[games_access] Adapting games for greater access - Controls

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Mon Apr 10 02:56:24 EDT 2006

Hi Kelly,

Could you please explain a bit more about your present game interface? Can 
the game be solely played with a mouse, or do you need some keyboard usage 

It would be good for us to give it some more thought regarding how it could 
be made more accessible.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "K" <k at kellyrued.net>
To: <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:30 PM
Subject: [games_access] RE: Another list... (and follow up info on Top 3 
forindies thread)

> >I'd bundle everyone together and *only* developers deliberately working 
> >on
>>game accessibility.
> I'm gonna disagree slightly on that suggestion Richard :) Indie developers
> have SO much less to work with, especially those that are actually
> independent and not 3rd party developers working with a publisher. It's 
> very
> easy to say "ok, when we're bigger, we'll do this stuff" knowing that our
> games have the same accessibility problems as a bigger production's would. 
> I
> think it would be nice to salute the smaller companies for taking what's 
> no
> doubt a bigger chunk of their resources overall to do the right thing by
> their players. It opens up new markets but since you don't really know how
> much impact various changes will have it's hard to justify in a budget 
> what
> benefit, if any, accessibility feature X would have on the project's 
> bottom
> line.
> Plus it would be neat to show that so-and-so at the IGF who only had a 20k
> budget still found a way to make closed captioning or something a 
> priority.
> :) Most games are made with C++, Java, Flash, Shockwave, etc. so I'm 
> hoping
> to see people release opensource code libraries/plugins with accessibility
> features in them for mix-n-match use so it's a matter of
> integration/customizing rather than engineering from scratch and 
> researching
> the design, then the technical design, then the implementation and testing
> for general cases that could be done once and then shared and customized 
> for
> special cases. Throw in some tools- utility code that allows designers and
> artists to *see* what their art/game looks like to someone with various
> visual problems or audio problems (cripples it in some way), and you'd 
> have
> a turn-key suite of tools that any developer could use to put a big dent 
> in
> their accessibility problem-identifying and solving efforts.
> But I am biased, as an indie working on funded and unfunded projects under
> different brands right now. It's the unfunded one we're trying to squeeze 
> in
> accessibility for because the others fall under that suggested definition 
> of
> people who shouldn't make games LOL (heh, it's really not a game where 
> audio
> adds a ton to the play honestly- the audio is just a backdrop to create
> tension/mood while they play (trivia games) and the sfx all have 
> correlating
> onscreen text-based feedback of visual effects to convey the same meaning-
> plus they are already self-paced and trivial pursuit style (we have a beta
> test copy, www.isergames.com The Sex Ed Game, if anyone is interested in
> testing for accessibility issues, let me know off-list and I'll send you 
> the
> dl info)). It's too late to add *major* features to that release but I 
> think
> it does pretty well- might be issues with the art contrast/etc. but like I
> mentioned before while I can *hear* where audio is important I can't *see*
> where our graphics might be hard to see to people with different vision
> issues (I don't know enough yet about the different visual impairments to
> say either way).
> In my spare time now (ha) I'm reading your SIG white paper 'Game not Over'
> and going through your top 10 list and other resources to analyze our 
> bigger
> game, Rapture Online (an MMOEG, basically an adults-only MMORPG), for
> accessibility needs. Thanks so much for your feedback so far- I'm sure 
> that
> if I have questions and when I reach a final plan/analysis I'm going to
> share a link to it here.
> I doubt my process will be super or comprehensive as this is the first 
> time
> I've done this but I am going to document what I did anyways on our site 
> in
> case other game designers want to try the same thing. It's exciting though
> to think that I could anticipate these problems and make the game a good
> experience for everyone right "out of the box." I really hope to see more
> guides and workshops about how to analyze your game design for 
> accessibility
> issues... there was an all day tutorial at GDC that ran up against my
> serious games schedule for The Sex Ed Game, but perhaps that's what you 
> all
> covered. :) I'm especially ignorant on alt-input/controllers and how they
> work to operate the game or how game controls are re-mapped to these
> devices. Our primary mouse controls is just like The Sims 2 pie menu 
> system
> so figuring out how players can use those with any kind of input device is
> really important (we have editable keyboard shortcuts for *everything* so
> I'm thinking that's where we'll be able to make it accessible).
> Again, thanks for all the input! Keep up the good work- this is an
> informative list to lurk on (resumes lurker mode until I learn a bit more)
> :)
> Kelly
> www.blackloveinteractive.com
> www.isergames.com
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