Wednesday, 15 October 2014

VoxelNoid using Wazp3D on X1000


Recently Cherry Darling released a new free game for AmigaOS4 (and MorphOS) called VoxelNoid, an arkanoid style game with a 3d voxel twist to the gameplay.

You can download it from Cherry Darling's website here.

They also released VoxelBird for AmigaOS4, which I also took a look at on my blog back in April 2014, here if you are interested.

Because VoxelNoid required Warp3D and I currently don't have my Radeon 9250 card installed in my X1000 (I have two Radeon HD cards installed), I couldn't try it out when initially released.

The author of Wazp3D Alain Thellier mentioned on AmigaWorld.net yesterday that he had updated the Wazp3D software and VoxelNoid runs on it. So I rushed to try it out on my X1000.

I downloaded the updated Wazp3D archive from os4depot.net here and following the included installation instructions - backed up my warp3d.library file in libs: and then copied the wazp3d.library-os4 to libs:Warp3D.library, and finally copied the new Wazp3D Prefs program into the Prefs folder.

There is a os4-configs folder in the Wazp3d archive that has an optimal wazp3d.cfg file for VoxelNoid.

So next here is the VoxelNoid folder after extracting:



I then copied the wazp3d.cfg-voxelnoid file in the Wazp3D os4-configs folder into the VoxelNoid folder above as Wazp3D.cfg. Ready to go!

The Readme explains how to play the game and also the notes about the performance on the AmigaOS4 version with a switch made to use Warp3D instead of MiniGL. The game was originally released at the Gerp 2014 demo party and won the Wild competition category!


Here is the title screen of VoxelNoid after starting - the graphics look great and the retro music suits the game very well:


You are prompted (not shown) to login with your preferred Name and email address to register your high scores online.

Under the Options Menu option you can change the game to run Full Screen or Window, change music and sounds effect volume and the difficulty level, amongst other things!


The Highscores option on the Main screen allows you to see local high scores, and also Online high scores too:


The Medals option on the Main Menu shows what achievements you have done playing the game, and what you still have yet to unlock:


Let's get into the game - I selected 1 Player (there is also a two player option), with just the initial start level unlocked to start off:


As mentioned this game is similar to the classic Arkanoid game released on Classic Amiga many years ago, except with a few twists.


On the left side is a power bar that gets higher as your ball passes through bricks you have hit with the ball as is bounces back and forth between your bat and the bricks:


Unlike Arkanoid, when you hit a brick it explodes into 3D voxel pixels which spread in small pieces across the game area. As your ball passes through those remains, they are redirected (like a magnet) to your bat and your power level on the left increases.


As with Arkanoid there are bonus pills that fall from some bricks when hit, that provide a temporary help - for example that enforce gravity on the ball to stick on your bat until ready to fire again, create multi-balls to speed up brick destruction, expanding the size of your bat to make it easier to hit the ball, and so on.


If the ball falls down beyond your bat, you lose a life, and with only 3 lives it doesn't take long to reach Game Over - which initially for me happened often, and quickly!


This games pushes me to keep trying again and again!


The power bar you build up on the left during the game allows you to shoot a flame weapon that slowly rises higher to destroy bricks in a straight line for as long as the power bar is not fully depleted. The power empties out quickly, so choose your targets carefully to help you finish the levels quicker:


Some more action shots from the game:


Finally completed level 0, and earned my first medal!


Level 1 in game screenshot:


Level 2 in game screenshot - getting better at this:


VoxelNoid as a game is a lot of fun and quite addictive. The retro music is great, and the voxel components and flame weapon tied to a power bar add a genuinely new twist and challenge to a well known classic 1980's game genre. It made me keep trying to beat the levels - I want to try it again now and see if I can do a bit better!

The great news for X1000 owners is that with the latest Wazp3D software you can play this game without the need for the Radeon 9250 card installed - the normal Radeon HD cards in the X1000 work well with VoxelNoid.

If I put back the Radeon 9250 card in my X1000 in the future it would be interesting to see if there are any differences to using Hardware Warp3D support instead of using Wazp3D. It runs well on Wazp3D so I am happy to run it like that for now.

Cherry Darling have delivered again with a fun game that is also free to download. I am surprised they don't charge for this game as it is clear a lot of work went into it.

Highly recommended for X1000 owners to download VoxelNoid (and the latest Wazp3D) and try out this game!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

AMIStore Sneak Peak on my X1000


Today I have for you a Sneak Peak at the upcoming AMIStore app store for AmigaOS4.1 on my X1000, kindly provided to me to try out by A-EON Technology. Let's Dive In!

I was given the Install_AMIStore program, which kicks things off. When released it should be available to download directly from www.amistore.net. Simply run this program once downloaded.
When run, the initial AMIStore application installation screen appears, with the Download & Install option:


When clicked, it prompts for the installation location - I chose SYS:Utilities and this is the default location:


Installation underway:


All done:


You are then prompted to open the AMIStore drawer or Quit:


 Here is the AMIStore drawer.


Straight away I added it to my Amidock (Click to expand):


When I first opened AMIStore, it spends a few minutes getting things ready, downloading files, etc:


Once completed, here is the initial view:


This view scrolls automatically through various applications available on the store:


On the left hand side is the navigation options in the store, which are:-

View by Category:


Show products (customised):


 Show Products (Banner format)



The search user/product function:


There is also Shopping Bag, AMIStore Preferences (when logged in), Show my purchases and downloads (when logged in), My product wish list (when logged in), and AMIStore login/logout to complete the navigation bar on the left. At the moment I am not logged in so a few icons are missing.

Going into the Drivers Category first, we can see this tiled view of available software:


An example I have chosen first is RadeonHD for AmigaOS4.1 - the information screen is broken up into Overview, Features and requirements (shown below):




You can add this product to your wish list by clicking the Star icon in the bottom, the i button shows the version number, the comment icon to add comments, reload the application data from the server completes the icons at the bottom.

You can download a Brochure for the product (click Brochure if available - otherwise it is greyed out). In this case I can do it - you can see it downloading below:


This is the brochure which opens automatically once downloaded:


Trevor has even provided a downloadable pdf version of his blog on the AMIStore - of course at no charge:



If you click on Download it will immediately ask you to login with your AMISphere account (since I hadn't logged in yet).

This AMISphere account is the same account registered X1000 owners use to download registered updates from A-eon's website.

AMIStore will prompt you if you want to remember the AMISphere username/password while the computer has not rebooted, or permanently save it:


Once logged in the download prompt appears:


Downloading now underway - I note my AMIStore profile is now visible in the main screen and the other icons appear in the Navigation bar on the left now:


Once downloaded, AMIStore prompts whether I want to view to PDF from the default download folder, copy the file to another location or Cancel:


I chose to copy it - the Application Manager installer then starts:


Destination path is then asked for - defaults to RAM Disk - I created a folder on Work called AMIStore for it:



Install completed:


Here is the pdf file downloaded in the AMIStore folder:


Here is the PDF opened on the X1000:


Ok, let's take a look at games, starting with the M.A.C.E demo available for free on the store. The screenshots in the description can be viewed in full size on the AmigaOS4.1 screen (click to expand):


In the Graphics section there are certainly some interesting applications available to get:


You can click on the GBP to change it to USD or EUR currency automatically.


Ubuntu Live Linux for X1000 is also here, listed under Operating Systems:


 If we go into AMIStore Preferences from the Navigation bar, we get a few options to customise our profile, as well as changing the location of the Downloads folder - which is great if you have limited space on the System partition and prefer the downloads on a separate Work partition for example:


You can set the folder where you want - the dialog box is interesting as we can see the underneath folder structure for downloaded files from AMIStore:


Of course, being able to change your avatar image in the AMIStore preferences also is great (jpeg format), and I wasted no time doing that!


I also noticed at this point that it shows your online status below the Avatar throughout the AMIStore - you can click on your avatar to edit your profile or hover the mouse over the online words to change your status to busy, away, and invisible too:


This is the banner view again:


If I check my shopping bag there is nothing there at the moment:


Looking through the AMIStore it seems Warp3D for RadeonHD may not be too far away...but not yet. I can click on the Email notification icon on the top right of the information screen to be notified when it is available:


 At any time you can use the Show my purchases and downloads to see your previously purchased items, and click on them to redownload them again.


As I add items into the Shopping Bag you can view them at any time, and remove items by clicking on the X next to the item:


There is a Gift For field in the Shopping Bag that allows you to gift an application to another registered AMIStore user:


If you click on this Gift For field you can then search for people registered on AMIStore to gift the application to:


I am guessing Trevor doesn't need another copy of it though :-)

You can also attach a message for the gift recipient at this time also:


It is nice to see Sketchblock and Fractals add-on for Sketchblock on here too - the author Andy "Broadblues" Broad will be at AmiWest this year helping out at the Programming Seminar - I look forward to meeting him there:


You can also click on the Wishlist icon (Star) in the navigation bar to view your wish list of products you want to buy - I can't wait to try Score and Radiance, and so they are on my wish list:


But now to try a game - so I choose to try the M.A.C.E Demo - I already bought M.A.C.E previously direct from AmiBoing, but I wanted to show the process.

From the tiled view in the Games Category in AMIStore I selected M.A.C.E:


Then under the M.A.C.E information screen, I click on Download:


Because the program is free, it then downloads. If you were buying an application, you need to Add to shopping bag (top right) and then checkout and pay via PayPal (which launches automatically via your default web browser):


The Application Manager installation then starts up, similar to the previous one I showed for Trevor's Blog:


Choose installation folder:


Installation completed:


The folder is now there, ready and waiting - the game runs straight away on my X1000 - no problems:


When you close AMIStore it logs you out and closes down.

On launching AMIStore again, it will automatically check for any updates to AMIStore itself. As it happens, I got notified of an update today:


I clicked on Download and Upgrade Now, and it immediately downloads and applies the update:


AMIStore will then prompt you to Quit & Restart - after clicking this AMIStore opens again automatically:


That concludes my sneak peak of AMIStore - expect to see and hear plenty more about it very shortly!

My initial feedback of using AMIStore is very positive - it is easy to navigate with lots of features. 

It is clear they have gone to a great amount of trouble to write this software over the past year or so, to create something user friendly, easy to view, preview, purchase and download/install software, while making it easier for AmigaOS4 developers to get their applications noticed and hopefully more widely purchased.




I know A-EON Technology have many more features planned for AMIStore in the future too. So expect more functionality and plenty more applications in the AMIStore as time goes on!


I hope the AmigaOS4 user and developer community embraces AMIStore - like the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, etc, this model of software distribution is the popular way these days to purchase and deploy applications globally. It is great to finally have this kind of App Store on the X1000!