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A jam submission

S.E.A.View game page

Chill watercraft simulator
Submitted by shiftBacktick — 3 hours, 21 minutes before the deadline
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S.E.A.'s itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Overall#33.8613.861
Sound#34.2224.222
Originality#34.2224.222
Accessibility#64.0004.000
Fun#73.0003.000

Ranked from 9 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Artist's Statement
Enjoy a relaxing oceanic atmosphere in an experimental watercraft. This game supports screen readers like NVDA. Please try the desktop build for the best experience with its audio and controls.

Creating this game was my biggest challenge yet. It tested my understanding of maths, physics, and user experience design. Every day I wrote a devlog about my progress, which you can find on the game page. Overall I spent about 90 hours building this game over 15 days. (When you're unemployed you tend to have a lot of time on your hands.) It was built from a modified version of my custom engine that powers my other audio games like soundStrider, Audo, and Kaleidophone. Its source code is released under the Unlicense and freely available on GitHub.

I wish I could say more, but you'll need to hear for yourself. Dive in and let me know what you think!

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

There are spoilers in my comment, but I can't find a way to hide them

So, at first I was completely lost. Then I read all the spoilers, did as I was intended to, and still was lost. Line about treasures caught my attention - but I didn't figure out, what are they like, or even how does sonar work (I got low-pitched result, moved a bit forward, and sound was high-pitched again...). This - with all the difficulty of finding my way only based only on collisions in 3d - left me trapped in a cave with no clue about what should I do. I, the treasure hunter, would like to see some tutorial on using sonar (at least like a first treasure generated really close), and some clue on where cave's exit is (I imagine it as constant whale's noises, that are coming from exit direction when you are in cave). But I've read your devlog and played other games you made, and I see that you are focused on atmosphere rather than gameplay, and these simplifications could, maybe, go against realistic feeling you are trying to make. Also I love that theme "secrets of depth" and how you are keeping them even in your devlog :)

Developer (1 edit)

Thanks for playing!

(Obligatory spoiler warning.)

Your idea that the first treasure should be spawned sooner is a great one that I’ll look into once the jam is over. It could even happen on the first scan. I also like the idea of indicating cave entrances and giving more cues to help orient players.

A huge challenge with this game was getting the frame rate to a stable place. With the world geometry being generated in real time, it’s difficult to handle questions like “what is the closest cave entrance?” or “is this sound occluded by something else?” when so much time is dedicated to collision detection. Given more time I certainly would have found better solutions to those problems so I could solve some of the issues you outlined. But for now, if you get stuck, you can start a new game without losing any of your loot!

I understand that navigation can be difficult. By the end of the jam it really clicked for me (in one sitting I got below 7,000m with dozens of treasures) but it’s wrong for me to assume that my successful session equals an accessible experience. For now I can at least explain how scanning works:

Basically it shoots rays out from you in 17 directions (that form a hemisphere ahead or behind you), finds the nearest solid surface, and then sequences their distances into a series of tones. The sequence is from top to bottom, with higher octaves above you and lower octaves below you. Louder tones mean they are closer. Then they’re positioned in a stereo field so you can construct a mental space (like “there’s a wall to my right but the ceiling is very high”).

You’re right that this should have been outlined in the manual, but I was having trouble articulating it with text. That means it probably needs some work to be more intuitive and explainable. With more time, an audio cue screen or a learning environment would definitely help too.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Developer

Hello! Blast from the past! I wanted to let you know that I’m finally working on a post-jam release that incorporates your feedback. I haven’t heard many updates from you in a while, so I hope you’re well. We’ll be hosting another audio game jam in the new year. I’ll try to connect with you once it’s on the calendar. It’d be cool to enjoy an update to Blinded or something new from you soon. Cheers!

Submitted

Many thanks for letting me know! I'll sure find time for the jam (if it won't be during my exams). Also, I have one demo about fractals and hope to finish it some time soon. Waiting for your update, I still think that your game is one of the most chill games