Guth Eile - Another Voice, is a 3D platformer with the aim of teaching Sign Language
Guth Eile translates from Irish to English as 'Another Voice'. Guth Eile was made with the intention to teach the Sign Language alphabet. The player must solve puzzles in order to progress through the game by using the magic of Sign Language. This game is still in development. At the moment Guth Eile teaches Irish Sign Language, we intend in future to add the alphabets of British Sign Language, American Sign Language and other Sign Languages to make our game even more accessible. At the moment our game prototype teaches the letters F,I,R and E.
Before beginning the development of our game we spoke with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in our area. There seemed to be great interest in a game that taught Irish Sing Language (ISL) as there is no similar game in the market that teaches ISL. We learned that people begin learning the alphabet first, before learning anything else so this is why our game solely focuses on the ISL alphabet. We also assumed that because there is not many games for learning ISL, then this might also be the case with other Sign Languages, which is why in future we will be adding more sign languages to our game.
From our research we determined that focusing on a younger audience would be the best way to go. We aimed the game at children who had siblings or other family members who were deaf or hard of hearing so that they would be able to communicate with them using Sign Language. We also hope that children who do not have relatives or friends from the deaf or hard of hearing community would also learn some sign language therefore, making the world more accessible for the members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in the future.
Because we aimed our game towards children we kept the game play very simplistic. We also wanted to make sure that it does not 'feel' like you are learning. This is why the alphabet is not taught in order, but rather taught in a way that it makes sense in the game. You are using Sign Language to solve puzzles rather than a learning exercise.
The first order of letters that you learn are F-I-R-E in order to light your torch. Then, F-R-E-E in order to free yourself from the cave. The same letters are repeated but in different words so that they are reinforced in the player and that they remember the letters as they go on through the game.
The player is shown the sign letters for F, E, R and I and they must chose the right letter for each puzzle. There is a help menu that the player can access easily if they do not know which letter is which.
Later on in development we will slowly add more letters into the puzzles so that eventually every letter in the alphabet is in the game. For example, the next level will use the word WATER, which still uses the same letters as before E and R, but teaches new letters W, A and T, so they player learns new letters slowly as they go along and continue to practice and reuse old letters so that they are constantly learning.
Each level is based around a puzzle.
The first level is set outside in the mountains. The player must jump across the platforms and light the torches in order to progress.
The second level is set inside a cave. The player has a torch. The player must open the gates to free themselves from the cave.
We used post processing to create dynamic lighting and used cinemachine on the camera.
The levels are very simple at the moment as they are introduction levels that are teaching the player new mechanics. More levels and puzzles will be added upon further development which will teach new letters and they will get more difficult as the game progresses.
Most models were made using Blender or pro-builder. The crystals in the second level were downloaded from the asset pack 'Toon Crystals Pack' (Claymanstudio, Unity Asset Store). The hand model was acquired on Blend Swap. The fire particle affects are from the asset pack 'Tiny Fire VFX 1.0' (Unity Asset Store). (Links below).
This game was a group collaboration between three team members. We used the website Trello to organise jobs as we went along.
We also used asset lists to keep track of the assets needed in the game. Not all the assets made it into the prototype but will hopefully be used in further versions of the game
Hand model (Blend Swap): https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/17297