Dream On - Dreamcast Game Contest

This forum is for discussion pertaining to homebrew software for the Dreamcast, such as homebrew games, emulators/interpreters, and other homebrew software/applications. Porting requests and developmental ideas are not to be made here; you can make those here. If you need any help burning discs for homebrew software, this is the place to ask as well.
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Post by Storminator16 » Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:00 pm

Ah, I apologize to Mr. Jones if I took what he said the wrong way.

I still maintain this is the 'Year of the DC' and it's basically now or never for this scene. I'm confident that this will be the "now", but now I'm starting to hinge things on how this contest shakes out. I had hopes early on that the attraction for new programmers & sceners are there (this contest, network capability) but I'm starting to have my doubts.

Hell, I've even decided some things on my part, and some of my decisions don't factor in the DC. Still, I remain optimistic. Hmmm, I'm thinking I just entered the "No-Spin Zone" but I'm spinning my self into the ground. :mrgreen:
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Post by Chuck D. Head » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:08 pm

The potential of the scene growing large enough to actually attract some mainstream attention is better for the Dreamcast than it is for the Jaguar, or even the 2600. The problem is tapping that potential and making something come of
it.

Yes this scene does have potential. There are dedicated Dreamcast gamers all over the world. While there may only be a small amount of them, but there is potential for increases. What this scene needs is commerically released games. These games need to be well polished and well constructed, and unique games. If these games are worthwhile people will noticed. If the games are good enough and price fairly, people might just go out and buy a $20 DC. Gee, they are cheap enough.

The problem of course comes from getting people to notice these commercial homebrews. If the scene gets more articles in EGM, in game magnizes, or game websites this will be no problem. But what the scene needs is people to promote the scene. If games comes out, go to all the forums which gamers visit and post links, and give information about the game. Of course, I do not know if the scene wants that much attention, unless the scene become a company. :mrgreen:

Hopefully though, they will buy it, but this brings out another problem: copy protection. Devers need a way to protect there work, or the scene might as well forget about commercial releases.
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Post by goatdan » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:21 pm

Chuck D. Head wrote:Yes this scene does have potential. There are dedicated Dreamcast gamers all over the world. While there may only be a small amount of them, but there is potential for increases. What this scene needs is commerically released games. These games need to be well polished and well constructed, and unique games. If these games are worthwhile people will noticed. If the games are good enough and price fairly, people might just go out and buy a $20 DC. Gee, they are cheap enough.
Agreed. I am an avid Atari Jaguar collector as well as Dreamcast, but one of the major barriers to entry with the Jaguar other than the fact that there is not much of an installed userbase is that material to produce the games costs upwards of $50.00 per title. The Dreamcast has the benefit of being able to release games because of the wonderful KallistiOS system and the tools that Sega made available, intentional or not.
The problem of course comes from getting people to notice these commercial homebrews. If the scene gets more articles in EGM, in game magnizes, or game websites this will be no problem. But what the scene needs is people to promote the scene. If games comes out, go to all the forums which gamers visit and post links, and give information about the game. Of course, I do not know if the scene wants that much attention, unless the scene become a company. :mrgreen:
Agreed. How I look at it is like this -- If people really like the game and they tell one or two other people about it, eventually it will get known. I can't see anything bad coming out of the scene getting more exposure -- the Atari Jaguar had BattleSphere (sort of a "homebrew") released for it, and now that it is out of print, it costs $250+ for a copy. Because of the attention BattleSphere got, more developments were made and more attention was paid to the Jaguar community in general. A lot of great games that were said to be lost forever were found because of that action, and they did better because BattleSphere set the bar so high.

The Dreamcast is different, but not so much so that I think that more exposure would be bad.
Hopefully though, they will buy it, but this brings out another problem: copy protection. Devers need a way to protect there work, or the scene might as well forget about commercial releases.
Copy protection is one of those things that stinks. Piracy is biggest reason that the Dreamcast died, and our decision to produce Feet of Fury (and these games) came from the fact that we think there is still enough of a market out there for people who would be willing to spend a fair amount of money on a new game and would not be willing to copy it. Because of the respect that Feet of Fury has had, if it has been ripped it is't widely available.

While I'm not stupid enough to think that piracy isn't a concern, I think the people purchasing the games understand how much effort went into the creation and that piracy of the game would seriously hinder any future releases of the same type. Because of that, I don't think that piracy of these particular games will be too much of an issue. It's a bridge that I don't hope to ever have to cross. I guess we'll just have to see.
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Post by impetus » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:27 pm

not to shoot off topic, I remember rand said something about developing some type of copy protection for Bleemcast CD releases?
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Post by OneThirty8 » Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:01 pm

impetus wrote:not to shoot off topic, I remember rand said something about developing some type of copy protection for Bleemcast CD releases?
The problem is twofold: 1)Consumer burners won't burn an uncopyable disc. 2)If Rand told us how he did it, then somebody would finally rip Bleem!DC. I think it's awesome that his is the DC release that has been uncopyable thus far.
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Post by JuniorCrb » Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:46 pm

contest ends very very soon now :) :) :) :D :D
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Post by Derived Class » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:12 pm

I didnt come across the homebrew scene early enough to make an entry, but im interested (along with my good friend) in contributing.

we are both experienced (almost 10 years now) software engineers, but no game programming experience. We know enough C to work around any issues we have, but out biggest problems with getting off the ground is:

a - a basic "pong" or something tutorial. we have no idea where to start. everyone else starts at hello world. what do n00b DC developers start at?

b - no organized toolkit or SDK. we have to download 5 things, according to the dan potter wiki, before we get to step a, and we're not even sure how to do that

so can an experienced dev help us out? we are anxious to bring our creativity to the community - but unsure where to start.
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Post by OneThirty8 » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:26 pm

Derived Class wrote:I didnt come across the homebrew scene early enough to make an entry, but im interested (along with my good friend) in contributing.

we are both experienced (almost 10 years now) software engineers, but no game programming experience. We know enough C to work around any issues we have, but out biggest problems with getting off the ground is:

a - a basic "pong" or something tutorial. we have no idea where to start. everyone else starts at hello world. what do n00b DC developers start at?

b - no organized toolkit or SDK. we have to download 5 things, according to the dan potter wiki, before we get to step a, and we're not even sure how to do that

so can an experienced dev help us out? we are anxious to bring our creativity to the community - but unsure where to start.
I started off with SDL examples and tutorials. I jumped right into that without learning C/C++ first (I often learn things backwards), using some great tutorials from http://cone3d.gamedev.net and just playing around with it, changing it, etc.

As for a SDK, first you're going to want a *nix setup - Linux, BSD, or cygwin or MinGW if you're a Windows user. Then, you need SH4 and ARM toolchains and KallistiOS. You can look through some of the devvers sites for prebuilt toolchains, or you can get one of their Build scripts. I use BlackAura's build script and it built everything for me on both of my Linux boxes (Slackware 9.1), but most of the time I do my devving on a Windows machine with cygwin since it's one of 2 that I'm able to both connect to the internet and burn CD's on.

After that, hang out in our Programming Discussion forum, where you can find helpful links, helpful people, and helpful example code. That's my first stop when I hit a DC or SDL specific roadblock, and almost always find my answers without trouble.
we have to download 5 things, according to the dan potter wiki, before we get to step a, and we're not even sure how to do that
A build script, such as Stalin's or BlackAura's, will automate the process for you.
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Post by goatdan » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:40 pm

OneThirty8 wrote:
impetus wrote:not to shoot off topic, I remember rand said something about developing some type of copy protection for Bleemcast CD releases?
The problem is twofold: 1)Consumer burners won't burn an uncopyable disc. 2)If Rand told us how he did it, then somebody would finally rip Bleem!DC. I think it's awesome that his is the DC release that has been uncopyable thus far.
Sadly, there are ways around nearly any type of copyright protection for CDs, as I'm sure most of us know already.

The Jaguar CD games were for the longest time the one thing that I knew of that you could not copy at all. The problem had to do with an area of the disks that were not readable by consumer burners for whatever reason. Finally, someone came out with a program that was able to copy the entire CD bit-for-bit, and about five years after their release, Jaguar CD games are able to be copied, although there simply isn't a piracy scene like the Dreamcast has had since it's release.

The problem that I see with developing a method for copy protection is:

The method would take a long time to develop so it would run on the Dreamcast, if it could be done at all.

Rest assured, we use as many tricks as possible so the games we produce are not copyable, but so did Sega and look what happened... I knew of people that figured out how to burn Dreamcast games by 9/15/99... Sad, really.
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Post by goatdan » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:44 pm

WillSams wrote:I still maintain this is the 'Year of the DC' and it's basically now or never for this scene. I'm confident that this will be the "now", but now I'm starting to hinge things on how this contest shakes out. I had hopes early on that the attraction for new programmers & sceners are there (this contest, network capability) but I'm starting to have my doubts.
I meant to reply to this before, but missed it... If it makes you feel better, between the DreamON contest and some other goodies that we have up our sleeves, there is a lot more on its way for the 'Cast than I think a lot of people realize right now.

Within the near future, there should be some more stuff up at the GOAT Store, and I'm hoping to have some "secret projects" to show by the Midwest Gaming Classic :mrgreen: More info as it comes 8-)
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Post by Mr. Jones » Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:43 am

goatdan wrote:Within the near future, there should be some more stuff up at the GOAT Store, and I'm hoping to have some "secret projects" to show by the Midwest Gaming Classic :mrgreen: More info as it comes 8-)
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Post by Derived Class » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:27 am

OneThirty8 wrote:
Derived Class wrote:I didnt come across the homebrew scene early enough to make an entry, but im interested (along with my good friend) in contributing.

we are both experienced (almost 10 years now) software engineers, but no game programming experience. We know enough C to work around any issues we have, but out biggest problems with getting off the ground is:

a - a basic "pong" or something tutorial. we have no idea where to start. everyone else starts at hello world. what do n00b DC developers start at?

b - no organized toolkit or SDK. we have to download 5 things, according to the dan potter wiki, before we get to step a, and we're not even sure how to do that

so can an experienced dev help us out? we are anxious to bring our creativity to the community - but unsure where to start.
I started off with SDL examples and tutorials. I jumped right into that without learning C/C++ first (I often learn things backwards), using some great tutorials from http://cone3d.gamedev.net and just playing around with it, changing it, etc.

As for a SDK, first you're going to want a *nix setup - Linux, BSD, or cygwin or MinGW if you're a Windows user. Then, you need SH4 and ARM toolchains and KallistiOS. You can look through some of the devvers sites for prebuilt toolchains, or you can get one of their Build scripts. I use BlackAura's build script and it built everything for me on both of my Linux boxes (Slackware 9.1), but most of the time I do my devving on a Windows machine with cygwin since it's one of 2 that I'm able to both connect to the internet and burn CD's on.

After that, hang out in our Programming Discussion forum, where you can find helpful links, helpful people, and helpful example code. That's my first stop when I hit a DC or SDL specific roadblock, and almost always find my answers without trouble.
we have to download 5 things, according to the dan potter wiki, before we get to step a, and we're not even sure how to do that
A build script, such as Stalin's or BlackAura's, will automate the process for you.
This is good stuff. Thanks. We will get a 12 pack and try to kick this off tonight.

We'll be using MinGW... I couldnt get friggin RH9 to recognize my MA311 wirless card. I got it to work once before, then blew the box away...

Anyway I digress. We'll try this stuff and see. Thanks again!
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Post by aaaa » Sat Mar 20, 2004 2:07 pm

so, metafox, could you describe the entries you got in now that the contest is over?
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Post by Mr. Jones » Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:50 pm

Bouncing off of aaaa's post, what were all the entries, and how are they being judged? Fun Factor? Control? Presentation? Originality? Clean Coding? Do the folks who didn't make first place get any consolation prizes?

In addition, do us lackeys get to do a sort of "user review" of the entries? There's nothing better than a little controversy to keep conversations going, and I'm sure that game X will end up winning, and there will be a couple of dcemulians who will swear that game Y should've been the victor. :twisted:

Either way, keep us posted! I'm all in suspense here n' stuff...
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Post by goatdan » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:03 pm

Mr. Jones wrote:Bouncing off of aaaa's post, what were all the entries, and how are they being judged? Fun Factor? Control? Presentation? Originality? Clean Coding? Do the folks who didn't make first place get any consolation prizes?
There were five game entries. They are all pretty impressive, and I think that it will be a close competition :) MetaFox or one of the other judges will probably fill everyone in soon with a little more information about them all.

The first place prize gets $100 and a professional run of their disk, and the second place prize gets $25 and a professional run of their disk.
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Post by curt_grymala » Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:25 am

There were five entries. MetaFox filled us in on what they were over on the CV forums.

Posted at ConsoleVision forums:
MetaFox wrote: Whispered Secrets by Ian Micheal
Maqiupai by JMD
Inhabitants by S+F Software
Boll by Fredrik Ehnbom
Trampalien Gunmen DC by GPF

Trampalien Gunmen DC violated 2 rules (copyrighted graphics and freely downloadable on the internet). I'm not one to turn away entries however, so I'm trying to work out an arrangement with the author to make the entry eligible for the CD pressing (should the entry win).
Dan Potter wrote: I'm actually in Austin right now, and Roddy and I went over the entries again last night. There's some really great stuff in there, and I'm really pleased with what I've seen so far. I'm not sure how much we're supposed to talk about the entries yet though... shouldn't matter, right Metafox?
Just thought I would keep you guys up to date. In the future, you can check this topic, and the topic found here for info.
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Post by Szczepaniak » Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:37 pm

hehe, not to worry, myself and GPF are working on correcting the copyright issues as you read this. :)
Also, the version for pressing would be far more advanced than the current version available for free download. Think of it more as a mini demo. :)
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Post by JuniorCrb » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:03 pm

are they still judging? (just curious i know they want to be fair)
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Post by q_006 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:14 pm

OneThirty8 wrote:
impetus wrote:not to shoot off topic, I remember rand said something about developing some type of copy protection for Bleemcast CD releases?
The problem is twofold: 1)Consumer burners won't burn an uncopyable disc. 2)If Rand told us how he did it, then somebody would finally rip Bleem!DC. I think it's awesome that his is the DC release that has been uncopyable thus far.
1) well if we're making commercial game discs, it wouldn't matter if consumer couldn burn it or not.
2) and Rand doesn't have to tell us how he does it, "he" could just do it for us... i mean for a fee of course :?
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Post by impetus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:26 pm

1) it certainly would - ever heard of warez?
2) true but unlikely. ;)
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