Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spencer on X1000

Today I am looking at the newly released game Spencer by Entwickler-X for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition on my AmigaOne X1000!

Just the other week we saw the release of Tower-57 on AmigaOS4 and now this week we have another brand new Amiga game! How awesome!

Even more exciting is that this is the first commercial game for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition that uses and requires the new actively developed Warp3D Southern Island chipset library (with compatible Radeon card), OpenGL ES 2 Library, Warp3D Nova library (together with the Radeon HD drivers) released by A-EON Technology.

It is great to see software using the features of this new extended AmigaOS 4.1 functionality. I look forward to many more to come!

The game is available for purchase on AMIStore, Alinea Computers or on Entwickler-X's website here. There is also a demo available on Entwickler-X's website to try out first!

The required Radeon HD drivers and Warp3D Nova libraries are available for purchase on AMIStore, or as a bundled Enhancer Plus offering on AMIStore or on AmigaKit's website as a physical product.

In my case I use the Enhancer Plus software on my X1000, which includes both components amongst many other useful utilities too. I reviewed Enhancer plus v1.1 here as well. There is a newer Enhancer V2 also available since then that I am running currently (I have not reviewed that version)

Important thing to note is that the Radeon HD drivers, OpenGL ES 2 library and Warp3D Nova library are required to be installed, and updated to the latest version recently released. The easiest way to update the software is to use the Updater software, which is included with the Enhancer Plus software. If you don't have this, then updated via AMIStore.

You need to login using the AMIStore (AMISphere) login to use the Updater tool.

Updater allows granular updating of system components and applications rather than having to download the full software from AMIStore every time a small section is updated. You can quickly see the local X1000 version and the latest version available, and status if upgrade is needed or not.

You can see the view changes in the version by clicking on Information when a particular component is highlighted.

You can also review your AMIStore purchases within Updater to see if there are updates available for them also.

With everything updated, I then purchased Spencer via AMIStore, downloaded and extracted the software. The drawer looks like this:

The information.txt covers the tooltypes available on the Spencer icon, and explains that the AmiBoing connection for online high scores (normally on Entwickler-X games) is not available for this game:

Upon launching you get the very colourful moving title screen:

This then progresses to the main menu:

You can navigate Spencer with the keyboard to move to the settings and information sections and Space to select.

Spencer is a classic platform game (jump and run), something the Amiga has always been good at, with so many classic games in the genre on Classic Amiga. On NG Amiga, Spencer brings platformers on the Amiga into the modern age with beautiful 3D graphics that look beautiful and much nicer than any I have ever seen on Amiga before.

In the Information section of the menu, there are some instructions on how to play the game:

In the settings area of the main menu you can adjust the Music, Sound FX, render resolution, whether anti-aliasing is turned on, and other settings too as below.

On my X1000 anti-aliasing works great and look terrific! I have heard it runs even faster on the X5000 but from my playing of it, it works perfect on my X1000.

As the game starts, you can see the first 3 worlds, with only the first level of World 1 unlocked to start with. Additional levels are unlocked as you progress through the levels.

For each level you will see a screen like below, which is populated when you complete it with your achievements for achieving collection of objects, killing enemies, etc. This encourages you to retry levels to perfect your score on each level:

As mentioned earlier, the game itself looks and moves beautifully. Screenshots don't do justice to the colourful 3D graphics in the game:

On completion of the level, as mentioned, the screen for that level updates with your achievements and unlocks the next level to try:

Of course if you are not good at avoiding enemies or ghosts then you quickly end up dead, as I did!

Like Angry birds, there is no limit to the number of retries, so you can keep retrying until you nail each level. This is great as the traditional "lives" model is rarely used in modern games these days.

Here is some more shots from later levels with an iPhone as screengrabs were difficult with moving objects on the screen getting messed up (sorry for the grainy shots).

I do recommend turning the music off though, as it does get a little repetitive after a few levels. Fortunately you can do this in the Settings section on the Main menu.

Things get quickly more difficult, but you can work out each level eventually:

You can pick up boxing gloves and other things along the way that help Spencer out to progress through the levels more easily:

I played thorough the first 5 levels and I definitely want to do more! There are many more levels and worlds to explore in this game!

Spencer is a great game for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition in 2018, with great graphics that use the new Warp3D Nova functionality well. Recommended!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Tower 57 on X1000

This week saw the release of a new AmigaOS4 game Tower 57 by Benitosub (Amiga port by Daytona, AKA Daniel Müßener), which I backed via kickstarter, and now I can try out on my AmigaOne X1000!

It is great to have a brand new original game for AmigaOS4 in 2018!

Hard to believe it is March already! I sincerely apologise for my tardiness in doing blog entries this year. A lot has been happening at work and in my personal and family health that has kept me from blogging this year.

Tower 57 is a run around, find keys and locate the exit game very much in the style of the Classic Amiga game The Chaos Engine (by the Bitmap Brothers), but updated with plenty of modern touches linked to a interesting story.

The good news is that you don't have to be a supporter to get it. It is available to purchase for AmigaOS4 (MorphOS/AROS versions included too) for 11.99USD on here.

AmigaOS4 System Requirements:

AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1, >= 600 MHz, Gfx-card with Compositing support.

MorphOS System, Requirements:

MorphOS >= 3.9 + SDK >= 3.10, >= 600 MHz, Gfx-card with TinyGL support

AROS System Requirements:

x86 (e.g. Icaros Desktop >= 2.2), Gfx-card with Mesa3D support

You can also buy the game for Windows and Mac on Steam too, but of course my focus is on the AmigaOS 4 version!

Once downloaded and extracted, you get the drawer below.

There are versions for AmigaOS4, MorphOS and AROS inside the Tower57 drawer, with the Launch program detecting your system to run the right version, then checking for program updates from the internet and launching.

The Readme.txt explains important notes about the AmigaOS4 version, and includes how to set AmigaOS4 program icon tooltypes to automatically set the screen resolution of the game on launching, rather than having to select it each time, amongst other functions...don't do this on the Launch icon though - it needs to be done on the actual program icon in the Tower57 drawer.

It is a new year, so time for a new background for my X1000 AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1 setup! 

I mentioned before about the auto update feature. In my case on first launch it found and installed a newer version straight away!

The game runs at a number of screen resolutions, but of course I used full screen 1920x1080 :-)

I wanted to do screenshots of the game using AmigaOS4 but I found lots of problems doing it with this game for some reason. I decided to resort to screen photos using my iPhone instead, which unfortunately means it doesn't look as good as I would like it to...sorry about that.

The main title screen and menu, navigated with the keyboard left/right and enter keys. There is an options section that allows you to customise the gameplay, sound, controls and the display in the game.

When you start a new game, you get to select three characters to play in the game:

Each character has different specialties and skills. With the characters selected we then get to choose the difficulty level - I choose easy to start with.

The game begins on a train, and this section explains the backstory to the game and the train takes you to the beginning section of the game proper. You can skip this section.

Arriving into the train station, you get your next instructions and mission goal:

First off we need to get into the Tower itself.

As mentioned, the game itself plays and looks very much like The Chaos Engine. If you played that game on Classic Amiga, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect in Tower 57!

This train station section explains how to get around, control and do things in Tower 57.

You collect money to upgrade your weaponry, restore your health, and plenty more too! Eventually you find your way into the canal:

The graphics, speed and gameplay are great. You use the ASWD keys to move around, and the mouse and button to control the scope for shooting things around you.

First main task in the Sewers is to get out of them! Quite hard, but fun level!

The sewers include secret rooms, tough enemies to beat, switches to press, keys to find to unlock doors, and plenty of other challenges along the way too.

You can pick up interesting weaponry along the way, and ammo for them too of course.

There are areas where you can repair yourself for a fee, as it is possible to damage sections of your body in fighting enemies and these need to be fixed up of course. In this case my legs needing repairing!

All fixed up now.

As mentioned, you find ammo along the way, but you also have the option from time to time to buy ammo, which is very useful when running can get medical repair packs and protective clothing too.

Yeah, the laser weapon is just cool:

By this stage of the sewers I was two characters down with one left. When you lose a character, you switch to the next one of your three. In the scene below you can see the arms shop where you can buy more ammo.

There are also save game points at certain points in the level.

The attention to detail with the graphics is awesome. I love the look and feel of the game. It just feels like an Amiga game should!

Exploring the sewers is a lot of fun too, with the difficulty quickly escalating.

I am pleased to say I got to the end of sewers finally and moved on to the next section of the game - Amor's Den. The classified report help below was useful information, but since I was down to my last player already, not so useful in my case!

So now I have to find General Steele:

There is also a map to help you find your way around - for this level in particular it is useful.

Here is the map display section:

The graphics detail in these levels is really incredible in my opinion:

In this level you can explore inside buildings and shops:

I soon find the weapon shop:

How can I say no to a rail gun upgrade? Can customise clip size and damage too for extra cash.

Who is scared? Heh.

To finish up this post, a quick visit to the pub I think!

There is so much more to explore in Tower 57 and I have just scratched the surface of this game.

The music and graphics are brilliant, and the game runs perfectly on my AmigaOne X1000. In short, this is a great game for AmigaOS 4 in 2018 - buy it!