Quick Facts

Developer
Brian Fairbanks
Daisy Ale Soundworks
Western Australia

Release
Q4, 2020
PC, Switch
$14.99

Press/Story Angles

1. Game Mechanics and Accessibility

The game is built around blind accessibility; a sighted person and a blind person play the game at the same level of success. This is a natural culmination of the notion that most of a scent tracking dog's work is in the realm of scent and hearing. Sight is rarely relevant. As such, the players hearing is empowered in the game: when the player is walking, the dog's nose and ears are on the ground. Only the scent trail is sensed. When they stop walking, their head pops up, facing forward, and the player can hear for almost the entire level, forward in a straight line. Scent is represented by a low, pleasant humming sound.

2. One Person Studio

Brian is a one man team. He has taught himself programming and created everything in this game himself, with the exception of some of the animations and character models. A lot of projects begin this way, very few make it to completion. He has been able to do this because he has built the game around his strengths and origins in the industry: sound and music.

 

3. The Secret World of Blind Gaming

There's an invisible world of gaming most people don't know about: audiogames. The sighted world is so inadequate at meeting the needs of blind gamers that they had to create their own genre and fill it themselves. This anomaly is not present in any other business or hobby enterprise: an entire global community exclusively producing its own content.

Blurb

Lost and Hound puts you in control of Biscuit, the reluctant yet strong-willed scent tracking Corgi! With your massively powerful hearing and amplified sense of smell, you'll hunt down fleeing criminals, track people who are lost or in trouble, and solve mysteries using information that only you can access! Lost and Hound is built around the concept of full blind accessibility through game design.



 

4. Accessibility is Not Charity - It's Good Business

The current climate of accessibility in gaming is one that is unsustainable: we should create accessible experiences because it's inclusive and good. While this is true, gamdevs need to shift perspectives and think of creating accessible experiences as good business - you're opening up your potential audience to a larger pool of sales and community members. Accessibility is not including people - it's building a bridge so hordes of people thirsting for games can cross and access your content.

5. Creating Intrinsic Motivation

The hardest part about this game is getting people to want to complete quests. In other games, players are motivated to earn upgrades for equipment, skills and crafting to increase their own chances of success. Dogs are motivated by praise, love, toys and food. As I could not replicate those things to a player, I am relying on the idea that most players want to do good. The senses of a dog are superhuman - they're tiny superheroes walking around. Empowering players with that notion and marrying their gaming experience with opportunities to make the world a better place are what drives forth the narrative and intrinsic motivation to continue, joyfully.



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