Generation Amiga: Hello Enrique can you introduce yourself to our readers? How did you discover the Amiga platform?
I am 40 years old and use the Amiga since the early 90’s. My first computer was a ZX Spectrum +2, later I got an Amiga 500 and Amiga 1200 with accelerator card. I bought The Amiga 4000/040 from Amiga Technologies and finally a DraCo, at the end of 90’s. Later I would migrate to Mac’s. Since I first had my Amiga 500 I have always been a big fan and fully other computer user about the full potential and advantages of the Amiga platform.
Generation Amiga: How many people are working for Amiga Wave and how did it started?
AmigaWave is formed a year ago and is a big team; there is a stable core of members (Jojo073, Estrayk, Web8Bits, Rod Mérida and myself) but has many contributions by more people (Tecniman, Momochan [:D Tecniman’s cat], Ron Méndez, Edu Arana, JosSs, Fernando Cabrera, Tranx, Toni Gálvez, Birra, Uctumi, etc….]. AmigaWave Is a group of Amiga fans and we meet every Sunday in a live streaming on YouTube to share knowledge, comment news, promote events and make tutorials for our viewers and the Amiga/Retro community, mainly the Spanish. With this Youtube live broadcast, we like to participate in other projects and to help encouraging other fans to create content for our beloved Amiga!
Generation Amiga: You guys are very talented with Deluxe Paint. Any advice for our readers?
Yes, of course; Jojo073 is our main graphics-maker; he has been using Deluxe Paint for over 30 years with no interruption, and is capable to draw anything. Rod and Estrayk have a very high knowledge of making music with Amiga trackers (Estrayk was a very known scener and demo-scener in the 90’s). Rod Mérida is our main programmer for Amos Professional/Basic. Web8Bits helps us with test, knowledge of AmigaDOS and Workbench, installing scripts, etc., and I usually coordinate the projects, promote them and often learn osomething new about programming. In the 90’s I was a big fan of LightWave and 3D modeling applications.
Generation Amiga: You are developing 2 adventure games for Amiga classic, “Furtum Sacrum” and “RetroWars. Can you tell us more about the development?
Our first game has been RetroWars, currently available in Spanish only, we have the translation to English in process, and working on the translation to Polish. We only need some free time to fix a couple of little bugs and finish these translations. We are right now involved in so many projects at the same time, so we need to go on closing projects one by one before going on with new ones. Additionally to the games of our own creation, we have also made an amount of work patching and modifying the last year, classic games to our own language, rescuing this way games that were thought to have got lost, in Spanish, for Amiga and other platforms like Atari ST. Inside the group there are more preferences to other retro machines than Amiga, like for example Jojo073 has retiently finished Legado (Legacy in its translation to English, made by Rod Mérida), a game developed for Sam Coupé, and is developing with Pser1 a graphic adventure about the film Jaws (Tiburón in its Spanish translation) for Dragon 32 (Tandy Coco compatible). Rod Mérida has experience programming for DOS and ROMHacking for DOS, SNES, Mega Drive and Master System, and Amiga. And we have developed with Uctumi and Birra a little Pixel Art demo of Queen and are doing another demo about Back to Future that will be published in few time. In what refers to Furtum Sacrum; it is a project still in development process, that we expect it may be finished before the end of 2017. We published a promotional demo time ago in English that is available for free download.
Generation Amiga: You participated in the AmiGamejam 2016 competition and released “Brus Lii’. Where did you get the inspiration from?
Brus Lii was a project that we started 6 months ago with another programmer, but didn’t advance appropriately and it required much of our time. It didn’t evolve in a good direction and the first test versions only worked smooth on an Amiga 4000. It was abandoned to focus on other projects that had been started. At the end of November of 2016, while making our section of news in our weekly Youtube AmigaWave streaming, a mate of us told us about AmiGameJam 2016. As the streaming was finished I joined the competition. I proposed to re-start Brus Lii from scratch, with our programmer Rod Mérida. The others considered it a good idea. We temporarily stopped other developments and started to remake Brus Lii from scratch, since in previous attempts it was only being a sketch. We knew it was a complicated deal. It was our first arcade-style public game and we only had one month to complete it. To create a game that works well and to make it with few minimal resources as possible is not so easy, so that’s why our priority and 70% of our effort was to make this game work appropriately on a Commodore Amiga 500 with 1 MB RAM (512 chip RAM and 512 slow RAM at least), including original contents with big characters, scrolled background, FX and in game music, and if all this wasn’t enough, the game had to be a good game, balanced in difficulty and entertaining to play.
When we showed Brus Lii to our friends, many asked us why so much effort to make it work on an Amiga 500, developing Brus Lii for Amiga 1200 would have been easier. We always answered the same: it’s a Jam! To make it run with 32 colours and basic Amiga 500 is unique. As an anecdote, I can tell you that we increased our development and the end of December. We already had Brus Lii working on an Amiga 500 with 1 Mb and on December 31st we sent it to AmiGameJam; Rod and I spent the last two or three days and nights programming and testing each modification on several real Amiga’s in an intensive way, with almost no sleeping. And on January 3rd and 4th of 2017: surprise!! Our team always focused on releasing the game in one month. In January we decided to fix some bugs and retest it in detail for fast Amiga models (like 4000 and 3000) and Amiga’s with accelerators (like Blizzard’s, Vampire…) to make sure the game would be balanced on accelerated Amiga’s.
Generation Amiga: Why did you call the game Brus Lii and not Bruce Lee, how is it actually written?
We initially thought about naming this game Bruce Lee, but we reconsidered it in order to avoid any kind of complaint or legal trouble, so we changed the title to Brus Lii. We also changed some of the enemy characters to avoid legal problems.
Generation Amiga: What is your favorite programming language and why?
Mainly Amos Professional. We also use other tools and collaborate with the creator of RedPill. We are not professional programmers, just self-learning fans, so we do what we can. Unfortunately we don’t have enough time to learn other more powerful programming languages (like Assembly), so we prefer to focus in the simpler ones and try to do our best with them, to get as much advantage as possible from them. Amos Pro is quick and relatively easy to use.
Generation Amiga: Can you tell us more about future Amiga projects?
As I have said, we have several projects in process, but I prefer to talk about them when development is making good progress. For the moment we are orking hard on Furtum Sacrum in Spanish and English, and another game called 2027: Escape from Berlin, that we are about to finish. The most immediate release is a pixel art demo that we’ll publish in a short period of time about Back to Future film. We are also developing a game based on the film Jaws (Tiburón in Spanish) for Dragon 32.
Generation Amiga: What are your Amiga configurations?
Throughout years, I have had nearly everything: currently I have an Amiga 500 with 1Mb for testing our current developments, an Amiga 1200 with a Microbotixs 1230 with 030 at 50 Mhz+FPU, Amiga 4000 desktop 040 with WarpEngine @ 40 Mhz, a Commodore CDTV, and the Amiga that I most currently use is an Amiga 600 with Vampire v2. Most people of AmigaWave, have all every existing Amiga model, since the Commodore Amiga 1000 until the next generation AmigaOne X1000 from A-EON Technology.
Generation Amiga: What is your opinion about upcoming Amiga systems ? (X5000, A1222)
The X5000 is fantastic, but the price is to big for our team. We are very enthusiastic about the upcoming A1222, it’s years ago that new generation solutions based on AmigaOS4 have been released at reduced prices and we believe this solution can give Amiga a new push!
Generation Amiga: What are your preferred modern AmigaOS4 games and programs?
Currently I have no AmigaOS4 machine so I can’t give my opinion about it.
Generation Amiga: Thanks for this interview, Enrique, and good luck with future Amiga projects
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to present our projects to Amiga fans.