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INTERACTIVE RETAIL DEMO
FOR THE COMMODORE AMIGA (1987)

Surprised that the Amiga was not being given an opportunity to show its full potential, we approached Commodore in 1987 with an offer to design and develop software for dealers to use to demonstrate the machine’s remarkable capabilities. Commodore accepted and AmigaMagic was born.

AMIGAMAGIC MAIN MENU

The AMIGAMAGIC main menu

Starting with a blank background, the diamond shaped buttons fall like raindrops onto the screen. Clicking on a button activates the appropriate demo or feature. The button on the lower left allowed the Amiga dealer to input the name and address of his store, along with a slogan. This was then automatically displayed as an advertisement on the oBLITTERator interactive newspaper. The ? button leads to the Information Retrieval System that in this case acts as a searchable User Guide and was one of several experimental precursors to Pi developed by Tecterran in the 1980s.

AMIGAMAGIC OBLITTERATOR

The oBLITTERator interactive newspaper functioned in a similar manner to today’s dynamic web pages

The heart of AMIGAMAGIC, the oBLITTERator was named after the BLiTTER chip inside the Amiga and demonstrated the smooth graphics and multi-tasking capabilities of this incredible machine. The whole page scrolls up and down the screen very smoothly for viewing. And the arrow keys on the keyboard may be used to manually scroll the newspaper too. In addition, the pictures in the windows are actually animated. The cube spins in 3D, and the spreadsheet works too. Clicking on the spinning cube runs the 3D demo, while clicking on the musical keyboard runs the 4 channel DIGITAL SOUNDJAMMER. The dealer’s advertisement appears in the middle left after the information is entered from the AMIGAMAGIC main menu. To show off the Amiga’s multi-tasking ability, users can use the Amiga mouse to literally drag the oBLITTERator down the screen, exposing the actual 3D and sound demos running in the background! Has to be seen to be believed!

AMIGAMAGIC 3D ANIMATOR

The AMIGAMAGIC 3D animation demonstrator

This fun to use utility allowed the user to independently move and transform the cube and the tile. The TIMECODE based sequencer at the lower left made it possible for short animations to be created, saved to disk and played back in real-time (all calculations done on the fly) or as a sequence of pre-calculated views. At NO time were scenes individually saved as frames. Only the mathematical vector calculations where performed in advance when in PRE-CALCULATE mode. This technique was quite unique. It saved a considerable amount of disk and memory space when using computers that have the power to render simple graphics on the fly – such as the amazing Amiga.

AMIGAMAGIC SOUND JAMMER

The AMIGAMAGIC Digital SOUNDJAMMER

Further showing off the Amiga’s unique capabilities, the DIGITAL SOUNDJAMMER was a fun to use 4 channel recording studio, complete with a selection of sampled sounds (“voices”), a drum machine and a mixing desk!  Notes are entered using the mouse by clicking on the piano style keyboard. And to make it impossible to play the wrong notes, pre-calculated chords can be played too.

AMIGAMAGIC IRS

The Information Retrieval System (Used as the AMIGAMAGIC User Guide in this case)

The SOUNDJAMMER attracted the attention of the CEO of Datel Electronics, the world renowned specialty video game cartridge manufacturer. They were keen to turn the AMIGAMAGIC SOUNDJAMMER into a fully fledged digital sampling and playback studio. The Datel SAMPLE STUDIO was born.

DATEL SAMPLE STUDIO AD

Datel Sample Studio (1987)

The Datel SAMPLE STUDIO was based on the AMIGAMAGIC SOUNDJAMMER with added sampling hardware plus a revolutionary sound sampling and editing interface designed by Tecterran. We conceived for Datel the world’s first ‘cut and paste’ digital audio editing interface. The left of the two screenshots shows the unique zoom windows where the sound waves are displayed graphically and could be manipulated to digitally “splice” sound samples. For example, you could take: “I, John Smith, hereby promise to pay Peter Jones ten thousand dollars.” and alter it to read “I, Peter Jones, hereby promise to pay John Smith ten thousand dollars.”

SAMPLE STUDIO was designed by Tecterran and co-engineered by Tecterran and Datel. Hardware design by Datel.


PRAISE

“The display is very pretty to look at, making good use of the Amiga’s graphics capabilities”
– Your Amiga, June 1988

“The screen displays of the Datel software are beautifully designed”
– Amiga Computing, February 1989


SPECIFICATION

DESCRIPTION
Interactive retail demo for the Commodore Amiga

CONCEIVED
1987

LAUNCH DATE
1987, England (PRODUCT NOT FOR RESALE)

CLIENT
Commodore Business Machines (UK) Ltd

TEAM

Alex Blok
UX Design & Project Management

Professor Stephen Belcher
3D Software
(Now director of the UK Met Office)

Neil Lee
Chris Driver
Barry

COMMENT

AMIGAMAGIC once again proved our ability to conceive ideas and designs that were ahead of their time and set trends that were subsequently followed by others world-wide. The concepts behind the “bas-relief” 3D interface and oBLITTERator interactive newspaper were introduced to the mass market nearly ten years after AMIGAMAGIC.