[games_access] Retro Remakes 2006 Competition - Accessibility Angle

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sun Apr 30 19:29:26 EDT 2006

In the very near future there will be a game programming competition held at 
www.retroremakes.co.uk. This is where the majority of the one switch games 
came from at www.oneswitch.org.uk - Part of the judging criteria will 
involve an Accessibility Angle. It's not a catch all, but I'm wondering what 
you all think to these draft guidelines for programmers. What we didn't want 
to do, is seem too daunting:

ii) The final 20 marks out of 100 will be judged upon accessibility with a 
possible 5 points awarded for each of the following accessibility 

*Adjustable difficulty levels and player assistance.

Please bear in mind that not everyone who might play your game is of the 
same ability, therefor there can be no such thing as a game that is "too 

We understand that not every game can support an Easy / Medium / Hard 
dynamic easily without destroying the core of the game - we recommend that 
if you cannot easily increase or decrease the difficulty then you can 
consider offering varying levels of assistance to the player, such as easier 
access to extra lives (or more lives at the beginning of the game), time 
limits removed or lengthened or provide the player with clues as to how to 

*Accessibility of Controls.

The more control options that you support, the more you open up your game to 
a wider userbase. From simple things like offering a variety of control 
methods, redefinable keys to offering simplified control methods to your 
game there are a myriad of ways that you can make the controls more 

*Sound options

At its most basic level, this category will have points awarded for 
implementing basic audio menu's - will the user have the ability to 
seperately control the output levels of the music and sound effects?

For more advanced implementation we ask you to consider anything from audio 
cues for on screen events to closed captioning/subtitling your games.

* Clarity

The final 5 marks are awarded according to how well the accessibility 
features gel within your game.

Is your game easy to understand or to play?
Are the menu's easy to navigate around?
Have you implemented things in an easy to understand and appropriate manner?

We want you to consider making your remake open to as many people as 
possible to play regardless of their ability or skills. If you wish to 
discuss the implementation of these features then please, feel free to visit 
our forum and discuss it there.

The aim of these rules is not to limit what you create, but to open up what 
you create to a wider audience. In every genre or style of game, we believe 
that you should be able to implement these features at or beyond their most 
basic level.

There will be a forum for help with accessibility issues at RetroRemakes 
(that may be left open for ever more), plus links to ourselves for potential 
help (unless there are any objections?). It's going to be interesting to see 
what people can do in a few months. Any thoughts?


p.s. - Also wondering if there's any one out there with enough web-space to 
help host some of these potential accessible games, providing we get 

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