Game Developer would love some input

App Developer

Hi everyone,

I have some questions regarding a game I'm developing and am hoping for some input.
This is my first post, but I have been reading this forum silently for months, and find that the people here give really helpful answers to the questions posted by developers.

The game is made with Unity, which doesn't support VoiceOver. I will have custom audio recorded to implement speaking menus and so on. I don't mean to reinvent the wheel and more importantly, I don't want to break with any existing and established interface control standards. That's where I need help. I read in another post that all menus should simply be scrolling with swipes, and a double tap would select an option. I implemented this for all my menus and am now stuck on just a few leftover issues.

Here are my questions:

1. Volume Control: For seeing people, volume controls are usually done with a slider. Since I have to implement a custom control for this anyway, I wonder what would be easiest to use. My idea is to use swipe up and down to increment and decrement the volume and then double tap to accept. Does that sound reasonable?

2. Toggles: How would I best offer an option in the settings menu that can be turned on or off? Specifically, the voice assist mode can be turned on and off. Currently, I was thinking off making the Voice Assist option in the settings menu simply toggle the state. This means if it is double tapped while voice assist is on, it would be turned off. And if it was off, it would be turned on.

3. Pause Menu: I wonder how best to open the pause menu from inside a level. For seeing players, I can put a button in the corner of the screen, but this obviously wouldn't work for blind players. My idea is that simply tapping the screen and holding it for two seconds could open the Pause menu. Does that sound like a good option, or is it too easy too forget? I mean, if someone didn't play the game for a while, would they remember? Or is this kind of mute anyway, because most people just use the Home button to pause a game?

4. Advertisement: This game is ad based, which means between levels, there is a chance of an ad being shown. But with ads, I have no control over placement of any close buttons etc. My question is - is that a complete show stopper for blind players? I obviously don't want anybody to get stuck in an add screen and unable to continue. I also don't expect anyone to buy the ad free version without having played at least a handful of levels. How do you handle ads in other games?

5. Headphones: Is it safe to assume that most blind players use headphones? And if so, are you using headphones for both ears? In the game, it's important to deal with characters coming from left, right or front, and I thought the simplest way to translate that for blind players without graphics is to simply have the audio come from the left, right or center. But that would completely backfire if most players didn't use headphones or only put in one of the earbuds. Any input, or ideas how to solve this differently?

Those are my most pressing questions at the moment. Any help and ideas are greatly appreciated.
Also, a big thank you to anyone taking the time to read all of this!

--Michelle

Forum: 

#51 It kind of reminds me of the

It kind of reminds me of the concept of Cafe formula, but more accessible and more fun

#52 It sounds Christmas

This is as cool as Christmas, I cannot edit until the app is ready to download.

#53 SPatial AUdio Library/BLog

Club AppleVis Member

Hi Michelle,

How's the spatial audio library exploration and development going?
THe audio samples and knowledge sharing blog sounds exciting! Please do keep us updated!

#54 Yes me too

Yes me too

#55 Spatial Audio Experiment

App Developer

Hi everyone,
it's really encouraging to hear that the gameplay sounds like something other people might enjoy, too.

I have dug into the spatial audio a little bit and decided that it is worth the effort to bring it into the game. Here's the blog post about my experiment, if anyone is interested: https://icodelikeagirl.com/2016/06/23/3d-audio-with-stereo-headphones/

The post includes audio samples so that you can listen and make a decision for yourself. Those examples are embedded into the post using SoundCloud. I hope that is usable with a screen reader. If not, let me know what else could work, and I'll change it.

#56 Virtual barbershop was really

Virtual barbershop was really cool! For some reason, I cannot play the other sounds.

#57 Direct Links to the audio examples

App Developer

Thanks for the heads up about the other sounds not playing.
It's possible that the SoundCloud player doesn't work with screen readers.
I updated the post to include two direct links to the audio files.

No need to read through the entire post again, though, I will post them here as well:

Stereo Results
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1zWxbGgM7KbRjh6LWxVM2g1Z1U

Spatial Results
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1zWxbGgM7KbOGp1bEhydVloQ1k

Remember to listen to the Stereo sample again after listening to the spatial one. It will give you a better picture.

#58 Thanks, that is so cool! The

Thanks, that is so cool! The spatial one sounds better because it sounds like the sounds are going farther to each side

#59 I listened to the recordings

the spacial is better. For example I felt like I was getting that haircut. And its much faster to determine where the sound is coming from. I wish you success with your game and I can't wait to get it.

#60 Yeah, the spacial audio is

Yeah, the spacial audio is more realistic-sounding. I will get this game as soon as it is released1 and I probably won't be able to stop playing it!! Good luck, and also thank you so much for taking the time to make this app accessible for us.

#61 I have only one question.

What will be the name of this awesome game?

#62 Yeah what will

Yeah what would be the name?

#63 I don't know what the game will be called yet.

App Developer

I don't know what the game will be called yet. When we start on a new game project, we pick an internal name, which is either abstract or generic or sometimes even completely random. That way, you don't get attached to a name during development.

Games and their design change and evolve during development. This is natural. But it also means that a title that sounded great in the beginning might no longer be a good fit for the game when it is done.

By using a development name you are literally forced to change it when you want to release the game. Also, at that time, your game will be finished enough that you can find the perfect name for it.

I hope this makes sense. It's been done this way in every company I worked for and I took over that practice for my personal projects as well.

#64 Oh okay, that makes sense.

Oh okay, that makes sense.

#65 How much will the full

How much will the full version of the app cost?

#66 I don't know the price yet

App Developer

Hi Paige,
I don't know yet what the full version would cost. I am not sure yet whether there will be a full version to purchase. I'm contemplating the idea of making it free and just doing in-app purchases instead. That might be the better model. But like I said, I haven't decided yet.

Quick update: The game's progressing great. I made a few updates for the gesture recognition and it is running a lot smoother now, with less errors in the gestures. I also exchanged a few gestures for more sensible ones, which are easier to draw with one finger and that are easier to explain verbally.

#67 In app

In app sounds great. That people could try it out first and they could support the development.

#68 Beta Release

When will the first Beta of the GAme be released? I'm really excited about it.

#69 Me Too

Agreed! I would soooo love to test this game!

#70 Aiming for January

App Developer

Hi and sorry for the delay in replying. I live east of Orlando and we had a hurricane pass by us in the last couple of days. We closed down our offices and everything, so I only now got back to work.

Currently, I am aiming to get the game done in January. Take that time estimate as nothing more than an estimate though. I have a few weeks of travel from work coming up, and I cannot really work on the game while abroad. That makes it hard for me to really nail things down.
I'd be happy to post updates here though.

#71 nice.

Hi Michelle nice to hear from you and glad everything is okay. I can't wait for that game I will definetly buy it.

#72 Beta Tester

Hi,
I am not sure if I added my comment or not. I am interested to beta test this upcoming game! Have a good day!
Thank you,
Joann

#73 Awesome!

Thanks for the update, I'm really excited for the game!

#74 Beta testing

Hi, I would really like to beta-test this game as well. It sounds like an awesome game to play!

#75 Beta Tester List

App Developer

Hi everyone!
I just started a list of people that would be willing to be testers.
Currently, I don't expect to reach beta until late January, but it would be great to have a few people on that list that I could reach out to once I hit that mark.

If anyone here is willing to help out with beta testing later on, please write me a message with your name and email. It would be great to know what device you are using, too.

#76 Contacting You

Hi Michelle,
How do we contact you to have our information placed on the list as a beta tester? I am very interested in being a beta tester for your game. Have a good day!
Thank you,
Joann

#77 Beta Tester List

App Developer

You can either use the contact form to send me a private message, or write me an email. My email address is mika@metalpopgames.com

#78 Beta Tester eMails

App Developer

Hi everybody, thank you for all the support! Almost ten people have already volunteered as beta testers. That is awesome.

Everyone should have gotten a response from me by now. If anyone send me a mail but didn't hear back from me yet, your mail might have gotten lost. Please post here or send me a message via the forum so I can respond.

#79 Cool idea

This game sounds awesome! I'll be looking out for it. Hopefully it comes out soon.

#80 It's delayed, but for good reason

App Developer

Hi there,

unfortunately, the release has been delayed heavily - but I think for a good reason.

I am currently focusing solely on finishing the plugin that makes this game accessible in the first place. There are many developers out there using Unity to create games, that are very interested in making them accessible too. I have received a lot of emails and Twitter messages of people wanting to use the plugin, which I think is just wonderful. So I decided to make that a priority instead.

I could focus on my own games and release an accessible game once or twice a year. Or I can finish this plugin and hopefully hundreds of developers will make their games and apps accessible.
I hope you understand my choice.

#81 Just stumbled across this forum post.

I was just messing around, clicking related links, and came across this. It sort of sounds like Diner Dash meets Cooking Mama, and I love that. Cooking mama is one of my favorite games, and diner dash/cake mania/whatever other ones in that category are all good time passing games.

How goes the plugin work?

#82 Eagerly waiting for this new game

Eagerly waiting for this wonderful game. If you need any more beta testers, please add me.
RulasV@aol.com
Cheers.

#84 Game will be delayed

App Developer

Hi everyone!
It's awesome to see that there is interest for this type of game. That being said, I have to announce it's been delayed for the time being. This is because all my free time is taken up by the work in the plugin that makes the game accessible. I made the plugin public for other developers to use and am now busy supporting it. This is good news because several developers have already picked it up and I hope there will be more accessible games and apps released soon. But on the downside it takes up quite a bit of my time. I still want to finish the cooking game someday, but I don't expect to be able to that this year. So I am currently not looking for beta testers, since I have no idea when the game will be ready to be tested.

#85 answering Michelle's Questions on the app

Hello Michelkle! My name is Abby, and I just found your post. Is this game you’re making the hot dog stand game? If so, I’m sooooo super excited to see it come out! I hope it’ll have audio and be accessible like crafting kingdom. Regarding your questions:

1. I think swiping up and down to increase/decrease volume is a good idea. Double tapping could also be implamented, but what I have found is that you simply have to swipe to chang volume in other apps.
2. Toggles: You’ve already set this up in crafting kingdom with its settings to be double tapped to toggle things on and off. I like that setup. That’s how most apps and settings are controlled with voiceover anyway. At least the ones I’ve seen.
3. Pause menu: I do not know why you’d need a menu of pause options. There should, in my opinion, simply be a pause button a person need only double tap to pause/resume a game. Just my thought.
4. Ads: for me, ads are annoying and unavoidable. However, you are correct; there is no control over where the close button is on your part. It wouldn’t be a complete turn off though; I do play apps that have ads and simply locate the close button and double tap. If there isn’t a close button, I simply press the home button then go back to the game, even though this requires turning voiceover on ten off again.
5. Headphones: I think making the audio come from different sides is a good idea. I do not know about most, but I do think you are safe in assuming a lot of us use headphones. I know I do, but only for games that require them. If this game required them, I would certainly use them.

#86 Hey abby

This would be really good. Thanks for posting it, and hopefully Michelle does do those things you mentioned.

#87 Testing

Is the game available to test yet?

#88 This restaurant gae

Is this game going to get released or is it discontinued? Accidentally sent this to the wrong post but I apologize for that.

#89 The game is getting made

App Developer

Hi Sabrina,

yes, the game is getting made. I worked on it just recently, bringing in all the latest changes from the Unity accessibility plugin I've made in the past couple of months and setting up more levels. But it's not in full production right now. Because we're only a three man studio we can only focus on one game in full production at a time.

We have however already discussed plans to put it back on full production later this year - after the summer, when our current game project is released. Plans and schedules may change, but not the outcome. The game is way too far and playable already to abandon it. It wouldn't make sense from a business point of view even if it wasn't also my personal favorite!

#90 Awesomeness

If you ever need a beta tester, I am willing to do that. I look forward to this game later.

#91 Interested in beta testing restaurant game

Hello when this game gets released to the public beta can I beta test? I’m interested.

#92 Beta testing

Hi.
I am interested in testing this as well. Let me know when it is available for beta testing.

#93 Beta?

Hi
Is there a beta test for this game?
If so I would love to test autstengel@gmail.com is my email

#94 Game Release

Hi all,
I was wondering about the status of the game. Is it still under development or has it been abandoned? I hope that work is still being done on it and that it will be released soon. I would love to see an accessible cooking game.

#95 Me too

I totally agree. When is this game going to come out? And I would also like to test it. My email is, alexiscooks836@gmail.com

#96 Why is it taking so long?

I feel like this game development is being abandon, there is no accessible restaurant games and I’ve been looking for a game like this for years.

#97 Status of development

App Developer

Hi everyone!
I wanted to give a little update on this game.
Back when I started working on this I realized how inaccessible Unity games were. I put the development of this game aside and worked on creating a generic plugin for Unity instead, which could be used to make all kinds of games accessible.
This plugin was finished and eventually released. Many developers have picked it up since and a first small batch of games have already been released with it. I am actively supporting developers who are using the plugin and I am still maintaining and adding features to it.
My own company has used it to create Crafting Kingdom and we're also going using it in our latest game, Galactic Colonies as well. (Note - don't rush to the app store just yet, that game is not accessible yet, we're still working on that.)

This has taken a lot of work and time. Because my evenings and weekends are limited, I am sorry to say that I had to completely shelve the development of this restaurant game and literally no progress has been made on this since then. On the upside, the plugin I created can help make many more games accessible than I would ever be able to create on my own, so this will hopefully be a net win for the blind community.

I actually loaded the game up again last month just to update everything and see if it still runs, which it does. It was quite fun to play it again. I still want to make this game, but at the moment have no free capacity to do so. The best I can do is to say that I'll post here if/when/once I get to work on it again.

I know this isn't the answer that you might have hoped for. I want to say that I'm able to get back to working on it in the next few weeks so badly. But I know that's unlikely and I'd rather not promise something I can't keep.

#98 Thank you for the update

I’m sorry to hear that the restaurant game won’t be coming out in the near future. But, it is wonderful to know that you have created a plugin that will hopefully make many more games available to us.

Hats off and kudos for that!

#99 Same

Even though I don't play crafting kingdom no more when ever that other game comes out I will definetly play it because that was the main one I wished for. Keep up the good work.

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