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Old 13 September 2015, 13:51   #121
Samurai_Crow
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I favor using shared libraries to encapsulate hardware banging. That way we have only one collection of code to access the features of an Amiga.
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Old 13 September 2015, 13:54   #122
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I favor using shared libraries to encapsulate hardware banging. That way we have only one collection of code to access the features of an Amiga.
that is the implementation part...

but what do you think of my idea to use software from other platforms to design all sort of resources including level-design, graphics and sound and only implementation on amiga?
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Old 13 September 2015, 13:57   #123
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That would work out fine, OlafSch.
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Old 13 September 2015, 14:01   #124
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That would work out fine, OlafSch.
just a idea... perhaps it would be possible to define a set of different standard tools that are supported for development (f.e. certain 2D level-editor) and are implemented in the development languages or in shared libraries.
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Old 13 September 2015, 15:20   #125
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I don't really see much of a market developing for new Amiga games unless someone releases a new, licensed system which is fully backwards compatible and affordable.

I have just bought an A1200 after over 15 years away from the Amiga scene, and it's expensive and complex to set-up. To have a really useful system, you need to buy a memory expansion, upgraded CPU, CF hard drive, wi-fi card, the list goes on and on. And then you have to get it all working. And this is just to play old games comfortably.

The Amiga Reloaded sounds interesting, but that looks like serious hobbyist kit, not the sort of thing where someone can just hand over their 200 euros and get a fully compatible Amiga system. I think there must be a market for that, however. Small form factor PC case with a new Amiga motherboard, proper AGA chips, and standard PC connectors for monitor/network/USB etc. The new ZX Spectrum hardware would suggest there's a market for a retro ready-to-go system like that.

Dreamcast on the other hand - you can pick them up for 35 and start straight away.
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Old 13 September 2015, 15:25   #126
Mrs Beanbag
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i think we should all decide on a standard Binary format for game maps, perhaps an IFF format.

@BertieWooster you shouldn't need anything more than maybe a floppy drive emulator to play old games, most games run fine on a stock A1200 (if they run on an A1200 at all) unless you want to play the 3D FPS games or Sim City 2000 or something. A CF card is nice to have if you want to install everything with WHDLoad and run them from workbench, but it's not necessary.
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Old 13 September 2015, 15:33   #127
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@Mrs Beanbag - true of course, but I wanted to play the old OCS stuff too that wouldn't work on my old A1200, so WHDLoad was something of a necessity (unless I got an A500 too).
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Old 13 September 2015, 15:35   #128
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ah i get you, Kick 1.3 could fix a lot of things though but you shouldn't need a CPU upgrade for that anyway, an A1200 already has a faster CPU and more RAM than an A500!
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Old 13 September 2015, 15:38   #129
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That's true, but when I decided to go down the whdload route, I read that I'd need more RAM in order to play most games, so I ended up getting an ACA 1221, with it's modest CPU upgrade - the shopping list seems to be never ending
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Old 13 September 2015, 15:41   #130
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yes indeed... you can spend a lot of money on an Amiga once you get into the swing of it
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Old 13 September 2015, 16:57   #131
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i think we should all decide on a standard Binary format for game maps, perhaps an IFF format.

@BertieWooster you shouldn't need anything more than maybe a floppy drive emulator to play old games, most games run fine on a stock A1200 (if they run on an A1200 at all) unless you want to play the 3D FPS games or Sim City 2000 or something. A CF card is nice to have if you want to install everything with WHDLoad and run them from workbench, but it's not necessary.
that would be a idea... to have standards that makes it easy to use different tools for development
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Old 13 September 2015, 17:01   #132
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If it helps, here is my current point of view/situation as someone who has always loved amiga but only recently got into anything remotely like the "scene" and also has a programming background.

- I am motivated by my love of the amiga to WANT to mess around making something for it and am well positioned to do so with my existing programming skill IF an entry point can be found.

- I am NOT going to want to write the whole thing in 68k asm unless I specifically decided to do so for education and my own private enjoyment. For anything more than that it is just too big of an investment to become proficient enough to write stable, bug free enjoyable games. With no 68k history and only minor experience in ASM with x86 and ARM platforms it would take months to years to become "expert" - thats before any real development has begun!

- C is fine. C is an excellent language sitting nicely between ASM and higher level offerings like blitz etc. The first thing I did when I considered amiga dev was search for C compilers/tool chains to target amiga platforms.

- As an existing dev I am comfortable in my environment - I'm probably going to want to stay in it too. That means I will be searching for ways to make the tools and IDE's I already use on my modern OS (windows for me, mac or linux for others) work for amiga dev. I already have experience with making visual studio use external compilers etc for ARM so that will not be a problem. The next step would be finding ways to quickly test builds in local environment which I expect to use Win UAE to do.

- Frameworks, not engines. One of the major attractions of making something for an old platform like amiga is just the fun of creating it. As such I don't really want to use someones existing tile engine or game which I basically just use a level editor with and a few minor edits to make a new game. Let me write that engine. But.. everyone loves help and frameworks provide that without taking too much control away. Helper functions for loading and blitting - yes please. I've found at least two ports of SDL to amiga so far - I have no idea how optimized they were but without someone elses input that would definitely be where I start. I would expect my first program would just blit an image and display a frame rate and have a key/joybutton add another image so i can get an idea of how many blits before frame rate falls apart. If someone wrote a specific lib/framework in 68k to load/blit/whatever that I could add to my C project and call the functions then i would be -all over that-

if I was forced to write my own 68k code the first thing I would do is make that sort of extension myself!

- Articles, tutorials, sample projects - all would massively encourage development. From setting up your dev enviroment to writing code to playing it in an emulator or move it to your real hardware - people reading such things would immediately get an idea of "oh, i could do this!" before they even downloaded anything and could dispel fears off the bat.

If I find this all leads to a dead end and I really have to write the whole thing in 68k or learn some obscure language that I'd never use for anything else then I would probably drop it :/ Simply because of the time required to educate myself. The education is fun and good but I would likely never use it anywhere else.

tl;dr the key to getting new devs like myself and others in is to find a way to allow us to use the skills and abilities we already have but preferably without taking away creation of the whole engine from us.
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Old 13 September 2015, 17:10   #133
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- Frameworks, not engines.
they're not mutually exclusive, of course, we could have both. Then people can choose which level of abstraction they'd prefer to work with. We could even have an engine built with the framework, although a tilemap implementation might not be optimal if built out of generic blitting functions.
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Old 13 September 2015, 18:40   #134
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Originally Posted by Sephnroth View Post
If it helps, here is my current point of view/situation as someone who has always loved amiga but only recently got into anything remotely like the "scene" and also has a programming background.

- I am motivated by my love of the amiga to WANT to mess around making something for it and am well positioned to do so with my existing programming skill IF an entry point can be found.

- I am NOT going to want to write the whole thing in 68k asm unless I specifically decided to do so for education and my own private enjoyment. For anything more than that it is just too big of an investment to become proficient enough to write stable, bug free enjoyable games. With no 68k history and only minor experience in ASM with x86 and ARM platforms it would take months to years to become "expert" - thats before any real development has begun!

- C is fine. C is an excellent language sitting nicely between ASM and higher level offerings like blitz etc. The first thing I did when I considered amiga dev was search for C compilers/tool chains to target amiga platforms.

- As an existing dev I am comfortable in my environment - I'm probably going to want to stay in it too. That means I will be searching for ways to make the tools and IDE's I already use on my modern OS (windows for me, mac or linux for others) work for amiga dev. I already have experience with making visual studio use external compilers etc for ARM so that will not be a problem. The next step would be finding ways to quickly test builds in local environment which I expect to use Win UAE to do.

- Frameworks, not engines. One of the major attractions of making something for an old platform like amiga is just the fun of creating it. As such I don't really want to use someones existing tile engine or game which I basically just use a level editor with and a few minor edits to make a new game. Let me write that engine. But.. everyone loves help and frameworks provide that without taking too much control away. Helper functions for loading and blitting - yes please. I've found at least two ports of SDL to amiga so far - I have no idea how optimized they were but without someone elses input that would definitely be where I start. I would expect my first program would just blit an image and display a frame rate and have a key/joybutton add another image so i can get an idea of how many blits before frame rate falls apart. If someone wrote a specific lib/framework in 68k to load/blit/whatever that I could add to my C project and call the functions then i would be -all over that-

if I was forced to write my own 68k code the first thing I would do is make that sort of extension myself!

- Articles, tutorials, sample projects - all would massively encourage development. From setting up your dev enviroment to writing code to playing it in an emulator or move it to your real hardware - people reading such things would immediately get an idea of "oh, i could do this!" before they even downloaded anything and could dispel fears off the bat.

If I find this all leads to a dead end and I really have to write the whole thing in 68k or learn some obscure language that I'd never use for anything else then I would probably drop it :/ Simply because of the time required to educate myself. The education is fun and good but I would likely never use it anywhere else.

tl;dr the key to getting new devs like myself and others in is to find a way to allow us to use the skills and abilities we already have but preferably without taking away creation of the whole engine from us.
"Articles, tutorials, sample projects - all would massively encourage development. From setting up your dev enviroment to writing code to playing it in an emulator or move it to your real hardware - people reading such things would immediately get an idea of "oh, i could do this!" before they even downloaded anything and could dispel fears off the bat."

It might make good sense to have examples, tutorials, articles and the neeeded software/programs/code libaries etc all in one place in a neat package. - This certainly would help newcomers and anyone who wanted to try develop games for Amiga.

What kind, if any level/tile editors are available for Amiga anyways? Though I guess having it available for Pc's for those who wish to develop their software there and then transfer it to the Amiga would be a good idea too.
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Old 13 September 2015, 19:47   #135
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Just use Tiled or something, lot of export formats for data. No need to do most of that work on the amiga. (most of the time we didn't back in the day either)
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Old 13 September 2015, 20:24   #136
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Just use Tiled or something, lot of export formats for data. No need to do most of that work on the amiga. (most of the time we didn't back in the day either)
apparently, you can write your own exporters... if you can write importers as well, it could be very useful to me. The built-in formats all seem to be unnecessary hefty text formats though, what's wrong with just a byte stream for this kind of application i don't know.

Love your work, btw!
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Old 13 September 2015, 20:30   #137
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apparently, you can write your own exporters... if you can write importers as well, it could be very useful to me. The built-in formats all seem to be unnecessary hefty text formats though, what's wrong with just a byte stream for this kind of application i don't know.

Love your work, btw!
this. I've never really seen the need for such bloated formats! I guess it just doesnt matter these days. I love tile maps though! Along side procedural content it's like my main love <3 One of the (but not the) first games I wrote for pc was a mini clone (only level 1) of amiga's venus the fly trap. I think I probably found my love for tile engines doing that.
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Old 13 September 2015, 20:37   #138
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Great posts ! I will be sure to back you up whenever I can. Looking forward to the Amiga Underground site.

Those slim crystal cases for floppies are sooo cute
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Old 13 September 2015, 20:38   #139
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hmm... procedurally generated tilemaps!

oh, just thinking out loud...
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Old 13 September 2015, 20:50   #140
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hmm... procedurally generated tilemaps!

oh, just thinking out loud...
the thread about terreria is what got me investigating amiga dev but I am in agreement that if what you're writing wont run on the 500 then there is not much point and I really can't see myself learning 68k to support it :/ but you know.. maybe
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