OpenAL and SndFile as hard dependencies for KGoldrunner

Ian Wadham at
Thu May 12 06:29:34 CEST 2011

Hello Release Guys,

This is to let you know that the KGoldrunner game has been re-coded to
use the OpenAL and SndFile packages for playing and loading sounds.

It now has a hard dependency on the OpenAL and SndFile libraries.

If that dependency cannot be met, it is possible but undesirable to
build KGoldrunner without sound.

KGoldrunner previously used Phonon, which has never given good
results with games.  In December last year I found that Phonon was
working very badly for me.  Sounds were disjointed, delayed or
missing altogether.  After a few seconds the delays increased beyond
tolerance, CPU hogging set in and the game became unplayable.

So I felt obliged, at the last minute, to disable the sound feature for
the KDE 4.6 release and that is how KGoldrunner is currently released.

I have been trying to get help on this at kde-multimedia, but have
reached an impasse.  So I thought I would try OpenAL and it worked
beautifully after only a day's coding.

I think OpenAL works better than Phonon on games applications
because it holds sounds in buffers and plays them from there.  Also
it is designed to allow more than one instance of a buffer to play
simultaneously.  It is very good at overlapping sounds and plays all
sounds crisply, clearly and on time, even sounds as short as 0.03 sec
repeated two or three times per second (e.g. running footsteps).

OTOH I suspect Phonon is more geared to opening large sound-files
and playing them for long periods without overlap (e.g. as in Amarok,
Kaffeine, etc?).  It does not play short repeated sounds, does not
overlap sounds properly and does not always play sounds on time.
The sounds in KGoldrunner range from 0.03 sec to about 10 sec.

All the best, Ian W.

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