Pepone's Interview

Pepone's site can be found here!


Hooka: Bonjour! Es ca tu a fumee au pot? (sorry for my poor french!)


Pepone: Holla! your french is almost as good as my spanish lol.


Hooka: Would you like to introduce yourself?


Pepone: Hello, I'm Pepone, a French GP2X fan.


Hooka: When did you get your GP2X?


Pepone: I got my GP2X at the end of 2005. I can't remember the exact date though :D


Hooka: Why did you decide to get your GP2X?


Pepone: I was searching some new cool stuff. I first tried to develop on the gba with a supercard, but it was too limiting (or different, I don't know :) ). Then, I remembered the existence of the gp32 and while I was searching to buy one, I found the GP2X. It was in November if I recall correctly.


Hooka: You've been working on gngeo for a long time it seems, when did you actually first start work on it?


Pepone: Humm, I think the very first time I worked on it was in 2000.


Hooka: Were you planning on porting gngeo to GP2X when you got yours?


Pepone: Yes. I was pretty sure that the GP2X was made for neogeo emulation :D


Hooka: Why do you put gn at the start of your emus? (gngeo, gngb) Is it because they are gnu GPL'd?


Pepone: Actually gngb was made by my brother (I only did the sound part). I guess that gn indeed came from gnu, or it's just that gngb sound good :) And as it sound good to me, I used the same gn for gngeo.


Hooka: Do you intend to port gngb at some point in time or do your feel K-teto's port of gnuboy is sufficient?


Pepone: To tell the truth, gngb was the first thing I ported to the GP2X. As it was simpler to port, it was a good start for me to get a working toolchain. Unfortunately, gngb is not very gentle on cpu resource, the sound code in particular is full of floating point and not very optimized. So, Gnuboy runs a lot better than gngb on the GP2X.


Hooka: What did you have to do to fix the samurai showdown cyclone bug?


Pepone: I don't quite remember, but I think it was a stupid mistake in my interrupt initialisation code.


Hooka: Do you think that Plush by nullsoft would be a good start for 3D programming on GP2X?


Pepone: At least, it's a lib that I know, and so, it would be a good choice for me :) but there are some devs on who are working very hard to get nice 3D on the GP2X. I'm sure they'll achieve something extra ;)


Hooka: So you liked that comment huh? Oh, and by the way thanks for being nice to me ;)


Pepone: Yes, it was a great comment. At the time, the GP2X wasn't even out yet and some people started to argue that it was not powerful enough.


Hooka: From your point of view it seems you prefer that emulators be free, open source and just allow the people to donate if they like it, what lead to this perspective?


Pepone: I think it's because I do it as a hobby. Also, I've used Linux for quite some time now, and open source is just the way it worked there. So When I released gngeo, it was logical to open source it. Also it's simpler to maintain one source tree than dozens of binary package for each linux distro. And without any other open source emulators such as Mame, I certainly couldn't have learnt how to make an emulator :)


Hooka: So your a fan of puzzle/thinking games? In that case what's your favorite game of that type? (sokoban rules imo, but there are alot of good ones :))


Pepone: Yes I love puzzle game. For me, the best is and will always be Tetris. I think that's the game I've played the most in my life. Tilematch is certainly the game that I play the most on the GP2X.


Hooka: How did Flubba, Reesy and Franxis help you in getting DrZ80 support in?


Pepone: They helped me a lot! I don't think I could have done it without their help.


Hooka: Did you get any help with adding the cyclone 68k core?


Pepone: Getting Cyclone to work was much easier than DrZ80. But I got some tips from Franxis to improved the compatibility :)


Hooka: Are you planning on updating to the newest version of the cyclone core that notaz just released?


Pepone: Yes. I haven't have time to look at it for now, but I'll definitely work on it.


Hooka: Why do you think that pulstar has never worked on gngeo?


Pepone: It maybe the oldest bug present in gngeo. There is a possibility to play it with the universal bios or if you play in "home" emulation mode.


Hooka: Why does garoup have to be renamed to garou to get it working?


Pepone: I think it's because at the very beginning of gngeo, garoup was garou. But now, everything should be ok.


Hooka: How did you get gngeo to support sound in games with large amounts of sound data?


Pepone: Simply by using the upper memory of the GP2X. At first, a stupid bug (yes, another one :D ) prevented games with 16MB of sound data to load, but it's past now :D


Hooka: DumpGFX now supports crypted ROMs, any insight into how this works?


Pepone: It work the same as the normal dumpgfx. The dumpgfx tool load all sprite data in memory, decrypt them, and write the result in a gfx file. It can't be done directly on the GP2X though, because it needs a lot of memory (often more than 128MB)


Hooka: What is your favorite Neo Geo game of all?


Pepone: Humm, Difficult to say. I'd say Metal Slug and Garou. But I quite enjoy all the puzzle game too :)


Hooka: So you got pretty busy with Squidge's MMU hack, adding it to gngeo, SquidgeSNES, do you feel that it is a very good hack once implemented correctly?


Pepone: Yes, Squidge's hack is incredible. It removed one of the bottleneck of the GP2X.


Hooka: Do you think that maybe the reason the MMU hack didn't speed up Quake would be that the framebuffer being in upper memory isn't the bottleneck so much as the complexity of the code and floating point math? (if Woogal's port has any left that is ;) )


Pepone: Indeed, if I recall correctly Woogal said that updating the framebuffer in Quake only take 0.2Fps, so the MMU hack can't help here.


Hooka: Have you had a chance to take a look at NK's New source?


Pepone: Yes, but I didn't have time to compile it yet. I want to check the mmu hack with it as it seems it's not optimally applied :)


Hooka: How did you get the nick pepone?


Pepone: It simply came from my name, PEPONAS.


Hooka: Do you have any other projects you're working on in the dark right now or is your load enough as is?


Pepone: For now, I don't have any other project. I often have many ideas, but not much time to start and/or complete them.


Hooka: Why did you originally start coding gngeo and all your other projects at the very start?


Pepone: As far as I remember, I've always wanted to make videogames. But it takes time, a good idea and good graphic ability. So when I discover the world of emulation, I decided to go that way :) The first goal of gngeo was simple: I wanted to play neogeo correctly on my "not so fast" linux box. NeorageX was the best on Windows and the only alternative under linux was xmame. Xmame was great, but a lot slower than NeoRageX. Plus it needed to be recompiled every time you want to add a new driver. So I started my own project with speed optimization as a goal.


Hooka: Is there anything I may have missed that you would like to add or any greets you'd like to send out?


Pepone: Thanks to all the GP2X community. One of the greatest I know.


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