Independent digital specialists Somethin' Else
and Channel 4'
s digital investment arm, 4iP
, have created the first mobile game using fully dynamic binaural sound. Described as the IMAX of audio, the binaural experience is created by building a model head with microphones for ears. Short bursts of noise are then beamed at the head from 1,000 different positions and then recorded to create a 3D audio experience that wraps around the listener. Check out an example here
'Papa Sangre is solely about sound. It is the first time that genuine real-time, 3D, spatialised audio has been implemented on a mobile device. It'll be different for every player, too; the pictures in your mind will be different from everyone else's because audio can stimulate the imagination instead of replacing it,' says Paul Bennun, director of digital, Somethin' Else.
With iPhone in hand and ear phones plugged into your lugs you can dive into this 90-minute psychological zombie thriller set in Papa Sangre's evil mysterious palace, with the objective of saving the soul of the person you love. The game is set in complete darkness and the player has only sound to navigate through the story, aided by vibrations and movements. Guided by audio alone, the player must avoid man-eating monsters, navigating vast open spaces and small cramped holes. Objects and musical notes can be collected long the way - these can either help or hinder the player and add to the richness of the sonic landscape.
To win, the player must find a way out of Papa Sangre's evil dark kingdom and break through into the light.
The game is scarily aware of the environment with predators listening to every footstep, making the user conscious of where they play. Soft grass or thick carpet will muffle footsteps and let users explore in peace. Harder surfaces are noisier, broadcasting every move to hungry hunters who patrol the palace.