Crafti: A Homebrew Minecraft Clone For Dreamcast

Minecraft. A game which looks so simple on the surface due to its basic geometric visuals and fairly relaxed gameplay, but in reality is actually incredibly complex and even lends itself to being used as an educational tool. Yes, Minecraft is a true cultural phenomenon. It also made its creator disgustingly rich when Microsoft bought the franchise from Markus 'Notch' Persson in 2014 for $2.5 billion, and the game has gone on to become the second best selling game of all time. Not bad, I'm sure you'll agree.
There are ports of Minecraft available for a multitude of different systems and they all offer the similar gameplay and mechanics found in the PC original, and many people have carved out a career simply streaming gameplay online. The power of Minecraft knowns no bounds it seems, and now the game has come to the Dreamcast. Well...sort of. Crafti is a Minecraft clone developed by DCEmulation forum member gameblabla and is now free to download and burn to a CD-R for playing in a Dreamcast. Naturally, that's exactly what I did...

As explained in the original forum post, Crafti for Dreamcast is a port of the original Crafti - a Minecraft clone developed for Texas Instruments TI-Nspire graphic calculators. I downloaded the CDI file, burnt it to a disc and popped it in my Dreamcast, and then spent a good half hour messing about in this wonderful homage to Mojang's world builder.

Controls take a little getting used to, but once sussed Crafti is about as close to the real Minecraft as you're likely to get on a Dreamcast. Movement is handled through the d-pad, looking on the analogue and the face buttons allow you to place or erase blocks in the world. You can also jump and there's an action button for opening doors and pressing switches. Pressing start brings up a block menu and you can assign different materials to your inventory at the bottom of the screen.
As explained in the forum post, there is no music and there are no enemies (so don't go expecting to be chased by a Creeper), but as a proof of concept this is pretty impressive work. I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Minecraft and my experience with the genuine article doesn't really extend beyond the one time I played the Xbox 360 version for about an hour back in around 2013. That said, even with this limited experience I knew what kinds of things I should be able to do, so after 10 minutes playing with Crafti I had already built myself a nice little house, complete with a fireplace and a bookshelf full of leather-bound books. The smell of rich mahogany also wafted through the structure. Apologies for the pixellated screenshots here - the game wouldn't work properly on my Elgato so I was forced to use an S-Video capture thing and the image quality isn't the best.
Interestingly, another user of the DCEmulation forum, bogglez offers some tips on how gameblabla could improve the frame rate and performance of Crafti for Dreamcast...but as a little curio I think it is perfectly acceptable in its current form. There are numerous different block types, including familiar types like water, lava and even explosives and switches etc. I managed to make a house with a roof and a door so who knows what else is possible in this fantastic little game?

Below you'll find a short and sweet video of some gameplay recorded from my Dreamcast, using perhaps the shortest capture device in the known galaxy. My Elgato wouldn't work so I had to rely on the August USB capture dongle once again. Still, it's better than nothing and gives you an idea of how Crafti runs.

For further info and to grab the CDI file yourself, head over to the DCEmulation forum here. Also, thanks to bogglez himself for giving me the heads up on this.


B# Major General said...

Sweet. I had wondered about the possibility of someone making a port of the portable Minecraft for Dreamcast, and this clone version seems to show what it would be like. Now I can resume imagining what Final Fantasy VII would have looked like on DC!

ShiningSkies said...

Damn. I don't really play Minecraft (I've dabbled in the past), but this is pretty darn cool!

Imagine what this would have been like as an official release back in the DC days with online play and jazz!

(Note: I know Minecraft was made well after offical DC support ceased - but imageine...)

FlorreW said...

Looks good ! I will let my kids judge if its a good game or not , they love minecraft :D

Anthony817 said...

This is mightily impressive for sure. I wanted something like this back 7 or 8 years ago whenever minecraft was in it's infancy, and it is nice to see a clone as polished as this released on it.

way2easy said...

Wow Tom! This article is famous. I've seen the video on at least two other major sites. Nice exposure for the site. Looks like minecraft gets the hits.