Sunday, 25 August 2013

M.A.C.E on X1000

Today I take a look at the recently released M.A.C.E by AmiBoing for AmigaOS4 on the AmigaOne X1000.

Amiboing had a busy 2012, releasing a lot of new games on AmigaOS4, and I have covered many of them in my blog.

This year they have been quieter, with M.A.C.E the first game release of theirs for 2013. The game is available for purchase from or you can buy a packaged product from .

M.A.C.E is shoot em up in the Classic Amiga gaming tradition. There are the normal power ups and a plethora of enemies to shoot at.

After you download and install the game, you will have a folder similar to the below:

The config program allows you to adjust the games settings to display full screen or window, and other settings too, as shown below:

For X1000 owners, you want to be using 1920x1080 and the other settings as above.

For owners of slower NextGen Amigas like Sam 440ep and Sam 460, Amiboing includes some recommended settings to set in the Config program for best performance in the manual, as shown below. I can't validate the performance of this since I don't have one of these slower AmigaOne computers:

The manual also includes instructions on how to play the game (it is a shoot em up so it is hardly rocket science!), but also shows the power upgrades, and the layout of mouse and keyboard if playing the game in two player mode.

The Help option on the Main Menu screen of the game itself also explains the controls as shown in the manual above:

There is also a number of awards you can win during the game, and you can see these from the Main Menu of the game itself:

You can also turn off the music in the Settings menu:

Given the nature of the game itself, it was very difficult to get decent screen grabs of the game itself, so I decided to make and upload a YouTube video showing the gameplay of M.A.C.E below:

The game looks great graphically, there are no slowdowns on the X1000 even when the game is busy with enemies, the music is good and the gameplay is challenging shoot em up fare:

I am not so great at these types of games recently (not sure why - I used to be great at R-Type, Battle Squadron, SWIV, UN Squadron, etc, back in the day), so I can't judge the later game levels as I couldn't get that far yet!

Killed again - Game over:

As always with Amiboing, they have a online high score system for M.A.C.E which synchronises with the server so you can see how you are doing in comparison to other players!

M.A.C.E is another quality release from Amiboing and is recommended.

MihPhoto on X1000

Today I wanted to take a look at an application called MihPhoto, based on the Qt 4.7 framework, recently released on AmigaOS4 on the X1000.

MihPhoto is a picture preview and display application, ported to AmigaOS4 by Frank Ruthe. You can download it from MihPhoto is apparently touch ready, but of course the Amiga very much isn't as yet! Nonetheless using the mouse or keyboard works well for normal use on the X1000.

The application needs Qt 4.7 framework installed (also available on MihPhoto does not however need 3D acceleration, and so it will work fine on the standard X1000 Radeon HD card.

When the program launches it prompts for you to click to show the icon based menu, as below:

The left-most icon opens a file or folder, the next is the thumbnail viewer. Following this is the expand option to show the menu/full screen, Settings, Navigate Next/Previous Photo, and various zoom and rotate options. The last icon quits the program.

At the bottom is a zoom in and zoom out feature for the current photo, with a slider bar to adjust the level of zoom.

When you open a photo, it appears as below:

You can use Left/Right arrow keys to navigate through the next/previous photos in the same folder. Going to previous photos has a nice transition effect, but does not seem to apply when going forwards for some reason. Nonetheless the photos look good:

Also, If you click anywhere on the photo you then get the menu icons. This allows you to do mouse based navigate/zoom on photos:

If you click the Thumbnail icon you can then view all the photos in the folder the photo is in:

You can use the mouse scroll wheel to navigate through the photos - I am impressed how quickly the photos are rendered, although the clipping of photo names and not scaling of preview photos makes selecting photos that are quite similar a bit cumbersome.

You can edit the settings to choose a default start folder location, and many other settings. This is accessible from the Settings icon:

Again you can use the mouse scroll wheel to navigate all the options, and select the tick box at the top left if you are happy with the setting changes.

The application still has some rough edges on it, but for a first release it shows a lot of promise and looks great. And it's free to use so if you are interesting please give it a go!

Qt 4.7 on X1000

Today I wanted to take a look at the recently released Qt 4.7 framework for AmigaOS4 on the X1000.

So what is Qt? Qt is an application framework that is used by programmers to write applications for the modern platforms of today, like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, amongst others.

You can find more information about Qt on Wikipedia entry here if you want to learn more about Qt.

Qt framework has been used for some well known applications such as Google Earth, Skype, VLC Media Player, and VirtualBox, amongst others.

This presents some exciting application porting possibilities into the future on AmigaOS with the availability of the Qt framework.

Qt is a free download and is available on A number of programs have already been ported to AmigaOS and I will cover some of the applications released so far.

Note 7/10: QT Quickfix7 has been released to patch QT to the latest version with many bug fixes. It is available to download from here. I have written a separate blog entry how to install the quickfix here. Please note that you need to install Qt 4.7 as below first, before applying the quickfix.

Please note that some Qt applications (not all) requires 3D acceleration and as such requires the Dual graphic card setup on the X1000 in order to use it (or the Wazp3d acceleration) - for hardware support you need a Radeon 9250 graphics card which has hardware 3D support. I detailed how to set this up in an earlier blog posting I wrote here.

The main Qt archive is a very large 400MB download compressed, and expands to over 1GB of content once extracted. This is because it included the SDK (Software Development Kit) to develop Qt applications, as well as the binary files needed for the Qt framework.

The original Qt archive is a gzipped tar archive. This means you need to first extract the tar archive, and then extract that to the destination temporary folder for installation, as below.

Once this tar file is extracted (I did to WORK:Temp folder), you should get the Qt4.7 folder below:

The Qt4.7 installer is a fairly routine installation...

Note that you need to make a change to your s:User-Startup folder before you reboot after the install. When you see the screen below, DO NOT REBOOT YET.

Instead, open up your favourite editor and open s:User-Startup and scroll down to the end of the file. The line you need to add to the User-Startup is dir sobjs: >NIL: which needs to be inserted as highlighted below and then saved:

After this has been done, you can now reboot. If you don't insert this line you will get an error on reboot.

After the reboot, I opened up work:Qt-4.7 folder. I created an Apps folder here to store Qt applications I download. This should keep things clean when upgrading Qt in the future.

Note the SubDock.Docky icon. If you drag this into the AmiDock on your Workbench, you will get a new Sub dock (which I renamed to QT Apps). You can then put your favourite Qt applications there for easy access when needed. I show this below:

Ok, so let's take a look at some of the demo programs included in the Qt archive. As you can see below, there are quite a few to try out:

First up is QTextEdit, a Rich Text format text editor program. When I first ran it, I immediately saw a problem with the Menu bar over lapping the application AmigaOS title bar, as shown below:

I found this affected all the demo programs I tried. After some research, it turns out a setting needs to be modified in Qt Prefs in order to fix this. So, first close QTextEdit.

In the System:Prefs folder, there is now a Qt Prefs icon which, when run, appears as below:

You need to click on the Painting tab, and select the "Native Paint Engine" option, as shown below:

When I clicked Save and then re-ran QTextEdit, the application now appeared correctly:

So next I tried a few other simple demo programs included...



Qt Demo Browser

I know it is a demo web browser, but I decided to try out YouTube anyway in HTML 5 mode, and found the browser is not HTML5 compliant.

Having explored a few of the demo programs, I was keen to try out some of the many released Qt ports on AmigaOS4. First I tried a program called qMetro.

Essentially this program is a route planner for train trips in various cities around the world. Initially it comes with Moscow and London, with Moscow the default map (Click to expand):

Keen to try out the optional Tokyo subway map (as I travel to Tokyo quite often), I downloaded the Tokyo map from their website:

After downloading the map, I then needed to extract it to the maps folder underneath the qMetro folder, as below:

I could then open the Tokyo map from the qMetro application as shown below:

Now I can see the Tokyo subway map as below:

I select Shirokane Takanawa as my starting point, and Akihabara (my favourite place in Tokyo) as the destination. It then plots the route for me as shown below:

Very useful. It shows me the transfer stations and trains, but doesn't explain the Mita to Ningyocho train line name! I guess this needs some more refinement but I do like the idea!

Next up I quickly took a look a Edyuk, an IDE for programmers to code in (I am not a programmer so I just show that it works!):

I noted that it took a long time to launch Edyuk the first time, building up some cache files, etc.

Next I tried out Gottet, a simple Tetris clone. It should be noted that this version of Qt does not have sound support, so games are completely silent at the moment...

This wasn't so interesting for me, so I tried Tanglet, a word game which I played for quite a while as it was quite a bit of fun trying to work out all the different words in the 4x4 letter grid puzzle....

Initially I was just looking left, right, up and down for words...

Then I realised you could do tricky combinations of nearby letters to form words:

I had a lot of fun playing this game, even with no sound effects! I found 57 words in total. I thought that was pretty good until I discovered there was actually 208 words in the puzzle I was playing...

I then tried Simsu, a Sudoku clone. Since I am terrible at Sudoku I just show below that it works!

The last game I tried was Tetzle, which take a picture and breaks it up into jigsaw pieces which you have to rearrange back into the original picture:

Hopefully this gives you a taster of some of the Qt applications already available for AmigaOS4 and encourages you to try them (and others) out for yourself!

I am sure there will be a lot more released for AmigaOS4 using the Qt framework over the next few months and beyond, and I am looking forward to trying them all out!

I want to take this opportunity to thank the developers who ported Qt, and those who are porting applications to AmigaOS using the new Qt framework. It is terrific to have even more applications to try out on the X1000! There is plenty more to look forward to in 2013!