Am I missing something, and maybe not looking at it right or not understanding something, but don't these companies realize that if they made these programs available to more developers, and at a lower cost, the number of games available for their systems would vastly increase?, and so would their income? I'm not talking specifically about making games playable by the blind, either. If I wanted to develop games for, well, whoever, that could be played on a game console, if there were fewer restrictions and less of a cost to me, and how many other potential game developers, the money would be coming in even faster to the console designers and sellers.

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Shepherds are the best beasts!
----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] making accessible games for current gen consoles.


Hi Yohandy,

Not in this life time. You have to understand how these companies
work. Game consoles like the XBox, Play station, Nintendo DS, Nintendo
Wii, etc are exclusive and propriatary platforms. As a result they are
not just going to hand out the tools, software development kits, and
system specs to just anyone who asks for them. They pretty much charge
you for everything. They charge you for the development kits, charge
you for the development tools, and charge you royalties for using
their platform. The net costs for all of this is usually between
$25,000 and $50,000 per title. Plus everything you write has to be
approved by a board that makes sure the title meets all their
standards and specifications. All of this adds up to really big money
for the console manufacturers, and pretty much rules out any and all
casual development on the platform.

How do I know this. I did check it out. Back about 5 years ago my wife
and I purchased a Playstation II. Once I got it I thought I'd call
Sony and find out what it would cost to get a development kit and port
my games to the Play Station. Nothing doing. Starting cost just to
create the game was going to cost $25,000 for the tools/development
kits, and the games I wrote would have to be approved by a board at
Sony Entertainment. When I explained that these were accessible blind
friendly games, no graphics, etc they said they wouldn't be interested
in that type of game and that was that. No money to do it, and because
it didn't meet there polacies and requirements they didn't even want
to sell me a development kit, license, and so on because my game was
for a specialized market. So I said forget it.

The only console that might be affordable for us is the XBox 360, and
its not without its problems either. When Microsoft launched the XBox
360 in 2007 they included the .NET Framework and the XNA Framework. In
other words they created an open standard for the platform for quick
and easy cross-platform development between Windows and XBox. While
pricing is still steep its nothing like the Play Station. The problem
is, though, that the XNA Framework has some massive accessibility
issues. For example, XAct the tool used to compile soundbanks,
wavbanks, mix 3d audio, and all that is totally and absolutely not
screen reader friendly. So targeting an XBox, even if you can afford
it, would be difficult because someone like myself could not do it
independantly. I'd litterally have to higher a sighted developer to do
the audio work for the game, create the various soundbanks and
wavbanks, setup audio properties, etc costing me even more money in
the long run. I've been complaining to Microsoft about this problem
for going on three years, and it goes in one ear and out the other.
Again a no go.

HTH


On 2/14/11, Yohandy <yohand...@gmail.com> wrote:
I just had a thought. Couldn't a blind developer program a game for the
PS3 or Xbox 360? I would think that Microsoft or Sony would license their
tools to any dev wishing to program on their platform. Has anyone looked
into this at all?


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