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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@saimo

I do not like emulation.
I prefer native software.

If you change your mind, please let me know.


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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@amig_os

+1

The Rear Window blog

AmigaOne X5000 @ 2GHz / 4GB RAM / Radeon RX 560 / ESI Juli@ / AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition
SAM440ep-flex @ 667MHz / 1GB RAM / Radeon 9250 / AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@all

Check out this unboxing video to see what a great job RGCD did with the deluxe edition!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYWeZfIDPwg

(And sorry for the poor video quality: I don't have adequate equipment and I also messed things up )

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@amig_os wrote:

Quote:
@saimo I do not like emulation. I prefer native software. If you change your mind, please let me know.


I understand where you're coming from but the initial post said "It's for stock A1200." & the title of the thread states "new AGA game in the works" so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that it won't run natively under OS4.x.

Good news is that it does play fine on my X1000 with E-UAE as well so all good

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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In a thread on a public forum, I've read that no developer does the effort to allow his hardware-hitting game to quit and return to the OS: well, I'd like to let you know that I did include such function in SkillGrid - all that's needed is pressing [ESC] from the title screen. I did my best 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, I did a big effort 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. I simply refused to release a product that seemed to suffer from such an issue. After a difficult investigation and countless tests (the machine and I were 6 time zones apart), it became clear that the problem was AmigaOS being unstable: in fact, a complete reinstallation of AmigaOS solved the problem.

Of course, I can't guarantee that SkillGrid will work on each and every exotic Amiga system out there, but I did strive to make the game as much compatible as possible, so it's safe to say that SkillGrid will run fine on any stable AGA Amiga system.

RETREAM - retro dreams for Amiga, Commodore 64 and PC
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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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 ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD0BkmJvpeY

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


Edited by saimo on 2019/6/27 9:33:20
Edited by saimo on 2019/6/27 9:38:58
RETREAM - retro dreams for Amiga, Commodore 64 and PC
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@saimo
This song is one of my beloved from PPOT. And you did a great work with the samples in skillgrid. Well done.

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@walkero

Yep, it's a very catchy and funny song :)
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the video!

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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just read the great article about SkillGrid in the latest Amiga Future and I fully agree with what the auther (Graham Humphrey) pleads all Amiga users with AGA systems to do & that is buy it and support the developer (Simone Bevilaqua/ RETREAM) for creating such an "extremely impressive piece of design and coding by an accomplished developer, and is exactly the sort of effort that deserves support and enthusiasm.."

Bravo Mr. Humphrey

_______________________________
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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I didn't know about this. Thanks klx300r for reporting it and, of course, thanks to Graham Humphrey for such nice words!

RETREAM - retro dreams for Amiga, Commodore 64 and PC
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@all

Just a quick heads-up to let you know that, after some months, the deluxe edition is back in stock on the RGCD store!

Resized Image

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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Hi all,

I'm looking for somebody to test an update that I've been working on for a while now. It seems that the custom NVRAM code doesn't work fine on all the Amiga CD32 machines, and I don't have that machine to make tests myself.

Requirements:
* Amiga CD32 machine with a 2.5 V or less version of the EEPROM chip (it's marked "AT24C08" and, among various other codes, it has also the voltage printed on it - for example, the chip at the middle bottom of this picture, just under the Alice chip, has a "25" meaning that it's a 2.5 V chip);
* easy storage support (HD/CF/floppy/etc.) - CD-ROM alone won't do;
* knowledge of AmigaOS, some basic technical skills, ability to provide clear reports and patience.

If interested, please send me an email to postmaster at retream dot com.
Thank you!

RETREAM - retro dreams for Amiga, Commodore 64 and PC
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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Apart from the new package artwork (which is being worked on), the only thing that is holding up the release of SkillGrid v1.1 is the new Amiga CD³² NVRAM custom routines: they work under WinUAE, but they don't on all the real machines out there. Or better, that was what used to happen in the past: now I have rewritten the routines once again, and I have no idea of what happens on real machines. Therefore, I have prepared a proper test suite to have the routines tested... by anyone who feels like giving it a go on a real Amiga CD³² ;) Not having one of those machines, the fact that they mount different EEPROMs and the lack of official documentation makes developing this stuff quite difficult. Any feedback will be much appreciated.

Click here to download the suite.
This short video shows what the suite does (the operations will be surely slower on real machines).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OVERVIEW

This is a test suite that purposes to verify whether my custom routines 
for
direct access to the Amiga CD³² NVRAM work.
Developing them is quite challenging because:
 
· I do not have an Amiga CD³²so I have to rely on emulationwhich is not
   100
exact;
 
· different machines mount different EEPROM chipswhich behave differently;
 
· there is no official documentation (my references are the documentation that
   has been thankfully produced by who studied the behaviour of Akiko 
and the
   EEPROM datasheet from ATMEL
the maker of the EEPROM).
The routines work perfectly under emulationbut that is no guarantee that they
work also on real machines
Indeedprevious versions worked under emulation and
on a couple of machinesbut failed on another machine.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WHAT DOES THIS DO?

This suite will perform several read/write operations from/to the NVRAMwhose
DATA WILL THUS BE ALTERED 
(unless the routines fail to access the NVRAM
altogether
). At the endit will attempt to restore the NVRAM data exactly as it
was at the beginning
.
Given that the routines are experimentalthoughfirst it will check if a
backup of the NVRAM items exists 
and ask you whether to make a (new) backupso
that the NVRAM items can be restored after the tests 
if the custom restore does
not succeed 
or execute at all (only OS-compliant NVRAM items will be backed up;
the backup and restore operations are done by means of the OS-legalreliable,
third-party tools DumpNVRAM and RestoreNVRAM check out NVRAM_Tools.doc).
You will be informed about the backup status and asked what to do and whether to
continue.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
REQUIREMENTS

· An Amiga CD³² with a writable media drive 
(DO NOT TRY ON OTHER MACHINES)
· The AmigaDOS CopyDelete and Execute commands in the commands path.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
INSTRUCTIONS

To perform the tests
:
 
1. copy the NVRAMRTS directory from the archive to anywhere on the drive;
 
2. from shellenter the NVRAMRTS directory;
 
3. run the "test" script and follow the on-screen instructions.

At the end of the tests or if the tests hung:
 
1. reboot the machine;
 
2. if the NVRAM data is not restored correctly or you are not sure, and a
    backup exists
:
     
2.1from shellenter the NVRAMRTS directory;
     
2.2run the "restore" script;
 
3. pack the NVRAMRTS directory into an archive;
 
4. send your Amiga CD³²'s specifications(*), the archive and, if the tests
    hung, the color of the screen at that point to postmaster@retream.com.

(*)The marking on the EEPROM would be particularly helpful, but, since that
requires opening the machine, do not worry if you do not feel like going that
far.

Thank you!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE CORE TOOL

The tests are performed by means of a tool called WriteReadNVRAM. It is a shell
program that allows to access any arbitrary chunk of the Amiga CD³² NVRAM.
It works as follows:
 1. if requested, it writes some data from an input file to the NVRAM;
 2. if requested, it saves some data from NVRAM to an output file.

The shell arguments are:
 · INPUTFILE=IF/K     : input file (unspecified = do not write data to NVRAM)
 · WRITEADDRESS=WA/K/N: NVRAM address in [0, 1023] to start writing from
 · WRITESIZE=WS/K/N   : number of bytes in [1, 1024-WRITEADDRESS] to write
 · OUTPUTFILE=OF/K    : output file (unspecified = do not read data from NVRAM)
 · READADDRESS=RA/K/N : NVRAM address in [0, 1023] to start reading from
 · READSIZE=RS/K/N    : number of bytes in [1, 1024-READADDRESS] to read
 · QUIET/S            : do not print any information to the standard output

These values are used for unspecified arguments:
 · WRITEADDRESS: 0
 · WRITESIZE   : 1024
 · READADDRESS : 0
 · READSIZE    : 1024

These values are used for invalid arguments:
 · WRITEADDRESS: 0
 · WRITESIZE   : 1024-WRITEADDRESS
 · READADDRESS : 0
 · READSIZE    : 1024-READADDRESS

If QUIET is not specified, the following information gets printed:
 · startup code : <NVRAM startup code (see below)>
 · input file   : <input file path, if specified>
 · write address: <(corrected) NVRAM address for writing>
 · write size   : <(corrected) number of bytes for writing>
 · load code    : <load code (see below)>
 · output file  : <output file path, if specified>
 · read address : <(corrected) NVRAM address for reading>
 · read size    : <(corrected) number of bytes for reading>
 · save code    : <save code (see below)>
 · elapsed time : <elapsed time expressed in color clocks>

Operation code:
 :| = no operation
 :( = operation failed
 :) = operation succeeded

No data is written to the NVRAM if loading fails.
No data is read from the NVRAM and saved to file if the NVRAM startup fails.

During execution, AmigaOS is disabled entirely. Also, the screen gets blanked
and repainted dynamically as follows:
 · blue : writing;
 · cyan : preparing to read;
 · green: reading;
 · red  : starting an operation.

THIS TOOL IS BASED ON THE CUSTOM ROUTINES WHOSE VALIDITY IS TO BE VERIFIED WITH
THIS SUITE, SO IT IS BY NO MEANS RELIABLE.


Edited by saimo on 2021/9/8 22:07:25
Edited by saimo on 2021/9/9 22:01:23
Edited by saimo on 2021/9/9 22:19:58
Edited by saimo on 2021/9/10 20:47:13
RETREAM - retro dreams for Amiga, Commodore 64 and PC
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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Want to have a look at SkillGrid v1.1? Here's a huge rollercoaster longplay for you to enjoy!
The video is quite long, but if, you go through it all, you'll get a perfect idea of how varied and dynamic the gameplay is. (By the way, I did catch on purpose some maluses in order to show their features, but I just couldn't force myself to catch all of them :p)

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@saimoI have just released SkillGrid v1.1beta! Like all the RETREAM games, SkillGrid can be downloaded freely, with the kind request of offering some help to the victims of Putin's attack to Ukraine.

This version enhances the game greatly, as documented by the huge changelog below. It has been held back for a long time by a problem of the bootable version for the Amiga CD³² (which is why it is still a beta). The owners of such machine can help. For details, please see the readme file in the package.

SkillGrid
website · YouTube

RETREAM
website · Twitter

RGCD
website · Twitter

Changelog

v1.1beta (12.03.2022)

1. Fixed the asteroids activation (they could activate also after a reset of their timer, e.g. when they were postponed and, in the meanwhile, a milestone was reached).
2. Fixed the milestone handling (it replenished the shield and the charge in those extremely rare occasions when the ship had just been destroyed, preventing the game over to execute).
3. Fixed the assignment of points when the MUSIC MODE cell was caught while the Boltspitter was active (25 instead of 5 points were awarded).
4. Fixed the audio decompression routine (due to forgetfulness, 1 byte was not changed in one of the two routines involved; that caused noise during playback, but "luckily" the effects with SkillGrid's own music were not audible; in fact, the bug was discovered when the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE edition was made; also, due to INTREQ.AUD0 being used for multiple purposes, the very last tiny chunk of one-shot music was not played).
5. Fixed the dynamic selection of audio channels (under some rare circumstances, it could steal a channel from music).
6. Fixed the rendering of the halt sign (it processed 18 lines instead of 6).
7. Fixed a data file (it contained about 3 kB of useless data).
8. Fixed the (potential) malfunctioning caused by hiscore saving when the game booted from CD on an Amiga CD³² configured to have nonvolatile.library save data on a device other than NVRAM (i.e. when there is a volume that has Prefs/Env-Archive/Sys/nv_location defined). See also the notes below about hiscore saving.
9. Fixed/improved/updated the manual (in particular: in one place it erroneously said that the scrolling speed is halved when the Skull activates, which is false; it failed to mention that the TURN cells award 25 points in music mode).
10. Changed the BRAKE cell type from bonus to undefined (as it has a negative effect when time is running out, given that it delays the appearance of cells, and thus also of the TIME cell); graphically, now the cell has a yellow border.
11. Changed the BOOST cell type from malus to undefined (as it has a positive effect when time is running out, given that it accelerates the appearance of cells, and thus also of the TIME cell); graphically, now the cell has a cyan border.
12. Replaced the 30 seconds grace period at the beginning of a game with progressive introduction of the various cells types (this makes for a gentler introduction for beginners and allows to improve/maximize the spaceship power and thus be ready for what will follow).
13. Added the TRIPLE BEAM cell.
14. Changed the look of caught cells so that they appear disabled (instead of flat-filled).
15. Tweaked the transparency of cells when asteroids, Mothership, Skull and music mode are active to preserve their double-color look even if painted in a single color.
16. Fixed one pixel of the POINTS BONUS cell.
17. Made background layer more vivid (but still not obtrusive).
18. Changed flash color when the Boltspitter activates from green ($00ff00) to orange ($ff8000).
19. Improved the sprites: modified the palette to make sprites more vibrant and distinguishable; added 8 new UFO sprites; reworked spaceship, Boltspitter, Morthership and Skull graphics; reworked game start, pause and game over writings/icons.
20. Improved the music: changed a few volumes for a better mix; compressed the bass instrument a little bit; increased the S/N ratio by means of the changes above and by reducing some peaks (without causing any distortion); lowered by an octave the bass instrument in the "danger" tune; improved the compression algorithm for a better compression ratio; made the decompression routine faster; assigned to the Boltspitter the same tune of the other bosses; assigned the "danger" tune (previously assigned to the Boltspitter) to asteroids and missiles.
21. Improved the sound samples: removed clicks from a few of them; shortened a few of them; reworked the explosion sound; added the "charge low" speech warning.
22. Added cycling writings (including hiscore) to the title screen.
23. Touched up the graphics of 'M' and 'W' everywhere.
24. Improved the controls: replaced [REWIND] with [FIRE2]/[BLUE] so that also a normal 2-button joystick can be used; added support for [FIRE2] also to the installable version (which is crucial for running it on Amiga CD³² consoles that do not have a keyboard); added keyboard support (i.e. now the cursor keys act as joystick directions and [SPACE] as [FIRE1]).
25. Improved file loading so that, when the game is not running from floppies, the SkillGrid?: assigns and the launcher script are no longer needed.
26. Trashed AmigaOS on the Amiga CD³² to gain the RAM necessary to run the game (which requires more RAM than before, and unfortunately at boot the Amiga CD³² kernel steals quite a lot of RAM); as a consequence: removed the possibility of quitting to AmigaOS; hiscores are saved exclusively to NVRAM (i.e. Prefs/Env-Archive/Sys/nv_location is ignored); implemented direct EEPROM access routines to save the hiscore to NVRAM (still, the NVRAM slot is allocated legally and nothing is touched outside of it; as a positive side effect, saving is now much faster). [This feature is disabled - see the beta release notice.]
27. Improved hiscore saving: restricted it to just when a new hiscore is made; reduced by 6 bytes the occupation in the Amiga CD³² (tiny) NVRAM.
28. Worked on the CD ISO image: minimized buffers (to gain RAM); laid out files/directories in a manner that will hopefully make the loading faster on the Amiga CD³²; added readme.txt to the root directory; added printable package artwork and documentation.
29. Made the startup and cleanup code more robust and more likely to succeed in low CHIP RAM situations.
30. Made various speed and memory optimizations.
31. Adapted the game to 3 floppies (unfortunately, due to the additional data, it cannot fit in 2 floppies anymore).
32. Added a strategy guide.
33. Improved the readme.txt files.
34. Worked on icons: added icons to all the user-relevant files/directories; redrawn / touched up the icons; made all icons 72 pixels tall; removed paths from the default tools where appropriate.
35. Updated/improved the installer.
36. Removed the "wd" bits from the files on floppies.
37. Reworked the package artwork.

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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Wanna see how the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE Edition of SkillGrid v1.2 looks and sounds like? Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-CSu78Vqe4

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@saimo

great to even greater Thanks again for another update

_______________________________
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Indivision AGA & Catweasel MK4+= Amazing
! My Master Miggies-Amiga1000 & AmigaONE X1000 !
mancave-ramblings

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@328gts

:)


@all

SkillGrid v1.2 is out! This version improves the game further and, above all, brings also the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE edition, a special version whose soundtrack is the rockin' tongue-in-cheek song "Man with the Gun" by the Commodore 64 revival band PRESS PLAY ON TAPE!

VIDEO

Like all the RETREAM games, SkillGrid is 100% free. However, who likes it is kindly asked to offer some support to somebody who is a victim of any kind of violence.

CHANGELOG

v1.2 (11.04.2022)
1. Added the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE edition.
2. Made the BOOST cell increase the scrolling speed by just 50% (instead of 100%).
3. Fixed the chasing of the spaceship (due to a bhi in place of a bhs, downwards missiles would chase the spaceship as a consequence of catching the CHASE cell).
4. Improved the "escapes critical" speech warning.
5. Replaced the title screen writings.
6. Worked on the manual: improved/fixed/extended the setup/launch instructions; added information relative to the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE edition.
7. Moved history to separate file.
8. Updated/improved installer.
9. Moved 'S' and 'G' one pixel down and inverted pixels at the bottom of 'r' in the small logo in the bonus directory icon for perfect baseline alignment.
10. Added drawer icon where applicable (the real reason is to ensure that the drawers are shown as intended when browsing the CD from Workbench; however, it can be used also as the icon of the drawer the game is installed in - the installer now even asks if the user wants it; this icon had been omitted until now because it is impossible to provide an icon that suits the styles of all the iconsets available for AmigaOS).
11. Improved the icons layout on the CD.

SkillGrid
https://www.retream.com/SkillGrid
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list= ... _SYniQ9YcaT5p-L-GQqnAyt9h

RETREAM
https://www.retream.com
https://twitter.com/R37R34M

RGCD
https://www.rgcd.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/rgcd.co.uk

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE
https://pressplayontape.com
https://www.facebook.com/ppotband

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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@saimo

that's some sweet music on the PressPlayOnTape edition

_______________________________
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Indivision AGA & Catweasel MK4+= Amazing
! My Master Miggies-Amiga1000 & AmigaONE X1000 !
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Re: SkillGrid - new AGA game in the works
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@328gts

Indeed :)
Kudos to the PPOT guys!

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