2018-03-10 11:15:36

Hi all.
As many of you already know, Madden 18 is the first game EA chose to make accessible to blind people. This is totally fantastic, and a huge step in the right direction.
But, there is a very important accessibility feature missing, which might be the one of the reasons for many blind people still haven't tried the game, and all the great accessibility rumble features which makes the game playable. The important feature is screenreader support.
Karen have put extremely much work into writing a very well written guide on how to navigate the menus etc. But, you either need to follow this guide every time you are playing the game, or remember all the steps.
As you might have seen by Karens posts on the forum, EA Games have made an accessibility bug report forum, which is being read by the other EA Games developers. I have made a report explaining about the importance of screenreader support, which I really hope is going to happen, if there is enough interest.
So, I'm asking you to do the following:
Go to my bug report, and click the "me too" link, if you agree and you are experiencing the same difficulty by navigating huge and complex menus without any screenreader support. Feel free to create an EA account and leave a reply if you have anything to add.
This is very important that as many of you react on this as possible, because EA Games is already looking into making other games accessible as well. They have already made UF3 somewhat playable.
The link to the bug report is:
https://answers.ea.com/t5/Bug-Reports/N … -p/6681073

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2018-03-10 13:03:13

I commend your efforts in posting this support drive for implementation of spoken menus into Madden 18.  However, I'd like to clear up a couple of important misconceptions:
1. Narrator is not what would speak the menus.
Microsoft have developed and made available, as part of the XDK, an element called Microsoft Speech Synthesis API.  This hooks into the same systems that power Narrator, but is not actually the Narrator system itself.  The code works by passing strings from the game through the MSSA system with a combination of variables and allows for not just menus to be labeled but for UI elements to be spoken as well, as far as I understand it, though currently no commercial game has worked with any of these techniques as of yet.

2. MSSA depends on engine-level support
I am not a developer so do not have access to the documentation, but, from what I understand, the system that would be needed requires the engine the game runs on to also support it.  This means that if Madden or any other EA game's engine doesn't support the feature, it cannot be added in.

3. There are a number of other obstacles that prevent players picking up Madden 18, not just the aforementioned lack of support (though I'll admit that's likely a large percentage of the reason why there are players who haven't purchased the game).  Other reasons include its user unfriendliness towards newcomers to not only the game, but the sport as well.  This could technically be said for many games of differing genres, however with American Football being so engrained as a cultural element, I also understand that this can be subjective but believe it's worth highlighting.

4. There are other possibilities to resolve these issues
The general practice of EA games using large and complex menu structures is what's really at fault here, I believe (battlefront 2 and UFC3 are both indicative of this trend).  If that changes, do you reckon that this might alter the discussion in any way?  Personally, I believe it would given there'd be less steps to remember and less elements that could go awry if steps are misremembered.

Again, I am not dismissing your effort at all, just thought I'd clear up a few things that it might be easy to miss.  I do not claim to be an authority on the above information and if I, in turn, have made any mistakes in the provided content, please feel free to clarify the potential issues with said content.

Regards,
Sightless Kombat.
***If you wish to refer to me in @replies, use Sightless***

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2018-03-10 16:53:27

Hi.
Thanks for your great comment. Yes, I know that it might not be Narrator as the screenreader which reads the game elements, but text strings which is being passed to Narrator. So it'll feel like Narrator is reading the actual menus and other information on the screen.
As I understand it, it works like the accessible programs in Windows, where the program passes text strings directly to the screenreader, like some of the Twitter programs or Jaws scripts. However, it's difficult to tell, since no game supports it yet.
It would totally make sense if the games from EA which already have been made accessible could use the feature, which would send the game menus and other relevant text strings to Narrator, or some other kind of speech.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2018-03-11 16:23:56 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2018-03-11 16:24:27)

As far as engines and UI systems within them go it isn't a technical impossibility, it's just a question of time and money - most things are possible with enough of it.

Certainly more people saying they would like to see it happen couldn't hurt building an internal business case.

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2018-03-12 00:57:06

Hi,
For me, when I heard about Madden, I didn't, and still honestly, don't know much about the sport. But it still made me quite excited: the're trying to bring to life a genre of game that the blind community haven't really had much experience with, accept for Jim Kitchen's NFL game and the pcs dos one from the 90's. Now, because I haven't played the game, can anyone who has tried the new version please write back saying how their experience has gone, have the rumble features helped? I also think adding screen reader support would be amazing, however it's done.

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2018-03-12 01:24:34

Yes, the rumble features help emencely when playing Madden18. I have yet to try them in UFC though.

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2018-03-12 08:54:26

For me, it's a huge learning curve to get used to Madden, but the rumble features makes a huge difference for me, from inaccessible to accessible, when you have got used to the gameplay etc.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D