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Old 12 September 2015, 13:00   #81
OlafSch
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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.
multiplatform to other retro platforms or to commercial platforms?
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Old 12 September 2015, 15:57   #82
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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
Hollywood is great, but when the games don't run on an 1 MB A500 it makes no sense, IMHO.

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You can even do 3D now with it
No, sorry. Why should we do that?
The minimum requirements will be so high that the group of potential customers becomes really small. And why should they run a badly performing 3D game on their expensive Amigas when any 20-Euro Raspberry Pi can do it better? You can't sell that.

Retro-computing is the key. I think many people will buy for games which feel and play exactly like the Amiga classics of their youth and run on their old hardware. So you must support the A500.


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My idea always was to use modern development software on Linux or Windows to create graphics, sound and even level design
That's not a problem at all, even when developing in assembler for the A500. There are cross assemblers. Use Gimp or GrafX2 for graphics, Milkytracker for the music, etc..
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Old 12 September 2015, 15:58   #83
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multiplatform to other retro platforms or to commercial platforms?
@OlafSch What is the current state of 68k / AGA support in Hollywood. I always thought of it as ppc OS4 or faster.
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:02   #84
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It runs in 68k but needs gfx card.
Perhaps in the future It can offer an AGA plugin but doubt It will be fast enought.
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:20   #85
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@OlafSch What is the current state of 68k / AGA support in Hollywood. I always thought of it as ppc OS4 or faster.
it runs on 68k (minimum 68020) but needs RTG at the moment. AGA is promised by plugin.

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@OlafSch What is the current state of 68k / AGA support in Hollywood. I always thought of it as ppc OS4 or faster.
I normally use it on emulation not real hardware. AGA is promised and it has to be seen how it runs on a A1200 as example. I think it will become more interesting when fast FPGA based accellerators are available. And yes handcoded and optimized assembler games might be faster but if you want to reach developers outside the community I fear you need support of commercial platforms. So to me Hollywood seems to be the only realistic option. And regarding assembler developers, how many are left? I contacted a number of former devs that I found in internet but I found noone really being interested to return. Some have even died, most who are still active develop for smartphones. And in any case all are getting old. That is not offering real future.

Last edited by TCD; 12 September 2015 at 17:29. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:31   #86
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I normally use it on emulation not real hardware. AGA is promised and it has to be seen how it runs on a A1200 as example. I think it will become more interesting when fast FPGA based accellerators are available. And yes handcoded and optimized assembler games might be faster but if you want to reach developers outside the community I fear you need support of commercial platforms. So to me Hollywood seems to be the only realistic option.
Yes, sounds like its probably the only sensible solution to get devs push the upcoming Vampire FPGA accelerator (especially with the mystical promises of super AGA or other integrated RTG solution) but I think that might be a complementary product to what was discussed here as there's clearly love left for A500s and unexpanded 1200s...
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:34   #87
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And regarding assembler developers, how many are left?
well there's me...
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:38   #88
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well there's me...
ok there is at least one
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:39   #89
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i'm currently training Alex up as well
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:47   #90
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i'm currently training Alex up as well
I could not even mention 5 (besides you). Outside the community nobody used asm anymore (except perhaps for specific tasks). And even if somebody would know asm, you need lots of experience with amiga hardware when directly using it. I do not think there are many left.
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:49   #91
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Slipstream demo group is just trying to break back into Amiga again. There are also several members here who use asm.
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Old 12 September 2015, 16:59   #92
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Re:Assembly coding on 68k
The compilers on Amiga and AROS for 68k suck rotten eggs. They generate terrible code, in other words. I write code in C and AmigaE but still there's no way to get sensible results without inline Assembly. If writing chipset specific code, the portions that happen in the main loop should be hand-tuned even if the first draft was in a high level language.

Re:Hollywood 6.0
I have Hollywood 6.0 but I wouldn't think of using it for a 68k Amiga because it compiles just-in-time. If I were going to target 68k, I'd require ahead-of-time (load-time on user's machine) or static (on developer's machine) compilation or some combination of the two.
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:07   #93
Mrs Beanbag
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about that, could you tell me about the specific sorts of foolishness the C compilers produce?
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:34   #94
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Yes, sounds like its probably the only sensible solution to get devs push the upcoming Vampire FPGA accelerator (especially with the mystical promises of super AGA or other integrated RTG solution) but I think that might be a complementary product to what was discussed here as there's clearly love left for A500s and unexpanded 1200s...
The problem with the accelerated-or-FPGA-boosted-Amiga software market is that it cannot grow past the group of hard core people who want to keep using their Amiga for everything. Very few newcomers will be interested in these because they already have modern computers which are hundreds of times faster and are simpler to use, maintain and find software for.

The stock kittens have much more historical significance, are more numerous and they are the flag bearers of the Amiga brand, if people want retro they will use these. Boosted kittens fragment the Amiga ecosystem without any advantage other than being interesting on a technical standpoint, it is fine but it cannot sustain game creators reliably alas in my opinion (and obviously everyone is entitled to differ ).
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:38   #95
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about that, could you tell me about the specific sorts of foolishness the C compilers produce?
This old thread tells the whole story. It was mentioned with respect to the N68050, an early precursor to the Apollo core used on the Vampire accelerators.
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:46   #96
OlafSch
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The problem with the accelerated-or-FPGA-boosted-Amiga software market is that it cannot grow past the group of hard core people who want to keep using their Amiga for everything. Very few newcomers will be interested in these because they already have modern computers which are hundreds of times faster and are simpler to use, maintain and find software for.

The stock kittens have much more historical significance, are more numerous and they are the flag bearers of the Amiga brand, if people want retro they will use these. Boosted kittens fragment the Amiga ecosystem without any advantage other than being interesting on a technical standpoint, it is fine but it cannot sustain game creators reliably alas in my opinion (and obviously everyone is entitled to differ ).
because of that you need cross-platform support of commercial platforms even if that means requirements for games even on 68k rise above unexpanded A500 or A1200
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:51   #97
Mrs Beanbag
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i wasn't expecting anything quite that insane... thanks for that
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:51   #98
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about that, could you tell me about the specific sorts of foolishness the C compilers produce?
This is off topic territory but as an example many early compilers generated
[un]link
opcodes for each function call which is both useless and inefficient. The last versions of Lattice did not do it however if I recall correctly. I remember being anxious that it might generate these at the time after I bought it.

Gcc did not have this problem however and when I worked a bit with a play version of quake ported by Samuel Devulder on my 1200 in the 90's I recall that the generated assembly code was not too bad. It could be improved obviously but it was far from horrible. Samuel's "popt" peephole optimizer (on Aminet) managed to squeeze a few more cycles out of it but not an enormous amount.

Addendum: when I say "far from horrible" I'm not comparing to assembly experts output, but medium range assembly coders. Anyone can outclass a 68k on a few routines given enough time.

Last edited by ReadOnlyCat; 12 September 2015 at 17:57.
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Old 12 September 2015, 17:55   #99
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yes, indeed, LINK/UNLK are quite unneccessary instructions, but in one of the examples in the above link we see even "LINK A5,#0" which is positively certifiable!

it looks like in some cases it is deliberately moving things around for optimisation, but is achieving exactly the opposite of that.

or this little gem:
Code:
         moveq   #1,d1
         move.l  d1,(a0)+
         moveq   #1,d1
         move.l  d1,(a0)+
         moveq   #1,d1
         move.l  d1,(a0)+
         moveq   #1,d1
         move.l  d1,(a0)+


a purely literal rendering of the original source code would surely be better than any of those example outputs... in fact i would rather compile literally and let the programmer in charge of the optimisation.

Last edited by Mrs Beanbag; 12 September 2015 at 18:03.
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Old 12 September 2015, 18:03   #100
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yes, indeed, LINK/UNLK are quite unneccessary instructions, but in one of the examples in the above link we see even "LINK A5,#0" which is positively certifiable!

it looks like in some cases it is deliberately moving things around for optimisation, but is achieving exactly the opposite of that.
Popt will do as many passes as needed and this moving around usually allow further optimizations to happen. Peephole optimizers are a common stage in compilers and work surprisingly well, test it and you will be surprised.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peephole_optimization
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