[games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 13 12:21:11 EDT 2017


I wouldn't call them types of map or refer to it as mapping, that could cause confusion. A map isn't an environment itself, it's an alternative representation (usually 2D) of an environment aimed at easy understanding of the things that are in it and how they relate to each other. If you try looking for research into representing maps through sound it'll all be about those representations, which doesn't sound like what you're looking for.

So for the Morrowind example, you explore the environment in first person, and also have a map screen, which contains a separate top down representation of the whole environment, allowing you to see where you are in relation to things that are outside of your first person view.

Map is also used as a synonym of level, but that doesn't relate to how it is presented or navigated.

That's really what you're looking at right? Different ways to present and navigate an environment.

If by a game like Entombed you just mean first person but moving around a grid, that can be done visually, it's how visual first person games started out - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maze_War. They've had a minor resurgence recently, for example Legend of Grimrock.

There are some audio based side scrolling platformers, usually either simple environments with audio cues to tell you when a gap or a platform is approaching, or complex environments that allow you to pause the game and inspect the layout of the screen as a grid.

Ian

________________________________
From: games_access <games_access-bounces at igda.org> on behalf of Brandon Keith Biggs <brandonkeithbiggs at gmail.com>
Sent: 13 October 2017 14:59
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games

Hello,
In this data set the focus is on navigation. The POIs in a list would be in a list based system similar to Crafting Kingdom. The maps on the IPhone use this system for navigation. (all GPSes for blind people that I know of use this method actually).
This is just one approach and has some major limitations, not least of which is that the data needs to be presented in the user’s language, otherwise the map is completely unusable.

Thus saying, list based systems are incredibly useful, especially in combination with other systems (see every audio game on that list). Menus in games are all list based. Menus have their uses, but you would not have the same experience playing a first-person shooter exclusively using a menu that you would using a first-person 3D map.

Also, I made these map names up. Are their official terms people know of for these different maps?

For example:
First-person 3D is like what is in Morrowind, where you are the person and everything is from your perspective.

Grid Based is basically a spreadsheet, or what dungeon based games have (I think).

First Person Grid I think would be if you combined Morrowind with Packman. It is a version of first-person 3D, but with no 3D audio or ability to move in more than 4 directions.

Arcade Scroller is like racing games where you follow a road.

I don’t know if there is any real correlation between visual and audio maps (being able to see over walls is only available in grid based, for example) and I don’t think one can really have an audio platformer like Mario in audio. I also don’t think one could have a game like Entombed visually (even though it is hands down one of the easiest modes for blind people to pick up).
Thanks,

Brandon Keith Biggs<http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>

On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 6:30 AM, Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com<mailto:i_h at hotmail.com>> wrote:

>From the looks of what's in the spreadsheet, is it specifically navigating environments that you're looking into? As opposed to for example having map screen showing nearby points of interest, displayed separately to how you navigate the environment?

Ian

________________________________
From: games_access <games_access-bounces at igda.org<mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org>> on behalf of Brandon Keith Biggs <brandonkeithbiggs at gmail.com<mailto:brandonkeithbiggs at gmail.com>>
Sent: 13 October 2017 14:07
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games

Hello Ian,
Thank you for your references! I will check them out. I have been doing some research and it looks as if people have been hinting at making operable auditory maps for different types of data, but in the last 10 years nothing has really come out of the academic world. I’m doing my own research on audio games as a living laboratory of what is being used in the real world. So far I have come up with 7 types of maps used in audio games and I have examples of games in which these maps are used:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dky_RhQcBes1QRmoehmKoPgLYWoLs-nMD_h2CKOqNBQ/edit?usp=sharing

I’m looking to see if anyone has done anything similar to this. All the papers I’ve read hint at having displays such as what audio games have, but there is no evidence that anything more complex than a simple bar or line graph have been used. Audio games have much more complex data being displayed than a simple graph and I hope to release some tools, similar to what SAS has, that will allow people to view maps and graphs auditorily. (I’m taking what has been prototyped in games and using it in the real world).
I just need as much research as I possibly can get on studies or theories that have been put out so I can use them in my system and reference them in my published papers.
I want to see people using audio graphs and maps in school by the end of next year. I can’t believe it’s taken so long for someone to finish connecting the dots on this topic.

I’ve just started delving into a literature review, and:
https://makingmaps.net/2008/03/25/making-maps-with-sound/
has given me loads to work with.
Thanks,


Brandon Keith Biggs<http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>

On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 5:30 AM, Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com<mailto:i_h at hotmail.com>> wrote:
Not for games specifically, but there's plenty from other industries.

For charts and graphs it's usually either exposing the text of the underlying data or even just offering a simple text description of the conclusion that the chart draws, rather than trying to translate the visuals themselves.

https<https://www.nomensa.com/blog/2011/creating-accessible-charts>://<https://www.nomensa.com/blog/2011/creating-accessible-charts>www.nomensa.com<https://www.nomensa.com/blog/2011/creating-accessible-charts>/blog/2011/creating-accessible-charts<https://www.nomensa.com/blog/2011/creating-accessible-charts>

http<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>://<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>ncam.wgbh.org<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>/<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>experience_learn<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>/<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>educational_media<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>/<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>stemdx<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx> (see "guidelines" and the various examples)

There have been various academic attempts to use audio or haptics to provide an equivalent of being able to quickly see patterns, e.g. a tone rising and lowering to match the peaks and troughs of a line graph, but personally I haven't heard of anything like those being implemented in the field.

There's a bit of discussion on various techniques for making audio equivalents of maps - https<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>://www.w3.org/<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>WAI<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>/<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>RD<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>/wiki/<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>Accessible_Maps<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>

But often that's overkill. With maps it's all about what the purpose of the map is, what information it is trying to communicate. For many purposes the information can be communicated just as effectively as a filtered ordered list, in the same way as alternating between map and list view on something like airbnb.com<http://airbnb.com>.

A vaguely similar example in a game is EVE Online. Although not a map, the entire contents of the visually complex environment that you're in are also translated into an overview panel. The panel consists of simple tabular data sortable by distance/name/type, and filterable via tabs. You can play the game mostly just through interacting directly with the items in that table.

The game isn't screenreader accessible (that's another issue entirely) but it's at least an example of what would appear initially to be complex spatial information being communicated in a simple speech-friendly format.

Ian

From: Brandon Keith Biggs
Sent: Thursday, 12 October, 19:08
Subject: [games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List


Hello,
Does anyone have articles, papers, videos, or resources on representing maps or graphs in games auditorily? I’m researching audio mapping and don’t see anything in the archives of this list. I’m interested if there is any detailed information about making environments usable auditorily.
I’ve been doing primary research by looking at Audio Games, but I’m wondering if anyone has written about audio mapping in games?
Thank you,

Brandon Keith <http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/> Biggs<http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>



_______________________________________________
games_access mailing list
games_access at igda.org<mailto:games_access at igda.org>
https://pairlist7.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access
The main SIG website page is http://igda-gasig.org



_______________________________________________
games_access mailing list
games_access at igda.org<mailto:games_access at igda.org>
https://pairlist7.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access
The main SIG website page is http://igda-gasig.org


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://pairlist7.pair.net/pipermail/games_access/attachments/20171013/647be0a4/attachment-0001.html>


More information about the games_access mailing list