This episode was recorded on March 27, 2017, on WPRK FM. Listen to the whole conversation in the player above, or click on the links below to go to a specific segment of the show!
Take a minute out of playing that video game and just close your eyes. Listen for a minute. What’s the game telling you through sound? What is it making you feel? What if you couldn’t see, or had poor eyesight, or were colorblind. Could you still play?
Before I met Brian Luft at Otronicon, I didn’t ask those questions.
A composer and sound designer, Brian decided to quit his job and develop a completely audio-based game late last year. Along with that very ambitious goal (he’s the first to admit that he isn’t a developer), he participated in a weekend game jam through Indienomicon to create games for students at the Conductive Education Center of Orlando.
Specializing in kids with motor skill challenges, this led to further insight and research on accessibility issues, especially through how to control a game.
That’s just scratching the surface of video game accessibility – And who Brian Luft is. Learn more about him by not just listening to the show, but also to the music he’s composed.
And here are some of these resources and people that helped me get a better understanding of the issues:
- The 2017 Game Accessibility Conference
- Ian Hamilton
- Tara Voelker’s #GAConf presentation
- Forrest DeBlois
- How a blind man plays mainstream video games and the future of accessibility in games
- CECO School
1:50 – Get to know Brian a little better with a rousing round of Sound or Fury. Play along at home!
7:07 – In depth on zombies and Walking Dead. Who’s this Negan guy? An anti-hero?
20:02 – Digging into some of the games Brian has worked on, and how they address accessibility.
31:08 – Starting a game. What does the sketching process look like?
36:10 – Pop quiz! Dinosaurs, Star Wars: Rogue One, Wrestlemania! Really get into wrestling.
43:50 – The time for Bad Business Ideas™ is finally here. The all audio version.
55:04 – Not only is his favorite band Queen, but the band was a major reason Brian got into composing.
1:04:28 – Underwater. Echolocation. Volcano. A full description of the functionality and the gameplay of Brian’s game.
1:10:40 – How does a composer address writer’s block? Brian explains.
1:16:00 – We go to college! Well, Brian goes to college. Technically he went to college.