Game Idea: Blindfolded (Blind Unfinished Swan)

Game:

What Unfinished Swan did was create a world devoid of color where it was the player’s job to put color back into the world to navigate through it.

The idea for Blindfolded is that instead of adding color to navigate through the world, the sound that you generate by moving through it paints the world in front of the player for a short time. Like the image perception that bats have with their echo location, Ben Affleck from that horrible Daredevil movie or Toph has in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

And with great sight comes things your can't un-see.
And with great sight comes things your can’t un-see.

Mechanics:

Your steps produce a sound, and depending on what you’re stepping on that sound propagates through the room better or worse. Sand and carpet dampens the sound, making it hard to judge things farther from you, but hard floors like hardwood make it easy to hear things that are in the area. If you run into objects, the sound can propagate through the room making things temporarily “visible”. If you walk slower than the sound you produce is less, or if you start running then the sound is louder and you can “see” better.

If there are other things moving about the area, if the better you can hear them, the better you can “see” them.

Game play Ideas:

Sneaking game:

If this game was a sneak/hide focused game, then the player will need to use their walk/run effectively to not give their position away. Think Metal Gear Solid when you’re running with heavy steps in the corridors. They project the sound from your feet to where you need to slow your pace considerably when there are enemies in the area.

To help balance this, the player should be able to “remember” where he’s been, by placing markers for their footsteps for where they’ve been. This way if an enemy notices the player, they can have some way of returning to a “safer” location.

I can see if I want to, I can leave footprints behind. Coz your friends can't see, and if they don't see Well, they're ain't footprints of mine.
I can see if I want to,
I can leave footprints behind.
Coz your friends can’t see, and if they don’t see
Well, they’re ain’t footprints of mine.

The enemies can also be partially blind, like the myth about a T-Rex able to only see movement in objects. The sounds that you produce is when causes the enemies to “see” you, so if you want your surroundings as you try to make your way from area to area, you might be able to go unnoticed.

Horror/Suspense:

There’s an ominous drone in the air, but you don’t know what it’s from. You start wandering about, trying to find your way away from the sound, but your impairment to vision is a major hindrance. Jump scares aren’t needed because you can’t really see the room. But environmental events can cause anxiety and fear in the player. A radio suddenly going off as the climax to a song occurs giving sudden “vision” to that area of the room, objects falling off of the shelf and crashing onto the floor, creaking of a door or cabinet, tapping of the glass.

If you close your eyes during a windy night, what are the things that you hear throughout your household? If you were already primed for fear (say watching a creepy-pasta movie), then what false conclusions would you jump to? What will the anxiety create through your imagination?

Experiential:

Probably a shorthand learning opportunity for people to understand the accessibility needs of the hard of hearing. Say the simulation is simple: going from your home to the grocery store. But you have to walk there, and the store is 20 minutes away and involves taking the subway or the bus. Using audio cues to both paint the environment as well as guide your path, make your way to the store.

This doesn’t sound as interesting as the other two “game-y” examples, but it does have similar challenges as the two earlier examples. Don’t get killed while going to the store, i.e. don’t get killed while going from A-to-B. The time restriction is similar, the constraints are similar, but the environment is slightly different in each case.

Other game ideas can be found HERE

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