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Interview with: Metafox


Date: 2002

The Interview

Wraggster Can you tell us where were you born, where you live, your family details,etc.?
Metafox I was born on March 17, 1979 in the state of New York. I'm single, no children or anything - but I do have a cat and a guinea pig. ^_^

Wraggster What qualifications do you have?
Metafox I took a C course and a Pascal class in college, but I'm mostly self-taught. I know C, C++, Pascal, Fortran, BASIC, some X86 ASM, HTML :), some Java, and some CGI/Perl.

Wraggster What made you get into computers?
Metafox When I was in the third grade, my teacher had our class go to the computer room and make an ASCII Christmas tree in BASIC.
That's where I first got interested in computers, as well as programming. :)

Wraggster What projects/coding have you done previous to your Laser Emulator.?
Metafox I never released anything that I coded previous to Laser. I did make a few things, including an adventure game called The Adventures of Gus and Rob for Windows, which I'm remaking on the NeoGeo Pocket.

Wraggster What made you choose to do a Laser emulator ?
Metafox I always wanted to make an emulator. But I really didn't think that I had the technical skill to do it. I was browsing through the homepage of Mike Greene's EmuDX emulator, and saw the sourcecode for the first emulator he made, SinVader. The sourcecode was simple and very well commented. I emailed Mike and asked him if I could use his sourcecode as a basis for my emulator. Mike Greene agreed, and I happily set out on my way to modify the source.

Wraggster How did you start and what programs did you use to start coding Laser?
Metafox SinVader was completely written in C by Mike Greene - with Marat Fayzullin's Z80 emulator (also completely in C) as the CPU core. It was compiled in DOS using the freely available GCC compiler. The first change that I did was change the green graphics to white. :P
Laser is it's own emulator now, with very little of Mike's original code still in place. Especially with ss_teven's rewrite to a driver system. But Mike is still credited, because Laser never would have existed without him. ^_^
Wraggster Can you give us a status update on your emulator?
Metafox I'm taking a break from it to work on games for the NeoGeo Pocket and the Dreamcast. I also believe that ss_teven is currently not actively developing Laser either - so Laser is on hold for the moment.

Wraggster How hard was it getting your Laser emulator to work and how can you improve it?
Metafox Well, SinVader compiled for me on the first try, so it wasn't that hard at all. There are a lot of things that I'd like to improve for it. Lupin 3 is really messed up at the moment - it worked before the rewrite - but doesn't now. It's odd, and neither I nor ss_teven can figure it out currently. I'd also like to add some more discrete logic simulators to it. And Kaillera is a nice thing that I might look into too. :P
I'm also going to release the discrete logic simulators for the Dreamcast as a separate entity from LaserDC. (which was actually due to some pestering from WraggsterP) Pong Doubles on the Dreamcast using the 4 controllers of the Dreamcast could definately be a fun party game. :D

Wraggster Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Metafox 2 NeoGeo Pocket games (Pengo and The Adventures of Gus and Rob), 2 Dreamcast games, and the beforementioned simulator for the Dreamcast. I'm not going to go into the Dreamcast games any further - you'll just have to wait and see. ;)
Wraggster Are you carrying on with the DCGen emulator and have any news about that?
MetafoxI'm still planning to do a bit with DCGen. I haven't really done much of anything to it since my source releases a while back. I've got a few ideas I'd like to work to try to improve some things in the emulator once I get back to actively working on it again.
WraggsterWhat are the good and Bad side of Being a Emulation website webmaster?
MetafoxIt's fun to be able to think up ideas and bring them into a website, and I like to post news - it is a nice break from coding and real life. :P
The bad side I guess, would be keeping staff, and keeping spirit up among staff members (and myself). It's hard to keep a site up to people's expectations when a site's been around for so long.

Wraggster Whats your opinion of the Xbox and PS2 Emulation Scenes and which looks the most promising for you?
Metafox I don't like the way that binary distribution is handled with the XBox. But, with Xbox's x86 processor - XBox definately looks the most promising. When Linux is running at a reasonable speed on the Xbox, you won't have to recompile every program to run like you do with the Dreamcast.
The PS2 emulation scene, though, is fun to watch. I like BigBoy's emulators, and his emulator framework is neat. I might decide to try something on the PS2 some time. :)

A big thanks to Metafox for a great Interview. :)
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