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Whack-a-Mole for the Visually Impaired. Luv Kohli COMP290-039 April 20, 2004. Images and sounds by Pat Friedl. Images and sounds by Pat Friedl. Images and sounds by Pat Friedl. Motivation. Lack of fun games for visually impaired children Children need exercise for muscle tone

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whack a mole for the visually impaired

Whack-a-Mole for the Visually Impaired

Luv Kohli


April 20, 2004

  • Lack of fun games for visually impaired children
  • Children need exercise for muscle tone
  • Educational – spatial reasoning
the game
The Game
  • Furry woodland creatures appear at random to pester the player
  • Based on the location creature sounds are coming from, the player hits the creature back into its hole
  • Fun and enjoyable game
  • Physical activity
  • Inexpensive equipment
the system 1
The system (1)
  • 4 USB mice that represent moles, connected to a PC via a USB hub
  • 2 speakers, one behind the leftmost mole, and one behind the rightmost mole
    • Panning is used to interpolate positions of other moles
the system 2
The system (2)
  • Written in C#
  • Using Single Display Groupware Toolkit (SDGT) from University of Calgary for multiple mouse input
    • http://www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/grouplab/software/SDGT/
  • DirectSound for sound output
why mice
Why mice?
  • Curiosity, as well as desire to evaluate the interface
  • Seems to give a natural, inexpensive solution
but there are issues
But there are issues…
  • Issues with the mice
  • Issues with getting multiple device input
  • Issues with using USB
  • Issues with using audio panning
issues mice
Issues: Mice
  • Buttons on mice can be difficult to hit with a bat
  • Solution is fairly simple
    • Put something on top of the buttons to give the user a larger target
issues multiple mice
Issues: Multiple Mice
  • Mouse is already a major input device for PCs
    • Having multiple mice can lead to problems in controlling the system
    • SDGT addresses some problems but still difficult to reconcile “system mouse” vs. other mice
issues usb
Issues: USB
  • USB devices are plug-n-play; no guarantee on the order in which mice are attached to the system
  • Implication: explicit calibration needed to determine relative order of mice (moles)
    • Makes accessibility difficult
issues audio panning
Issues: Audio Panning
  • Sometimes difficult to differentiate between 4 panning positions
    • 3 is easy
    • System currently set up with 4
  • Difficult to distinguish between locations of more than one sound: hard left and hard right at the same time sound like middle
  • Full spatial audio and mole placement might be better
    • Stomp-a-Mole with a DDR pad
  • Multiple-mouse interface is not ideal; webcam solution might be better
  • Multiple-mouse interface might be well suited to other types of games where each user has direct access to their own input device
    • Hungry hungry hippos! (maybe.)
enough negativity
Enough negativity!
  • Despite all the issues, it still works
  • Focus on making gameplay accessible, rather than calibration interface which is assumed to be done by someone else
game flow
Game Flow
  • First, calibrate system mouse and mole mice
  • Calibrate speaker panning positions
  • Train player through instructions (if required)
  • Currently 4 levels, with moles disappearing at increasingly faster rates
  • Only one mole at a time for now