Friday, August 30, 2013

Tahi - The Arocean War

This project is actually pretty old news on most Dreamcast sites and forums, but it is totally new to me so I thought it may have passed quite a few others by as well. So what is it? Apparently, Tahi - The Arocean War is a new(ish) action RPG that is/was being developed for the Dreamcast by an independent outfit called Reticon Entertainment Technology. The thing that piqued my interest is that Tahi appears to be a fully 3D adventure game, using polygonal characters in an explorable environment. True, there have been several high profile indie releases for the DC over the last few years, but in the main they've been 2D shooters, 2D driving games or puzzlers. A totally new adventure title breaks this mould and I'm very intrigued to see what a late 2000s polygonal game looks like on the antiquated hardware.

I say late 2000s because all the evidence suggests that Tahi started its development cycle in 2009, but since then there appears to be very little new info on the game. I emailed the team at Reticon asking for further info but the email bounced back, and the form on the site doesn't work...so for now I guess we'll either have to wait for more info (they appear to have updated their site earlier this month so I guess there's still something going on there)...or just accept that development has halted and Tahi has gone to the great vapourware graveyard in the sky.

Here's a bit of info on the game taken from the dev's website:

Since Tahi was originally for the SEGA Dreamcast, we had physical hardware limitations --
  • 200MHz - SH4
  • 16MB RAM
  • 700-900MB storage medium

When the project was first started in 2009, it was originally programmed procedurally as a 'guess and check' style as we explored the functionality of the Dreamcast and its limitations.  The first attempts were difficult since there was no perfect IDE to use or methods for debugging compiled code, which made (and still makes) for an extremely slow testing environment.

As the project continued, we had to stop coding the game in a procedural fashion, since the code was becoming 'too patched' to function well and the idea of an engine was brought to the table. 

The original engined titled 'ION Engine' was to pack the lower level functions into a much more abstract and easier to use and maintain source code.  

The largest challenges are that of compile testing and programming for the Dreamcast platform.  The Dreamcast has no easy 'how-to' guide to program a game for its platform other than KallistiOS, and even with KallistiOS, there is not much support available for it and how to optimize and really use the Dreamcast's features.  So programming has been a very slow and experimental process of trial and failure.

The next largest challenge for this project is man-power.  A game of this scope and size is difficult for a small team to develop, many of us have to wear 'multiple hats' during this production in order to see to certain goal completions, which does slow down a production significantly.

Here are a few images and a Youtube clip of what has been put out about the game:






On a slightly different note, The Dreamcast Junkyard seems to have vanished from Google's results if you search for us. I've looked at the settings in the Blogger dashboard and everything looks fine...so we're a bit baffled as to why this has happened. The 'Yard still pops up on Bing (all is forgiven!) and other search engines (yep, they do exist!)...so if anyone has any suggestions, be sure to let us know what you think might be the problem! Thanks.

13 comments:

Josh Reynolds said...

I have never seen this project before either, I'm very impressed though. When they showed the face of the model close-up I got pretty damn excited. The level of detail here is pretty ridiculous for Dreamcast hardware. I'm pretty sure I noticed bump mapping on one of the walls they showed as well (which I'm surprised we didn't see during the consoles life as it would have given the appearance of extra polys without as much of a performance hit). Really looking forward to this.

Tomleecee said...

Hi Josh, thanks for commenting. I agree with you on the level of detail - it's pretty astounding. I'd love to see Tahi released at some point too...guess we'll just have to wait and see if it materialises.

Mongroovy said...

Been reading about this on and off for years, would definitely be very cool if it gets released.

Corbin said...

Great coverage of TAHI! I'm sure Reticon will love the article ;)

I also want to make a quick note that SCOURGE has been in development for awhile (http://tdgmods.blogspot.com) and we have a Facebook as well (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isotope-TDGMods/232903863419077). Hypertension was covered here once, which we also restarted after we ran into legal issues.

Derek Loser Tailor said...

Google released there software update Panda, which allows 'better quality websites' to be bumped on the top of their list while removing all the poor quality websites.

I know many people that have complained about this aswell.

Google doesn't consider this a quality website. I'm unsure what Google is going to do with the other filtered results. Knowing Google, they're not afraid of showing off surprises to help other members.

Tomleecee said...

Ah, I see - thanks Derek, all becomes clear! Not sure I agree with Google on this one, but seeing as they are omnipresent I suppose we have no choice! All hail Bing!

Chelidze said...

The Dreamcast Junkyard is still on Google but the site ranking must be really law
you can search site:http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/
and clearly you can see that google has it indexed

CD ageS said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems "RETICON" has recently announced that they are putting the game in the back burner and look to produce something smaller in scale...

"Reticon
Due to the ever-growing production demand of TAHI and our limited resources and funds, the Reticon team has decided to put the project on hold until Reticon can acquire the needed resources to complete the game in the vision that it was intended.

When the project first began, it was easily managable by a small team, but as its world and story grew, so did its demand for production and programming and along with it came cost.

To help expidite this and gain the necessary, stable revenue to continue the game, the Reticon team has begun another production, far smaller than that of TAHI known as 'paniq'. A four player 'Tetris-meets-StarCraft' real time strategy game that is set to release on all major platforms as well as a 'lite' version for online play.

The team has already made major progress on paniq, which includes its art design, music and tonality, and its entire code base, including a modified version of the well-known Ionicon Engine. Images and in-game will be arriving soon. Expected release date is later this year / early 2014

We thank you for your support and patience and welcome..."

This further development with respects to the game leads me to believe that "TAHI" is nothing more than a hoax that's been going on for WAY too long now.

Tomleecee said...

Thanks for the info Chelidze. Also, thanks for doing some investigative work on TAHI, CD ageS. I did think it was a bit suspect when I tried to email the dev team directly for further info but didn't get anywhere. Sigh - I guess it did look a little too good to be true!

nocarpayment said...

I first found out about this a few months ago. I think i have them or had on my FB. Guess its put on the backburner. Hey TGmods whats up with Scourge/Hypertension been following for a while been busy. Any target date yet.

TheUndeadKnight said...

I don't want to sound like an asshole, and I'm sorry in advance if I do. "Tahi" means shit in my language(Malay) as well as Indonesian(If I'm not mistaken). If fact, you can type tahi on google and it will just show you what I mean if you don't believe me. My opinion is that they really need to change the title in order to avoid their search results intermingled with...er... shit.

Tomleecee said...

Thanks UndeadKnight - maybe calling it that was a clue as to whether this was vapourware/a hoax?! Thanks for the comment and enlightenment!

Corbin said...

If anyone is still reading someone mentioned a "What's up with..." Scourge/Hypertension - hopefully you will be able to find out at the Midwest Gaming Classic this year as we gear up to show off both games in April! Just a heads up.

We have a Facebook, it'd be wise to keep up and check on us every now and then. :-) Thanks everyone!