clear that it doesn't convey my state of mind properly and sounds way too self important.

But I'm glad I helped you finally see the light.

This said I would have preferred you to give more details about your efforts to convince your bosses that the result would be sub par. You probably had way more clout at the time of FF inside your company than I ever had in my first company so historically it would be interesting to hear what kind of arguments were opposed to you and how you countered (if you did).

I would love to know what was the real reason behind the clear under budgeting of relatively high profile titles: incompetence? low profitability? desire to simply profit from a license without a care for the end result? etc.

But yes, the tone of my post was way too preachy. I deserve your sarcasm.
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Old 17 January 2015, 20:42   #468
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And why Final Fight? I think Gibs has the right idea with converting Double Dragon (again!), it's much better suited for a conversion to the Amiga than this is!

I too enjoy the technical challenge, and can relate in some part to your experience of 'customer facing' mostly within this very thread!
This is entirely off topic (should I start a new thread?) but did he release more information about this DD project? I only found a YouTube video on his blog so far and it's hard to say if he is 100% serious about it or if he is just playing around.
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Old 17 January 2015, 21:24   #469
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This is entirely off topic (should I start a new thread?) but did he release more information about this DD project? I only found a YouTube video on his blog so far and it's hard to say if he is 100% serious about it or if he is just playing around.
I agree but have no idea - although that echoes how I got into this mess
Once it becomes clear that it's viable it's difficult to stop - but by far the most time consuming aspect is the coding of the various moves and interactions in the beginning. It's for this reason I waited until I had a basic demo up and running of the first basic engine before (somewhat apprehensively if excitedly) presenting here - people are always unsure about how far something like this will go. He may spring it on us suddenly when he gets something going - but I guess he'll keep us updated on his blog since he's gone about it this way.
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Old 18 January 2015, 09:34   #470
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Ok I don't want to sound defensive (I don't feel it) but I was just brushing my teeth and a thought occurred to me; I do see a fair number of negative comments about the games I worked on (just kinda generally, e.g. youtube) and it just occurred to me that:
I was in my teens and early twenties, I was entirely self-taught, I wrote many games on many platforms all entirely on my own (i.e. nobody else coding), in assembler, on primitive tools (I built my own cross assembler ffs), in typically just a few months (6 months for FF was the longest) and was converting games from an arcade machine which was typically substantially more powerful (...in the ways that mattered to the game in question) under substantial time constraints (and typically doing the ST port as well)... ..and so, while brushing my teeth thought occurred to me...

"what the fuck is with all these armchair game developers having a go at me?"

I know it sounds defensive but to me it's more funny. Other game developers I know from back in the day (various names you've heard of or not) didn't give me a hard time, some were even quite complimentary...

Anyway, my observation is that (across the web) there's an awful lot of bullshit flying from people who don't know one end of a blitter from another. That's all. Night night!
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Old 18 January 2015, 13:43   #471
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Richard, Final fight programming on amiga was good with many clever ideas. You did with what you got. The game i love the most from you is Double Dragon 2. Not only the amiga version is excellent, but the amstrad CPC version is top class and even above all the other 8 bits release (since it's an amiga port).

Shinobi and FF got bad graphics, because those who ported them were not professionals (if i remember well).

BTW, would you be interested with final fight Amiga code ressourced ?
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Old 18 January 2015, 20:37   #472
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Not only the amiga version is excellent, but the amstrad CPC version is top class and even above all the other 8 bits release (since it's an amiga port).
BTW, would you be interested with final fight Amiga code ressourced ?
Ok I really wasn't trolling for compliments but thanks :-). I think calling CPC DD2 a 'port' from the Amiga is stretching it a bit depending on your definition of port (to me that means reusing the source code) but if you mean they both sprang forth from the fingers of the same maestro of magic, the king of kode, the supremely godlike genius that is my good self, then yes, I humbly agree.

Ok anyway, back to the subject at hand; Final Fight AGA....
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Old 19 January 2015, 00:29   #473
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Anyway, my observation is that (across the web) there's an awful lot of bullshit flying from people who don't know one end of a blitter from another. That's all. Night night!

That's the internet in a nutshell.
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Old 19 January 2015, 02:16   #474
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Well this armchair critic was largely happy with what you did.

The 'alternative' was Tiertex........and they REALLY didnt give a fuck at all.

The main problem for the Amiga was always the Atari ST, because it was relatively easy to transfer the results from ST to Amiga, it wasnt until later in the Amigas life that the Amiga was treated differently when sales of Amiga titles were outselling ST versions, but by then, the damage was done, lots of people assumed the Amiga wasnt quite as good as they thought, so they fucked off to the consoles.

With developers like early Teque and Tiertex (teque improved later), they were happy to undercut everyone and do all 8 and 16 bit versions, which must have been brilliant for Ocean and US Gold, not so much for the end user who wondered why Chase HQ on their Amiga was actually slower than the Spectrum version :/

I liked your shit Richard, you made an effort, and what people dont seem to be able to accept is this:

Imagine Tiertex got the gig for Final Fight.........lets see you shed some proper fucking tears eh?
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Old 19 January 2015, 04:49   #475
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Maybe some artists around here could mockup what the Tiertex version of Final Fight would look like? I'd guess:
  1. 16 static colours, using the palette from Human Killing Machine
  2. No sprites
  3. No copperlist palette changes
  4. A panel saying Final Fight, US Gold and Tiertex covering probably the top 1/3 of the screen
  5. Frame rate of 10 fps if we're lucky
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Old 19 January 2015, 05:05   #476
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Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
Maybe some artists around here could mockup what the Tiertex version of Final Fight would look like? I'd guess:
  1. 16 static colours, using the palette from Human Killing Machine
  2. No sprites
  3. No copperlist palette changes
  4. A panel saying Final Fight, US Gold and Tiertex covering probably the top 1/3 of the screen
  5. Frame rate of 10 fps if we're lucky
Double figures for fps......ever the optimist
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Old 19 January 2015, 07:51   #477
turrican3
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Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
Well this armchair critic was largely happy with what you did.

The 'alternative' was Tiertex........and they REALLY didnt give a fuck at all.

The main problem for the Amiga was always the Atari ST, because it was relatively easy to transfer the results from ST to Amiga, it wasnt until later in the Amigas life that the Amiga was treated differently when sales of Amiga titles were outselling ST versions, but by then, the damage was done, lots of people assumed the Amiga wasnt quite as good as they thought, so they fucked off to the consoles.

With developers like early Teque and Tiertex (teque improved later), they were happy to undercut everyone and do all 8 and 16 bit versions, which must have been brilliant for Ocean and US Gold, not so much for the end user who wondered why Chase HQ on their Amiga was actually slower than the Spectrum version :/

I liked your shit Richard, you made an effort, and what people dont seem to be able to accept is this:

Imagine Tiertex got the gig for Final Fight.........lets see you shed some proper fucking tears eh?
100% agree.
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Old 19 January 2015, 09:04   #478
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Maybe some artists around here could mockup what the Tiertex version of Final Fight would look like? I'd guess:
  1. 16 static colours, using the palette from Human Killing Machine
  2. No sprites
  3. No copperlist palette changes
  4. A panel saying Final Fight, US Gold and Tiertex covering probably the top 1/3 of the screen
  5. Frame rate of 10 fps if we're lucky
Someone please do this, it would be funny.
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Old 19 January 2015, 10:22   #479
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Here's a quick mockup. Please note the following features:
  1. PAL screen of 320x256 but only the NTSC portion used
  2. Enormous, busy and pointless panel at the top with multiple logos
  3. I couldn't bare to use the same 16 colours for the top panel, as it just looked too bad, even for those Tiertex cowboys
  4. I was going to cut 16 or 32 pixels off each edge to make the screen even smaller but left it anyway
  5. Using the Human Killing Machine palette actually doesn't look too bad in this case. Very lucky!
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Old 19 January 2015, 13:49   #480
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You are too optimistic, this is more like Tiertex IMO



8 colors in the main game area, with tons of dithering to have more colors, Tiertex will go this innovative approach for better speed. To improve speed even further they would use 2 panels instead of one.
Down panel is a nice artwork to remind you the coin op, up you ll have a nice 4 color game logo and 2 beatiful 4 color logos from CAPCOM and Tiertex themselves.

Finally you'll have a great working Final Fight on your Amiga 500 when everyone else thought it was impossible.

Last edited by nobody; 19 January 2015 at 14:03.
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