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Wednesday 31 October 2012

Programming in AMOS - Part.1 - Setting Up

(Note: These irregular AMOS programming posts won't be going into any depth. I'm simply giving a very brief overview of the package, detailing where it can be download from, and what resources are available)

If the steady trickle of new Amiga titles has made you think about having a go at putting your own game together, you may be wondering where to start.

There's a whole host of programming languages available for the Amiga, ranging from C and Assembler to Blitz BASIC and AMOS.

For the purpose of these articles I'll be covering AMOS. I know it's nowhere near as advanced as Blitz BASIC, but after much rummaging around the internet I've found that this seems to be the Amiga language with the best support and ease of access when it comes to obtaining documentation.

Originally released for the Atari ST as STOS, AMOS finally made its way over to the Amiga in 1990. Over the years numerous versions of the language were released, including Easy AMOS, AMOS 3D and AMOS Professional.

Over the past 18 months I've been tinkering around with AMOS Pro, and as it seems to be the best supported of the AMOS releases, it's the one I'd recommend you use.

If you're thinking about giving AMOS a go, then your first port of call has to be the excellent AMOS Factory Forums. Here you'll find not only a friendly bunch of people, but individuals who are keen to help, swap tips, and even put together routines to help you out.

Once signed-up to the forum you may want to submit a quick post in the AMOS Professional folder to let others know you're on board. Perhaps at the same time, explain what project you're hoping to work on or simply what you're hoping to learn.

With that done, get yourself off to the downloads section, and grab yourself a copy of AMOS Pro and the manual to go with it. Having the manual in PDF form is an absolute godsend as you can quickly search on keywords as opposed to the time consuming method of searching through the contents of the printed version of the book.

With the AMOS ZIP archive downloaded you'll need to extract the 6 ADF files contained within, get them put onto disk (or inserted as disk images if you're using an emulator) and install the suite of programs.

You'll also need to install a few updates, so once you've completed the above download and install update 2.0. Please note that the disks contained in this archive need to be installed in the following order: 3 of 3, 1 of 3, and 2 of 3.

The above should keep you busy for a while, so this seems like a good point to end part 1.

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