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Old 04-15-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
kugrian
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Visually-impaired MUDders

From Visual Impairment-related features at Achaea

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We've added several features designed to make life easier in Achaea for those with visual impairments that use screenreader software.
How large is the visually-impaired MUD audience? Would it be worthwhile for any smaller MUDs to put this kinda effort into aiding them?
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: Visually-impaired MUDders

See also: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ad...nd-telnet.html

And: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/bu...-proposal.html
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:08 AM   #3
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Re: Visually-impaired MUDders

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Originally Posted by kugrian View Post
How large is the visually-impaired MUD audience? Would it be worthwhile for any smaller MUDs to put this kinda effort into aiding them?
Yes.

NW is specifically featured for Blind players. I find (and have found from our blind players) that blind players do not need to be babied with the PC "visually impaired" tag. Hence we don't use it and call it blind on our game.

We have special features and gear the game toward them as they are a significant player base that NW supports and sustains proactively.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: Visually-impaired MUDders

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I find (and have found from our blind players) that blind players do not need to be babied with the PC "visually impaired" tag. Hence we don't use it and call it blind on our game.
Don't forget, "visually impaired" doesn't just consist of those who are totally or legally blind - it also includes those who are partially sighted or have low vision.

I have a config option called "screen reader" which is (unsurprisingly) designed to make the game more playable for those who use a screen reader. But I also think it's worth considering options for people with other forms of visual impairment, such as customisable colour schemes for those who are colour blind, or (and this is specifically addressed at client developers) larger fonts for those with generally poor vision (the mud equivalent of a Large print book).
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: Visually-impaired MUDders

We have something similar to your config option planned for Tears of Polaris, honestly it wasn't something we had originally thought of doing at all. One of our forum members is legally blind, and another partially blind, and they helped us with designing an alternate "screen reader friendly" way to handle space travel.

I would say it's definately something that any MUD should look at doing as there are quite a few people that play through screen readers, and it's also a gaming market that MUDs have an easier time attracting than big graphical games could.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Re: Visually-impaired MUDders

Ugh, life's been keeping me busy so I'm a bit late in coming in.

Text-based games are one of the few types of gaming where visually-impaired players are on an equal footing with other gamers. Even then, the combat spam of a typical H&S can be too much too keep up with, even for those with 20/20 vision. Thus, I applaud every game that takes measures to make their game accessible to visually-impaired players.

My own game's coder and webmaster is legally blind and uses accessibility software (text enlarger). He and I go way back to college (we used to raise hell about ADA compliance all over campus) in our shared quest to keep those considerations in the forefront of the design of anything we encounter, including our MUD and its website (we still laugh about a meeting we had with a university administrator that told us there was a "handicap-accessible" computer in the University Union, by which he meant it was wheelchair-height; he hadn't even thought about any type of disability consideration beyond that such as software and speakers, etc.).
We're still trying to find ways to overcome some in-game problems and likely will be devoting even more time to that issue later as well.

So the important question is not how many visually-impaired players are out there. The real question is how many games are there that don't ignore them and what can be done to encourage more games to put time and effort into making their game accessible to everyone?

Take care,

Jason
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:48 PM   #7
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Re: Visually-impaired MUDders

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
such as customisable colour schemes for those who are colour blind,
Good point. People often forget about color blindness, I find, despite the fact that it's extremely prevalent. I'm somewhat color-blind, for instance, and though it's nowhere near to completely color-blind certain color combos in games are nearly indistinguishable for me. The 'cyan' and 'white' colors in Settlers of Catan on Xbox Live, for example, look almost identical to me and I've lost games purely because I mistook one for the other.

--matt
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