It has been already a year since the last installment of AmiCamp and for sure it was high time to celebrate our amigish roots with another round of beers, new RetroPlanet issue and a whole lot of Amigas, sharing the good vibes among the participants for a total of one fun weekend! The proceedings started early Saturday when we began setting up our machines: as usual the presence of OS4 and MorphOS highlighted the main NG concept of the event. In particular, George brought his X1000, Yannis his X500, Steven displayed MorphOS 3.9 on his boosted PowerMac 3.1 and Chris came along with his MOS/MacMini. Sadly AROS was absent, in contrast to last year but we had several other systems to cover this mishap including a RPi running Amibian and 7x1200 along with one A600, all with various upgrades.
As you might have noticed, this time there was a slight shift from being solely and heavily NG focused, by expanding rapidly to the classic universe of our platform. However this was justified given that at the 2nd day of the show a SWOS Championship with updated 16/17 rosters would take place. Around the evening of both days, gifts were drawn to the attendants of the show including discount cards from Alinea Shop, X1000 posters and free editions of Amiga Racer and the Amiga Forever emulation package from Cloanto.
The buzz was continuously getting greater and greater and everyone wanted to test the latest versions of the NG OSes, to check their progress and discuss their drawbacks when comparing them to mainstream platforms and ways we can overcome them from the user perspective. Regarding MorphOS, there was little progress to show given that no major OS updates or software was released recently. Still, having a system that is 100% usable and speedy - in modern terms - with e-uae jit so deeply integrated to the system (through iGame wrapper and the likes) is still very impressive. On the other hand, OS4 was still strong, gathering the attention of the audience around the X1000 and asking for clarifications about the OS and the software running.
A lot of people also gathered around to check and play live the new AGA shoot’ em up “Re-Shoot”. Although the gameplay was appealing, the price seemed stiff to many. On the other hand “Tsak” the pixel artist from Pixelglass, informed them about another upcoming shoot’ em up game, called "AlarCity". An updated survival mode demo version was brought at the show for players to put their hands on, while Giana Sisters SE (again a product from Pixelglass) grasped the interest of many.
At the 2nd day, the main event of the show was about to take place: the SWOS Championship which was co-hosted by the Vintage Computers Society, the one and only Athenian retro club. Game wise and strictly from a player’s point of view, the NG reached its pinnacle at the 4th AmiCamp, when a multiplayer Quake III tournament took place across the whole range of NG systems (including AROS). Hopefully this might change again in 2017 given that “Tower 57” is approaching more and more each day that passes by and includes multiplayer options.
Until then though, 2016 marked 20 years since the last official update from Sensible Software to our beloved SWOS and the online community undertook the huge project to update it till its last bit. So, it came without a surprise that many demanded to celebrate this major cornerstone in one epic live tournament in Greece. Overall, 16 players were gathered and divided into 4 groups. This number alone makes the tournament the biggest that has been ever held in the country. Tops 2 of each group qualified to the next knock out rounds till the grand finale. Players and groups were drawn by the sound of Champions League anthem around midday and two hours and a half later the winner was waving his golden trophy below the sunny sky of Athens. Most of the matches had ambiguous progress and the results differed in one or two goals, although big wins or loses did occur. Most were betting that Steven aka “Cool_amigaN” would won the heavyweight title and the bets were proven correct after a big win against Kostas at the final match. For more stats and individual statistics please visit Dony's Blog (in Greek). If you want to witness the final match along with the end celebrations, be sure to check our Facebook page. Finally, it should be noted that Dimitris aka "MasterGR" of Retro4Fun, our hardware expert who traveled more than 500 klms along with his friend, had the courtesy to offer a free joystick to the skillful winner.
Overall, the 5th AmiCamp, didn’t differed much from the rest: Amigas, beers, fun, gaming are considered its ingredients of success and everyone enjoyed a relaxing weekend away from everyday stress. Late Sunday, when participants were packing again their systems, discussions had sparked about the next gathering. Needless to state, that many surprises will take again place, so be sure not to miss it. RETRO PLANET remains a devoted media sponsor and for sure it will cover the event as always!