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AMOS 2 - in development for PC/Mac

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http://amos2.tech/

 

 

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My name is Francois Lionet, and I wrote STOS and AMOS in the 80s.

STOS and AMOS were the foundation of my career as a Software Author, and after AMOS I went onto PC to create Klik and Play with my partner Yves Lamoureux. As the years went by, I saw the Atari ST and Amiga communities persist until the celebration of the 30 years of the Amiga and its renewed interest.

 

...and I started to receive letters from ex-users of STOS and AMOS, that were kids at the time, thanking me for having written the products that changed their lives. All of them explained to me that they learned to program with STOS or AMOS, and if they chose to work in IT later, it was because of the knowledge that they gained by making games. And it seemed that they learned to program the proper way, by practice and experiment, as they ALL have a very succesful situation today.

 

I must have received several dozens of such letters, and each time they make me immensly happy. I programmed AMOS during my military service in France, in a closet in the back of a barrack, and at the time, I could never imagine that 30 years later I would receive such letters.

 

Then slowly, the idea of creating a new and modern version of the tool imposed itself to me. Just like in the 80s, learning to program is today not for everyone. The Basic language has disappeared, as professional programmers prefered to use faster languages like C. The closest equivalent to Basic today is Python, yet the syntax of Python is far from being simple and as an interpretor, it is very slow.

 

Javascript could be seen as 'simple', but in order to learn Javascript you have first to learn HTML, understand how the Internet works etc... A lot to learn when you just 'want to program'...

 

...and the syntax of today programming langages all contains repulsive and scary structure elements like accolades {}, dots, semi-columns you name it. Making a 'Hello word' program, the very first program that everyone writes takes pages of code just to initialize the windowing system and create a place where to print the two words.

 

In Basic, it is just one line of code:

Print "Hello word"

 

The same gap exists today as it existed in the 80s. Computers have become an essential part of our lives, yet the majority do not really understand how to use them, really use them to create and make. If you do not understand a tool, then the tool and its makers become your master.

 

It was time to act.

 

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A modern version

 

AMOS 2 is designed to be:

•Universal, it should work on every platform, including phones and tablets

•Fast, it should use the incredible power of today's machines

•Simple, it should be as simple to use as the original versions

•Compatible, it should understand and play ALL of the original programs written in the 80s

 

AMOS 2 is a compiler. It takes as entry any AMOS program ( * ) and converts it into HTML 5 / Javascript code. The code produced works in any browser, can be uploaded to any web-server, and in the future versions of the tool, will be exportable as native executable for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

 

AMOS 2 is much faster than the original STOS or AMOS. For example, one of the demos you will find in the ditribution displays up to 7000 bobs at the same time while keeping a display rate of 50 FPS... compare this to the Amiga, were this demo would have slowed down after 40 or 50 bobs.

 

AMOS 2 is as simple as the original. It supports the same instruction set as the original, nothing has changed. A screen is created automatically for you, and you can immediately print text to it. The 'Hello-word-in-one-line' is possible again.

 

AMOS 2 is as compatible as possible. The display of the Amiga is emulated as best as possible, including color animation and copper list effects like rainbows ( ** ). The file system of the Amiga is also emulated. AMOS 2 can be considered as a kind of Amiga emulator (like WinUAE), yet rather a Amiga-under-AMOS emulator, as I do not emulate the Workbench and the whole Amiga system.

 

As soon as the instruction set of AMOS is complete, I will program the instruction set of STOS. It will be a quick job...

Beside the compiler, I will program a plugin for Visual Studio Code that will provide a comfortable, quick and simple programming environment, and will include a debugger.

 

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Free forever

 

All the work I do on AMOS 2 is destined to be free, and this forever for any individuals. To be more precise, is free:

•AMOS 2 supporting the (enhanced) instruction set up of STOS and AMOS Professional

•Any extension with their original instruction set converted to AMOS 2 will be free (like AMOS3D and any popular extension)

 

'Free' means you can do whatever with it, as long as you indicate that the applications were made with the tool, distribute, copy and make money.

 

AMOS 2 is NOT free for:

•Institutions, schools

•Companies

... The product not being finished today, I have no idea of the future price range, but it will be very reasonable.

 

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The future

 

AMOS 2 should be complete and finished by the summer of 2019. But that does not mean the end of AMOS, as I want to start a more ambitious project, GAMOS.

 

GAMOS will be what AMOS would have been if I had programmed it today. You learn many things during 30 years! GAMOS will be a new professional game-engine, based on a modern version of the Basic language:

 

•Object oriented

•Full support of modern accelerated 3D, with shaders and all the cool stuff

•Integrated 2D and 3D physics engine

•Expandable with the support of node.js libraries and Javascript libraries

•With a complete and integrated IDE, with the necessary tools (source editor, paint editor, 3D world editor, debugger etc. all written in GAMOS of course)

•A revamped instruction set, as close as possible from the original yet much more logical and simple to learn, less instructions that do more things

GAMOS is a big project that I intend to carry during the next two years. I aim for publication in February 2021.

( * ) For the moment, the compiler does not understand .AMOS files, only 'AMOS folders' (see later in this documentation)...

( ** ) Soon to come! :)

 

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AMOS was so cool! I remember getting my Amiga - coming from a Spectrum where you where very much at the programming coal face the second you turned it on, the more abstract interface of a GUI based computer threw me at first. AMOS was just the thing I was looking for (once I got over the lack of line numbers!)

 

It did get a bad rep though, kind of like how Unity has today - the low barrier to entry meant a lot of rubbish got shoved out!

Amazing that he has gone for source-level compatibility, maybe I can dig up some of my old masterpieces..

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I've been reading up about AMOS recently as I wanted to go back and fulfil my teenage ambitions of making an Amiga game.

 

I got really into the PC variants of Blitz Basic, in fact still Blitz Plus is still my favourite language to just noodle about and prototype stuff with, but that family of languages fell by the wayside and their successor Monkey was a hopeless mess.

 

Not sure I'd want to make a big game in AMOS today with it's idiosyncratic ways of handling functions and arguments, but GAMOS sounds very promising. I'd love a modern, structured, object oriented BASIC language that was slick enough to produce commercial quality indie games.

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9 hours ago, matt0 said:

I've been reading up about AMOS recently as I wanted to go back and fulfil my teenage ambitions of making an Amiga game.

 

I got really into the PC variants of Blitz Basic, in fact still Blitz Plus is still my favourite language to just noodle about and prototype stuff with, but that family of languages fell by the wayside and their successor Monkey was a hopeless mess.

 

Not sure I'd want to make a big game in AMOS today with it's idiosyncratic ways of handling functions and arguments, but GAMOS sounds very promising. I'd love a modern, structured, object oriented BASIC language that was slick enough to produce commercial quality indie games.

I have the same ambition! 

I've been looking at blitz basic tutorials for the amiga as I think that might be the sweet spot performance wise without learning assembler. 

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A mate showed me STOS back in the day and it looked amazing. We were on a computer programming course at the time. So when AMOS came out I was on it. The only thing I made that was of any use was a util that generated copper data you could insert into assembler code. It included blending between colours and everything.

 

When AMOS Professional came out they did a heavy discount for registered AMOS users, so I took the plunge. It was trickier to get into but very powerful. Certainly not as powerful of BlitzBASIC by all accounts but still really useful. Sadly I didn't apply myself to it enough to actually make any headway (that last sentence is the story of my life and can be applied to almost everything I do to this day).

 

I do still have my AMOS stuff though, although knowing Amiga discs they're probably all fucked. Mind you, AMOS Pro had a pretty substantial set of printed manuals in a big box.

 

This new one sounds fantastic but I gave up the delusion I'd ever get into programming years ago. Still, will be interesting to see where this goes.

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AMOS was great back in the day, I actually bought the proper version with the lovely box and manual (before it started appeared free as cover discs)  It was always a little slow on the Amiga - I wanted full frame rate, but as I started getting more complicated code going, it slowed down.  That said it was a great breeding ground for amateur coders to get going on something fast.  I still have my disks in my loft that contains all my work I did on the Amiga which I'd love to look at again, but I'm now missing an Amiga.  I remember making some code to let me input sine wave equations, then showing how a bunch of sprites moved in their x and y directions to different sine inputs and then being able to export the pre-calculated sine-waves as nicely packaged dc.w assembly lines (IIRC)

 

I played around with BlitzBasic as well which felt nicely familiar, although the last fun little code stuff I wrote was in Python, using the Pygame library - which was quite friendly, and multi-platform.

 

As much as I'd like to sit down an do something properly in a "proper" language.  I don't ever have the time, so bring on something easy to use, which is multi-platform and nice and easy - I don't know if I'll ever sit down and finish something, but I still like to mess about with stuff.

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I can't wait to re-do my homemade remake of The Wild Bunch from the Spectrum.  I did it in Amos over the space of a week, and I believe it is still the first game to use the "Game Over Yeeeeaaaahhhhhh!" other than Sega Rally.  

 

If you use Amiga Emulators, here it is ! https://www.dropbox.com/s/jylbclbpycoj3cm/TheWildBunch2019.adf?dl=0

 

Edit - DAMN THIS THREAD.  I've just spent all morning adjusting the timing, fixing bugs and messing about with a 22 year old game I only wrote for fun in the first place!!!!!

 

(This is my new 2019 version - I've made it much easier.  You can earn money at the shooting range, buy some marked cards at the store, gamble at the saloon (no more than that per town when you're cheating with the marked cards), buy a horse and saddle and food, then go from town to town looking at the wanted posters, writing down what everyone looks like as you play.  In each bar, look around, when you know the name of the person in the bar, shoot him, claim the reward, then go somewhere else.  One gang member per town, so no need to go back to a town if you shot the bad guy there already.  If you have a horse and saddle you can run away from all the fights when travelling.  Read the faxes before travel to find out where the FBI agent is, and don't go there. That's the only way to play, it's way too stingy on the cash if you don't cheat at cards.) To shoot a gang member wait with your finger poised over the space bar, keep waiting, press the very moment he draws his guns.  

 

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I used to use Easy AMOS & AMOS Professional a lot. I made a couple of multimedia applications and a "game" or two that were basic point and click for PD but i could never write actual games or anything like that =( 

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