DMDJ may seem as an ordinary sound player, but it's not. In fact, it is created by using the same technologies that many video games use, although you will not see any graphics. From those technologies, we use only the game audio aspect.
What we gain from those technologies, is that DMDJ can playback various sound elements, in -real-time, through a network of virtual sound mixers and dynamic audio processing filters, to create dynamic changing environments, that are ever-changing.
This is a practice that is used in contemporary high-end games and interactive audio installations, in order to produce sound that is not making any repeating patterns. This is very important, especially in environmental sounds, because it creates the illusion of true life environments, that make the brain pass those sounds in the background, but on the same time convince it that what it hears is true. The technical term in psychophysics and aesthetics is called "immersion" and is use a lot in virtual reality applications, we can find the same term also in game design theory.
When developing DMDJ, our primary goal was and still is, to give a tool to the world, that captures the human brain, through sound, granting total immersion through sound, but without taking up so much of its faculties, that the players are focusing on the wrong signals. We want the conscious brain to be focused 100% on the storyteller and the story, but the subconscious to be immersed in the fantasy world of the narrative. so all our techniques and mechanisms in DMDJ, work together to achieve that goal.
To achieve all that, with current technology in mobile devices, a developer must use hardware acceleration, or the app will not be able to function right. Same thing happens with any video games that you play in your mobile devices.
But the makers of the devices and the operating systems, know that this is a very intensive process for the machine you have at hand, no matter the power it features. After all, as long as devices are getting more powerful by the day, the same goes for the features they support, so again, the power is a relative term when it comes to final result.
In order for the devices not to be completely drained by applications that run high on resources, the makers of the devices and operating systems for mobile use, lock the applications that use hardware acceleration and similar features, to pause when the application is put to the background. The mobile devices are not what we call 100% multitasking, but are partially multitasking, allowing other apps to function partially on the background and other apps to pause.
DMDJ falls in the category of the apps that are forces by the operating system to pause when on the background. This has nothing to do with our development practices, but with the fact that we are using advanced game audio engine features, that are hardware accelerated, same like the ones used in high-end video games. If we didn't do that, we would have only a loop player that would not be able to achieve what we wanted on the human brain as an immersive experience and that is not our goal.
You may want to use DMDJ together with other tools and this is something we respect and knew from the beginning.But unfortunately, until the feature of fully functioning in the background for apps classified in the same class as DMDJ, is unlocked from the operating system manufacturers, we cannot support it.
Many users are using different devices to create their digitally assisted storytelling toolset, therefore achieving great results with all apps and tools open in front of them. Similar solutions can be made possible is there are more than one devices available in the session, and can be borrowed from other players in order to be used by the storyteller.
Other solutions that we have heard and seen in sessions, are to have an assistant, that plays the role of the sound person, handling only DMDJ as the storyteller creates the perfect atmosphere with the narrative. That gives a great experience, as the assistant can plan ahead with the storyteller and have also sound effects ready to play when specific events are happening in the story. That's a lot of fun and this tactic offers the greatest immersion and fun possible for your sessions. Think of it as a senior and junior storyteller team, in which the senior storyteller gives the opportunity to the person that wants to become a storyteller, but is still new, a great opportunity to be part of the creative process of storytelling, in a way that is both helpful and educative for the junior.
We are certainly on the lookout for technological improvements to the operating systems and mobile devices. If that feature is provided in the future we will surely support it. If you think of it, in theory, we are already not pausing the app through our code, so if the feature gets unlocked it will automatically be supported without us having to make any updates.
Our goal is to provide a tool, that is DMDJ, that uses all the practices of interactive audio and psychoacoustics, to create a fully immersive sound experience for the audience and grant your storytelling the edge it deserves to be great as an experience, as fun and as a way to express human emotion.
We hope you have fun with it and create beautiful experiences that your audience will remember for a lifetime.
Please let us know of those experiences and how you achieved them with DMDJ, by writing to us here. We will be happy to hear your stories!