Inducer

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The "DreamInducer" or just "Inducer" is a program for the Dreamcast created by DCGrendel circa 2002. In essence it is a simple menu program that allows multiple programs, demos, emulators, or other applications made for the DreamCast to be run from a single disc.


Introduction

When the Inducer first was made available to the public, it was a revolutionary step in Dreamcast development. Up until this time, people only had the option to place a single dreamcast binary on a single disc. (Not including the earlier burrning method which required a seperate 'boot' disc, i.e. Utopia.) Using a standard file system hierarchy, the Inducer also allowed all of the required or additonal files to be placed on the same disc as well, the only limitation being the actual physical side of the disc the structure was created on.


Functionality

As with all other self-booting DreamCast CD's, Inducer contained an IP.BIN bootfile, the 1st_read.bin actual menu program, and a replaceable theme that dictated the various screen images and fonts used on the menu screen. Orinigally, the Javex theme was included, although several creators of OS specific programs for setting up the Inducer CD have opted to include a different default theme.


Format of required Files

Inducer requires a specific file type of a Application/Game/Emulator to work with its inherent layout and program. These files are called SBI files, using the .sbi file extension.

These files need to meet several criteria to be able to function with the Inducer program.

  • The binary must be included and be unscrambled.
  • A .dxl file that is added to the Mainmenu.dxl file and describes several key elements of what the sbi file needs to point to.
  • An adherence to the file system hierarchy dictated by the Inducers layout. (Not all sbi files comply to these standards, which results in some cross-contamination and missing files.)

Here is an example layout of a typical included .dxl file from an .sbi file.


<ITEM
    TITLE="DreamSNES"
    DESCRIPTION="DreamSNES 0.9.8#by: Marcus Comstedt"
    SCREENSHOT="/cd/Images/DreamSNES.png"
    TARGET="/cd/Emus/DreamSNES.bin"
    PREROLL="/cd/Theme/Loading.dxi"/> 


SBI file History

During the life span of the Inducer, four seperate versions were created of .SBI files. The previous version formats are all but non-existant, and almost impossible to find. Any located sbi files are bound to be of the 3.0/4.0 version.

  • 1.0 - The first version of 'sbi' files were self-extracting archive files in the .EXE format, and thus un-usable by non-windows operating systems.
  • 2.0/2.1 - The second version of .sbi files, cross-platform compatible and with a '.sbi' extension.
  • 3.0 - The third version of .sbi files. These were version 2.0 files with some minor file hierarchy changes to conform to the true Inducer folder layout.
  • 4.0 - Fourth and final version. These are version 3.0/2.0 sbi files with comments added into the zip/sbi files' header.


Other SBI file inconsistencies

Some sbis incorrectly target the loading.dxi file in the root directory of the disc, and not the Themes folder where they should exist. A small list below indicates those .dxl files with known errors.

  • DreamSNES 0.9.8 (Although shown as correct above, it was changed for this page to make an example of.)


Programs for creating a Dream Inducer disc

Because of its abilities and notoriety, many programs have been created to assist users in setting up an Inducer CD. These include programs for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux operating systems. Although creation of an Inducer CD is possible without these programs, it is very time-consuming and can be overally technical for some users. Here is a short list of programs that include the ability to make an Inducer CD.

  • Mac Dream Tool
  • Self Boot Inducer


Themes

A short list of themes available for the Inducer; if you know of any not listed, please let us know!