[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Dec 1 12:59:24 EST 2007

Who will be a part of "We"?


>Hi John. With what you said below I think you hit the nail on the head.


>Then we definitely need a web site and a forum.



>-----Original Message-----

>From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]

>On Behalf Of John Bannick

>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 11:05 AM

>To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

>Subject: Re: [games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News


>Reid is right.


>There are developers right now who want their work to be accessible.


>This SIG could right now facilitate that by:


>1. Providing, distributing, and publicizing a concise, specific set of

>functional criteria that define what means accessible.

>2. Compiling, publishing, and publicizing an annual list of which companies

>and games meet those criteria.

>3. Maintaining a forum (The currently rather drifting Game Accessibility

>Project comes to mind) where developers can go for immediate help.


>I'm a developer of games that are accessible.

>Have shipped 22 different revenue-generating products in a wide variety of

>vertical markets in the last 30 years.

>Am neither stupid nor lazy.

>And don't see any of the 3 above items.


>None of the 3 items should take long to build as a first cut.


>And if not from this SIG, then from where?


>John Bannick


>7-128 Software



>At 02:26 AM 12/1/2007, you wrote:

>>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



>>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.




>>games_access mailing list

>>games_access at igda.org





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