Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > Advanced MUD Concepts
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-16-2013, 08:01 PM   #21
Verbannon
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Florida-Where no Tourist has gone before.
Home MUD: Shadowgate
Posts: 63
Verbannon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to Verbannon
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orrin View Post
Hilarious. I meant maybe to some sort of pad they can press their finger against that will rapidly scroll itself across the finger, altering its texture to match the text on screen. Thus with some practice allowing them to 'read' the text on screen at a pace close to what a visual player might see it. Assuming the visual players are sub-vocalizing it.
Verbannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #22
camlorn
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 144
camlorn is on a distinguished road
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

Firstly, an audio-only mud, a "sound mud", I'd have to go with no. The whole point of muds for the blind, if you ask me, is that it can be shared with the sighted. Also, with the right setup, and with text to speech being what it is, it is possible to already get a voice of the quality required for "telling a story". Most of us don't, but it does exist; see the Nuance voices for NVDA, for example, or Siri on your iPhone. None of us seriously use those, though, so far as I'm aware: things like Espeak or ETI Eloquence are robotic, but intelligible at 400 words a minute plus (I'm not exaggerating here).
Scandum, most blind people I know don't even know how to bot. Most blind people I know hear the word trigger and go catatonic in horror, or something like that. I think that you are drastically underestimating the capabilities of a blind player. The spectrum varies widely. One advantage is that text to speech, if you train yourself to it, can be 400 words a minute plus; one disadvantage is the lack of skimming. Our comprehension isn't somehow "less". I have my idea of what a fireball is-in my case using what I can see of the world. For those fully blind, I imagine an apt description is a graph of things that relate to other things; I can see that a fireball is big and bright, for example, but don't have a clue what most common animals look like. I know what they represent, however, and that is enough for me to write about them, let alone comprehend your writing about them. I'm not sure if you somehow think that a blind person gets less out of the same words, or if it's something else. Consider, however: some of the top Godwars2 players are blind, some of the top Achaea (can't recall proper spelling, sorry) players are blind, and apparently at least for a period the highest level player on Materia Magica was blind (I don't know if this is still true, and don't know them myself). Please, explain what it is that you think blind players can't comprehend, or what specifically blind people can't do on a mud.
And, addressing the moving pad comment: see refreshable braille display, omnacon (discontinued in 2005, haven't used one myself), and the new generation of touchscreens that are promising tactile feedback (or not, no one's built a tablet yet). In general however, text to speech goes ridiculously fast. By ridiculously fast I mean faster than most, if not all, sighted print readers. I will meet someone who can come up one day and understand my computer, I keep telling myself that, but it hasn't happened yet; as you improve your reading skill, we can choose to improve our listening skill, and the nonscientific evidence I've seen places the rate I can achieve (and have achieved) above print reading in general. I am faster than most; I chose to treat it like exercising and systematically turned it faster, but some are even faster than me.
PS: For the record, I don't have enough vision left to help me with muds in any way.
camlorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 12:56 AM   #23
Verbannon
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Florida-Where no Tourist has gone before.
Home MUD: Shadowgate
Posts: 63
Verbannon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to Verbannon
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

The inability to skim isn't a small problem. Especially if trying to keep up in a conversation. A casual skimmer can boost their WPM to around 600-800 WPM, according to this quick look over of google I'm doing.

So anyway a mud programmer could take that software you just described and fine tune a program to connect their client with it so it can increase its speed to a more reasonable say 1000 words per minute for the sake of skimming?

I have no idea how programing this stuff works. I guess what I'm asking is the limitation in the hardware or software?
Verbannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 08:06 AM   #24
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

I mostly base my statement on tactical interfaces, and the knowledge that sighted players feel forced to switch to tactical (graphical) interfaces in order to compete.

Obviously blind players can add a make-shift tactical interface, by giving a specific status report when pressing a specific macro, but this will be slower than skimming a graphical interface.

I'm not sure if a system allowing two or three different voices to speak simultaneously would work to improve things.
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #25
camlorn
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 144
camlorn is on a distinguished road
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

I think that the major shift to graphical interfaces with muds is more to do with laziness and making them accessible to a wider audience than it is with making competition easier. Obviously people mudded before the invention of graphics or the miniwindow. Multiple voices probably wouldn't help.
The top rate achievable by Espeak is, according to the manual, 900 words a minute. This is subject to change depending on the passage: a word is not like a meter or a foot. It is possible to flush the speech buffer, and I and many others do that; this is close but not equal to skimming, and allows one to start skipping combat messages. Moving the prompt to a hotkey is something that I've done, and there are various auditory progress bars one could implement. Alter Aeon has these via MushZ, but I've not felt it worth my time to bother implementing one for other muds, even though such would take all of a half hour, at most, and would probably be reusable by simply modifying one trigger. It is possible to skim up the input, as it were, but it isn't easily possible to skim new stuff coming in.
I haven't looked at the piece of software you've found but suspect that it wouldn't work well; taking control from the person to whom the reader is reading would probably add to the confusion. The main method of skimming is to read the first few words of each paragraph/line/etc, but the formatting information is lost when mudding; events are separated by time, not lines, for us. When reviewing prior output the formatting information exists again, just not while reading new messages.
camlorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #26
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandum View Post
I mostly base my statement on tactical interfaces, and the knowledge that sighted players feel forced to switch to tactical (graphical) interfaces in order to compete.
Where does that knowledge come from? Because once again it doesn't match my experience at all.

The general attitude among those I've spoken to is that the graphical interface looks pretty, is helpful for newbies, and makes it easier to navigate. But none of that helps you in combat, and I've never heard any player describe the interface as a competitive advantage.

Competitive advantages come from client features like aliases, triggers, scripting, etc. But those options are available regardless of interface, and can be used by blind and sighted players alike.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 08:39 PM   #27
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Where does that knowledge come from? Because once again it doesn't match my experience at all.

The general attitude among those I've spoken to is that the graphical interface looks pretty, is helpful for newbies, and makes it easier to navigate. But none of that helps you in combat, and I've never heard any player describe the interface as a competitive advantage.
Of course your GUI gives an advantage, don't be silly. If there was no benefit there would be no point to it.

And this hurts blind players because they can't as easily skim tactical information. I don't need to read combat messages if I can see my own, and opponent's health in the interface. I don't need to read entrance messages as new people will pop up in the list with characters in the room. I know how much mana and move I have left by glancing at the status bar. If someone closes the door that is the only remaining exit I will notice this almost instantly by the slight flicker in the status bar. Another quick glance gives me a list of spell affects: BlBlGiSa (Bless+Giant Strength+Sanctuary) and a color code will tell me if one of them is about to run out, and I sure won't attack someone with less than one tick left on my sanctuary. If there are any messages I need to read I can highlight them.

Take that away from a player who is used to it and they'll be annoyed and less effective in chaotic combat situations.
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #28
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandum View Post
Of course your GUI gives an advantage, don't be silly. If there was no benefit there would be no point to it.
I already listed some of the benefits - it looks pretty, it's helpful for newbies, and it makes it easier to navigate. But no, it certainly doesn't give any noticeable competitive advantage. Around 20-25% of my active players are blind, and none of them have ever complained about the GUI. Even many of my top sighted players don't use a GUI.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #29
camlorn
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 144
camlorn is on a distinguished road
Re: MUDs for the visually impaired

Scandum, saying that taking away something that someone is used to is going to make them less effective is indeed true. This doesn't mean that adding it will necessarily make someone more effective, only that it made you more effective. I'd say that, in terms of Godwars2 specifically, blind people have a higher developed skill of spacial memory, for lack of a better term, than sighted peers, for the simple reason that we experience the entire world differently. I think that muds haven't changed in any meaningful way in at least 20 years, possibly even 30, and that people didn't have all these fancy status bars back then and did just fine. Even sighted players choose to play without them and there's nothing stopping a blind person from throwing together a quick sound notification--such would take me a few minutes the first time, and a few seconds after that.
Verbannon, I only just saw what you meant when i re-read the thread. Such APIs are limited to asking the screen reader to say something on behalf of the user, asking the screen reader to stop, and in one case using undocumented functions to get it to do other things. IAccessible2 may make it possible to do this in a screen reader agnostic manner via live regions, but that's hard to play with without learning a lot of the inner workings of windows first, and only NVDA to my knowledge has full support and it may not work outside of a web browser. Also, the particular feature I think might be useful there is even more finicky than just calling the screen reader directly. I'd say that with some support, namely functions to query settings and if the screen reader is talking, some callbacks, and the ability to temporarily speed up speech, something might be workable. This would only be likely to be implemented in NVDA, for the simple reason that you could go implement it yourself, and is generally a bad idea, as it begins the slippery slope of adding specific screen readers to the system requirements lists. I'd say that flushing the speech buffer is good enough that it's worked for the last 10 years, but that a better solution may exist. I just don't think that it could be too much better than what we have now, and there's no way of doing it in a screen reader independent manner. It's already a big enough problem making things accessible, as they tend to only work properly with the screen reader with which they were tested. The required APIs for this would aid the mudding community, but could very, very easily lead to numerous difficulties outside of it: nonstandard interfaces because application developers started calling directly, only working with one screen reader and not another, the list goes on for quite a bit.
camlorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014