As of July 1st, 2002 Atani Software will no longer be working on any emulation related projects. It has been a fun 5 years (nearly) in the emulation community. There have been many sites come and go in this time that I have been doing emulation related programming/usage. Sorry for the very long posting here. It is probably worth reading as it is more of a history of my experiences and how Atani Software was brought to where it is today.
Back before I started working on emulation projects I was actually a game programmer. I released a handful of text based door games for BBS'. Some of these were Lost Legends, an RPG, HellBound, an In-Game-Module for Legend of the Red Dragon (hack and slash game). I also had quite a following on a handful of local BBS'. I even ran my own BBS under a couple different names.. My first BBS was called "The Zone". It was only a part time BBS and was packed full of door games and other things for people to do. I had nearly 40 or so users who would log on every couple days... The second BBS I ran was "Dunedain". This one did not really get too big due to lack of a phone line and with the internet taking over it was really starting to show strain on the good old BBS' that many people are used to. If you ask people today what a BBS is you will likely get a couple answers... The most likely answer you will get however, is a message board on a website. Given that is the name that a handful of programmers slapped on their message boards, a real BBS is much more than that. A BBS was a place where you could go and meet new people, talk to others across the globe (on BBS' that had FidoNet or similar), swap files, and even play some games. After the internet boom many BBS' shut down due to lack of calls or costs were going up for multi-line systems. In the good old days you would dial up to a BBS instead of the internet and you would go there to have fun :) Now you dial up to the internet (or use BroadBand) and you use a Telnet client to connect to most BBS'. I did have my BBS up on Telnet for a while and even brought Telnet capabilities to WWIV, something that was a bit difficult to do at the time and is now fully capable in the latest version.
The very first project I attempted to do was to port Generator 0.03 (a great UNI X Genesis/MegaDrive emulator). It was pretty much a flop. In all actuality I w as still pretty new to emulation programming at this time and was really startin g out with something that was way too difficult for me to complete. After about a year (and a few other projects, see further below for other projects) I came back to see that a new version of Generator had been released 0.11 (I think) and I was able to port this to Windows (at least compile for) in around 3 weeks of part time coding, real life work keeps getting in the way :) Once that was done I noticed that James had released a new version 0.12 and with this version I ha d my first ported emulator project. After I had gotten a handful of versions (0 .11->0.15) ported/released I had grown somewhat bored with it and moved on to ot her things. Unfortunately last year I lost the only copy of sources for Generat or32. And after the sources were lost I had also migrated to using Linux as my main desktop OS instead of Windows. So Generator32 has been lost since then. T he latest version of Generator is now 0.34. On the same subject of Generator I also ported it to the DreamCast and produced the first fully legal Genesis emula tor released as homebrew software. The DreamCast version was more of a technica l proof of concept. The port of Generator was started around October 10th and DCGen was born no longer than 2 weeks later with somewhat functional graphics and nearly 35% compatibility (mostly due to SMD loading problems). This was released to the public on November 1st. There were nearly 10,000 downloads the first week that it was placed on SourceForge. This release also sparked a fairly large controversy regarding GNU GPL2 licensing of the Generator source code and the requirement to release the source to the public. Eventually (about 3 days after initial release) the source was released to the public, sans the GUI code which contained graphics which were asked not to be released. After the sources were released I also announced that I would not be working on any future releases of DCGen due to lack of interest and potential legal issues. However, around 3 months later, with no other people even working on the code and releasing anything, I picked up the sources where I had left off with the last release (I actually had a newer version that fixed a few issues reported in the initial release) and cobbled together a small dev team which has helped some but ultimately failed to produce much more work on the code. The new team did solve many issues which were reported in the initial release and also helped add a few new features to the codebase that also improved performance and compatibility. However, it is now time for the DCGen codebase (CVS tree) to be sent off to someone else for maintenance. I am open to have people offer to take the entire CVS tree in its entirety. I will help migrate the source to a new SourceForge site if you want it. Please contact me in email for aquiring the CVS tree. I plan on closing the SourceForge site on or around August 1st 2002. So if you want the binaries or sources please download them ASAP and host them on your servers. In the midst of Generator32 and DCGen being born I had many other projects...
Another port of an emulator was Laser32. However, I do not really remember much about this release and unfortunately I do not even really remember releasing it to the public. Laser32 was a port of Laser to windows. Laser emulated a handful of 8bit (mostly z80 based) games like Space Invaders. This was really just a fun project that kept me busy for a weekend...
Raine32, one of my more successful ports, was greatly received by the public and nearly cost me $1000 USD for bandwidth charges for the first 3 days that I hosted the binaries on my site. Raine32 saw two releases from me in the entire time I worked on it. Raine32 was mostly another technical preview of what is possible. It took me around 3 or 4 months to get things somewhat working. Remember seeing the Taito logo on here? That was one of the first screenshots that I even saw of it working. I had actually just started the program to see what was working since I had just finished cleaning up nearly 20,000 warnings that came up during the port. Overall during the port there were about 10,000 compilation errors and about 40,000 compilation warnings. The first release was done in Feburary 2001. In just 3 days I had already had around 18,000 downloads of the emulator and had to move it to a different server (www.rainemu.com). It was this release that convinced me that some of the works that I have published are really liked and it also nearly got me to close my site. I nearly had to pay $1000 USD due to exceeding my bandwidth. Luckily though I was able to convince my host to upgrade my accound so I was able to keep it open and not go broke doing so. The second (and last release by me) of Raine32 also nearly broke me again, I had to upgrade my hosting options again... However, now in the latest version of Raine Tux (author of the linux port) has been able to take the work which I have done and has completed it even more and has the ability to compile it and release it without my help :)
Other projects which I released were Genital32, another Genesis emu port, and BlissX. BlissX was my first port from Windows to Linux. It was a fun task to compile and write code which acted as an interface layer between the generic code and Windows specific code. This release has only had one version available to the public and the main project Bliss has also gone inactive for some time.
Now on to SegaEMU... SegaEMU was my only real emulator that I coded nearly the entire thing myself. It was one of my first projects. I started on it around June 1997. SegaEMU has had a fairly colorful past... At first it was something of a pet project of mine (very early on in June 97) where it would do half-assed emulation of the functions of the genesis and segacd (mostly faked stuff for segacd) and was written for MS-DOS. Within about 6 months of its development I moved into Windows programming. It was surprisingly a fun project of learning how to use DirectX and other Windows APIs. Before I even released the first version, I had nearly 300 builds that did nothing. And then there were a couple hundred that would barely limp along into the intro of Sonic the Hedgehog 1. Within a few weeks things progressed and the project matured enough that the first version was released, Version 0.10. In 0.20 I added SG-1000 emulation which surprisingly only took around 3 hours to implement and have somewhat working. After quite some time I grew bored with Genesis/SG-1000 emulation and I started working on SegaCD emulation. I had it nearly working, except for the CDC/CDD chip, when Quinntesson released AGES with SegaCD support. That was a real setback in my desire to work on it anymore. I was mostly working on SegaEMU because this gave me an area where I was going into new areas where not many people had gone before. It was fun... Too much fun... However, in the last few months of development on it I had not gotten anywhere and I had grown quite bored with it. So I had started working on other things.
Going forward from this posting... I am going to be working on a complete new design of this site from the ground up. This is going to take some time and likely will be nothing like what you see today. As for the future projects... Well I do not know yet what lays ahead for me or Atani Software. I would like to work on games programming again and also work on my RPG some. I do not know for sure what I will end up doing. I have unfortunately lost most of my interest in programming. As some of you know, I program for a living and I also do it for fun at home. I have been doing this for nearly 10 years now. 10 years of coding experience and I am getting quite bored with things... I dont know what I am going to do anymore with things. I am going to let fate take things in the directions that they may.
And now for the thanks to all of the people who I have met and can remember your names... These names are only listed in the order which I can remember them... JoseQ, Zophar, PeterD, Tux, crt0, Wraggster, WH16, Jagboy, Eidolon, trzy, Dave (DGen, etc), Piccolo, Matt, Earl, Mike G, PACHUKA, Arakon, Suppafly, PrOfUnD Darkness, Steve Snake, Hyper Gamer, Tulio Adriano, The Scribe (please contact me), Huma, Syngori, Psyco, Dr Zoidburg, CyRUS64, James Ponder, Otaku Kron (AKA: The Kron), Gerry, Stef, Quintesson, Flavio, Red5, CByrd, Limbs a Flyin (aka Iceman2k), everyone from Raine, CACTUSJOE, and anyone else who I have forgotten sorry.. Its been hard to remember everyone...
As a final note... If anyone is interested in taking over DCGen and the CVS tree, please contact me ASAP so we can transfer the project.
Thanks for reading...