On the count of diversity and inclusivity, the video game industry is hardly ahead. Of course, while sight seems so intrinsic to the experience of watching something on a screen for stimuli, a new mobile game is part of an emerging genre catering to the visually challenged.
“Blind Legend” is told from the point of view of a blind protagonist and also presents players with one of the big intricacies of being blind – relying almost completely on sound to navigate the world.
Imagination is the best worldbuilder
To create the game, Dowino studios of France uses a technique called binaural recording which uses a dummy fitted with tiny condenser microphones that mimic the way humans naturally hear sound. Every scene in the game is recorded binaurally for an accurate and purportedly immersive aural experience – hugely important when audio is supposed to be the main sense used.
The game follows a knight who has lost his eyesight and must venture into the forest to rescue his wife from violent kidnappers. Along the way, he is guided by his daughter. But the point of view is maintained throughout – the screen is completely dark during the entire game while you use finger swipes to swing a sword or move your feet.
And as expected, the superb audio is your main source of information regarding your surroundings. Nordine Ghachi, one of the men behind the game, says “You should definitely wear headphones to get the full benefits. You can hear what's happening all around you. The noises of the forest, the birds flying above and the river flowing. You hear these sounds, and that information helps the gamer locate themselves in that environment.”
Dowino Studios used a crowdfunding campaign to raise over 40,000 euros to launch production of the game, which is currently being beta tested. The game should be available via the App Store sometime next year.