[games_access] to Thomas Pin Interactive?

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Fri Feb 3 14:44:47 EST 2006

Hi Robert,

While it's true that Pin started out as the developer of Terraformers, our long term goal is a focus on digital culture as a whole. In that we include accessibility as an important part, but we also see accessibility from other perspectives than "only" disability. E.g social inclusion, how to take into account groups or users who are handicapped by their culture, language, social background etc. 

Rehab with games/VR/simulations (they are all the same thing for us) is also interesting. Yes I did a prototype as a student back in 1997 with Karolinska Hospital, together with a friend who worked there as a physiotherapist. Nowadays he works with big clusters of Linux servers so he made quite a career switch :) The purpose was to study the possibility of increased relearning of lost motoric functions after stroke, by shielding off the surroundings with a VR-helmet and creating a simple, and easy to focus-on graphic environment. Further we connected a motion tracker to a mug which tracked a virtual mug in the VR application. To relearn grasping / lifting the mug was the motivation object, and by having a real mug tracked, you also got weight and tactile feedback correct. Finally, we also had a VR-glove with optical fibre to track grasping of the virtal hand, as well as another motion tracker for the movement of the hand/virtual hand

The rehab prototype was done with Sense8 dev.kit and I did most of the technical stuff myself. The 3D models were found on the web to save time

For Terraformers we were a group of university teachers and students who formed a company, i.e Pin. The team consisted of both programmers and artists and sound designers. 

Yes, I know Terraformers has some severe drawbacks for gamers with other disabilities than sight. A lot of things need you to hear well for instance - those puzzles and quests would simple not be the same with text feedback since they are designed to challenge your hearing. I think the best way to meet that kind of problem would be to have completely different ways to solve different tasks, where different methods could be used depending on your personal preference. After all, that is one very common game design rule; to make it possible to solve a game in more than one way 


9 years of development and education with Adobe/Macromedia Director
Award at the Independent Games Festival: www.terraformers.nu
Founder of IGDA Game Accessibility SIG www.igda.org/accessibility 
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Robert Florio 
  To: games_access at igda.org 
  Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 7:08 PM
  Subject: [games_access] to Thomas Pin Interactive?

  Thomas I just downloaded the demo of your game that won the award in 2003.  I believe we have talked before in the past and might have e-mailed you finding your company online.  You create games for people with visual impairment mostly.  I'm very interested in your project using the biofeedback for stroke therapy at the Karolinska Hospital.  Could you let me know a little bit more about that I think I'd like to get involved with more hospitals in their physical rehab and spinal cord programs were I am mostly familiar.  How does that come about obviously you've got programmers to make your games with 3-D map and all that.  Did you  designed everything with a design development team for the game you one and award with as well?  I would love to work with you in the future or in the present possibly as a intern for my intern requirement with school at the Art Institute online game design program.  We could talk more about this at the conference if you're going to be there or personally on e-mail if you wish?  This is so exciting for me this forum and having access as a student you guys can fill me in and really keep my involved.

  On another note the disability sig is going to have one day of tutoring or some sort of interactive lectures the separate?  Not remember exactly what it's called.  What does that involve exactly and how can I sign up for it before hand?  I'm checking out flight plans and need to make wheelchair transportation and lodging very soon if I get a scholarship.

  The videogame  Teraformers has very much potential and I believe this is the game I found online a few years ago before starting classes.  There are a lot of issues I would like to tweak and I think it could be better for me because it was difficult for me even to use my onscreen keyboard it does not interact.  Fortunately it still stayed on the screen but I could not walk around.  I believe it was still developed for people who are blind who has the sensation movement in their fingers which definitely makes it easier and easier to get into the feel and subversion of videogame.  I believe it's very successful for those gamers .

  I would love to develop a game using all voice activation similar to the game lifeline for the PS2 I am reviewing right now.


  www.RobertFlorio.com all about art and game excessability


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