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a Mench 3m Doing a bit of everything.
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Sindome and the blind community
How we play differently

Ever since I've started playing Sindome, there's one thing I've noticed. To everyone else, it may be a small thing, but to people with no sight who rely on a screen reader such a small thing can sometimes become a huge issue.

What is the issue I've noticed? The issue is... there's a lot of text.

You're probably thinking, "This is a text based game. Of course there will be a lot of text." This is certainly true. But where we start to run into an issue is that the sighted players can get used to it, can filter out what they need to know vs what may not be as important. Unfortunately, with a screen reader, that is more difficult. It's more difficult because people using screen readers have to listen to everything as it comes in.

Now I've been talking with people in the blind community, and everyone I've spoken with has told me the same thing. They have heard amazing things about Sindome. The rp avid people I know have tried to play here, but have found it difficult to get used to.

Why? Because everyone I know, including myself, is used to supplementing our experiences with sounds to help us more quickly identify what's going on. The accessibility features help somewhat, however there's only so much an in game solution can do.

What the moo needs is a soundpack. Now believe it or not, it could benefit everyone, even those of you with sight. The reason being, for me and those I know, text can only do so much.

Lets say you're in combat. Combat happens fast, and depending on the weapon(s) used, it can take quite a while for someone with a screen reader to read through it. But if Sindome had a soundpack, it would be far easier to know if you hit someone, or got hit, almost instantly. I know we have the combat labels that say hit or miss, but this was just the first example I could come up with.

Aside from offering clues to what's going on using sound, which would cut down on the text a screen reader has to go through significantly, a soundpack could also be used to significantly enhance the ambience of the game world, make you feel like the world of Sindome is literally, all around you.

If I were to do this, though, I'd need help. I'd need help from the staff, and from the players who use the pack.

I think it would be a good idea if we discussed this here. Thoughts?

I've actually talked to Johnny about this a couple times on a chat we're in together, where he's teaching me MOO code.

The main reasons for not swapping to webclient exclusively at current, is A: Predominantly Mobile Users, Johnny is considering learning bare bones swift and making a quick and dirty embedded browser mooclient for the purposes of mobile on Iphone but that's a pipe dream because it'd add another hundo to maintenance for the game to keep an app up on the Store. So that's gonna take time. B: The blind users we do have, I helped johnny test the webclients aria functions and get them working slightly better. That was a step in the right direction I feel. But they, and hopefully we(soon) can do so much more to support you guys if we could get this functionality working in a way that's satisfactory and just works out of the box with NVDA and other accessibility tools.

But having spoken with him, a soundtrack and sound plugins are some of what he has in mind for the webclient... That and some back end stuff that would improve things in the code base and workings there.

Interesting. Still, there may still be cases where the web client just won't work. If I'm on an iPhone, I don't think it'd be able to play any kind of soundtrack or anything in a browser. And, I'm personally not ready to switch to the webclient just yet. Still, I'd definitely like to put together a soundtrack for the moo for the client on my laptop I do use as it would make things so much easier for blind players.