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Backstory Sticky

A topic by RETREAM created Jun 25, 2023 Views: 74 Replies: 2
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Developer (1 edit)

In 2003 I wrote a Copper-based screen flipping effect (like the one used to introduce the levels in Project-X) for a new cool game called Cymbix that was being developed with AMOS. Writing the effect gave birth to a whole bunch of ideas, which little by little transformed into a collection of procedures that constituted a small graphics system called XPF (Cross PlayField).
The development however, having started from an effect and having proceeded spontaneously, lacked the necessary rigour that a proper system requires, so I decided to rewrite everything from scratch and created CSS (Custom Screens System). It turned out to be a clean, feature-rich system and worked nicely. I even wrote a few tutorials for it.
CSS did not support sprites, though. While pondering on how to add them, I realized that actually the core design was not good enough and that an alternative one would have allowed sprites and have been more efficient, too. Therefore, I wrote another system: AVS (Advanced Video System). When I was at about 80-90% of the development... I lost the sources. I cannot remember how that happened, but for sure I could not recover them, so only the sources dating back to some days before remained - and a lot of important code was no more. The anger and the frustration, which made me hate the idea of reimplementing what had been lost, coupled with the fact that I was about to move country, killed the project.
The idea of rewriting an old game of mine using CSS - which was good enough for the purpose - kept on lingering in my head through the years. I kind of promised myself I would do that sometime, as a smaller project between bigger ones - provided I could swallow the idea of using a suboptimal system, that is. In fact, in a few occasions, I considered completing AVS first... only to drop the idea immediately: I just could not bother getting acquainted with that old code, maybe discovering that, after all, I would do things differently once again.
Through the years, the ghosts of those systems kept on haunting me. In 2019 I presented CSS to the world with a video preview: it was an attempt at doing justice to the system (and thus hopefully making peace with it) and at forcing myself to complete the work by exposing publicly the waste it represented. It did not work, as I kept on working on other projects - but the ghosts never vanished.
The time to get rid of them came in July 2020 (as they say: better late than never): I designed and implemented a new and proper system from the ground up, and ALS was born.

It's simply an awesome project, being in plain AMOS code, even if not as efficient as assemler code, it's an unvaluable source to learn Amiga internals with the easiness of AMOS basic. Thank you very much for sharing your work!


My pleasure!
And thanks for appreciating and underlining the educational side of the project :)