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Games news

Posted by Michael Drake on 20:25, 7/7/2015 | , , , , , ,

Time for a round-up of recent games news.

JASPP to release more classics

Jon Abbott of the JASPP software preservation project has recently announced that they have acquired the rights to distribute games previously developed/published by Artex Software, Eterna, Minerva and Visions of the Impossible.

These games include such classics as: Ballarena, Botkiller, Exodus, Poizone, Prime Solver & SunBurst. The games are being released through the JASPP forum, so keep an eye out for updates there.

No mention was made of Artex Software's later games Ankh and TEK, or the never released for RISC OS Iron Dignity, with its impressive 3D rendering engine.

The announcement does mention that JASPP are looking to update some of the titles by Artex Software and Visions of the Impossible to run natively on 32-bit systems. The first to get such treatment will be VOTI's SunBurst. Whether this news will lead to a 32-bit multitasking desktop WIMP conversion of Super Foul Egg, or Exodus running natively on the Panda Board is unknown at this time.

Star Fighter 3000 released for free

This happened a while back, but the full Star Fighter 3000 game has been released for free. This is the latest souped-up version, which features improved rendering distances, desktop play, and a host of other improvements. It runs on RISC OS machines from the latest dev-board hardware, right back to the old Archimedes systems it originally appeared on. To run it on an old Archimedes system at full frame rate, you'll need to make sure you have the nested WIMP installed, reduce the game's graphics settings and force it to run in fullscreen mode.

New game: Overlord

Anthony Vaughan Bartram of Ambiguous Contrasts Games has produced Overlord, a space shoot-em-up on available PlingStore. The latest version, 1.40, has just been released.

RailPro-like game progressing

In other news, James Shaw has been keeping us informed of his progress on the development of a RailPro-like game.

Comment in the forums

VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:20, 14/10/2014 |
There is now an update to VirtualRPC for Mac and Windows (a commercial program which has been around for over a decade now). There is a selection of free and commercial emulators on offer for Windows and Mac to 'upgrade' your machine into a RISCOS machine. So what is on offer in the long-awaited update for this commercial package…
I already have a copy so sent off my 15 pounds to get the upgrade (you also need to send your old disk back). I received the new disk back and installed the Mac version. The old installer no longer worked on my Mac so it is very nice to have the ability to install the software. The disk also acts as a key on the product as you need the code from the disk to activate the software. The product version is now 1.7.5 (my old version was 1.6.6).
Installing the software is painless and gives you a new installation with a Mac application, some help files to remind you on the security settings on your Mac (which may cause some problems) and a HardDisc4 folder with a full RISCOS 4.39 installation. A selection of software comes with the installation although some of it is quite old (Netsurf 2.1 from 2009). There are also some additional zips containing additional public domain software.
If you have an existing installation you can copy across the HardDisc (or the new VirtualRPC binary) and the software works without issue. Nothing internally has changed so all the configuration is inside a file called va.cfg inside the VirtualPRC application. This includes the type of Arm processor emulated, whether the user sets this on startup, control on mouse emulation for 3 buttons and memory allocation.
The software runs smoothly on the latest Macs (including retina displays) but does not appear to offer any major new functionality.
If you are new emulation on Mac, VirtualRPC offers the most polished emulation (with a nice full-screen toggle between a Window and fullscreen).
I had upgraded my old installation to RISCOS Six, and this runs pretty much as before with the new version.
I was intrigued that there is no mention of upgrading to RISCOS Six, which is now owned by 3QD developments. It would be nice to see this as an official option as it has five more years development over 4.39
So overall, very nice to see the software being updated and working properly/installing on the latest Macs. Does very much what it says on the tin and turns your Mac into a Virtual RiscPC running RISCOS 4.39.
More details http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/
12 comments in the forums

Emulation roundup

Posted by Michael Drake on 10:05, 19/4/2013 | , , ,
The popular open-source RiscPC emulator RPCEmu has had an update. Version 0.8.10 is available now. The changes since the last release include various bug fixes and extensive under-the-bonnet refactoring in preparation for future improvements.
More work has been done on RISC OS Open Limited's IOMD RISC OS ROM for RiscPC class hardware and emulators such as RPCEmu. The IOMD ROM is now mostly complete. In related news, benchmarking has shown that RISC OS 5 runs faster under emulation than 26-bit versions of the OS.
As for Archimedes emulation, the open-source Archimedes emulator ArcEm was updated to version 1.50 at the end of last year. (Yes, we're a bit late with that.) An extensive change log details what's changed since the previous release. The main improvement between this release and the earlier ArcEm 1.50-alpha was to fix operation on the Raspberry Pi.
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Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 17:30, 20/10/2012 | , , , , , , , ,
Here's a quick round up of some of the recent activities in the RISC OS world.

London Show reminder

Next weekend, Saturday the 27th of October, is the date for this years London show. The show is to be held at the usual location of the St Giles Hotel in Feltham, London, and will be open from 11AM to 5PM. Tickets cost £5 on the door.
Although the theatre presentation schedule isn't yet available, the exhibitor's list is. Apart from all the usual subjects you should also keep an eye out for ROOL's first official, stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi.

ROOL updates

As mentioned above, the first stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi is expected to be unveiled at this years London show. The port has come on a long way since it was first shown at last years show, and is now pretty much on par with the other platforms with regards to features and usability. The distribution is to be available in the form of an SD card complete with ROM image, !Boot sequence, and a selection of pre-installed software, based around the work Chris Hall and others have placed into the Pi alpha distro.
Other news from ROOL in recent months includes:

  • The release of SDFS, an SD card filing system for all the modern machines (BeagleBoard/ARMini, PandaBoard, Raspberry Pi)
  • The release of several 32bit compatible NIC drivers for the RiscPC/A7000 (previously the IOMD port of RISC OS 5 had no drivers available, except under emulation)
  • Work on step one of the multi-stage filing system improvements bounty has begun
  • There have also been several performance improvements over the past few months - faster remapping of memory and shorter drive mount times, resulting in significantly shorter boot times for modern machines, faster font plotting, and last but not least a SmartReflex driver to allow the BeagleBoard-xM/ARMini to run at its full speed of 1GHz instead of 800MHz.

GCC 4.1.2 release 2 released

Hot on the heels of release 1 of GCC 4.1.2, the RISC OS GCCSDK team have released release 2, with a focus on fixing the bugs that were found in the initial release.

Emulation news

  • Aemulor Pro now freely available for ARMv7 machines
    A new version of Aemulor Pro, compatible with all the modern ARMv7 machines (BeagleBoard, ARMini, PandaBoard, etc.) is now available to download free of charge from the Spellings website at http://buyit.spellings.net/. A Raspberry Pi compatible version is expected to appear in due course.
  • ArcEm 1.50 alpha available
    The ArcEm team are back with a new website and a new alpha release. Compared to the previous 1.00 release there have been many significant improvements. In particular the RISC OS version is now ARMv6/ARMv7 compatible, and fast enough to play most Arc games at full speed on an Iyonix. Members of R-Comp's ARMini/BeagleBoard/PandaLand support schemes also have access to a more polished version of the emulator, and several games to play on it, under the moniker !AcornMode.
  • Atari emulator Hatari ported to RISC OS
    In recent weeks Franck Martinaux has released a RISC OS port of version 1.6.2 of the Atari ST emulator Hatari. The emulator is reported to run at full speed on BB-xM, and is available from Franck's website at http://www.norisc-nofun.co.uk/software.html.

18 comments in the forums

Bob and Trev: Resurrection: Just in time

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:15, 17/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
498 bytes free memoryPreviously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Game over, man
The competition is nearly at an end, which can only mean one thing - tomorrow's article will be the conclusion, and will (hopefully!) feature a copy of the game to download.
...and here it is.
Continue reading "Bob and Trev: Resurrection: Just in time" | 19 comments in the forums

Monster AI

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 16/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Next time I'll be talking about monster AI. I'm not going to be creating an Einstein, but I will be able to talk about a few of the basic features I'm hoping to implement.
But before I talk about monster AI, I might as well take the time out to talk about the time system that the game will use. Also, I don't have much other material for this article.
Continue reading "Monster AI" | Comment in the forums


Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 15/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Next time I will be tackling combat. Having never written a roguelike combat system before, it will be an interesting exercise in deciding how mechanics such as strength and armour class will work, and attempting to get the numbers right first-time to reduce the amount of balancing required.
Forsight, there.
Combat is an important aspect of all roguelikes. But having never looked at a roguelike combat engine in detail before, I don't really know much about how they work. Monsters have strength, dexterity, and armour class attributes, but how do those translate into how hard the monster hits with a weapon?
Note that a lot of the values and equations presented in this article aren't set in stone yet, and will require tweaking during play-testing. But hopefully I'll be able to shed some light on the different aspects of combat, and the thought processes involved in creating a balanced combat system.
Continue reading "Combat" | 7 comments in the forums

Visibility and pathfinding

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:00, 14/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
Previously, on Bob and Trev: Resurrection...
Yeah, looks like I forgot to write anything to lead onto this article.

Anyhoo, this article will be discussing visibility and pathfinding. Both are important aspects of many roguelikes, and both have some important implementation issues to try and overcome. Line-of-sight algorithms are a popular topic on rgrd - right now I can see two threads talking about LOS algorithms, and know of at least one other that talks about them.

Continue reading "Visibility and pathfinding" | Comment in the forums

The level generator

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Static game data

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How to fit a roguelike in 32k

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Bob and Trev: Resurrection

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RISC OS - the week in comments; episode 2

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RISC OS - the week in comments

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