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22 Luglio 2019 Postato da: saimo
Blastaway, nuovo gioco per AmigaOS 4 (?)
Ciao a tutti,

volevo informarvi che sto lavorando a un nuovo gioco che potrei rendere disponibile per AmigaOS 4 (il primo build è già disponibile pubblicamente). C'è dietro una lunghissima storia - quella che vedete sotto. Purtroppo, proprio a causa della lunghezza, non ce la faccio a tradurla: spero non vi spiaccia se ve la incollo così com'è.

***

Since the middle of May I've been working on a new game called Blastaway. It isn't finished yet, but it's playable.
Ideally, I would have loved to make it for AGA Amigas, but, instead, the target platform I chose was... Windows (!) Last week, I thought I could make it available for AmigaOS 4, too. So, I ported it and on friday I made an AmigaOS 4 build publicly available.
More about the platforms later: let's look at the game itself, first.

Blastaway will be (hopefully) 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.
Looking at the latest video will let you immediately understand what it is all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILtA75f4GtQ
You can try the game yourself anytime by downloading the latest build from the game's page (it will redirect you to https://retream.itch.io/blastaway, as itch.io is where I'm currently keeping all of my games).

At the moment there is only 1 stage (i.e. world) with its 10 arenas (i.e. levels), but the final game is planned to have 5 stages, for a total of 50 arenas. I have a few more points in my to-do list, but the core of the game is complete.
I'm releasing new builds frequently, so, if you're interested, keep an eye on the page and/or follow the public devlog on the same page or Twitter , LinkedIn , Patreon , TIGForums , YouTube . Whenever possible, I'll provide updates also in this thread.

Now back to the target platforms. There's a long story behind, and I'm going to be totally open about it. I'll try to keep it as short as possible, but still it will unavoidably turn out lengthy. Please bear with me.

I wrote that, ideally, I'd be making Blastaway for AGA Amigas: in fact, that would be the most self-rewarding experience, as I just adore programming the oldschool systems of my childhood/youth - the Amiga and the C64 - and doing that the oldschool way (i.e. direct hardware hitting). Moreover, I've developed a lot on the Amiga, but I have released too little, so my urge to make games for it is boosted further by the motivation of making more stuff of mine available for that machine. And then, I have a number of projects/engines waiting to be used, and I'm really afraid that I'll never have time to do anything with them. Those are the reasons that, less than two years ago, pushed me to return, after years of work on PC (in a general sense) and C64 games, to the classic Amiga and make SkillGrid .
Thus, the fact that I chose to target Windows is quite surprising, isn't it? And there's also another surprising aspect: while my other games are designed to bring innovation, be unlike anything else, and be based on rich and unusual mechanics (that often require massive and detailed manuals), Blastaway is familiar and straightforward, and I'm trying hard to refrain from adding the many gameplay features that my thirst for originality and depth suggests.
The reason for such a sharp (and tormented) turn is simple: I needed to reach the widest audience possible. I've been making anti-mainstream games, some of which for niche platforms (you know which), for a long time, but now I'm in a situation where I really needed to reach lots of people. So, I decided to go more mainstream. Sure, I'd better make real mainstream games, but my heart isn't there and I can't program a single line of code without heart (which is also why I'm not a developer by trade); also, I'm good only at making oldschool games, so Blastaway just had to be retro. Of course, this automatically means reducing the potential audience, but - hey - there are limits to what I can do. Also, the same limits are what rule out mobile platforms and consoles: I just can't find the words to explain how sick I feel at having to learn other platforms/systems/languages; I'm no geek, I'm not interested in technology per se, and I just feel like going crazy when working on systems which are alien to me (especially for projects that aren't my own). It's already a miracle I managed to build my own little, isolated world on top of C and SDL back in 2004, which is what allowed me to make games for PC like BOH , Huenison , KOG - and now Blastaway.

So, why do I need to reach a wide audience?
In the middle of 2016 I quit my job and returned to Italy to offer support to my seriously ill father and my mother. Returning to such country (and, in particular, the south part of it) automatically meant one thing: being unemployed or enslaved. I've had interviews, went through job selections, worked briefly for a certain company... all indecent, unspeakable experiences. Seeing how there's one thing that, even in this place, seemed to flourish, I decided to become a professional pizza maker. I've followed an expensive course and toured around making pizzas for about a year and a half; unfortunately, even this occupation fell in the category "slavery", so I quit. I've also written a book and looked for a publisher, but since in this rotten country publishers ask you money to publish a book (they run their companies with the authors' capital... now that's a smart business model!), I could only find a very small publisher willing to publish the book without getting paid: the book was indeed published , but the fact that the publisher was so small also meant that the book remained unknown (on top of that, I didn't get support from the people who had told me they'd help me with promoting the book). Basically, for about three years my only income was the little money that comes from my games, which is just pocket money (to give you an idea, just think that the [u] all-time [/u] [u] gross [/u] revenue of [u] all [/u] my games on itch.io is a miserable $1389.84 USD). Basically, the only thing that allowed me to go on was that I was again at my parents' place: they gave me food to eat and a bed to sleep in - and, let's not forget it, the electricity to make my games.
(At least, my unemployment had the positive side of leaving me plenty of time to work on my projects: in fact, I have updated and re-released all my games, published the special physical editions of BOH and Huenison, had the heavily-expanded version of MAH published on cartridge and floppy, and even created SkillGrid from the scratch and have it published on CD and floppies.)
On May 5th a radical change happened: my father died (after years of ever-increasing physical/psychological/spiritual pain). Therefore, I could finally leave (for the third time) this devastated country and build a present and a future for myself somewhere else. Well, not really: I just couldn't leave my mother alone all of a sudden! I decided to stay a few more months so that she could deal with the loss more easily, and also to assist her with the burden of the bureaucratic matters. But then another thought came: I'd be far away just when she would need me most, that is, during the last part of her life. That will be hard for both, although she can't wait to see me begin to live again and will support any decision I'll take. I told myself: OK, for once, don't make the game you want, but the game that people want! As unlikely as it can be - who knows - maybe this time around you'll achieve a significant commercial success and be able to stay. Well aware of how nearly impossible that is, especially with an indie game of my kind, still I had a few months to give it a try: so, I (sadly) put aside my classic Amiga and C64 projects and started Blastaway. And not just that: to obtain the maximum visibility, as mentioned already, I also started keeping a frequently updated devlog, releasing pictures, videos, and builds, using the variety of channels listed above (plus Facebook, which I have recently gotten rid of due to personal data abuse). All that promotional activity requires a lot of work, which I honestly don't enjoy and I'd rather dedicate to the game itself. Finally, I never said that the game would be commercial: I haven't taken a decision yet, and actually one of the options was - and still is - that the game remains free, to really reach as many gamers as possible (in that case, what I'd earn is publicity, sales of my other games, and a chance to be noticed by some important player in the game industry).

Did I succeed? The answer is a big fat NO. In 64 days, Blastway had only 334 views and 60 downloads (and that's including multiple visits and downloads by who is somewhat interested in the game). There's only one word for this: failure.
I know it's going to be unpleasant to hear, but since I'm being 100% honest, I can't hide that such failure is the reason why the idea of making an AmigaOS 4 port came: I thought that I could get support from a small community that knows me already and that wants new software. By "support" I don't mean "sales", because, as said, the game might stay free and because the community is too small anyway, but the community might help a lot with spreading the word and attracting people outside of it, and also provide ideas regarding how to promote the game and reach others in the rest of the world.
That said, of course, giving the AmigaOS 4 community another game is an additional pleasure for me.

In conclusion: hey, I'm making a new game for AmigaOS 4, are you interested in it and would you help me let the rest of the world know about it? Please let me hear your comments and ideas, both about the game and about how to promote it, and let other people know!

Of course, you don't have to give support, nor must you necessarily like the game. If the game fails to generate enough interest in the community, I'll just acknowledge it and drop the AmigaOS 4 version.
Anyway, I'll do my best to get the game finished: it's something I personally and strongly want, even if nobody ever played it. I don't know how long it will take, and I'm afraid there will be soon major delays as I'll start looking for a job abroad at the beginning of August, but I really want to get it done (just like it happened to Huenison: I had started it when I was in Italy, then moved abroad three months later, and eventually finished and released it).

Finally, a few notes:
* I chose AmigaOS 4 because, quite simply, that's the only NG system I've ever had;
* please don't ask for ports to other systems: I can't take that burden (supporting two platforms is already demanding, and with BOH I've learned that increasing the number of supported systems beyond two is insane);
* please don't offer to make ports for other systems: also that, for several reasons, takes time and energies;
* please don't be offended if I don't answer to requests/observations about ports: I can't afford to get involved in conversations about something that isn't going to happen anyway;
* if you have a non-IT job for me in a Nordic country, please let me know!

Modificato il 12/11/2019 alle ore 19:43:59

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Commento 161
amiwell79 13 Novembre 2019    12:22:10
bh[ ho fatto il compleanno anch'io hhi

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saimo 13 Novembre 2019    13:40:45
@farox68

Grazie e prego


@amiwell79

Ieri? Auguri!

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Commento 163
aleghid 14 Novembre 2019    11:41:27
Qui parlano di Blastaway sul forum Apollo-Core:

http://apollo-core.com/knowledge.php?b=3¬e=25168&z=h301aZ

Vorrebbero avere il gioco per 68k. So che hai detto che non succederà, ma magari ti può interessare interagire nella discussione.

Commento modificato il 14/11/2019 alle ore 11:41:58


Vampire Italia Forum Link



“Will that thing never die?” Cit. Linus Torvalds

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Commento 164
saimo 14 Novembre 2019    13:31:03
Citazione
Qui parlano di Blastaway sul forum Apollo-Core:

http://apollo-core.com/knowledge.php?b=3¬e=25168&z=h301aZ

Vorrebbero avere il gioco per 68k. So che hai detto che non succederà, ma magari ti può interessare interagire nella discussione.

Grazie della segnalazione. Avevo notato la discussione poche ore fa e ho dato qualche risposta.
Siccome continuo a ricevere richieste di port, ho postato quanto segue un po' dappertutto - immagino possa interessare anche a voi.

***

I've been asked by email, on itch.io, on YouTube, and on various forums to port Blastaway to other platforms, and I've also read some misinformation somewhere, so I thought I'd better give a complete and clear answer everywhere.

I'm not going to port Blastaway to any other platform.

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).

kaffeine

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Commento 165
kaffeine 14 Novembre 2019    16:45:39
Citazione

Citazione
Qui parlano di Blastaway sul forum Apollo-Core:

http://apollo-core.com/knowledge.php?b=3¬e=25168&z=h301aZ

Vorrebbero avere il gioco per 68k. So che hai detto che non succederà, ma magari ti può interessare interagire nella discussione.

Grazie della segnalazione. Avevo notato la discussione poche ore fa e ho dato qualche risposta.
Siccome continuo a ricevere richieste di port, ho postato quanto segue un po' dappertutto - immagino possa interessare anche a voi.

***

I've been asked by email, on itch.io, on YouTube, and on various forums to port Blastaway to other platforms, and I've also read some misinformation somewhere, so I thought I'd better give a complete and clear answer everywhere.

I'm not going to port Blastaway to any other platform.

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).



Beh Saimo lancio una cosiderazione senza rifletterci troppo, visto che è intervenuto anche Gunnar; se ti spediscono una v4 standalone (che poi ti resta) e come dice lui è sufficente ricompilare con ""compile cpu=68000"" (non è mai così semplice, lo so) , Why not?

Commento modificato il 15/11/2019 alle ore 05:27:48


Vampire Italia

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Commento 166
saimo 14 Novembre 2019    17:13:44
Citazione
Beh Saimo lancio una cosiderazione senza rifletterci troppo, visto che è intervenuto anche Gunnar; se ti sepdiscono una v4 standalone (che poi ti resta) e come dice lui è sufficente ricompilare con ""compile cpu=68000"" (non è mai così semplice, lo so) , Why not?

A parte che non basta ricompilare come dicono loro, gli altri motivi rimangono validi.

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Commento 167
amiwell79 14 Novembre 2019    19:48:23
si saimo li ho fatti il 13 ieri

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Commento 168
saimo 14 Novembre 2019    20:03:01
Citazione
si saimo li ho fatti il 13 ieri

OK. Allora, anni a parte, ti precedo di un giorno.

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Commento 169
amiwell79 14 Novembre 2019    21:33:24
bhè auguri allora

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Commento 170
Kyle 14 Novembre 2019    23:20:59
Citazione

Citazione
Beh Saimo lancio una cosiderazione senza rifletterci troppo, visto che è intervenuto anche Gunnar; se ti sepdiscono una v4 standalone (che poi ti resta) e come dice lui è sufficente ricompilare con ""compile cpu=68000"" (non è mai così semplice, lo so) , Why not?

A parte che non basta ricompilare come dicono loro, gli altri motivi rimangono validi.



Prova a rispondere che non hai una V4, vediamo se te elargiscono una

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Commento 171
saimo 14 Novembre 2019    23:33:04
Citazione
Prova a rispondere che non hai una V4, vediamo se te elargiscono una

Non cambierebbe niente.

Commento modificato il 14/11/2019 alle ore 23:33:30

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Commento 172
divina 14 Novembre 2019    23:55:57
@Kyle
Il punto è che c’è chi impazzirebbe per poter avere una Vampire e chi invece se gli venisse regalata forse la accenderebbe una volta giusto per curiosità, ovvero tutto è soggettivo, relativo
Se una persona desidera programmare in un certo modo (e lo fa con passione, come in questo caso), non puoi “costringerlo” a fare un qualcosa di utile (giustamente dal tuo punto di vista)
I programmatori poi a volte sono anche particolarmente creativi, quindi devono seguire il loro istinto, la loro “linea poetica” del momento, non puoi cercare di indirizzarli in modo troppo schematico; spero di essere riuscito a rendere idea, senza offendere alcuno

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Commento 173
Kyle 15 Novembre 2019    00:02:03
Ci mancherebbe, Saimo ha già espresso chiaramente il suo pensiero e lo ha detto anche ad Apollo Team.

La mia era una semplice curiosità di capire se Gunnar sarebbe disposto a regalare una V4 a Saimo pur di vedere convertito il suo gioco per la loro piattaforma

Sicuramente sarebbe un attestato di stima nei suoi confronti non indifferente

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divina 15 Novembre 2019    01:11:57
Citazione

Gunnar sarebbe disposto a regalare una V4 a Saimo pur di vedere convertito il suo gioco per la loro piattaforma


e se ne ha anche una in più che gli avanza ... a me manca

Citazione

Sicuramente sarebbe un attestato di stima nei suoi confronti non indifferente


indubbiamente

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Commento 175
saimo 15 Novembre 2019    11:07:23
@divina

Citazione
Il punto è che c’è chi impazzirebbe per poter avere una Vampire e chi invece se gli venisse regalata forse la accenderebbe una volta giusto per curiosità, ovvero tutto è soggettivo, relativo
Se una persona desidera programmare in un certo modo (e lo fa con passione, come in questo caso), non puoi “costringerlo” a fare un qualcosa di utile (giustamente dal tuo punto di vista)
I programmatori poi a volte sono anche particolarmente creativi, quindi devono seguire il loro istinto, la loro “linea poetica” del momento, non puoi cercare di indirizzarli in modo troppo schematico; spero di essere riuscito a rendere idea, senza offendere alcuno

Se per "alcuno" pensavi a me, e perché mai mi sarei dovuto offendere? Tranquillo.
Comunque, parte di quanto dici si applica a me in generale e anche nel caso specifico. Ma c'è anche molto altro.

Commento modificato il 15/11/2019 alle ore 11:07:37

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Commento 176
saimo 15 Novembre 2019    11:13:00
Citazione
La mia era una semplice curiosità di capire se Gunnar sarebbe disposto a regalare una V4 a Saimo pur di vedere convertito il suo gioco per la loro piattaforma

Spero nessuno si faccia venire l'idea, perché sinceramente non ce la faccio più di rispondere. Quasi per tutti i miei giochi mi sono stati chiesti port.

Citazione
Sicuramente sarebbe un attestato di stima nei suoi confronti non indifferente

Però non me ne farei niente...

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