[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Sat Dec 1 13:57:49 EST 2007


(also see the other email with a link to a more up to date document)

Also see: http://www.game-accessibility.com/index.php?pagefile=papers . This
list (still?) contains all known work towards a unified definition of game
accessibility and description of heuristics/guidelines/patterns/?



(ps: although I think that one of Barrie's links is not in there....)

----- Original Message -----
From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 7:46 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

> 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



>>>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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