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RE: [Entombed] hold the torch high Jason Symes Tue Feb 21 07:02:10 2012

I contacted Nova Logics some years back about making their Joint Ops game
more accessable. Their response was "we'll look into it," but I never heard
a peep back from them again. It's a shame too, because that game is a
multiplayer fps similar to Swamp, except you're fighting human terrorists
and the like, and you actually have to adjust the sniper rifle sights for
elevation. Really nice sounding game otherwise, and I used to occasionally
sit in while my step father was playing, and tell him from which side the
enemy was firing at him when he couldn't see them.
 
This is a topic Jeremy Kaldobsky and the rest of the crew bring up on
TechTalk quite frequently. For those of you who haven't heard of TechTalk,
here's a link to the AudioGames forum, which also contains the links to the
archived shows in the first post:
http://forum.audiogames.net/viewtopic.php?id=6397

-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
On Behalf Of dark
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:32 AM
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: Re: [Entombed] hold the torch high


Hi Joel. 
 
You asked "who in their right mind wouldn't want to make these games
accessible?" 
 
The simple answer I'm afraid is every single company concerned with prophet.
 
Entombed is one of the most successful audio games having sold more than 500
copies. In terms of audio games that's amazingly good, the average is about
200. 
 
For mainstream companies such as Square, blizard and capcom however, that is
a drop in the ocean, they are only concerned with thousands of sales and
what will get them those thousands. 
 
Indeed, when I spoke to Capcom Uk myself this is the response I got, that
because (according to them), it was only me that would value access changes,
they refused to do it for one person, the same would be equally true for 500
people, there just aren't enough customers to make a difference to the
almighty prophet margin, certainly not enough for the mainstream developers
of games to justify adding access features or even creating accessible games
in the first place.
 
While I believe this may eventually change in 10 or 20 years time when a
greater proportion of those gamers who grew up in the 1970's and 80's start
losing their vision and becoming blind, thus creating more of a markit for
the games, it will still take a heck of a lot more people interested in
access than we currently have to make a difference to the mainstream
industry. 
 
Then of course, don't forget that the people in! capcom and nintendo who are
actually responsable for programming! the games, aren't the same as who make
the decisions about what gets made. Nintendo Uk were a lot nicer than Capcom
when I asked about menue access on the wii, however there was nothing even
they could do to propose a developement change even though they worked in
the same company, because all the actual developement work went on in some
undisclosed location in the middle of Japan under a giant mountain base
guarded by robitic Samurai killer bees! ---- well maybe not that!
inaccessible, but you see the point. 
 
While i applaud the attempts of people like the game accessibility special
interest group to promote audio games to the mainstream industry, I'm not
myself confident of how likely they are to have an effect. 
 
personally, I think it more likely that access will come through the growing
industry of independent game developers, close nit player communities and
online participation. 
 
Having worked for audiogames.net now for close to five years, I've seen a
lot of new indi developers get involved in game access. 7-128 software,
jeremy Kaldobski and indeed Jason Alan himself, some very talented
developers of indi games have spent their time developing new and
interesting accessible stuff just for the shear challenge and fun, or
because they find it a worthwhile thing to do, irrispective of the prophet
margin. 
 
Then of course, there are the many occasions when, like you did with this
line software, a developer has been contacted to make access changes to
their games. 
 
niels bauer and the smugglers series (smugglers 5 will be accessible), a
hole range of muds and mmorpgs, brouser stratogy games, interactive fiction,
gamebooks, and the list goes on! 
 
With screen readers able to read text, this offers a handy way in to access
in a number of games, as does sapi output for a game display. indeed there
are now beginning to be some quite legitimate sets of resources kicking
around the net to provide information to developers on how to create
accessible games, one very good example is www.blindcomputergames.com, an
informational site setup by the 7-128 crew. 
 
As to entombed, myself the way forward i could really see with the game is
the inclusion of readable text and maybe an ascii map on screen, so that it
is playable (like JEremy Kaldobski's games), by fully sighted gamers just as
equally. 
 
There are however communities of people devoted to gamebooks, roguelikes,
and other games that do not rely upon a major graphical display for their
appeal, and those sorts of people would probably very much like entombed if
there was a way of interacting with the game that could be done through
their reading of text, rather than, ---- as unfortunately would happen
currently if a sighted person with no screen reader or knolidge of synths
downloaded the game, through microsoft sam or Anna, which are both probably
enough to put off anyone from playing, especially if they didn't understand
that these voices were part of windows and were a variable option, and
thought they were implicit to how the game worked. 
 
if onscreen text were included in Entombed however, it could be advertised
to players of muds, text mmorpgs, roguelikes etc as a game they may be
interested in, sinse as we all know it's well fit to stand on it's own
merrits as a game aside from any access concerns, ----- which probably is
why it's had such a major impact and gained such a following. 
 
Beware the Grue! 
 
Dark.



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