[games_access] GDC Tutorial: Access Invaders Demo

Dimitris Grammenos gramenos at ics.forth.gr
Wed Feb 15 12:44:09 EST 2006


Hello everybody,

 

You can download the demo of Access Invaders (that we discussed about in the
last online meeting) from:

http://www.ics.forth.gr/hci/ua-games/access-invaders/ 

 

The demo is available both for Windows and GNU/Linux. The game is highly
customizable and supports the creation and use of unlimited game profiles.
Each game parameter can be customized both based on the active profile and
the current game level. An unlimited number of players is supported. The
game can be played using the keyboard, the mouse, a joystick, and one, two
or three switches (or even more). It also features spatial (3D) sound and a
screen reader (for presenting textual information), so that it can be played
by blind people too. 

 

You can find more details about the game (and instructions about how you can
customise it) in the user manual at:

http://www.ics.forth.gr/hci/ua-games/access-invaders/manual.html

 

Since the game is fully configurable we can easily create any type of
profile we want. Thus for example, we could create some inaccessible
profiles for the introductory session (as I think Michelle suggested), such
as:

(a) A profile where the aliens move extremely fast;

(b) One where the sprites are too small;

(c) One where the player's spaceship and its bullets are invisible;

(d) One where the player's spaceship moves very slowly;

.. etc.

 

This way, except having the users blind-folded, etc., as it was suggested
for simulating different types of disability, we can also create a situation
where the players still cannot play the game (or have a really hard time),
although they are using all their senses and physical abilities .

 

So, please have a look at the game and tell me what you think about it.

 

Dimitris

 

PS: In the next week a new version of the demo will be available which will
include the following:

(a)    In the non-visual profile the bat will move in discrete positions, so
that it will be easier to track.

(b)   In all profiles, the player will be able to change "on the fly" the
game's speed using the +/- keys.

 

PS(2): I am attaching below some information about the alternative profiles
which are currently supported by the game and the controls used in each one
of them. 

 

----------------------------------

 Access Invaders profiles
----------------------------------
1. Basic
2. Single switch
3. X-Large
4. Non-visual
5. Classic
6. Demo
7. Chess Invaders
 
In addition to the specific controls described in each distinct profile, the
following shortcuts can also be used:
Toggle Full Screen / Window mode: F11
Toggle Sound effects mute: M
 
 
Basic Profile
-------------
 
A remake of the original Space Invaders game. Basic characteristics:
* Contains two groups of aliens.
* Support for four concurrent players (cooperative game).
* All players can destroy and can be destroyed by all groups of aliens.
* Only two bullets can be active at any given time.
* The game's pace is quite fast.
 
Controls
 
Player 1
Move Left: LEFT ARROW
Move Right: RIGHT ARROW
Fire: SPACE
 
Player 2
Move Left: q
Move Right: w
Fire: e
 
Player 3
Move Left: a
Move Right: s
Fire: d
 
Player 4
Move Left: z
Move Right: x
Fire: c
 
Other
Activate In-game Menu / Pause: ESC
 
 
Single switch
-------------
This profile allows a player to interact with the game using only one switch
(e.g., keyboard key, mouse / joystick button). This is achieved on one hand,
by letting the player control only the spaceship's movement direction, while
the spaceship moves and fires automatically at a predefined speed, and on
the other hand, by using the  automatic scanning technique for interacting
with the user interface (e.g., the menus, text entry). Also, the in-game
menu can be invoked by pressing the switch for a predefined amount of time.
 
Controls
 
Player 1
Toggle Movement Direction: RETURN
 
Other
Activate In-game Menu / Pause: RETURN pressed for 5 seconds
 
 
X-Large
-------
This profile uses large sprites and fonts along with clear and simple visual
elements.
 
Controls
 
Player 1
Move Left: MOUSE
Move Right: MOUSE
Fire: LEFT MOUSE BUTTON
 
Other
Activate In-game Menu / Pause: RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON
 
 
Non-visual
-----------
A version of the game adapted to suit non-visual gameplay. Its main
characteristics are the following:
* There is only one group of aliens with a single column of one or more
aliens. 
* The aliens do not fire against the player.
* The player can fire against the aliens, but only two bullets can be
concurrently active.
* The game is over only if an alien touches the ground.
* The background is not drawn.
* There are no protective shields.
* Score changes and interaction with the user interface provides audio
feedback.
* The spaceship emits a spatial sound, so that its position can be inferred
acoustically.
* The group of aliens also emits a distinctive sound.
 
Controls
 
Player 1
Move Left: LEFT ARROW
Move Right: RIGHT ARROW
Fire: SPACE
 
Other
Activate In-game Menu / Pause: ESC
Read Score: right ALT
 
 
Classic
--------
This profile tries to imitate the atmosphere and game-play of the original
Space Invaders game by:
* Using retro fonts and sprites for the aliens, the shields, the spaceship
and the mothership.
* Being single player.
* Having only one group of aliens.
* Permitting only one bullet to be active at any given time.
* Using retro sound effects.
 
Controls
 
Player 1
Move Left: LEFT ARROW
Move Right: RIGHT ARROW
Fire: SPACE
 
Other
Activate In-game Menu / Pause: ESC
 
 
Demo
-----
This profile constitutes a showcase of the configuration capabilities of
Access Invaders. Its main characteristics are the following:
* There are three distinct groups of aliens
* Four players can play concurrently (cooperative game)
* Player1 (yellow) can destroy only the that aliens belong to one of the
groups (the insect looking ones) and can be destroyed by any alien
* Player2 (gray) can destroy any alien but can only be destroyed only by
aliens belonging to one of the groups (the insect looking aliens)
* Player2's bullets do not collide with the shields (they pass through them)
* Player2 can be controlled using a single switch
 
Controls
 
Player 1
Move left: LEFT ARROW
Move Right: RIGHT ARROW
Fire: SPACE
 
Player 2
Toggle Movement Direction: S
 
Other
Activate In-game Menu / Pause: ESC.

 

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