3D Sound Job at Apple ("Richard F. Lyon" )

Subject: 3D Sound Job at Apple
From:    "Richard F. Lyon"  <lyon(at)APPLE.COM>
Date:    Tue, 13 Aug 1996 13:00:56 -0700

Auditory folks, 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:lyon(at)research.apple.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 for Macintosh 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 http://dev.info.apple.com/games 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 Macintosh games!" "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 SoundSprocket!" "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 pressrel(at)whoville.austin.apple.com. Include the text "subscribe [your full name]" in the body of the message. Maureen O'Connell Apple Computer, Inc. 408-832-6689 email: oconnell.m(at)applelink.apple.com or Jonathan Hirshon Horizon Public Relations for Apple Computer, Inc. 408-982-2555 email: hirshon(at)applelink.apple.com Game developers interested in learning more about Apple Game Sprockets should email Mark Gavini, Macintosh Games Evangelist, at gavini(at)apple.com. Product marketing information may be obtained from Ben Calica, Senior Product Manager, at calica(at)apple.com. 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 information. 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 hereby acknowledged. -- 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.

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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University