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Friberg, J., & Gärdenfors, D. 2004, June 3–5 Audio games: New perspectives on game audio. Paper presented at Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology '04, Singapore. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (7/19/06, 3:42 PM)   
Resource type: Proceedings Article
BibTeX citation key: Friberg2004
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Categories: Sound Design
Keywords: Listening modes, Sound objects
Creators: Friberg, Gärdenfors
Publisher: (Singapore)
Collection: Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology '04
Views: 4/671
This paper discusses the design of audio games, a quite new computer game category that originates from games for players with visual impairments, as well as mainstream music games. In the TiM project (Tactile Interactive Multimedia), SITREC develops three sound-based games that point out new directions for game audio design. The TiM games demonstrate different ways in which games can be designed around an auditory experience. Several unique features of audio games are presented emphasising unexplored potentials for interactivity and future development areas are suggested.

SITREC proposes an approach to interface design that takes three listening modes into consideration: casual listening, semantic listening and reduced listening. A semiotic model is presented that illustrates this view on sound design, as well as ways in which sounds can be combined. The discourse focuses on issues of continuous display, musicality and clarity, and introduces the notion of spatialised game soundtracks, as opposed to separated background music and game effect sounds.

The main challenge when developing auditory interfaces is to balance functionality and aesthetics. Other important issues are the inclusion of meta-level information in order to achieve a high level of complexity and to provide elements of open-endedness. This refers to planning the overall gameplay, as well as to designing individual sound objects and combining them into complex, interactive soundscapes.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  
Makes use of semiotics of sound, Chion and Schaeffer's sound objects for designing an audio game. TiM incorporates Chion' (1994)s causal, semantic and reduced listening modes.

The authors argue that mainstream games (i.e. audiovisual games), while making use of causal and semantic listening modes, make little use of the reduced listening mode; a greater use of this last mode would make the game experience more immersive and open-dended. Unfortunately, they do not elaborate upon this.

NB - 'causal' listening is referred to as 'casual listening' throughout the paper!

Chion, M. (1994). Audio-vision: Sound on screen C. Gorbman, Trans. New York: Columbia University Press.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
   Comparing auditory displays to visual art, the authors point out that there is a lack of established conventions that would lead to subjective interpretations and challenges for the player. In visual games, this is lack is further compounded by the trivialisation and simpliying of audio content when compared to visual content. "...the simplification [does not] make use of the large potential of sound as a provider of interactive content."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
   Sound objects can "carry different layers of information in addition to their primary functional aspects. This meta-level information is subjective and not always based on established agreements with the player, as functional information generally is."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
   "All interface design is about establishing agreements between the designer and the user." These are the basis for conventions and audio, generally, has a lack of such conventions when compared to visual arts.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
   Their taxonomy of game sound is presented as a way to "emphasise the differences between various auditory messages" in their games.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
   5 categories of sound in the author's TiM audio game:

  1. Avatar sounds -- footsteps etc. made by the player's avatar. Usually in centre of sound field.
  2. Object sounds -- indicate presence of objects.
  3. Character sounds -- Non-player character sounds.
  4. Ornamental sounds -- Ambient music, atmosphere sounds - not directly connected to the action.
  5. Instructions -- such as speech/advice.
  Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
   The authors use Chion/Schaeffer terms to modify Scott McCloud's semantic model for cartoons to a semantic model for sound (McCloud, S. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: Harper Collins Publishers Inc. 1993):

(The dotted line is the border between speech and non-speech sound.)

NB - 'causal' listening is referred to as 'casual listening' throughout the paper!   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
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