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How blind gamers can play Skullgirls - video shows tools those without sight can use to play this fighting game

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • May 26, 2014 at 9:56 p.m. PDT

Playing video games if you're unable to see is sometimes a feat that's impossible, but two gamers have managed to pull this off, navigating menus and such to get into the matches and play each other at Skullgirls.

The key is using a built in option in the PC version of Skullgirls, which reads out loud the menus and things that are selected on screen. This can be enabled by using the -useclipboard command line option.

It also adds some sounds for things that don't normally have sounds, like recovering from hitstun.

These two players, who could not see, showed how this could be done, turning down things like the music, and listening to the characters talk and fight sounds to play a legitimate match.

This is a pretty inspiring video, as it shows that people can overcome their disabilities and still enjoy the awesomeness that is fighting games.

You can find the footage after the break.

Video from TheElnor, via the official Skullgirls' Twitter and Ian Hamilton.

Comments

Paradonyx said on May 26, 2014 at 10:21 p.m.

Tell me again why people choose to play Marvel over this?

#1
Roge9 said on May 26, 2014 at 10:34 p.m.

Because it doesn't have magneto or any other cool x-men characters!

#2
Utils said on May 26, 2014 at 10:49 p.m.

Wait, didn't you guys post this a few months ago?

Or maybe I saw it somewhere else a few months ago... No biggie, it's still cool!

#3
datsundacar said on May 26, 2014 at 11:14 p.m.
(This comment was hidden because it was down voted. You can view it by clicking here.)

@1

cuz the game is boring as all hell and it plays like an anime game without burst.

#4
HmpLghtng said on May 26, 2014 at 11:38 p.m.

Sometimes you gotta play crazy

#5
CrazyC0mb0 said on May 27, 2014 at 12:16 a.m.

But it HAS burst. It's just used in a different way.

#6
Syirine said on May 27, 2014 at 12:56 a.m.

Well you just stop. If it was not for Marvel 2 this game would probably not exist.

#7
Trungip said on May 27, 2014 at 1:09 a.m.

I ask myself this every day. Competent netcode, no touch of death, constant updates, pretty much better than marvel in every way.

#8
Mike_Z said on May 27, 2014 at 1:10 a.m.

@Catalyst

It's not a screen reader, that's the whole point.
Screen readers have problems with nonstandard fonts, like the generic text font in SG, so the game outputs most text to the clipboard (as well as things like training mode combo damage and extra info that is only shown visually, like which character is highlighted on character select) if you have the -useclipboard command line option. It also adds some sounds for things that don't normally have sounds, like recovering from hitstun.

Took only a couple of hours to add, helped a whole new group of people be able to enjoy the game.

@4
UMvC3 is exactly "an anime game without burst", you know...

#9
Paradonyx said on May 27, 2014 at 1:31 a.m.

You say this game is "boring", but have you played it? Or are you among the dozens of sheep who deny this game a fair chance because its Indie?

Also, if your counterargument is gonna be "lack of characters", then let me stop you there. I see all 11 characterd available used online more than I see Doom/Vergil on every team in Marvel.

#10
FalsoL said on May 27, 2014 at 1:33 a.m.

Because Marvel was made by Capcom and lot of people believe that a no Capcom fighting game isn't a real fighting game.

#11
Catalyst said on May 27, 2014 at 1:46 a.m.

Ahh, let me update the story to reflect that. I assumed all of those programs running were the cause.

#12
synce said on May 27, 2014 at 2:45 a.m.

This is very interesting but good luck to any blind folks trying to learn this game. I have perfect vision and still can't figure out.

#13
Grevier said on May 27, 2014 at 3:36 a.m.

I could answer you that I do not play both.
I do not play anything over Tekken and SF, because this is how it should be.

#14
JiCi said on May 27, 2014 at 4:11 a.m.

MvC always had a strong following, people just can't accept something better than these games, they overlook the most obvious flaws and of course had build up such a huge community that complaining about it makes you the bad guy.

UMvC3 has several problems:
- Unbalanced roster
- Unwanted characters
- Missing characters
- Modified controls (L, M, H, S, A1 and A2) as opposed to LP, MP, HP, LK, MK, HK, A1 and A2
- Broken X-Factor
- No breaker (yes, I consider this an issue)
- Lack of support (I'm still waiting for that replacement alternate costume for Magneto)
- Greatly overshadowed TvC, a.k.a. the better game

Skullgirls isn't perfect either:
- Small roster when it debuted; that's understandable considering the very small team and such, but to some, it can be a problem to have such a small selection.
- Long combos
- The Infinite Breaker is almost useless, because players can pull off long varied combos
- Lack of support on consoles; yeah, yeah, I know, it's a pain to deal with Sony and Microsoft, but still...

However, aside from not having a ready-to-use-anytime Breaker and a rather slow support (again, understandable), there's nothing wrong with Skullgirls.

In fact, I'm impressed that the FGC doesn't support an Indie title as successful as Skullgirls instead of cookie-cutter games from big companies.

#15
RinSu_The_Void said on May 27, 2014 at 4:43 a.m.

Please elaborate to Mr. Datsundacar, if you may do so kind sir!

Also familiar characters > perfectly balanced fighting system.

It's statistically proven.

#16
JELIFISH19 said on May 27, 2014 at 5:30 a.m.

Skullgirls is my favorite fighting game this gen but I think it's a different beast than Marvel. The best thing Marvel has going for it is that it allows growth. You never know when something is going to get good. Everyone thought Firebrand was bad in the first year and now Apology Man is doing really well with him. Viper is a character with a lot of untapped potential. Team Nemo changed how the game was played and a lot of people changed their teams to do what that team does. Kusoru can come here with an unconventional team and strategy and win a tournament.

Skullgirls doesn't allow that. With a game with only 11 characters, we've seen every combination of teams already. The game is also more limited in that Mike Z doesn't want certain things so he will remove them or change things if they're present. If someone finds a way to get around IPS, undizzy or damage scaling, you can guarantee that exploit would be removed in a couple of days. He doesn't want it in his game. Capcom wouldn't do anything about it so everyone goes into the lab and explores it. Then this new tech will be used in some peoples' teams and the game develops around it. Skullgirls is much easier on in terms of execution and figuring it out. Skullgirls was designed to play like it plays. Marvel 2 and 3 weren't. The current state of both Marvel 2 and 3 are the result of the work the players put into the game while Skullgirls is the result of what Mike Z put in or removed.

Skullgirls is essentially a refined MvC2 but I don't think the Marvel audience necessarily wants a refined game.

#17
Blackoshinomi said on May 27, 2014 at 5:31 a.m.

My reason for not playing is simple. I'm still waiting for more characters!

When that happens let me know?

And I'm not talking eleven I'm not talking like 13 15 or 16 I want variety I hate fighting the same people every two sec -_-

And I'm a fan of the game bought both games so don't go crazy on me LOL

#18
JiCi said on May 27, 2014 at 5:44 a.m.

Last time I complained about that I got smashed to pieces... including by Mike Z himself. I took that opportunity to ask him just about every question I had on the development on the game, until I realized that it's not as easy as he makes it sounds. Small team, lots of crap with publishers, getting laid-off, lot of work, all that stuff...

True, the game started with 8 characters, and will get 6 more in the end (Squiggly, Big Band, Fukua, Eliza, Beowulf and Robo-Fortune), that's a total of 14 characters. However, for an Indie title with a very small team of 8 people that went through Hell and back, that's quite the achievement.

#19
Taizuku said on May 27, 2014 at 6:10 a.m.

I love Skullgirls. Been in there since I first heard about it years ago. Seen every video before release played hours. Even played Mike Z release night, or maybe the day after, unfortunately I have to agree. I can't play with that small of a roster. I just prefer having more options because none of the characters in skullgirls as of yet are the type I generally play. I'll be around still waiting to see it evolve in the near future.

#20
JiCi said on May 27, 2014 at 6:19 a.m.

That begs the question: what type of character do YOU play?

#21
EagleBirdMan said on May 27, 2014 at 6:20 a.m.

Yes because On Point character/Doom/Vergil is so hype right?

ResidentSleeper

#22
Jason said on May 27, 2014 at 6:56 a.m.

Honestly I feel like the more broken things are discovered in UMvC3, the more narrow and limited the game becomes. A year ago the game had way more team variety than it does now.

Skullgirls feels like it still has a lot more growth to offer, even with its limited roster but with the smaller player base than UMvC3 the game is evolving more slowly.

#23
GomuJonny said on May 27, 2014 at 6:59 a.m.

I like SG and I want to love it, but I can't for a few reasons.

Firstly gameplay, I'm not a fan of chain combos. It's unsatisfying and doesn't feel like a combo. And as stated by others, it leads to overly long combos that aren't fun for anyone.

With relation to combos is my second reason, teams. You can play a solo character, which is why I was excited to play it. But if you want to win, you pretty much have to play a team. Which in itself leads to problems with the small roster.

Lastly, while I love the style and character design, there is a lack of impact with the moves. Even when Cerabella is smashing someone into the ground, it feels less like and act of brutality and more like play with a rubber ball. Be it a jab or roundhouse, the game makes it feel like everyone accepts every attack as a minor annoyance. Big Band is the only Character so far who seems to be bringing the pain.

#24
Liam_Butler said on May 27, 2014 at 7:07 a.m.

I remember watching the Skullgirls rap, and instantly being hyped about skullgirls. The part in the video that got me was, "YOU WANT DAT MAHVEL HYPE, BUT WITHOUT ALL THE D!CK?!" until I watched Mahvel streams and was just bored. Its just the same thing over and over, I can't get hyped. Doom and Vergil all day. Someone mentioned that people find exploits in Mahvel, which I think is negative. EH had a video of a Vergil option select and it seemed to be just... not hype. I don't play Marvel anymore, and I'm waiting for it to die.

#25
Snow said on May 27, 2014 at 9:36 a.m.

At this point it can't be too much longer before we get someone who's the fighting game equivalent of a blind samurai.

#26
ReddChief said on May 27, 2014 at 10:08 a.m.

More people should play Skullgirls it's a awesome game but are people really comparing this to Marvel you know the name that the popular cartoons and movies like X-Men & Spiderman comes from Vs. Capcom the game developer that has some of the most successful games ever and you ask why more people play UMvC3....facepalm.

#27
HooliganComboFTW said on May 27, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.

Because it doesn't use well established IP characters to generate initial interest. Injustice/Smash/and Persona utilize similar tactics. As much as a legit fighter this game is, it will get hindered sales and player-base wise because it uses relatively new original IP characters instead of piggybacking off an established IP. You won't get the "gonna get this game because it has Filia!" as much as "gonna get this game because it has Spider-Man!" remarks. It's all marketing tactics. Hell Phoenix Wright was the only reason I got UMvC3 since the game itself didn't impress me and the lack of patches in the horizon tells me that won't change anytime soon.

#28
Blackice506 said on May 27, 2014 at 11:09 a.m.

Question. If I was blind. How would I even know that this video exists to even begin to look for it?

#29
JELIFISH19 said on May 27, 2014 at 12:04 p.m.

That's what I mean. Skullgirls is like a refined Marvel after it's been figured out. Skullgirls' characters are the viable characters after the Marvel metagame develops. We know the good assists and we know the good tactics. New combos and resets come out but they don't change the way the game is played.

#30
Dimensional said on May 27, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.

I like Skullgirls played it more since Squigly released (love that character) waiting on Eliza now not sure if I am going to have Valentine in the team or not (probably will) but Squigly and Eliza are in definitely. Wish I had more time to play games atm though stupid 7 day a week job and other night part time job taking all my time.

#31
Mike_Z said on May 27, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.

The video is for sighted people, blind people find out about games that have extra audio support from sites like http://forum.audiogames.net/

#32
Kongk4 said on May 27, 2014 at 1:23 p.m.

I find it funny that this (not counting Cata and Z's comments) is the only "relevant" comment on this ENTIRE thread. lol

#33
Prototype said on May 27, 2014 at 1:47 p.m.

Friends with vision buddy.

#34
BunnyBoy said on May 27, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.

The problem for me with this game is that none of its current characters appeal to me very much.

I would've loved to have seen Hubrecht or Andy added as playable characters, but alas, they weren't ever to be. =(

#35
Trungip said on May 27, 2014 at 4:15 p.m.

have you even played it because there are characters for pretty much every archetype.

#36
Blackice506 said on May 27, 2014 at 9:59 p.m.

That just brings up even more questions lol

#37
PurplePonyJotaro said on May 27, 2014 at 10:09 p.m.

Money. Money and big names are all people care about. That and the stereotypical Capcom FGC(note to viewers:NOT Capcom fans/Capcom FGC members as a whole) hate literally everything thats not Capcom and especially hate it when any game gets on the scene thats not "muh Capcom". Usually for dumb reasons. "Durr its Animu!Animu suck, not Capcom!"

#38
Dude130 said on May 28, 2014 at 12:36 a.m.

It's simple really.

1. The mostly male fighting game community hates games where ladies out number dudes and let that determine if the have a awesome gaming experience. In other words girls are icky to them and dudes are better than ladies, oh lets not forget roster size.

2. They just can't quit Capcom.

#39
BumblebeeCody said on May 28, 2014 at 2:29 a.m.

It doesn't have come back factors.

#40
darthvenom said on May 28, 2014 at 7:51 a.m.

Cuz Marvel is better.

#41
Dude130 said on May 29, 2014 at 12:50 a.m.

LMAO! I'm sorry but no, MVC2 okay but MVC3/UMVC3 is insultingly easy.

#42
darthvenom said on May 31, 2014 at 9:34 p.m.

Mechanics-wise? Maybe,a lot of the combos are kinda ridiculous, but it's definitely a solid game. My real complaint with MVC3 is the top tier whoring and the uselessness of some characters.

#43
lirin said on June 9, 2014 at 1:20 a.m.

I am the one who started everything and I hope it's not problem everytime when I am reporting something related to the clipboard thing lol
This game is just so great and Me and other blind people loving it absolutely!

I played many other fighting games before, and many many from big companies like capcom, arc system or SNK but sadly, we have high standards in graphics and technology and what? audio is still on really low level.

I know many examples how someone can derastically kill the game where the audio is somethng what can be drop out and noone will see the changes. Tekken, game where audio is the same in EVERY game and I am not talking about OST because it's something differend. I am writing about that because many reviewers are writing about sounds in terms of the music so it's basically not a sound related.

Arc system? damn, every GG game, Every BB sounds the same. everything is in TERRIBLE quality, lack of many sounds and everything is in mono ofcourse.

And something to note lastly: Noone cares about disabled players, You can drop mails, twets, post topics on the forums and noone will see it because ignorance is a key to be fair today probably. :--)

I tried many many times before to have small things to play something fully. Fighting games are mostly accessible for us so we don't need recoded system to enjoy or something.

Happily Mike and His team did excellent work and many others SHOULD get example from it. Everytime when a project is created for a lot of cash in mind It is ruined.

#44


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