A Video Game for the Visually Impaired

hans von knut

Hans Von Knut, the creative mind behind the Denmark developers PortaPlay, has unveiled plans to produce a game that is executed through the use of sound alone.

“Right now we are working on a demo of a game that uses only audio and no graphics. It’s set in a semi-factual WWII era where the player is an allied spy dropped behind enemy lines to gather intelligence on a secret German doomsday weapon. The player is blinded during the intro and the rest of the game takes place in complete darkness,” said Knut.

Knut says that the idea originated from finding old games that were marketed towards the visually impaired. These titles were basically on-rail games that emitted bleeps when a certain button needed to be pressed. He felt that these pieces didn’t really offer much of a gaming experience.

Knut, who previously worked as an audio designer, now presents a project that will include combat, puzzles, stealth, dialogue and even multiplayer as he aims to create “realistic audio environments”.

“By going this realistic way, the blind and visually impaired will actually be able to play the game with free roaming, the same way that they are able to navigate in their daily life using only their ears,” added Knut.

The project, which was reported by Eurogamer, has already received funding from Danish Screen (regional film institute) and general acclaim throughout Denmark. With such an emphasis placed on aesthetics, this PortaPlay project offers a fantastic vision. Not only will it give gamers the chance to simulate the experience of blindness and enjoy a genuinely innovative title, it has the potential of introducing a huge group of people who would have otherwise been cut off from the gaming world.

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