Subject: Enjoy this really fun chat with LucasArts legend Dave Grossman. Dave chats about his career, working with Ron Gilbert & Tim Schafer. Dave also reflects on creating The Secret of Monkey Island, The Dig, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and, of course, Return to Monkey Island!
Subject: Lemmings statue in Dundee, UK - home of DMA Design
Subject: Amiga 2000 – Codename: Tesseract PART 5 - just a side note, I cannot post in a r/Commodore anymore, sorry - self-promotion accusations
Subject: Trump card 500 Zorro II slots.
I am curious if anyone has had any luck using any Zorro Ii card in the original trump card 500 Zorro II slots besides the Meta4 or the trump card itself. The meta4 is an auto config Zorro II card so I am thinking that slot could be used for other cards as well. Thoughts?
Subject: Workbench Distribution: AKReal 9.1
Subject: Amiga Unix Wiki
Subject: Tutorial : How to install Warp3DNova, Bridge, MiniGL, Ogles2, and WarpOS emu [AmigaOS4]
Subject: Beyond AmigaOS - Weird and obscure Amiga Computer Operating Systems
Subject: AmigaONE X1000: When sun is rising
Subject: Check out these GAMES from the Amiga Blitz Basic Game Jam 2022
Subject: Origin of the bitplanes in graphics
So I read that some old hardware for CAD had each bit plane on a different board and you could upgrade the number of colors. Then later we had one plane for character code and one or two for character color and “background” color. So Amiga and AtariSt wanted to render be text fast. Every letter is thus 16px wide? EGA seems to cater to 8 bit ISA bus .. even more weird considering it came out in the 286 era. But then 8px wide letters are well known. I mean, Amiga could do 1280px: 16px wide letters make sense. When everyone wants text, why not just offer a text mode? Then I thought, maybe Amiga really needs 8 color or 32 color mode or 64 where the palette is 32 only and top 16 is for sprites!. I mean playfields are great, but I don’t see a reason why chunky over chunky won’t work. Then maybe we need to give the CPU a cycle once in a while. Chunky is either 16 color 320 rows => CPU at full speed. Or we have 256 colors or 640px or flicker free VGA monitor and the CPU can only run in the borders. But even here: there could be a special mode where some sprites preload some columns to give the CPU regular memory access. Now we don’t have such a large palette. Instead of half bright, I would love to pair two entries: the second one is a map for the 5 bits to 12 bit offset. HAM is does not need a large palette, but I cannot get over the trouble at edges. It is only useful for pure green in a golf game. With 1 byte per pixel delta RGB would be feasible. One extreme delta instead pulls the next value from the palette.
It is nice that the blitter only needs to know 4 bitplanes and no chunky color + mask plane . Though drawing lines for CAD ( typically in color ) then is weird. Who needs the patterns when we have color?
Waterline effect . Fog. Shadow. But only with blitter, not sprites nor playfield!? These would need quite a complicated pixel shader in chunky.
Subject: Our favorite issue...
Subject: Easy way to move AmigaOS from a SD card to a file for UAE?
I am using a SD2IDE in my A1200, and I use the SD card on my PC with UAE; when I want to do something that would take too long on the Amiga itself. This works but I already corrupted the SD card twice, and I am glad I have backups of those.
Is there an easy way to convert those SD cards in hard disk files so I can use it on UAE when needed? In this way I can just dump my updated SD card on the HD file and save the hassle to corrupt the SD card?
To be clear, I want an exact copy of the SD card, not just copy the folders for the data that is on the Amiga... If I need to just move data I can use a PCMCIA card adapter; but I need to run the same exact OS on that SD card in the emulator
Subject: This game looks very interesting - Settle the World by theotheoderich (work in progress)
Subject: Commodore Amiga 1200 with Cobras!
Subject: Scored big on a cheap bundle of Amiga mags, including much techie goodness with CU Amiga
Subject: Amiga games coming to Evercade retro systems next year
Subject: Any Monkey Island fans in the house!? Enjoy this fun podcast interview with LucasArts legend Dave Grossman. Dave reflects on his amazing career and working on The Secrets of Monkey Island, The Dig, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, Full Throttle and his latest title, Return to Monkey Island:
Subject: Amiga gaming research(?) project
Apologies for the massive wall of text;
Because of covid lockdowns here in the UK I had a lot more time and money on my hands than usual and took the opportunity to get back in to some retro gaming projects. My first project was to build a "new" zx spectrum based on a raspberry pi3 but once I'd finished that I was in need of a new project and turned my attention to the Amiga, as my favourite platform. I'd been tinkering with winUAE for a number of years and with a bit of research it was pretty obvious that I wanted a real Amiga 1200. As it was both; the machine I could never afford as a teenager and still seemed to have a good potential for upgrading and parts today. So, I eventually bought a couple of motherboards and have been slowly refurbishing them back to being fully working Amigas.
Back in the 80s/90s, I mostly used my A500 for gaming (and a bit of school work) and it didn't take too long to gather the various games I remembered owning or playing. But I soon released; "There must be many more good games for the Amiga than I played back then". But if you google "classic Amiga games" all you ever see are ident-i-kit lists of the same 50 to 100 games. Obviously these cover the core games everyone remembers but there were likely about 5,000 commercial games releases for the amiga (given HoL and Lemon Amiga stats) over it's 10 year lifespan. Can it be true that only 1 or 2% of Amiga games were any good? Personally, as a rule of thumb I usually find about 5-10% of any given media is actually good
While I was wondering how to go about digging out other good Amiga games /u/kad3t started posting his youtube series of "10 years of amiga gaming" on this board. I watched the first 3 and was interested to see he was doing a great job of covering all the classics while adding lots of other things I was either only slightly aware of or just totally unaware of. I also had a nagging sense that I was sure he was missing other things I remembered.
So to find out I set upon the task of tracking down and playing every game in his youtube series while supplementing it with other games from each year that I recognised or found interesting that I could find in the HoL and Lemon Amiga databases.
The plan was to play a minimum of the opening of every game; which would be either first handful of levels or the first 5-10 minutes, depending on which made more sense, and then write a review of my impression of each. For every game I wrote a short 1 sentence (occasionally just one word) review. And as I was also interested to think how game design had developed in the period, I also recorded whether I felt the game would still be worth anyone's time today, if they were coming to it new. Many of the games simply do not feel nice to play today so I doubt many folk would care to go back to them except for nostalgia reasons. Alongside this I also made a note of which games I felt we might regard as part of the canon of Amiga classics and made a note of any game that was sufficiently playable that it wouldn't feel out of place today.
So, over about 4 months I found and played all these games. In total it ended up as 641 games, roughly 150 more than in /u/kad3t's video series. And it is more or less equivalent of every game with a user score greater than 7.7 in Lemon Amiga. Having played them and reviewed them all, I tallied up what I thought, and collated results:
|Year||Total Played||Still Worthwhile||Timeless Classic|
The total number of games I played over 4 months was 641 games. From those I rated 317 as still being interesting or worthwhile in some way today playing today. So, roughly half the games passed the bar I'd set. If I'm frank the remainder either looked or played terribly in some way. Turns out that 317 is roughly 6% of all commercial releases, which surprisingly lines up more that I expected.
Although I've not listed it here I divided the set of 317 in to two further sets; "Classic Amiga" games (124 games) and the rest of the Worthwhile set (193). Listed in the table I also pulled out any game I felt was a true timeless classic (see last column). This set includes games such as Lemmings, Civilization, Sim City, The Settlers, Pinball Fantasies, Dungeon Master, Secret of Monkey Island and so forth. These are all games which I feel are wholly playable by today's standards and likely also had some lasting impact on gaming and games design.
I also took some time to draw some summary charts, to see if I could recognise any trends.
The first chart (https://imgur.com/P2azEZB) really just summarises the table above but I think makes most clear that the peak Amiga gaming years, with the most worthwhile games coming out, were 1991, 1992 and 1993. It's also interesting that the peak year I judged contained the most true classics was 1991 and it tails off from then, albeit slowly. Personally, I'd expected the peak year for classics to line up with the peak year of releases but maybe 1991 was a stronger year for Amiga games design. Though of course these figures are very rough, and very subjective so there may not be much to be said there.
But one of the things I really wanted to look at was whether games were getting better designed over time. My general sense is that the further back you go the worse the quality of games design gets and by the time you reach the 8bit era many games, even fondly remembered classics, play terribly given what we're now used to. Few that are really worth playing for fun today and often times it's mostly just the nostalgia hit we're getting. The Amiga is an interesting platform as it is one of the few machines that fully straddles both the 8bit and 16bit games design eras. It was released in 1985 among a mostly 8bit games market and survived nearly a full decade in to the 16bit console era. That's quite unusual, especially when console generations would soon fix on a 4-5 year life/release cycle.
Which brings me to my second chart, https://imgur.com/QEDGf8E. Here I'm plotting the percentage of worthwhile or classic games. The blue line I think is the take home message, this is the number of games that are still worthwhile to play today but as a percentage of the high rated games from that year which I played. Personally I think this shows a clear upward trend, that regardless of the total number of highly rated games in a given year the underlying year-on-year trend in quality was always increasing. Personally I understand that in terms of games programming and design becoming a more professional practice. Designers/coders had an increasing body of knowledge to draw on, it's becoming a professionalised and larger industry, with more people it's easier and easier to learn from one another and so on. One thing I felt I noticed, though it isn't visible in the chart, was a real upward shift in quality around 1991. I don't think it is a coincidence that this is shortly after the Sega Megadrive and SNES show up. So much of what we think of as "playability" arrives with those consoles.
The two yellow and red lines in the second chart show the number of classics aa a percentage of either the worthwhile (yellow) or total played games (red). Interestingly these peak here is in 1989 and not 1991 as per the previous chart. Perhaps this suggests that 89 was the Amiga's most creative game years.
Last of all if you're interested in my list of games here's a pastebin with them in. At the top you'll find the games I felt were true classics. And all the remaining worthwhile games are listed below. Obviously this is wholly subjective. I will freely admit flight sims and strategy games are sorely under-represented (and I've always really hated many of the SSI games people love).
Subject: This is insane!