Assembler Dreamcast community -- where to go from here

Discussion in 'Sega Dreamcast Development and Research' started by darcagn, May 30, 2019.

  1. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Hi all,

    As has been anticipated for a while, AssemblerGames will be no more soon. It's unfortunate, but we've sort of known this was going to happen sooner or later. At least we now have a deadline to get out and we won't just wake up one day with an error in our web browsers saying that we can no longer connect.

    I am creating a thread for this to keep this sort of discussion for our sub-community in this one thread so it doesn't get posted all over in every thread.

    To preserve everything that has been built here for some time, we have two primary issues to deal with:
    1) Backing up the wealth of knowledge that has been created on this board over the past two decades
    2) Migrating the community to a new home to make sure we are all still in contact with one another and so that no one misses any new stuff

    To the first point:

    For a while now I've been backing up and archiving important Dreamcast-related files and materials to my personal storage, but of course there's still a vast wealth of information in here that now has to take an extreme priority. I am going to start to copy things from this message board and enter them into the wiki at DCEmulation.org. I am lucky in that I have a LOT of free time on my hands as I am currently away from work and should continue to be for the entirety of the next 30 days I have. I am completely free aside from taking care of some easy freelance IT work for a client of mine and fulfilling domestic obligations to my household for my partner. Some have said they are going to do a straight backup of this board with a crawler, and that's good, please continue to do so, don't rely solely on me!

    To the second point:

    I am willing and ready to accommodate members and all discussion over at DCEmulation.org. In the past, discussion of hacking and sharing any materials related to commercially released software or official devkits has been shunned upon over there, but this will now change. Sega has shown that they are respectful to the hobbyist/hacking community from a legal standpoint, and it has been nearly 20 years since the console's marketable and profitable heyday. After discussion with other admins, we have agreed to lax rules and allow pretty much anything that is not outright piracy of retail games.

    At the moment, DCEmulation is probably best known as a place to go for homebrew DC programming, and we also host the official Sylverant Phantasy Star Online message board and the official Reicast message board. I am willing to restructure the boards and change things in order to accommodate the tastes of members here in the interest of preserving this community.

    That aside, I also know that there will likely be many of you moving over to Obscure Gamers now that Demon has brought it back in the wake of Assembler's announcement. That will probably be a good place for discussion too.

    Please post if you have any thoughts/concerns about this or any other ideas for us to go forward.

    Sorry if this post seems spammy, it's never my intention to spam/advertise my own site, but given the news some discussion has to be made ASAP.
     
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  2. truemaster1

    truemaster1 Enthusiastic Member

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    someone sent me private message about obscuregamers.com anyway all that matters to me is all people I know from here to be together again which site doesn't matter to me. and of cource to have everything from here there
     
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  3. dakangel

    dakangel Member

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    DCemulation , DreamcastTalk, Dreamcast.es
    Those are the most known and elder sites for dreamcast communities
     
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  4. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    Will you make some kind of sub-forums for the development/hacking community?
     
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  5. Falco Girgis

    Falco Girgis Member

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    Hey, guys. Dreamcast developer here who has spent years perusing these boards for wisdom... There is a lot of beautiful history here that we *cannot* let die. If you still have any passion left for the DC or scene, there's still plenty of community out there trying to push the envelope and keep the dream alive.

    I urge all of you to at least give DCEmulation.org a try, because it's probably the closest thing to what this site was (at least from a DC perspective). There are lots of us engineers over there who are still hacking away and are doing hardware and software, and we would love to still keep the dream alive with you. There's also a huge amount of reverence with respect to preserving the history and all of the work that has been done in the scene, and I really hope that just because these boards are going away does not mean that what these boards represented has to die with it...

    Anyway, thank you for all the years of beautiful code, hardware hacking, and unlocking all of the mysteries of oldschool consoles here at Asemblergames... This place has always stood tall as a proud monument of human achievement and technical prowess... and I will always remember it as such. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  6. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Yes, I'm currently working on updating the forums to the latest version for security and adding a mod or two for features like "liking" posts that I believe are important...
    Then reorganizing the forum layout is necessary, something like this:

    -- Dreamcast Homebrew & Indie Games Discussion -- for discussion of new homebrew and indie games releases
    -- Dreamcast Gaming and Hacking -- for discussion of official games playing, hacking, emulating, etc. from software point of view
    -- Hardware Hacking and Repair -- hardware modifications and repairs
    -- Programming Discussion -- for technically minded/programmers of homebrew software/kallisti-os type development

    Let me know what you think about that, if there are any gaps
     
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  7. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    I would definitely use that site more if more people were there keeping it active. I feel that while there is tons of great content there, people sadly didn't engage with it like they do on a daily basis here, at Dreamcast-Talk, and the r/Dreamcast subreddit. I have also started being way more active over at Dreamcast-Talk like I was back in the day. I have posted lots of uploads there over this past year in the downloads section doing my part to keep the community alive and bringing back lost content since after TIZ died a huge amount of homebrew and game mods were lost.

    As long as I can upload all of the Half-Life DC total conversion mods there with their own pages, I will be happy. I have wanted to start making and releasing my own HLDC mods, especially WW2 and Halo themed just because the assets already exist for them in the HL mods/games out there. I just have way too many projects going on right now especially my Battlefield 2 historical total conversion mods which are super huge in scope.
     
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  8. T_chan

    T_chan Gutsy Member

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    Nice to see that the preservation is assured, thanks already :)
    Nice to see also that DCEmulation is relaxing its rules.
    The only thing I would maybe do differently, is not mix the real opensource stuff from the official SDK/devkit stuff, but that's a personal preference :)
     
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  9. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    You are quite right, and I feel it was the strict rules there that made it go nearly silent. We forced ourselves into a specific niche with those rules. I'd have loved to change them and relax things earlier, but I was held back by site politics. At least now things have changed and we can go forward with this now.

    Now my task will be to get the discussion going again -- I was already planning on spending all this free time on fixing up the site, like making guides and documentation for the most commonly asked questions on DCJY and /r/Dreamcast. I spend so much time answering questions there that I should just write guides and post them to my own site, haha. But now that Assembler is going down I will need to urgently document as much stuff from here as I can ASAP and -- hopefully -- we can see some members from here engaging there.

    You can post about and link to that stuff, I don't think that will be a problem anymore. As long as the content isn't something that will get us in hot water with aggressive companies like Nintendo. And I just don't want it to become some cesspool of piracy like I've seen at other places.
    It's not a place to get fr33 r0mz and isoz, if you will.

    Yes, absolutely -- "real opensource stuff" will be the programming forum, and the official SDK/devkit stuff will be for the "Gaming and Hacking" section. Given that you are one of the most knowledgeable people out there on SDK stuff, I hope to see you there :)
     
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  10. T_chan

    T_chan Gutsy Member

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    Well, technically, I've been there since 2011... but extremely passively :)
    As long as it remains about hacking/patching/homebrew/revive old hardware, and not about fr33 r0mz and isoz like you write, and the people remain respectful/helpful instead of acting like aggressive kids, chances are high I'll be there.

    I'll probably move & update a few of my posts once the site is ready.
     
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  11. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    I also think I'll migrate to DC-Emulation.

    I trust darc and I feel like the atmosphere is, and will be, more mature there than elsewhere.
     
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  12. SiZiOUS

    SiZiOUS Spirited Member

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    Yes that's true, in that manner we can organize the future! AG was almost dead since 2017, but now, it's time to go away.

    This is great. As I've seen, folks on OG are making full backups too, but I think we should concentrate on the Dreamcast section, especially all Katana stuff related. This was the only place on Internet where I did find some useful tips & tricks for using my Katana!

    This is a great news. As you might see, I love both sides of the moon, free stuff and official stuff. All of these are making a great playground for our beloved Dreamcast!

    I agree. As we recently saw about the Fish Life, they allowed the Bolo Museum to showcase all the copyrighted data. Sega seems to be cool with fans.

    If you would mind, I suggest to make some special section for all official stuff i.e. Katana/WinCE things. The idea is to keep free and official stuff separated. This will keep all more clearer.

    From my point of view, I'm giving the chance to OG as I liked how they taken the subject, so I'm registered now. For DCEmu, I'm already there, as you might know!

    No problem in my case I think it's appropriate. Btw, I think you should investigate why the DCEmulation News module is down from some months now! :D And by the way, if you have the possibility to enable https on my own site, it will be so cool (of course, this is not really high priority, you know what is it!).
     
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  13. citrus3000psi

    citrus3000psi Housekeeping, you want towel?

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    Don't want this to get lost. I posted it on my twitter, but I'm sure would be important on some of the other DC sites.

    You can do a very simple 10% overclock with a few resistors: http://dansprojects.com/dc_overclock.html
    Also VMU saving appears fine from what I've tested, so still must be within tolerance.
     
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  14. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Absolutely, there's lots of extremely valuable information re: Katana/official SDK that is not duplicated elsewhere and absolutely cannot be lost.

    Agreed, I was quite shocked to see that Sega approved the Fish Life stuff, it's quite unusual for a company to sign off on something they have no gain from, but Sega has a great track record of letting fans do what they want.

    As to keeping official stuff separate, I have made the changes to the forum now, there's a specific forum for official games/hacking/SDK stuff and then the separate programming forum that's always been there will remain free/opensource stuff only. Let me know if you think there's anything more that needs to change or if it's not clear enough.

    I have also added the ability to "like" posts. In the past I have seen posts on DCEmu that I didn't necessarily need to reply to, but without the option to "like" the post I'm sure the poster thought they were speaking to a silent void. At the very least members can acknowledge posts and let people know they're not posting for naught. Although this shouldn't be a problem as I expect posts/responses to pick up :)

    Unfortunately the news module hasn't worked right because it was a third party independently developed hack for mediawiki/phpBB and it was broken when those software were updated, and now I have security concerns about trying to fit it in. I'm going to be exploring new options for news handling.

    As for https, I just enabled it for your site and all subdomains. On your main site, sizious.com, my browser is showing an error for mixed https/http because you have http:// hardcoded for your banner code:

    Code:
    <img src="http://sizious.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/header.png" alt="SiZiOUS :: Serial Koder">
    If you fix that it should show up as a green padlock.

    You can also force pages to reload with https by adding the following to your .htaccess file:
    Code:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301,NE]
    Thanks for the info re: VMU saving. I've already got the 10% overclock mod you've documented on my list of things to add to the DCEmulation wiki. Thanks :D
     
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  15. SiZiOUS

    SiZiOUS Spirited Member

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    Thank you for all! I’ll do the changes for my website. Thank you for handling this so fast!
     
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  16. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Thank you SO MUCH for that feature! I also might not respond to every post I like and or agree with, but this feature goes a long way in acknowledging to people they are being heard.

    I also posted a mega pack of HLDC mods in the FPS section of the forum, hope it is to your liking. I am a super fan of that game on DC if you can't tell from my avatar as versatile as it is and it allows us a retail like gaming experience with homebrew releases. So nice to be able to share with at other places. Thanks for that.
     
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  17. truemaster1

    truemaster1 Enthusiastic Member

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    ok im register to dcemulation as truemaster1 and obscuregames as truemaster so we will hear from each other again:)
     
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  18. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    I don't know if you've finished the modifications yet, but I'd make the new sections clearer. Like a new empty section for hacking/SDK stuff instead of merging it with the previous gaming one.

    Maybe a news to clarify the new rules and what can be discussed where would be a good idea when you have the time.

    The migration/preservation of content is great though!
     
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  19. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Well, I didn't really want to have a forum start that's completely empty, and I'll be moving more preserved threads there in the next few days, so hopefully it'll look more "familiar" by then. Most people really didn't talk too much "gaming" in there anyway.

    I planned on doing this today, but I got sidetracked with Assembler stuff. I've literally been sitting here for like 8 hours straight reading threads in this subforum. While others are taking the indexing/scraping route, I'm actually reading all 23,145 posts (1,030 threads) in this subforum, deciding which posts have valuable information that is worth saving and saving each thread to my local drive in sorted folders depending on the topic (meanwhile skipping threads that don't contain unique/valuable information). Then after that I'll have to go through all of the non-Dreamcast forums for Dreamcast-related topics and do the same thing... It'll be a major undertaking, but the idea is to be intimately familiar with everything DC related that got documented here over the site's lifetime, so that I can properly organize it and present it on DCEmulation going forward, whether it's on the wiki or on the forums. The knowledge, discoveries, and tools that the DC community has created over the past 20 years deserves to be well documented.

    While it's taking a while to do, I don't think it's going to be as much information as I anticipated, there's a lot of noise and unimportant threads in this forum, but the important stuff is really quite important. Sadly, a lot of information has already been lost because people linked to files and images on third party sites that are now gone. I'm also working from the old stuff towards the new, and I think the loss of Mark30001 and Segakatana.com is still a really big blow to us even though it was like 10 years ago.
     
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  20. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    Don't sweat it about the rules and sections, it was just constructive comments. We'll see one it's done if the flow is alright.

    I still mourn Mark, he disappeared quite suddenly and he was really the one that got me into DC. IIRC he offered me his Dev kits before leaving, but I couldn't afford it back then, and I can't find the conversation about it, maybe it was on Segakatana.

    You're not the archivist we deserve, but you're the archivist we need; a darc Knight.


    PS: Do you, or anyone, know the simplest way to archive our own PMs? I'm not afraid of the command line.
     
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