We Do It All
We’ve been involved with custom software application development since 1991 — longer than any competitor that we are aware of. We’ve completed over 900 software projects and have reviewed literally thousands of proposed software projects. It’s not often that a client comes to us with something genuinely new, but we invite you to do your best. 🙂 Below are some of the hard-to-categorize “other” things we have extensive experience with.
The massive popularity of custom applications for mobile and desktop platforms has always been driven to some significant degree by games. Apple’s App Store and the Android marketplace are full of them, and the Entertainment Software Association recently estimated that over 150 million Americans play video games, with the U.S. industry bringing in over $22 billion dollars in 2015. Arguably even the evolution in speed and power of the average computer are a result of the performance needs of cutting-edge games. The hope of shipping the next Angry Birds or Halo brings many people to us for custom development projects. We’ve enjoyed working on a large number of games and game-related technologies over the years and have developed some insight into the sorts of games that can be effectively developed between Art & Logic and our customers, as well as the ones that can’t. Massive and complex games require a massive development effort with complex team interdependencies. Incorporating hundreds or thousands of graphical assets, elaborate story lines, and aggressive performance requirements can require:
- Multiple developer years of effort
- Unpredictably lengthy performance optimization phases
- Very tightly coupled communication between all team members or departments
- Long hours (and often, frankly, inefficiency) to meet production schedules
This sort of game development does not work well in a distributed environment. Some of these games are indeed created by small teams, not the traditional large game houses, but the teams almost always work long hours every day, face-to-face. The vision is maintained by a dedicated producer, who is deeply involved with all aspects of production. The most appropriate game projects for this sort of cooperative outsourced development relationship are generally fairly simple along some or all of the following axes:
- Performance needs
- Complexity of game-play and story
- Quantity of assets
- Production schedule
Art & Logic has created and enhanced games for training and teaching, word games, turn-based strategy games, and more. Some of those have in fact scaled to multiple years of work, with complex logic engines. Here the process was eased by a flexible production schedule, a smaller number of graphical assets, and features that allowed for unusual autonomy between the two companies’ roles. We also have familiarity with a number of the game frameworks and toolsets; Cocos2d, Flex, and others, for example, as well as countless libraries for supporting sound, physics, and more. We can work with you to establish whether we’re the right company for your game and recommend a development approach that will leverage whatever’s already out there to help you meet your goal.
Do you need help with a games development project? Contact us for a free consultation.
Pro Audio Software
Art & Logic has experience in all areas of pro audio and consumer audio. From hardware support to application design, device drivers, and even live performance (many of us are musicians), we understand how digital audio works. We have extensive technical and practical experience with Pro Tools, Cubase, and Logic Audio on both Windows and macOS platforms. We have worked with plugin environments such as VST, DirectX, TDM, RTAS, and Audio Units.
Audio Plugin Development
There are a variety of audio and MIDI plugin models. Art & Logic has experience with the following formats:
- VST; Steinberg’s creation, supported under Windows and macOS Classic, within hosts such as Cubase, Nuendo, and Logic Audio.
- DirectX: Created by Microsoft but expanded upon by Cakewalk and others, it offers advanced automation and other features but is limited to Windows.
- TDM and RTAS: Digidesign’s Pro Tools systems use these. Art & Logic is a Digidesign development partner.
- Audio Units: Apple has made it clear that the OS X audio plugin model will rely upon these, although the range of supporting hosts is still limited.
- iTunes plugins.
There are others. For example, MOTU’s Digital Performer uses a different model (although also supporting some of the above). We are always comfortable learning new plugin formats, and we don’t charge for the development time required to “ramp up” on technologies that lie within our areas of expertise. One critical reason to hire Art & Logic to port or create your plugins is that we are a company with years of experience in all areas of pro audio. Because a plugin is a narrow layer of functionality, which is surrounded by applications and/or operating systems, it really isn’t enough to have a limited understanding of the plugin environment alone.
Do you need help with a Pro Audio Software development project? Contact us for a free consultation.
Today’s operating systems are designed to work smoothly with a wide variety of hardware devices. Ubiquitous busses such as USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt, along with standardized device classes, are intended to simplify the lives of both hardware vendors and end-users. Many peripherals, when designed with the appropriate firmware, will simply plug in and function, thanks to software components supplied by the OS vendor. In other cases a device is non-standard. It may have unusual functions or performance requirements. A custom driver may be required. Driver development can be cost and labor intensive and require a wide range of deep development skills; sometimes even dedicated test hardware such as oscilloscopes and tone generators. It can also be unpredictable. Over the years Art & Logic has encountered inconsistencies on PCI and USB busses between different versions of a single model of personal computer. This can lead to timing and performance difficulties, even critical bugs such as crashes or system lockups. Finding these problems and working with the relevant parties to take appropriate action can be quite challenging. Art & Logic has written drivers and related low-level code for decades. We’ve created some of the highest performance USB audio drivers available today and interfaced with countless devices. We have the expertise to know how to solve problems that arise, and often how to anticipate the challenges that may remain. We’ve also worked closely with Apple and Microsoft to debug a range of issues over the years. In fact not all specialty hardware needs a custom driver written from the ground up. We look for existing drivers that can be enhanced, either by modifying the driver source code (a path we’ve taken with Apple’s USB audio stack) or by providing a simpler component that interacts with the existing driver to provide the necessary functionality (a common approach for USB interfaces with some level of HID compliance, for example). If the expense and challenge of a custom driver can be avoided we will help you explore that path. If a driver proves to be the best option, our expertise makes sure you’re in the best hands.
Do you need help with a driver development project? Contact us for a free consultation.
Art & Logic has designed and implemented embedded systems software since 1991 for clients like Motorola, Sharp, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Broadcom, and 20th Century Fox. We’ve created embedded software for HDTV video switchers, broadcasting equipment, printers, cable modems, network routers, and many other devices using a variety of CPUs and development environments. The results? A world-famous theme park trusts the control systems we designed for some of their attractions. Soundelux received an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement for the film editing system we implemented for them. TV networks like CBS and ESPN are now broadcasting HDTV through the Thomson Grass Valley video production switcher we helped deliver ahead of schedule. We believe that high-quality code should be a work of art. Our engineers demonstrate this by writing code that brilliantly balances flexible design and real-time constraints.
- Device Management
- System Engineering
- Real-time Control Software
- Firmware Engineering
- Device Drivers/BSPs
- Communication Protocols
Real-time Operating Systems / Platforms
- Embedded Linux
- Windows CE
- Palm OS
- PowerPC & 68k/ColdFire
- TI/Analog DSPs
- Microchip PICs
- ARM, StrongARM
In 1996, our embedded systems engineers and web developers combined their skills to create one of the world’s first HTTP-based device management applications. Since then, we have been hired by over 30 companies to create their web-based device management systems.
Do you need help with an embedded systems development project? Contact us for a free consultation.