Compilation of feedback from blind/low-vision players

Hi Zack, I’ll use this post to report on any issues and feedback I notice blind/low-vision users sharing while playing the game.

This first post concerns quest and map exploration feedback noted today from camaro76 on Discord.

OCR does not fully translate floating tent/inhabitant/nomad text when interacting with an item that needs another item to finish it.
They could not determine how many coins they had collected for the current realm quest. Perhaps OCR was not detecting the Coins Collected (2/5)?
They found the first 2 coins by pure luck, they spent 15-30 minutes searching for the other coins with no luck.

(in general, it seems like most realm objects are found by being lucky at bumping into it)

Related, there’s a new post on the audiogames.net forums where someone is recording a video tonight which will include opinions on what they think would be helpful for the game.
They will also share details on the setup they use to play the game.
Siralim Ultimate (Page 5) — General Game Discussion — AudioGames.net Forum

It also seems like a keyboard button to copy map info? combat state? to the clipboard is a desired option. This is because there are programs like clipreader that will read the clipboard out as speech.

I would love to make the game as accessible as possible to as many players as possible! Some things just can’t be done, though - the clipboard ideas are virtually impossible for me to add to the game at this point, for example.

I suspect any issues with OCR are due to the font. I could look into adding an alternative font option, but this also means that I’d need to go through the entire game and make sure it works correctly with the dozens upon dozens of UIs, so that’s something I’d need to wait and see if I have time to do toward the end of the game’s development.

Been talking a lot with camaro76 on the discord as they work their way through the first few realms. What I’ve noticed is that the actual ‘game’ part of the game - the creature building and fighting - is almost perfectly accessible using a screenreader and OCR as-is. The real issue is pretty much entirely map navigation, primarily hunting down realm quest targets across the map without using any visual aids, and getting back to the castle (which requires finding the altar). That being said, outside of a large overhaul of game systems, I’ve thought of a few things which might be relatively straightforward to implement that I think would improve the experience for visually impaired players significantly.

The first is simple an ‘accessibility toggle’ in the options that would limit realm quests to only those ones that are simplest for blind players. Namely, ones that only require finding one object (piety candle or nether boss for example) or ones that you finish simply by moving around the map (getting random object drops from destructibles or enemies, killing a certain number of enemies, etc.)

The second is an option in the menu to return to the castle/forfeit directly once the realm quest is completed. Currently, camaro76 is restarting the game after every realm quest, or if they get a bad quest like having to find 5 coins, because that gets them back to the castle the fasttest.

Zack,

As a fellow Zack who is new to this game but enjoying it quite a bit thus far, what sorts of suggestions are practical to implement?

The clipboard info available already is very helpful, particularly the ability to copy the battle log for review. I’m trying to think of ways to make map navigation a little easier.

If a clipboard isn’t possible, maybe some sort of display listing nearby landmarks, their distance and direction could be provided. I’m not sure how complex realm navigation becomes in later stages, I’m just on the first quest so far.

I don’t want to make a bunch of extra work for you, by any means. It’s a really intriguing project thus far and I’m curious to know where it goes from here.

Thanks so much for your consideration.

I’m not sure the best place to talk about this sort of stuff, I’ve seen it a few places.
What sorts of things are easy to put in? it seems it would be easier to find a way to increase map navigation, so people wouldn’t half to miss out on certain parts of the game.
You could add an option for constant wall tones, or you could add some kind of radar system so if you were walking forward, and the hallway opens on the right, a sound would play in the right side when you reach that point, if you can’t have things in different speakers, you could maybe have a way to see if you’ve been in a certain part of the map?
maybe you can offer camera map exploration, where you can quickly scroll around the map and sounds would mark specific objects? that might ruin exploration though? I don’t know how map works visually.
Some landmarking system might be the best.

Hi Zack.
There’s a GMS asset which seems to allow a game to use TTS on Windows (via SAPI)

This could be useful for speaking quest names, currently selected menu item, or other battle info.

Hopefully this is helpful.
(though from the forum post it seems it may have issues with non-English game players?)

Not sure if they made it so the speech doesn’t block the game from doing other stuff either.

Perhaps to assist with realm navigation, the maps could be static for each realm type.
That way after the player could become familiar with the map layout for each realm, instead of it changing every time.

Then, after the story, they could stick to one realm to progress even faster.