1 (edited by daisyalesoundworks 2017-09-03 02:11:21)

Edit: Download here
X32 http://daisyalesoundworks.com/Lost%20an … %20x32.rar
x64 http://daisyalesoundworks.com/Lost%20an … %20x64.rar
32 bit version coming soon

My game is both an audiogame and a game with visuals because the mechanics of a tracker dog do not use vision. I came up with this idea, being a fan of audiogames myself as a sound designer and composer, because I wanted to make a game that can succeed at serving the two masters of audiogame and sighted game. If I can make this game commercially viable to the sighted, it means the audio game community will receive a game they can play that has a much, much higher budget than most audio games.

You're a young, fledgling rescue dog who is filling in for the local k9 unit. The first mission, which you can hear below, is to find a boy that ran away from his mother while they were camping together. It's an audio sandbox; you're free to explore, and go wherever you want, but it has an objective to fulfill as well. Furthermore, each level has a few extra, dense stories thrown in there, to simulate the natural voyeurism we allow dogs. We don't guard ourselves around them, and I want to bring that kind of human vulnerability into the game. If you're an explorer, you'll find a rich game world full of hidden audio wonders.

If you're not the exploring type, and you want to get on with the adventure of the main story, you can ignore the extra stuff and follow the main scent trail.

Each level after the first will further twist the mechanics of the game: in the snow level, you're called into the mountains to find some lost skiers. Their trail is broken and partially covered up and you have to press a button to dig it up when the trail seems to end.

Eventually it becomes a kind of mercenary/mission based RPG where you accept jobs and gain fame.

Here is a visual trailer that shows off the snow level, but I'm including it here because it adequately portrays the soul of the game through trailer music. The game itself will most likely not have music, as there just isn't room in the soundscape of the world for it. The visuals feature you, the dog, running throughout the snow level. It is in the evening, and snow is gently falling. Your handler is struggling to keep up in the thick snow, and you're digging constantly to uncover the trail. In the beginning and the end, the dog is standing on an exposed cliff edge, looking out below to the dense forest of snow covered trees. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkShgIeNPjY

If this interests you, I need ideas on further levels and I would really love it if people could jump in with things we can include in the game. I'm new here, but I want this to be a community driven game. And again because there are visuals and because of the unique mechanic, people with sight and people without their sight will be playing the same game, just with visuals removed so it can run on any computer.

One of the reasons I want to make games for the blind because my great grandfather went blind at a young age, and lost his hearing in his 40s. I imagine him, back in the 1930s and 40s, just thirsting for something to stimulate his mind and challenge him. So I want to create things that entertain and challenge people through hearing because I feel like he would've thirsted for that kind of thing when he had his hearing.

Please, please share any thoughts at all you have. My twitter page is here but it is mostly images: https://twitter.com/lostandhound1
Here is my subreddit, which will include more text: www.reddit.com/r/lostandhound
My email is [email protected] and the website for my audio production company is www.daisyalesoundworks.com .

Please join me in making this thing, if you want to!

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2 (edited by Sightless Kombat 2017-08-31 19:03:20)

@daisyalesoundworks
Hello and welcome to the forum.  I certainly would say you've posted this to the right place, but if any of the mods feel otherwise they can feel free to move it.

I haven't looked at the videos/demonstrations of your game as of yet (I've only just read the post) but it sounds like it could be very interesting and I'm glad that you're not marketing this as an quote audiogame end quote.

The reason I say this is because of the associated stigma applied to audiogames by sighted players.  In short, if you ask whether a sighted player wants to try a new game, they'll say yes.  If you then say there's no graphics, they'll normally say they really can't be bothered.

However, A Hero's Call, a game that's marketed itself not as an audiogame but as an accessible RPG, has succeeded in getting full funding from Kickstarter, attracting attention from mainstream gaming outlets etc.  What I'm getting at is, keep doing what you're doing, don't split the game into separate versions and keep marketing it as a title that can be played by this wider demographic.

That's why I stick to mainstream gaming and working with sighted players for co-op etc.  Most audiogames can't even hope to live up to the quality and immersion of mainstream titles and the market, I'd argue, stagnated and has pretty much ground to a halt for the past decade or so, with the occasional full-on innovation here and there.

To exemplify, the first online PVP audio-only shooter (possibly with limited graphics, but I don't have any sight to clarify) was released over a decade after Halo managed the same thing in a mainstream context on Xbox Live, providing a long-lasting and memorable multiplayer experience.

There are devs trying to bridge this perceived gap, but the single and multiplayer games the audiogaming community currently possesses just can't stand up to the high-budget work of industry pros.  That's not to say that developers like Aprone aren't trying to provide a similar experience with the PVE (pretty much) online-only shooter Swamp, but thinking that it'll live up to say a Left For Dead or similar is, I feel quite a stretch at best.

That's not to say the game is bad or anything, just that audiogames, even nowadays, have a very different feeling from playing on a console, controller in hand, headset on and walking through a full world of information and interest with only the mainstream sound design and occasional walkthrough to guide you.

Part of the reason for this might be said to be the crop of younger developers and a lack of assistance from a now removed older section of game developers, some of whom, like Jim Kitchen and Tom Ward are unfortunately no longer with us.  Others, like Munawar Bijani and Liam Erven, have moved out of the main gaming spotlight, maintaining a distance from their projects but still looking in when they need to for any number of reasons.  Still others, like Bavisoft, simply vanished without trace, never to really be heard from again, with a notable mention to BSC games who, whilst their games could be bought in a bundle, haven't allowed their source code to be modified for the games to run on newer systems for example.

I personally believe that playing mainstream games is the way to go, though mainstream games can take lessons from audio-only experiences to create different types of game.  If a player doesn't want to learn how mainstream games, consoles or associated elements work, that is their choice.  However, I would like to see more games like yours that provide the option for players without sight to participate, but with a focus on having inclusivity built into the heart of the game.

I've tried to watch your demos, but unfortunately the volume seems to be low on my end (not sure if that's the files you've recorded+my setup or what, but I'll look into it) and the time system on SoundCloud you mentioned doesn't seem to work with screen readers at all.

I'm happy to test what you have so far and provide any feedback from an in-practice perspective though, if you'd be interested in providing that opportunity.

I apologise if the first part of this post seems rather rushed, I'm frustrated at this bug that's cropping up - don't put quotes in your posts everyone, at least until the mods have looked and hopefully squashed this bug.

I wish you the best of luck with your game and look forward to keeping up with its progress.

Regards,
Sightless Kombat.
***If you wish to refer to me in @replies, use Sightless***

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@Sightless Kombat
Thanks! I just hope it's fun, hahah. What did you mean with your last statement, you're glad that I'm "not marketing this as an" ? Audiogame?

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Hello and welcome to the comunity daisyalesoundworks. I've watched both youtube videos and must say, as a blind gamer, and a huge canine  fan, that the game has an enormous potential. Consider adding some music to the levels though, since it can increase the level of immersion geatly. I'm not sure how far you went with the project so far, but I'll be glad to test things out if you ever need testers. big_smile
Best regards, Haramir.

The true blind is the one who refuses to see.

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5 (edited by Sightless Kombat 2017-08-31 19:04:16)

@3
See the edited post 2.  The original post was much more academically worded imho, but I've done my best to salvage what examples I could remember using etc, without using the inflamatory quotation marks that seem to trigger this bug in the first place.

Regards,
Sightless Kombat.
***If you wish to refer to me in @replies, use Sightless***

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Hi and welcome to the forum.
[wow], the game sounds awesome. I'm currently listening to the gameplay on Soundcloud.
It's a bit difficult to hear the controls because the speech is very low. There aren't many laptops which have a middle mouse button, so I hope the controls can be changed. I'm not sure on what those tones means as well. But the game does really sounds interesting...
I'm so glad to hear that this is both an audio game and a game with full graphics.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

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hello @daisyalesoundworks
and welcome to the site!

First of all, I had listening the demo and trailers, and the game consept sound really awesome. The sound dessign is beauti, and the concept of a game of a rescue dog is really cute.

Well, some things that I've noted:

1. why create a version that have the graphics disabled? I don't understand this idea. All of us, have a regular pc, that include well, as minimal  a internal graphic card, or some have a discrete graphics. And, if the graphics are too heaby for some internal intel cards, you as all other games, can add options to adjust resolution, shadows, antialiasin, etc. I don't think that is a good option split the game in two versions.
2. The game sounds really awesome. But, are you using 3daudio? I can't recognize that in the game are included some of that.
and 3. add more random bark sounds and patrons for the cute dog :3 ^ ^

For more, nothin. waiting for can test a first version!

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8 (edited by daisyalesoundworks 2017-08-31 18:00:26)

@Sightless Kombat
I think something is happening to your responses. Both of them have been cut off and I was looking forward to reading them!

@Slj
You're right, the vocal audio is too low. I'll raise it. The vocal instructions do say you can press the middle mouse button, or the F key, they both work for that function. Although it's good input, I didn't consider that, thank you.

@Haramir
Maybe, about the music. I think it's going to feel crowded. There are some levels that are just incredibly lush with sound design, and others like the snow level that are an extreme contrast as snow is silent and seems to absorb sound. Maybe I'll put music in that one but right now, ALL the music in the game is diagetic - meaning the in game characters are aware of it.

@sanslash332
That was actually input I received from someone I know that is a blind gamer. He said that a lot of people with vision impairment don't bother to upgrade their computers because they don't need graphics systems. Maybe you're right though, maybe I could just add options in the menu. I agree, I didn't want to split it into two versions. I think the design idea is strong enough to serve both needs of sight and audiogame.  Thank you for your input!
I am using 3d audio, yes. I think maybe you need to be controlling the character to feel the spatialization of it. It's really, really 3d in the sense that literally every tree has a different sounding creature in it. from all the other trees in the area.  And the bark sounds are a function! You can bark as much as you want lol it's a mouse click. Are you saying I need more for variety? I'd agree with that.

I think I'll have a test version of the first level, audiogame only, within a week.

Thanks for your input everyone!! If you have any ideas please let me know!

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I'm really glad you said that Sanslash. I really haven't wanted to split the game. I mean it's not a terrible idea but I guess I'll need to rely on the feedback of playtesters. The graphics are simple and cartoony but they do take some processing power. My computer, which is NOT a gaming machine, can barely handle it with an integrated graphics card.

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10 (edited by Sightless Kombat 2017-08-31 19:06:52)

@8
Thanks for letting me know.  I've heard of this bug happening, but never actually had it happen to me.

I've edited post 2 as best I can in order to reflect the sentiment of the originals, combining everything into one long wall of text. Apologies if there's any confusion, but I wanted to try and rectify the issue asap.  If there's anything you need to clarify, just ask and I'll see what I can do, though note that my posts do reflect my own opinions on the matter.

Mods, suggest you look into the use of quotations and why that might cause this strange bug to occur.

Regards,
Sightless Kombat.
***If you wish to refer to me in @replies, use Sightless***

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This game sounds really cool! I think some music would help too maybe have an option to turn it of or on, and or to change the volume if you think it will be a distraction? Also some other obsticals to get around would be cool like bolders to jump over, finding discarded items tossed aside by the lost person to increase the scent? Another thought I had was other smells that try to throw you off. Can't wait to try this game!

Kingdom of Loathing name JB77

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Hi.
[wow], that's a new one, this idea gets me interested all the way because as far as I know, there are not many games where you for example play a dog, super dogs bone hunt beeing an acception.

If you need testing of the game regarding audio, gameplay and suggestions, just feel free to tell us, I have some experiences with beta testing and would be willing to help.
If you need help, send an email to
[email protected]
Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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Well, if a blind gamer tell to you that "he doesn't need graphics system" well, that  guy isn't a completely gamer.
A blind gamer doesn't only lives of audiogames. When a potential videogame that have a few accessibility options, He try it to see if the game is playable or not tongue. For example various games are playables memorizing menus or other mechanics, but well. tongue

Respect the barking sounds, o, I say that because in the trailers and in the demo, i ear exactly the same sounds, at the same order. You can try play with this, habing different sounds to play randomly when you bark, or for give some... expression to the character :3

Well, waiting for that demo!

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[wow], the game sounds so good.
I love the concept and idea, is something new that have a lot of potential.
The sounds design is great.
As for the missions or other ideas, the only thing that  come to my mind right now may be a police dog that instead rescue will have to hunt a criminal or something like that.
Anyway, Welcome to the forum and thanks for this amazing work!

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Hi daisyalesoundworks and welcome to the forum. I'm glad you're taking this approach to marketing the same game to both blind and sighted gamers alike while making inclusive design the heart of the game. I think that'll definitely attract some more sighted folks. @sanslash32 Point taken, though keep in mind some people ,who indeed are blind gamers, can't afford gaming computers. Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between a computer and a gaming computer today. You could have a computer with a 2.7ghz duel core cpu, 8/16gb of ram, yet it still blows as far as game performance goes. The requirements of games today, are largely in the graphics. Some mainstream games demand many different high-quality graphics cards it's ridiculous. Which is why console game development is largely preferred by most big-name game developers, since they have a static set of requirements to work with. And keep in mind virtual machines are a constant threat to just about any mainstream game's performance as you're stuck with the so-called graphics display drivers that vmware provides...unless someone knows a work-around for that. So it makes perfect sense for people to request there to be an option for graphics be disabled. However, it doesn't really have to be a separate executable for that to happen. Have you considered making it a configuration switch to launch the game without graphics, maybe a batch file?

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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Hi there. [wow], what an awesome game idea. Very well done. Keep it up. I'd really love to help in testing this one. If you'd like help. please email me at
[email protected]
I'd be glad to help in any way I can. But, I can only help with the audio part as I don't have vision enough to see anything on screen. As far as types of missions, Maybe you might have to rescue someone from drowning, or maybe rescue someone from a house that has started burning. These could be set up to be timed. Finding criminals would be another thing you as the dog have to do. Maye aside from finding the criminal, you have to help a person from being captured. Take care and, again, Thanks for this new kind of concept.

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Sean-Terry01 wrote:

Hi there. [wow], what an awesome game idea. Very well done. Keep it up. I'd really love to help in testing this one. If you'd like help. please email me at
[email protected]
I'd be glad to help in any way I can. But, I can only help with the audio part as I don't have vision enough to see anything on screen. As far as types of missions, Maybe you might have to rescue someone from drowning, or maybe rescue someone from a house that has started burning. These could be set up to be timed. Finding criminals would be another thing you as the dog have to do. Maye aside from finding the criminal, you have to help a person from being captured. Take care and, again, Thanks for this new kind of concept.

Those are some great ideas, I've thought of the criminals one, busting a drug ring at an airport or something. I'll definitely be emailing you in the future to see if you want to help develop a level fully!

This is a really great response, everyone!  I was going to make you another audio demo that explained things clearly but instead I just finished up my two level demo of the game and it's exporting right now, and uploading soon I hope, pending no export errors (fingers crossed!).

I'll post the download link here shortly. It's pretty big, and I'm including the full visuals version of the game. I'll be uploading the no visuals version soon too, so if you have an old computer, maybe wait. I don't want to be blamed for freezing anyone's machine haha.

As per your advice I raised the volume of all of the audio instructions by 300% and I will be including further instructions in my next post which will have the download link.

Thanks everyone!!

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18 (edited by daisyalesoundworks 2017-09-01 10:18:39)

jack wrote:

Hi daisyalesoundworks and welcome to the forum. I'm glad you're taking this approach to marketing the same game to both blind and sighted gamers alike while making inclusive design the heart of the game. I think that'll definitely attract some more sighted folks. @sanslash32 Point taken, though keep in mind some people ,who indeed are blind gamers, can't afford gaming computers. Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between a computer and a gaming computer today. You could have a computer with a 2.7ghz duel core cpu, 8/16gb of ram, yet it still blows as far as game performance goes. The requirements of games today, are largely in the graphics. Some mainstream games demand many different high-quality graphics cards it's ridiculous. Which is why console game development is largely preferred by most big-name game developers, since they have a static set of requirements to work with. And keep in mind virtual machines are a constant threat to just about any mainstream game's performance as you're stuck with the so-called graphics display drivers that vmware provides...unless someone knows a work-around for that. So it makes perfect sense for people to request there to be an option for graphics be disabled. However, it doesn't really have to be a separate executable for that to happen. Have you considered making it a configuration switch to launch the game without graphics, maybe a batch file?

Hi Jack and thank you! I certainly feel welcome. I think you're right, and others have said it too, introducing this as an audiogame will put off sighted people. That's sad but it's also a reality that could keep me from obtaining funding that will support further development of the game.
That will certainly be done in the future, yes. I don't know how to make in-game setting controls yet.
I am purposefully developing this game on an average office computer. It is NOT a gaming rig, it doesn't even have a graphics card, only an integrated one. I'm doing this because if I can't run it on this machine then I need to optimize it. I can run it but it's a bit jumpy visually, but all the backend logic and audio works fine, which is why I'm going to release a demo with visuals here soon. I would love to not have two separate versions of the game but it might be an inevitability depending on the feedback I get from this community. I really need to know the average gaming experience of this game on the computers of people with vision impairments.  Also though, it wouldn't be a separate executable. It would simply be a mode once you opened it, I can have the game call whichever version of each map, visuals or not, that the gamer chooses.

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firence wrote:

[wow], the game sounds so good.
I love the concept and idea, is something new that have a lot of potential.
The sounds design is great.
As for the missions or other ideas, the only thing that  come to my mind right now may be a police dog that instead rescue will have to hunt a criminal or something like that.
Anyway, Welcome to the forum and thanks for this amazing work!

LOVE THAT!! I thought about catching a criminal, like a drug smuggler at an airport where you just have to wander around and smell everyone and if you can find the person that smells like drugs within 5 minutes, you win. Again, a person with sight will have absolutely no advantage over someone without, because that's how scent works so I feel like I'm catering to neither the blind nor the sighted, which is why I love this mechanic so much.

BUT I did not think about chasing a criminal down. How awesome is that!! It could be like, a town area, and you have to follow the criminal's scent and try to stay on top of it amidst all the other human scents... that's so cool. GOOD IDEA!

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Hi and welcome to the forum. I've checked out the video in the first post, it's really good to see this in development.
I would also like to becoming a betabtester of the game. My email is
[email protected]

I prepare the ship and a laser guns,
Shooting down crusers, lunar lifters, inforcers, hovercraft, liquidators and gorbian ships,
I take my super laser and destroy lord vector himself,
I am the undefeated troopanum troopers! Nobody can't destroy me!

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hanif wrote:

Hi and welcome to the forum. I've checked out the video in the first post, it's really good to see this in development.
I would also like to becoming a betabtester of the game. My email is
[email protected]

Awesome Hanif, I'll save that for later but soon I'm going to post an address right here for downloading very, very early stages of the game just for testing, so check back soon!

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@daisyalesoundworks
Just to let you know I edited post 2 to reflect what I was trying to tell you before, in case you haven't read it.

Looking forward to trying the early versions of the game when I get chance and providing feedback.

Regards,
Sightless Kombat.
***If you wish to refer to me in @replies, use Sightless***

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Sightless Kombat wrote:

@daisyalesoundworks
Just to let you know I edited post 2 to reflect what I was trying to tell you before, in case you haven't read it.

Looking forward to trying the early versions of the game when I get chance and providing feedback.

I didn't see it! Thank you for pointing me back up there.

You said, though mainstream games can take lessons from audio-only experiences to create different types of game.

That is exactly what I'm going for here although I've never been able to put it in such a way, thank you. I think it's time the mainstream game world started using audio as something more than reactionary, or something attached to a visual stimulus.

Also, thank you for your advice, I think you're right and I need to follow it, about not splitting the game into two. Thank you for saying that, it makes me feel a bit better about the decision.

I'm going to be uploading a version of the forest level and, if you can beat that, you advance to the snow level. Should be up within 4 hours, I have an extraordinarily slow internet speed.

Thanks for the input, and please please please keep it coming! This is exactly how I want to make this game, community driven.

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Hey everyone, thanks for the interest. I posted a demo here but it has bugs in the install process - error messages even before getting to the game. I'm going to work them out tomorrow and repost it here. Stay tuned!

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hem. what appened with the other thread? You posted a new thread in new releases with a demo (i can download it) but your thread was deleted. Exist problems with that demo? Or what.

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