We're developing an accessible first person shooter for iOS and would welcome input on preferred game mechanics

App Developer

Hello
Here David from myTrueSound.

We will be adding to the future episodes of GoldGun some first person shooting action. We have different opinions on the team about how to do it, and what would be the most realistic way to get.

The limitations is that our games are for mobile devices, both iOS and Android. So the game mechanics have to be implemented through the tactile interface and/or the gyroscope.

Based on your experience, could you appoint what would be the most realistic way to do it?. I just need the concept, we will take care of the coding smile
Your explanations can be as detailed as possible. All the information you provide will be carefully read.

Thanks for helping!

Forum: 

#1 well i use an iPod touch and

well i use an iPod touch and i know it has a gyroscope
i hope that i can be part of the testing team when its ready to go:)

#2 Suggestion

Sounds like they aren't going to be having public testing, but they will have a demo, so we will get to try it.

Anyway, hello there. I've never played an FPS on a mobile device, but have on PC and consoles. The biggest question I have is what kind of first person shooter segments are you planning? Will there be free movement in the veign of a classic FPS, or is it more an on-rails idea where you'll control the gun, but not the character's movement? I'm assuming the latter given the nature of the game. In which case you could do a couple different things. First, having the sound effects of incoming enemies (breathing, heartbeats, general sounds of bodily movement) coming from the left or right side of the stereo field, then using either the giroscope or left and right buttons to turn the character in that direction. Then when the enemy is in the middle of the stereo field, we'll know it's time to shoot to take them out. You could have a gun cocking sound signifying when the enemy is about to shoot, then use either the jyroscope or a bottom button to duck in cover to avoid getting shot. You could also use vibration or an audible signal to let us know it's time to shoot. So to recap, a button to the left to turn in that direction, one on the right to turn in that direction, one at the bottom to duck and one at the top to shoot.

I'm curious about the logistics of having a blind police officer engaging in active gunplay. Suspending disbelief about the character for a moment, I'm curious how that will work from a narrative perspective. It's not that blind people can't use guns, just that without some context it might seem a bit odd. I know there have been a lot of games lately where you play as a "blind" character, but most of those, such as Perception for instance" still use sight to convey the blindness. Thus you end up getting this wierd immersion-breaking gameplay experience. Blind people can't play it because it's still a sighted game, and sighted people find it odd having such a limited way of looking around the environment. I definetly think the audio experience is a great way to go, and as an avid gamer, and a sound designer myself I'm curious to see what your team comes up with. I just hope there's a little consultation with the blind community about how to portray a blind character convincingly. Saying "hey he's blind", only for him to perform gunplay, undergo riggerous chase sequences, drive a car and browse the deep web without a realistic means to access the internet is not it. (Please note, I don't believe you're going to do stuff like that, these are just examples). Though having to escape some antagonistic killer in the dark, if done the right way could definetly have the potential for a tense and engaging experience. I'd be curious to hear more about the gameplay you plan for. I play a lot of mainstream narrative-driven games, and there are definetly some kinds which lend themselves very well to an audio-only experience.

#3 Hard to tell

It's really hard to tell as I don't know how the game will work in general. I hope the developers will try to make audio games more like video games, where you have virtual analog sticks on the screen to controll the characters, aiming etc.

#4 gyro

Personally, i feel gyro is way more realistic and easier, not to mention it adds to the experience of the player

#5 don't mind if it is video games

well,
i don't mind it is a vedio game.
but, the sounds and voice hints are very usful for visually impaired person to know about the games.
and the menu can be use voice over to read it. as well.
and for the Gestures of the game.
we can think about:
swipe up or down left or right and then hold the finger on screen to move the person walk or fortouch to make it running.
and then double tab the screen to shoot. and 2 finger double tab the screen to change the wepen ...
so on.
or also can use gyro to turn left and right.

#6 Definitely, gyroscope would do the trick.

I think the gyroscope works better and it feels more realistic.

#7 Questions from @Remy

App Developer

Hi @Remy.
I'm glad that you feel interested about the GoldGun. I can't tell what is the point of Soren (the main character in the game) being blind and working for the cyber-crime department, because then I kill the surprise. But it is really logic, believe me. I hope you can wait, and that then you enjoy it. However, the story doesn't fully open up on the first episode, although quite much. But then it get twisted again :)

About listening and considering blind people thoughts. 33 % of the founders of the company are blind from birth. I explain fast. I've worked as a researcher in acoustics and sound perception for 15 years. I wanted to make a change and bring that experience into gaming and VR technology. Two years ago, I started to prepare a research project which aimed to investigate about immersive audio algorithms, e.g. those that make you feel like being in the real world even though you are on a game. In this project, blind people were the audio experts. The idea was that they would work on the project, and that their task would be to help to fix the parameters in the algorithm. I loved also the social impact of the proposal, and I was surprised that big companies working on audio, for instance headphones, speakers, and mobile phone manufactures, were not doing the same approach. I mean, if you want audio quality, ask the experts, isn't it?

The project was never funded, and my boss said me to forget the thing (he was not very supporting, and now I have another boss in the University were I work 8 hours a day. The rest of my free time I use it to run this side project). So I thought, well, if I make a game company to make audio games, I get blind people to work in, and then blind people likes the games...most probably I got forward. After some months I found Mr. Mikko Herranen, one of the best persons I've ever met. Without him this would not be where it is. We had great dreams of making the perfect audio experience, and we are far away yet from there. We need still a bit more of time to grow. At this moment we are a team of 8, and most are working for free. We also want to make our Immersive Audio Game Engine (IMAGE) accessible for the blind, so they can be working for us. We have been looking for blind C# programmers in Finland, but we didn't find so far. We also have been doing beta testing at local level with blind players. I hope this answered a bit who we are and what we are about.

#8 RE: don't mind if it is video games

I agree with Ming. Using the finger swipes up, down, right left, using two finger single or double taps are the right way to go. These gestures are fast and allows for more rapid game play. Personally, if I have to actually turn my whole body to play, I won't do it because I like to kick back in my recliner while playing games. If I'm going to use my whole body, then I'm going to go have a workout session, not play games.

#9 Giroscope all the way

Gestures work fine, the concept laid out in post 2 seems it should be all right, but the giroscope provides just so way uncomparably more immersion. Back when Audio Defence was still a thing, there were actually a couple of challenges that made me sweat a bit in order to complete them with the giro. I would like to see more games making use of this phenomenal technology just because it's so much more motivating, engaging and just plain fun to control the game using your whole body than just gestures, and I've never been able to muster quite enough motivation for dull workouts. Gamifying actual physical exercise, even if just very limited, helps me a lot. :-)
Lukas

#10 no gyroscope

I myself find the gyroscope too sensitive, that or I'm just not very good with it.

I much rather slide my finger along the screen to aim the gun.

Some games let you use both options, blind cricket is a good example.

#11 Compromise is Key

For me, I'd very much prefer a swipe-based setup, as it tends to be more accurate when I use it. However, if it wouldn't be too hard, I would suggest implementing both, so people can come to a happy consensus, where both people get what they want.
Just my two cents.

#12 swipes prefered

I, too, tend to stay stationary when playing games, especially as I tend to play things on long bus or train rides. But both would be a good idea. Really though, the highest hope I have for this is story and good voice acting. make me care about what I'm shooting. thank you for all the work you do!

#13 I agree with 10, 11 and 12

I am generally good at both. However, I do not like spinning around like a crazy head with my expensive iOS device. Therefore I recommend you allow us to use both methods.

#14 Game and Control Thoughts

Like Remy, I have played many PC and console first person shooters. It's actually one of my favorite genres of games. I tend to prefer the more fast paced, not as realistic shooters like Doom, FEAR, etc., over the military style shooters.

I have also played a couple of FPS games for mobile, especially on the iPad with the larger screen.

As asked earlier, are these sections going to be free-moving, or stationary turret-like sequences, where the player just needs to aim and shoot?

If the shooter sequences are stationary, where the player just needs to turn and aim, either swipes or gyroscope controls would work fine. If possible, I'd recommend implementing both. Some people, like myself, find the gyroscope controls quite fun, but others prefer or are physically unable to move quickly this way. Having the choice would work best.

If the shooter sequences are free moving, I'd recommend not using button icons and virtual analog sticks to move. These rarely work well, and I've played several first and third person mobile games that just don't feel right because of this. It's often difficult to hit the exact area for a virtual analog stick or cluster of buttons.

Instead, I really like the idea of using taps, swipes and gestures to move around and perform actions. For instance, when the player places their left thumb on the screen, anywhere on the left side of the screen, that becomes the center position of analog movement. The player then slides their thumb in any direction, and the character moves forward, backward, or strafes left or right.

Likewise, when the player places their right thumb on the right part of the screen, that point is the center of analog turning. The player then just moves their thumb left, right, up, or down, to look in any direction and aim.

Please remember to offer a reverse option for this style movement for people who prefer to move with their right hand and aim with their left.

this type of control scheme still provides analog movement, but gets rid of the common problem of on-screen controls that can be hard to always hit accurately.

For a great example of a sighted IOS game that allows the player to move, and perform a variety of attacks with No on screen controls, check out Beat Street. It's not a shooter, but a kind of Double Dragon style brawler. Still, I've never played a game like this where the controls just work, no matter what you're trying to do. I can attack by tapping, do a powerful attack by tapping and holding, and doing uppercuts or dash attacks by swiping. and then it uses analog style movement as I described above, but anywhere on the screen.

Another pretty solid style of free movement and shooting for IOS is Dead Trigger 2. It uses the move and aim style controls I described above, with no on-screen controls. Firing is also handled in a unique way. You simply aim at an enemy, and when the crosshair targets them, you automatically fire with your equipped weapon. This sounds like it takes some skill away from the game, but it really doesn't. For mobile, I think it's actually a very good system. When the player only has a touch screen to work with, you don't want to over-complicate the controls, but do want to offer varied gameplay.

So I could see using a look and move style, and auto fire setup when locked on. There could be a tap or swipe gesture to switch weapons. Maybe the player double taps either side of the screen to cycle between weapons. This way, the auto-fire still works, and swiping and quickly flicking don't get confused, and accidently make the character move or look instead of switching weapons.

These are just a few possible ideas. I love nerding out on this kind of thing, and am very interested in making mainstream game ideas accessible to blind and low vision players, including virtual reality. I don't normally do this, but I'll plug my YouTube channel here. Just search for IllegallySighted on YouTube. I've also pasted a link to my Dead Trigger 2 video below, as it's related to the game in this thread. I've also done a video for Beat Street, and several videos on game and VR accessibility. I hope they help.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrBQo0dcFFo

I'm looking forward to playing your game.

#15 well, hope this game will be for ever running and updating

well, we have lost many great games. like audio defence, six sense and.... too much game.
I hope this game will be last forever or longer.
and I don't mind it is a paid app or have in app purches like buying wepons or power up... so on!
and I wish it can be battle online with our friends as well.

#16 Thanks for clarifying

Hi Dave. I took a look at the website and have a better sense of your company, if not the game. I do look forward to more information about this title. There aren't a lot of "accessible" narrative games on mobile devices, and of those which do exist, there are even fewer with compelling stories and especially audio. And then there are the unfinished ones like The Girl Who Sold the World, a fantastic audio game which, while not yet accessible is still very interesting. The problem is a lot of these games are done by independent developers like yourself with limited funding. Too bad too because I find said developers are often some of the most creative minds. Kickstarter is usually a good idea, though capturing enough interest might be trying. Either way, $20 or so is not that much for a full gaming experience. I will keep this game on my radar and look forward to some more in-depth information.

#17 I believe that choice is Keith considering a game like this.

One of the reasons that audio defense was so successful, was that you could interact with the game in the method that suited you as the player best. I completed most of that game, but I was not able to finish it before it quit working. The key here is, that we as blind gamers need to have a replacement for that game. Rest in peace audio defense.

#18 Suggestions

Rather than only implementing oway of doing it, perhaps it would be more comfortable for usersto choose how they ernt to play the game, using the gyroscope, swiping, tilting, etc.

#19 Good comments and thanks

App Developer

Thanks you all so much for your input. I really appreciate each of the comments you sent. Very valuable.

We think it is pretty clear that both systems (gyroscope and swipes) have to be implemented, and let the user to decide. It takes time to implement both, sure, but we have been working already with both mechanics, so it should not be a big deal. It is more related to resources. (We are looking for a C# programmer by the way, preferably living in finland and preferably with visual impairment. If you know any, let us know).

Once the game mechanics are done, I think it is also important how the audio helps for the aiming. I don't know when we will get the shooting in GoldGun, or whether we would do on a separate game that concentrates only on it in the future, but I won't be satisfy with a Left-Center-Right type, or basic systems like in Sixth Sense zombie shooting game. Shooting in real life is more difficult than that. So the next question, is how to provide the audible information in such way that you really get the 3D-experience, and that this helps you to really point out where to shoot at. I have a couple of ideas about how to provide with audio information that you are aiming right, and what would be the perfect time to shoot.

Are there games using such systems? or you have some ideas?

#20 stereo sounds is very important

well, for me I always use headset or headphone to play games.
so, I think a good stereo sounds is very important!
like when we hear the person/ enemy/ opponent on our right and we walk in to them and when it is closer to the middle / centre. we can shoot it!
or also we can use a kind or beep sound from the lower tone to the higher peech! the4 lower tone mean the opponent is far from us. and the beep come higher and higher peech. the opponent is closer. and then we can get them as welll.

#21 my suggestions

well, I hope it is not just an audio game.

because it can encourage more people to play
and then it can let sighted and visually impaired people play together as well.
like vedio game, street fighter V.
blind people can play it as well.
so, I am looking forward to it!

I like playing video games since childhood!
my favorite is street fighter's series and the king of fighter as well.
and the sounds are great! so, we can play it very well.

#22 about pitch and audio

App Developer

Thanks @ming

The pitch idea is actually what I have on mind. Create a sweep sound, where the pitch gets higher as your aiming accuracy improves.

About the video and audio games. I'm sorry to say, but our games are only audio games. No visual interface at all, except what it is required for creating the game menus, options and so on. But not visuals.

We have a lot of reasons for not doing visuals. The most important is that we want to concentrate on the audio experience and become master of it. Also because we love audio. If we try both, visuals and audio, then we don't get any one at 100 %.

But we aim to provide as fun games as those with visuals. Sure thing!

#23 Audio Aiming

I've played a few games that use audio targeting on mobile. Wearing headphones and having good audio mixing is important. Clear separation from left to right makes it easier to tell where you're aiming. For enemies behind you, that's a little tougher to determine sometimes. You could have a kind of muffled or echo effect to indicate that the audio is behind you, so the user doesn't get confused when lining up the audio if it's in front or behind them.

Using binoral audio is also helpful and adds a bit of extra audio depth and separation.

As for lining up a target, most games just use the center of your soundscape to indicate when an enemy is targeted. The game isn't out yet, but the early build of Circus Masters Revenge is ualso using a quick audio beep when the player locks onto a target. There's an early teaser video on my channel.

I also really like the idea of a game that is designed for everyone, rather than just blind and visually impaired users. It's seeming pretty clear that most audio games don't seem to survive long-term because of the fewer number of people playing the game, and people not willing to pay for an app or game. Designing something that both a sighted and blind player would be interested in could be really helpful to draw in more players. I'd probably also limit the number of free coupon codes when the game is released if you want to earn back any development costs. People Will instantly ask for them though...

#24 ok then

ok!
I hope it will be a great audio game! and keep updating from time to time.
it is sad that we always lost great audio games in the end.

I don't mind it is a paid one!
and keep all the good work.

looking forward to play it!

#25 I think there is some misunderstanding

I think there may be some misunderstanding about what this game actually is as a result of people's expectations as well as the title of this post.

Dave, please correct me if I'm wrong:

Golden Gun is a cinematic -only audio experience where you play as a blind police officer investigating cyber criminal activity involving the deep web. For those who do not know, the deep web is the internet beneath the internet you know, a part of cyber space where google can not take you, and where you generally need a special web browser (and IP masking) to safely visit. while no less or more of a den of iniquity as the regular internet, the deep web still plays host to some very nefarious dealings, and even more urban legends and creepypastas. The places where the really shady business happens? Those are known by the term Dark Web. As I understand, what shooting there will be in this game will only make up a small portion of the actual gameplay - one of their "minigames" if you will. It is not a shoot everything that moves and get a high score type of experience - but more a single-player, narrative-driven one. One can assume there will be elements of investigation, and it has already been confirmed there is quite a bit of dialogue. In mainstream terms, this seems more along the lines of a "point and click" adventure game with light action elements. Since there are very few of these types of games blind people can play, even though they are probably some of the easiest to make acccessible, I'm quite interested in this. Have I explained the concept well enough, Dave? Most of it's just guess work pulled from various comments.

#26 Perfect explanation

App Developer

Thanks @Remy

You explained if perfectly. Just as it is. I hope you allow me to use some part of your text in the future!
You actually were right on kind of everything! Thanks again

#27 No problem

I'm glad to hear that. I was hoping that was right - a lot more interested now knowing that. DO feel free to use what you need out of that explanation.

#28 There's a collection of games

There's a collection of games called audiogame hub.

One of those games is a hunting game where you use a bow and arrow to shoot various animals.

That game uses a combination of left and right stereo, plus beeps for forward and back.

The faster the beeps, the clocer you are to your target.

I suppose you could also use pitch for aiming high and low.

that's the best I can describe it, I suggest you download audiogame hub and try it to see what I'm talking about, that hunting game is free to play.

Some of the other games listed in that collection aren't free, but that one is.

You're not using a gun, but I'm mentioning it because of the concept.