Little help please... Dev kit?

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vardor
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Little help please... Dev kit?

Post by vardor » Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:39 pm

Well... I'm really interested in try to program "something" for a console, and i will buy a Dreamcast... So, what should i need to start to program?
I have readen it's possible use DevC++ and things like this.

Exist any kind of "Dreamcast API"(as winapi, opengl, etc..) for the DC?

What language are programmed the official DC released games? Is something like C or C++ or is more like ASM or any other low level?

Sorry for my "horrible" english.

Regards.
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Post by Smurph » Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:50 pm

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Post by OneThirty8 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:01 pm

To program for the DC, you can use the DCDev ISO Smurph linked to if you're a Windows user. If you're a *nix user (Linux, BSD, Mac OS X) then you'll want to visit this site for instructions on how to download and compile the tools you'll need. Most of us program in C or C++, but if you want to learn SH4 ASM, that works as well. The API we use (KOS) isn't too hard to pick up if you've programmed before, but it's not really like the Windows API or anything you'd be familiar with on the PC. You can use SDL if you like, but it has a few issues with memory leaks and whatnot on the Dreamcast.
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Post by vardor » Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:30 pm

Thanks a lot!
vardor
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Post by vardor » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:35 pm

Other question... Hardware needed? Exist a cable to connect the DC to PC... can i use it for... something? i don't wanna buy the official dev kit (this extrange box like a PC with a GD-W)

The official games like Sonic, Shenmue or anyone you can name, are bassed in SDL or KOS or something? Or they just work with the machine ?

That's all the question's for now.

Oh! I can't download the development enviroment from consolevision. Any other link what you know?
Thanks!
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Post by nogginthenog » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:40 pm

You can buy a serial cable from Lik-Sang. Not too expensive and LS are pretty reliable. There is an ethernet adapter but they're very rare. Serial is slow, but depends what you want to do really. Some people will say it's too slow for dev stuff but I find it OK.

Official games were written with the official dev kit I guess. KOS is an excellent bunch of OS-type libraries. The SDL port seems pretty stable to me. A lot of stuff compiles without changes, or only small changes anyway (press any key to continue - LOL).

Suggest you start with a simple SDL port. Space invaders or something.

Don't have a link for the KOS dev kit I'm afraid.
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Post by vardor » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:13 pm

Thanks!

I know i must start with something simple... well, i have no "real experience" with game development, but i have seen some codes and i can understand them perfectly except for a few things.

Well... Thanks !! Ill post any other problems what i could have...

Regards.
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Post by henzenmann » Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:38 am

nogginthenog wrote:Official games were written with the official dev kit I guess. KOS is an excellent bunch of OS-type libraries. The SDL port seems pretty stable to me. A lot of stuff compiles without changes, or only small changes anyway (press any key to continue - LOL).
I recommend Chui's port of SDL, it has better speed and some nice DC-specific features.
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Post by vardor » Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:49 pm

I'm reading about it... well, is it a kind of "implementation" or port of "OpenGL" And a other things? ("Correct OpenGL integration.")
Is it only for PAL? I have an NTSC DC... Is any trouble with this ?

Thanks to all!
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Post by BlackAura » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:28 am

SDL is a port of a PC game library SDL. Basically, it handles things like input, sound, and 2D video in a cross-platform way. With it, it's possible to write games that work on a Dreamcast, a PC, a Mac, a Linux box, and a dozen or so other unusual platforms.

SDL can use OpenGL on platforms where OpenGL is available, so you can write cross-platform 3D games with it too.

The Dreamcast implementation of OpenGL is buggy and incomplete, but it's possible to write stuff with it that also works on a PC version. So again, you can write cross-platform stuff with it.
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Post by dospro » Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:19 am

Hi. First, whats your language? If it is spanish, then we could understand a little better(you could send me a p.m. with youyr messenger address).

By the way.

You should first read about what KOS is and what SDL is too.

All games form big companies were made with the official development kit(i think was KATANA and Windows CE SDK). The official dev-kit originally cost about $20,000,000(i am not sure, but it is around that) with a license too.
Right now you can get one on ebay much cheaper(like $500).

However, this is not a good solution. The dev-kit may have everything you neeed to make DC games, but you must first learn to use the KATANA SDK which is incredibly big. This SDK was designed so a group of "expert" developers could make DC games, its to much for single programmers.

So the DC community made their own SDK, actually what they really made was an OS(operative system, like windows or linux). Yeah, they called it Kallisti Operative System(is the name correct), KOS for short.
It was obviously not an OS as windows or linux, it was just a very basic plataform for games to run.

A very basic but powerful kernel. Also an SDK came out to program for this OS. At first it was kinda small. But now, you can see how many libraries have been ported(like SDL).

SDL is library(like DirectX, for example), which lets you use 2D graphics, sound, controls, josticks, timed events, mouse, cdrom, and things like that. SDL is much used for game development, emulators development, graphical utilities, etc. Its very used library, it is even used by big companies to port their games.
The main advantage of SDL is the cross-plataform. The library has been port to A LOT OF SYSTEMS.(This includes, windows, linux, mac, etc). This means, you can make a game ins SDL that runs on windows, and without changen a bit of code, make it run on linux.
Well, the dc community could not let this great library out of their SDK, so it was ported to DC too.
This means, that most programs written using SDL in windows, may run on dreamcast with little code change(of course, if this was programmed correctly).

Check SDL in http://www.libsdl.org

Anyway, SDL is still kinda buggy on dreamcast(i have tested a gb emulator and it worked perfectly but slow). Chui's implementation is better(still havent tested it).

Of course, if you want to use KOS full potential you must instead use KOS SDK. The big disadvantage of this is that there is no good documentation(if any). The best way to know how kos works, is to look at the source, at the headers, the code of KOS. There the headers have useful info, but you must learn how to do a very good search....

And for last. The best language for game programming for me is C++. You can use C too, but if you sont mantain order the code will end of like asm. By the way, ASM is NOT a good choice, maybe is the fastest option, but it is kinda imposible to do a 3D DC game using ASM, you may only use it to make some bottleneck faster, but only for that, you have a C/C++ compiler which produces really good asm code, so dont bother with that.

And for last. To test your applications you can buy or create a serial transfer cable(there are still lots on liksang where i bought mine). This cable is really usefull, you connect it to a PC COM1 or COM2(it depends on your pc), then, connect it to the DC serial port. Load dc-tool on both machines(dc, and pc), and start transfering the elf(imagine its a dc exe).
Although this is a good way, its slow. If your elf is about 2MB it will take some time to upload to the dreamcast(speed is like a 56kbit modem).

If you are very rich(or porr but lucky as me :D), and have no patience, then try finding a broadband adapter in ebay. Just go to ebay and in the search bar, write "dreamcast broadband" and that will do it. There are always 1 or 2 BBA on sell, but VERY expensive($100-$150 or even more). I got mine for about $130(quite expensive). This is the best option. It tranfers that FAST, really fast. You need a crosscable or a hub or a router. You also need to make some little configuration for your DC to access the network, or for your pc to access the dreamcast and viceversa. When that done you load dc-tool-ip for both dc and pc and voila.
Jejeje,if you have high badnwidth internet connection, you can also use your BBA to play games online(personally i like Quake 3 Arena). This is the best solution. If you can get one of those BBA then thats it.

Hope my HUGE explanation has answered most of your doubts.
Adios amigo
Check the BioGB emulator any help me get it much better!!
http://www.geocities.com/instructivus
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Post by vardor » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:34 pm

Alright. Really thanks :)

That helps me a lot.

So... Lets start to read, read, read...and keep reading!

I'm not proud of my english, but it helps sometimes :p

Well people, thanks for all.
dospro, i'll send you my mail by a PM !
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Post by Mark30001 » Sat Aug 05, 2006 5:24 pm

$20 million for a Katana back in the day? :o
.
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