Czech mobile game, which can be played by visually impaired, is getting English makeover

Důkaz 111

A successful Czech mobile game is now being re-developed into an English version for a global audience. Its developers say that its binaural audio system and simple swipe gameplay also make it fitting for visually impaired players.

Důkaz 111 is a mobile game developed by the Czech Studio Play by Ears. As the name of the studio betrays, Důkaz 111 is an interactive audio game, with an open-ended story that develops based on the choices the player makes throughout their journey.

A detective story with elements of horror, Důkaz 111 is set in the United States during the 1980s. The player takes control of policewoman Alice Wells, whose adventure starts off when she gets an anonymous phone call while on duty one night.

Důkaz 111 - první česká audiohra TEASER

The game came out in Czech last year and has received very good reviews from both critics and gamers. It has received praise not just for its immersive story but for its high-quality sound, based on binaural audio, a form of sound explained by one of the games developers, film sound technician Tomáš Oramus.

“It is basically a form of surround sound, which is activated when you use your headphones. Once you put them on, you get a feeling that the sounds really surround you, like in real life. When I played the game, I sometimes was not sure if the sounds, such as the closing of a door behind me, were in the game or happening in real life.”

Důkaz 111 | Photo: Play by Ears

The audio element also means that it can be played by blind gamers, who steer their investigation by swiping their screen upon receiving information via their headphones.

The game is the brainchild of Tomáš Oramus, who came up with the concept six years ago before teaming up with programmer Michael Zátopek and game designer Jaroslav Wanger to realise the vision. The story was written by Vladimír Mareček, a former Czech Radio script writer who currently works for one of the country’s most famous game developers - Warhorse Studios.

Now Důkaz 111 is set to be released in English for a global consumer base. According to Tomáš Oramus, who wrote his dissertation on the effects of sound in the overall effect of videogames, there are currently very few games which offer a high-quality experience also for visually impaired gamers.

“Many of these games are not even fun. They have a crudely inbuilt solution to make it work. An exception is for example the sequel to the successful video game The Last of Us. Its developers introduced a sophisticated and fully fledged version for the blind and otherwise visually impaired players.”

The game can be downloaded via the App Store, Google Play, or through the studio’s website playbyears.cz.

Authors: Tom McEnchroe , Alžběta Havlová
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