Saturday, November 26, 2016

Project Starfighter on X1000

Today I took a look at a recently released game for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition on my AmigaOne X1000 called Project: Starfighter!

This is an interesting shoot-em-up game by Parallel Realities (ported by AmigaBlitter), which you can download from here.

After downloading an extracting there are a few more files you need to also download in order for the game to run.

You need to download libfreetype.lha from and from the extracted drawer (I extracted it to RAM:), use the shell to copy the Freetype2/SDK/local/newlib/lib/ to SOBJS:

Then you need to download three more .so files from this Google Drive repository here.

Copy these three updated SDL2 lib .so files into the SOBJS: location using the shell.

Last but not least from the shell you need to assign SF: to the drawer where you extracted the Project Starfighter archive on your system. Add this assign to the s:user-startup so you don't have to do it again.

Ok, now we can launch the game from it's drawer - it can run on Sam440/460 AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition systems too although I have not tried this:

As the game starts a quick intro gets us into the story of the game - being a shoot-em up the story is pretty short!

We are then presented with the main menu of the game, and things are looking and sounding great already - nice music in this game!

Options menu lets you change the sound/music, full screen mode (recommend turning this on), auto pause and using software instead of hardware rendering.

Starting the game you can choose the difficulty level:

Background story is explained (ESC to skip) and then it is into the game proper!

Mission objective is displayed:

The game itself is a defender style shoot em up, with some tough enemies to shoot. I got into it right away:

Each mission has objectives - collecting items, cash, destroying mines, destroying enemies, etc.

Once you clear the first mission you see the main screen you work from during the game.

Within the current system it shows which planet in the system you are currently stationed at. You can also save your game from here, which I took the opportunity to do!

You can see the missions available to you to completed and which planet they are on. You may need to travel to another planet in the system to do that mission, or there may be more than one mission on the particular planet so pay attention to the locations:

If you have uncompleted missions on the planet you are currently located on, you can immediately start the next mission as below:

You can also upgrade your ship's weapons if you have sufficient cash and reached a sufficient stage in the game.

I move on to the next mission:

All done! This is a fun game to play I have to say!

Next mission awaits:

This is at another planet so I click on the planet in the solar system map, and then click on the left icon to go to the Destination Planet:

I can then complete the next mission:

I include a Youtube clip I took and uploaded of the gameplay as it is hard to capture in screen grabs alone.

As you can see it is a fast paced game and a lot of fun to play. I found it quite addictive! The sound and effects are great!

For a free game, this is an excellent first release by AmigaBlitter (needs some help on the installation though). It is recommended to try this out on your AmigaOne X1000! :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Whyalla Railway Station

I was in Whyalla on business this month and took the opportunity to visit the remains of the former Whyalla passenger Railway Station.

I am a bit sketchy on the exact closing date, but my understanding is that the station closed in December 1990 along with the passenger services from Adelaide to Whyalla (via Port Augusta).

The railway line itself is still in active use today by Arrium Steelworks mining operation in Whyalla, and the trains run past the former Whyalla station on their way to/from the Steelworks facility.

It seems a real shame that we can't have a passenger service from Adelaide to Whyalla any more, especially when the line servicing Whyalla is still in active use today, unlike many of the closed country lines in South Australia.

The station itself is no longer signposted anywhere, and there is one dirt road from the main road into Whyalla leading to it, also unmarked. I needed to use Google Maps to locate the station, since without any signage (and being hidden away from the road behind trees) it was hard to find.

It is not that close to the Whyalla township, which seems a strange decision given the rails go much closer than this to Whyalla. I found the station eventually though, and parked nearby.

Here is the view towards the station platform, with the wooden fence (and iron mesh) on the platform intact but obviously no longer maintained.

As I walked onto the station platform I could see the Station sign, plants and concrete chairs were still present.

Here are some close up photos of the Whyalla Station platform signage:

This is the view from the Platform towards Port Augusta end:

Some motorcyclist has clearly decided to use the platform for doing burnouts at some point...

This is what is left of the former Whyalla Railway Station building. Sadly it was demolished sometime between 2009 and 2012 so I didn't get to see can see the large station building that was there on Johnny's pages website here.

Some alternative photos of the former station building site:

Some remnants still remain of the flooring - I guess the toilets?

Here is the view from the Whyalla station platform towards Whyalla:

Turning around and looking back towards Whyalla I took a few more shots from the platform - I am guessing no one is likely to sit in this chair:

View across the platform towards the running track:

Some last views of the Whyalla platform looking towards the Port Augusta end:

Some running track shots to finish up:

I was keen to see this station having not been to Whyalla before, and I was glad to be able to finally see it. Would be better if you could still catch trains at it of course...