Tales of Tamar: Now in HiRes for Amiga!

Date 7-May-2006 10:30:59
Topic: Software News

It is done!

Finally, after 8 months of work, we are proud to present Tales of Tamar in HiRES 2D!

The new client of our massively multiplayer strategy and roleplaying game is running at a resolution of 1024*768 with double buffering in 15 bit, 16 and 32 bit, as well as the usual 640*480/8 bit.

Therefore, Tales of Tamar is working on all Amiga systems starting with an A1200 with 030 accelerator board up to the most recent systems and also takes advantage of the faster hardware of Amithlon, AmigaOne, Pegasos or UAE setups.

A few (older) screenshots can be found here:


The engine has been improved meanwhile, of course.

Unfortunately, Amiga computers are reaching their limits here. To use the HiRES map, a 060 processor and a fast graphics card is required. If your system doesn't meet the requirements, you can always go back to 640*480, though.

Our experiences regarding speed are as follows:

A1200 AGA
640*480/8bit = yes
1024*768/15bit =no
1024*768/16bit =no
1024*768/32bit =no

AGA cannot display 1024*768 and would be too slow anyway.

A500/A1200/A2000/A3000/ graphics card/ 030 or 040
640*480/8bit = yes
1024*768/15bit =no
1024*768/16bit =no
1024*768/32bit =no

The processor is to slow for the HiRES map.

A500/A1200/A2000/A3000/ 4 MB graphics card ZII/ 060
640*480/8bit = yes
1024*768/15bit =yes/no
1024*768/16bit =yes/no
1024*768/32bit =no

The map is working in 15 or 16 bit, but is not particularly fast, since the speed is limited by the Zorro-II bus. 32 bit does not work due to insuffient graphics memory.

A1200/A3000/A4000 4 MB graphics card ZIII/ 060
640*480/8bit = yes
1024*768/15bit =yes/no
1024*768/16bit =yes/no
1024*768/32bit =no

The HiRES map works in 15/16 bit with a well maintained and optimized OS installed.

A3000/A4000 >=8 MB graphics card PCI/ 060 + PPC
640*480/8bit = yes
1024*768/15bit =yes/no
1024*768/16bit =yes/no
1024*768/32bit =yes/no

The HiRES map is working, but is not particularly fast. Usable with a well maintained and optimized OS.

640*480/8bit = yes
1024*768/15bit =yes
1024*768/16bit =yes
1024*768/32bit =yes

Only time will show if these results can be improved, but this probably won't happen without using Assembler, and it is doubtful is the support for the project is big enough to justify the effort.

After our last call for testers, we found about 40 users, of which only a small fraction actually tested. So if you want to see the project maintained on the Amiga, join us and help. Otherwise, we may not be able to root out all the bugs.

Now the new features and bugfixes:

New features:

- HiRES mode activated
- 24 bit support added
- auto conversion of 8 bit graphics added
- Esc in the residence exists to the title screen now
- Input-Handler rewritten
- Works with OS4 Pre 4
- FTP-Download doesn't block the mouse anymore
- map screen optimized
- ToT uses expansion.library to determine whether it runs on a OS4 Classic system or an AmigaOne (thanks to Stephan Rupprecht!)
- faster laoding on some systems
- text labels don't disappear when scrolling
- large code parts on the map support ppc, unfortunately no great improvements in speed with WarpOS
- numbers of workers don't disappear when scrolling
- new catalogs


- FTP-Code improved and fixed
- Workaround for MOS-BlitBug in CGX V5 added
- WarpUp unter OS4 deaktivated, since itwas actually slower than 68k emulation
- many other bugs fixed

known bugs:

- packed24 modes don't work
- possible font errors under OS4 (reason yet unknown)
- CGX V4 ColorFonts >8bit don't support transparence
- CGX V3 hasn't been tested, possibly color errors (we need testers for this!)
- module player could have issues under OS4 (again, we need testers for this)

Path: http://www.tamar.net/bin/ToT_Amiga_V0.55_R1.lha
Size: 16.319.118 Bytes

The current 2D HiRES map is an important step towards the coming 3D map, which is currently implemented on the PC version, to avoid both incompatibilities and delays due to missing testers. This was an important step for us. Now a few personal words: The 2D HiRES map is my very own "thank you" to the Amiga computer, which has been with me for the bigger part of my life so far. For now, it will mark the crowning achievement for the game, and further development can only take place if we can find enough players to keep the game alive.

The HiRES 3D map will be a step at least as big as the 2D map, and is simply required to have a lot of testers to make it work. Just one example: We have only had 2 or 3 really active testers for OS4. As a result, bugs that are not obvious will be found late or not at all. We hope that the support from the Amiga community will improve little in the future.

My thanks go to Stephan Rupprecht with whom I had long dicussions on the how and why of blitting which resulted in better and smoother performance of ToT. Thank you, Stephan! You weren't enthused but still you listened, for weeks on end.

Thanks to Wolfgang Vogel for his PPC board, since mine were both broken again. I wouldn't have been able to finish this version without it.

Also thanks to Frank Mariak, who was always helpful about CGX problems. I hope CGX will see some new developments again.

I would also like to thank the whole OS4 team and the MOS team for their support.

What will be next?

The HiRES 2D map has been ported to the PC, where is will be tested some more and then released as well.

The Mac version will takeover the finished sources and also implement the HiRES map.

We signed a contract with a new programmer, Richard Drummond, who will work on ToT for Linux PPC and x86 and possibly Zeta. Richard has been
working on OS4 before, and has already completed a first version of ToT for Linux. He has received the sources for the HiRES map as well
and will try adapt the Linux version for it.

Last but not least, we found a known and capable author. She has looked into the history of Arbanor and will write a book about Tales
of Tamar. With this, we are picking up an idea from the last millenium.

However, we are still looking for help to speed up development, in particular:

- pixel artists, for 2D map hexagons and GUI improvements
- 3D object designer and texture artists
- assembler programmers to optimized the 68k code
- musicians for digibooster/fasttracker modules
- translators for portuguese
- PHP programmers to support the browser version
- programmers to improve the Amiga Installer script

This article comes from AmigaWorld - Amiga Community Portal

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