Inspiration

While inspecting our available resources, we brainstormed ideas of interesting uses for our surround sound headphones. We thought of creating an audio-immersive game based on the principles of echolocation that bats use to navigate.

Rundown

The game is played from a top-down view where the camera follows a bat in the center of the screen. The forward direction of the bat points to the location of the cursor. The 'W' and 'S' keys are pressed to accelerate forward and backward respectively. The 'A' and 'D' keys are pressed to strafe left and right respectively.

Although the bat and its surrounding obstacles are displayed on the screen, the purpose of the game is to navigate the bat through audio feedback alone. Putting on a surround sound system, the player will receive three different audio cues.

Where you hear bat screeching points to the direction of the nearest obstacle in any direction. The loudness indicates proximity.

Where you hear sonar beeps indicates the proximity of the nearest obstacle directly in front of the bat.

Where you hear mosquito buzzes points to the direction of the goal. The loudness indicates proximity.

The goal of the game is to reach the mosquito and have a tasty snack without losing all your hit-points from colliding with obstacles.

Technology

The games uses OpenGL to render 3D graphics, OpenAL to render multi-channel audio, and Java to implement the game.

Ray tracing and other geometric algorithms are used to control both sound and game logic.

Appeal

Bat Simulator offers a unique challenge to the player by relying on their sense of hearing as opposed to vision. This games reflects the world of the visually impaired and the level of difficulty reflects their surprising hearing capabilities.

This game is also fun and silly.

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