A3D/EAX sound support

forum for discussion on implimenting A3D/EAX in game
mSparks
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Postby mSparks » Fri May 02, 2003 5:04 pm

2 things I know of, theres, a chance it was just the iceconfig and config files files that caused the crash, but then theres some other bugs that have been fixed since then as well.#
second up, unfortunately, with the avance 97 sound cards the engine doesn't seam to perform well at all, so it might have been something with it fireing up the initialisation.
Sorry about that, I'll add a check to whether a3d is enabled before it initialises it.

Actually, from my standpoint, you helped greatly with the testing. I've known about problems with the AC97 from the start, but haven't had access to 1 to test if the new version fixed them or not.

Generally, it looks like, if a cards not a creative one, or at least running on soundblaster compatible drivers the A3D engine does all sorts of wierd stuff. I might try to contact avance and see if they have any suggestions.

Bear with me, there should be some new developements coming soon.
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smurphster
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Postby smurphster » Fri May 02, 2003 5:35 pm

*sigh*

what happened to the days that all you needed to do was add a few DEVICEHIGH= lines in your autoexec.bat and tweek your blaster settings in your config.sys and select "sound blaster compatible" in all your games?

/me reboots to command prompt
c:\>cd doom
c:\doom\>doom

it crashed my comp once too but that might have been unrelated. if you remember, i was having problems w/ openGL at the same time (found out i had to disable dual display cuz q2 doesn't like it)

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Postby mSparks » Fri May 02, 2003 5:52 pm

creative have given a sweet new look to their developer site, and it 'looks' like they've included a new version of the SDK:
OpenAL supports all sound cards that have a Windows driver correctly installed.


I'm sure it didn't say that before, well, we'll see when the dl finishes, hopefully they've changed their previous stance and I can become a registered developer.

tiger, I'll put a dl up for you to test their samples shortly, It would be nice to know it at least has the capability of being compatible with the Avance series of cards...
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Postby smurphster » Fri May 02, 2003 6:06 pm

mSparks wrote: It would be nice to know it at least has the capability of being compatible with the Avance series of cards...

we're talking about creative here. compatibility would make too much sense. they do everything backwards there

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Postby mSparks » Sat May 03, 2003 10:41 am

:unsure:
maybee, but they seem to be putting real effort into helping games developers, and incompatibility is not something most will stand for...
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tiger@sound.net
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Postby tiger@sound.net » Sat May 03, 2003 11:18 am

... mSparks,,, No Hurry or Worry, here... :)

I like to help, even though, in a slightly negative manner. :unsure:
And,,, this seemed very critical for furthering your VERY FINE work...

For some minor details, with your last aq2.exe, before that A3D sound stuff, I could pick and choose any and all sound options within the game.

... But, now, let us speak of providing some "positive help"...
Does Karen need any more help, over at the aq2 retexturing site?
( I would have visited her, but I could not locate her address on your "Links Page".) :)

I have some reservations about higher-resolutions, larger color-maps or graphics...
Could we accidently leave other players with lesser machines, behind?
Or,,, will these MUCH NICER resolutions translate, downwards, for lesser machines and their requirements?

(Myself,,, I am not too worried with 512 megs of DDR SDRAM...
Open GL 1.1 at 640x480 with this much memory simply KICKs BUTT !!!) :)

But,,, I used to have an old Voodoo and would, always, worry about being left behind. :(

So,,, I am wondering about a "hidden" requirement for 2 or more "graphic flavors" of LTK/TBM ??? (This could, simply, give them "their best game" on their older machines?)

And while speaking of Graphic plus-points,,, is anyone working on the upgrading of our AQ2 player-models? (Adding more surfaces would be fairly easy but perhaps, a very wasteful "gain"... But the more realistic rounding of arms, legs, torso and butts for a better AQ2 "reality" might be the "Thing"...(Please see: Crack Whore for a very needed, but still a VERY NICE example) :)

((( But,,, it would require one HELL of a point-to-point or area-selected "Graphics-Rounding Matrix" program, to slightly bow-out these cylinder-like features a few degrees from their current flatness.))) And, here again, every surface added to a model will slow those older machine, DOWN, even further. :(


... Also,,, I was showing-off your LTK/TBM Missions to my Daughter and, of course, SHE took the game away from me... (one proud Pop, here.) :)

And then, she grabbed the sniper-rifle for the challenge and power of it. (She is a REAL "chip off the old block".) PS... She loved rescueing Lara.

And she remarked as she picked-off the bad-guys, one by one... "Dad ??? This isn't very real... You shouldn't loose the target right after a shot..."

... "Reality Thinking" from the "Mouth of Babes"...
( Can I say,,, anything,,, more,,, Folks ???) :)


... ((( Tiger ))) .... Sorry to have been SO noisey... :rolleyes:

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Postby smurphster » Sat May 03, 2003 9:27 pm

kids.. heh

just thought i'd add that software mode is still available for ppl w/o good graphics cards. however, all this tweaking does put more burden on machines that can bearly run openGL as it is. you bring up a good point. i don't know a whole lot about the graphics side of TBM so idk what else to say

the problem with adding new skins & models is that regular aq2 players (who haven't "upgraded" to TBM) won't be able to connect to TBM servers running these new skins & models w/o downloading some files first. as it currently stands, a server can run TBM and appear to be just like any other aq2 server. any client is capable of connecting and playing against the bots (not sure about missionplay though. perhaps we should test that). all through the developement of TBM, mSparks has been stressing that TBM should maintain its compatability w/ the original aq2 client. i agree, although already it seems the project has drifted. the added sword and guns aren't available to non-TBM clients. perhaps we should discuss this some more.

hmm.. kinda got off-topic. i think new skins & models would be a kick-ass idea but we'd have to think of a way to implement it w/o alienating aq2 players. maybe a support package is necessary. i don't really like that idea much. or were you just talking about making new models using the old techniques? i have seen some mods for higher-res models. what do you guys think?

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Postby mSparks » Sat May 03, 2003 10:20 pm

the high res textures are an optional extra in the video menu, so clients w/ older machines do not get left behind, the only cards that struggle with the high res textures are ones with limited gfx card memory (8-16MB) and these cards can use ltktbm edition using the standard .wal images which are supplied w/ the install.
Yeah sure, the aq2 retexturing site always needs assistance. They run whats called a CVS server, which basically means many people can actively work on several different files at once and collate all their work in one place.
The reason textures HAVE to be re-done, is although ID made the q2 source GPL, they do not allow re-transmission of origonal datafiles, this includes all the 2100 .wals in the base Q2 directory that many aq2 maps utilise, therefore, to allow use of these maps from a full install, these textures have to be re-done from scratch, hence the aq2 retexturing project.
The full release includes standard q2 .wals, made from the high resolution textures (high-res textures are high colour and 4x the height/width)

If you get a spare 1/2 an hour, could you download/install and have a go with the demos in <a href='http://developer.creative.com/articles/article.asp?cat=1&sub=31&top=38&aid=45&file=OpenALSDK.exe' target='_blank'>THIS SDK</a> from creative, which demonstrates the core technology I'm using for the a3d engine. It installs 2 demos, XLdemo.exe and OpenALdemo.exe in:
C:\Program Files\Creative Labs\OpenAL 1.0 SDK\Samples\bin

by default.
Creative states
OpenAL supports all sound cards that have a Windows driver correctly installed.

however, one big problem I've seen with none creative cards is them only giving mono sound out, with no manipulation of the sound.
basically, check them over, make sure everything sounds ok, and it does what it says on the box. It looks like its a new version from the one I was building the code on before, but it could also be that I'm missing something from the installation directory, that creative drivers install by default, but needs installing seperately on none creative cards. Either that, or that quote is not entirely truthfull :(
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Postby mSparks » Sat May 03, 2003 10:30 pm

the one I'm most interested in is XLdemo, and whether it does actually place the cars on seperate speakers depending on which way your facing.
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Postby tiger@sound.net » Sun May 04, 2003 8:21 am

mSparks wrote: the one I'm most interested in is XLdemo, and whether it does actually place the cars on seperate speakers depending on which way your facing.

... THANKs mSparks !!! (That "OpenALSDK.exe" patch, above, made ALL the difference!!!) PS... In that XLdemo, Playing Chicken with that truck and car really shows-off this 3D Sound patch. (But, it is very difficult to find this type of "almost measure-able" sound-consistancy within a TBM game.) But,,, "something" stationary, within a map, producing a constant sound level, that you can run-by or turn-around, next to, might be interesting??? :)

(OBTW, this patch added an "OpenAL 1.0 SDK" directory within a new "Creative Labs" directory and I would guess that those .dlls and .libs corrected everything???)

During testing within TBM, I found that you could, safely, adjust the "Sound Quality" from Low to Extreme... BUT, you need to set the "A3D Sound Engine" to OFF, before changing the "Sound Quality" or else you might get a total lockup. :(

And, for some smaller details, during TBM, certain very basic sounds seemed to be generating, just, as they were being used. (And some high-pitched echoes sounded a bit messed-up?) :unsure:

But, over-all, I would say that simply using the Extreme "Sound Quality" setting, without the "A3D", for my 2 speaker system was plenty of quality. (So,,, I will, probably, leave "A3D" alone and not waste my system's speed on something that is not really being used, properly, anyway.) :)


... Tiger ...

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Postby mSparks » Sun May 04, 2003 9:33 am

so many smily faces, so many things confirmed.

the 3 main instances that the A3D sounds work well with atm are, footsteps, weapon sounds and the bounce of grenades. The rest need tweeking slightly to get maximum effect, but I was waiting for confirmation that it is possible to generate the required effects on more than just cards from creative before I went into that much detail.
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Postby mSparks » Tue May 06, 2003 3:15 pm

just so you know a couple of the things I have planned for the next build of the A3D engine, I'm going to be implimenting a 'talk' feature, which is fully A3D compliant, which allows you to 'callout' from your current position, e.g. "talk radio/cover" will issue the sound "cover me" from your current position, rather than over the radio channel.
If some1 fancies recording me a 'chi' scream/grunt (e.g. "HIIIYAA") I'll tie this in with the bots ninja attack.
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Postby tiger@sound.net » Thu May 08, 2003 11:37 pm

... Hello mSparks ... (This strange occurance is not related to your current A3D sounds, but I saw it during my tests of the missions, attached to this mod.)

In the "City" map, if you have a shoot out with anyone, near the Hostage, she gets hostile and she will more then likely shoot your butt, when you release her. :unsure: (But it's a VERY GOOD laugh,,, the first time.) :)

So,,, maybe her node-location needs to be moved away from the wall?

*** Also, another interesting re-occurance was seeing one of my Marines SHOOT Lara,,, DEAD in the Bed ??? :blink:


... Tiger ...

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Postby mSparks » Fri Jun 06, 2003 9:27 am

With the next release getting so close, I've put some more time into the A3D engine. The Tutorial and code will not be available until shortly after I get my hands on the lovely new q2ice 1.16 code (I'm going to write them/properly comment the code as I import the relevent functions) and whilst there is some work still to be done with regards to velocity and obstructions overall its sounding great and the looped map sounds are now handled within the engine.
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