Audiogame Jam Asbjoern Andersen


James Kyle is a Scottish game artist and volunteer with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). From 26 August to 5 September, he is running Audiogame Jam, an international game jam focused on blind-accessible games. The event is hosted by Game Jolt, and all donations benefit the RNIB. Here’s the story behind the project – and how you can support it:


Written by Adriane Kuzminski



 

Hi James, please introduce yourself:

My name is James Kyle. I’m an aspiring game artist and a volunteer with RNIB. I’m also the organiser of Audiogame Jam, a game jam event held to raise money for RNIB and promote awareness of accessibility issues encountered by visually-impaired gamers.
 

Where did the idea for Audiogame Jam originate?

I began thinking about organising an audio game jam at the end of 2015. Last September I took part in a pre-employment course with RNIB, and while I’ve had sight loss from macular dystrophy for almost 20 years, I wasn’t aware of most of the tools available to visually-impaired people to allow them to engage with technology. The course was led by someone with no sight at all, and it was obvious that people with sight loss could access computers and smart-phones with little difficulty, providing the right accessibility tools and training were available.

It was obvious that people with sight loss could access computers and smart-phones with little difficulty, providing the right accessibility tools and training were available

Since video games are a hobby of mine and I’d studied games development at the University of Abertay in Dundee a few years before, I was interested in how I could use that to help RNIB. I’ve received a lot of help from them over the years and I was keen to give some of that back. I looked into instances of charities running game jam events and found a few interesting examples, such as Accessibility Jam and HELP!, which gave me confidence that such an event for RNIB could work.
 

How to participate

To participate in the game jam, please visit their Game Jolt page. To donate to the event and support the RNIB, head over to their JustGiving page.
 

Why did you decide to focus on blind-accessible games?

There are several reasons for this, the most obvious one being that I’d like people with sight loss to be able to play the finished games. It also seemed like an original challenge to developers who may not have ever needed to create a game so reliant on audio. I also have concerns over the separation of audio games and video games, and I’d love to see developers inspired by this event to create games that appeal to and are playable by gamers with any level of vision.
 

How will the games be used to benefit the RNIB?

I hope people that play the Audiogame Jam games will learn more about the work RNIB does and consider supporting them. I didn’t want Audiogame Jam to just be an awareness-raising event, so I’m encouraging everyone to make donations via Audiogame Jam’s JustGiving page. The raised money will provide necessary help and services to visually impaired people across the UK.
 

How did you become interested in blind-accessible games?

My interest in blind-accessible games only started once I’d been exposed to the access blind people have to technology. Before then I’d been playing exclusively video games. My level of sight loss still allows me to play most video games, provided there isn’t a great deal of reading or I can enlarge the user interface to something I can manage.

There was no mention of audio games and precious little concern for accessibility issues other than colour-blindness

Even studying games development at the University of Abertay, one of the best places in Europe to study games development, there was no mention of audio games and precious little concern for accessibility issues other than colour-blindness. Once I’d started volunteering with RNIB, I became interested in what games were accessible, who was campaigning to make games more accessible, and what the alternatives were when video games are no longer accessible. It was clear that there was a large section of people who weren’t well-served by the existing video games industry, and seeing how visually-impaired gamers and developers have created their own community has been fascinating.
 

What are some of your favorite blind-accessible games?

I’ve quite enjoyed the Blindfold series of games and I’m currently playing A Blind Legend and Rhythm Rage.
 

What do you see as the future of blind-accessible games?

I’d like to see more developers include blind-accessibility in their games where possible, and for more audio game developers to create games with strong visual elements. Pure audio games are great, but the separation of video and audio-based games is, in many cases, unnecessary and restricts the audience it appeals to, especially on smartphones where features like VoiceOver (iOS) or TalkBack (Android) come as standard on every device. Using these features and ensuring a strong visual style you have access to both markets, and perhaps more importantly, everyone is included in playing, discussing and enjoying the game together.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
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    • In Giant Pinecones, get a visceral collection of scraped and eviscerated pinecones from the gray pine trees of Northern California. Scrape the razor-sharp hooks of the cone petals and hear guttural scrapes crackling with energy. Hear rolling cones popping and fluttering with rich stuttering tones. Hear fully open cone pedals squeaking with woody vocalizations like supernatural animals and hardy crunches filled with organic grit.
    • This library offers you an extensive collection of sounds from a unique organic sound source. Digger pinecone sounds are incredibly soft and intimate in real life, but when recorded from two inches they morph into a unique wooden sound source brimming with powerful glitchy and stuttering textures.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Woody vocalizations
    • Rolling, scraping, and stuttering textures
    • Visceral and guttural scrapes
    • Fluttering and popping textures
    • Rich crunches
    • Chalkboard-like squeaks and squeals
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View larger version or Download CSV
    • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH8040 and MKH30 in MS
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
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  • Recording of the American 2017 Polaris Ranger EV. Powered by an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor.


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    The sound pack includes 4 synchronized takes of onboard driving. 4 channels of audio capture the engine and onboard perspectives, with 2 custom stereo mixes provided. Performances include driving slow and fast, with steady RPMs and ramps, starting, stopping, and more.

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    Warmth, harmonics, color and dynamics

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    Bring your sounds to life

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    With all the XLFOs, EGs, XY controllers/sliders, envelope followers and MIDI sources you will ever need, you get practically unlimited modulation possibilities. Creating new modulation connections could not be easier: just drag and drop. And Saturn 2 visualizes all modulation in real-time to show exactly what’s going on.

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  • An ice hockey game is an exciting, dynamic and powerful sonic experience. From the thunderous crack of a puck hitting the boards at full speed to the gentle scrape of a stick on the ice, this library contains a complete range of the game’s on ice sounds, all captured with natural reverb in an indoor arena.

    Included are a range of performances of skate, stick, puck, and whistle sounds, as well as rink door opens and closes, and various board, glass, and ice impacts.

    The skate sounds include starts, stops, turns, and pass bys, as well as single steps and scrapes for detailed editing and layering. Stick sounds include different kinds of shots, passes, drops and scrapes, and impacts with other sticks, the boards, and the ice. Puck sounds include impacts with the ice, boards, skates, the goal metal and net, and even goalie pads. Rink sounds include the opening and closing of doors, impacts with the boards and glass, and a goal horn. Two different types of whistles were recorded, with varying durations.

    Each sound effect performance was recorded from multiple perspectives – a stereo ORTF pair of Lewitt LCT 540s microphones, a closer wide XY from an Audio Technica BP4025, and a close mono Schoeps CMC6/MK41 – either stationary or following the action on a boom, depending on the type of sound. The ratio of direct to reverberant sound differs between these perspectives, offering a variety of options when editing to picture.

    Also included are quad-channel room tones from two different ice rinks, and a special onboard recording of a puck, made by taping a Sony PCM-M10 to a puck and sliding it across the surface of the ice.

    The actions were performed at a range of speeds and energy levels, with multiple takes for variety. Please refer to the sound list pdf below for details. Captured at a sampling rate of 96kHz, these recordings contain detailed information above 20kHz, expanding the possibilities for manipulation when slowing and pitching them down.

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Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

Now that the Audiogame Jam is beginning, how has the reception been?

I’ve had a huge amount of positive feedback and messages confirming participation in the jam. It looks like it will be a truly international event! I assumed that it would be mainly audio game developers who would participate, but the vast majority of people taking part are, from what I can gather at least, video game devs. Overall it’s going far better than I dared hope. We’ve even received our first donation!
 

If people want to join a team or participate in the jam as solo developers, where should they go?

If you are interested in participating in Audiogame Jam, please visit our website at jams.gamejolt.io/AGJam. There you’ll find information about the event, links to useful resources, and how to donate to RNIB. If you want to participate, you can do so as a solo developer or in a team. Those looking for a team should check the Audiogame Jam message board, though I would also recommend asking developers on Twitter with the hashtag #gamedev, #indiedev or #gameaudio. Submitting your finished game is easy and only requires that it be uploaded to the Game Jolt website with the Audiogame hashtag #AGJam somewhere in its description.
 

What resources do you recommend for those who are interested in blind-accessible video game development but are learning about it for the first time?

For those interested in playing or learning more about audio games a good starting point is www.audiogames.net. There you’ll find an active community of friendly gamers and developers, notifications on new releases, and a huge library of games to try. I also recommend the Monkey Gaming podcast, an audio game discussion and review programme recorded by the Fife Society for the Blind’s Monkey Gaming group.

Thank you to James Kyle for the Q&A and for running such an exciting event! To get in touch with him, you can visit his website, or follow him on Twitter.

 

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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Horror Giant Pinecones Play Track 500+ sounds included, 44 mins total $79

    • In Giant Pinecones, get a visceral collection of scraped and eviscerated pinecones from the gray pine trees of Northern California. Scrape the razor-sharp hooks of the cone petals and hear guttural scrapes crackling with energy. Hear rolling cones popping and fluttering with rich stuttering tones. Hear fully open cone pedals squeaking with woody vocalizations like supernatural animals and hardy crunches filled with organic grit.
    • This library offers you an extensive collection of sounds from a unique organic sound source. Digger pinecone sounds are incredibly soft and intimate in real life, but when recorded from two inches they morph into a unique wooden sound source brimming with powerful glitchy and stuttering textures.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Woody vocalizations
    • Rolling, scraping, and stuttering textures
    • Visceral and guttural scrapes
    • Fluttering and popping textures
    • Rich crunches
    • Chalkboard-like squeaks and squeals
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View larger version or Download CSV
    • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH8040 and MKH30 in MS
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
  • Recording of the American 2017 Polaris Ranger EV. Powered by an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor.


    The American 2017 Polaris Industries Ranger EV sound collection shares 44 sounds in 3.49 gigabytes of audio. It showcases the sound of an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor in 4 channels with 2 custom stereo mixes.

    The sound pack includes 4 synchronized takes of onboard driving. 4 channels of audio capture the engine and onboard perspectives, with 2 custom stereo mixes provided. Performances include driving slow and fast, with steady RPMs and ramps, starting, stopping, and more.

    The package includes Pro Tools and Reaper mixing sessions, full professional metadata, and metadata import files in 7 languages.

  • A crush on music

    Distortion and saturation play a very important role in music production. From subtle, clean and warm tube or tape saturation to the wildest multiband guitar amp effects: FabFilter Saturn 2 delivers.

    Saturn 2 introduces a host of new features such as a redesigned interface with modulation visualization, new subtle saturation and linear phase processing for mastering, many new distortion styles, and more.


    Warmth, harmonics, color and dynamics

    FabFilter Saturn 2 offers a range of different high quality distortion models, inspired by the vintage sound of tubes, tape, transformers and guitar amps. In addition, you get five creative FX distortion styles to mangle your sounds in weird and unexpected ways.

    With its multiband design and per-band feedback, dynamics, drive, tone and modulation options, Saturn 2 will bring a unique flavor to your music.

    Bring your sounds to life

    Add life and depth to your music using the extensive modulation section. By applying subtle modulation to crossover frequencies, dynamics, band levels or tone controls, great warmth and definition can be achieved.

    With all the XLFOs, EGs, XY controllers/sliders, envelope followers and MIDI sources you will ever need, you get practically unlimited modulation possibilities. Creating new modulation connections could not be easier: just drag and drop. And Saturn 2 visualizes all modulation in real-time to show exactly what’s going on.

    FabFilter goodies

    Finally, FabFilter Saturn 2 contains all the usual FabFilter goodies: perfectly tuned knobs, MIDI Learn, Smart Parameter Interpolation for smooth parameter transitions, interface resizing and full screen mode, support for Avid control surfaces, GPU-powered graphics acceleration, extensive help with interactive help hints, SSE optimization, and much more.

  • Cricket – Junior & Senior is our latest SFX library toolkit, created to cater to cricket specific sounds. We have covered a broad range of specific sounds that differentiate Cricket from other batting sports. Included are sounds for Cricket Gear, Movements, Batting, Bowling, Fielding and Other Miscellaneous sounds.

    17 %
    OFF
    Ends 1590530399
  • An ice hockey game is an exciting, dynamic and powerful sonic experience. From the thunderous crack of a puck hitting the boards at full speed to the gentle scrape of a stick on the ice, this library contains a complete range of the game’s on ice sounds, all captured with natural reverb in an indoor arena.

    Included are a range of performances of skate, stick, puck, and whistle sounds, as well as rink door opens and closes, and various board, glass, and ice impacts.

    The skate sounds include starts, stops, turns, and pass bys, as well as single steps and scrapes for detailed editing and layering. Stick sounds include different kinds of shots, passes, drops and scrapes, and impacts with other sticks, the boards, and the ice. Puck sounds include impacts with the ice, boards, skates, the goal metal and net, and even goalie pads. Rink sounds include the opening and closing of doors, impacts with the boards and glass, and a goal horn. Two different types of whistles were recorded, with varying durations.

    Each sound effect performance was recorded from multiple perspectives – a stereo ORTF pair of Lewitt LCT 540s microphones, a closer wide XY from an Audio Technica BP4025, and a close mono Schoeps CMC6/MK41 – either stationary or following the action on a boom, depending on the type of sound. The ratio of direct to reverberant sound differs between these perspectives, offering a variety of options when editing to picture.

    Also included are quad-channel room tones from two different ice rinks, and a special onboard recording of a puck, made by taping a Sony PCM-M10 to a puck and sliding it across the surface of the ice.

    The actions were performed at a range of speeds and energy levels, with multiple takes for variety. Please refer to the sound list pdf below for details. Captured at a sampling rate of 96kHz, these recordings contain detailed information above 20kHz, expanding the possibilities for manipulation when slowing and pitching them down.

    30 %
    OFF
 
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