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AlarCity - for Vampire?page  1 2 3 

John Tsakiris

Posts 6
30 Dec 2017 12:29


@A1200 Coder:
Thanks, very nice suggestions regarding sprites on high-end classic Amigas! Logically that's the way to go. On the other hand, the thing is that Alarcity relies heavilly on AGA sprites (player and projectiles) and copper for changing the sprites palette on the fly, so it gets a bit complicated.

Also note the project is made in Blitz2 (with a bit of ASM) so, there may be bottlenecks as to what we can do (also due to inexperience as well).

Regarding RTG and AHI, we're seriously considering supporting those with the current game after many Next gen users have requested them. But alas, this is just for greater compatibility with those systems, does not mean the game will run at higher color depth or resolution. For this to happen the complete game will need to be largely remade from scratch, levels redesigned and the gfx replaced with new ones. Which is (almost) as much of a work as making a completely new game.

As for multiplayer... ahem :)
Please keep in mind we're just a tiny team. Making a game as complex as Alarcity is already a huge project on it's own and there's only so much we can do ;)
 


Mr Niding

Posts 209
30 Dec 2017 12:40


With regards to RTG;

Wont Gold 3 support AGA thru HDMI, so you it wont be critical from a userfriendly point of view?
Having RTG is ofcourse nice, but there might be other aspects that could enhance the gameplay expirience, that wont require a big rewrite of the core gamecode...?

This is just a comment from a non-coder point of view, but Im halfway thinking that RTG support might be better for your next gameproject, where you build the engine from the ground up WITH RTG functionality available.
A foundation for future games beyond the next one etc.


John William

Posts 230
30 Dec 2017 16:17


Mr Niding wrote:

  With regards to RTG;
   
    Wont Gold 3 support AGA thru HDMI, so you it wont be critical from a userfriendly point of view?
    Having RTG is ofcourse nice, but there might be other aspects that could enhance the gameplay expirience, that wont require a big rewrite of the core gamecode...?
   
    This is just a comment from a non-coder point of view, but Im halfway thinking that RTG support might be better for your next gameproject, where you build the engine from the ground up WITH RTG functionality available.
    A foundation for future games beyond the next one etc.
 

 
  Aaaand.....one online support with ketchup please. - grin -
 
 
  I am thinking we should look into the future...my thinking and I could be wrong here...but we should only focus on making Vampire exlusive titles as eventually majority of the market if not the old but new will be there.
 
  Why would a person be stuck with a stock (-cough-)...Amiga when that person can turn it into a new Amiga is beyond me? Please don't tell me the very insane fanatic who believe a stock 020 Amiga or Billzard 1230 is far real and better than Vampire 68080 should have a say in the market. Please...please don't tell me that. We should focus now and going on..on new RTG titles...we need brand new native RTG titles..and exploit Pamela when it comes out. But that is me.
 


Mr Niding

Posts 209
30 Dec 2017 17:38


@John
 
  Amiga scene is still a extremely small market, so even for a hobby project that are just looking to recoupe the cost of sigarettes and coffe during the development cycle, they might see the need to gather for both legacy hardware AND Vampire. Makes perfect sense to me, if their gamedesign allows easy scalability.
 
  Indiegame style games like Lumberjack, Huenison or Blocky Skies which are at some levels simple, but got complex/entertaining playability seems like obvious types of games that can be made for legacy and Vampires, espesially if the developers make engine frameworks for both "platforms". No need to permanently ditch any version then.
 
  Imho.


Lord Aga
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 54
30 Dec 2017 18:52


John Tsakiris wrote:

  Please keep in mind we're just a tiny team. Making a game as complex as Alarcity is already a huge project on it's own and there's only so much we can do ;)

Don't stress too much. Just do the enhancements you are comfortable with. Everyone will appreciate it and be happy.
Except Kolla of course :)


Thierry Atheist

Posts 610
30 Dec 2017 19:11


I'm with John William on this one!

There are ~17,000 members in the Amiga group on facebook.

There were anywhere from 5,000,000 to 7,000,000 Amigas (all models combined) released.

There are probably no more than 50,000 still working Amigas worldwide, all models combined.

Most want BETTER hardware than what they (had) have and most of it will fail in the next 5 to 15 years, probably too.

Vampire has interest of over 2,000 units..... and when/if they can lower the price, it will SKYROCKET in sales. It will be the dominant AMIGA system in the very near future.

RTG? How many on-screen simultaneous colours does S-AGA support? I MUCH prefer that AMIGA sound format files and S-AGA colour schemes be used.

I do want to get an AlarCity for Vampire version too.

P.S. But yeah, as Lord Aga said. Do what fits your comfort zone. Your next (Vampire aware) game made ought to be VERY interesting, though!


John Tsakiris

Posts 6
31 Dec 2017 00:39


Mr Niding wrote:

With regards to RTG;
 
Wont Gold 3 support AGA thru HDMI, so you it wont be critical from a userfriendly point of view?

No, obviously not for Vampire owners. It's important though (as it seems) f.e. for Morph OS users as they could then run the game 'natively' without using UAE.

Other than that, it's interesting to ask: Has anyone tried to run the latest Alarcity demo from his Vampire yet?

Mr Niding wrote:

Having RTG is ofcourse nice, but there might be other aspects that could enhance the gameplay expirience, that wont require a big rewrite of the core gamecode...?

Right, that's the second option I mentioned.

Mr Niding wrote:
  Amiga scene is still a extremely small market, so even for a hobby project that are just looking to recoupe the cost of sigarettes and coffe during the development cycle, they might see the need to gather for both legacy hardware AND Vampire. Makes perfect sense to me, if their gamedesign allows easy scalability.

Exactly. Unfortunately, not only the Amiga scene is small but the software market (both supply and demand) is also severely underdeveloped in comparison to the hardware one. We need to strive harder to balance this basically.

Lord Aga wrote:

  Don't stress too much. Just do the enhancements you are comfortable with. Everyone will appreciate it and be happy.

Heh ;)
 


Mallagan Bellator

Posts 233
31 Dec 2017 02:29


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

A1200 coder wrote:

  What good does RTG support bring to the majority of the Amigas,
 

 
  I think an interesting question is, does the majority already have RTG support or will the majority of active AMIGAs users have RTG soon?
 
 
 

I have RTG... I would like all games being able to chose a screenmode, if not just for the sake of being able to chose where the game screen ends up


John William

Posts 230
31 Dec 2017 02:42


Mallagan Bellator wrote:

Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

 
A1200 coder wrote:

  What good does RTG support bring to the majority of the Amigas,
 

 
  I think an interesting question is, does the majority already have RTG support or will the majority of active AMIGAs users have RTG soon?
 
 
 
 

  I have RTG... I would like all games being able to chose a screenmode, if not just for the sake of being able to chose where the game screen ends up

I am in love with rtg games!! Not to say custom chipset games are bad..no no no they are super cool because they always remind me of Commodore 64/Commodore Amiga of the good old days and that always flood my body with pleasure drugs and gives me a huge smile...but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE RTG GAMES LIKE LOTS OF THEM, please.


Mallagan Bellator

Posts 233
31 Dec 2017 02:44


John William wrote:

 
  Why would a person be stuck with a stock (-cough-)...Amiga when that person can turn it into a new Amiga is beyond me? Please don't tell me the very insane fanatic who believe a stock 020 Amiga or Billzard 1230 is far real and better than Vampire 68080 should have a say in the market. Please...please don't tell me that. We should focus now and going on..on new RTG titles...we need brand new native RTG titles..and exploit Pamela when it comes out. But that is me.
   

To be perfectly honest with you, an 030 or at least 040 cpu is quite enough, if not more than enough, for a game like that, and as a game developer, you’d wanna make the game available to as many users as possible. Not everyone will be able to afford a vampire right away just like that, but many also have either 030 or 040


Samuel Crow
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 265
31 Dec 2017 11:43


Mallagan Bellator wrote:

John William wrote:

   
    Why would a person be stuck with a stock (-cough-)...Amiga when that person can turn it into a new Amiga is beyond me? Please don't tell me the very insane fanatic who believe a stock 020 Amiga or Billzard 1230 is far real and better than Vampire 68080 should have a say in the market. Please...please don't tell me that. We should focus now and going on..on new RTG titles...we need brand new native RTG titles..and exploit Pamela when it comes out. But that is me.
   
 

  To be perfectly honest with you, an 030 or at least 040 cpu is quite enough, if not more than enough, for a game like that, and as a game developer, you’d wanna make the game available to as many users as possible. Not everyone will be able to afford a vampire right away just like that, but many also have either 030 or 040

I agree.  As long as the drivers are AMMX accelerated that should be enough boost for an AHI/RTG game to do well on the Vampire.  It raises the bar of the least common denominator to something more impressive.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 3079
31 Dec 2017 12:04


I have the impression you talk about 2 different games.
 
If you aim for stock AGA AMIGA then a game like this
can have a resolution of 320x240 with 256 colors max.
And you do NOT have the blit-power to redraw the whole screen each frame - this means the game engine has to limit redraw on borders
and use HW scoll the move the screen.
 

If you aim for VAMPIRE AMIGA with SAGA, then such game
could have 800x600 resolution with 65000 colors.
You have enough blit power to re-render every single pixel per frame. This means you can animate the whole screen constantly,
and are not limited to only re-render border areas.
This means you can do a complete different game concept.
 
So we talk here about 2 complete different sets of GFX.
Making 2 complete different versions of the game - is a lot to ask.




Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 732
31 Dec 2017 14:09


There could be 3 roads:
     
      - Enhancing current AGA edit to 640 or even 800x600 256 col. using CPU as draw muscle. End game could work great on 040 AGA systems and Vamps ("high end Amiga edit" and Vamps since GOLD3 core)
     
      - Redoing game to RTG, enabling high res 65 000 col. play on any RTG based Amigas, including high res modes for Vamps ("Vampire HD")
     
      - Have completely separated Vamp edit that could be RTG 16/24-bit, AMMX and 080 ASM optimised effects and expanded for 128mb fast Amigas, to make most of it, as "Vampire edition" of games.
     
      Depends on planning market estimates, all is doable. Is Vamp market worthwile of option 3) is always left to authors. Same was when AGA was introduced - how much game would be enhanced :-) Later on, was OCS/ECS demake worthwile.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 3079
31 Dec 2017 14:37


Vojin Vidanovic wrote:

  There could be 3 roads:
       
  - Enhancing current AGA edit to 640 or even 800x600 256 col. using CPU as draw muscle. End game could work great on 040 AGA systems and Vamps ("high end Amiga edit" and Vamps since GOLD3 core)
     
 

But original AGA chipset, does NOT have the memory bandwith for smooth games in 256 color and 640x480. Smooth AGA action games can be not more than 320x256. CPU speed does not change this.
 


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 732
31 Dec 2017 14:50


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  But original AGA chipset, does NOT have the memory bandwith for smooth games in 256 color and 640x480. Smooth AGA action games can be not more than 320x256. CPU speed does not change this. 
 

 
  That eliminates one choice to either RTG or High end Vampire SAGA :-)
 


John Tsakiris

Posts 6
01 Jan 2018 03:17


@Gunnar:

That's right, essentially it's 2 different games depending on the approach. A Vampire exclusive with larger resolution and more colors would need a complete rewrite/redesign, especially the gfx but also the code and the map design, which is a lot of work to do. This obviously is not going to happen anytime soon (if at all), surely not until current version is complete and released.

Then the other idea is to just include some enhancements.

Basically the current game built to run nicely on stock 020 with 50hz scrolling does a few specific things:
1) It's AGA dual playfield, so we are using 4 seperate palettes: 16 for backgrounds, 16 for bobs, 16 for sprites and 48 for the UIs
2) The game gives priority to scrolling over the bobs refresh rate, which might cause slight flickering to them when the screen is really heavy with action on mahines with no fast-ram.
3) The game uses all 8 sprite channels, 1-2 are used for the player character (attached), 3-5 for his projectiles and 6-8 for the projectile's explosions. The complete sprites palette is changed on the fly, depending on the Weapon/Element type used. Lastly other special effects are also made with the use of sprites (f.e the 'entry' effect on game start where you drop from the sky in a collumn of fire, or picking up the 'storm' god power which causes a barrage of projectile drops form the sky - btw, here also multiplexing is used). 
5) Display is currently set to 256 across. This helps frame rate but is also necessary for the current fetch mode and usage of all sprite channels.
6) Number of max bobs (16x16) per screen is currently set at ~26. This was decided upon our stress tests with unexpanded machines.

So based on the above, the following enhancements could be possible:
a) If dual playfield is gone we could merge the palettes, this practically means I could enhance the maps and enemies with a bit more color (which is easy enough to do).
b) Using player projectiles as bobs, we could add more explosions, more impressive player projectile designs and more colors for those (currently due to the fact they are sprites, they are limited to only 3 colors).
c) Maxing up bobs we could add more decorative stuff per stage, animals, butterflies, birds, plus various extra animations to the tileset (which is now pretty much still), like water anims, tree/wind moves e.t.c. Some of those gfx we have them already but are currently not included for performance reasons.
d) Another idea is to add weather effects like rain or fog.
e) Lastly the display could be largened to 320px accross. This would require some limited redesign of the UIs but it's not a big issue.

Overall it's obviously a bit of extra work to add those but it's things that could (perhaps) be done non the less.

Vojin Vidanovic wrote:

Depends on planning market estimates, all is doable.

Exactly.
Only there are not such estimates yet (which is another reason for this thread). 2500 Vampire users do not translate automatically to 2500 sales (far from it if I may predict) and the real demand is somewhat a grey territory currently. It's more or less the same with the classic 68k scene basically.


Mallagan Bellator

Posts 233
01 Jan 2018 09:34


I could help test the game if you want. I have an A1200 tower with Mediator, Voodoo3 gfx card and Blizzard 1240 (full 040 cpu @40 Mhz) with 64 MB RAM.
Also Soundblaster 128 sound card


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 732
01 Jan 2018 11:05


John Tsakiris wrote:

  Only there are not such estimates yet (which is another reason for this thread). 2500 Vampire users do not translate automatically to 2500 sales (far from it if I may predict) and the real demand is somewhat a grey territory currently. It's more or less the same with the classic 68k scene basically.

True. But yet any game developed for v2 Vampire will work on v4 Vamp, so kind of possible expansion of sales is possible, quite unlike most of stagnate Amiga markets.


Andy Hearn

Posts 36
03 Jan 2018 10:07


Here's the thing.
  From what I figure, even if there is no SAGA/RTG version, and the target platform is "just" 020+AGA, with the gold3 core on a vampire; there is still room for more/bigger sprites as the (4meg)chipram bandwidth is going to be dependent on the Vampire's ram speed(300-600Mb/s?), not the chipset's (2meg)chipram and(14Mhz@32bit=54Mb/s?)speed.
 
  then there is blitter speed. even with no RTG, an 040/060 could outrun the inbuilt blitter. there were games that offered 040/060 software routines instead of blitter rendering, and iirc workbench utils that switched "smart/simple" window rendering between cpu+fastram and blitter+chipram.
 
  So, my understanding is, that even if you don't program specifically for RTG and '080, you can put in more numbers of, more colourfull, and bigger sprites. As the rebuilt SuperAGA in the gold3 core is going to have more horse power to drive it.
 
  or maybe just an FPS issue. maybe you don't have the sprite collision detection running at 50/60hz on aga, but on saga you can, and therefore make everything super sharp and responsive?
 
  I dunno. i'm speculating here as I know almost nothing about development. but I hope I've got my ideas across.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 3079
03 Jan 2018 10:20


Andy Hearn wrote:

Here's the thing.
  From what I figure, even if there is no SAGA/RTG version, and the target platform is "just" 020+AGA, with the gold3 core on a vampire; there is still room for more/bigger sprites as the (4meg)chipram bandwidth is going to be dependent on the Vampire's ram speed(300-600Mb/s?), not the chipset's (2meg)chipram and(14Mhz@32bit=54Mb/s?)speed.

Peak CPU to Chip Memory Busspeed of AMIGA OCS = 3.5 MB/sec
Peak CPU to Chip Memory Busspeed of AMIGA AGA = 7.0 MB/sec



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