Hi,
Like I said to Dark changing the pitch, adding an item in the sound descriptions menu, etc is all easy stuff to do if it is something simple like trying to figure out if you are being hit by a yellow fireball or a purple fireball or figuring out if you are fighting a gray wolf or a black one. I only used that as a simple example of something that could be easily resolved. Some things in mainstream games aren't as easily resolved. For example, a number of years ago, before I lost my sight, I played this game that would allow you to press a button and it would display a graphical map of the rooms and corridors you have already explored. Adding a similar feature to an audio only game is problematic. How exactly do you translate a fully graphical map into an audio format that can be easily understood by a blind player? One solution that GMA uses in games like Shades of Doom is to print a copy of the map out on a braille printer. That certainly makes the map accessible, but that method requires the end user to own a braille printer and paper to use that feature. It isn't exactly a cost effective way to relay the same information a sighted player can get at one glance. The game can save the map to a text file and the player could view it on a braille display, but that assumes the player has a braille display to use. Again that isn't a cost effective or catch all solution either. Finally, there is the audio map used in Sarah that gives you a rough idea where things are by using sounds. Unfortunately, no matter how much I try I can't quite figure out where exactly things are by using the audio map. So it falls short of conveying the information it was intended to.


Clement Chou wrote:
Well I kind of figured that, and that makes sense. I do agree that having a key tell you what everything is would slow down the gameplay. But could you, say, have an option for sound descriptions in the main menu or something, like most other accessible games. But in a less expensive way.. though this would result in a game sounding a bit weird, could you, say, raise the pitch of something? not to the point where it sounds distorted, just enough for a noticeable difference. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Monday, September 07, 2009 9:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] a thought for all game makers out there


Hi,
Well, there are a number of solutions for that particular problem. Let's use a real world example here fordemonstration. In Tomb Raider The Prophecy there are a number of enemy wolves Lara Croft has to kill or avoid. The color of the wolf determines how deadly it is. A gray wolf is relatively easy to beat, does little damage, etc where the black wolves are the most difficult. One solution is to create a specific growel sound for each color of wolf so that someone can audably tell them apart. However, unless you know in advance that growel sound x is for a gray or black wolf it isn't of much use until you play the game a while. The other way is to have a hot key that announces the nearest enemy in the room like Shades of Doom. However, the problem with that method is that slows down the game play, because you constantly have to press the key, button, whatever to find out what you are fighting. That might be critical in a game that requires quick reflexes and decision making. Such as the various priests in the game that tosses different colored fireballs that range from slightly harmful to instant death. You have to see the color of the fireball and decide right away if you are going to avoid it or take the hit. There is no time in a game like that to press a key and see if the fireball is red, yellow, or purple. You have to act right away or you are in trouble. What most accessible game developers try to do is include both different sounds for enemies as well as speak the type of enemy whenand where possible. Still that is slightly more expensive. A mainstream developer can buy one sound for fireballs and use it regardless of color since they assume the person can see it on his/her screen. A blind accessible developer has to come up with a unique sound for each color of fireball in the hope of making it easier for the blind player to determine the color of the fireball being tossed at him/her. It isn't complicated to fix, but takes much more effort to translate the same information that a person sees on screen to someone using audio only.

Clement Chou wrote:
Well, if it's a different color of enemy one would think we could do something like have voices varying as a substitute for colors... but that would be expensive too, wouldn't it?

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