This is an interview with Sin, the creator of Sintendo. It was taken in late 2001 by Emulation-X of GeoShock, a popular emulation site in these days. GeoShock went offline in early 2006, so we have published this interview here.
Emulation-X: Why did you make Sintendo?
Sin: I made Sintendo because I wanted to be able to play Super Nintendo games on my Dreamcast. I released Sintendo to the world because I imagined other people would like to as well. There wasonce a time when such a thing was only imaginable and I saw that I *could* do it... I used Snes9x because it is portable, maybe the development a lot easier The only other really useful SNES emulator is ZSNES, which may be better in some ways, but is farfrom portable. ZSNES is written primarily in x86 assembly, everything written in that way must be re-written to work on the Dreamcast. Snes9x was just a much more attractive option because it's written in C.I have had to do very little re-writing of the Snes9x code. I started most of my research on the forums of the "warez" sites. Dcisos.com had a development forum The portable version of Snes9x has a file called how2port.txt. Its like following instructions, kind of It's quite a bit more complicated than that.
Emulation-X: Who made the a big Impact with you while making Sintendo?
Sin: I'd have to say Gary, the author of Snes9x had a huge impact on me. The fact that he responded to my email suprised me, and while he hasn't given me any particular help... He has been very supportive...as well as creating the thing in the first place. Tubooboo has helped me solve a few of my most frustrating problems. Tubooboo's presence on the scene was also a great motivating force i wish a great deal of success to him with his project.
Emulation-X: Tubooboo also has a Snes Emulator for the Dreamcast. Was this a race?
Sin: The fact that he started it, however, spurred a great deal of competitiveness in me that was probably the direct cause of Sintendo being released on time there was probably an unspoken race between us. the race ended when Marcus won, by a half a day I released my emulator later that day, and then an improved version the next. It has sound and saving, two great feats,but I understand that the sound slows down the emulation somewhat and speed in controlled by a frameskip, which takes away some of the smoothness from the games.
EMULATION-X: When did you get involved in Emulation?
Sin: I don't know when really maybe around Nesticle. It ran on our P100 at good speed, it was fun to play all those old games even my mom loved it. Then emulators started coming out that emulated the SNES following in a loose sense of the term. I've used a lot of them,I've even considered doing SNES emulation myself. I had a few ideas but never the time to research all the ins and outs the SNES is a very complicated machine. I used to imagine that compiling a SNES cartridge into machine code would speed emulation a great deal...and it probably would...it is unfortunately not very practical .
EMULATION-X: Besides making Sintendo (Snes for DC) are there any other Emulators that you might want to port in the future to the Dreamcast?
Sin: I don't have any intention on porting another emulator to the DC. Though SNES emulation on the PS2 would be very cool...and certainly be less problematic that my orignal port I haven't exactly decided yet. I am a games programmer at heart. I love RPGs in specific and I can't play one without analysing it a great deal I've been programming rudementary RPGs since I first started programming and it is perhaps the reason I began programming in the first place.So I guess there's a good chance that may be my next route
Emulation-X: What other Emus do you use besides Snes9x?
Sin: I kind of like Pokemon, so sometimes I use the no$gb emulator, or whatever on the PC version you can run more than one gameboy...which makes trading useful, and I programmed a small app that switches the save files arround so I can play more than one save... and if I click one check box, I can trade without actually losing the pokemon I traded (i.e. Copy a Pokemon)
EMULATION-X: What is your View on Utopia boot disk (DC-warez) and the hole shut down of the DC news web sites?
Sin: The boot disk is a good thing, and I don't believe it is really illegal. News sites are news sites, and Sega has no right to shut them down for providing information regardless of the nature of that information
EMULATION-X: Has Sega or Nintendo never tried to contact you ?
Sin: No, but I have considered contacting them. Perhaps obtain a license for Sintendo... or get a job :) or licensing for future projects like the aforementioned RPG its an option i am looking into I'd imagine the people that use it for emulation will be using it for some time to come
Emulation-X: What do you think about the Dreamcast Now?
Sin: As a consumer system, it's closed to dead. No one really wants to spend any money on it any more the games have been released (illegally) for free.
EMULATION-X: Do you think that Emulation and Warez kills a system?
Sin: Yes and no. Warez killed a lot of profits Sega and its developers could have made. But then all those kids bought tons of accessories because they had extra money. Emulation is a program I don't think in and of itself emulation and emulators for the Dreamcast could kill the system But then, it's kindof like cheating at a game... You played it for a while and you're bored... so you want something new... So you cheat to make it more exciting... eventually (maybe sooner, maybe later) thats gets old too... but the game was already old in the first place if you catch my analogy, but I know I'll stick pick up my Dreamcast for years to come and play some old SNES games .
EMULATION-X: Where did the name Sintendo come from?
Sin: spankthemonkey, my web designer, thought of it.
EMULATION-X: Do you plan on improving on Sintendo anytime soon?
Sin: I'm still improving Sintendo almost every day there's a lot that still has to be done speed is an issue, no one wants to play a game (at least not for a great deal of time) if it's slow, saving should be implemented soon and I really want to be able to hear the music for ChronoTrigger while I'm playing. There are a few details that were left out from my first release I am covering those bases (and maybe throwing in a few extras) and I'll release in under a week.
EMULATION-X: What type of ideas might you add to the Menu system?
Sin: An in-game menu has already been done (but still a little buggy) I have to fix it so it shows the last file and so it doesn't crash if you don't have enough files then I may add the ability to browse folders, both to improve the organization, and to add to the maximum number of ROMs per CD.
EMULATION-X: Right now the maximum is 128?
Sin: Well, technically 127 :) but yes..... with folders, each folder will be able to have up to 128 files so the number of ROMs possible is nearly infinite (up to the storage capacity of a CD) other than that, I'm trying to add a small speed increase.
EMULATION-X: Thank you Sin for taking the time to answer all of My Questions, I really hope that anyone that reads this can understand what dedication you have and that this is only your hobby and you don't get paid to do this.
Sin: Well, thank you for taking the time to interview little old me :) I hope Everyone will enjoy emulation on the Dreamcast :)