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Frontier: First Encounters

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A couple of years ago I checked out AROS. That time I didn't stay, but I did start a port of JJFFE, a replacement executable for the game "Frontier: First Encounters".

I thought I'd lost the code, but I was sorting some old hard drives today and I found it! It even still builds and runs (screenshot)

Its fairly rudimentary so far. Basic video and mouse input is done, but it needs a pile of work. I'm not interested in doing it, but someone else might like to pick it up. It would make a good project for someone wanting to learn the basics of Amiga/AROS development, as you'll need to poke at quite a few things: video, audio, input, file access, etc. None of it is too difficult though.

Code is available here:

http://cataclysm.cx/random/ffe/aros/

It only builds/works on i386, and you'll need NASM installed on your build host. I'm sure the mmakefile is wrong in a number of ways; you can sort that out. Needed features (among others):

- sound
- disk io (ie loading/saving games)
- joystick support
- larger window; scaling
- mouse fixups (eg right-click should hold the mouse in place so you can fly the ship)

The code is a bit smelly too; I wrote it before I really knew what I was doing.

Anyway, if you want it, go for it. Feel free to ask me if you need some help - I grok the FFE code fairly well, having studied it in some depth.

Rob.

Posted on: 2007/3/24 20:33
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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That would be great. I don't know anything about programming, but I know I'll play FFE for hours again - if only it could support a higher resolution (1600x1200). I don't care for textures, but if it could easily be done, that would make it a killer app (tried the original again a while ago, but 640x480 doesn't do it anymore for me :)

Posted on: 2007/3/25 5:56
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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Oh, and as far as I remember, for the contents, the original can now be downloaded for free on Braben's site. Redistribution the content along with an engine for Aros isn't the same, but maybe Braben would make an exception.

I'm still waiting for Elite 4, though...

Posted on: 2007/3/25 5:59
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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This is a little OT but just wanted to mention it..

have you checked out Oolite its a open source Elite type game..

Posted on: 2007/3/25 6:25
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters
Sysop
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"OpenGL" something we dont have :).

Posted on: 2007/3/25 6:31
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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Sounds tempting Rob, me wanting to learn programming and being an old Elite fan
Only not now; got too much school stuff (neglected too much already). Maybe in a months or two.

Posted on: 2007/3/25 12:04
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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Let's see...

/me whistling while downloading source

Oh small...huh? Noooooooo!Arrgh!!!Assembler!!!

/me running for the hills

Posted on: 2007/4/3 5:15
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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Yeah it sucks, but thats the nature of the beast. No source available so John Jordan disassembled the code, isolated the OS calls and built an API. He's also done a lot of bugfixes and other tweaks, which is quite impressive considering the difficulty of the code. I know he's tried at various times to rewrite parts in C, buts its extremely difficult as you'd expect. The hard part seems to be the mission engine; apparently its a complete VM with its own language.

I once dabbled in this code a bit, but my x86 assembly isn't so great :(

Posted on: 2007/4/3 15:02
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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Aha =/
Wouldn't Freedroid (SDL) or similar be a better first step?

Posted on: 2007/4/4 2:01
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Re: Frontier: First Encounters

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First step towards what?

Posted on: 2007/4/4 2:21
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