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Football Manager Accessibility for Visually Impaired and Blind


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Hi,

I'm Alessandro from Turin in Italy, I love FM from years 1992!

Unfortunately I am suffering from a degenerative disease of the eye (RP - Retinite Pigmentosa), over the years I was able to find solutions for playing FM (Zoom Magnifier), but now that I am almost blind I can say that I have stopped playing this fantastic game.

I'm sorry, because FM is a game with a lot of written text, the user interface is simple and as such could fit very well the tools they use to get the blind to read things on the screen of a PC. These programs are called screen readers, such as a screen reader NVDA is free. This software reads all!

I am very sorry, I know that this post will remain a drop in the ocean, but it would be nice and innovative developers FM thought about these things!

W FM !!!

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Hi Alessandro, sorry to hear that you've been forced to stop playing FM. Thanks for raising this issue, it's something I'll raise with the rest of the team to see if there's anything we can do.

All the best.

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Thanks a lot for the quick replay!

FM could be the first game played by the blind and visually impaired, with a TTS voice that read the game interface element to a player.

if you want, I am available to be able to give advice and in the future in order to test a possible version for the blind.

In the world there are many blind people who love Football and FM is "the football" !!!

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I may not be visually impaired, but it's reasons like this that I'm happy the forum exists. Glad that Sharkboy got a response back so quick and hopefully there is a positive result :thup:

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I am aware that it's difficult to adapt FM to the Screen Reader!

Perhaps it will remain only a dream!

The developers should add a feature that makes the user move intoFM with the arrow keys and with another key open an option in the objext selected and use enter key as a key action! In internet there are a open source TTS called eSpeack http://espeak.sourceforge.net/ with all languages!

I realize that is a big job! :p

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My dad is also registered blind, but manages to play FM - he uses a 40" HDTV as his monitor. Even then, a lot of the menus are lost to him, especially when they have multiple tabs that are small and hard to spot. A simplified layered menu system more like the ones on the FM mobile games would probably be good for people who struggle with eyesight.

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When I saw something and I was a visually impaired person, I had many difficulties to read a little text in FM, then I found on the internet of the skin with high contrast colours and the font a little older, there were problems because the text was cut! I then decided to use the magnifying glass windows, but the text was not clear. Today that are blind, the only solution is the speech that reads the text with a menus schema more navogable with a keyboard!

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Another possibility is to develop the FM interface in HTML 5!

This option would ensure a complete integration with various internet browsers, various mobile devices and various operating systems :) but this is only an idea!

FM I MISS YOU!

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I agree that there should be a more simplified version of FM for people who are blind/have sight problems etc, however, how far can this go? I am actually partially colour blind and struggle to see the colour of red/green when mixed together. Can you imagine how I feel when Liverpool are playing Celtic on a green pitch? I mean there are ways and means to get round things, but could you imagine how long it would take for someone who is partially sighted to have the whole FM interface read out to them by a voice over?

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It is necessary for developers to make FM customizable graphical interface!

It must be made ​​possible to completely change the colours schema.

It must be made ​​possible to change the font size.

When an improved version of FM must released a set of skins with different color schema, as is the case for the various operating systems.

I understand all the problems related to the colors, in the past I was able to change pitch colours, ball size and player size for a 2d view! I have never had the pleasure of being able to see a 3d view :(

These are all things that require a lot of work from developers.

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Hi Alessandro, sorry to hear that you've been forced to stop playing FM. Thanks for raising this issue, it's something I'll raise with the rest of the team to see if there's anything we can do.

All the best.

Hi Neil, I've done a fair bit of of work in accessibility for disabled gamers and I can give you some advice on this if you're interested. The way to achieve it would probably be through the handheld version, as screenreader compatibility is far easier to achieve on mobile. So easy in fact that Zynga accidentally made Hanging With Friends blind-accessible. Can I drop you a quick explanation by email? My address is i_h@hotmail.com.

People who have little/no vision are a very small niche, the big things for accessibility are colourblindness (8% of males) and poor literacy (14% of adults), but the thing with catering for a small niche is that there's not much competition so pretty much everyone in that niche will jump on your product, I can also mail you some pretty astounding business case figures showing how profitable making mobile games blind-accessible can be.

Also if you're interested in the bigger demographics like colourblindness take a look at the 'BASIC' guidelines here, they're simple things that apply to most games, are pretty easy to do, and make the game much more enjoyable or even just possible for many disabled gamers, while also improving the game for everyone else:

http://www.gameaccessibilityguidelines.com

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I agree that there should be a more simplified version of FM for people who are blind/have sight problems etc, however, how far can this go? I am actually partially colour blind and struggle to see the colour of red/green when mixed together. Can you imagine how I feel when Liverpool are playing Celtic on a green pitch? I mean there are ways and means to get round things, but could you imagine how long it would take for someone who is partially sighted to have the whole FM interface read out to them by a voice over?

It's actually not as complicated as you would think, once you get to know the interface and can quickly tab straight to an interface element due to knowing what order in the sequence it is, and if keyboard shortcuts for common actions can be included too that also makes a huge difference.

Mobile is another matter entirely, it works completely differently. If you have little/no vision you navigate a phone by dragging your finger around the screen, and it speaks out whatever your finger is over. So your finger acts as a surrogate eye, even though you're not using your eyes you're still exploring the interface in a very similar way to how a sighted person would. So if like FM you have a game that is based on navigating interfaces rather than navigating environments it's pretty easy to make it blind-accessible (the basics of it are to just make sure that everything's labelled correctly, and that changes/updates to what's on screen are announced), and pretty easy to navigate too.

Something else to bear in mind is that it's not a normal voice over. It is highly robotic sounding synthesised speech,specifically because that kind of speech can be sped up to incredible speeds without blurring together, so once you've had enough practice you can listen very quickly indeed, so fast that you or I wouldn't be able to understand it at all, watching an experienced screenreader user operating their computer is really quite something to see.

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My uncle used to be an avid follower of the 'Championship' and 'Football Manager' series until he became visually impaired. He does have vision, but not well enough to read the mass of text on FM. It would be awesome if there was some audio tool to aid people with sight issues to play the game.

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I'm happy, this topic is attracting a lot of interest, great!

I hope that the developers of FM's give more attenction at this problem!

Accessibility is important, accessibility is integration for all people

Thanks a lot!!

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It is something that needs addressing, however, there is an argument that if someone is 100% blind and cannot see a computer screen etc, maybe some of the responsibility is down to the computer companies rather than the game developers. For example windows should have in built system for blind people that maybe has a voice over etc.

I don't think this is 100% SIgames responsibility

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It is something that needs addressing, however, there is an argument that if someone is 100% blind and cannot see a computer screen etc, maybe some of the responsibility is down to the computer companies rather than the game developers. For example windows should have in built system for blind people that maybe has a voice over etc.
It already does - Narrator. Windows has had accessibility options for a while.
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FM could be the first game played by the blind and visually impaired, with a TTS voice that read the game interface element to a player.

Not FM, but a lot of roguelikes include at least some support for the blind - it's just ASCII after all. I've never tried it myself, but see for example http://www.nethack.org/v340/Guidebook.html#_TOCentry_43

Note that nethack is very complicated (nothing to do with vision), and it might not be your thing at all, but given that it's free (as are most roguelikes) you haven't got much to lose. I make no guarantees for how playable the game is using a reader though!

Would definitely be cool if FM could do this.

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Not FM, but a lot of roguelikes include at least some support for the blind - it's just ASCII after all. I've never tried it myself, but see for example http://www.nethack.org/v340/Guidebook.html#_TOCentry_43

Note that nethack is very complicated (nothing to do with vision), and it might not be your thing at all, but given that it's free (as are most roguelikes) you haven't got much to lose. I make no guarantees for how playable the game is using a reader though!

Would definitely be cool if FM could do this.

There are lots of others too covering many genres, pcsgames and applevis are both good listings sites

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There is the answer then, I presume FM could easily incorporate this programme into the game?

Yep that's how it works, the software already exists, and the game just had to allow itself to be read by the software. So it's not even incorporating it, it's just making sure that you're compatible with it.

There are quite a few different bits of software available on PCs, and built right into the operating system on iOS and Android.

They're called screenreaders, and they read out what is on the screen. People with little or no vision can use them to do just about anything on a computer, including web browsing, which i'm sure you can imagine has been completely life-changing for millions of people.

The software handles all of the speech synthesis, navigation etc, so all that developers have to worry about is ensuring that everything is labelled correctly ( including hidden text descriptions for images), any updates to what's on screen are flagged up, and that everything can be accessed using a keyboard, as not many people who are blind use a mouse.

Although the above things are relatively straightforward they actually don't work for most games. But if you've got something like FM where you navigate an interface rather than an environment and have fairly straightforward textual information that can be navigated at leisure rather than a barrage of simultaneous visual information it can be done in a relatively straightforward way.

It may be straightforward but it's not free, it still has a cost attached, but that cost is much smaller if you're developing for mobiles, as blind and sighted navigate in exactly the same way - touch. So it's pretty much just labelling and flagging updates.

So by starting with mobile you can test the waters with a smaller investment, gain new extremely loyal customers fans and advocates, find out if it makes a profit, be at the cutting edge, and of course just be able to do the right thing, ensuring people aren't unnecessarily excluded from something they love.

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Yep that's how it works, the software already exists, and the game just had to allow itself to be read by the software. So it's not even incorporating it, it's just making sure that you're compatible with it.

There are quite a few different bits of software available on PCs, and built right into the operating system on iOS and Android.

They're called screenreaders, and they read out what is on the screen. People with little or no vision can use them to do just about anything on a computer, including web browsing, which i'm sure you can imagine has been completely life-changing for millions of people.

The software handles all of the speech synthesis, navigation etc, so all that developers have to worry about is ensuring that everything is labelled correctly ( including hidden text descriptions for images), any updates to what's on screen are flagged up, and that everything can be accessed using a keyboard, as not many people who are blind use a mouse.

Although the above things are relatively straightforward they actually don't work for most games. But if you've got something like FM where you navigate an interface rather than an environment and have fairly straightforward textual information that can be navigated at leisure rather than a barrage of simultaneous visual information it can be done in a relatively straightforward way.

It may be straightforward but it's not free, it still has a cost attached, but that cost is much smaller if you're developing for mobiles, as blind and sighted navigate in exactly the same way - touch. So it's pretty much just labelling and flagging updates.

So by starting with mobile you can test the waters with a smaller investment, gain new extremely loyal customers fans and advocates, find out if it makes a profit, be at the cutting edge, and of course just be able to do the right thing, ensuring people aren't unnecessarily excluded from something they love.

exactly!

fantastic post!

there are a lot of screen reader software, for me the best is NVDA Screen Reader and it is FREE and most popular!

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This thread reminded me a project I've done several years back. It was to develop tools to teach blind children maths. A lot of the basic maths elements such as shapes, angles, etc require a visual knowledge and it was always a challenge to teach children with visual impairment how to recognise shape etc. Our solution was to develop a 3D audio soundscape that would work on even a cheap pair of headphone you buy in Tesco for a tenner.

For a game like FM, the challenge would be how to delivery the masses of information to a VI user and allow them to navigate. Obviously it would be hard for the games that has already been develop. But my take on it would probably be using tabbing as a nvaigation method, and develop a comprehensive tabbling flow during the UI design stage. It certainly not impossible, but obviously with a cost implication in terms of time and resources.

What Ian has said above about colourblindness is interesting though. Taking a quick look at the stuff that I am using on my system, I've notice a lot of them are driven by colour scheme. If I have an issue with colourblindness, it would have been immensely awkward for me even to use some of the simple software for work, let alone games.

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today I tried FM also on Android operating system.

Android have a free Google Screen Reader called Talkback.

Unfortunately, FM is not compatible with the Screen Reader even on Andoid!

I just have to try fm on iphone with voice over.

if someone has an iphone with FM can enable the screen reader voice over in the system accessibility settings and test if it work, double tap is required to enter into buttons and other object!

Thanks!

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This is an awesome and truly enlightening thread for all I hope! :)

I've been fortunate not to have experienced any major sight issues (beyond glasses :D), but I can only imagine how annoying and frustrating it would be to me if tomorrow I could no longer play FM.

There should be support made available, why shouldn't blind and partially sighted people - or anyone with a 'disability' - be able to play games? (I feel a Social Model of Disability rant coming on..! :D lol) Some are harder to incorporate than others of course and I'm no expert in screen readers, but I'd love to see something come of this and from what I read here it looks like it's entirely possible. :)

I've got FMH '13 on Android and I think I still have FMH '12 on my iPod Touch too, so if you need any help testing any programs or owt, lemmie know.

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There should be support made available, why shouldn't blind and partially sighted people - or anyone with a 'disability' - be able to play games? (I feel a Social Model of Disability rant coming on..! :D lol)

Aha, now we're getting to it ;) I'll try to keep this short as it's a bit of a tangent and I'm not sure how many other people would be interested in this, but the majority of game accessibility issues are resolved through social model of disability, ie. the issue is just with how the game is designed, with an unnecessary barrier put in place that inadvertently excludes people. Things like use of red and green alone to signify different states for example. Not all situations can be fixed by social model style barrier removing though, medical model is still relevant for some conditions. That means adding in support for assistive technology, which is what screenreaders come under. Then there's still a bit of economic model of disability at work too, which is whether the work earns a profit, as altruism isn't always enough of a motivation.

from what I read here it looks like it's entirely possible. :)

I can't put words into SI's mouths but there's a chance that it could be easily possible, it all depends on how the game has been developed.

Hope this isn't too techy - for native apps, ie. coded up from scratch rather than using third party tools, it's a relatively easy job. But if you're building it some other way (ed. cocs2d, air) it's not really possible, as the engines themselves just exist as one single object, the operating system can't access any individual interface elements within them.

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my take on it would probably be using tabbing as a nvaigation method

Yes, that's precisely how it works on PC applications, the developer just defines a logical tab sequence. Mobile is very different, you just drag your finger around the screen and it reads out whatever your finger is over the top of, so for the most part need is for the elements to be labelled correctly and you can navigate around them just fine.

Taking a quick look at the stuff that I am using on my system, I've notice a lot of them are driven by colour scheme. If I have an issue with colourblindness, it would have been immensely awkward for me even to use some of the simple software for work, let alone games.

Red/green is by far the most common form. I you want to see what it looks like just search for a colour blind simulator app on your smartphone. There are loads of free ones, they just apply an effect to whatever you're looking at through the camera to make it look as it would if you had some form of colour deficiency. Then try pointing your phone at the red Vs green teams on call of duty :)

Alternatively have a look on google for a PC/Mac free application called "colour oracle", that simulates the effect on whatever is on your PC/Mac screen (although it pauses everything and applies it to a single frame, can't do it in realtime).

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This is an awesome and truly enlightening thread for all I hope! :)

I've been fortunate not to have experienced any major sight issues (beyond glasses :D), but I can only imagine how annoying and frustrating it would be to me if tomorrow I could no longer play FM.

There should be support made available, why shouldn't blind and partially sighted people - or anyone with a 'disability' - be able to play games? (I feel a Social Model of Disability rant coming on..! :D lol) Some are harder to incorporate than others of course and I'm no expert in screen readers, but I'd love to see something come of this and from what I read here it looks like it's entirely possible. :)

I've got FMH '13 on Android and I think I still have FMH '12 on my iPod Touch too, so if you need any help testing any programs or owt, lemmie know.

Hi,

if you have FMH on Apple Device, please go in the device settings system and tap on accessibility and enable Voice Over, the screen reader for iPhone and iPad. Now run FMH and tap once the object in the game, for example button and other.

Can Screen Reader read the object?

Thanks!!!

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FM I really miss you!

Last night I was at the park with my brother in law.

We brought the kids for a walk.

The kids are sleep, while the mothers pushing the stroller, me and my brother we started to remember the great FM stories.

He is still playing FM, now have FM 2013.

We remembered when I brought a team of italian C series until the Italian Serie A, then in the uefa cup.

We reminded of when I won the Europeans Championship with Denmark and the World Cup with Nigeria.

When I discovered Verratti, then became famous.

We have reminded me of when I found Pascariello from the D series and became a phenomenon by 15 million euro.

FM I miss you so much!

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Hi,

for the visually impaired, another important issue is to add a features to change the mouse cursor size. Now the mouse cursor is very small and the cursor color is difficult to see!!

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Hi, for the visually impaired, another important issue is the possibility to copy the text in the system clipboard. For Example the long text in the news. In this case there are a lot of software that read the text in the clipboard with the TTS installed in the PC

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  • 2 months later...

Hello, thanks to the person who started this thread on this forum. I have never had any sight so have never been able to play fm without somebody performing the actions I want and me telling them what I want them to do. It is a game i've always wanted to play and I want to give a promis to the developers right here on this forum. If you could make this particular game accessible for blind and visually impared users I would buy the game and i'd make sure a bunch of my friends also bought it.

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you to Sharkboy and others for raising this. I have also long played CM and FM but I can no longer do so due to vision loss.

I have to accept that I can’t play games like FIFA or Fallout anymore. That is just a fact of life. However, a game like FM is really the easiest kind of game to make accessible since it is mostly text, databases, numbers, drop-down boxes, etc. These are all elements that I can easily interact with on websites and in spreadsheets using screen reading software. All that would be needed is for FM to make the same text it puts into the UI available to a bare bones HTML5 (or something similar) interface. It can’t be all that difficult. It is really just an interface problem.

Whether it would make financial sense to do it is not clear. I am 100% certain that a good number of blind or visually impaired people will buy the game if it is made accessible. Whether that will make up for the extra development cost is unclear, but it is not impossible. The other thing of course is that SI could get a lot of good media out of doing this.

Here’s hoping/begging SI will take the trouble to share the FM love.

Like others here, I am happy to help test or help in whatever other way I can.

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Hey sharkboy et al,

I have RP as well so I know where you're coming from, luckily I can still play using the dark skin at the moment but it would be great to make the game more accessible for VI users. I would like to say that I feel SI have already made improbements in this regard, I couldn't play FM10 because of issues with font size etc.

I would like to add my own offer to support in any development to help VI users and my thanks to all contributors to this thread. It's nice to know there are other VI users out there.

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I'm sure a much better legal authority than me will soon comment, but isn't there a Disability Discrimination Act 1995, updated in 2006, that covers certain things like this. For example (and again, if I'm quoting irrelevantly, someone can correct me), Section 20(6) states:

"the steps which a company is reasonable to have to take include steps for ensuring that in the circumstances concerned the information is provided in an accessible format."

and

"the duty to make reasonable adjustments requires companies to take positive steps to ensure that disabled people can access services. This goes beyond simply avoiding discrimination. It requires service providers to anticipate the needs of potential disabled customers for reasonable adjustments."

and

"Failure to implement visual impairment access steps, such as font size adjustment, or text-to-speech software will be deemed a practice that is indirect disability discrimination, unless the company can justify why steps were not taken."

I tried to find some basic information on what constitutes justification, and it (unbelievably) appears to be size of company. For example, a sole traders website can reasonably claim lack of finances in order to implement all necessary steps, whereas Microsoft's website could not use this as justification.

One final point before the inevitable people jump on me for a "heavy handed legal post", I am in no way accusing SI or SEGA of discrimination, and I'm not 100% sure the DDA95/06 applies to games (it depends if you class games as a company's "service") - I only wanted to mention that an Act exists and it may provide useful suggestions or related reading to anyone trying to improve FM in future.

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One final point before the inevitable people jump on me for a "heavy handed legal post", I am in no way accusing SI or SEGA of discrimination, and I'm not 100% sure the DDA95/06 applies to games (it depends if you class games as a company's "service") - I only wanted to mention that an Act exists and it may provide useful suggestions or related reading to anyone trying to improve FM in future.

The DDA is gone, it was replaced with the equality act in 2010. The equality act offers greater protection, from considerable disadvantage rather than from exclusion, but only covers access to goods and services, not the goods themselves, apart from a couple of sectors.

So what that means is that games commissioned by/for public bodies (government etc) and education must make reasonable adjustments, and also a bit of a grey area around in-app purchases (in theory that means supply of goods), but other than that games aren't covered by any legal obligation.

There's a bit of a social and moral obligation of course, including that the UK is a signatory of the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities, meaning that as a nation we recognise that access to recreation, leisure and culture is an important human right, but the legal obligations tied to that are with service providers, ie. access to a cinema or leisure centre.

To be honest though the legal side isn't really issue.

Game developers in general are a great bunch, who care passionately about their audience and being able to reach as many people as possible. No-one wants to exclude someone with a disability, it's usually just that they've never thought about it, assume that there's no business case for it , or assume that it is too difficult or will hardly benefit any people.

All incorrect assumptions of course.

A couple of business case examples - 10% of MUDRammer's players turned out to be blind, after 24 hours of work to make the game fully blind-accessible. The game retails for $5, meaning the developer made a more or less immediate profit on the accessibility work. Or Solara, they had a similarly easy time making their game blind-accessible, their percentage of blind players was 1%, which is more in line with prevalence stats, but they found that blind players were by a long way their most loyal, and far more likely to spend extra money on in-app purchases.

The blind audience is a really valuable one to develop for - compared to other audiences the blind gaming community is fiercely loyal, full of praise, and incredibly well connected, news spreads very quickly.

If SI face a barrier it will be a technical one. If the game is built using third party middleware such as Unity (as most are) rather than native code, it changes from a trivial task to a prohibitively expensive task.. you can no longer use all of the nice free built it stuff that iOS offers, and have to built it all from scratch yourself.

It's not impossible though. Here's a story from a developer who retrospectively made their Unity game blind-accessible -

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DianaHughes/20131120/205346/

" So at the end of all this, was it worth the effort? A whole second cycle of code, audio recording, new design, bug testing, and marketing? YES. Yes it was.

In the three days following the release of our accessibility update, we sold as many copies of FREEQ to blind players as we had sold to sighted players in the previous six months. Which is not to say that the game suddenly rocketed to a #1 slot, and that we can all retire to our yachts now. Hardly. The games industry has been telling blind players for years, both indirectly and directly, that video games are not for them. That you have to be able to see to really enjoy them. To expect them to suddenly appear in droves to rally around our tiny game would be silly, ridiculous even.

All the same, we found an incredibly passionate, eager audience for a game we couldn't get sighted players (and the press that write for them) to pay attention to no matter how hard we tried. And now all of those players are our evangelists. They tell their friends about FREEQ. They get on Twitter and talk about it. They get in touch with us, just to say thank you, and to ask if we'd consider doing an expansion, a sequel, an entirely new game. We probably will. We think they have been ignored long enough.

Will every game we make be blind-accessible? No. Some concepts are genuinely good, and just as genuinely not suitable for an audio-only experience. But we'll be thinking about accessibility with every game we make. Looking for ways to open it up, invite more people in. Maybe not blind players every time, but what about color-blind? The very young, the elderly? If we plan for accessibility from the start, surely we can accommodate a few more players. At the very least, we never want another group of players to have to come to us and say "You were SO CLOSE. Why did you leave us out?""

And another story from a developer who's game was built using native code, so they were able to use iOS' built in blind-accessibility functionality -

http://amirrajan.net/software-development/2013/12/29/if-you-are-reading-this-you-are-not-blind/

"If you are building a native iOS app, consider making it accessible to the blind. The out of the box accessibility features of iOS devices are pretty damn impressive. The API’s are simple. Use them. You’ll be surprised at how little you have to do to make your app better for the visually impaired."
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  • 2 months later...

Update: although obviously it would be fantastic for FM to be blind-accessible, if you're one of the people in this thread who has now been forced to stop playing FM due to your vision loss, one of their free competitors has just brought out an expanded paid version that is fully blind-accessible through compatibility with the built-in Voiceover screenreader on iPhone/iPad. I won't go so far as to give out a link or mention it by name, but it's easy enough to find via the usual blind gamer channels. It's a slightly different take on the genre, and nowhere near as in-depth as FM, but it's something.

Also if there are developers reading who might be interested, Skullgirls have recently implemented an pretty easy workaround for their PC version that's only a small fraction of the work of mucking around with windows accessibility APIs, didn't take them much effort at all to get in there. When an object receives focus, the text / text equivalent of that object is simply outputted to the windows clipboard.. then blind gamers can play perfectly, through using a clipboard reader.

Fodder for a hackday perhaps?

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  • 1 year later...
  • 11 months later...

It is really disappointing that people from SI appear to have ignored this thread completely. They could at least engage with the question of accessibility - if after properly considering it they decide it is not possible then so be it, but at least give it a chance. As it is they appear indifferent to the exclusion of blind or partially sighted people. Shame on them.

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/06/2013 at 13:59, Neil Brock said:

Hi Alessandro, sorry to hear that you've been forced to stop playing FM. Thanks for raising this issue, it's something I'll raise with the rest of the team to see if there's anything we can do.

All the best.

   Did anything come of this? 

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Only SI will know what, if anything, will come of it, and they probably won't be around to reply on the weekend, even if you do post multiple times a couple of hours apart asking the same question.

Personally, I'm not sure what could be done to make it accessible for blind people or those with severe eye-related issues. The game inherently involves a lot of numbers and data, and there isn't much you can do for a game like FM to condense that.

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11 hours ago, jh1127 said:

   Did anything come of this? 

I would suggest that if there are improvements to be made still around this subject, to raise it in the Feature Requests section. The earlier, the better.  :thup:

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8 hours ago, JordanMillward_1 said:

Only SI will know what, if anything, will come of it, and they probably won't be around to reply on the weekend, even if you do post multiple times a couple of hours apart asking the same question.

Personally, I'm not sure what could be done to make it accessible for blind people or those with severe eye-related issues. The game inherently involves a lot of numbers and data, and there isn't much you can do for a game like FM to condense that.

This actually makes it a less challenging task on paper as it’s no different to making excel & access files readable for people with visual impairments or full blindness.

The dificultly as mentioned previously may be in how the UI is built in FM which could mean a ground up recode, the most difficult aspect is making the commentary verbal and for it to be a 100% accurate representation of what’s happening on the pitch which can sometimes be very different with the current commentary & how to make the commentary workable when playing the match at higher speeds without simply slowing the game down to a pace where speech & events are synchronised during highlights.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It saddens me to read about people having to stop playing FM because of sight loss. Even more so considering I'm registered as severely sight impaired and can sympathise with those struggling to play the game and I can imagine the disappointment of those who having to stop playing it. Thankfully, the condition I have is static at the moment but will get worse with age of course (like anybody's vision does) and I would be distraught if I had to stop playing FM because of my sight loss. At 21, I have a lot of FM years in front of me I hope, but I'm still passionate about making things more accessible for people with sight loss of any severity, for those older who have to stop playing and for the future players who will discover the game in years to come. 

 

My condition is Cone-rod Dystrophy and it pretty much effects all aspects of my vision, but I struggle most with things like brightness, detail, reading and recognising things, to name a few (there are many more, like I say pretty much every aspect of vision is a struggle). So I think I can give good feedback on how FM could be made more accessible for sight impaired players, particularly while in a match. I know feature suggestions are supposed to be in the dedicated thread, but I'm posting this here because it is a topic I'm passionate about and I've likely missed the deadline for feature suggestions for FM 19 so I'll hold fire on posting in that thread until FM 20 is in the works. In no particular order, I have a few little things that would greatly improve the experience for me and I hope others...

 

1. One of the most disappointing things about this year's game was the omission of graphics filters and the environmental edit options. As a sight impaired user, one of the best things about FM in my opinion was that I could toggle things like whether I could see weather effects, the sky, or the stadium and that I could select a filter which made the pitch, players and ball easier to see. I always used one of the high contrast filters or one of the dark filters. These options were fantastic and I'm sure many sight impaired users appreciated them a great deal, I certainly did! 

 

2. The ball NEEDS to stand out more. It is something players with normal sight have even complained about, so I can imagine it is much worse for the players who can't see very well, it is an issue for me frequently. In my particular case, as I struggle with any sort of brightness, I prefer small bright things to stand out on a darker backgroud which in this case means I would love it if the ball contrasted the pitch more, hence why I always used the high contrast and dark filters in FM 17. 

 

3. When the ability to adjust the zoom of the in game camera was announced on FM TV I was incredibly excited to use it, but sadly it didn't live up to the hype my head built up. After trying every camera on full zoom I settled on the standard director camera because it's default view was the easiest for me to deal with but by no means great. When adjusting the zoom level on the other camera settings, zooming out isn't a problem! You can zoom out to a level where the players all look like tiny dots, so why can't we zoom in so that they all look like the BFG?  In my opinion, on any camera the maximum zoom is the same as the standard version of that particular camera mode on the previous games, so therefore this year's newly implemented zoom adjustment feature seems to only give you the option to zoom out really. 

 

4. I've read a few of the posts in this topic, and I understand why some feel it would be difficult to include audio commentary as an option for those with low or no sight. Off the topic of my head the only way I feel like audio commentary could be brought into the game is if only the name of the player on the ball is read and when the ball touches a different player. It's a difficult one so I won't expand much on it. 

 

4. I think the whole layout of the in-match menus and visuals could be drastically improved to make things easier to see. Again I'll go back to FM 17, where notifications for goals, red cards, yellow cards and injuries etc would flash up is a decent sized box at the bottom of the screen. It was difficult to read, but the symbols for whatever had happened (a red / yellow card for example) were something I could make out, and whenever I needed to read who the player was who had been carded or scored I only had to go really close and squint to read it, or pause and use the Windows magnifier to zoom in. In this year's game, the notifications bar a the top doesn't even pop up half of the time, even though I have notifications ticked on for all the things I've mentioned above. Furthermore it is very small. The text in game is generally tiny, I don't know why there couldn't be an option to increase the size of things such as the players names when they're on the ball, the teams and score in the top left and the text commentary. 

 

At the moment these are the only things I can think of that would make a big difference, certainly for sight impaired and severely sight impaired players, to me the menus outside of the match are generally alright. Yes it would be amazing to have screen reader technology, but I doubt Steam will make it compatible with their games any time soon and on FM, when using the dark theme, in Window mode, with the Windows magnifier I do manage to get through things eventually, even though it can cause a lot of strain and take ages. I have massive sympathy for those of you who have had to stop playing the game, I can only hope that one day support for blind people (or those with severe enough sight loss that they can't play games such as FM which I could be one day) comes to most games on the market and in turn FM. I'm at least thankful that FM is a game I use offline so I can take it as my own pace and don't need to see things quickly, because when it comes to things like shooter games, I'm pretty useless at them!!!!!! 

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  • 6 months later...

Only just come across this thread...

Hopefully these issues were raised in time for SI to incorporate things into FM19 to help the VI players.

It certainly is the kind of thing this community can come together and work towrards - there are plenty on here with the knowledge, the experience and the ability to test things so it would great if SI could put together some kind of working party to this end.

At the weekend I saw the Keys and Gray show on BeIn and they discussed the issue of colour-blindness, and the problems that many had watching the opening game - Red vs Green - and there is an acknowledgement from footballing bodies to be more aware when selecting the kits the two teams wear for a fixture.

I''ll be honest - I was staggered at the numbers of people who suffer from this and can;t imagine what it would be like to live with it. I am so fortunate to have decent sight, well, except when I referee apparently, then I am a blind idiot or so I am told.

I look forward to hearing about some movement on this issue.

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