Blindfold Games – Voices and iOS 9 (#87)

IEP Technologies :  ECC Games for Visually Impaired Students

IEP Education is our new company where we are building Expanded Core Curriculum interactive simulations for blind and low vision students, based on each child’s IEP . 
The student’s progress in mastering skills in our education-based games and interactive simulations will be preserved in a private secure cloud, accessible to the teachers in a web-based dashboard . 
If you are a Special Ed Teacher , click for additional details on learning about these types of games as part of maximizing student outcomes, relating to their 

Voices and iOS 9

When Apple released iOS 9, I received hundreds of emails from people complaining that the games sounded weird and no longer worked reliably.
person talking
I played with iOS 9 in the earlier releases – developers get to use the early releases of each version of iOS as Apple improves it until its ready for full release, but my experience with the early releases was disappointing, so I didn’t dive into any of the inconsistencies I found.  I concluded most of them were bugs that Apple created, and that they would fix them.
In all but one case, I was correct.  Apple changed the way the phone speaks the text, and Apple introduced some new voices.  That broke some of the games, so the voices sounded either too slow, or off pitch, or of the wrong gender.
Over the past few years, I have many requests from gamers to have more flexibility in voices.  Many video games let the player change the “skin” of the game, such as modifying the screen colors, background pictures or selecting different icons.  The equivalent to that in an audio game would be modifying voices and background sounds.
All Blindfold games let you change the background sounds.  For the casino games, you have a choice of casino sounds or piano bar music.  We made add the ability to import your own music in a future version.
To address the iOS 9 voice issues, we’ve testing out a voice customization option.  All of the games operate where your actions are in one voice  (usually a female), and the actions of the other players, or a dealer is in a different voice (usually a male).
You will be able to pick from about 6 different voices for your actions – some male and some female –  (such as “You selected a 6 of spades”), or for your opponent’s actions (such as “Mariel has 250 points and wins the game”).  You will be able to change the pitch of the voice, and the speed of the voice. Here’s an example of the same voice, at the same speed, in 3 different pitches:

We will be testing it out first with some of the card games, and then move this feature to all the games.  If you have suggestions for other ways we can skin the audio aspects of the games, please contact me.

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