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    Spotlight on Stef

Date: 2005-11-14
Current Project(s): Gens
Location: Amiens in France, at north of Paris

Today we focus our spotlight on the talented developer Stef who is best known for his open source Genesis emulator Gens. Gens is considered one of the best Genesis emulators which has brought a lot of the classic Genesis games back to the fans. Many thanks to Stef for his hard work and we are looking forward to anything new he can bring us.


Q : When did you get into emulation either as a coder or just a fan?
A : I discovered emulation with Genecyst and Nesticle, as far i remember it was in 1997. At this time i was really amazed by what emulator can do ! I started Gens during 1999's summer holidays, i was very excited about making my own emulator, and i had many free time at this period to do it :)

Q : What was your first coding experience for emulation?
A : Gens was my first emulation codng experience ! I started without really known where to go... I had some technicals documents about hardware, some sources too. I remember i started with the 68000 cpu emulation... it did something really messy !

Q : What interested you in Sega Genesis Emulation ?
A : I always been a Sega fan, specially Genesis/Megadrive system :) Futhermore only DGen was available for win32 at this time, i wasn't really satisfied with it compared to DOS emulators (Genecyst and KGen). At least, this was an excuse since i never believed that Gens would become what it is today ;)

Q : What do you think about the current state of the emulation scene as a whole ?
A : Emulation scene continue its way, old emulators becomes more than mature so there is not much to do about it... anyway some as ZNES are still in development, it's just amazing :) Before when we were talking about emulation, we always referencing the PC as the target platform. Today systems are more and more powerfull, and we have descent emulation on video game system as Xbox, PS2, DC, GC, PSP.... (even the GBA handle emulators)

Q : What do you think about the current state of the NextGen scene?
A : I see that more like challenge than real interest (except maybe for Chankast). It's always exciting to open some new doors in that world. That should stay as challenge, it's insame to use emulator of "alive" systems as the GBA just to play it freely. If you really want a game you can buy, just buy it... I use Chankast and VBA but i both have a dreamcast and GBA with many games. I use these emulators for homebrew development or for curiosity. Sometime i test a game with emulator and if i really like it, i just buy it because it deserves it.

Q : How do you feel about the responses you have received so far for your projects?
A : I always received very nice response or feedback from my project... i said "project" and not "projects" because so far Gens is my only real personnal project.

Q : Are you currently working on any other projects besides GENS?
A : No more, I'm back to Gens and 100% (which is unfortunatly not much) to Gens.

Q : What is the lamest request you have ever received?
A : I don't really remember... Maybe openGL bumpmapping support :p

Q : What is the nicest complement you have received?
A : Compliments from fathers which are happy to bring back oldschool games to theirs children.

Q : Could you give us some information regarding the current state of your projects?
A : For now, i'm doing a major rewrite of Gens. Almost code is really old and just messy. My goal is to rewrite almost code in pur C. It's a very long task, since for now, the major part is in x86 asm. I believe is longer to transform Gens like i'm doing than rewriting a new emulator from scratch !

Q : Do you ever plan on working on another emulation project after GENS? If so what would interest you and challenge you?
A : I don't know, i got some interests in Saturn emulation, i worked for sometime on SSE Sthief... unfortunatly he as me, didn't got enough free time to continu it. It's a shame because it turned nicely (it was the first Saturn emulator to have SCSP sound and worked at full speed on 1Ghz machine).

Q : Are you satisfied with the work you have done up to this point?
A : Yes and no, yes because when i started Gens i never though it could goes so far... No because you can always do better, today i'm rewritting Gens because sources are just not maintainable. They're also many projects i wanted to do and that i abandonned by lack of time and/or motivations...

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 : As i said before, we can always do better.

Q : Who else do you currently work with on your projects?
A : Severals guys i can say ;) but that depend of theirs free time... Rodrigo Cardodo, Fox68k are some of them. A lot of people want to help me and i really appreciate their offer :) But to be honest, it's really difficult to share work with others persons and specially when you are rewritting entirely something. You need to agree ideas together and share the same philosophy of developement.

Q : How much have they influenced you and how much have they improved your work and vice versa?
A : Difficult to say, Gens32 or Gens+ bring many new improvements to Gens. But as i'm rewriting Gens, i won't be include to include their improvements directly. We also created a new sound recording format for genesis hardware (GSR - currently implemented in Gens+).

Q : After you have moved on from the scene what do you want to be most remembered for?
A : For now i only did Gens, i don't see from what else i can be remembered ;)

Q : Could you provide us with a teaser of things to come for your projects?
A : I'm afraid i can't sorry :-/

Q : One last thing is there anything you would like to say or anybody you would like to thank?
A : Generally i want to thanks all the great people i meet by doing that :) They are all very nice guys.

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Related Links:
:: Gens Official Site
:: Gens Official Forums

Small Tidbits:
Name: Stéphane Dallongeville
Age: 26
Job: Professionnal Developer


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