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Visual Boy Advance-M
GoodRaju

Text to Speech or Screen Reader Support for Blind

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Hello all, I used to be an avid gamer until my vision started to decrease due to a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. I was wondering if there is any way to add Screen Reader support such as JAWS or Window Eyes, or maybe the standard Text to Speech through SAPI5?

 

My main reason for requesting this is because myself and lots of people in the blind community would love to be able to play the games we used to play before, and if there was some way that the in-game text can be read to us using a TTS engine of some sort, then that would make most games 75 percent accessible to the blind. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Well, unfortunately one of the problems with implementing such a concept, is that most game dialogue in the 2D Era consists of multiple sprites connected together rather than actual text being rendered via the game engine.

 

It would require the creation of an OCR decoder specifically for printing text from the game into the Text to speech engine as it is rendered to screen, after the sprites have been combined and presented as a whole image.

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Thanks for the quick response. I don't know enough about programming to know how difficult that would be to make and how one would go about making that happen even.

 

Would it be easier to make like a plug-in or something, to use an external OCR program rather than making one from scratch specificly for VBM?

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Yeah, probably. :D

 

More likely it would have to use the same render API as VBA-M.

 

Like if VBA-M was running DirectX, have some external Direct2D (or maybe use Direct3D?)/DirectDraw debugger application running and tracing all the pointers to texture locations, distinguishing which ones are ASCII text pointing to them and which ones are look-ups on extended offsets.

 

Even then though that does require a number of rules or assumptions to be put in place. It would just be way easier to redesign the game. :D

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