I agree completely with guilevi and xoren.
@dark to be honest, for your comment, It is very noticeable that you did not even bother to test the steam client I still think there should be more people responsible for updating the database, since there are many missing audiogames even on the list.
I think the result of the survey is being overwhelming by now.
greetings and thanks.
Regarding Smugglers, because it seems to be using a lot of Smugglers 4 code at least in regards to the UI, it has the problems with NVDA that it does with JAWS, which are occasionally jumbling text from different screens and sometimes completely missing certain parts especially on the battle screen, so things as important as firing your basic weapon would just disappear forcing you to waste missiles or other skills. Speaking of which I just realised that in the Smugglers games, sighted people have access to a map showing the links between the sectors, something that you have to either memorise or write down yourself, something that could get quite annoying if someone is just getting started.
Regarding Steam there seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around. You can sign up through the website, where your only hurdle is the captcha with no audio alternative, something you can get around if you use FF, chrome or safari (by the way aren't there a few browser games in the DB with no audio captcha where you have to ask the developers to sign you up?)
Anyway, once you create the account and install the steam client, you can log in by editing the steam desktop shortcut and using the -login steamname password commandline switch, as well as adding -no-draw which fixes the OCR requirement. This will get you signed in, and from then on you can do just about everything via the steam website, including buying games or starting the installation which creates a desktop shortcut when it's finished so there's no need to find your games inside the steam library.
In the case of Skullgirls, you had to change the app shortcut inside the steam app to get it to talk, but the latest version has fixed this.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that this is not as hard as it seems. and if you wannt to use the more social aspects of Steam like the friend list or chat, you can do both of those things via the website or the accessible iOS/android app, which incidentaly also allows you to command the windows client to download or start games.
I'm not trying to make people that refuse to try Steam suddenly go and do it, but we shouldn't take away the opportunity from visitors that might not read the forum. And what if at some point a game developer comes to this site asking for help but only sells his game on Steam? Are we going to turn him away just because he wanted to ironically reach the most number of people with the least hastle? The votes seem to be mostly in favour of Yes. Unless this changes in a few days, and the editors are still in favour of refusing to add games like Skullgirls or all the visual novels with speech support, then I'm going to start seriously questioning how open this community is if wwe're going to be segregating developers like this regardless if they spent days making the games work for us or not.
Most of what I am going to say has been said already but still. I think it would be kind of silly not including games on steam in the database. Sure the client can be kind of annoying at times, but it is usable, and why should we limit the games in the database simply based on a client that can be slitely hard to use at first? Games like A Blind Legend for example are brilliant cases to be put in the database, fully accessible, and a cool game, that if it isn't in the database some people may not know it exists. Isn't the database meant to be a full on info thing for ALL! Accessible audio games? As the community evolves we need to evolve with it. If the client wasn't usable at all then I would understand but it is really usable. And why should we limit what is in the database based on what the database editors want to play? Even if these other games are fully accessible?
#29 (edited by cj89 2016-05-07 06:26:13)
I'm sure I'm repeating a bunch of posters here, but hey!
I personally don't have a problem with this, seeing as at the end of the day, when I think of accessible I think of access. (cliche sure, but whatever.) You can jump through 50 hoops to get something to work, but it still works. It might not work for everyone, but do we not have a community here to discuss such things? I also see it a nod to indie devs who might run across this forum. I say this all the time, but 1 of the biggest problems we have is people simply aren't aware that we can even use steam, or even play mainstream games at all. As has been said, times are changing, and we've never been in a more exciting position now that the gaming community is more open. I don't even see a problem with games like Mortal Kombat and things being added, as long as its made clear that there are expected hurtles you will face.
Games like Pokemon Crystal are extremely playable. From memory Pokedex data doesn't read in game, but literally 30 seconds of google searches will lead you to the entry you need. If you were to put that game in there, I'd definitely try and link to a big site like bulbapedia.
Anyway, just my thoughts.
If mainstream games were to be added to the database, maybe a demo should also be made by a blind person so that those who find the game in the database, can get some tips on how to play the game. Also, as others have said, the steam website and app on the phone can be used to substitute a lot of things such as purchasing and getting the client to download the game and start games. [have not tried this] Steam is a pain to use of course, but I find it easier to use then play smugglers with NVDA. At least with steam, NVDA doesn't always muddle up things. There are ways around most things wrong with the client. Now its off to try and play L.A. Noire, cause why not?
#31 (edited by grryfindore 2016-05-07 07:01:07)
What people don't get when they talk about x y z audiogames having not been added to the database is not the unwillingness of the mods or the people with database rights to add them, but the availability of time and interests that they have in that perticular game.
If you'd like to see a game added,and can write out a review or what have you a description would be more apt of the game and how the gameplay actually functions, ask dark or other mods/admins if they'd consider adding Z title to the database if you were to write a satisfactory description etc for the thing. Write it up if approved, send it and if you have written it as they want it, the game will be added.
This is what was done for Japanese games.
As to steam? as much as I'd like to see skullgirls in the database because I really admire the work its developer has done, steam is a horrible piece of software that has no bloody access and is a lot painful than installing a few softwares/ requirements for the Japanese games.
Are people actually saying steam is so eazy to use that I can use it with JAWS no issues and don't need NVDA to use the thing? at people who said steam is far easyer to get working than Japanese titles.
I don't really know what you guys do to make the client so easy to use so much so that you'd go recommending the use of the client to users that might not really know much about computers and not be as advance when it comes to these things, at least the Japanese games only requires you to have the knowledge to install a software NVDA and add jap keyboard to go on with,instructions for which can not only be found in the guide but anywhere on the hole internet.
How easy steam is to use for users can be seen on the topic ABL released on steam, where people have nothing but problems getting steam to work.
I followed the steam guide myself, wanting to buy ABL, used jaws,used nvda with OCR addon, but it was nothing but a najor flop on its arse after trying hours and hours of getting it to work I just gave up.
I did manage to run skullgirls god knows how much work it was, defenatly more than that required for Japanese games years ago,and it is something I really wouldn't go recommending to the average user.
All that aside, I don't see any titles on steam besides ABL and skullgirls, so what titles besides those would people be wanting added in the database?
No,mainstream games should defenatly not be added,because those are nothing but based on huge and I mean huge amount of memorization and such and nothing else.
If it were only skullgirls though, I guess as long as mods were willing to consider it as an exception and add it with a description by someone who can actually write well and has played it in dept, with a worning that steam is not easyly setup is a huge pain in the arse and not recommended for the average user or a newbie I guess, it could work.
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I have already said this, maybe they should be under a separate page, or have some kind of steam tag on them, or make a platform filter (btw, we actually havea platform item in the database and you still can't filter by that). But people should have the chance. I'm not saying I would recommend steam, because I wouldn't, but if you're set pu trying the games, it's not even that hard. Install, -login user pass -no-dwrite, buy th games on the site, go to steam window, press first few letters of game, enter, and find next with flat review or jaws cursor. And then you get an item on the desktop. Is that seriously so hard to do? Yes, it's harder than setup.exe, enter, alt n times 5 and alt i, but seriously? Can't we even go through something more challenging than that to get a game up and running? Again, we're a minority. It would be nice to have an accessible steam client, but how many users are on this forum? How many of those are blind? And how many sighted users are on steam? Valve doesn't really have the need to make it accessile, and we're going to have to either deal with that and support the developers who choose steam because of how easy it is for them, or constantly wine about it and try to make them release standalone versions, which they might not want to do for a number of reasons. I could wine at Valiant8086 for making his game available only on GDG, which requires a constant connection (which btw is annoying as hell) but hey, it's his choice if he wants to use the platform and we all have to deal with it. If we include only games which Dark and maybe 2 other people can test, what if a game comes out for a console that they don't have? It could come up talking, but it would require you to go to the store and buy the CD, which is already harder than alt+n, alt+i, so it wouldn't be added?
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A destiny we cannot escape.
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#33 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2016-05-07 10:55:47)
For me.. Steam isn't a game, it's separate from the games. At the moment Steam is a big barrier, but I'm sure there are people already who would like to know about games that they need sighted assistance to buy, but don't need sighted assistance to play.
Also it's worth considering that despite past form, some day Steam may become accessible. If it does, it would be useful to have those games already present.
Perhaps have them listed, but with some kind of note attached to them about Steam? Have them as a separate category, or with an asterisked note or something?
There's lots of talk here about the amount of work that has gone into talking to steam. The landscape has now changed, as of October Steam are legally required to make certain areas of the client (those relating to communication - party chat etc) blind-accessible, with fines of $100,000 per day for non-compliance (up to a maximum of £1m). It's the same law that covers the console operating systems, called CVAA.
It doesn't apply to the current client as that's an existing product that had been released before the compliance date. For for future major client releases it's something that they have to consider, and once the door is open to then having implemented some degree of accessibility into the client, it's not anywhere near as much of an ask for them to build on that and open up more areas of it.
So now is probably a better time to be having those kind of conversations with them than it has been in the past.
You are all missing the point. As Dark said, his definition of accessible is that the game is just as accessible to a visually impaired person as it is to a sighted person, and Steam fails in that regard, so Steam games to not belong here. If you want a web site that includes partially accessible and or mainstream games, go to gamespot, I G N, or any of the many web sites about games, but please don't pollute this site with games that aren't fully accessible to the visually impaired.
Besides having accessibility issues, there's also the issue of whether anyone wants these game clients in their system. More often than not, they cause problems for the games that require them. Back before I knew better, I bought several games through Steam, the games frequently failed to start up properly requiring me to restart them before I could play them, they also frequently hung or crashed. Then I heard that the problem was that the games and the Steam client didn't get along so I bought retail boxed versions of the games, and wouldn't you know it? The start up problems, the hanging, and the crashing all stopped. Lesson learned.
Having learned my lesson about game clients like Steam, Origin, and others, I, for one, don't want any game clients, period! They are generally unnecessary and more often than not, they don't add anything of value to the games. A while back there was a game I was interested in until I found out that it was only available through Guide Dog Games, and they use a client similar to Steam in that it has to be running to play the game. My interest in the game went down to zero such that I don't remember the name of the game anymore.
I'm done trying to convince people that Steam is accessible, since despite my saying it is accessible, people clearly aren't reading. I'm done trying to encourage people to add Steam games to the database, since Dark has already pulled the dictator card and said "I don't care what the majority wants (26 yes votes to 6 no votes), this is what I want, and this is how it will be". I'm done trying to rid people of this backwards thinking ignorance, where you hear something negative and fully invest in it, or have a small negative experience and then use that as the standard of evaluation, as if software doesn't evolve.
I was actually going to record a demonstration of how accessible Steam really is, with JAWS and NVDA, but it seems like wasted effort when one person can pull rank and shut down a field of information for everyone else, never mind that said person has basically just devalued the opinions of his peer(s) who might've otherwise wished for Steam implementation. This kind of Draconian policy making is honestly ridiculous to me, and will do nothing towards progress.
Wallow in your ignorance and self righteousness and deprive yourself of the games that are available on Steam then. I and those like myself who embrace effort and have learned how to use Steam will enjoy our expanded library.
I am frankly disappointed at this level of close-minded, and am baffled as to why certain individuals would be so offended with the inclusion of Steam games to the library. As others have stated, it's easy to designate game platform, so if you don't like the platform, just ignore it! What you are doing instead is saying that, because I myself refuse to learn how to make these games playable, no one else needs to know about them. You are furthermore spitting on the efforts of developers who have gone out of their way to add accessibility to games which, lets be honest, they're not really obligated to. So well done for not appreciating their hard work, and well done for dictatorship.
@Xoren: I think you should post the recording. From reading Dark's post, it doesn't look like he's being a dictatorship here at all, it's just an opinion. I for one would certainly be curious how you use Steam with Jaws.
The votes clearly are overwhelmingly in favour though, but it's not going to be a simple matter of just adding games. It's knowing what to do from here, how to approach this matter.
Aaron, I note this final paragraph of Dark's:
Therefore, until! the client is fixed, steam games won't get pages, indeed I'd strongly suggest that developers of games like Skullgirls if they want their games to be fully accessible do as the developers of smugglers, and the cog titles do and offer downloads without! the inaccessible mess of steam, indeed I actually think this website should not! support Steam given Valve's basic lack of interest in accessibility.
Dark has said in this one statement that there won't be any Steam entries, that he furthermore expects developers to take their games off of Steam to find some other form of DRM protection and distribution before he'll endorse them, and thus allow them into the database. He does not entertain the thought that the decision may change based on community interest, in fact he give no illusions that community interest in any way matters in his decision making with regard to the Audiogames database. This seems very dictatorial to me, and I am frankly very disappointed that one person can hold so much sway over the Audiogames database. He could've said that he might need help adding Steam entries, he could've said he needed proof that Steam was accessible... any number other things, but he has declared his stance on the issue, and it is in my opinion one derived only from his own personal interest and ignorance, rather than with any consideration for the other members or contributors of this site.
You are all missing the point. As Dark said, his definition of accessible is that the game is just as accessible to a visually impaired person as it is to a sighted person, and Steam fails in that regard, so Steam games to not belong here.
You said it yourself. This is his definition. This definition is subjective, and evidently it seems that a pretty overwhelming majority thinks the definition should be otherwise, judging by the poll results so far. I'll agree with what others have said, in that we as a community need to evolve, and a site that doesn't evolve with it doesn't seem like a good idea to me. When has stagnation ever helped anyone?
Besides having accessibility issues, there's also the issue of whether anyone wants these game clients in their system.
The answer to that is obviously a resounding yes, because millions of people use it. You are of course well within your right to not like it, but whether specific people do or do not want to use a gaming client should not affect the decision. Simply put, this argument isn't relevant to the discussion at hand. Should we also remove any and all evidence from this site that there exist such things as the guide dog client, simply because people like you might not want clients like those either? If you don't want to use those, fine. But right now you're making it sound like game clients are an insult to your very being, which isn't helpful in any way. It's like saying that all games in programming language X should be removed from the database because some people have experienced crash bugs with them.
I have to agree with Soren and Arjan. The reason why Dark is saying Steam games *won't* get pages is because he doesn't agree with how the client works. So basically, even though a statistical 7x% of the community thinks it will be an imprivement to the site, Dark thinks it won't, so the community can go to hell and developers should work twice as hard to release their games in a form in which we, a *TINY* community compared to Steam's, can enjoy their games, even though we can already do that if we really want to, as all the blind users on Steam will be able to tell you. There are even some moderators who agree with this, but hey, moderators are only moderators if they follow your opinion.
@Figment, wow. Pollute this site? That just killed me. And about the full accessibility thing, as Pitermach said in a previous post, Smugglers games don't see to be *FULLY* accessile either, and yet I still see them in the database. But no, even though the control interface is almost exactly the same as Steam's, it's not "polluting". Either you focus only on audiogames, or you focus on accessible games. Anything in between could be considered close-minded to some platform or another, which is what's happening now, and I'm seriously disappointed.
An enemy we cannot defeat.
A destiny we cannot escape.
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Whatever my opinion about steam, this topic has got waaaay out of hand and is being closed sinse there is far too much irrational arguementation and all around sniping on both sides of the arguement, indeed that is why I have not replied further here sinse the matter needs careful consideration not this sort of mob mentality.
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)
I would like to add one final thought.
This website's description of audiogames does not say the word accessible, or even that games require a screen reader. I'm actually lead to believe that maybe audiogames.net was designed to promote all forms of audiogame after reading this, including hybrid ones. The only way this can be straightened out is if we ask Richard and Sanda what they think the right course of action should be. There are games here, like Real Sound, that don't even have screen reader support and aren't even on a pc.
The big one that comes to mind, is Real Sound - Kaze No Riglet, this is very much the odd one out on this site, and I think if a game like that can be put here, Steam stuff has a possibility of being added, but as Dark and I have also said, much more consideration has to be taken.
I did not set up this topic as a here and now, it was just to gauge interest and get an opinion and I think the best opinion to get now, would be Richard and Sanda's.