I know we can do some pretty funky stuff with the new XNA code, so
could have a battle in a cathedral, with the sounds bouncing and echoing
But at this point I'm not that well researched on XNA audio. As i
I'll let ya know. Tried to set up a test project last night using
Xact, but the
interface is less than accessible from what I can tell right now. If I
can get it
working, looks like there are some pretty cool features available in
of you other developers on list have any luck with Xact?
Well, yes and no. I've got some good news, some possible work arounds,
but for the most part it is bad news. Bottom line, working with Xact in
XNA based game projects is going to be a difficult process for some time
As you already know Xact is really not screen reader friendly at all.
I've litterally tried everything from scripting it with Jaws/Window
eyes, making set files for it, and nothing has worked. That said there
are a few work arounds on this subject, but even with them it comes down
to a royal pain in the buttt.
About a year ago Justin and I both signed up for the XNA forums asking
some very pointed issues about Xact 3 accessibility. At the time Xact 3
was in beta testing so we had hoped to get some access changes in the
final product that didn't pan out. However, we did get some help
resolving some of the issues we faced as blind developers.
First, someone in the know on the list pointed out that Xact is
basically a mouse driven graphical user interface for the Xact command
line programs and it generates some xml scripts that can be edited by
hand. Upon some experimentation this is true. If a blind game developer
is willing to do all the grunt work of editing and creating the Xact
scripts by hand it can be done. However, since Microsoft assumes
everyone will be using the Xact tool there is little to know
documentation on exactly how to do this properly.
The second possible solution is that XNA 3.0 ships with a new sound
effect and song API. This thankfully does not require Xact, meaning you
can directly control sound and music files directly from code, but at
the expence of giving up all the extra features of Xact. Leaving
developers such as you and I choosing between accessibility or features.
Again doable, but not a full proof solution.
Finally, Microsoft is aware that some game companies and developers,
besides us, are not all that thrilled with Xact. For that reason for the
passed few months DirectX has been shipping with a new audio library
named xaudio2.dll. The good news is it seams to be more like
DirectSound. The bad news is at the moment there is no official support
for .NET programmers leaving us out in the cold again. Although, there
is a developer on the XNA Forums who had mentioned making a custom
Xaudio2 wrapper for C-Sharp and Visual Basic as he does not like Xact
himself. I don't really know if said person is still working on that
project, if he is still making the wrapper available, but it is worth
googling to see what you can find on that subject. If this Xaudio2 .NET
wrapper does exist it is certainly better than options 1 and 2 above.
One last thing before I go you might want to read some of these forum
posts I have book marked from Justin and my conversations on the XNA
forum regarding Xact accessibility issues.
Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org
If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org.
You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org.