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Old 01 February 2016, 14:29   #1
TenLeftFingers
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Modern retro-styled games - possible on Amiga?

When I see games like this being released, I wonder if it would be possible on the Amiga?

[ Show youtube player ]

I can't help feeling that as an Amiga game bundled with UAE and ROM all-in-one, it would be as good for the modern PC but also give Amiga games a breath of fresh air. But as I don't know about game programming I don't know if we could ever produce something with so much 'action' on screen.
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Old 01 February 2016, 15:13   #2
lordofchaos
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Originally Posted by TenLeftFingers View Post
When I see games like this being released, I wonder if it would be possible on the Amiga?

[ Show youtube player ]

I can't help feeling that as an Amiga game bundled with UAE and ROM all-in-one, it would be as good for the modern PC but also give Amiga games a breath of fresh air. But as I don't know about game programming I don't know if we could ever produce something with so much 'action' on screen.
I seem to remember making a similar thread, some of these new retro styled games wouldn't seem out of place on the Amiga. Like you say, make a similar game for Amiga hardware and bundle it together with UAE, if the game is good and plays well then how it's packaged together shouldn't really matter.

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=67304

Last edited by lordofchaos; 01 February 2016 at 16:13.
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Old 01 February 2016, 15:35   #3
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Given that most people that seem/are capable of creating any game on the Amiga seem/are more into discussing how to do it rather than doing it and/or simply giving up somewhere along the way, I'd say chances are rather slim. Not going to comment on how possible such a game would be on the Amiga, but I really encourage anybody to show that it can be done rather than just saying that it would be possible
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Old 01 February 2016, 15:49   #4
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but I really encourage anybody to show that it can be done rather than just saying that it would be possible
Quoted for truth, but lets face it: bickering about it and doing impossible attempts with no chance of success is basically most of the fun to be had.
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Old 01 February 2016, 16:02   #5
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Ratio to ideas discussed then realised? I`m guessing that ratio isn't great, but saying that I agree with Gimbal, if it's in the spirit of fun and gets people talking about Amiga.. The only real downside I can see is the potential for lots of redundant threads.
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Old 01 February 2016, 16:22   #6
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Quoted for truth, but lets face it: bickering about it and doing impossible attempts with no chance of success is basically most of the fun to be had.
I'd rather play something fun and simple than seeing pages of posts that end up nowhere. But hey, each to their own and if that's what it means to be 'Amiga' these days I guess I'm just too old for this
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Old 01 February 2016, 16:38   #7
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The gameplay reminds me of Hotline Miami (cf Retro News thread where a similar but old school looking game is mentioned). And I have been thinking about brining these modern takes on the Amiga as well (just thinking, no time for anything else).

There is a lot on screen but many of these things are small and could be rendered with multiplexed sprites, the rest being handled by the Blitter. It would be tough but seems doable.

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Given that most people that seem/are capable of creating any game on the Amiga seem/are more into discussing how to do it rather than doing it and/or simply giving up somewhere along the way, I'd say chances are rather slim. Not going to comment on how possible such a game would be on the Amiga, but I really encourage anybody to show that it can be done rather than just saying that it would be possible
I sure hope you realize that since you have no way of knowing what these people are _actually_ doing in their spare time then you can only be speculating about whether or not they are "doing it". Also, why exactly should they be doing it if that is not their priority? Do they owe us anything?

I sure will not be assuming anything about what others are doing. It is their choice, their time, their priorities and I am in no position to affirm or even less guess whether discussing these things prevent them from doing other stuff.

We can only speak for ourselves and knowing that it is doable or not is valuable information. People who want to learn and code can use it instead of waiting for others to do it.

Last edited by TCD; 01 February 2016 at 16:56. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 01 February 2016, 16:55   #8
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I sure hope you realize that since you have no way of knowing what these people are _actually_ doing in their spare time then you can only be speculating about whether or not they are "doing it". Also, why exactly should they be doing it if that is not their priority? Do they owe us anything?
I have no way of knowing what they are doing, but I sure do know what is being discussed and what is being released here on EAB Not sure if you read my post the way I do, but I surely never implied to know what people are actually doing, but rather how these kind of projects usually end up after being here for almost 10 years.
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Old 01 February 2016, 16:57   #9
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Just because something can be achieved doesn't mean that it ever will. Making a high class game for the Amiga (or any other computer) requires a significant team effort (not many people can do both coding, gfx, music, gameplay etc.) and since there is no economical reason to make an Amiga game today, it has to be driven 100% from passion. Not many people possess both that level of passion combined with the required skills to actually make it happen.

There are many people who start out on a project with great ambitions but eventually gives up on it before it is done simply because the most fun part usually takes place in the beginning of the project. The only real way to keep momentum up is to pay people (livable money, not pocket money) to do it. Without money I think we need some autistic people who are passionate about Amiga to make it happen.
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Old 01 February 2016, 18:11   #10
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I wish there was something like Gunlord for Amiga. I wish it so much, that I am actually trying to do some humble effort :-) Sure it is not easy, but there is so much perfect tools like deluxe paint, trackers... and even in Amos basic one could do some pretty things (arent Base Jumpers coded in Amos?). I even think about kickstarter, but fiasco of some spanish guys with their game "Rowan" weaken my courage...
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Old 01 February 2016, 18:33   #11
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The issue is that many of these games only look, sound and/or feel retro, but underneath they're modern games, using recent coding techniques and often using colour pallets that exceed those of the humble OCS and even those of AGA. Or they use surprisingly complex physics that would present a real challenge to Amiga processors. Some of them even make call of the graphic cards and the RAM speed of current hardware. Or resort to stuff like DirectX.

Plus, because they're so simplistic, they're easy-peasy for current-day processors but would load considerably the humble 68000 and some would even present a hefty load on a 68060. Plus, precisely because the current-gen of processors has no difficulty playing these retro games, authors sometimes don't optimize the code. An example is the original Spelunky which looks like a 1994 game yet struggles to play at half the frames per second on a Pentium IV @ 1GHz.

So, apart from some very rare (and highly commendable) exceptions, I reckon that porting most of these neo-reto (is that a thing?) game to the Amiga proves to be too hard a task. Most of the time it would mean that someone would have to start almost from scratch like Master484 is doing with Megaman X, which is a Herculean task.

There's also the aspect of size. Many of these neo-retro games weigh on the few hundred megabytes, which now-a-days is considered light, but in Amiga context it's considered huge. Porting 5MB+ of data to disks is nigh-on-impossible, rendreing many of these games HD-only, which would narrow down significantly the amaount of Amiga-users that would be able to use them on real hardware. If we're to play those games on UAE, then why go though all the trouble of porting, then? Just buy the PC version and play it instead. So, IMO, in order to be worth the port, the game should be playable - at least - on an A1200.

I would also like to see 68000 OCS or at least 68020 AGA ports of some of these charming games such as Cave Story, Spelunky, Undertale, Gemini Rue, GeneRally, Akuji the Demon, Ikachan, La Mulana, Super Meat Boy, Super Crate Box, Pink Hour, The Journey Down and many, many others, but I understand the steep challenge (and, in some cases, the utter impossibility) of porting them correctly to the Amiga.
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Old 02 February 2016, 19:13   #12
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Nice looking game - reminds me of Llamatron!

Hope it inspires someone to create something similar!

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I wish there was something like Gunlord for Amiga. I wish it so much, that I am actually trying to do some humble effort :-) Sure it is not easy, but there is so much perfect tools like deluxe paint, trackers... and even in Amos basic one could do some pretty things (arent Base Jumpers coded in Amos?). I even think about kickstarter, but fiasco of some spanish guys with their game "Rowan" weaken my courage...
You need to track down the guys who worked on Turrican...

Last edited by TCD; 02 February 2016 at 19:29. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 03 February 2016, 13:52   #13
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There was also the Terraria on Amiga thread by the way, linking it because its quite related and has some nice views and ideas on this subject:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=75823
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Old 03 February 2016, 15:13   #14
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A lot of these games aren't very well written at all, I contract and sometimes do ports, updates, and general development on games.
You get to see some amazing code/ideas and some amazingly BAD things too.

Lots of people who have great ideas are getting to make their games thanks to newer software like Unity which is awesome. The flip side is that they're often terrible at the technical side of things and will do things in the most naive way possible, then try to make it "fast enough" so the game still works.

Some of these retro-styled games should be possible with colour/audio/sprite limitations. Not 1:1 remakes of them but similar style games.

What I'd caution against is looking at any recently released indie or retro-style game and falling into the trap of thinking that it must have been well written.
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Old 03 February 2016, 15:15   #15
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What I'd caution against is looking at any recently released indie or retro-style game and falling into the trap of thinking that it must have been well written.
Good point
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Old 03 February 2016, 17:00   #16
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It's not like 80s or 90s when programmer had to squeeze all program into few floppies and memory/CPU was very limited, so true, games are not well written, but even after fixing all unnecessary code/memory/cpu issue, some games that look very simple might be way beyond what a 7MHz 1MB (or 14MHz 2MB) Amiga can do.

After gimbal's post I've read whole terraria tread, and yes - game looks very simple, but it's not at all. Event's are timed, player can effect tiles that are not on his screen etc. Something like 'light' version might be possible, but not sure if that would bring the same vibe...

Might be just proof of concept rather then full working game...
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Old 03 February 2016, 22:13   #17
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An example is the original Spelunky which looks like a 1994 game yet struggles to play at half the frames per second on a Pentium IV @ 1GHz.
It was a Game Maker game, and I believe it was released before Game Maker Studio.

I *love* Game Maker, but since it uses a interpreted language, it's kinda slow indeed. And it will be even slower if the coder also didn't optimize his code. It's very easy to make stuff go real slow on Game Maker if you don't care about it.
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Old 03 February 2016, 22:22   #18
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What I'd caution against is looking at any recently released indie or retro-style game and falling into the trap of thinking that it must have been well written.
You must also caution against making any kind of judgement at all without knowing the devs or the code. People do that way too often.

That being said indeedy games are often not well-written, because they don't have to be. Only really in competitions do people focus on code above results on screen and in the wallet.
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Old 03 February 2016, 22:33   #19
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You must also caution against making any kind of judgement at all without knowing the devs or the code. People do that way too often.
Yeah fair enough, this wasn't to disparage particular developers, especially given the (code)skeletons in my own closet

More that you only develop what you need, you only optimise as far as you need, to do more would take more time/money/effort. So even good developers ship things that are far from optimal.

There are I think a lot of games that could be ported, maybe Terraria would be a big challenge, but plenty of others should be doable.
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Old 04 February 2016, 03:09   #20
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I have no way of knowing what they are doing, but I sure do know what is being discussed and what is being released here on EAB Not sure if you read my post the way I do, but I surely never implied to know what people are actually doing, but rather how these kind of projects usually end up after being here for almost 10 years.
You are right, I read way too much into your post than it contained.
I guess it was my subconscious guilt of not having produced anything yet which lead me to be a bit defensive.

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I'd rather play something fun and simple than seeing pages of posts that end up nowhere. But hey, each to their own and if that's what it means to be 'Amiga' these days I guess I'm just too old for this
As a non-coding user, I understand that it is frustrating because the end product is not visible and the discussion looks non productive but you will note that it is a common theme of all game developments which are advertised in the open to the community (in mainstream gaming):

People who only wait, feel time pass *very* slowly and do not understand why nothing (visible) gets produced.
People who produce, do not understand why the others are so impatient.

As a coder, seeing these pages of post is rather a good sign, it means there is reflexion and that any amount of reflexion will make coding easier.

Moreover, do not forget that we, humans, are heavily biased psychologically to take notice of things which do not work (or seem to not work) rather than of things which succeed.

There are many work in progress visible on the EAB which are fantastically encouraging and heartwarming:
- Alter Ego, Chase
- Lazycow's projects
- Earok's CD32 conversions/tweaks
- Jotd's CD32Load
- Galahad's conversions
- Meynaf's work
etc. Literally dozens of successful and ongoing projects and I am forgetting many others.

But what do we (myself included) notice?
The few which seem to linger on or fail, even when it is not even clear that they have failed yet, they might just be in a slow phase.

This is a well described phenomenon which is called the "bad world syndrome", everyone does that, and that's why news usually cover bad events more than good ones. It seems to be a natural human trait (and probably saved our lives when we lived in the jungle).

It's up to everyone of us to realize when we are falling prey to this tendency.
As far as I am concerned, I am thrilled by the amount of progress done left and right by people on the EAB.

(And I am off topic as usual, damn it, sorry.)
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