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RaskY Psykes EmuViews! - September 13, '98 by JoseQ
February 1st, 1998. Psyke becomes a work in progress. September, 1998. Only seven months in development, a very young Psyke, by one of the youngest emulator authors out there, is playing Tekken 3. Along with mOoNsHaDo, RaskY has devoted a lot of time to developing one great Playstation emulator that emphasizes on speed and compatibility. A new release date has been mentioned for the next version which will offer virtually 100% CD-ROM compatibility, Tekken 3 and one surprise not yet mentioned. Read on as RaskY psykes EmuViews.

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about how you got into emulation first? Then how did you get into PSX emulation?

My name's Giovanni Bajo, I'm 19, I work as a professional game programmer, and I'm also studying computer science at university. I've casually found out emulation about 4 years ago (if I remember well) when a friend of mines showed me C64S, the C64 emulator. I loved that emulator so much, and then I started going to the good old Node99 every day, and so on. And, about 1 year after, I discovered PSEmu. I only tool a look to it (I didn't have any PSX games in those days), but the only idea of a PSX emulator was exciting for me. Actually, I didn't even think about writing one of them myself...

2. Were there any previous attempts that inspired you into beginning? When did you start by the way?

Well, some months before starting thinking about PSyKe, I had started an SNES emulator with some other guys. I was working on the SPC core, and it was quite cool. But when ZSNES came out, we decided to give up. And of course, after having seen the PSEmu (as cool as slow), I've started thinking about PSX emulation, and dynamic recompilation. I must really thank Duddie for having coded such a nice emulator: without it, probably PSyKe would not exist today. PSyKe project started on February 1st (this year, of course). I' asked Moonshado to start the project with me (He is an old friend of mine); he liked the idea and joined the project.

3. What have been the major accomplishments in developing the emulator?

Well, the most important ones: when the first pixel appeared on the screen :), when the first intro worked, when the T-Rex demo worked, when the dynamic recompilation engine worked, when the first image loaded from the CDROM appeared, when I played Metal Slug on PSyKe, and when Tekken3 worked (just yesterday) :)

4. In your opinion, what features are unique to Psyke that separate them from other PSX emulators?

Well, PSyKe is getting faster every day (mainly due to the new GTE core that is really impressive, Moonshado is optimizing it a lot), so I bet that speed is/will be one of our unique features. Our lowlevel CDROM routines are also very good (many thanks to Peter Barret for having coded them), they work on pratically all CDROM/DVD readers, and under both 95/98 and NT; moreover, they are FAST. I also have a little secret about a new feature in PSyKe, but I don't want to reveal it before the release...

5. What is currently being worked on Psyke?

Moonshado is deadly optimizing the GTE core (deadly means that he should take a break, or he could die...), while I'm working on too much things, basically MDEC skipping and SPU emulation (just started). I'd like also to add joystick and mouse support (via DirectInput) before the release.

6. How do you determine fixes to make? Do you still know of things that are unfinished, or do you play games to see what things are not working?

Of course, I know that we still miss things like SPU emulation, so I know what I've to add. About fixes, I usually test all the demos and games that I have or rent, and then try to fix all the bugs I see in them. The testing team helps me a lot, by testing every new build I release on a lot of games, and telling me what happens. Of course, it's very difficult to fix a bug without having the CD with the game, but sometimes only the report is enough to understand where is a problem.

7. How has the response been to the previous Psyke release?

Good, very good, I think. People liked PSyKe very much, and loved its speed. Actually, in the last days we've losen some fellows due to PSEmuPro (really nice emulator, by the way), but I think that competition is the ONLY way to develop cool stuff, so I'm glad to compete with PSEmuPro (and to chat with its authors, who are nice guys). They agree my opinion about competition, so wait for exciting new releases in the PSX scene in next months...

8. When do you feel will the best games (Grand Turismo, Final Fantasy and the likes) be playable on Psyke?

Tekken3 works, and this is one of the most asked game. About Final Fantasy and Gran Turismo, they both use MDEC (the JPEG/MPEG real time decompressor chip) during the game (for example, Final Fantasy uses it to mantain the background screens compressed in memory), so MDEC emulation is necessary for them. MDEC has been scheduled in our plans, just wait for another month or so...

9. Will the protection from pirated discs be included in the next releases?

Actually we had some problems with it. Although I've stated that my will is to include it, it seems that it fails on some CDROMs. And, since I don't have too much time and I prefer using it to code other stuff, it will not present in next release(s).

10. How about a next release? When is your target?

I want to have the new GTE core ready before releasing anything. Moreover, we need also to add a palette caching algorithm to the Glide driver, that will give an heavy boost up to it. Meanwhile, since both these features are/will be coded by Moonshado, I'll work on other stuff I've already talked about (MDEC skipping, SPU emulation and joypad support). PSyKe 0.20 has been scheduled for the end of September.

11. Have many people reached you about helping with Psyke? How could people keep helping?

A few, but only 2 people are now helping us. There are 2 ways to help us: the first one is DO NOT send us any mails, the second is send us donations. We need basically PSX games to fix them (I can try to fix the games I have, but it's a bit difficult fixing a game that I don't own), and money to pay our high phone bills. Hardware is also well accepted.

12. Are there any other projects aside Psyke that you guys are working on? (Most authors have a share of MAME contributions, etc.)

No, PSyKe is using all our spare time, so we don't have time to dedicate ourselves to other projects. Actually, I could also be interested in writing some simple arcade emulators (or MAME drivers), but all the games I love have already been emulated...

Thanks to RaskY (and all the previous interviewees) for their precious time taken into answering these questions. I hope they and of course you, the reader, have enjoyed these comments direct from the people that let you play those awesome games. I need to repeat RaskY and ask people to please don't bother authors with unneeded e-mail. Please think twice before sending e-mail to the authors, and ask yourself if you can live without sending that note. Thanks for reading! There are yet more InterViews to come...

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