For all to play: Making a game, making a difference – 4/23/14
For all to play: Making a game, making a difference
By Elias Aoude, producer, For All To Play
The idea for our game, Grail to the Thief, came about when we were researching (the For All To Play team are all alumni or current students at WPI) game design for the blind. We conducted interviews at Perkins School for the Blind and performed extensive research which led us to discover that few games are available to the blind and visually impaired, and many of the games that are available are severely dated, lack the quality and polish of games for the sighted, and rely on synthesized computer voices such as screen readers in order to play. Grail to the Thief will address these problems, and the game will be just as accessible and exciting an experience for the blind and visually impaired as it will be for the sighted.
So, with that in mind and a build in-hand, we started up an indie studio in Worcester and are at the halfway point of a crowdfunding campaign for Grail to the Thief on Kickstarter.
You can play a browser-based prototype of the game. It requires Google Chrome or Opera and can be found here: foralltoplay.com/prototype. If you have some time, please check it out.
The game, when launched, will be an interactive audio adventure for Windows, Mac, and Linux (a standalone executable will not require a web browser) that can be played using only sound, without the need for visuals. Grail to the Thief has been designed with the needs of the blind and visually impaired in mind but can be enjoyed by everyone. The game will deliver an exciting, immersive experience in which the player will always be fully aware of what is happening through the use of voice-overs, sound effects, ambient sound and music.
Game players will make choices through a conversation tree from which they can select commands, eliminating the confusion and frustration that comes with traditional text adventure games which require players to type in commands to progress. It is a nostalgic throwback to childhood favorites such as Zork, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Day of the Tentacle, and Grim Fandango, and draws inspiration from old BBC radio dramas and the movie Time Bandits.
If our Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, Grail to the Thief will be available as a DRM-free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux in August 2014.