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Author Topic: Games[CC] recruiting programmers  (Read 10286 times)

Reid

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Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« on: January 31, 2007, 01:10:41 AM »
Hi everyone,

Congrats on a successful contest in Game Accessibility. I work with Michelle Hinn in the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG, specifically dealing with closed captioning in games for the hearing impaired. I have a moderate to severe hearing loss and have worked in the games industry since 2003, with experience on 7+ games. Currently I'm at LucasArts as a designer. Aside from my professional work, I am looking for programmers who would like to assist me in the creation of tools and middleware software to aid developers in creating closed captions for games.

I designed the Doom3[CC] mod which was nominated for an award during the Independent Games Fesitival's 2006 Modding Competition. The mod adds closed captioning to Doom3 in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. It also features a visual sound radar to show sounds as blips representing a sounds location in the world. Here's a video of the mod in action.

Screenshots of Quake4[CC] to get an idea of what captions look like in game without downloading the video.

Video of me explaining what closed captioning in games is all about

I've got some great ideas to take closed captioning to the next level but I can't do this alone. If you are a programmer with experience in C++, XNA and databases this could be a fantastic project for the both of us. We can set THE standard for closed captioning and help ensure that everyone can experience games in full no matter what level of hearing they have.

Thanks for your time and game on!

-Reid
Games[CC]


mouser

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2007, 04:59:32 AM »
Welcome to the site Reid - looks like a great project.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2007, 05:00:07 AM »
As you may or may not know, we are working on a game engine here at donationcoder.com, while I won't go into the details of the engine, I'd like to tell you that mouser and I had a small discussion about accessibility in the engine before where we came up with the idea to attach a text field to each sound in the game. Something along the lines of:

Code: C [Select]
  1. class scSound
  2.   {
  3.   public:
  4.   scSound(std::string FileName="");
  5.   ~scSound();
  6.   Play();
  7.   Stop();
  8.   Pause();
  9.   Preload();
  10.   EnableCaption(bool value);
  11.   SetCaptionVolumeAlpha(char value);
  12.   SetCaptionVolumeGamma(char value);
  13.   SetVolume(char volume);
  14.   SetSound(std::string Filename);
  15.   // ... etc,...
  16.   private:
  17.   std::string m_Filename;
  18.   std::string m_Caption;
  19.   }

Note that this is just roughly how I have it in my head and this is not a real class yet, since the engine is no where near the point where we can start implementing this. In the actual engine this will probably not even take the form as a c++ class since we have our own objects/agents in the game, but it helps to explain the idea,...

If captioning were enabled by the user, the caption strings would show along with the sounds as they are played, for the duration of the sound, or a custom duration, and thus supporting captioning from the very initial design up, by linking it at the lowest level with sounds. SetCaptionVolumeAlpha/Gamma could adjust the caption's opacity/intensity in relation to the volume of the sound being played, Eg: a value of 0 = no sensitivity, do not change gamma/opacity, a value of 255 = no volume is completely transparent/dark and full volume is completely opaque,light.

I'd be VERY interested to hear your ideas of how to take captioning to the next level, so we can adopt more accessibility support in the engine from the initial design up, and even though we are no where near having to worry about this stuff yet, it's good to know what will be needed, so we can keep it in the back of our heads while doing the very initial steps.

mouser

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2007, 06:17:37 AM »
One thing you can see in the mod movie Reid posted was the "sound radar" which is quite interesting.
It does suggest that each sound should have a location in 3d space - which of course would be useful for modern spatial audio.  It does raise questions of alternative kinds of "locations" for sounds.  like some sounds might be point sources while others might be atmospheric and not spatially localized..

Gothi[c]

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2007, 06:42:00 AM »
Yes, the sound radar surely helps, I also think it is important to make the distinction between ambient sounds, sound effects, and dialog as shown in the movie.

Something that also might be possible is to actually show the text in 3d space, eg: when a bullet impacts a pool of water, show the text 'splash' on the place of impact, since this helps to better associate which sound is associated with which event, kind of like the old comic book style sound words:

pow.gif

Maybe you could attach a sprite like this(or just stick to plain text) to each sound and show them on the screen in relation to where the sound comes from, in addition to the sound radar.


mouser

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2007, 07:39:02 AM »
yes though i will point out that it seems the most need for captioning might be for sounds you cant see in front of you.  if you can see the object creating the sound it may not be critical to see a caption for it.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2007, 07:47:27 AM »
Right, but you could show the sound on the edge of the screen, eg: if it was coming from the left, show it on the left edge, from the right, the right edge, etc,... and you'd still have the sound radar

tinjaw

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 08:04:28 AM »
If you are a programmer with experience in C++, XNA and databases this could be a fantastic project for the both of us.

Hello Reid and welcome to the site. Although I have done some work in C++, I try to avoid it. :-) And XNA looks interesting. I plan on playing with Garage Games XNA version of Game Builder ASAP. However, I have been slowly sliding into the role of DonationCoder's resident Python zealot, and will be tackling pygame this weekend. Let's keep in touch and I will do my best to try and get anything you do wrapped and available in pygames. You can start by contacting me directly at chaim@chaim.com and providing me pointers to anything that currently exists and I will see what I can do to wrap that for pygame as well.

Reid

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Re: Games[CC] recruiting programmers
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2007, 10:09:05 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies tinjaw, mouser and Gothi[c]. I'll should be able to post more later tonight after work, though it's going to be a long day.