[games_access] Top 3 for indie games

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Sat Apr 1 11:47:20 EST 2006

Hi again,

I've given it a bit more thought since my other email...

Any thoughts on what the 3 "big" features might be to improve a game's 
accessibility? Or do you really need to invest in more than that to make an 
*quote end*

The 3-feature list I wrote does improve a game's accessibility in general. 
However, after giving it a bit more thought I realised that I was too quick 
with my thinking. Because you need to take one important thing into account 
when applying these kinds of lists: the context, which is The Game.

For example, I put "subtitling and captioning" on the number one spot. I 
choose this one for several reasons: it's one of the most simple features to 
add to a game without changing the original game and many people benefit 
from it. Like Reid mentioned earlier, not only people with hearing 
difficulties benefit from such a feature, but also regular gamers who are 
not native speakers who like to read the text to understand its meaning 
better or gamers are playing in a loud/noisy environment or have the sound 
turned off (which is a common issue with mobile games).

But what if the Indie game you have designed only uses sound as "auditory 
wallpaper", meaning that you can *play the game just as well* with or 
without the sound turned on. If this is the case then subtitling would make 
the game more usable but not more accessible.

So to answer your original question: I think that it would be possible to 
make a Top-3 list for a specific (Indie) game, but it is hard to make a 
Top-3 List that can be applied to *all* Indie games.

One feature, though, that could be valuable for such a list could be 
"Adjustability" (for lack of a better term) - with this I mean "the 
adjustability of controls, game speed, difficulty, visual contrast, auditory 
contrast (audio mix), language, etc." . In this you probably recognize most 
of the top-10 list anyway. But I think 'adjustability' or 'customizability' 
or something like that could capture many problems in one go. Then the list 
would maybe look something like this:

1: Adjustability of game features
1.1 speed
1.2 difficulty level
1.3 etc.

Although I don't know if that's something you're looking for because then 
it's not really a top-3 list anymore ... but my main point is: different 
games need different accessibility features...

... anyone else have a go?




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