1

Hey guys smile

The RAD was developed by PH.D. student within computer science at Columbia University by Brian Smith.
Read about it here, very interesting to audiogames development.
http://engineering.columbia.edu/news/ra … ideo-games

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And....no, no to the claim it's the first accessible 'real' racing game (whatever that means). Going back to 1995 at least, fully 3D raing games have had assists that let people use them.

I'll illustrate:

1997: CART's ill fated officially licensed game had two levels of steering help. One that merely kept you between the track lines. Another that kept you on a pre programmed racing line. The same the AI ran on. It had a major flaw however that if you deviated from the line at all, say to pass a car....it'd snap you back to the line and spin the car out or actually go off the track trying to snap you back to the racing line.

1998: Geoff Crammand'Crammond's Grand Prix series from the first game up until GP4 had steering help for keyboard racers, auto brake, auto gears and so forth. It had (slight) auto steering on keyboard as well as auto brake. Yes it was slower and lost you positions BUT.....

1998-201X: NASCAR's various games have all had varying levels of driver assists from simple auto shifting all the way up to steering and braking help for road coursses and ovals

Lastly: EVERY single drag racing game has been accessible. Mostly because drag racing works on a set tree time, no turning, no braking, just you, your opponent and a quarter mile. It's perfectly possible to play a drag racing game without any help once you get a feel for the process of lining up the car. That's the hard bit.

Oh and all the ISI gMotor engined games have had assists built in all the way up to fully automati steering/braking, all you have to do is hold the gas down and hthe car goes around the track.

Lastly....no, a fully 3D racing game will not catch on for blind people simply because of hte fact it's fully 3D. Add that to how 3D racing games aren't anywhere close to a real carr in terms of physics and the attitudes of the sim racing community....I wouldn't honestly be shocked if Brian Smith (generic name by the way), showed this off at a raing game convention and, I am not joking, got attacked for it. The racing game genre does not, and I am not making this up, want any disabled gamers. Companies make millions selling full wheel and pedal sets. Sim racing communities have an attitude of 'you don't have X wheel and pedal set get the hell out', again, I wish I was joking about that, but no.

Or my personal favorite one: Oh you play X game? You aren't a real racing gamer! I can say from my time at SMS those ideas are ingrained in the racing sim genre. You aren't going to get blind or disabled racers accepted in any sim of note, and if one's developed the big guns o the scene, your iRacings, your rFactors  (okay maybe not that one), your Asetto Corsas are going to bury it and the hardcore racing game players are going to pretend blind gamers don't exist. I can say with 99.9% certainty iRacing's ommunity will never, EVER accept somebody using this system, and they will without fail run a blind gamer off that service for 'not being good enough' or some bullshit reason.

TL:DR Blind people need to stay the hell away from racing sims and this, it'll just lead to more fighting in racing games and sims.

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I just... don't see how this will work, and if you try to take it online, forget about it.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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Ok here's the deal.
@2: You do raise some valid points about hardcore gamers, and I personally don't really understand how blind people can drive in a simulation if we can't drive in real life. However, this is not my field of expertese. I don't pretend to know how I would get something like that working, so that's why I'm not just going to come out and criticize this guy's work before I know what I'm talking about. Passive-aggressiveness aside, it's no wonder why this community rarely gets any love from the mainstream. Everyone shoots down the ideas of the thinkers and dreamers, using words like "always," "never," and "impossible." Maybe we won't raise to the same level as sited people, but wouldn't it be cool to play the same racing games even if it was just with each other? I've always hated the negativity that new ideas attract here. I'm not going to say I'm not skeptical as that's the natural human reaction to new things, but to say it's "impossible" is the reason there's very little innovation as of late, not just in this community, but in society in general. I'll be tentatively following this development to see what happens, if anything.

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Hi.
At post 2, i think you are over dramatizing here.
It's with all gaming comunitys, beeing it fighting, FPS, mobas and so on, there are those who are hard core elitists who think you are only good for them if you play a certain game, use a certain controler or input device and so on, and there are those who are playing this for fun and entertainment, saying that the racing comunity will not be open minded is just not how someone should approach this, we'll have to see if that system goes anywhere, I would be curious if we will see something made out of this.
Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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6

@5, no, Jace is actually not over-dramatising at all. Even just normal hardcore gamers on consoles like the Xbox 1 or Xbox 360, or even just general hardcore gamers, don't want accessibility in most, if not all, mainstreams because, they say, it will "detract from the experience of the gameplay," or something like it. Thing is, they have a point. A very valid one at that. But they're also going off of the somewhat false assumption that all blind people want absolutely *everything* to be accessible and very verbose and all that, and not off of the assumption that some of us, like myself, are fine with hardly any accessible in the game at all, if even that. (Hell, I play Boarderlands 2 sometimes and I don't need my screen reader to play it; its all about memorizing the menu options you need to know and forgetting the need to know *absolutely* everything that's happening.) I say that a blind person when playing mainstream games should forget the need to know *absolutely everything* because there are always events in the game you don't need to know. For instance, in an FPS, like Quake 3, yes, you do need to know where the opponent your battling is, but you don't need to know where the hell the other eight-twelve people are on the map since they're probably fighting and killing each other and not focusing on you. But at the same time, you also need to be aware of what's happening to ensure you don't get ambushed. That's where your ears come in. You don't need site to know that an opponent is trying to sneak up on you with most likely a very powerful gun that can blow your head off; you simply need to here he's there, turn around quickly and fire. The worst thing you can do is try to over-analyze the situation, or try to think up tactical ways of besting your opponents. That comes later. A similar idea could be applied to other games, but 'll leave that up to you guys. Thing is, as I said, the hardcore gamers who don't want accessibility in any mainstream gamer do have a point, since 99 percent of us are used to audiogames which tell you everything, or close to it. We're used to audio games that have sound queues and other things that most mainstream games don't have, and so when we play a mainstream game we naturally transfer that over to those games as well. When your playing mainstream games, forget the comparison between an audio game and a mainstream one, because audio games completely crash and burn compared to mainstream ones, end of story. No audio game can even come close to the quality put into most mainstream games simply because we either lock ourselves in to using a particular tool, like BGT, to create our games, and are unwilling to try other things on the side, or we simply don't have the patients, time, and energy required to figure out a way we can create graphics without sited assistance. The final possibility is that we just do not have the ability to create what mainstream games can create. Audio can only go so far.
Now, back on topic, as others have said, and I agree, this project will not get very far. I don't know much about the racing community of mainstream games but I do know that something like this is bound to get completely slaughtered by every hardcore gamer, period.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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7

I've been around racing games/sims for 25 years going back to the original World Circuit on PC so I've a damn good grasp of how racing game communities go.

No, I'm not overdramatizing the racing game communities at all. Go check any major racing game community, and you will find the sort of people I described. Majorly hostile to anyone they don't know and not wanting any new ideas in their games. I can say for certain the big players in the racing game market will do all they can to force people to use a steering wheel and pedals, or for consoles, a gamepad, no other input methods at all. Because 'realism'.

For kicks, I sent the link to a few guys I know who make mods for PC racing sims. They asked why anyone in their right mind would want to use it. I explained on a skype call, and their responses were what I expected:

The hardcore racing game crowd spends, and this is a fact, upwards of US $1000 on steering wheeels and pedals on PC, and consoles it's slightly less, about $600 and up for consoles. I'm talking stuff like Forza, Gran Turismo, Asetto Corsa, iRacing and so forth, the stuff that gets atttention from non gamers.

So keep in mind people sink over $1000 into their game of choice, and then this comes along. I heard from two league organizers on PC racing games they'd ban anyone using this outright from their forums, and their communities, and I also reached out to two major studios who said they don't see the need to make a PC racing game acccessible since the PC racing game market is so tiny.

Add to that the community who chase anyone they don't know out of the community, up to and including cases of real life racing drivers being harrassed off of serices such as iRacing by vocal players....I mean subscribers of that service.....and you can get why I'm being negative.

I'll simplify it:

The racing game community as a whol EXPECTS anyone going into it to be able bodied, able to use a wheel and pedals and if they can't, they are run out of the racing game scene. The big money is in PC racing sims which only attract, at last count, 300 viewers for iRacing's Twitch streams. That's 300 people. That's less people than are visiting here on any given day...and that's a series that offers a real life cash prize and is supposedly the best of the best....

The other issue is a practical one. Race car enginees are loud things. Real drivers wear ear protection to avoid hearing loss. Plus it sounds like a magic bullet, brake hear, turn here. It sounds again like it's simply following orders at the end of the day.

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8

Hello.

I'm a lover of racing games.
and I've been waiting for a project of this type for a long time.
I believe and I have great hopes that this project has future.
Cheers.

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9

Hi there,
heh, it is very funny and sad as well how people are constantly considering themselves as experts on something they never saw.
Rad is going to be released in April 2018, but our great community already knows it is bad, it is for nothing, bleeeeah.
Testers of this prototype considered it as better than Topspeed or Mach1, best racing audiogames on the market. But we know true, it isn't, they were just drugged without a real consciousness what are they talking about, because we heared the video.

Little stupid? Well, this is exactly how I see these greatly optimistic posts above. I have nothing against a meaningful criticism, but sorry, I really can't think about these statements as meaningful.
I have no courage to write my own review before I will actually try it. For example, I have considered seeing by sound as absolutely pointless, even I heared demo recordings and read the description.
Just when I actually tried it in Audiocraft, I found it to be very useful, when applied correctly.
So my recommendation, wait for the first release, try it and criticise after.
It is greatly possible that hardcore players will refuse this. And that they'll not as well. I am not interested. I have no time to train myself to the race master level.
But I have a time for racing freely with my friends, and if this utility will allow me to do so, it approached its goal perfectly. Because I want to see a sighted player, who will play Topspeed with me. big_smile
Real players of rad, not just criticisers, have described they have much more control about the concrete track than with current top racing audiogames. I can not tell if they were true before i actually try, but if yes, I see also this as a great improvement, all improvements are good.

@Ethin: I don't want to argue with you about your words, you have your own opinion, I am just interested if you was a sighted player before, or if you were completely blind at all.
Because your statements looks like you read how commercial audiogames were created, compared it with audiogames creation process, and wrote post 6.
I was a sighted player for a long time. I haven't played much titles, but I always tried current hits. So I played games like NHL, The sims 3, Counter strike 1.6, Battlefield bad company 2 or GTA San Andreas. Oh, and the Minecraft with Technocraft as well.
In my opinion, our community have no less experience than a sightedone. Because... As far as I remember, the most popular games haven't theyr status for the perfect sound effects or graphics. heh, does someone here remember first versions of Minecraft? It had very basic graphics, and just few sound effects. And now? It is the second most sold game in the world.
The state of sound effects is poor too, I know what I am talking about, I analysed it for Blindcraft and was forced to add many of my own effects to the game, because it was impossible to build an audio version on top of the materials provided by Mojang.
But people still like it and play actively.
I am not saying, that games for sighted players are not more developed than audiogames. It would be stupid, because it is clear that more interest is going into them.
But writing, that our audiogames are craps in comparison with commercial games for sighted gamers, that is another extreme I think.
For example, I personally don't see the difference between the old Counter strike and The road to rage. Or yes, there is one, trtr have better sound effects.
I mean of course that old great version of Trtr, where your force wasn't derived from the time spent on the server. Only real advantage of Counter strike is its 3dness, this is however still an open question of our market, if we will ever be able to shoot in 3d.
May be yes, may be no, we will see.

That's all I wanted to say, originally I wasn't willing to post here, but when I see these posts, it is hard to ignore the ill will of our community against new things.

Best regards

Rastislav

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10

No, 'hardcore' PC sim racers WILL without a question refuse to use the RAD.

See my post above where I spoke to a handful of league organizers for popular sims and PC modding teams who stated for the league organizers they'd ban anyone using the RAD in their leagues, or blind drivers even if those drivers were clean and fast.. Which is entirely their perogative.

No I won't wait for the first release, I can already tell you how the majority of PC sim racers will take this, ...they'll trash it and rip it to shreds because it's a fad, a trend. When the Kinect was on the market they had the same reaction when Forza and other games had kinect controls....a reaction that was wholly deserved due to how godawful the Kinect implementations were. They are awful.

The only game to get motion controls right was Mario Kart...and even then that community has a fairly vocal group who attack people who aren't using their controller of choice.

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@Rastislav Kiss... All I'm going to say is that your post just proved how stupid you are in this area and how little you know. This is not the best game on the market. The BK series takes that place, and it'll be incredibly difficult to displace them.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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12

Hi.
You re always talking about hard core games, league play and so on. But you know something? You also have the casual gamers who are not playing for price money, reputation and so on, they just pick the thing up, play a little and than put the game back down, till they want to play the next time.
Also, your average gamer should not need more than an 1000 dollars ssteering weal pedal combinations, most of the games are doable with a gamepad, even though a weal might be better.
I don't care if the super ultra pro what ever gamers say that it is not good, I play what I want and with whom I want.
Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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13

No Simba, in PC racing if you want to race online you esentialy HAVE to join a league because public servers are either empty 99% of the time, or the game's set up for league play. iRacing for instance puts you in online races, no offline, you can set up private leagues but it's all online, all league based. There's no casual play. Same for GT Sport. Same for stuff like pCars 1 and 2, R3E, even rFactor 1 and 2, and older titles.

Racing games do not lend themselves well to casual play a great deal, and actually no gamepad controls are definitely not what you want for a high end racing game. You absolutely NEED a wheel and pedal set to be anywhere close to competitive and staying on the track on PC sims, and things like Forza benefit greatly from wheel/pedal sets. Basically the gamepad input is slowed down to make it easier to race with a pad, BUT, you then have the problem of not having as much control.

Also at least on PC it's a giant wang waving contest over who has the best rig setup, and again with the league organizers, I know of several sims all the way down to the smaller ones who have plugins that kick gamepad drivers from servers on PC. Plus, there's the 'sim dads' who sit on the forum and tell new guys oh you need X wheel and pedals, that cost $2000 to be anywhere near competitive, and new racers don't know better. To be fair to the sim dads, there's a huge difference between a cheap $20 wheel and a $200 one in terms of input, so yeah you kind of get what you pay for with controllers.

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14

HHi.
It might be that most games are league games or ranked matches. But forexample, forza, gran turismo and so on also have offline modes.
I guess different comunity have different levels of choosing their users and who is worthy playing.
But, if you look at it that way. Madden, Fifa, UFC and so on are also played in a competitive way, but EA didn't just outright say they will not put in any features, hehl, they even came round asking for feedback.
But, let's say, just hypothetically, a dev would put in the rat system, what would they lose? It's an assistent system after all, and doesn't effect the gameplay for the other racers on the track.
Is it that the comunity is so small and most racing is professional eSports and the extra time which would be needed to put into it isn't worth the time, or what is their main reason.
Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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15

@4 I couldn't say it better my self... That's why I've stopped developing audio games...
- NicklasMCHD

I'm me. Just me. No one else. Only meeee!

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Hi.
It sounds awesome, but I don't get how it works. I think we need to try it before being able to give any opinions about it.

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

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17

As another PhD student, I see the value of RAD as an idea. It is a prototype and should be considered as such. I"m sure it was created with the best intentions in mind, hoping to improve accessibility in a specific type of game so that people with visual impairment can play the same games as sighted people. It's true that videogame developers usually omit accessibility because they consider the potential market of accessible videogames is small and not worth the effort. However, that trend seems to be changing: companies are starting to realize  that by including accessibility features in their games or products, the average consumer also wins. Maybe the idea RAD proposes can later be picked up by a major game developing studio and this type of navigation assistants could become mainstream. Whether it will be accepted at a competitive level, that is an entirely different discussion (probably, like JaceK says, it won't), but then again, like Simba says, it's about being able to play whatever I want in any way I want. Even if the servers are empty at least with RAD there is access to the game.

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18

I don't think any developer is going to implement this thing any time soon, and even if they do, its like the others have said, no one will accept it.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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19 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2018-03-13 17:29:13)

@jakek

"I wouldn't honestly be shocked if Brian Smith (generic name by the way), showed this off at a raing game convention and, I am not joking, got attacked for it. The racing game genre does not, and I am not making this up, want any disabled gamers."

Thankfully, you're very much mistaken. See below.

@ironcross32

Developers across the industry are caring more and more about accessibility. That includes racing game developers. See below.

“The vision for the game is to bring a larger and more diverse community together, who are passionate about cars and racing. We don’t want age, gender or any disabilities getting in the way of that,” said Dan Greenawalt, Creative Director at Turn 10.

“Accessibility is just part of our development process, and we look at it all the way along. Every year we invest more, we take a couple of steps forward on each version and we do more things. It’s very important to us; it’s right at the core of our vision.

“In Forza 7 there is a level of auto-steering that means the car will navigate the track for you; there’s a level of auto-braking that means you really don’t have to do anything else. That was all about accessibility. The racing line used to be green and red, now it’s green and blue, and that was to make sure it didn’t affect people with a certain type of colour blindness. The controllers have multi-USB support, which helps with a lot of bespoke accessibility controllers that disabled gamers can use on PCs.

“We have also included audible cues, so a sight-challenged player can know they are approaching the end of traction and how far out of traction they are.”

So there you have it. Developers of one of the top selling racing games already thinking a great deal about accessibility, implementing lots of features specifically for gamers with disabilities, specifically including audio cues for people who can't see visual cues, and a commitment to doing more in future.

I totally understand being jaded about the state of the industry. But things are changing. A public statement like that from the head of a AAA studio would be utterly unimaginable a couple of years ago. It's quite a dramatic turnaround. Not to where it needs to be, but certainly past tipping point.

I'm not at liberty to speak about any individual companies, but suffice to say that from what I've seen across teh industry in general there are companies now taking accessibility very seriously, and asking serious questions about blind accessibility, who have not previously considered it at all. EA Sports' work on Madden and UFC is a perfect example.

I also understand that it is a bit much to take it on faith that things are progressing when there haven't yet been many examples. But 2019 should be the year when you really start to see some interesting things.

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20

Rather than focusing on the state of the industry, a much more productive discussion would be about the comparitive merits of the idea itself, its combination of rally co-driver style speech to tell you about upcoming corners with audio tone cues to portray your angle and horizontal position on the track.

There are more people reading this thread than just the people commenting. If you have any good ideas on what works and doesn't work, any ideas about how it could be improved, any ideas for entirely different systems that could help popular AAA racing games become more accessible for blind gamers.

I heard a lovely quote from a rally co-driver the other day... "if I time my prompts well it would be possible for the driver to drive with the windows painted black, at full speed"

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21

hi ianhamilton_
thank you friend.
very good news!
I love racing games!
especially rally racing!
thanks.
cheers.

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22

@ianhamilton_, I can see you focused on only a very small portion of the racing industry. Those who do do this for those industries that despise accessibility will be slaughtered in their sleep, figuratively of course, and thrown out, end of story. The gamers that truly game (i.e. hardcore gamers) will not give a shit about what the casual gamer wants. And there are, unfortunately, more hardcore gamers than casual ones. Also, yes, this will be attacked in the racing industry, period. I can guarantee that no one will ever implement this. It will never happen, forget it ever existed. Its a nice concept... until you consider that all the blindy organizations out there are going to demand so much out of such a product for any type of game that the game will be absolutely no fun to play at all.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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23

I do hope it can work, but too much of life experience has shaped my thoughts, and I know that it will not be accepted by gamers. I think the best thing to do if the blind want racing games is for development studios or indie devs to make racing audio games specifically for that purpose. I don't see how it will ever be allowed in mainstream gaming. Also, the more accessibility they add to mainstream games, the more those gamers will complain, they will not like their settings screens full of accessibility stuff, even if it doesn't affect their game play. They will not like blind people entering online racing, and they will most likely ban them if they are using this kind of technology. I just can't see this working, that doesn't mean I wish it to fail, but I know how mainstream gamers are.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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24

@ethin, do you have a source for that data, data that shows that the gamers who are anti-accessibility outnumber the gamers who are pro-accessibility? Or is it just an assumption?

@ironcross There is a tiny but vocal minority who are against options. I'd say in the discussions I've had with people who start out shouting about accessibility being bad probably about 2% of them actually believe that options are bad even if it doesn't affect their gameplay. The rest are just labouring under misconceptions that it would mean diluting the experience for all players. And that 2% of people shouting is 2% of a small minority, not 2% of the playerbase.

This kind of idea isn't a new or alien concept. It is an assist. Assists are already commonplace. Mechanisms are already in place to handle use of assists in online play. Racing games are already pretty close to the top of the industry in terms of allowing players to customise the experience to fit their own needs and preferences.

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@24, and it seems you are missing the point I am trying to make. This idea sounds fantastic as an idea. It sounds epic. The huge problem with this is that when we add it to one game, blindies and blind organizations are going to push for more and more thins that game companies cannot pay for, and will do something bad to that company when they fail to implement it. Do you know how expensive creating a AAA game costs? Far more money than any of the people on this forum make combined in an entire year! GTA V cost $265 million! And that was for production costs alone! Now, consider the accessibility market. There's such a small community of us 99 percent of all the publishers out there won't even consider us worth their time. I'm quite surprised EA is even getting away with what they've done so far. Because when you write games, you've gotta play by the publishers rules, or there'll be no publisher for you. Period. And most of the publishers will add, as a clause to their contract, that no accessibility features be added. And if a publisher does permit the addition of accessibility features, just how much is that going to cost? Considering that most studios barely manage to stay on their feet after the game is done, and the only get 3 percent of the profit, accessibility is the last thing they'll give a damn about. As I've said though, if this gets added into *anything* (considering the complete attitude the racing industry has being against blind people) either two outcomes will happen:
* a blind person will log on to an online server (playing offline isn't as fun as online most of the time), another gamer will notice they're using this and will ban them permanently.
* A blind person will log on, they'll notice this thing being used, and they'll leave after swearing up a storm and generally cursing the player, the players family, and so on.
So, while some companies may want to implement it, they most likely won't be able to, considering corporations like FS will demand outrageous amounts of money. Come on, I dare you to go onto any hardcore gamer forum with a reasonable amount of members and tell people about this. I'm telling you, you'll be verbally slaughtered by them, if not outright banned for it.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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