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Chapter 3. Technology - Pg. 42

42 Chapter 3. Technology Technology is what will drive your creation, and as such it must be defined early in the development process. An important thing to consider out of the gate is what kind of sound engine will be used-- middleware or a proprietary system. Let's assess each of these terms before we proceed. A sound engine is all the code in a game that has to do with playing sound. It includes the low-level code that links the higher-level functions with the hardware (a PC or console). It also includes the middle-level code that drives basic playback functionality--such as what sounds are driven to what speakers, and what sounds take priority in playback based on the restrictions of the low-level code and hardware. It also includes high-level code that the sound designers use to implement the sound into the game and advanced behaviors such as adaptive soundtracks. Middleware is a type of sound engine that a company or team buys in order to achieve extended functionality for the systems developers want to program without coding it themselves. Middleware can be a complete game engine or a portion of it that performs only certain functions (for our pur- poses, sound). An advantage to middleware is that a lot of work is done for you. A disadvantage is that if you want anything changed, you have to either learn a completely new code base yourself or