[games_access] Top 3 for indie games (Reasons to be cheerful - part 3.)

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Tue Apr 4 16:55:12 EDT 2006


Top 3 Accessibility Features.

I would still advocate the pick-and-mix idea but I think the following can 
apply to most games...


1. Adjustable difficulty level.
2. User definable controls.
3. Sound options.


1. Adjustable difficulty level. E.g. Menu option graded from 1 ("Easiest") 
and perhaps 5 ("Hardest"). Make the "Easiest" extremely easy in comparison 
to the middle difficulty setting. More advanced would be to include speed 
controls over the entire game.

2. User definable controls. At the most basic, allowing you to redefine each 
and every function to any available control. More advanced would be 
considering simplified control methods; Digital only play; Lock on/off 
functions for gamers unable to hold buttons down for prolonged periods; 
Rapid-fire options if appropriate.

3. Sound options. Most basic would be separate volume controls for both 
sound and music. More advanced would be subtitles leading to Closed 
Captioning.


With a new Retro Remakes (www.retroremakes.co.uk) game programming 
competition looming, it would be great to get something easy to understand 
available for the programmers, as they'll almost all be indies...

Barrie
www.OneSwitch.org.uk



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "K" <k at kellyrued.net>
To: <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Top 3 for indie games


> >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!
>
> Kelly
>
> www.isergames.com
> www.blackloveinteractive.com
>
>
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> 





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