Blinding Silence is a sound-based puzzle game as viewed through the ears of a blind man that can see sound.
It was developed by a team of four Worcester Polytechnic Institute students as a Major Qualifying Project. The original idea for the game (that of seeing sounds as light) was proposed by the team in May 2009, and design and development occurred from September 2009 to May 2010.
Starting at the end of August 2010, one of the developers resumed development of the game to polish it for submission to the 2011 IGF competition.
- Unique visual style
- High-quality motion capture animations
- Physical control scheme
- Open-ended puzzle solution
For an in depth look at the game, please read our final report.
With unique “sonar vision,” puzzle elements come to life in a system of interacting elements. A wave of darkness has fallen over the land, and as the light wanes, so too does free will. Humans are mindlessly repeating the same motions forever. The player controls a blind man saved by chance, influencing the mindless humans through sonic interaction, altering their tasks in order to solve puzzles. The player solves puzzles, breaks the crystals keeping the world in thrall, and helps to bring light back to a land of darkness!
The game is controlled using two Wii-remotes. One allows the player to physically swing his cane and hit objects in the world, creating sound. This wiimote also has a Nunchuck attached for movement control and other player interactions.
The second wiimote is mounted in front of the player. When paired with a set of infrared goggles, this wiimote allows for simple head tracking to control the player's camera.
For IGF submission, a keyboard and mouse control scheme was added to allow anyone to play without needing to setup the physical interface.
The player is blind but can see the world through the use of Sonar Vision. All sound in the world is visible, and the louder the sound, the brighter the visibility of the object to the player. Sound sources generate spherical wavefronts that move through the world, illuminating to the player everything they hit.
The player is guided by his trusty talking cane, Zimri. Beyond just making witty remarks about the things they pass, Zimri helps the player by pointing out important features of the world. At the end of each level is a crystal. The player's goal is to find and smash enough crystals to reverse the effect they've had on the world.
To get to the crystals, the player must manipulate the people around him by hitting objects to make sounds. Each type of sound (wood, stone, metal, etc) is represented by a different color, and certain types can force anyone within range of the sound to change thier task.