Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Audio Games for the Blind

Brandon's been working hard on creating video games, sometimes with excellent support from me, and sometimes with zero patience from the old ball and chain.

This weekend was a no patience kind of time. I've been working to death on my first ever summary judgment motion, which I finally turned in on Friday. It was 33 pages long (written  entirely by me, with some snippets from cases and laws thrown in), accompanied by two affidavits, six affidavit exhibits, 55 pictures and 2 hours of video footage that all had to be analyzed, collated, numbered, duplicated, proofread, and finally shipped off by yours truly. So I wanted a weekend to party down with my Bran muffin, play video games, eat a ton of pizza, and go to sample day with my buddy.

Brandon wrenched this all away from me by making plans (well in advance and which I was well aware of) to participate in a group "game jam" this weekend with his Cleveland video game designer group.

My big accomplishment this weekend was thus making a super snug nap cave.

I may not have been the first one in the family with this idea. Oddly enough, the Diet Dr. Pepper has no effect on Greta's ability to sleep 20-22 hours a day.
Unfortunately, the pads are too small to stretch your legs out all the way and you wake up feeling totally horrible, but something about it also induces huge, happy naps that last for hours. 

Anyway, so Brandon came home every once in a while and I'd try to entrap him into staying. He did go to lunch with me on Saturday, but for the rest of the time, kept his eye on the prize, much to my horror.

It occurs to me that it might be nice for Brandon to have a patient, loving and unconditionally supportive wife. Maybe if the IVF kills me, he'll be luckier the next time around.

So...the theme for the games that all these groups were getting together to work on was the sound of a beating heart. Creep.y.

My one supportive act this weekend was to suggest a theme based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Telltale Heart aka a poem that has permanently made me uncomfortable with the sound of a beating heart--even if it's my own.

My suggestion was to have it be something along the lines of whack a mole, but with the murderer having all these hearts pop up from underground and he has to kill them before they make him go crazy. (It's not my fault that everything I imagine is horrible.)

Brandon actually liked my idea, and took it one step further to create a game that was designed specifically for the visually impaired. He commissioned one of the team artists to create floating "insanity" pictures that had nothing to do with the game, so a non-visually impaired player wouldn't be totally unstimulated, but then the artist flaked so when you play it, you see a pulsating red and black screen and nothing more. He made the sound so it interacts with a stereo speaker system (it works with headphones and to some degree with computer speakers as long as they have a stereo type output.) You hear the heartbeat and touch (or click) the part of the screen that it's coming from. You can play it here.

I have it on good authority that if you play it and give it a good rating, you will get a cookie from Brandon.

I'm so proud of Brandon for his hard work and for always working to learn new code languages and for putting in hours and hours working toward his goals.

Hey--retroactive support is better than none :)

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