That's a very good question. The best answer I can give you is that
from a technical aspect audio games and video games are completely
different in design. That is that audio games require special features
that wouldn't work well in a fully graphical vidio game. Here is a
simple case in point.
You all know I am working on a game called Mysteries of the Ancients.
While I've done my best to give the blind gamer the feel of a fully
modern side-scroller there is a lot of things going on under the hood
that would not be at all compatible with a vidio game. One thing I am
working on right now is a view menu for the Genesis Engine where by
you can press a key and it will put all of the items, monsters, doors,
etc in a list you can arrow up and down through and hit the enter key
to get a description of that object. While this is very handy for a
totally blind gamer a feature like that would not at all be desirable
in a vidio game. It would freeze the graphics while the blind gamer is
viewing the room using his menu, and would slow down and disrupt the
action. So things like player verses player or joint game play
wouldn't work out at all with a feature like that.
Besides that, there are other things I do I wouldn't normally do if
this was a graphical game. One of these is while you press a key to
speak your health, location, and other status the main game loop is
paused. This allows you to get current on demand information without
enemies swarming you and beating you to death before you can respond.
Sighted mainstream games obviously don't do this because there are
ways of acquiring that information on screen inreal time.
In a game like Halo there are color bars on the screen that show you
how much health is remaining. Maximum health is blue, good health is
green, low health is yellow, and critical health status is red. A
sighted player can just glance at the color bar and see what his/her
status is without hearing it which is much faster than waiting to have
it spoken out to you word for word.
Plus, as stated erlier pausing the game loop in order to have
something spoken out to the player woulde freeze the game. The vidio
would be very choppy, not in sink with the audio, and it just is a
very difficult thing to pull off from a technical aspect as far as I
am concerned. Can it be done?
Yes, it can be done. Games like Teraformers and Smugglers has proven
it can be done, but there is a whole can of worms involved in sorting
out the technical aspects of making it enjoyable for a mainstream
gamer while bolting on accessibility without effecting the over all
game play. I imagine this would be easier for some games than others.
On 5/28/10, Rick <twelvestring...@verizon.net> wrote:
> Hi list.
> I don't normally join in on these discussions, but I've been wondering.
> I hear people say that the blind gaming community is small, and there is
> only so much money to be made on blind games.
> What I want to know is, is there a reason a blind developer couldn't try to
> team up with sighted developers and make games that both sighted and blind
> can play?
> If it could be done, the blind developer might make more money, and might
> even educate people on what blind people really need and want.
> Not what the sighted think the blind need.
> Just my two cents, if I'm making any sense at all.
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