Just what is going on with SlaVe?

Cast your minds back dear readers, a few years back, the dormant Dreamcast publisher, GOAT Publishing informed us that they were working on publishing jay Townsend’s SlaVe for the hardware which was projected to release at the time, soon after the announcement.

This was 2014, we’re now in 2017….. Still no SlaVe. What we have had is a series of vague Kickstarter style updates from GSP’s Dan Loosen talking in increasing familiarity about problems with developing the game and a decreasing amount of ‘bugs’ that have apparently littered the game whilst being compiled for stock hardware. We were told that development and testing of the title would pick up pace back in February of 2016 and we had another update in July of 2016 where the tweaking of performance was taking place.

Now, we know here at Dreamcast Today that these developers have their own lives – this isn’t their primary job and much that same can probably be applied for the publishing side of GOAT but SlaVe can almost certainly fall into the category that seems increasing apparent in the Dreamcast scene – the bolt is always shot too early, too many developers / publishers are jumping the gun, announcing titles for the console when they are in no way, shape or form ready to be shown, let alone for pre-orders opening for the game. Loosen’s updates, albeit reassuring – tell us nothing apart from what we know already – the game has bugs, we don’t know when it’s coming and everything seems to have an air of smoke screening.

We have no doubt that SlaVe is coming and the developers and publisher are no doubt working hard on these ‘crippling bugs’ that are plighting SlaVe’s development – we STILL don’t know when it’s coming, it could be next week, it could be next year but what we know for sure is, it’s hideously late and it isn’t on.

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One thought on “Just what is going on with SlaVe?

  1. It was not so much the game, that part was finished. What mostly killed our ambitions of a quick port was KallistiOS completely changing, and our engine evolving over the past few years. If you remember, Chui and myself, many years ago, got EDGE running on the Dreamcast with no issues. SLaVE was developed with a newer version of my engine, but it wasn’t so new that we didn’t expect the time to take to port would be so long.

    Rather, it has evolved into us submitting patches to KOS, and several work-arounds to get the hardware and toolchain “talking” to an extent. There were many things that we had to reduce and completely refactor (it was not as easy as we had initially hoped) and, finally, we are on the last leg — flushing out Video RAM; which also changed with KOS 2.0. Combine that with an army of programmers, myself included, getting the thing to run without overflowing became a nightmare. We are finally at the point where we just need to handle VRAM auto-flushing, and the game will be ready.

    It was either that, or ship it in a very unreliable state. We are sorry to have stayed silent for so long, but with many of us encountering life-changing situations the last two years, it seemed we could only work on it here-and-there while real life took utmost priority. Luckily, things have became a bit more sane, and now we are hoping to get it done with the level of quality you would expect for a commercial release. We could have done this much sooner, sure, but we wanted to do what we could to prevent random (sometimes, it wouldn’t even happen) video RAM overflows and other potential issues our customers could have faced.

    So please, be patient — we are gearing up to get it done, and once it does our engine will surely become a viable platform for other DC developers, and SLaVE itself will be more than worth the wait.

    Thanks for your time,
    -Coraline
    Isotope SoftWorks

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