Abstract Details

Guth Eile (Another Voice)

Title of the game: Guth Eile (Another Voice)

Genre: Single player puzzle game with minor platforming that teaches the Irish sign language.

 

Target audience:

The target audience for the game would be deaf children, children with deaf siblings (target age of 7 to 13) or relatives and people interested in the Irish sign language or culture.

 

Game Design in Short:

Guth Eile is structured as a puzzle game with minor platforming (similar to Limbo and Inside). The short demo illustrates how puzzles would work in the game as well as how the platforming fits the game.

At the moment our game focuses on teaching the letters F, I, R, E by using two puzzles that require the player to sign the words ‘Fire’ and ‘Free’ in order to progress through the game. We chose these words because they were relevant to the puzzles in the game. Because we are focusing solely on teaching the alphabet and not specific words we thought it would be more important to teach words that made sense in the game. This hopefully creates a more immersive experience while still reinforcing the learning of the ISL alphabet.

The first level requires the player to sign letters of the word FIRE, when they do this correctly at each fire pit the fire is lit, and the player can progress further in the game. At the end of the first level the player must sign F-I-R-E and light their torch which is used to get through the cave in the next level.

The second level teaches the word FREE; this level is made to reinforce the letters F-R-E that the player has learned before. This is to ensure that the player really knows these letters before the introduction of new letters. When the player signs F-R-E-E they open a gate that frees them from the cave, and they move onto the next level.

In the next iteration of the game we will add more levels. The next level that will be added will teach the word WATER. This word has two letters that have been taught before: E-R and will teach three new letters: W-A-T. We will continue to add new words in the game and slowly introduce new letters of the alphabet while continuously reinforcing letters learned in previous levels.

Controls:

  • Move: WASD or Arrow Keys
  • Jump: Space bar
  • Choose Signs: Mouse Click

 

Relevance to the conference:

This game was created by students from Technological University Dublin. Our main goal for the game is to promote the learning of Irish sign language to young children between the ages of 7-13. While researching the study of sign language we found that people begin by first learning the alphabet, this is why we chose to focus on teaching of the alphabet in our game. From our games market research, no other majorly popular games are designed with this subject in mind, especially for the Irish sign language. There are some ways in which ISL is taught to children, such as videos and apps but there are no games that are similar to ours on the market. We have talked with people from the deaf and hard of hearing community in Ireland and found that there is a market for a game like Guth Eile. We found that while video games are very popular among children, many children do not enjoy the idea of playing ‘educational games’. We hope to create a game that does not feel like you are sitting down to study sign language, but rather sitting down to play a really fun game that just happens to teach sign language as well.

Key objectives for the game:

This game was created for young children who want to learn the basic alphabet of ISL. For example, siblings of children with hearing difficulties, or children who know someone with hearing difficulties. By playing this game children would learn the ISL alphabet which would enable them to communicate with people with hearing difficulties. We also hope that the game will spark an interest in going on to learn more ISL. We wanted to create a game that was fun but still taught children something valuable.

Although the game is aimed at children who know members of the deaf and hard of hearing community, we hope that other children with no previous interest in learning ISL would learn by playing this game and therefore make communication more accessible for people with hearing difficulties.

Future Goals:

In the future, we plan to have a full game about 6-8 hours long that teaches the full alphabet following the same formula or platforming and puzzle type presented in the demo. In time we would be able to add in different sign languages such as British Sign Language, American Sign Language and more to make this game accessible to multiple different sign languages. We hope to add an accessibility menu with the ability to change the controls to suit the player, the ability to use normal controllers and modified controllers as well as colour-blind modes, different difficulty levels and other accessibility features. We also would like to port the game to mobile so that it is more easily accessible to play to those without PCs.

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