Cadet 227 - Developer Diary Entry #1

Listening to: Nothing.

I woke up this morning to find that the project has been fully funded! It only took a bit of elbow grease and within a few days of the project’s opening it has reached its goal. I will have a final list of contributors in both the game and developer diary for sure. I am very excited to work on this project and overcoming any of the challenges that it may throw my way. Thanks again to the contributors and your generosity! It speaks volumes, it does!

So because it’s officially underway, I thought I’d go and start a developer diary to chronicle the process, things I learn and challenges that I’ll run into. I’ll have clips and demos of things for people to check out as they get done.

One e-mail I received this morning was from a visually impaired computer user, who I will refer to as DT at this time. DT wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, even if this is accessible, it is unlikely to work for visually impaired people since Flash is not an efficient technology for us.

DT


This didn’t discourage me, but rather set off neurons in my brain and the question valves. Why is Flash not an efficient technology for the visually impaired? Is it because something like JAWS is not able to properly read the contents within a Flash media file? Is it because there are few sites that have designed their layouts to properly combine standard web elements with Flash elements? Is it because there’s no real need for Flash for visually impaired computer users since Flash was originally meant to be for a “rich multimedia experience for the internet”? How useful is an animated banner is Flash in this situation, right?

I’ve sent a reply back asking a few of these questions in hopes of finding answers that will help me tailor the game design to better approach the ultimate goal. At the very least, Flash can export an executable file, which also allows me to distribute the game as a physical download.

I will send a message to San Francisco’s Exploratorium later this week as well. I remember they had a vision deprivation obstacle course when I was younger. It would be interesting to see if they could house a computer with speakers in a completely dark room and have this game running. I know that if I was put in that situation, the overwhelming darkness and ambient sounds would freak me out completely. The trailer isn’t “scary” or “chilling” to me anymore, but it’s also because I’ve heard it a few dozen times already. The first few times I listened to the final mixdown I couldn’t close my eyes.

In any case, again, the project is now funded. I will start fleshing out the entire story and script for the game. There are a few key moments I have planned that should have a player jamming on their keyboard (who doesn’t love the traditional Track and Field button masher?) and being fully engulfed in audio fear. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

Related Link: Cadet 227