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RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the picked-the-right-game-to-demo dept.

Media 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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1996 is back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794205)

And you thought Quake client updates were over..

Re:1996 is back (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794219)

https://github.com/ioquake/ioq3/ [github.com]
Updated 14 hours ago. The updates never ended.

game developers take note (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794217)

This is what happens when you DON'T open source your games. Your game doesn't make the news when researchers DON'T use your games for research.

Re:game developers take note (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 2 months ago | (#47795163)

Id open sources its older code to act as an incentive to developers to license their latest engine. It's the same as MS giving away VS Express or a free hit from a drug dealer. Since most developers are already licensing an engine from someone else there is little incentive to open up their code.

Re:game developers take note (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795273)

No, that's not the reason. And, it doesn't make sense if it were. It makes far more sense to kill your old engine entirely and force users and developers onto the new codebase, because that's what is selling. Id software only open sourced their old engines because Carmack is an open source hacker himself and was passionate about it. Management at Id software couldn't say no to Carmack, so when he demanded to do things like open source their old engines they just let him do it. Because, let's face it, all development was essentially riding solely on his shoulders for years. I'm going to bet that from now on they don't bother to open source another line of code. Especially since they are now owned by Zenimax, who isn't into that kind of thing. Hell, they just recently sued Carmack for "sharing" his knowledge with the Oculus Rift team. Do you think these are the kind of people who are going to care about open source?

Re:game developers take note (2)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 months ago | (#47797879)

I think you could compare the Quake engine to the M1911a1
It found perfect utility in few revisions. Most every other handgun of its type is based on it now. It remains fairly unchanged, yet extensible. Sport, self defense or war, it is the modern standard for the handgun. Quake has found much utility that has kept Id in good company with various technologies, developers, researchers that all add some code that may or may not be useful for present gaming, but could find its way in the future. I'd say they have invested and reinvested this game on top of all the returns they have already had from it. Carmack must be quite visionary. It reminds me of a farmer adding manure/compost back to the soil rather than hauling off waste. It is reinvested in the soil to produce future returns. Publicity, investment, research,product all go hand in hand in a symbiotic way. Carmack is only applying universal truths.

Re:game developers take note (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795377)

And zero fucks were given.

Sound great, release a demo!!!! (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 months ago | (#47794229)

I liked what I heard, but I really like to have a demo of it to check out.

Aureal A3D "wavetracing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794251)

I loved A3D. It might just be pure nostalgia, but I remember a lot of hackusations from enemies who weren't careful about how much noise they were making running around.

Re:Aureal A3D "wavetracing"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795127)

I knew someone would mention A3D and God fucking damnit now I'm raging because fucking Creative fuck fucking fuck mother FUCKERS FUCK CREATIVE WITH A FUCKING RUSTY CHAINSAW MOTHERWHARRGARBL...*explodes*

About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794253)

I was just observing how terrible "soundscapes" still were in modern games. This has promise, particularly if there is very little performance hit. Mind you, it's very little performance hit in Quake as opposed to modern games with *lots* more geometry...

But still!

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794271)

10% hit on relatively low poly collisions and very few sounds.. :/

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794427)

Time to start making audio accelerating cards again, but now with 50% more accelerating!

Re:About time (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 months ago | (#47794461)

Remember when the SoundBlaster Live! came out and Creative Labs were telling you that it had as much processing power as a Pentium 166MHz MMX, dedicated entirely to sound processing? Well, it turns out that now you can have far more CPU power than that dedicated entirely to sound processing without custom hardware...

What's your point ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794797)

" ... it turns out that now you can have far more CPU power than that dedicated entirely to sound processing without custom hardware ..."

Care to tell us what you're getting at ?

Re:About time (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 2 months ago | (#47794509)

10% hit on relatively low poly collisions and very few sounds.. :/

Using the video as a basis, its clear the framerate halfs when RAYA is active.
I'd love to see some "real" benchmarks, but obviously the performance impact is too big at this stage. Which worries me, considering their using iD Tech 3 engine for this demo.

Theres alot of raytracing and calculations going on.
In essence, theres just as much (if not more) processing going on here, than a full game's logic loop.

The only way this would work in real world applications is to ensure this processing is done on its own thread.

Interesting, but it clearly needs alot more work on optimisations.
Would like to see the API and the reference documentation.

Re:About time (2)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 2 months ago | (#47794729)

The thing is stuff like this and raytracing graphics are best served by parallelization, so it's not so much an issue of cranking out more performance as it is just finding a way to put it on something like a GPU's worth of stream processors.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794939)

Finally, something for an AMD 8xxx/9xxx FX processor to do with the four+ cores that most games never touch.

Re:About time (1)

seanellis (302682) | about 2 months ago | (#47800179)

This is the equivalent of ray tracing in graphics - nice effect, but very heavy on the computation.

With graphics, rasterization is faster, and the reason is that it can be characterized as "a bunch of cheats that happen to look good". Can we identify some similar cheats for sound?

Yes, I think so. Here's a paper I wrote 16 years ago outlining one possible, very simple, basis for soundscape generation.

https://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~vrml... [uwaterloo.ca]

Unfortunately, I didn't get to progress with it as VRML faded out pretty quickly after 1998.

About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795731)

Most of the extra geometry goes into the details, though. A simplified-geometry version of the map would probably give almost exactly the same sound experience as the fully detailed version. I doubt if players could hear the difference. Moreover, if the objects very close to the sound source and/or the listening player are more important than the rest, they could cut out those segments in full detail and use a simplified version for the rest of the map.

Re:About time (2)

v1 (525388) | about 2 months ago | (#47796495)

there's really very little difference between optimizing audio and video. back-culling polygons and all that magic to increase framerate by lowering processing overhead. Same thing with audio. It's just that it hasn't really been taken very seriously in the past.

When Marathon came out, it had "ambient sounds" that changed as you moved in relation to their source. They were also in stereo. (these were new, no other fps had it) Sound effects from map features, weapons, and ordinance were adapted based on distance from you and were also in stereo. Sadly, lery little has changed since then.

OK, now do it for a game that has audio content. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 2 months ago | (#47794255)

Quake audio consists mostly of footsteps and bangs. This might be fun for, say, GTA IV/V, where the NPCs have conversations to which you can listen if you're close enough.

Re:OK, now do it for a game that has audio content (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 2 months ago | (#47794435)

Guild Wars 2 implemented a system like this to dynamically calculate both occlusion settings and reverberation and echo in real-time.

Somehow (4, Funny)

bragr (1612015) | about 2 months ago | (#47794265)

Somehow this will cause someone to puke.

Ralph in 3...2...1... (1)

Chas (5144) | about 2 months ago | (#47794505)

*BLORPH*

Oh man! Right in your lap! Sorry about that dude!

I'll try to aim someplace else next time...

*BLORPH*

Well...your face...at least it wasn't your lap this time...

Re:Ralph in 3...2...1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794575)

Your face, your lap, what's the difference?</duke3d>

Re:Ralph in 3...2...1... (1)

Chas (5144) | about 2 months ago | (#47795873)

Shoot them there. You'll see.

Shoot someone in the lap, and they scream bloody murder.

Shoot someone in the face...well...the screaming stops...

Re:Somehow (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 months ago | (#47794901)

Or someone will figure out how to hit the brown note, which will make multiplayer griefing much more interesting.

Re:Somehow (5, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#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.

Re:Somehow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47796079)

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.

Ok, my sarcasm filter just puked a huge pile.

Re:Somehow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47796173)

If you'd like to be one of those vigilant patriots, there's a good chance [uspto.gov] that we'll pick up hiring again this fall.

Re:Somehow (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47796805)

If you'd like to be one of those vigilant patriots, there's a good chance [uspto.gov] that we'll pick up hiring again this fall.

But what would be the point? As far as I can tell, USPTO policy is ultimately set by campaign contributors.

Re:Somehow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47800205)

Well as far as I can tell, you only have one leg. Mind you, that's because I've never been in receipt of any observational data which would tell me how many legs you have. But thanks to the catch-all "as far as I can tell" I can say you only have one leg as if it means something.

Re:Somehow (1)

cduffy (652) | about 2 months ago | (#47803737)

The USPTO isn't funded by campaign contributions, it's funded by patent application fees. Much easier to follow the money than assume ulterior motive being applied in a more roundabout way.

It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (5, Interesting)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 months ago | (#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 [wikipedia.org] system was fantastic, doing everything that this demo showed [arstechnica.com] . 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 [slashdot.org] ) They're more than willing to use legal means to muscle their way.

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794335)

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

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794771)

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

You honestly think they won't? Someone hasn't been following the tech industry in the last two decades.

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794991)

herpallderp such nerd rage

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (2)

ponos (122721) | about 2 months ago | (#47794365)

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.

AMD TrueAudio on Kaveri processors and newer GPUs supposedly does just that. I haven't seen any game supporting it, though. Would be a nice feature I think.

Aureal demo on Youtube (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794567)

A3D v2.0 demo on Youtube [youtu.be] . I find it much more impressive than RAYA, possibly due to the HRTF in addition to the wavetracing. I had such Aureal Vortex2 card in the day. It was amazing how good the 3D positioning was, even with two pc speakers next to the monitor. Creative ruined it. For me, that alone is more than enough reason to boycott Creative to this day, and beyond.

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794573)

I feel like I'm The Dude talking to Walter. As in "WTF are you talking about man???"

That was a hardware thing, this is software, run on a GPU, other people do this. Besides, Creative hardly has enough money to keep going as a company, let along stage a costly legal battle. Triple besides it's software, and it's not like this is the only software plugin that does this, it just hopefully does it faster, there's no grounds for anything and no way any of this will happen again. So wtf are you talking about man???

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794577)

I've never forgiven Creative for this.

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795149)

No one should ever forgive Creative for this. Every time anyone retells the story, everyone who reads it should develop an instant and ever lasting hatred for Creative, and then go tell at least 10 people about it so that those people hate Creative, too. Eventually the hatred for Creative should become pure and of physical form, and it will devour Creative whole, erasing them from time entirely. The souls of the executives and lawyers should be rendered unto Satan for all eternity. Any person who has ever, or will ever, defend Creative for what they did to Aureal and A3D should join them.

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794655)

Man, back in the day, I had that Diamond Monster Sound MX300 card and the demos were absolutely stunning. Games too. The bar was set years ago. It's seems that due to things outside of science and tech such as politics, business, and lawyers we have not gotten appreciably farther in the 3D audio realm?

But the effect is actually there. There's positional audio in my Xbox 360 and PS3/PS4 games. I can identify the spatial location of things when playing using on my 5.1 system (five speakers/channels plus the sub/LFE channel) even when my character is running all over the place. How do they do that? What tech are they using? Who's tech/IP are they using?

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794689)

EDIT: Holy moley. Listening to more of the A3D demos (again, years later, with my current machine's SRS turned off), the experience is mind blowing. The positional effect is awesome with just headphones. So immersive.

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 months ago | (#47795931)

Aureal A3D wasn't really all that magical or spectacular, its rose tinted glasses looking though a nostalgia tube, I had both and both were gimicky and you could hardly notice the difference

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (3, Informative)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 months ago | (#47796417)

I also had both. And when implemented properly, A3D really was that good [youtube.com] , especially compared to EAX [youtube.com] .

Re:It's a shame Creative will be suing this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47796971)

It's fairly obvious from that video that A3D actually did something, and EAX basically just turned the reverb upto max.

Fuck Creative with a rusty spoon.

What if you tilt your head in headphones? (5, Interesting)

plibnik (636383) | about 2 months ago | (#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?

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

omtinez (3343547) | about 2 months ago | (#47794417)

I didn't hear anything about that. Then again, I wasn't looking in the direction of the sound

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794559)

That might be a built-in feature. The sort of thing that you get "for free" when calculating the sound in this way.
But unless you are also applying the rotation to the character as it is rendered on-screen, it doesn't make sense to apply it. If the sound you hear is distorted without a corresponding graphical equivalent, it will just sound wrong.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

plibnik (636383) | about 2 months ago | (#47798887)

Well, I do turn my head a bit - maybe 10-20 degrees to sides - when I play some FPS. Just imagine yourself, e.g., strafing out of the corner. Supposedly your EYES are still locked on display before you, yet you can rotate your head a bit. And this should mean a lot in such a detailed environment: make all these efforts to produce a precise acoustic environment and then to fail by ignoring head direction - so that sound would be inconsistent to picture on a fixed monitor before you? BTW, when I was younger, I played Counter-Strike, and on some maps you could camp nicely behind a wooden wall, hear someone coming on the other side and precisely shoot the guy with a few bullets. They all were shouting "cheater" for the first time, thinking you can see through walls... Nope. But when a man tries to establish precise source of some sound, one often turns his head to sides a few times. Something related to binaural hearing and psychoacoustic model, perhaps.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794563)

I never understood those head trackers. I mean, if I have a screen in front of me and turn my head to the right, then the display may very well change but I'm now looking to the right so won't see it (or need to look out of the corner of my eye). If instead I have a bank of monitors, so that I could see any adapted view - it wouldn't need to change the display!
Whereas, I can see benefit in your suggestion - we tilt our heads to identify sound sources so that would work quite well even without the visual

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

multi io (640409) | about 2 months ago | (#47794699)

I never understood those head trackers. I mean, if I have a screen in front of me and turn my head to the right, then the display may very well change but I'm now looking to the right so won't see it (or need to look out of the corner of my eye). If instead I have a bank of monitors, so that I could see any adapted view - it wouldn't need to change the display!

http://youtu.be/Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtu.be]

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794737)

I never understood those head trackers. I mean, if I have a screen in front of me and turn my head to the right, then the display may very well change but I'm now looking to the right so won't see it (or need to look out of the corner of my eye). If instead I have a bank of monitors, so that I could see any adapted view - it wouldn't need to change the display!

Think of the screen as a window. If you back away from the window you only see straight out from the window. As you move closer your perspective changes, you can see more of the areas above, below and to the sides. If you move your head up you can look down on the ground.
Head tracking makes it possible to change the rendering so that you get that kind of window view.
If you can spare 5 minutes this hack of a wiimote [youtube.com] show the impact this have. (Skip to 2:30 if you don't care about the hardware.)
Essentially it gives you parallax 3D which will give you some sense of depth.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about 2 months ago | (#47799303)

Thank you for the reply (I was the AC - just posting from mobile, not logged in), that makes so much more sense and I can see the effect in the video is actually useful. Very similar to the technique adopted by Amazon with their phone.
I had only ever seen descriptions of tracking head rotation (or lazily scanned articles - more likely) and not considered tilt/vertical/horizontal.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about 2 months ago | (#47799323)

and, taking it to its logical conclusion, pretty soon I will be able to look down newsreaders blouses?

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794961)

A display + head tracker combination makes the display behave like window. If you move )not rotate) you head to the left, you can see more stuff on the right side of the screen. You can look around nearby obstacles.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 months ago | (#47795267)

The other replies cover the window-like way of doing things. The other way to do it is to make it so that if you look right, the screen rotates to the right. Usually you have a multiplier, so that a small head rotation translates into a much larger rotation on-screen. Looking backwards might only require turning your head 45 degrees, which allows you to still look to the side and see the screen.

This might sound awkward, but your brain adjusts to it with almost no effort. The main problem I've seen with head-tracking is that stuff on the screen never stands still, which makes it hard to click on small objects. Usually people who use head-trackers need to use a button to pause screen motion, dampen it, etc. Dampening screen motion other than a slight amount to reduce jitter is a bit hard on the eyes I find, since everything you see has a delay attached to it.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 2 months ago | (#47795745)

If, as the post you're replying to implied, you were wearing headphones, it *would* need to change the audio, though.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47796601)

Posting as Anonymous simply because I'm too lazy to create an account.

You should look into TrackIR. It's one of the head trackers we use in the sim community (largely flight sims, but it's used elsewhere as well). Most of these head trackers use accelerated or exaggerated movement for looking around. This allows you to turn your head just a couple of degrees and you may be looking 90 degrees to the side, in game. It's also fully configurable along with a deadzone so the camera isn't constantly twitching when you're trying to look centered on the monitor. It works incredibly well. It's odd at first but becomes completely natural after half an hour or an hour of usage.

I was also skeptical as well until I actually tried it. I'll never look back. I just wish more games would take advantage of it. The boost in situational awareness you get is incredible.

EDIT: Captcha for this post: flight

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794953)

An audio head tracker with proper 7.1 emulation is available - it's called the Smyth Realiser [smyth-research.com] , but it is rather expensive.

Re:What if you tilt your head in headphones? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 months ago | (#47795529)

That's not going to happen fast enough. Our hearing is exceptionally sensitive to timing, far more so than sight. As a result, the only way you get this is with speakers.

I strongly recommend getting a good 5.1 speaker setup if you're into gaming and enjoy positional audio. Vast majority of games nowadays have a proper directional sound implementation in software, so you'll get what you pay for.

You can have that... for a lot of money (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 months ago | (#47798893)

For whatever reason, it isn't something there's much interest in, but it does exist. I am aware of three options:

1) The HeaDSPeaker. The cheapest option. A little device from a not very well known company called VLSI Solutions. It handles the head tracking and HRTF, you provide the headphones. Runs about 340 Euro ($450). It can take input either as a Dolby Digital stream, or directly as USB from the computer.

2) The Beyerdynamic Headzone. This is an all-in-one solution from Beyerdynamic. Has a decoder, HRTF calculations, headphone amp, head tracking, and a pair of DT 880s. Costs about $1700. Requires DTS or DD input for multi-channel input.

3) Then the grand champion, the Smyth Research Realiser A8. This thing takes measurements of your headphones, ears, speakers, and room and so accurately recreates the sound it is more or less impossible to tell it apart. The unit handles measurement, decoding, HRTF, head tracking and so on. However it costs $2900 for the unit alone, $3700 with the Stax headphones and amp they recommend for it. Oh and you need a good surround system to measure, so you either need to own one or book time on one. Needs either multi-channel analogue or HDMI input.

So it is out there... but you pay a ton for it. That's all I know of at the moment, it is a topic I keep track of because I have a lot of interest in it.

Fake audio is useful. (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 2 months ago | (#47794383)

It is good to give devs the option of realistic audio, but for games in medium - big settings, the relative slowness of sound propagation is a problem. Getting a headshot and later hearing the sound is counter intuitive, at least for the hollywood generations. I guess that realistic effects with no delay in sound propagation is the way to go.

Re:Fake audio is useful. (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | about 2 months ago | (#47794579)

A pretty good rule about hearing gunshots is:

If you hear the gunshot, they missed you. Even if the bullet is subsonic, you'd feel it before you heard it, if it hit you.

Re:Fake audio is useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794833)

Depends on the game. If it's meant to be realistic, it'll benefit from more realism.
Wether it'll be any fun is up to the game designer.

GSound? (1)

NouberNou (1105915) | about 2 months ago | (#47794481)

How is this at all different from GSound: http://www.carlschissler.com/g... [carlschissler.com]

I even have a basic working implementation of it modded into Arma 3...

Re:GSound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794493)

GspotSound: passionate 3D moaning, exxxtreme edition!

Aureal Technologies (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#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:Aureal Technologies (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 months ago | (#47795511)

To be fair, EAX, while not actually calculating sound based on geometry, approximated close enough. I tested both Aureal's and Creative's cards back in early 2000 and difference was only noticeable if you really, REALLY focused on it in games that supported both A3D and EAX.

And most modern games use a full 3D positional audio with echo, reverb and other functions in software that sound almost as good as real ray traced sound on almost any decent sound codec. Though I still run audigy2 in all my gaming rigs (it keeps migrating into new one as I upgrade and the card is still supported drivers wise!) which still supports EAX in games that use hardware sound over software sound.

Re:Aureal Technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47797043)

I tested both Aureal's and Creative's cards back in early 2000 and difference was only noticeable if you really, REALLY focused on it in games that supported both A3D and EAX.

I still run audigy2 in all my gaming rigs

You dirty, disgusting, dishonest piece of Creative supporting shit. I hope your Audigy 2 catches fire and burns down your gaming rig.

Re:Aureal Technologies (0)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 months ago | (#47797431)

If anyone ever needed evidence that excessive fanboyism is a destructive disease, I suppose this passes for evidence.

Background (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47794561)

Beamtracing, specifically nonlinear beamtracing, was originally a microsoft research project from a few years back having to do with realtime rendering on a GPU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QWntu70YKw

It was, mathematically, an attempt to utilize highly parallel GPU for tracing style effects. For whatever reason, probably to do with sample counts and etc. it never went anywhere for visuals. But this Sounds great... I wonder what it's performance is? Regardless, good to see that research didn't go to waste entirely.

Re:Background (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 months ago | (#47795517)

Actually it was originally Aureal's project back in the 1990s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Pretty awesome stuff (2)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | about 2 months ago | (#47794701)

Similar to what Aureal was doing with A3D back in the 90s, but obviously not tied to a specific piece of hardware like back then.

I enjoyed the Quake 3 demo, but it while it works decently well with just the player in the level, it sort of falls apart during the deathmatch. I think that's probably because the stock Q3 sounds have a bit of reverb baked in. I would love to hear what it would sound like with a complete set of reverb- and echo-less sound effects, so the RAYA can handle everything by itself, instead of working in top of the baked-in reverb.

Games (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 2 months ago | (#47794899)

Realistic sound has been around, as people point out, since the Aureal days. Now, to be honest, it should be baked into every engine and tied to your textures (soft textures absorb sound, shiny textures reflect sound, etc.).

The fact that it isn't means a couple of things - it's too expensive (which I can't believe nowadays), it adds too much cost to development time (but surely modifying those sounds for echo etc. is more costly than just putting in a pure sound and letting the engine modify it as necessary),, people just don't notice that much, or the patent field is too heavy.

Take things like TF2, HL, CS, etc. They are all same-engine. They are all 3D open environments. It is vital to know where shots etc. are coming from in order to play properly. But we don't see such audio tricks. That, to me, suggests they aren't necessary or certainly not the right value to waste time on.

And, to be honest, I watched "ray-traced quake" over, what? Ten years ago? That tech still isn't used in modern games because of the above reasons. It's do-able but expensive, the development time is costly, the effect isn't that much different from pure cheating on the 3D drawing, and it's not in any of the major game engines. This is suggestive of the value of such things being minimal.

And, to be honest, the realistic-"ness"of a game is the first few minutes of unboxing and then that's it. What destroys your immersion from then on is crappy plot, unrealistic capabilities, and AI that still - to this day - sucks. Fire gun, run around corner, wait for the idiots to pile round. The "better" ones might well throw a grenade but once you know that, you take account of that, and that's the AI beaten. To "win" the AI has to have reactions infinitely better than yours and outnumber/outgun you. Think about the average FPS game - there are several THOUSAND bad guys. And you. And though you might get stuck occasionally, you will win. You can use first-aid kits, they can't. You can lure them into traps, they can't (unless scripted). You can sit and wait them out. You can guess where they will walk next, they forget about you one second after they stop seeing you. It's ludicrous.

Please stop wasting our game industry by reinventing tech we've had for decades and could put in any game, given time. Let's try and make a game with one, single, scary opponent (and maybe some NPC's to fill in the gaps). A Matrix-like game, for example. Agents are few and far between, maybe one per real player. There is only one that's a real threat. And there's you. And a world that you can both use to your advantage.

When humans play humans you HAVE to have the same numbers on both sides. When humans play AI, you HAVE to be vastly outnumbered.

I'd much rather Half-Life 3 had intelligent enemies who will choose to camp the chokepoints and not be lured out, than some fancy water effect or proper audio reflections or whatever.

You're not telling me that with the CPU/GPU available nowadays, we couldn't make a Quake 1 opponent that - with the same programmed reaction times, capabilities, and facilities available to them as a human player - couldn't be a serious threat. I'd rather play that than yet-another "look how shiny" kind of game.

Re:Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47796329)

I'm surprised at you. With a low(ish) UID like that. That games don't have fancy audio is not because it isn't valuable, but because most people can't take advantage of it. That is, plenty of them will support some sort of surround sound if you have it. This is about makeing it work better. You can understand how making things better is... um... you know... better. Right?

And as to making good npc that can challenge a human 1 on 1: I'm surprised at you again. That would require real and strong AI. When we have the kind of npc AI you're talking about, we'll also be building real world Datas from Star Trek.

Re:Games (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#47797737)

That would require real and strong AI. When we have the kind of npc AI you're talking about, we'll also be building real world Datas from Star Trek.

Not at all - still dumb as a toaster but just with a few more rules to match to simulate being good at one or two different things. It's a very contrived setting with very few things going on. Even, at an extreme, if something engages you in conversation there's very little to talk about so a small number of scripts covers all bases - that's your deluxe waffle setting :)

Re:Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47799965)

Talkie the toaster! Yeah, I don't know. There's just something about real intelligence that makes what seems like a limited and contrived setting suddenly feel a lot bigger. On the other hand, I played Descent via direct modem connection against my buddy when we were kids and I eventually learned his playing style. One day I could suddenly beat him most of the time. I was feeling pretty good about my skill until kali came along and I discovered that all I was good at was beating the AI and one real person... :)

Re:Games (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47797201)

I'd rather have both. This tech has been out since the original half-life days. It is not complex, not programmatically or computationally. The problem is the people driving the design of this system were sued into oblivion by a technically inferior Creative Labs. Realism and immersion are two different things. The ability to be situationally aware with sound is a massive advantage for immersion into a game.

In summary this tech has nothing to do with studios crapping out poor plots or crap AI. The engines should incorporate this and the studios should then focus on making a game fun, but certainly I don't have a preference of AI or plot over sound.

Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47799451)

Actually it is rather expensive to calculate sound in that way. You might think 3D graphics are expensive but all games are simple geometric distortions of light whereas if you want a truly realistic sound engine you need to calculate wave effects such as diffraction, for a large wavelength range and a large number of materials.

Re:Games (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 1 month ago | (#47820659)

That is why I say: "The best AI ever designed was a live human opponent"

Lazy developers & designers would rather jack the hitpoints of a boss up to be 10x your life then to spend time making it behaving in an interesting fashion.

If you haven't played Dark Souls 1 & 2 with its PvP --- check it out.

Games for the blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795015)

I looked into this back around 2005 because I know a few blind people and looked into audio only gaming. I wanted to make something like this to create like a first person audio only game engine where you could wander around and explore a world using sound cues (I was thinking of a detective story at the time)

unfortunately - yeah EAX was a pile of chod, and you had to buy a high end card to do *2* reverbs. completely pointless.

i looked at the FMOD engine, which although sophisticated - and seemed to be moving in a direction for immersive audio (IIRC you could put geometry into the audio renderer) - it still wasn't the clincher, even for me.

I assumed a kind of ray tracing system would work but never had time to persue it.

I want this in Darkplaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47795053)

If there's one engine I'd love to see this in? It's Darkplaces.

Lots of people here are missing the point. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 2 months ago | (#47795359)

Never mind making Quake/QuakeII/Quakex give audio cues that match the environment more precisely. When do I get a holosuite? I'd very much like the sound to match the image there, especially for some of the more, er, interesting holosuite programs.

Audio = gimmick (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47795667)

The problem has always been that in games audio (sound tracks withstanding) is seen basically as a gimmick. A few games do it well, but for most, it's an afterthought.

The selling point has been, and always will be, graphics. Some reasons: Humans are predominantly visual, magazine based reviews can't demonstrate audio (this is changing due to youtube and other video reviews), lack of audio hardware that WORKS properly (IE; a sound card that processes EAX/positional audio, speakers to take advantage of it, and non-shitty drivers.. Fuck you Creative.)

This will not change until things like the Occulus rift become more mainstream; and shitty, non directional audio is the new bottleneck for immersion.

Why creative??! why won't you advance A3D. (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | about 2 months ago | (#47797257)

I was never fortunate enough to actually own my own Aureal card.

But I really really can't understand why having bankrupted them, and taken all of their technology, creative didn't do the sensible thing and USE IT.

Even now A3D is still vastly superior to the latest EAX FIFTEEN YEARS LATER.

Sounds wrong (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | about 2 months ago | (#47797927)

To me, this demo is serious uncanny valley territory.

When I was composing MOD music on my Amiga back in the late 80's, I was very much aware of the problem of playing the same instrument on the left and right channels at the same time, especially when doing pitch slides. You got all kinds of weird interference problems, or the audio version of moire effects, if you will. If you were good composer, it could be used to good effect in music in a lot of cases, but most of the time it was a real pain, especially with sound effects in games.

I hear plenty of that in this demo, and it's far different and more annoying than actual reverb. As it is, the sound is just too "off" for me to consider it an improvement, and just like 3D sound, I'd have this feature turned off.

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