MWNY: More Creative Labs Notes
11:50 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story
IMG got to spend some more time with the staff of Creative Labs who were showcasing their Sound Blaster Live! card at the show. While these cards have been quite popular for Mac gamers, the drivers have several gaps (the biggest being no Mac OS X support) that we are eager to see filled.
One of the most exciting developments on the horizon is a port of OpenAL to Mac OS X. OpenAL is a Open Audio Library, a 3D positioning audio
environment (www.openal.com). The API is cross-platform, and is gaining acceptance among game developers. According to Creative OpenAL makes accelerated calls to the card in OS X. EAX is
supported now, OpenAL is present but has yet to spread. OpenAL audio
data can be recompiled for both OS X and Linux easily, so Creative wins
on both platforms. EAX handles reverberations and environmental sounds, while OpenAL focuses
on location audio. The two will work together, essentially attaching
reverberations to louder objects and creating entire sound environments.
However, the game itself must intentionally be designed with 3D audio in mind and have specific code in the levels to activate the EAX and OpenAL features, so the level of ambience you get will vary from game to game. Creative will be shipping driver updates in the next few weeks, but there is no timetable for full OS X support.
IMG MWNY 2001 Coverage
Currently the only game scheduled to get full OpenAL support is the Carbon patch for Unreal Tournament, which is still being developed by Westlake Interactive. We'll bring you more details as they arrive.
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