Good Aural.

Well I’ve been a very happy bunny of late.

My recently acquired list:

  • Komplete 7
  • Alesis Q49
  • Macbook
  • Tascam US-144mkII
  • 4 Gigs of RAM (2 for my netbook, 2 for my desktop)

I feel supe’d up and ready to go. Must be why I made some music for this awesome game: Tetris Fight Club

Additionally, the horrible title here is a reference to my current aims with my game. I want this game to be able to be played entirely with your hands and ears.

Modern games are often of the situation that you can turn the sound off and still play no problem. Turn the screen off though, and you can’t do a thing. I want to go the other way around. Turn the screen off if you want, but you gotta have the sound on to be able to play this stuff. I guess I’ve really got to make sure the audio set-up goes smooth when someone tries to play, hey?

At the moment the game is a simple dodging affair. Blocks spawn on the right hand side of the environment, while the player is on the left side and can only move vertically. The blocks stay still for a small amount of time, then sweep the left. You have to dodge the blocks.

To get this information across to the player through purely aural means, a mixture of pitch and binaural filtering is used on each object’s identifying sound. These sounds are created in Pure Data, which receives information over OSC for each object’s current position.

The binaural filtering (implemented with the mega-awesome “earplug~” external) means that when wearing headphones the brain is fooled into thinking the sounds are coming from a 3D area around the head, rather than just two headphones. Combined with the intuitive idea that blocks lower down on the screen have an identifying sound of a lower pitch and it actually works very well to know where the blocks are. Also, the binaural filtering produces a great effect when they swoosh across the screen to smack the player.

At the moment, it’s a little harder to accurately tell where the player is on the screen (especially without getting player and block sounds confused), but I’ve got a few ideas on how to resolve that.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot:

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