incoming wall of text
A couple of years ago, back in Season 2, I made my first post on the Season 2 forums. That post discussed my frustration with the game as it stood then, more specifically with my issues with ranked at the time as I couldn’t keep a combo together. It wasn’t for lack of trying either, it was just because, without sight, I had no way of seeing the KV to tell if it would blow out or not.
As most of you reading this are probably aware, this was then fixed via the introduction of what is now the HUD volume slider first included without toggles as part of the Rash beta in September of that year.
Now though, news has broken that will, if acted on by the developers of KI, potentially make the game almost, if not fully, playable without sight. (I only say almost as sometimes there are visual elements that make the game more difficult to work with in places in terms of the mechanics etc, as you are no doubt aware).
Yes, that would include ShadowLords too.
The news comes from a microsoft session at GDC, which wasn’t recorded but this is the info page. When I first heard about this, though I knew I couldn’t be in attendence, I understood that the idea of off-the-shelf APIs for game developers to work with would, if executed correctly, make everything so much easier for them and for those of us without sight like @Blindgamer102, @Jukesy1992 and myself to name just 3 KI players.
The session took place yesterday and… here’s the news as it stands. I’ll quote from a tweet that was sent out after the talk:
“As of now Xbox has a text to speech API, allowing #gamedev to easily implement #blind-accessible in-game UIs #gdc17”.
If you don’t know what this means, basically Narrator, the screen reader for the Xbox One operating system, would be able to read all of Killer Instinct’s menus, command lists, frame data, stage selections, story mode text, tutorials, ranked screens, gamertags (not sure about that last one but think it could be doable) and I’d argue most importantly, the text and menus etc for Shadow Lords.
All we need to do, essentially, is get the developers to take a look at this and agree to put it in, acting on it once they do so that everyone can have even more value out of the game.
Shadow Lords has long held me back from recommending Killer Instinct as wholeheartedly as I did before it was added. With this new development, however, were it to be integrated into the entire game, I would certainly be willing to retract my reservations and possibly even do an entire SL playthrough. I could finally get my Astral Plane unlock and not have to worry about whether I’d managed it etc, as Narrator would announce it.
Apologies for the wall of text but I think it’s prudent to ask. What do you all think of this?
Feel free to tag developers in this thread so that they can see the discussions unfold and feel free to ask any relevant questions and I’ll answer what I can.