A group of industrious Auckland University of Technology students have built a suite of games for the hearing impaired, and have taken to crowdfunding to expand the titles on offer. As of reporting, Audio Game Hub’s Kickstarter campaign has more than reached its funding goal, with 148% of its total contributed with 20 days still left to go.
Audio Game Hub released for free on iOS, Android, and PC earlier this year, and has since accumulated over 30,000 downloads with an average user review of 4.8/5.
Team leader and originator behind the project Jarek Beksa was performing a usability study on computer games with blind users, when one of them said: “Nobody makes games for us.” That simple statement galvanized the audio engineer and designer, and took him to the Auckland Game Development Meetup, where he met Unity developer Jeong Su Jeon.
“I didn't have any blind friends before I joined this project. You could say that I found this project by chance,” said Jeon. “Jarek was recruiting students to make games for visually impaired. Making games that relies [sic] mostly on audio instead of graphics sounded challenging but at same time very interesting so I decided to join Audio Game Hub team on the spot.”
Audio Game Hub started as a PhD research project, but after releasing it to the public in April and receiving multiple accolades – including the Representation Award at the Play by Play International Games Festival, and App of the Month from the Royal National Institute of Blind People – the team decided to expand the project.
By pledging to the campaign, users can vote on a selection of titles to add to the game. For a full run-down, head on over to the Kickstarter page. The Audio Game Hub is free to download on the App Store, the Google Play Store, and PC.