April 6, 2014 8:00 PM | John Polson
In The Blind Swordsman, players must rely on their ears to detect their opponent, moving, countering, and attacking when the time is right. Already a hit, the co-creator shares with me plans for a mobile version and possible sequel, with total accessibility considerations made for blind players.
Listening to your opponent's smack talk and his or her movements will keep The Blind Swordsman alive, battling through almost 10 fights against enemies wielding maces, daggers, and arrows. Other battles will include a horseman and some wolves. Each takes a unique blend of defending and attacking; learning the patterns will be key to winning.
Co-creator Jim Kidwell told me that The Blind Swordsman is actually not inspired by the Zatoichi films, which was my (wrong) guess. "Funny story, it started out as a joke, an April fools game but it started to just click and we liked it so much we decided to push the idea much further and make an actual game!"
Jim said that with the short development time, some ideas were left out such as being able to walk around or being able yourself to get close and back away from enemies. He says they chose to go with stationary fighting with turning instead for simplicity. Other ideas cut included visual vibration effects like seeing impacts that radiate outward from the shield and sword.
Jim also discussed ideas for a possible sequel and mobile port. "It would be interesting to go more in-depth in a sequel after seeing so much feedback from the players. The biggest complaint has been the lack of a tutorial that kinda explains everything in-depth, but we wanted to just kinda thrust them in blind (hah) and let them explore the games concepts on their own.
"We do plan to add blind player support, specifically on the mobile version coming in the future. We are going to experiment with gyro controls, so you can turn your body to face the enemies sounds and such. Might be cool!"