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Old 10 August 2022, 20:12   #61
AnimaInCorpore
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Originally Posted by saimon69 View Post
In short:[...]
You beat me to it.
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Old 10 August 2022, 20:54   #62
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The unpopular truth is: the weakest part of the Amiga is the OCS/ECS chipset itself but it was also the strongest part in the early years.

When you'd have some knowledge about the Amiga hardware you should also know why developers decided to use 16 colours for certain games.

Actually it was rather simple: choose wisely the things the Amiga hardware DMA bandwidth offers (screen resolution, bitmap depth => number of colours, sprites, copper effects, chip RAM memory limits, sound channels) and find the best solution for your needs. Be aware that the result might disappoint you. This was the real problem programmers had.

In some cases you simply take a CPU based solution and you're done. Sometimes these approaches are called 'Atari ST shovelware' because many do not understand that a 'perfect' Amiga version is impossible to realize.

So in conclusion you have to design and develop a game around the limitations of the Amiga and it will shine but M68k based Arcade games like CPS are out of reach for a perfect port.
I disagree.

The weakest part of the Amiga which was also a strong point was the cost of development.

Amiga was easily the cheapest 16bit machine to develop for, if the Atari ST version is already written, then in a couple of days your Amiga version is done as well.

No cartridge ordering problems, cheaper to manufacture games, disks can be reused if you cock the ordering up.

The problem is, it means virtually anyone can develop for the Amiga, but that doesn't mean they should do.

The likes if US Gold meant that their developers simply didn't need to bother with Amiga hardware at all, we are discussing if the hardware sprites were the weakest hardware feature in a system that had virtually NONE of its hardware features used at all, never mind the sprites by those same developers.

You look at early stuff like Hybris that really did use the hardware, then look at every similar game that followed that clearly didnt.

Too much "that'll do" rather than "we can do better".

Its true the Amiga was unlikely to do 1:1 arcade conversions, but its hardware was under utilised do it didn't really get the chance to show it could get closer.
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Old 11 August 2022, 08:37   #63
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As I said, 16 pixels wide max AND no separate sprite colour palette made them inferior to C64 (up to from 24x21 hi-res monochrome to 48x42 pixels wide and unique dedicated palette)
That's verging on backwards.
C64 sprites used a shared palette other than 1 individual color per sprite.
Amiga sprites used a dedicated palette per pair or if you double the bpp/halve the sprites 16 colors (vs a maximum on 10 colors across all sprites on c64).
They also use separate colors to the bitmaps if using 4bpp screens (or up to 6 for dual playfield).
Amiga sprites are also up to 16x270 pixels. Muuuuuch larger than 24x21.
You point blank cannot completely cover the screen in sprites for c64, which isnt true of the Amiga.

There's not one advantage to c64 sprites vs Amiga sprites if you use Amiga sprites to their potential.
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Old 11 August 2022, 09:39   #64
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Originally Posted by AnimaInCorpore View Post
The unpopular truth is: the weakest part of the Amiga is the OCS/ECS chipset itself but it was also the strongest part in the early years.
How did it become a liability later on?
i think it managed to produce very high quality stuff up to the mid 90ies. When the SNES was already on the height of its success.

I think Lionheart can easily compete with some of the best graphics on the SNES. YMMV off course.

And that's all due to the incredible flexibility of the OCS chipset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimaInCorpore View Post
When you'd have some knowledge about the Amiga hardware you should also know why developers decided to use 16 colours for certain games.

Actually it was rather simple: choose wisely the things the Amiga hardware DMA bandwidth offers (screen resolution, bitmap depth => number of colours, sprites, copper effects, chip RAM memory limits, sound channels) and find the best solution for your needs. Be aware that the result might disappoint you. This was the real problem programmers had.
This 100%.
Sometimes people tell me they wonder why there are no 50 fps 32 color action games with many objects on the OCS Amigas.

And then I tell them what you wrote.
It's always weighing things against each other, and what would give you the best effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimaInCorpore View Post
In some cases you simply take a CPU based solution and you're done. Sometimes these approaches are called 'Atari ST shovelware' because many do not understand that a 'perfect' Amiga version is impossible to realize.
A chipset specific solution almost always beats a purely CPU based one if it's not 3D graphics on the Amiga, imo, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimaInCorpore View Post
So in conclusion you have to design and develop a game around the limitations of the Amiga and it will shine but M68k based Arcade games like CPS are out of reach for a perfect port.
True.

If designed around its capabilities (I avoid the term "limitations" here ) the Amiga really shines.
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Old 11 August 2022, 10:18   #65
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If designed around its capabilities (I avoid the term "limitations" here ) the Amiga really shines.
.
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Old 11 August 2022, 10:21   #66
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Chipset has fixed bandwidth. OCS bandwidth was something great in 85, really good in 87, ok enough in 90 and rather limiting in 92. AGA bandwidth was fairly ok in 92 but spiraling down ever since. And most (S)VGA cards already had much more higher local mem bandwidth at the time. What they were lackign was fast enough interface between CPU and local mem (which was fixed with VLB and later on PCI). Hardware sprites were something really great up to 16bit platforms but with 32bit platforms it was easier to just calculate stuff with decent CPU (and fully programmable co-processor rather than quite limited copper and blitter alone).
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Old 11 August 2022, 10:25   #67
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That's why Amiga needed/needs arcade conversions rather than straight ports.
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Old 11 August 2022, 10:44   #68
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They do show their Atari 8-bit heritage in their implementation.
No, it's rather Commodore herritage in Amiga project, Atari had 4 normal and 4 small sprites, Commodore had 8 much more ellastic sprites like Amiga.
One thing bad is that they didn't raise that amount of individual (not multiplexed) sprites. Also multiplexing is rather "borrowed" from Commodore than Atari.

I know that most of team who made Amiga also made Atari, but people tend to forget that all technologies and features of Commodore computers were still available to "reuse", Tramiel did not get technology with him when he was "asked to leave" from Commodore.
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Old 11 August 2022, 10:54   #69
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Also multiplexing is rather "borrowed" from Commodore than Atari.
Sorry, but I beg to differ.
I coded a lot of Atari VCS/2600 stuff, and the sprites are very similar to what the Amiga does.
It's just the way how Jay Miner did sprite hardware.

The C64 is really very different there.
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Old 11 August 2022, 10:55   #70
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@Solo_Kazuki - wasn't sprite functionality already implemented in Lorraine? If yes wouldn't it mean it's not something influenced by Commodore but rather made independently?
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Old 11 August 2022, 16:44   #71
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Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
The problem is, it means virtually anyone can develop for the Amiga, but that doesn't mean they should do.

The likes if US Gold meant that their developers simply didn't need to bother with Amiga hardware at all, we are discussing if the hardware sprites were the weakest hardware feature in a system that had virtually NONE of its hardware features used at all, never mind the sprites by those same developers...

Too much "that'll do" rather than "we can do better".
I see your point, but if the choice is between a 'lazy' port or none at all, which would you rather have?

The biggest problem the Amiga had from day one was a lack of reasonably priced games. It was, as you say, very easy to develop on, so porting games from other platforms should have been quick and cheap. But developers didn't want to just port games from lesser platforms, they wanted to make better games. This contributed to the dearth of affordable titles and made the Amiga less attractive than it could have been, at a critical time when other platforms were more popular.

The truth is we are lucky that many games made it to the Amiga at all. US Gold might not have done the best job of producing games for different platforms, but at least they did do it. Imagine if the Amiga had to wait a year or two after each major multi-platform game release to get it's own 'enhanced' version. In many cases that's what did happen, and it wasn't good for the Amiga. Sure the Amiga version looked (and possibly played) better, but by the time we got it other platforms had moved on.

Quote:
Its true the Amiga was unlikely to do 1:1 arcade conversions, but its hardware was under utilised do it didn't really get the chance to show it could get closer.
I was shocked to discover that many arcade ports were done without access to any of the original assets. Apparently spending lots of money to secure the rights to an arcade port often didn't include getting any help at all. The developers were reduced to playing the game on an actual arcade machine and then reproducing it by eye!

This did have one good effect though. It meant that the game had to be created from scratch, so it could not reasonably be expected to be 1:1. All that had to be reproduced was the 'look and feel'. On lesser platforms that was expected. Few dissed the Spectrum or C64 version of Outrun for having crappy graphics etc. But on the Amiga it was a different story. Amiga fans bitterly complained about how it could have been so much better if the Amiga's hardware had been used to the full. Never mind that the poor developers had - at best - assets from the C64 version which was coded by a teenager who had never produced a commercial game before, or more likely a 3rd hand port via the Atari ST.

But what else were they to do? When released on 8 bit platforms Outrun quickly became the fastest and best selling game in the UK, and was the first Atari ST title to top the UK all-formats chart. So we had a choice - a 'rushed' port that didn't make best use of the Amiga's hardware, or nothing at all while other platforms were raking it in. No doubt Amiga fans would have complained bitterly about that too!

Another opportunity the Amiga largely missed was porting popular games from 8 bit platforms with minimal or no enhancements, as an alternative to emulating them. The A500 wasn't powerful enough to emulate even a lowly ZX Spectrum in real time, so only owners of more expensive accelerated machines could enjoy playing old favorites on their Amiga. A few games were ported, such as Head Over Heels which looks spectacular in 16 colors. But others like Jon Ritman's earlier title Batman were not. Good games like this don't need to use all the power of the Amiga to be worth porting. In many cases just eliminating color restrictions would be a huge improvement. Combine that with much faster loading etc. and you have a good reason to buy the game for your Amiga even if you still have a speccy in working order.
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Old 11 August 2022, 17:51   #72
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I was shocked to discover that many arcade ports were done without access to any of the original assets. Apparently spending lots of money to secure the rights to an arcade port often didn't include getting any help at all. The developers were reduced to playing the game on an actual arcade machine and then reproducing it by eye!
True. However, Richard Aplin has actually taken the sprite graphics from the arcade:
Quote:
Final Fight was the only game where I used original arcade graphics (having spent quite a lot of time hacking them out of the arcade board's roms with a home-made rom reader) - even then it was just the sprites (I did rip all the background maps and tiles but they were not usable because they relied too much on parallax layers, many color palettes, etc, so some artists redid them by hand, not terribly well)
But obviously even that didn't pay off:
Quote:
Heh yes I see endless rants on Youtube about this, about how the Amiga hardware blah blah etc. Strangely, I haven't seen anyone actually do such a conversion.
I think some guy recently started redoing just the first level of Final Fight on the Amiga and used Dual-playfield mode (to keep the parallax) and hardware sprites for the players and... I can tell you right now that's not going to work for doing the whole game.

[...]

Anyway the haters / "Amiga experts" are more than welcome to do a better conversion if they think I did such a bad job ; I genuinely look forward to seeing it.
https://www.amigafuture.de/app.php/k...article?a=4441
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Old 11 August 2022, 17:58   #73
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The biggest problem the Amiga had from day one was a lack of reasonably priced games. It was, as you say, very easy to develop on, so porting games from other platforms should have been quick and cheap.
That's wasn't going to mean cheaper games on the Amiga. If a developer has planned to release a game for multiple platforms, the costs will be spread across all platforms, even if the bulk of the work was done on the lowest common denominator. Similar platform releases will be similarly priced regardless. And if that wasn't the plan and the game was already out for another platform, the Amiga port will be late to the market, which you've said would be bad.

Quote:
But developers didn't want to just port games from lesser platforms, they wanted to make better games.
What developers wanted to do is irrelevant when they're being paid to do what their bosses / publishers want them to do. And that's make as much profit as possible, as quickly as possible. Enhancing the game just for the Amiga costs more, which means either less profit or increased sale price for the Amiga port. And as you point out, games were already expensive so even higher retail prices would hurt sales, and therefore profits.
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Old 11 August 2022, 17:59   #74
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I did not know this one, Thank you very much for the link


I love Demos , and i adore those/you guys; you programming Legends

Last edited by Torti-the-Smurf; 11 August 2022 at 18:21. Reason: a few extra smileys, for a better taste
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Old 11 August 2022, 18:02   #75
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The biggest problem the Amiga had from day one was a lack of reasonably priced games.
No idea about New Zealand, but that certainly wasn't a problem here in Europe
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Old 11 August 2022, 18:20   #76
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It wasn't problem in Europe because of the scale of piracy. The same thing happened with PSX. It did contribute to platform popularity, it didn't contribute to developers and distributors effort.
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Old 11 August 2022, 18:33   #77
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I always bought Software that i liked.

Those cracked copies where like demos and if i really enjoyed a game then i would get the Original; which was not that easy.

Here in my place those games where pretty hard to come by

It is not like today.
So i have to order them; The offer/games in stock where often quiet limited.

But i bought all the games i liked; sooner or later.
I wish i would still have them Only a few Boxes survived

But the cliche, that every AMIGA owner did not buy software is simply not true, at least for me

Hmmm, pretty off topic i guess; sorry.
But its still angers me when Julian Eggebrech (factor 5) says " Nobody did buy our games, "

I DID !


PS:He did clarified that Turri2 did sell around 10000 copies and i was one of them !

But its still funny to this day (and sad) that so many people think Turrican 2 is a 2 Disc game

Last edited by Torti-the-Smurf; 11 August 2022 at 18:45. Reason: caught a typo !
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Old 11 August 2022, 18:39   #78
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It did contribute to platform popularity, it didn't contribute to developers and distributors effort.
Yep, the lack of games on the Amiga was a serious problem.
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Old 11 August 2022, 18:43   #79
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Actually piracy was a lot more complicated than that. Nowadays you just go to GOG, ubisoft, steam etc. and buy your original. 20 years ago you just went to shopping center with video games corner and it was fairly easy to buy originals as well. 30 years ago in many places all you could do to get some games was either postal service thanks to amiga (or other computers) magazines (so instead of online ordering either by post of telephone), buying at some trading events and expositions (which actually propagated illegal copies) and then exchanging games with friends (with making some copies for yourself as well). It isn't like all amiga market was piracy but in my opinion the situation was much worse then than now. Despite all those warez sites, torrents etc. It's so much easier to just get legitimate copy nowadays with decent service.
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Old 11 August 2022, 22:48   #80
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Sorry, but I beg to differ.
I coded a lot of Atari VCS/2600 stuff, and the sprites are very similar to what the Amiga does.
It's just the way how Jay Miner did sprite hardware.

The C64 is really very different there.
Having coded for both the C64 and the Amiga, I agree completely. The Sprite hardware in the two is very different.
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