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Petter Krossbakken

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(Русский: Пётр Кроссбаккн. A Russian-Norwegian citizen, ultimately by law belonging to the federal city of Moscow. (Москва, Cтолица Российской Федерации.))


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Petter Krossbakken
Date of birth: 1990-01-25 (age 29)
Company(ies): Sega of Japan
Role(s): Platform Specialist
Education: Computer Science & Electronics and Telecommunications


Professional career at SEGA

Petter Krossbakken (or 'Peter') is a developer/programmer, open source contributor and inventor. He is currently an official employee at Sega of Japan located in Tokyo which is the headquarters of Sega of Japan and SEGA Games Ltd. Peter has his office in the third floor on the north side of the building from the main entrance.

Peter is employed as the only Platform Specialist in at least the Japanese division of the company and works with the "lower" levels of programming, presumebly making it more or less in his tasks to also function as sort of a "Engine Build Engineer/Developer"; and thus Peter wrote text below on his Facebook page when he accepted the job offer given by Mr.Haruki Satomi (the current (CEO of SEGA Games), several days following the offer given to him when he accepted the offer:

"Responsible for the optimizations of the various development builds, libraries and toolkits to aid and increase performance, compatibility and other fundamentally important aspects for the worlds best game developers to work as efficiently as possible and to not lose focus on the game itself - both in already existing projects that are close to be done or projects currently in the theoretical phase, with heavy emphasis on the continious improvement of libraries commonly used in Sega's own SDKs and/or other tools being a requirement for the games to effectively developed, bug tested, quality assured and ultimately, translated before they are starting to set the final (if the game(s) is on schedule)) release dates ("deadlines")."

When Peter ultimately accepted the job offer in early May 2018, at the time coming from Intel Corporation at their division in Russia where he was working at Intel Open Source Technology Center in Moscow. Peter later became the youngest Head of Development in the company's entire history.

Recruitment

CEO of SEGA Corporation, Haruki Satomi specifically reached out to Peter for an unlisted position which happens to be the one he accepted, located at the former Sega Corporation headquarters after turning down a recruiter for a position at Sega of Europe which is based in the UK - but was not a position of interest because of the very little development the Sega of Europe offices are doing. The European division is located in Brentford, London. However, Peter also is a fan of many of the franchises SEGA has acquired, mostly Sega of Europe - being impressed by the 7th generation game Aliens: Isolation attention to detail, while not saying the game was perfect at all.

Production history and credits

Peter has been involved in the console versions, specifically the PS4 version and he is credited in Shenmue 1 & 2 HD for helping out with the performance in the game engine for both Xbox One and PS4 but is only credited in the latter platform. Peter is also credited (and also given extra credits in the form of being listed the "Special thanks to:" group in the game that is now known Shenmue III. Moreover, he has been involved with the game development of Project Cars 2, specifically up to version 1.6 of the game published by Bandai Namco and appears in the credits under the group responsible for the entire development, Slightly Mad Studios. Additionally, in a personal interview, Peter unveiled that he is heavily involved with the modern re-releases of the "Mega Drive Mini" (in which he emphasis how this is a tentative name, not wanting to answer if the console has an official or internal name yet) which is due for release in 2018, and "other retro consoles" although no mentioning of the names of the other consoles took place.

Online Dreamcast functionality

Peter (or rather petter3k, often also petterk) is a quite well known figure in at least the Dreamcast community but also the other 6th generation console communities in general, initially for what sparked great interest and hope in the community; the DCSERV[1] project, but which evolved to and initiated interest by other people later on, a project who's mission was to either acquire or reverse engineer the server software for the online capable titles where official servers had previously been shut down; leaving games with great emphasis on the online functionality barely playable without the servers. Most of the games have not been online since 2003 with a great deal of the Japanese titles as well as Phantasy Star Online, GameSpy-hosted titles such as Starlancer and Maximum Pool (plus those who share the same servers as their PC equivalent, like Quake III: Arena) was already either revived or never offline prior to Peter joining the community, actively so. However, the first servers released was the "Kage Lite v3" replication servers for "AFO". Servers with some bugs but with 90%+ playability was also created which will come up on a not-so-much-GIT-repo-anymore (probably a bazaar repository) for the progress in OuTTrigger and Propeller Arena for others to continue on should they want to, as Peter is unable to even if he wanted to. (By company policy, is and has been unable to continue development or even speak of the topic at hands in a public manner, while being a Sega-official). Also, some matchmaking success for Bomberman Online was accomplished (but not demonstrated) he claims, where there was a 50/50 chance the game would switch to P2P mode or not. The last task done by Peter was the KDDI-system title Aero Dancing - i, a Japanese title (most NTSC-J games used proprietary technology by KDDI, a Japanese communications giant, where technical differences in most if not all Japanese non-exclusive titles where vastly different from their Western and European releases of the same game, and although only some short footage and some pictures has been shown from the Bomberman and Propeller Arena games, the internet-enabled Aero Dancing - I, was demonstrated online with a broadband adapter on both ends during the interview referred to in this very article.

The task to revive "all of the games" proved to be tougher than expected in-part because at the time when Sega created their online game servers for their first and second party titles for the Dreamcast at the very beginning in it's lifespan, as well as their NexGenIP (SDK) network libraries, all written in the C programming language before being ISO-standarized ("pre-ANSI C") which at the time led to major differences in both code quality, compilers and debuggers making a project written by multiple persons a total mess to expand without rewriting the entire project/library/source-file.

Another goal of the project, which was done by Peter for DCSERV, was to gather as much information and details as possible from former and current employees at Sega.com or studios Sega had acquired, where he had great amounts of success but also a great amount of different answers as to what was correct, and post the replies with valuable information on the DCSERV.org website, but due to being such a long time ago since the developers worked on the games (in NA and EU at least), resulted in simple things getting delayed, details not quite being remembered by the developers or other real-life problems faced, like broken/old HDDs among other problems.

With regards to the information he managed to gather, just about everything was posted in the "Resource"-section of the DCSERV.org website which is archived by various community members, as the site is now offline by reasons already mentioned.

Peter did however manage to set a milestone in video-game console history by being able to get the actual official game servers (both for Linux and for Windows - even an updated version was released for Windows) for the game ''Toy Racer'' through his now known "connections"; Frederick Raynal and Frantz Cournil. Both versions being developed at the game studio No Cliche which by todays standards is about the same size as an "indie game development team" and thus created their own servers for the game instead of using the KAGE 1st party system, intended by Sega as the most popular approach, quite the opposite was the result, but the idea as a quicker method to get games to feature online functionality through the use of the NexGenIP-stack and SDK available, for a fee, to every licensed 3rd party developer, was a good idea and ahead of it's time according to Peter. The studio members mentioned, which made the milestone possible, supported the Dreamcast with Toy Racer but also the probably much more well known game that is Toy Commander as the former only saw a European release.

Peter also got ahold of samples from World Series Baseball 2K2, Chu Chu! Rocket, Alien Front Online, OutTrigger and Worms World Party. Peter focused first and foremost on a server for Alien Front Online, which was as of 2017 the most popular online title voted for at Dreamcast Live! website, following it's online debut since the servers closed in 2003, but which more importantly resulted in the replication of the Sega online systems; KAGE and SNAPCOM - ultimately SNAP, the latter being sold to Nokia for their mobile device gaming strategy, but as the Nokia n-Gage handheld ended up being a commercial failure, the server systems was abandoned but leaving their test-servers available online for quite some time and is even featured in some version of the Java Development Kit (JDK). As mentioned, originally written in C/C++, before the sale the system was internally rewritten in Java by Sega.com-employee Hamilton F., for easier portability at the cost of performance and to meet contract requirements.

The KAGE, SNAPCOM and SNAP system Peter was trying to replicate for a long time ended up being compatible; but also was the creation of a product Peter managed to use for other more modern functionalities as well, he claims. This project although finished, is not an open source server system, but a 'community version' licensed under the GPL v3 license is to be available "soon", but which stops at the support for the 6th generation consoles as well as PC games from that era.

Peter was in the middle of the process above, quickly approached and joined with great help from Jonas Karlsson (a.k.a Shuouma) which after Peter announced that Toy Racer was officially back online, as well as helping out in the process of replicating the Kage Lite servers for Alien Front Online, took more and more over Peters role as the key person behind the revival of the then-defunct online capabilities of the games which are now back online, mostly because Peter had according to himself, "no time for it" - Dell and Intel pushed Peter and his team(s) to work long hours, often up to a 100 hours/week, and according to a colleague of Peter, many of them where chances that happen once in a lifetime. (While speaking of the job he had at Intel, ultimately leaving the company as 'Head of Development') - where Peters relationship with the Dell CTO was key to getting the Intel job in the first place.

Peter has given much credit to Jonas for taking up on the mission Peter set for himself, which he has done by a mixture of talent & hard work, which turned out better than "I ever had imagined", Peter wrote.

Jonas Karlsson and Peter was at one point humorously calling themselves The Army of Two internally, seeing as (some) people in the community thought more than 1 or 2, at least a "group" of people where behind the 'revivals' that took place in the aftermath of their 1st successful game of Alien Front Online. The community behind the Dreamcast also marks another milestone in history - as of September 2018, a total of over 20 games have had their online functionality (be it online rankings or multiplayer) restored and even web-browsers pointing at dead website URLs, thanks to the DreamPipe-project, redirects to the DreamPipe site instead which is a DC browser-friendly page trying to function as a portal for it's users. But the fact that the Dreamcast as of 2018 has more (not counting the Japanese games) online capable games that has been the result of the community restoring the features and/or recreating servers, than there are games that as of yet NOT have had their online functionality restored is a milestone few non-current consoles can match, proving the huge dedication of it's community members such as Jonas aka Shuouma, Ben aka LordNikon and Ben aka DreamcastTM.

A total of over 20 (as of September 2018) online capable titles revived by community-members is something that has never been done before regarding video-gaming consoles and thus not only does it represent a huge milestone in what the Dreamcast community, 20 years after its initial release(!!) has managed to accomplish not to mention the great hardware modifications and support the console to this day has among fans but also the fact that many more games is on the horizon for release by various small publishers, legally, even some through either the KAGE-emulation system created by Peter, or the according to Peter, "magical work" done by Jonas Karlsson in regards to the possibility of online play. KallistiOS also makes it easy to use both the modem and broadband adapter as of 2018.

Professional Career

Peter was as mentioned previously hired at Intel's "*NIX" development teams, following the positions he had at Dell, as a Linux Developer followed quickly with the title Graphics Programmer and later "Low-level Development Specialist" (whereas the word "low-level" means closer to the hardware being worked on and not as an indication of skills per se but on what part of the hardware you are working on/with.), "Technical Lead Developer" prior to "Head of Development". This was a job where he was responsible for the Unix and Linux drivers for the official integrated graphics chips/instruction sets built into the Intel CPUs beginning with the 6th generation of Intel CPUs - the Sky Lake microarchitecture which was the first one he ever worked on officially as an employee at Intel. Peter has previously been used as a contractor by NVIDIA for their Keppler microarchitecture as well.

Peter feels he almost can't remember it all while working at Intel because it progressed rather fast and was able to, at the age of 27, become the youngest Head of Development ever - in the entire history of Intel Corporation, where he climbed to the "top" (in the Development-part), at a very fast pace, in the Linux-supporting division known as Intel Russia, while working strictly under the American contract he had signed. Peter being a Russian citizen (as well as Norwegian), speaks and writes Russian language at complete professional proficiency. which is key to the contributions done to the Reiser4FS project led by Edward Shishkin - also a Russian citizen. Only 5 to 6 weeks before the promotion to "Head of Development", he was the Technical Lead Developer following the already very interesting and well-suited tasks given to him as the Low-Level Development Specialist-title that made it possible for Peter to work remotely in the end, being handed UEFI-templates by American Megatrends and keeping up with the given "timeline". Prior to that, he worked as a Firmware Developer, Lead Developer and later, ACPI & UEFI Specialist in both Dell Comp. and later at the CTO-offices led by 'Barton, George' at Dell Tech. which according to Peter, was key to recieving a job offer let alone an interesting one, at Intel Corporation.

Fun Fact

Peter chose to part ways with Dell as a whole because of his fundamental disagreements of some of the architectual design, e.g: that of the TPM-modules (mostly by Nuvoton) chosen which was flashed with Dells own firmware to behave in a non-TCG/TSS way that drained more battery than it could've and how the "Spectre" and "Meltdown" Security Mitigations were done, ironically so on the 17th of May 2017 - which happens to be the equivalent to Russia's "Victory Day" at the 9th of May and the United States' "4th of July", as a national day of celebration to mark the day of independence (or victory), effectively leaving the company that very day.

(Written mostly by a community member which hold Peters name high and happens to work as a recruiter. Originally an Interview, Peter did not wish to attend, however calling his ex-colleagues from the various companies Peter has worked at gave me much more than this summary.

EDIT: Peter agreed to a personal interview @ IRC where this info is originating from. Feel free to clean up any mistakes or useless information to heighten the standards of the article.)