Few question the importance of sound and music in relation to the overall effect a movie or game can have on an audience. By that, I do not mean the music needs to be the most technologically advanced or of the highest quality, but I think it's safe to say that music should be appropriate in order to achieve the effects intended. This chapter does not examine the process of music making, which is vast and detailed. Instead, we'll examine how music and audio is programmed in computer games. In this sense, this chapter examines how music stored in files such as MP3 and OGG can be played in computer games. This process can be achieved in many ways. Some people use the DirectX feature set from DirectAudio and DirectShow. Others use an audio library associated with OpenGL, namely OpenAL (Open Audio Library). Still others may use alternative libraries such as FMOD or BASS.
This book examines two audio libraries: FMOD and BASS. FMOD is often used by larger gaming companies working across many platforms including gaming consoles. BASS tends to appeal to smaller independent developers making games for Windows PCs and Macs.