I am currently working on a game engine for my own use, mainly for working on audio games. For those who don't know audio games are games that use primarily (if not exclusively) sounds for their output, litle to no graphics output. They are mainly played by blind computer users, as graphically heavy games would obviously be difficult if not impossible for most blind people. So to my question:
Is there a relatively good, cross platform, c++ library that will allow me to use 3d audio with the possibility of virtualized 3d audio for headphones, as most blind people in the audiogaming community are on a relatively tight budget, so don't have the money for surround sound setups. I know of open al, but I can't find if it has virtualization support or not.
SFML has an audio API that can most likely do stereo, I'm not really sure what you mean by 3D audio but I assume speakers pointing at the user from all directions? Sounds like your on your own there as far as both hardware and software are concerned.
What I mean by virtualized 3d audio is like thx true studio pro, dolby virtualization, etc. Basically things that turn headphones into what often sounds very much like a full surround sound (and even 3d) speaker setup. I know it's possible to do in software without dolby or thx or anything, as games on the iPhone use it, for example in games like papa sangre. There's also an audio game called shades of doom that preportedly can do virtual surround, although from my experience it's not that great. I know with the right tools it is definitely possible to do virtual 3d with headphones though.
Hope this clears things up.
What you're looking for is referred to as HRTF (head related transfer function). It's a set of filters that take sound sources in 3D space relative to the listener's two ears as input and applies frequency and impulse effects to mimic the physical effects the listener's head and ear have on the sound. The specific parameters are apparently subject to the listener's unique head shape (my head sounds different than your head) but as you can imagine we've had some success with generalized one-size-fits-all profiles. Search "hrtf" on youtube and grab your headphones - there are some cool demos to be heard. I'm considering putting something like this in my game but that's way down the line from where I am now. Let me know what you find out!