As the game starts, the player finds himself situated in the center of a 3D audio shooting game. Players can physically move through the auditory surroundings and hear the different sound objects in their relative positions around them. These sound objects include environmental elements like the sound of a creek or the songs of birds. As the player moves through the game these environmental sounds remain in their geographical place and can function as navigational aids.
Other growling noises represent the mutants, these are the bad guys that need to be eliminated before they have a chance to approach and kill the player. By using these and other standard 3D shooter ingredients in combination with an innovative interface concept, a game was created that is enjoyable for visually impaired as well as sighted players.
To play the game, the player is equipped with a backpack containing a laptop, a GPS receiver, a head tracker, headphones and a modified joystick. By using both locative and directional sensors the software can continuously update de spatial audio feedback to accurately reflect the user's position and direction in the virtual space, creating a kind of auditory virtual reality. The playing arena can be any large, empty outdoor space, such as a soccer field. The system initializes itself after a first press on the joystick button; the 3D auditory environment will then unfold itself around the player.
Demor was developed as an European Media Master of Arts (EMMA) project at the Utrecht School of Art and Technology for the Accessibility department of the Bartiméus Institute for the Blind.
For more information on this project, please visit the Demor website.