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Old 29 December 2018, 14:29   #41
roondar
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Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
Its kinda funny that you say the Amiga hardware dated by 1989, I think thats about the time when the better coders had learnt how to `conduct` (that guy with the stick at the front of the orchestra) the hardware to get it to perform.
Oh I agree we saw better games appearing at that point and would say it's a shame it took so long - though I can understand why it was this way.

However, what I say there is true. By 1989 16 bit consoles were out (and they are much better suited for action games than the Amiga) and the PC was already creeping ahead assuming you had a system with proper graphics/sound card. The Amiga still had some hardware advantages over the PC in dual layer screens though, but they wouldn't last long.

And really, a system being technologically up to date for 4-5 years is pretty good.

Quote:

Anyone heard of Grime z80/6502 by Keith S (I dont know him personally)
Its a game he has converted from MS-DOS to pretty much all z80 and 6502 based computers/consoles.
He has just start working on converting it to 68000 based machines (Amiga, Atari, Megadrive, X68000 and NeoGeo)
There isnt much activity on those videos yet so have a look

Dont criticize what he is doing off the bat, it seems logical and how you would convert a game from one platform to another. Get it working first and THEN fine tune/optimize the code!
THAT there my friends is where the shit/lazy software houses/programmers make or break a game

As the videos progress (new one today 29th Dec 2018) I guess we see the differences between the hardware and how its programmed.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...hYTIrRDsfOc0sf

I look forward to his channel progressing, it would be interesting to see a 68000 conversion of his game ChibiAkumas just to see the difference in hardware again.
I was quite impressed at the amount of stuff moving on the Amstrad CPC!
[ Show youtube player ]
Interesting, I'll check it out.
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Old 29 December 2018, 15:24   #42
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The fact the Amiga could compete with systems released 4-5 years later says how incredible its technology was for its time.
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Old 29 December 2018, 15:37   #43
roondar
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The fact the Amiga could compete with systems released 4-5 years later says how incredible its technology was for its time.
To a point, yes it does. But it didn't compete nearly as well as we 'Amigans' like to think. I did not see it at the time because I had an Amiga and not one of the 16 bit consoles, but in retrospect it's really rather obvious that Amiga games almost always had all sorts of compromises the console games just didn't have (I'm talking purely on technical grounds here, gameplay is too subjective for my tastes to argue about).

The Amiga did have some pretty cool tricks (mostly but not always to do with the Copper) that were very hard to copy and IMHO had a better sound chip than either of the consoles (and most PC's - the early Soundblasters were terrible in comparison with their fixed sample rates and ridiculously noisy output).

Edit: do understand, I'm not trying to rag on the Amiga here - I really believe it's a great machine. It's just that I'm tired of the amount of people that still seem to hold the position that it was on equal footing with the 16 bit consoles. Which it just sadly isn't.

Last edited by roondar; 29 December 2018 at 15:43.
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Old 29 December 2018, 17:02   #44
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Originally Posted by roondar View Post
I did not see it at the time because I had an Amiga and not one of the 16 bit consoles,
In 1993, my Amiga 500 was already being put in a closet, and later that year I got an SNES.

And I saw it at the time, how that thing was kicking the poor old A500 out of the water.
Lots more colours, more parallax layers, more and bigger objects, transparent shapes, etc...

But that was eight years after the OCS was introduced...

Off course the SNES was much better.
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Old 29 December 2018, 17:24   #45
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and the PC was already creeping ahead assuming you had a system with proper graphics/sound card.
No. It really wasn't. When the 486 came out in 1989, it was still slower than the Amiga blitter. The best arcade game that the PC had to offer even in 1990 was the shockingly poor [ Show youtube player ]. And bear in mind that it was written by John Carmack, one of the greatest game programmers of all time. I can't think of a single PC game that could be considered to be anywhere near anything on the Amiga in 1989, except for slow-burners like click-and-point adventures.

FM sound on PC was utter balls as well. PC audio was no comparison to the Amiga until the Gravis Ultrasound was released in 1992.

The day the Amiga died for me as a viable modern gaming platform was when we cancelled Lemmings 3D on the Amiga somewhere in late 1994 in favour of the PC version because the Amiga 1200 was too slow. Doom had been released in 1993 and although the Amiga couldn't compete with that, the PC got itself into a position of only being good at 3D and at the time, 2D games were still in the vast majority. However, Lemmings 3D was the obvious (at the time) evolutionary path of Lemmings and the platform that created the original couldn't cope with it.
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Old 29 December 2018, 17:44   #46
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The Amiga isn't hard to program for, the dearth of Atari ST ports attests to that (irony alert!!!!).

If you're content to just get something on there and running, its easy, just convert a few ST routines to Amiga, and then don't bother to tailor it to the Amiga in any way whatsoever.

Tailor made content for the Amiga takes some work, takes some understanding.

Is Tiertexs Rolling Thunder easy to replicate? Well it takes an extra special "don't care" attitude to write it that crap where I can't even begin to think how little effort was put in to make it run that way.

I think most programmers could exceed Rolling Thunder without a huge amount of effort, and a 1:1 conversion was easily within the Amigas capabilities.

Theres a difference between "that will do" and "we can do more".

The Amiga unfortunately had a bit too much of the former.
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Old 29 December 2018, 18:06   #47
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Edit: just be sure this comes accross, I'm not trying to say the PC was the best thing ever back in 1989/1990, merely that even the PC -which until then was mostly an office machine- had started to catch up.

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Originally Posted by FromWithin View Post
No. It really wasn't. When the 486 came out in 1989, it was still slower than the Amiga blitter. The best arcade game that the PC had to offer even in 1990 was the shockingly poor [ Show youtube player ]. And bear in mind that it was written by John Carmack, one of the greatest game programmers of all time. I can't think of a single PC game that could be considered to be anywhere near anything on the Amiga in 1989, except for slow-burners like click-and-point adventures.
This is exactly what I'm talking about.

I have to wonder if you actually looked at what was available for PC in 1989/1990. So here are some games on the PC in 1989/1990 that looked -not sounded!- as good or better than their Amiga counterparts (all can be found on YouTube):

Bubble Bobble (1989)
Budokan (1989)
Prince of Persia (1989)
688 Attack Sub (1989, PC version runs in 256 colour VGA)
Golden Axe (1990, 256 colour VGA graphics)
Predator 2 (1990)
Speedball 2 (1990)
Loom (1990)

Note that all of these look much better than Commander Keen and that you didn't actually need a 486 to run any of these games well. Also note I left out 3D stuff (apart from one game) because I felt that to be outside of what we are comparing here.

As for the Blitter vs a 486 - I don't know where you got that info, but it's simply not true. Even a 68020/386 will almost always be faster than the Blitter, given a proper memory bus.

Quote:
FM sound on PC was utter balls as well. PC audio was no comparison to the Amiga until the Gravis Ultrasound was released in 1992.
PC audio was worse for a while longer, no doubt.

Quote:
The day the Amiga died for me as a viable modern gaming platform was when we cancelled Lemmings 3D on the Amiga somewhere in late 1994 in favour of the PC version because the Amiga 1200 was too slow. Doom had been released in 1993 and although the Amiga couldn't compete with that, the PC got itself into a position of only being good at 3D and at the time, 2D games were still in the vast majority. However, Lemmings 3D was the obvious (at the time) evolutionary path of Lemmings and the platform that created the original couldn't cope with it.
You're underestimating what kind of 2D games the PC was doing in 1993.

Last edited by roondar; 29 December 2018 at 23:15.
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Old 29 December 2018, 21:56   #48
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There is more than just pure specs here. Just the fact that pc had so many configurations meant there where tonnes problems with 2d scrolling. Judder, micro stutters, frame rate drops, screen tear and other inconsistencies.

2d graphics was just inconsistent on pc. I tried to play 2d games back in the 90s on my pentium. Often it just did not feel right.
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Old 29 December 2018, 23:14   #49
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There is more than just pure specs here. Just the fact that pc had so many configurations meant there where tonnes problems with 2d scrolling. Judder, micro stutters, frame rate drops, screen tear and other inconsistencies.

2d graphics was just inconsistent on pc. I tried to play 2d games back in the 90s on my pentium. Often it just did not feel right.
Oh yes indeed. And like I said, the 1989-1990 era was when the PC began to creep ahead slowly - not be superior in every way. Perhaps that didn't come across well there. The point wasn't to say the PC was 'the best', just that even the PC was catching up - which up till then had been mostly a machine for business use.

That said, I have played some of the games on the list I posted at a friends house back then and maybe his 386 just was very well built, but I never really saw all that much judder/stutter/etc on them. Golden Axe was pretty good on his 'rig' - though the sound gave me a headache lol. Earlier games did tend to do a lot poorer though.

Last edited by roondar; 29 December 2018 at 23:21.
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Old 30 December 2018, 07:26   #50
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Comming from consoles and amiga, playing 2d games just wasn't a pleasant experience in the 90s on pc.

Even though some games on paper might be superior. It just was not in the real world.

You had the jerky scrolling. Which plagued so many games. It isnt until recently that they actually have fixed this.

And then you had the sound.

And more importantly non existent joypad standard. I had a gravis pad. And even if i got it working. It just felt off.

I more or less gave up on it until good emulators started to show up in the late 90s.

Look at this youtube of sonic cd. It looks great in stills. But once it start moving...This is the typical pc 2d game experience in the 90s

[ Show youtube player ]

Last edited by donnie; 30 December 2018 at 07:31.
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Old 30 December 2018, 08:06   #51
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I also could add that the SonicCD version in display here uses the american soundtrack while i prefer the european/japanese one, but that is being pedantic :P
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Old 30 December 2018, 14:56   #52
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This will be my last post on PC vs Amiga in this thread as I don't feel it to be on topic.

I feel my point isn't getting across here. I've never said the PC was better at scrolling. I said it was catching up with the Amiga overall and creeping ahead of it in many ways which is not the same as talking about one single feature.

And this point of mine is easy to prove: it's very simple to find 1989 and later 2D PC games that are objectively better than their Amiga counterparts (pretty much all 2D strategy, RPG and adventure games for instance). Similarly, for 3D gaming the PC had clearly moved ahead of the Amiga by as early as 1990 (I'm not talking about Wolvenstein/Doom here, but polygon based games).

So yes, the PC might not always have had the best side to side scrolling (I must agree I remembered Golden Axe moving better than it actually does when I looked at it on Youtube just now), but that is only one part of the equation.

And that doesn't even get into the fact that my whole point was not about just the PC, it was about how the Amiga was starting to lag behind overall at that point. Case in point, if you mostly liked action games the consoles where a better pick than the Amiga. If you liked cerebral or 3D games more, the PC was (starting to become) the better pick.

None of this makes the Amiga a bad machine (I bought mine later than 1990 so I obviously still wanted it after this point), but it does show that the technology of the machine was not ten years ahead of it's time - but 'merely' four to five. Which is still a great result.

Last edited by roondar; 30 December 2018 at 15:04.
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Old 01 January 2019, 14:51   #53
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Originally Posted by roondar View Post
A couple more vids have been put up, progress being made, a tile bug seems to have cropped up at the moment.


I guess the sources will be available some time soon like the Z80 versions here
http://www.chibiakumas.com/z80/GrimeSource.7z


Quite interesting what I have heard so far about various systems and the way things are different.


After having a look at the sources and seen how to access the screen on X68000 who will make a tribute DOC: Demons are Forever?
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Old 16 June 2021, 23:09   #54
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Well, now am adding the million dollar question:

if someone completely new to Amiga programming (like in example me) want to start, without telling him 'go check this and that' on books and such, what would be the ground level hints that he would need to understand how to begin to do something? How he would need to lay down base bricks?

(as base steps, then the language will come later)
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Old 17 June 2021, 01:08   #55
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if someone completely new to Amiga programming (like in example me) want to start, without telling him 'go check this and that' on books and such, what would be the ground level hints that he would need to understand how to begin to do something?
My hint would be that he won't get far without 'checking this and that on books and such'.

He should start with the Hardware Reference Manual and ROM Kernel manuals, because they tell you how the designers intended it to be programmed. And he shouldn't consider this a chore - he should want to know how the Amiga's hardware and software works, and be excited by the prospect. If that doesn't sound like fun then perhaps he should stick to programming on platforms that don't want you to know that stuff.

Next step might be to watch some Youtube videos on Amiga programming, such as this series by Wei-ju Wu. Then he could set up his own development system and try creating some simple programs.
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Old 17 June 2021, 11:41   #56
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Yea, as Bruce says, watching videos on youtube and sourcing out specific amiga coding websites is the place to start, if your super serious about wanting to code.

Back in the early to mid 90s there wasnt much of an internet so books were the reference, along with the user manuals (AMOS had a decent one) and example source code.

There are numerous examples of bad ports and games on amiga, with no logical explanation. However, back in the 80s and into the early 90s especially, software houses were always on time limits and budget. Quite often you were given 2 or 3 months to cobble together an arcade conversion, the coder and its team would have something by the time the deadline hit but has to cobble together finishing touches to make it release worthy, for example in time for the Xmas sales. Think so many games suffered due to time limits.

Today coders have all the time in the world (tho no budget) and can fine tune the gameplay before release. Think thats why the scene is looking healthy!
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Old 17 June 2021, 14:56   #57
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Well, now am adding the million dollar question:

if someone completely new to Amiga programming (like in example me) want to start, without telling him 'go check this and that' on books and such, what would be the ground level hints that he would need to understand how to begin to do something? How he would need to lay down base bricks?

(as base steps, then the language will come later)
I'd say it mainly depends on what you want to program and secondly on how you want to do your programming (which would by high level vs low level languages).

However, in my opinion by far the best way to learn Amiga programming is by actually doing it. Decide what kind of stuff you want to do eventually, what kind of Amiga you want to aim it at and start working on doing something (anything really) related to the end goal on that type of Amiga. Honestly, at first it doesn't even matter what kind of language you use, as long as it fits with what you want for your end-goal*. The goal here is to learn, so it's not about making a full game/demo/application. It's about trying out all the things you want to learn about. Starting with very simple things is often the best way to do it because you'll see results quickly. I also found that for motivation it's best to also mix both harder and more boring stuff with easier or more fun stuff once you get beyond the starting points.

There are some tutorials and many examples, I'd use them as a starting point of sorts. Same with books like the HRM (if applicable for what you want). And last but not least: it's probably best to try and teach yourself best practices early on. For instance, suppose you want to use a library the OS provides. In that case, you should always open/close that library properly rather than assuming it's open or that it doesn't matter if you close it at the end. Or if you want to use say the Blitter, never do so without making sure it's safe to do so (i.e. it's not running at the time and if using the OS, you've reserved it for use properly).

*) meaning: there's a difference between wanting to make games/demos and wanting to make productivity/more serious programs. If your chosen development environment is all about hitting the hardware, it'll be less good for making those productivity apps. On the flip side, if you want to access the hardware for yourself, picking an environment that acts as if Amiga GFX and PC GFX are basically the same thing is not going to be useful.
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Old 17 June 2021, 17:27   #58
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You know why i ask this? Because while for programming 8-bit machines all you seem to need is a memory location diagram, Amiga programming is not made that way; you have to know what to do all the time and hence is like instead of a small staircase to step up on there are several grade 9 walls to climb - or at least it look that way
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Old 17 June 2021, 18:03   #59
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he should want to know how the Amiga's hardware and software works, and be excited by the prospect.
[polemic]
Wow, sound REALLY like Amiga is a religion: "Read the Bible*"


*bible as RKRM, but we are there
[/polemic]

RKRM has the LITTLE problem that assumes people know C at a middle/advanced level to understand what is going on
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Old 17 June 2021, 22:43   #60
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You know why i ask this? Because while for programming 8-bit machines all you seem to need is a memory location diagram, Amiga programming is not made that way; you have to know what to do all the time and hence is like instead of a small staircase to step up on there are several grade 9 walls to climb - or at least it look that way
Honestly, it really simply depends on what you want to do. You don't need to learn everything to start. You can learn quite a few things from just playing around in AMOS or Blitz Basic (or, if you want to do more serious stuff, use something like Amiga E or even just C/C++ if that's what you like).

I was actually trying to be positive about it and get the idea across that you should just start doing stuff and learn as you go. You'll be surprised how much you can do that way . And yeah, if you want to code the next Metro Siege, Rygar, Dread, or Reshoot that'll take quite some doing. But then, if you want to make the next Sam's Journey on the C64, it'll also take quite a while

Anyway, please understand I'm not trying to dissuade anyone, programming on the Amiga can be hard, but it's also really neat once you get things going
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