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UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab/ Designing Sound for a Pervasive Mobile Game Inger Ekman (et al.) Game Research Lab.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab/ Designing Sound for a Pervasive Mobile Game Inger Ekman (et al.) Game Research Lab."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Designing Sound for a Pervasive Mobile Game Inger Ekman (et al.) Game Research Lab University of Tampere

2 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Pervasive Mobile Games •Mobile games – not just mobile game devices —Mobility part of gaming —> Location-aware game device •Pervasive gaming —Playing in relation to physical world activities —> Game environment superimposed over physical world

3 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory The Songs of North •Location-based multiplayer mobile game •Players act as shamans in a mythological spirit world •Playing requires moving around the spirit world, casting spells and communicating with spirits and other player-shamans •Spellcasting by drumming a shaman drum

4 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Role of Sounds in the Songs of North •Sound information facilitates playing by moving —Playing by listening - possible to monitor nearby game objects and events without looking at the device •Alternative way of constructing engaging playing experiences —Game world aesthetics

5 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Sound Design Issues •Technical restrictions (N-Gage/Series 60) —Memory, frequency response, available channels, sound control options, … •Varying listening conditions —General relation of environment sound to game world sound •Social playability •Narration of sound —What is the narrative function of sound

6 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Play-tests •2 play-tests of the game —Version1: June 2004 o19 players —Version2: May 2005 o16 players •Qualitative and quantitative data —Questionnaires —Group interviews —Game server log

7 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Version 1, Evaluation •Sounds generally disliked —Design & implementation —Problems with volume control —Problems with speakers/headphones •Playing by listening is a very unfamiliar activity —Some players never realized the function of sound for playing —Players used to non-informative sound -> different ways of interpretation —Distrusting sound information, reliance on visuals, perceived conflicts between information sources

8 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Version 2, Iteration •New sound implementation and modified graphics —Tailored for game device sound properties •Roles of sound vs. visual more clearly defined —Sound real-time, visuals only ’on demand’ by drumming •Investigating new types of information —Multiple degrees of information (spell nearby / spell type / target / spell pattern) —Multiple functions (emotive background ambience / social awareness)

9 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, Hypermedia Laboratory Thank You! Questions? Inger Ekman


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