The genesis of Jake & Peppy
Jake and Peppy is the work of a passionate team looking to produce a true, next-generation Amiga game! To us, the Apollo Vampire V4 is the genuine successor and the first true Amiga since the release of the legendary Commodore Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000 computer back in the 1990s. The Apollo V4 is the machine we always dreamed about: full 24-bit graphics and 16-bit sound fully integrated into the Amiga architecture; advanced 68k CPU; speed and memory to burn; and compatible with modern monitors and computer accessories. Why wouldn't we want to develop for this system?!
Back in late 2019, game producer and coder Quetzal teamed up with fabled commercial artist CartoonMonkey, musician SampleMind, and fellow coder Eule to begin production of a brand new game engine for the Apollo V4. Our first game with this engine is Jake and Peppy.
Jake & Peppy - the game concept
Jake and Peppy is conceptually designed to be an action-RPG. Ultimately your character will be able to customise their ship with different weapons, accessories and powerups. These customisations will come from collecting loot, or (eventually) from the in-game shop using the gold you collect on your journeys.
Our goal is to give the game world a unique character and feel - which you can see by the artwork we've designed to be in a cartoony-style, which works very well. We are continually adding new enemies and ship accessories as we develop them - so please keep checking out the progress we make!
One of our plans is to make the game as accessible as possible, with high replay value. We want to give the game a classic Amiga feel, but designed for the modern gamer. So the game will be provisioned with the tools to enable it to be played for 5 minute bursts, or for longer periods with level upgrades and ongoing progression.
Oh, and it has kid-friendly modes too :)
We have a lot of plans for this game - we don't want to spoil anything, so you'll have to keep checking back to see how the game development progresses over time.
The techy stuff...
As discussed above, our goal is to leverage the power of the Apollo V4 in our game: The 68080 CPU, AMMX graphics acceleration, the 512 MB memory, SAGA graphics, and ARNE 16-bit audio. These have been first and foremost in our decision making. Also, we wanted to retain the super-smooth feel of classic Amiga titles, and so have targeted 60 FPS gameplay.
Quetzal has coded the game engine in C, from scratch (including all graphics primitives) and implemented the AMMX and drawing routines in assembler. A long time has passed since IDE's were developed from the Amiga, and so the plan was always to utilise modern PC IDE's for the game development environment. In fact, a Windows 'port' of the game (cut down) is used to test during development, which provides a full debug environment. The code is cross-compiled on a Windows PC and the executable transferred to the V4 over ethernet (it takes about 5 seconds to compile, and 5 seconds to transfer the executable to the V4). The initial IDE was QT Creator but this was too buggy and unstable, and so the IDE was changed to Visual studio after 6 months, which has been very stable and effective for game development. The compiler for the Amiga code is the most excellent VBCC, which is regularly maintained and internally supports the 68080 CPU and AMMX functions (it also contains the VASM assembler compiler, which means it will seamlessly compile both the .c and .asm files in the build chain).
Eule has coded the map editor in Windows, which saves maps levels for direct import into the game engine. It also means we can use those lovely 4k monitors for loading and editing really big maps...
Team QSEC gives our never-ending thanks to the fantastic Apollo Team, for developing the 68080 and Apollo V4, and providing us with so much support over the past 18 months (and counting!)
Thanks also to the Vamped Amiga channel on telegram, which is where you can find Team QSEC and provide us with any feedback for the game.