NOTE: This page is pretty out of date now (it's about 3 years
old) but it still pretty correctly states our intentions.
This site (as the header states) is dedicated to the very cool pursuit
of exploring the Dreamcast system and developing an amateur development
platform for the system. In addition, we plan to make a few things along
the way. You can find some of those already in the
releases section of the site.
Because of the unfortunate recent outbreak of the "warez" scene on
the Dreamcast, I have decided to post an "About" page describing my
goals and so forth about this site. In this day and age of using
laywer like clubs, we can't be too careful.
First and foremost: we wish the best for Sega and their system, and
we have no intentions of stealing their intellectual property. What
this means is that unlike these "iso sites", we have no interest in making
copies of games publically available on the internet. Not only do we have
no interest in making games publically available, we have no interest in
copying the now infamous Katana Development Kit, nor do we have interest in
creating programs using the development kit. Wherever you fall on the
side of the line about copyright issues, doing these things is
Secondly, we do not wish to detract from Sega's licensed and growing
developer pool. These are the companies that use Sega's Katana kit to
create games that are destined to be sold on the shelves at gaming stores.
From all accounts, "Ninja" is a brilliant piece of software, and I can't
figure out why a company would want to use an amateur system to develop a
professional game. Now on the other hand if you fall into the group that
doesn't have a few ten thousands of dollars to spend on a real kit and
licensing, and full support from Sega, but just wish to play with the
hardware on the side, you need something else. That's where we fall and
that's where we come in.
We are just a group of college students and game programming junkies who
see a cool opportunity in the Dreamcast system. It is like many people have
said earlier, kind of like a modern version of the Amiga. It has lots of
very cool dedicated hardware, but it's general enough to support a lot of
things that the makers may not have originally intended. We'd like to see
it go places beyond a gaming console eventually, like gaining a hard disk
and a mouse, so that it can become a little demo machine, much
like the Amiga.
Furthermore, on the pulling away licensed developers issue, we believe
that we are doing Sega a favor by drawing new development blood to the
system. I was considering working with the PSX2(tm of Sony) but now
that I have had a chance to have a closer look, there's no way! If I got
paid enough to do it, I might, but I firmly believe that the Dreamcast
is one of the premier consoles currently, both from a design and playability
point of view. It has an excellent mixture of general purpose and special
purpose. Plus its hardware is almost all open, so you can easily build
your own games and demos without special burners, while it still protects
Sega's games. So besides the 5-6 (and counting) Dreamcasts I have basically
sold to co-workers, I think Sega stands to gain developers and mindshare
through development initiatives like this one.
Another group that may benefit from a site like this one are licensed
developers who have had their hands cuffed. We understand that often
companies do not like to release specifications for their hardware
programming interfaces, which inevitably leads to demise of the hardware
or bad drivers (at least on the PC). The Linux and BSD communities have
taken it upon themselves to (legally, at least in the US) reverse engineer
these pieces of hardware and provide their own drivers, which are often of
higher integration and better quality than the originals (if they even
existed). We believe that by releasing this information in the form of
working examples, we can benefit Sega's own developers by uncuffing them.
In many cases Sega cannot provide interface specifications because they
are not allowed by license agreements and NDAs; in other cases, they
will not to maintain compatability. Either way, people such as John
Carmack would benefit from this kind of information. He has recently
gone on record as complaining about the lack of modem programming information
for the Dreamcast. If he had all the information he needed, he could have
written his own more efficient TCP/IP stack for Quake 3. A better game
for Sega to sell, more brownie points for JC, and a better game for
gamers to buy. Where is the fault in this logic?
I am pretty sure that this site has landed on Sega's radar by now. I
hope that if they won't bless our activities, they will at least continue
to smile upon them and not put a stop to us. If someone from Sega reads
this page and decides maybe it would be best to do just that, please
contact Dan Potter via
email (swap the "@" and the ".") and discuss the matter. Again, we'd
like to remain on the good side of Sega.
Last but not least, I have had some concerns lately that a Dreamcast
emulator has been passed around on "warez" channels with the Stars demo,
and that has the URL of this site. As the author states in his README
file, the emulator has no relation to this site, although it is an
interesting project as well.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for browsing the site. Currently it
is hosted graciously by my employer (since we are also a hosting
service for our customers) and so I need no banner ads. At some point it
will probably require moving, but we're not there yet, so enjoy!