Discord server: https://discord.gg/6Nu7U6Z
(Please only join if helping build specifications. This is not a generic audiogames.net server. I'm also inviting outside developers to encourage discussion.)
Hey there everyone, this is a thread I'm making where we can talk about establishing blind accessibility specifications in gaming.
I'm currently building a framework right now called maxseer that helps developers automate accessibility, but I only know about making top down games like JRPGs accessible. maxseer could probably be used in a game like Pokemon or maybe even a first person shooter, but it has some limitations. maxseer is currently only in monogame but I'm going to start building a game maker version this weekend, and hopefully eventually Unity as well. But I'm going to need to eventually migrate attention back to my game. The nice thing about maxseer as well is that it's open source and free to use so that any developer (especially indies) can easily implement some level of blind accessibility into their games.
I think we need to gather our knowledge together then, and establish a specification. I can continue to develop maxseer in its current form, but the specification can also allow me to develop accessibility for games that I normally don't build (such as platformers for example). We should also be focusing on automation, things that we can build a framework around, although having non-automated components or semi-automated components is acceptable.
In this specification we really need to establish on an abstract level what the game needs to do in audio in order for it to tell the player vital information that is usually only visible to the player. We also need to make sure our solutions minimize impact of the non-accessible player experience.
The only "specifications" that really exist are weak guidelines that don't really offer much value to the developers. I think having both a specification and an open source framework to use as a guide will help blind game accessibility tremendously, and it has the bonus of being a community based, non corporate owned project that we all contribute towards.
The problem is, I'm not a very technical guy in regards to organizing people and I was thinking we should talk about our ideas first before we start building a system for establishing a means of action. So I made this thread to talk about it.
Let's actually do something about game accessibility for once, this forum has been around for like 20 years, surely we can figure out something
By the way, here is a list of the main components of maxseer. This is mostly something that would be helpful in top down games. But insight on how other styles of game work would be very helpful.
- Proximity detectors, which are a set of detectors that surround the player. As they approach collisions, the detectors get louder as they get closer to the player.
- Footsteps, which trigger at regular intervals for calculating distances
- Sound Emitters, optional but allow for more immersive environments
- AXLabels, which are labels that as a player approaches them it reads off text
- Pathfinding, which allows a player to find a location from their current position.
There is also a menu prototype as well, that reads off TTS text as you navigate the menu. (there's also a keybinder project but it's not exactly related to blind accessibility)
EDIT: Oh i was just thinking, a specification is a good idea as well because while maxseer can provide some level of automation, it can help explain how to do semi-automated components such as linking up maxseer's TTS engine with a developer's text box engine.
Braillemon last release(stable): https://www.dropbox.com/s/v4n08tale65w8 … 0.zip?dl=1
maxseer, blind accessibility automation kit for developers: https://forum.audiogames.net/topic/3052 … ase-demo//