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Article archives

Games news

Posted by Michael Drake on 20:25, 7/7/2015 | , , , , , ,
 

Time for a round-up of recent games news.

JASPP to release more classics

Jon Abbott of the JASPP software preservation project has recently announced that they have acquired the rights to distribute games previously developed/published by Artex Software, Eterna, Minerva and Visions of the Impossible.

These games include such classics as: Ballarena, Botkiller, Exodus, Poizone, Prime Solver & SunBurst. The games are being released through the JASPP forum, so keep an eye out for updates there.

No mention was made of Artex Software's later games Ankh and TEK, or the never released for RISC OS Iron Dignity, with its impressive 3D rendering engine.

The announcement does mention that JASPP are looking to update some of the titles by Artex Software and Visions of the Impossible to run natively on 32-bit systems. The first to get such treatment will be VOTI's SunBurst. Whether this news will lead to a 32-bit multitasking desktop WIMP conversion of Super Foul Egg, or Exodus running natively on the Panda Board is unknown at this time.

Star Fighter 3000 released for free

This happened a while back, but the full Star Fighter 3000 game has been released for free. This is the latest souped-up version, which features improved rendering distances, desktop play, and a host of other improvements. It runs on RISC OS machines from the latest dev-board hardware, right back to the old Archimedes systems it originally appeared on. To run it on an old Archimedes system at full frame rate, you'll need to make sure you have the nested WIMP installed, reduce the game's graphics settings and force it to run in fullscreen mode.

New game: Overlord

Anthony Vaughan Bartram of Ambiguous Contrasts Games has produced Overlord, a space shoot-em-up on available PlingStore. The latest version, 1.40, has just been released.

RailPro-like game progressing

In other news, James Shaw has been keeping us informed of his progress on the development of a RailPro-like game.


 
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Emulation roundup

Posted by Michael Drake on 10:05, 19/4/2013 | , , ,
 
The popular open-source RiscPC emulator RPCEmu has had an update. Version 0.8.10 is available now. The changes since the last release include various bug fixes and extensive under-the-bonnet refactoring in preparation for future improvements.

More work has been done on RISC OS Open Limited's IOMD RISC OS ROM for RiscPC class hardware and emulators such as RPCEmu. The IOMD ROM is now mostly complete. In related news, benchmarking has shown that RISC OS 5 runs faster under emulation than 26-bit versions of the OS.

As for Archimedes emulation, the open-source Archimedes emulator ArcEm was updated to version 1.50 at the end of last year. (Yes, we're a bit late with that.) An extensive change log details what's changed since the previous release. The main improvement between this release and the earlier ArcEm 1.50-alpha was to fix operation on the Raspberry Pi.
 
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Newsround

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 17:30, 20/10/2012 | , , , , , , , ,
 
Here's a quick round up of some of the recent activities in the RISC OS world.

London Show reminder

Next weekend, Saturday the 27th of October, is the date for this years London show. The show is to be held at the usual location of the St Giles Hotel in Feltham, London, and will be open from 11AM to 5PM. Tickets cost 5 on the door.

Although the theatre presentation schedule isn't yet available, the exhibitor's list is. Apart from all the usual subjects you should also keep an eye out for ROOL's first official, stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi.

ROOL updates

As mentioned above, the first stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi is expected to be unveiled at this years London show. The port has come on a long way since it was first shown at last years show, and is now pretty much on par with the other platforms with regards to features and usability. The distribution is to be available in the form of an SD card complete with ROM image, !Boot sequence, and a selection of pre-installed software, based around the work Chris Hall and others have placed into the Pi alpha distro.

Other news from ROOL in recent months includes:

  • The release of SDFS, an SD card filing system for all the modern machines (BeagleBoard/ARMini, PandaBoard, Raspberry Pi)
  • The release of several 32bit compatible NIC drivers for the RiscPC/A7000 (previously the IOMD port of RISC OS 5 had no drivers available, except under emulation)
  • Work on step one of the multi-stage filing system improvements bounty has begun
  • There have also been several performance improvements over the past few months - faster remapping of memory and shorter drive mount times, resulting in significantly shorter boot times for modern machines, faster font plotting, and last but not least a SmartReflex driver to allow the BeagleBoard-xM/ARMini to run at its full speed of 1GHz instead of 800MHz.

GCC 4.1.2 release 2 released

Hot on the heels of release 1 of GCC 4.1.2, the RISC OS GCCSDK team have released release 2, with a focus on fixing the bugs that were found in the initial release.

Emulation news

  • Aemulor Pro now freely available for ARMv7 machines
    A new version of Aemulor Pro, compatible with all the modern ARMv7 machines (BeagleBoard, ARMini, PandaBoard, etc.) is now available to download free of charge from the Spellings website at http://buyit.spellings.net/. A Raspberry Pi compatible version is expected to appear in due course.
  • ArcEm 1.50 alpha available
    The ArcEm team are back with a new website and a new alpha release. Compared to the previous 1.00 release there have been many significant improvements. In particular the RISC OS version is now ARMv6/ARMv7 compatible, and fast enough to play most Arc games at full speed on an Iyonix. Members of R-Comp's ARMini/BeagleBoard/PandaLand support schemes also have access to a more polished version of the emulator, and several games to play on it, under the moniker !AcornMode.
  • Atari emulator Hatari ported to RISC OS
    In recent weeks Franck Martinaux has released a RISC OS port of version 1.6.2 of the Atari ST emulator Hatari. The emulator is reported to run at full speed on BB-xM, and is available from Franck's website at http://www.norisc-nofun.co.uk/software.html.

 
18 comments in the forums

Archimedes is 25!

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 07:53, 1/6/2012 | , , ,
 
Arch 4The Register has a nice write-up charting the rise and fall of the Archimedes range. OK, so some of it was cribbed from Chris Whytehead's Acorns site (with credits), but it's nice to see a 4-page writeup on a major tech website.
 
We have cake here in the office, but apparently it's not for this, it's for something else going on next week.
 
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Oldschool Reviews - Burn 'Out

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 18:00, 1/10/2011 | , , ,
 
Burn 'OutIt's about time we had another one of these, isn't it? As you've probably guessed, this time I'm looking at Burn 'Out, an arcade-style racing game released by Oregan in 1995, and rather heavily influenced by the arcade classic Power Drift.

 
Continue reading "Oldschool Reviews - Burn 'Out" | 2 comments in the forums

Retro Reunited and Acorn World 2009

Posted by Phil Mellor on 11:00, 14/9/2009 | , , ,
 
Acorn World and Retro ReunitedAcorn World - now there's a name from the past. The final show was cancelled in 1998 when Acorn closed its workstations division - now it's back thanks to Dave Moore and the Retro Reunited team. The show, held over the weekend at the Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield, offered a range of vintage games consoles and bizarre Acorn hardware hacks. The Acorn scene was mostly 8-bit oriented although there was some RISC OS coverage too.
 
Continue reading "Retro Reunited and Acorn World 2009" | 5 comments in the forums

Right On Commander!

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 21:30, 14/8/2008 | , ,
 
Gareth Moore wrote in to let us know that, as foretold in the forums, the "Brits Who Made the Modern World" series is a big rip-off of the book "The Backroom Boys". No, wait, that wasn't it.

The final episode airs on August 22nd at 7:30pm on Five. Go on, guess what it's about.

Elite
 
12 comments in the forums

Happy Birthday from Acorn Arcade!

Posted by Acorn Arcade team on 00:00, 29/1/2008 | , , , ,
 

But whose birthday is it?
 
It's ours, of course!

Ten years ago today, Acorn Arcade officially opened to the public, as this handily-archived newsgroup posting shows. With Alasdair Bailey and Graham Crockford at the helm the site soon increased in popularity enough to warrant moving to its own domain name, acornarcade.com, and eventually to its own dedicated server, owned by our benevolent dictator Rich Goodwin. A few years later Acorn Arcade gave birth to The Icon Bar, which then in an ironic turn of events absorbed the content of Acorn Arcade in late 2006, in order to give both sites a much-needed overhaul.
 
But what does all this mean?


 
Continue reading "Happy Birthday from Acorn Arcade!" | 12 comments in the forums

Oldschool Reviews - LASER

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Bob and Trev: Resurrection: Just in time

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Monster AI

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Combat

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Visibility and pathfinding

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The level generator

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