Hi John.

Echos are actually a very good way to show space in audio, though obviously you cannot really defign what an object is.


The Gma engine supported them a litle, but again there is rpobably more that could be done with them as an element to show space in games.

Beware the grue!

Dark.
----- Original Message ----- From: "john" <jpcarnemo...@comcast.net>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:09 PM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] USA Games Halloween Project


Wow dark, that was amazing. You've obviously done some major research here. ONe thing I'd like to add, while sighted people may look at a table or some kind of pillar and they can see the object the same in the real world as they do in a game, some vi people (myself included) may use echos of nearby sounds to pick out objects. Unfortunately, we can't really do this in audio (or at least I've never scene it) which also limits how much info we have access to.

----- Original Message -----
From: "dark" <d...@xgam.org
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org
Date sent: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 14:43:34 +0100
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] USA Games Halloween Project

Hi tom.

I think part of the problem is simply one of information.

while I agree with you about training and lack of experience, there does
also seem to be a conceptual and technological issue as well.

People with functional eyeballs get about %80 of information about the world visually. This not only comes in the form of complete and very quick spacial information, but also an instant recognition of objects, which is naturally
completely unconscious.

So, computers use vision as a chief output medium. Sinse the users own brain
will naturally recognize objects, the computer just needs pictures of them
for the user to recognize, and sinse the screen is visually speaking a large area for outputting information, a lot of space can be shown which a person
looking at the screen can comprehend in a single glance, whether it's a
virtual character in a 2D or 3D environment, or a map of a complex stratogy
situation.

Extra atmospheric fluff or mechanical complexities can be added, animation, sound etc, but in order to setup the situation of a game and get the user to
understand what the game is about and what is being required of them it's
only necessary to show them standard elements and leave the rest up to the
visual cortex.

In representing a game just! in audio though, you lose all of that. Most
objects need specific identification, sinse only a few sounds (barking dogs,
wind etc), are readily identifyable completely devorced from all context.
Also because in real life things like tables, walls, cliff edges etc do not!
naturally make sound, it's necessary to either have the sounds be
representational, or to have an extra layer of audio navigation ontop.

To add to this, audio only comes from the left and right, and at most you
can only distinguish five or six information bearing sounds at once, ----
perhaps 8-10 if your really good. But comapre this to a visual overview of a
large amount of infromation. This may change if larger scale tactile
desplays ever become useable, but that's in the future.

Even just using black and white, on a tv screen it's possible to create a 2
dimentional game. Because you have two dimentions to play with and a
comparatively large surface to show object position, you can test the
players spacial reactions and force them to judge relative speeds and
positions of more than one object, ---- eg, two bats and a ball.

In audio however you don't have this advantage at all.

Most sounds will need extra explanation, and in order to show even a fully
2D space, you'll need to think up some pretty novel ways of using sound and
possibly some navigation aides, ---- and that's before we even get into
environment, variety of objects or anything else.

So, because left/right with a few sounds is the easiest baseline, left/right
is often what you get, eg, space invaders.

Becausesounds can play at once, it's hard to show the position of many
objects, so instead of getting an exercise in judgement you get a "here it"
"react to it" type of boppit situation.

Audio games of course have grown a lot sinse they began, but where as the
beginning of visual games was at least 2D and requiring spacial judgement,
the beginning of audio games was 1D and required nothing but fast reactions.

Of course, audio can go further, especially with some interesting tools.
This is one reason I so much admire the context sensative menues in time of
conflict, sinse they let players get through a hole load of very coplex
information about the spacial location and distribution of units in very
short order.

if you'd asked me in 2007 whether i thought an audio game could be created
where you commanded hundreds of units on a huge world map, I'd have probably
said no, ---- and I'm very pleased to be wrong.

nevertheless, it is stil true audio games, simply by virtue of being! audio are harder to design and create from the standpoint of giving information to
the player.

Beware the Grue!

Dark.


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