Project UnReality has been under the spotlight latelyas much awaited triumphs (The appearance of spritesfrom Mortal Kombat Trilogy) have developed for Breakpointand his Nintendo 64 emulator. With this in mind Eazy Cheeze, in the company of hisfriend Rob gathered with bpointon IRC to chat about this exciting emulator. And here itis:
|Project UnReality Interviewed - May 16,1998 by Eazy Cheeze
EazyCheeze and Rob Chat with bpointMike Tedder is the author of the very first, and now only, Nintendo 64emulator, called Project UnReality. It's made quite a bit of progress over thepast few months, though as Mike himself notes, it has quite a long way to go.
I did this interview with a friend, Rob, who is also an op of #emu.
How did you get into emulating the N64? Any particular background we'd beinterested in?
Well, I guess I started out like any other emulator author would... find thetechnical specs on the system, then look for documentation and opcode tablesof the CPU's. Starting from the R4300i core, the rest was done by looking atexisting code and seeing what it did.
I know this has been asked before but why choose the n64? why not somethingelse
I really like the N64. It's a great console... the games (well, what exists:) ) are fun to play and offer graphics that are on par with standard 3Daccelerators found in PC's today.
What are your favorite types of games? Any particular one?
Types? Hmm.. I really like RPGs. Too bad FF7 isn't on N64. :) But as forN64, I like Super Mario 64 (who doesn't), Tetrisphere, and Starfox 64...
It is the general publics view that n64 emulation and that of other "nextgeneration" consoles is impossible, is it really that hard to emulate the n64unlike the NES and its insane mappers?
In my opinion, the N64's been pretty easy to tackle... well, right upto the point where I had (and still am) to reverse engineer the RSP opcodesone by one. I can't compare with the NES's mappers, as I really don't knowwhat's involved there. I can say that the N64 has "flat" memory where youhave all 4mb laid out for any use (textures, audio samples, etc).
So nintendo's engineers layed out the n64 pretty well then, what is thebiggest challenge aside from the lack of documentation?
Aside from lack of documentation... hmm.. well, there are some reallynasty bugs I don't want to delve into. :) Notice that I can get MKT runningbut you can't move the paddle down in Pong. :)
Do you use any other emulators? If so, which ones and how often?
I honestly haven't used too many other emulators since I started ProjectUnReality... but I've stuck with ZSNES and Nesticle. They're both very goodemulators.
Do you expect that any games will be playable now that you have spritesshowing?
Playable... it's a possibility, but I don't think so. There are two mainthings lacking.. TLB and some important RSP opcodes. I'm suprised I got MKTas far as I did.
Any other projects you're working on, or is it just PUR?
Nope, just Project UnReality. That's all. :)
A lot of other authors recieve stupid email from people, have you recieved anyreally funny pieces or have any interesting stories while working on PUR?
But of course. :)Way too many, to be exact.
Have you ever been contacted by nintendo or any members of the ISDA regardingPUR?
Nope, I've never been contacted by any companies. Yet. :)
And let's hope you aren't :)
I agree completely. :)
What was it like seeing those sprites appear today?
Nothing short of incredible. I basically said "Holy sh*t!" a fewtimes after I saw the credits screen pop up. :)
What did you think about the other n64 emulator reality64 being dropped?
Personally, from when I tested of his last release, it was pretty much a"shell". I never had it emulate even the first opcode in the bootcode. Andwithout a debugger to confirm anything, it seemed like there was nothing toit. I think he just dropped the project... if N would go after anyone, itwould be me.
Do you think that N64 emulation is possible in the future? say the end of 98we could play Mario 64? people worry about speed a lot.
Speed is going to be an issue, but CPU speeds are picking up as well. Highspeed P2's are out, and who knows what will be here in 6 months.I believe some dynamic recompilation will be the only way to actually run aN64 emulator on any kind of today's systems.
So its not really a question of you being able to emulate the N64 its moreone of getting it to run fast enough
Well both are complicated, but we'll have to see. :)
Heh What has adding a second member to the team brought to the table so tospeak?
Legerdemain has been an invaluable member to the team. He'shelped enormously with the RSP emulation, and also helped with some importantreverse engineering.
What do you see in the future of emulation in general in 1998, not just theN64?
I believe we'll see "perfect" emulation for what's left of NES, and SNESshould be coming along great too. And of course, newer systems will comeabout and they'll be tackled by other authors.
Ok... Last question from me. Have any other games/demos worked better? or has tc1not reported yet?
tc1 hasn't reported anything yet, sorry.
And I believe that will bring our interview to a close. Thanks for your time,and keep up the good work.
'Night, thanks bpoint and keep up the amazing work.
Great, thanks again.
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