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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Hi,

Another accessibility issue for screen reader users may be the use of multiple windows. I think I can access them with my screen reader (JAWS), but some users may not know how, or they may have a different reader.

The only other issue that I can think of is more of a hassle than impediment. Screen reader users need key-presses to "see" the status bar. It can be annoying to have to key up to the bar, then key down again if you want to read the main window text. This is obviously more of an issue if the bar contains innfo that is important and continually updating, and there is no indication in the text that it has changed. And it is possible that some screen readers won't even read the status bar.

The only solution I have come up with is to include status info as part of the room header. This may clutter the screen, but I don't think that will matter to most screen reader users.

Neil

:D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Inform's normal menus are bad for screen readers because they say everything several times. Wades new Menus extension should help in that regard.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Dude, you're already using JAWS, you can make your computer say bad words in a robot voice anytime you want, I don't think you have a right to ask for anything more. (Working here under the assumption that robo-swears are as hilarious now as they were when I was twelve...)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:22 pm 
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Swear words in a Robo voice? Try a dirty-talking female Robo voice.


Another screen-reader-friendly nicety that authors could include for games with cover art is an option to read a description of the art. I, at least, would appreciate that.

Neil


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:45 pm 
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maga wrote:
So! If you don't want scenery, and you don't want CYOA, then we need to get rid of the 'obvious thing' part. You need puzzles, in other words, or puzzle-like complex interaction. But you need a kind of puzzle that doesn't motivate the player to scrutinise their surroundings. That eliminates quite a lot of traditional IF fare. And that's what I mean by 'providing some good reason'.


Some of the "One Uber Puzzle" games have very sparse description, but the interaction is focused on the puzzle. The one that jumps to mind is 65,001 Keys (or however many were in that game) where all you're doing is figuring out which of a ridiculous number of keys opens a lock.

Another thing to think about: Good IF authors will lean on evocative brevity. There is such a thing as overdescribing a room. You want to draw the reader to the important things they can interact with. You want to avoid *telling them* how the PC feels. Ideally, you want to inspire the player to feel as the PC does with your prose. If you have a lot of detail in mind, why not write the description shorter, and then include that detail only if the player starts examining the scenery carefully as a reward? That also gives the advantage that the next time the player enters the room, they don't get the James Michener-esque wall of mood text, but they can expand it to read more if they so desire.

The thing you want to absolutely avoid is writing an evocative paragraph about the amber waving sheafs of wheat and have the player type >X SHEAFS only to have the game respond "You can't see that here."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:09 pm 
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HanonO wrote:
The thing you want to absolutely avoid is writing an evocative paragraph about the amber waving sheafs of wheat and have the player type >X SHEAFS only to have the game respond "You can't see that here."

I think you've nailed it here. What's important is not that you'd need to describe every item in every room description twice just to prove to some hypothetical picky reviewers that you're not lazy -- it's that you need to avoid giving an inappropriate response like "You can't see that here." when the player tries to interact with something that you've just told them they can see here. That's just jarring and breaks immersion.

The proper fix is not to describe all those objects, although of course you're free to do that if you want to. Rather, you just need to provide a more appropriate error message, like, say, Peter Pears' "That's not something you need to concern yourself with."

Actually, that would even be really easy to do e.g. in Inform 7, where you could write something like:
Code:
A thing can be boring or interesting. A thing is usually interesting.
Instead of doing something with a boring thing: say "That's not something you need to concern yourself with."
Does the player mean doing something with a boring thing: it is very unlikely.

and then just say:
Code:
The junction, the countryside, the dusty path, the old king's main road, the fields of brown stubble, the piles of golden hay, the sunlight, the air, the fragrance, the flat land, the slope, the trees, the barely visible gleam of a lake, the green hills, the distant Greyholm Mountains, the smoky haze, the vivid blue of the sky and the bright cloudless day are boring scenery in the Crossroads.

Of course, in practice you'd make some of those things backdrops so that you can, say, place the sky in all outdoor locations. But even then, you don't need to describe them as long as you just mark them as boring.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:06 am 
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vyznev wrote:
The proper fix is not to describe all those objects, although of course you're free to do that if you want to. Rather, you just need to provide a more appropriate error message, like, say, Peter Pears' "That's not something you need to concern yourself with."


Well, of course, it all depends. I remember a comp game a year or two ago which had a location called "Bramble patch", where the location description said that the path was "choked by brambles" or some such comment, but the brambles were ... not visible. That is really sloppy. But basically I agree. It's a question, in my mind, of letting the player down gently -- giving a warning as s/he approaches the boundary of the implemented world.

This was actually an area where Inform6 makes life rather easy, because you can attach names to rooms (in which case the parser would always respond that this was "something you do not need to refer to in this game") or include an extension which would enable "lightweight" objects with similar effect to be created, except that they could have a description. That's quite nice, because it means you can have something that the player can look at but otherwise won't be able to interact with, and all at fairly minimal cost of time to the writer. (It also saved space, because what really happened was that a monstrous super-object roamed around dispensing appropriate responses. But let's assume we're not really worried about space, what with glulx and all ...)

Now Inform7 is rather more prolix when it comes to dealing with this sort of thing, but with a bit of work one can end up with something almost as economical, and rather more flexible. It would be even shorter if I hadn't hijacked the initial appearance in order to save myself from having repeatedly to type "The description is ..." (which is IMO a flaw in the design of Inform, since descriptions are far more common than initial appearances, but there we are.)

Code:
"Test bench" by Paul S

A flimsy is a kind of thing. A flimsy has some text called the action-refusal. The action-refusal of a flimsy is usually "". A flimsy is usually fixed in place, undescribed.

To say brush-off of (n - a thing):
   Say "You don't need to worry about [if n is plural-named]those[else]that[end if]."

Rule for writing a paragraph about a flimsy (called x):
   now x is mentioned.
   
Instead of examining a flimsy:
   if the initial appearance of the noun is "", say "[brush-off of noun]";
   otherwise say "[initial appearance of the noun][paragraph break]"

Instead of doing anything to a flimsy:
   if the action-refusal of the noun is "", say "[brush-off of noun]";
   otherwise say "[action-refusal of the noun][paragraph break]".
   
   
Cornfield is a room. "You stand in a vast cornfield. The crop has been harvested and amber sheaves of corn are stacked as far as the eye can see."

Sheaves are a plural-named flimsy in cornfield. "The sheaves of wheat are piled every few yards."

Sheaf is a flimsy in cornfield. "A tall sheaf of wheat, bound with a bundle of straw." The action-refusal is "Better leave the grain for the farmer." Understand "wheat/straw" as the sheaf.

Test me with "x sheaf / x wheat / x sheaves / take wheat / take sheaves"


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:52 pm 
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PaulS wrote:
Now Inform7 is rather more prolix when it comes to dealing with this sort of thing, but with a bit of work one can end up with something almost as economical, and rather more flexible. It would be even shorter if I hadn't hijacked the initial appearance in order to save myself from having repeatedly to type "The description is ..." (which is IMO a flaw in the design of Inform, since descriptions are far more common than initial appearances, but there we are.)

<example>

You seem to have conflated wheat and corn.

More relevant, you can define new verbs for shorthand ways to refer to properties:
Code:
The verb to be seen implies the description property. 

There is room.

A banana is here, seen "A beautiful ripe banana."

Test me with "x".


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:26 pm 
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ChrisC wrote:
You seem to have conflated wheat and corn.


Not in English English, in which a wheatfield is a cornfield (the corn laws were not about maize!).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:12 am 
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Neil wrote:
Another screen-reader-friendly nicety that authors could include for games with cover art is an option to read a description of the art. I, at least, would appreciate that.


That's an interesting suggestion!
Do you have an idea how to implement this?

Could the description of the cover art be added to the game description in the iFiction file?
Or ingame in an about text?


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