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| Introduction: The AMOS game "The Gate" (in development)
For quite some time now, we have been reporting on Fabio 'Allanon' Falcucci's projects such as the Hollywood GUI system HGUI or the Hollywood utility APPBuilder. After G.E.M.Z., the programmer has now again started writing a game, which he has given the provisional name "The Gate" and is being written with AMOS Professional and AMCAF & Turbo extensions. We asked Fabio to write something about himself, his development history and that of the new action adventure. Thank you very much, Fabio!
"I grew up with the Commodore 64, the mighty C64! This magic box is responsible to have opened my mind to the world of programming, first with it's embedded basic, and then with the incredible Simon's Basic, and I've to say that it was a blessing for my life :)
I still remember when it happened: I was playing with a game and after a while that game crashed reporting a line number error, so I listed the program and I saw all these amazing commands! So what I was doing was to load that game, make it crash and use the Simon's Basic to create my own programs :D At that time there was no Internet, you had to guess and think to learn stuff, or buy magazines!
While having fun with the C64, and later an Amiga 500, I've also faced the dark side at school, where we had an Olivetti M24 we were using to code with GW-Basic. But the Amiga was on another planet, I have a debt with the Amiga 500 because it unleashed my creativity, and I'm now what I am because of this wonderful machine: I started to code seriously on it, learned assembler, started to think logically, composed several tracks with every musical software available at that time and I learned so much that it's impossible to list them all here.
The last step on the Commodore adventure was to upgrade to an Amiga 1200 (that I still have and I still love), and along with the Amiga 500, it has signed my life forever starting to code seriously with AMOS and BlitzBasic.
Time passed, and I bought a PC, and then another, and then another... while the Amiga 1200 was watching me without saying a word :)
After the school I worked as accountant since my school graduation was "programmer-accountant" but being an accountant is soooo boring! I created many VBA (Visual Basic) programs for the companies I worked for and learned modern programming concepts like OOP (Object Oriented Programming).
For a brief period of time I tried the Amiga NG world buying a SAM440ep... well, I was completely confused about this product, I didn't feel at home, and my Amiga 1200 was still there, staring at me, and waiting for my return. After a couple of years I sold the SAM and all my attention was focused into the emulation with WinUAE, when another spark hit my head: Hollywood by Andreas Falkenhahn. I will not describe how good is Hollywood and how many features it has, instead I'll only say that I felt at home with it since when I discovered it I was seriously programming with LUA (Hollywood is based on LUA and has many similarities with it).
I started to code with Hollywood and I ended up building very big projects like HGui (an almost complete GUI tool kit written completely in Hollywood without any plugin) and several libraries, simple Hollywood includes, published on my GitHub. Now I'm a freelance programmer and I'm still using Hollywood for some jobs since this amazing language can compile for almost any machine in the world.
But something was still missing: since Hollywood is not a viable option for old Amigas I tried experimenting with several languages and I ended up with AMOS Pro, my first love :)
I've started to remember it and I started to experiment with it, and a couple of ideas for possible games was born. I always wanted to create something good for the computer that has signed my life, so I started, once again, to code with AMOS Pro.
The project I'm working on in these days is called "The Gate" (temporary name) and I'm trying to create a mix between "Impossible Mission" and "Project Firestart" with my own ideas and concepts with (at least for me) nice results. I've chosen AMOS Pro instead of Blitz for a matter of available free time, I tried to remember Blitz but, well, AMOS memories was still alive in my head :) We are all aware that Blitz is faster, but way more complex than AMOS, but AMOS Pro has a more familiar editor and there are no time critical requirements for the projects I would like to create, so AMOS was a good choice for me.
At this time I'm adding features trying to optimize the code as much as I can, I'm trying to target stock Amiga 1200, but I'm still experimenting because I need to know how far can I go with the logic: I'm still too used with modern programming languages and without CPU restrictions, but with this project every single CPU cycle counts!
Here is a brief description of the main idea: the player is a detective investigating into an huge building, the building is composed by maps connected each other by doors. In every map there are rooms where you can find hints about your investigations, items, terminals you can interact with and of course enemies and NPC you can talk to.
The player control the main character using the keyboard and the mouse, with the keyboard you can move around the main character (w-a-s-d keys) and jump, he can also perform actions (space key) using a special action menu. The mouse is used to aim and shoot (left mouse button) and/or use a secondary item (right mouse button). Keyboards controls are configurable.
I'm planning to add persistence to the maps: you shoot into the walls and the bullet holes are persistent, you destroy a furniture and the furniture is still destroyed when you enter again on that map, and so on.
I have so many ideas, but as I said earlier, I need to determine exactly how far can I go :)
Technically I'm using big images as maps, the one I'm using for testing is 960x600 pixels and the scrolling is achieved using hardware offsets since the cpu cost is almost zero. I've tried using tiles but after having achieved a very smooth multidirectional scrolling I was in trouble with all the stuff I wanted to implement so I've chosen the more-memory-used & less-cpu-used road.
The graphics for the main map screen is 64 colors EHB mode, Lowres and I have built a palette that is studied to make use of special effects like darkening & brightening stuff, and I will be very honest: I got a huge boost to my motivation from the videos published by BitBeamCannon where they have explained some advanced technics used while prototyping their new game "Daemon Claw" on the Amiga.
Right now results seems promising, the latest test I did was with the map I mentioned above had the player (that is already able to move, shoot and jump), fully working collisions with the walls, and 5 animated doors (all of them animated, of course during opening/closing, but also when they are closed or opened). The action-menu has been implemented and the main character is now able to interact with doors.
The graphics are not mine but I bought some assets from itch.io and I give credit to the authors when the project will be completed, I only remapped the colors and changed some frames to my own personal taste :) I will do the soundtrack, that's for sure :P
To finish this very long wall of text here are the biggest obstacles, I've encountered when I decided to start these projects:
You can get an impression of the current state of the game from a small video that the author attached to one of his last Mastodon posts.
On his Patreon page, you can support the author and thank him for past and future projects. (dr)
[News message: 03. Oct. 2023, 15:25] [Comments: 0]
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