SDK version 0.20 Pre.7 (SET 2), Scud Race Dreamcast Tech demo and Kamui Wrapper release, warm up the engines !!!

What is SET 2?

The SET 2 were cards that we had to put in a PC. It was just a graphics card with Power VR to start working on the graphics engine for the first games to be in development on Dreamcast.

 

The power of these cards accounted for about the 25%  from that of the Dev Kit Katana that we all know, SET 5.

The Katana Set 2 was essentially a Pentium II PC with an early prototype of  PowerVR2 ARC graphics card.

We were at the beginning  development on Dreamcast. Subsequently, other revisions of the Development Kit will emerge such as SET 4 (40% power) and the best known, SET 5.

Photo SET 2

Dreamcast dev kit SET 2

What is an SDK?

An SDK, for Sotfware Development Kit, designates a set of tools used by developers for the development of software intended for a specific platform.

An SDK is made up, at a minimum, of a translator capable of translating the programming language into machine language, of a link editor capable of linking, into an executable file, various elements and libraries of routines.

 

To simplify, the SDK contains all the tools with which it was possible to program on Dreamcast.

 

There are several SDK revisions. They have not all been discovered.

Photo SET 4

Sega Dreamcast dev kit Set 4

Photo SET 5

The specifics of Katana SDK Version 0.20 Pre.7 (SET2):

This SDK revision is brand new, one of the oldest  known. It contains technical documents in Japanese,  user manuals and much more.

SET 2 Dreamcast SDK.png

Technical demos have been specially designed for SET 2. Without having the specific graphics card, it is impossible to play them. They are in .EXE unlike .BIN which will be found in SET 4. In order to hope to start a game or a demo on an emulator or even better on a console, you must have .BIN .

The demos:

Video of a Dreamcast technical demo compilation (SET 2)

Dev kit Dreamcast SET 5

Dreamcast Demo "Fishman" (SET 2)

Dreamcast Tech Demo Fishman (SET 2).jpg

Dreamcast Demo "CD" (SET 2)

CD : Demonstration of a  compact disc that spins (demo not optimized).

Fishman : This tech demo shows that light sources and their corresponding volumes can be changed in real time. She does  also heavy use of alpha channels for  water effects (non-optimized demo)

Scud : World Scud Race model. Press the Z key to start circling the track.  The Free Camera mode allows you to fly around the world with the arrow keys (non-optimized demo).

Dreamcast Tech Demo CD (SET 2).jpg

Drive 2 : two cars swerve on a bridge.  This demonstration has several light sources and effects, which can be activated interactively (Wrapper crash).

Koke: No information about it (unoptimized demo, the same as the Motlink sample?).

Other, less impressive, demos are  present as for example a SEGA logo rotating on itself  or the famous TEAPOT .

The samples:

Cache: Sample application showing how ninety textures can be loaded with njLoadTexture () and played  in a very short movie (demo not optimized).

Draw2D: Sample application that shows drawing two-dimensional objects with Ninja. Allows user to draw points, lines, polygons and circles (demo not optimized, black screen).

Draw3D: Example application that shows  multiple 3D Ninja primitives and models rendered in multiple modes.  The models are rendered with and without textures, in wireframe  and with or without fog depth. A quick movement demonstration is also included (Wrapper crash).

Dreamcast Sample "Light" (SET 2)

Dreamcast Tech Demo Light (SET 2).jpg

Light: Sample application that demonstrates how to manage multiple light sources (in this case six) in a scene.  Each light source can be turned on or off and the color of each light source can be changed in real time (Wrapper crash, partially works with the other SET 2 SDK, download here ).

Logo: Sample application that shows how to use Ninja for environmental mapping (not optimized).

Motlink: Example application that shows how to create an object hierarchy and animate this hierarchy (unoptimized demo, the same as Koke seen above?)

Scroll: The app shows two independently scrolling game fields. One of the fields has an alpha channel (Wrapper crash).

Dreamcast Sample "Cache" (SET 2)

Dreamcast Tech Demo Cache (SET 2).jpg

Shap: Example application that demonstrates the use of njDrawShapeMotion () to animate a model (Wrapper crash).

Sprite: The app shows what looks like a matrix of spheres rotating in space. Each sphere is  a Ninja 3-D sprite item from Ninja (Wrapper crash).

Teapot: The app shows the classic Utah teapot, this time with an environmental map and specular highlights (unoptimized demo).

Texture: Sample application demonstrating how to draw flat textures in Ninja using njDrawTexture () (unoptimized demo, ignore error message).

Dreamcast Sample "Texture" (SET 2)

Dreamcast Tech Demo Texture (SET 2).jpg

Torus: Example application that draws eight torii with different  material values.  This demo works faster on machines with   more efficient processors - the number of polygons you see is  limited by the speed of your machine (Wrapper crash).

The goal now is to make all tech demos playable. There will be  updates. The work has been done, for a first release,  on Scud Race. It is hard to know if the current rendering of the technical demos is faithful to the original one. It exists  few vintage images and videos to compare them.

You can the new SDK below:

Katana SDK Version 0.20 Pre.7 (SET 2)

The start of the project

It's frustrating to physically or digitally own something with great potential and not be able to use it. It was necessary in  to do  good use  even if the technical demos are present in all the SDKs of SET 2.

For many years, the Scud Race demo had been known but remained inaccessible.

I wanted to explore this version of Scud Race that everyone was waiting for as the future Dreamcast hit that we sadly never had. But how do you make the dream come true?

Scud Race for Dreamcast (technical demo).jpg

While talking with friends about this problem, they advised me  to create a Kamui Wrapper for PC. I wrote to the only person in my contacts with the necessary skills to achieve this tour de force. To our greatest happiness, he accepted.

Sifting , already known for his Reverse work on Agartha and Castlevania  spent more than 50 hours and 5 months to make this release a reality. It was far from won. He faced a few obstacles:

“I wrote the code for linux, but the demos were for windows. I had to use a cross compiler. ”

“Finding a windows machine to test the wrapper was difficult. At first I had to borrow a friend's machine, then later I switched to a Windows 10 virtual machine after purchasing a newer graphics card. "

“The documentation in the SET 2 SDK was for a different version of kamui. I ended up having to reverse the api in ida. I  think it was because kamui was still immature and things were changing a lot back then. ”

We can only thank him, few people would have devoted so much time to such a project, luckily he likes challenges!

Scud Race Dreamcast beta.jpg

First stage of the project

Dreamcast Kamui Wrapper (beginning of project)

“I was offered a job at Slipgate Ironworks in Denmark . I think the work I did on this project  as well as on Castlevania and Agartha really impressed them !!! ”

Surprisingly, no one had ever made a Kamui Wrapper before, at least to make it public and share it with the whole community.

The pogression of the project in photo:

Dreamcast Scud Race tech demo progress
Scud Race Dreamcast tech demo progress
Sega Dreamcast Scud Race Tech Demo progress
Kamui Wrapper Scud Race Dreamcast final.jpg

You can  download the wrapper below:

Kamui Wrapper for Dreamcast SET 2

Two builds of the Wrapper are available, the first dating from 10/30/2021 and the second from 10/31/2021. The last version  fixes text that was scrambled on screen but demo scrolling speed is faster. Choose the one that suits you best.

Since the Wrapper is open source, you can work on it later. The code will be published on GitHub (to find here) .

Scud Race tech demo, on the roads of paradise!

As explained above, this short technical demo of Scud Race only works on PC unlike Tower of Babel which could  to be launched  on an emulator. It was never intended for a retail console.

Sega Dreamcast Scud Race (Sonic).jpg
Dreamcast Scud Race Dolphin Tunnel.jpg

Scud Race Dreamcast  Tech Demo Video

Scud Race Arcade.jpg

We do not understand why SEGA did not push the development of its arcade game to release it on the Dreamcast. What little we can see from this demo is mouth watering. Players were waiting for it, some had even bought a console in anticipation of its release.

But what we know about this title is that an adaptation was considered on SEGA Saturn which, unfortunately, showed difficult sales. These collapsed in 1996 in the West and began to decline in Japan with the advent of Final Fantasy VII at the beginning of 1997. For the adaptation of Scud Race , several problems arose, starting with the technical limitations.

At the time, the project aborted for the first time (probably around 1996), then resurfaced in 1997. First with an improved arcade version called Scud Race Plus and then with the technological demo ( Tech-Demo ) that the 'we present to you today.

Scud Race Dreamcast tech demo.jpg

All fans remember this demo, however weakly broadcast. What you should know is that the Model3 arcade machine is a complex architecture and difficult to transfer to another technology. And Scud Race ( Sega Super GT in North America ) is one of those games that are difficult to transfer from one medium to another.

So imagine, the “ Scud Race Plus ” version came out in 1997 bringing some new features, the game at this stage was not technically overtaken by swift competition and was still appreciated by many players. A few months later, the Tech-Demo appears showing a video of the game on a future console that was only in its infancy and used at a quarter of its power. The player's blood only swirled around, as did the dream of seeing him on Dreamcast.

Scud Race  Dolphin Tunnel Dreamcast.jpg
Scud Race Dreamcast.jpg
Scud Race Sega Dreamcast.jpg
Scud Race Dreamcast Debug Menu.jpg

For many developers, creating a racing game at the time was an "easy" solution (this is partly why there were so many F1 games at that time and why Yu Suzuki chose to exploit this same discipline for Virtua Racing ). It was the same with Ridge Racer for Namco in 1994 on PlayStation.

But of all the racing games available around the mid-1990s, Scud Race was without a doubt one of the most impressive.

The technology of the Model3 was such that the competition could hardly compete.

Also, the Scud Race Plus version, available in 1997 and bringing some new features, had no real equivalent and the game was very popular in arcades. SEGA has obviously considered an adaptation of its flagship arcade title on Dreamcast. It is for this reason, that in 1997, emerged a technological demo (in the form of a video intended to show the capacities of the future console to the spiral).

Needless to say that everyone was holding their breath as it seemed inconceivable, at the time, to play such a title in your living room.

Unfortunately, that will never happen. Hope gave way to disappointment, and it is therefore a form of rebirth to welcome this technological demo today and to share it with everyone. What this demo lets us discover is the complete circuit (the first track of the game) modeled in 3D with an equivalent of Dreamcast technology. This shows that adaptation was possible, especially when digging, we discover another demo, called " Drive2 (crash of the Wrapper)", which shows that adding a vehicle was not a problem.

The game will never be officially released, unfortunately. We can imagine that the demo is the result of an AM2 developer who wanted to highlight the visual capabilities of the console. Still, the cancellation of the adaptation would be based on a very simple reason: SEGA was on the verge of losing the right to use the vehicles seen in the game, thereby condemning all conversions on console.

The mystery is yet to be elucidated. But one thing is now certain, Scud race can be transposed on Dreamcast. So seasoned programmers, if you want to warm your hands on your winter evenings, don't forget what you have to do!

……………… .ROLLING START!

Text by Romain Villez , modification and correction by Régis Monterrin

In-game instruction manual:

  • Press Z to enter demo mode.

  • A and D move the camera up and down.

  • Use arrows to move.

  • The right mouse button opens the Debug Menu.

The video of this demo enhancing this article was made on the version of the Wrapper dated 30.10.2021. Since then, a new build (31.10.2021) has been provided correcting the text  which was scrambled at the top left of the screen.

You can  download a texture pack in JPG below:

Scud Race and Drive2 Texture pack

Important, to be able to play it:

  • First, download the SDK Version 0.20 Pre.7 (SET 2) then the Kamui Wrapper .

  • Open the SDK and go to the Ninja folder then Demo , you will find the 5 technical demos there. For other less important demos, the path is Ninja then Sample .

  • Choose the demo you want to try then go to the corresponding folder, in this case Scud .

  • Open the Kamui Wrapper downloaded earlier, then copy the KAMUI.DLL files. and  KAMUI.CFG .

  • Paste them in the folder corresponding to the chosen technical demo, for example Scud . The .EXE must be present in the same place as the .DLL and the .CFG as in the photo on the right.

  • You just have to double-click on the .EXE of the demo. Two windows will open, one with the game.

Kamui Wrapper for Scud Race Dreamcast Tech demo

About speed  Wrapper : You can set it in the .CFG file. Open the .CFG file in Notepad and change the value of framelimit as desired. In Scud's demo, there is an FPS counter at the top left of the screen. We don't know if the demos are supposed to run at 30 or 60 frames per second.

To conclude, where is Luigi?

In connection with development  : Tower of Babel Dreamcast Tech Demo version 2 - Dreamcast SDK, Tech Demo and Development Document Release - Katana Dreamcast Dev Kit Release - Scud Race Dreamcast Tech Demo

Please feel free to check out " other canceled games " that I have found. For the more curious among you, I have created a " list of all unreleased from the dreamcast ".