XNA-based game uses sound to portray game elements

Huddersfield student develops game for the blind

A final-year student on the University of Huddersfield’s Computer Games Programming course has developed an XNA-based game for the blind.

22 year-old Craig Burgess (pictured left) made the game after considering the impact that disabilities have to interacting with games, and picked blindness because games are a massively visual medium.

The game uses pitch and volume of sounds to portray oncoming enemies in a game resembling Atari classic Tempest, and also features graphics to aid partially-sighted players.

“My hopes for the game are really quite big – I think over the last couple of months it has moved from being my dissertation project to thinking about how it could be implemented into the mainstream gaming community," said Burgess.

"One of the ideas we had was to use an iPod as a means of playing it. So I’m not really sure what the future holds, but I’d certainly like to see it being played by a lot more people.”

Duke Gledhill, senior lecturer in Informatics at Huddersfield’s School of Computing and Engineering, said: “I think just the fact that Craig is approaching this subject matter is unique. There is an online forum for blind gamers, but nobody really concentrates on making comprehensive games that can actually rely on audio alone. I look forward to seeing how the game will develop in the future.”

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