Steve Snake interviewSteve Snake is the creator of Kgen, ine of the best Megadrive/Genesis emus made. He has also done a lot of other cool things..............
Unfortunately, Steve dissapeared from the internet before the interview was finished, so this isn't a complete inteview. Still, we can enjoy what is here........
Please tell us a little about yourself. Like, why do you don't have a nick?
How did you get into the 'emulation scene'?
Then, one day in 1997, I got myself a decent (at the time - a P200MMX) PC. I provided Gary Henderson (Snes9x) with some code to handle the SNES sound format, enabling him (and later others) to add sound to their SNES emulators. Now I had "the bug" all over again, and decided to start from scratch, on the first ever serious PC program I had ever written. KGen was born.
My motivation for writing KGen ? Well, first of all, my favourite machines of all time, the Spectrum, the Commodore 64, and the PC Engine had all been emulated pretty much perfectly (and I had already bought registered copies of Z80, C64S, and Magic Engine) - leaving only one machine - the Genesis. At the time there was only one I was aware of - Genem. And even on my brand new fast PC it didn't run anywhere near fast enough to be useable, and the sound was pathetic.
I knew I could get a Genesis Emulator running at full speed on my new PC. And I was pretty sure I could do the sound properly. Up until this point, nobody had ever written a realtime FM synthesizer on the PC, let alone put it in an Emulator. The author of Genem said it wasn't possible. So I set out to prove to the world that it was. Once I had my Z80 emulator working, I began with the Sound stuff. And once I had the music from Ghouls'N'Ghosts playing almost perfectly, I became more and more motivated to get this thing into a working Genesis emulator. Less than a year later, many other Emulators appeared featuring proper FM emulation. It's good to know that I motivated other people to have a go ;)
And that lead to Kgen, by many regarded as the best best Megadrive/Genesis
emulator. Even Sega used it to do a compilation of old games on the PC. How
did that deal happen?
Shortly afterwards they contacted me again, and it transpired that they wanted to release some Genesis games with a Windows / DirectX version of KGen. I was very relieved, and very happy to help ;)
Do you have any plans for Kgen? Like maybe release the source-code?
KGen has gone as far as it can go without a 100% rewrite. And a 100% rewrite would produce an entirely different emulator...........
Do you belive in 'open-source' or 'free' software?
Open-Source is good for things like Linux, and utilities like Compression etc.
How much cooperation is there between emulation developers? Do you help
eachother out a lot, like you did with the Snes9x team?
I'm usually quite happy to offer code, information, or suggestions on various stuff. Can't speak for other emulator authors though ;)