Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 46

Thread: Can this feature be revived?

  
  1. #1

    Default Can this feature be revived?

    I've had a look, and the only mention of this I've found is here, where it's called the "AWE32 SFX". There's not much info about this out there either. Has this feature been forgotten? The only place covering this in any detail is Creative's site at the time:

    https://web.archive.org/web/19971009...promo/dkeeper/

    Basically, there are 3 .sbk files in the sound directory; bullfrog.sbk, atmos1.sbk, and atmos2.sbk. These files are what are known as SoundFont banks. You can probably guess what these do by looking at the name; they're "fonts", but for sounds. They're normally used for musical instruments in sample-based MIDI, but a few games in the late 90's used them for sound effects, the most notable of which (as far as I can gather) was Dungeon Keeper. This is the purpose of the music.dat file; there is a MIDI file (XMI format) embedded there. If the game detects a Sound Blaster AWE32 (the AWE64 also counts), it loads one of these SoundFont banks and plays this MIDI file, providing extra atmospheric sound effects (screaming, chains rattling, doors creaking etc) in the background. These files do absolutely nothing if you do not have an AWE32 or AWE64. This is why, in the DOS version of the original game, the AWE32/64 is the only MIDI driver available. The cool thing about this feature is that you can use any SoundFont bank for sound effects. In fact, Creative had some sample ones for download (see the above link). This is what the -usersfont switch is for; it tells the game to use the user-loaded SoundFont rather than the stock ones. This switch (and the "No AWE32/64 banks" option which activates it) is rather pointless in KeeperFX even if you do have an AWE32/64; as KeeperFX seems to require XP or higher (unless I'm mistaken?), as far as I can gather XP only offers basic functionality with those cards, so this feature won't work anyway.

    Unfortunately, this feature only works if you have a Sound Blaster AWE32 or AWE64; it doesn't even work with later Sound Blaster cards that also support SoundFonts. I do have a workaround that gets them working (sort of) on my XP machine with a Sound Blaster X-FI, but it's a bit of hassle and doesn't work as well as it does "natively" on the AWE cards. In fact, this feature is the only reason I play KeeperFX on my XP machine. Is there any way of getting this working properly on newer machines? Or perhaps it could be rewritten so that a SoundFont capable device is not needed. After all, SoundFonts are built from waveform sounds like the rest of the game's sound effects. It could add a whole "new" level of customisation to the game.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    Interesting.
    All I can advice is to raise this as a feature request here so that when Mefistotelis, the KeeperFX developer, comes back he'll see it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    Thanks

    Do I need to sign up there to do that?

    I did some YouTube videos the other day demonstrating this feature, as there's nothing out there about it. Is it worth it to link to them here?

    There's another file in music.dat, but I don't know what it is or what it does.

    I've just tried to extract the actual sounds from the SoundFonts, without success. I know .wav files are used to construct SoundFonts, but evidently they don't stay as .wav files.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    It works with any google account. Share what you have/know.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    I can't find anything about it being linked to Google. As far as I can tell the accounts are separate...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    You are right, github is a separate account. It used to be hosted on google code which used google accounts. I've made this issue for you: https://github.com/dkfans/keeperfx/issues/753

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    Thanks

    As you've said I should share what I know, here's the first video demonstrating this (there are 3). Unfortunately, I had to use my rubbish mobile phone camera. I was actually telling someone on YouTube about this (which led to these videos), and he said just what you said - "interesting" . This is what the game sounds like on an AWE32 or AWE64 (the computer used has an AWE64 Gold). The game loads one of the SoundFont banks at random; the background sounds may be different each time you load the game, though I demonstrate all 3 here.

    Last edited by AdamP; July 17th, 2016 at 20:06.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamP View Post
    I've just tried to extract the actual sounds from the SoundFonts, without success. I know .wav files are used to construct SoundFonts, but evidently they don't stay as .wav files.
    It turns out there are WAV files in the SoundFonts (or at least the instruments can be converted to WAV format), but not how I expected. I tried to dissect them, and was surprised to find only 6 WAV files in each, despite there being loads of sounds. It seems that SoundFonts change the way they're played or something like that (I'm no expert on SoundFonts).
    Last edited by AdamP; July 18th, 2016 at 14:51.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamP View Post
    The cool thing about this feature is that you can use any SoundFont bank for sound effects. In fact, Creative had some sample ones for download (see the above link). This is what the -usersfont switch is for; it tells the game to use the user-loaded SoundFont rather than the stock ones.
    In the interests of sharing everything I know about this, I'll link to my video demonstrating this bit. Here I use the Creative sample SoundFont whacked.sf2 (yes, there are 2 SoundFont formats, the stock .sbk ones are in SoundFont 1; this is a SoundFont 2). This part doesn't work properly on the DOS version however. I think this is because the DOS driver always uses the default SoundFont bank, and there's no easy way to change it.

    Last edited by AdamP; July 18th, 2016 at 15:05.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can this feature be revived?

    Could you share the wav files?

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •