Hi dark.

I have read this with interest. I never quite thought about it in the way
you have described.

The thing is though I'm not entirely sure how you would get around that in
an audio medium. Visually you can judge when you jump and how high you jump.
But without adding extra sound into the mix which could have an impact on
the environment of the game then I don't quite know how 1 would go about
working round this. For example, take an action game, it wouldn't be
possible always to stop, hear a description of how far you would have to
jump to x point so then be able to make that judgement. You would have to
run and jump.

I think that when it comes to audio only games the challenges would have to
be significantly different to that of a game that deals with both audio and
visual input. For example, you may not have to worry about how far you have
to jump, but when you get to the other side, you could be attacked without
warning that's certainly feasible. 

-----Original Message-----
From: gamers-boun...@audyssey.org [mailto:gamers-boun...@audyssey.org] On
Behalf Of dark
Sent: 16 March 2011 11:20
To: Gamers@audyssey.org
Subject: [Audyssey] Reviewing space in audio

Hi. 

My snes has been out of commission for the last few months sinse I turned
off power to my tv and lost the tuning, and sinse tuning my tv requires a
visual menue I had to wait for my dad to visit to rejigger it so that I
could play my snes again. 

This means I've been revisiting some of my favourite classics such as Mario
all stars and Super metroid. 

By a coincidence, sinse buying esp pinball classic, I've also been replaying
several audiogames I haven't been on for a while such as the esp pinball
xtreme tables and alien outback. 

The funny thing is, I've found that while I can do almost as well as I used
to at a game like Alien outback, and probably won't need to practice much to
get back to where I was, even at super metroid which is a game I've been
through up down and backwards innumerable times, i've found my skills have
really! deteriorated. 

I started to wonder why, this might be, and believe I have come up with the
answer. 

Sinse it is far harder to show a large amount of spacial information in
sound, a lot of audio games, ---- even highly detailed and well put together
ones like Q9 and alien outback, work essentially by presenting the player
with sets of circumstances which the player must respond to more and more
quickly and correctly. 

Eg, you here a ship on the left, you fly over and shoot it. 

These games increase difficulty by a, increasing the number of circumstances
the player needs to be aware of, eg, different types of ships to listen for
which move differently, and b, increasing the speed or complexity of the
players' responses.

Pipe 2 is one of the best examples, by forcing the player to first learn and
respond to the rythm of fitting pipes, then increasing more and more
randomized factors on top. 

At base this is a similar principle to simon, though games like Q9
undoubtedly take it a lot further. 

The drawback of such a system however, is that once a player has learnt
response time, the response becomes entirely automatic, and thus no longer
of challenge or interest, and, when replayed, those initially learnt
responses are stil in the players' mind and can be recalled as needed.

A game like Marrio however, does not just rely on the speed or complexity of
a players response. 

yes, the player may have to respond quickly or in a prescribed fashion, but
these responses are tied to a set of game mechanics which require the player
to use judgement as well as learnt reflexes, and it is that judgement which
can be renewed. 

For instance, in Q9, when you come to a pit, it's simply necessary to press
jump and hit the right arrow enough times. In marrio however, the distance
you jump is controled by a, how long you hold down the jump button, b, how
fast your running when you begin the jump, and c, where you jump from. 

Then, there is the question of landing, sinse if you land from a long jump
your stopping distance will not be immediate, meaning you might for instance
jump a pit but slide streight into a monster just afterwards if your not
careful. 

I think part of this difference is due to the fact that it's more difficult
to show multiple objects in sound, and thus develope the sort of more
involved physics which requires the players' judgement as well as their
reflexes, however while showing information (paticularly what is above or
below your character), could be difficult, i do certainly thing more could
be done than currently exists, especially in the matter of altering the
characters' movement and physics so as to be more complex. 

Of course, some audio games do have more complex mechanics to take into
account such as the first person games like Shades of doom and Jim's golf
game. 

But it does seem that we have rather too many games which go on the basic
principle of here x, give response y, rather than considdering the physics
and operation of in game objects.

Beware the grue! 

Dark.
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