The Voice in the Garden
An Experiment in combining narrative and voice input for a healing experience
Available on iOS
The Voice in the Garden is a narrative-based game using player's voice as the main input to help to unfold the narrative. Players use their voice to explore the garden. A garden symbolizes their inner world. It is an experience for players to recognize and further regain the power of their voice, and a potential tool for increasing positive feelings of self-worth.
Players input with their voices according to different requirement to explore the dynamic narrative structure. By inputing their voice, user can replace the words in the story and eventually make the garden thrive again.
Player makes any sound Player control voice duration Control duration + volume
Advance to next level
Advance to next level
I worked with several talented engineers, writers, and composers to finish this project in 2013.
Why voice input?
The use of voice in the game is not meant to replace the functions of a physical controller but rather uses voice to strengthen the narrative experience to encourage players to find their voice, in both the literal and metaphorical sense. Voice represents a quality of ourselves, we use for communication, Personal Expression, different voice attributes convey different message. Even when language is not involved, laughter, wailing, humming, etc., these natural, human expressions are connected directly with emotional states. Voice has a twofold meaning - one is the voice created by our vocal folds, the other is our thought. The goal is to have a healthy voice, an ability to recognize and control our voice.
How do we adopt voice input?
The game configuration draws upon the concept of Melodic Intonation Therapy. It introduces the musical components rhythm and melody into therapy to help with the production of speech. Fundamentally, it uses a method of practicing different voice components separately and then gradually overlays the different components together. The concept is based on the similarity of music and language. It is suspected that by stimulating the right side of the brain, the left side will begin to make connections as well (Stacey L. 2005). For this reason, patients are encouraged to sing words rather than speak them in conversational tones. Even though the target audience for The Voice in the Garden is not people with physical neuronal damage, the idea of using melodic intonation to approach speech provides an alternative way of relieving some unvoiced problem in a player’s inner world. The understanding of the relation between singing, speech, and the production of voice serves as the basis to develop progressive steps of voice interaction naturally. Input with voice and seeing direct visual feedback is helping to integrate different sensory information.