An upcoming indie title Blind Fate: Edo no Yami looks to take players on a journey through a cyberpunk Japan as a blind protagonist and is a game that has been in development for the last two years. In a new Unreal Engine interview more information about the game is shared and seems to point to a lack of consultation from blind players until a demo became publicly available.
The interview with developer Troglobytes Games starts with an explanation from Unreal which describes the game, “As a samurai, your only job is to obey orders and kill. The only problem? You’re completely blind.” It’s also noted that the developer is one of the recipients of the Epic MegaGrant scheme.
Blind Fate: Edo no Yami was apparently inspired by the team’s tabletop RPG activities. The detail that they played “RIFTS to push the boundaries of our creativity: telling stories with characters like techno cowboys, Victorian space vampires, Psi-knights, and cyber-samurai.”
This led them to “start thinking about how a blind protagonist could perceive the world and the surrounding enemies within it.” and that the idea of a “wired brain connected to some kind of sensor would be the perfect solution.”
It’s explained that players will utilize sensors to “reward players” to explore their surroundings and avoid the dangers of the Old Data that are hidden from them. An example of the sensors in play is detailed, including the heat sensor, sound sensor, and smell sensor.
“By switching on the hearing sensor, a vent may appear and become interactable, allowing the player to proceed to the next room. In another level, Yami will jump from one moored boat to the next one. But because he only sees the world through old data, a couple of boats may have disappeared. Luckily, by using the hearing sensor, Yami can detect which boats are still there to jump on because they produce a noise, hitting the nearby piers.”
Other examples of the sensors detail visible sound waves for lore fragments that emit sounds. Another is switching to a mini-game sensor that targets weak spots in combat and “simulates the fact that, despite his blindness, Yami can discover and deliver powerful blows”
One of the questions asked by Unreal about Blind Fate: Edo no Yami is asking whether Troglobytes games worked with any blind players to recreate their experiences. Several paragraphs detail how the team went about simulating blindness in engine and playing with various mechanics. Then it was revealed that after a demo went public, “a couple of blind users who played the game reached out to us in our Discord and gave us some precious feedback.”
Visual and Audio Cues
Troglobytes Games also mentions that it “had to make visuals work in conjunction with audio” and while on-screen visuals take place, sound effects also occur to “give you a hint of what’s happening.”
It’ll be interesting to find out more about Blind Fate: Edo no Yami and whether or not the game includes accessibility by design or additional features. A playable demo is available for the title on Steam as well.