Help us improve accessibility of our game Idle Crafting Kingdom
I'm one of the developers of the game Crafting Kingdom.
We just released the game today and we would love to know what you think, especially in terms of the game's accessibility.
The game focuses a lot on crafting resources, producing goods and then selling them.
You start out small, chopping logs in your lumberyard. Eventually you will work your way up unlock new products, buy new buildings and production facilities which allow you to produce more valuable goods.
You can also build out your own estate, if you have the necessary construction materials.
The game is incremental, which means one of the gameplay mechanics is that you need to restart your progress every now and then to get ahead. You complete quests and earn bonuses like faster production and higher sale prices for your next restart.
The game is free. There are optional ads, but no in-app purchases. The ads are voluntary rewarded videos, which will give you a powerful boost for watching (for example double log production for 10 minutes).
You can find the game here:
We tried to make this game as accessible as possible, but know that there are probably plenty of things that could be better. We would really appreciate some feedback on what could be improved. Any feedback is welcome.
Please note: The game uses Unity and the Unity Accessibility Plugin (UAP), so not all VoiceOver gestures are supported.
I wondered, I think most people may have wondered, about having to restart when claiming our quest rewards. But having done it six times now I am beginning to see the purpose of it. Oh sure, it bites, as you get further and further along it bites harder, but I think there's a purpose. For myself, with each new restart I do things better, try things I've learned in my last playthrough, work out the way I want to do things with each restart to make building up faster. I learn what I need to get in place first, like storage, for example. This is only my thought, but for me, restarting the game and replaying it stops it from ever getting dull. I have new rewards to use, new things to put in place, new strategies to try. And as estate expansions and quests get harder to complete, I know my empire will get bigger before I need to do each new reset.
It doesn't result tiresome having to restart the game when claiming quest rewards because, like Lulu said, it gives us the chance to implement new strategies or new schemes. To me it is very interesting because every time I restart The game I find new ways to make it easier. The concept of the game is really good and I don't mind having to restart at all. In fact, I like it because it gives me the chance to surpass myself every time I try it. The more I play this game, the more I like it. I think that if we got to keep gold, storage room and all those things we lose every time we restart the game would make it too easy to finish the game, therefore, it would become less appealing to some of us. I love the challenge it bbrings every time we restart the game. Besides, you don't lose everything because you get to keep your permanent storage room and you are also building up your state.
yup totally agree with u too! I actually always look forward to restarting because I wanna know what new quests I will have to do, and then will decide will my next play through be a longer one which usually involves completing most of, or if not, all of the 6 quests, or just complete a few quests and then restarting again. the only thing now is that daily princess reward seem to max out at %40. hopefully in future there will be new rewards coming soon.
I was wondering what the future status of this game is going to be, since we have heard nothing from the developers or beta testers.
There have been several legitimate questions asked in the forums that haven't been answered.
I will ask some of these questions again, and maybe add a few of my own.
Let's start out with the ads. I realized you can play the game without the boost, but it does make it more fun to use them.
However, when you have to actually close the game entirely, and then reopen it, select play again, and then go to castle, find boost and select it, it takes up a lot of time and it's annoying.
I am sure that sighted people, if met with a dark screen everytime they chose to use a boost,and have to do the above steps, they also would be annoyed.
There are other games out there that allow you to watch ads for different things, one of which is Dice World, and their ads are very accessible.
I for one, am still losing focus, granted it's not as bad as it use to be, but nonetheless it happens.
This is troublesome especially when you have large numbers of product saved up for your expansions. If you hear you are on product "logs" and swipe down to "sell all", double tap and POOF! all of your metal parts that have to be refined 3 times is gone.
I find that the verbage when using voice-over still is not reading the numbers correctly. Is this going to be fixed?
When using the system voice, I find that the focus is better, not perfect, but better, and the verbage is correct. However, there are not controls to speed up the rather slow system voice.
The daily "Princess" awards are stuck on 40 percent, are they suppose to be?
Myself ,and others want to know if the "sell 1" button will be reimplemented?
It is very useful when you have to sell off a certain number of products to reach a given number. For example, if you are trying to complete an expansion, you may need 900 each of two different products, and you only have 1800 storage space
If a product needs to be refined more than once, it is almost impossible to do without the "sell 1" button, or buy another storage space that may cost well over a million coins. I am pretty sure that when designing the game this wasnt yur intent, or the sell one button would have never been there.
Someone asked if Facebook could be added to the game to receive and give gifts to friends.
I think this would be a good idea as a player because you could receive daily gifts from friends. I think it's a good idea as a developer because it would give you a broader advertisement platform.
I do like the game and think it has lots of potential, but in its present state, it's very frustrating to play.
In closing, as I said above, I am just wondering what the future status of this game is going to be because there have been so many apps that have been abandoned.
If you look at previous posts the developer stated on April sixth that they are looking at fixing lag issues. They said there will also be an option to pay to avoid the adds for boosts. As a software developer my self I realize that the developers are putting work into this game to make it accessible, and this is not something that comes for free. I'm sure the developers would appreciate patience instead of wondering about the future of the game when there may be many reasons for a five day absence from the forum including vacation, spending time coding the above mentioned changes instead of looking at the forum etc.
just to give a quick update: We are very actively working on the game, and the next update will implement a lot of the changes I already mentioned. Currently we're waiting on a few translations and then will hand the update out to the beta testers, before putting it live up into the store.
We're also currently working on the performance, which is essentially at the root of the lag and focus loss that some of you have still seen occasionally. This is a bigger change to the game and it must be tested thoroughly - the risk of breaking things unintentionally is just to large. For that reason, this will not yet be in the next update.
By the way - we are receiving a tremendous amount of feedback on the game, in several forums, via Twitter and direct email. It's more than we could have hoped for, and it is awesome.
Unfortunately it means our response times have gone up severely. I just wanted to let you know that I still read every post and every email. And even if I don't always find the time to reply I often make notes and put feature requests and ideas onto my Todo list.
One thing that we would never change is the restart mechanic. This mechanic is the core that the rest of the gameplay is build up around. The idea is to improve with every new run through, get to where you were faster, and get further before restarting again.
However, we are going to tweak things a little. High level quests will get higher rewards, the amount of concurrent quests, currently limited to 6, will be raised, and we're considering lifting the cap on the princess, which currently maxes out at 40%.
Thanks for the insight. Do you have any apps that we would be interested in, in the App store?
I realize there was only a 5 day absence in the forum, and I saw where the option to buy the game will be upcoming.
In saying that, none of the other questions posted by other people on here were answered that I mentiond.
There have been inquiries on how the game will work without the ads, but there has not been the slightest explanation.
I have always wanted to play a game like this ever since all of my friends were playing Farmville.
I would gladly purchase the game, but not in its current state.
Again, if you have any apps that the community would be interested in, please let us know.
I'm not opposed to buying a good app.
I just wanted to share something funny that we found in our game reviews today.
We received a one star review for Crafting Kingdom, and the review text said that the reason for the bad rating was the accessibility mode. The player said he found this weird voice mode annoying and also completely pointless.
I would like to point out that in order to enable accessibility mode this sighted player would have had to check a toggle in the settings. Directly next to the toggle is a text that explains that this mode is intended for visually impaired players. And even after the toggle is flipped, an additional popup dialog opens, letting the player know once more that this will severely change the controls of the game, giving him the option to cancel one more time. Accessibility mode turns on only after this dialog is confirmed, too. And even after that, a text is printed in the middle of the main menu, telling the player that accessibility is on, and how it can be turned off again.
Somehow, the reviewer managed to miss all of that, but he didn't miss the opportunity to give us a bad rating.
Just thought I'd share this, because we're still shaking our heads at it.
Here are the answers to some of the questions that have been asked and collected by Frost (thanks!):
Boosts without Ads:
The next update will give the option to buy away the ads once and for all. If that is done, all boosts are activated instantly. Everything else stays the same, the boost count and the boost duration are not changed. Just instead of watching a video you will instantly get the boost and keep playing.
We're doing another pass on this, as it seems some numbers are still not read out correctly. It seems to both depend on the speech output and the size of the number, and it's harder to track down than one would think. We've actually gone the route of converting the numbers into written text for English, to avoid any issues.
Facebook and other Social Media Platforms:
While we really like the idea that someone posted about sending each other gifts via Facebook, like you can do in many other games - we're not currently planning on adding this into Crafting Kingdom. It would upset the balancing too much and raise new issues. If you receive a gift but your storage is full, what would you do? It would also meddle with the reset mechanic. You could send all of your products to a friend right before restart and then have them sent back right after.
However, we liked the idea so much, that we're planning to put this into our next game right from the start.
This is definitely coming. The next update won't yet include it - but this turned out to be one of the most requested features, and will be added in in one of the next updates.
Because the treasure chest mechanic doesn't seem obvious, here is how they work. The game spawns them on the map in random intervals every now and then. Usually there's between five and seven minutes between chests. The chests then stay on the map for about a minute - longer if accessibility mode is on, to account for the need to swipe. After that they disappear.
If the chests appear while you are inside a building, the timer is started regardless. So it can happen that the chest disappears a few seconds after returning to the map.
This mechanic is the same for sighted players as well and there is indeed just some luck connected to it. Or you can regularly go back and quickly check the map. This is actually faster in accessibility mode, because of the chest's sound effect. A sighted player needs to search the map manually.
Sell One Button:
Yes, I am trying to find a way to squeeze this back in, but it is not as high a priority as for example the cloud save. If it is any consolation, sighted players have even less control over selling, as they only have a slider to adjust the product count to sell. When dealing with large quantities, it's very hard to exactly hit the amount to sell you need.
We don't currently have any other accessible games in the App Store. Crafting Kingdom is our first accessible game.
I have probably missed a few questions here and there - please feel free to repost and I'll catch them!
Wow, that is quite a puzzling review. Though silent, I have been playing and enjoying this game. I appreciate the accessibility features that were built into this game so that it could be enjoyed by a larger group of people. I commend and appreciate the developers for their efforts in this regard, and hope that such reviews won't discourage them (or other game developers) from coding these features into other games going forward.
hi michelle. really looking forward to test running the next update. i got a question here. because i think i have gone pretty far in this game. all my farm products are already at plus 1 production, and my farm is already doing things 10% faster because of the 2 very high quantity quests that i have done which is something like selling 100 or 150k of one of the farm products. so my estate is also up to plus 100%. also got plus 1 production for coal, stone, logs, and timber as well. also have been doing relatively high quantity of selling armors, gold and silver bars in my last few run throughs of this game. so my question is, since you say that there will be higher rewards for higher level quests in the next update, so will all these higher rewards be added on automatically if i have already done those higher level quests once i install the new update? because there is no cloud save at the moment, will the game be able to recognise that i have already done certain quests and also adjust my rewards accordingly? thanks!
Hi all, wondering if anyone happens to know the answer to the following question so I don't have to email Michelle directly as I am sure she gets enough emails as it is.
my question is about quest progress, now I know when you reset the game open quests remain active so any you have left over from your previous game stay on the books as it were, but my question is what happens to progress you have made towards filling that quest in your previus game? for example, I have a quest at the moment to buy 100 automations, I have bought 51 but they are becoming stupidly expensive now, I have finished all my other quests on this run so am tempted to reset seeing as I know the 100 automations quest will remain open, but I would like to know will my progress for this quest be reset to 0.
In answer to the question as to whether quests concerning automations remain open, I can confirm that they do. Before my last reset I had not quite completed a 50 automations quest, and I have been able to complete that quest in my current play-through, starting from where I left it. The same happened with a boosts quest I hadn't completed at the time of my first reset; I'm not sure whether quests to get a certain number of products stay open after resets, though, as I have usually completed those quests before resetting the game.
The game saves which quests you have already completed. Whenever we tweak the quest rewards, you will get the changed rewards right the moment you open the updated version.
Everything else would be unfair, since players that are further along, like yourself, would miss out on the higher rewards otherwise.
Hi, wondering if anyone can confirm if this is an issue, either way would be good to know if it isn't or if it is.
I have found that if I enable braille screen input from the home screen and try to use it to open crafting kingdom it opens briefly for some reason VoiceOver says the word estate even if the game was completely closed before opening, then it just closes and throws me back to the home screen.
Double tapping on the actual crafting kingdom icon opens the game fine though.
For reference I am using braille screen input on 6 dot UEB UK braille with orientation locked in screen away mode. If others can reproduce this then I will write and let michelle know about this in an email.
Unfortunately if it is an issue I guess she will find it hard to solve not knowing braille, especially as sometimes braille dots on screen can go walkies and show in totally the wrong place.
I am running the latest version of ios 10.3.1 on an iPhone 7 plus.
I can actually read Braille, because I learned it for fun a few months ago while working on the accessibility plugin. Unfortunately my Braille display is really really old and can not connect to any of my devices - it was the only one I could afford. This is going to make it hard to debug.
But I wonder whether the Braille screen registers with the device like a BlueTooth keyboard? From a coding standpoint, I don't see why any connected devices would make the game crash, but I'd be happy to investigate down this route.
If anybody else is seeing this issue too, or can quickly give it a go and confirm that the crash happens for them too, it would be awesome if you could let me know.
I can definitely confirm this. I've only gotten it to go once or twice, but what I do is when i swipe right i then hold one finger till the phone makes the buzz like you are holding a dot down, then let go.
I think I misread your first post - you are talking about an on screen Braille keyboard, right?
I didn't know that VoiceOver had this. I am not sure how to use this properly and start apps, but if someone can give me instructions (preferably for dummies) I'll look into it.
However... since the game doesn't actually use VoiceOver, I don't think it would be possible to control the game using this kind of input. But it shouldn't crash either, obviously!
I would like to thank you for answering the questions on the forum.
I do have one more question, does the princess rewards top out at 40 percent? Mine seem to be stuck at 40 percent, and I get my gifts everyday.
Thanks again, and we appreciate all the hard work that you do.
sorry maybe I didn't explain what braille screen input is clearly enough, braille screen input doesn't need any sort of third party adons for your phone, instead Braille screen input is a software feature directly built into VoiceOver which can be activated when added to the rotor as an option, I don't know what happens then visually on the screen but as far as I am concerned the screen is then divided into 6 parts representing 6 virtual braille keys if you like which can then be used to input characters or other symbols. On the home page braille screen input can be used as a way to search for apps and quickly launch them, once activated from the rotor I begin to type the letters of crafting kingdom, so I type a braille c, then a braille r, and the list of apps is narrowed down till crafting kingdom is shown. then I have to swipe down with one finger to select crafting kingdom, then swipe to the right with two fingers is supposed to open it but instead it opens then just crashes. What should actually happen is once I swipe to the right with two fingers is crafting kingdom should open then braille screen input automatically deactivates itself and I can navigate the game using normal VoiceOver gestures.
Just taking this from Michelle's post: "...and we're considering lifting the cap on the princess, which currently maxes out at 40%."
could you guide me through the steps to activating the Braille Screen Input on my phone or iPad?
Hi Michelle, yes I can help you get braille screen input activated its the same for both iPad and iPhone and works in the same way though you might have fun with the larger screen of the iPad.
So to activate braille screen input you first need to add it to the rotor, so do the following.
1. open settings and navigate to general settings then accessibility.
2. once in accessibility tap on the option for VoiceOver, then look for the option called rotor it should be to the right of the audio option.
3. tap on the rotor option, at this point you will see a bunch of things that can be added or removed from the rotor as needed you need to find the option called braille screen input and double tap it to select it.
4. we're not done with setting it up yet if you want to be sure your using my exact settings though I doubt this will make a difference I think the game just doesn't like braille screen input.
anyway back in the main VoiceOver options area where the rotor option was previously you next need to tap on braille which is located to the left of the audio option, in here ignore the stuff to do with braille displays, you need to set the braille screen input to 6 dot, and braille translation to English unified.
5. we are now done in the settings so you can come out of settings and close them completely, I am not sure but I guess you might need VoiceOver on to change its settings for braille screen input but not sure.
anyway back on your home screen do actually enable braille screen input, repeatedly perform the rotor gesture till it says braille screen input, now at this point your phone might start flipping between table top and screen away mode which are about how dots are positioned on screen, I have mine locked in screen away mode which means that the orientation of the dots will not change, and each dot is vertically going up and down the screen 1, 2 and 3 on the left and 4 5 and 6 on the right they are stacked vertically, table top mode would just have the dots in a straight line like a piano keyboard.
so to lock your dots in screen away mode tilt the phone till it says screen away mode, then swipe up vertically with 3 fingers over the width of the phone, VoiceOver should say orientation locked, screen away mode, this is now a permanent setting unless you change it. I suspect with an iPad you will find table top mode better.
6. now I don't know how your braille typing is or if you even visually see a braille keyboard on screen, actually this would be interesting to know, but anyway to type a braille c, its dots 1 and 4 together, then your list of apps will narrow as I explained before, it might even be enough just typing that c, but if it isn't then an r is dots 1, 2 and 3 plus dot 5 all pressed together at once.
anyway to navigate the shortened list of apps on your phone just start flicking down with one finger till you hear crafting kingdom, then flick to the right with two fingers to try to open it and you will get the crash.
if you don't see dots on the screen what you can do is hold your fingers individually or in combination on the screen and VoiceOver will tell you what dots your holding your fingers on, though unfortunately dots can sometimes go walkies on screen and it can be very annoying sometimes trying to type something. If you get stuck do let me know or if I can be of any further help, I guess the test version when its available will also automatically send you crash reports so I can always deliberately make it crash for you a few times.
Hi Alex, and thank you for the detailed instructions. What a convenient way to navigate the apps on the iPad! Also, who knew that it would ever pay off to learn how to type in Braille!
Anyway, it worked exactly as you described. The app started and then closed again after saying something random. In my case it said the number 3 instead of estate, but the end result is the same.
Now that I can reproduce it, I can start tracking the bug down. Thanks for letting me know!
By the way, with Braille input on the screen is dimmed almost completely black and six circles with the numbers 1 through 6 are displayed in white. Depending on whether the iPad is in Screen Away or Table Top mode, the circles are in different positions on the screen. Every time I type anything, the circles adjust their position a little to accommodate where my fingers actually are.
Ah, thanks michelle. I'm not 100% sure if this applies to just your game, but i've noticed other apps crashing while opening them using braille input. Maybe that's just me, but it might be an iOs bug itself. I'm not exactly sure however. And yes, there are little circles that are in white when BSI is being used and the rest of the display is black, which I didn't pay attention till you said it and looked on my end.
Allright it's not a bug, it only applies to crafting kingdom, lol, my bad.
Hi Michelle, glad you managed to reproduce the bug OK following my instructions, its a weird one as have never scene an app crash before when being opened with braille screen input, I wonder if it might be something to do with the underlying accessibility plug in your using.
actually just as a side question before I get on to my main question I have, is that plugin that provides accessibility for crafting kingdom going to be made open source or available to developers in some way in case they want to make a game or other app accessible?
I know its currently in beta but presumably it will come out of that at some stage.
Now on to my main question I have about quests, are quests given totally randomly or do you only get given a quest depending on what products you unlocked during your last game play? and if so, does that mean you have to keep unlocking products to get quests relating to them or are they just totally random so they could be for any product regardless of if you unlocked it or not before.
One other thing how do we know if all quests are completed like if we have finished them all is there a message that tells us this that there are no more quests, I just don't want to be in a situation where it loops back to the beginning and I haven't realized that all quests were finished.
the plugin will be available in the Unity Asset Store, including the source code. Hopefully many developers will give it a try and make their apps accessible.
You bring up a good point about the quests. I don't know that anybody ever has completed all quests. However, if you do, you will have to restart one more time to collect your current quest rewards. If you don't receive any news quests, or less than six quests, you know that you have reached the end.
The quest are chosen at random, but but they take into account which products you have currently unlocked when you restart.
Hi Michelle. I appologize if this has already been asked before, but I would definitely be interested in beta testing the latest releases of this game. Is the testflight group still open?
Now, for an accessibility question. Has anyone else noticed the occasional focus issue while using bluetooth headphones? I'm using AirPods if that helps any.
sure, we're always happy to have more beta testers. We're currently planning to start the next beta round not before the next week, since the current update took longer than anticipated.
On the upside, we're working on improving the performance further, especially inside the locations. The side effect of this will be less swipe and focus issues, as those are affected by even slight drops in the frame rate.
Hi Michelle. How would I go about joining the beta testing group then?
Hi Michelle, just a quick question. Would it be possible to speed up the system voice?
Thanks for your time.
The system voice the game uses on my end is quite fast. The only time it slows down is when VO is enabled then it goes back to whatever rate VO is using.
Hey to all. I'm also interested in beta testing this game, but not for ios. If the game dev can please email me off the forum so we can discuss this further that would be wonderful. I don't want to get in trouble
I find actually these days its just as fast using the game with VoiceOver as without, but then maybe that's because I am using it on an iPhone 7 plus, one thing I still turn VoiceOver off for is if I have huge numbers that VoiceOver decides to read out weirdly, then I use system voice to read them but then instantly switch back to VoiceOver.
Thanks for the feedback about your experience with the system voice and voice-over. My voice-over speaking rate is usually set on 90 to 95 percent, and I'm going to hazard a guess and say that there are quite a few people who have their voice-over speaking rate set that high as well.
I find when using the system voice, it is much slower. Again, I am guessing that the system voice would be set to the equivalent of 40 to 50 percent of voice-over speaking rate.
Therefore, I find the system voice speaking rate very slow. I am hoping that we will be able to adjust the system voice speaking rate to our individual preferences. I find the system voice is more stable because it doesn't lose focus as much as voice-over, and it reads the numbers correctly.
Is there anyone else out there who agrees with my assessment?
Ah, I get it now. at least I believe I do. Since most people, not me, like the voice speed very quick, then they disable VO for the game, the system voice seems like a snail pace.
Speaking for myself, I have VoiceOver at 62%, so I don't find the system voice in Crafting Kingdom particularly slow. However, I prefer to use VoiceOver, partly because the system voice in English for this game is Samantha, a voice I've never particularly liked, partly because with VO I have the option of changing the speed, or even the voice, if I wish to do so. Each to their own, though! I hope that one day VO won't read long numbers in Crafting Kingdom as single digits, but otherwise I am happy with the way VO reads text in this game.
for the game to properly recognize our gestures when voiceover is on, the action has to be bigger. swipe further and tap slightly harder. this is especially obvious when doing production. i usually turn off vo for that. i can do a series of swipe down, right, double taps without having to listen to the slow system voice. just mentally count which production slot i am at. it is harder to get that smooth and fast when VO is on. i thinky those who still experience VO losing focus is because you did not swipe far enough and the game thought is a tap. the sensetivity will drop overtime. for the game to recognise double tap, i had to do double hammer on instead. turn off VO and baack on again will make it more responsive.
Hi Michelle I wrote to you off list a couple of days ago giving my email. I just wondered if you got it and I could to join the beta team. Loving the game and thanks
From Snowy Owl.
Hi my next estate calls for metal parts, but I'm unsure how to make these. Thanks for any hints with this.
I second the idea of other sounds in the production areas!
hi mike. just look in to the buildings that u have not purchased, and u will know what each individual building produces, and then u can decide which one or which ones, in metal part's case to buy. often 1 building will have to rely on the products or resources of other buildings to work, which will definitely apply to metal parts. in fact, metal parts need 3 buildings working together to produce. my next estate needs 1500 cloths and 1500 gold bars, and the most difficult thing of all, 250 million! hahaha.
on that note, not sure if michelle wants to give this info away. just wondering what's the highest level of estate expansion in this game? I am now at exactly %100 expansion, so when I restart, my storage will already be at 200.
also, what's the highest quantity of resource I will have to sell in a quest? so far, I have seen only 300k of a resource, which is a quest my friend had on his quest list. not looking forward to doing something like 300k armors man!
Hi Kelvin, thanks for your posted information, its appreciated. But just to be clear, it seems I only need two buildings to make metal parts. The furnace it says where metal is made, and the blacksmith to make them into metal parts? Is that correct?
Thanks again :)
well. u are only half correct. metal needs 2 different resources from another building to make however. haha.
It's true that you need metal from the furnace to make metal parts, but you also need coal and iron ore from the quarry to make metal, that's why products from three properties need to be used together, as metal parts are made by the blacksmith. I hope that made sense! I have recently done the estate expansion with metal parts in it myself, and I forgot the coal and iron ore to begin with, but thankfully I remembered them pretty soon, otherwise I would not have got the metal parts to help complete that particular estate expansion.
Thanks guys, I'm greatful that didn't have to turn into a guessing game. rofl
I appreciate the clarification Clare, that makes sense now. I had a feeling I was missing a step. I just didn't want to spend good gold on something I wouldn't need. :)
I am currently on quests where I have 25 k timber and 25 k grain and meat. I haven't really upgraded my estate yet got it to 30 percent.
Should I be looking at upgrading my estate a few more levels before going for the quests?
A bit tricky knowing what to do.