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    Spotlight on Franxis
 

Date: 2005-10-14
Current Project(s): MAME GP32 and MultiPac GP32
Location: From a village near Madrid (Spain), in Guadalajara province.



Today we focus our spotlight on the talented GP32 developer Franxis who is best known for his work on MAME GP32 and MultiPac GP32. Franxis has done something nobody expected would be possible and ported over MAME to the GP32 handheld. So far progress has been going great and is one of the more popular emulators for the GP32. I am personaly looking forward to what he will bring to the new GP2X since I personaly plan on picking one up.

Interview

Q : When did you get into emulation either as a coder or just a fan?
A : I'm an emulation fan since my university years... I missed several classes discovering Internet and emulation in the university laboratories xD. I had coded only in my real job. But I was interested on having MAME ported in my GP32 portable console, and I started to study MultiPac and MAME source code during last december 2004.

Q : What was your first coding experience for emulation?
A : It was a MultiPac emulator port for GP32 console. It was an 'easy' experiment to introduce me in emulation coding.

Q : What interested you in GP32 Emulation Development?
A : I bought a GP32 console in june 2004 and I thought it would be cool to have MAME ported to the console. I saw a lot of people comments telling it would be impossible, but I have seen MAME ported to a lot small devices (digital cameras, mobile phones, etc), and I though it would be not so hard. Finally it has been very hard, but i'm happy with current MAME GP32 status.

Q : What do you think about the current state of the emulation scene as a whole?
A : The emulation scene is now fall asleep. Most interesting news about emulation are now ports to consoles like X-Box, GP32, Dreamcast, etc. The last emulator that has shocked me has been Chankast (Dreamcast emulator for PC).

Q : What do you think about the current state of the NextGen scene?
A : I doubt we would have a playable PS-2 or X-Box emulator in the near future. I'm very exceptical... I think the gold times of emulation have gone, but i'm still following emulation news daily. It is cool to see things like DosBox, in example. And of course it is very nice to see modern arcade games emulated by last MAME versions.

Q : How do you feel about the response you have received so far for your projects?
A : Great!. I think GP32 scene is very special. This scene has a lot of news weekly, and it will be a lot better with the release of GP32 sucessor: GP2X. http://www.gpx2.com/

Q : What is your best experience when it comes to Emulation?
A : Super Pasofami (an impresive old SNES emulator for Windows), first versions of SNES9X, KGEN98 (Sega Genesis), MAME, UltraHLE (Nintendo 64), Virtual Game Station (PSX), etc... There a lot of cool days during entire emulation history!.

Q : What was your worst experience when it comes to Emulation?
A : Bleem (PSX emulator) xD. I was stealed.

Q : Are you currently working on any other projects besides your publicly known ones?
A : I have taken a look to a lot things, like SNES9X, DOSBOX, PCSX... But when I have started to investigate more deeply I have been 'forced' xD to continue working on my MAME GP32 port, because I have got a lot of help from people like TheGrimReaper, Reesy, Una-i, Pepe_Faruk, etc. Also with incoming GP2X appearance, I will have a lot of work to have MAME ported to the new console as soon as console appears...

Q : Does the amount of lame request ever make you second guess what you are currently doing?
A : Definitively no. I know a lot about this xD.

Q : What is the lamest request you have every received?
A : In MAME GP32 it has not been an special lame request. People have told me to get games like Metal Slug or Mortal Kombat running on GP32. But it is impossible, due to GP32 limited memory size (8 Mb).

Q : What is the nicest complement you have received?
A : A 'spare' GP32 console due to MultiPac port on Addic 2004 compo. Also some cool donations. And finally it is possible I could get a GP2X console for free...

Q : Could you give us some information regarding the current state of your projects?
A : I'm trying to improve MAME GP32 performance, i.e. improving current interfaces with DrZ80 and Cyclone assembler emulation cores. About my other projects, there is nothing to say yet, because I will be very occupied porting MAME to GP2X console. MAME could be a neverending project.

Q : Do you ever plan on working on another emulation project after your current ones? If so what would interest you and challenge you?
A : SNES9X (Super Nintendo), but a lot of people seems to be interested on this now... Then I probably change to another thing, like DOSBOX or PCSX...

Q : Are you satisfied with the work you have done up to this point?
A : Yes, with my latest tries, I have finally got 100% from DrZ80 and Cyclone assembler emulation cores. Also I have studied a lot the MAME sources. I think this work will be useful for GP2X new console...

Q : Does the progress of your projects surpass all of your expectations so far? Or do you think you would have been further along in development?
A : My expectations were very limited when I started to work on MAME GP32. I tried to get PacMan working, at least as well as like in my MultiPac port... But after PacMan, I tried Ghosts'n Goblins, and it worked in my first try!. I tried a lot of games, and I was shocked. All of them worked ok (slow of course, but they worked ok). Then I spent a lot of hours until I got all working at playable speed with sound. After this, I was interested to get almost everything working at 100%. This objective has been impossible, but i'm very happy with current performances, a lot better than I expected.

Q : Who else do you currently work with on your projects?
A : Mark (TheGrimReaper): He has helped me a lot with a tons of new functionalities, coding and ideas: General frontend to select all games, frontend improvements, vector games support, analog controls, highscores, etc,etc,etc. He is the best one!. Pepe_Farruk: He has added a nice centering screen code, and he is currently adding screen scaling and full screen support. But I have a lot of people to say "thank you": Reesy, Unai, Dave, Notaz, Talfi, Chicho, Rlyeh, Antiriad, Baktery, Groepaz, Woogal, Alien8, LDChen, Chui, D_Skywalk, Locke, Ron, Ilarri, Fox68k, DaveC, Creature XL, EvilDragon, WarmFluffyUK, BobBorakovitz, frolik, Alan, Anarchy, Xenon, Mortimor, Nestruo, Dj_Syto, K-Teto, Enkonsierto, Soup, joanvr, Puck, amkan, nullEx, Propeller, Ozius, Hooka, Mark Rowley, Gladiator, etc.

Q : How much have they influenced you and how much have they improved your work and vice versa?
A : TheGrimReaper is the best one, because he started to help me when I was blocked trying to add more functionalities and I was without ideas to improve the emulator. He motivated me to continue the work on MAME GP32. For everyone else, I expect to motivate them to improve their programs, or maybe to start coding something in the future xD.

Q : After you have moved on from the scene what do you want to be most remembered for?
A : Probably I will be remembered as old Emudek webmaster (specially to spanish people), but I will try to change people mind. I will try to do more coding works for emulation comunity, as long as I have motivation.

Q : Could you provide us with an teasers of things to come for your projects?
A : Expect a faster MAME GP32 version and a MAME GP2X version... And probably more projects on GP2X, depending on GP2X scene advances in a couple of months... I don't know them yet...

Q : One last thing is there anything you would like to say or anybody you would like to thank?
A : Everybody in emulation scene. Contribute!

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Related Links:
:: Franxis' GP32 Projects Page

Small Tidbits:
Age: 30
Name: Francisco Martinez
Favorite Food: oriental food
Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction
Favorite Music: Pink Floyd
Favorite Book: The Silence of the Lambs
Favorite Game: Bubble Bobble, Ghosts'n Goblins, Tiger Road...
Your Favorite Hobbies: emulation, demoscene, shmups...

 

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