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Amiga computer related discussion => Amiga Gaming => Topic started by: saimo on July 22, 2019, 10:33:04 AM

Title: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 22, 2019, 10:33:04 AM
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 preview will let you immediately understand what it is all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4U02xatwAg
You can try the game yourself anytime by downloading the latest build from the game's page (https://www.retream.com/Blastaway) (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 (https://twitter.com/R37R34M), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/541m0/), Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/RETREAM), TIGForums (https://forums.tigsource.com/), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/saimobvq). 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 (https://www.retream.com/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 (https://www.retream.com/BOH), Huenison (https://www.retream.com/Huenison), KOG (https://www.retream.com/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 (https://www.linkedizioni.com/product-page/da-adesso-all-infinito-simone-bevilacqua#!), 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 all-time gross revenue of all 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 (https://www.retream.com/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!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on July 22, 2019, 03:38:54 PM
This is looking really promising, i like the idea. :D

Regarding success with game developement:
These days you must have many contacts/followers or huge amount of cash to get the advertisement rolling, unfortunately.

Indiegames are so plentiful now it became harder every year to stay visible.
Look what happened to Tower57, that is an awesome game and still failed to become commercially successful. :(

Anyway i wish you all the best.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 22, 2019, 04:44:30 PM
This is looking really promising, i like the idea. :D

Thanks!

Quote
Regarding success with game developement:
These days you must have many contacts/followers or huge amount of cash to get the advertisement rolling, unfortunately.

Indiegames are so plentiful now it became harder every year to stay visible.

Absolutely - and sadly - true.

Quote
Look what happened to Tower57, that is an awesome game and still failed to become commercially successful. :(

What? I'd be surprised if it were so: it got more than fully funded on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/514621648/tower-57), then it found a publisher, it's available on GOG, Steam, HumbleBundle, who knows where else, and even for AmigaOS 4. To me it looks like a perfectly successful project (and it definitely deserved success).
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: F1Lupo on July 22, 2019, 06:55:55 PM
@saimo

what a great surprise Simone !!! (http://www.amigans.net/uploads/smil3dbd4e4c2e742.gif)  (http://www.amigans.net/uploads/smil3dbd4d4e4c4f2.gif)

a BIG YES please count me in even for a phyical release as well if that happens...as you know already I'm sorry to hear about your recent struggles but keep strong and keep doing what you love and supporting your mother as much as you can

to all fellow my fellow amigans please consider donating anything you can afford to Simone's Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/RETREAM/overview (https://www.patreon.com/RETREAM/overview)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on July 22, 2019, 07:02:45 PM

Quote
Look what happened to Tower57, that is an awesome game and still failed to become commercially successful. :(

What? I'd be surprised if it were so: it got more than fully funded on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/514621648/tower-57), then it found a publisher, it's available on GOG, Steam, HumbleBundle, who knows where else, and even for AmigaOS 4. To me it looks like a perfectly successful project (and it definitely deserved success).
Sadly, as they were two people to pay, the money that came in was not enough:
Quote
The game has performed decently enough to help me  work on the aforementioned patches and fixes.

Unfortunately, Tower 57  did not perform good enough in the long term to allow me to create the  boxed version of the game. I sincerely apologize for this situation. I  have tried as hard and as long as I could to  keep this campaign promise, but with the game's revenue dwindling I was  forced to look for a more "traditional" job in order to start repaying  the personal debt I have accumulated throughout the development of the game.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/514621648/tower-57/posts/2414486
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 22, 2019, 07:56:36 PM
@F1Lupo

I'm deeply grateful to you for your neverending enthusiasm and support :)


@TribbleSmasher

OK, thanks for the clarification.
Well, it looks more like a planning mistake than an unsuccessful commercialization. I hope that over time the game will sell more.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on July 22, 2019, 08:18:36 PM
The point is, even with a really brilliant game you might not sell enough to make a living.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: Erol on July 22, 2019, 08:41:30 PM
Both games have very detailed creative passion,  you made them look very interesting, have you ever thought of a kikstarter game launch?  would help with funding.   I hope and wish you success with your new game.  I will eagerly await An full release on the Amiga platforms (AGA and AOS4)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 22, 2019, 09:50:36 PM
The point is, even with a really brilliant game you might not sell enough to make a living.

Yes, sure. Also the opposite might happen (and it does happen way too often): it's possible to become rich even with a terrible game. It's all about what you said at the very beginning: connections, marketing. Twisted world.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 22, 2019, 09:56:12 PM
Both games have very detailed creative passion,  you made them look very interesting,

I'm not sure which games you're referring to, but thanks nonetheless :)

Quote
have you ever thought of a kikstarter game launch?  would help with funding.

I gave it a quick thought, but I don't think it would work: I'd create a Kickstarter with just one reward (digital game), and people would start complaining about the lack of absurd rewards (personal twists to the game, useless gadgets, etc.).

Quote
I hope and wish you success with your new game.

Thank you!

Quote
I will eagerly await An full release on the Amiga platforms (AGA and AOS4)

The AGA version is not going to happen. But you don't have to wait for the AOS4 version: you can try it right away, and it's already quite playable ;)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 23, 2019, 03:36:29 PM
A less traumatic start: previously, the entrance was such that the player had to enter the arena very carefully, a enemies might hide behind the arch, and only their shadows could be seen behind the entrance bars. I decided that it was a little unfair, so I have redesigned everything.
The "only" other notable change here is that the AmigaOS 4 version gets hardware-accelerated scaling. Before, the old AmigaOnes like mine (AmigaOne XE G4 @ 1 GHz + Radeon 9000) had a very hard time coping with zoom factors from 3x and above (e.g. at 4x the frame rate dropped to about 16 fps), but now the game runs constantly at full speed, no matter the zoom factor! (The second part of the video shows precisely this.)

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

CHANGELOG
* Redesigned entrance so that enemies behind it can be seen.
* Added (experimental) hardware-accelerated scaling to AmigaOS version.
* Added an arena.
* Touched up some arenas.
* Improved manual.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 28, 2019, 04:01:14 PM
More noise! Arenas feature now some blocks that can be destroyed by shooting at them: at first, that might seem useful to wander around more easily, but, on second thought, that also makes life easier to wors! In fact, they can destroy the blocks, too...
(Note: in the future, the blast marks on the ground might: a) stay as they are; b) go; c) be extended to affect also the vertical elements like walls. Option c) is the most unlikely.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Suv1vGPjxUs

CHANGELOG
* Added destroyable blocks.
* Assigned [SPACE], [ENTER], [RETURN], [CONTROL], [SHIFT], [TAB] the shooting function.
* Touched up graphics.
* Added one arena.
* Updated/improved manual.
* Made other internal improvements/bugfixes.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 29, 2019, 06:57:04 PM
@all

Several people in several places told me that they'd happily buy the game (and a couple of them, whom I can never thank enough, even donated me very generous amounts of money): while such intention is much appreciated, at the moment sales are *not* what I'm after! As explained, the game might even be free (and currently it is). The best support right now consists in letting people outside of the Amiga community know about the game. "Outside" because of two reasons: many/most of the fellow Amigans already know by now, and those who don't know yet will sooner or later; the Amiga community is (sadly) very small, so it doesn't make a real commercial difference.
The indie scene has become an ocean and an industry, so it's extremely unlikely to reach a significant success without important connections and massive investments in marketing; still, word of mouth might help the game hit the right spot at the right time... sure, almost impossible... but not completely impossible ;-)
So, if you feel like, just let your friends/connections know: that's the best form of support the game can get. Thanks in advance!

By the way, of course many thanks to who already helped with spreading the word and, in particular, to these blogs and the authors of the respective articles (in alphabetical order):
 * Amiga.gr, https://amiga.gr/2019/07/925/blastaway
 * AmigaGuru Gamerblog, https://blog.amigaguru.com/a-first-look-at-blastaway/
 * Epsilon's Amiga Blog, http://amigax1000.blogspot.com/2019/07/blastaway-preview-on-x5000.html
(If I missed any, please let me know.)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on July 30, 2019, 11:07:24 PM
Improved looks: this update mostly brings cool enhancements to the graphics.

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

CHANGELOG
* Redrawn wor kill animation (and changed associated sound effect accordingly).
* Improved graphics of tiles, destroyable objects explosion, blast mark, and bonuses orbs.
* Made a couple of other internal improvements/bugfixes.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: utri007 on August 02, 2019, 07:02:11 AM
Tested, very nice!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 06, 2019, 04:38:03 PM
A brand-new stage and tons of other improvements! Finally Blastaway has more than one stage (i.e. setting), which means more graphics to enjoy, greater sense of progression (as the stages change every 10 arenas), and more arenas to play (20 in all now, but they will be 50 when, in the end, all the 5 planned stages are done).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGKcM1W8kL0

CHANGELOG
* Defined the setting of the stages and gave them names (THE CAVES, THE OUTER WALLS, THE CELLARS, THE CHAMBERS, THE LABS).
* Added a new stage (THE CAVES).
* Changed naming scheme of arenas.
* Extended handling of arena clearing: now an arena will be declared cleared only after also all the keys have been picked up (before, killing the Exxwor immediately ended the action and thus the player could miss the keys not picked up yet, which could make facing the following arenas impossible).
* Recalibrated bonuses distribution.
* Made killing the Dmewor easier.
* Made picking up keys easier.
* Improved Exxwor's AI a little bit.
* Halved wors speed increase between arenas.
* Prevented entrance doors from closing if any wor is in the entrance area (otherwise, a wor might get stuck there, thus becoming unreachable by the active soldier inside the arena, which could well lead to a situation where it was impossible clear the arena and continue the game).
* Adapted/improved/fixed some arenas.
* Adapted/improved/extended manual.
* Made various other improvements/bugfixes.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 13, 2019, 05:51:19 PM
A new stage and ten new arenas to enjoy!
This build represents a major step as it adds lots of content and brings quite a number of additional improvements.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laaQkxxjfl4

CHANGELOG
* Added stage THE WAREHOUSE (previously THE CELLARS/JAILS).
* Added 8 arenas.
* Added milestone bonus (a soldier is awarded every 20000 points).
* Reduced number of wors to kill per stage.
* Refined rendering of blast marks, so that they follow the irregular borders of the nearby vertical tiles.
* Reduced shadows to 2 bits to make them sharper and stay more faithful to 16 bit machines.
* Touched up / redrawn a few tiles.
* Updated/improved manual.
* Made a couple of minor bugfixes.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 18, 2019, 12:02:00 AM
A small but key change: the soldier weapon is now centered relatively to his body, so it is easier to hit wors especially when the soldier is pointing west/east. Also, the HUD should be less intrusive and more readable now.

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0MDQ0MjAucG5n/original/LHo2cJ.png)

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0MDQ0MjEucG5n/original/exqkfh.png)

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0MDQ0MjIucG5n/original/fyTAqA.png)

CHANGELOG
* Centered weapon with respect to the soldier body, so that it is easier to aim.
* Made HUD smaller and easier to read.
* Optimized tiles coordinates handling.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: lionstorm on August 18, 2019, 05:36:30 PM
Nice ! getting better and better, works smooth on my X-5000 !

do you plan to add more bonus like increasing character speed or shooting speed or other weapons ?

anyway thanks a lot for this new game (and to show my support, I just bought SkillGrid !)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 18, 2019, 08:30:30 PM
Nice ! getting better and better,
Thanks :)

Quote
works smooth on my X-5000 !

No surprise there ;D
Hopefully, it runs smoothly also on the least powerful AmigaOS 4 machines (AmigaOne G3, SAMs, etc.). I know it does on my AmigaOne G4 @ 1 GHz + Radeon 9000.

Quote
do you plan to add more bonus like increasing character speed or shooting speed or other weapons ?

Character speed: no.
Shooting speed: it's already there, it's the W bonus.
Other weapons: no.
(For once, I'm trying to keep things basic and immediate, as explained in the opening post.)

Quote
anyway thanks a lot for this new game (and to show my support, I just bought SkillGrid !)

Much, much appreciated! Thank you!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 19, 2019, 04:03:47 PM
Gameplay improvements: this update improves some key gameplay aspects and, in particular, fixes the bug that made beams pass through fast-moving wors without killing them (the so-called "tunneling bug").

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6SdYd0MUTo

CHANGELOG
* Fixed tunneling bug.
* Increased maximum soldiers (i.e. lives) number to 7.
* Changed a parameter in the Exxwor AI.
* Touched up some graphics.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 22, 2019, 11:05:52 AM
Wizard of Wor, the game Blastaway inspires to, has a DOUBLE SCORE bonus: if the player manages to kill the Worluk before it flees, the next dungeon will award a double score. Blastaway just had to have something similar: it has it now, and it has even a TRIPLE SCORE bonus! If the player kills the Dmewor and Exxwor with the first shot, he achieves, respectively, the DOUBLE and TRIPLE SCORE bonuses, which, as their names suggest, double or triple the current arena score.

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0MTgxMzMuZ2lm/original/KsWHMu.gif)

CHANGELOG
* Extended arena end screen report.
* Added DOUBLE and TRIPLE SCORE bonuses.
* Reduced wors speed increase.
* Added specific tune during the fight against the Dmewor.
* Added 5 arenas.
* Updated manual.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on August 23, 2019, 04:46:55 PM
New features added and a few bugs squashed! This releases puts together a few new nice features and some bugfixes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vICkXvY71Bc

CHANGELOG
* Added M.I.A. bonus - clearing an arena without losing a soldier awards 1000 points.
* Increased milestone step to 30000 points.
* Reworked texts colors.
* Implemented DOUBLE/TRIPLE SCORE bonus assignment exactly as specified in the manual (i.e. when the Dmewor/Exxwor is killed with the first shot, whereas before it was when the Dmewor/Exxwor was killed when only one laser beam was shot).
* Ensured that the MILESTONE bonus is assigned immediately also when the milestone is passed thanks to the bonuses assigned after an arena has been completed (otherwise the bonus is assigned after the beginning of the next arena, which was not that nice and could also make SOLDIER bonuses useless).
* Fixed bug in laser beams initialization (which might cause erroneous collision detection).
* Updated manual.

Latest build download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 02, 2019, 02:52:57 PM
Lots of new content ready! THE CONTROLS ROOM (formerly THE LABS) stage is finished, and so are all the 50 arenas!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8teBgfd40c

CHANGELOG
* Fixed some shadows of stage CAVES tiles.
* Added 31st color and improved graphics with it.
* Added THE CONTROL ROOMS (formerly THE LABS) stage.
* Added all the missing arenas.
* Improved/fixed a few arenas.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway (please note that since I'm considering launching a Kickstarter campaign, for the first time the demo is limited to the first 3 stages / 30 arenas).
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 06, 2019, 10:52:35 AM
Stage-specific wors! This feature remained in the queue for a long time, but it finally made it to the game! At the moment, code aside, there is only one new wor (shown in the animation) that makes use of it, but three more will come in the future.

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0NzA0NTAuZ2lm/500x/n60Hqt.gif)

CHANGELOG
* Implemented addition of a new wor on each stage after the first one (consequently, the names Dmewor and Exxwor are assigned to new enemies, and the enemies that carries those names are now called, respectively, Hodwor and Ikuwor; the wors names are now: Akrwor, Baqwor, Czywor, Dmewor, Exxwor, Frowor, Gjawor, Hodwor, Ikuwor).
* Created Gjawor (AI and graphics).
* Written AIs for Dmewor and Frowor.
* Touched up a couple of arenas.
* Touched up some graphics.
* Renamed THE CHAMBERS stage as THE MACHINE ROOMS stage and swapped it with THE CONTROL ROOMS stage.
* Updated/improved manual.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 07, 2019, 05:38:48 PM
Dmewor, the wor specific to THE OUTER WALLS stage, is done! (So now only two remain to be done).

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0NzM1MDkuZ2lm/original/yFiq9B.gif)

CHANGELOG
* Added Dmewor graphics and sound.
* Changed behavioural parameters of Czywor and Dmewor.
* Added temporary AI for Exxwor.
* Updated manual.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 08, 2019, 11:29:47 AM
Yesterday's northward-moving sprites were totally wrong and I had also forgotten to give all the sprites their own shadows. What a failure. Hopefully, I've fixed everything now.

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI0NzU1ODkuZ2lm/500x/%2BnOkfX.gif)

CHANGELOG
* Improved Dmewor's graphics.
* Given Dmewor its own shadows.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 16, 2019, 06:55:17 PM
THE MACHINE ROOMS stage is complete! A major step towards the completion of the whole game has just been made. Plus a few other little improvements.
By the way, I made a final decision: the full game will be free!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOi6ViYwxuc

CHANGELOG
* Added THE MACHINE ROOMS stage.
* Touched up graphics of the other stages.
* Touched up a couple of arenas.
* Improved walls tiles selection logic.
* Fixed handling of vertical doors shadows.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on September 16, 2019, 07:10:22 PM
Cool, you are very busy, keep on going ;D


Btw, i stil believe you could ask 1$ + donations.  ;)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: F1Lupo on September 16, 2019, 07:19:30 PM
for such a polished game that you've been working on so hard I personally believe you should charge a fee even a small fee which anyone can afford but something to help you out financially since you don't have full time employment right now and every little bit would help.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 16, 2019, 08:03:46 PM
@TribbleSmasher @F1Lupo

Thanks, guys. I decided to make the game available for free (as considered since its inception) because of what I explained in the opening post: I hope to reach as many people as possible. Of course, donations will still be welcome ;)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 19, 2019, 12:53:22 PM
Stage-relative checkpoints added! When a new stage is reached, the whole game state gets saved so that it will be possible to resume the game anytime from the same state by means of a menu option.
Side note: I had considered giving the option to resume from any of the stages/arenas reached previously, but that would have made it way too easy to finish the game (and make big scores in the process) with repeated partial sessions, whereas the best way to enjoy the game is to play it from start to finish. Therefore, I went for an alternative that sits in between the two extremes.

(https://thumbs2.imgbox.com/af/21/Eb7Xd0Rt_t.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1MDUxNzEucG5n/original/k9MqJb.png)
(click to enlarge)

CHANGELOG
* Added option to resume from the last stage reached.
* Refined the fix to the handling of shadows.
* Made various other little improvements/fixes.
* Updated/improved/extended manual.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on September 19, 2019, 01:21:36 PM
Usually, with a Continue the player gets stripped from his bonusses and score when restarting at a higher level.
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 19, 2019, 01:28:52 PM
Indeed, but here, score aside, it wouldn't be that good: checkpoints are only at the beginning of each stage, which means once every 10 arenas. I might still reset the score though (admittedly, I wasn't really sure about that).
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 22, 2019, 03:21:36 PM
(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1MTA4MDkuZ2lm/500x/%2FL%2BEvv.gif)

1 wor to go! The Exxwor, the wor that appears at THE WAREHOUSE stage, has been added, so now only one wor remains to be done!
Additionally, this build comes with a major bugfix and other nice improvements.

Video preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2ziVeuufNI

CHANGELOG
* Added (new) Exxwor (the wor specific to THE WAREHOUSE stage).
* Made score restart from 0 when a game is resumed.
* Added 32nd (and last) color.
* Touched up some graphics.
* Changed (again) background of arenas title screen.
* Fixed major bug that made the software-based 5x scaler crash (a whole line of code had disappeared by accident).
* Updated/extended manual.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on September 23, 2019, 02:20:18 PM
More steps towards perfection (that is, the perfection I'm able to reach).

(https://thumbs2.imgbox.com/e9/f4/UgrPSunc_t.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1MTU5MzgucG5n/original/s7G4Ln.png)
(click to enlarge)

CHANGELOG
* Made Exxwor shoot.
* Reworked arenas start screen (darkened background, changed heading, added wors list).
* Touched up a few arenas.
* Touched up some Exxwor frames.
* Replaced scrolltext with cycling strings.
* Extended menu navigation controls with:
= select,
= back.
* Updated manual.
* Made various other little changes.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 06, 2019, 03:50:46 PM
All wors are done!

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1NTA4ODQucG5n/x200/l0cyy%2B.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1NTA4ODQucG5n/original/QhnGaf.png)

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1NTA4ODMucG5n/x200/YPye29.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1NTA4ODMucG5n/original/bG0X3w.png)

(click to enlarge)

CHANGELOG
* Added Frowor.
* Changed Gjawor sound.
* Added points missing to milestone to HUD.
* Reworked HUD.
* Fixed Gjawor's AI (it could decide to turn when not allowed).
* Fixed/optimized trimming of most shadows.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: motrucker on October 07, 2019, 06:03:42 AM
I've been following this on Lemon64, but thought I would check this thread out. I really like Blastaway. I will spread the word to try to help. Great work!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 07, 2019, 12:08:47 PM
I've been following this on Lemon64, but thought I would check this thread out. I really like Blastaway.

:)
Quote
I will spread the word to try to help. Great work!
Much appreciated!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 07, 2019, 12:08:59 PM
Maintenance release.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4U02xatwAg

CHANGELOG
* Changed slightly darkening of arenas start screen background.
* Fixed (again) Gjawor's AI (it might get stuck due to a missing check).
* Fixed wor spawning delay calculation (it became negative on the last arena).
* Fixed layout of last arena.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 10, 2019, 02:00:27 PM
Another maintenance release. A complete playthrough and a revision of the code revealed a few things to fix/improve.

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1NzI3NDIucG5n/original/jSUea2.png)

CHANGELOG
* Made WEAPON bonus less rare.
* Fixed an AI-related bug.
* Fixed milestone when resuming (it was restored instead of being reset, which made sense only when points used to be restored as well).
* Made various other minor changes/optimizations.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 11, 2019, 02:32:12 PM
One of my supporters found the menu item blinking a bit stressful, so I went for an old solution - check this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z94sw_JvIRI) out. I'm not 100% sure yet: maybe I'll have to use a darker color for the unselected items.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 15, 2019, 01:58:32 PM
Video-related code improved.

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1ODczMDcucG5n/500x/xpg7OM.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1ODczMDcucG5n/original/ADHevn.png)
(click to enlarge)

CHANGELOG
* Changed rendering of menu items.
* Added 6x zooming.
* Reworked/optimized CRT filters.
* Improved/fixed video initialization.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 19, 2019, 02:13:27 PM
Getting ready for release!
Development is complete (even the installers are done), so now Blastaway only needs to go through the final (and heavy) playtest. Then, if everything turns out to be OK, the game will be released - and for free ;)

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1OTg4MzYucG5n/500x/Gnd4Gz.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI1OTg4MzYucG5n/original/SIgDHg.png)
(click to enlarge)

CHANGELOG
* Made doors sounds of stages 1 and 4 louder.
* Assigned the menu "back" function also to [DELETE].
* Made some internal optimizations/improvements.
* Fixed bug that caused illegal memory reads at initialization (and might crash the game).
* Fixed/improved/updated manual.
* Written installers.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: F1Lupo on October 20, 2019, 05:44:00 PM
@ saimo
awesome work :D
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 29, 2019, 09:48:39 PM
Closer and closer to release.
Work could not proceed at full steam lately, but still intensive testing revealed a few things to improve/fix (that subsequently were improved/fixed, of course). Further testing will tell whether the game can be released.

CHANGELOG
* Improved last arena.
* Made a little optimization in shadows rendering.
* Fixed collision detection bug (beams were handled incorrectly).
* Fixed a recently-introduced bug in wors handling.
* Fixed a newly-introduced bug in transparent tiles handling.
* Fixed graphical quirk between soldier corpses and keys.

Demo download: https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on October 31, 2019, 09:59:46 PM
Release candidate ready!
Some more heavy testing revealed only a little bug. While fixing it, the related graphic tiles were improved as well. Everything else was OK, so Blastaway is basically ready for release. Just to be sure, it will be played again from start to finish on two different machines before it's released. Stay tuned.

CHANGELOG
* Touched up blast mark tiles of THE MACHINE ROOMS stage.
* Optimized a little bit the graphics of some blast mark tiles.
* Fixed corrupted rendering of blast marks (a line of code consisting of just "do" had disappeared).

https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: F1Lupo on November 01, 2019, 09:46:02 PM
thanks for all the updates/improvements..game is totally fun and immersive to play ;D
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 04, 2019, 12:18:24 PM
More testing, more improvements, and a new release candidate!
Further testing suggested a few new little ideas that I found irresistible: it's definitely late for new features, but still I just had to implement them. Of course, I'll repeat the testing thoroughly to ensure that nothing got broken in the process. Also, adding one of those features revealed a little bug (that was subsequently fixed, of course).
Overall, testing went very well, so I believe that the current release candidate is the one that will get released. More testing will tell.

CHANGELOG
* Added little screen flash effect while Hodwork and Ikuwor are active.
* Made SOLDIER bonus award points when the maximum number of soldiers is already available.
* Added MILESTONE bonus points to post-arena report when awarded thanks to the other bonuses.
* Added randomization of menu background scrolling.
* Doubled speed of menu background scrolling.
* Fixed handling of dead soldiers sprites (they got erroneously re-linked to a list).
* Fixed/improved manual.

https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 06, 2019, 10:07:11 PM
Blastaway: final build (?)
In the last days, Blastaway was played from start to finish many times. Technically, everything was perfect. A few little ideas came to mind, though, and again I couldn't resist implementing them. Anyway, I'm confident that the current build is the final one. Of course, before releasing, it must be tested thoroughly to ensure that the latest little changes didn't break anything.

CHANGELOG
* Added ALIVE SOLDIERS bonus: awards 1000 points multiplied by the number of alive soldiers when the game is completed.
* Added sound effects specific to MILESTONE bonus.
* Lowered points awarded by the SOLDIER and MILESTONE bonuses to 5000.
* Updated manual.

https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: F1Lupo on November 08, 2019, 05:04:47 AM
@ saimo
awesome ;D
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 08, 2019, 03:22:40 PM
On Patreon I've been asked to add "scanlines or other filters" (https://www.patreon.com/posts/blastaway-final-31372111): well, the good news is that Blastaway has had a (simple) CRT filter since day 1 ;)
Check out the picture below (click and zoom it 1:1 to see how the graphics actually look).

(https://thumbs2.imgbox.com/54/8e/PNAdhIDf_t.png) (https://images2.imgbox.com/54/8e/PNAdhIDf_o.png)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 11, 2019, 04:09:52 PM
Blastaway passed countless hours of testing, so now it's officially ready for release!
If you've been eagerly awaiting for it to be out, then you'll be pleased to hear that it should take less than a day...

(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI2NzM4NzUucG5n/500x/vmTjya.png) (https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzI2NzM4NzUucG5n/original/voaKWN.png)
(click to enlarge)

https://www.retream.com/Blastaway
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 12, 2019, 09:06:26 AM
Finished - I'm so happy to say it: the development of Blastaway is finished, and the game is out!

Get it from the game page (https://www.retream.com/Blastaway)... it's free!

Gameplay video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILtA75f4GtQ)

This took 6 months. I wasn't able to work on it at full speed and, actually, at times I had to force myself to concentrate and make one more sluggish step. Still, I'm glad that I managed to finish it, and in a reasonable time even, especially considering that this game wasn't in my already overly busy plans.
This old school game has been made the old school way: the code is entirely C (written in a plain text editor and compiled via shell, of course), graphics have been drawn manually pixel-by-pixel, each of the 32 colors of the palette have been hand-picked and tweaked repeatedly over time, music has been composed on guitar, but then actually written in a tracker using just 4 channels. That's the only way to achieve a true retro feeling - and the way I love to work.

RETREAM (https://www.retream.com)
RETREAM on itch.io (https://retream.itch.io)
RETREAM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/R37R34M)
RETREAM on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/RETREAM)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 12, 2019, 11:04:14 PM
The user's verdict so far has been very satisfying: I've received lots of cool compliments and even a few generous donations :)
However, the reason I'm writing here is that I failed: the game wasn't perfect! In fact, a user reported an odd bug (details at https://retream.itch.io/blastaway/devlog/109650/quick-bugfix) :/ I made the fixed version available immediately, given that the game is going to be downloaded massively during the next few days.
I must admit that this little incident bothered me quite much, but there's also a (sort of) funny side to this story: having recompiled the game today meant that the day in the build date is now... my birthday!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: F1Lupo on November 13, 2019, 04:11:39 AM
@ saimo

thanks for the quick update & Happy Birthday Simone ! ;D
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: lionstorm on November 13, 2019, 09:44:05 PM
Happy Birthday Saimo and congrats for the release of the final version (unfortunately I can not open the link I got per email through AmigaOS4 after the donation, my guess is it is because re direction to another location and not a direct link)

I have a question : in the 3rd level (I think) my hero went out the starting zone and back and one monster followed him, killing it and the 2 others. Is it normal ? I thought the starting zone was kind of the secure zone...
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 13, 2019, 10:09:17 PM
Happy Birthday Saimo and congrats for the release of the final version

Thanks!

Quote
(unfortunately I can not open the link I got per email through AmigaOS4 after the donation, my guess is it is because re direction to another location and not a direct link)

Hmmm... I can't really remember how itch.io works, and I can't have it send the email again. But I guess that it's irrelevant since the game is free and you downloaded it anyway. But if you want me to look into it, feel free to forward me the email.

Quote
I have a question : in the 3rd level (I think) my hero went out the starting zone and back and one monster followed him, killing it and the 2 others. Is it normal ? I thought the starting zone was kind of the secure zone...

Nope, it isn't - the manual has a few things to say about it, check it out ;)
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 14, 2019, 09:48:26 AM
I've been asked by email, on itch.io, 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 (https://www.retream.com/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) wating 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).
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on November 22, 2019, 05:07:52 PM
Just downloaded and donated a few bucks! Thanks for all your work!   👍🤗
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: saimo on November 22, 2019, 05:14:00 PM
More than "a few" ;)
Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Blastaway, a new game for AmigaOS 4 (?)
Post by: TribbleSmasher on November 22, 2019, 07:22:57 PM
A game worth playing is a game worth paying for. ;)