Friday, February 5, 2010

N64 Where Are You? Part 2

To pick up where we left off, the N64 is certainly worth doing, but we have to consider another facet of Console Classix. We are a very small company. We only have one full-time developer and he's not the world's greatest. I can say that freely, because I am our full-time developer. This limitation means that we can't develop all the software that we use in-house.

Fortunately there are a large number of developers that are just as interested in game preservation as we are. They have given their time, effort and abilities to make classic console games playable on modern PCs. There are a large number of quality open-source emulators out there. (I'll go into more detail about “open-source” and “emulators” later. For now just run with the idea that it's software other developers wrote that Console Classix can use.) We have added support for the Console Classix service to the emulators that we use.

Basically, Console Classix just offers the game to the user. The software that allows the user to play the game on their PC was developer by other programmers. Although that has allowed us to grow quickly and add system after system by making use of software that other developers generously donated to retro-gaming, it also has a severe limitation. What if there isn't an emulator out there for the system we want to offer? We don't have the man power to develop one on our own. So, what happens? Nothing...

That has been the limiting factor with the N64. We own a large number of N64 games. We have dumped the data off of them and they are ready to work with the Console Classix server. What we haven't had is a solid, open-source, N64 emulator. For those of you that would criticize me for not developing my own I would simply say “Try it sometime.” It is very complex and my programming skills, although in some ways impressive, aren't good enough to undertake something like that on my own. (Well, not and finish it in any reasonable amount of time while, at the same time, maintaining CC.)

However, the time has come when we may have something that is “good enough”. The question that bothers me is this: How good is good enough? Well, I warned you when I started this that it might be three chunks. Looks like that is the case.

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