[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Sat Dec 1 18:23:14 EST 2007

sorry Reid, didn't intend to offend you or anyone in the industry;
I'm sure many are behind the cause.

what I meant was where to put our efforts - if few people attend a
session I've travelled half-way around the globe to present, and paid
for it from my own pocket (flight and hotel) and spend 7 days+ doing
so, all for free, it is disappointing with just a handful of attendees..

we just get lost in translation at GDC S.F, while at smaller
conferences we are seen and listened to. I'd rather go to a small
conference where people listen than to GDC S.F where very few listen.
But of course, we shouldn't skip S.F altogether, but until attendance
change I can't motivate to spend 1500 USD out of my own pocket and 7
days+ of my time going there.


1 dec 2007 kl. 08.26 skrev Reid Kimball:

> 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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