Orbit Amiga 68k Port
Orbit is a freeware space combat simulator in the tradition of
Elite, Wing Commander etc, originally written by Steve Belczyk for
Win32/Linux systems. Here you can find the port for Amiga/68k by
Thomas Aglassinger, which is derived from the port for
Amiga/PPC by Oliver Gantert. For more information, visit the Official Orbit
- 15-Jul-2000: Added some more detailed info about stack and memory needs.
Added screenshot demonstrating networking on the same machine
- 10-Jul-2000: Established site.
First, you need quite some hardware:
- 68060 CPU
- AGA, CyberGfx or Picasso96
- 32MB of Fast RAM (On my machine, it consumes about 20MB during runtime)
- 10MB of harddisk space
Next, you need a huge pile of libraries, drivers and utilities
(unless you have them already). Fortunately, all of them are available
Uff! That should do it.
responsible for making noise.
- lucyplay.lha (~10K),
responsible for making it easier for programmers to make noise with AHI.
- ixemul-48.0.lha (~600K),
emulating a basic Posix API, which makes it a lot easier for programmers to
port programs relying on it.
responsible for drawing 3D graphics via OpenGL. You just need the
"Libs_68k" archive, unless you want to start developing yourself.
- NewWPA8.lha (2K)
patches a couple of AmigaOS functions so that they are faster and work. This is only relevant
for AGA users of AmigaOS 3.0.
You need two archives, which are both available from Aminet:
Currently, the installation is not very Amiga-like. Maybe in a
later version. For now:
- Extract the Orbit_*.lha archives wherever you like. They
expand to a directory named "Orbit", so you don't have to create one
- Install StormMesa. This seems a bit painful first, but basically
all you need is that every *.library ends up in
libs:. If you just want to run Orbit, don't bother too much
about the environment variables (see Tuning
- Copy lucyplay040.library to libs: and remove the
040 in the name.
- Install AHI. This is trivial thanks to Installer.
- Install ixemul.library. This can also be a pain, but
concerning Orbit, just make sure that the appropriate file ends up in
libs:. Take care that it's optimized for your CPU if you're
concerned about performance. If you're not concerned about performance
yet, believe me, you will be after you ran Orbit the first time.
Remember, we're talking about 68k here.
Finally, the interesting part (again, not very Amiga like):
- Open a CLI and cd to the Orbit directory.
- Allocate some stack, for instance by typing stack 60000.
(I watched StackMon while running Orbit, and it announced a maximum of
about 50K, so this should be on the save side.)
- Basically, you can run Orbit by typing orbit.exe. But
this will not give you much performance. Read on...
StormMesa offers a lot of options to finetune the OpenGL/Glut applications.
Orbit is a Glut application, so you can use all the standard Glut options in the
For users of Z2 graphic cards and AGA, these are the most
- -forcefs makes Orbit run on an own screen. Choose a small
one, than it's faster. If you have a Z2 graphics card, it makes sense
to use 320x240 because the Z2 bus becomes very slow with higher
resolutions. If you have AGA, you need the NewWP8 patch from Aminet.
- -fast generally trades quality against speed
- -vfast trades quality against speed event more violently
- -forcedb uses double buffering
On my trusty Amiga 2000 with a 68060/50, Picasso-II and CyberGfx
v3, the following seems to work best:
orbit.exe -vfast -forcefs -forcedb
In the screenmode requester select something like 320x240x16 so you
won't need any dithering. I've provided some screenshots so you know what to expect
from the above configuration.
Refer to the StormMesa manual for more options and details.
For questions and comments about the Amiga/68k port, contact Thomas
Issues concerning the Amiga/PPC port and the Amiga port in general
should be directed to Oliver Gantert <email@example.com>.
Everything else, like Orbit in general, the gameplay, planet maps
and ships, should be discussed with Steve Belczyk
Thomas Aglassinger, 15-Jul-2000