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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kickstarter Sunday Spotlight: Blindside: The Audio Adventure Game

Despite being a relatively new phenomenon, Kickstarter has already managed to take the gaming industry by storm, acting as a consolidated network hub for indie game developers, artists, writers, and, of course, gamers. On this weekly Sunday feature I'll highlight some of various Kickstarter projects that have caught my eye and invite fellow gamers and gaming enthusiasts to see why these projects deserve their interest and perhaps a bit of their money.

This Week: Blindside: The Audio Adventure Game

How could you play a video game without being able to see? What would a game consisting of nothing but pure audio be like? These and other questions are exactly what Aaron and Mike, a pair of game designers from Santa Monica, CA and Queens, NY, hope to answer with their game Blindside: The Audio Adventure Game.

The premise of Blindside is simple: using nothing but audio queues and a few keys on the keyboard or screen taps on mobile devices, players must guide a young couple named Case and Dawn after they wake up and discover that their sight has been robbed. Even worse, some sort of creatures are outside eating people and it's up to the player to help the young couple discover why their sight is gone, what these creatures are, and ultimately escape.

The project's inspiration mainly stemmed from a high school chemistry accident that left Aaron temporarily blind. The two developers talk in length on Blindside's Kickstarter page about how playing a game with nothing but sound is akin to a gamer's first experience with a popular title such as Starcraft or Mortal Kombat; by removing the "video" from "video game", Aaron and Mike aim to capture that same thrill of immersing oneself in an entirely new gaming experience for the first time.

Both developers are also careful to point out that Blindside is not just for blind gamers. Anyone who's interested in an audio-only adventure can give the game a try, the overall goal being a gaming experience that is equally accessible to both blind and sighted gamers.

The initial Kickstarter project for Blindside reached its funding goal back in December, 2011, but Aaron and Mike are aiming to develop a whole series of "episodes" for the project, the tale of Case and Dawn being episode one. Considering the lengthy (and expensive) process that went into the development of the first episode, I'm sure Aaron and Mike wouldn't say no to a few more donations to help get subsequent episodes off the ground.

The Blindside Kickstarter page can be found here.

Follow me on Twitter at @NateHohl and check out my other work at vgutopia.com, hookedgamers.com, and explosion.com

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