I was really confused why blind teens had no problem understanding the tutorial, and sighted adults would get confused.
I added more pauses (“tap the screen to continue”) between each tutorial instruction, or more tried rephrasing the sentence, but they just didn’t understand. Then a teacher explained to me how adults lose their ability to listen and comprehend without seeing something to reinforce what they are learning. Blind people can’t rely on their sight, so their auditory attention skills are far superior.
To make the game playable for sighted people as well, I added more pictures to the tutorial showing them what to do, and display helpful hints on the screen while they are playing the game. It has no effect on game playing, but it makes the game more fun for sighted people.
For example, when you start playing level 1, the game displays “This game is easier if you close your eyes”, and when the level is over, it displays their results and score (in addition to speaking it to them).
These changes were so effective, that we displayed messages to supplement almost everything that was spoken.
The layout of the screen was very simple so that a visually impaired person can use it without voice-over. Tap in the upper left corner for help, upper right corner for settings, lower left corner to go back one level and lower right cover to go up one level.
We used primitive ugly icons on the four corners of the screen, and since our primary audience (visually impaired people) couldn’t see the screen, we thought that was sufficient.