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Old 10 September 2015, 11:48   #61
Mrs Beanbag
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many games that use mouse input could easily be adapted for a touch screen, it's just "clicking on things".

i have an idea for a much better way to control a platform game with a touch screen than literally emulating a joypad though.
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Old 10 September 2015, 17:07   #62
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One of the best Amiga PD games, was put to a charity website by its author. You can download it freely and if you wish, you can donate to a cancer research. Look how that happened... https://www.justgiving.com/AlienFishFinger/ 22 donations in 4 years...
I guess I never heared about that game. On the other hand if I click on the link I get an ssl connection error. So a "real" amiga user cannot access it.
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Old 10 September 2015, 18:16   #63
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You know everything that has been discussed here in this threat is stuff Adam and I have been talking about nearly every day over the last ten years. Many years ago Adam noticed the trend in how people were starting to take an interest in retro gaming, and as the Amiga was our passion we got a few people together online and formed a team, Underground Arcade. Our goal was to produce games for Amigas with very specific target requirements, basically 1MB OCS machines, 2MB AGA machines, or expanded machines with hard drives and extra RAM (and next-gen Amigas) but really make it clear that there are three target categories. The idea was then to make a website inspired by the new app store trend that was starting which would work in Amiga browsers. On it you would browse through the available games, add them to the cart and purchase them with Paypal or Credit Card. It would offer options for physically published games as well as downloads, with prices to match. This way, we could establish a central hub for all new Amiga games to be made available from. It would also include a PD library with all the best PD games from previous years. PD games of course would be free to download, or you can purchase them on floppy disk for a small fee.

Does that sound like a better idea than several Amiga developers all having their own separate web pages with their game available from, or just uploading it to Aminet where it sits in the Recent list for a week or two before being forgotten forever. Or being an attachment on a single forum? No one ever finds out about games like this! There's no promotion, no advertising. By having all the new games on one single site, all with nice banner artwork, screenshots and video previews, and even user ratings and comments, we provide a way for people to stay informed about what's available, encourage community interaction and the shared enthusiasm will help drive up the amount of attention the games get and the sales as well.

It's funny, but Adam also envisioned that we'd eventually have a much better, open-source game creation suit which uses code from the Mr Beanbag engine and allows you to modify parts of the code as well as being a GUI/map-editor similar to Backbone, and using modules which are optimised for certain routines, and the kind of game he wanted to make with it would be a massive Metroidvania style game because it would ensure a maximum amount of features, which was basically what he wanted Halloween Nightmare to be. He told me this after Tricky first released her Halloween demo of Mr. Beanbag, which inspired us to make our Halloween Nightmare demo in Backbone back in 2007.

But back then there was hardly anywhere near as much interest in the Amiga as there is today, so his plan was to get people interested in both developing and playing Amiga games again. One way was by writing a review about Backbone, and later writing a tutorial on how to use it to make games. The other plan was to start annual Amiga games making competitions, to use the spirit of competition amongst the idle community to get some more new games out there. Both plans were moderately successful since we did get quite a few entries for the competitions over the years, some from people who later went on to make better Amiga games and release them (like Tracker Hero, which is awesome) and of course we've been kinda flooded with Backbone games. And I don't think it's a bad thing, because they're made by guys who wouldn't otherwise be able to make a game due to not knowing how to code. And sure, you can say "Learn to code!" but that's what I started to do back then and I'm still a total amateur!
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Old 10 September 2015, 18:51   #64
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Oh yeah, another part of his plan was to share ideas and plans for different hardware expansions around and have the hardware guys start building them, and then organise deals where they would bundle new games with the expansions! So imagine you bought yourself a new 8MB RAM + IDE/CF expansion for your A500 from Kipper, why not bundle it with a game that requires the extra RAM and HDD space, like Tales of Gorluth II for example.

Another thing was to make a new Workbench pack which makes Workbench look modern and beautiful, to encourage people to actually spend more time on their Amiga. Then we'd collect a bunch of second-hand Amigas, clean them up and pre-install this new Workbench pack on them, then sell them with a games bundle. Imagine if some guy wants to come back to the Amiga community, and he's easily able to buy a reconditioned A1200 or A600 which boots up looking like this without even needing much extra RAM or CPU to do it.

Anyway, now is the time to make this vision a reality for the sake of all Amiga enthusiasts! It's 2015, and I feel so excited that we're going to finally make this happen. I'll tell you why. Because Amiga makes it possible. It makes dreams come true! It was always my dream to go to America and stay in California. Adam literally had a dream back in the 90s that RJ Mical was showing him around his workplace, a huge place outside with buildings all around which were all part of his work. He told me about it years ago. Just two months ago RJ invited us to California and showed us all around Googleplex, which is basically a whole suburb of buildings which belong to Google. I am positive that there's some weird magic going on and these Aquarius guys have some understanding of how to make it work.

I'm sorry, Adam is Rebel-CD32 on this forum, I'm being a little informal tonight so I must apologise.

But I want to say, after spending time with RJ Mical, Dave Needle, Dave Haynie, Joe Torre, Trevor Dickinson and meeting all these wonderful Amiga users in California, I am so enthusiastic to get things done at last! There's some significance to this 30 year anniversary, and because the Amiga is getting a lot of extra attention from the media outside of our community, it's the perfect time for us to take advantage of this renewed interest.

So I will tell you that we want Underground Arcade to be a new publishing platform for Amiga games (and eventually beyond). Our goal is to help the Amiga community, not take advantage of anyone or line our pockets. Look at what RGCD and BinaryZone do for the Commodore 64 community. We want to produce something just as good or better than what they are doing, but for the Amiga community. Professionally published games as well as free games, all available from one place, a nicely designed website with easy navigation.

Here are the disks and the disk cases we'll be using for publishing some of the games on:



And this is how the floppy disk cases look. We will have professionally printed inlays and cute little game manuals inside these as well as the disk:



These would be for the budget versions, we'd love to get boxed versions made as Collector's Editions as well (including T-Shirt, CD, poster, feelies, that sort of thing).
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Old 10 September 2015, 19:26   #65
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Man, Cammy's giving away all my secrets... :P

It's funny that Shantae was used as an example of the kind of game we need on the Amiga. Cammy and I are working on one right now... the only bad thing is it's in Backbone! But I've got a lot of experience with the program and am confident we can make something decent with it. I just want to finally finish making a game in Backbone, because I've started a whole heap of projects and abandoned them. This is also going to be our example game, to show how we'll publish a new Amiga game from Underground Arcade. I want it to be as polished as the best 16bit console games, all the way down to the packaging. And every game will have controller options, never again should you be stuck pressing up for jump!



I just took this screenshot of my very early work-in-progress game. I'm still working on the graphics for it so I haven't made any proper levels yet, but I've put together a couple of test levels, mainly to try out some ideas I randomly come up with or to see how some tiles will look. If anyone would like to try it (keeping in mind the finished game will be infinitely less messy than this test) I uploaded an ADF here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/4aaf0c9owl...eGame.adf?dl=0
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Old 10 September 2015, 19:29   #66
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@cammy

You might need more that those, floppys were known to have a good amount of failure rate - ok and of course digital download need to be an option ^^
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Old 10 September 2015, 19:29   #67
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Does that sound like a better idea than several Amiga developers all having their own separate web pages with their game available from, or just uploading it to Aminet where it sits in the Recent list for a week or two before being forgotten forever. Or being an attachment on a single forum? No one ever finds out about games like this! There's no promotion, no advertising. By having all the new games on one single site, all with nice banner artwork, screenshots and video previews, and even user ratings and comments, we provide a way for people to stay informed about what's available, encourage community interaction and the shared enthusiasm will help drive up the amount of attention the games get and the sales as well.
+10
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Old 10 September 2015, 19:43   #68
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@cammy

You might need more that those, floppys were known to have a good amount of failure rate - ok and of course digital download need to be an option ^^

Thats true, and even those floppies are HD. SO - in case you will release a game on a floppy, I will buy it in that cute tiny box and store it together with my other games AND beside this I would like to have a download key to pull it directly to my Amiga to ensure myself it will be working. Because Floppy + HD + journey from Australia to Europe = serious risk of non-functional software.

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+10
+ another 10 from me!
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Old 10 September 2015, 20:05   #69
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This is only just the beginning! We plan on hoarding many more floppies. I wanted to say that they are all brand new and still sealed, but the ones that we have opened and used over the years have been great. All of the disks we've used have been HD and they work perfectly on all our Amigas for a long time. After a few years, or maybe even a few months, it's possible that these HD disks start having read errors as the data retention isn't as strong as a DD disk. This is why any disk purchased from us will have an ADF file available for automatic download, both so you can play the game while you wait for delivery, and also so you can re-write the game image back to the disk if you ever start to get read errors.

We've found that if you write the ADF back to the disk three times in a row, it tends to stay on there much more permanently, so they will all be done like this.

Most of these disks are for the PD library which will be a part of Underground Arcade (Underground PD?). And from the PD side of things, you will have a choice of the type of disk you wish to receive each game on; Brand New DD, Brand New HD, and recycled DD disks which will be the cheapest option.

We hope that we can acquire enough DD floppy disks so that all of the commercial games we publish will be on those rather than the HD ones. At the moment we have 80 brand new DD disks, 50 of which are orange and 30 are dark blue. We'd love to theme the colour of the disk with the game and the printed label in a similar manner to how RGCD's C64 cartridges are different colours depending on the game.

Of course then there are CDTV/CD32 and hard drive versions of the games which will come on CDs, which are a lot easier to get than floppy disks. And a lot of people will surely choose the cheapest option, to simply download the games they want (I imagine the prices would vary from game to game but be much less than the disk versions) and of course PD downloads would be free.

We'd like to contact the creators of many recent Amiga homebrew/PD games so that we can have their permission to host their games on our site and make disk versions for people as well. But it's all a lot of work for the two of us considering we're also working on making several games at once as well. We used to have a team, and we're hoping to put one together again, if anyone wants to join us! Together we can steer the Amiga community in the right direction, set some goals and accomplish them!
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Old 10 September 2015, 20:05   #70
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I just took this screenshot of my very early work-in-progress game. I'm still working on the graphics for it so I haven't made any proper levels yet, but I've put together a couple of test levels, mainly to try out some ideas I randomly come up with or to see how some tiles will look. If anyone would like to try it (keeping in mind the finished game will be infinitely less messy than this test) I uploaded an ADF here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/4aaf0c9owl...eGame.adf?dl=0
Just tried, it is pretty game, I like the maze and the graphics is really nice (although ladder crawling anim frames need to be altered yet as well as walking anim). I am looking forward to this and I will order it for sure. Hope you finish it.
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Old 10 September 2015, 20:30   #71
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Okay so you want to setup an amiga marketplace - thats cool! Now as a dev who works with various market places I have questions

What's your cut? more to the point - whats left for me? It's been said by yourself and others that marketing will make or break this sort of venture - how are you going to drive buyers to your marketplace?

Where is it going to be based? Location of the service effects tax etc - for example in order to deal properly with microsoft when developing for xbox360 I had to apply for an american ITIN which allowed me to benefit from the tax treaty between USA and UK.

I'm really sorry because although an amiga fan for decades i'm quite new to the "scene" so I don't know who people are - but what is the background you guys have? Are you prepared for handling any legal requirements for selling third party through your own service? Am I in good hands?

etc etc - I'm sure this is all stuff you would make known in the future as your project advances but figured as I was right here...
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Old 10 September 2015, 20:41   #72
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@Cammy and rebel-CD32

Having your own with full control is of course always much more fun than joining with someone else, especially because then you might have to throw some of your ideas out of the window because the other one isnt interested in what you are. But, have you considered contacting Pascal papara if you could perhaps make your plan in some way inside Indiego Appstore?

For what I am reading from your plan, it sounds like what I am hoping Amistore and Indiego to become, but Amistore is bit more limited in its target.

One thing I hope one of Indiegos future version would enable to do would be to be able to choose year 2015 and see all the PD games that were released for Amiga that year, and then with click of a button download them.

For one exact problem you mention too is that it is very difficult to track down all the Amiga freeware games released even just this year. Some have their own websites, some not. Most are probably in aminet, but Aminet isnt that fun for this kind of searching, plus I would very much like that you could browse through those games in Indiego Appstore way that you could see pictures of those games before you start downloading them to decide whether you want to give a try to it or not.

hope someone succeeds in making all this reality, all amiga releases under same roof, be it Amistore, Indiego, or your system (I actually had one slightly similar idea myself back in 2005 or maybe even earlier, but never did a single keystroke to make it become reality).

Consider however asking either from Amistore or Indiego if they would be interested in having your system under them, there could well be interest at least in Indiego to do some co-operation.
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Old 10 September 2015, 20:56   #73
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wow.

i'd love to be a part of this.

how much do you think i could raise in a kickstarter or similar, to produce a complete boxed edition of Mr Beanbag?

Last edited by Mrs Beanbag; 10 September 2015 at 21:14.
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Old 10 September 2015, 22:16   #74
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Count me in for the development tools!

As for the app store, I would recommend IndieGo over AmiStore because it supports more Amiga-like OS platforms. Also, though it presently requires a graphics card for the GUI, it can work without any.
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Old 10 September 2015, 23:56   #75
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wow.

i'd love to be a part of this.

how much do you think i could raise in a kickstarter or similar, to produce a complete boxed edition of Mr Beanbag?
I'm sure if handled correctly you could raise 4,000 + euros, maybe 5,000.
I'll back such an endeavor for sure.
A single indy publishing company for the Amiga is a fantastic idea, if handled correctly. No reason such an endeavor could not release on other retro computers too.
That said, ideas are ten a penny but doing or even trying is half the battle.
Again I will support such an idea in any and all ways that I could but imo, absolute realism, realistic goals and slow growth are key. Good things take time.
And not too many cooks, cos they tend to spoil the broth
But yes, I'm game! Let's do it!!!
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Old 11 September 2015, 05:40   #76
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And I don't think it's a bad thing, because they're made by guys who wouldn't otherwise be able to make a game due to not knowing how to code. And sure, you can say "Learn to code!" but that's what I started to do back then and I'm still a total amateur!
On that note, although tools simplify content creation, they cannot transform bad games into good ones. They are a multiplier of speed, not of quality.

Finding good gameplay ideas and implementing them iteratively, identifying the elements which work ("the jump control", "the correct inertia", "the proper reaction time", "the type of bonuses which make sense", "the rewards which keep interest growing", etc.) and improving them while re-working or eliminating those which do not work is hard and requires lots of iterations and lots of failures.

Starting from scratch one probably needs to make about 5 crappy games before finally acquiring the reflexes which allow them to identify mistakes and good ideas and correct or amplify them.

You mentioned not being an expert at coding and it's absolutely fine if you do not have time to spend several hours per day coding for several years.
Practice is the only way to get good at something and making good games, or writing good code takes thousands of hours of practice. Literally.

Ask Phx, StingRay, Mrs Beanbag, Photon, etc. how many hours of their life they spent writing code before they became really good at it.

What I want to say is that a market needs demand and supply. Supply cannot increase easily overnight, even with the retro wave it will take years before enough good coders, artists, designers emerge to generate a steady stream of releases. Years to recruit existing good ones, and years for new ones to learn the trade and hone their skills patiently.

This said, I am confident this will happen.

I only recently started looking at the MegaDrive/Genesis scene and although the active good coders are still only a handful they are making steady progress and keep pushing further what is doable within limits of the machine ( [ Show youtube player ], [ Show youtube player ] (can be *much* improved), [ Show youtube player ]), these are all done by the same guy but others are making similar strides.).

It is clear that the retro scenes are brewing on many platforms and that retro-gamers will eventually desire new games strongly enough that markets will be able to support commercial creation provided that piracy is not too easy.

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I'm sure if handled correctly you could raise 4,000 + euros, maybe 5,000.
For a new instalment of Mr Beanbag? Yup. For the current one? Nope, because it is competing with its free version. Cf my post on value: you cannot compete with a free version of the same product (unless paying is easier than free downloading).

Update: I mean by this that you would raise much less than possible because of the free version. I would buy it, but like many here I'm atypical.

And I would link this to Cammy's suggestion to bundle a free ADF: this is IMO self defeating because it creates instant competition to the paying offering. Yes, many people will want the physical disk (I'm one of these), but I would say they represent only 1/5th of the available market at best. The other 4/5th of the market will buy only if they have no other choice. Not necessarily because it's cheaper but because it's simpler (cf iTunes: it's more expensive than piracy but actually less practical, so people pay). I would rather opt for a never-expiring offer of exchange of the faulty medium at zero profit (shipping+media).

And this is also why I mentioned cartridges in another post.
They solve both durability and reliability issues while still being affordable. Obviously they can be copied as well, but it's cumbersome enough that if the price is low enough nobody capable of doing it will actually bother.

The A500 has a nice expansion port for them, and the 600/1200 have PCMCIA.
(Of course, expansions can be an issue, but this can be worked around.)

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We hope that we can acquire enough DD floppy disks so that all of the commercial games we publish will be on those rather than the HD ones. At the moment we have 80 brand new DD disks, 50 of which are orange and 30 are dark blue. We'd love to theme the colour of the disk with the game and the printed label in a similar manner to how RGCD's C64 cartridges are different colours depending on the game.
Floppies are nice, I like them, but both they and the drives have limited life spans and obviously that's not going to get better.

I think they are fine for small scale production but if you want to operate in a market big enough to sustain many creators then it would become much more difficult to obtain them and with the aging floppy drives they will be enjoyable for less and less time at every new release.

Moreover, they have a high cost per unit, higher than CDs for example so adopting them reduces the amount of money which reaches creators, and they are easily copyable, allowing immediate creation of free competition.

I think the way ahead for retro platforms involves physical media but I would be very hesitant to rely on floppies on the long run (as a start they are ok though).

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Does that sound like a better idea than several Amiga developers all having their own separate web pages with their game available from, or just uploading it to Aminet where it sits in the Recent list for a week or two before being forgotten forever.
Yes, it is a much better idea.
But I would make this multi platform to benefit from the synergies of the retro movement: consoles people could want to look at the Amiga if they saw more of it and vice versa.

Last edited by ReadOnlyCat; 11 September 2015 at 05:53. Reason: Added update. Clarified position for floppies. Agreed with store idea.
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Old 11 September 2015, 06:18   #77
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Thanks for your suggestions, but there's really nothing you can say that we haven't already discussed in detail thousands of times over the last decade. We're far more aware of the Amiga and retro gaming community than you seem to assume. I know where all the coders are, I have been helping to pull many of them out of the woodwork over the years through socialising online, promoting current Amiga developments and holding annual game making competitions. We've had discussions and held surveys and monitored what's been produced and sold and we know how much demand there is and how best to serve the current market.

Multi-platform is all part of the plan, which is why we've been watching and getting involved in several retro gaming and computing scenes. If a game is really good, it deserves to be seen by the world, and the Amiga market is kinda small, so if so much effort went into the original code, graphics, music, sound and design, it isn't too much extra effort on top to port the game to a similarly capable machine, so that's definitely something we'll be doing once we've established ourselves.

I'm sorry to link to another forum, but I made a thread about professionally published homebrew games last year to hopefully generate some interest. Unfortunately that forum is kind of quiet. http://www.lemonamiga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=113940

I just re-read your post, I don't mean that a free ADF would be offered if the game was available boxed. Only that if someone pays for the boxed copy, they will receive a link to the ADF in their email or something, so they can play the game while they wait for the boxed copy to be delivered, or so they can play it without having to open the box if they're collectors. The only free ADFs would be games that are already free, like PD games. If anyone is currently working on a game or plans on making one in the future, we just wish to give them the option to make it a commercial release if they so wish, and if not, release it as PD on our site so we can keep all of the recent releases together, available for all from one place. We also don't plan on screwing anyone! It's entirely for the Amiga community, not for making big profits.

Last edited by TCD; 11 September 2015 at 08:38. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 11 September 2015, 08:50   #78
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Thanks for your suggestions, but there's really nothing you can say that we haven't already discussed in detail thousands of times over the last decade. We're far more aware of the Amiga and retro gaming community than you seem to assume.
Kittens never assume things about others!

I merely brought out my experience of game/tools development and my feeling about the retro movement but I do not think this was in opposition to anything you said, I feel it should rather be seen as a complement.

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I know where all the coders are, I have been helping to pull many of them out of the woodwork over the years through socialising online, promoting current Amiga developments and holding annual game making competitions.
No doubt about that, this is pretty obvious to anyone who has dug a bit in the history of the EAB but I never said or implied otherwise.

What I meant by my rant about code and the years needed to train new kittens is that there are only so many things the current coding (and non coding) kittens can do, new blood, from outside the current community is needed to ramp up production. And also because new genes bring out new ideas and stir the pot to make a better sauce.

My rant about tools was to insist on the importance of gameplay experience over tooling. Code is not everything in a game, gameplay is, and that is clearly something that the community does not master as well as the other arts (code, graphics, sound). Demos and games require very similar coding skills but they require immensely different design skills, and these I think are much less frequent in the current community.

To produce even just two Amiga-era-grade hits per year requires a lot of attempts and thus a lot of people, that's just what I was saying and again I do not think this contradicts anything you said.

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We've had discussions and held surveys and monitored what's been produced and sold and we know how much demand there is and how best to serve the current market.
I am certain you guys did a lot of diligent work but as I said in a few posts on this thread already, measuring interest and markets is a science in itself (literally, not figuratively). It is possible to make many measurements and still obtain an incorrect image of a system if you have not taken care to eliminate all sources of bias.

You certainly have many more data points than I do given your past history and activity but the task is gargantuan, especially for small markets where signal and noise are hard to separate. I think a proper market study would require solid economical, statistical and sociological sciences background which I unfortunately do not have.

But I want to underscore that I think your analysis is overall correct and that I applaud your initiative. It is something I though about and I'm glad someone wants to hold this flag for real!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cammy
if someone pays for the boxed copy, they will receive a link to the ADF in their email or something
Ok, that is indeed a bit different but that will not prevent competition with "Amiga ROMz" sites: you are still targeting a market of "willing to be generous" people while allowing the "I will not buy if I can" people to get it on ROMz sites. I would still prefer at-cost perpetual exchange and protection and the promise of a DRM free version say 5 years ahead for those who bought it initially.

I do not like the idea of copy protection as a game buyer but I think it is fair to do what is necessary to prevent people who do not want to pay (or wait for price drops) from playing as long as buyers are contractually guaranteed to eventually get a DRM free copy.

But in any case, I would not want you to think I am telling you this is all a bad idea: I and many others here arrived to very similar conclusions as the previous posts of this thread show and I certainly encourage you to proceed!
If I ever finish the game I'm working on (*) I will be happy to rely on your distribution platform if you allow me to opt out of the ADF option.


(*) probably implies me spending less time on EAB and more coding though. ^^;
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Old 11 September 2015, 09:33   #79
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Originally Posted by Cammy View Post

I'm sorry to link to another forum, but I made a thread about professionally published homebrew games last year to hopefully generate some interest. Unfortunately that forum is kind of quiet. http://www.lemonamiga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=113940
Do not rely on Lemonamiga, there is a group of fine people there, but the site is just stoned
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Old 12 September 2015, 12:58   #80
OlafSch
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Nuernberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel-CD32 View Post
Man, Cammy's giving away all my secrets... :P

It's funny that Shantae was used as an example of the kind of game we need on the Amiga. Cammy and I are working on one right now... the only bad thing is it's in Backbone! But I've got a lot of experience with the program and am confident we can make something decent with it. I just want to finally finish making a game in Backbone, because I've started a whole heap of projects and abandoned them. This is also going to be our example game, to show how we'll publish a new Amiga game from Underground Arcade. I want it to be as polished as the best 16bit console games, all the way down to the packaging. And every game will have controller options, never again should you be stuck pressing up for jump!



I just took this screenshot of my very early work-in-progress game. I'm still working on the graphics for it so I haven't made any proper levels yet, but I've put together a couple of test levels, mainly to try out some ideas I randomly come up with or to see how some tiles will look. If anyone would like to try it (keeping in mind the finished game will be infinitely less messy than this test) I uploaded an ADF here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/4aaf0c9owl...eGame.adf?dl=0
What do you think of the idea to use Hollywood for game programming? I know that it will never run on 1 MB ECS A500 but it offers lots of advantages and there is AGA promised (as plugin). You can even do 3D now with it and it compiles for many important commercial platforms. My idea always was to use modern development software on Linux or Windows to create graphics, sound and even level design and integrate them in hollywood with the chance to compile it for different platforms. If you want to attract new developers from outside this is the only realistic chance in my view.
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