[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Dec 1 13:46:44 EST 2007

And the next place would be Richard's document. :)



>I think the first places to look are the places Barrie mentioned in

>his email -- synthesizing those efforts would go far as a first step.


>Most of the ideas that are suggested aren't all that formidable --

>they just can't get done if no one does them. :)






>>Well put.


>>So OK. I volunteer to assemble, contribute to, and be responsible

>>for delivery of Item 1.


>>This means:


>>1. Getting from you good folks any work in progress you want to

>>share, synthesizing it into something that works, getting a quick

>>review by anyone here who is interested, and delivering a first cut

>>of SIG Game Accessibility Criteria.


>>2. Getting from anyone here who wants to contribute, and

>>contributing to, a list of target developers, organizations,

>>institutions, and distributors we send this to, getting a quick

>>review, and delivering a first cut Distribution List.


>>3. Writing a first draft cover letter / promo piece, that is sent

>>with the Criteria, getting a quick review, and delivering this

>>first cut Cover Letter.


>>All of the above sent to you, Michelle NLT 15 January, 2008.

>>That way you get the volunteer work, you maintain control, and

>>everyone is included.


>>BTW. This isn't nearly as formidable as developing coding standards

>>for the 50 engineers who did the software that laid out the NY

>>Times, and surviving the process.


>>Does this work for you, Michelle?


>>John Bannick


>>At 12:24 PM 12/1/2007, you wrote:

>>>All of the things John mentions are projects we have talked about

>>>and/or taken passes at (the top ten list from two years ago and

>>>now the new project that Barrie has started up, etc). Others have

>>>brought up other ideas that we've either done or attempted and

>>>then the projects lost momentum. All these things are great but

>>>there's a problem...these things also take active volunteers in

>>>the SIG and from that perspective our numbers are low. So we need

>>>people who are willing to put in the time and may/may not get any

>>>reimbursement for that time and every project cannot be started

>>>and maintained by me.


>>>So instead of continuing to criticize ourselves (I know...I

>>>started it but I was really mad after killing myself over the

>>>proposals at deadline), the industry, the GDC etc...who from

>>>WITHIN this SIG can put in the time needed for these things AND

>>>actually follow through? No, it's not fair that we aren't in a

>>>position to reimburse people for time and that won't change in the

>>>near future. But it's something that will have to change and it

>>>will change but we can't just wait for that day to come (because

>>>it won't come if we don't put in the sweat equity now). People

>>>need to honestly commit the time and work because they believe in

>>>making change. Take some of that anger and tell me what YOU are

>>>willing to do to help us make change. Take ownership of something

>>>on behalf of the SIG. Ideas are great...but we need people who

>>>will put in the work so that the "SIG" is able to do these things.


>>>So who will join in putting in some volunteer time so that these

>>>ideas can become reality?




>>>>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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