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Old 18 January 2022, 12:55   #81
Tigerskunk
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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
much text
You sound pissed and defensive.

Nobody here (at least not me) wants to diminish the Amiga here.
It's just that we are trying to explain why people left for the greener pastures that seemed to be on the PC back then.

I had a lot of the same reservations you had back then.

Something adequate to Workbench was non existing, using DOS was horrible if you were used to the Amiga CLI/Shell, if you didn't buy an expensive sound card sound was basically shit.

It was hard for me to understand why I should shell out 2000 D-Marks if most of the stuff the PC did my Amiga could do already for years.

If the Amiga had an A500 like model with 256 colors plus a hard disk port by then, I probably wouldn't even have considered switching over.

The A1200 was simply too late when it arrived.
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Old 18 January 2022, 13:53   #82
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The A1200 was simply too late when it arrived.
I agree with this. In my opinion (strengthened by reading interviews, reading the Brian Bagnal books and hearing old Commodore people talking over the years and programming for it recently), the AGA chipset was basically a product born of 'panic'.

Here's my view (note: part fact, part opinion): sales of the Amiga line and the A500 in particular had been going from strength to strength up until around 1992, even without any serious upgrades to the GFX/Sound. Then sales quite suddenly dropped like a brick. Commodore responded by rushing out AGA as AAA was nowhere near completion. AGA was a step in the right direction and actually did a few things better than VGA and even some of the cheaper SVGA cards, but for most people it didn't look to be more than about 'on-par' with them for 2D and way slower for 3D. Plus, being a rushed product, it lacked several key features and had some design issues that made real world performance lacking compared to what it could've been with a little bit more polish.

Commodore priced the A1200 very aggressively compared to the A500 with several price drops quite quickly, but even so, it didn't sell nearly as well as the A500 & A600 did. PC's and consoles had essentially caught up with it's GFX/Sound hardware before it was even out and the system was poorly suited for the next 'hot' game type - the 3D shooter. So they gambled it all and made the CD32, which according to Dave Haynie would've only kept the company afloat about a year if it had sold by the bucket load. We all know how that ended.

For the record, I say this as someone who has - and still will - defend the A1200 as being quite a bit better than a lot of people think it is. Used it for several years and loved the thing. But even so, the A1200 and A4000 were just not as good as they should've been.
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Old 18 January 2022, 14:03   #83
Keops/Equinox
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You sound pissed and defensive.
Sometimes it's just pointless to try to have a discussion with some people, they will just answer "No!" to everything you say, regardless of the facts.

I give up

Last edited by Keops/Equinox; 18 January 2022 at 14:24.
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Old 18 January 2022, 14:16   #84
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Apples, oranges. The price of 'a' 386DX-40 in 1987 was?
It was released in 1991...
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Old 18 January 2022, 14:33   #85
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Some of things that killed Amiga -

Late arrival of A1200
HD still was not standard (and most games did not support it)
Price of some of commercial software
Price of expansion (memory, turbo cards, even fcking floppy)
Floppy still was 880KB, while everyone moved to 1.44MB.
Some of first 3D titles that played well on PC
Standardization of CD on PC, and price difference
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Old 18 January 2022, 20:19   #86
Tigerskunk
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Sometimes it's just pointless to try to have a discussion with some people, they will just answer "No!" to everything you say, regardless of the facts.
Yep, but it's so insane somehow.

Commodore didn't update the Chipset for ALMOST FUCKING EIGHT YEARS until you could buy the 1200 in early 1993.

See what the PC went through tech wise in eight years from 1991 to 1998. You had games going from Wing Commander 2 to Wing Commander 5 and Stuff like Quake2 (and almost Quake 3 by then).





But it's somehow the Amiga fans fault they didn't buy fast RAM to have a better Workbench that's still running in 4 colours to keep the system afloat.

No, sorry. Fuck Commodore. They had all the time in the world to get their next gen chipset out, yet they didn't.

It's not the fault of the customers. Most, like me, would have loved to stay with the platform they had invested a lot of money in already. Yet they were not given an incentive to.

Amen and out.
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Old 20 January 2022, 08:48   #87
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Commodore didn't update the Chipset for ALMOST FUCKING EIGHT YEARS until you could buy the 1200 in early 1993.
You say that like it was a bad thing. Most Amiga owners appreciated not having to 'upgrade' their computer every 2 years. Some of us did upgrade (by 1989 I had 2.5MB RAM and a 20MB hard drive on my A1000), but we didn't expect to see games stating 'system requirements:- 2.5MB RAM and a 20MB hard drive" on the box. I mean, how unfair would that have been to existing A500 owners? But PC owners did have to put up with that.

Quote:
See what the PC went through tech wise in eight years from 1991 to 1998. You had games going from Wing Commander 2 to Wing Commander 5 and Stuff like Quake2 (and almost Quake 3 by then).
What PC in 1998 could do 1024x768 in 16/24 bit at a reasonable frame rate? Certainly no PC that I owned (not that I would want to play yet another version of the same boring game). I do remember paying a lot of money for a Voodoo card that was a pain to set up and not that impressive.

Quote:
But it's somehow the Amiga fans fault they didn't buy fast RAM to have a better Workbench that's still running in 4 colours to keep the system afloat.
"But it's somehow the PC fans fault that they didn't buy extra RAM, a new graphics card and monitor, a bigger hard drive, a sound card and a faster CPU (or even a whole new machine) to keep the system afloat" - except they did.

But the real problem for the Amiga was a much smaller userbase combined with rampant piracy. Publishers had to get games out as quickly as possible and try to make enough sales to pay for development before piracy killed the market. The result was higher prices, poorer quality games, and only catering for the 'low end' because there weren't enough 'high-end' Amiga owners to justify making games for (by 'high-end' I mean having some FastRAM and a hard drive - which Commodore made available from 1989 with the A590).

So yeah, it was the Amiga fans fault that we didn't get the number of high quality games that should have been released on the Amiga.

Quote:
No, sorry. Fuck Commodore. They had all the time in the world to get their next gen chipset out, yet they didn't.
What difference would it have made if they had gotten it out sooner? Within a couple of years it would be 'outdated' and the same argument would apply.

But hey, Fuck Commodore's engineers. They tried to make a chipset so advanced that it would beat PCs for years to come - and failed. But if they had succeeded it would have been expensive and incompatible, two things Amiga fans hated!

Quote:
It's not the fault of the customers. Most, like me, would have loved to stay with the platform they had invested a lot of money in already. Yet they were not given an incentive to.
Exactly what investments had you made in the Amiga by 1993?

I bought an A3000 in 1991. I then upgraded it with a 120MB hard drive, maxed out the motherboard RAM, installed RTG graphics and Ethernet cards, and finally an 060 card with even more RAM. That machine held its own until the next millennia, when I had to switch to a PC for web browsing compatibility.
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Old 20 January 2022, 10:34   #88
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I mean, how unfair would that have been to existing A500 owners? But PC owners did have to put up with that.
So which way is it now for you?

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Certainly no PC that I owned (not that I would want to play yet another version of the same boring game). I do remember paying a lot of money for a Voodoo card that was a pain to set up and not that impressive.
Sorry, mate, but have you been living in a different timeline apart from the one I lived in?

I bought a Monster brand Voodoo card in 1998 for 400 D-Mark, and it was a complete game changer.
It was like going from Flintstones to Jetsons, and literally every game I played that had a Glide driver patch looked and played like ten times better suddenly.

This was the BIGGEST one time advancement in 3D graphics I have seen in my whole lifetime, and you say it was not "that impressive". lol.



It's really hard to take you seriously.

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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
"But it's somehow the PC fans fault that they didn't buy extra RAM, a new graphics card and monitor, a bigger hard drive, a sound card and a faster CPU (or even a whole new machine) to keep the system afloat" - except they did.
See above, and once more:
Which way is it now for you?

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But the real problem for the Amiga was a much smaller userbase combined with rampant piracy. Publishers had to get games out as quickly as possible and try to make enough sales to pay for development before piracy killed the market.
Piracy was a huge problem, I concur.
But the very very low quality of many games but still charging 80 D-Marks for them was a problem as well.

Quote:
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The result was higher prices, poorer quality games, and only catering for the 'low end' because there weren't enough 'high-end' Amiga owners to justify making games for (by 'high-end' I mean having some FastRAM and a hard drive - which Commodore made available from 1989 with the A590).
I coded "Inviyya" for the A500, so I'd say I have some good overview about what games would need to look or sound better on that platform.

The only advantage I see in having non Chip RAM and a hard drive is for having less of a need of disk swapping. Which is nice off course, but doesn't look like "next gen" compared to what an A500 can do.

You will still have to deal with those max 32 palette entries and a 12 bit color space that makes nice super smooth color ramps almost impossible and those almost unusable 8x 16px wide 4 colour sprites.

I am currently working on a new game for stock A1200 AGA machines, and it's crazy how much better this already looks compared to what I am able to achieve on an A500, regardless of how expanded that machine would be with fast RAM or an HD.

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Lots of text.
See, the A500 was the big success the Amiga had. People were waiting for something new in the same vein with capabilities that would allow for Amiga games to look and play like their VGA counterparts.

The A1200 is that machine. You could have easily done a version of the most popular non 3D PC games of the time and later on for a few years on an A1200 with an HD installed, whether it was Wing Commander 2, Ultima6&7, Wizardry 6&7, Lands of Lore, Command&Conquer, Mortal Kombat 1&2&3, whatever.

Yet people were reading their game magazines, and the Amiga version of the game looked shitty compared to what they saw on the VGA screenshots.

How hard is that to understand why that mattered?

Fast RAM and an HD would not have changed anything games looking lame compared to their VGA counterparts.

Last edited by Tigerskunk; 20 January 2022 at 15:46.
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Old 21 January 2022, 22:33   #89
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Yet people were reading their game magazines, and the Amiga version of the game looked shitty compared to what they saw on the VGA screenshots.

How hard is that to understand why that mattered?
Yes, that is sad but true. Many games were sold on the basis of static screen shots in magazines rather than gameplay. And many customers felt ripped off when they discovered what really mattered.

PC owners didn't mind so much because they didn't know what they were missing. But there is a reason the PC gravitated towards adventure and strategy games where fast action and smooth scrolling wasn't required. VGA made up for it by having lots of colors which made it easy to produce nice looking static screens - just what magazines wanted and what drove sales.

When those pretty looking 256 color VGA games were ported to the Amiga by lazy programmers the results were often a bit shitty in comparison. But games made for the Amiga often had comparable graphics with better game play.

Quote:
Fast RAM and an HD would not have changed anything games looking lame compared to their VGA counterparts.
But it would, because Amiga games had to be shoehorned onto a floppy disk and held in precious ChipRAM or SlowRAM for fast access, which limited the graphics quality. PC games were installed on the hard drive so graphics could be quickly loaded when needed and didn't waste memory.

Having FastRAM allows the use of higher bandwidth screen modes and blitting without slowing down the CPU. This can make processing up to 4 times faster depending on screen mode. It is a credit to coders who were able to squeeze enough performance out of a stock A500 to get fast smooth action, but with more resources they could have done even better.

All Amigas after the A1000 had the ability to display 64 colors in Extra-Halfbrite mode, but it was rarely used due to the extra bandwidth and memory required. Combined with copper effects an Amiga screen can look just as good as VGA, or even better when full PAL height, overscan, and mixed screen modes are used. Static screens can display 4096 colors in HAM mode. With the 16 base colors and sprites an Amiga game could be much more colorful than VGA. But virtually no games used it because without FastRAM the performance suffered, and most games didn't need that many colours anyway.

My memory of early VGA games is that many didn't use the extra colours intelligently, and the results were not that great compared to well-drawn Amiga graphics. But of course if you previously had a PC with CGA or EGA they were fantastic!

So people reading PC gaming magazines were gobsmacked by VGA, whereas those reading Amiga magazines were used to seeing great graphics on native Amiga games (and poor graphics on PC ports). Silent Service II is a good example, though it is actually better than some due to basic use of in-game Copper effects (kudos to whoever programmed it for making some attempt to use the Amiga's chipset). Both the PC and Amiga graphics look somewhat crude, but the Amiga version is worse due to poor conversion.

My point is, the perceived inferiority of Amiga graphics compared to VGA was largely due to poor quality ports, not inherent shittyness of the Amiga's graphics hardware. Part of that was due to the much larger PC user base which meant games would be produced on it first and then cheaply ported to other platforms, and part was due to the even smaller number of Amigas with FastRAM and hard drives which could have made the ports a little less shitty.

The ST suffered from the same problem only worse, because its graphics hardware really is shitty compared to both the Amiga and VGA.
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