As you know I’ve been trying to make a loader (using dcload-ip) that would allow you to boot games over ethernet. After unsuccessful attempts trying to make the CDDA working correctly, due to some obvious timing reasons (software isn’t as fast as the real hardware!), I have convinced myself that the hardware approach is the only one good solution.
Booting games over network looks good on the paper but in the real life it can be a nightmare: random crashes with no real way to debug, texture clipping, lags…. For those that want to give a try to such solution, the best you can do is to test Marcus Comstedt’s “dc-virt” project. “dc-virt” is basically an extension of dcload-ip that transferts the gd-rom system calls over ethernet. Those calls are then caught by the server part that emulates the system calls and returns the right disc sectors from an image file. His loader works fine with regular Katana games (I didn’t try with WinCE ones though) but no CDDA support though. That said, I am really surprised that MC does not communicate about his project. His last update regarding this project was something like two years ago and knowing about it would have save me a lot of time!!! In brief guys, a solution exists out there, much better than the one I could have made. Now, you can play Bomberman online or whatever other funny games over ethernet: awesome, isn’t it?
A while ago, I compiled and tested his project. Here are the 32-bit binaries for linux and the elf file for the Dreamcast: dc-virt-unofficial-build.zip I let you find out the format of the ISO files the server needs 😉
Btw, MC has some other interesting repos but I let you find this out yourself 🙂