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Sunday, January 29, 2017

What REALLY happened with SLaVE on Sega Dreamcast

What REALLY happened to SLaVE ;)

DISCLAIMER: We love Dreamcast Today, they have always been hugely supportive of our titles in the past and we mean no ill will in this post. It is simply a response to an article they posted on their website. Keep the dream alive Today, guys! :-P

So, my response to that will be copied down, along with some additional thoughts in a later post:

     It was not so much the game, that part was finished. What mostly killed our ambitions of a quick port was KallistiOS and KallistiGL completely changing (as it happens with software evolution, nowhere near their fault), and our own engine changing 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.

So, we hope that clears up the confusion about SLaVE's prolonged porting time. It has indeed taken much longer than anticipated. I will be more forthcoming to issues that plague us in the future.

Hi-Res WIP shot of Feolina from HT!
The "army of programmers" I speak of was the regular 3DGE team (which permanently and prominently features Chilly Willy), but Josh "PH3NOM" Pearson, who was also part of the crew tasked to port it, before he left and started his great-looking project "In the Line of Fire". So, with people coming and going, especially since we relied so heavily on PH3NOM to help fix-up our KGL issues, things just naturally took much longer. But he's still our buddy, and I hope he brings that project to my team after SLaVE is finished and gone Gold so we can help him finish it up, without the hassles of a Kickstarter! ;)

For now, check out our Facebook here really soon for a collection of new Hypertension development shots, as well as an eventual video of SLaVE running on real hardware, on a VHS TV combo. I lost my AV cables and can't find my VGA one either (my daughter probably ran off with it), so just stay tuned!

We also have an interview coming soon that is more of a "Tell-All" -- you won't want to miss it, and we'll post it here first when it comes up! xD

Take care, love you all! <3 p="">
Isotope SoftWorks

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