Archive for November, 2006

Sam & Max

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Fans of the original should enjoy this sequel of sorts.

Sam & Max: Episode One Demo

Looks awesome!

Vista and Creative (EAX)

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

A lunchtime discussion came up about EAX, and the future of Creative.  Since audio in Vista is moved into user space, what happens to hardware acceleration?  It seems to me that you’d have to interface using some standard Microsoft convention, that may or not include EAX.  Well, after some research, I found this interesting link concerning OpenAL and Vista:

http://www.openal.org/openal_vista.html

Read it.

From the article, we know:

- There are 3 devices used in OpenAL playback:  native, generic hardware, and generic software

- Using the “native” device in OpenAL provides hardware acceleration in both XP and Vista.

- The “native” device doesn’t use DirectSound3D for sound playback, going straight to the driver.

- “Microsoft will be removing DirectSound 3D Hardware support from Direct X with the launch of Windows Vista. DirectSound and DirectSound3D will still function; however, they will no longer use hardware acceleration.”

- The “native” device is unaffected by this change, but the “generic hardware” device will function exactly like the “generic software” device.

- Under Vista:

  -  “new software mixer will give the users basic audio support for their old Direct Sound games but since it has no hardware layer, all EAX effects will be lost, and no individual per-voice processing can be performed using dedicated hardware processing”. 

  - “With the native Windows Vista audio APIs, all this advanced, hardware-based 3D audio processing will be inaccessible”

  - “For gamers this would be the most noticeable loss in Windows Vista”

 

So, it seems, unless the game is written with OpenAL, you won’t get any benefit from your spiffy hardware sound card.  Apparently, this goes for both old games and new.

I think the message is clear.  If you aren’t using OpenAL for audio, I think it’s time to make the switch.

If you ask me, I think I’d rather just keep my motherboard sound and forget all this mess… but that’s a discussion for another day.