Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Icaros Desktop 2.2.6 has been released

by on Wednesday, February 06, 2019

A new, exciting update for Icaros Desktop is now available for download. This time we made several great additions. First of all, the newer version of muimaster.library from Neil Cefferkey added support for ESC-A method of embedding images into strings, which basically allows rapagui-based applications to show images into buttons and other GUI gadgets. This is a feature coming from MUI 4.0 and the first practical advantage it brought is Icon Editor finally showing its real interface, as the author originally intended. Moreover, it's a little nice step towards a bigger compatibility among AROS and other Amiganoid systems, which should make developers life a little easier when writing/porting their applications. And the second addition we made is tailored exactly to them: how many times an application that was supposed to work, when launched, simply didn't? Where is the issue? Icaros Desktop can now record debug logs to help catching the bugs, or at least wrong interactions with the system. Did you stumble in a not-working option or in the sudden freeze of a program? Just start recording the log, launch the broken app and make it crash again, then send log to its author: he/she will have one more clue to fix the issue! But, obviously, there are some new applications as well. Digital camera users can now use a newer version of dcraw to edit or convert their RAW images, coders can now use a better version of VIM, digital music lovers can play and discover new mod files with ZuPaPlayer and AmiCast Player. But maybe the funniest addition of the month is EasyRPG Player, a great interpreter à la ScummVM for games created with RPG Maker 2000 and 2003, ported to AROS by Szilárd Biró. As usual, we also included two great games under kind permission of their authors, The Kidnapping of Princess Pri and Grimps: Squeaking of the Dead. The former is a classic 'japanese RPG adventure' you might play on a Super Famicom or a Sega Megadrive, with a funny plot and a lot of humour, and the latter is an amazing Pengo-meets-Bomberman puzzle game which requires a lot of imagination and strategy to solve all levels. But you can find dozens of games, on rpgmaker.net and other sites, which you can now play on AROS: you just need to download them and place the right files in the right drawers, as explained by Icaros 2.2.6 updated manual! Other little enhancements regard useability: as promised, the vic command is now graphical; we got a modified VMware SVGA driver which adds support to Full HD, 2K and 4K resolutions (please beware of the fact that this is still the same slow stub as before: you'll have to manually enable it as it always happened), and we added two lines in GRUB's advanced options to run Icaros Desktop in VESA mode at 1366x768 and 1920x1080 pixels, which will - unfortunately - work only if your VGA BIOS explicitly support them (VMware does, VirtualBox can be instructed todo so as well).

NOTE: the driver for VMware SVGA included with Icaros 2.2.6 is not at the current development stage. It's the first preliminary build from middle january. The current, more advanced one, is not publicly available yet. An alpha version will be included afterwards, during the 2.2.7 cycle.


Icon Editor now uses its orignal graphical buttons

New from Icaros Desktop 2.2.5

- added DCRaw 9.28 to C:
- deleted the obsolete (and wrong) 'dcdraw' drawer from Extras
- updated InstallerLG for i386 to latest version
- updated LibPNG to latest release
- updated MCC_NList to v1.25 for i386 and M68K
- added support to MUI4 ESC-A method to embed images
+ updated muimaster.library
+ updated rapagui in Libs/Hollywood
+ fix: Icon Editor now uses image buttons instead of text ones
- updated AmiCloud to v2.0-final
- updated webptools to latest version
+ included also the webptools development libraries
- updated VIM to latest release
- updated vic to output in a window
+ added to Magellan an option to show Icaros version
+ renamed the 'About' option in Magellan to 'About AROS'
- updated vmware svga hidd to use FHD, 4K and 1440p resolutions
- updated AROS kernel
- added EasyRPG Player to Extras/Emu
+ added the game 'The Kidnapping of Princess Pri'
+ added the game 'Grimps: Squeaking of the Dead'
- added a launcher script for EasyRPG Player in the same drawer
- updated AmiCast Player to latest release
- added Hex2 calculator to Extras/Applications
- added def_Script.info for scripts
- added generic script icon to user-executable scripts in S:
- added debug mode: logging can now be easily performed
+ added debugmode script in S:
+ added "Create debug log" option in Magellan's Icaros menu
+ modified default snoopy.prefs in Envarc: to log everything
- added ZupaPlayer to Extras/Multimedia
- added 1366x768 and 1920x1080 resolutions to VESA grub options(*)
- updated Icaros manual to reflect changes
- fixed a wrong reference in "Create Installation Pendrive" script

(*) notice: they might or might not work depending on your VGA BIOS


EasyRPG Player with included games



Farewell, Google+

by on Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Google+ is being decommissioned by Google and there's no need to keep the "share on Google+" button on our post pages anymore. I would like to thank anyone who shared Icaros Desktop news on this unlucky social network, because - in a way or another - they contributed to spread our news. Icaros Desktop has a page on Facebook, please follow it to stay in touch with us.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New VMware native driver for AROS!

by on Wednesday, January 30, 2019
This news, my friends, is really BIG. I had to keep my mouth shut for some days, but I can now announce something great for Icaros and AROS in general: we finally have a native SVGA driver for VMware! What does this mean? In a nutshell, that we can now abandon VESA modes under the most famous virtualisation platform and we will be able to change screen resolution with Prefs/ScreenMode. But that's not, obviously, the only advantage. We're getting 2D acceleration as well, with all the good things it can bring. Our hero, this time, is Claudio Russo, who was absolutely not satisfied with the old stub included with AROS and decided to give it a go. Users of Icaros 2.2.6 can already notice that the vmwaresvga.hidd included with the distribution is different from the one in AROS nightly builds: it enables Full HD, 2K and 4K resolutions. But this is just the first evidence of Claudio's work on the driver. Since then, development went on for some weeks, and now VMware SVGA driver allows screen dragging, many more screen resolutions and fast screen refresh. You can see it in action in the following video. There are some little and bigger quirks still to be fixed here and there, but we are confident that the new driver will be ready for debuct on Icaros Desktop 2.2.7, when it will be released. A very big thank you to Claudio Russo for his effort!


Thursday, January 24, 2019

How to add new games to EasyRPG Player

by on Thursday, January 24, 2019
We've added a new tutorial on our Patreon page, which explains how to add other games to Icaros 2.2.6 and play them with EasyRPG Player. Not so difficult to do (we've summed up the procedure also on the user manual), however this video better explains the necessary steps.


If you're interested, this is the link to follow. The tutorial is available to patrons pleding 5+ dollars/month.

Monday, January 14, 2019

What you need is EasyRPG

by on Monday, January 14, 2019
First of all, let me thank two friends here: Szilárd Biró and Salvatore Abbate. The former, since he ported EasyRPG Player to AROS (and other amiganoid systems), the latter because I didn't notice that program until he submitted it to the AROS Archives, the main repository for AROS programs. As I had to learn very quickly, EasyRPG Player is an interpreter à la ScummVM for games written with RPG Maker 2000 and 2003. RPG Maker, in turn, is a very powerful game editor for PC, which allows creation of "japanese RPG" games (similar to the ones you'd have played on a Super Famicom or a Sony PlayStation) and not-only. Although 2000 and 2003 are very old releases, they still have a strong community at rpgmaker.net, where you can find dozens of playable games. But the story wouldn't end here. 



I immediately started to download games to test them under Icaros Desktop and the AROS port of EasyRPG Player. I initially stumbled upon a "show stopping" issue when I couldn't run the program under native AROS (the program just refused to work, while it was starting normally under Linux hosted Icaros), but luckily it worked just good in windowed mode. So, before integrating it into Icaros Desktop, I had to create a little script that would launch it in windowed mode at once. But that was straightforward. I needed little more time to figure out how games were supposed to run: in practice, they all include a Data subdirectoy which must become the 'root' of the game, and this main directory should also include four RPG_RT* files which are normally placed elsewhere. 


oh no! this bomb wouldn't explode!
When I had everything in place, I could successfully test many games created by the community, but two of them captured my attention: The Kidnapping of Princess Pri and Grimps: Squeaking of the Dead. The former worked out of the box, while the latter let me play the first levels only: later in the game, in fact, a compatibility issue between EasyRPG Player and the original RPG Maker routines stopped the joy. Grimps is a funny "move the blocks, avoid the enemies and blast the bombs" puzzle game, a sort of medley of Pengo, Bomberman and others. Unluckily for us, after moving bombs they didn't explode as they were supposed to do, so many levels were impossible to win. The issue was already known by both EasyRPG Player coders and Fredrik Brudin, who not only gave me permission to include his game in Icaros, but he even sent me a fixed version of Grimps that would have worked under EasyRPG Player! 

Victory! With the help of Fredrik Brudin, Grimps now works on Icaros as intended!


End of story: I have to thank some other people here: Fredrik Brudin from GoblinGrotto.com for Grimps: Squeaking of the Death, psy_wombats and Liberty for granting me permission to include The Kidnapping of Princess Pri as well. They will both debuct on Icaros Desktop 2.2.6, when the new version will be officially released (Princess Pri has been included also in the recently released beta for testers and supporters). 


Grimps and Princess Pri will be included in Icaros Desktop 2.2.6 and afterwards...





Icaros Desktop v2.2.6 beta for supporters

by on Monday, January 14, 2019
We're about in the middle of development of a new version of Icaros Desktop, so it's time for the usual "middle term" beta release, reserved to supporters (patrons pledging $15 or more) and beta testers. There are many enhancements here and there but, best of all, almost everything we've talked about here is already available in this beta (along with many other little and bigger enhancements).



New from Icaros Desktop 2.2.5

- added DCRaw 9.28 to C:
- deleted the obsolete (and wrong) 'dcdraw' drawer from Extras
- updated InstallerLG for i386 to latest version
- updated LibPNG to latest release
- updated MCC_NList to v1.25 for i386 and M68K
- added support to MUI4 ESC-A method to embed images
+ updated muimaster.library
+ updated rapagui in Libs/Hollywood
+ fix: Icon Editor now uses image buttons instead of text ones
- updated AmiCloud to v2.0-final
- updated webptools to latest version
+ included also the webptools development libraries
- updated VIM to latest release
- updated vic to output in a window
+ added to Magellan an option to show Icaros version
+ renamed the 'About' option in Magellan to 'About AROS'
- updated vmware svga hidd to use FHD, 4K and 1440p resolutions
- updated AROS kernel
- added EasyRPG Player to Extras/Emu
+ added the game 'The Kidnapping of Princess Pri'
- added a launcher script for EasyRPG Player in the same drawer
- updated AmiCast Player to latest release
- added Hex2 calculator to Extras/Applications
- added def_Script.info for scripts
- added generic script icon to user-executable scripts in S:
- added debug mode: logging can now be easily performed
+ added debugmode script in S:
+ added "Create debug log" option in Magellan's Icaros menu
+ modified default snoopy.prefs in Envarc: to log everything

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> Download link on Patreon

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