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Soundscape

by Atomic - Competition Entry

Soundscape is an experimental exploration game where you must navigate and exit an unknown area using only your hearing.

Beeps indicate distance to the obstacle in your front (high pitch=near, low pitch=far) and distance to exit (fast beeps=near, slow beeps=far). Bumping on walls should be avoided and it's signaled by a bump sound.

Time didn't help so I included just one level (a pretty hard one - try to finish it!). Anyways it is playable and serves as a proof of concept.

Controls (first person style):
Up arrow - walk forward
Down arrow - walk backward
Left arrow - turn left
Right arrow - turn right

I used Flash to make it (my first time with Flash so I had to learn it), Paint to draw the map and a camera to record the bump sound. Beeps are procedurally generated.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#4Theme4.20
#5Innovation4.10
#28Audio3.11
#47Overall3.10
#47Community3.29
#52Humor2.38
#59Coolness12%
#96Fun2.10
#117Graphics1.40

Comments

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Comments (archive)

shanecelis says ...

Neat concept. I went in a similar direction with my entry Dark Maze, so I can understand the difficulty in trying to make the sounds mean something.

philomory says ...

A great idea; I strongly feel, however, that you should have switched the 'UI' so that pitch indicated distance to the exit and beep frequency indicated distance to an obstacle. I think it's much easier to discern small changes in pitch than small changes in beep frequency, at least without busting out a stop watch.

dertom says ...

I really like the idea, but was actually not able to succeed. I think I hit any pice of wall that was in the game :D

Draknek says ...

With no idea how fast I was turning, I found it very difficult to visualise the level.

What would really help is a visual indication of which way the player is facing, so you can tell whether you've turned 180 degrees and are sending sonar waves back the way you've come or if you're looking at a new passage.

Or if instead of distance to exit you had direction to exit (fast beeps = ahead of you, slow beeps = behind you).

TenjouUtena says ...

A very good attempt at a very innovative concept! I couldn't stick with it long enough to finish, but I sort of like the idea. It is different!

nitram_cero says ...

Nice gameplay! I wasn't able to succeed but I think it was pretty cool.

C418 says ...

Good achievement. I never got to the end, but I like the blind movement.

Wiering says ...

Great idea. But it would help if those beeps were far more frequent (or just a new one after every move), this way you have to wait all the time. Also a separate sound for your goal would be nice.

AtkinsSJ says ...

My character walked into so many walls, he's probably got an awful headache. :P I'm sure it's a good game, I just couldn't figure out what I was doing.

localcoder says ...

Very cool idea, and I wanted to like it,but I found it very hard. On my first attempt I never noticed the rate of beeping changing at all. The second time I managed to find a slightly faster patch but couldn't work out exactly where to go.

As others have suggested, more or different audio queues might make it easier. I've seenheard a game that used a wind sound to let you know which way you were facing - the wind is loudest when you're facing into it.

I would like to have been able to see a map showing my stumbling path after I quit.

SonnyBone says ...

This IS really hard. :(
I couldn't even come close. lol

matrin says ...

Good idea, but sound indications aren't distinguishable enough.

dock says ...

Interesting idea, although I found it difficult because there wasn't constant audio feedback.

gimblll says ...

Great idea, but too hard for me to actually have the patience to finish it. Maybe it would've been more playable if you'd use stereo sound. And maybe defining turning a bit better, I had no idea how much every press turned the player.

Hempuli says ...

Really interesting! Couldn't make it, and I agree with philomory; the game could be even better with the functions switched. Also, while playing, I though that the game was in a DungeonMasterish manner: you turn always 90 degrees. I think that might make it a lot more interesting.

Risko says ...

Firstly -- i was unable to finish this game, it just wasn't enough information for me to find out, where i'm.

I was thinking about the possibilities, how to make this more enjoyable and still not lose the good atmosphere of absolute darkness and desorientation and i still don't have any idea how to do it better, but i see 2 blury possibilities which way it can go further. One of them was already discussed here -- staying at absolutely dark game, but tweaking various things such, that it will give one better information about the level (constant sound with varying pitch, volume, better 3d efects according to current room size etc.). I see second possibility in giving there a bit of visual information which shoud compensate the impossibility of using touch. For example to use rendered 3d hand, which one could lean against the wall with mouse and find out the angle between him and the wall without the need of rendering anything else.

But i liked this game a lot, i think i also had simulation sickness just from the sound and the inner picture of the maze i was absolutely lost in. ;)

cptalbertwesker says ...

Amazing concept, far too difficult, but it should be, and you shouldnt make it easier, I found it difficult to determine what different pitches and frequency I was listening out for, perhaps a guide at the start to determine this may have helped, might just be me though


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