Duranik Show Glimpse Of Midsummer.

Soon after Duranik had finished with the developement of Sturmwind, the team’s previous Dreamcast release, word had got around that another game was being worked on here and there, things naturally went a bit quiet as Sturmwind initially suffered backlash at the hands of a botched release with the blame being mostly aimed towards the now-defunct Redspotgames, as we know, Sturmwind has since be reissued and sold via different outlets, becoming one of the most recognised games amongst owners of post-death software for the console.

Midsummer was, and is the name of the project that Duranik have been working on in the background, quietly for some time, it’s based around the tech and game engine elements found in Sturmwind, which is needless to say, highly impressive. This time around sees you take the role of an almost Shinobi-like character stalking through the beautiful side scrolling plains in a variation of different landscapes, huge creatures make themselves known from the background to the foreground, presumably for an end of level encounter, although no enemies have been implimented as of yet, the animation certainly seems to be coming along very nicely.

Midsummer is still a work in progress effort, and as such could very well be some time off yet, it’s already been yapped about in years gone by. Duranik have stated they have no interest in crowd funding the title, it’ll be ready when it’s done in a statement posted on the Facebook page :

As we promised some Midsummer infos over the years and always postponed it – today is the
day. Not exactly as planned but thats the way it is.

Unfortunatly there is very little time to work on at the moment so i wanted to share at least a glimpse, raw and totally unedited look of the the game.

Enemies are missing in this video captures, but you know, thats en vogue at the moment.

This is captured directly from a Dreamcast, there will be no Kickstarter/Crowdfunding/Preorder
or anything of that sort. It will be finished when its done or when there will be enough time to work on it.

You can check the video here, what do you think? Is this the sort of game you could get excited for?

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A Q&A With Andrew Dickinson

Sometimes here a Dreamcast Today, we like to pester folk in the scene with random questions and form it up as some sort of interview. To tie in with the upcoming Kickstarter of Dreamcast : Year One, Forbes has caught up with the man behind the book – Andrew Dickinson, take a look at the somewhat random (but relevant ) questions we throw his way.

DCT : Hi Andrew, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today and answer some questions, first of all, can you introduce yourself to our readers and what it is you’re working on briefly ?

Andrew  – My Twitter bio sums me up pretty well I think! I’m a cat-loving, vegetarian games enthusiast who lives in Brighton, UK. I’m also a slight Kickstarter addict, having backed and been a part of various campaigns over the years! I finally decided to take the plunge and put something out there of my own, which is ‘Dreamcast: Year One’, a book about the conception, launch and first year on the market of this classic console.

DCT- What sort of background have you got in creating this sort of product? We think we spotted that you’ve already working on other books like this? 

Andrew – In terms of writing background, I don’t have any formal qualifications or a career in writing, but as a teenager I wrote for a Dreamcast fan site (dreamcastsource.co.uk) and have written other articles and such throughout the years. This particular opportunity came up when I backed a Kickstarter project last year, ‘PlayStation Vita: Year One’ by Sandeep Rai. The Vita is another underrated console in my eyes, and reading its story brought back so many memories of my time with the Dreamcast while it was still on the market. I realised this format that Sandeep had created would be a perfect way to tell the story of the DC as well. I’m now working with Sandeep as my editor, and I’m even writing a retrospective for his follow-up book, ‘PlayStation Vita: Years Two & Three’, about Power Stone Collection.

DCT- What’s your history with the Dreamcast? Have you had one since launch or did you discover it late on, were first hand experiences the fuel to create the book?

Andrew – I’ve had a Dreamcast since I was 16 – it was my birthday present from my mum that year. I’d been a gamer since the NES, but seriously started to get into it with the dawn of the PlayStation. That’s when I discovered the Resident Evil franchise, and I fell in love instantly. So when we started to hear that the next chapter in the franchise was going to be exclusive to the newly released Dreamcast, I started to pay attention! So I got my Dreamcast in August 2000 with a copy of RECV, as well as  Crazy Taxi and Power Stone. From that moment on I basically just fell in love with the system, to the extent that I found like-minded teens on chat rooms so I could gush about how great the Dreamcast was. That’s where I met Faz Asif, who set up Dreamcast Source, and I was a part of that site from when it launched until things wound down in 2002. So in terms of the period of time Year One covers, my first hand experience is fairly limited as I got involved after launch, however my experience with the games of that time will come out in the retrospectives I’ll be writing, and I also have interviews with people who were there for the launch, including Caspar Field who is the former editor of British Dreamcast magazine DC-UK.

DCT- Would you have rather had Sega continue making the Dreamcast and it came to it’s natural end, much like the GameCube and Xbox etc, or would you keep things the same, where support continues freely without risk of repercussions?

Andrew – That’s a hard question! At the time I would have wanted the Dreamcast to continue because it was my dream console (pun very much intended). It was so far ahead of the curve with online gaming and innovations like the VMU, and Sega were still churning out amazing first party titles. In my eyes, the Dreamcast could have gone on for years longer. However, looking back now with hindsight, it was obviously the right decision for Sega to take. Had they continued to soldier on with the Dreamcast we may not have Sega at all today, and that would be a very sad thing for the gaming landscape. More importantly though, the Dreamcast itself may have become forgotten and not revered as it is right now.

DCT – A difficult one for you here but, what has been your favourite Dreamcast game and why? 

Andrew – I’m sat doing this interview in my office next to my stack of Dreamcast games. I look over and just reading the titles of some of them bring back amazing memories for me, so trying to find just one is difficult, not least because my favourite can change depending on what mood I’m in! The answer that I think most Dreamcast fans will give is Shenmue, and for me it’d be both 1 and 2 together, as I had never experienced a story told in that way before. It was truly a magical journey (through mundanity at times, sure) that I will never forget. However, to single out the Shenmue games is to drown out a whole cacophony of amazing games that were just as awe-inspiring in their own way. To list just a few, some of my other favourites would be Skies Of Arcadia, Rez, Power Stone, Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5.

DCT – Some solid answers there! Rez is up there for us too, what about this – you are on a secluded in a bunker, by yourself for a year – what games machine would you take with you, and why? 

Andrew – These questions! Jeez! My brain is in overdrive trying to make that decision. I would certainly not get bored playing Dreamcast games for a whole year, because there are so many gems! Being realistic though, I’d probably take something modern. I bought a Switch recently and love it (I was one of the few people who bought and loved the Wii U, so I held off a while for the Switch), however I have a feeling I might run out of games I’d want to play in a year on that. The PlayStation 4 has some of my favourite contemporary game experiences in titles like ‘The Last Of Us’ and ‘Uncharted 4’, however to me it would make sense to take an Xbox One X. Not the most popular console of today, but the only one that allows you to play games from previous generations without having to buy them all over again! The Xbox 360 had some good Dreamcast ports that are playable on Xbox One too, so I’d have a year with a wide range of games spanning decades, plus a 4K blu ray player! What could be better than that?

DCT -Good call, Xbox does seem to have the all-in-one media approach done well, it’s such a tough call, can we expect to see more work from you in the future? A Dreamcast sequel book, maybe a Saturn one? 

Andrew – If ‘Dreamcast: Year One’ goes well, then I do have plans for more books to complete the story of the little white box! I end Year One on the 31st March 2000, a year before the Dreamcast is officially discontinued, so Year Two would look at the highs and crushing lows that occurred during that year. Year Three would therefore look at those last titles being officially released as things came to a close, but I’d then ideally like to write a final fourth book detailing everything that happened after that. The home brew scene, the resurgence in popularity, the cult status… There is a lot to say about all of that!

In terms of other projects, I’d certainly love to read a book about the Saturn, but I don’t think I have enough experience with that console to do it any justice. Personally I’d be more interested in looking into the Wii U, why it failed to set the world on fire while simultaneously generating some phenomenal games!

DCT – Ah the Wii U! Now that was a shame, but thankfully it led to Nintendo heading to the top again with the Switch, we would love to see a follow on book covering the later part of the consoles life too, so fingers crossed all goes well. How did you go about creating your product? Is it a hard process? 

Andrew – Luckily for me, I had a template to follow in ‘PlayStation Vita: Year One’! I love the format of that book, so the general layout will remain the same – story, interviews and retrospectives. However, I wanted to bring a little something extra to really make the book pop, and so I have commissioned a bunch of illustrations from artist Eric Pavik to fill the book. The designer of my book, Steve Novaković-Thone, had found an illustration that Eric had done of the Dreamcast and used it as a placeholder for the cover while he was going through the design process. I took one look at it and realised he’d hit on something great, and that it had to be our actual cover! So I got in touch with Eric, and we started putting together images for the book. He amended his original console image to show the blue swirl used in PAL territories (I’ll be taking a very British slant with the book), and created artwork for key retrospectives and our interviews. They feel like the missing piece that truly ties together the writing and the design to form a cohesive whole.

DCT – Where does your information come from? Extensive research? Personal knowledge? 

Andrew – For Year One it was a lot of research, backed up by what I already knew. As I say, I didn’t actually get a Dreamcast until August 2000, nearly a year after it had launched in the UK, so my own knowledge of that time was fairly limited. Being a lover of the console though, I have done a lot of reading over the years, so I supplemented that with further research, and I also got a lot of great information from people like Caspar. I can’t wait for people to read his interview in full, because there are some fantastic insights in there!

DCT – Some would say that you got the console bang at the right time, we got ours in June 2001! Lastly, how long did it take to compile all the information together, did you look back and think ‘I forgot I need to add….’ 

Andrew – The book is actually still a work in progress. I’ve been working on it for about 6 months now, and I have a lot planned out already (and 20% is completed writing wise), however I also work and study alongside this which means it takes a little longer to get everything done, as you can imagine!

Another reason I haven’t yet completed the book is because I wanted to know that there was the support out there for a book like this to be released. I didn’t want to write a whole book, pay for all the design work, illustrations and printing only to find that no-one was really that interested, you know? As I mentioned right at the start, I’m a big user of Kickstarter, and while it certainly has its flaws in some regards, when it comes to things like board games and the video game community, it has allowed some amazing creators to get their vision out there.

It helps people who have these great ideas to connect with their audience and produce things that ordinarily just wouldn’t get made. So I figured what better way to find out if there is enough interest than to use Kickstarter. I’m really looking forward to connecting more with other Dreamcast fans through my project, getting feedback and suggestions, having conversations. The simple fact is that without Kickstarter this book won’t exist. ’Dreamcast: Year One’ is meant to provide a written, unofficial history of a true cult classic aimed at old and new fans alike, so having the Dreamcast community come on this journey with me is something I’m really excited about!

 

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Many thanks to Andrew for taking the time out to chat to us, make sure you keep an eye out on Kickstarter for Dreamcast : Year One and give the Facebook page a like here :

 

https://www.facebook.com/dreamcastyearone/

Retro Fighters Dreamcast Controller Takes To Kickstarter.

It’s been a while since the Dreamcast featured in some good ol’ fashioned Kickstarter action, truth be told – we thought many creators were shying away from the platform in recent times, we know as potential backers, we have since some projects we’re still waiting on, years after being funded.

However, should you get the urge to splash some cash down, there appears to be a new DC controller doing the rounds. The Retro Fighters controller aims to right (what it sees as..) the wrongs that the original Sega equipment was seen to have. Having already worked their magic with the Nintendo 64’s control pad, Retro Fighters are hoping to bring what they cite as next gen features to the Dreamcast’s method of play, this version has a revised 2 handled grip wi88cf4d5ae680de41e048c0e8ce0ec0c8_originalth larger directional pad along with a turbo button and added shoulder buttons which apparently is handy for the fighting games on the system.

From what we can see, the controller isn’t actually that exciting and echoes the Electronic Boutique days of 3rd party peripherals, one handy feature is the cable being located at the top rather than the bottom, although in reality this is hardly an issue on the official unit. VMU and Rumble packs are supported.

 

What is impressive is how the team spent 18 months developing their own bespoke hardware which obviously includes the connector for the accessories which of course, is unique to the console. Retro Fighters look to have the controller in the hands of players by September 2019 and have a working prototype already which for backers, is actually a relief. How well the controller will fare after it’s successful Kickstarter is completed is anyone’s guess, it’s hit 5 times over the funding goal already but no doubt that some are holding out to see what RetroBit will come up with in the near future.

Here’s the link to the Kickstarter should you fancy giving this funky controller a go :

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1247448559/next-gen-dreamcast-controller?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=Dreamcast

Retro Surge Games appear to have something to tell us.

It would be easy to overlook plenty of going ons in the Dreamcast community currently. There’s so many projects on the way and quite a few that haven’t even got off the ground over the years, with publishers like JoshProd, GOAT Publishing, Watermelon and to a lesser extent, Senile Team all releasing games, when a new publishing team come along, we eventually get around to looking into it.

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Enter Retro Surge Games, these guys have been busy on social media recently, chatting about an upcoming Dreamcast game called Reaperi Cycle, an isometric adventure game which is penciled in for a 2019 release date. What we can imagine is happening is the team at Retro Surge (perhaps better known for their retro indie selling side, The Bit Station)  will be handling the publishing duties of the game and perhaps are ready to show off some details which so far have been hidden away (unless you support the developers Patreon)  ——–>  https://www.patreon.com/reapericycle

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The game looks pretty intriging and we haven’t seen an adventure game released on the DC since Elansar & Philia a few years ago, we’re quite interested to see what Retro Surge have instore for us in the coming months and years with fond hopes that this fresh-faced outfit become the next big Dreamcast powerhouse.

You can follow Retro Surge Games on Facebook by clicking here ——->

https://www.facebook.com/RetroSurgeGames/