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Signatures:
Andrei Porfireanu Bjarke Rauff Deividas Tamošiunas Filip Turcu Emanuel Frederik Samuelsen Mikkel Søbye Tobias Brodersen Date: 2013-12-18 Date: 2013-12-18 Date: 2013-12-18 Date: 2013-12-18 Date: 2013-12-18 Date: 2013-12-18 Date: 2013-12-18 ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________

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A game about understanding

Theme: “Designing from both sides of the screen.”

Project group: MED1 – B318

Members of the group: Andrei Porfireanu Bjarke Rauff Deividas Tamošiunas Emanuel Filip Turcu Frederik Samuelsen Mikkel Søbye Tobias Brodersen

Supervisors: Karl Kristoffer Jensen & Line Gad Christiansen

Date: 18th of December 2013

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Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a sound based game from which people without visual disabilities can experiment and understand how it is not to be able to see. We thought our approach was different, because we did not want to create a game only for the blind people, but a game for everyone who wants a sneak peek of the life of a blind person. We began our research gathering information about audio based software and also played several games based on this approach. Our prototype consisted in trying to accomplish basic tasks in the game environment being blindfolded. We also organized an interview with a group of blind people in order to gather real insights of their life. The testing part took place only with people without disabilities, but in the future we plan to test our game also on visually impaired. We used qualitative and quantitative methods to collect feedback from our testers and the results proved that our game was a little bit confusing and had some design and programming flaws. In the future we want to improve the game, to create a more realistically and enhanced sound system and offer people a better understanding of how it is to be blind.

.......................................... 31 References ............................................................................................................................................................................................Page | iv Table of Contents Abstract ..........................1 Problem analysis .............................................................................. 24 First part of testing: ...............................................................3 BlindSide: ............ 34 Coding: ....................................................................................................................................................................5 The Blind Monk’s Society: ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 16 Design: ..................................................................................................................................................................................3 Tim’s Journey: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Interviews: ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 24 Second part of testing: ............................................................................................................................................. 25 Results ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................8 Imagination:.......................2 Related work.......................6 Afonso Blumes’ Experiment: .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 24 Eyesight testing: ............................................................................................................. 21 Testing the game: ..................... 26 Discussion ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 13 Perspective: .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Orientation: .............................................................. 34 .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. iii Introduction .......................................7 Theory .................................................................................................................................................................................. 29 Conclusion ..............................................................................8 Blindness:........................ 32 Appendix:..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Methods ...................................

because we had the possibility to meet and interview them. We wanted to test our game with the blind people too. we were given another project based on the theme: “Designing from both sides of the screen”. but because the majority of them are old and do not have experience with computers. researching and presenting a project in front of a large audience. We found a common interest in people with visual disabilities and chose to work in the favor of visually impaired people. Since we also have a common interest in video-games. . the decision was to make an audio-based game.Page |1 Introduction After the P0 project which made us understood the basics of brainstorming. we blindfolded our sighted testers thus the results were not as accurate.

people with disabilities remain amongst the most marginalized in every society.. (2007). Geneva: United Nations. A. J. The aim of our project is to create an environment for a better understanding of people with visual disabilities.. Retrieved November 14. Shepherd. visually impaired are often directly or indirectly prevented from attending school. Gonnot. Schindlmayr. 2013. Reference: Byrnes. those who are interested in understanding and relating to visually impaired people. S. Walker. having a job or having an independent living. we found that all the students who tested our game were open and willing to understand them.    How can we make people without visual disabilities understand the daily challenges in the lives of visually impaired people? How can we combat the discrimination of visually impaired people? How can we find our way in an audio-based 3D environment? According to the Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities..Page |2 Problem analysis The following questions represent the main goals we planned to find an answer to. whatever the age.. A. and the literacy rate for adults with disabilities is as low as 3%. ethnicity or race. Handbook for Parliamentarians. T. Larsson. From Exclusion to Equality: Realising the rights of persons with disabilities. 98% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school. because. N. Based on our questionnaire. during our project development. L.org/disabilities/default. Conte. published by the United Nations in Geneva. An estimated 20% of the world’s poorest people are those with disabilities.. & Zarraluqui. A.. an estimated 30% of the world’s street children live with disabilities.un.asp?id=212 . as stated in the Convention. Our target group consists of people without disabilities that know the English language.. from United Nation's website:http://www.

The creators of the game are Michael T.Page |3 Related work BlindSide: When we were looking for related work to associate our game with. the game experience is enhanced by an innovative gyro control scheme. Fig. The game experience is supposed to engage both visually impaired people and people without visual disabilities in the same way because it offers an identical gameplay. The task is to escape from danger and discover the reason they can no longer see. He graduated from Boston University and he is the first one who invented the sentry gun (a gun that is automatically aimed and fires at targets that are detected by sensors). The players must find their way in realistic environments like an apartment or a classroom and they also explore the outside world in a quest to find the way to Case’s work place. On the iOS version. find out what are those people-eating monsters and also figure out how to do all of these. an audio-only adventure game where users have to explore an environment relying only on what they hear around them. Example of a level layout in BlindSide . The game was inspired by Aaron’s temporary blindness which occurred during a high school chemistry accident. The environment consists of a physical 3D grey block world in which the players can stumble through box shaped objects. we have found BlindSide. an assistant professor and his girlfriend Dawn who both wake up blind and realize there are some kind of monsters outside who attack people. Astolfi and Aaron Rasmussen. 1. which allows players to rotate the character in the game just by rotating their body in the real world. BlindSide was fully created in Unity 3D. Michael is an awardwinning game designer and researcher who uses evolutionary psychology to make and study video games and there’s Aaron who describes himself as being somewhere between an inventor and a mad scientist. BlindSide tries to simulate the experience of being blind by navigating in a 3D environment with 3D audio through standard stereo headphones. The action in BlindSide begins in a normal apartment and you control Case.

It consists of the inner voice of the character which tells you your exact current location. just like a narrator. gives you some reference positions and also the next objective you are supposed to reach. M. from . Another measure taken by the game creators is the “Help” option which occurs every time the player presses the “h” button. Biography. (2013).Page |4 Every time a player touches or stumbles over and object or a surface there will be a specific sound and sometimes an inner voice which tells us what the object is. You accomplish every objective by simply bumping in the objects you are supposed to reach. The purpose is to aid players in finding their way around in case of confusion. which can be active or inactive only with the pressing of a button. 03. Even though. Another feature of the game is a visible compass in the middle of the screen. There’s no special button for using objects. the creators of the game recommend disabling this feature for a much realistic gameplay. Retrieved December. 2013. You control the character only by using the keyboard arrows. These features ensure an easy and realistic way of understanding the environment in the absence of real touch. BlindSide. References: Astolfi.

. (2013). advanced and aesthetic just like the mainstream games are 2. by giving more attention to audio-based gameplay The game allows the player explore a complex three-dimensional world. 2013 from http://aaronrasmussen. To show that games for visually impaired players can also be complex.com/about/ Rasmussen.com/#/blindside/. The numerous sound objects are positioned in a way to reflect musical structures such as themes. a mill or a harbor. All the sounds are played through a surround sound system to allow the player experience a first person perspective. Retrieved December. This approach is very different compared to other audio games. The game environment is an island divided into several areas such as a forest. choruses and bridges so the music is generated from the combination of all present sound objects in the game space. Each of these areas has a specific. Biography. This project has two main goals: 1. The trend for most games designed for visually impaired players is to reduce the number of simultaneous sounds to a minimum and avoid other ornamental music for an easier navigation. made up of sounds. http://michaeltastolfi.Page |5 http://michaeltastolfi. A. This allows the player to create music by exploring around with the character in the 3D sound environment so the player becomes a co-producer of the soundtrack in real time. The main objective is to move the character around 3D soundscapes and to discover a hidden mystery. To point to new areas of development for mainstream games. This game aims to offer the player an idea about moving freely in this island environment with “continuously changing” music. 03.com/about/ Tim’s Journey: Tim’s Journey is an audio game developed by Stockholm International Toy Research Centre (SITREC) as part of the TiM project (Tactile Interactive Multimedia). easy to recognize musical “theme”.

The game will be much more difficult to play with a standard two speaker configuration. intensity and how often they appear in the background sound loops. Helpers: different NPCs that the player meets.1. J.ist. from from Cite Seer X’s Website http://citeseerx. Retrieved November. it is exactly the opposite. Even with all these helping methods. the game creators have implemented a few help systems and non-player characters that provide hints and guide the player throughout the more confusing parts of the game.Page |6 In Tim’s Journey. created by UCLA students Kyle Audick and Erik Carlson.5572 The Blind Monk’s Society: The Blind Monk’s Society is a mod for Half-Life 2. (2004). Reference: Friberg.108. Navigation is also an important part of the game.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10. Often. the player needs help to find out where the character is or the location of different objects and there’s also the need to know what objects in the game environment the character can interact with. They guide the player in accomplishing the objectives. Foghorns: in every quarter point of the compass there is a foghorn that can be heard at any distance. The sounds have different meanings and importance and this fact is reflected by their character. . 2.psu. 148-154. but not impossible. Proceedings of the 2004 ACM SIGCHI ACE. Footsteps: lets the player know the kind of surface his character walks on 3. 2013. A pair of headphones is obviously necessary for a better understanding of where the sounds come from. 4. “The Ambience Reductor:” a device that allows the player to temporarily reduce the volume of all sound that he/she cannot directly interact with. Audio Games: New perspectives on game audio.1. SITREC has tried to create a balance to allow the intended mysterious gameplay. There are a large number of sound objects active all the time. which allows the player to enjoy the game without any video graphics. The aim is to help with basic navigation but still keep the sensation of being lost and not knowing what to do next. For satisfying all these needs. The help system consists of: 1.

(2008). and random chatter between the residents of the monastery. and you must constantly turn your head around to prevent disorientation. the screen stays completely black throughout the entire game. or people relying on your audiodirectional skills. The 3D sound system is thoroughly done. Retrieved December. featuring soft breezes.com/View. According to the story. 2013. He is supposed to be the guiding hand along the journey and he offers his services for free. The main task is to follow the course of a river and find different objects. the creators aim create a world in which must learn to “see with your ears”. babbling brooks. Blind Monk's Society. late blinds and blindfolded individuals without any visual impairments. These people where then asked to get familiar with a small-size setup of rooms. You begin the adventure at the monastery of the Blind Monks Society. from http://www. using only the sounds around you to navigate. Unseen University: The Blind Monk’s Society. locations. birdsong.gamespy. like a woodpecker or a fountain. 03.Detail&id=69 Pearson. the character has had his eyes tragically plucked out by some ravenous birds. C. The volume of the sounds will grow louder or fainter depending on how close the source is. Reference: Goldsmith. through either a verbal description or learning the setup by exploring a miniature version of the setup through touch. but asks for a favor in return for teaching the character his skills. who has always dedicated his life to helping the blind in their world of darkness. Retrieved December.php?view=Reviews. The gameplay of The Blind Monks Society with all the tasks and objectives offers a very entertaining experience. (2012). from http://planethalflife. While playing. The result suggested that congenital blinds were not able to create an accurate mental image of . D. 03. He used congenitally blind.com/2012/01/19/unseeing-university-the-blind-monkssociety/ Afonso Blumes’ Experiment: Afonso Blume did in 2010 a studies with a setup very much like ours. and you are taken care of by Brother Pancy Fants.Page |7 With this innovative approach.rockpapershotgun. Most of the goals are accomplished by following a certain sound. 2013.

When ophthalmologists are talking about a visual impairment means it is a permanent. After this.000 (Kennedy Center. it is apparently due to a change. made a virtual environment. we expect that approximately 65. but this time all of the participants were able to accurately generate the environment with the right spaces between the different locations. but one of them is that this information has currently interested only very few politicians. There are many reasons. serious impairment of vision in both eyes. 1% of the population is either blind or visually impaired. from the verbal description. In this experiment he had like us. while both the late blind and the sighted people succeeded in creating this picture. However. called visual impairment and harder degrees that are called blindness. There is a distinction between moderate degrees of visual impairment. The term visual impairment is a very vague term that is often used interchangeably to denote a need for strong glasses. administrators and researchers. 2012) Danes suffer serious and irreparable loss of vision. It may seem strange that in a country where every person is provided with a code number. there are several categories. The second experiment he made gave however other results. says that approx. A number that is used over and over for many years.Page |8 the environment as it was presented to them. with an immersive audio virtual reality system. mentioned in the debate on public policies against certain diseases. astigmatism or simply an eye disease. and how each of us is registered in dozens of records that do not have a global view of those of us who have a severe visual impairment. in this environment there were placed some landmarks that the participants had to find and learn their position. In the newspapers we see regularly blindness and visual impairment treatment methods. But when it came to the virtual environment the seeing individuals had a harder time generating a proper image of the surroundings. they once again had to do an image-scanning task. Theory Blindness: By looking at the statistics we can find out the amount of Danish people who suffer from a visual impairment. both the late blind and the congenital blinds were able to create an image of the environment but it took the late blind longer than it did for congenital blind. and most people who are blind have fortunately retained a greater or lesser . But also within blindness. In other words.

the retina disorder that occurs as a complication of diabetes. Among the mentally disabled. and type 2 diabetes (age diabetes). glaucoma. but also an increased incidence of hereditary vision loss. The common and less severe form of diabetic retinopathy requires no treatment. either because of too little insulin (type 1) or due to decreased sensitivity to insulin (type 2) affects after many years. (Toke.000 people. From there you can see that there is an increased percentage of people over 60 years. By pleurisies around the macula treated with laser center of the retina. which in part can rupture and cause bleeding and also may grow into the vitreous. resulting in hypoxia. This is due to brain damage and optic nerve wind. Other generally frequent causes of visual impairment are consequences of diabetes. Also. Most people who get affected by blindness are older people. Visual impairment or blindness can therefore either be inherited or occur . Age spots (also called AMD . it is very important that the laser treatment of the entire periphery of the retina in order to prevent loss of vision. it can be seen in the number of people who join the organization of the Danish blind society. Well 50. blindness and visual impairment are far more frequent than in the general population.000 blind and visually impaired are aged over 70 and approx. In a minority. disease or accident.age-related macular degeneration) are the cause of visual impairment in nearly 2/3 of all visually impaired. The most common cause of visual impairment in the elderly is agerelated changes in the eye.suddenly or gradually . 2009) .in later life. there may pleurisies around the macula. progressive. so that the blood vessels become leaky. 2012) Another major causes of blindness. 15. this leads to the formation of new blood vessels.Page |9 part of the vision. It must not be forgotten that some people are born blind or suffering from visual impairment in childhood. (Kennedy Center. A functional impairment may be the result of inheritance. Finally. Formation of new blood vessels. All of them are aged 0-18 years and registered in the Register of Vision at the National Eye Clinic. the small blood vessels in particular in the retina. The vast majority of those who have a developed visual impairment are over 70. and as many have normal life expectancy at their total number of 5-6. hereditary diseases and cataracts.000 are less than 70 years. Increased blood sugar. hereditary diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (chronic hereditary diseases) weigh in statistics with 4-6000 people. This group includes both type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes). old age. environment.

When designing playthings for promoting social interaction between children. it is important to build on the skills and abilities that are fully accessible to all children. from simple objects to special lenses. This makes it possible to select toys and games that give them challenges on an equal footing and allows anyone to test the same problem-solving strategies. etc. . Our experience of the world around us is formed in the brain. the home. also keep the images in mind both when they are awake and also when they dream. along with the experience already stored in the brain. This means that they do not dream in pictures.Page | 10 People who are blind or have low vision can use the right tools extensively compensating for visual impairment. people who have been blinded in the course of their lives. computers. (Socialstyrelsen. A guide dog and white cane are two special tools for safe traffic and orientation. based on the senses that the body detects. It is the playing interaction where children acquire the valuable social and problem-solving skills that they have in school and beyond. Through this interaction the children get the opportunity to find new friends and be together on common interests while getting insight into other people's experiences and way of thinking. in education or in employment and thereby be active and participating in community life . This means that you can learn to do well. the other senses slowly become more important. Therefore. If you lose one of your senses. The brain develops and practices all the time. If you are not born blind have a clear picture of how the world looks and the brain's ability to form images is still functional even if you were blind. even if you have lost sight. special software. The individual's sense of reality is the result of an interaction between the sensory inputs they receive. electronic appliances. There is a tendency that you are doing better the earlier the blind a person was. Aids are part of the basis for people with visual impairments but some can independently manage in everyday life. speech synthesis. 2013) Congenitally blind people have no experience with images and therefore have not the ability to form mental images.Vision aids covers many different types. perhaps because the brain is newer in young people. The blind sense of reality is different than at sighted people. such as sight. listening skills and verbal skills are incorporated into the design so that all participants are faced with the same types of non-visual challenges. enlargers. Non-visual play strategies such as the use of tactile skills. which therefore learn faster than older people.

recent results suggest a minimal role of verbalism in blindness. They have taken some good readers and some good people at reading Braille. The perceptual field is therefore very narrow and specific exploratory movements are necessary to perceive the whole object. An unfortunate consequence of this progressive brain training combined with its ability to compensate for the lack of sensory perception may be that the person. which can be serious. It’s hard to educate people who are visually impaired. Something hard for researchers is to talk about something they haven’t experience. This is even so for more abstract concepts. Researches have showed that blinded people are better at copying than sighted people. but the distances involved do not compare to vision. when they see a car how is it shaped or what color it is. actually body-based then we ought to find more evidence of his bodily implication in blind people. There is different for blind individuals cause they don’t experience the same thing and on the same way. unlike vision that functions by tele-reception (the perception of distant objects). The brain collects these terms and fills even the 'holes' that might be without the individual being aware of it. which is perception relies on the body and actions that derive from it. Contact can be extended by the use of a cane. for example in traffic. and the visually impaired people were better at saying the words in right order. Regarding speech and oral language. These theories reject the notion of amodal cognition and claim the knowledge is always grounded in bodily experience. So when researchers are trying to find something out. some people have excellent spatial skills and some do not. The implication of the whole body and perception and the action linked to it may therefore be greater in the acquisition of knowledge by the blind. It’s impossible to say how blind people imagine things. in some cases is not even aware of its visual defect. due to their constant use of touch and other sensory modalities in order to compensate for a visual deprivation. people who are slowly losing sight gradually develop their other senses. When you go blind. your other senses get sharper and that gives people who are visually impaired a chance to feel their surroundings more intense that sighted people. they have a lot of background stories. As a . The idea that the perceptual experience of the congenitally blind people is to some extent reflected in their cognition.Page | 11 Similarly. Thus the study of language in the blind has been furthered by the development of theories of “embodied cognition”. If knowledge is as these theories assume. because of the Braille system. If they have seen a car before and gets blind they have an image of how the car should look alike.

Blindfolded sighted people report a generation of visual images when feeling images even with their eyes closed. especially pictures identification. But there are many other studies that also show comparable performance or even faster response at congenitally blind people than sighted people. We know for example that mental rotation performance is dependent upon experience and it is just as likely that experience matters for touch. it should be clear that when you remove the name from tasks that involve images can be hard. Children who are blind do not get the same instruction in a variety of areas that other children and their education can be severely limited in areas such . It is not surprising that some researchers have assumed that there is a need for visual experience and visual imagery to view images and that they are not "ecologically valid" for touch. Raised-line pictures can be understood by people who are visually impaired and have a great practical potential. There is a difference between perception and cognitive action vocally naming a picture. but results in this arena are also influenced by experience. There is no doubt that experience matters and visual experience can also affect thinking. More recently. There are complex interactions between education. In addition to being more accurate. experience and cognitive skills that can dampen any interpretations of data from experiments on images with blind. they are also much faster than sighted people. it tends to be variable and can be low in congenital blind people. There is evidence that performance with concrete images can be improved with larger images when touching the lower spatial resolution than vision. blind people often perform better the tasks than people who were blindfolded. Visual experience is not necessary for understanding tangible pictures. It’s the experience that matters and his experience needs not be specifically visual in nature. The education of people who are blind differs from sight. there are many studies that show lower performance at congenitally blind people in certain cases and tasks. Sanchez Faber and D’Angiulli (2012) interpreted their findings concerning language and drawing blind children with reference to these embodied theories of cognition. If the task involves giving a concrete picture performance audibly. There are many studies that show lower performance in congenital blind people in complex mental imagery task.Page | 12 result. Moreover. the verbal productions of blind people may contain more sensory references to these bodily perceptions and actions than those of sighted people. and this experience is typically lacking in most blind people. Naming is a higher level cognitive skill that is highly dependent on knowledge and experience. In addition.

there is research backing up the idea that they are still able to generate some sort of “image” based on verbal information. but more audio. But the large images are easier to visualize than 3D sculptures. namely prejudice through education and educational psychology. 2013) Imagination: It is widely accepted that congenitally blind individuals or people who have gone blind after the age of 7 don’t have visual dreams. There is a lot more than we need to learn about tangible images. It takes time to teach children a variety of adaptive skills. There are other factors at work. Even though it seems to be accepted that congenitally blind individuals don’t dream in images. At this time there is no use in the argument that the images are just "seeing" and not suitable for touch and for the blind. The result of all this showed that many blind children are not exposed to drawing and to the use of graphics in school. In some cases perceptible images are larger. Vecchi. Dunn et al. and it is hoped that this research will continue to grow. and this can detract from time that would normally be spent on traditional academic education. These limitations are partly the result of a practical nature. Psychology is not blameless in this regard. Jastrow 1900. 1999. touch and long-term memory (e. Holzinger 2000. Kerr 2000). Kerr. So we can conclude erroneously that the images are not appropriate or organic applicable to touch. E. There may be some obvious limits to touching the images. touch and emotional focused dreams. cf.Page | 13 as mathematics. Kerr 1983.g.A. physics and science. Blind people can benefit from exposure to tangible images. A common prejudice has been that contact cannot provide a reasonable interpretation of tangible images and visual communication is necessary. (Heller. . and this should be encouraged in their education. M. there are often problems with access to good rehabilitation instructors and lack of access to adequate raised line drawing materials. This can then lead to lower earnings in the image perception tasks in laboratories. Hurovitz. but that does not mean they are not valuable. or the ability of people who are blind. Additionally. and Schmidt 1982. Too many individuals have made blanket assumptions about limitations on. modern technology is expensive and may not always be available in less affluent school districts. In addition. Foulkes. (Lavie 1996. and this can make them more difficult. Monticellai. & Gentaz.

and Kosslyn (1988) 4 groups of people (congenital blind. where asked to imagine a familiar objects at 3 different length and point to its left and right side. Spatial cognition involves both dynamic aspects. Holtzman. orienting ourselves and so forth. Janzen 2006). localizing. T. grasping. Perspective: In another study by Arditi. that the map should be a visual representation of the mental image.Page | 14 and Cornoldi 1995. some researchers used the term “visuo-spatial” when talking about this content. Both sides do however agree that blind individuals are able to create some sort of mental content with the information given to them by their other senses this could be information about texture and shape of the object. such as representing the space that surrounds us and updating it whenever we move. such as memory for object locations or topographic knowledge (e. . The format of these “images” that blind people are able to create is still a highly debated subject. understanding maps. and Cornoldi 2004. & Vecchi. Tinti. Arditi discovered that the congenital blind individuals made no different in size of the object no matter the distance to the object and this suggesting that congenital blind don’t follow the rule of perspective. 2010) and many more. Afonso. where some researchers claim that blind individuals imagination is limited to only contains audio. Orientation: Spatial cognition is a general term we use to refer to a range of abilities that are of critical importance in our everyday life. (Cattaneo. of a blind person. 2011) This theory was important to explore. Vecchi 1998. vision is usually the sense we use to orientate ourselves. since we had to decide. compared to other senses.g. or pointing to external objects. such as navigation. late blind and blindfolded seeing people. touch and emotional information as seems to be suggested with the dreams. Marmor 1978). Schacter and Nadel 1991. and more static aspects. For sighted individuals. Z.. learning routes. as it gives the biggest and most precise picture of our surrounds. Vecchi. and some have even suggested that these dreams can contain colors (cf. Blum et al. early blind. Others however suggest that it does in fact contain some sort of visual image.

don’t have to make a sound to fit the shape and size of the objects. However when your vision is even slightly impaired. experience or speech. as most of our testers found out. and takes control again (Alais and Burr 2004). and still avoid ruining the experience of being blind.Page | 15 With e. since we use this to determine how much we have moved/turned in proportion to the surrounding landmarks (Gibson 1979). so this helped us make the design of the game with the mini map and the tests we did. We won’t be able to truly experience what it is like to be congenital blind from the moment we see our own hand as a child. For sight people vision is also important for navigation. because we do. especially when it comes to unfamiliar objects.g. Afonso Blumes’ studies (See related work) suggest that congenital blinds’ ability to create accurate mental images is very dependent on the method of the information which is given to them either by touch. which is what you usually use for these mental rotation tasks (Marmor and Zaback 1976. According to Cattaneo et al. But still that doesn’t mean sighted people aren’t using sounds for orientation. There is also the problem that not all the objects make sounds so it can be hard to avoid them. but it is often just used to draw our attention to different events which our eye registers. if we wished to make the virtual environment as pleasant as possible for seeing people. . And in the case of hearing. vision’s ability to measure distance through perspective is far superior to hearing. Since this project looks so much like ours. We also had to read in how both blind and not blind orientate them self. but returns to normal when your vision stabilizes. Blind individuals also seems to have a harder time rotating their mental images in comparison to sighted people. and Ungar. the results were quite interesting for us and it was well fit into the previous research. touch our attention will have to be focused on a single object at the time and it also gives us a very limited range to work within. hearing temporarily improves and tries to take on the role of primary sense of orientation. and even those who do make sounds. Kerr 1983).

2011). and the reason why we used Unity for programming is because it is a simple and easy-to-use tool with a huge community of people. the reason why we chose to make the map in greyscale is because blind people are not able to imagine colors (Cattaneo et. The reason why we used 3ds Max for modeling and Photoshop for the menu. We started by creating the map in Photoshop. who are ready to help us solve the issues that might appear. The Mini-map . Photoshop and Unity. Al. His study made us realize that a blind person has other ways of navigating than the average person is aware of. so we’ve decided to make this game to let people experience their way of navigating even though they are sighted people. Fig. For the game creation we used a combination of 3ds Max. is because they were the programs that our creative team was most comfortable with.Page | 16 Methods Design: We’ve created our game called “Listen” based on the study of Afonso (See related work). Photoshop for the menu and Unity for programming. We used 3ds Max for modeling the level. 2.

The reason why some of the walls are crossing each other is that the doors were too small and that made the game a lot more difficult than necessary. we started programming the game in Unity. since they are both compatible with Unity. Fig. and then we had our final level prototype. Since we’re not very experienced with Unity and programming in general. We decided to use C# for all audio related coding. so we decided to make the doors bigger by moving the walls a bit After the prototype was completed. 3. we made measurements so the scale was about the same as in real life. Unity has a built-in program called “MonoDevelop” which is used for programming and script-debugging. since the answers we found for our coding . The level layout. and apply it to C# and JavaScript. which is the program we use for our programming course. but we mostly used the community forums for help with our problems. we mostly decided to use the basic knowledge we have from Processing. this is the only software we have used for scripts. the main languages we used to create the scripts for the game was C# and JavaScript. and placed boxes instead of the objects that were drawn on the map.Page | 17 Then we used the map to create the model in 3ds Max. and are both fairly simple to learn.

Since the script handles audio it’s written in C#. between the listener (player) and the audio source.Page | 18 problems had the easiest and best solutions in C#. We’ve decided to use this script as an example because it shows the basic code that was used for the game. Fig. our 3D sound then makes it able to use a type of “virtual surround” which makes you hear where the sound is coming from in a headset without surround. 5. 6. the only problem we were left with was that the sound went through the walls. The character w/ audio sources and camera 1 . which made a linecast. and has the same layout as the other scripts. audio and input in C#. The level with Audio sources and range 1. and it detects if the player is touching an object also showing you the controls on the GUI and letting you play or stop an audio. 4. Every object that is supposed to make a sound has an audio source linked to it which makes it able to play a sound and the camera on the player has an audio listener added to it. Fig. the audio source plays the sound and plays it in the listener. our use of triggers. Our first problem with audio already appeared after a few hours of working with Unity: “How are we going to use these 3D sounds?” Since Unity already has a built in 3D sound for the Audio sources. So we decided to create a script. that couldn’t go through the walls. The Audio Source for our clock Fig.

GUI text and narrator sounds when you hit an object. We used it because there was already a package called standard assets when you install the Unity software. which makes us monitor whether our character is hitting the object or not. We used the package because it was less time consuming since we weren’t experienced with the software. When the asset is released we will be able to further develop the entire soundscape of our game. to make it user-friendly for the visually . During the progress of creating the game. we added two audio sources to the character. but even though we decided not to use much time on our menu we still decided to add sound when you hover over the functions. JavaScript was mostly used for Character control and other basic mechanics like GUI and texthandling. we used triggers together with JavaScript for switches. since it’s not a big part of the game-experience.Page | 19 The script didn’t work and we haven’t yet been able to find any other solutions to the issue. other than an asset which haven’t been released yet called AudiobrushTM. which had a character included with camera steering and controls. and the other one was for the main narrator. To make sure the character couldn’t walk through the objects we used a setting called Cube colliders. For the menu we decided to create something that’s fairly simple. we then used the object’s mesh as a “trigger”. which tells you what object you bump into. which allowed us to create a cube inside our cube-shaped objects that was solid. The first one was added to play the footsteps of the player.

and sound-check for your headphones to make sure that surround sound was working. Menu design of our game . Fig. 7. where we created our game menu.Page | 20 impaired. since playing without 3d sound would ruin our the concept of the game. and extracted the pictures and layout into Unity. We made the basic layout for the menu in Photoshop.

provided from one of the members of our group. We interviewed elders who had lost their sight. Since the interview with the blind was a group interview. we wanted to describe the interview with some of the members of the Danish Blind Society in Esbjerg. Group interview with the members of the Danish blind society in Esbjerg As you can probably see in the bottom right corner. Fig. We expected more of them to have a canine companion to help them find their way around. If one of the blind persons had a different opinion than the other then that opinion was also stated. therefore we have no information about younger people’s way of life and points of view. and was provided by the state of Denmark in the form of human help called “Hjemme hjælp”. We used a Samson Meteor. We only used the first name to identify our participants in the interview. This a service elder people. Yet the help they got was another kind of help. it is described as a common opinion within the group. Surprisingly only one out of the six people had a guiding dog. we recorded the interview with an external microphone. Two out of six people were completely blind and the rest of them either had poor eyesight or were blind only with one of their eyes. and people with .Page | 21 Interviews: In this section. 8.

But since there have been so many financial cuts all over the state financed business. That way they can express how they feel to a professional. But even though they can check the computer. Another thing is that they get appointed a shrink at these sessions. we are going mention the few things they mentioned to us. is that one of the people from the group. This means they get help with most of the work at home. Some of them have families too. Some of them can also use a computer. Important to mention though. She takes care of her garden. removes dust and other home stuff. Also when they are at the blind society. They also get a bunch of bonuses from joining the blind society. One of the people we interviewed also got fired from her job because of lowering eyesight. they have a little object they can attach to the clothes and if pressed it tells them the color. which were not yet certain to cure them. did everything except cooking for herself. and unfortunately did not help them. They have clocks that tell what time it is. They have special programs which can read what is on the screen to them. according to them. So as far as retirement comes. if they press it. One of the things we asked them was about their relationship with electronics. To find out what color their clothes are. Using this they can apparently navigate on a computers desktop.Page | 22 disabilities are provided with. That is why they need state financed companions to help them. . She used to work for the hospital. It is important to remember that none of the people we interviewed were blind from birth. But she got an early retirement instead. yet they could not use her after she lost too much sight. they still want the mail through physical posting. Just to give some examples. but since they are old they got early treatments. They actually use electronics in a surprisingly high amount. and check their mail. a woman brings them warm food. and their keyboard has Braille on them. Only one of them had bad eyesight troubled from birth. which they talk to as a group. the shrink came. and get his expert opinion. which is only once a week. we now know you can get it if you get blind during your life. In the middle of the interview. They have all gone through some different operations to see if their eyesight could be improved. They do not cook and usually they get the food from an outside provider. like for example the social interactions with other blind people. and some of them do not. and we were left with 2 people to interview. So the rest of this section is based on the opinion of two people. they have no possibility to get all they need.

she was the one who single handedly took care of her garden and home. but they have to pay a small fee themselves. . They feel as they are being watched upon by other people. so they only used memorization. When we talked to them about memory. The only time they find themselves troubled with the visualization is when eating. But she too can remove dust. we tried to go into the subject of them trying to visualize their surroundings and objects.Page | 23 Fig. their hearing had been lowered too. so they could not feel the improvement there would be any. they know a lot of objects from their seeing days. 9. The one on the right of the picture lives alone. We asked them whether or not their other senses had improved. The two women who stayed more on our interview These two women live in a house. They use taxi for transportation. The one on the left has a husband. and this taxi service is mostly supported by the state. who takes care of a lot of the home stuff. especially in larger meetings. They do not try to visualize. but because of their age. if she knows the layout of the house. None of these women could read Braille.

they had the opportunity to ask the instructor. These were simple goals like flushing the toilet. One person gave instructions and objectives. The other person was an additional and silent note taker. The procedure was almost the same with a few changes added to it. the person had a 2 minutes break. One person was giving instructions and objectives. This means there were no directions given the first few minutes.  The playing person was presented with the menu screen. After the break the second part of the testing took place.      When a tester started the game. Here was how the game testing was planned to follow: First part of testing: The first part of the testing was without blindfold. the game was paused and the testing person had to answer a questionnaire in relation to what they just experienced. If the person tested wanted any kind of help or further explanation. After the interview. Second part of testing: The second part of the testing was with a blindfold. . With him were two members of our group and they had different roles. to thank him for his or her cooperation so far.  One person at a time was placed in front of the screen. When the tester completed a set of goals. and here the person had to figure it out by him/herself.  One person at a time was placed in front of the screen. The other person was an additional and silent note taker. it was their job to familiarize with the situation he/she was in. or going to the kitchen and turning on the microwave. With him were two persons and they had different roles. After a few minutes the instructor gave the tester a goal to complete.Page | 24 Testing the game: The game was tested with and without blindfolding. with a cup of soda or something similar.

then listen to reply and change setup if needed. If the testers wanted any kind of help or further explanation.     Once a tester started the game. “I am just going to snap my fingers by your left and right ear. After being blindfolded. After a few minutes the instructor will give the testing person a goal to complete. but not similar. The participant could now leave. they had the possibility to ask the instructor. Decide if the participant sees or not. “Can you hear anything?” 3. 6. only made to ensure that the participant had no eyesight while playing the game. This means there were no directions given the first few minutes. 1. (Check the Eyesight testing section)  The testers were presented with the menu screen.” Snap fingers by right and left ears. the instructor now had to communicate with the participant about the comfort of the blindfold position. 4. These are same difficulty goals just like the first test. “Does the blindfold feel comfortable?” 2. . one at a time. When the tester had completed a set of goals. and the instructor and note taker will now communicate about the results gathered before the next participant was called in to testing. Eyesight testing: These were very simple tests.  Before the game screen was presented. After the interview. it was their job to familiarize with the situation they were in. the game was paused and they had to answer a questionnaire in relation to what they just experienced. 5. and ask what the participant think it is. Show fingers and ask how many the participant sees.Page | 25  The testers were blindfolded with a scarf which they got around their head to cover their sight. Show an object. Tell me if it sounds okay. the testing person had a few simple tests to see whether or not the participant will had any sight. and here they had to figure it out by themselves. the participants were thanked for their time.

We found out that 16% of them were females and other 84% were males between 19 and 24 years old. We put two statements where participants had to write their level of agreement. In the first one 64% of them disagreed that the blind people are mistreated and discriminated. There was one participant who had no opinion about these differences.” Then we realized that there might a lot of different nations which don’t really offer any knowledge or experience about blind people’s community. Some people don’t know how to react or treat blind people. one of participants agreed and another had no opinion.Page | 26 Results In this part we tried to figure out what are the main things we had to improve about our project game. But half of participants knew a few things about blind people’s daily life when another half didn’t knew anything. In the second statement 64% agreed that blind people need empathy and understanding from the world around and again there were two participants who disagreed and had no opinion. Then we discovered that all of them are good at navigating in darkness in their own house or any other familiar environment. The test had two parts where the participant is completely blind and when they are not. Our main idea was to show how hard it is to keep orientation in a casual environment just by hearing the sounds and without seeing things. . In the test there were only 6 participants that wanted to try out our game. However 50% of them had some experience with blind people and the rest didn’t have any. we have a feeling of content regarding our project. After the development of the game was done decided to test a game and we summarized all of our conducted data after the testing. For the first part participants had to fill a questionnaire before the game of how much knowledge and experience they have about blindness. At first. when we realized what should be done about the gameplay we decided that a design wasn’t the most important part in the game that’s why we focused mostly on programming. The extra feedback that we received was from a participant who disagreed: “At some point. Every single participant checked that they don’t know any blind person. All the participants thought that the life differences are great between the lives of visually impaired people and people without visual disabilities. Overall.

Almost all the participants considered the controls and moving around in the game were mediocre. bad or confusing about the game.Page | 27 Then we discovered that all of the participants except one wanted to understand and relate to blind persons. Then we got another extra feedback from the participant: “As a blind person it would be easier when being in your own house and reacting better at sounds than me. We also had a questionnaire concerning the technical part of the game. Later on. another two didn’t consider the experience very impactful there was a participant who didn’t consider it impactful at all. the objects they had to use in the game and the sound system. In the blind test we found out that 73% of the participants liked and were happy about our menu. The general results were surprising as we discovered that the game was way more enjoyable when the tester was blind. The rest 40% weren’t very satisfied. the testers had to fill other questions like how they felt being offered a glimpse of a blind person’s daily life even just for a short time. We found out that 16% of the participants were a bit frustrated. the controls or the objects they had to use in the game. We wanted to get as more feedback as we could for example. Half of participants disagreed that they couldn’t adapt being able to see anything while others strongly agreed and just agreed. the blind person will have much better results. Obviously. other 33% checked that they were not so good and the rest considered themselves really bad. One of the participants had no opinion about how impactful was the game experience on their understanding of a blind person’s life. Then we decided we need the participants to fill the questionnaire after both the sighted test and the blind test and they had to describe how efficient were several criteria in the game. In addition 33% of the participants agreed that they were good at finding and using objects around the house in darkness. In the sight test we found out that 60% of the participants were happy about our menu. While two of the participants thought that they had an impactful experience. the sound system and the mini-map. The rest weren’t satisfied being mostly neutral.” We realized that it’s a fact that a person with a scarf on his eyes and without visual disabilities would not be able to compete with a blind person if they had to find different objects in their personal home. All participants considered that moving around in the game was mediocre. what’s good. .

2 3 2.4 4. In the blind test two participants were complaining 3 about the footsteps and mouse sensitivity.5 2 1. In the sight test all of the Sight Test Blind Test participants had certain complaints about footsteps.6 1.4 3.8 2. the participants had to answer what should be improved in the game.2 1 0.4 1. Generally we noticed one bug when the game crashed while the third tester was trying out game.5 1 Category 1 . 2.4 2.6 3.2 0 Menu 4 Controls Moving around Using Objects Sound System Mini-map Overall Enjoyment Experience Level Sight Test Blind Test 3.2 4 3. sounds and controls.8 1. 10 Average grade for each criterion in our game experience survey 4.6 2.5 Fig.Page | 28 Fig.2 2 1.8 3.6 0. 11 Average of all criteria in the game experience survey Later on.8 0.4 0.

it is about 70 % which is blind from old age. After they tried the game. as you cannot see them. There has also been a problem the fact that the footsteps weren’t synchronized with the actual movement of the character and sometime created confusion. It is starting to make pictures that you can touch to put picture on what others are looking at. such as . They were allowed to play the game two times. Your senses become more aware of where you are and who is in the same room. and then there are some tools that say what time it is and what date it is. you learn to concentrate better as it should be placed on the 4 senses you have left. but it is easier with 3D sculptures as you can feel it all. We found this an issue as it makes harder the orientation This game will help the blind family or friends to understand how the person has it and see what it's like to walk around in a stranger's home. The fact that you need to feel their way to get out of the kitchen without going into too many things that can be very challenging. What they think about the game. This shows our research also that it is difficult with new surroundings. one time without being blindfolded and another time being blindfolded. Four out of the six people on whom we tested enjoyed the game experience and considered it an interesting opportunity to get a glimpse of what it is like to be blind.Page | 29 Discussion The game was designed to try giving an insight in the life of a blind person and we have conceived it suitable for both people with no visual disabilities and people with visual impairments. they had some questions to answer as a feedback for the game experience. The very technology that can help one to get his life to be easier. Most people who become blind today is mainly due to old age. There are so few diseases which may lead to blindness. We also found out that objects can be used even if the character is not standing in front of them but backwards. There were 2 people who didn’t appreciate the fact that they either got stuck or could not find their way around the house. as you risk that you also begin to lose their hearing quietly and you are feeling loose in his fingers. there is Braille system as a blind user to read is a good thing. Our research and our interviews show that it gets harder the older you get to concentrate on his surroundings. there was something good or something bad that we either have to change or do better.

Since many of the blind from birth of experience with what they're doing. most have been dead along the way . who tried our game. but you cannot see where you are on the map. It was still difficult to navigate in the game. and so you can figure out where you are. so when you touched an object will hear what kind of an object. Part of what we've been out with our research fits well with what our testers said. got a glimpse of what it was like not being able to find your way. Municipalities supports blind people by sending a homecare out or get sent food to them. There are problems with the crash of the game which happens when you’re stuck in the closet but otherwise our test was alright and the people. To find out.Page | 30 diabetes if you have too many high and low blood glucose. go around and touch the different objects in the house. . We started to design the game in gray that we could see what we put into the game later on when our path was finished. this is an important fact to fend for themselves. People who are blind from being born. will be able to perform better in everyday life than someone who has been blind along the way. as some blind people have a hard time doing it yourself. the one to find out. Was it so made completely black so you could not see where you should go to find for example the kitchen? To find your place in our game. the objects in the game got sounds to you know what the different objects are. We give the person to try our games a task where they must be able to find out on the balcony or in the toilet and flush. but this is however. We have taken a small card up in the top right corner as you can see how the space. so there was added more sounds.

The players were able to navigate.Page | 31 Conclusion Our project was about making people without visual disabilities understand the daily challenges and what it is like to be visual impaired (blind). People who are born blind do not understand thinking in a 3D perspective. but since there were some things that could have been done a lot better. the footsteps should be fixed. But according to ours tests. . and the player should not be able to interact with objects behind him. the participants did in fact not get a better understanding of what it is like to be visual impaired but they mostly had an enjoyable funny experience. in which the player could only navigate using the 3D sounds in the environment. Things that can be improved on the project would be to fix the game and make it more as intended. but people did not get a better understanding of what it is like to be blind but we offered an overall enjoyable experience. they only think in two dimensions. This is actually also described in the theory. We were able to make a fully usable 3D environment. To sum it all up. you automatically understand the thinking behind a 3D perspective. When you are born without visual complications and see for the first time. What this means is that the player should not be able to get stuck anymore. we made a game where you are blind. the game didn’t feel completely as we intended. as it has been discovered that you can never be able to understand what it is to be blind.

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Mouse0) && inRange && playing==false){ audio.Collections. } //Controls to play/stop an audio clip void Update(){ //Play sound with Left-click if(Input. playing = true. //Check if you're in range void Start() { inRange = false. using System. //Create an audiosource component on the button and drag it here public bool playing. and not unity premade scripts) using UnityEngine. . playing = false.Play (). // Check if the clip is playing public bool inRange.Page | 34 Appendix: Coding: (only the main coding. public class ButtonAudio : MonoBehaviour { public AudioSource audio.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.

playing = false.GetKeyDown(KeyCode. } } //When you enter the trigger void OnTriggerEnter() { inRange = true.Stop (). } //When you exit the trigger void OnTriggerExit(){ inRange = false.Mouse1) && inRange && playing==true){ audio. } } .Page | 35 } //Stop sound with Right-click if(Input.