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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dreampi. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dreampi. Sort by date Show all posts

DreamPi To Launch 'Dreamcast Now!' Online Service

A few weeks ago we featured the stellar work of Luke Benstead and his Raspberry Pi-based DreamPi device; a device with which Dreamcast owners can get their consoles back online without the need for an expensive broadband adapter. The DreamPi is still very much a work in progress, but this work is progressing at a rate of knots and this week Luke announced the next step in DreamPi's path to world domination: Dreamcast Now!
A Raspberry Pi. Not to be confused with a Raspberry Pie.
Dreamcast Now! is a new service that will allow DreamPi users to see who is online at any given moment, and also to see which games other people (or rampant AIs) are playing. The test site is actually live now and can be viewed here. Luke also has also revealed details of an exciting partnership with Dreamcast browser portal Dreampipe.net, which in his own words will "provide a level of integration with the site which will allow you to see who's online without ever leaving the confines of the Dreamcast."

Online Dreamcast Playercount Hits 1000 With DreamPi

Unless you've been living under a particularly large rock for the past couple of years, you'll no doubt be aware that the Dreamcast is once again a viable online gaming platform. This is mostly due to the work of one Luke Benstead, the talented chap behind the DreamPi. The DreamPi software (recently updated to version 1.7) written by Luke uses a Raspberry Pi to enable the Dreamcast to connect to online gaming servers hosted by Dreamcast Live, and as such a burgeoning community of online Dreamcast gamers has sprung up in recent times.
Toy Racer is one of the many games enjoying a renaissance thanks to DreamPi 
It might be a far cry from the initial 6 billion players, however the fact that the number of accounts set up to use DreamPi has recently hit 1000 is an amazing feat, and shows that there's plenty of life in the old Dreamcast yet. Indeed, NFL 2K was recently restored to full online multiplayer functionality by programmer Shuouma, yet again expanding the online gaming library available to Dreamcast owners. In recognition of this milestone (it's probably the highest number of online Dreamcasts since the early 2000s), we spoke briefly to Luke regarding this not insignificant user count. Here's what he had to say:
 
"I'm still amazed that a little side project I started  few years back has had such a massive and unexpected impact on the Dreamcast community. That over a thousand people have gone to the effort of setting up a DreamPi to get their Dreamcast back online shows their love for the console. The community is definitely still growing, too. It's also worth mentioning the work of Pcwzrd at Dreamcast Live and Shuouma, as if it weren't for their efforts I doubt anyone would be bothered about DreamPi."
- Luke Benstead, creator of the DreamPi software

 
Most of us here at the Junkyard are regular participants in the online gaming sessions organised via the Dreamcast Talk forums, and setting up a DreamPi is literally as easy as pie (sorry). If you would like to join the ever-growing community of online Dreamcast gamers, head over to Luke's blog or visit Dreamcast Live for further details. Here's to the next 1000 Dreamcasters joining the party!
A naked Raspberry Pi rocking DreamPi
Do you play online with your Dreamcast? Have you screamed at the sky as I beat you mercilessly at Toy Racer or POD 2?  Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

Get Back Online With DreamPi

Online functionality was one of the the main selling points of the Dreamcast, but in the here and now, playing online-enabled games with Sega's final system is something that is out of reach for many a gamer. There are lots of Dreamcast games that are still playable via the internet and new dedicated servers are popping up all the time, but unless you have a broadband adopter or some other more convoluted means to get your console connected to the internet, offline gaming is your lot.
It seems that a clever guy called Luke Benstead has other ideas though, and has created a rather impressive little Raspberry Pi-based device called DreamPi. What does this creation do? Well, it allows the Dreamcast to connect to the internet using the dial-up modem so you can play games online again. Without a dial-up ISP or a Dreamcast broadband adaptor.

DreamPi is a piece of software I've written combined with a standard set of hardware which allows the SEGA Dreamcast to connect to the internet without a dial-up ISP
- Luke Benstead

Planet Ring & Alien Front Back Online With DreamPi 1.5

Our good friend Luke Benstead has been hard at work updating his DreamPi software, and the latest release adds a load of cool new features. The coolest of these are support for VOIP (voice chat) and allowing tank-based multiplayer shooter Alien Front Online...to go back online! The VOIP thing is also important because games like PAL exclusive Planet Ring use it extensively, and Plant Ring is now another title that can be played online should you have all the right bits an pieces required to hook your Dreamcast back up to the internet. Here are the key details on DreamPi version 1.5 taken from Luke's website:
  • New software is included written by Jonas Karlsson called 'dcvoip,' this system process makes the VOIP communication in Planet Ring work! The software is distributed with permission.
  • There is now built-in support for the upcoming Alien Front Online servers that will allow your vanilla normal AFO CD to work without a boot disc! (Thanks again for Jonas for the information to do this).
  • The Pi's firmware has been updated which should bring better device support
  • A bug has been fixed where the DreamPi software wouldn't shut down correctly
  • The modem command timeout has been increased which fixes a number of bugs on modems which are slow to respond (for some reason...). Thanks to Neoblast on the DC-talk forums for finding this.
  • Fixed a bug where the DreamPi process would boot before there was an internet connection (mainly affected WiFi) and would require restarting multiple times to get things to initialize correctly.
The work being done by Luke and Pcwzrd13 to get the Dreamcast back online is phenomenal and we have nothing but admiration. As stated by Pcwzrd on Twitter, the Alien Front Online server is still in beta so don't expect it to run perfectly, but the fact that it's up and running is a fantastic achievement in itself. If you've been enjoying playing online multiplayer on your Dreamcast again through DreamPi, let us know in the comments how you've found the experience. For more information on creating a DreamPi connection, be sure to check out Luke's FAQ and Pcwzrd's video on Alien Front Online over at Dreamcast Live.

Edit: Just a minor piece of additional information. The Alien Front Online server was created by Petter3k with help from Jonas Karlsson (Shuouma), DreamPi simply adds support for these games.

The Original Quake and Doom are soon to be playable Online with DreamPi


The man responsible for bringing the vast majority of Dreamcast games back online with DreamPi, Shuouma has announced, he will soon release versions of Quake and Doom compatible with dial up online play via DreamPi.
While fan-made Dreamcast ports of both Quake and Doom have been around for years now, and Dreamcast Online has helped support Doom online play via the broadband adapter, this will be the first time our community is able play Doom via DreamPi, and Quake online in any form.

Online Gaming On The Dreamcast Is As Easy As Pi

I'm going to start this post with a confession. I never played online with the Dreamcast during the console's natural lifespan. The main reason was that we only had one phone line in the house and I wasn't ever allowed to hog the line for longer than about 30 minutes at a time to do some web browsing. Plus, it was pretty expensive using dial up, even with BT's 'friends and family' initiative and evening and weekend reduced call charges. Fast forward to 2017 though, and I've finally managed to shake off the shame of being a Dreamcast fan who has never battled with other Dreamcasters over the internet.
This is all thanks to the sterling work of Luke Benstead, Pcwzrd and all of the talented folks working behind the scenes to resurrect the Dreamcast's online abilities through the DreamPi project. After being supplied with a DreamPi unit several weeks ago (thanks Pcwzrd!), I thought it was about time that I actually got it up and running and jumped into one of the regular online gaming sessions organised through the Dreamcast-Talk forum. It was incredibly easy to set up using the instructions and various guides available over at Dreamcast Live, and with the use of an old DreamKey 3.0 disc I had lying around I was able to get my Dreamcast hooked up to the internet with little more than a WiFi-enabled DreamPi and a tiny USB modem.
As mentioned earlier, the whole online gaming thing is one aspect of the Dreamcast I never dipped into back when I had my original console in 1999, and I honestly didn't think it would be so easy or entertaining as it was playing Dreamcast games online in the modern climate. We're all so used to the effortless online multiplayer options offered by current consoles and computers that I feared trying to get online to play Dreamcast multiplayer games would be a bit of a pain. How wrong I was...

Get Your Dreamcast Online With DreamPi - 2017 Edition

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you'll no doubt have heard about DreamPi. For those uninitiated rock dwellers though, I'll explain. DreamPi combines a Raspberry Pi mini computer and software created by a clever dude (and occasional Junkyard guest writer) called Luke Benstead, and enables Dreamcast owners to play online multiplayer games through a cool service called Dreamcast Now. The main source for up to date information and trouble-shooting guides for DreamPi is undoubtedly Dreamcast Live, and custodian of the site Pcwzrd has just released a 2017 edition of his DreamPi video guide:


It's pretty comprehensive and covers all the main steps for getting your Dreamcast online for some hot Chu Chu Rocket! action. Be sure to check out Pcwzrd's YouTube channel, Twitter and of course Dreamcast Live for pretty much everything you could ever want to know about playing online Dreamcast games in 2017.

DreamPi 1.1 with Dreamcast Now! Released

Just a short one this. You may recall a few weeks ago that we revealed a new online service for Dreamcast called Dreamcast Now! that allows you to see when other users are online and what games they are playing etc. It's about as close to something like Xbox Live or PlayStation Network that we're ever likely to see on the Dreamcast, but it's real...and it works with the DreamPi Raspberry Pi device created by Luke Benstead. The good news is that Luke has released the latest version of the DreamPi image and it includes everything you need to get Dreamcast Now! up and running.

Episode 24 of DreamPod features Luke as a special guest and he explains exactly what the DreamPi and Dreamcast Now! service will mean for the future of online gaming on the DC. That episode will be out by the end of the week, but in the meantime feel free to head over to Luke's blog and download the image for yourself.

POD 2 / POD Speedzone Online Multiplayer Highlights

As I'm sure you're aware, POD 2 (aka POD Speedzone) is the latest Dreamcast title to be restored with its full compliment of online functions. Thanks to the stellar work of programmer Shuouma and the assistance of Pcwzrd at Dreamcast Live, POD 2 can now be enjoyed as it was meant to be - with four players battling it out over the internet, across any of the futuristic circuits that are littered with hazards and weapon pickups.
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to take my Dreamcast back online via the DreamPi and get involved with an online gaming session organised by the folks from the Dreamcast-Talk forum, and I have to admit - it was pretty awesome. My only prior experience with POD 2 was in its offline guise, and I found the game to be pretty lacklustre. Chuck in a grid of human controlled adversaries though, and the game is transformed into something quite special. Below you'll find a little video detailing the session I was involved in.

Thanks to everyone who made it a really positive online gaming experience. If you'd like to know more about DreamPi or playing online with your Dreamcast, be sure to check out Dreamcast Live or the blog of Luke Benstead, creator of the DreamPi.


Thoughts? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion in our Facebook group or on Twitter.

World Series Baseball back online with DreamPi

World Series Baseball 2K2 is back!
Being from the UK, I can't say I've played many Baseball games in my time, the only ones that come to mind are Super Baseball 2020 for the Neo Geo CD and World Series Baseball 2K1, which for reasons unbeknownst to me, I and a friend used to love playing back in our days in 6th form college (high school for you yanks). We even made one custom character each. I remember this quite vividly because my friend's character was named Saddam. Yes, as in Saddam Hussein, and also shared his likeness.
The random images you can find on Google never cease to amaze me.
While Sadam's days of hitting home runs out of the park, along with his save file, are unfortunately long gone, online baseball on the Dreamcast isn't. Thanks to Shuouma, from the Dreamcast Live team, World Series Baseball 2K2 is playable online once again with DreamPi.

Anyone who knows anything about baseball games (so not me) will tell you, WSB 2K2 is the best example of the sport on the Dreamcast, so it's fantastic that its online features have been restored. What's more, now they've successfully got one 2K sports title up and running, no doubt it's only a matter of time before others follow. I'm personally looking forward to NFL 2K1 which according to the Dreamcast Live's website, is currently a work in progress.

As always, great work guys!
Dreamcast Live's Shuouma has once again stepped up to the plate
If you haven't yet rejoined the online party, consider picking up a DreamPi from the Dreamcast Live store.

Online Multiplayer Restored To More Dreamcast Games (Updated)

Fresh from our friends over at Sega Nerds comes the news that even more Dreamcast games will soon have their online multiplayer functionality restored. NFL 2K1 and Ooga Booga are the next couple of titles that will be brought back online courtesy of modder Shuouma, hot on the heels of a multitude of other titles that were resurrected in 2017. Games such as POD 2, Monaco Grand Prix Online and Quake III: Arena have already been successfully added to the library of Dreamcast titles you can now play online with other gamers around the world, and it's probably safe to say that both Ooga Booga and NFL 2K1 will also employ the same DreamPi method as the aforementioned.
Having never played Ooga Booga online - partly because it was never released outside of the US - I'm intrigued to see how this predominantly multiplayer title compares to modern battle arena style games. NFL 2K1 I'm not so keen on, simply because I prefer the proper version of football; you know, the one where players kick a ball around with their feet? I'm sure those who like chucking an egg about will be much more enthusiastic.

Either way, it's great to see more games brought back online - who knows what's next? Massively multiplayer online Daytona USA 2001? Yes please! You can keep abreast of Shuouma's great work by following him on Twitter here; and make sure you keep up to date with the Dreamcast's burgeoning online gaming scene, and find out more about DreamPi by visiting Dreamcast Live.

Update
As of 26th January 2018, Ooga Booga is back online! We'll be getting involved with some online games soon via DreamPi, but in the meantime check out Pcwzrd13's video below:


Source: Sega Nerds

You Can Still Use Dial-Up To Surf The Internet With A Dreamcast

In recent times much has been written about the Dreamcast's ability to get online with a Raspberry Pi and a few other easily available components. The DreamPi method has single handedly revitalised the online gaming scene on the Dreamcast, and sites like Dreamcast Live have made it their mission to breathe new life into titles such as Chu Chu Rocket and Worms World Party. But what if you don't have a DreamPi or you just don't play online games in general? What other things can you still do in 2017 with a Dreamcast when it comes to exploring its online abilities? Well...um...you can still browse the internet with a dial up connection if you so wish.
Line Di. See?
I already know what many people are going to say or write in the comments sections without actually looking at this article: what's the point? What's the point in using a dial up connection and a 33k or 56k modem to go online with a Dreamcast in 2017? It's slow, most of the sites won't load anymore and it's expensive. The point is that we can. And that's the only excuse I need, to be honest.
Don't act like you've never Googled yourself!
While it is true that all of these hypothetical points are valid, there's just something cool about once again firing up Dreamkey, and throwing information through those long redundant wires and circuits that reside inside the plucky little dial-up modem stuck to the side of the console. And the best bit is that you can do it right now, with very little effort if you so desire...

Monaco Grand Prix Online Is Back...Online!

Racing Simulation 2: Monaco Grand Prix Online is a mouthful, and is a title you may not be familiar with. It was a PAL only re-release of the Dreamcast launch title Racing Simulation 2: Monaco Grand Prix, and it allowed - as the name suggests - players to race each other online using the Dreamcast's internet connection. We featured it here at the Junkyard a while back and looked at the way in which it differs from the original version, but now we're revisiting it...because it's back online.

As reported by our good friend Pcwzrd over at Dreamcast Live, Monaco Online (as I'm going to call it from now on because the actual title is ridiculously long) has been resurrected by Shuouma, a programmer far more intelligent than I could ever hope to be. Races can host a maximum of 6 racers at once and there are also online leaderboards just begging to be dominated...but probably not by yours truly. Because I'm shit at games, period.


You'll need a DreamPi to get involved in this whole Monaco Online thing, but you can head over to Dreamcast Live here for the full story, details on how to create or buy a DreamPi and also a handy Dreamcast internet connection guide.

Source: Dreamcast Live

Dreamarena Authentication Cracked, Quake III Arena & Toy Racer To Be Playable Online Via Dial-Up

 
If you're a European Dreamcast owner and had a system back in the day, you'll no doubt be familiar with Dreamarena. For those who don't know, Dreamarena was the online portal that PAL Dreamcasts would connect to when you wanted to go online; and many games used the service to authenticate your details when you wanted to play multiplayer games via the 33k modem attached like a disgusting carbuncle to the European system. I have fond memories of Dreamarena as it was the first thing I saw whenever I wanted to go online and browse the internet looking for cheats and...erm...the latest news from the international stock markets. Yeah, stock markets. Um.
Was it the Bismarck? Couldn't help myself, sorry.
One thing I don't have fond memories of is that horrendous 'disconnected' sound that used to play as soon as the connection dropped out. That, and the ominous noise of my mother booming up the stairs to see if I was online without permission again. Anyway, that's all irrelevant - this post is about the awesome news that many people (including me) never thought they'd hear: Dreamarena authentication has been cracked and will allow you to once again hook your Dreamcast up to your phone line and, using nothing more than the bundled dial-up modem, play both Quake III Arena and Toy Racer with other people. This isn't an April Fools.

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.

POD 2 Is Back Online

Hey there. Just me again. Erm...there's another online Dreamcast game back online and this time it's POD 2 (you'll know it as POD: Speedzone if you're from the colonies). Personally I've only ever played POD 2 offline, and always considered it to be an absolute dog's dinner of a game; but thanks to the skills bestowed upon code guru Shuouma, said game is now back online:


According to this article and video over at Dreamcast Live, the usual cost of entry is a DreamPi or a lesser spotted Dreamcast broadband adapter, plus a copy of the game (obviously); but I for one am hoping that the ability to play against other, real people will enhance the experience of POD 2. If the experience offered by Monaco Online is anything to go by then I'm pretty sure any fears of mediocrity will be quelled after about 30 seconds of play...but one can never be too sure. All joking aside, it's actually pretty incredible that online-enabled Dreamcast games are being brought back from the dead and I'm looking forward to trying POD 2 out during one of the regular Dreamcast-Talk gaming nights.

I suggest you grab a DreamPi or a BBA and get involved too. See you out on the track...

Source: Dreamcast Live

Related Articles:

VS Link cable now available from Dreamcast Live

Dreamcast Live's VS Link Cable
Like myself, I'm sure many of you out there have fantasised about owning the Dreamcast VS link cable for quite some time now. While only compatible with a handful of games, the thought of playing multiplayer F355 Challenge, Virtual On and more, without compromising half the screen, is enough to leave me frothing at the gash. The problem is (or rather WAS), the official and even third party Dragoncast cables are both extremely rare, usually fetching around $200 or more on eBay.
Tom Charnock playing with himself...the loser that he is.

Guest Audio Article: Taking Your Dreamcast Online With a WiFi Ethernet Bridge

There has been a lot of activity recently regarding getting the old Dreamcast back online, and several high-profile projects have emerged. Possibly the most well known at this stage is the DreamPi method, developed by Luke Benstead. Now, while getting the Dreamcast online using the DreamPi is relatively easy if you have a good level of technical knowledge, it can seem a little daunting if you are a dunce like me. Even more so if you have questions about how to do it using a wifi connection.
Happily, Sean 'Nz17' Robinson (no relation to Sean 'Coleco Chameleon' Robinson, by the way) has launched a new audio series called The Video Game Antiquarian, and the first episode focuses on this subject entirely. The Video Game Antiquarian: Taking Your Dreamcast Online With a WiFi Ethernet Bridge does exactly what it says on the tin, and while Sean does get quite technical later on, he does a great job of explaining the theory of getting any dial-up device online, and also giving clear instructions.

Enough from me though - hit play on the audio player below and allow your ears to drink in his dulcet tones. Who said being a Dreamcast fan couldn't be educational?!


If you'd like to see more of Sean's work, be sure to visit Nz17 Productions and if you live in the Naples, Utah area you might want to check out the site for his upcoming gaming convention G.A.M. Rocks - Gaming, Anime and More...it's Japan-a-mania in the Rockies!

DreamPod - Episode 24: DreamPi

iTunes
Stitcher
Buzzsprout
UK Podcast Directory

If you'd like to know more about Dreamcast Now! or DreamPi...just click on the links! DreamPipe can be found here. Enjoy your time online and please leave us an iTunes review if you can find the time.

Guest Article: The Great Serial Connector Hunt

Luke Benstead is a man on a mission - and that mission is to get the world's Dreamcasts back online without the need for a broadband adapter through his DreamPi project. We've covered DreamPi here at the 'Yard a few times and even had Luke on the DreamPod to talk with him about his masterplan. Luke isn't just interested in the online aspects of the Dreamcast though,  as he's now embarked on a side quest to create new system link and coders' cables. It's a grand vision and will hopefully end the drought and inflated prices that these items command. There's just one tiny stumbling block...

The Dreamcast is a highly extensible system shipping with more ports and connectors than most consoles. This extendability shows itself in the sheer number of unusual peripherals that are available or were announced. Everything from Zip drives to console link cables, from maracas to karaoke units were released or under development at some point; and since the demise of the console these extra connector ports have allowed modders to create peripherals such as Dreamcast-compatible hard drives and SD card readers.