Frequently Asked Questions
(also see the FAQ on the Forum)
What is AudioGames.net?
AudioGames.net is a site dedicated to audio games (games based on sound) and blind-accessible games. Originally this site started out as a database of audio games only, but due to the massive response of the blind community, we've broadened the scope of the website. On this website you can find:
- the biggest online archive of audio games and blind-accessible games (including developer links, download links, descriptions, audio reviews, and other information about the games)
- articles on audio games and blind-accessible games (ranging from popular web articles to academic research)
- cheats, walkthroughs and trainers for audio games and blind accessible games
- a list of mods of existing audio games and blind accessible games
- a forum to support the community
- Submit-a-Game functionality, through which you can add games to the archive yourself
- a huge link-list, linking to the most important links in the field
Who runs AudioGames.net?
AudioGames.net is an initiative of Richard van Tol and Sander Huiberts. AudioGames.net was launched because the topic of audio games was in desperate need of an online information point, especially for the highly interested sighted community.
We have a background in Game Audio Design (MA + Ph.D) and have been researching and designing audio games since the beginning of the year 2000. Both of us are part-time researchers/lecturers at the Utrecht School of the Arts, Faculty of Art, Media & Technology. On other days we are creative heroes at our own Amsterdam-based creation studio Creative Heroes. Our portfolio can be found at http://www.creativehero.es. AudioGames.net is just one of many projects we initiate, which include audio game design (Drive, Extant), iOs games (Gluddle), brainshare software (AnswerGarden), social earwurming (Earwurm), positive gift design (DiceForChange - currently available in stores worldwide!) and bread.
Since 2008 the AudioGames.net team is supported by Dark Empathy and CX2, who have expertly helped turn AudioGames.net into the thriving community it is today. Thank you guys! Dark is now the administrator of AudioGames.net, make sure that the latest news is posted as funny as possible. Moderators are Aprone, Lukas, Nocturnus and Arqmeister.
What exactly is an audio game?
Tough one but here goes: an audio game is a game that consists (only) of sound. Its gamemechanics are usually based on the possibilites of sound as well. Usually (but not always) audio games have only auditory (so no visual!) output. Audio games are NOT specifically games for the blind! It is true that most audio games around at the moment are developed by and for the blind community. But we think audio games have the potentional to be a genre on its own due to the immense undiscovered possibilities of sound. We believe that audio games have the potentional to be a complete gaming genre on its own. Audiogames.net aims to promote audio games and support and inform the audio game community. By providing a clear view on the audio game genre we also contribute to evergrowing game industry who is only just now beginning to recognize some of the potentials of sound.
Who decides when a game is accessible?
Another tough question :-) First of all, the games that have been specifically developed for the blind community are considered to be accessible. Next to that there are a lot of text adventures and simple DOS-games (so based on ASCII characters) that are accessible because the simply consist of text (which is not a problem for assistive technology). Most of the time, we'll leave it up to the community to decide. Usually we find an accessible game through the community, by way of suggestions, submission, etc. Sometimes 70% to 90 % of a regular video game can be played by visually impaired gamer (trough trial and error, training, etc.). Although such a game is not *really* accessible, we might add the game to the archive when the community agrees it is 'more or less' accessible.
One thing to remember is that with the term 'accessible game', we refer to games that are accessible for visually impaired gamers. There are other forms of accessible games, such as one-switch games for gamers with a motoric disability and these are also called accessible games. You can find more types of accessible games in the links section under 'Game Accessibility'.
I'm not blind. So why would I want to play an audio game?
Again, audio games are NOT specifically games for the blind! Important features of any game for a player is the provided experience and challenge. Up until now challenges have been presented using dices, cards, boards, balls, a computer monitor, etc! Why not expand this range with presenting a challenge in sound? So if you want a fresh and new challenge, try an audio game! (Actually, there are stranger games in this world, like scent games for dogs!)
I am blind. What game should I play?
We can't decide for you what game you should play, since this depends on your age, interests, etc. Still, we get this question alot! Our answer is to check out the Archive (either searching the archive or browsing the game list) and then see what games you like. Most of the games have a free demo that you can download and a lot of games are even completely free!
Hold on! There are already other sites that focus on these games?
At the moment there are a few sites that provide some information on accessible games for the blind. Our vision is quite different and unique because we believe that accessibility for the blind is only a result of an audio game instead of the main intention! We hope to create enthousiasm for these games from both the blind and the sighted community by focusing on the fun through sound instead of the accessibility. Already there's a lot of attention from both the academic world as from artists.
What does AudioGames.net have to do with "Game Accessibility"?
Game Accessibility is about making games accessible for players with physical and mental disabilities, for elderly players and other players that are not able to play conventional computer games for any reason. Currently the first steps are being made to try and make convential games accessible for these players. Sound (and the study of) will be an important factor in Game Accessibility for (but not only) the visually impaired users. Therefore, by recognizing this importance, AudioGames.net tries to gather as much (academic) research material (like articles and reports) as possible. With this we hope to provide a clear view on the field, which will assist future game developers with creating (more) accessible games.
Check out http://www.game-accessibility.com, a research & community website on accessible games and game accessibility with information for both gamers and academics! This project (funded by NSGK) is conducted by the Accessibility foundation and AudioGames.net is an active participant in the project.
And what about Web Accessibility?
Since a number of our visitors use assistive software and hardware, we've done everything in our power to make this website as accessible as possible. The AudioGames.net website is compliant with the W3C Priority 1 guidelines for web accessibility. If you happen to find something unclear or inaccessible on this website, please tell us! This way we can fix it.
Ok, I'd like to try some games. Where do I start?
You start here, at the AudioGames.net website! Have a look at the our reviews and meet other interested people on our forum. Each review will have a link to the audio game-publisher. Often, since this is still a small community (and not yet an industry) you can download the games for free from the publishers' website. Read the articles to get a better view on the past, present and future of audio games. We also maintain the most complete links-list of audio games and their developers on the web. The list also contains links to websites that we think are indispensable for fans and developers of audio games.
Can I take part in the 'Audio Game Community'?
Without you there is no community! Therefore AudioGames.net is designed to let you take part in several ways. First, everyone is encouraged to reflect upon the audio games by an open rating system. This is the way to express your thoughts and opinions on the existing games. Secondly, players can use our forum to meet other players with whom they may share audio game ideas, write down their experiences and publish their articles. Visitors can also use the forum to support each other with gameplay and accessibility issues. Thirdly you can participate through our Facebook-page and participate with our Twitter-stream.
AudioGames.net may also be used by developers and publishers of audio games to channel news on new (and future) audio games. So if you are a developer and want to share some information about your products, please let us know!
But I just wanna play games! I don't want to rate games or send in descriptions!
Gaming is what AudioGames.net is all about. If you spend all your time hanging around here then you won't be playing games at all! Just monitor our news where we'll keep you up-to-date with the latest audio games. Then check the reviews (or the links) to see where you can download the (demo)game and you're off! In the case that you have a strong opinion about the game and you want to discuss this with other players then you can always return here since here it is possible to do so!
Can I play any games on AudioGames.net?
Yes, you can! For a long time you couldn't play games on AudioGames.net since this site was only intended as a portal to (and an information source of) games created by others. Due to great demand we recently set up the PlayCenter, in which you can find several games hosted by AudioGames.net. These games can either be downloaded to your computer or played directly in your browser.
Can I host my games on AudioGames.net / in the PlayCenter?
Maybe. We are currently exploring the possibilities of such a service.
Can I buy games through AudioGames.net?
No, AudioGames.net does not sell games (yet). If you are interested in buying a game, please contact the developer directly.
Why is [game] not present on this site?
There are several reasons why a certain game title is not in the archive. A game should really be an audio game or a blind-accessible game. Another reason is that we could be in the process of adding the game to the site. A last option is that we have never heard of the game! In that case, we need your help so submit the game yourself!
Help! The link to [game] is broken!
AudioGames.net contains hundreds and hundreds of links to external websites. There are many things that can happen to the external website that causes links on AudioGames.net to go broken. For example: the website's layout or contents is changed by the owner, the website ceases to exist, the website's server goes offline for a period of time, the download files are taken offline because version x.x of [game] is no longer supported, the download files have reached a maximum, etc. etc. So some links are broken permanently and some only temporarily. In the past we requested people to report broken links to us via email, but unfortunately this resulted in a chaos of broken links. That's why we have setup a new forum where people can post broken links themselves, as well as post other information about the broken link, such as the possible new correct link or information why the link is broken. You can view the forum here: http://forum.audiogames.net/viewforum.php?id=18
Just one more question. You said blind accessible games can also have visual output?
Sometimes visuals are added to an audio game to attract the sighted community (like The Curb Game). Sometimes sound is added to a visual game (such as AGRIP) to make it accessible for the blind. That's it really.
Where can I find the rules of the forum and your disclaimer?
Although we do not like many rules and lots of disclaimer pages, you can find a very unobtrusive disclaimer here...