2020-08-12 19:08:37 (edited by Stealcase_ 2021-01-08 12:47:23)

Hey, we finally finished Code Dungeon and are releasing it for Free!

After a lot of feedback and help from the people over in the DevelopersRoom, we have finally done it!

You can download it for free if you sign up for the Newsletter for my next game!
Newsletter signup
Or check it out here:
Code Dungeon

There is a readme file for controls in the download, as well as well as an in-game tutorial.


This is me and Wiktor's first Blind Accessible game, so we are eager for you to tell us all the stuff we got wrong (and maybe a couple of things we got right). Please tell us what you think!

If you're curious, heres a Youtube video with a short Trailer and Tutorial for the controls.
Youtube Tutorial Link

Thanks again to
amerikranian, camlorn, Haramir and moaddye for all their feedback!

music is by Eric Matyas, he makes free sounds over at www.soundimage.org

Here's a link to the old thread if you're curious about the development;
Old Thread Link

Working on Monsters of the North, a monster befriending game with rock-paper-scissor mechanics and permadeath.
Code Dungeon Download Link
Twitter Link
Youtube Trailer and Tutorial

2020-08-12 19:42:17

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, a free game, great

Inspector, you've obviously learned too much about me. I can't have that. Not even in my death

Thumbs up

2020-08-12 20:48:44 (edited by defender 2020-08-12 20:49:10)

Wow this is seriously awesome!  The great sound design and the well done HRTF really make this special!
The first time one of those chompers charged at me I was actually scared.
I think you've done an excellent job for the most part with accessibility, the audio navigation cues are easily understandable, the current direction key is helpful, and the screen reader support is a really nice touch.


Some issues I'm having though are as follows.


1.  Being able to either snap to north or the closest accurate 90 degree angle would be extremely useful, as it's easy to get onto a slight diagonal when using the mouse and then getting backed into corners or not being able to go down long corridors correctly.


2.  Sometimes for a reason that I still can't figure out, I get forced out of FPS mode and can't get back into it even with the toggle, which basically ends the game for me since the camera doesn't zoom into the player enough for navigation and the directional indication voice stays at the player's position.


3.  Unfortunately it seems that the pinging keys (the numbers) don't do anything.


4.  I don't really understand how the dash button is supposed to work, I pressed it and heard the sound but my movement didn't seem to get faster even when I held it down.


5.  I'm not sure how progressing the tutorial is supposed to work, it wasn't strictly stated that I was required to practice the keys which were mentioned but I did anyway and it seemed to make things happen, but only after I pressed escape first on the tutorial intro dialogue.  Since no indication is made for when you've progressed to a new section of the tutorial, and other random game messages are mixed in with the tutorial text in the buffer, I didn't know what to do next.


6. Since you can't hold down the arrows or hit home/end for the top and bottom of menus, it would be nice if we could hit escape instead of having to scroll to the back or confirm button every time.


7. A simple yes/no "have I been here before" button, or some kind of system where the player can drop a limited amount of markers on the map would be nice for navigation, but only if it doesn't go against the spirit of the game.


8. Some of the room/enemy names could have slightly better English, but it's still understandable.


I know it sounds like I have allot of complaints, but I genuinely enjoyed playing even though I didn't get super far, and look forward to trying the game more.  I wish I could donate though...

Thumbs up +1

2020-08-13 00:15:45

Hi.

On the main menu under options, I accidently pressed something called screenreader mode and now the game isn't responding. How do I fix this?

Thanks

Who am I? I am the oily taint in crystal clear water, I am the shadow that your light does not reveal, I am... the incarnate of darkness!

Thumbs up

2020-08-13 04:26:15

Okay, stuck in the tutorial. I broke the crystal, now can't manage to go through the door near the torch.

Devin Prater
My Blog
Follow me

2020-08-13 08:23:52

Hi.
Wow it sounds impressive. Does the game have graphics? So it's a mainstream game with build in accessibility?

Best regards SLJ.
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.
Facebook: https://facebook.com/sorenjensen1988
Twitter: https://twitter.com/soerenjensen

2020-08-13 13:15:09

THis is a long post so I'm gonna use #NumberHere to reply to Humans, while normal numbers to refer to specific questions raised.

#3 WOW thats's some feedback! I'll go through it;

1. 90 Degree snapping is an excellent idea, I think we could incorporate that into something like Shift + Q, so that you snap to the currently announced direction! I think that would feel natural, since Shift + A and D rotate you in 45 degree increments.

2. I have no idea what this bug is, and I don't think I've ever encountered it. But the difference between FPS mode being On and OFF will ONLY affect how the player controls. It does not affect sound or camera position. Maybe you have entered a room with poor soundmixing or echo that makes it feel like you can't navigate? I'll look into it.
FPS mode is easier for blind or visually impaired players, while FPS-OFF mode is a little more familiar for sighted players.

3. Shit, forgot to remove the "ping keys" from the Readme File. They are no longer in the game; they were a patchwork solution to a problem that we wanted to solve through more natural sounds on objects.

4. When you move in a direction, then press Spacebar, you will continue moving in that direction but very rapidly for a small duration. You cannot hold Spacebar, only press it. If you are standing still, pressing spacebar does Nothing.

5. Gotcha; The tutorial could be a little clearer.
If you've missed some messages, you can use the Right and Left Arrow Keys to scroll through the last 5 messages I think.
The tutorial has 3 Rooms and 3 Hallways. The first has a Crystal and a Door, The second has a Bunch of Pillars and a couple of crystals, and the third has 3 Crystals and an Enemy.

6. Good point with the escape button; Seems like basic functionality, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to not implement the obvious.

7. We wanted the player to be able to light and drop torches on the ground. But it's a good suggestion; I'm looking at some of the data right now to see if many people would want it.

8. Haha, You just reminded me to run around the game to make sure all of those names are correct.

Thanks defender, I'm really glad you're enjoying the game, this has been a passion project for us for a while now.
If anyone would like to donate, please consider giving money instead to https://donate.lebanesefoodbank.org/ the Lebanese Food bank. Sorry, I can't vouch for how accessible that website is.

#4 Hey Darkblade, we've got reports of that happening. I thought the game didn't keep track of that option when you closed it and opened again, but apparently it persists. We're gonna do a hotfix today that forces Accessibility mode ON when you open the game again.

#5 Hey devinprater, If you can't get into the Hallway it can be a little finicky sometimes; the doorway is only slightly larger than your character. Try to listen when you walk past the door for when the space opens up, then turn and face the door.
In the hallway there is a Crystal that blocks your path, you can only destroy it with MiddleMouse button; That is a Stab attack that is useful in tight hallways.

#6 SLJ It's an Indie Game with graphics that is also designed from the ground up with blind accessibility in mind. But yeah, it's intended to be a "mainstream" kind of game.
I want to make games for a living, and I want to make them playable by everyone. But since this is our first attempt, we decided to release it for free so we could learn as much as we could from it.

Working on Monsters of the North, a monster befriending game with rock-paper-scissor mechanics and permadeath.
Code Dungeon Download Link
Twitter Link
Youtube Trailer and Tutorial

2020-08-13 14:08:29

Hi,
I think having a way to track objects ala pings or finding out what's around, should be an option. Maybe not exact coordinates, but there are some people in the blind community who struggle with mapping and spacing out areas but who might like this sort of game. I for one, couldn't figure out where doors were at all.

Thumbs up

2020-08-13 14:15:27

Hi.
This sounds very interesting, downloading it now.
One question, does it have randomly generated events and items?
If not, you may want to consider it in future updates as it will add a lot of replay value/customisation.

Though our eyes may fail, our ears prevail!
User Karma, every little helps

Thumbs up

2020-08-13 14:54:23

#8 Hey aaron, We removed the ping feature I mentioned because the way we did it was causing huge performance issues, and we got feedback that said people didn't like the implementation. We also made a system that did some elaborate Pinging like a radar around the player, which just turned out to suck.

Instead of pinging objects, we opted for making sure that every object in the game has multiple sound cues that play on intervals, but you can press E while facing them to get the object name and distance from you.

If you're having a hard time navigating, that's our fault. But it might be a Communication issue and not a Game Design issue, so maybe you'll have an easier time if I explain some of the mechanics.

I can't be sure if you broke the crystal to open the first door. Doors are closed at the start of the game, and you open them by defeating monsters and breaking crystals.
For doors, we have 5 Audio Cues that we try to train the player to be aware of. The first is the "Clink Clank" noise; doors will make this sound every couple of seconds. The second sound cue is Torches; Most doors have 2 torches placed outside of them. These torches have sound that travels quite the long distance, so you can usually hear the torches in most rooms. The third is when the door actually opens; It makes a sharp Metallic Hinge noise that lasts about 2.5 seconds. The fourth is the Howling Wind noise. If a door is open, it makes a howling wind noise when you are in front of it, and you can usually hear it when walking past it.

The fifth noise is part of our "Wall Detection System". When you walk past an Opening, or you walk past a space where the room suddenly opens up on your left or right, you hear a quick "whoosh" sound. This indicates that the distance between the player and a wall has changed drastically; there is an opening.

We also have the E key for scanning forward, similar to a feature in Swamp. This forward scan will tell you the object you are facing and the distance between you and the object, which can tell you when you're pointing at a door or a Torch near a Door.  E can be spammed without causing hiccups or  performance issues in the game.

Let me know if you still have issues. Right now we're hotfixing some things, but I'll come back to this later.

#9 Hey TheBlindSayan. I'd love to add random elements and procedural generation. Currently the whole game is handmade and crafted, but I'd like to create a procedural generated map at some point. But for now we're gonna focus on fixing issues that are stopping people from being able to enjoy the game.

Working on Monsters of the North, a monster befriending game with rock-paper-scissor mechanics and permadeath.
Code Dungeon Download Link
Twitter Link
Youtube Trailer and Tutorial

2020-08-13 23:35:12

@Stealcase
That shift Q idea sounds perfect, and the torches as markers concept seems like a good way to make use of them.
What I thought was turning off FPS mode must be something else then, basically it causes the camera to stay in one place while the player moves away from it, which means that when the player gets far enough away from the camera it's really hard to get back sometimes.
Not sure what camera shake and accessibility volume do though so maybe that's got to do with it?
As for pinging, would it be possible to just pres a key and have a voice say the name of each object in the room at it's position relative to the player, with a small pause between each one?  You'd have to make sure that the distance didn't effect the voice so much that you couldn't hear it but otherwise it might work, unless that would still cause the same performance issues.

Thumbs up

2020-08-13 23:57:59

Hello. This game is good, but would like to be able to save settings as well as save anywhere during the game.

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 00:27:29

Col concept going to try it now! It loks like there are onlyfour floors, I feel like this game could be infinitely replayable with an endless amount of floors and a score system for some ranking fun. Love the sound design though!

regards,
assault_freak

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 01:56:42

Played a bit more and I must say I love the idea a lot!
There should be easier way to say if you can hit something or not as there's no way to know that. In Shadow rine for example, you have a sounds of something in rage and out of range, the same with enemies, ou can see if you are in their range or not.

Japanese games are great source of learning as they are introduces totally fresh and unique ways of how you can  do something really great instead of repeating the known systems which are, well, not that great in my opinion. Swamp for example: I NEVER played anything bad like that in terms of navigation and you need to know I am playing video games mostly.
In audio games the japense devs showed me navigation can be good, working and intuitive without remembering the numbers, coordinates and without any kind of scanning methods IE. Spam a button to scan after every single turn. The only good wester relase (A hero's call) implemented very good nav system and of course The Last of us PART II, but it is video game.

What is really working in the game is how HRTF works, it is really nice plus the audio cues of the objects around. In this area you did fantastic work!

If you like what I am doing just show it to me by clicking on that button below the post. :)
Follow me on
Twitter
Add me on Steam

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 02:32:44

Hi:

I need to remap the keys since I don't have a mouse and the trackpad is limited. Which button could I use for the stab action?

I'm becoming an avid gamer. Perhaps I'll become as passionate a gamer as I am a reader.

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 09:16:52 (edited by defender 2020-08-14 09:18:50)

@Lirin
If Japanese devs made maps as big as Swamp, they would probably need to use similar methods as well, it's not fare to compare apples to oranges, and while I agree that navigation is confusing at first, it is very possible to use and hundreds of people do.  Besides, AHC uses many of the same concepts that Swamp brought to us anyway.
@tayo.bethel
Try mapping left and right controls for sword and space for stab, then tab for dash maybe?

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 10:14:06

@defender
Well, AHC did it in different way anyway, much more untuitive or, something in Swamp changed what I don't know about. I remember it's beacon system is working in totally weird way plus there is no way to know the open space around you where you can turn etc.
As I said, maybe something changed in the last years as I am not playing it from long, loong time. The paid subscription system to play Swamp just isn't my thing.

If you like what I am doing just show it to me by clicking on that button below the post. :)
Follow me on
Twitter
Add me on Steam

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 15:08:41

@Defender thanks. It worked. I'm a bit confused as to how you open doors. perhaps it's something I'm missing in the tutorial but I can't find any messages related to doors.

I'm becoming an avid gamer. Perhaps I'll become as passionate a gamer as I am a reader.

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 16:13:55

So I managed to make it through the tutorial mostly. A question. I've noticed that, at least on the keyboard, the stab is slower than the swing. Is this expected behavior, or a bug? It's easier, in reality, to thrust forward than to swing. Also, being able to snap to a cardinal direction with the keyboard would be most welcome.

I'm becoming an avid gamer. Perhaps I'll become as passionate a gamer as I am a reader.

Thumbs up

2020-08-14 16:31:09 (edited by Stealcase_ 2020-08-14 16:33:29)

Hey #18 tayo.bethel, you can open doors by destroying crystals and defeating enemies.
The stab is intentionally slower than the swings for balance reasons, but we made it a little quicker in this patch:

Just patched the game to version 1.1.4

Here are some of the fixes;

-You can now use Shift + Q to snap to the closest Cardinal Direction. This is not meant to replace Shift + A and D rotation, but merely get you back into a fixed space if you accidentally move the mouse and become Unaligned with the grid. This is mainly to help players who don't use mice.

-Left and Right Swordswing are now a lot more distinct in Audio direction; you can hear the sword is on your left or right, making it more clear why you hit walls with your sword. Hoping this will allow more player mastery over the sword swing mechanics.

-If you die on a level, you respawn with full health. Previously there was a bug that respawned you with the amount of health you entered the level with, resulting in people dying frequently on floor 2 and 3.

-We turned down the volume on the loud river hallway.

-Middle Mouse Button stab is a lot quicker than before.

-Made the Warthog Vulnerability period Slightly longer.

- If you accidentally turn off Screen Reader Mode, you can now turn it on again using the 1. Key

-Plus a bunch of small things behind the scenes.

Working on Monsters of the North, a monster befriending game with rock-paper-scissor mechanics and permadeath.
Code Dungeon Download Link
Twitter Link
Youtube Trailer and Tutorial

2020-08-14 20:51:12

Hi.
I love the concept and sound design I waiting for more exciting games from you.
Nice work.

Thumbs up +1

2020-08-14 22:47:23

Awesome update, thanks!

Thumbs up

2020-08-15 10:10:08

Hello.
Can you add the ability to rebind more keys, such as the scaning key, and the message navigation keys?
I tried rebinding my walking keys to the arrow keys, but that wouldn't work because of the message navigation keys.
Regards.

Thumbs up

2020-08-15 10:15:47 (edited by defender 2020-08-15 10:40:44)

So first I'll say that I really like the new snap to direction feature, it helps a ton!  I can also confirm that the accessibility keystroke works, which is great.
I've progressed to the first warthog now by the way, this game is pretty hard!
Oh and, it seems as though that weird camera issue isn't happening any more either which is good.
I also figured out how to use that dash key.


A couple of things are making it really difficult to play right now though.
1.  My game keeps crashing and I really don't know why as it doesn't seem to have a pattern accept maybe for walking while a monster is near?  It only started as of this version.  I assume that the log you would need is in:
C:\Users\username\AppData\LocalLow\Wiktor and Benjamin\Code Dungeon\player.log
Or am I wrong about that.


The second major issue is that sound volumes and control schemes aren't saving between instances for me, which makes restarting after each crash pretty tedious.


Other small and less important things I've noticed are as follows:
A.  It seems as though the HRTF can sometimes get ahead of it's self.  For instance, when moving within striking distance of a monster, it often can sound as though it is now behind you/on your other side depending on the direction you are facing.  And in tight spaces, using your right side sword attack can sometimes make the swing and clang sound come from your left instead.


B. There is no bump sound for walking into a crystal.


C. Pickups don't show up on the radar E.G health and attack speed boosts.


D. No way to check the room you are in again on the fly.


E. Chomper corpses show up as live chompers in the zone info when walking over their square.  Unless this is simply the room name for the area where you first encounter one, to the north west of your starting position.


F. Position announcements are pretty quiet, which can be a problem in combat.


G. Either turning by 45 degrees doesn't always work perfectly, I.E rounding issues, or it isn't always announced when you turn to a cardinal direction with shift A and D.


H. When pressing "1" to reenable accessibility, the game must be reloaded before screen readers work again.


I. The screen reader often interrupts it's self when announcing zones or picked up items.  The buffer is a partial solution for this but unless there is a way to force the screen reader to not interrupt it's self, maybe some kind of indicator sound for entering a zone, and a somewhat more obvious pickup sound would help bring your attention to it.


J. The delay between a menu item being spoken and the usage tip being read is quite long.  If this is an issue of "better safe than sorry" from a speech delay point of view, maybe consider allowing users to set their own speech delay by having the screen reader say a preset line of text and asking the user to press a button as soon as the text stops reading, then get the value from that.  This is how some older audio games did it.


K. I would really like to know what accessibility volume and camera shakyness do, especially since accessibility volume doesn't seem to change the level of the menu scrolling sounds.


By the way, I just wanted to let you know that I donated 10 USD to the Lebanese food bank in your name, or at least your first names.

Thumbs up +1

2020-08-16 14:16:03 (edited by Stealcase_ 2020-08-16 14:41:47)

EDIT: Found some gamebreaking crash-bugs, Please don't download version 1.1.5, trying to hotfix.
EDIT2: Alright, updated game to 1.1.6, removed what I believe to be the source of the crashes. Sorry for the issues caused.


#21 mojsior thanks for saying that!

#23 Hey Gaith, that's an excellent point! More customization for controls: I've written it down as something we need to fix.

#24 Hey defender, glad to hear you're able to get to the warthog and the Camera issue isn't bothering anymore, but Damn, the game keeps crashing? That's only happened to me once during 4 months of development, so I don't know what the source is but I've been trying to stress test today to see what's up. NEVERMIND I just crashed it! And the Saving System seems to have broken as well! Seems this latest patch broke some huge things, gonna do a rollback.

I checked the file you mentioned on my own system and it seems to have not bee able to log the source of the crash, so I don't think yours contains anything useful for this crash either. But thanks for suggesting it!

Maybe you could try deleting the entire /Wiktor and Benjamin folder. There might be a conflict between previous save files and new save files after the update.

Yeah, losing all settings between each crash sounds incredibly tedious. We have planned to add Settings Saving in an update in September, because we didn't have room in our schedule to do it now and wanted to make the game playable. But with these crashes that suddenly sounds a lot more important.


A. Hmm, that might be a consequence of the Sound Source Placement and a more recent Sound Occlusion fix we did.
We've made sure that monsters have a facing direction, and that their voice audio emanates from their mouths, to try to help the player know when the monster is facing them or not.  As a consequence, where the monster's voice audio comes from vs where they exist physically doesn't always match. Sometimes the monsters mouth is more "behind you", while their body is on your side. The audio-Occlusion might make it so the monster occludes it's own sounds when facing away from you as well, making it sound more distant than it actually is.
We previously had Physical Body noises, but cut them because they were too much for the total sound field.

The most accurate "source" of a monster is their footsteps, which always comes from directly underneath them. Anyway, I wrote it down, since it makes the game harder in certain cases.

B. and C. I'll write that down; Scanning HP and pickups needs audio, Bump noise for Crystal. Thanks!

D. Quick Room Announcement; This one has been up in the air for a while; it got cut and replaced with the rudimentary Room Name announcement when you enter a new room. It's on a "we might do it" list currently.

E. You're right; that announcement for the Chomper is just the Room Name.

F. for position announcements, do you mean the Cardinal Directions or do you mean Wall Tones? Wall tones volume can be adjusted with the Accessibility Volume Slider. That slider affects Wall Tones, Scan Audio, and Hallway Swooshes (when the room opens up).

G. Turning 45. degrees always works, but it is not always announced with cardinal directions. Wrote that down as bugfix.

H. Huh, you need to reload the game for the Screenreader to turn on again? That doesn't happen for me, it just works. Are you Using NVDA or something else? (or are you just using windows SAPI?) Regardless I'm writing it down; next time I add an option to turn off screen reader in a game, I'll make sure that you have to go through another layer of "are you sure about that?" before confirming.  Nothing worse than suddenly experiencing that the game doesn't respond to any input, and not being able to turn it on again.

I. Thats a good point; having some consistent sound for indicating a "New Zone" in addition to the Screen Reader voice is a good idea. 
Fun Fact; Most of the Screen Reader text in the game has the attribute "Interuptable=false". We're using a plugin to feed things to the ScreenReader, but I have to dig into the sourcecode so I can understand better what's going on and why it's not working.


J. MenuItem Tooltip Delay setting: Great idea, I'll write that down.

K. Accessibility Volume Setting controls the WallTones, "Open Space Swooshes" and Scan Volume I believe. I don't think we have Cardinal Direction announcements tied to this, but that might be an oversight. I'll be sure to add this to the Tooltip when you hover over the Accessibility Volume so you can get context. Camera Shake is an On-Off Toggle. The camera shakes when you hit enemies and take damage. Some sighted players get motion sickness when games have camera shake, so we just added the option of turning it off. It doesn't affect audio in any way.

Thanks a bunch for donating! Really appreciated. smile
I put you in the credits for your awesome and comprehensive feedback.

Working on Monsters of the North, a monster befriending game with rock-paper-scissor mechanics and permadeath.
Code Dungeon Download Link
Twitter Link
Youtube Trailer and Tutorial