The Dreamcast Directory: Websites We Love in 2024

Late last year, in a gratuitous act of procrastination, I authored a piece for the Junkyard that surveyed the hefty range of Dreamcast websites that had sprung up in the console’s “post-Sega” era but which had sadly since bit the dust. In reality that piece was an excuse to indulge in some nostalgic daydreaming about the period when I first came across the console as a nerdy teen: a bizarre time when the burgeoning unofficial world (Goat Store, Beats of Rage, Treamcasts) sat alongside the last vestiges of Sega’s official involvement (idiosyncratic Japan-only shmups and surprisingly resilient online game servers).

As this list of deceased Dreamcast websites was pretty lengthy—and could have been even lengthier if not for a couple of oversights—readers could be forgiven for assuming that the hobby of maintaining websites dedicated to a 25-year old console was fading away. Fortunately though, they would be badly mistaken, and therein lies the purpose of this follow-up: to shine a light on the plethora of websites that are alive, kicking, and proudly serving the Dreamcast scene in 2024.

In no particular order, I present to you the Junkyard’s comrades-in-arms:

Dreamcast-talk (https://www.dreamcast-talk.com

Founded in 2004, and thereby pre-dating the Dreamcast Junkyard by a year, Dreamcast-talk is undoubtedly the lodestar of the scene. The website’s founders set out to establish a forum where DC-heads of various stripes could converge to chew the fat, sans what was perceived to be the overly restrictive administrative practices of certain prior forums. Dreamcast-talk quickly achieved that goal, and has continued to do so persistently and reliably for two decades now. Theoretically it's a fairly easy gig: set out a bunch of themed boards where relevant topics can be discussed, weed out spam or egregious flaming, and undertake technical maintenance from time to time. In practice though, maintaining a forum can be a bloody nightmare, and the fact that a day rarely goes by without fresh posts being made or a new member signing up is a testament to how important Dreamcast-Talk remains. 165,348 posts made and not out: as solid an innings as you are likely to see from an internet forum. When the gold anniversary hits in 2054 I promise I’ll deliver a better present than a couple of paragraphs in a rambling blog post…

DCEmulation (https://dcemulation.org

DCEmulation is another of the scene’s OGs that is still trucking in 2024. Actually, screw that. Given that it was founded in September 2000 (!), and is by my estimation the oldest Dreamcast-focused website to grace the worldwide web today, it would only be fair to say that DCEmulation is the OG of the scene. When the historians finally turn their academic gaze to our beloved little white box, DCEmulation will probably be mentioned in every other footnote. 

As the name suggests, DCEmulation’s initial focus was on documenting and discussing the development of emulators designed to run on the Dreamcast. Naturally, due to the type of audience and contributors that flocked to it, this focus quite quickly broadened out to cover Dreamcast homebrew development in its entirety. A few years in, spats between admins resulted in some splitting (which is succinctly summarised by our German brethren at Sega-DC.de), but thankfully this behaviour wasn’t endemic. In fact, efforts turned from splitting to amalgamation in 2010, when DCEmulation incorporated the forum for the unofficial Phantasy Star Online server, Sylverant.

Although the DCEmulation Wiki has now been mothballed, the forum, which alongside the Simulant Discord server is home to some of the most knowledgeable Dreamcast coders out there, is still in active service after 729,068 posts. Props to [darc], Bluecrab, and the whole DCEmulation community for keeping the show on the road all these years. 

Dreamcast Forever (https://dreamcastforever.com)

An ad-free, easily navigable website that sticks neatly to its brief always brings me joy.
A gorgeously minimalistic website hosted by Derek “ateam” Pascarella that cuts straight to the chase. Derek loves the Dreamcast. He produces developer tools and translation patches for the console. Dreamcast Forever showcases his creations and tells you how you can contact him. What’s not to like? It’s quite something to see all 12 Dreamcast translations that Derek has delivered collected together here, and, given the relative youth of Dreamcast Forever, demonstrates how lively the scene is today. The big D-Man has put in a monster shift for all of us - long may it continue!

Perhaps it's time for the Yard to co-opt a hip young photographer into our editorial collective...
GG Dreamcast is another of the new breed of websites dedicated to the Dreamcast, first appearing a mere three years ago in 2021. While the website presents a melange of good-quality written and audio-visual content which isn't that dissimilar to what can be found elsewhere, what really makes it "pop" (do the kids still say that these days?!) is the distinctive pastel-colour-themed photography of Dreamcast hardware and software which is consistently applied throughout. Seriously, if you browse the Junkyard immediately after visiting GG Dreamcast, then your eyes may be offended by the ghastliness of some of the photos we append to our blog pieces (it's not shit, it's D.I.Y!). If you dig the aesthetic, then of course, you can also bring a smidgeon of it into your real life thanks to the amply stocked shop. GG, GG Dreamcast.

2005 was a damn good year for the creation of Dreamcast-focused websites. Aside from the deliciously fruity notes of the Junkyard, the year also spawned the robust vintage 'SEGA-SKY'. Of course, the blood, sweat and tears of long-time administrator Rolly are probably the real reason behind the site's success, rather than some mystical blessing imparted by its year of founding. 

For nearly 20 years now, SEGA-SKY has been the cornerstone of the lively Polish Dreamcast (and Saturn) scene, offering news, reviews, scans, downloads and a forum. The key reason I've been visiting the site in recent years though (with the assistance of Google Translate) is that SEGA-SKY hosts the numerous Dreamcast game mods and translation patches that Rolly has been involved in producing. The English translations of Lack of Love and Blue Submarine No. 6 'Time and Tide' are the big hitters as far as I'm concerned, though Polish DC-obsessives may find more value in the translations that enable them to play Dreamcast games in their mother tongue.
I don't speak a word of Polish, but have nevertheless had to pitch a massive battle against my hoarding tendencies to avoid buying this majestic publication.
While there is a hefty archive of material to browse through, the value of SEGA-SKY doesn't simply rest on past successes either: the print issue of Dreamcast Extreme magazine that was published this year, and which Rolly and the SEGA-SKY community have made significant contributions to, is testament to that.  

Dziękuję SEGA-SKY! Za kolejnych 20 lat.


Since the advent of the DreamPi in 2015, and the revival of the online multiplayer modes of dozens of Dreamcast games which followed in its wake, the section of our community which actively plays their DC online has blossomed. 

Launched in 2016 by scene-stalwart PC Wizard, Dreamcast Live has been synonymous with this new golden era of online play, acting as a central resource for both newbies and old hands alike (or even mediumly-aged hands). The website hosts guides on how to connect your Dreamcast to the internet, methods of troubleshooting, a directory of available online games, leaderboards, and a heap of relevant downloads. A one stop-shop for the delights of playing your DC online in the contemporary era, and all completely free (that is unless you choose to join the Patreon or buy goods from the shop). Other active rallying points for organising games (such as the Sega Online Discord server) have now sprung up, but the role Dreamcast Live plays still continues to be of vital importance. 

Of course, if you don't have a Dreamcast with an online connection, then you can still vicariously experience the joys of 33.3k online multiplayer by tuning in to PC's weekly streams.



Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Nein? No, me neither! Even so, I can still appreciate what a wonderful job SEGA-DC.de has been doing in serving the German-speaking Dreamcast community since 2003. In its 21 years of existence, the site has managed to accumulate a hefty range of information, guides, reviews, interviews and more, all nicely organised in the form of a Wiki. For those who are weirdly interested in the last 20 years of our scene's history, the pages documenting the various fan websites that have come and gone are superb (I wish I had noticed them before writing the predecessor to this piece!).

Of course, as is to be expected for a site of it's age, there is an accompanying forum (Sega City) where virtually all the great minds of the German Dreamcast community have posted at some point in time. As it is serving a niche within a niche, and given that Discord and the like have sky-rocketed in use, the forum is understandably quite slow-going in 2024. 

Earlier this year a kerfuffle amongst members appeared like it could have sounded the death knell of SEGA-DC.de, but fortunately that risk appears to have faded (for now). Here at the Junkyard there is certainly plenty of love for the site and we extend our congratulations to Matthias and Roberto for keeping the show on the road all this time. Keep yer chins up lads.



There is more to the Dreamcast Hub website than first meets the eye. Sure, the dark purple neon aesthetic is nice, and the news posts from site administrator Stephen Robinson are witty and interesting. However, the real value of the website is in its linking out to the numerous accounts that are encompassed within the Dreamcast Hub project. The Facebook group has over 6,000 members and is well worth tapping into if you're still using that platform, but the pièce de résistance really is the live streams of Dreamcast games offered up via Twitch - not only for the titles selected, but because of Stephen's endearing hosting style.



Starting out as a Facebook page in 2010, the Dreamcast Today website was re-launched as a fully formed blog in 2013. The title does was it should: clearly informs the reader about what they can expect (Junkyard? What the hell does that mean?). For much of its lifespan Dreamcast Today was going like the clappers, reporting news around the clock, but over the last couple of years things have slowed down considerably - perhaps understandably so given that site founder Forbes Longden became a father. Fortunately there is still a pulse though. A new blog post was made in May 2024 and the Twitter account is regularly sharing all kinds of Dreamcast goodness.
 

The 4:3 aspect ratio is the freaking bees knees and no-one will ever change my mind.

Lovingly curated by a crew of talented volunteers (a common theme in our scene, right?), Dreampipe gives you a reason to browse the internet via your Dreamcast in 2024. Intended to be your go to homepage, Dreampipe features a load of useful goodies including leaderboards, VMU file downloads, a message board, IRC (real-time chat), and links out to all the official Dreamcast game websites that have been revived in recent years (big-up Xiden for his work on these).

Thanks go to DR TEAMCAST for getting Dreampipe off the ground back in 2015.

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If that selection of fine cuts hasn't satiated your hunger for Dreamcast content, then I suppose you could turn your attention to some websites that cover the Dreamcast as well as other topics (shocking, I know). Those will have to be covered, alongside Discord servers, YouTube accounts and Ceefax pages, in another post though as this one really has dragged on for quite long enough. In any case, I've got to go get the washing in before it starts pissing it down.

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1 comment:

Lewis Cox said...

Great round-up, Lozz! And a big shout out to our Dreamcast comrades in arms!