Hi Thomas,

I know what you mean, and agree with you. But I also feel that it very much depends on what types of games you make. You, being a lover of all things that is 3d as far as I can gather, probably see it as a much bigger issue not being able to take advantage of the fabulous sound that a true 3d landscape can give. But personally I tend to produce games that don't require 3d at all or can function very well without it. I choose to do this as to not force my users to go out and buy additional hardware in order to play my game. The community is small enough as it is and sales are sparse, and so limiting them even further by having above average hardware requirements would be like shooting myself in the foot. I know for a fact that I would not personally go out and buy a surround sound setup to play an audio game. Being a hobby musician and recording engineer I spend all my money on improving my studio, and it'd have to be a pretty darn good game that could make me take money away from my next high-end microphone purchase to not only pay for the game itself but also to go out and get special gaming hardware. If you really wanted to impose the requirement of a full 3d setup to play your future games, you should probably have a special stereo mode available as well that does not use the 3d simulation features of the renderer since I, among others whom I've spoken to, find those a lot harder to comprehend when listening as compared to normal stereo.


As for OpenAl, I remember at the time that the thought of silently bundling it with my installer didn't even cross my mind. I was not aware that this was even possible back then, and so didn't look around for options. Might be a good thing that I didn't, though, or I wouldn't have Streemway. Smile.

Kind regards,

Philip Bennefall
----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: <phi...@blastbay.com>; "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 8:37 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] Seamlessly upgrading DirectX


Hi Philip,

Philip wrote:

How does OpenAl handle 3d simulation with normal headphones? I found
that to be the
main issue with the 3d rendering in DirectSound. It gave a very poor
experience for
those who did not actually have a 5.1 setup which I do not, and I
believe most people
will be using stereo either through headphones or speakers.

My reply:

Well, unfortunately not very well I'm afraid. That's the problem with
FMOD, OpenAL, DirectSound, etc. In order to get high quality 3d
virtual audio you have to have the hardware to do it. Either a set of
5.1 headphones such as I have, or go out and buy yourself a set of 5.1
surround sound speakers. The proper hardware is really a requirement
if you plan to get true 3d virtualization using OpenAL, XAudio2, FMOD,
whatever. Which is really the source of the problem for us as game
developers.

The ggaming technologies are litterally growing by leaps and bounds
and weather you are using Linux, Mac OS, or Windows there are decent
APIs that render pretty realistic 5.1 surround sound. The problem is
that computers don't ship with a set of Creative Labs 5.1 pro gaming
speakers etc so in order to get the kind of speakers you need that is
another $75 to $99 investment which most gamers won't bother paying
for unless they have a need for it which creates a kind of chicken and
egg situation.

Gamers won't buy 5.1 surround sound speakers or headphones because at
present there aren't that many games that really need it. On the other
hand developers such as you and I hesitate to include 5.1 surround
sound in our games because if they don't have the hardware to begin
with there is no reason to bother with it. they won't hear it, and if
anything it won't sound that good on a ordinary set of stereo speakers
or headphones. I don't really know what to do about that myself,
because it seams like a case of darned if you do and darned if you
don't.

Philip wrote:

I did look at OpenAl a few years ago before I decided to have
Streemway developed,
but got discouraged by the fact that it could not be bundled in with the game as
far as I could gather at the time.

My reply:

Hmmm..I don't know about that. As far as I know there is no
restriction of bundling OpenAL with your product as long as you
provide a copy of the end user license agreement for it. Plus there
are now two different branches of OpenAL now. there is a copy of
OpenAL, the original version hosted and maintained by Creative Labs,
and another one called OpenAL Soft. OpenAL Soft is the version run on
Linux and Mac OS as their version his being regularly updated, and is
the version I would use for development since it appears to be better
maintained/updated.

As far as redistribution goes I'm not sure what you read to give you
that impression that it can't be bundled with a product. I know with
Linux apps there is a very good reason why they would be seperate
packages/installers because it has to do with how the operating system
is maintained. If you were to install a game using apt-get it would
detect missing components and install them as necessary. For example,
doing
apt-get install mota-1.0-i386.deb
would first initiate a dependency check and if OpenAL-Soft wasn't
installed it would prompt you to install. If you Answer yes it would
go to the Ubuntu or Debian application repository, fetch the necessary
package, install it and then install the game. This is actually one of
the strengths of the Linux deb and rpm package managers because it
takes all the guess work out of figuring out if this or that component
is missing or not. If it is missing it will just install it for
you.This may or may not be what you are talking about.

HTH

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