September 4, 2016

ASMR Universe

Tags: A Gamedev Plays

This post is from the now defunct website “A GameDev Plays…”, copied here for posterity

ASMR Universe, what is it? I don’t think it is a game, instead it is a tool for creating soundscapes. It is very simple and very roughly constructed, but maybe something certain people want.

The idea behind this program is simple. A cartoonish avatar of the user (dog, cat, fox, …) is placed at the centre of the screen. Then various short sound samples are played in the 3D space around the avatar and the result is piped to the speakers as if the sound was coming from that location. Multiple samples can be placed and adjusted for pitch, speed or volume. The resulting soundscapes can be recorded or saved for later. That is it.

The documentation for the program suggests that it can be used to create relaxing sounds that could make the listener tingle. Some of the 80 samples provided work towards this aim. In fact I quickly created a couple of relatively relaxing soundscapes from slow bass and nature samples. However, it is hard to understand the thinking behind some of the stranger samples, like a man screaming or various sirens. Not sure I want to meet the person who finds that relaxing. Apparently it is possible for users to add more samples.

This is it

The program feels quickly cobbled together. There is very little polish and most functionality is barebones. For instance, the load dialogue displays a scrollbox so large that none of my saved soundscapes were shown. I had to scroll around for a while to find them. This is a program that does one thing and does it at best adequately. I find it hard to recommend, but it does do exactly what it says. Personally I prefer listening to music, but maybe there are people would appreciate the ability to create simple soundscapes, if so this I can state, this program works.

ASMR Universe is out on Steam for PC only at US$2.99 (Steam page). It has been bundled many times.

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