Projects 2010 > Operation Sonic Boom > Journal
Every so often, on our continuing journey of development, we like to dismount and set up camp along the roadside in order to take a look around and examine our progress on the development map. We've recently found a fork in the road, actually it's less of a fork and more of a cutlery drawer full of different forks, some clean, some used and some should really be categorised as sporks. The perfect time to let the free-range people of planet earth decide a route.
At the mercy of the public, we began creating a selection of mini-games, all designed to test a specific part of the platform. Whenever someone comes near our office, they are lassoed, plonked on a chair and "asked nicely" to shout at a box. We peer at the test subject through half-moon spectacles, mutter things under our breath, analyse peaks and troughs in data and make correlations until the results are exhausted and we file them neatly in our "data pile". We used these same techniques on Bristolian folk at the Media Sandbox. They relished the opportunity to contribute to our research, and taught us some valuable lessons in making fun sound based games and digital hygiene.
Incidentally, these tests double up as a method of showing people what we're doing and explaining our way out of awkward (and excessively loud) situations. Moreover, looking at an output stream of numbers is "fun", but making a game that uses them and then challenging people with that game is waaaaay more interesting! Plus we are learning lots about the new field of sound based gameplay. What mechanics work, what sounds people will make and how far we can push them before the embarrassment factor kicks in and they run away mentioning something about leaving the washing on.
Sound controlled gameplay - It's science, but not an exact science, more of a traditional alchemy, where the new core ingredients are a voice, a computer and more magic than you can shake a wand at. You don't play it, you just play and it joins in.