1.1 Background to the project
1.2 Summary of aims and objectives

2.Research achievements

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1: Motivation
1.2: Goal
1.3: Approach of the project

Chapter 2: Research

2.1: Game Fundamentals
2.2: Essence of game-genres
2.3: User Research
2.4: Research Results

Chapter 3: Concept

3.1: Motivation of choice
3.2: Essence of a racing game
3.3: Concept of 'Drive'

Chapter 4: Production Report

4.1: Technical Walkthrough
4.2: Tests and feedback
4.3: Production Results

Chapter 5: Conclusion

3.The Summary Report

Summary of aims and objectives

Future research

Chapter 4: Production Report

4.1: Technical Walkthrough

Figure 2 shows an overview of the elements concerned in the game. The user hears several sounds, with different functions. The user has to isolate certain relevant sounds from the wall of sounds. The game-system distracts the user with other sounds (e.g. a passing motorcycle). We call this force-focusing.
Figure 3 shows the concept of the adaptive music used in 'Drive'. It illustrates the composition-method. First there is an intro followed by a first set of 3 different loops that are triggered by the intensity level (speed), measured in the game. The distance the player has traveled in the game then triggers a new set of 3 loops. Again, each of these is triggered by the speed. Depending on the distance, a "break"-loop is triggered for contrast and variation.
Figure 4 is an overview of the process of this project. A research-phase with several aspects results in a concept that forms the product. Note that we verify the concept with our research.
We decided to make the music depend on the actions of the user. The speed controls the intensity of the music in a subtle manner while the distance controls the chronology of the composition. When the user drives faster he will reach a certain distance and hears music according to that distance.
Figure 5 shows a brief overview of the content flow of the game. It helped us with programming the game and reasoning the logical aspect of the game.

4.2: Tests and feedback

To test our prototypes and receive feedback we made some visits to Bartiméus. These are brief summaries of some of the visits:

November 22nd, 2001: prototypes ' shuttle3' and ' shuttle4' and music
We went to Bartiméus to test the prototype version of our game on the same children we first interviewed in the research stage, and let them hear some different music loops to see which one they choose as their favorite.

The goal of the test was to find out if the children did appreciate the basic elements of the game, if they had fun and if the sounds we used were chosen right. We also asked them what they wanted to see improved.
We tested it on Pentium II 500Mhz computers.

The children picked up the basics of controlling the game really quick. While playing certain things came up:

  • If the number of collected boosters is high and they are activated fast the maximum speed is too easy to reach. And at this maximum it is also too easy to maintain this speed and pick up boosters. Also the more difficult version of the game we brought was too easy at this point. To make sure to pick up every booster the player can press the booster pick-up button frequently. This is of course not what we want.
  • The used sounds appeared to work very good. It were only temporary ' test'-sounds, but they seemed to be representing their function very well.
  • We asked the children about the 'passenger Bob' character. They said they would like it to be a man with a funny stem in opposite to another voice that is giving useful information.
  • Concerning the music, the children preferred uplifting, not too soft tracks. Too much strange sounds will be a bit too confusing.

December 14th, 2001: prototype ' Drive beta 3.0'
Today we tested the beta version of our game 'Drive' on four of the children of our first test session. In general they liked it very much. They thought 'Drive' is the one of the best games (using sound) they had ever played. Several children also noticed the adaptive music and thought it was a nice feature.
Furthermore, we discovered this during the tests:

  • Music is at the checkpoint twelve in the game a little too loud.
  • The character 'Bob' is received as being 'quite funny'. But some children thought he was a little bit irritating when they were driving really slowly (because of the negative comments he gives in that case). These negative comments are currently repeated too often.
  • Pressing a key cuts off the helicopter sample sometimes.
  • We discovered one misplaced sample.

4.3: Production Results

During the production phase we made a website (www.soundsupport.net/Drive) which contains:

  • A downloadable self extracting file which contains the total demo of "Drive" with all sound effects, background music and passenger Bob. Of course we added installation info, system info and a guestbook. In addition we uploaded two music files containing the same material as the background track and a trailer.
  • A highest score with a hall of fame. This is an element of meta gaming: the battle of gamers to reach the highest score.
  • A report site which describes our research and design process.


(c) 2001-2002 Richard van Tol, Sander Huiberts & Hugo Verweij. Please visit http://www.soundsupport.net