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The Icon Bar: News and features: Software preservation project bearing fruit
 

Software preservation project bearing fruit

Posted by Michael Drake on 18:04, 12/10/2013 | , , ,
 

The preservation project for Acorn software, JASPP, has so far been focused on preserving old games. Many of the titles concerned required 20 year old hardware and obsolete versions of RISC OS to run. Over the last year or so, the project has obtained disc images and box/manual scans for well over 100 of the games released for the Acorn platform. Most of these have been contributed by users.

While they've been archiving these old games, the project has also been working on software to enable the archived games to be played. The software they've developed includes: ADFFS, the floppy disc image loader; an updated version of QTM, the tracker music player; and various other software including on-the-fly converters to allow more games' music to be played through QTM.

Speedball2 Squash
Fireandice Cascade
Heroquest Lemmings
Screenshots from some of the released titles.

Over the last few days JASPP has started to release games for which they have acquired distribution rights. Currently these include:

  • Cascade
  • Chuck Rock
  • Fire & Ice
  • Gods
  • Hero Quest
  • Jahangir Khan World Championship Squash
  • James Pond
  • Lemmings
  • Magic Pockets
  • Zool
You can download them from the JASPP games forum.

If you have any old titles the JASPP team would like to hear from you.


 
  Software preservation project bearing fruit
  Raeddie (19:22 12/10/2013)
  Matt (19:33 12/10/2013)
    Raeddie (19:36 12/10/2013)
      arawnsley (15:29 13/10/2013)
        tlsa (20:33 13/10/2013)
          sa_scott (08:31 14/10/2013)
            sirbod (19:42 15/10/2013)
              tlsa (20:36 15/10/2013)
                sirbod (21:07 15/10/2013)
                  Zarchos (21:19 15/10/2013)
                    sirbod (22:50 15/10/2013)
                      davidb (09:49 16/10/2013)
                        Zarchos (19:13 16/10/2013)
                          richw (19:45 16/10/2013)
                            Zarchos (20:40 16/10/2013)
                          Zarchos (11:00 27/10/2013)
                            trevj (15:36 28/10/2013)
                              Zarchos (17:25 29/10/2013)
                                sirbod (13:36 1/11/2013)
                                  trevj (16:23 4/11/2013)
                                    Zarchos (12:08 5/11/2013)
                                      trevj (09:47 7/11/2013)
                                        Zarchos (13:08 8/11/2013)
                                          trevj (14:54 8/11/2013)
                            FredNess (08:48 5/4/2015)
                              sirbod (05:40 6/4/2015)
                  tlsa (21:49 15/10/2013)
                  tlsa (17:25 12/11/2013)
                    sirbod (18:58 12/11/2013)
                      forestman (19:35 12/11/2013)
 
Holger Palmroth Message #122687, posted by Raeddie at 19:22, 12/10/2013
Member
Posts: 58
Cataclysm, not Cascade. I think the X-Box remake is named. Cascade.
Edit: Nope, that's Aqualibrium.

[Edited by Raeddie at 20:34, 12/10/2013]
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Matthew Thompson Message #122688, posted by Matt at 19:33, 12/10/2013, in reply to message #122687
Member
Posts: 11
It is Cascade, it was a low key release by mail
order only, Cataclysm is by 4th Dimension, and the rights are owned by APDL now so unlikely to be available for download here.
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Holger Palmroth Message #122689, posted by Raeddie at 19:36, 12/10/2013, in reply to message #122688
Member
Posts: 58
It is Cascade, it was a low key release by mail
order only, Cataclysm is by 4th Dimension, and the rights are owned by APDL now so unlikely to be available for download here.
Interesting, never heard that this game existed two times.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #122690, posted by arawnsley at 15:29, 13/10/2013, in reply to message #122689
R-Comp chap
Posts: 450
Congrats to JASPP - glad to see the titles available, and the presentation of each title is excellent. Good job sir!
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Michael Drake Message #122691, posted by tlsa at 20:33, 13/10/2013, in reply to message #122690

Posts: 1093
Which came first, Cataclysm or Cascade? Also, what are the differences?
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Stephen Scott Message #122693, posted by sa_scott at 08:31, 14/10/2013, in reply to message #122691
Member
Posts: 70
I recall an article in one of the Acorn magazines (possibly Acorn User, but definitely from early 1993) regarding Cascade. Cascade came after Cataclysm (published by 4D in late 1992), and featured remarkably similar graphics to the former. The story quoted 'litigation is thought to be in the air', and that seemed to mark the end for the game.

In any case, it's interesting to see it has made a reappearance.
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Jon Abbott Message #122697, posted by sirbod at 19:42, 15/10/2013, in reply to message #122693
Member
Posts: 563
The magazine article was in the full archive, I took it out for public release to avoid copyright issues - we've not had it cleared.

The game was coded before Cataclysm was released and made available via mail order shortly after. The obvious difference, apart from the ball/spaceman is that Cataclym simulates the water as 4 horizontal pixels and Cascade uses individual pixels.

Apart from compatibility testing, I've played neither to any degree, so if someone would like to play and write descriptions for either - or any other game for that matter, please get in touch. Currently there are no descriptions for any of the games, one or two paragraphs is all it needs, not a full review.

Documenting keys would also be useful, in most cases that's just a case of reading the manual and adding it to the pages. YouTube videos of the games would also be really useful, so they can be added to the game pages.

It's simple things like this that would really help the project and let me concentrate on the coding side of it.

I'd also like to hear any feedback people have, either on the games themselves, such as issues getting them to run or hints/tips etc and the project in general.

If there's any games you'd particularly like to see made available, again post on the forum as it will help us focus on the individuals and companies involved to seek the necessary approvals or agree financial deals for the rights.

[Edited by sirbod at 21:53, 15/10/2013]
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Michael Drake Message #122698, posted by tlsa at 20:36, 15/10/2013, in reply to message #122697

Posts: 1093
If there's any games you'd particularly like to see made available
That RPC golf game that was never actually released?

Some of the more unusual ones like Eterna's games would be interesting.
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Jon Abbott Message #122699, posted by sirbod at 21:07, 15/10/2013, in reply to message #122698
Member
Posts: 563
That RPC golf game that was never actually released?
If you're referring to MicroDrive32, I've been looking at it. It currently only works on one version of RISC OS, so will need some work.

I might release it and then go back to it, I'll have a chat with the author and get his view.

Eterna - I've tried to contact them via two routes and not been successfully yet, you've reminded me to chase them up though.

[Edited by sirbod at 22:08, 15/10/2013]
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122700, posted by Zarchos at 21:19, 15/10/2013, in reply to message #122699
Member
Posts: 47
Jon, if it helps, I could try to contact one of the lead developpers of Eterna.
I've just found the coordonates of his firm established near Montpellier, where Eterna had its headquarters.

My French is better than my English, so it's up to you ;-)
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Michael Drake Message #122701, posted by tlsa at 21:49, 15/10/2013, in reply to message #122699

Posts: 1093
If you're referring to MicroDrive32
Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.
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Jon Abbott Message #122702, posted by sirbod at 22:50, 15/10/2013, in reply to message #122700
Member
Posts: 563
Jon, if it helps, I could try to contact one of the lead developpers of Eterna.
I've just found the coordonates of his firm established near Montpellier, where Eterna had its headquarters.

My French is better than my English, so it's up to you ;-)
You were the first route. Yes please try to put me in touch with him.
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David Boddie Message #122703, posted by davidb at 09:49, 16/10/2013, in reply to message #122702
Member
Posts: 111
Incidentally, I found these pages by a former Eterna designer/artist a while ago:

8bit videogames
VIDEO GAMES

Hope the links are useful.
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122704, posted by Zarchos at 19:13, 16/10/2013, in reply to message #122703
Member
Posts: 47
Incidentally, I found these pages by a former Eterna designer/artist a while ago:

8bit videogames
VIDEO GAMES

Hope the links are useful.
I knew them but it's nice to provide these links to readers, I'm sure they'll be happy to know more.
The person I want to contact is Eterna's cofounder, who recently ported Tactic (btw I posted a video on Youtube) to iOS.

Last year he was interviewed in a French retro fanzine (Pix'n Love) and explained how he happened to create Eterna.

These people were real extra terrestrials when you consider no more than one thousand (and I'm verrryyyy generous) Archies ended up in French homes...
The Archies were very expensive machines here, if bought via Ashiv the so-called 'official importer'.
You could easily save 35% bringing one directly from the U.K.
No support from Acorn, no adverts, so there were next to no infos / reviews given by the mags after the initial launch.
I remember ALL mags (1) published elogious comments about the beast, and prayed Acorn would, this time, correctly market its excellent computers outside the U.K.
Interest was real in the demoscene, and much more could have come from France if at least Acorn had decided to do a little effort.
I remember this with sincere sadness and bitterness.

(1) In particular SVM, the French Byte in terms of seriousness made a full cover with the Archie with this title 'What's the fastest and cheapest computer in the World ?' 'A stupefying lab test report' and 'Has the computing industry followed the wrong path for the last 10 years?'
See here : http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=48&num=2267&album=oui

[Edited by Zarchos at 20:23, 16/10/2013]
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Richard Walker Message #122705, posted by richw at 19:45, 16/10/2013, in reply to message #122704
Member
Posts: 31
Little bit on Eterna here

https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/comp.sys.acorn.games/v0SmxFi2ppM

Might be worth asking Matthias if he has any contacts?

It bothers me that their stuff is so obscure. They probably produced the most polished original games on the platform!

Speaking of original games, it is the 4D stuff I am interested in. Would I be silly to hold my breath?

[Edited by richw at 20:46, 16/10/2013]

[Edited by richw at 20:48, 16/10/2013]
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122706, posted by Zarchos at 20:40, 16/10/2013, in reply to message #122705
Member
Posts: 47
Little bit on Eterna here

<a href="<a href="https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#">https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#">https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#">https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#</a>!topic/comp.sys.acorn.games/v0SmxFi2ppM</a>

Might be worth asking Matthias if he has any contacts?

It bothers me that their stuff is so obscure. They probably produced the most polished original games on the platform!

Speaking of original games, it is the 4D stuff I am interested in. Would I be silly to hold my breath?

[Edited by richw at 20:46, 16/10/2013]

[Edited by richw at 20:48, 16/10/2013]
Don't worry I'll find them.
It seems FYB is on Linksomething, apparently now running a business in San Diego.
I remember him laughing on the phone when I told him I had bought Blaston and it was a pretty good game, as it didn't sell well ...
In fact none of Eterna's titles sold very well.

Gosh, know what ? I'm old ;-)

[Edited by Zarchos at 21:41, 16/10/2013]

[Edited by Zarchos at 21:43, 16/10/2013]
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122734, posted by Zarchos at 11:00, 27/10/2013, in reply to message #122704
Member
Posts: 47
For readers interested by Eterna (Sisteme), it's in the French retro fanzine Pix'n Love #8 that there is a 4 page interview of Frédéric Nespoulous, co-founder of Eterna, who made (among other developments) Tactic and its great tunes.

http://editionspixnlove.fr
but I haven't checked if this specific issue is still available.*
If not try ebay.fr

Funny to read the team had hacked Zarch to create their own spaceships, and adapted it to run on their Archimedes based arcade boards, so they could play the customised Zarch with the arcade aviator stick.

Cheers,
Xavier.

* : checked. Sold out.
But you can read 2 pages out of 4 for free here, pages 6 and 7 :
http://www.editionspixnlove.com/Tous-nos-ouvrages/Pix-n-Love-8/index.php?option=com_flippingbook&view=book&id=36:flippingbook-in-action&catid=1:default-category&tmpl=component

WARNING : Nipples around ... ;-)


[Edited by Zarchos at 11:10, 27/10/2013]
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Trevor Johnson Message #122737, posted by trevj at 15:36, 28/10/2013, in reply to message #122734
Member
Posts: 660
http://editionspixnlove.fr
Pas mal! What do you think are the chances of summarising Games scene roundup and Software preservation project bearing fruit in French, with the intention of getting something published on retrogaming.fr?

I could have a quick go at translating and then get a native to check it through, perhaps before Xavier or someone else then adds any updates or historical stuff which may be of direct relevance to French readers.
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122739, posted by Zarchos at 17:25, 29/10/2013, in reply to message #122737
Member
Posts: 47
http://editionspixnlove.fr
Pas mal! What do you think are the chances of summarising Games scene roundup and Software preservation project bearing fruit in French, with the intention of getting something published on retrogaming.fr?

I could have a quick go at translating and then get a native to check it through, perhaps before Xavier or someone else then adds any updates or historical stuff which may be of direct relevance to French readers.
If Mr Abbott is ok I'll be glad to help, either by reading and correcting someone else' English-> French translation or doing the translation myself.

For the French it could be good to add a presentation of Acorn and the specifications of the Archimedes and RISC PC range as these machines won't ring a bell to most of them.

Last year I had a 26 page length thread 'fight' (as the thread was oriened this way from the start) with some Amiga fanboys absolutely assured (and extremely arrogant as you know how the French can be ;-) )touting their Commodore so-called computers were much better than the Archies.
Of course none of them ever had one, none of them ever saw one working, and their 'ideas' were based on Youtube videos of early demos and games.
So funny.
It's been a real pleasure to eventually quarrel.
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Jon Abbott Message #122752, posted by sirbod at 13:36, 1/11/2013, in reply to message #122739
Member
Posts: 563
If Mr Abbott is ok I'll be glad to help, either by reading and correcting someone else' English-> French translation or doing the translation myself.
I have no objections
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Trevor Johnson Message #122759, posted by trevj at 16:23, 4/11/2013, in reply to message #122752
Member
Posts: 660
Great! I'll have a go this week, and then it can be proof-read/corrected.
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122761, posted by Zarchos at 12:08, 5/11/2013, in reply to message #122759
Member
Posts: 47
OK. Let's keep in touch.
Greetings,
Xavier.
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Trevor Johnson Message #122762, posted by trevj at 09:47, 7/11/2013, in reply to message #122761
Member
Posts: 660
Right, I've hand edited a machine-translated version of these and am now having have now had a native (but not especially ordinateur-minded) speaker review them. But, like a gros con, I don't seem to have a record of your email address! You can get hold of me at xxx. I can then email you a moins-franglais version tomorrow.

Edit: Continued via email.

[Edited by trevj at 14:53, 8/11/2013]
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Xavier Louis Tardy Message #122767, posted by Zarchos at 13:08, 8/11/2013, in reply to message #122762
Member
Posts: 47
Good afternoon.
Translation in your mailbox.
I could add something about Acorn and the Archimedes, for readers too lazy to read the French Wiki, although a simple link could properly do the job.
Tell me what you think (by email).
Cheers,
Xavier.
PS : French people would say 'Comme un idiot' or 'Comme un imbécile'. 'Comme un con' is correct but very hard on you, and 'Comme un gros con' is even harder and would be used only in extreme cases.
Example :
'Comme un gros con' in 1990 I thought the Amiga 500 was a real computer, so I bought one, instead of an Archimedes.
grin
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Trevor Johnson Message #122768, posted by trevj at 14:54, 8/11/2013, in reply to message #122767
Member
Posts: 660
Good afternoon.
Translation in your mailbox.
Merci. Bien reçu.
I could add something about Acorn and the Archimedes, for readers too lazy to read the French Wiki, although a simple link could properly do the job.
Tell me what you think (by email).
Cheers,
Xavier.
PS : French people would say 'Comme un idiot' or 'Comme un imbécile'. 'Comme un con' is correct but very hard on you, and 'Comme un gros con' is even harder and would be used only in extreme cases.
Ma femme est française. Elle n’avait pas comprise, au début, que la traduction de « con » en anglais est encore plus grossière en anglais qu'en français. (Son oncle chant en occitan et elle avait agrandis avec les chansons de Georges Brassens.)
Example :
'Comme un gros con' in 1990 I thought the Amiga 500 was a real computer, so I bought one, instead of an Archimedes.
grin
'Comme un gros con' in the run-up to 1990 I didn't pool my paper-round money with my brother to jointly buy an arc , so he bought an Amiga instead on his own! shock Consequently, he never bought a rpc, although I did. smile
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Michael Drake Message #122772, posted by tlsa at 17:25, 12/11/2013, in reply to message #122699

Posts: 1093
That RPC golf game that was never actually released?
If you're referring to MicroDrive32, I've been looking at it. It currently only works on one version of RISC OS, so will need some work.

I might release it and then go back to it, I'll have a chat with the author and get his view.
Does the author still have the source code? Maybe it could be 32-bitted?
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Jon Abbott Message #122773, posted by sirbod at 18:58, 12/11/2013, in reply to message #122772
Member
Posts: 563
The game is BASIC so no issues there. The sound modules however e're provided to the author and need to be made 32bit compatible via disassembly/modify/assembly.

The main issue is the game doesn't run on anything except RO4, possibly due to SWI changes although could be other issues - I've not looked in detail.

I'm afraid I've not been around much for the past month so haven't had a chance to post it to the forum. It's next on my list along with more Krisalis titles that are almost ready for release. I did speak to Rob (the author), he's happy for us to modify it to get it running on newer platforms.

If anyone is interested in assisting with getting it working on 32bit etc, please post on the JASPP forum or drop me an email.
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jon black Message #122774, posted by forestman at 19:35, 12/11/2013, in reply to message #122773
Member
Posts: 25
Great to see the JASSP project going strong. I found a couple of old manuals up the loft at my dads house - but sadly no games. I'll double check they are not missing on the list when I next get them out...

I have aquestion...I do dip in and out of the Acorn "world", so might be doing something terribly dumb but...

I have tried downloading the archives - but can't get them to run on the native RISC PC directly or via ADDFS. or are these really only for the Emulators?



[Edited by forestman at 19:40, 12/11/2013]
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Frédéric Nespoulous Message #123547, posted by FredNess at 08:48, 5/4/2015, in reply to message #122734
Member
Posts: 1
For readers interested by Eterna (Sisteme), it's in the French retro fanzine Pix'n Love #8 that there is a 4 page interview of Frédéric Nespoulous, co-founder of Eterna, who made (among other developments) Tactic and its great tunes.


[Edited by Zarchos at 11:10, 27/10/2013]
Hello,
this is an old message, but it seems like you're talking about me wink

May I help you ?
Cheers
Frédéric
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Jon Abbott Message #123548, posted by sirbod at 05:40, 6/4/2015, in reply to message #123547
Member
Posts: 563
Frédéric, thanks for getting in touch, could you eMail me directly: jon at jaspp dot org dot uk

I'll reply with the background and why we've been trying to locate you.
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Software preservation project bearing fruit