[games_access] Top 3 for indie games

K k at kellyrued.net
Sun Apr 2 10:29:59 EDT 2006

>To only limit to three top three accessible features is very difficult each
>game requires a different adjustable accessible features to make the game
>play fluid and make sense.  I would definitely agree with that I think
>Richard is saying.

Thanks Robert and Richard. Definitely, I didn't mean to say it would be easy
to prioritize only 3 things to work for all indie games, but I guess I was
hoping to know what accessibility problems are the most common and then from
that, which features have the biggest impact (hopefully limiting to 3, maybe
4). Where is the top 10 list online? I would love to see that, maybe it will
be do-able for our titles to cover your top 10. I think the main thing I was
hoping to talk about was that the articles and lists I've read in the past
have all been very comprehensive (many ideas too expensive for us to
realistically tackle all at once) or very focused on one accessibility issue
or another (such as audio accessibility). Having a "top anything" list would
help sort that out (for me anyways).

It's hard for someone unfamiliar with the overall issues to know what is the
best thing to start with or try to implement if it applies to your game (as
designers, every indie team will be able to judge for themselves if one of
the "top 3" doesn't apply to their game, but assuming a large, full featured
PC title vs a small casual game- say an mmorpg or an fps title- I'm curious
which accessibility features are must-haves). 

And it is very possible there is a basic set of more like 10 features than 3
that really NEED to be considered. But asking for priorities is my way of
saying "we want to do this, but we know we can't afford a whole lot right
now, something in the 80-120 programmer hours range would be realistic). 

>1) Reconfigurable controls
>2) Difficulty/speed options
>3) Closed Captioning
>4) Scalable fonts/UI

Thanks, Tim. It occurs to me that reconfigurable controls could mean a
number of things- can someone suggest an article for more information? Also,
is anyone working on a game designer's checklist so someone like me could go
through my game using a WS and really understand which features would cause
accessibility problems for particular players and what options there are to
remedy those problems? I like reading the papers about accessibility but
like most devs am usually in crunch or something like it (heh) and don't
have time to really see the forest for the trees (and many papers in this
field are about case studies (trees) rather than spelling out what a
developer needs to do to start helping fix things). It feels like we almost
need to hire a contractor who specializes in this stuff to sort out what
issues would be in our game because I know I'm not familiar with the full
range of accessibility problems in games and the range of options we have
for fixing them. For instance, I've heard about color-blindness and issues
with contrast but am not certain how people go about fixing these problems
in a 3D world.

Also, is there an active group of accessibility testers anywhere (a gaming
league or anything that has volunteers representative of various
accessibility issues willing to test products). I think that would be a cool
resource and that companies would be willing to pay for such a service if it
was reasonably priced (which could in turn pay the testers, so I guess they
need not even be volunteering). If not, I will do as suggested and recruit
on lists and forums for individuals. On our adult game, Rapture Online, we
have already been contacted by two people who wrote that they are disabled
and looking forward to our mature erotic game *because* it will let them do
things they are unable to do physically in RL, and that is actually what
sparked my interest in accessibility. :)

Thanks for your feedback!



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