Recent Posts

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21
News / Re: New Amiga games in development
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 11, 2019, 11:04:52 PM »
Double Sided Games have posted a new video from the development version of the game Black Dawn Rebirth.
22
News / Re: WinUAE 4.2.0
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 10, 2019, 08:35:46 PM »
Beta 5:

- Picasso IV Flifi I2C bus responses are now faked. Removes P4Info "I2C Bus disabled" message. Very useless.
- Picasso IV driver polls GD5446 CR3F bit 7 (VREF state) when changing modes, probably to wait until native mode is completely redrawn, bit now toggles quickly to reduce delays when switching modes.
- Disassembler CHK2/CMP2 support was incomplete. Another 68020+ instruction with "non-standard" encoding.
- Added 68030 MMU instruction disassembler support.
- 68030 MMU instructions that have FC field: 11xxx FC field is invalid and generates F-line exception. (Was missed in previous invalid bit update few versions ago)
- Added support for shader (.fx) embedded config entries. Format: "string winuae_config : WINUAE_CONFIG = <uae-configuration compatible string>";. String can be split, for example like this: "param1 value1" <linefeed> " param2 value";. Config data is parsed and enabled when config file is loaded (with shaders selected) or when shader is changed using GUI.
- Added Tandem IDE HD/Mitsumi CD controller emulation. Only IDE is supported (which is identical to AlfaPower IDE controllers), Mitsumi drives are not emulated.

Get the latest beta.
23
Interviews with Demosceners & Developers / Interview with Francois Lionet
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 09, 2019, 08:09:30 PM »
Hello Francois Lionet, could you please do a small introduction of yourself to our readers?

Hello, I am Francois, a 55 years old programmer/geek, father of Christophe, who is a game designer today.

When did you get interested in computers, and what was your first computer?

There was no computers when I was young, I was born in 1963. The first device that could have been called "a computer", was a Texas Instrument TI57, 49 steps of programming, GOTO and LABELs. I discovered what would be my life’s passion. But the real first computer I had was a Superboard II from Ohio Scientific, in 1981. It was a 6502 based board, all in one, keyboard, video, tape interface, 4K of RAM (that I extended later to 8K), and 1K of video memory with only text. It also contained a good version of Microsoft Basic. What was great was the fact that this was a machine designed by gamers and geeks, the character set, above 128 ASCII, contained a lot of game-oriented characters, including a Star Trek vessel, in two directions made out of two characters (front and back). I immediately fell for this machine and started to program games in Basic. And as Basic was not fast enough, I bought a book on 6502, and made my own assembler in Basic, and started to program real fast games.

What Amiga(s) did you have in the past, and if you remember, what were the(ir) configuration(s)?

Nearly all of them. A500 with hard disk, A1000, A2000, A3000, A4000, and even a rare 3500, intermediate model given to me by Commodore. The A1000 was Jim Cuomo’s machine, on which the music of Defender of the Crown was written. But I never owned any A1200s.

The A3500T, can you tell us the story behind this one, how you got it, and where it might be now?

Well, it was given to me by Commodore to check that AMOS worked on it. Actually it was a very bad machine, and I never really used it. The case was terrible and it did not add many things to my beloved A3000. So after testing, I just put it on a shelve and forgot about it!

Do you still have any Amiga(s) or did you get rid of them?

No. In a moment of despair during my "great depression" period, from 2000 to 2013, I gave my whole collection to an Amiga fan in Lyon who could not believe his eyes.

Can you tell us how you got involved with developing software on the Amiga?

Before the Amiga and AMOS, I wrote STOS for the Atari ST. You have to understand that at the time, in 1986, the Amiga was VERY expensive, especially the French version, where the importer had to add a video conversion board so that the computer would work on the French TV standard, SECAM. Adding 500F to the price of the device. Such a board was not needed on the Atari ST, and it was (if I remember correctly) about 1000F cheaper. So I got an ST and wrote STOS, that was published by Mandarin Software in the UK. As the market for the Atari ST began to drop in the UK with the raise of the Amiga, they asked me to do a version of STOS for the Amiga. And at the time I could afford it with the royalties of STOS! :).

Did you ever have any direct contact with Commodore? did they ever try to hire you, or buy AMOS?

Yes, but only at the end. You see, AMOS has always been seen as a toy by everyone except the users. The whole Commodore company never heard about me, or even considerate me. Even in England, where it was a massive success. Had I written a serious and boring database system, without any colors and animation, respecting the display of the system to the letter, I would have been taken seriously. But hey, I was the author of LAmos. It is only at the very end, when the wind was changing for Commodore, that I got a little consideration from them. First from Commodore France, with Francis Poulain, with whom I became friends with, and created the Clickteam company together with later. And then even from Commodore international, I even got a made-up-specially-for-me prize at a Commodore conference "Best Development Language for the CDTV", Ha ha what a joke.

You are known to most Amiga users as the man behind AMOS, could you tell our readers how this all started?

With STOS!, STOS on the Atari ST was to be a complete DOS-like system, to replace GEM that I personally hated. So Constantin Sotiropoulos, who I was working with at the time, did the DOS command line, and I launched myself on making a Basic language. As a game programmer, I was making adaptations to live. Each time I had to work on a project on a new machine, the first tasks were to make a Sprite engine, a Sound engine, and an Animation engine. So I told myself, why not make a Basic with all that included? It would enable everyone to make games without knowing how to program in machine language. And STOS was born, and if you look at the history of computers, it was the first one of a genre that has become huge with the years. STOS was the very first game-engine ever. And then, when porting STOS to Amiga, I reprogrammed the whole graphical and sound system to take advantage of the machine’s incredible possibilities.

There was never any AGA support in AMOS, is there a reason behind this, or was it just too late by then?

AGA appeared at the end, and the market was already falling in UK. Europress, the publisher, was concerned about that, and pushed me to go to PC, but I wanted to finish the AMOSPro compiler first. I was very late on this one, and when it was over, it was time to move on to PC (remember that I am programming for a living, and even if you love a machine, you have to take these kind of decision to keep on eating!). Also some technical reasons, AGA palette, 256 colors, would not fit in the copper lists, and induced a massive 16 lines black area above every AMOS screen. There was though one easy solution to this, in AGA mode, only allow ONE AGA screen, the one in the back. Stupid me, only had this idea a couple of month ago.

Did you create anything else besides AMOS? Maybe even something you never released publicly?

Oh yeah, I created a lot of things in my career. "Klik and Play", in 1994, the first ever graphical game creation system with visual programming on Windows. A revolution at the time, published all around the world in 30 languages. In USA by Maxis (I met Will Wright at the time of Sim City, nice guy!), then "The Games Factory" and "Multimedia Fusion". Then I created my company "Clickteam", then Clickteam Fusion, still on sale today, with which you can create amazing 2D games for phones and PCs. There are many Fusion games on Steam, all made 100% with the mouse and not one line of programming.

Are you still coding anything today? if so, what and on which platform(s)?

Yes of course. I could not live without coding. Today I am making AMOS 2, the revival of the product that made my career. AMOS 2 is a compiler, that takes AMOS code and produces a Javascript / HTML5 application that works in a browser. The compiler works on every platform. Compiled applications work in a browser today, and later it will work as native executables on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS. AMOS 2 is VERY fast, as it takes advantage of today`s machine power. For example, you can display 3000 16x16 bobs at 50 FPS on a good PC. And when I implement WebGL rendering (soon), this number will reach 10s of thousands. This is a really exciting project. AMOS 2 will understand old .AMOS programs, extract the graphics and sounds in their modern equivalent, extract the source in ASCII so that people can "revive" their old creation. Be ready for a tsunami of thousand of games and applications from the 90s, in your browsers for the summer. More information on my Patreon page (please help me! :)).

Have you followed the Amiga scene at all since leaving when you did? If yes, what do you think of the state of the Amiga today?

No, when I left the Amiga, and despite the success of AMOS, I was very depressed by all the critics and the negative reception from "real" programmers (assholes?). So I did my best to forget about the machine and switched to PC. Then between 2000 and 2013 I had a very bad depression, so I was in "focused" mode, not really creative, day to day work (and got rid of all my Amigas). I did not even go to the first Amiga 30 in Holland, as I thought I would be mocked again, and I did not want to relive that. But the organizer of Amiga 30 UK, convinced me to come, and as it was in England, I had the hope that people would remember that AMOS was not a piece of shit code. I only came back to the platform after that, and I was so surprised by the people and the mood there, that the Amiga came back to my life. I still do not own any classic Amiga, and do not intent to buy any. For me, it is the past. Why limit yourself to 16 bobs when you can have 10000 at the same speed? Better be creative and rewrite the software that I loved, on the machine as close as possible to the letter and spirit, using the possibilities of today’s technology. The Amiga is in my heart, I love Amiga parties, but I do not think I will ever have one again.

What do you feel you got out of the whole experience of being an Amiga developer? for example, did it open doors for you in other places once you left?

Not really. You know, I have always been a kind of "loner", not fit to work in company with others. The Amiga was "game", the real world was "database", "Excel" and "servers". The Amiga did not really prepare you for a "real programming" career. So I stayed the one I was, the author of LAmos, programmer of toys that do not respect the system ;).

Is there anyone you would like to send some greetings to? Or perhaps you have some other last words?

Thank you, to all the people that actually BOUGHT AMOS in the 90s. And thank you also, to all the others who have pirated it and used it, you are very forgiven! :). Thank you to the people who are supporting me on Patreon for AMOS 2. Patreon is not only about money, I need testers, I need demos, I need critics and suggestions. I will open soon amos2.net, and it will be the center place for the product. You can also join the very active Facebook groups "AMOSPro Coders" and "STOS Coders" where I publish the progress regularly.

Thank you for the interview Ola. I miss your saturday evening parties.

That is the end of this interview, thanks for taking the time to do it Francois, I am sure our readers will appreciate it :).
24
Interviews with Demosceners & Developers / Interview with Dan / Lemon.
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 09, 2019, 06:30:44 PM »
Hello Dan, could you please do a small introduction of yourself to our readers?

Hi, I'm Dan, you probably know me from my demos and time as a member of Anarchy and then Lemon., and various other groups before that. I had a nearly 20 year break from the scene from 1995 to around 2015, and have been feeling really inspired and creative since getting back to Amiga coding.

When did you get interested in computers, and what was your first computer?

I stumbled across one of my brothers computer magazines in around 1981. I was about 8 at the time, and immediately was fascinated, especially by the BASIC listings for games for various early computers. I then persuaded my parents to get a ZX81 (second hand from the ads in the local paper), and then upgraded to a ZX Spectrum in 1982.

What Amiga(s) did you have in the past and if you remember, what were the(ir) configuration(s)?

I bought an A500 in around 1987/1988, then upgraded with a 2nd drive and half meg of trapdoor RAM, that's about it really. I did own an A1200 briefly when they first came out, but lent it to Nuke / Spaceman and never saw it again :), I also won an A600 at The Gathering in 1993 for the 40k intro compo. I sold that to a friend at work almost immediately as it was no use to me at the time.

Do you still have any Amiga(s) today? If yes, which ones and what configuration(s)

I have my original A500, all totally broken and only keeping it for nostalgia reasons. I also have an A600 that I had to leave in Germany last year after Revision, and will be picking it up later this year. Otherwise, I just use WinUAE now to code and test things, and then a little real hardware testing externally through friends.

Can you tell us how you got involved with the demoscene?

There were a group of us in my home town, that used to meet up once a week, to swap demos, games etc. We were all interested in the demo scene, and decided to form our own group "Slipstream".

Do you remember any of the tools you used back then when creating productions, as well as the process you guys had behind creating a production?

It would have been Deluxe Paint for the graphics (I was mainly doing graphics back then), Sound Tracker for the music (although we ended up often using ripped music from other demos in our intros), and the coder at that time (Andi) used Devpac (pretty standard assembler for UK coders at that time)

What is the setup and tools you use now to create demos?

PC with WinUAE, code is written using Visual Studio, and compiled using VASM. I still use some original Amiga tools (running in WinUAE) for things like IFF -> RAW conversion. Also use Unity now to generate data to use in the demos.

Was there any particular production where you experienced severe difficulties in realizing it due to technical limitations in the hardware and or development tools?

Not that I can remember really. I have always designed things with the Amiga hardware & CPU in mind. Sometimes compromises have to be made, or extreme optimization have to be developed ;).

You did many productions back in the days before retiring. What do you consider your best work back then and now?

It's quite hard to pick my "best work". I am quite proud of the more recent demos I have worked on, particularly "The Fall" and "Lemonade" (which was actually started in 1992).

Can you tell us what you consider the best Amiga demos back in the golden years? and now

Ah, there's sooooooo many demos from back in the day, will be hard to pick some and not others, let me try, Enigma, Hardwired, Arte, Roots, Desert Dreams, Mental Hangover, too many more to list. There have been some pretty nice A500 demos in recent years too, but won't pick any by name ;).

What do you think of the state of the scene today compared to the golden years?

I don't think it's changed too much, just some new faces, and some old ones returning too. There's quite a healthy competition still between groups, and it also seems a large number of productions on a whole range of other old-skool platforms (The C64 demo scene seems particularly healthy right now).

What do you feel you got out of the whole experience of being active in the Amiga demoscene? for example, did it lead you to code professionally in any way?

Yes, it was definitely a stepping stone into the games industry. I started in the games industry in 1991 (I started working for a fairly well known developer / publisher called Core Design). I have been in the industry ever since (bar a couple of years where I was between jobs and doing my own thing for a while).

Could you list the games you worked on for the Amiga, and what would you consider the best title of them all?

Heimdall, Wolfchild, Premiere, Chuck Rock 2, Wonder Dog, Blastar. The best? probably Chuck Rock 2, but it's not my personal favourite of all the games I have worked on in my career ;).

Do you remember which year you personally noticed the decline in the Amiga market, and when did Core Design call it quits on the platform?

Definitely from around 1993 onwards. I think Core finished their Amiga development in 1994, and had already moved onto the major consoles (Genesis / Super Nintendo / Master System etc) by that point.

Do you know what happened to the Amiga machines at Core Design once they were deemed redundant?

I think they were either taken by people that worked there, or they ended up in the bins

Do you have a good story to share with us from your days in the Amiga gaming industry? maybe even more then one :).

I probably do, but I can't share them here right now (will probably need to consult my Lawyer first!) ;) ;).

Is there anyone you would like to send some greetings to? Or perhaps you have some other last words?

Greetings to: all the guys & gals in Lemon (official and unoffical), our current demo co-op team (Soundy, Made, Facet, Dascon, Virgill, Leonard), and all Amiga sceners that I have known over the years, too many to mention here.

Look out for some new OCS originals, coming soon to a screen near you!

That is the end of this interview, thanks for taking the time to do it Dan, I am sure our readers will appreciate it :).
25
Interviews with Demosceners & Developers / Interview with Woober / Resistance
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 09, 2019, 05:35:37 PM »
Hello Woober, could you please do a small introduction of yourself to our readers?

Hi, back in the good old Amiga days in the 90's I was known as Woober, I was a musician and ascii artist in Saints, Giants, Darkage and Arcade + many other scene groups. I was also a sysop with my own BBS called Eternity for several years. I spent most of my spare time doing ascii, music and sysop-ing, but I was also a trader, editor, writer, organizer, cracker and coder. I probably did whatever I could do on the Amiga :).

When did you get interested in computers, and what was your first computer?

My main interest in computers started on my first computer which was an Dragon 64 in the mid 80's, with a cassette player to load in games/software. After a short while I got a Commodore 64, and after playing games for a short while I started to do some programming in basic, and saw that you could create something on these computers, this opened up a lot of possibilities to be creative. I was then hooked by these possibilities.

What Amiga(s) did you have in the past, and if you remember, what were the(ir) configuration(s)?

My first Amiga was an A500, with only 512kb of Ram. Then I got an Amiga 1200, with 40MB harddrive, that felt like endless storage space back then, as things didn't take up that much space. Later on I got an Amiga 4000 with 060 processor and 128MB Ram I think it was. When I ran my BBS I had around 800GB of storage space, which was later upgraded to a FTP server using Linux/Debian and 8TB of storage.

Do you still have any Amiga(s) today or did you get rid of them?

I do not own any Amiga's anymore, I sold my Amiga in 2000, which had sadly broken down.

Can you tell us how you got involved with the demoscene?

I was early on fascinated by intros and demos from the demoscene, so I always wanted to be a part of that scene. I think it was mainly around 1993-1994 that I finally got into the demoscene for real, and I kept doing scene stuff until 1999, that`s when my Amiga broke down. That was the last time I ever had an Amiga.

Could you tell us a bit about the demos you worked on, and which production you feel was the best one overall?

I've been involved in many productions, I was quite active as an editor in a diskmag called Showtime, and did several ascii collections, which i'm very proud of. I also made music to one of the last doc disks from LSD (Light Speed Distribution), but I also did some music for game trainers and several music disks. Its hard to remember all the productions i've been part of, there are so many.

Is there any production you wish you had not worked on, or perhaps there is a production you wish had turned out differently?

Nothing I can think of really, it was all about fun and learning new things back then. Its quite amusing to listen to some of the music I made, or find releases I was part of these days. Don`t regret anything.

Was there any music you created back then that you were really satisfied with, and can even look back upon now and be proud of?

My competition tune for The Gathering 1999, which was a techno version of the classic song from "Flåklypa". I'm still very proud of that tune today, which took me almost a year to finish, even though the samples sucks :D

Were there any musicians at the time, either demosceners or just musicians in general, that you either looked up to or felt inspired you to create your own music?

I always looked up to musicians like 4mat, Virgill, Moby, Jester and E-Max in the demoscene.

Could you tell us a bit about the equipment/application(s) you used to create music back then?

I didn't have much music equipment, I basically used Protracker and later on Digibooster (with 8 channels) to track all my music. I had some sample equipment, but I never got good at catching sounds. It was mainly for fun indeed.

Can you tell us if you remember, what you considered the best Amiga demos back when you were active?

Nexus 7 by Andromeda is one of the best demos by far, in my opinion. Me and a friend was together at The Party 4 in Denmark, the last big demo party in 1994, where all the best people from the demoscene was gathering and competing. Of course there are several more, but that`s what pops up in my head today.

Are you still making music today? If yes, could you please tell us a bit about it? equipment/application(s) etc

I hardly have time to do much music these days, but I sometimes play a bit with tracking, and also use FruityLoops when I feel like  it.

Have you followed the Amiga or demoscene at all since leaving the scene when you did? If yes, what do you think of the state of the scene today?

I'm not actively following the demoscene today, I do go to some local demo events, to get updated with whats going on. I find it very inspiring to see what these old computers still can do, and what people manage to get out of this old hardware we used for such a long time ago.

Would you ever consider doing any music for demos again, either on Amiga or modern platforms?

I hardly find time to do anything "demo" related these days, but maybe somewhere in the future. Hard to say :).

What do you feel you got out of the whole experience of being active in the Amiga demoscene? for example, did it lead you to make music professionally?

Being active and doing so many different things, I learned so much when I was active on Amiga, which helps me in the profession I got today, as a game developer. I was at one point on my way to become more professional with making music, but I choose another path. I don`t think I would have been here without the experience I got on the Amiga, its community and the friends I made during that time, things could have turned out very different. I'm very happy that I was able to be a part of the demoscene, and it has had an huge impact and helped me a lot to develop myself in what I'm doing today.

Have you ever considered remastering some of your old tunes?

I have been thinking about remastering my Carius tune, but my music skills are becoming more and more rusty as times fly by. We will see, maybe I will get in the mood someday and actually do it.

Is there anyone you would like to send some greetings to? Or perhaps you have some other last words?

I would like to send my biggest greets to Stingray, Ghandy, Zoltrix, Ramonster, Galahad, Sal-One, Modem, Virgill, Case, Mystra, Moby, Don-Cato, Zaner, Gleb and many more.

As for last words, I love to think back on the good old days on Amiga, the friendly people, and the friendships that were made, we all shared info to help each other. To bad Amiga ended its days to early.

Today I'm a CEO and game designer, and run a game developer company called Misc Games.

Thank you all :).

That is the end of this interview, thanks for taking the time to do it Woober, I am sure our readers will appreciate it :).
26
News / Re: New Amiga games in development
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 07, 2019, 09:30:47 AM »
Celtic Heart removed from the list since it has been released.
27
Suggestions & Tips / Interview with Graeme Cowie
« Last post by m0ns00n on March 06, 2019, 11:36:47 AM »
I really liked reading this interview. It's wonderful that some developers out there can find the time to make amazing contributions to retro gamers out there - and make time to sustain the programming hobby for creative stuff. Too many of us are exhausted when coming home from programming at work. But it is in the crative work that is done for fun that often leads to the best innovations and which leads to enthusiasm for personal computing.

And to add - graphicians who excel at pixelling, musicians and sound artists who master the file size and CPU restrictions; great that these have new opportunities to share their work into.

Hopefully, this site could be a host to competitions too. And even though this is a retro site, I hope there will be the possibility of extending the reach by also allowing productions for contemporary platforms - perhaps with certain esthetical restrictions (like pixel graphics etc) if need be.
28
News / Re: WHDLoad 18.4 released
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 05, 2019, 11:52:20 PM »
WHDLoad 18.5 will be released soon to fix a serious bug that makes it crash on 68000/68010 cpus.
29
News / Re: Amiga 68k port of DosBox AGA/RTG 0.74 Released
« Last post by 4pLaY on March 05, 2019, 09:24:47 PM »
The port has seen some updates lately.

Version History:
  • 0.74.009 - Initial release.
  • 0.74.010 - Added back support for 486/586 CPU emulation.
  • 0.74.011 - Fixed up mouse handling (SDL fix).
  • 0.74.012 - Fixed timing issue (SDL fix), added joystick support.
Just grab the files from the first post.
30
News / Re: ModSurfer Released
« Last post by Dissident on March 05, 2019, 09:15:41 PM »
Thanks for the hint. I will check the game.
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