The company had varying fortunes and failed in 1991, with the few remaining staff having worked without pay for the final few months in an attempt to keep the company going.
At its peak, Emerald Software employed 17 programmers and 5 graphic artists. These people were spread across 5 departments, loosely split to cover each of the supported development platforms and graphic art - with two additional personnel in Administration and Human Resources.
The developers were:
The artists were:
Development for Amiga and Atari ST games was carried out using Manx C, and Motorola 68000 Assembly language. As both Amiga and ST were 68000 based machines, games were typically authored on the Amiga and then ported using an in-house authored porting / remote-debug / development environment; this allowed the code to be edited on the more capable Amiga, then transmitted to the ST and remotely executed/debugged from the Amiga. The development system was written by Brian Kelly and was based on Lattice C. Graphics and sound routines required re-authoring, but in many cases this was straightforward.
The Amiga games did not run on top of Workbench / AmigaOS - but on a custom-written tiny OS (KOS) with a proprietary disk format which offered higher data capacity per diskette, as well as helping to impede casual copying. This was written by Brian Kelly (the K in KOS).
Development for Spectrum and CPC games took place on a commercially available cross-assembler development environment (SoftICE?) hosted on an IBM PC clone which was electronically connected to a Spectrum. This allowed the game to be authored on the stable PC environment (complete with disk backup), then "blasted" directly into the Spectrum memory to allow for immediate testing. Developing in this manner allowed for significantly higher development speeds than could be achieved by native development on the Spectrum.
As both ZX Spectrum and CPC 464 were Zilog Z80 based machines, CPC versions were usually ported versions of the Spectrum games, with the graphics display on the more-capable CPC reconfigured to be close to that of the more primitive Spectrum.