2021-04-15 14:13:45

And I still think you didn't get me right. I can be patient when it comes to accessibility and if a studio says right from the start "nope, we're not considering accessiblity for reason X", I am okay with that. I'll think it's a shame, but I won't really get pissed. BUT if a company - as it seems to me in this case - says first "yeah, we're making this accessible if enough people are interested", then gain a lot of interest, but then suddenly say "nope, no accessibility planned", then I am pissed. If you know it is not possible for your for any reason to make a game accessible, you shouldn't build up hopes like that. That's what pisses me off.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 14:15:08

Can you show me where the studio said "yes. We're making this accessible." Nowhere have I ever seen them state this.
They stated they were interested in exploring it if it was possible. But Nowhere have I seen them commit to adding the feature.

Much less active on this forum than in the past.

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2021-04-15 14:20:46

No wonder why Karen Stevens left this forum.

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2021-04-15 14:52:50

Damn. This is disappointing. Guess i'll request for a refund on steam then.

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2021-04-15 15:44:59

@26: A topic with 1000 views and 49 posts on audiogames.net constitutes a lot of interest? Hahahahahahahahahaha no

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Lucas.

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2021-04-15 16:29:28

Oh, that was a misunderstanding on my part then. I thought they said that they would add accessibility if enough people were interested.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 16:49:17

I mean but also it's $15.  $15*1000 is $15000, which is still below my reasonable $20000 estimate.  Of the 1000 people who viewed the thread, probably only 100 would buy it (and I'm not one of them--this doesn't look like an interesting game to me).  And that's only $1500, aka a few days of developer time.  Except that audiogames.net double counts views so that's probably only 100 people total at most, and only 10 of them buy it.

There's probably somewhat of a blindness market somewhere, except not really because if there were we'd have examples of profitable audiogame companies, so it's not like you're going to get a lot more than that.  I mean Slay the Spire got a lot of blind players, but even there it's not actually that many at all in the grand scheme of things and Slay the Spire has a lot of broad appeal, rather than this thing which only has appeal to a very specific sort of person.

A lot of people here like to get stuck in this narrative where we matter in the sense of an economic incentive.  Even if you find a bunch of blind people who want to do games, which I do think is actually possible, most of them can't afford it and you can't just take a specific game like this and assume enough of them would want to play it.  A good target game for activism would be something like Final Fantasy, which has enough appeal to a broad enough portion of the population to turn us from pocket change to a rounding error on the balance sheet of these companies.  The last time I heard a subscriber count from the Say the Spire dev, it was 1000.  If we say that somehow it's 2000 or 3000 people playing it, which is reasonable, then half of those probably pirated.  SO call it 1500 players, for a $25 game, which is $37000.  That's enough to hire one dev for about a third of a year at U.S. market rate, or to pay one employee barely above minimum wage for a year.  This is the world we live in.  Except about 20% of that profit actually goes to taxes and overhead before it even gets to the employee.  It's not the one where we have a chance in hell of mattering.

maybe we'll begin mattering in 10 years as we transition from a world in which born-blind people don't know tech by default to one in which they do, but: most blind people with enough vision to play sighted games just do that, most blind people who go blind older have much bigger problems than working out audiogames, and the number of born blind people is really low.  The  entire addressable market before you figure out who's interested in games--literally, just the people who could buy a game if they wanted it--is probably under a million.  And that's split across the entire planet, so even before you get to "who's interested" you get to "who can speak English".  And so on, and by the time you're done--call it maybe 20000 blind people who might consider an audiogame for more than half an hour in the U.S. and I feel kind of like that's still a high number.

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2021-04-15 17:18:57

@32: 20000? How do you come to that conclusion? Asking because I am really interested.
And why do you think the forum double-counts views, that doesn't really make sense to me.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 17:20:05

I'm pretty disgusted by the people who come in here and start accusing these devs of "scamming". Get off your computer and get some fucking perspective before you ever take that word in your stupid little mouths again.

I used to be a knee like you, then I took an adventurer in the arrow.

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2021-04-15 18:40:53

To the people @Connor142 mentioned: Can you explain how the hell this would even qualify for a scam?

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 18:51:42

@33
The forum doesn't remember who looked at a thread.  It just counts the number of times someone loaded it.  Go hit f5 a bunch of times and I'm pretty sure the count goes up, though I haven't tested.

With the caveat that it's just a well-informed guess, you get to 20000 people in the U.S. like this.  First, start here from some blindness statistics, through which we know that 1M people are blind, that is, definitely without enough vision to go play sighted games, which make audiogames look like crap.  Before we do anything else, this already limits the market.  The rest of this is more broad estimates not facts.

Get rid of all the people who went blind later.  They are going to have much bigger problems than audiogames: it will take them many years to reach proficiency with a screen reader, they didn't grow up with games, and they probably have bigger problems.  "Use all your skills you don't have to play audiogames" is a big ask, they're probably not going to bother.


So that limits us to children.  We can get info on that here which says 63k currently, 4k braille readers, and 6k audio readers.  So that gives us an estimate somewhere between 63k and 10k as to how many people at any given time are blind enough for this sort of stuff; let's split the difference and call it roughly 30k students in school.  Some of the other numbers on that page are interesting, but the APH statistics are a good proxy, because it counts the number of people capable enough to be doing school at all, which are probably the number of people who are curious and interested enough to go seek out communities like this, and who have the skill to do so.

Audiogames and the tech for accessible games, screen readers, etc. have all been around for 20 years, and we can probably safely assume that the number of blind people is stable over time.  This means that one generation has had the chance to get all the way through school and become adults.  So let's double our 30k number to account for that to 60k, then say that maybe we've got 40k or 50k adults older than that, who somehow have the skills and interest or whatever.  This puts us at, say, 100k.

Now, we go to "who plays games in sighted land" stats.  A quick Google gives us this which says it's about 70%.  This immediately knocks us down to 70k.

Next, we know that most blind people make minimum wage, and that the blindness unemployment rate is anywhere from 30% to 70%.  What we're interested in is "how many people have money?"  So again, let's split the difference and say 50%--except that frankly most blind people are going to be working minimum wage, so they won't have enough money left over to go buy a bunch of luxuries.  SO let's start by splitting in half again to say that the total number of blind people who would buy games is 35k.

After this, why I think it lower is more subjective.  First, each of those 35k people is probably only going to buy 1 or 2 games a year even if there was a glut of content.  You might be able to run something like my hypothetical MMO project at cost because reasons, and otherwise scrape a bit more out using subscriptions, but broadly speaking before you even factor anything else in there isn't money to be had.  A lot of those are children, whose parents are probably just going to go "wtf, why would I buy you a PC and some games when there's nothing to play, how about a puppy instead" or whatever.

To justify why I don't think this number is as high as 35k with a more mathematical argument, let's start by saying that they'll each buy 1 game a year for $15 without fail, provided there's a game to buy.  This puts the total value of the market at around $500000 before taxes; call it $400000 after taxes and company overhead (yes, it is that much; if you're employed there's actually a 15% tax even before income taxes, most of which is taken on by your employer).  If the number were at 35k, that would fund a few audiogame devs full time.  But this doesn't happen.  If the money were lying around to be picked up that easily, someone would have done so and we'd have Manamon 10 or Shades of Doom 5 just because that's enough to fund it.  But it's even weirder than that--if this estimate were right for the U.S. then we should have a multimillion dollar industry, so in order for it to be right, where are the big audiogame production studios?  We should at least have one.  we don't, which is some pretty big evidence that these numbers are way higher than it actually is.

But next--say there's 30 accessible sighted games.  Say that all of them are equally interesting and that we all go buy one without fail and somehow the 35k estimate is right.  You just divided your market by 30.  You don't even get one extra dev at cost per studio assuming the 35k number, but the 35k number can't be right.  Now maybe the 35k number might be right with some big promotion and social media drives that grow the audiogames market, but everyone is already aware of audiogames, so I doubt that can work--and, again, that costs money.  So as soon as you do enough games, that's it.  We can't be enticed by better graphics, which means that if we have an accessible game we can all play it for 20 years, which means that the more games get released that are quality, the smaller the market gets.  Permanently.  This is literally the worst possible market situation you can possibly be in.  It's like saying you want to sell cookies but 95% of the country has diabetes and also you're selling magic infinite cookie jars so that no one ever needs to buy your cookies again.  And that's the end of that.

This is the market research for the mmo project I want to do, which I estimate might be able to bring in $20k annually, which is only enough to run at cost and get new content by using the fact that you can find art and writers for cheap in blindness land.  The reason we don't have quality audiogames?  No one to sell them to.  The reason we don't have lots of accessible sighted games?  No one to sell them to.  And that's the end of that, really.  We don't matter.  We probably can't matter outside big studios doing altruism.  At most, we can matter for 5 or 10 years, but only in the best possible universe, then people run out of things to sell us because the market forces that keep sighted people coming back and upgrading their consoles or whatever don't exist here.  Programmers are expensive.  Even if the audiogame market is somehow 20 million dollars, that's what just one small SF tech startup brings in every year.

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2021-04-15 19:00:04

And these stats, ladies and gentlemen, is why developing games that only account for blind a11y is absolute rubbish. If you're going to do a11y, do the full package to make it at least somewhat worth it.

I used to be a knee like you, then I took an adventurer in the arrow.

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2021-04-15 19:00:48 (edited by JayJay 2021-04-15 19:04:57)

This would be the only time I'd support for the mods to delete a topic. There's been lots of horrid stuff on here, but man, the bold entitlement going on in here, only makes  it horrible for everyone else. Also, I find it funny that even when Camlorn, a dude who works in the industry, and has been for at least ten years at this point comes in and backs up the claim of the company even then its still an exageration. Come on guys.

Bondye envante lagè yo anseye Ameriken jewografi

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2021-04-15 19:19:41

@Camlorn: Thanks for the detailed explanation. I think I now understand why what I said was unjustified. Thank you.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 19:33:09

@37
Yes, but while I'm pointing out unpopular things I think it's worth pointing out that making a game accessible to the totally blind is actually an entire order of magnitude harder than making it accessible to 90% of disability land.  Colorblind?  No problem, apply some global filters.  Low vision?  Just make sure the graphics are high contrast.  Motor disabilities? Just let someone turn on the "I'm more invulnerable now" mode, or toggle off a couple mechanics.  All of those get you 10 times what blind accessibility gets you in terms of market--not together, by themselves.  The blindness one is 10 times harder in the best case and gets you my estimates above if you're lucky.

And I mean.  We matter in the sense of altruism and whatnot.  There's honestly probably a lot of gains that could be made in the open source games space or whatever where it's free stuff done as a labor of love, and I don't know why these efforts never target those people.  But we just can't matter financially.  We are *always* going to be an extra cost.  Not just for games.  For any sort of accessibility.  We get sort of left out of these discussions when people say "let's be accessible" because the work to be accessible to literally everyone else handling everyone else all at once and not disability by disability is literally easier than the work to be accessible to the totally blind by itself.  One of these makes you money.  One of these loses you money.  Guess which one is always going to win.

Take captions versus description for example.  I actually used to work in that industry.  If you want captions for your movie, you go pass it off to minimum wage workers in India using some tech magic that also does half the work before it even gets there and a word-for-word transcription comes back no problem.  Want audio description?  Hire a voice actor and an honest-to-god author to write a second script for your movie.  It's all like that when it comes to blindness--what we need is just so specialized and more complicated.

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2021-04-15 19:40:31

seb wrote:

No wonder why Karen Stevens left this forum.

we really need a rule about bashing games seriously
this is not criticism btw
and btw seb, this has nothing to do with you don't get me wrong, I've quoted this issue so the importance of this thing can be understood

2021-04-15 19:50:00

@41: If we are getting such a rule, it would have to be very precise so no criticism can be falsely flagged as bashing a game. I think the line would be quite thin between those two.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 19:56:10

@42 this topic passes the line by a lightyear or two

Bondye envante lagè yo anseye Ameriken jewografi

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2021-04-15 20:47:02

@Jayjay: I didn't mean this topic by what I said, I was generally saying that such a rule would have to be well-thought out and that the difference between valid criticism and bashing a game or dev can be quite subjective.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-15 21:16:57 (edited by MatthewSmithYT 2021-04-15 21:18:10)

My opinion is still the same throughout this whole entire topic. It's sad it's not going to be made accessible, but Camlorn's right.
We cost extra money that there's no reason to spend, especially if they're not going to get it back in the end.

Upon searching google for "When was oxygen invented," the first result states that oxygen was discovered in 1774. This simply must mean that oxygen was invented in 1774! All those lucky people who were alive before then! They didn't even need oxygen!

Discord: MatthewSmithYT #4496

2021-04-15 21:59:32

@44, I agree, especially with the knowledge this forum tends to label any little form of criticism as bashing, but just pointing out this imo crosses the line.

Bondye envante lagè yo anseye Ameriken jewografi

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2021-04-15 22:10:54

It's OK to feel disappointment about this. What's not OK is to do what a lot of you were doing and just going ape about it and acting entitled as hell. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Also, keep in mind that when you guys were saying the devs said this, a lot of that was second hand info, which you have to take with a grain of salt.

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It's very easy, if you see a topic about BGT, simply don't reply to it.
If you're thinking about creating a topic about BGT, just don't.
Doing these things will cause all such topics to sink to oblivion.

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2021-04-15 22:40:54 (edited by MatthewSmithYT 2021-04-15 22:42:22)

@47
You're exactly right.
Sure, It's disappointing that a game isn't getting accessibility features added in. However, maybe the studio looked into it and was like, "Oh heck no. This is going to cost us way too much money and there's no way in heck we can pay for that."
If they were willing to say that they'd explore it, maybe they did, and got that kind of results. If, however, they didn't bother and just went back on their word then that would just be disgusting. Not much we could do about it though, so what's the point in getting upset over it? It does be what it does be.
LOL.

Also, @47, I'm still looking for an answer on the podcast thing. I posted a dropbox link, as someone, I don't remember who, asked for it.

Upon searching google for "When was oxygen invented," the first result states that oxygen was discovered in 1774. This simply must mean that oxygen was invented in 1774! All those lucky people who were alive before then! They didn't even need oxygen!

Discord: MatthewSmithYT #4496

2021-04-15 22:51:11

@48, That's capitalism. Be greatful they at least replied and had the courtesy to say they aren't bothereing instead of just keeping the whole notion in limbo. Not directing all of that at you but

Bondye envante lagè yo anseye Ameriken jewografi

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2021-04-15 23:00:52

re: The Karen Stevens thing. Has anyone came up with actual solid evidence that she was driven from this forum?
People are always popping up in threads far tamer than this one to constantly remind everyone of this, but there doesn't seem to be anything that backs it up.

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

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