Additional audio cues for S3 and other feedback

This post was edited to hopefully avoid any more potential frustration
I’ve flagged some of these up with the developers off-forum, but I thought I might as well re-document them here as they are things that I believe could most certainly improve the quality of the experience for gamers with no vision:

  • Create an audio cue (that can be turned on and off via the HUD volume slider) to allow blind players to have full access to the lockout timer, as the lack thereof currently has tipped the balance from what was relatively equal before the timer visuals were introduced to a point where it is again strongly in the favour of sighted players. This audiocue (whatever form it takes) should redress the apparent advantage sighted players could be perceived to have and hopefully achieve a less frustrating experience for those who can't see the lockout timer for whatever reason (whether that's a straight up lack of sight or colour blindness).
  • Ad a cue for Arbiter when he obtains a new grenade and when Kim gets a dragon, if these cues aren't already in the game. These would help for resource management similar to when Fulgore gets the ability to use Hype beam.
  • Add a sound for Tusk's deflection when it is successful - it would just be useful to get some more feedback from that window.
  • Add a way of telling what settings you have in the timer/difficulty menu and when you change them, realising what you've changed them to. Useful for boss runs, shortened vs matches, getting achievements, etc.
  • Work on making lights, mediums and heavys a little more distinguishable - prime example is Aganos' medium kick during a combo - @jukesy1992 and I tested and found that contrary to belief it's actually faster in timing (by the tiniest of degrees) than the light equivalent. Orchid, Wulf, Kan-ra, TJ, Cinder, Spinal, Sadira, the aforementioned Aganos, Aria... The list of characters that have speed designation issues when it comes to mid combo moves goes on. As much as the moves were tested, I'd hazard a guess that they weren't tested with players who wouldn't be able to see the animations in mind.
If anyone can think of other ideas for audio cues, they can be discussed here

The lock out indicator hasn’t always been there. So most people are already trained to know the timing by heart.

Also, Combo breaking and counter breaking have “windows” where they can be a little early or late relative to the lockout timer, so there is no punishment for being a little early in either situation.


I have been trying to refrain from responding to certain posts you have made like this, but this needs to be said at this point.

I’m all for adding things which will allow those with disabilities to play the game better, but I think you take it too far. You constantly complain that “sighted” players have a big advantage over you, and I’m not disputing that there is definitely a different level of struggle for blind players; but you keep posting things like this (removing the visual indicator, calling the character colors and stage relighting “worthless” because you can’t see them) as though the game needs to be catered to the blind at the expense of everyone else.

In this specific case, the lockout timer was specifically added to assist with streams, tournaments, and general gameplay.

Why should a feature like this be removed for, let’s be honest, an extreme minority of the KI population? Being blind is an incredibly ■■■■■■ thing that you have to live with, and I have empathy for that, certainly. I supported your requests for additional sound cues (with the caveat that they needed to be able to be turned on or off by the player) because it is something that would assist those with your disability without having a negative effect on the game for the rest of the community. It’s awesome that IG and MS have worked with you and were able to add sonic features to help you guys out, but you can’t take it too far, either.

How would you feel if a deaf player wanted to remove all sound in the game completely, since they’re unable to hear? Sound cues could give a player who can hear an “unfair advantage.”


Your right, now Kev Bones wouldn’t be able to hear the lock out or see it. So he would be at a disadvantage.
It totally sucks for them both…but your right. It can only go so far.

@SightlessKombat I have to agree with @xSkeletalx here. The timer is quite miner. To be honest, the majority will always have advantage over us. I think it’ll be more important to focus on stuff that can help, and not hinder, groups of players. A voice acted story mode, or a small audio queue for stage ultras, would probably be a much better fit than removing the lockout timer at this point. The voice acting can augment the experience, and the audio queue for stage ultras, which should be implemented as a toggle, or maybe as part of the overall hud volume slider, can help if you are over that side of the screen to brace yourself for either the impact of a stage ultra, or to prepare your own inputs so you don’t miss it.
As for auto double moves, that could be cool, I wouldn’t mind that myself, but at this time, it’ll require yet another rebalance, and there’s been plenty of that going on already as you are very much aware.


I’ll try and answer everyone at once, but it might get a little complicated.

@jukesy1992 Since I know your background in KI and understand you don’t play ranked (or at least near enough as makes no matter), I can understand your point of view on the lockout timer. The only reason I’m really bringing the timer up in earnest is simply because of the fact that it’s not, to me at least, a “minor” concern. Very recently it’s become apparent to me that whenever I am locked out, the sighted playerwill go to town essentially (using both their bars of shadow meter and imediately ending the combo before I have a chance to break), capitalising on the fact that I guessed wrong and even if they hyperextend the combo, there is little chance that I’ll be able to recover other than the usual 3-way educated guess, without being locked out again because I was unaware of exactly when the lockout timer expired. You could say that they are good enough that they might not be using the timer, but when discussing this with other players they seem to agree with me that it’s a problem that should be fixed in some way at the very least regardless of why they’re using the tactics they’re using.

However, I definitely agree with your other points as well - you and I have had numerous discussions about stage ultra cues as a possibility. Though I wouldn’t say the in-combo moves would specifically need a re-balance as such, just a slightly better way of telling which moves are lights, mediums etc (it wouldn’t have to be overly obvious like SF4, just a subtle difference that you’d have to learn to work with), but that’s a pipedream of sorts that might probably get me all kinds of frustrated comments were I to actually go out and suggest it directly as an element that should be addressed for S3.

Who knows, they might work on it at some point, but until then I guess we’ll just have to put up with it. I’m still looking forward to S3, regardless of what they work on for accessibility.

I’m willing to be corrected on what I’m about to say, but my only thought on your previous post is that you are actually mistaken. The way I see it, there are two scenarios to consider here - breaking combos in the first place and getting locked out and being aware of it. The first is relatively standard fare in accessibility discussions like this, as the deaf player (let’s not tie it down to an individual) can see the animations in question and break well using those (I speak from personal experience). The second scenario is also relatively standard - the player can see the words Lockout and the timer as it runs down and if they have an opportunity to break the combo after that point, they can again use their grasp of the animations in game to attempt a second breaker. If the timer was removed now, after being there for a while, admittedly there’d be a learning period, but the fact of the matter is though it might put us back on an even keel it would frustrate some players who rely on it and those commentators/streamers who use it would be confused as well. Consequently, the best way I can see to address the perceived imbalance would be to add an auditory equivalent. That way, theoretically at least, everybody wins.

Whilst I understand your frustrated that I might be taking these ideas “too far”, I believe that if these concepts and strategies aren’t suggested in the first place, how would any of the strategies implemented into mainstream games (MKX, IGAU, Skullgirls) be worked on in the first place? For example, the audio cues you mentioned as “sonic features” were only introduced thanks to the help of the community and a suggestion by me (and possibly others before me though I don’t remember finding any other similar suggestions at the time if they did exist). The developers were willing to listen and understand how the cues might be implemented and those who were there might remember the backlash the cues got when they were first introduced due to the lack of an on/off toggle (and I can understand why that might’ve been problematic). However, now that the toggle is there (even though it’s set to 0), whenever I show it to people, they seem to, for the most part, understand how it works and realise that it could even help them in their gameplan as well.

Everyone on these forums is entitled to their opinion and the reason I say that the character colours are “worthless” as you put it, wasn’t to frustrate sighted players, it was to merely put forward the idea that other unlocks can and most certainly could be available to make the grind worth it. After all, I was surprised (as were others) that the music from KI2 wasn’t able to be used in s2’s training mode (we’re not sure about S3 yet). That and the fact that the Aria announcer wasn’t quite what people expected (I don’t think), in addition to the fact that there could potentially be even more visual unlocks, frustrates me, not specifically the fact that there are colours and accessories to unlock. If there was a way to customise your character with accessories etc in an accessible manner, I’d happily give it a go and see how the end result looked according to other players. If there were more reasons for me to keep grinding, I’d be happier with the situation as it stands. However, since the developers have stated that due to engine limitations they can’t add separate voice packs for separate accessories (at least to the console version), it would be good to have some kind of rewards that is semi-tangible and “usefull”, if you see where I’m coming form.

I’m all for new colours/accessories being in the game, I would just like to see something to make the grind worthwhile for me and those who don’t care for unlocking costume/accessories etc.

I wasn’t sure what to think when I read your post originally, particularly this line stuck out for me as a little too much on your part:
"…as though the game needs to be catered to the blind at the expense of everyone else."

I do not, in fact, believe that the game needs to cater to the blind “at the expense of everyone else”. In fact, I believe that we as Killer Instinct players should all be able to stand together and fight on as equal a playing field as possible. Introducing ui elements (audio or otherwise) that can, potentially unfairly benefit certain groups in certain situations (by revealing information that isn’t already present in other mediums) is one way of making this less of a reality. Though it cannot be said whether this would’ve actually happened, there is a distinct possibility that if the ability for blind players to see the KV meter hadn’t been added (thus re-aligning everyone in a fairer playing field, pre-lockout timer), I might have put the game down long ago and moved to other fighting titles.

I’ve edited my original post to hopefully try and get my original point across a little better, removing the idea of getting rid of the visual lockout timer.

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Again, like I said, I’m all for having things added to the game to assist those with disabilities, especially if they are added as options which can be toggled on or off. That’s great, and I love that it makes it easier and more fun for you to play the game.

What I’m talking about with regards to the quotes is the fact that you have made several posts on News articles about new features which, whether you intended them to be this way or not, seem (in my opinion) to imply that because something isn’t a benefit to you or those who are blind, it isn’t worth the time. You may not have MEANT that, but that’s how it can come off. The colors and lighting were the most recent instances of this, but it has happened a few times in the past. I think @jukesy1992 explained my feelings in a really good way when stating that the focus should be on what can be added for accessibility without taking away from others.

I also recall making a comment to you in party chat and in a message later on when you lashed out after losing to another player, because as you put it “It’s incredibly unfair because you can see and I can’t.” It’s really awesome that you and the other blind players are able to play KI, and that the team works with you to better develop accessibility features into the audio, but in the end there is a very small minority of players with the handicap you have, and it’s wrong to imply that something being developed is worthless or should be removed because it doesn’t directly benefit this small minority.

I’m curious as to how you would respond to the scenario I put forth about a deaf person wanting audio cues and sound effects to be removed, or didn’t want them to be added in the first place because it was “worthless” since they couldn’t hear it. I believe that you would be immediately opposed, because that kind of change would directly impact the kind of KI experience you get to have. Those who can see the colors, accessories, and costumes certainly seem to enjoy them, and there has been a pretty positive response to the relighting, too - all things which impact our experience.

TL;DR - KI should add features and accessibility options, not remove functionality, quality, or content.

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I understand your scenario. I wouldn’t, as you seem to believe, be opposed to a deaf person believing that the sounds/music should be removed - I can understand the logic most certainly, though I would think of it as a potentially overexagerated view of the matter (as the deaf individuals I’ve interacted with also understand how sound is important to me, as I understand how visual inconsistancies, the lack of captions etc are important for them to fight to change). I also believe you are perceiving my views on functionality vs quality incorrectly as well, but that could be down to any numbers of things. If people ask what I feel about the lighting, for example, I’ll happily relay to people that whilst I know there were problems with the lighting before, I, due to my “handicap” (as you put it), don’t see the lighting change as something that was worth it (especially considering that others agree with me who have sight as well and think that S3 has caused more problems lighting wise than it’s solved).

We all have moments where comments in fighting games can come across as overly harsh, misdirected, as overexagerations, etc. However, my comments (though they might seem like they’re aimed personally towards the player directly), most of the time can be traced back to the character/the playstyle of that character/how I’ve seen that character played cheaply online/repetitive tactics that are hard to block - the list goes on and on. The vast majority of people I fight seem to take it as it is and understand that comments like that are made in the heat of the moment/in the course of the battle. I have recently tried to take it upon myself (where I can/where the other player(s) can assist) to ask what combo they’re doing so that I can attempt to clarify if I have difficulty breaking it or not and also to try and watch for the combo again and the various break points within it, if any exist. Consider this as an apology for unintentionally coming across as overly harsh/blunt/unable to take a loss, etc.

With the new balance changes coming to season 3, it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out in terms of overused tactics etc and what changes as to blocking strategies as well - particularly as people are using S3 tech without the balancing in S2’s framework.

Back to the main point of your post. I’m a little frustrated that you think, without having a long-term verbal discussion on the matter, that I believe that just because something doesn’t “benefit this small minority” (as you would categorise blind/low vision players), it should be removed. I do not, in fact, think this at all and I will happily argue it whereever you wish. I never said that colours/lighting/accessories should be removed, I merely said that to me they are less impactful within the experience of KI and the change is near enough nonexistant. As for the removal of the lockout timer, that was an idea that I thought I’d throw out there as a concept (as people got on without it before it was first introduced, as @MRxFluttershy rightly points out).

I have half a mind to close/delete this topic so that this doesn’t turn into just a topic of us arguing over semantics of how differing sets of individuals feel about the game and its various inclusive/noninclusive features (as I want everyone to be as happy as possible about playing KI and stating their opinions freely within these forums without having to fight their corner, as it were).

To end on a lighter note, I agree with your TLDR. As I say, if I could customise my character in an accessible manner, get a written description of the different colours etc, I’d gladly work with that. As it stands no such method exists. But I’d be happy to work with the developers, if they gave me the chance, to continue making Ki probably one of the most accessible/responsive fighting games of this generation thus far.

Thanks for being relatively civil about this though, It’s appreciated.

@xskeletalx While I know your question is aimed at sightless, as another blind player I Wish to also answer. I actually think it is an interesting proposition. The trouble with the def player removing sounds for everyone else analogy is it would go against the idea of tvs and game consoles in general, not just the blind, it’s too far of a scope to even attempt to respond to. But I’ll try to do so, and my response is this: yep, that would definitely be annoying. But it is, what I’d call an impossible and extreme scenario when compared to the lockout timer propositions. I don’t know why an audio toggle can’t be added if it came down to it, a small sound when lockouts expire, but I don’t agree about removing it entirely because a lot of players rely on the visual queues, and I believe Sightless feels the same way about this: tldr version: add an audio toggle for lockout timers.

Going back on topic though, I think the reason audio content hasn’t been added is probably due to money. I don’t know if the new story mode will be voice acted or not, but that’s something that would be amazing. Trouble is they’d have to pay for the actor’s extra hours, and it depends on how much they would charge. With this season only having three stages though, it truly has left me wondering if they might be focusing on some sort of larger elements for story mode this time, what’s with these really detaileed backstories that they’ve been releasing? I mean, some of them really do go into detail. Also, the trailers seem to have more voice acting this time. Sure, some from season 2 also had acting but this time, there really does seem to be more of it, the lines come thick and fast. What was with Omen talking in Kim Wu’s trailer? Could that be a hint of things to come?

Well said. I won’t say anything more here for fear of being shut down, but let’s just say regarding what might be comeing… I’ve heard things… (google is your friend)

On topic, I agree with what you said. I realise now that the idea of removing the lockout timer, whilst valid in concept, wouldn’t stand due to the way the game is now. Just stick in an audio cue and make it part of the HUD volume slider and it’s pretty much sorted.

I don’t see them removing the lockout timer to level the playing field for the visually impaired. They might choose to add a sound to signify the end of the timer - although frankly the sound would be a bit more definitive than the visual cue.

One of the things KI does not have at all is haptic feedback support (i.e. rumble). If they are trying to provide non-visual cues it seems to me that this would be a great thing to take advantage of. I don’t know if you play on a stick or a pad, but the Xbox One controller has a wide variety of possible rumble settings that could probably be used to differentiate a variety of in game cues. I’m sure it’s easier said than done, but to me this makes a lot more sense than trying to eliminate existing visual cues.


Definitely not a fan of removing the cue entirely – fighting games exposing more of their underlying systems is a good thing, and the game has long had problems where players would fail or neglect to capitalize on lockouts, and then complain that break attempts are “free”. I also disagree with the notion that being on-point about lockout expiry without a cue is “hype”, but since I’m more interested in good decision-making than I am in execution in general, I might not be the right person to ask about this.

That said, I’d like to see an audio cue added. It might be best provided as a toggle option in the audio menu, but if the sound is well-designed it might make sense to enable it by default. It should preferably fade in or out so that a blind player who isn’t on-point with their lockout timing doesn’t have to “react” to the audio cue, since the visual cue is already set up this way and since more information about a thing that players can in principle already know regardless is a good thing.

Also, @xSkeletalx , it’s not great to make blind players think of things in terms of “us vs all the sighted people” when there are other ways around the issue. People with disabilities already deal with that kind of “guilt” internally enough as it is.

How so? It’s not as though either cue would test your reactions. (Assuming that they use an audio cue that fades in or out, that is.)

The visual cue appears and then fades out. You have to be paying attention to it and notice when it disappears. Where as a sound signifying the end of the lockout would be immediate and obvious.

I’ve said that I realised I was incorrect to suggest the removal of the lockout timer visual cue in any capacity, so would new repliers please drop that (even though it was quoted before I edited the post).

As for the argument of sounds being clearer than the visual cue, the suggestion of a cue that starts and then fades out would still work - then at least it would work the same way as the visuals. Moreover, the idea of rumble is also an interesting possibility. The developers have said that they were considering/looking into adding it in as well at some point.

I’ll write a clearer version of this post later.

During a lockout you have only the cue, KV, and I guess meter to really be looking at on screen. There’s obviously skill in managing that stuff whilst keeping a combo together, but I don’t think tracking your lockouts is so onerous that an audio cue drawing your attention when your lockout is about to expire is really an advantage. Capitalizing on a lockout is probably more a matter of practice than it is of directly managing your lockout time, anyway. Similar remarks, I think, apply for the defense in trying to align lockout expiry with a read or reaction.

But maybe the audio cue they come up with will be good, so we can just have it on by default.

Hey, no need to take it as an attack. I think it’s worth keeping track of where the discussion started, and talking about why the lockout timer is valued (and/or why someone would want it gone, if anyone ever bothers to field that argument), even if you have changed your mind on it already. I realize some posters here have (at least appeared to’ve) taken a tone with you over your positions, so you might feel like you’re playing defense in some sort of war scenario or something at times, but I don’t want this discussion to play out that way. You’re a good and well-intending contributor around here. :slightly_smiling:

I think you’re misinterpreting me a little bit; I’m really happy that things are being added to the game which allow people like Sightless and Jukesy to play the game; I don’t feel that this is an “us vs them” situation in any way, except for pointing out that changes to the game need to be additions, versus taking something away from one group or another; while we all have different groups we fit into, all roads lead to Rome and we’re all part of the KI community as a whole. The only objection I had was with regards to comments which had been made at various points in various threads which seemed to imply less value to certain elements of the game.

What I proposed was certainly an extreme scenario, but I wanted to lay out one which would parallel the kinds of things I was mentioning to Sightless; removing all sound and music from the game was supposed to be a parallel to what I saw as decrying the worth of the visuals and removing things like the lockout icon.

The toggles for sound, technically, are already there, and someone could play the game muted if they wanted to. If they add a lockout audio cue, I’m totally ok with that just like we talked about in the TLDR, but like the KV meter sounds it should be tied to a toggle or other audio option so somebody who doesn’t want to use it can turn it off. I’d also like to see a bit more voice acting, particularly in the Story modes, so I’m interested to learn more about S3 as we get closer to launch.

I like Fnrslvr’s idea about having a “fading” sound for the audio cue; Picture a ringing sound, like a single bell or triangle, which starts off loud and fades in volume so that it matches the visual cue, to the point where the sound completely disappears at the exact same moment/frame as the Lockout icon does. I think that style (though done in a more thoughtful style) could be a valid option which could really even up how the lockout icon works. Those who can see the icon might even want to train themselves to use the sound and icon together, or just ignore the icon and play off the sound.

[quote=“SightlessKombat, post:8, topic:5843”]
I, due to my “handicap” (as you put it)
[/quote] I get the feeling you didn’t like my use of the word handicap. I’m not really sure what the correct, respectful term is, and you’ll notice I have used handicap, blind, and disability at different times in my responses here. If either of you guys could enlighten me as to the most acceptable term I’ll make sure to use that one in the future, but I actually thought that handicap was probably the most respectful of the three.


I like your idea for the audio cue - similar to TJ’s knockdown sounds - they faded in crowd/bell sounds to emphasise his thoughts about previous fights (as documented in the sounds of s2 video). A similar concept would be interesting, I reckon it’d work if they could time it to the frame.

This then raises the question of where a player new to the game would be able to learn these sounds other than my videos and those of other players. The relatively reasonable answer, once it’s completed, would be the KICG. But that is far from complete (though I am, when I have time and motivation enough, working on it).

In terms of the prefered terminology, handicapped, I believe, is a mostly American term. I appreciate the fact thatyou’ve attempted to vary your terminology and also the fact that you’ve been willing to ask. It sometimes comes down to a matter of preference. For these kinds of discussions, I’d say it’s better to use blind/Vi (when referring to multiple different players as a group) and blind when referring to me.

I’m pleased we’ve managed to settle our differences, or rather just clear up the idiosyncracies. I apologise again if I implied “less value” to certain features. In essence, it was the implication of less value on a personal level rather than overall that I was trying to put across - the features should be there, but if I feel they are personally less valuable compared to other features, I will attempt to express myself so as not to cause a stir unintentionally.

As a related note, if either of you are at forum battles tomorrow, I’d be happy to discuss this topic further there as well.

Anyway, enough of this constant back and forth. Let’s continue the discussion moving forward around the same topics. What do you think of the other topics that I’ve highlighted - Arby’s, Tusk’s and Kim’s missing cues for example.


It will be interesting if Arbiter’s and Kim’s become part of the hud audio. I wonder if it will sound like fullgoar does or if Arbiter might get some sort of, more Halo like sound for grenades.

Don’t they already? Sounds like Halo grenades to me, could be wrong.

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When you use the attack, they do, but I meant if the sound for regaining grenades will also sound like Halo. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be one. If hud audio is turned on, if you gain meter there’s a little buzz, if your kv meter goes up there’s a cinematic thud sound that increases. With fullgoar, you just hear the meter buzz sound each time he gains a pip. I’m wondering if Arbiter’s grenades might beep instead of buzz.

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