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Session Name:

When It's Only Sound: Creating an Audio-Only 'Video' Game


The overwhelming majority of video games use the visuals to convey the important gameplay information to the player: where enemies are, what they are doing, and how they are disposed of. Whether they are grunts to be mowed down or fruits to be sliced, it is the screen that is primarily responsible for letting the gamer know what's going on in the world - they are "video" games. Audio plays a strong supporting role, lending realism and reinforcing the visual elements, but with the exception of music in games, audio typically doesn't play the primary role in gameplay itself. But what happens when you turn that on its head, when you make sound effects (not visuals) the primary conveyor of gameplay? This talk will describe the entire process, from conception to implementation, of two audio (not music) based games for the mobile platform. It will describe the technical, sound design, and gameplay challenges of creating a gaming experience that doesn't rely on visuals. These are small-scale, puzzle-style casual games, which rely on audio cues for virtually all gameplay elements. Gamers are presented with audio enemies on an "audio playfield," and receive feedback using audio as the primary means of communication.

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  • GDC 2013
  • Brian Schmidt
  • GameSoundCon
  • free content
  • Audio
  • Audio