[games_access] GDC - more positive...

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sat Dec 1 04:02:58 EST 2007

Agreed! I contacted Bizarre Creations recently about adding accessibility
features to Project Gotham Racing, a bit too late really...

Would you please consider the following for various disabled gamers?
Fully reconfigurable controls - that even allows for the more simple Xbox
arcade stick to work with your game.
A few ordinary cars that aren't too fast.
A quick start option from the go.
An oval test track.

Here's the reply from Sarah Chudley, Bizarre's commercial director:
Hi Barrie,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you - this has been passed over to
me to chase up.

I'm currently investigating if anything can be done in terms of PGR4 or The
Club, which is nearly finished, but we're also thinking about these points
for the future.

So leave it with me and I'll hope to be back to you shortly.

All the best, and thanks for the mail,

Embarrasingly for me - this is the first company I've contacted, beyond Sony
and the umbrella groups. Seems pretty positive. Let's keep building, and
waving the IGDA GASIG flag - and let's keep contacting companies with
specific recommendations that aren't too scary to implement. Foremostly -
let's keep things easy to understand for people that this stuff is still
brand new to.

I don't think it will be 10 years before a mainstream game has accessibility
features, because there's already games out there with them. Getting some
kind of standards going - maybe.... Let's make it quicker though if we can!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Reid Kimball" <reid at rbkdesign.com>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 7:26 AM
Subject: Re: [games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

> Please, can we stop with the negative talk about GDC and the game

> industry? I work in the game industry for LucasArts. Just last week I

> talked to a highly respected programmer and he's 100% behind us and

> wants to talk about what we can do to improve accessibility in our

> games after our current milestone is finished. There are dozens of

> people at LucasArts that support game accessibility. Nintendo totally

> gets it, EA Games totally gets it with their Family Play modes in

> their sports games. Peter Molyneux gets it, Will Wright... the list

> goes on and on.


> It's offensive to me when people of this SIG accuse developers of not

> caring because WE DO CARE. The last thing you want to do is insult the

> people you have to work with. It's the quickest way to turn them away

> from our cause.


> So, instead of complaining, lets do something about it! First,

> everyone here needs to understand what it's like for developers and

> why it's so hard for them to adopt accessibility features.


> 1. Limited financial resources - Games are very expensive to make and

> any new features adds to the cost. Before you can add accessibility

> features you must have a game and that's where most of the money is

> spent first.


> 2. Limited time - Game development is incredibly complex and hard to

> tame. No matter how much extra time gets budgeted into the production

> schedule, it always runs out well before all tasks are complete. When

> this happens, features get cut in order to save the core of the game

> and again, without a game, there can't be any accessibility features.

> Because this usually happens so late, there isn't enough time to work

> on accessibility features before the game has to ship.


> 3. Limited information - Even if a developer was pro-active and

> scheduled the development of accessibility features into the games'

> development schedule, there's still a major lack of knowledge and

> tools that enable them to do their job. The SIG has been thinking

> about accessibility features for years and we have all the solutions,

> but developers don't yet. We need to make ourselves known and readily

> available to help them.


> What can we do to solve these issues? We need to develop our

> relationships with developers and offer our assistance. Our attempts

> to work with GarageGames is a good start. When a new game is announced

> we should contact them and offer our expertise.


> We have GOT to get a website up so that we can communicate our

> abilities and expertise to our target audiences (game developers).


> But there are technical issues and many of us are volunteers and so

> things move very slowly.


> Several of us are writing guidelines for implementing certain features

> but again, this is a slow process. Others are doing research. Going to

> conferences is awesome. Writing articles to Gamasutra is great as

> well.


> Eitan is right, we have to "sell" our expertise. It's not that

> developers don't care, they don't know that they SHOULD care.


> -Reid

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