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Title: Improving game accessibility by exploring the audio-only game genre
Authors: Barbeiro, David Gil Domingues 
Orientador: Roque, Licínio Gomes
Keywords: Audio-only games; Game accessibility; Human-Computer Interaction; Game development
Issue Date: 4-Feb-2016
Serial title, monograph or event: Improving game accessibility by exploring the audio-only game genre
Place of publication or event: Coimbra
Abstract: In recent years, video game developers have started to be more aware of game accessibility, and consequently, audio-only games are getting more popular as a genre that enables both blind and sighted audiences to appreciate immersive gameplay experiences in similar ways. In this dissertation, we propose two audio-only game prototypes that aim to explore different forms of participation from the player. Both games employ innovative Human-Computer Interaction and sonification techniques that stem from research on those areas to improve the usability between the player and the artifact. One game is used to assess the player’s hearing acuity, which is useful to validate all the data collected during formal playtesting. The other game is used to fulfill two research objectives: the first objective is to collect data that is used to understand how the number of sound sources around a player, and their position relative to each other, influence the ability of the player to recognize them, which is important to level design. The second objective is to test if the proposed techniques ease the navigation mechanic in an audio-only First-Person Shooter, which could add value to future audio-only games. We used preliminary playtesting to get early feedback from two participants, which allowed to detect issues that were promptly fixed. Then, formal playtesting was done using different groups: sighted, blind, males and females. We used traditional and technical playtesting methodologies: different test scenarios to collect data to be analyzed, direct observations, Q&A and verbal reports. The results show that while blind people have much more hearing accuracy, they don’t navigate better than sighted participants. It also indicated that males have a better sense of orientation and memorize sound references more easily.
Description: Dissertação de Mestrado em Engenharia Informática apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:UC - Dissertações de Mestrado
FCTUC Eng.Informática - Teses de Mestrado

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