You don't want this version. It is ancient. Instead use Hark3
Hark The Sound is a really simple sound game intended for young kids who are visually impaired. It was inspired by my friend and colleague Diane Brauner and was written by Gary Bishop. It is free for educational and fun use.
The object of the game is to name a sound or tune that is presented as a prompt. A typical round in Name That Animal goes like this:
When Hark The Sound first starts it says "Use the left or right arrow keys to choose a game to play." Using the arrow keys you can move through and hear the choices for games (listed below). When you hear a game you want to play, use the up arrow key to select it.
The Escape key (often labeled ESC in the upper left corner of the keyboard) will quit the current game and return to the game selections.
All the games follow the same general pattern as described above of Question, Prompt, Answers, Reward. Games that ship with version 1.2 of Hark The Sound include:
We are trying to make it really easy to make a new game for Hark The Sound. Instructions are also included in the game.
The screen shot above shows the user interface. The player doesn't have to use any of this. The games starts up ready to play using only the arrow keys and the Escape key. The controls allow the teacher to adjust the game to suit the needs of different children.
Key Delay determines the number of seconds between key presses. This is for kids who have difficulty with pressing the key only once. After a key press, further presses of the key will be ignored for the number of seconds you set on this control.
Choices determines the number of choices the player will be given on each round. The default of 4 seems about right for most kids but you might want to simplify the game for some players by reducing the number of choices.
Pair answers with prompts will play both the prompt sound (i.e. the dog barking) along with the answer (i.e. the word "dog"). This might be useful for kids learning the words.
Repeat each roundwill repeat the rounds of the same. So, for example if on the first round, the choices were dog and cat. On the second round they will also be dog and cat, instead of going on to more choices as normal.
Voice allows you to change the voice used for the computer generated speech. On Windows 95 only the "Kal" voice will work. If the installer succeeds in installing the other voices, you should see "MSMary", "MSMike" and "MSSam" as voice choices. Try them out.
Volume allows you to adjust the main system volume control. You may also need to adjust the volume for "Wave" before starting the game.
Quit exits the game.
Play is used for JAWS compatibility. You should not need it otherwise.
Yes, with a trick. I wanted the keyboard to be "locked" during play so that inquisitive fingers don't accidentally change settings. But I also wanted JAWS users to be able to configure the game. The game will start with the keyboard locked. JAWS will announce "Hark The Sound" and then be silent. To unlock the keyboard press and hold Control and Shift and then press TAB. You should hear JAWS announce the "Key Delay" control. Now, you can use TAB just as in other programs to move between controls. You can also use the arrow keys and the space bar as normal. When you're ready to resume play, TAB to the "Play" button and press space. Now you'll be ready to play the game in the normal way. This can easily be changed, let me know if you have some better idea.
After installing it, you can run the game just like other Windows applications. Click-on Start, then Programs (or All Programs on some systems), then Hark The Sound, then Hark The Sound
You can download the game free from this web site. The download is about 15 megabytes and unfortunately does not include everything you need. Detailed instructions are included below for downloading the components and installing them on various versions of Windows. When you are prompted during the installs described below, it should always be safe to just click on the Next button.
We have CDs with all of this stuff on them. We understand that downloading 20 megabytes can be awfully difficult for many potential users of Hark The Sound. If you simply cannot download this much and you can't find anyone with a CD you can borrow or copy, send email and we will find a way to get a CD to you.
Now the game should be playable with several voices.
Now the game should be playable with multiple voices.
Unfortunately, I cannot get the Microsoft voices to work on Windows 95 so you'll be stuck with the default "Kal" voice.
But we're working on it.
Hark The Sound is free for educational use. Further, you can make copies to give away to your friends. Your school can have as many copies as you like. Anyone can use it for any purpose as long as you do not sell it. Our goal is for kids to have fun!
You can download a really simple overlay for use with Intellikeys. My teacher friends tell me that they have had great success using the games with kids with multiple handicaps.
We would be very happy to hear about ways you are using Hark The Sound or your suggestions for how to improve it. If you make a new game for it, please send it to us and we'll share it with others.
Send email to gb @ cs.unc.edu.
This page last updated: 5 December 2003.