Are you disenchanted with modern online experiences that leave you with nothing but insults from 14-olds? Well, fret no more as more Dreamcast games are set to soon have their online functionality restored. Modder, Shuouma, who has already returned a number of great DC titles to the world wide web like ChuChu Rocket! and Monaco Grand Prix through his service Dreamcast Live, is set to wipe a few more games off his WIP list.
On the 7th he tweeted photos of the online rooms for both NFL 2K1 and Ooga Booga with nothing but the alluring caption, “Shuouma is still thinking…”. Today, a report was posted over on Sega Nerds including new details. They’ve been in contact with the man himself, and he’s confirmed that beta testing is in full swing and that they should be ready publicly in a few weeks.
NFL 2K1 is a quite a big deal; not only was it one of the first sports games to really push online play, but Shuouma discovered that all 2K games share the same protocols – so expect more 2K games online as the year progresses. Ooga Booga, on the other hand, is a very different game (but also developed by Visual Concepts – which was more or less Sega’s in-house sports game developer) that involves combat, spells, shrunken heads and Abraham Lincoln. It was a very late online release for the Dreamcast and reviewed quite well at the time.
You might be wondering how to connect your trusty Dreamcast to the internet since it’s been discontinued for 17 years and all that, but luckily it appears to be quite easy. You can use the expensive official broadband adapter (if you can find one) or an actual dial-up connection if you’re still subscribed to a service – however, the BBA only supports a small number of games since it was released quite late in the Dreamcast’s life and the experience with real dial-up can be hit and miss depending on your ISP. The answer for most, comes in the form of a kit called the DreamPi.
The DreamPi supports all online Dreamcast games, is more reliable than true dial-up and can use a modern broadband internet connection. It consists of a Raspberry Pi (I’m sure you gathered that from the name), the DreamPi software on an SD card (which is written by a very smart coder called Kazade), a USB dial-up modem and the Dreamkey 3.0 software (the original web browser for the Dreamcast). Depending on where you are you’ll likely need a line volt inducer too, which consists of a simple circuit that sends electric current down a telephone line.
All of this will convert your modern speedy internet into the dial-up of old, and even connect you to the Dreamcast Now service (which currently has over 220 members) that will let you know if anyone else is online.
Currently, Dreamcast Live has plenty of events scheduled for Dreamcast online-enabled games so is well worth checking out if you’re so inclined. Apart from the 2K games and Ooga Booga, Speed Devils Online Racing is another game earmarked for accessibility soon. No word yet on when, but it appears Shuouma would eventually like to have all online Dreamcast games compatible with Dreamcast Live. You can obtain updates by following his Twitter or the News page on the Dreamcast Live website.