Amiga Flame - News - Fleecy Moss Speaks with Amiga Flame about Amiga's Future

Fleecy Moss Speaks with Amiga Flame about Amiga's Future

This weekend is special with Amiga Flame aiming to inform you the users about the future of the Amiga. As part of this weekends articles is an interview that was conducted with Fleecy Moss, a Vice-President in Amiga Inc who knows a great deal about Amiga Inc plans.

1. Why should developers consider developing for the Amiga new system?

The first answer is that the Amiga Digital Environment truly offers write once, run anywhere capabilities. A game company can write a game and compile to VP distributable and then it will run anywhere that a DE exist, whether it be on Linux, Windows or against the metal itself. Obviously when the host tier is another OS, then you are at the mercy of that OS, but we are tuning our system so that it will run as sweetly as possible in these situations.

The second answer is because we offer a truly scalable system. Sega have already seen the benefits of the Dreamcast API set being close to Windows very fast ports. We go one step further - no ports at all. Very quickly, one distributable can run on many different systems, and then the developer can tune to those particular systems without having to split their distribution tree.

The third answer is because Amiga is a true gamers platform. We intend to fully support open gaming standards - we are closely watching the OpenML efforts of Khronos and have good relations with console companies as well as the more traditional desktop IHVs.

The fourth answer is because Amiga, as always, is about creating the best technology. We talk to games developers, they have valuable and key input into the system we are creating for them. No one has made effective use of two monitors, until Matrox came along we partnered with them. No one has made effective use of Virtual Reality - this is something we are looking at strongly. No one has made effective use of parallel processing we intend to make it a central piece of our digital environment.

2. We first heard about this concept of write-once-run-anywhere gaming from Bill McEwen in an interview with Gamers Depot. Is it as simple as Amiga Inc has said, have you tried it or is this just theory?

Not at all. Bill currently has a bad back because he has to lug 2 laptops to shows and demonstrations - 1 running Windows and 1 running Linux. Both have the Amiga DE on them. Both have exactly the same VP distributions, and both work. In fact, it was wonderful waiting for Jonas and the Frieden brothers to finish Mesa3.1 and send us their gears demo. The same source installed and run immediately on my Windows laptop and the Linux desktop. What it did show up was the pure quality of the G400 in the Linux machine - lovely colour saturation whereas the laptop was washy.

3. Do you have any type of program in place to help developers work on the new system?

We have a formal support program set up by Gary Peake, our director of developer relations, and we have close informal ties with the Amiga community.

4. Many gamers have been pleased by Amiga Inc's interest in the gaming arena especially with the creation of Amigatainment and relationship with games developers such as Epic and Hyperion. But even gamers have expressed some concern that Amiga Inc might be ignoring serious software developers. Can you help relieve these concerns?

One of our mission goals is for the new Amiga DE to become THE content creation platform, whether that be applications, video, audio or graphics. To do our part, we are partnering with some of the best companies in those fields and building into the DE all the services and performance that would attract the developers of such products.

Of course, as with all things, it is a chicken and egg situation. Developers won't create applications until they see a profitable market, and a profitable market won't exist until there is a set of decent applications. For our part we can only create an attractive platform and then try and court the developers. From the communities part they can write to the application developers and convince them that there will be a profitable market.

5. You must have spoke to numerous developers big and small about working for the new Amiga system, what has their general reaction been like?

As you would expect, they are very excited, but they want to know more, see more and, more importantly, they want to see a market rise up first. Business is risk and no matter how excited they are, some will take the risk but many will wait. We understand that, we court those who are waiting and we really support those willing to take the risk with us.

6. There have been quite a number of announcements lately about Amiga Inc partnerships with hardware companies such as Infomedia Network and MeterNet Corporation. Just how significant are these partnerships?

They are significant 1) because they show that non Amiga companies take us seriously and see the benefits we offer (they don't have to chose Amiga they could chose QNX or VxWorks or any other system) and 2) because it proves our point, that the future is digital devices and their access to the digital content universe. If Hyperion can create a game and it can sell to Amiga computer users and to Infomedia and Meternet customers, they will be a lot happier. A happy customer for us is a recurring customer. I don't think I need to say anymore.

7. When can we expect to see Amiga One, before Christmas or in 2001?


As with many companies, we are evaluating our launch against the launch of the PS2. It really is a two-mile wide asteroid dropped in a pond. Who's going to notice us when it lands? Better to let the excitement dissipate and then bounce onto the stage.

Fleecy Moss

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