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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 12:10 am 
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Why'd DSNES stop?

Remember Cryptic Allusions?

That was a long time ago.

Too long.


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 1:03 am 
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bleemcast! was stopped due to mounting costs to defend themselves against Sony. Even though they were winning in court, the costs were too high and they finally quit without turning a profit. Although Rand wouldn't ever explain the exact circumstances under which they quit, it's most likely because of some sort of settlement with Sony.

DreamSNES stopped because the speed was impossible to increase under the existing codebase: the emulator would have had to be rewritten almost completely to get additional speed gains.

Cryptic Allusion still exists, although they're going multiplatform and moving away from the Dreamcast, as far as I know. They still have one big DC title in the works, Donk!.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:48 am 
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|darc| wrote:
bleemcast! was stopped due to mounting costs to defend themselves against Sony. Even though they were winning in court, the costs were too high and they finally quit without turning a profit. Although Rand wouldn't ever explain the exact circumstances under which they quit, it's most likely because of some sort of settlement with Sony.


I am not sure. I really think that the only reason was the money they keep loosing with each release.

While GT2 is becoming harder, actually almost impossible to find, I can still buy new and sealed copies of MGS and Tekken 3 at ebay for next to no money.

Of course that doesn't explain why there's no GPL'd source code release, nor why we won't see a release of the remaining Bleem!cast paks that either were announced or planned. I could imagine a Bleem!cast pak for e.g. G-Darius printing good money if it would be sold at a similar price to previous Bleem!cast releases.


|darc| wrote:
DreamSNES stopped because the speed was impossible to increase under the existing codebase: the emulator would have had to be rewritten almost completely to get additional speed gains.


What's needed would be a version that's even more custom tailored to the Dreamcast's hardware: The VDP and APU would have to be rewritten for the Dreamcast's PowerVR and AICA to improve the performance. What we have right now is as far as it goes without these changes.

My personal impression is that they've put a fantastic amount of work into optimizing the thing and even went down the route of porting the SNES' CPU to SH4. That however didn't help much: the SNES' CPU is basically a slow 8-bit CPU at 3 MHz so, unlike with porting the 32-bit M68000 CPU as used in NeoGeo and Mega Drive / Genesis to SH4, there's not much to gain from that; the SNES has other components that are much more demanding.

Now, I think that they looked at what they achieved:
- full speed emulation on European 50Hz machines using 50Hz games (which ironically doesn't help much in VGA with its forced 60Hz playback :| )
- high compatibility (much higher than what was available for PC during that time)
- with sound emulation (although clocked at 11 or 14khz max in the last two releases - an option to choose 22 or 24khz would have been nice)

...so they looked at these achievements and then considered how much work it would take to improve this beast even further, and then probably decided that it wouldn't be worth the amount of work and time involved to adapt the sound and video emulation to the Dreamcast's components.


|darc| wrote:
Cryptic Allusion still exists, although they're going multiplatform and moving away from the Dreamcast, as far as I know. They still have one big DC title in the works, Donk!.


http://www.cagames.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=7977#7977
Dan Potter wrote:
I can't speak for CA here really. I have been slowly relieving myself of CA duties for a while, in case it hasn't been obvious.

For me though... I had a real blast of a time doing what I've done with and for the Dreamcast. I fell in love with the little white box from the first time I played Soul Calibur, and I bought one for myself at the first good opportunity. I started playing the games and got obsessed with the idea of coding games for it, and worked to make that a reality for myself (and apparently many others, which makes me happy and feel good about all the time I spent on it :)).

The thing is, in order to make games for a system you have to have people who are willing and interested to put the time into it. If I could do this as my day job then I'd love to do it. It's just ... over time things change, we move on, other things become more important to us in our lives. I have a full time job that I am trying to use all my "programmer stamina" for, I have a wife to spend time with, I'm trying to start a family, I'm getting older and my 30 year old eyes (after ~24 years of doing so) can't stand to stare at a monitor for 18 hours a day anymore, etc, etc... It's a fun hobby but it's been hard to even put in the hours for Donk to get it to completion. It's just one of those things that I think really has to be a passion for someone to keep it up so long (we've been at this for over 8 years, ya know :))

This is totally ignoring some other difficulties going on in my life right now that I'm not going to discuss here at the moment... (and I'm sure Roddy has his own, too)

So I have been focusing all my efforts in the CA realm towards working on Donk, and transitioning projects away from my control (like KOS and Tiki) to the people who are most interested in working on them actively. I have made a number of efforts to do this same thing with our Dreamcast game projects, but I have simply had no takers. There is obviously some interest on the "consumption" side of things, but no one is willing to step in and do this "production" side.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the future direction of CA and the DC is totally up in the air here -- if we had a group of people who wanted to work on DC stuff under our umbrella, I think something could be arranged there. We have contacts and assets to share. It's not going to be me doing it though. Since I was kinda CA's Dreamcast "special sauce" :lol: I don't know what that says for the future of CA and the DC.

If you have the skills and want to see it happen, step up to the plate and let's get to it. We'll be happy to get you started helping on completing Donk...

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