I can hear the colors!!

If you’re reading this, chances are you aren’t blind, but in the event that you found out tomorrow that your wife is really your mother and were compelled to gouge out your eyes, you could at least take comfort in the fact that there are many computer games designed specifically for the blind.

The first of these “audio only” games I discovered was Sonic Invaders, which plays sort of like an auditory version of Missile Command; X,C,V,Space,N,M, and < control your 180° array of guns, and as you hear incoming ships on your headphones you hit the key corresponding to the ship’s angle to fire at it. Later ships shoot back, and you need to hit B at the right time to raise your shield and deflect their shots. There is information on the screen (score, lives, time to reload your guns), but it’s all redundant with information you receive aurally, and I think the game would be even more striking with no video at all. Sonic Invaders also has the bonus of being programmed in Greece, so both of the in-game voices (one male and one female) have sexy Greek accents.

Playing an audio-only video game (audio game?) with headphones on and your eyes closed is a remarkably relaxing experience, the likes of which I haven’t had since Cloud, and the extremely unusual mechanic of no-video has gotten the feverish project gnomes who work in my brain thinking their terrible creative thoughts…

Got a whole lotta shmups

Today marks the end of Shmup-dev.com’s “Horizontal Shooter With Boss” programming competition, and The2Bears.com has a handy overview of some of the entries. Some of these look very, very cool. Congratulations to everyone who entered! Hopefully this one will generate some more sponsorship and bigger prizes for future shmup programming competitions; I’ve heard good things about DarkBASIC, but giving someone a game programming tool as a reward for programming a game is like giving someone a free pie for winning a pie-eating contest. Honestly, though, I’m sure that the entrants were in it more for the exposure and the challenge than the prizes, and I would’ve been right in there with them if I’d heard about it more than two weeks ago.

And speaking of game creation contests, remember that there’s only ten days left in the Armor Gaming Challenge, and there’s only a month and nine days left in the New Grounds Pico Day Contest. So get a move on!

Update: The final results are in, and have been organized into a nice clean page here.

Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother

I would imagine that roughly a dozen Malcolm in the Middle fans are looking forward to Stay Alive. Perhaps there are even a few people who are waiting for the inevitable Stay Alive video game, in which you play a guy playing a video game. But what I’m waiting for is the Uwe Boll directed movie of Stay Alive: The Videogame!

The first time there’s a cutscene, I’ll be a guy watching a movie about a guy playing a game based on a movie about a guy watching an in-game movie in a game. At that point the entire game/movie industry will implode, throwing both film and video games into a new dark age where Man with a Movie Camera and Pong are considered the pinnacles of complexity, and my abilities to write ham-fisted movie scripts and program simple 2D video games will actually be marketable.

That’s what I’m waiting for.