Showing posts with label bleemcast!. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bleemcast!. Show all posts

Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

As the amount of online articles and Tweets around the recent anniversary of the North American 9.9.99 release date illustrates, the Dreamcast is still very fondly remembered. While the scene continues to grow at a steady rate in terms of bootleg and independent game development, there are still a fascinating number of Dreamcast areas that remain either untouched or that haven't had their rich historical veins fully exposed. One of those areas that myself and others in Dreamcast fandom are fascinated by is the story of bleemcast!.
A bit of a throw forward, I have another article in the works about ‘Why I Dreamcast’ even though it’s fast approaching 2020; and a large part of that is a deeply personal and nostalgia-fuelled longing and sense of clinging to a certain place in time. The Dreamcast, as much as I love it, and despite my role here at The Dreamcast Junkyard is a console I am wilfully ignorant on compared to the other staff members. The main reason for this is that I had only owned the console for a mere 8 months when I packed up and left home for the bright lights of university. The console, therefore, existed for me during a stage of enforced self poverty. New (well, pre-owned) games I still managed to justify occasionally, but instant noodles and supermarket value bread were prioritised over games magazines; and the internet was something I went to the library to check for roughly 1 hour a week when hungover and between lectures (and even then was mainly to email friends who had gone to other universities...and nearly almost always simply to tell them how hungover I was). Anyway, what I am trying to paint a picture of is that my finger during the 2000-2004 era was hardly on the pulse of information about anything...let alone Dreamcast.

So for me, I didn’t learn about bleemcast! until way after the events of the Dreamcast had long transpired, and it was years later still that I actually discovered this had been an actual retail product, and wasn’t like my copy of DreamSnes that had been created and uploaded from some shed somewhere. This was instead a full-fledged and commercially available product release promoting legal emulation that allowed you to load PlayStation game discs on the Dreamcast, adding a load of graphical improvements along the way.
What all this leads up to then, is that I tracked down Randy Linden, a member of the original PC bleem! and Dreamcast bleemcast! team. I fired off some questions and Randy was kind enough to answer. Hopefully you will enjoy reading them as much I did, and will give an interesting insight into the development of one of the most notorious releases on the Dreamcast...

Official Bleemcast! Press Release Discovered

There are tonnes of articles detailing the fate of bleem! for Dreamcast (aka bleemcast!) online. Just do a Google search for the term and within a few minutes you'll be a bonafide expert on the subject. If you simply can't be bothered though, here's a potted history: creators of the popular PC PlayStation emulator bleem! decided to create a version for the Dreamcast. It was going to come in three different packs - A, B and C and each disc would allow you to play a selection of different PlayStation games on Dreamcast with enhanced visual fidelity.

A few single game discs were officially released (Gran Turismo 2, Tekken 3 and Metal Gear Solid), but Sony successfully shut the bleem! operation down before the main bleemcast! packs could be released, also scuppering the company's plans to release so-called 'bleempods' (PlayStation controller adapters) and dedicated 'bleempads' - PlayStation controllers with Dreamcast connectors on the end. There are plenty of renders of these accessories and bleempacks floating around the interwebs, and below is an image I shamelessly copied from one such Google search:
What you've probably never seen though, is the official FAQ/press release sent out by Jane Ayer Public Relations on behalf of bleem!, a document answering many questions about the software and the planned peripherals (click to enlarge).