1 (edited by Steve 2017-07-26 00:07:01)

Hi everyone!

I've managed to complete the first revision of my game Audio Maze, if you would like to try it out I'd love some feedback!

The game is early in development so a lot of things haven't been implemented as yet, I wanted to try and make sure that the audio was okay before going too far with it.

For now the object of the game is to collect the musical beacons from around the maze, once one is collected another one will pop up at a random place within the maze. The walls make a burning noise to help guide you around.

All of the audio in the game is binaural so it should be possible to tell where the sound is coming from, it works best with stereo headphones but speakers will still work.

I have included a read me file in the folder with instructions for the controls and a little bit about the game, I've been using a combination of Windows screen reader, VI simulation goggles, and just leaving the monitor off to try and make sure that it's accessible but please let me know if there are any problems.

One thing I have found is that if you are using Windows screen reader then you may have to turn off the option to lower the volume of other apps while it's in use because it turns the game sound down too much.

EDIT I forgot to say it's for a Windows 32 or 64 bit machine. I've only tried it on Windows 10 so far because that's the only system I have.

EDIT 2 User crashmaster has found that the game doesn't work on Windows 7 64 bit, if you have Windows 7 and limited internet I would suggest not downloading until I have found a solution.

Click here to download!

The file is quite large at 320MB and the link page might say that the file is too big for Google to virus check it, I don't know how to get round that, I promise there is no virus! You might have to click continue first. If there is a preferred hosting site then I'll re-upload it.

It's a zipped file that will need to be extracted first and then you just have to click on AudioMaze.exe and the game will start straight into the first level because there is no title screen at present, just press the escape key to end the game.

I plan to add more revisions in the coming months and have plans for enemy AI, scoreboards, and different maps.

Some of you might recognise what game this current map is based on but I don't think it will be easy!

Hope you have fun and I appreciate any feedback good or bad.

Thanks! smile

Steve.

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Hey! Way cool! Will check it out, downloading...

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Nice work Steve.  It's always good to see another game posted, and hopefully you get some valuable feedback.

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Nice job, will check it out soon. By the way, since this does not involve code sharing or programming questions or something dev-related, should it really belong to the developers' room?

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Hello! First, thanks for the game Steve, going to check it out. Regarding the dveloper's room, I'm not 100% sure, but since it is not complete yet to be a full demo or something, so...
Best regards, Haramir.

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Hi everyone!

I'm happy to see that some people are going to try out my game!

I wasn't sure if I had posted it in the right place because it's an incomplete game but if it's possible to move the thread to the right place then please let me know.

Thanks!

Steve.

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Hello again folks! Steve, this game has an endless potential to become anything you want, as it is now, I couldn't help but to think about a roguelike rpg of sorts. Hope you don't let the project cool off, keep up the good work man.
Best regards, Haramir.

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Well! the concept is good. But I not noticed the binaural Audio. Keep up with this great job

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Hello Steve and welcome to the forum.

In terms  of the location of this thread, new releases = new release games, including alphas, betas whatever. Just so long as there is something for people to download and play that is fine.
I have downloaded and tried the game myself and  did have a few questions.

I really like the echoing footsteps here and the beacons sound very cool, and of course w'ere always interested in someone creating new audiogames, especially those that involve exploring.
I'd love more in the rpg field, but if you fancy something else that is fine too (other than space invaders games we've pretty much got a need for audio versions of every game genre).

Now for the questions and feedback.
firstlyI noticed that if I just walked forward the walls seemed to turn around me, indeed when I tested by walking directly towards a wall things seemed to turn. If you have the game set thus far to make the player turn if she/he strikes a wall that probably isn't a good idea, ideally the player should stop moving at that point.

I also wonder exactly how the walking works at this point.
Since on the one hand you talk of "walking forward" and "left and right" but then you note that the left and right arrows are used to look around the place.
So I presume the game is first person and the arrows are intended to turn the player to a given direction while w walks forward and a and d sidestep?
Or is the gamethird person, ie, the player moves on a grid pattern with w north, d east etc, with the arrows being used to look in different directions?

A bit of clarification might be helpful here since I wasn't exactly sure of the audio vs player movement at this point (I believe it is first person but again I am not certain).
control laye

If indeed the game is! first person, you could consider using a more familiar layout for keyboard keys, indeed a common one we've had  using a and d (or left and right arrows), on their own to turn the player, and control in conjunection with those arrows to snap to a %90 turn, with shift and arrow to sidestep (arrows or a s d w keys both work for this).

You might also consider a way for the player to know their coordinates in space in the maze. I don't know if you think of this as something of a cheat, but one problem I did have was knowing which bits of the maze I had and had not explored.

Hope some of this is helpful, and I look forward to seeing where this one goes.

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downloading the game to try it!

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@Dark

I believe that navigating in this game parallels navigating in mainstream games in that the A and D keys are side steps rather than turns. And forward is always whatever direction the player is facing. It's not like Entombed where the up arrow, or W key in this game, is always move north

@Steve

As far as keyboard keys, I found the WASD inverted T comfortably familiar as this is the most common keyboard keys used in the mainstream games I played before I lost my vision, the big difference being that in mainstream games the mouse is more commonly used to turn and look about instead of the arrow keys, but I would guess that many blind users don't even bother hooking up a mouse to their system. I know I didn't until I started looking at Aprone's Swamp which uses the mouse as part of looking around and navigating.

I agree that more clarification on how navigation works is needed. Do the arrow keys turn you little by little so that it takes several turns in one direction to turn 90 degrees or does each press of the arrow key make that complete 90 degree turn?

In sighted games, you rarely have to provide a way for players to know where they are because the video display provides that reference, but with audio games where there is no video reference, it's common to provide a key that when pressed will tell the player his coordinates on the game map and often the direction they are facing.

I also noticed the turning affect that Dark mentioned but where he thinks he is turning I think it's an illusion being caused by all the walls around you making noise. If you are surrounded by walls, it's difficult to know which way you are facing and how much you are turning. A more common approach in audio games is that the walls don't make any noise but you can hear wind where there are opennings. It's also common to make a bumping noise when a player tries to walk into a wall.

That's all I can think of right now. Not bad for a first run at it, I look forward to seeing where this game goes. Keep up the great work.

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Nothing against mouse in audiogames, i think it gives better control over our character.

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I have nothing against using the mouse as a look and turn control either, in fact I'd like to see more audio games use the keyboard/mouse standard that most mainstream games have used since 2000 and before.

The WASD for character movement with A and D being side steps rather than turns, W is always forward in the direction you are looking, and S is always backwards, again in relation to the direction you are facing.

The mouse is for looking around including looking up and down. Your character behaves like his neck doesn't allow his head to turn, instead when you look left or right your whole body turns.

At the same time, I've been frustrated by games that allow this much freedom of movement and find myself preferring to move in the cardinal directions because it's easier to keep track of in your head, along with everything else the game might require of you.

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Well I am running on win7 x64, and well the game refuses to run.
It  says there is a fatal error.
I have win7 64 bit here.

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Hello again!

It looks like I should of been more clear with the controls, I got so used to them I didn't think to explain them properly.

Dark is correct in that it is a first person view game, the left and right arrow keys will rotate the player on the spot and the A and D keys cause the player to actually move sideways while still looking in the same direction. The rotation works continuously so that the player will rotate for as long as the button is pressed down.

All of the turns in the maze are at 90 degree angles so perhaps for the next version I could implement the controls similar to how Orko and Dark described so that a single press of the button will rotate the player 90 degrees and make it easier to keep to a straight line.

Another interesting point made by Orko is to have a bump noise when you actually reach a wall, I should be able to do this quite easily for the next revision.

I think the feeling of the walls turning around the player could be because your not going in a dead straight line and might be veering off towards a wall, I may of left to much freedom in the controls here, it's so natural to me to just turn the player forward when moving that I hadn't taken it into consideration, the 90 degree turning should take care of this.

I hope to implement a mapping system for the controls in the future so that players are able to assign whichever controls they are most comfortable with, although I will have to make a title screen first!

Thanks everybody for the great feedback so far, it's been very helpful and should make for a more usable game in the future! smile

Steve

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Hi crashmaster!

I'm afraid I could only test it on a Windows 10 system, the game runs on Unreal Engine so it should be okay to use on Windows 7. I will have a look into the documentation of Unreal and see if I can find a solution.

Thanks for letting me know.

Steve.

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Hi alisson!

I agree, the binaural effect isn't quite as good as I was hoping at the moment; there are lots of different settings for me to try though so it should get better. The plug-in I'm using has just recently been released and there isn't much documentation for it at the moment but I've noticed a couple of tutorials pop up on Youtube so I should have the hang of it soon!

Thanks!

Steve.

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I forgot to put this in my last message, crashmaster's problem reminded me of it.

I get a warning message on startup saying that my NVidia drivers have a known flaw and that I should update them.

Back in the day before I lost my vision, I always made sure that I had the latest system, video, and audio drivers, but now that seeing the screen has been taken away from me, I just use whatever came with Windows unless Microsoft pushes a driver update through Windows update.

Until I tried your game, which runs fine on my 32 bit Windows 7 Home Premium system, no other program has ever given me any kind of warning about my video driver. Since it was only a warning and not an error and the game seemed to run OK despite it, I'm just going to ignore it.

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yeah if you wanted to, you could install nvidia experience and it would take care of driver stuff for you, letting you know when one is available, etc.

I like the game, and the freedom of movement it affords the player. I'm kind of annoyed about that every audio games wants to snap you to 90 degree angles, and give you coordinates. Do you do this in real life, just snap 90 degrees, no, so I don't see why it should be done in audio games. It's more work on the player's end, getting used to navigating in this type of environment, but I think its more rewarding.

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To each his own, until this driver causes problems with my system, I'm not inclined to fix what isn't broken.

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Steve, two small questions.
1. You're a blind programmer?
2. And if the answer is yes, how to you can use the epic games launcher an the editor for unreal engine? I'm a blind developer too, so know these things are really cool.
Some days ago, I'm playing with the unity editor with some pre-constructed templates, but have problems when i want to build the example  outside the editor.

Thanks!

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Hi sanslash332!

I'm not sure if I could call myself a developer as yet!

I'm currently studying computing at the Open University and this game is part of my final project; I'm also sighted so I'm afraid I won't be much help when it comes to how accessible the engines are.

The one thing I can think of now is that in order to use the game outside of the editor you have to package it first; either for development or shipping; this adds some necessary files to the project so that it no longer needs the editor; might be worth a look into?

Thanks!

Steve.

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I played the game some more today and still find all the walls making noise rather disorienting.

I am currently working on a game of my own that will basically be a dungeon crawl through a multilevel maze. What I did for the environment was to take a hint from Entombed and added some echo coming from directions where there isn't a wall. There is also some wind, but unlike Entombed the wind isn't constant so you have to pay attention to the echoing to know where walls are.

I find it a lot less disorienting than having all the walls making noise.

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Well, to be honest steve I use an amd display a hd 7600 its quite old but I have the latest driver from 12th of july, well detecter I am unsure if I am actually getting the latest driver installer its always been 15.71 so maybe my internal laptop videocard is just to old.
I have the latest 2017 january drivers for my realtech card.
Saying that as blind people we usually don't bother about graphics like this, it may be that you may be able to remove requirements for checking graphics cards or something.
win10 games should run on 7.

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Well for those having issues with your games.
I just viewed the drivers for my amd card, and pulled the latest test version
It is the last version and it is not certified just a test, all hd series drivers 5000-9000 as well as the r 3 to 5 have been deemed legacy because of a new type of chip so no more new drivers.
if you go here
http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-article … phics.aspx
there is a driver for the 16.2.1 version and while the control panel mangled some of my readers the game does work now.
However I'd highly suggest you do not check for the latest driver tech, us blind people like sighted games but to be honest drivers well.

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