Noisy Silence

The Essence:

Guide your avatar through a hand crafted story that will challenge and frustrate you as you interact with the wider world!

Will you go out of your way to meet others’ expectation or put yourself first?

This is a personal project developed in the hope of players gaining an improved understanding and empathy of the struggles Deaf people may face with everyday life.

You can play Noisy Silence on your Broswer, click this sentence.

The Trigger:

I wanted to create a game that represented experience and struggles of a Deaf person. The hope is to elicit empathy and understanding for d/Deaf people’s struggles while showing that they are people just like everybody else!

The Quest:

After experimenting with several approaches including Unity I decided that the story may be best told in written form so I selected to use Twine. This went against my original plan to create a game that is accessible for Deaf signers as I had hoped to integrate visual elements and signed sections.

The Heroine:

I had never used Twine before so I was excited for the opportunity to learn a new software. I ensured that I learned as much as I could with Twine so I could experiment with various mechanics that would offer unique insights to ‘Deaf Experience’.

I experimented with mechanics I had planned only to discover that it did not work well with Twine. On the other hand, the experimenting allowed me to discover what is possible and let me to create new approaches quickly. One of the mechanics I had originally visualised differently worked out beautifully with selectively blurring text to respresent struggle of lipreading.

The Wisdom:

While this personal prototype had been a huge success according to feedback that clearly showed that I have achieved my goal of creating an empathy game that represented experiences of Deaf people.

I had learned that it was very difficult, even impossible at the present time, to create a game that is accessible to many. I tried various way to add options such as font type, font size, colour contrast, even to add signed video clips for signers, and alternative controller inputs, the minimum of accessibility requirements I wanted to offer. In the end, while I am proud of what I have achieved, I am also disappointed about its severe limitations.

The plan is to continue developing the project though I have decided that I have achieved the most of what Twine have to offer so will be moving to Unity for future development; perhaps with Fungus.