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3D Sound Job at Apple
We have an opening for a person with DSP and Hearing background
to work on further research and development of our 3D Sound product
(the "Sound Sprocket" in the recently released games API).
Read about the technology at http://dev.info.apple.com/games
(you'll have to register yourself on this page to get to the info)
(but the job opening is not yet "official", so don't expect
to find out more about it yet unless you contact me)
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- mailto:email@example.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Dick Lyon Distinguished Scientist
Apple Computer 301-3M Apple Research Labs
One Infinite Loop fon: (408) 974-4245
Cupertino CA 95014 fax: (408) 974-8414
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://www.atg.apple.com/personal/lyon/ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
& Visiting Associate, Caltech Computation and Neural Systems Program
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://www.pcmp.caltech.edu/~dick/ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-----------press release about "Game Sprockets"-----------
July 2, 1996
Apple Announces Immediate Availability of
Game Sprockets Software Development Kit
Over 4,000 Developers Evaluating Game Sprockets Technology to
Simplify and Enhance Macintosh Title Development; Sprockets
Enables Every Mac Game to Include 3D Graphics and Sound, Internet
Capabilities, Speech Recognition, and Joystick Control
-- ATTACHMENT BELOW --
CUPERTINO, California--July 2, 1996--Nine months from its
inception, Apple Computer, Inc. today announced immediate
availability of Game Sprockets Version 1.0--a new developer-driven
software development kit (SDK) to create advanced multimedia and
Internet-enabled games for MacOS computers. Using Sprockets, all
games that run on Mac OS-based computers can feature real-time 3D
graphics, 3D sound, Internet support, speech recognition, and
input device/monitor control.
The Apple Game Sprockets are designed to simplify the creation of
high-performance Apple Macintosh entertainment titles and are
available royalty-free to all interested parties. Over 4,000
developers have downloaded and provided feedback on the beta
version of the SDK. The 1.0 version of Game Sprockets may be
immediately obtained from the Apple Game Developer Web Site at
Game Sprockets--named to reflect the extensible nature of the
SDK--are application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to
both solve problems that every game developer faces, and provide
easy access to advanced features like 3D sound and speech
recognition that would be too time consuming for most game
companies to develop on their own. Apple Game Sprockets supplement
existing Apple multimedia technologies such as QuickTime,
QuickTime VR, QuickTime Conferencing and QuickDraw 3D. Developers
can 'mix-and-match' individual sprockets to best enhance and
complement the existing features of their title.
"Our goal is to have the best version of any game title to be the
one on the Macintosh," said Ben Calica, senior product manager of
game technologies for Apple Computer, Inc. "The Game Sprockets
programming team and SDK are essentially a 'hit squad' for game
developers--they're our way of helping developers build great
games for the Mac. Developers have a limited amount of time before
they have to ship games for each Christmas season and I'd rather
give them more time to make a title great, then simply 'making it
work'. We have already registered over 4,000 developers who are
currently evaluating Sprockets--it promises to be a great time for
"SoundSprocket was easy to add to our almost-finished application
and the 3D sound creates a richer, more immersive game-playing
experience," said Brian Fitzgerald, president of Future Point,
developers of Warcraft 2 for the Macintosh for Blizzard
Entertainment. "All games on the Power Macintosh should use
"At MacPlay, we're very excited about version 1.0 of Sprockets and
we have already integrated several of them into games we're
developing," said Bill Dugan, Macintosh High Priest for MacPlay.
"We believe Sprockets will greatly speed up our internal
development efforts in creating the best Mac game titles and we
are delighted that Apple has asserted its commitment to the
important games market. We know that this SDK will help us, and
all game developers, leverage the Mac's technology edge to create
incredible games in the years to come."
"Our products are about the best art we can make married to the
best engineering we can find," said Todd Rundgren, rock star and
president of Waking Dreams, developers of an upcoming 3D game for
Macintosh and Windows. "If the technology isn't good enough we
build it ourselves--fortunately, I think we can avoid most of that
this time. The QD3D solution is not only good enough, it's smart
enough, and gosh darnit we're gonna use it."
"Bungie is very excited about the Game Sprockets API set and we
are currently evaluating all the Sprockets technology for future
titles," said Eric Klein, director of new business development for
Bungie Software Products Company--developers of the award-winning
Marathon game series. "At the Computer Game Developers Conference,
Bungie demonstrated Marathon 2 running with QuickDraw 3D RAVE and
an ATI 3D graphics board--the performance was awe-inspiring!
Sprockets are definitely going to be hot for Mac game developers."
"We are very pleased that Apple understands that games are a
special class of application--one with unique needs and issues,"
said Tom Utiger, project manager for Wirehead Systems. "Game
Sprockets relieve the game developer from having to write custom
routines to do common, game-oriented tasks. We are especially
happy with Apple's commitment to cross-platform development as
shown by their development of 3D RAVE for the Macintosh and
Windows 95 and the forthcoming NetSprocket for Windows 95.
Wirehead is currently using RAVE and NetSprocket in a
cross-platform game we are developing and it enabled us to proceed
and code much faster than would otherwise have been possible. Of
course, the real reason we like the Game Sprockets is because they
are most righteous and non-bogus!"
The current Game Sprockets SDK includes:
NetSprocket - Internet connectivity and multi-player gaming API
SoundSprocket - 3D sound and Sound Manager API
SpeechSprocket - speech recognition API
InputSprocket - digital joystick control and input device API
DrawSprocket - multiple buffering/display control API
QuickDraw 3D RAVE - fast, multi-platform 3D graphics API
For Details on each Sprocket API, please see attachment.
Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information
industry and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful
solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers,
peripherals, software, personal digital assistants and Internet
content. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops,
manufactures, licenses and markets solutions, products,
technologies and services for business, education, consumer,
entertainment, scientific and engineering and government customers
in over 140 countries.
NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in receiving Apple press
releases by fax call 1-800-AAPL-FAX (1-800-227-5329) and enter
your PIN number. If you do not have a PIN number, please call the
Public Relations Hotline at (408) 974-2042. If you would like to
receive Apple press releases by email, please send an email
message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the text
"subscribe [your full name]" in the body of the message.
Apple Computer, Inc.
or Jonathan Hirshon
Horizon Public Relations for Apple Computer, Inc.
Game developers interested in learning more about Apple Game Sprockets
should email Mark Gavini, Macintosh Games Evangelist, at
email@example.com. Product marketing information may be obtained from Ben
Calica, Senior Product Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are considering the purchase of an Apple product and would
like to have product information faxed to you, please call
1-800-462-4396 in the U.S. or 1-800-263-3394 in Canada. If you do
not have a fax machine or would like to locate an Apple authorized
reseller near you, please call 1-800-538-9696. Customers outside
the U.S. should contact their local Apple representatives for
Apple's home page on the World Wide Web: http://www.apple.com/
Apple, the Apple logo, QuickTime, Macintosh, and Power Macintosh are
registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. QuickDraw and Mac OS are
trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other brand names mentioned may be
trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders, and are
-- ATTACHMENT --
API Technical Details
NetSprocket--NetSprocket provides standard, customizable user
interface dialogs for configuration, log-in, and hosting a game
across the network. A simple set of calls allow messages to be
singlecast, multicast or broadcast to other machines within the
game. A theoretical maximum of two billion users can
simultaneously use NetSprocket across a broadband connection.
NetSprocket also provides transparent access to Internet-oriented
gameplay and multi-player gaming. This API uses Open Transport for
TCP/IP, AppleTalk (with support for LocalTalk, EtherTalk or
TokenTalk) and modem communication access. By utilizing a
client/server topology, it is possible for gamers to use multiple
protocols in a single session and with minimal overhead (a total
of 28 bytes are used per player for the message header).
NetSprocket also supports the creation of groups for broadcast of
data to specific users across the network.
SoundSprocket--SoundSprocket incorporates a standardized API for
accessing both traditional sound functions as well as accessing
new 3D sound technologies developed by Apple. For 3D sound, the
listener and each sound channel are given specific positions and
velocity vectors in a virtual audio space. These positions are
changed during game play, along with the sounds themselves, to
give the impression of spatiality and movement.
The signal processing, taking advantage of the capabilities of the
PowerPC, simulates the Doppler Effect, distance attenuation,
environmental reverberation and spatial positioning. The 3D effect
may be effectively presented over speakers or headphones--it is
also fully integrated with the camera position used in QuickDraw
3D, which enables sound to "follow" the player in 3D space.
InputSprocket--InputSprocket provides a compact API through which
games can communicate with drivers for analog or digital joysticks
and other game-oriented input devices in a plug and play fashion.
It also provides user interface elements that allow player
override of the default control options through specified dialog
boxes. Mouse and keyboard support are also enabled, as are
multiple input device support.
DrawSprocket--DrawSprocket allows games to easily enable multiple
(double or triple) buffering on the Macintosh for smooth display
of graphic images. Multiple buffering is achieved by DrawSprocket
using the best option available on the user's system--true double
buffering in hardware, page-flipping, efficient memory copies or
through the traditional CopyBits function call. The game does not
need to be aware of the hardware specifics to use this benefit.
DrawSprocket also enables configuration of display resolution or
color depth without leaving the game environment (no need to
access the sound and displays control panel) and screen
sizing/blanking. A sprite engine, available through QuickTime may
also be used in tandem with DrawSprocket.
SpeechSprocket--Based on Apple's PlainTalk technology, this API
allows developers to easily include high-quality speech
recognition in their game titles.
QuickDraw 3D RAVE--Recently announced as the first component of
Apple Game Sprockets, RAVE enables developers to transparently
access 3D graphics accelerators for maximum speed and throughput
while also providing exceptional 3D rendering speed in software.
RAVE lets game developers leverage their existing rendering
technologies--a key issue for vendors seeking to differentiate
their content. RAVE is shipping now for Power Macintosh and
Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT.