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IamA Dreamcast Homebrew Developer and Island Games Founder David Croshaw! AMA! (self.IAmA)
submitted 6 days ago * by rizzoislandgame
Hey there! I'm currently the lead developer and founder of Island Games, which is making a Dreamcast/Windows game
called Rizzo Island!
I'm knowledgeable about Dreamcast level optimization, making levels, menu manipulation coding,
and the Makaqu Quake Engine for Dreamcast and Windows!
edit: Hey guys! I'll be here for another 1 hour 30 minutes so continue the questions!
Edit 2: okay that’s all folks! I’ll keep anyone interested updated on the r/Dreamcast sub Reddit!
Support us on Patreon:
Here's proof that I am me:
Post a comment!
[–]pymmit 7 points8 points9 points 6 days ago (5 children)
Why did you choose the dreamcast hardware to develop a game for?
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 14 points15 points16 points 6 days ago (4 children)
Because it already has a rich homebrew community and it is the easiest to be able to distribute a game. Since there doesn't need to be any special disk, just a CD-R I thought it would be perfect! It also has support for Redbook audio which can be played in a CD player. It's an excellent feature because I want people to listen to my late Uncles music, which the game is based on!
[–]pymmit 5 points6 points7 points 6 days ago (3 children)
Awesome answer, you just convinced me to grab my DC next time I visit the family.
I didn't know there was a home brew community, I used to spend all of my teens hacking my original Xbox.
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 6 points7 points8 points 6 days ago (2 children)
Cool! Yeah, I'm not much of a coder, but someone ported the Quake Engine to the Dreamcast, which is what we are using to make our game! I knew enough about C/C++ to edit the menu code so that it displays custom text and removed a few redundant options. I'm even getting help from the awesome Mankrip who ported the engine! He's a busy man, but he's taken a lot of his precious time to help me out which has been awesome!
[–]pymmit 2 points3 points4 points 6 days ago (1 child)
The hardware limitations must be a bit of a challenge to work around.
This is an awesome project, when I clear some more btc I'll have to show my support!
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 2 points3 points4 points 6 days ago (0 children)
Wow! Thanks a lot man! That would really help since we need all the funding we can get to make this happen (not to sound desperate)! Yeah, that's the only problem we've constantly run into. We are making very large levels for a quake engine game, which Quake is not exactly optimized for. However, by increasing the polycount and the memory heap size, we've gotten the first level to run at a decent framerate!
[–]TargetDummy 6 points7 points8 points 5 days ago (4 children)
Are there any tools or tutorials you would recommend to anyone wanting to get started with Dreamcast development?
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 3 points4 points5 points 5 days ago (2 children)
If coding is your forte, then you'll need to install cygwin and follow instructions on how to set up the Kallistios toolchain! The best tutorial on how to do that is here:
However, there are several releases and some of the older code isn't compatible with newer compilers. In fact, the Quake engine we are using called makaqu uses the first Kallistios release, so I had to make a virtual machine and install XP on it so I could compile the darn thing! If you want more info on how to do that, message me later and I'll tell you how to compile it! I'll probably release a tutorial on how to compile it soon.
A good place for coding help is the DCemulation forums and the Assembler games forums. Those are where most of the Dreamcast coders are located!
[–]TargetDummy 2 points3 points4 points 5 days ago (1 child)
I am a programmer, and those are some great resources to get me started, thank you!
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (0 children)
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 2 points3 points4 points 5 days ago (0 children)
Also, look on google for the Dev ISO Rx (x = number) releases. They include a simpler installer, but lack an updated version of the toolchain, which isn't that bad, but sometimes requires getting a virtual machine running!
[–]Stringerbe11 2 points3 points4 points 5 days ago (1 child)
Cool stuff, any plans on doing something unique with the VMU? Custom logo while the game is being played anything like that?
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (0 children)
Yeah! I'm hoping to change the logo to a WIP logo my concept artist is making. The engine we are using has an image already coded in, but it's in an array so it's pretty simple to change with some grid paper and some extra calculations! Hopefully it turns out okay!
[–]Anthony817 2 points3 points4 points 5 days ago (12 children)
Any reason you are going with Makaqu vs the hardware accelerated build of Quake?
That version is actually using DirectX and hardware accelerated where as Makaqu is 100% software rendered. So it is using the actual hardware a bit more.
Mankrip is actually a great friend of mine and I was a huge fan always anticipating his newer builds of the engine, but software rendering is really hard on the eyes when the DC can do so much more with that engine.
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (6 children)
I'm going with Makaqu because it's easier to customize and has a few built in features that are essential to making the game work.
While it's faster and better, the official devkit is illegal to use without a license from Sega, which they have no plan on doing.
I want to do this as legally as possible since I'm both making it for Windows and Dreamcast. It's going to be a commercial product so I really don't want to deal with red tape even if Sega doesn't really care anymore. If someone can find someone high enough up the Sega chain to make an official statement saying it's now legal to use, I'd gladly do it! But as of right now, it's not going to happen.
I've actually been able to get Makaqu at a stable framerate at 600x400, but that required setting the graphics cvars really low. My aesthetic however,is great for low detailed textures since I'm basically using 1 color textures! I've also increased the heap size to accommodate the larger resolution.
One of the original goals was to have someone port Makaqu or vanilla GLQuake to KGL, but that's looking unlikely with most people being skeptical from the In the Line of Fire debacle. Everyone wants money, and it's not cheap to do a total conversion like this!
[–]Bad_CRC 1 point2 points3 points 4 days ago (1 child)
I thought that by now there would be a proper KLG quake engine :o
I did some DC development on 2003/04 and most of nehe's opengl demos worked with kgl.
It's awesome that kos is still used today :)
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 1 point2 points3 points 4 days ago (0 children)
A lot of people use the leaked Windows CE dev kit, but since that’s technically illegal, it’s mostly just used by hobbyists. There are some commercial releases, but I want to do everything legally since I’m going to be releasing the game on Windows as well. It kinda sucks because it would be easier to use it and port it reliably to windows.
[–]Anthony817 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (3 children)
Thanks for the detailed reply! I also am a mod developer for the Battlefield 2 engine so I can relate to game development.
I understand why you are leery of using official dev libraries. There are now all new games being ported to DC using official libraries, and these are retail. That recently ported retail game from the PSP called 4X4 Jam was done with official libraries. So I don't think Sega has any problem with it anymore, but I can understand not just throwing caution to the wind. I don't think we will get any kind of answer about asking to use official SDK. I just don't think they care enough to want to touch the subject. At least they threw us a bone and allowed Retrobit to make us licensed wireless controllers with official plastic molding.
Also with you basically using 1 color textures I don't think it matters enough to use anything other than Makaqu. :D
I think it is really sweet that you are making a game for your Uncle you loved so much. I also am making a mod in memory of my Grandfather about the Korean War since nobody seems to really give the conflict much notice anymore. If you would like to check it out it would mean a lot to me.
I look forward to see what else you can share with the community as development continues! Thanks for all the great info about why you went with this engine.
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (2 children)
That mod looks awesome! If I get BF2, I'll give it a try! Right now, all funds are being funneled into this project so while I know its cheap, I'm on a very tight living budget!
That said, I've actually always wanted to do a game about the Korean War. It's not that well known of a war and needs to be covered by a game or other media besides MASH!
[–]Anthony817 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (1 child)
Thanks! Yeah my grandfather was in the war from at age of 18 from 1950-53, so it is dear to me. Got a few MAS*H Easter eggs in there as well too!
I'm also getting direct help from Mankrip via twitter messaging for optimization techniques. He said he'll look back at the code when he has the time.
[–]mrneo240 1 point2 points3 points 4 days ago (3 children)
Hey! Thanks for posting that link, I'm starting to learn DC development and itd be great to see a real working example of directx 6.1. it seems almost this information has vanished and I'd have to buy older books on the subject.
[–]Anthony817 0 points1 point2 points 4 days ago (2 children)
No problem glad to share such a great port with others!
Fun fact, for almost 3 years or so that site was completely offline, and a lot of that stuff was not backed up to other places like TIZ. So it is REALLY nice to see it all restored online.
Check out their other game ported as a test between PC and DC crosssplatform multiplayer. It is also DirectX.
PC version is here.
Also some more info about their Quake port.
[–]mrneo240 1 point2 points3 points 4 days ago (1 child)
More just interested in larger source examples but thank you.
Is that any different than the build included with the DC wce SDK?
[–]Anthony817 0 points1 point2 points 4 days ago (0 children)
Not really sure about that, I think that was the one they must have included as an example.
[–]lerabot 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (2 children)
Good luck with you game. Care to share any images? I'm a DC dev aswell ;)
DUDE! THANKS SO MUCH! Even if it's only a dollar, it really means a lot to me! Thanks!
Sure! Here is are links to the official patreon page and twitter page where we post most of our progress!
[–]BigTinz 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (2 children)
Are you aware of any code or DRM that could be placed in a homebrew/i die dreamcast game that would prevent it being played in an emulator?
Looking forward to playing your game!
I know it’s not DRM, but since the quake engine I’m using is entirely software based which means it’s putting all its power into the processor, it’s hard to get running on an emulator. I haven’t gotten it to run at all through emulation. It might work better if we can get someone to adapt the engine to KGL (OpenGL for Dreamcast), but we currently have no one on our team who is able to do it!
[–]Wulf2k 1 point2 points3 points 3 days ago (0 children)
If it's something you cared to do, you could probably get fancy with timing reads from the cd.
Too "perfect" and it's probably emulated instead of reading from a spinning disc.
[–]Geoffro 2 points3 points4 points 6 days ago (7 children)
What is the game about? How many people do you have working on it? What is the probable release date? Do you like avacado's?
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 4 points5 points6 points 6 days ago (6 children)
The game is about my late uncle who passed away two years ago. Basically, he's flying through the air in his psychedelevator but something happens and he crashes onto an island. He now has to platform his way across multiple islands to get back to his psychedelevator and find a new place to chill!
Right now we have about 5 people working on it. Our modeler who I commissioned originally decided to not join the project full time to focus on school, but until we find a new extremely low-poly modeler we have enough assets to make a demo to release! Just need a QuakeC coder to put them in the game!
Probably release date is late 2018 if we are lucky, mid-2019 if things go haywire or life responsibilities get in the way.
Yes I love avacados! I have a recipe where I use Mexican blend cheese and salsa con queso on a quesadilla, then put an avacado slice on each quesadilla slice and swirl sriracha on the whole thing!
[–]Geoffro 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (5 children)
Sounds good. I try to support anybody that is willing to stick their neck out with new physical releases. Will there be a pre order?
We don't want to make the same mistakes In the Line of Fire made. That was a heartbreaking moment for the homebrew community and led to the exodus of some really really good Dreamcast programmers from the community, :( It seems everytime someone promises a 3D Dreamcast game, it ends in disaster, but we are learning from all their mistakes, including the most important one: Have funding and pay people for their work. No one after that debacle wants to work for free or just a cut of the potential profits.
We will however, have a demo coming out in a few months (as soon as we find a QuakeC coder) with a disc burner gui program!
[–]rizzoislandgame[S] 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (2 children)
There will! But again, it's not ready for us to even start thinking about pre-orders at the moment! We want to make sure we have at least half or most of the game done before we start pre-orders! However, if you wish to support us sooner, you can donate to our patreon here:
You don't have to though! It's always nice getting verbal support as well! Makes us think it's going on the right track!
[–]Geoffro 1 point2 points3 points 5 days ago (1 child)
I wish you luck. Keep people updated on the dreamcast reddit. Interest should build as you move along, and post your progression.
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely do that!
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[–]J3STER_4 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (1 child)
Did you invent the Atari Dreamcast? What does homebrew mean?
Homebrew means an unofficial game developer or hardware hacker for a game console. In my case, I make Homebrew Dreamcast games.
[–]abs159 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (3 children)
Will this be UWP on Windows?
No. This will be using the already existing codebase for the Makaqu Quake Windows version.
[–]abs159 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (1 child)
It's written in C isnt it? Does it have some odd dependencies? Could it be packaged with Centennial?
Yeah it does. Even we are having trouble compiling it. It requires 2003 Toolkit and Code::Blocks as an IDE. If we are able to hire someone to update the codebase, it would be awesome, but unfortunately we don’t have a reliable engine coder at the moment. The original Author is helping us out, but he no longer has his XP computer he used to compile it and life problems make him unreliable (but he’s still awesome!!!). I’m not a good programmer and could barely understand how to edit the menu script to work right!
[–]Gersonadr 0 points1 point2 points 5 days ago (1 child)
Hi Dave! Do you plan to launch the windows version on Steam? What is your view on using these platforms for distribution, visibility and monetisation, instead of other forms such as crowdfunding?
Yes, we do plan to launch it on Steam! While it’s good to use Steam for Beta, it’s not good for alpha. Patreon gives us a way to get started earlier, which is good, because we don’t want anyone who wants to be paid now, paid now. Also, while Patreon doesn’t give as much visibility as say Kickstarter, it allows us to have a steady somewhat consistent steam of income.
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