Hi,

Glad to be of some assistance. A lot of what I talked about is
personal experience testing, experimenting, and tracking down
stability issues with games on my 64-bit copy of Windows 7.

For instance, I've got a lot of Jim Kitchens games installed on this
box. As you know they use SAPI for speech output. I wanted to know if
it was the games themselves or SAPI that were crashing. Turns out
through trial and error if I use a true 64-bit voice like Microsoft
Anna or Ivona Bryan the games run fine. If I use an older  32-bit
voice the games have a tendancy to crash more often than not. That
made me a little hesitant to rely on SAPI alone for speech output in
my own games because if the user is using the wrong voice there could
be stability issues.

So what I'm doing to resolve that problem is adding multiple speech
services to the engine Jaws, NVDA, SAPI, and probably other screen
readers as well. That way if one doesn't work or suit someone they can
simply go into the program settings and change the speech service to
something more to their needs. So far its working out pretty well.

For the past year or so I've become a big NVDA user, and prefer using
it over Jaws and Window-Eyes. Its pretty cool to go into one of my
games, change the default speech service to NVDA, and have everything
spoken using NVDA. Its a lot more seamless and responsive than what
we've been doing with STFC,  MOTA, etc using prerecorded speech clips.

So I'm glad I have helped by sharing my experiences. I've done a lot
of testing trying to find a stable way to get spoken feedback to the
end user, and there is no one size fits all solution. A combination of
solutions is better than sticking to any single solution from what
I've seen so far. If you can contact the screen reader through its API
like the JFW API, NVDA Controller Client, etc its even better yet. Its
pretty likely that there will be a high degree of accessibility out of
the box.

Cheers!


On 10/31/11, Eleanor Robinson <elea...@7128.com> wrote:
> Thomas,
>
> John and I feel your pain.
> We've been sitting here reading your latest USA Games News; informative
> as usual.
>
> We use SAPI and JAWS in our games. Both are a pain.
>
> SAPI crashes sometimes, not always, on our 64-bit machines; though it
> works fine on our 32-bit machines. Our examination of the Windows error
> logs confirms that the crash is in their SAPI DLL.
>
> Your information about the 64-32 bit-ness of the voices is helpful to us
> there. Now we don't have to spend a whole lot of time looking for
> non-existent bugs in our code. (John says Yea!)
>
> Suspect that all of us will just have to endure the occasional crash on
> a 64-bit machine until our gamers replace their voices. At least our
> stuff automatically saves at each step, so people don't lose their games.
>
> And JAWS won't work at all on a 64-bit machine; but you know all about that.
>
> Oddly enough, we're seriously looking into using recorded voices (MP3)
> for the second release of our "Sounds Like" game. The first release is
> in QA right now. Ryan, our chief Beta tester says some of the words are
> hard to understand. And Kelly commented on sound quality in his recent
> review of our stuff.  So we take this seriously.
>
> Since a word game is not nearly as complex as the RPG's you're doing, we
> think that using sound files might not be too resource intensive. Just
> gotta get Cyndi in front of the mike. (But she's off doing paying acting
> gigs right now.)
>
> Thanks for your timely information. (John says yea again!)
>
> Eleanor and John
> 7-128 Software
>
>
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