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Showing posts with label Simulant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Simulant. Show all posts

Driving Strikers announced for Dreamcast!

In a rather unexpected announcement, Luke Benstead and David Reichelt have premiered their upcoming homebrew Dreamcast game Driving Strikers to the world, via a short reveal trailer on YouTube.

Made with the Simulant engine over a period of just six weeks, Driving Strikers very much looks like something Rocket League fans will enjoy when the demo becomes available. As you'll see from the trailer below, the gameplay shows teams of two cars battling to score more goals than the other.

I spoke to Luke briefly to find out what Driving Strikers was all about: "The demo has a single stadium and fixed teams and it's 1-4 local multiplayer. You can choose which side to play for and decide whatever mixture of real players and AI you'd like! You can boost and jump, and matches are currently fixed at 3 minutes for the demo."

This is just the beginning for Driving Strikers however, as the team have more exciting things planned for the full release: "When we expand the demo into a full game we hope to have various game modes and options". Something to look forward to in the first half of next year, for sure!

With the help of other community members, Luke expects the demo will be available to download before Christmas, so Dreamcast gamers can plug in four controllers and settle those family disputes from Christmas dinner with a friendly match or two.

The game looks great and as you can see from the visuals, the stage available has a distinctive festive theme - this really is an early Christmas present to the community and we couldn't be more thankful! Driving Strikers looks like another fantastic example of what Simulant can do after the recent Tunnels demo, and hopefully we'll see plenty more homebrew games take advantage of the engine in the future.

You can watch the full YouTube reveal trailer below:


As soon as we have the download link for the CDI of the Driving Strikers demo, we'll update this article. Thoughts? Follow Luke on Twitter here and be sure to let us know in the comments!

Paprium, Tunnels, Intrepid Izzy, Nakoruru, Shadow Gangs, SEGA Powered - Dreamcast news round-up November 2021

Oh hi there. It's been a bit of a busy few weeks hasn't it? The petrol thing seems to be over (for now) but that hasn't stopped all manner of interesting things occuring in the world of Dreamcast...and as you'll no doubt be able to tell from the title of this post, I thought it would be convenient to simply put all of these news snippets together into one post here at the Junkyard, so here it is. A bit like that infoburst you used to get at the end of Bad Influence, but in text form. Bad Influence? No? Never mind. So what's been cracking then? Quite a bit actually...


Oh 'eck, Paprium is coming to Dreamcast!

Yes, everyone's favourite 16-bit Kickstarted ode to Streets of Rage, Paprium, is now coming to Dreamcast thanks to a new stretch goal reached as part of the 'next gen' campaign. Developed by Dreamcast stalwarts Watermelon, Paprium was released for the Mega Drive / Genesis back in 2020 to much critical acclaim and an equal amount of backlash for various reasons I won't delve into here. As a side note, I always thought it a bit odd that there was no Dreamcast version as part of the original campaign, synonymous with the console as Watermelon is after the success of Pier Solar. 

That puzzlement has now been put to bed though, with the Dreamcast being lovingly included as a stretch goal in the latest resurrection of the original Kickstarter campaign to bring the game to...er...modern consoles. The Dreamcast version will apparently be a little unique according to the blurb on the campaign page, which is never a bad thing:

NEW ADD-ON! PAPRIUM is also coming to the SEGA Dreamcast! 6 years after Pier Solar HD, this is to be the second Dreamcast Release by WM! This version of the game is different, in-between the 16-BIT release and the STEAM/PS4/5 release, it boast some exclusive things and take full advantage of the Dreamcast features such as VMU and a 3 player mode without the need for a multitap (of course)! Please note the game is in 4/3 ratio (just like the 16-BIT edition of the game). 

- Paprium Kickstarter

Will Watermelon shit the bed once again with this new release? I really do hope so - we all love a bit of drama. And since I've backed the Dreamcast version, it'll give me something to moan about when it inevitably ships late or gets cancelled. Anyway, check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and get ready to pap. Not even sure what that means. Onwards!


DreamPi creator Luke Benstead is digging Tunnels!

Not actual tunnels, you understand. But I'm sure Luke (aka Kazade) and his development partner David Reichelt are at least as handy with a shovel or a JCB as they are with a Dreamcast. What am I blathering about? You may recall we recently featured news about Simulant, a game engine created with Dreamcast indie development as its raison d'être. As a timely Halloween treat, Luke and David have released a promising Simulant-based demo titled Tunnels which sees players traverse a network of dingy caverns (or, um, tunnels) brandishing what looks like Gordon Freeman's property for protection. Here's a video:

Tunnels is fully playable on stock Dreamcast hardware and it looks like a promising little demo considering how quickly it was put together. From the Simulant development blog: 

Tunnels is a mini-demo of the Simulant engine. It's been written over the past three weeks as a demonstration of what Simulant allows you to do in very little time. Both Luke and David have day jobs, and this has been developed in their spare time - probably an hour a day each at most - and a good majority of that time was spent improving Simulant itself!

Along the way flaws were discovered in Simulant and many were fixed, others will be fixed later. Some planned features were dropped due to limited time, but may reappear at some point. In the future we'll use Tunnels as a test bed for new Simulant features, and as a regression test.

- Simulant Dev Blog

You can grab the demo from the Tunnels itch.io page here and follow the development of Simulant on the blog. Oh, and listen to DreamPod episode 80 if you want to know more about Simulant and the history of the engine.


Intrepid Izzy: Special Edition is now available to order!

We now turn our attention to another Kickstarter-funded title - Intrepid Izzy from Senile Team. If you missed our review of the exquisite platform-cum-beat 'em up, be sure to check it out here. In short, Lewis thought it was a stellar addition to the Dreamcast's stable of indie titles, and easily one of the best to hit the console, even going as far as to label Izzy as "The King (or Queen?) of Dreamcast indie platformers" - they even put that quote on the back of the box for good measure!

The good (better?) news is that a Special Edition of Intrepid Izzy is now available to pre-order from WAVE Game Studios, and comes with a soundtrack CD and a choice of region (PAL, NTSC-U, NTSC-J) packaging styles. 

The initial print run of 750 units [of Intrepid Izzy] sold out almost immediately, prompting a reprint just 28 days after release. The fastest known for an independently released Dreamcast title.

In response to considerable demand for both the game and the music featured therein, WAVE announced that a limited run two-disc Special Edition will be released on November 20, 2021. This version includes an audio CD with the full official soundtrack, and is available in European, North American, and Japanese cover art variants.

- WAVE Game Studios

The fastest selling out indie Dreamcast game, eh? Who knew? Not I. Did you? You do now! Intrepid Izzy: Special Edition launches 20 November 2021. Head over to the WAVE Game Studios website to pre-order it for £34.99. There's also a cool vinyl figure available too, if that's your bag. Actually, buy two and make them fight; with the loser being burned with a magnifying glass.


A new Dreamcast fan translation project - Nakoruru!

Some say he can translate a Japanese Dreamcast game manual without even reading it. Others say he can detect an obscure NTSC-J dating sim hidden at the back of a retro game store from a distance of 40 miles. All we know, is his name is Derek Pascarella. And if you've never seen Top Gear, that reference will go right over your head. If you've been following the Dreamcast fan translation scene for any amount of time, you'll be familiar with the work of Mr Pascarella, who has previously worked on English translations of Dreamcast titles such as Sakura Wars Columns 2 and Neon Genesis Evangelion Typing Project Advanced.

Now he's back with another translation project, Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me, which is a visual novel title set in the Samurai Shodown universe. This isn't actually new news per se, with both MegaVisions and SegaXtreme sharing the original Dreamcast Talk thread back in August 2021. What is new news though, is that our very own Lewis Cox has joined the Nakoruru team as an English language editor, and for this reason alone I wanted to refresh some mention of this intriguing translation project. If you'd like to know more about Derek's past translation efforts, check out DreamPod episode 93 here.


Those pesky Shadow Gangs are kicking bountiful handfuls of ass on Dreamcast!

Oh Shadow Gangs, where for art though Shadow Gangs? Shall I compare thee to a 1990s Sega arcade game featuring a ninja that was then ported to home consoles? So wrote Chaucer, rather anachronistically, back in the mid 1970s after a particularly heavy session on the old crack pipe. Which is quite fitting, seeing as Shadow Gangs is a 1980s themed/inspired side scrolling beat 'em up that people have likened to Shinobi. I haven't played Shadow Gangs myself, but I do recall it being mooted to be heading to the Dreamcast at least as far back as 2016 - possibly even earlier (thanks Dreamcast Today - I knew I hadn't imagined that). The game was released on Steam and other consoles in the fairly recent past however - to generally positive reviews - and now a video has surfaced of a port running on the creaking old Dreamcast. Here you go:

Looks like a fairly accurate rendition to me, and it seems pretty much identical to the video on the Steam page. It appears that another Kickstarter to get Shadow Gangs fully up and running on Dreamcast is on the cards, and we'll no doubt share the news once that project is launched.


SEGA Powered brings SEGA Power back from the dead, with the (unofficial) Power of Sega!

Not exclusively Dreamcast related this one, but I just needed an excuse to type that subheading. Back when I was a wee lad, SEGA Power was one of a number of physical mags I would regularly purchase, and so it was a bit of a no brainer that I would back one-time editor Dean Mortlock's love letter to such an iconic tome. Dean is assisted by Niel Randall (DC-UK), Paul Monaghan (Maximum Power Up) and Marc Jowett (SegaMags), so the knowledge and pedigree is assured. 

The teaser issue of SEGA Powered looks like it will hit all the right marks for fans of the magazines of yesteryear, and I for one will be intrigued to see what kind of Dreamcast-related content is included. Check out the Kickstarter campaign and bag a copy of the mag here. Update - the Kickstarter for SEGA Powered has now ended but I am reliably informed that a website for the magazine will be launched so you can buy a copy/subscription even if you missed the campaign.

There's plenty of other Dreamcast related stuff going on around the internet but I thought I would leave it there for the sake of brevity. Oh, and I got a bit sick of typing the word 'Kickstarter,' but I digress. Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful Dreamcast news repositories dotted around the information superhighway for even more interesting little projects bubbling happily away.

We plan to do these round-ups more regularly from now on as it's just a bit more concise than having multiple posts about stuff, so if there's anything you spot that you think we should include in future news posts, let us know in the comments. Cheers!

Simulant - a new game engine for Dreamcast

The name Luke Benstead is, by now, synonymous with the world of online Dreamcast gaming. That's because Luke is the man who created the DreamPi and along with DreamPipe and Dreamcast Live, kickstarted the online gaming revolution we now find ourselves in the midst of. Not content with having this impressive credit on his resume, Luke has now launched his next venture - Simulant. Simulant is a general purpose game engine designed to work with Android, Windows, Mac OS, Linux...and Dreamcast.
As Luke explained on a recent episode of our podcast - see DreamPod episode 80 here - Simulant's development actually precedes DreamPi by several years, with work first starting on it back in 2011. As many reading this will no doubt be aware, a game engine is the foundation of a game and is the toolkit developers use to create the interactive experiences we all know and love. In this case, Luke likens Simulant to something like Unity, however unlike Unity, Simulant doesn't have a graphical user interface and instead relies on the developer to use pure code.
Luke explains in his own words:

Simulant is a general-purpose game engine for multiple platforms: Windows, Linux, OSX, and of course Dreamcast. General-purpose means it can be used to build any style of game. It's similar in concept to Unity but it doesn't come with a pretty user interface - games have to be developed purely in code.

I've been developing Simulant for almost 9 years, I started it well before I got involved in the Dreamcast scene and for the majority of that time I've been the only developer. 

It's really very powerful, and is currently being used to build (at least) two Dreamcast games: Swirling Blades (my chopper game) and another 3D game called Dark Space Pioneer.

It's also spawned a whole community and a number of related projects, including a full OpenGL library called GLdc, which is being used by Summoning Signals, and the nuQuake Quake port to accelerate performance. An OpenAL audio library has also been built, as well as a software profiler for the Dreamcast called dcprof.

Even after all this time, Simulant is still in Alpha state. I'm always on the look out for skilled developers who want to help! I particularly could use help with the Android and OSX versions!

If you want to see what Simulant can do, check out Swirling Blades on itch - it's a fairly basic 3D helicopter shooter, but as a proof of concept that can be burnt to a disc and played on a Dreamcast hardware, it is impressive.
So now you know the basics, why not see if Simulant is something you'd like to try out for yourself? The Simulant project is open source, and released under the LGPL license, and the code can be found at the repository on GitLab here: https://gitlab.com/simulant/simulant

There's also a dedicated website with more information, screenshots and documentation at: https://simulant.dev.
It seems there's already a really active scene springing up around Simulant, with some well known Dreamcast indie developers testing the waters; and the Simulant Discord server has become a popular home for all kinds of Dreamcast developers. There are nearly 200 lurkers there, and about 20 or so active people, and everyone shares their work and helps out where they can. If you want to have a go at writing a game with Simulant, or if you just want to dip into Dreamcast development, then the Simulant Discord server should be your first port of call (after downloading the code, of course!).
So there you have it. A very brief introduction to Simulant. It's worth nothing that to use Simulant you'll need some level of C or C++ development skill , or at least some good experience in another language (and enthusiasm to learn), but hopefully this will bring a whole new wave of indie developers to the Dreamcast scene.

Be sure to follow Luke on Twitter for updates on Simulant. What do you think? Will you be taking your first steps into Dreamcast development with Simulant? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.