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R.A.G.E. InterViewed - May 20, '98 by JoseQ
Following yesterday's InterView with Anders, Janne has now answered his set of questions, and the R.A.G.E. duo have answered the questions that were directed to them as a team. To me R.A.G.E. is one of the best emulators out there as it plays R-type which is one of my all time favorites which I couldnt play if it weren't for them. So I take this opportunity to thank them for two great Emulators. Now lets get on to the Questions:

What is your favorite one-liner reply to lamers asking you how to use your emulator?
No specific... Just what comes to mind for the moment. Sometimes if its too lame and the answer is in the readme-file I dont bother answering.

Users always complain about how they would like certain things done. How would you rate yourself on how much you take them into consideration?
If its a good idea and I see that its needed in our emu I take it quite seriously. And if time permits I would try to implement them. But usually Im totally over loaded with things to do as it is already.

If people would like to help, what would be the best way?
I like coding myself, so it would probably be with some info about unknown hardware (ex. sound chips etc), gfx for a gui or homepage. I do coding cause I think its fun... and I wouldnt want anyone to take the fun away from me ;-)

Is there any point in R.A.G.E. in which you could both sit down and say... "Ahhh... R.A.G.E. is... DONE!"? If yes, what do you want to see in that "final" version?
Hopefully. It would include all remaning IREM games + some earlier SNK games, dipswitch settings and VESA support. Also more accurate sound support in most games. Unfortunately the sound code is encrypted in the newer IREM games.

Why IREM Capcom and SNK? Are they similar hardware based games? Or are they simply your favorite?
Well, the fact that in the beginning of our emu lives I emulated Ikari Warriors (SNK) and Anders Gunsmoke (CAPCOM) and that we think that they have some very nice titles got us to focus on those two in the begining of RAGE. But as time went on and we managed to emulate Rtype from IREM our eyes opened for that wonderful company too, which I think have the best variety of games.

It is amazing to me how the only two of you have accomplished this kind of emulation. How come there's only two of you? Are you looking to aquire new people onto the team?
We are old friends and have our own company toghether. Emulation is something we do for the fun of it, and so far we dont know anyone around us that want to join our team and know how to code.

What is your favorite arcade game at the moment and why?
Janne: Joyjoy kid (NeoGeo) because it involves some puzzels and I love puzzle games.
Anders: In The Hunt Because it has so incredible nice graphics and extreme action.

What are your skills background and how can only two of you handle graphics, sound, cpu cores, and everything it takes to build emulators?
We are both self learned and love assembler so we are used to low level coding, but at work we unfortunatly always program in high level languages.

What is the most recent piece of hardware you have emulated and that were key things that lead you to achieve it?
NeoGeo(still in progress). Enthusiasm and determination all mixed together with some experience and with some help from the Shin Seiki documents.

What is the feeling once you know you have a certain game running 100% correct? Is it like giving birth? What do emulator author wannabes have to aspire to?
The first time it was extraordinary... It felt like I had won 1000000 bucks. To see an old game start running on your monitor for the first time was really amazing ;).

Is it your wish to continue writing this (or other) emulators through the next five years or so, or do you have any projects in line?
We havent talked so much what happens after the project with NeoRAGE is finished, but we think that soon after that the end for our emucoding is near.

What are good backgrounds to know before anyone can think about getting into Emulation? Are hardware knowledge required, desired or non-important?
First of all it helps to be quite fluent in C or/and asm. There is quite much ready to use modules out there which make it much easier to start emulating than it was just a year back. But to emulate a quite complex hardware without any documentation, some knowledge in ASM is required. Otherwise it depends alot on what hardware the game uses.... some are easier than others.

What kind of hardware do you ride on?
PII-333MHZ, 64MB RAM, ATI PLAY@WORK AGP2 4MB

Not counting R.A.G.E., which one is your favorite emulator and why?
MAME of course... its just wonderful. Alot of old favorites of mine are emulated by MAME. CALLUS is also very well done (just not my kind of games). Otherwise I dont have all that much time to play other emus so I'm not capable of selecting any others above the rest.

Do you think it is best if developers write their code in low end machines so they have that average user feeling and devote into optimization or do you think there's pretty much no room for improvement in terms of code efficiency in current emulators out there?
Until recently I ran on a P133 and it pushed me somewhat to make more efficient code, but the main reason why I try to do optimized code is cause I love to get the most out of my machine. In general there is always something that can be done better... but as I said above I havent tried so many emus out to have any opinion in that matter.

What do you think about the Emulators and the thin line where they stand on whereas they're legal or not?
As I see it they give alot of good publicity to the game companies. Most of the games emulated aren't even possible to buy anymore, so the profit loss for the game companies is minimal. Of course this is only my own opinion and I havent checked the numbers out. Besides its not illegal to write an emulator (not now anyway).

This were all the subjects that were covered for this InterView. I know you all would like to read about NeoR.A.G.E. history, plans and other things, but that will be left for the next InterView with them. As of now, they are too busy with NR and with their jobs so it will have to wait until NR fever calms down a little bit. Did I mention a new version coming really soon? Stay Tuned to EV for more.

One Article Up: More Project Unreality Updates
One Article Down: Anders InterViewed!

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