Keeping the Dream Alive: The Men Behind Dreamcast Homebrew
May 12, 2011 Page 3 of 3
But one question still looms: Why the Dreamcast, anyway? While both NG:DEV.TEAM and Redspotgames have already discovered the potential of digital distribution platforms, they have also expressed an intention to continue making Dreamcast games. Redspotgames, in particular, "still [has] a very strong connection to this scene," said Scharl, likely referring to the upcoming Sturmwind as proof of that.
"Making games for modern platforms sounds easy at first, but [then] you need to find a publisher that has faith in the quality of the product, and then we need approval by the hardware manufacturer which takes time," explained René Hellwig. "On the DC, however, we don't need to go through these hassles, which makes it easier for us get a game on [the] system quick."
Timm adds, "Its best advantage is the fact that you don't need a license and the tools are fairly modern -- for instance, you can upload your game [via] ethernet without the need to burn test CDs or anything like that."
And as Timm also notes, there's something to be said for the new kids on the block. "We found an awesome system that's perfect for our needs -- the iPhone [and] iPod Touch. Vertical shooters play perfectly on them, if done right. Apple is very open and doesn't have many constraints when it comes to game content."
Of course, there are sentimental reasons to stay with the Dreamcast, too.
To Max Scharl, the Dreamcast always cultivated a loyal following, "And a very unique scene of many different people, from demosceners to indie game developers to modders... [Comparatively,] Xbox 1 and GameCube are long gone, even though they were more successful than the Dreamcast [in terms of] commercial success."
And who can forget the games? Classics like Jet Grind Radio, Shenmue, Sonic Adventure, and for René Hellwig, Phantasy Star Online. "For me, it's the best Dreamcast game ever -- I spent half my youth playing that game."
It can be difficult to figure out where some hobbyists dedicate themselves to systems that didn't have many great games (if any at all), but when you look at the history of the Dreamcast, it's easy to see why talented people would want to recapture some of the magic.
Redspotgames continues to release games on Xbox Live Indie Games, including a "Survival" edition of Solar Struggle, and is working on a WiiWare version of Rush Rush Rally Racing. Its aforementioned Dreamcast shooter Sturmwind is set to be released in the second quarter of this year.
NG:DEV.TEAM's next Dreamcast (and NeoGeo) game, GunLord, is a run 'n' gun action game apparently inspired by the Turrican series, and is also planned for a 2011 release. In addition, an iOS version of their shooter Fast Striker is available now.
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