Showing posts with label Doc Eggfan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doc Eggfan. Show all posts

Bonus Feature: The Corpse Bride – Deleted Scenes

While researching for my previous two-part article (Part 1, Part 2), I stumbled across something interesting that I hadn't encountered before. It ended up on the cutting room floor due to space, but I thought it was worth exploring further in this diverting little side topic. If you could just scooch over a bit closer and allow me to whisper conspiratorially in your ear: the MIL-CD enhanced audio disc might not have been the only special multimedia format that Sega invented especially for the Dreamcast - they may have also toyed with the idea of snubbing the DVD Consortium by producing their own proprietary digital video disc format for movies and films. Hush, stifle your gasp, they'll hear you.
N-n-no Mr. Bighead, I didn't tell them. Honest.
You may have noticed some logos during the start up sequence of many Dreamcast games for ADX and Sofdec. These are the CRI developed middleware tools for sound compression and multi-streaming video respectively. ADX allowed for CD quality audio to be compressed and encoded into the high-density GD-ROM layer (as opposed to standard 'red book' audio tracks). Sofdec was an enhanced version of the MPEG-1 video standard which not only encoded standard FMV cut-scenes into games, but was also tailored towards providing 3D game designers with access to some pretty swish graphical trickery. Video files could be rendered as textures over 3D objects and they could also utilise full alpha blending for effects such as explosions, fire and smoke. Multiple video files could be played synchronously or asynchronously and they could also be looped and stitched together seamlessly. All in all, Sofdec is probably a substantial reason as to why Dreamcast games looked so good (and have aged well like fine wines too). CRIWARE, as they are now known, continue to flog their wares to this day, proudly waving their flag in recent games like Bungie's Destiny.

The Doc Will See You Now

Recently, you may have seen a couple of fantastic articles focussing on the fate of some of the Dreamcast's internal organs. If not, be sure to check them out:

Guest Article: Forensic Examination Of The Dreamcast Corpse - File 1 of 2
Guest Article: Forensic Examination Of The Dreamcast Corpse - File 2 of 2

Those two pieces were written by Doc Eggfan of Sonic Retro, and were pretty darn good. So good in fact, that we decided to promote the good Doc from guest author to full staff member here at the 'Yard. Hailing from the fine nation of Australia, Doc Eggfan is a repository of knowledge when it comes to arcade hardware - both Sega or otherwise - and also owns what is claimed to be the largest collection of Dreamcast games in the southern hemisphere, boasting over 500 titles. So, it is with great pleasure that we welcome Doc Eggfan to the DCJY team and trust you'll be looking forward to reading more about the oft-ignored aspects of Dreamcast collecting.

Forensic Examination Of The Dreamcast Corpse - File 2 of 2

Recently, we featured the first of two revealing articles looking at the secret life the Dreamcast lead behind the scenes after it's official death. Here, Doc Eggfan of Sonic Retro returns with part two, speculating about what happened to all those surplus GD-ROM drives...

In the first half of our exposé, we established that reports of the Dreamcast's demise in 2001 may have been a little exaggerated, and that the spirit of the system would go on to live a long and fruitful life as Sammy's Atomiswave arcade system. While this covers part of the Dreamcast's hardware legacy, there's a whole other side yet to be covered around the use of GD-ROM drives and the proprietary GD-ROM media itself. Did the Dreamcast live another second life beyond the grave? Let's find out...

Forensic Examination Of The Dreamcast Corpse - File 1 of 2

In this first of two special guest articles, SonicRetro's resident researcher, Sonic game hacker, and owner of over 400 Dreamcast games Doc Eggfan performs a fascinating post mortem on the Dreamcast to discover just what happened to the units that were destined for the shop shelves, but ultimately wound up being re-purposed in a most interesting way. Doc Eggfan, over to you...

While pondering life's great inequities, I got a little question stuck in my head the other day - when exactly did the Dreamcast expire? What was the exact time of death, good doctor? We all know that the old girl continues to be supported up to this day by some very dedicated indie developers, but when exactly did official support dry up? Sega officially announced the discontinuation of Dreamcast hardware production on 1st February 2001, where the very last Dreamcast was set to roll off the assembly line at the end of March (end of the Japanese fiscal year). Some reports indicated that a backlog of about 2 million unsold Dreamcasts were sadly sitting alone and unwanted in some dusty old warehouses at this time.