Rock Vibe makes it possible for blind and sighted gamers to play a Rock Band-like game on their computers. At the end of the project, several 2-player systems will be donated to schools and centers for the blind.
A little background historyIn 2008 I created Rock Vibe with 2 other colleagues as a school project at UC Santa Cruz. The original game allowed blind gamers to play a version of Rock Band on their PCs by responding to vibrations on their arms.
Rock Vibe tested well with its users and was successfully presented and published at two conferences, including ASSETS SIGACCESS 2009 held by the Association for Computing Machinery and Games Beyond Entertainment 2010 in Boston. Game testers and people who've experienced Rock Vibe at conferences say that they would like to see the game fully developed.
How you can helpToday, the project needs funding for R&D, so I can improve the software and hardware to make it more user friendly, which should take about 12 months to complete. The funding will be used as follows:
- Find the best type of vibrating motors.
- Figure out where the vibrating motors should be placed on the body when playing with the Rock Band 3 guitar and drum kit.
- Test different types of electronic wearables to find out what gamers like best, such as gloves, belts and vests.
- Pay for custom PCB and enclosure manufacturing.
- Purchase new tools and update old software.
- Time. I work a lot and need to code every level manually.
- Purchase and test more Rock Band instruments. I've tested the Standard 3 guitar and drums on a Mac so far. PS3 and XBox versions are needed.
- Travel with the game to different schools and centers for the blind to test the game and get more user feedback to make the ultimate Rock Vibe.
- Run LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of game tests with TONS of participants, sighted and blind.
- Present the game at conferences.
- Donate systems to schools, centers for the blind and families. Preferably, I'd like to install and demonstrate the game in local locations because that's more helpful than providing a manual.
- Make Rock Vibe a 2-player game.
Why this project is importantOnce completed, this game will be the first of its kind to be available, and it will totally change the face of gaming! Today, there are no games like this for people who are blind, and many of the games that have been developed for them have no appeal to those who are sighted. Donating to this project will allow you to potentially be a part of a gaming revolution!
Final outputs of the project
- A wearable electronic device that connects to a user's computer and allows the gamer to feel vibrations on her body when she needs to hit a key or drum on a Rock Band 3 instrument, MIDI controller or computer keyboard.
- Rock Vibe software for Macs and PCs.
- A library of song levels, but players bring the music. Players can also stream online music using YouTube and other services through Rock Vibe if they don't own the music (This feature is in development).
- Several full systems will be donated and installed at schools and centers for children who are blind. The number donated depends on the total amount of funding.
Your support is greatly appreciated!! And, you can also support Rock Vibe by spreading the word.
Since songs are manually coded, I need a good starting point for coding them:
#1: Songs must be easy to find. I know you love that one-of-a-kind bootleg live track from that great obscure band (so do I!), but I need purchase power. Please ensure I can easily purchase MP3s of your suggestions.
#2: Songs should feature guitar and/or drums.
#3: Find the song on ultimate-guitar.com and look for the words "Guitar Pro" listed next to the song. If it's there, I can probably code it.
If for any reason I run into issues while coding a song, I'll contact you and ask for another suggestion.
If you're in a band, have the rights to your music, can provide fairly accurate guitar/drum tab and MIDI data, and would like to have your song included in Rock Vibe, please get in touch. I'd love to hear from you. It'd be great to feature some bands on the Rock Vibe website and share your music with gamers.
- (60 days)