A few words about the beta

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Rod Maher
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A few words about the beta

Post by Rod Maher » Thu Mar 13, 2003 11:24 pm

Hi, I'm Rod and I worked at bleem programming the DC version with Rand. I haven't posted here before but I thought it was important to clarify a few things about the beta that has been doing the rounds.

The beta is an extremely early version of bleemcast. Nothing has been modified by whoever has distributed the image, this is simply bleemcast at 30% completion.

This beta in fact predates the E3 show where bleemcast was first announced. For those doubters keep in mind we demo'd Ridge Racer 4, Omega Boost and Gran Turismo 2 at E3 in May 2000. These were selected because at this stage of development the ingame graphics were perfect for these games. Certainly there were no texture problems (grey polys), or rearview mirrors drawing crap everywhere. Otherwise you'd have heard it reported by those who attended at the time :)

A full year of development continued on after E3, with the first bleempak released in May 2001. A significant amount was acheived in this time with speed, compatibility and features.

I can understand why people like seeing a whole range of stuff running. It gives you a glimpse of the promise we saw in the emulator, and why we decided to invest the time to push the DC hardware to its limit. It's a shame however that people are now seeing something that differs so much from the final product. An emu where GT2 chokes as soon as multiple cars are on screen, and where cars run into walls in the replay theatre. MGS doesn't boot, and Tekken 3 gets nowhere close to the 60fps of the bleempak.

If you haven't yet seen the GT2, TK3 or MGS paks do us a favour and check them out to see how good emulation can get. I know you can't buy the bleempaks anymore but maybe you can find a friend who has them and is willing to lend them for a while.

Our definition of perfect is a lot different to those who are posting to the compatibility listings ;)
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Post by btrboyev » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:31 am

my question is why you guys just don't release your last beta of it, or release the source code. I mean, the dreamcast is a dead system, asking for money for it is pointless. I appreciate the hard work that was done on it, but why not share this great product?
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Post by mariobro » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:02 am

The thing is, distribution was the key problem regarding Bleemcast, even in its heyday.

Here, in Mexico, for example, it was nowhere to be found, and I looked for it on various trips to the U.S., and people at stores didn't know what I was talking about, in Texas, California and Washington D.C. And this was when the Dreamcast was alive and well.

And trust me, Bleemcast in Latin America would have been BIG. It would basically have sold people on the DC, since the PSX was incredibly popular here. I know that the real problem was Sony's litigiousness on the issue... so much for "free enterprise".

It is an impressive achievement from a technical standpoint. So I guess the beta will live on as a conversation piece. As for me, I never cared much for the PSX, so I found solace in Sega GT, Headhunter and SoulCalibur, so I never missed the three official paks (GT2, MGS and Tekken 3). Now I know someone will say that those PSX games were a million times better, but this only my opinion.
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Post by Warmtoe » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:43 am

OK - my question is, was there ever a better beta (!) of bleem!cast released than the one that's been cracked? If that one was so old, did another one ever get distributed and do we now expect to see that one turn up?

Of course, the ideal thing here would be if you were to answer 'yes there was another beta' and then russle up a quick rebuild :wink:

One other rumour, doing the rounds, is that bleem!cast is 100% SH4 ASM - is that true? The only reason for asking is in other projects (MAME etc) if we're only gonna get those speeds with assembler, we'd better start learning!

By the way - I hope, whilst it might be annoying, that you see the cracked beta as an excellent advertisement for both of your's skills - from what I've heard, even this early version runs quite a few things well.

-W-
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Post by container » Fri Mar 14, 2003 5:33 am

I'm glad that Rod has posted regarding this matter.

If you wish to buy the offical Bleem packs - you can do so from here

http://www.lik-sang.com/

Well worth buying.

See Bleemcast as it should be seen, and be happy that these guys put so much work into making sure that certain PSX games ran this well on the DC.

A milestone in Emulation. You can NEVER take that away from the Bleem crew!
Thanks for taking the risk in Bleemcast guys, in the long term - it was was worth it.

CONTAINER :)
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Post by Firthy2002 » Fri Mar 14, 2003 1:03 pm

Thanks for clearing this up Rod. I was planning on getting all 3 Bleempaks soon.
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Post by DcSteve » Fri Mar 14, 2003 1:31 pm

Warmtoe wrote: One other rumour, doing the rounds, is that bleem!cast is 100% SH4 ASM - is that true?
Its should be close to 100% asm since you pretty much cant get a full speed enhanced psx emu on DREAMCAST with just C or mostly C :)
bizzle

Post by bizzle » Fri Mar 14, 2003 1:45 pm

Hey Rod, awesome job on the final bleem!cast packages. Big things to Rand too. Its to bad Bleem!cast wasn't able to live up to its full potential. I finally(a few weeks ago) got the Tekken 3 bleem!cast disc, and I must say, ITS FRICKEN AMAZING. Well I guess thats enough rambling, I just can't wait to see Rand's comments on this whole thing.
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Post by Rand Linden » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:08 pm

Warmtoe wrote:OK - my question is, was there ever a better beta (!) of bleem!cast released than the one that's been cracked?
There were *NEVER* any beta versions that were released -- this one was an early version that was NOT released, but was leaked by an internal beta tester almost a year ago.

This build was from May 2000 ... which makes it almost three years old now, and a full year difference from the actual released product.
Warmtoe wrote:If that one was so old, did another one ever get distributed and do we now expect to see that one turn up?
No versions were ever "distributed" -- they were sent, under NDA, to beta testers for testing.
Warmtoe wrote:One other rumour, doing the rounds, is that bleem!cast is 100% SH4 ASM - is that true?
Yes.
Warmtoe wrote:By the way - I hope, whilst it might be annoying, that you see the cracked beta as an excellent advertisement for both of your's skills - from what I've heard, even this early version runs quite a few things well.
Considering that it's the result of a total of roughly four months' work (including a move to LA, Comdex, and figuring out the DC) it's not too bad.

Timewise, the build is only 25% of the final MGS and TK3 builds, and 30% of the GT2 build.

It isn't a "port", and nothing was reused from the PC version, save for the knowledge gained during its development -- for a whole variety of obvious reasons.

I agree with Rod completely: So many things are missing, unimplemented or buggy, it's a shame that people are seeing it in this state.


BTW, some mod should fix Rod's "banner" ... his should match mine.
Last edited by Rand Linden on Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by DcSteve » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:17 pm

"Rand Linden- it's a shame that people are seeing it in this state."

I agree with you that it is a shame that people leaked this, but the fact that in 4 months work, you were able to accomplish more than anyone has ever done for dreamcast, gives people a sense of confidence in the system overall :)
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Post by Rand Linden » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:19 pm

DcSteve wrote:I agree with you that it is a shame that people leaked this, but the fact that in 4 months work, you were able to accomplish more than anyone has ever done for dreamcast, gives people a sense of confidence in the system overall :)
It was an immense amount of work that was quite difficult -- the DC certainly didn't make things easy... nor did a whole host of other "issues".
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Post by bizzle » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:22 pm

Rand, and Rod, if you dont mind being asked, how do you feel about the leaked/cracked beta?

Are you angry? sad? mad? happy?

If you dont want to respond, you don't have to.
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Post by ZacMc » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:22 pm

BTW, some mod should fix Rod's "banner" ... his should match mine.
Done.
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Post by BobBorakovitz » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:49 pm

I would just like to say that I own all 3 of the final releases and have had them within 2 weeks of their release...they really do rock, and I feel horrible for what
Sony has done to you...there was soooo much potential... However, I'd also like to take this opportunity to say that I have gotten a hold of this early beta and have enjoyed it immensely on some games... Muppet Race Mania (a game which I absolutely LOVE) plays almost flawlessly...I played it for hours... I feel bad that I have to play this cracked beta, but, it's better that not being able to play it at all.
A LOT of people on here will disagree with me on my (and others) viewpoints...
but, I'll take a PSX emulator any way it comes. :) I would've bought every pack
that was released, in any case...even if I didn't like the game!

Thanx for all your hard work
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Post by law » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:11 pm

I admire the work you guys did, but i too would have loved to see a good version of bleemcast... I own the MGS bleem, no need for Tekken since i have soul calibur, and i dont like racing games either, BUT i would have loved to play discworld 1 +2 and a lot of other not so famous games on my DC... don?t get mad at me, but i hope that some beta tester leakes a later version than this one...and i don?t find this disrespectfull to you guys, i think you have done a hell of a job and i just dont agree on huge companies being able to hide software like this from the face of the web :)

/me runs....
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Post by Rod Maher » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:20 pm

Firstly thanks to those who have enjoyed the bleempaks and offered kind words!
btrboyev wrote:my question is why you guys just don't release your last beta of it, or release the source code. I mean, the dreamcast is a dead system, asking for money for it is pointless. I appreciate the hard work that was done on it, but why not share this great product?
Yeah, bleem is dead. DC too. But just because it would be provided free would not prevent any legal consequences.... which is a pretty good reason to start with :)
mariobro wrote:The thing is, distribution was the key problem regarding Bleemcast, even in its heyday.
I agree that distribution was far from ideal, but it wasn't realliy impossible to get ahold of. EB and other stores were selling online.
Warmtoe wrote:OK - my question is, was there ever a better beta (!) of bleem!cast released than the one that's been cracked? If that one was so old, did another one ever get distributed and do we now expect to see that one turn up?
These betas were used for internal testing right throughout development. Obviously there were a lot of them, but none are meant for the public. As far as I know this is the only leak.
Xylene wrote:Rand, and Rod, if you dont mind being asked, how do you feel about the leaked/cracked beta?
Are you angry? sad? mad? happy?
bleem has been dead for so long that it really doesn't matter now. I'd say the word is disappointed, but this is directed more to the staff member who leaked it in the first place. bleem was a small company, so everyone knew everyone. It's a shame one of our own was willing to screw over the rest of us, but you get that in life.
bizzle

Post by bizzle » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:31 pm

Rod Maher wrote:
Xylene wrote:Rand, and Rod, if you dont mind being asked, how do you feel about the leaked/cracked beta?
Are you angry? sad? mad? happy?
bleem has been dead for so long that it really doesn't matter now. I'd say the word is disappointed, but this is directed more to the staff member who leaked it in the first place. bleem was a small company, so everyone knew everyone. It's a shame one of our own was willing to screw over the rest of us, but you get that in life.
well it is a shame. but it seems like a lot of people are happy about this.. are you kind of glad people are experiencing some of the amazing stuff unreleased bleem!paks could do?
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Post by farrell2k » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:53 pm

Rand and the bleem guys did a great job. I haven't seen any of the bleempacks, but this beta runs Tenchu 2 with enhanced graphics at about 150% speed, with damn near no graphical glitches. It is an impressive piece of work.

I think that Sony actually lost out on this too. One can only imagine how many psx games we dc owners would have bought. As we all know, software licensing is where they make most of their money.

About the graphical enhancements: They look really nice! They are just so much better, that you're actually taken back by it.

It would be nice to see something coded for the PS2 that would improve the looks of your old psx games, like bleemcast! does.
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Post by az_bont » Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:55 pm

farrell2k wrote:It would be nice to see something coded for the PS2 that would improve the looks of your old psx games, like bleemcast! does.
I think you may be on to something there - but hey, us Xboxers are getting a very cool PSX emulator soon, which is bounf to out-shine the PS2's PSX game-playing capabilities. But I doubt they'll ever look as good as bleem!cast :( .
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Post by ReGex » Fri Mar 14, 2003 5:05 pm

[quote]
Yeah, bleem is dead. DC too. But just because it would be provided free would not prevent any legal consequences.... which is a pretty good reason to start with :)
[/quote]

Not to be argumentative, but I've never heard of Sony giving hassle to any of the open source emus... I don't see how Sony could touch you unless that was part of some sort of legal agreement you made with them.

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