[games_access] Top 3 Top 3 and IGDA GASIG Awards Ceremony 2008

Reid Kimball reid at rbkdesign.com
Sun Dec 2 16:21:36 EST 2007

What if a game uses a physics engine? Slowing down the ball in a
physics based pinball game will make it unplayable. The ball won't
have enough momentum to carry it through the pinball obstacle course.
A solution could be slow motion play mode, but that also presents
other problems. Using slow motion can impact the timing of scripted
events and messages being sent and received by the internal game

Unless someone has direct involvement with the development of a game,
it's impossible to know what underlying technology issues have been
implemented that can make accessibility features easy or hard to
support. I once worked on a game that was made for consoles and then
ported to the PC. Because of how the controls were setup for the
console system, made it incredibly difficult to allow reconfigurable
controls for the PC. I hear of this technology issue constantly on
console games ported to the PC.

Game design and technology has evolved drastically from the early
1980's. We're now using simulation based physics and AI systems that
are open to influence by variables. Making games that use physics,
such as most sports games are, can be very difficult. Half-Life 2 is a
physics simulation based game is believe me, it's quite a head ache to
solve some gameplay issues. Slowing down vehicles will not create
enough velocity to create a strong enough force of impact to damage
enemies if you try to run over them or crash through a wall.

We're doing a disservice to game developers if we claim implementing
accessibility features are easy. It will harm our credibility and
damage trust in our working relationships.


On Dec 2, 2007 12:46 PM, Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:


> Hi Reid,


> Thanks for your suggestions. I appreciate the point that some access

> features are harder than they first seem to implement. But there definitely

> are easy to add features for specific genres. Quickly:


> a. Driving games - imagine OutRun - adding wider difficulty level adjustment

> such as much more generous time limits to complete a stage is very easy.

> b. Pinball games - allowing for adjustment in ball speed as a menu option

> seems pretty straight forward to me.

> c. Golf games - allowing an Easy Play option whereby hook and slice can be

> turned off also sounds very easy to me.


> Maybe the Extra Suggestions part is confusing the original message. These

> are intended to show some ways devleopers can stretch out and go a bit

> futher with that type of accessibility.


> I wouldn't want us to scare off developers by saying there are no "easy"

> accessibility features for developers to add. I really don't believe it. If

> Atari could do it regularly for the Atari 2600 in the early 1980's...


> 2. If it's really that contentious, I'll change it - but "3 most requested"

> isn't bullet proof either.



> 3. Why don't we make a Top 3 Most Requested Accessibility Features for each

> disability area? Sounds like a good idea to me...


> Barrie





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

> From: "Reid Kimball" <reid at rbkdesign.com>

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

> Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 8:07 PM

> Subject: Re: [games_access] Top 3 Top 3 and IGDA GASIG Awards Ceremony 2008



> > Hi Barrie,

> >

> > I like what you have but do have a couple suggestions.

> >

> > 1) I agree with Richard, there are no "easy" accessibility features

> > for developers to add. I have said that adding closed captioning to

> > games is easier than a physics or rendering system and it is true, but

> > creating the captioning system itself presents tricky design problems

> > and depending on the sound engine, maybe even technical issues. In

> > general, I don't think we have the right to designate whether an

> > accessibility feature is easy or not for a developer to implement. How

> > hard it is will depend on the developers technology foundation and

> > programming/designing talent they have.

> >

> > 2) On the contention of Top 3, why not slightly change the wording so

> > it's Top 3 Most Requested Accessibility Features.

> >

> > 3) Why don't we make a Top 3 Most Requested Accessibility Features for

> > each disability area. Richard can submit a list of his top 3 for

> > blind/visually impaired, I'll submit mine for hard of hearing/deaf and

> > so on.

> >

> > -Reid

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