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Chapter 3. Technology > Custom-Made Tools

Custom-Made Tools

Much like any other aspect of development, custom-made tools can yield great success or incredible nightmares. Let's take a look at a custom-made engine that was originally designed for use with the game Unreal by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. The engine, called the Galaxy Sound System, was programmed by Carlo Vogelsang, formerly a contract programmer for Epic Games who now works at Creative.

Galaxy Development Cycle in Brief

The Galaxy Sound System was designed to take advantage of software and hardware; at the time it was developed, new products known as hardware-accelerated 3D cards—manufactured by a company called 3dfx—were starting to show up. (The market for hardware-accelerated cards is now defunct, but the technology eventually worked its way into video cards.) A consumer rift appeared between players who had such accelerator cards and those who didn't. Epic Games and Digital Extremes, Unreal's codevelopers, wanted to cover as much of the market as possible, and that goal permeated all parts of the game. As a result, the game supported EAX and Aureal technology (the latter being a now-obsolete hardware-based 3D surround-sound technology).


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