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RETREAM

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A member registered Sep 07, 2016 · View creator page →

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No, sorry: my games are like children to me, so I can't accept that there are unsupported/lesser/different versions around; in addition to that, also letting others do the port requires collaboration and verification from me, and, as already said, that's another no-go.
(Mind you, all I'm saying in this thread holds true for any game and any platform.)

THE CURE community · Created a new topic About the music
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A few times I've been asked questions about the music, so here's some detailed technical information:

  • it lasts 5 minutes and 23.2 seconds;
  • the original data is 48000 Hz, 16 bit, 12 real stereo channels;
  • for the demo, the data has been downsampled to 28867 Hz (the Amiga maximum in 15 kHz screen modes, for who isn't familiar with the machine's capabilities) 8 bit stereo;
  • therefore, the raw data amounts to (5*60 + 23.2) * 28867 * 2 = 18659628 bytes;
  • I compressed the data with a custom lossless method (Huffman-based) that brings it to 10902907 bytes (5429340 left + 5473567 right);
  • the data is decompressed in real time by an algorithm I wrote specifically for an unexpanded A1200, as I needed it for SkillGrid;
  • every frame, the algorithm decompresses just slightly more than the amount of data strictly needed (so, after a bunch of frames, the internal buffers are full and the decompression stops for a frame);
  • on my 68030-equipped Amiga, decompressing takes about 42 rasterlines, i.e. about 14% of a frame time.

The close-to-the-original version can be listened to from SoundCloud:

Hi all,

last saturday I released an Amiga demo (i.e. a demoscene production, not a preview of a game) at the oldskool demo compo of the Solskogen 2020 demoparty, and it ended up ranking 1st!

For technical reasons, the best way to enjoy it is to run it on a real Amiga, but if you don't have a suitable computer you can also watch it at decent quality in this video:

For plenty of information and the download, just have a look at the demo's page here on itch.io.

Enjoy the deep audiovisual journey!

I'm absolutely happy to hear you welcomed my thoughts and appreciated my effort. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

I'm sorry, this version is not available to the public.

Thanks a lot :)

Yep, I'm trying to stay safe... I'm staying home! That's what I wholeheartedly suggest to everybody, even if their country is not enforcing that by law (yet). The coronavirus threat must not be underestimated.

Take care!

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Thank you for buying the game and the nice words!

The currently available levels are rather hard indeed.  The CLIFFS level is the only level available in the IIm version (because that has to fit in 16 kB), so it couldn't be easy, otherwise the game would have been too short. Since it's difficult, it has been placed as the next-to-the-last level in the IIo version - this means that it will be preceded by easier levels. Suggestion: try also the FORTRESS level: although it's supposed to be the last one, currently it is incomplete and, for that reason, at the moment it's a little bit easier than the CLIFFS levels.
For further information, if you haven't already, please check out the notice (which, among other things, says a bit more about the levels) and the manual (which, among other things, gives a few precious tips away) included in the preview itself.

Sorry, there are no keyboard controls.

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No, it's available only as an EasyFlash cartridge image (.crt).

After some months, the deluxe edition is back in stock on the RGCD store!


Thanks!
BTW, never said or even thought that MorphOS users are bad ;)

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Hi papiosaur,

I'm glad that you find Blastaway fun. Thanks.
Your offer is incredibly kind and I can't thank you enough for that. However, I have to turn it down for some of the reasons explained in the previous post. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Great to hear you've found a solution! Thanks for having shared it!

Have fun!

For everybody's convenience, I'm posting the result of a little investigation.
itchtoplay kindly ran a test program I gave him to check how the joysticks were reported to Blastaway. The resulting report was this:

number of devices found: 3
device: 0
 analogue axes: 2
 digital hats: 0
 balls: 0
 buttons: 3
 not suitable
device: 1
 analogue axes: 2
 digital hats: 0
 balls: 0
 buttons: 8
 not suitable
device: 2
 analogue axes: 2
 digital hats: 0
 balls: 0
 buttons: 10
 not suitable

Basically, SDL reports that the shaft of the joysticks is analog, not digital, which explains why they aren't suitable to Blastaway. As discussed in the previous post, the problem originates somewhere between the joysticks and the OS (given that they are treated as analog in the system settings).

Should anyone experience the same problem, I can only suggest to check if the joysticks or the OS offer a way to switch from analog to digital.

Glad you like the game and thanks for the feedback!

No, sorry, there won't be a 2 player version. The game is finished and I'll be working on other projects in the future.

Email received, thanks. I'll answer as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, my guess is...

The chain is like this:

joystick -> OS <-> SDL ->Blastaway

The problem probably lies in the fact that something in the joystick -> OS part (I'd say the default OS drivers) make the joysticks look as if they were analogue. As a consequence, SDL and then Blastaway are told that the joystick are analogue.

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Hi uigiflip,

you're absolutely right :D

To be honest, I would have loved to make Blastaway only for AGA Amigas, but I had to go a different route. I'm sorry to say that Blastaway won't land on classic Amigas for several reasons.

In general, other platforms won't be considered because:
 * I can't take the burden of adapting the game and then of offering (future) support (two platforms are already demanding, and with BOH I've learned that increasing the number of supported systems beyond two is insane);
 * porting is boring;
 * help offers aren't of any help (terrible pun intended) because also collaborating, for several reasons, takes time and energies;
 * I don't own all the machines I'm being / I will be asked to port the game to, and for money and logistical reasons I can't get more;
 * I have many other projects (for classic Amiga and Commodore 64) waiting to be resumed, and time and energies are limited.

In particular, a classic Amiga version won't happen because:
 * it couldn't be identical;
 * it would require a huge development effort, as no direct port is possible: the code would have to be written from scratch and the data would have to be adapted;
 * it would require an additional effort for testing, given the variety of hardware configurations;
 * it would require again a big effort in case of updates (if any).

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Hi polluks,

thanks for your interest, but unfortunately Blastaway won't be ported to other platforms because of several reasons:
 * I can't take the burden of adapting the game and then of offering (future) support (two platforms are already demanding, and with BOH I've learned that increasing the number of supported systems beyond two is insane);
 * porting is boring;
 * help offers aren't of any help (terrible pun intended) because also collaborating, for several reasons, takes time and energies;
 * I don't own all the machines I'm being / I will be asked to port the game to, and for money and logistical reasons I can't get more;
 * I have many other projects (for classic Amiga and Commodore 64) waiting to be resumed, and time and energies are limited.

Sorry.

Thanks a lot for the video! From what I see, it looks like the system treats your device as if it were analogue: in fact, a digital device doesn't need calibration at all (each direction is either on or off, so all that's needed is 4 bits) and your test/calibration program assigns an 8 bit value to each axis (0 = left/up; 128 = center; 255 = right/down).
If it's OK with you, tomorrow I'll send you a test program that will show us how the joystick is reported to the game. Can you contact me by email, please?

Calibration settings? Can you show me a screenshot or a video of the calibration process, please?

The installer doesn't have any bearing here. For a joystick/joypad to work, this is what has to happen:

  1. the device must have at least a digital direction control and a digital button;
  2. the device must be correctly detected and handled  by the OS;
  3. the OS must correctly report the joystick to the SDL library (the only third-party component used by Blastaway);
  4. the SDL library must correctly handle what reported by the OS.

Unfortunately, I don't have any control over the above, as the Blastaway program sees only what reported by the SDL library.

Glad you like the game!

Thanks for reporting the problem. A question: is one of your joysticks a Competition Pro? The reason I'm asking is that a month ago a user reported that such joystick didn't work and a special test build I provided him with reported this:

devices found: 1
device 0:
axes: 2
hats: 0
balls: 0
buttons: 4
not suitable

Basically, the device was detected, but for some reason it was told to have an analogue shaft (axes: 2) instead of a digital hat (hats: 0). Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do about it as that's what my program is told by OS + SDL library. Then he tried a joypad and everything worked fine.

Some random suggestions:

  • if the option is available, try to change the input method from XInput to DirectInput and viceversa (in theory, both modes should be supported, but who knows);
  • check if there is any configuration option that affects how the joystick is seen/handled by the system;
  • try one joystick at a time.

Thank you!

I'm delighted to announce the release of Blastaway, a highly playable and entertaining arena shooter, gameplay-wise heavily and shamelessly inspired to Wizard of Wor and graphically somewhat inspired to The Chaos Engine. Graphics have been pixelled by hand and music has been tracked as modules to let the player live a true 16 bit experience. And the 50 arenas, spread over 5 different stages, have been designed to make that experience intensely enjoyable... and last long! Are you brave enough to step into the arenas and clear them of the wors they swarm with?

Blastaway runs on AmigaOS 4 and Windows. And it's... free!

https://retream.itch.io/blastaway
https://www.retream.com
https://twitter.com/R37R34M
https://www.patreon.com/RETREAM

Blastaway community · Created a new topic CRT filter
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On Patreon I've been asked to add "scanlines or other filters": well, the good news is that Blastaway has had a (simple) CRT filter since day 1 ;) Check out the picture below (zoom it 1:1 to see how the graphics actually look).


Thanks :)
Today I played the game through an AmigaOne and everything was fine. This weekend I'll keep on playing it to make sure that everything is perfect. I think it's just a matter of days now ;)

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A shrewd and enthusiastic review of SkillGrid appeared on Amiga Future #140 - and the game is even featured on the cover page!


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One day I woke up with the song The Man with the Gun by Press Play On Tape playing in my mind. Somehow, a mental connection was born: how cool would it have been to have a piece of that song as the music for SkillGrid's Music Mode? So, I spent a little time to cut/mix excerpts from the song and to add them to the game. And then I didn't stop there: also all the other music pieces were replaced with parts I extracted and adapted from the same song. This video shows the result - and how good the audio engine of the game is

Important:
* this version of the game is not publicly available;
* the game has its own original soundtrack.

In a thread on a public forum, it was said that no developer does the effort to allow his hardware-hitting Amiga game to quit and return to the OS: well, this is to let you know that SkillGrid does include such function, instead - all that's needed is pressing [ESC] from the title screen. The best efforts were made to take over the machine at startup and release the resources when quitting in the cleanest and most compatible way.

Also, in the same thread, it's said that hardware-hitting games shouldn't really be expected to run flawlessly on all the Amiga setups, given the huge variety of configurations. While it's true that it's impossible to have the game tested on all the configurations out there, again a huge effort was made to have the game running perfectly and in exactly the same way on a wide range of very different machines.

These are the systems (running a variety of AmigaOS versions from 3.1 to 3.9) that SkillGrid has been tested on:

  • A1200
  • A1200 + M-Tec Viper T1230
  • A1200 + Blizzard 1230 MK IV
  • A1200 + Blizzard 603e 68060
  • A4000/040 + Cybervision + Prisma Megamix
  • A4000 + Cyberstorm MK III 68060 + VA2000 + VA2000CX + Buddha IDE + SCSI2SD + network card
  • Amiga CD³²
  • several A4000 68040/68060 UAE configurations

(Many thanks to James Monkman, John Scolieri, Tony Aksnes, and Trevor Dickinson for testing the games on their machines.)

It's worth noting that the release was delayed by a couple of months due to the game crashing randomly and shortly after launch on the second A4000 listed above. It was simply not acceptable to release a product that seemed to suffer from such an issue. After a difficult investigation and countless tests (the machine was 6 time zones afar), it became clear that the problem was AmigaOS being unstable: in fact, a complete reinstallation of AmigaOS solved the problem.

Of course, SkillGrid can't be guaranteed to work on each and every exotic Amiga system out there, but utmost care was put in making it as much compatible as possible, so it's safe to say that it will run fine on any stable AGA Amiga system.

Congratulations on getting it finished, on the faithfullness of the original levels, and on the creativity of the new ones!

Not that fast, but steadily ;)

Hopefully, later today I'll make a new build available (with the HUD).

Blastaway is heavily inspired to Wizard of Wor, but its engine comes from somewhere else. The game reminded a friend of mine of a game prototype I was working on in 1995 for Amiga. He didn't just mention the game, but he also remembered that it was done in a mix of AMOS Professional and assembly: although I've never forgotten about that project, I had never associated it to Blastaway in any way! But hey, he was definitely right - have a look...


Thank you!

https://blog.amigaguru.com/a-look-at-skillgrid-deluxe-edition/

SkillGrid community · Created a new topic Unboxing video
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Check out this unboxing video to see what a great job RGCD did with the deluxe edition!

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SkillGrid is out! There are plenty of shooters around, but none like SkillGrid, an endless score-attack vertical shoot 'em up featuring frenetic, tactical gameplay and comprising of a variety of different sub-games, boss battles, and in-depth scoring mechanics.

It's available for digital download, but it also received a couple of gorgeous physical editions from RGCD.

BASIC EDITION: jewel-cased glass-mastered CD with 16 pages booklet, 2 floppy labels, RETREAM postcard, RGCD postcard, RGCD vinyl sticker.


DELUXE EDITION: clamshell box containing the BASIC EDITION plus 2 floppies, 4 badges pack, A3 poster (optionally rolled in a separate container).


Information and digital download: here on itch.io
Physical editions: https://rgcd.bigcartel.com/product/skillgrid-amiga

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Glad to hear that: thanks! You should see the full package: it's even more alluring ;) However, it will be shown only when the game becomes available for purchase - in the meanwhile, have a look at the previous posts in this devlog to see some more previews.
You'll be able to buy the game from the RGCD store. It should happen shortly, so keep an eye on here and/or follow the RETREAM Facebook page and Twitter channel.

And, yes, Amiga rocks!

Hi there, my name is Simone Bevilacqua, but what you see here is "RETREAM" because that's my games label.

I started programming at age 9 on a Commodore 64, and today I make games for... the Commodore 64! But I also love to make games for the Amiga ;) Moreover, I've made a few game for various PC systems - in retro style, of course.

My games are very different from one another and, well, from anything else out there. If you're curious, just head over to the RETREAM page here on itch.io and have a look.

Cheers!

BOH


Interesting topic, thanks!

I guess that the developer isn't allowed to answer - it wouldn't be possible to choose a mission anyway :p

Lately Queen, the rock band, has conquered the world's attention with their Golden Globe-winning movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Now, has anyone ever noticed that MAH, somewhere, prints out an excerpt from The Prophet's Song (by coincidence, a song from A Night at the Opera, the same album that the song Bohemian Rhapsody is in)? ;) That's meant to be a wicked message that the Purifiers included in the ApocalypShield.


By the way, I had no idea that the movie was in the works when I decided to add this little secret (one of the many MAH hides)! I just happened to have listened to Queen's music (all of it, not just the hit singles) for decades...

Funny note: not even the publishers (RGCD and Protovision) knew about this!

For the future, just please check out the documentation that comes with the game(s) you intend to share.

The same goes for QUOD INIT EXIT: the download archive here contains both the end-user agreement and the manual - just include verbatim copies of those files.