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Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
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Voice Over compatibility for the visually impaired

Author
Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#1 - 2015-12-15 01:40:12 UTC
A couple of years ago I posted this topic on the ideas discussion forum and it got some positive attention. Due to medical issues and such I had to leave EVE for a time but now that I've been back for a bit I would like to promote this idea again and see if we can get it some more visibility.

The Why
There's a greater audience out there that's looking to play with the rest of us that just haven't been reached yet. My wife is blind. We've been married for a number of years now and because of that I've been introduced to the blind community through her and have gotten to know a number of her friends who are also visually impaired. When I talk about the fun I have on EVE Online, a number of them express how they've heard great things about the game and wished it was accessible so that they could play as well.

The How
There are many operating systems, programs and games that are accessible to the visually impaired and blind community via built in or 3rd party voice over programs such as JAWS and NVDA. A lot of the information that EVE displays for us that we interact with visually is already setup with a multitude of shortcuts that someone who can't see could use.

Example:
Let's say you want to target something. Go to your overview, navigate the tabs you setup using Ctrl+Page Down, navigate the entries in the overview using the up and down arrows and then hit Ctrl. Whatever you were looking for is now being targeted.

That example is a series of shortcuts that are already in the game. Go open your EVE client and try it. It contains minimal information that needs to be read off to accomplish the same task as holding down Ctrl and clicking on the object with your mouse. (The scary thing is some blind people will be able to do that faster than you can Ctrl+Click) Orbiting, docking, activating modules, and navigating pretty much anything in the game is already setup to be done without a mouse.

The only issue is that there is nothing in the game client that will read that information off.

So what I'm suggesting is either make the EVE client compatible with external 3rd party programs such as NVDA and JAWS or even implement an internal voice over option that can be enabled in the settings. You could even use Aura's voice. :)

Thoughts? Support? I'd love to hear from the community and developers both!
Valhe Valodiere
Green Skull LLC
#2 - 2015-12-15 16:58:35 UTC
Jaling is one of the few people in Eve who I would thoroughly support or believe if you came to me and asked for Eve for the blind. (The rest of you are trolls). This is a great idea and I fully support this. Let's share our love of eve with the visually impaired. Maybe they can teach some people how to actually fly.

You know you want me, baby.

Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#3 - 2015-12-16 12:25:58 UTC
Thanks for the support! I'd love to see what can be done with this.
Gommel Nox
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#4 - 2015-12-16 18:37:45 UTC
I think that this would be a feature that, if implemented properly, might even be used by players with sight. Again, if implemented properly, it would also be a groundbreaking event in the history of disabled gaming, as it would be the first MMO to offer access for the visually disabled. As far as I'm aware no other MMO does that.
AceOfSpades12
Royal Amarr Institute
Amarr Empire
#5 - 2015-12-16 19:42:16 UTC
CCPlz
Frostys Virpio
KarmaFleet
Goonswarm Federation
#6 - 2015-12-16 21:38:08 UTC
Just to be sure, you would want something that would read and explain what the options does so people can find what they are looking for and activate them right?
Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#7 - 2015-12-17 06:36:25 UTC
Pretty much. yeah. This JAWS demo gives a basic overview of the type of functionality that would be needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PMuBQ7LyOw
Gisander
PIE Inc.
Khimi Harar
#8 - 2015-12-18 10:17:10 UTC
I am a moderator at www.game-accessibility.com and a long time Eve player. I have frequently said that a lot of parts of EvE:online could certainly be played by blind gamers if screenreaders could reach the information needed.

There will be parts of the game that would still be practically undo-able even with proper screenreader support; but one of the beauties of EvE is that is has so many different "professions" to pick from that are intermingled trough the shared universe, and the fact that a player doesn't take up a "raid or party slot" and drag the entire group average down. Even if the blind gamer would not be able to play at the top most level (and you would be surprised about what they can accomplish! I have seen blind gamers kicking ass like no other!) they would still be able to help at their own level. And most blind gamers I know would love to be able to simply help their friends out in EvE.

I highly recommend giving this some serious thought. Headlines like "EvE:online now accessible to be played by the blind" would make a lot of blind gamers rush to try it and would be cool headlines in any case.
Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#9 - 2015-12-18 12:43:05 UTC
That's true. Things like Probe/D-Scan and the current POS setup wouldn't really interact well with VoiceOver without coming up with a new system, but I agree that they won't mind some parts of the game being inaccessible as long as there are parts that still are available for play.
Delve Evled
Delve Into Your Wallet
#10 - 2015-12-19 00:47:30 UTC
To those on twitter, make sure to share this idea. I'll do my part! You can do it Jaling, and I commend you on such an awesome idea. As an aside, can you imagine how strong a blind community could be if they worked together after getting this to be a thing?
Maria Dragoon
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2015-12-19 01:27:35 UTC
Now the question is, how do you tell it to separate people and announce them when there are hundreds, if not thousands of ships on grid?

Don't get me wrong, I support this 100%, but some good questions you should think about, how do you handle announcement with more then one person? How about hundreds of people? Like commonly found on Jita docks? How does it tell you if that ship a threat or not?

These are just a few examples.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

"A man who talks to people who aren't real is crazy. A man who talks to people who aren't real and writes down what they say is an author."

Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#12 - 2015-12-19 01:50:28 UTC
That's a good question. We can see the overview at a glance so unless there was some sort of on-grid status they could check it could definitely be a disadvantage. (Then again sometimes ignorance is bliss lol) I doubt it would be perfect when it takes off. Just like most UI changes there will need to be tweaks down the road after being implemented. Maybe for that we would need an entirely new UI tool that's not been made yet.
Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#13 - 2015-12-19 01:52:19 UTC
Delve Evled wrote:
To those on twitter, make sure to share this idea. I'll do my part! You can do it Jaling, and I commend you on such an awesome idea. As an aside, can you imagine how strong a blind community could be if they worked together after getting this to be a thing?


Thanks! It's definitely something I'd like to see happen. Plus I'm sure they'd expand on the already great support community EVE has.
Erika Mizune
Lucifer's Hammer
A Band Apart.
#14 - 2015-12-23 17:10:37 UTC
I definitely support this <3

+1

Former DJ & Manager of Eve Radio | Blog | Sounds of New Eden | Twitch | Twitter

Frostys Virpio
KarmaFleet
Goonswarm Federation
#15 - 2015-12-23 18:55:11 UTC
Jaling Orion wrote:
That's a good question. We can see the overview at a glance so unless there was some sort of on-grid status they could check it could definitely be a disadvantage. (Then again sometimes ignorance is bliss lol) I doubt it would be perfect when it takes off. Just like most UI changes there will need to be tweaks down the road after being implemented. Maybe for that we would need an entirely new UI tool that's not been made yet.


The issue with the overview for example is how it keeps getting updated and the list order can change every tick dependind on the sorting. Speech recognition for command in the game might also lead to a new system of "command broadcast" where you just copy your out-bond signal from mumble to a line in where EVE listen and your FC is not effectively targeting for you as long as he make his call the right way.

I am not against the core idea of making the game more accessible but care must be taken to predict how it will really be used even if it's not intended. We all know our player base anyway and we know how far people are willing to go to get an edge...
Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#16 - 2015-12-24 13:29:46 UTC
Quote:
The issue with the overview for example is how it keeps getting updated and the list order can change every tick dependind on the sorting.
Maybe this could be solved by a new form of sortation which puts the newest arrivals to the grid on top? Then if you have a ship/rat tab it would create a relatively short list that could be monitored pretty easily.

Quote:
Speech recognition for command in the game might also lead to a new system of "command broadcast" where you just copy your out-bond signal from mumble to a line in where EVE listen and your FC is not effectively targeting for you as long as he make his call the right way.


Quick clarification. Are you talking about entering commands using speech recognition like Siri and Cortana? I wasn't aware that was a thing.

Quote:
I am not against the core idea of making the game more accessible but care must be taken to predict how it will really be used even if it's not intended. We all know our player base anyway and we know how far people are willing to go to get an edge...
That's very true. Critiquing the idea ahead of time isn't a bad thing. It's what I was hoping to get in addition to the support. So thank you. :)
Jaling Orion
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#17 - 2016-01-01 19:48:00 UTC
Happy new year! Let's get some more support for this!