AMOS THE CREATOR
Dedication from François Lionet
I'd like to dedicate this program to my wife Carine, for her patience in the stressed days!
I'd like to assure you that I have put all my knowledge in this product. It's everything I've always wanted in a Basic for the Amiga.
When you program a game, you spend more than three quarters of the time writing low-level routines to display sprites, move screens and so on ... This job is difficult on any computer, but it's a nightmare on the Amiga because of its power. In the BA years, (before AMOS!), making a game on the Amiga meant spending a lot of time on the utilities.
With AMOS, I've done the whole job once and for all, so all the boring bob routines, copper list calculations, disc handling and so on are done for you. You can now concentrate on the really important parts of your games - such as the scenario, the graphics and the music.
I hope AMOS will provide you with the opportunity to make your ideas turn into reality. I would really be very happy if, in a couple of years time, a hit-maker told me he had begun with AMOS!
I've designed AMOS to be flexible and extensible, so it can follow the evolution of your beloved machine. The best example of this can be found in the music routines. These are public domain and you can find the source code (in assembly language) on the AMOS program disc. Why? Because they provide you with a perfect example of how to create extensions for AMOS Basic. The same techniques can be used to add whole new instructions to AMOS, or to change the music routine to the latest 235-voice SoundTracker version 4.242 rev 1.2!
My last word will be - guess what - about piracy. Software piracy is really a crime - a slow crime. The effects can be seen with the boom of the games consoles market. Since there's no way you can copy a cartridge, all software houses are turning to them. But if you want to be able to find an affordable computer with a disc drive and a keyboard in the next few years, you'll need to support lone voices like myself. So please don't copy AMOS or give copies to your friends. You'd literally be taking the bread out of my mouth and reducing the chance of me producing the compiler and other add-ons. If you're a registered user, you'll have the maximum support and respect from us!
Well that's it. Thanks for reading. I do hope you'll find this product useful, and you'll spend lots of creative and enjoyable hours with it!
2: Getting started
AMOS Basic is a truly remarkable package, capable of creating games which were previously beyond your wildest dreams. All the powerful features which make the Amiga so irresistible have been incorporated into this amazing system. With the help of AMOS Basic you can develop programs which would tax the skills of even the most expert assembly language programmer.
You can for instance, effortlessly animate up to 56 hardware sprites simultaneously! This is a real achievement, especially when you consider that the Amiga's hardware only actually provides you with eight.
If you need even more action on the screen, you can use the Amiga's blitter chip as well. Blitter objects can be created in any graphics mode you like, including HAM! The only limit to the number of Blitter Objects on the screen is the amount of available memory.
Any combination of the Amiga's graphics modes can be displayed on the screen at once. Hardware scrolling isn't just possible, it's easy! There's a built-in SCREEN OFFSET command which allows you to perform the entire process directly.
In fact, the only hard part of AMOS Basic is knowing where to start! AMOS supports over 500 Basic commands, and if you've never used Basic before, you may feel a little overawed by the sheer scale of this system. When you're in unfamiliar territory, it's always useful to have a guide to show you around and point out some of the notable landmarks. That's the purpose of this chapter.