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RaskY Psykes EmuViews! - September 13,1998 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 youngestemulator authors out there, is playing Tekken 3. Along with mOoNsHaDo, RaskYhas devoted a lot of time to developing one great Playstation emulatorthat emphasizes on speed and compatibility. A new release date has beenmentioned for the next version which will offer virtually 100% CD-ROMcompatibility, Tekken 3 and one surprise not yet mentioned. Read on asRaskY psykes EmuViews.

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

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 foundout emulation about 4 years ago (if I remember well) when a friend of minesshowed me C64S, the C64 emulator. I loved that emulator so much, and thenI started going to the good old Node99 every day, and so on. And, about1 year after, I discovered PSEmu. I only tool a look to it (I didn't have any PSXgames in those days), but the only idea of a PSX emulator was exciting forme. 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 SNESemulator with some other guys. I was working on the SPC core, and it was quitecool. But when ZSNES came out, we decided to give up. And of course, afterhaving seen the PSEmu (as cool as slow), I've started thinking about PSXemulation, and dynamic recompilation. I must really thank Duddie for havingcoded such a nice emulator: without it, probably PSyKe would not existtoday. PSyKe project started on February 1st (this year, of course). I'asked Moonshado to start the project with me (He is an old friend ofmine); 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 thedynamic recompilation engine worked, when the first image loaded from theCDROM 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 separatethem from other PSX emulators?

Well, PSyKe is getting faster every day (mainly due to the new GTE corethat is really impressive, Moonshado is optimizing it a lot), so I bet thatspeed is/will be one of our unique features. Our lowlevel CDROM routinesare 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 wantto reveal it before the release...

5. What is currently being worked on Psyke?

Moonshado is deadly optimizing the GTE core (deadly means that he shouldtake 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 toadd joystick and mouse support (via DirectInput) before the release.

6. How do you determine fixes to make? Do you still know of things thatare 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 knowwhat I've to add. About fixes, I usually test all the demos and games thatI have or rent, and then try to fix all the bugs I see in them. The testingteam helps me a lot, by testing every new build I release on a lot ofgames, and telling me what happens. Of course, it's very difficult tofix a bug without having the CD with the game, but sometimes only thereport 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 itsspeed. 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 theONLY way to develop cool stuff, so I'm glad to compete with PSEmuPro (andto chat with its authors, who are nice guys). They agree my opinion aboutcompetition, so wait for exciting new releases in the PSX scene in nextmonths...

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

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

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

Actually we had some problems with it. Although I've stated that my will isto include it, it seems that it fails on some CDROMs. And, since I don'thave too much time and I prefer using it to code other stuff, it will notpresent 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, thatwill give an heavy boost up to it. Meanwhile, since both these featuresare/will be coded by Moonshado, I'll work on other stuff I've alreadytalked about (MDEC skipping, SPU emulation and joypad support). PSyKe 0.20has been scheduled for the end of September.

11. Have many people reached you about helping with Psyke? How could peoplekeep 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 payour high phone bills. Hardware is also well accepted.

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

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

Thanks to RaskY (and all the previous interviewees) for theirprecious time taken into answering these questions. I hopethey and of course you, the reader, have enjoyed thesecomments direct from the people that let you play thoseawesome games. I need to repeat RaskY and ask people toplease don't bother authors with unneeded e-mail. Pleasethink twice before sending e-mail to the authors, and askyourself if you can live without sending that note. Thanksfor reading! There are yet more InterViews to come...

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