AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup – March 2024 – Old School Game Blog

AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup – March 2024 – Old School Game Blog

AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup – March 2024 – Old School Game Blog

AmigaOS 4 News – March 2024

Hi everyone,

Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

It is, like it usually is at the end of a month, time for the AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup! 

March proved to be a very active month in the community. We got new hardware, a commercial software release, and many updates to everything from applications to games. Thanks to all the developers, users, and enthusiasts who keep the platform alive!

On the personal side, March was also the month I got myself a new AmigaOS 4 system based around the Sam460LE by ACube Systems. Have since then expanded it with an optical drive, as well as added extra storage space.

Without further ado, here is the AmigaOS 4 news from March 2024. 🙂

Software News

Some of you might remember that I did an interview with Steffen Häuser, a.k.a. TheMagicSN, a few months ago about the game he has ported for Hyperion Entertainment to AmigaOS 4, namely Heretic II.

I’m happy to report that the boxed version of the game is now available for purchase from Alinea Computer in Germany! RetroPassion in the United Kingdom had it in stock, but it is currently only available on backorder.

Here is the link to Alinea Computer:

The price is 44,95 EUR VAT included.

The requirements are as follows:

  • AmigaOS ® 4.1 or higher
  • PPC (x1000/x5000, Sam, QEmu or older PPC Hardware like Peg2/Classic/A1, no support for A1222 currently)
  • 64 MB minimum, more recommended
  • 3D acceleration supported through Warp3D/Warp3DNova (OpenGL)
  • Soundcards supported through AHI
  • 4x CD ROM (only needed for game installation)
  • 400 MB free harddrive space

Features:

  • Features Quake IITM 3D engine by Id Software ® using OpenGL
  • MiniGL(Warp3D), GL4ES (Warp3DNova) and Software Renderer
  • Both GL Renderers with Multitexturing
  • CD Audio with Game Music (also playable through ISO-mounting, CD does not need to be in Drive while playing)
  • Localization (both Text and Audio-Output) to English, German, French, Italian and Spanish
  • Improved Quality of Video Intro/Extro
  • High Resolutions (1920×1080 and 4K Resolutions) added
  • Multiplayer Support (internet or LAN up to 32 players)
  • Formidable Enemy AI
  • Outstanding player controls (mouse, keyboard, joystick) using AmigaInput
  • Expandable with new mission packs like Quake

My original plan was to show you photos of the box, screenshots from the game, and to tell you more about it, but unfortunately, my copy of Heretic II is still in transit. I got a message that it was going to be delivered soon, but suddenly the tracking showed that it was back at customs here in Norway again. Due to Easter, it has gotten further delayed. I’m guessing it will reach me sometime in the middle of April. I will write a review of the game later on when I’ve received it and have had time to play through it. I’m looking forward to that! 🙂

Speaking of Heretic II, Steffen Häuser recently ported THF 3.0 to AmigaOS 4. This is one of the biggest multiplayer mods for the game. You need Heretic II for AmigaOS 4 to run it. This opens the door to some fun multiplayer action for Amigans! You can download it from here.

Unofficial Polish and Russian localization for Heretic II have also been released. 

On March 2nd, DRIDI released version 2.9z5Final of the Arabic Console Device. According to the author, this version contains a lot of fixes. Later in March, on the 31st, another update was published, 2.9z6Final. Please visit OS4Depot to read more about the changes.

René W. Olsen has released version 1.29 of the Amiga VNC Server. Changes from the previous versions are as follows:

– Changed: The Server now only sends GfxTiles that are asked for by the client. This also means the Faster BufferSync=Off is no longer possible.

– Fixed: The Server no longer sends RichCursor if there are UpdateRequest. This fixes the RealVNC logon problem.

– Fixed: The ‘Settings updated, restart required’ message now disappears when you stop the server.

Version 2.9114.523 of the DNetC client was released on March 4th. Distributed.net was the Internet’s first multi-purpose distributed computing project. If you are interested in contributing to the Distributed Amiga team, visit the effort homepage at http://distributed.amiga.org/, it contains all the necessary info along with extensive information on usage, configuration, and troubleshooting. You can download it from OS4Depot here.

Marie Katrine Ekeberg has released version 0.3.0 of AmiEnvMon. This is a utility to call a homemade Pico environment monitor API to fetch information and show this in a GUI based on MUI. Here is the link to the GitHub page.

George Sokianos, a.k.a. Walkero, is back with an update to the Lite XL port for AmigaOS 4. This time it is version 2.1.3r1.

Screenshot by Puni

Lite XL is a lightweight text editor written in Lua and SDL2. It is being developed by the Lite XL team. Here is the link to the official page on GitHub.

Here is the changelog:

[2.1.3r1] – 2024-03-09

Added

– Added AmiUpdate support
– Added the Tetris plugin

Updated

– Updated the code to the upstream 2.1.3 release
– Compiled with SDL 2.30.0 that supports editing with ISO encodings, other than English. Now the editor should be able to support any language and in conjuction with the codesets plugin be able to make text encodings conversions.
– Now the codesets plugin supports MorphOS 3.18 and above

Changed

– Changed the way the “Open in system” option executes the WBRun command in AmigaOS 4, with a more secure way
– Did a lot of code cleanup in sync with the upstream, and parts of code that were left over
– Compiled with pcre2 10.42 (MorphOS version only)

Fixed

– I did a lot of changes on path manipulation and usage, fixing scanning the root of a partition or an assign path
– Fixed an error with the codesets plugin, where an empty file could not be opened
– Improved the folder suggestions when opening projects or changing paths. Now even the root folders of a partition are presented
– Fixed ghmarkdown plugin, but now requires a GitHub token to be provided

For more information (and to download the program), please visit OS4Depot.

SDL2 for AmigaOS 4 has received an update. It is now available for download at OS4Depot. Information about the changes for this version can be found on the GitHub page.

FFmpeg is a fast video and audio converter that can also grab from a live audio/video source. It can also convert between arbitrary sample rates and resize video on the fly with a high-quality polyphase filter. MickJT has released a new update that brings it to version 6.1.1. More information about the program is available on OS4Depot.

On AmigaOS 4 you can emulate many different computers and consoles. One of the systems you can enjoy is the Sega Mega Drive / Sega Genesis. This platform is especially interesting since it contains a vast amount of high-quality games. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Earthworm Jim, Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage 2, and many more, are examples of this. Thanks to work done by Marek “smarkusg” Glogowski (porting) and Javier de las Rivas (GUI), we can enjoy version 1.33 of the DGen emulator on our computers. 🙂

Here is a video created by Rene Engel a.k.a. Maijestro showing DGen running on QEMU (Pegasos II):

Prince of Persia is a classic game first released in 1989 by Broderbund. It was developed by Jordan Mechner, who was the author of another blast from the past, namely Karateka. Prince of Persia came out for many different platforms, including the Amiga. I can remember briefly playing it on an Amiga 500, but nothing more than that. It is a famous game though, well-known in the history of video games.

Screenshot by Puni

Let us fast-forward to 2024. An open-source port of Prince of Persia, based on the disassembly of the DOS version, extended with new features, is available to AmigaOS 4 users. The developer behind the original port is NagyD. Responsible for the AmigaOS 4 port is Javier de las Rivas.

Screenshot by Puni

On March 18th, version 1.23 of the AmigaOS 4 port was released. You can download it from OS4Depot:

The open-source variant has many added features compared to the original, such as recording your game. You can find a complete list via the link below:

Screenshot by Puni

The game ran fine under emulation of AmigaOS 4.1 FE Classic, so it should run on most, if not all AmigaOS 4 setups. 🙂

Hollywood is an excellent language for developing software. There are a wide range of plugins available handling everything from video to music. Pangomonium is a new plugin for Hollywood that features an advanced text rendering engine that makes it possible to draw text in almost every language of the world. It supports complex layouts like the right-to-left or bidirectional ones found in the Arabic and Hebrew languages or vertical layouts in columns like in Japanese. Pangomonium can also handle complex-text languages like Hindi and fonts that contain colored glyphs (emojis) are supported as well. By giving you full access to the Pango API the plugin also enables you to customize all stages of the text rendering process. Please visit OS4Depot to download the plugin and to read more about it.

Letter Worm is a new game by tickBIT. The goal of the game is to collect enough letters to eventually fly away as a butterfly. Please click here to download it or here to visit the page on GitHub.

Several libraries related to SDL2 have been released. These are:

A new version of MPlayer has been uploaded to OS4Depot! This program can play most standard video formats straight out of the box, and almost all others with additional external codecs. MPlayer for AmigaOS 4 is based on MPlayer 1.5 (w/ FFmpeg 6.0), merging code from LiveForIt-MPlayer, MickJT-MPlayer and the Andrea Palmatè’s MPlayer ports, with additional changes and improvements.

MPlayer in action with Øystein Sunde from Gitarkameratene – Screenshot by Puni
MPlayer playing a music video called Gas Man Redux by Guru Mediator – Screenshot by Puni

Here is an overview of the changes since the last release:

MPlayer 1.5 RC2 (MPlayer 1.5) – MickJT, Marek, Javier and Samo79 (26.01.2024)
Based on MPlayer 1.5 SVN-r38440 (FFmpeg 6.0)
From now on, the AmigaOS4 release will follow the official versioning scheme!
* Compiled with GCC 11.3 + LTO (currently compiled with optimisation -O2)
* Added support for append, now dragging more than one file will append them
* Added support for AmiUpdate (yes again!)
* Added amiga video output (a fresh new P96 video output written by Jörg Strohmayer!)
* Added video’s path in all availible video outputs (show file path in MPlayer window)
* Added more audio/video formats in ASL requester and reorder them alphabetically
* Added gadgets for iconification and fullscreen in all availible video outputs
* Added “Iconify” option menu to iconify MPlayer from menu
* Added “Open subtitles” option menu to load the subtitles from MPlayer
* Added “Unload subtitles” option menu to unload the subtitles from MPlayer
* Added “Subtitles size” option menu to increase/decrease the size of the subtitles
* Added “Properties” option menu to show informations about the video playing
* Added “MPlayer-GUI” option menu to open MPlayer-GUI from MPlayer
* Added catalogs for French, German, Polish, Russian and Spanish (Credits: zzd10h, Maijestro, Marek, Samo79 and Javier)
* Fixed support for AppWindow, now drag and drop of files over AmiDock really works
* Fixed external windows problems when opened on fullscreen
* Fixed crash on AltiVec version if launched on non AltiVec CPUs
* Fixed crash on quit in the GL video outputs
* PIP: Added support for menu
* Disabled some more debug outputs that were printing to shell
* MPlayer can now be controlled with the Exchanger commodity (Show, Hide and Quit)
* Separation of video outputs for SM502 G4 vo_sdl_sm502.c (Useful in QEMU emulation)
* Made screen/window titles standard in all availible video outputs
* Made drag and drop standard in all availible video outputs
* Improved RegisterApplication support
* New banner and iconsets (thx Mason!)
* A lot of bugfixes and code cleanup

Here is the download link:

Marek “smarkusg” Glogowski has released Polish catalog files for AmiUpdate, while Marko Raina has uploaded Finnish ones.

It is no secret that many of us played with ProTracker on our Amiga computers back in the day. Countless music modules have been composed since the tracker was first released. Even I (in co-operation with another demoscener) created a tune called TveitaDowntown back in 2000. That song is not very good, but we had fun making it. 😉

Screenshot by Puni

PT2 Clone is a ProTracker 2 clone created for Windows, MacOS, and Linux by 8bitbubsy. The goal is to make a highly accurate clone of the classic ProTracker 2.3D. It is, as seen above, available also for AmigaOS 4. This is thanks to Smarkusg who ported it to our platform.

Screenshot by Puni

You can read more about it on GitHub:

Here are the changes since the last version:

– Fullscreen mode code has been refactored, as I apparently had coded it the wrong way. “Stretched” mode always fills the whole screen now too, and other issues may have been fixed as well. The “INTEGERSCALING” option in protracker.ini has been removed as it wouldn’t work with the new code anyway.
– Updated SDL to v2.30.1

You can download it from OS4Depot:

SDL2_mixer is a sample multi-channel audio mixer library. It supports 8 channels of 16-bit stereo audio, plus a single channel of music. It can load FLAC, MP3, Ogg, VOC, and WAV format audio. It can also load MIDI, MOD, and Opus audio, depending on build options. Version 2.8.0 is now available from OS4Depot.

Liba52 is a free library for decoding ATSC A/52 streams. It is released under the terms of the GPL license. The A/52 standard is used in a variety of applications, including digital television and DVD. It is also known as AC-3. Version 0.8.0 is now available for download.

AmigaGPT is a text generation program that runs on the classic AmigaOS and AmigaOS 4. Utilizing the power of OpenAI’s GPT-3 and GPT-4 architectures, this program provides state-of-the-art language modeling.

Features:

– Generates text based on input prompts

– UI customization

– Full conversation history

– Text-to-speech

Version 1.4.4 is now available from OS4Depot

Changes:

– Fixes a bug in chat mode in AmigaOS 3.X where the send button stays disabled after an error occurs

– Change the stack size in the program .info file to the recommended 32768 bytes

– Fix bug where accents were not loaded properly resulting in the speech to fail. If you get an error when generating speech, go to the menu and set the accent again

Libfreetype 2.13.2 has been uploaded to OS4Depot to fix headers path. According to the readme, FreeType is a software font engine that is designed to be small, efficient, highly customizable, and portable while capable of producing high-quality output (glyph images).

Kjetil Hvalstrand a.k.a. LiveForIt is back with a new release! This time it is a utility called Mem Info. According to the author, it is a small tool to display the memory usage on an AmigaOne. The source code is included if you’re interested in improving or customizing it.

Pankalla has returned with a new add-on for the spreadsheet program Ignition. This tool makes it possible to read and write files with the suffix ods. Well-known programs such as Open Office Calc and Libre Office Calc use this.

Juan Carlos Herrán Martín is a very active developer of games for platforms such as AmigaOS 4, MorphOS, and AROS. We’ve seen plenty of releases from him in the previous monthly roundups. Now he is back again and inviting us to check out a new project he is working on. The game is called Los Malditos, and it is a free adaption of the mythical books from Timun Mas from the 1980s and 1990s related to Dungeons & Dragons, which the author was a fan of. The demo of the game is now available for download at OS4Depot.

Screenshot of an older version – Screenshot by Puni

Version 32.0 of AmiArcadia for AmigaOS 4, a Signetics-based machines emulator, has been released by James Jacobs.

According to the documentation, AmiArcadia supports the following systems:

  • Emerson Arcadia 2001 console family (Bandai, Emerson, Grandstand, Intervision, Leisure-Vision, Leonardo, MPT-03, Ormatu, Palladium, Poppy, Robdajet, Tele-Fever, Tempest, Tryom, Tunix, etc.) (c. 1982);
  • Interton VC 4000 console family (Acetronic, Cabel, Fountain, Hanimex, Interton, Prinztronic, Radofin, Rowtron, Soundic, Voltmace, Waddingtons, etc.) (c. 1978);
  • Elektor TV Games Computer (1979);
  • PIPBUG- and BINBUG-based machines (EA 77up2, EA 78up5, Signetics Adaptable Board Computer, Eurocard 2650, etc.) (1977-1978);
  • Signetics Instructor 50 trainer (1978);
  • Central Data 2650 computer (1977);
  • PHUNSY computer (c. 1980);
  • Ravensburger Selbstbaucomputer aka 2650 Minimal Computer trainer (1984);
  •  Hofacker MIKIT 2650 trainer (1978);
  • Astro Wars, Galaxia, Laser Battle and Lazarian coin-ops by Zaccaria (1979-1981);
  • Malzak 1 and 2 coin-ops by Kitronix (c. 1981);
  • AY-3-8500/8550/8600-based Pong systems (Coleco Telstar Galaxy, Sheen TVG-201, etc.) (1976-1977);
  • VTech Type-right machine (1985)

It is packed with features, far too many to list here. Examples are ReAction GUI, load/save snapshots, windowed and fullscreen modes, CPU tracing, trainer, drag and drop support, graphics scaling, PAL/NTSC modes, frame skipping, and much more!

Here is an overview of the changes since the last release:

Summary:

  • Added preliminary Signetics TWIN minicomputer emulation.
  • Miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes.

Details:

  • wa: fixed: some non-auditable filetypes were being audited.
  • wa: phunsy: fixed: “project|open”: mdcr files were not being considered as signetics files nor as tapes.
  • added preliminary emulation of signetics twin minicomputer (incl. added DRIVE debugger command).
  • disassembler: now indirect jumps into ROM are threaded as code.
  • now CPSL $FF pseudocode is given as PSL = 0 .
  • binbug: fixed: floppy drive subwin: block contents gadgets: colours were not always changed when changing sector or track.
  • fixed buffer overflow that could result in incorrect next default disassembly address.
  • fixed: opcodes subwindow had incorrect information for pseudocode and flags for some instructions.
  • enhanced tooltips for opcodes subwindow.
  • floppy subwin: now says “sector contents” instead of “block contents”.
  • aa: CPU monitor: revised gadget layout somewhat.
  • aa: tr: fixed: opening cpu monitor could cause a crash/hang.
  • fixed: cpu monitor: flag button was wrong colour.
  • wa: floppy drive subwin: thickened current track/sector arc for easier visibility.
  • assembler: added support for extended instruction set (as used by signetics RASM assembler).
  • pipbug,binbug: fixed: it was temporarily refusing to process guest input in some circumstances.
  • assembler: fixed: it was emitting spurious warnings when using indexed addressing.
  • localized some more strings.
  • wa: fixed: floppy subwin: “insert disk…” button wasn’t localized.
  • incorporated Anthony’s latest Greek translation.

Miscellaneous News

Now for one of the biggest news of this month. The A1222+ is now finally available for purchase! It is great to see that the computer is now available. It has been a long journey for Trevor Dickinson, A-EON Technology, and the other parties involved, but now it is finally out in the market. 

AAA Technology is currently working hard shipping out motherboards and pre-built systems to customers around the world.

A complete system costs 1,599 EUR. This price does also include VAT.

The motherboard with 4 GB of RAM costs 1,238.90 EUR. VAT included. Without RAM, it costs 1,1199 EUR.

Please visit the website of amigakit.fr for more information about what the options include in terms of hardware and software. 

Hopefully, we’ll see some reviews and videos about the A1222+ soon. 🙂 In the meantime, I recommend having a look at Epsilon’s look at the A1222 on his blog. He has been a beta tester of the system for many years.

Eldee Stephens updated “The QuickStart Guide for New A1222+ Users” on March 22nd. This is a valuable resource for A1222+ users. It contains information about everything from compatibility to helpful tips and tricks. I highly recommend that you check it out via the link below:

AmiWest 2024 has just been announced! The event will take place on October 25th, 26th, and 27th. It has a new theme, which is “Get your game on!”

Here is the announcement from the official website:

AmiWest 2024 theme is “Get your game on!”. Gaming has been a mainstay of the Amiga platform since before it’s inception. The last few years have seen a resurgence in Amiga games and gaming across all platform flavors. This year AmiWest will focus on a celebration of all things Amiga gaming. This includes HW innovations, the latest modern retro releases, the latest game engines like RedpillHollywood, and Scorpion, with the latest tools like UniJoysticle. Watch amiwest.net for the latest updates and information.

Show Dates

AmiWest 2024 will be held October 25th to October 27th, at the Holiday Inn Express Cal Expo, 2224 Auburn Blvd.,Sacramento, California 95821, USA. Tell everyone you know and bring a friend to AmiWest.

Format Change

The show will be three days in 2024. In past years we used Thursday and Friday for the AmiWest on site DevCon. For 2024 we are going to change our format and shift the DevCon to a virtual event, more details will be provided in the coming months. For Friday, October 25th, the show will focus on long form presentations on leading hardware and software projects.

Sign up to receive email updates

The AmiWest Organizing committee has begrudging decided that the email fad is not a flash in the pan and decided to implement a robust newsletter mail server. Please follow this link to sign up and show your support!

A new issue (167) of Amiga Future has been released for March and April. Not much AmigaOS 4-related content this time, but still an interesting read; Trevor’s Soapbox, Passione Amiga Day 2023, Dynamic websites with PHP.

As usual, we are running a games contest over at Amigans.net! 🙂 This month we’ve been playing Tap Jewels for AmigaOS 4 by Entwickler-X. This game was suggested by BillE. Many thanks for the good suggestion!

Screenshot by Puni

Tap Jewels

Another addictive Match-3 diamond/jewels style game with three great game modes. These are Puzzle Quest, Time Challenge, and Survival.

In this contest we play Time Challenge:

Match 3 or more identical jewels, be fast to get more time to play, because the time goes by. The game is over if the time is up.

The goal is to score as many points as possible. Please post a screenshot of your score in the appropriate forum thread to participate. It is still some time left to play. 😉

Here is the link to the competition thread over at Amigans.net.

Tap Jewels is a commercial game, which you can purchase as a download from Alinea Computer:

… ownload-version::803.html

If you are unsure about whether this is a game for your or not, you can try the demo version at OS4Depot first:

Videos

Rene Engel a.k.a. Maijestro has created many videos this month. One of these shows the the new Heretic II for AmigaOS 4 from Hyperion Entertainment running on QEMU (Pegasos II):

McFly PPC uploaded several videos in March. One of these shows Gorky 17 running on his AmigaOne X5000:

Never mind what I wrote about videos of the A1222+ above. It turns out that Mister JBAM has released videos of him unboxing the A1222+ and installing it.

Mister JBAM made a video of playing Tower57, too.

The videos are in French, but you can turn on auto-generated subtitles in English.

George Sokianos, a.k.a. Walkero, did a live stream of him installing and playing Heretic II for AmigaOS 4.1. Unfortunately, he had difficulties with his capture card, so he could not record much of the gameplay. It was still a good stream, and he provided helpful information concerning the game. The port of the game, TheMagicSN, was present in the chat.

Until next time

You’ve now reached the end of this month’s AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup.

I’d like to send a big thank you to everyone for supporting this initiative by reading, spreading, commenting, and sending me messages. It is much appreciated!

If you would like me to mention your project in a roundup, please feel free to contact me. You can also send me news, links to interesting videos, and so forth. Thanks in advance.

I wish you all a great day! See you next month! 🙂

Best regards,

Puni/Void a.k.a AmigaOldSkooler

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