Hi Scott,

Scott Said:
Been flicking through the sounds from MOTA and I realised you're using
wave files for everything.  I wasn't sure whether this was still going
to be the case come the final release or not?

Tom Says:
Yes, that is correct. Seeing as the current sound support using DirectX is very stable I'm likely going to stick with it straight through to the final release. I don't really see any need to switch to another multimedia API at this point for Windows users.

Scott Said:
It just occurred that now that you've started running multiple threads, using well encoded
mp3/ogg/some other compression might not be a big resource hogg, but
boy it would dramatically decrease the size of the overall download

Tom Says:
I agree, but unfortunately Microsoft DirectSound does not have mp3, ogg, or wma support. Microsoft DirectSound only supports PCM wav files. So in order to convert my sounds to mp3, ogg, wma I would have to drop DirectSound and use some other API such as XAudio2 which supports wma, SDL which supports ogg, or DirectShow which supports mp3. On the other hand mix and match these to get the support for everything. Obviously, we are talking about a fairly serious upgrade to the Genesis engine to use compressed file formats.

Scott Said:
As you know I'm only just beginning to
fumble my way around writing code, so whether compressed formats would
have to be decoded everytime they're triggered to play etc I have no
idea.  If that does turn out to be the case, it still might be worth
considering having longer loops such as music and ambience as mp3's
with actual gameplay sounds that're being triggered all the time still
as wavs.

Tom Says:
Yeah, mp3 files, wma files, etc do have to be decoded/decompressed when loaded into memory so it would definitely increase the lag time if there is a bunch of them that have to be opened at once. Typically, the way the big name game studios handle this is they use wav files for gun shots, footstep souns, all the usual common effects. For music and big long background loops they make those into mp3 files. They use DirectSound for common effects and Microsoft DirectShow for music and ambience. At least that is how it was done with older games using DirectX. With the release of XAudio2 it can play either wav or wma. From what I am reading on the new DirectX and XNA specifications you would use wma for the ambience, music, and other big loops, and wav files for sound effects. This of course makes sense. However, since there isn't currently a compatible .NET dll for XAudio2.dll I'd have to write one. That could take quite some time and energy. Time and energy I don't really have at the moment.
HTH


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