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Friday, 3 April 2015

Legendary Amiga Coder, Edgar Vigdal Passes Away

Edgar Vigdal
Browsing Facebook this morning I sadly learned that a couple of nights ago legendary Amiga programmer Edgar Vigdal passed away.

Posting via the Warblade MK 2 Facebook group, Simon Quincey left the following message;
"Edgar Vigdal passed away two nights ago, we suspect of cancer. I'm not sure i need to provide more details even if i get them...
One of Edgars close friends has given us this information earlier this evening and right now Kev and I are quite shocked and very saddened by the news.
Edgar and I would talk night after night for hours at a time, often into the early hours of the morning. We became close friends over the many years doing this, skyping till our ipad batteries were flat, sharing jokes and trading our latest music finds... And recently we had agreed that finally i was going to visit Norway so we could actually meet for the first time this May and i'd stay with him and his family... I'm going to miss those chats.
This is a rather sudden shock for all of us and i'm really not sure what else to say. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go to Siv, Marta, Rebekka and Markus and all the rest of the family. 
RIP Edgar my friend."
Like many of you reading this blog I have many happy memories of playing Edgar's creations on the Amiga. Deluxe Galaga was one of my favourite Amiga games, but I also enjoyed Deluxe Pacman, and more recently Pixie, which was about one of the only games I played on my Mac.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Edgar in person, but I did swap a couple of emails with him. I always found him to be a perfect gent and extremely helpful.

If you get chance over this weekend, fire up one of Edgar's creations and hold up a joystick/pad as a celebration of his life, and then settle down to this wonderful interview Amiga PD conducted with him a couple of years back.

Rest in peace, Edgar. You'll be sorely missed.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Rick Dangerous The Other Levels - New Game in Development

2015 is shaping up to be a promising one for the Amiga game scene, as in today's post I bring news of yet another new title that's currently in development.

Using the Backbone games creation system, "Rick Dangerous The Other Levels" is an unofficial sequel to Firebird's Rick Dangerous 1 and 2.

Presented as a side-scrolling affair as opposed to the original flip-screen method used in the original titles, "The Other Levels" looks to be a more run and gun game rather than placing you in the position of being a laboratory rat, whereby you'd regularly get killed without warning, remember where it was you died, and then progress that tiny bit further on your next go, as Firebird's titles did.

There's clearly a lot more development work required on this title before it can be fully released, but you can see the current dev build in action below. (Note, it's not my reflection you can see in the monitor)


If you'd like to try out an early build of the game for yourself then check out this thread over on the English Amiga Board.

As with all games in development, as soon as details of any notable progress are released I'll post the updates on the blog.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Dylan The Spaceman - Coming to an Amiga Near You Soon!

I've been meaning to cover this for some time, but for one reason or another I've not found time to do it... until now.

This originally started out life as a Dangermouse themed arcade adventure, but the subject matter soon changed following the fallout from the Smurfgate saga.

The change has brought with it a set of never before seen characters and environments, and a new mascot to the Amiga platform, Dylan The Spaceman.

Created by Chris Clarke, who is using the Reality construction system, Dylan The Spaceman is a Dizzy-style arcade adventure, where objects collected in one location are used to progress in another.

Chris has been dishing out regular progress updates for the project on his active Amiga PD Facebook page. Here you can check out all the latest work in progress screenshots along with developer notes Chris uploads.

Development of the game seems to be progressing well, and at present the game is pencilled-in for a Summer 2015 release. Chris is keen to get the game up and running on as many Amiga platforms as possible, and a work in progress version has already been successfully tested on the CD32 games console.

This really looks like a game to keep an eye out for, and could be one of the Amiga gaming highlights of the year.

I'll have further updates on Dylan The Spaceman as and when they surface.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Starquake Amiga Conversion WIP and Footage

Programmed by Stephen Crow, and originally released by Bubble Bus Software way back in 1985, Starquake was a fast-paced, sprawling arcade adventure.

Three years later saw the Atari ST version released in 1998, with an Amiga version was planned for release in 1991. Unfortunately, for whatever reason this failed to see the light of day.

This situation looks like it may soon change, as Fairlight's Galahad has been busy working on converting the ST code to run on the Amiga platform. Check out the version 1.0 work in progress footage below.


Along with a link to the above YouTube footage, Galahad commented that;
"The encoder for WInUAE i'm using makes the game look like arse, its 100% stable and the graphics don't look like they are under water.
On Amiga the character moves smoothly, not taking 30 pixel leaps across the screen, oh and you can see everything properly, looks like I applied a Vaseline filter to the output."
I'll post further updates regarding this project as and when they surface. If, in the meantime you'd like to read-up on the progress so far then check out this thread over on the English Amiga Board.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

From Bedrooms to Billions The Amiga Years

It seems like only two minutes since Nicola and Anthony Caufield's "From Bedrooms to Billions" project, telling the story of the UK video games industry from 1979 to the present day, was finally completed, but already the pair are looking towards their next production.

Entitled "From Bedrooms to Billions The Amiga Years", this newly proposed 90 minute documentary aims to;
"explore the influence of the Commodore Amiga and how it took video game development, music and publishing to a whole new level and changed the video games industry forever!"
As with "From Bedrooms", the "Amiga Years" production is being financed through Kickstarter donations. Check out the promotional video below.


Nicoloa and Anthony's plan is to release the film in January 2016. Clearly this is a much shorter timescale than that taken to produce the original "From Bedrooms" production. Nicola and Anthony explain why this release will appear much sooner than the original did;
"From Bedrooms to Billions took more time due to the huge amount of research, contacting and sourcing of archive and interviewees. However for The Amiga Years! we have a huge head start on that due to how much work has already been done so we aim to film all our new interviews by September 2015 with an intensive post-production of 16 weeks to follow".
For more information, and to sign-up/donate to this project point your web browser over to the "From Bedrooms to Billions The Amiga Years" Kickstarter page.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Results of the 2014 Amiga Games Award

For the past few few years the Obligement web site have been running their annual Amiga Games Award, which aims to chart the most popular games released in the previous 12 months for either Amiga OS 68K, Amiga OS4.x, Morph OS or AROS platforms.

Each of the four charts are kept separate, meaning that there's no overall winner across all formats, and as this blog concentrates its coverage on the classic Amiga platform I'm only interested in the Amiga OS 68K chart.

In third place was the much-discussed (and pulled from download) "Smurf Rescue", by Mikael Persson. I must admit to not having tried this, as links to download this title were swiftly removed once Peyo's solicitors got involved.

In second place was "Renegades Deluxe 2014", a remastered version of Wayne Ashworth's original two player shooter, originally released way back in 1995. As with the initial release this is a two-player only title, so you'll need someone to play with.


Finally, in first place is the only commercially released game in the chart; "Tales of Gorluth: The Tearstone Saga". This Legend of Zelda-like RPG pushes the Backbone game creation software to its very limits. Featuring over 5 hours of gameplay, 64 colour graphics, and over 40 pieces of music, this is one of the most ambitious games released for the Amiga in many years.


Minimum specs for Tales of Gorluth is an ECS Amiga with a 68020 CPU, 2MB of graphics RAM and 1MB of FastRam. Recommended CPU is a 68030.

The game can be purchased for £10.99 from the Amigakit web site.

We're now well and truly into 2015, and it'll be interesting to see what games will be released for the Amiga this year. With the recently released "Solomon's Key 2" now available for download we're off to a very strong start. Here's hoping the trend continues!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Fire & Ice: Solomon's Key 2 Released!

Back in April 2013 I reported that the Atari ST version of Techmo's platformer puzzler, "Solomon's Key" had been converted to the trusty Amiga. The team did a smashing job porting over the ST version, and it played brilliantly. (If you've not yet installed it then you really should do so at once!)

Fast forward almost two years, and I was pleased to see that a couple of weeks back the prequel, "Solomon's Key 2: Fire and Ice" had been released for the Amiga, having been converted from the humble Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version.

Released by Techmo back in 1993, the object of the game is to extinguish all fires on each level in order to proceed to the next. To do this you need to either melt ice blocks or kick them into the raging infernos.

Here's hukka with the details;
"I have released my Amiga remake of the underrated NES puzzle platformer Solomon's Key 2 aka Fire'N Ice. Written in 100% assembly and should run on any setup.
Features include [a] built-in level editor and saving/loading [of] your progress. Some features from the original are missing: levels containing lava or enemies; some cutscenes and sound effects; final boss battle. Still, the game can be completed normally and bonus worlds are included. 
The game can be played using either the keyboard, normal joystick or 2-button joystick/gamepad (tested using Megadrive pad). This version will run from Workbench. 
More info and ADF download: http://hukka.yiff.fi/sk2/"
Check out the game in action below, and then get yourself over to hukka's Solomon's Key 2 page to download the brand spanking new Amiga version.