If you’re interested in audio games, then Korta Interactive has a game called DeadFright that is slated to fully launch next year, but a demo is available to try out already. It’s a horror game that has been developed with accessibility heavily in mind to allows players to make use of 3D audio and bring a binaural audio experience to the player.
DeadFright is a survival horror played from a first-person perspective that uses dynamic and spatial sound within a 3D acoustic environment to bring the story to life along with gore and action. It contains no visuals and is told entirely through audio, yet still plays as a first-person experience utilizing either just the keyboard or keyboard and mouse.
It can also be played with a controller, which brings vibration to the experience. Full control remapping is to be available, and an assist mode should be on the way for those with motor or cognitive disabilities.
The story takes inspiration from horror legends from Latin America and also the real story of August Gottfried Knoche. Knoche was a German doctor who developed a liquid formula for embaling the dead that was “kept secret and lost in time.” The game takes place in a fictional town of Ravenford where the doctor’s daughter continues her father’s experiments but results in an outbreak of undead coming to life.
You’ll be able to explore the town, speaking to residents to learn more, and then as the story progresses and the zombies start breaking loose, you’ll either be fighting them or fleeing. Death results in you becoming one of the undead and hunting down residents instead. A trailer is available to listen to above.
DeadFright uses auditory landmarks, sound beacons, and contrasting acoustic environments to help with navigation. A compass is also available, and there’s a sonic version of a white cane to detect obstacles. Additionally, the sound of your footsteps will change depending on what surface you’re walking on. Additionally, the game makes use of Google’s Resonance Audio which replicates real sound waves interacting with human ears to add to the immersion.
Korta Interactive notes that blind accessibility was the main focus for the game, and on top of the gameplay experience, you can expect voiced menus, and step-by-step instructions.
There is a demo available to download and install which can be picked up on Itch.io. A Kickstarter has been started up following praise behind the demo, and at the time of writing, £843 has been backed out of the target £16,100. The studio also plans to increase the characters available in the story, and plans to hire voice over actors for the game will find those who are blind or with a visual impairment being prioritized for auditions. The Kickstarter details that it’s looking for 19 voice actors to help buff up the said story.
DeadFright looks to be releasing next year, potentially sometime in July 2021, with a beta planned for June 2021. It’s currently said to be coming to PC and Mac with what looks like no plans to bring the game to consoles at the moment.