[games_access] Top 3 for indie games

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Apr 1 12:46:34 EST 2006


Hi -- great discussion! I'm heading out to teach my class (yes, on 
the weekends even!) but I'll give this some thought while I'm out and 
about and write more later. I do agree with Richard that a lot of 
features really depend on the type of games that you are designing 
(ie, is sound an important part of being able to play the game, does 
it provide important gameplay cues?).

Ok, more later in the day!
Michelle

>Hi again,
>
>I've given it a bit more thought since my other email...
>
>*quote*
>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 impact?
>*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?
>
>Greets,
>
>Richard
>
>
>http://www.audiogames.net
>
>
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