DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

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Roareye
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DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#1 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:14 pm

No, no. Don't hide over there! I know browser's are kinda boring usually, but this is much more interesting, I promise!

DreamArena 2.0 was a nearly completed but never released browser update for PAL regions, and some of it's design can be seen on both the MSR and Toy Racer websites (As well as concept art for a JSR site) - such as the navigation buttons and art style.
Dreamkey2.0-001.jpg

According to the designer, the plan was to create a browser designed with the controller in mind. The main page would have included an isometric world that scrolls left and right (not up and down - apparently horizontal scrolling feels better on controllers), and as you can see highlighting certain objects would bring up a menu listing for various features.

I think this is a fantastic piece of design, and wondered if it was possible to rebuild it from scratch. Bearing in mind the Dreamcast's existing browsers are very out of date, and only understand rudimentary HTML and Javascript (No HTML5, no CSS Stylesheets etc) - I couldn't use any modern coding to bring the design to life. I also have reason to believe they would have released a Dreamkey 4.0 to support this release - there are certain elements that may only have been supported by a more up to date browser (well, up to date for 2001).
Regardless, I decided to give it a try.


Sorry for the silent nature of the video. It was made in a quick rush, and there's no site audio anyway. I've managed to cobble several pages together, I've gotten the horizontal scrolling working perfectly, and the layout is done. Strangely this only uses very basic HTML, outside of the Sonic World page, which also uses some Javascript for the pop up menus. This does mean there's no modern code for the Dreamcast to get stuck on, and it makes the pages themselves incredibly small in filesize (perfect for modem loading).

Now to be clear, the pop-up menus in Sonic World aren't functioning - that's a coding challenge at the moment. Once it's resolved, it's just a case of building pages and art assets. I can assign a single link to the pop-up menu at the moment, so if I can't resolve the problem then I'll have to make do with one link per character, but all the same this is a functioning website!

What do you guys think? Any ideas for resolving the coding issue? Any pages/features you'd like to see implemented?
I'd like to work with people as much as possible to really bring this asset to life, and Xiden has already said he'll look into redirecting Dreamkey browsers to this site once it's done :D

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATES/WISHLISTS OF FEATURES (updated 28th Nov, 2020 @ 13:45 GMT)
[spoiler]UPDATES
COMPLETED
    DreamArena 2 Site Layout (Modem Friendly)
    Isometric "Map" Layouts geared for DC Controller access coded

IN PROGRESS
    Testing Server - To Test on real hardware (Thanks to Xiden)
    Isometric Map GIFs - To test on hardware
    Email, VMU Manager and Settings Call - To test on hardware
    Music Integration - Testing needed on hardware
    Dream Library Integration/ROM Downloads - Early testing phase

IN CONCEPT
    Dreamkey 4.0 browser - Need Help: Repackage Dreamkey with the Dream Passport updates such as Dream Library and potential ADX audio files for site music playback.
    Game Status Updates - Roareye Handling: Game/Series info pages with online specifics
    DreamNow integration - Need Help: Not started on this yet, however having a DreamNow window in the Announcements bar would be a great way for the DC to see who's online when you log in.

REQUESTED
    IRC Integration (AutoLogin) - Need Ideas - I have no idea how to achieve this.
    Alternate Languages - On Hold - This could be done by having alternate main pages (the rest of the layout uses symbols), but isn't a concern until the site is nearer completion.
    FTP Access - Need Ideas - No idea how to do this, not sure what purpose it might serve. Open to suggestions.
    Simple RSS Reader - Need Ideas - Not certain if DC would be compatible with newer site update RSS feeds, no RSS reader seems to exist currently for DC.
    Bookmarks, auto-load from VMU - Need Ideas - I have no idea how to modify the bookmarks stored in the browser without having to patch the disc itself, and I don't know how to do that.
    User Account registered to DC - Need Ideas - I assume this is to stop you having to log into Dreampipe every time you log on to upload leaderboard data. If possible, this will require closer integration with Dreampipe, which is no bad thing. There is an x-avefront code for /accountinfo, but I'm not sure if it includes any auto-login facilities.
    Upload/Download VMU Saves - Need Ideas - I know VMU upload/downloads function from some talented coders out there. This will require them to share their work with me/Dreampipe to ensure solid and full integration, but obviously a coder would have to be willing to do so.
    Live Chat - Need Ideas: There are x-avefront codes for /chat and /urlchat. I don't know what these do yet, but they could lead to some form of live chat implementation. If added to the Announcements frame then they would stay constant across the site.
    Forums - On Hold: I believe the BBS service does this on Dreampipe already. Adding a link to a forum in the navi bar shouldn't be difficult.

ABANDONED
    Internet Radio Streamer - Attempted many ideas, sadly it is not possible within the capabilities of DC.
Last edited by Roareye on Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:14 am, edited 13 times in total.

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deluxux
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#2 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:21 pm

Looks fantastic, love the artstyle! This is how the internet should be made!!!! DreamArena2.0 awesome!!! :D
How about autologin IRC? :D

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#3 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:56 pm

deluxux wrote:Looks fantastic, love the artstyle! This is how the internet should be made!!!! DreamArena2.0 awesome!!! :D
How about autologin IRC? :D

Thanks deluxux! ^_^
Hopefully I can get an artist on board to make the artworks needed as I'm not a graphic designer and the art being used is off of Google Searches at the moment haha.

Autologin IRC is a nice idea. Not sure if that's something that can be done server-side or if a new "Dreamkey" disc would need to handle that information. I'm only a beginner at basic HTML, but that is something to look into.

I will say that I don't know what one of the navigation buttons is for - the X in the shape of a person. It appears on the Searchbar on the main splashpage too, so perhaps IRC integration was what this was for. I'd have said it was X-Band but that died out on Saturn and would have no requirement on DC.

EDIT:: Forget that, I just found it haha - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excite
Looks as though the company didn't last much longer than the Dreamcast itself lol

I'll start a wishlist on the first post and add IRC to it ^_^

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Xiden
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#4 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:16 pm

Roareye wrote:
deluxux wrote:Looks fantastic, love the artstyle! This is how the internet should be made!!!! DreamArena2.0 awesome!!! :D
How about autologin IRC? :D

Thanks deluxux! ^_^
Hopefully I can get an artist on board to make the artworks needed as I'm not a graphic designer and the art being used is off of Google Searches at the moment haha.

Autologin IRC is a nice idea. Not sure if that's something that can be done server-side or if a new "Dreamkey" disc would need to handle that information. I'm only a beginner at basic HTML, but that is something to look into.

I will say that I don't know what one of the navigation buttons is for - the X in the shape of a person. It appears on the Searchbar on the main splashpage too, so perhaps IRC integration was what this was for. I'd have said it was X-Band but that died out on Saturn and would have no requirement on DC.

EDIT:: Forget that, I just found it haha - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excite
Looks as though the company didn't last much longer than the Dreamcast itself lol

I'll start a wishlist on the first post and add IRC to it ^_^


since we know goolge search does work with dreamcast, if you can, convert anything excite related to google (or bing) and I can help with scripts on that

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#5 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:22 pm

Easily done. Currently the only Excite related stuff that's survived is the logo in the Navigation frame and on the Search bar. Simple images that are easily swapped. The search bar currently does nothing.

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DarkHarlow
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#6 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:24 pm

I love it! Maybe translations in different languages? I could offer to translate it into Spanish :). Great job, I'm looking forward to seeing your work progress.

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#7 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:34 pm

DarkHarlow wrote:I love it! Maybe translations in different languages? I could offer to translate it into Spanish :). Great job, I'm looking forward to seeing your work progress.

That might be tough. Essentially other language versions would have to be duplicate sites - making site updates more work. That being said, the number of site updates is not likely to be that many so perhaps that won't be so bad after all. I'll add it to the list.

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willis
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#8 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:00 am

I don't have anything to add in as far as help, but I am totally on board for this and will be watching this closely.

Thanks Roareye, I really like this

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#9 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:21 am

[ Play Quicktime file ] CYBTV_13.mp4 [ 15.04 MiB | Viewed 1668 times ]


Very short update video, with added Christmas theme for Sonic World and the Soul Calibur Mission Map added.
The Soul Calibur Mission Map has working hyperlinks on the pop up menus, because I only assigned a single link to each one. I still can't figure out how to add multiple links to drop down menus so this might be one area in which I might not be able to fully replicate the original DreamArena 2. I don't think it's a massive dealbreaker if I can't replicate multiple-link menus, most games don't have swathes of content to begin with, but I'll keep looking into it.

As for the rest of the website, it's pretty much done structurally/code-wise. I just need to populate with new pages for each game.
More complex functions such as e-mails, working search bars, Settings menus and VMU Managers might have to wait bit longer, however.

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Rolly
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#10 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:28 am

My fantasies :)

FTP access
Some kind of simplified player for online radio
Simple RSS Reader
Bookmarks and their automatic loading from the VMU.
Polish font support ^^

Besides, a great idea - I keep my fingers crossed!
If you need a translation into Polish - let me know.

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