blind-kittyI’ve been wanting to do an audio only game for a while. Ever since I tried out Papa Sangre on the iPhone a couple of years back. I just think the whole genre has a lot of corners to explore. This is my first kick at this particular can. The theme developed mainly from convenience as I had a lot of audio files from the Kraken project ready to go. These were created by the talented Trevor Mason of GoGo Bonkers. I showed the game at the Unity meetup mid-month and got some great feedback and direction on using binaural audio. The real trick to this game is helping the player to orient themselves in space using only stereo sound. Binaural audio is a better representation of how we locate sounds. Basically, our heads and back of our ears block out the higher frequencies. There is also a slight delay in the sound from one ear to the other that helps us to perceive what side the sound originates from. Unfortunately, there are no current realtime solutions to create binaural audio in Unity. A suggested work around was to render 12 slices of binaural audio and play them back based on the angle between the listener and the sound source. I took that approach for this game but I really don’t think it made that much of a difference in the end. It’s still difficult to tell if a sound is coming from in front or behind. I added a partial solution to this through the “sniff” button. If you sniff when you are facing the target a voice says “food in front”. I had intended the sniff feature to be an alternate sense that said things like “hurt me” if you were facing a bad person or “yum” when you were facing food. Sort of a simplified sensory cat language. This would be useful in the levels where you couldn’t rely on your hearing, such as if there was some food or a dead rat around that wasn’t also a sound source. You can play the game here.