As this weekend’s goal is to add sound effects to Project Spaghetti to enhance the experience and give the player more cues about what is going on, it’s important to address an accessibility issue overlooked as often as color-blindness. Based on where you look it up, anywhere from 10-20% of the population suffers from hearing loss, too big a number to be ignored. And with portable games, there’s also the possibility that the user has the volume off, so that further increases the number of people who won’t be able to rely on sound for game information.
One of the reasons we paired our sound effect tasks with particle effect tasks is to make sure that players always have visual signals to fall back on for the audio signals we introduce. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect solution because, at the end of the day, a sound allows information to enter a hearing player’s awareness even if they don’t see the source of information, while a visual solution requires their eyes to be on the source of information (sacrificing awareness of some other visual space). However, we’ll do our best to ensure that the game is playable, and, we hope, just as fun, without sound by making sure we always pair sound signals with visual signals.