Background to the project:
The goal of
the project was to create a (non-visual) computer game that resembles
the same level of accessibility and fun as a game with visual output.
The game had to be as exciting and challenging as visual games.
We designed the game for blind children of the age of 10 to 14.
The reason we chose to create a computer game for the blind is because
of the huge, unexplored gap between present-day games and games
made for visually impaired users. A gap that is getting bigger and
bigger. While seeing gamers venture into 3D gaming worlds such as
'Myst' and 'Final Fantasy', blind gamers are forced to play yet
another game of Blackjack, Battleship or Memory.
Several attempts to create a game that is as exciting as a game
for the seeing have failed because they consisted of translating
(read: 'sonifying') the visual content of existing games. Unfortunately,
various aspects of what makes the game fun to play get neglected
in this process, because these other aspects are not translated
into the audio-domain. In this project, we focused on the essence
of the game instead of the visual output.
This project is the first step in researching the possibilities
of using sound as the main fundamental throughout a design process.
Our research indicates that there is a difference between designing
and styling audio. Further studies may lead to a definition of Audio
Summary of aims and objectives:
- To create
a non-visual computer game that resembles the same level of accessibility
and fun as a game with visual output. Important is that, in this
game, blindness is not a handicap.
- To illustrate
that accessible does not mean 'an adapted original' but 'a re-designed
original based on the essence' .
- To give an
example of a design process (and product) that is fully based
on audio. This to amplify the functional use of sound.
- To find out
how one can design sound for the blind community, based on the
needs, characteristics and possibilities of this user group.
- To explore
the relationship between sound and emotion in a game environment.