All posts by MetaFox

Indie Dreams Wiki Opens

I founded the Indie Dreams Wiki, a collaborative project to create an encyclopedia for everything that was ever independently released for the Sega Dreamcast.

This includes games by publishers such as The GOAT Store, as well as other releases such as bleemcast! and the Action Replay CDX. The Wiki format allows anyone to create or edit any article, so we can all work together to create a comprehensive database for fans of independent Dreamcast games.

If you’d like to contribute, check out the Indie Dreams Wiki FAQ to help you get started.

3rd Annual Dream On Contest Results

Seeing as it’s now 10PM GMT, I’m going to close the submissions for the contest. The entries are:

Professional Game:
1) Dynamite Dreams by patbier and poche
2) Feuer Frei by qatmix/Project Firestorm

Minigame:
1) RacerDC by Imerion
2) RACE Neo Geo Pocket Color emulator port by GPF

DreamCon 2006 Part 2

The second location of this year’s show will be at the Midwest Gaming Classic 2006, held from June 3rd to June 4th, 2006, returning after a year in hiatus. Exhibiting at the event will be DCSteve and Tommy Watson, who will be representing BOR Revolution, a site dedicated to showcasing games using the engines from Senile Team.

I will also once again be exhibiting at the event, representing Screamcast, Cydoca Entertainment, and Dreamcast-Scene. Dan Loosen from The GOAT Store is going to announce new games for the Dreamcast at the show. In addition, new information will be revealed about GOAT Games and DCastle.

Several games featuring the Beats of Rage engine were showcased, and a new video for Age of the Beast was shown. In addition, videos were shown for Blocks2, and screenshots were shown for Grizzlies: Forest Prelude and BurgerDC will once again be playable at the show. The Dream On contest winners, Dynamite Dreams and Feuer Frei, will also be shown for the first time.

I Am Now Part of the ScummVM Team


The ScummVM Wiki is a great source of information for the adventure game suite, ScummVM, and the games that are supported by it.  The ScummVM team has graciously accepted my offer to help keep that wiki up to date.

I have been a big fan of ScummVM since it started back in 2002, and I’ve always wanted to help out. I have submitted a couple of patches, but I’m not skilled enough in programming to help out in any big way.  I really love to research and write though, so helping with the wiki is right up my alley. I’ll also continue contributing small patches that add support for fan games, and other maintenance-style code.

Thanks for doing what you do, ScummVM Team, and I hope that I can help alleviate some of the work on the documentation front so that you can keep doing what you do best. 🙂

DreamCon 2006 Part 1

This year, it’s been decided that the Dream On convention will be held at multiple locations.

The first stop of DreamCon 2006 will be held at Magfest 4 on January 13th, January 14th, and January 15th in Charlottesville, Virginia. As with the last DreamCon, a new playable GOAT Store Publishing game will be presented, only this time it was the first time the public will get a glimpse at the game. A demo of GOAT Games will be presented for the first time at the show.

Curt Grymala, representing DC Evolution and DCHelp will return with the “burning station” setup from the last year and will have new compilations to hand out to the convention attendees.

I will represent The GOAT Store, Dreamcast-Scene, and Cydoca Entertainment. Playable versions of Feet of FuryMaqiupaiInhabitantsCool Herders, and the unlicensed Korean Dream Para Para will be available.

This year Screamcast will be represented at this convention by quzar. Screamcast will have Grizzlies: Forest Prelude and BurgerDC on show.

Society of the Eternal Rulers

Cyberdog Castle is 10 years old. The company started in 1995, with the release of the BBS door game Society of the Eternal Rulers on the Cyberdog Castle BBS (the BBS first began operation in 1994).

Society of the Eternal Rulers (SOTER) was a BBS Door Game. It was set up similarly to the classic door game Legend Of the Red Dragon (LORD) – you log in, choose a sex, then get transported to a menu with choices. The fighting was the same as LORD – you choose to fight – and a random battle or event occurs based on your skill level. The storyline of my game was that you are a young mortal, who stumbles upon an old cave. Inside you learn that the planet is really run by a group of immortals. After you learn of this, you are sentenced to death as no mortal is supposed to know the truth. You survive the attack, unscathed. The immortal elders decide to let you prove yourself in a series of tests, and if you are successful, you will be granted immortality. That’s where the differences come in. Each battle is among a mortal. As you advance, you fight stronger mortals. Your final battle is against an immortal. When you defeat the immortal, you are granted immortality, and you are allowed to govern the rules of the lesser players. Some things could be changed individually, others by a vote. You could also sneak past the great elder and perform terrible feats, such as giving yourself a huge amount of money, or killing a mortal player. These acts had grave consequences if you were caught – the elder would sentence you back to mortality. The immortals could also vote to send someone back to mortality. Once you proved yourself after that, you were free from vote until you were somehow turned mortal again. SOTER is currently being remade as a modern RPG.

To commemorate this occasion, I am going to remake the game that started it all. Society of the Eternal Rulers will be an RPG using many of the elements of the original door game. As with almost all of my games, this will be a co-collaboration with Screamcast.

The winners of the 2nd annual Dream On contest have been announced

The second annual Dream On contest ended 10 days ago, and the results are now in. Here are the winners:

Tier 2:
1) Nibbler by JMD
2) Xump by kedo and GPF (and the Psilocybin Development Team)

Tier 3:
1) DOSBoxDC by GPF and the DOSBox team
2) MSXCast by LTK and Marat Fayzullin

Tier 4:
1) VMU CD by bucanero
2) Blobwars by quzar and Parallel Realities

Update: The special prize results are now in as well. JMD couldn’t decide whether to give the signed Maqiupai prize to ron or quzar, so he’s decided to increase the prize to two signed Maqiupai games and give them to both coders.

He stated that he’s given them to these coders due to their large contributions of ports submitted to the contest, and to ron in particular for the good he’s done for the Dreamcast scene and how well he represents the Spanish Dreamcast scene.

Sonic Adventure Review

This launch title was Sonic’s first three-dimensional platform game. For the most part, it maintains the speed of his 16-bit adventures, but it hits a few snags along the way.

Released 9/9/99 | Developer: Sega | Publisher: Sega

Sonic Adventure starts out in a city setting, which represents the “adventure” part of the game. There are several buildings that you can choose to go into. This does get a bit tedious, as the stages are contained within the buildings, and are accessed by entering doors within those buildings.

It takes a while to get used to the layout of the entrances, as the camera often pans around you and gives you a different perspective. This can make finding the right entrance difficult at first, as all the doors look alike. Once you get the hang of it, however, it becomes second nature.

You have separate stories that unfold within the main story. Each of these stories is seen through the eyes of characters that you meet within the game. You start out as Sonic, and once you meet another character in the storyline, you can play that character’s story. This is quite a neat concept, even if it’s not a particularly original one. It’s interesting to see the storyline in someone else’s eyes besides Sonic’s for a change. The music is fitting for this game and is the rock-style music as started with the American release of Sonic CD. The voices are fitting for the characters, but the words do not match the mouths of the characters at times. The voice acting is not the best, but it’s acceptable. As for the game mechanics, Sonic’s and Tail’s games are by far the most fun. This is where you’ll find the trademark Sonic speed you’d expect from the series, with Sonic racing to the end, and Tails flying over certain paths that Sonic can’t reach to beat Sonic to the finish. The speed stays fast throughout the game, but it does come with a few drawbacks.

You can’t fix the camera to stay at a certain angle, so it will often wrap around your character at the most opportune times, meaning you might be rushing around a loop and the camera will pan backward. causing the movement to reverse, and Sonic to plummet to his doom.

This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen enough to become bothersome. While playing I also found certain areas where the collision detection was not properly tested, and you’ll find yourself falling through the floor at times if you’re unlucky. These problems are very minute and happen infrequently.

It’s possible that you might be able to play the game through without encountering any problems at all. The Amy portion has you avoiding Robotnik’s robots, and using a hammer to destroy enemies in your way. The speed isn’t as fast as Sonic’s or Tails, but as a result, the camera and collision detection problems are virtually non-existent, making for a pleasant gaming experience. The E102 portion (Dr. Robotnik’s robot) consists of blasting at enemies with a laser and rolling through to the end in time. These missions are fairly fun, and E102’s story is interesting enough to keep you going. Knuckles’ game consists of digging for emerald shards, over and over again. This can become quite tedious, and unless you’re an avid Sonic series fan, you might find yourself giving up before completing Knuckles’ storyline. As tedious as Knuckles’ portion of the game is, it’s nothing when compared to Big the Cat’s.

Big’s portion consists of fishing for a frog in water pools throughout the stages in the game. One can only assume that Sega was testing it’s fishing game ideas later seen in Sega Bass Fishing and Sega Marine Fishing when they came up with Big’s storyline. It’s fun in those games, as it’s expected.

In this game, it’s so out of place it’s almost annoying. Only the truly diehard fans will complete Big’s storyline, as once you complete it you are given the chance to play as Metal Sonic. Everyone else will find solace in the Sonic, Tails, Amy, and possibly Knuckles missions, as those are the meat of the game.

Summary: The music is excellent, and the voices are tolerable. The Sonic and Tails storylines are a blast, but the camera and collision detection problems detract from the enjoyment. The other storylines are more of a filler, as they aren’t nearly as fun as Sonic’s or Tails’. Big’s storyline is a big letdown. Fishing does not work in a Sonic The Hedgehog game. The game is worth the purchase for the Sonic and Tails portions. Only diehard fans will complete the rest of the game.

Final Rating: 7/10

Feet of Fury Review

In 2003, Cryptic Allusion Games made history by releasing the first commercial independent Dreamcast game written with free development libraries.

Release:6/7/03 | Developer:Cryptic Allusion | Publisher:GOAT Store

Feet of Fury is a dancing game that borrows many elements from Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution games. You have a set of arrows that you must follow while keeping your steps to the music. The main difference of Feet of Fury is that the game is focused more on strategy and beating your opponent.

There are power ups and power downs on the board. Hitting an arrow that contains an icon may cause the speed of the arrows to slow down or speed up, or it might cause the arrows to reverse direction. Because of this element, the multiplayer mode in Feet of Fury is awesome. Another addition is the health bar. At the end of the round, the person with the most health is the winner. It adds a lot more to this type of game when you have to worry about your opponent hitting you with power-downs, and throwing your feet around on the dance mat like an idiot, all while trying to keep your health bar full.

The single-player mode is no slouch either. There are a good number of songs to play and unlock. Each song has a good tempo to it and fits this type of game really well. There are a number of hidden characters and features to be unlocked, so the game will entertain for hours.
When you get sick of all that dancing, you can let your fingers do the dancing with what is in my opinion, the coolest thing to happen to dance games since their invention: The Typing of Fury mode. In this mode, letters fly up onscreen instead of arrows, and you use your Dreamcast keyboard to match the letters to the beat while spelling out words. This mode is very challenging, and surprisingly, very fun.

When you add multiple keyboards to the action for some multiplayer mayhem, you’ll see the pure hilarity that ensues. This is a top-notch addition and is a lot less of a gimmick than you might think. Take your underused keyboards from the attic, and set them up for some furious typing. You won’t regret it.

Summary: Good songs, multiplayer battle elements, unlockables, and Typing of Fury make this game a good investment, and an example for future independent developers to follow.

Final Rating: 8/10

Purchase it at http://www.goatstore.com

3rd Annual Dream On Contest


The 3rd Annual Dream On Contest begins today.

There are once again tiers to this contest, but it’s very different from last year’s contest:

1) Professional Game Development – Develop a professional game to be published by The GOAT Store. You can submit the game to the GOAT Store for publishing at any time and still submit it to the contest later (provided that the game has not already been published).

2) MiniGame – Create a mini-game to be included on a professionally pressed CD.

The prizes are not yet solidified, but the contest is beginning today (November 21, 2005) to give you enough time to finish the entries before the deadline (May 31, 2006).

The prizes will be much more this year than last year (over $500 worth of prizes). So, the incentive to create a game should definitely be there this year.

Edit: The contest has been extended to June 10, 2006.