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Subtitle The Game

The goal of this Xbox Accessibility Guideline (XAG) is to ensure that all audio information that's portrayed by a game can also be understood by players who can't rely on audio, such as players who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

subtitle The Game

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When subtitles and captions aren't present during game experiences (like FMVs, non-player character (NPC) chatter dialogues, or other audio cues), a player might miss out on a game's backstory, important context within the game's storyline, and key tasks and objectives that inform gameplay.

Players can adjust the option before starting the game, or subtitles are enabled by default. This ensures that players don't get dropped into a long introduction cinematic without being able to follow along.

When the Gears 5 title is launched for the first time, subtitles and captions are enabled by default. After the initial FMV is played, players are presented with the accessibility menu screen to configure their accessibility settings moving forward.

In The Outer Worlds, players can toggle on or off "Conversation Subtitles," "Bark Subtitles," and "Cinematic Subtitles" separately from one another. The "Conversation Subtitles" setting can be further configured to display all subtitles when NPCs talk, minimal subtitles (only shows the last line from an NPC when player options are shown), or toggled off.

The detailed descriptions of each subtitle setting help players from a cognitive perspective. These descriptions are straightforward, as opposed to leaving players to guess, or learn by trial and error, what the difference between subtitles "on" versus "minimal" means in regard to their gameplay.

Unlike static text in menus, subtitle and caption text for spoken dialogue is typically only displayed on-screen for short periods of time. Given this, developers are encouraged to offer larger minimum default sizes for caption and subtitle text to facilitate ease of rapid reading.

Length: Avoid long lines of text (more than 40 characters), especially when the dialogue is fast. When text appears rapidly, longer lines of text are harder to read than shorter ones. Show no more than two lines of subtitles on screen at a time (three can be used in exceptional cases).

Background color: Players should be able to place a solid background behind subtitle and caption text to ensure readability of that text, regardless of the game's background. (For example, white text presented over light desert sand looks virtually invisible to the player.) The color of this background should be configurable by the player.

Placement: Ensure that important UI/gameplay elements are designed to avoid being obscured by subtitles when scaled to the largest size. This can generally be achieved by ensuring that placement is toward the bottom of the screen.

In Forza Horizon 4, the Accessibility settings menu allows players to change subtitle display settings. The game has a preview text option that can be activated by pressing the view button. Players can see what their current display configurations will look like before starting the game.

In 2019 at GDC Conference, Accessibility Specialist Ian Hamilton discussed the subtitles in the game industry. It turned out that if we compare subtitles in the movie and game industries, the latter is in much worse shape. And this is huge because, according to Ian Hamilton's data, roughly 60% of gamers use subtitles for various reasons: hearing disabilities, low-quality audio hardware, the randomness of the audio in the games, etc.

The picture above demonstrates what the developers should be aiming for. Easy to read font, there isn't too much text on the screen, and it is easy to distinguish from the background. The reason why the aforementioned points can be considered basic is that subtitles are needed for different purposes. Some people have hearing disabilities and they need the subtitles to be as clear and understandable as possible. The other category of people just glances at the subtitles occasionally, and they need the subtitles to be unnoticeable for the most part.

And some games already do that. For example, Assassin's Creed Origins has options to change text size, background, to add or remove the speaker's name, etc. And it was noticed, the game won awards because of that.

Size is an obvious problem that doesn't need any thorough explanation. Ian Hamilton notes that game developers should consider different monitor sizes while deciding what size of the subtitles they should use. A good example Ian Hamilton provides is subtitles from Far Cry New Dawn.

Much like size, the problem of contrast is pretty much self-explanatory. There are a few techniques to get around this issue, you can put an outline on the text, you can add shadows to the text, but these approaches have a few problems themselves. Particularly because of dyslexia. For some people, additional imagery behind the text can make the subtitles difficult to read.

As you can see, the problem is once again pretty obvious, the excessive amount of text makes the subtitles hard to read and understand. Ian Hamilton proposes a maximum of 2 lines per subtitle, 3 in exceptional cases, and no more than 38 characters per line.

Those were the basics, just the things that every game developer should be considering. If you don't have these things then, according to Ian Hamilton, what you have is not subtitles, they will not be functional.

Make sure that your subtitles are accurate. You cannot rely on the voice actors having perfectly stuck to the script. And people will notice the differences between the subtitles and what is actually being said. So, double-check the accuracy to avoid having your game ridiculed because of the typos.

Make sure that everything is actually subtitled. Often you see games where cutscenes are subtitled and the gameplay isn't or vice versa. Sometimes you cannot turn on the subtitles before the opening cinematic, which is not subtitled. And based on the data provided earlier that 60% of players use subtitles, it is wise to have them turned on by default. Or at the very least, have the ability to turn them on before an opening cinematic, like in Infamous.

This one seems pretty straightforward at first, just don't make the subtitles too fast. But the reality is that people speak fast, you will get a situation when people speak too quickly and the subtitles just fly by. Ian proposes certain timings that will help game developers to better understand, what pace their text should be on.

Sometimes it is okay to forget about consistency in order to make a better product. For example, in the image above the developers used the font from the actual game to make subtitles. Consistency is good but in this case, the text's readability was hurt because of it.

Don't mistake captions for subtitles, these are different and serve a different purpose. Captions are just those sounds that are important for the game's atmosphere and gameplay. The pioneers of caption-adding were Valve, who added captions for Portal 2 and Half-Life 2.

This was an underlying theme of the entire talk, to make the subtitles customizable. There are many gamers out there, and every single one of them has different needs and preferences. By adding customization to your subtitles you would be able to appease more people and gain some popularity just due to subtitles alone. And gamers would get an enjoyable experience. It's a win-win!

If you apply all these rules during your game development process, you can create great subtitles and make your game more enjoyable for the audience. We hope that these rules will help at least some game developers to better understand what gamers need from the subtitles.

English Closed Captions subtitles are specifically intended for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. "Captions not only display words as the textual equivalent of spoken dialogue or narration, but they also include speaker identification, sound effects, and music description," according to the National Association of the Deaf.

Basically, the difference between English and English [CC] is that the closed-captions setting provides descriptions of sounds, such as gasps, and prompts as to who is speaking. They're often autogenerated and, in Squid Game's case according to one viewer, a closer match to the English dub than the English subtitles.

A viral thread on Twitter dove into how the closed-captions translation went as far as changing the meaning of the show. Youngmi Mayer, who co-hosts the Feeling Asian podcast, wrote last week, "not to sound snobby but i'm fluent in korean and i watched squid game with english subtitles and if you don't understand korean you didn't really watch the same show. translation was so bad. the dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved."

In one scene, the character Han Mi-nyeo, a woman who claims to be a poor single mother, tries to convince people to play the game with her. The closed-captions translation says, "I'm not a genius, but I still got it work out. Huh?"

"You have to change your Netflix settings to English not English CC. Here is a screen grab of that scene with English. (Screen is black cause they don't allow grabs but the subtitle comes through)," wrote @ADeVonJohnson.

There's no doubt that video games are popular. Sales are continually growing, with individual titles selling in their millions. Wii Fit, for example, has sold over 8 million copies while Halo 3 sold over 1.8 million copies during the first eight hours of release! Lord knows how many units it has currently managed, but we can be safe to assume it's many millions more.

Now, out of those millions of sales, we can easily assume that the people who buy the games are not going to be identical. There are a high number of players out there who have some kind of disability. And video games should be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

One such disability, which is actually surprisingly common, is hearing impairment. Whether the player is completely deaf, or just has some kind of hearing issue, the game should be able to accommodate them -- and the simplest way to do this is through the use of subtitles. 041b061a72


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