Amiga game from 1995 reverse engineered... by it's own programmer

I am afraid it is a twitter thread.

https://twitter.com/petrih3/status/1788529454551077288

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Mmm, such things difficult to read these days without an account on there.

I wonder if I can pastebomb from a nitter mirror (there are few and they are not reliable these days)…

Petri Häkkinen@petrih3 posted this

Edit: yes, a pastebomb is possible, but not pretty and perhaps not respectful of original copyright, so now we have a thread unroll (thanks @jhi) let’s use that…

Second page concludes the thread (using a different mirror):

Petri Häkkinen@petrih3 posts this

(Edited to remove pastebomb. Here’s an archive of the thread unroll, to help us when the unroll becomes unreachable:

)

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Was the Amiga the only western platform that had easy access to programing
development like games?

Thanks, you are a braver pastebomber than me, I considered doing that but didn’t have the guts.

I’m not even sure it’s the right thing to do! But I’m frustrated by the difficulty in reading interesting content. A link to a thread unroll would be better than a pastebomb, I think, but you can only get an unroll if have a login.

I have an account (obviously!) but never tried using the unroll bots. But now I did, Thread by @petrih3 on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App

Maybe you can now wield your editing magic, Ed?

2 Likes

Was the Amiga the only western platform that had easy access to programing
development like games?

I’m not sure what you mean. All of the home computers had relatively easy access to programming development, although I think the Mac did not have any bundled in BASIC.

By the time the Amiga and Atari ST came out, commercial games were typically not programmed in BASIC, but even so both of them initially came bundled with BASIC.

The bar was definitely higher for 16-bit development. For something like the Spectrum, you could get by with a copy of Logan & O’Hara’s Complete Spectrum ROM Disassembly from the library, a knocked-off copy of HiSoft Devpac, a couple of blank cassettes, some squared paper and a bunch of imagination.

By the time Amiga games came along, the bedroom programmer working alone was almost gone. Graphics and sound needed separate attention. The documentation was huge. Maybe a lone programmer could get by with a Sigma Press hardware book and an, um, “community” copy of an assembler. Commodore (UK) at least didn’t want to support the small programmer: the only way you could get the system development information was if you bought one of the expensive C compilers or already worked for a development house.

AMOS (and STOS for the ST) went a long way to make development more accessible, but they weren’t bundled with the machines.

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Wonder if the guy’s related to Mika? Or is Häkkinen a common enough surname in Finland?

About 5000 people have it, so not terribly common but bigger than one extended family.

Back when I had an Amiga 500 I contacted Commodore Italy to inquire about where I could buy the Lattice C compiler in my area. They directed me to a retailer which did sell the tool, pirated.

I ended up ordering Lattice C directly from the software house.

I saw a bunch of PD games for the Atari ST. Though, I don’t know what they were developed in, perhaps STOS, or some of the PD C compilers around. I got one of them, called Sozobon C. After that, one needed documentation on the system APIs. The only source I found for that, that was easily available, was a book called “C-Manship Complete,” by Clayton Walnum, which was based on a series of articles he published in ST-Log Magazine. As I remember, it was a series of tutorials on C programming for TOS (VDI) and GEM (AES) programming. Game programmers would’ve used TOS/VDI, or perhaps would bang on the hardware directly, which was fairly common, leading to game incompatibility between ST models.

Atari had some developer documentation in a large binder, which I remember being in a local user group’s library, since they bought a copy(?), but I didn’t really look at it.

There were, of course, commercial language packages for C, Basic (one of the main ones was GFA Basic, which was much better than ST Basic from Atari), probably Pascal, and 68000 assembly, which probably also had some tutorials that came with them.

Interesting thing about ST Basic is that people complained up a storm about it, because it had so many bugs. I’ve read that Atari eventually fixed them, but by the time they did, the damage was done. Most Atari programmers didn’t want to use it, probably buying GFA Basic, instead. By the time I bought my Mega STe in 1992, I recall it coming with what was called a “Language Disk,” but it didn’t have ST Basic on it, just some system utilities. My guess is Atari gave up on bundling ST Basic, since no one wanted it anymore.

Ah GFA-basic, I’ve got fond memories of that “IDE”. Wrote my first emulator in it (MSX) running at less than 0.1% of the original speed unless it encountered an LDIR instruction :slight_smile: