DC Blap: 3d Pong for Dreamcast (2001)

Creating a console game at 14 that was experienced by thousands

James Futhey
2 min readOct 30, 2017
Video courtesy of @panteric (DCEric)

Sometime around the year 2000, when it became apparent that the Dreamcast couldn’t compete with the PS2, a small community of a few dozen devoted fans took to the internet, organized around a bulletin board, and formed the Dreamcast Homebrew community.

I was about 13 at the time. I had begun programming by reading the source code to popular games & trying to create my own. Just a few years earlier, John Carmack released the source code to Doom & Wolfenstein, both AAA titles, bucking industry trends to keep their proprietary technology a secret for as long as possible.

We hand-created a limited-release of a few copies of the game for personal keepsakes, and community meetups.

Compared to my peers, my programming skills were terrible. But, unlike others, I had a creative streak, and a knack for creating 2d sprites, simple 3d models, and writing music. I quickly found opportunities to help others expand demos and projects for the new console, and Sam Steele was one of those collaborators.

Ok, you know what? I was mediocre to terrible at all of those things. But thankfully, nobody ever told me that, and we were able to put together a really solid game in a short summer of hacking.

In time, the game expanded to include a breakout clone, and a few interesting twists (like gravity).

Sam eventually released the Source Code.

Windows Port (2004)

This was my first experience creating something for other people, and I quickly became an addict. It was an amazing experience to create something from nothing that other people could enjoy, and I’ve been chasing that high ever since.

3d-printed model (a personal keepsake, thanks to Shapeways)



James Futhey

Building Indie.am in Public | Founder, meetingroom365.com | Startups, Prototyping, Design, Multimedia Experiences