Sturmwind for Dreamcast

This probably all begun on a boring sunday evening, sitting there surfing the web. Despite my best tries, I can not remember why we chose to start this project on Dreamcast. My closest idea is we wanted to do something more modern compared to our last project.

I still remember I had a close look at all Mega Drive development options, but as I recall it wasnīt a big community nor a lot of options to transfer your own stuff to the Mega Drive available. So we ended up on Dreamcast. The beginning was funny because we were lurking around ebay all the time trying to get as much stuff as we needed, especially those HKT Broadband adapters. We started with a couple HKT300, later on we discovered there is a much faster version HKT400 available, and if you transfer 16MB it is indeed much (!) faster. So if you always asked where all these Broadband adapters ended up, you know now ;)

Sturmwind at the beginning was called "Stahlgewitter", as you can see in the screenshot of the plugin. We opted again to not create our own editor but use what ever was available and could be adjusted to our needs. As a game editor we use Lightwave Layout with a custom plug in where you can set all game object attributes. At the beginning this sounded like a crazy idea but as we progressed and added more and more features of the program like the particles directly from the 3d Program, the deformation system etc, it became apparently that to write your own editor with this feature set and complexity would have taken many, many years. Try to imagine writing your own 3DSMax, Cinema 4D or Lightwave without a renderer.


As with every upside, it also has an downside, a custom editor specially written for your game tasks enables you to work faster. As the engine and game offers a lot of flexibility it sometimes took longer to create what we had in mind. On the programming side, we used Ultra Edit and TextPad, and of course KOS with a lot of our own tweaks to customize it the way it worked best for us.

Looking back I would say we wasted a lot of time with stuff that wasnīt necessary like a video codec that we didnīt use in the end or a lot of levels that didnīt make it into the game, I would say almost 50% of the time spent. Perhaps the reason for that is that we didnīt start with a clear roadmap or feature set but that's also the fun about this homebrew development, not to use a strict excel sheet but to add stuff as you get inspired by other games or movies or things you see outside.

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Copyright Đ 2012 by Duranik

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