Here’s a brief summary of what’s going on in LudicVoice this semester:
Following the lessons learned from Ethereal about the difficulties surrounding audio in the iPad, LudicVoice (presently, Ian Arawjo, Jason Camlot and FX Dupas [with consultation assistance from Michael Fortin and Pierre-Alexandre Fournier]) is working on a new iPad project, a close-listening and sound puzzle game called JARBLES. The simple childhood games of Jacks and Marbles were the inspiration for the tangible interface by which the audio samples are delivered to the players in this two-player game. In the first phase of the game, eight pointy jacks are repositories of sample fragments. The two players must collectively listen closely to the samples and figure out which two jacks can combine to magically metamorphose into a marble. It’s very satisfying when you figures out which sounds go together and the Jacks turn into a marble. The principles determining which jacks go together can only be discovered by listening for qualities of amplitude, melody, pattern, and other sonic features. Once the eight jacks have been marbleized (into four marbles), the second phase of the game begins. Players find themselves on opposite sides of an interface that resembles an air hockey table, a marble shooting gallery. Each player can shoot (marbles) at the four sonically charged jacks-turned-marbles (Jarbles). Players compete against each other to shoot at the four Jarbles in the correct order, triggering the complete sample sequence as it is meant to be played. The first player to hit the marbles in the right order and complete the proper sequence of sounds, solves the sound puzzle and wins the game.
Ian Arawjo has done some amazing work in getting the game mechanics working well enough to play test. AND, THE SOUND IS WORKING! FX has developed a couple of preliminary test sound puzzles, one exploring melodic patterns, and another exploring a synthesized ‘documentary’ sound. We held our first playtest session on Wednesday, October 24th and reveived excellent feedback on the initial interface and audio play, feedback we will use to refine the game as development continues.
Thus far the game has been designed in simple b/w line art, thus far. The icon below is a preliminary sketch (developed by Taylan Ülgar) for an art theme that may eventually be integrated into the game, and that certainly may be used as a splash screen when we ship the game in the winter of 2013.