Hi Dark,
Agreed. As I said before there are several different ways a developer might handle the problem of translating different colored enemies, different colored fireballs, etc in to audio. Changing the pitch of the sound in real time up or down is one way to do it. Although, not all sound APIs and platforms supports this ability. However, I do agree one of the biggest problems is accurately conveying spacial orientation to a blind player in real time. It is true that XNA and DirectX have virtual 3D audio support, but the fact is most blind players don't own the equipment necessary to take full advantage of the technology even when the game supports it. For me one of the biggest problems in creating the Genesis 3D engine is how to pass on a full 3d environment, in audio, and have it all make sense to a blind gamer. I know lots of player's complain about having issues playing Shades of Doom which is all arranged on a 2d grid. My new titles will be on a 3d grid meaning the player can move foward/backward, left/right, up/down. Even with Virtual 3D audio at my command it isn't always easy to determine if an object is above or below me unless I do something creative like change the pitch relative to the player like increase the pitch if it is up and lower it if it is below the player etc. However, changing pitch on some sounds has an undesirable effect. Some sounds don't sound good when the pitch is changed too much.


dark wrote:
In those sorts of translation cases, I do believe there are things which could be done, ---- for example rather than a completely different sound for deadlier fireballs, lowering the sounds pitch, thus the lower pitched the sound the more dangerous the fireball.

to me, the most difficult information to convey from graphics to audio is some of the vertical spacial information, ----- especially in 2d games, or in an environment where it's necessary to examine the vertical plane at the same time as the horizontal quickly.

I do think however, (as I said in my audeasy artical), the resources available in terms of what sounds could be used for what events haven't been as fully well tapped as they could be.

Beware the Grue!

Dark.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Monday, September 07, 2009 5:24 PM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] a thought for all game makers out there


Hi,
Well, there are a number of solutions for that particular problem. Let's use a real world example here fordemonstration. In Tomb Raider The Prophecy there are a number of enemy wolves Lara Croft has to kill or avoid. The color of the wolf determines how deadly it is. A gray wolf is relatively easy to beat, does little damage, etc where the black wolves are the most difficult. One solution is to create a specific growel sound for each color of wolf so that someone can audably tell them apart. However, unless you know in advance that growel sound x is for a gray or black wolf it isn't of much use until you play the game a while. The other way is to have a hot key that announces the nearest enemy in the room like Shades of Doom. However, the problem with that method is that slows down the game play, because you constantly have to press the key, button, whatever to find out what you are fighting. That might be critical in a game that requires quick reflexes and decision making. Such as the various priests in the game that tosses different colored fireballs that range from slightly harmful to instant death. You have to see the color of the fireball and decide right away if you are going to avoid it or take the hit. There is no time in a game like that to press a key and see if the fireball is red, yellow, or purple. You have to act right away or you are in trouble. What most accessible game developers try to do is include both different sounds for enemies as well as speak the type of enemy whenand where possible. Still that is slightly more expensive. A mainstream developer can buy one sound for fireballs and use it regardless of color since they assume the person can see it on his/her screen. A blind accessible developer has to come up with a unique sound for each color of fireball in the hope of making it easier for the blind player to determine the color of the fireball being tossed at him/her. It isn't complicated to fix, but takes much more effort to translate the same information that a person sees on screen to someone using audio only.

Clement Chou wrote:
Well, if it's a different color of enemy one would think we could do something like have voices varying as a substitute for colors... but that would be expensive too, wouldn't it?

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