[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

John Bannick jbannick at 7128.com
Sat Dec 1 13:20:50 EST 2007


Barrie,

No. Not harsh. Just on point. (Programmers are not hired for their social
skills.)

1. Yes.

But this SIG is unique in that it is the one active place that covers
multiple challenges, has an international audience, and clearly has the
ears of some key industry players. If this SIG has its own concise,
specific, answer to "what do you want us developers to do?" please point me
to it.

2. Again, this SIG has a unique position in that it can credibly publish
such a list, that address multiple challenges, internationally, and has the
ear of the major developers. Is there any such recognized list of companies
and games? Why not from this SIG?

3. Please.

I'm on the Game Accessibility Project forum every day. It's getting spammed
without intervention. It's much lower volume than such a fine effort
warrants. Richard says he's out of there. It's adrift.

And Mark's forum is outstanding, but does not right now have the attention
of the industry leaders, or actual developers, that this SIG does. (No
criticism, he's doing a wonderful job.) I'm on Audyssey every day and it
has a very active set of game developers that help each other all the time.
But it's limited to the blind and VI folks.

I'd not heard of the RetroRemakes forum (thanks for the tip) but according
to its main page, it's most recent post was in August.

Show me a forum where mainstream game developers meet to help each other
make accessibility happen.

The three proposals stand.

John

At 11:47 AM 12/1/2007, you wrote:

>A little harsh, John perhaps?

>

>1. Has been covered to various degrees here:

>

>http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/ARTICLES/physical-barriers.htm

>http://www.ics.forth.gr/hci/ua-games/game-over/

>http://www.helpyouplay.com/welcome.html

>

>(and other places too).

>

>2. Is is a good point. But there's so few mainstream developers making

>deliberate accessibity efforts that take into account specific

>disabilities. Here's a list of some:

>

>http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/pioneers.htm

>http://gameaccessibility.blogspot.com/

>

>3. Forums here:

>

>http://www.game-accessibility.com/forum/

>http://www.retroremakes.com/forum2/forumdisplay.php?f=84

>http://ablegamers.com/component/option,com_fireboard/Itemid,606/

>

>We need the support of more people though!

>

>Barrie

>www.OneSwitch.org.uk

>www.igda.org/accessibility

>

>----- Original Message ----- From: "John Bannick" <jbannick at 7128.com>

>To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>

>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 4:05 PM

>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

>>CTO

>>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

>>>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

>>>_______________________________________________

>>>games_access mailing list

>>>games_access at igda.org

>>>http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>>>

>>>

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>>

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