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Media Quake Games Technology

RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake 89

New submitter bziolko writes: RAYA is a realtime game audio engine that utilizes beamtracing to provide user with realistic audio auralization. All audio effects are computed based on the actual geometry of a given game level (video) as well as its acoustic properties (acoustic materials, air attenuation). The sound changes dynamically along with movement of the game character and sound sources, so the listener can feel as if they were right there — in the game.

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RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake

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  • by Anaerin ( 905998 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @03:20AM (#47794283)
    There was a company back in 1997 that had a fantastic (series of) cards that did all this 3d transformation, reflection, deflection and occlusion of audio in hardware. The company was Aureal, and their A3D [] system was fantastic, doing everything that this demo showed []. The competitor, Creative's EAX, instead used the entirely dumb method of "turn on reverb in a room". Creative sued Aureal, thinking that they had a leg up on 3D audio. Aureal countersued, and won, but the legal costs drove them into bankruptcy. Creative then bought Aureal's assets, and buried the company, and all it's technology, never to be seen again. In fact, EAX is still the stupid-simple (and very broken) "turn on reverb" (though now it also has "Adjust reverb"). And, as Creative have shown before (With the whole "Carmack's Reverse" fiasco []) They're more than willing to use legal means to muscle their way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @03:48AM (#47794335)

    Creative will sue a university in Poland? Excuse me while I laugh.

  • by plibnik ( 636383 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @03:58AM (#47794357)
    For those who play in headphones, not with 5.1 or 7.1 surround audio, a system that tracks head rotation and tilting (similar to what they have for airplane sims, where you wear hat with markers and a webcam tracks your head position... and view in displays is changed accordingly) is needed. I haven't seen any of those at the market yet. Maybe you've heard about such things?
  • Aureal Technologies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @05:37AM (#47794537)

    This (audio raytracing) was done in the late 90s by a company called Aureal.

    Their 3D audio cards were UNBELIEVEABLE. I played the original HL using one - and played CS using them - and they were a game-changer. If you had one, you were 10x better off than someone who didn't. You could tell how the battle outside was going on, by hearing how the people firing were changing position - if your team (you knew which direction they were entering combat from) were firing and moving forward, then they were winning.

    One of the demos was a helicopter, circling the players head. You tracked it with your eyes and mind as it went round - it actually R E A L L Y sounded like a true, physical helicoptor circlng your head.

    The Creative sued them into failure.

    I've never forgiven Creative for this. I've never and will never buy any of their products.

  • Re:Somehow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @08:52AM (#47794917)

    Somehow this will cause someone to puke.

    As someone who's worked on 30-year-old acoustic ray tracing software models, the fact that they're attempting to get a patent make me want to puke.

    Fortunately, we can count on the vigilant patriots at the USPTO to view the patent with skepticism, and bring a combination of deep domain knowledge and Rottweiler-like tenacity to look for prior art.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"