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{{Video Games}}
An '''audio game''' is an [[electronic game]] played on a device such as a [[personal computer]]. It is similar to a [[video game]] save that the only feedback device is audible rather than visual.
Audio games originally started out as 'blind accessible'-games and were developed mostly by [[amateur]]s and [[blindness|blind]] [[programmer]]s{{Citation needed|date=December 2008}}. But more and more people are showing interest in audio games, ranging from sound artists, [[game accessibility]] researchers, mobile [[video game developer|game developers]] and mainstream [[video game player|video gamers]]. Most audio games run on a [[personal computer]] platform, although there are a few audio games for handhelds and [[video game console]]s. Audio games feature the same variety of genres as video games, such as [[adventure game]]s, [[racing game]]s, etc.
== Audio game history ==
The term "electronic game" is commonly understood as a synonym for the narrower concept of the "video game." This is understandable as both electronic games and video games have developed in parallel and the game market has always had a strong bias toward the visual. The first electronic game, in fact, is often cited to be ''Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device'' (1947) a decidedly visual game. Despite the difficulties in creating a visual component to early electronic games imposed by crude graphics, small view-screens, and power consumption, video games remained the primary focus of the early electronic game market.
=== Arcade and one-off handheld audio games - the early years ===
[[File:Touch Me - 320752252 - axeldeviaje.jpg|thumb|right|150px|The 1978 handheld version of [[Atari]]'s ''[[Touch Me (video game)|Touch Me]]'' - one of the earliest audio games.]]
It was not until 1974 that [[Atari]] released the first audio game, ''[[Touch Me (video game)|Touch Me]]''. Housed in an [[arcade cabinet]], ''Touch Me'' featured a series of lights which would flash with an acompanying tone. The player would reproduce the sequence by pressing a corresponding sequence of buttons and then the game would add another light/sound to the end of the growing sequence to continually test the player's eidetic memory in a [[Concentration (game)|Pelmanism-style]] format. Although the game featured both a visual and an auditory component, the disconnect between the two enabled both the seeing and the visually impaired to equally enjoy the game.
Based on the popularity of ''Touch Me'', in 1978 [[Milton Bradley]] released a handheld audio game entitled ''[[Simon (game)|Simon]]'' at [[Studio 54]] in [[New York City]]. Whereas ''Touch Me'' had been in competition with other visual-centric [[video game]]s and consequently remained only a minor success, the allure of a personal electronic game allowed ''Simon'' to capture a much greater share of the market. ''Simon'' became an immediate success eventually becoming a pop culture symbol of the 1980s.
In the decades following the release of ''Simon'', [[Simon (game)#Clones|numerous clones]] and variations were produced including ''[[Merlin (game)|Merlin]]'' among others. Beginning in 1996, [[Milton Bradley]] and a number of other producers released the handheld ''[[Bop It]]'' which featured a similar concept of a growing series of commands designed to test eidetic memory.<ref>[ Bop-it FAQ] from World of Tim (personal website)</ref> Other related games soon followed including ''Bop It Extreme'' (1998),<ref>[ BopIt Extreme rules and assembly instructions] from World of Tim (personal website)</ref> ''Bop It-Extreme 2'' (2002–2003), ''Zing-It'', ''Top-It'', and ''Loopz'' (2010)<ref> Loopz's Official Website</ref>
=== TTS software and the PC - the second wave ===
[[File:ADVENT -- Will Crowther's original version.png|thumb|right|200px|''[[Colossal Cave Adventure]]'' (1976), the earliest of a library initially spanning 8 years of [[speech synthesis|TTS]]-enabled video games, was first made widely available as an audio game through [[PlainTalk#Original MacInTalk|MacInTalk]] in 1984.]]
Before [[graphical user interface|graphical]] [[operating system]]s like [[Microsoft Windows|Windows]], most [[home computer]]s used text-based operating systems such as [[MS-DOS|DOS]]. Being text-based meant that they were relatively accessible to visually impaired users, requiring only the additional use of [[speech synthesis|text-to-speech]] (TTS) software. For the same reason, following the development of TTS software, text-based games such as early text-only works of [[interactive fiction]] were also equally accessible to users with or without a visual impairment.<ref name=spag52>{{Cite news |last=Damoulakis |first=Ari |title=A Blind Man's Take on Interactive Fiction |newspaper=SPAG |issue=52 |pages=7–9 |date=July 29, 2008 |url= |postscript=<!--None-->}}</ref> Since the availability of [[Speech synthesis#Computer operating systems or outlets with speech synthesis|such software]] was not commonly accessible until the inclusion of the [[PlainTalk#Original MacInTalk|MacInTalk]] program on [[Apple Computer]]s in 1984, the library of games which became accessible to the vision impaired spanned everything from the earliest text adventure, ''Colossal Cave Adventure'' (1976), to the comparatively advanced works of interactive fiction which had developed in the subsequent 8 years. Although the popularity of this genre has waned in the general market as video-centric games became the dominant form of electronic game, this library is still growing with the [[freeware]] development by devoted enthusiasts of new interactive fiction titles each year.<ref name=spag52/>
Accessibility for the visually impaired began to change, some time prior to the advent of graphical operating systems as computers became powerful enough to support more video-centric games. This created a gap between electronic games for the seeing and games for the blind&nbsp;— a gap that has by now grown substantially. Due to a strong market bias in favor of the seeing, electronic games were primarily developed for this demographic. While seeing gamers could venture into [[3D computer graphics|3D]] gaming worlds in such video game titles as ''[[Myst]]'', ''[[Final Fantasy]]'' and ''[[Doom (video game)|Doom]]'', blind gamers were relegated to playing more mundane games such as ''[[Blackjack]]'', or ''[[Battleship (game)|Battleship]]''.
As video games flourished and became increasingly common, however, amateur [[game designer]]s began to adapt video games for the blind via sound. In time audio game programmers began to develop audio-only games, based to a smaller and smaller degree on existing video game ideas and instead focussing on the possibilities of game immersion and feedback with sound.
Specifically, 3-dimensional positional audio ([[binaural recording]]) has been developed since 2000 and now figures prominently in, for example, such audio games as ''[[BBBeat]]''. To effect this, a sound is played in the left, center, or right channel to indicate an object's position in a virtual gaming environment. Generally, this involves stereo panning of various sound effects, many of which are looped to serve as indicators of hazards or objects with which the user can interact. Volume also plays a major role in 3D audio games primarily to indicate an object's proximity with reference to the user. The pitch of a sound is often varied to convey other information about the object it symbolizes. Voice talent is used to indicate menu items rather than text. These parameters have allowed for the creation of, among other genres, side scrollers, 3D action adventures, shooters, and arcade style games.
=== Console audio games and the modern era ===
Most audio games are now developed by several small companies (consisting of only a team of 1 to 4 people). The main audience remains primarily [[blindness|visually impaired]] users, however the game market at large is gradually taking more notice of audio games as well due to the issue of [[game accessibility]]. Commercial interest in audio games has steadily grown and as a result [[artist]]s and [[student]]s have created a number of experimental freeware PC audio games to explore the possibilities and limitations of this gaming form. Recently, audio games have also become very interesting for the mobile gaming market since no screen is needed.
[[File:Real Sound Kaze no Regret Cover.jpg|thumb|left|150px|[[Superwarp|WARP]]'s ''[[Real Sound: Kaze no Regret]]'' (1997)]]
In the field of console-gaming, there has been very little in the way of audio-games. One notable exception has been the innovative incorporation of strong audio elements in several of the games produced by the Japanese video game company, [[Superwarp|WARP]]. WARP (formerly [[EIM (video game developer)|EIM]]) was founded by musician [[Kenji Eno]] and consisted of a five-man team including first-time designer [[Fumito Ueda]].<ref>[ Kenji Eno from WARP] from James's 1UP Blog</ref> In 1997, WARP developed a game called ''Real Sound'' for the [[Sega Saturn]] which was later ported to [[Dreamcast]] in 1999 and renamed {{nihongo|''[[Real Sound: Kaze no Regret]]''|''Real Sound: Regrets in the Wind''}}.<ref name=keno>[ Game Collector’s Melancholy&nbsp;– Kenji Eno] from GameSetWatch</ref> This game featured no visuals at all and was entirely dependent upon sound.
Discussing ''Real Sound'''s production, Eno has stated that "I got tired of <nowiki>[</nowiki>[[Computer-generated imagery|CG graphics]]<nowiki>]</nowiki>. I didn't want people to think that they could predict what Warp would do next. Also, I had a chance to visit people who are visually disabled, and I learned that there are blind people who play [[action game]]s. Of course, they're not able to have the full experience, and they're kind of trying to force themselves to be able to play, but they're making the effort. So I thought that if you turn off the [[Video monitor|monitor]], both of you are just hearing the game. So after you finish the game, you can have an equal conversation about it with a blind person. That's an inspiration behind this game as well.
So [[Sega]] was asking for [[exclusive right]]s to the game, and I said, 'OK, if you'll donate a thousand [[Sega Saturn|Saturns]] to blind people, then I'll donate a thousand [copies of the ''Real Sound''] game[] along with the Saturns.' And my condition was that if Sega would go for this idea, I would make that game Sega exclusive. So, that's how this happened. It's been several years now, and of course the contract probably isn't valid anymore, but the reason that I haven't done anything with this game is that I made this promise with Sega back in the day, and it's exclusive because of those conditions."<ref></ref>
Following the release of ''Real Sound'', WARP again made use of a novel employment of audio elements in the [[Sega Saturn]] game, ''[[Enemy Zero]]'' (1997) where the enemies of the game are invisible and can only be detected through auditory clues.<ref name=keno/> Further emphasis on the aural environment derived from the game's inclusion of a soundtrack created by minimalist musicologist, [[Michael Nyman]].<ref>{{cite video game|title= [[Enemy Zero]]|developer= [[WARP (game developer)|WARP]]|publisher= Sega|date= 1997-10-31|platform= [[Sega Saturn]]|language= English}}</ref> Audio-specific elements used in gameplay have been recognized in WARP's [[D (series)|''D'' series]] (including ''[[D (video game)|D]]'' (1995) and ''[[D2 (video game)|D2]]'' (2000),<ref>[ game review: Real Sound - Kaze No Riglet]</ref> which both incorporate soundtracks created by Eno).
WARP stopped production of video games in 2000 and changed their name to Superwarp following a number of problems with video game producers, mixed reviews of the games, and markedly mediocre sales.<ref name=keno/> As a result, WARP games have become quite rare and have gained cult status as they are increasingly sought after. Superwarp's work focussed on network services, DVD products, and online music<ref>[ warp-superwarp-fytoファンサイト[ふぁいと&#93;]</ref> until 2005 when the company, still under the direction of Kenji Eno, was renamed [[From Yellow to Orange]] (commonly abbreviated as fyto).<ref name=keno/> Eno has hinted at [[E3 2006]] that fyto is currently engaged in production of a new video game title to be released for the [[Nintendo]] [[Wii]].<ref>[ Gamasutra - Report: Kenji Eno Returning To Games With Wii Title?]</ref>
<!-- Deleted image removed: [[File:Soundvoyager Boxart.jpg|thumb|right|150px|[[Nintendo]]'s 2006 audio game collection, ''[[Soundvoyager]]''.]] -->
[[Nintendo]], as part of its shift to alternative gameplay forms, has shown recent interest in audio games through its own development teams.<ref>[ game review: Bit Generations Sound Voyager]</ref> In July 2006, Nintendo released a collection of audio games called ''[[Soundvoyager]]'' as the newest member of its spare ''[[Digiluxe]]'' series. The Digiluxe series for [[Game Boy Advance]] consists of 7 games (in 2 series) that are characterized by simple yet compelling gameplay,<ref>Harris, Craig. ''[ Bit Generations]''. IGN. 2006.</ref> minimal graphics, and the emphasis, in such titles as ''Soundvoyager'' and ''[[Dotstream]]'', on music. ''Soundvoyager'' contains 7 audio games (''Sound Slalom'', ''Sound Picker'', ''Sound Drive'', ''Sound [[Rooster|Cock]]'', ''Sound Chase'', ''Sound Catcher'', and ''Sound Cannon'').<ref>{{cite video game|title= [[Soundvoyager]]|developer= [[Nintendo]]|publisher= Nintendo|date= 2006-07-27|platform= [[Game Boy Advance]]|language= Japanese|isolang=ja}}</ref> While the Digiluxe series has been available in Japan since July 2006, Nintendo of America have yet to announce whether they will release the series in North America.<ref>[ bit Generations]</ref>
[[Apple Inc.|Apple]]'s [[iPhone]] platform has become home to a number of audio games, including [[Papa Sangre]].
== TTS-enabling video games ==
The rise of text-to-speech ([[speech synthesis|TTS]]) software and steady improvements in the field have allowed full audio-conversion of traditionally video-based games. Such games were intended for use by and marketed to the seeing, however they do not actually rest primarily on the visual aspects of the game and so members of the audio game community have been able to convert them to audio games by using them in conjunction with TTS software. While this was originally only available for strictly text-based games like [[interactive fiction|text adventures]] and [[MUD]]s, advances in TTS software have led to increased functionality with a diverse array of software types beyond text-only media allowing other works of interactive fiction as well as various simulator games to be enjoyed in a strictly audio environment.
Examples of such games include:
*''[[Hattrick]]'' - ([[ExtraLives|Extralives AB]], 1997)<ref>[ game review: Hattrick]</ref>
*''[[OGame]]'' - (Gameforge, 2002)<ref>[ game review: OGame]</ref>
*''[[Jennifer Government: NationStates]]'' - ([[Max Barry]], 2002)<ref>[ game review: Nation States]</ref>
== See also ==
* [[Binaural recording]]
* [[Dummy head recording]]
* [[Holophonics]]
* [[Interactive fiction]]
* [[List of gaming topics]]
* [[Music video game]]
* [[Video game genres]]
* [[Video game music]]
* [[IEZA_Framework]] - a framework for conceptual game sound design
== References ==
== External links ==
* [ Game Accessibility Project], website of the Game Accessibility project
* [ PCS Accessible Game developers List], a big list of blind accessible games and audio games
* [ IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group], working to make mainstream games accessible for all disability groups
* [], community website for audio gamers featuring a game database and a forum
* [ AudioGames resources], audio game resources and articles
* [ Accessible Gaming Rending Independence Possible (AGRIP)], home of ''Audio Quake'' - a project designed to make ''Quake'' accessible for visually impaired individuals
* [ The Virtual Barbershop], a demonstration of multiple binaural sound effects. (NOTE: This is intended for use with stereo headphones)
* [ Audio only menus], Some recommendations for the design of audio only menus for audio games.
{{DEFAULTSORT:Audio Game}}
[[Category:Game terminology]]
[[Category:Audio games|*]]
[[eo:Aŭda komputilludo]]
[[pl:Komputerowa gra dźwiękowa]]
[[pt:Jogo eletrônico de áudio]]
[[ru:Звуковая игра]]
Reporter Information
Reporter: JimmiXzS (anonymous)
Date: Friday, the 14th of October 2016 at 09:32:58 PM
Status: Reported
Sunday, the 26th of April 2015 at 06:30:13 AM #99135
rodjer (anonymous)


Friday, the 14th of October 2016 at 09:32:58 PM #106566
JimmiXzS (anonymous)