With Brian Peek of Ganksoft
Interviewed by dc_emumaniac on 30-Jun-2001
B00B! Dreamcast Research: Hello Brian! Can you tell us about yourself, where you're from, and about your job, school, etc?
Brian Peek: My name is Brian Peek, I'm 24 years old and I live in Schenectady, New York. I currently work for a company called Rapid Application Developers writing computer software. In my spare time I write games under my own company, Ganksoft Entertainment, with a few friends (Bob Thayer (artist), David Wallimann (music)).
B00B: How long have you been into computers and more specifically coding?
Brian: I used my first computer in 1st grade. My mom enrolled me in a computer class that taught LOGO that summer, and I've been hooked ever since. I started coding in 2nd or 3rd grade in Applesoft BASIC and them moved over to PCs when I was in middle school. I've been coding in C since my freshman year of high school when I taught it to myself.
B00B: What made you choose the projects you have worked on so far?
Brian: NeoPocott was a fluke. I wanted to start working on the Dreamcast but wanted to get a test project up and running quickly using libdream which had been recently released. I found NeoPocott, contacted the author, and I had it up and running in a few hours. It grew from there into an actual release for the Dreamcast.
After that I wrote DreamPac because I was bored while working on Marbol, our puzzle game, and it was a nice diversion.
Marbol, our forthcoming title, was a game that I thought of on the drive back from Boston after a miserable training session I had to attend for my real job.
B00B: What problems have you had and how did you overcome them?
Brian: I haven't really had any huge issues. The biggest problem was just getting everything set up with regard to the compiler, libdream/KOS, Cygwin, etc. Other than that, not too many problems at all.
B00B: With Neopocott and Dreampac do you see any updates on these rather great emulators?
Brian: NeoPocott will only be updated if the original author decides to update it. It's his code, so he knows it best. Right now he's working on Boycott Advance, a GBA emulator. And no, there is no plan for a port of Boycott Advance to the Dreamcast.
DreamPac will be updated at some point but I've been quite pressed for time since E3 so it hasn't been touched in a while. But I will get back to it.
I'm more concerned with writing a real game instead of an emu at the moment so that's my first priority.
B00B: How was E3 and congratulations on the release of the DCTonic cd, and how did the public take to it?
Brian: E3 was a disappointment this year. Hardly any free stuff, XBox was pretty disappointing, and there just wasn't a whole lot going on. Though the GameCube looks extremely promising, for as much as I hate Nintendo. :)
DC Tonic has been taken quite well which makes me, and all of the authors that contributed to it quite happy. Just take a look at the "Polls" section on our site to see what people thought of it. I'd be extremely happy to see it written up in one of the major gaming mags, but I don't think that will happen.
B00B: Do you have any new projects in mind?
Brian: We have lots of projects in mind, just too little time. We're currently exploring the GBA at the moment and plan on putting out a title or two over there. But we're not done with the Dreamcast quite yet...
B00B: What is your favourite Dreamcast emulator?
Brian: So far, it's NesterDC. I'm hoping the author keeps up the project. It's one of the more impressive things to come in the hobbyist scene.
B00B: What is your opinion of the Emulator Bleemcast from a technical point of view?
Brian: I think it's impressive, but I'm disappointed with the hype they gave it and what actually came out of it. I saw it at E3 last year and it was running a few games with the promise of hundreds. We got 1. And even that doesn't run at full speed all the time like they claimed. But hey, NeoPocott doesn't run at full speed either. :)
Technically it's good, but I would have thought more of it had the hype not made it out to be something it wasn't.
B00B: What is your favourite game for NeoPocott?
Brian: I have a few...Metal Slug 1/2, Sonic, and Cotton. Wish they made more shooters...
B00B: What is your opinion of the Dreamcast Scene, B00B, and what would you do to improve it to make it more accessible?
Brian: I'm quite impressed with how far it has gotten, but I'm starting to see it slow down which is a bit disappointing. I wish people would concentrate on making original games instead of emulators. We've got a ton of emus, it's time for something else. As for making it more accessible, I'm not sure how that could be done. It's already very accessible. As long as you have a CDR drive and DiscJuggler or Nero, you can play anything that's released. No hardware mods, etc.
B00B: What is your view on the other new super consoles and the possibilitys of hobbyist development on them ie gba etc?
Brian: XBox is in trouble, PS2 is hyper-disappointing, GameCube was very cool, and I love my GBA. The GBA scene has already exploded. We're going to join it quite soon. I belive XBox will be very easy to develop on since the hardware is so standard. I don't think it will take long for someone to find a way to run code on it. PS2 is a pain in the ass to do anything on and until someone comes up with an EASY way to either upload code or run CDRs on it, I think it will remain quite stagnant. And finally, the GameCube will probably be extremely difficult to code on. The media is proprietary and not even a standard size. But, you never know...I hope we can figure something out on that one.
B00B: May I say thank you for your time and good luck with your project.
Brian: Thank you!
This document/interview is Copyright © 2001 by B00B! Dreamcast Research and may not be reproduced in whole or part without permission.