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Hello everyone,

My name is Aaron and the last time I was on this forum I was discussing the idea of a handheld audio game console with its own game development software. The console itself is still going through its final development stages but the GDE has reached a point where I believe it to be useable.

The overall idea is to make a platform that doesnt require programming knowledge to open up the world of game development to a wider audience. The software is still young but has been tested and now I'm looking for feedback to improve it. I'm sure it will be a long road but I have produced a few written tutorials on the website to follow and will be looking into making video tutorials soon.

If anyone would be interested in testing the software and giving any feedback I would very much appreciate it.

You can find the software for download at www.sonusinteractive.co.uk

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Is it possible to compile the games and play them if you don't have a console? What about those players who find a game and really want to play it but don't have the device.

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I'm affraid the Sonus G D E is built for just the Sonus in mind. I havent developed a stand-alone way to play the compiled games but there is a debug mode within the G D E that reads all the data it needs from the project itself for testing and debugging purposes.

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hmmm Is a SDK itself for the console?

Witch program language can you use to program in to that console or SDK if you're a programmer?

Well, sounds interesting. let check how is.

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@Aaronlp, your going to need a way for people to write custom code for this, even if the objective is not to do so. And what OS does the console run?

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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Hi,

So here are some thoughts, as a programmer myself.
What you have here is good. However, I can't see games only using 8 channels of tts, especially with preloaded text. The way I've always approached tts is to have a class that has the functions of TTS within it, then call those functions to speak arbitrary peaces of text on the fly.

The concept is good, and following all the tutorials I was able to make successful tests and even make modifications. I love the simplicity.

I would suggest having more audio channels. Quite simply, depending on how complex games may get, you're going to need a lot more than you have here.

And as Ethin pointed out, us programmers probably want a way of inputting code into the game its self. I'm assuming there is underlying code to everything the GDE does, and we could probably find it if we wanted to, but graphical programming just isn't going to cut it most of the time.

I sincerely look forward to seeing what this thing can do when its fully released!

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I appreciate all the feedback. It will ultimatly make sure the G D E is developed to meet demand.

So from what i can take away from this so far is that. We need more TTS channels which is understandable. To reason it is done this way is because when TTS is synthesized during the code running then the audio mixer conflict with it and eventually breaks it. So they are now rendered before hand so the mixer can play them and mix them with the other playing audio.

More audio channels would be good. Although dont forget we can have a single audio file that includes many different noises and still only use one channel.

And probably the most demanded feature is the ability to write our own scripts to fire in the project. In thinking a "run script" action to point to a python file.

This would beed implementing in both GDE and the sonus code and will take time to test. But i believe it would make things more appealing to more experienced programmers.

This feedback is great. Thank you very much. Im all ears if there is more.

I apologise for the bugs that are present in the G D E. In currently testing the next tutorial and have found quite a few. I hope you all understand it is a working progress and will go through many updates yet

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I wouldn't limit the number of TTS/audio channels. Actually, I wouldn't limit the channels of anything. Make all channels arbitrary -- that way you can have an indefinite number of them.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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Hi.
[wow]... I have just looked at some of the tutorial, and it is really very well done in my opinion. I'm not an experienced coder at all, but what I have read so far makes sense. I love the way you have made the development program where you have to choose everything from a graphical interface instead of writing all the code. It's amazing you can run and test your code in the program. I'm also impressed by the way you have written the tutorials for keyboard users instead of mouse users. This is fantastic. Keep up the awesome job.

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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Well, You've impressed me. This seems like the old Audio Game maker, but actually usable. If only you could compile the games into  executable programs. I know that's not the intended purpose of this tool, but for people who can't afford a console, aren't experienced in  programming, because it's not for everyone, this would be a great way to make games. Some ideas, templates. These would be like a template in word, where it has a preset list of variables, and actions tied to them, for the game type. Some example template names are, side scrolling game, 2d grid based game, puzzle, choice based game, reaction based game, etc. Depending on what template you choose, you get some objects already done to give a newbie something to look at in real time, and something to get you off the ground, faster. This Also, what language is this tool putting it's game code in, because if it's something like python, it'd be nice to have it open the raw code of your project, so people can see their game in code to add changes, or just see what code looks like, and learn the language, so they can do anything they want. The  thing I like about building block based things, is that they introduce the concepts of programming without having to throw in the process of learning the syntax of the language which can be overwhelming for someone who isn't familiar with programming, at all. Also, pitch  modification. This could be used for vehicles, or what ever. Thanks for reading.

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I'm very glad you all seem to be finding the GDE easy enough to use. Just been reading over your recomendations and comments with my little notepad and pen. I'm always trying my best to incorperate everything that I can to the Sonus. Some things are very time consuming to accomplish.

Please let me know if anything confuses anyone. The sonus does have a facebook page if anyone is interested. It isnt massively used at the moment but it would be a good way to communicate with me if you had questions about using the GDE or how to go about making any of your ideas work.

As for the GDE language. it doesnt actually write any code. It writes something the Sonus can interperate and run functions with parameters based on what the GDE has produced. However an idea that was mentioned here was to include a function to allow fr custom written code to be run.

The feedback has been amazing and insightful guys. My next task is to build these tutorials and run them on the sonus itself to test if I have ironed out the bugs I noticed while I wrote the tutorials up.

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Hi.
Me, a nonprogramer, I programed things with that.
And well, you can have your pc working like a console, so no problem to use games on your pc!

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kyle12 wrote:

I would suggest having more audio channels. Quite simply, depending on how complex games may get, you're going to need a lot more than you have here.

At first, I thought 8 sounded like plenty—I've tried thinking through soundscaping accessible games on older consoles that couldn't support more than that for hardware reasons—but, after thinking about examples from what I'm currently working on, I near immediately decided that 16 channels could be made to work, but 8 would be difficult. It also depends on load speed, which I expect will be slower due to the need to decode from ogg.
For reference, the project I refer to gives every object 3 sounds, which separates vocals and collisions from generic actions, making it easier to apply abilities to a variety of objects without needing extra sounds for every combination.

Also, the tutorial makes it sound like event delays have second resolution. This is manageable, but milliseconds (I'd settle for centiseconds, maybe even deciseconds) would be very welcome. For example,  walking/running speeds tend to range from 1-4 steps per second.

The more I learn about the Sonnus, the more excited I become. Very much looking forward to getting my hands on one. big_smile

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[wow], you actually wrote a parser for it... why not just use a language like C# or Java. That would be far simpler than writing an entirely new interpreter.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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I would suggest making a Twitter as well. Many blind people have accessible Twitter clients, and it would be a great way to reach out to blind people who may not know about audiogames.net

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How much will this console cost?

Orin

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Asking the same question as Orin!

I am your friend, your spam bot reporter, I am what ever do you wan a be to you, but if it is not good, I will not be!
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Hi.
So I'm thinking about giving this a serious try, and make a small game using this tool. If I compile a game, can it then be played on a computer? If not, then I don't mind releasing the project which people needs to open in the game maker program and click run to play the game. Yes, people can see how everything is made, but I don't care. I'll just use it to get some experience on how it works, and if I manage to make something playable out of it, it'll be fun to share it to others to play.

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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Hi Guys,

So I'm working on the GDE and sonus and implementing some changes you have bought to my attention. THe TTS channel limit has significantly increased. Its easier programatically to have a limit than make it unlimit, so what do we think to 100 TTS channels? I could try to make it unlimited but it means time working it out and 100 seems quite a lot to me. Channels are of course re-useable. I'm working on the audio channel limit althought woudnt more than 8 audio files all going off at once be a bit much for the ears? you guys know best so if you want it I will try to accomidate.

Delays are floats and can go down as far as 0.01 seconds, thanks for bringing it to my attention that I havent made this clear.

I did plan on making a twitter account at some point, if you believe its a good way to reach people I'll get one made as soon as I can, thank you.

The reason I didnt make the sonus run on a programming language is to get more non-programmers involved. I wan the Sonus to be about imagiation and creation as much as entertainment. It has been brought too my attention that including a way of writting our own code in our projects would be desirable so I do plan on adding a "Run script" action where developers can make object fire their own python scripts.

And I'm sorry to tell you SLJ that at the moment the GDE is only released mostly for feedback purposes. When games are compiled they are compiled to be played on the Sonus, not by another GDE. A project can be shared but the file paths for the audio files will be different on the others computer. This is a problem I am already aware of. In the future I will possibly change the GDE so audio is uplaoded into the project as a resource but for now the GDE jsut remembers audio file paths.

I hope this answers a few questions, thank you as always for the feedback guys.

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Sorry I forgot to comment on the cost question. Its hard to indicate price right now since its only a prototype and not being manufactured. So I'm affraid I really cant comment but I'm trying my hardest to keep it cheap without having impact on quality.

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Re: sound count. It really depends. If sounds can be positioned at different locations, you could have am arbitrarily complex soundscape, after a fashion. You'd need to reserve slots for action sounds which could happen at any time, as well. If one were to go all out in terms of combining sounds—for example, an action game where every combination of weapon/enemy has its own sound file—you'd still need to reserve at least two slots for actions, possibly three or four. Which means you can only have 4-6 background sounds, which could be environmental, navigational, etc. It's not an insurmountable problem; it just means that the number of availible sound slots must be taken into consideration when designing more complex games.
I suppose you can summarize it as soundscaping vs active information. More than 8 sounds demanding attention at once would indeed be overwhelming. On the other hand, my house is such that you can simultaneously hear up to four major appliances and whatever the weather is doing, and since they're spread out and none overpowers the others, it's possible to pay attention to whichever is most useful at any given moment. Eight is not unreasonable in either situation alone, but if they are to be combined, then you'd have to start setting priorities as to which sounds get cut off by which other sounds.
Actually, some means of prioritizing sounds would probably help, in the absence of arbitrarily high numbers of sound slots. Etc, a high priority sound could interrupt a low priority sound and use its slot, or a distant sound might be cut off by something closer to the listener. Sounds that are primarily for flare would be lower priority than sounds that convey necessary information. Etc.

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well as one of the few people that have seen the prototype, and that was a very old version, I can say it'll be worth waiting for. I can't wait to get my hands on one myself.

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Hmm, python scripts you say? I assume that could support importing and packing of external libraries like Numpy?

A couple more questions: Will the console have any visual processing/displaying capabilities? Is there any wifi/bluetooth? You've also mentioned in previous threads about cartridges and external USB's for loading games/software, does the device have internal memory for storing data or would that only be stored on external media? Could it be connected to and interface with a PC with a USB cable, and if so would that enable things like recording gameplay audio, or extending its audio capabilities? Or could it be connected to other Sonus consoles through the USB port for some form of multiplayer? Could it support external braille displays through the USB? How much ram and processing power does it have? And will there be some API documentation for more experienced developers at some point?

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I've updated the Sonus to run 16 channels of audio. The G D E is yet to be updated to accomidate the increase in TTS and Audio channels but I'll get around to it soon.

At the moment there is no online capabilities in the Sonus, although if we are serious about including python scripts its something I should look into doing so we can import our own libraries.

The idea of the sonus is to not have a visual display.

Games will be stored on external media and so will the saved data.

It is built to be a stand-alone device but you could maybe split the audio output and feed it as an audio input into a PC if you wish to record it.

There is no native form of multiplayer and the entire algorithm for playing games would need to be changed to incorperate it. but if we include internet access then maybe our own custom python scripts can make this possible.

No braile display either I'm affraid.

And I will try to make as much documentation and help for people as I can. I will be able to focus more on this when the project is finalized.

I've also made a twitter list because of your suggestions, I have no idea how ot use twitter but I will work it out lol

I'm also thinking of scrapping the cartidge idea all together. My new idea to battle piracy is for the sonus to look for a code on the games usb stick that will only work with that particular console. This means games would all have to be downloaded or purchased from one location which could generate the codes, like a play store.
People can make games and uplaod them to the play store, and select if they want them to be free or if they want to sell them. When downloaded we generate a code to be downloaded as well. This means each Sonus would need a serial number that would be entered whenever downloading a game to make sure they get the right code to make the game work. Or alternatively we will also have an automated phone system for non-internet users who can order games to be delivered on a usb stick with the code already on it.

What are our thoughts on this idea, I believe it would be easier from my side and it puts all the library of games in one place for easy shopping. Its also an easier distribution system to publish your games rather than advertising and marketing them yourselves.

please let me know what you think, thank you guys

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I think the market will prefer the game store option. I have an afinity for the cartridge idea just because of the early-mid 1990s aesthetic, and also having a physical product is one of those things that's awesome but decreasingly viable. hmm Whichever works, I suppose.

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