2019-02-28 18:12:50

I was asked how accessible this game is in another topic. There's already been a topic about it in New Releases, but I thought I would attempt to describe it's accessibility in one post.

First of all, I've been playing this game for nearly a year now and have yet to find any truly unplayable content. Some of it takes a lot of work and dedication, but it can be done.

With that out of the way, here is the bad news. The game has actually become slightly less accessible since it's release. There used to be a lot more elements that VoiceOver could detect. Now there are a lot more areas where you need to turn VoiceOver off and tap the screen. The developers, Dena Corporation, have no interest in all for fixing this as far as I can tell. They are a medium sized company with a support team, and most emails get filtered through said team so that the actual people that work on the game never see them. Blind players and even sighted players have attempted to contact them about this over the past 4 years with no success. So if you want a completely VoiceOver accessible game, you can bail out now.

However, as I said before, I have yet to encounter anything that is unplayable. Though the game shows up as a screen-wide text field, flicking past this field lets you read most text in the game with VoiceOver and select icons on the screen. The only places that are completely unreadable and require total memorization are the dungeon map screen, the record dungeons and the battle screen.

The dungeon maps are a simple matter of tapping on between 1 and 3 different icons to start battles, usually with the later battles locked until you complete the prior ones. Battle is a matter of memorizing screen layout. Record dungeon maps are the hardest because they require you to scroll around as if exploring a map and tap icons as you find them, but I have completed all current record dungeons in the game.

Battles are indeed possible for us to strategize. Although you can not read damage output, character or enemy HP and remaining ability uses, there is a lot blind players can do. The game has an auto targeting system that does things like target a healing ability to the character with the lowest HP, target a random enemy with a debuff who does not have that status effect, and so on. It is also possible for us to use limited targeting if needed, but we must be careful doing this or we can end up healing enemies. The only part of battle I have found to be completely unusable is party formations. However, these only determine who is in the front and back row and do not seem to make or break the playability of content.

In summary, this game is not the ideal of accessibility. It takes a lot of patience and time to learn to play as a blind player. It is also the only game that has managed to keep me hooked for a year straight and with no plans to stop. Active development continues, with new events running every week. New realm and record dungeons are added monthly, and entirely new content and mechanics are introduced several times a year. One thing that is already in the japanese version but is coming to global soon is an improvement to auto battle that could help us a lot. Auto battle currently just attacks with basic attacks. The improvement will allow for ability use, as well as soul break use. There will still be some need for manual control, but it will make testing some strategies easier I think.

I would be willing to put together an article on how to get started with this game if there is enough interest. Sorry, I won't likely do it for just one or two new players as there will be a lot to write down and I have very limited time. But if enough people want to play I can try to get some material together over the next couple weeks or so.

If you've ever wanted a fully playable FF game, this is it. It's more playable than FFX. We can manage equipment, abilities, party members and so on. There are no puzzles to get in the way. Nothing needs sighted assistance. And I am not the first to blaze this trail either. I'm sure other blind players on this forum would be willing to help new players get started as well.

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2019-02-28 18:30:21

As another blind player who has been playing even longer, nearly 3 years, I can say with complete certainty that this game is great. It takes a bit of learning, but I'm such a big final fantasy fan that it's totally worth it.

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2019-02-28 18:36:51

I've tried multiple times, and every time, there seems to be an error message that pops up.

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2019-02-28 18:54:20

Yes, there's often a system error that shows up with VoiceOver. This can be completely ignored. I don't know why VoiceOver reads it, but it is not actually displaying on the screen.

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2019-03-01 05:51:24

I used to be able to tap at the bottom of the screen, followed by the middle of the screen, to end battles that I have lost. However, I am in a loop right now where I do that and it keeps making me retry the same battle. I need to get out of there and go optimize my party or try another dungeon or something.

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2019-03-01 14:55:13

I'd definitely be interested in this. It's a shame we can't seem to find a way to contact the developers proper.

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2019-03-01 17:23:27

Orin, tap near the bottom of the screen, then to the middle right to end a battle. Be careful on this screen, as if you're retrying battles you're probably spending mythril. Which battle are you stuck on?

Aaron, it's the same as trying to contact a company like blizzard. The company itself is represented by a support team that's supposed to filter everything so that the other members of the company don't have to deal with a massive volume of email. While I appreciate this in principle, it also means that in a lot of cases requests for improvement go completely unheard as they are discarded by the support staff. The other problem we have with FFRK is that there are 2 versions of the game, global and Japanese. All of the major changes to the game are made in the Japanese version first, and as a global player I have no idea if there's a way to contact the Japanese branch of Dena.

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2019-03-08 04:21:54

I've been posting in the FF Record Keeper subreddit and there's actually a fair amount of interest in accessibility and helping blind players in that community.

Here is a link to an accessibility post I made.

https://www.reddit.com/r/FFRecordKeeper … d_players/

Here is a post that discusses record dungeons, one of the most difficult sets of content for us to play. This is particularly cool because a couple players have already written guides on how to use the maps for later dungeons. I think more guides are in the works.

https://www.reddit.com/r/FFRecordKeeper … d_players/

Here is the first post I made in this subreddit. It describes in some detail how a blind person can play.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit … nd_player/

Stirlock has also posted a few things in this subreddit with a lot of interest taken. Here is a link to some audio recordings he did showing how to get started with the game.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit … lay_final/

If anyone wants to play this game, it could be helpful for those with reddit accounts to at least upvote the accessibility post. Perhaps one of the more prominent players might know who and how to contact Dena about this matter. As I said in the post, I don't think it would be overly hard to make this game much more accessible. It just needs to get the attention of someone who wants to help and can do something about it.

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2019-03-08 16:06:44

I think I'm going to try getting back into this.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-08 18:46:19

Please let me know if I can help at all. I still haven't decided on doing a full scale article, but I certainly wouldn't mind posting mini-guides for how to get started or play difficult content. I think you'll get the hang of it. If I remember right, you were playing a Yu-Gi-Oh game that wasn't fully accessible at one point. This would be roughly the same idea, just on your phone or tablet and not using OCR.

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2019-03-08 19:29:40

I had read a guide some time ago about how to actually start the game, but I completely forget. What do each of the numbers mean? I know that the 30/30 is the stamina, but the others I do not ⠛⠑⠞⠲

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2019-03-08 20:06:08

Yep, 30/30 is stamina. After that will be your mythril, which is used for relic draws and a couple of other things. Then is your gil, which is used to purchase just about everything else you can't buy with mythril or gems. Sometimes a number will show up after gil on the home screen, or at the very end of the screen. This shows how many items are in your item chest to be collected.

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2019-03-08 21:16:53

Thanks. Where do I press to actually start the game though?

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2019-03-08 22:23:33

It depends on whether you've completed the tutorial or not.

If you haven't, the game will come up in the middle of the tutorial. You can only tap the icons the game has highbbighted at this point, and the story text is readable with VO and will tell you how to advance. If all else fails, tap in the bottom left corner of the screen and if it works, you will go back to the home screen and hear the Final Fantasy prelude music.

If you have completed the tutorial, the game comes up to the title screen with the prelude music playing. All you have to do at this point is activate the play button, which VoiceOver can detect.

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2019-03-08 23:41:00

Two things. Does it get easier to play after the tutorial? I seem to just be pressing around hopefully trying to find things on the screen when voiceover's off. For example I can't find the book of trials and am stuck pressing hopefully and usually choosing the wrong book.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-09 00:08:45

Yes, once you learn where everything is. For instance, on the books of trials screen, the books are layed out in 2 rows of 3. Where it probably wants you to tap is around the bottom middle of the screen. So go about an inch up from the bottom and try there. I thought you could only tap the book the tutorial wanted you to look at, but I guess I was wrong about that.

After the tutorial there's a lot less need to turn VO off. Mostly just in battle or to select icons on the home screen. There are a couple of other instances but about 80 percent of the text in the game reads with VO.

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2019-03-09 01:05:35

Fair enough, will try it out.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-09 02:09:25

I'm struggling in choosing dungeons. I've gone back to the old topic to try to do it that way, but again I just seem to be tapping nonsensically on the screen.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-09 05:27:46

I'm assuming you mean realm dungeons.

From the home screen, tap near the bottom left middle of the screen. About the same place the book of trials was, but at the left edge. Now you'll be on the realm dungeons page.

You probably only have FFVI unlocked at this point, but swiping left and right changes the realm. Left goes higher in number. Touching the center of the screen enters the realm painting.

From here you can turn VO on to select a dungeon. Then if you go to headings in your roter, you will find a heading with the name of that dungeon. Then will be the level and total stamina of the dungeon, followed by prologue, rewards and boss tabs you can use to get information about the dungeon. Selecting enter will take you to the party screen. From here you do any party management, press next and select a roaming warrior. Then press go.

From here you're on the dungeon map. You need to turn VO back off for most of this. In the upper right hand corner is cammsite, a screen that VO can read. Tap the back button, always in the bottom left corner on every screen, to get back to the map. On the right toward the bottom is retreat. Again, VO can read the options once activated. On the left edje are the dungeon icons. Most realm dungeons have 3 battles; bottom, middle and top. The map scrols as you complete them, and VO can read the screen after you select a map icon, which just tells you the name of the battle you're entering as well as how much stamina will be spent. Activate begin battle to start.

This game takes a lot of dedication to learn, but it is very worth it. Be careful in the old topic though, as a lot of things changed in a recent interface update a couple years ago. I can tell you this though. I've been playing for almost a year now and though it takes memorization and patience, the feeling of tapping around randomly quickly goes away.

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2019-03-09 20:43:25

Do you mind explaining the battle screen?

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-09 21:13:09 (edited by death 2019-03-09 21:42:20)

Also how do I get to everything else on the home screen? So my home screen looks like 15 cash images or so, then the announcements. I can get to realm dungeons easily enough now, so how do I get to the rest? Another question, how do I heal? I go to camp and click on heal, then there's nothing I can do.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-09 22:40:42

Ok, I'm going to explain the home screen first, then the battle screen.

You need to have VO off to select icons on the home screen. Here is the layout:

Along the bottom edge are tabs. The first is the home screen tab, which just refreshes the screen you're on. A little to the right is party. To the right of that is upgrades and inventory, then relic draws.

Slightly above that are the dungeons. You will need to scroll from right to left to access some of these. Far left is realm, then record, then event. Scrolling gets you to power up first, then nightmare, then mote and finally torment. Most of these will be locked at first.

A couple inches above realm dungeon is your item chest. This is where mission rewards and login bonuses are sent. The screen can be navigated with VO.

Slightly above that is the announcements icon. These can be read with VO.

On the far right of the screen at the same place as the item chest is the icon that takes you to the hall of acolytes where you can browse the various missions available in the books. VO lets you read the books, but you have to find them on the screen with it off.

Slightly above that is the anex. This brings up a small menu across the top middle of the screen. To the far left, slightly to the right of item chest, is the chocobo exchange. To the right of that is the hall of rites, then the library. The library contains the help database as well as some other useful things.

Finally, in the upper right hand corner is the menu, where you can manage your friend list and profile, change settings, email support and so on. The menu reads with VO. Slightly to the left of that is the shop, which also reads with VO.

Most of the other screens can be managed with VO, though in some cases it takes a little fiddling. Let me know if you have trouble accessing any of them and I will tel; you what I do to get around it.

Now for the battle screen. VO reads nothing during battle, not even the pause menu.

On the bottom edge is your actions menu. When you have a character ready to act, signified by a little ding sound, you can access any of these options. Bottom left is attack. Then from left to right are defend, ability 1, ability 2, and finally soul break. If you have more than one SB equipped, the bottom menu changes to let you pick one of them.

Above attack is auto battle. For now, this just instructs all of your characters to perform a basic attack. From left to right after auto battle are roaming warrior, magicite and skip turn. Magicite you won't need to worry about for some time, and skip turn is mostly useful if you want to use abilities or soul breaks in a certain order.

Above these two menues are the targetable enemies and allies. Enemies are left, your party is on the right. 90 percent of the time you won't need to use these. The game has an auto targeting system that does things like heal the ally with the lowest HP, target an enemy with a debuff that doesn't have it, etc.

In the top right hand corner is the pause button. The game will also be paused if you lock the screen. To resume play, just touch near the middle of the screen and the battle sounds will come back.

If you lose, the game over screen has 2 options; continue and quit. Continue brings up a menu where you can spend mythril or jems to restart the battle with a stackable bonus. Mythril is the top option.

As for healing in the camssite, mostly you won't need to do this. HP is restored between dunjeons. But if you do want to, once you activate heal a heading will apear that you can get to with VO.

Just because it will be useful for battling, I'll also tell you a little about party management.

Early on, you can mostly use the remove all and optomize buttons. Optomize is in the uper right corner of the party management screen. Remove all is slightly to the left of it. When you select remove all, you can turn VO back on and navigate to the heading that appears. By default, all options are checked.

If you want to manually manage equipment, you can mostly do it with VO. This especially applies to abilities, soul breaks and materia. For equipping relics though, you need to briefly turn VO off and touch near the right middle edge of the screen. Weapon is the top icon, then armor and finally accessory. They are kind of close together so it can take some trial and error.

To change party members, you can tap the cached images under the heading that says party members. These are in the same order as displayed above the heading. You can then use the sort button, right before the characters list, to filter the characters. If you want to sort by series, you select that option and turn off VO. The series are arranged from left to right near the bottom of the screen. Be careful, if you tap too low you will hit the close icon. In order to get to any series after FFXII, you need to swipe from bottom to top to scroll up.

Of note is that optomize will fill all 5 of your party slots, but it will not change them unless you have empty slots.

I hope this helps and sorry for the novel.

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2019-03-09 23:33:15

I can't seem to access my inventory? I'm assuming it's the screen with heroes, equipment, abilities and orbs, stuff like that. The only thing I managed to click on was growth egg, and I did that by clicking on the upgrades and inventory button. Kind of confused here.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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2019-03-10 00:48:02

Yep, that's one of the odd ones. So what I do is navigate to what I want to activate and then swipe up with 3 fingers using VO. Then you can navigate back to it and double tap. Usually, everything from growth eggs to reforge equipment works, and you only need to do this for abilities and below.

You can also activate your actual inventory for selling items, as well as the vault, by tapping near the upper right hand corner of the upgrades and inventory screen.

If you want to see more detailed info on a relic, ability, character, soul break or materia, you can also hold your finger over that item with VO turned off until you hear the selection sound. Then you will have a pop-up heading that you can navigate to with VO and read. The only thing is this takes a bit of guess work as to where the item is on the screen" They're always in rows, but depending on the screen there may be more columns per row and some scrolling necessary.

One thing I forgot to mention in the last post about dungeons. If you're in realm and want to go to elite dungeons, or if there's more to an event, you can tap in the upper right hand corner of the dungeon list screen to toggle. This also works on the event dungeon list screen to go to conquest battles.

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2019-03-10 04:45:32

Still struggling with that whole inventory/abilities/whatever else screen. I go to the heading, three finger swipe, go to the heading again and then double tap. Nothing happens.

Silly Gohan, animals don't eat people. People eat animals.

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