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:

 

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    Summer Parks is one of many sound libraries in the Towns collection. It contains 25 ambiances of parks including walking trails, water parks, and zoos! You will hear ‘Summer’ in these with a wide variety ambiances from the active birds in the park to the loud monkeys in the town’s zoo and the presence of air space in all recordings.
    Other sounds include heavy rain lading on a Wooden Roof Picnic area with rolling thunder and many kids playing in a large pool at a water park.

    These ambiances were recorded with professional equipment including Sound Devices 702t and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s in ORTF configuration inside a Rycote Stereo Windshield with Connbox. There are not a lot of high-quality town ambiances out there – This library will be excellent for expanding your library and your future projects!

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    Key features:

    • 53 ambience recordings of traffic: avenues, streets, freeways, cobblestone roads, roundabouts, wet asphalt, state highways, tunnels, distant and diffuse traffic, parking lots. Some are loopable. 7 of them are in Ambisonics.
    • 43 recordings of cars passes by. In roads, state highways, tunnels, with wet asphalt, from several perspectives and at different speeds.
    • 61 recordings of commuter trains, regional trains, express trains, high speed trains, freight trains, underground. Departures, arrivals, passes by and interior sounds. Even a toilet flushing.
    • 18 tracks of planes overflying and roaring.
    • Several recordings of buses, trucks, vans, tractors, bicycles, ferries, motorcycles and Formula 1 race cars.
    • 99% of the recordings are completely clear and free from any birds and unwanted noises in the background.
    • Gear used: Zoom F8, Sennheiser MKH 8040s in ORTF, Sennheiser MKH 8040/8050 + MKH 30 in M/S, Sennheiser 418, Sennheiser Ambeo and Sony D100.
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    • This library offers you an extensive collection of metals painstakingly performed to bring these inanimate objects to life and transform them into intensely gritty living 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:
    • Grating gates
    • Gritty tonal squeals
    • Short high squeaks
    • Thick, tonal growls
    • Clattering latches
    • Massive booms
    • Please note: the “Pitch Shifted Demo” was made to demonstrate the potential of the sounds in this library. However, Metal Corral does NOT include pitch shifted sounds, only mastered field recordings.
    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 702
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
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    PMSFX SCI-FI Bundle
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    FOUNDATION SERIES SCI-FI VOL2
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    FORGOTTEN NEONS
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    ABSTRACT GUNS
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    LOFI TERMINAL
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    SCI-FI ATMOS
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    MICROBOTS
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  • Materials & Texture The Bell Collector Play Track 113+ sounds included, 81 mins total $40

    The bell collector sound library is a unique collection of 113 sounds of bells, gong and other metal percussions. These objects have been collected over the years, mainly in Asia, India and Europe.

    All these sounds have been recorded and produced with high quality equipment at 24/96 khz at low noise floor.

    Each bell, sorted by tonality, comes with many variations of intensity and rhythms.

    This sound library offers a wide array of bells, such as:

    -Hand bell
    -Crotal bell
    -Gong bell
    -Hand drum
    -Sleight bell
    -Bicycle bell
    -Singing bowl
    -Chime

    This library provides authentic and interesting sounds, recorded with Neumann and MBHO mics powered by an Aeta 4minX.
    Recorded and edited in high resolution, these sounds are easy to pitch down and time stretch to create unique and surprising sounds.

    All Faunethic tracks includes metadata carefully edited, compatible with Soundminer, Soundly and Basehead.

    Add to cart

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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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  • City Life Towns – Summer Parks Play Track 25+ sounds included, 125 mins total $25

    Towns is a new collection by Badlands Sound that features ambiances recorded in American Towns, and all are seamless five minutes long loopable ambiances.

    Summer Parks is one of many sound libraries in the Towns collection. It contains 25 ambiances of parks including walking trails, water parks, and zoos! You will hear ‘Summer’ in these with a wide variety ambiances from the active birds in the park to the loud monkeys in the town’s zoo and the presence of air space in all recordings.
    Other sounds include heavy rain lading on a Wooden Roof Picnic area with rolling thunder and many kids playing in a large pool at a water park.

    These ambiances were recorded with professional equipment including Sound Devices 702t and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s in ORTF configuration inside a Rycote Stereo Windshield with Connbox. There are not a lot of high-quality town ambiances out there – This library will be excellent for expanding your library and your future projects!

  • Ambisonics Transport Play Track , 190 mins total $70 $50

    Transport features dozens of vehicles recordings – cars, trains, trucks, planes, trucks, motorbikes, etc., – that have taken place in a urban environment, covering your needs for background transportation. The goal of this library is to help sound editors quickly find that background traffic that is often needed.

    Key features:

    • 53 ambience recordings of traffic: avenues, streets, freeways, cobblestone roads, roundabouts, wet asphalt, state highways, tunnels, distant and diffuse traffic, parking lots. Some are loopable. 7 of them are in Ambisonics.
    • 43 recordings of cars passes by. In roads, state highways, tunnels, with wet asphalt, from several perspectives and at different speeds.
    • 61 recordings of commuter trains, regional trains, express trains, high speed trains, freight trains, underground. Departures, arrivals, passes by and interior sounds. Even a toilet flushing.
    • 18 tracks of planes overflying and roaring.
    • Several recordings of buses, trucks, vans, tractors, bicycles, ferries, motorcycles and Formula 1 race cars.
    • 99% of the recordings are completely clear and free from any birds and unwanted noises in the background.
    • Gear used: Zoom F8, Sennheiser MKH 8040s in ORTF, Sennheiser MKH 8040/8050 + MKH 30 in M/S, Sennheiser 418, Sennheiser Ambeo and Sony D100.
    • All files are in 96 kHz / 24 bit and come with exhaustive embedded Soundminer metadata, including description, category, subcategory, microphone setup, manufacturer.
    29 %
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    Ends 1571608799
  • Materials & Texture Metal Corral Play Track 400+ sounds included, 37 mins total $59

    • In Metal Corral, get a visceral collection of metallic screeches from a corral on a working cattle ranch. Wail on the paddock sections with a t-post and hear guttural resonances from 50 interlocking sections. Hear latches clacking with frenetic vigor and clanging metallic booms. Hear thick, tonal growls resonating like fog horns and single squeaks stuttering with real grit. Hear gates grating with the visceral sound of an iceberg tearing through the Titanic.
    • This library offers you an extensive collection of metals painstakingly performed to bring these inanimate objects to life and transform them into intensely gritty living 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:
    • Grating gates
    • Gritty tonal squeals
    • Short high squeaks
    • Thick, tonal growls
    • Clattering latches
    • Massive booms
    • Please note: the “Pitch Shifted Demo” was made to demonstrate the potential of the sounds in this library. However, Metal Corral does NOT include pitch shifted sounds, only mastered field recordings.
    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 702
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
  • SCI-FI BUNDLE consists of 2454 high-quality futuristic sound effects and was created with game devs, animators and sounds designers in mind.

    Bundle covers a broad range of sound effects: UI/HUD, Robotics, Ambiences, Drones, Weapons, Doors, Objects, Misc and more.

    Sound effects from this bundle were used on projects like: Archer Season 10, Robot Will Protect You, Encodya, Final Space and many more.

    PMSFX SCI-FI Bundle
    consist of following libraries:

    FOUNDATION SERIES SCI-FI VOL2
    1.1GB • 627 FILES • MONO + STEREO • META DATA (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    FOUNDATION SERIES SCI-FI VOL1
    739.8MB • 164 FILES • META DATA (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    FORGOTTEN NEONS
    1.1GB • 415 FILES • META DATA (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    ABSTRACT GUNS
    86MB • 165 FILES • STEREO • META DATA (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    LOFI TERMINAL
    157.7MB • 195 FILES • STEREO • META DATA (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    SCI-FI ATMOS
    1.32GB • 30 FILES • 38MIN • STEREO • META DATA • LOOPS ↻ (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    NANO TECH
    180MB • 226 FILES • STEREO • META DATA (96/24 + 44.1/16)

    MICROBOTS
    187MB • 293 FILES • STEREO + MONO • META DATA (96-192/24 + 44.1/16)

    CYBERSPHERE
    1.14GB • 340 FILES • META DATA (96/24)

    SCI-FI MECHANICS
    636.6MB • 301 FILES • META DATA (96/24)

    BUNDLE: $159.99 ex VAT| ALL PACKS INDIVIDUALLY: $239.91 ex VAT

    33 %
    OFF
    Ends 1571781599
  • Materials & Texture The Bell Collector Play Track 113+ sounds included, 81 mins total $40

    The bell collector sound library is a unique collection of 113 sounds of bells, gong and other metal percussions. These objects have been collected over the years, mainly in Asia, India and Europe.

    All these sounds have been recorded and produced with high quality equipment at 24/96 khz at low noise floor.

    Each bell, sorted by tonality, comes with many variations of intensity and rhythms.

    This sound library offers a wide array of bells, such as:

    -Hand bell
    -Crotal bell
    -Gong bell
    -Hand drum
    -Sleight bell
    -Bicycle bell
    -Singing bowl
    -Chime

    This library provides authentic and interesting sounds, recorded with Neumann and MBHO mics powered by an Aeta 4minX.
    Recorded and edited in high resolution, these sounds are easy to pitch down and time stretch to create unique and surprising sounds.

    All Faunethic tracks includes metadata carefully edited, compatible with Soundminer, Soundly and Basehead.

 
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