It’s been a some years since I’ve looked at Amiga Forever by Cloanto and when I did the RP9 file format was relatively a new feature of that particular release and it didn’t come with any tools to actually create your own files. With the latest version including a new RP9 editor and RP9 Manager, I thought I’d have a play around with it this afternoon.
So what is an RP9 file anyway? Well, Amiga floppy disk images are usually stored as .ADF files for use under emulation and a RP9 file is a consolidation of all the ADF files for a particular game or demo in addition to media content such as game screenshots, box art, PDF manuals scans, instructions and game soundtracks. Using RP9 files with the Amiga Forever application creates a nicer media rich frontend for each game as opposed to a simple list of games (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course).
Last month at Play:Expo I picked up a copy of Amiga Forever 2012 from the guys at Amibay who were there selling a ton of Amiga goodies. It’s been a busy weekend so far working outside in the freezing rain tackled a few jobs around the house (that’ll teach me for having a full weekend of classic gaming last week ! So I thought, as reward and sit down this afternoon, and boot up my emulated Amiga.
I’ll be creating a new RP9 file based on a classic Amiga racing game that I still have – Lotus Espirit Turbo Challenge. It’s a game that my older brother and I used to spend many happy Saturday afternoons with and fondly remember the close races we used to have…..and the wrist ache from using those Competition Pro joysticks!
Of course, I could simply load this up on my Amiga 1200, but I’m aiming to have an emulated Amiga setup for my netbook containing a copy of all of my games.
There are many products available to transfer original Amiga floppy disks to .ADF file however, I have none of them at the moment (not for long though) so I’m going to cheat a little here and download a copy already in .ADF format.
Amiga Forvever loaded and select ‘new’ from the top left menu launch the RP9 editor.
Under the General tab, you can insert all the relevant text details about the game. As you can see there’s a lot of information you can fill in here you want to create a richly detailed catalogue of your Amiga games. The Genre mode can be used later on to help list specific games so I’d recommend using this.
Prior to starting the editor, I ran the game on Winuae and have taken a few in game screenshots to accompany my new RP9 file. Using the Extras tab, you locate the screenshots files and insert them into the RP9 editor so that they appear in the games list. TOne cool feature when importing the screenshots is that you can them under category of title, in game, and box art front/back etc. A great feature if you want to present lots of artwork per game.
Here i’ve installed two screenshots and just about to add a third showing the Lotus car.
Next is the configuration tab where you can create a specific Winuae configuration for each RP9 file. This is very handy, especially for those tricky to run games, amd can tailor the emulation to your specific requirements. I won’t go into how create a configuration here but it’s pretty straight forward for anyone that has used Winuae or one of it’s variants before.
For my game, I’ve chosen a basic Amiga 500 setup, bumped the RAM up with another 512mb, changed to Kickstart 1.3, configured the Joystick for port one and have set the Windows graphics mode to fullscreen and a resolution to match my TFT monitor (1920×1080). Everything thing else, I’ve left as default.
The last bit is to add the ADF floppy disk image. The beauty of RP9 files is that you can group all multi disk games into one file eliminating the need to disk swap during the game.
Save the file, and launch the game.
A few extra tweaks done to the configuration file by pressing F12 and we’re ready to rock.
All working so far, man the intro music sure brings back some happy memories! As you can see I’ve also go my USB Speeklink Comp Pro joystick connected for a near authentic Amiga experience 🙂
It can seem like a long process to create these RP9 files but you want a nice front end for Winuae complete with additional media, then it’s all worth the effort I think.
Commodore is Awesome website have got quite a collection for pre-prepared RP9 files available for for download…including Lotus Espirit! It’s a shame I didn’t see these first, it would have saved me the trouble of creating my own 🙂 Never mind, the exercise was certainly worth doing anyway!
Here’s Batman, complete with Mp3 soundtrack playing, game files, screenshot and scanned manual, all wrapped up in one package. Bat-Tastic!