Global Game Jam 2013: Fear

March 01, 2013


My first Global Game Jam entry, designed to be played by the visually impaired/blind. The Jam site was at De Montfort University in England. After the jame I was approached by one of the GGJ judges about the inspiration behind the project as interest was expressed at its potential, and to learn more about it (the judge believed it could be a contender for best of category). While unfortunately it didn’t win it’s category in the end, it was awarded best of jam site something I was very happy with, as I was more interested in participation and what I could produce out of it than the competitive side.

The reason behind my category choice was in part because it was a very difficult category to build something that works well, but also because the site (which was also my university) specialised in working with the lesser-abled, and I wished to support them and attempt to provide a good representation for us as a first-time jam site.


  • Windows XP SP2 or later
  • Speakers/headphones
  • A mouse
  • Source only: Visual Studio 2013
  • Source only: Microsoft SAPI (speech API) v5.4


Binary: Download from Dropbox Source (VS2010): Download from Dropbox


Since the project required little/no visuals, the challenge came when designing something that would work from sound alone, wih even simpler controls. I quickly drew inspiration from games such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and several others; largely for their feature of audio spatialization and dark immersive feel. Amnesia in particular captured this well, as when being chased or sought after, sound will play for the player based on how close the threat is. This immediately struck me as a simple, yet perfect idea for a game.

For gameplay, I was inspired by Bit-Trip: Runner and similar arcade games in their idea that you follow 1 simple rule: dodge the objects that come towards you for as long as possible. This was perfect, it combined very simple, but tried and tested mechanics that solely used proximity as its gameplay.

The transition was a simple one; obstacles play a sound instead of being drawn, so the player listens for them coming instead of watching for them coming. Identical gameplay, but perfect for those who were unable to see either well or at all.