[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

Robert Florio arthit73 at cablespeed.com
Sat Dec 15 21:49:13 EST 2007

Hi Richard. From my experience though, for a game that potentially the
success in the most amount of enjoyment comes from loud music, personally as
a quad that much repetitive rhythmic beating with breathing is very
exhausting because with paralysis, even within paraplegic, the spinal cord
and the positioning of the body leaning forward in wheelchairs, is really
hard with my lungs. And quads and more so quads, their lung capacity gets
diminished and exhausted very quick.

Also with the fight hygiene problem in the voice recognition, I think the
hygiene is a real problem.

And also recommend that using voice command even though it would be good for
a game that requires a lot of loud music it will be really frustrating
because it's really hard, from my experience for any program to learn how to
drown out the background music. The only way to do that, is have a mic
setup so that when the voice comes out is almost directly up against the
lips but has a cover on the outside not allowing any balancing sounds to get
to the mouth. Similar to as it someone cupped their hand over the
microphone the back side.

My dog is barking right now at the back door and even that is messing up
with the voice recognition for me typing here. I'm in an absolutely quiet
room and, it wasn't her loudest bark but in a scale of one to 10 it was
probably in eight. And she was about 30 feet away. Also, the microphone is
on the opposite side of my face, she has to my left and the microphone is on
my right.

I think with any device for this game is going to come down to simple as
that. If the court is long enough for the footpad my recommendation would
be, have it strapped someplace close to a head rests for a quad or somewhere
that a paraplegic and hit it with their shoulder or the side of their head
or something.


-----Original Message-----
From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of AudioGames.net
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2007 7:46 PM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

Great question!

First thing to jump to mind is to do something with the gamer's mouth/vocal
options because it's free and available. Two ideas would then be either some

very simple bite/sip/puff controller or a very simple head mic-setup (of
course you need to be careful in a room full of sound with placing mics). A
sip/puff/bite controller has the issue of hygiene which can be a pretty big
problem. If so, go for the mic (which is simple hardware as well). The only
thing you need from either the mic or the sip/puff/bite controller is a
trigger of some sort. A player would then use his arms for the standard
hi-hat/snare/toms/riot/crashes/cowbell-stuff, and "sing" the kick:
"boom"+hihat > hihat > hihat+snare > "boomboom"+hihat > etc. A benefit of
this solution is that I think it can actually add to the fun of the game.
The drummers in the bands I used to play in were always the types of guys
who would always mimic what they were playing with their voice:
"boom-tjak-ka-boomboom-tjakcrash"- that sort of thing (especially in the bar

after practice ;). Also, when synced with samples of a kick-drum, gamers
might be awed, thinking it is really cool to "boom" in a mic and hear a
kickdrum from the machine ;) It might even turned out to make the game a bit

easier... ? Alex, is there is a lot of double kickdrum in there?



----- Original Message -----
From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>
To: <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 12:30 AM
Subject: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

> Hey everyone,


> So I've been talking to the CEO of Harmonix about Accessibility and "Rock

> Band." If you haven't yet seen it (ie, you were definitely not at a booth

> right across from them at E for All!) -- Harmonix was also behind Guitar

> Hero 1, 2, and 80s but then they spun that off to focus on Rock Band

> (which works with up to two guitars, a drum kit, and a mic). Right now

> it's available (USB wired) for Xbox 360, (wireless --

> I think...) for PS3, and then (wired again) for PS2 (they have a USB hub

> that plugs into the USB slot to allow for 4 separate USB devices).


> Here's the situation from Alex:


> "One obvious thing that has already become apparent in the forums is that

> there's a demand among

> paraplegic gamers for a mode of the drumming game in Rock Band that

> doesn't require the kick pedal."


> I was thinking about hardware solutions that might work, that perhaps a

> set of drumsticks that has some kind of squeeze mechanism might work but

> that might be tough to pull off while you are drumming. Having the foot

> pedal in as a hat sensor would be difficult for those who want to "ROCK!"

> (hehe...head banging). The thing is that there are times when you have to

> hit the drum pads with both sticks and the foot pedal all at the same

> time...so simply not using the pedal is not an option if you want to

> progress through the game.


> One thing for sure is the drums? It's the toughest thing on Rock Band -- I

> brought it to a party last night and we had three people playing as "the

> drummer" at the same time in order to avoid our "band" from getting kicked

> off stage again and again -- even then the point difference between the

> guitar and vocal versus the drums...guitar and vocal were in the 80s and

> 90s/100 on "easy" and drums got to about as high as 60/100 also on "easy."

> And this was from people who had never played Sing Star or Guitar Hero on

> the other instruments. So there's some balance issues that are coupled

> along with it.


> So I'm thinking that a mode that didn't involve the kick pedal might be

> more attractive in general...perhaps as some sort of patch (harder with

> consoles if you don't have it hooked up to the net but they might be

> willing to send out a patch on a game disk for free or the cost of

> shipping and handling). Or it might just be a "for the next version" kind

> of thing.


> But can anything be done NOW with regard to a hardware alternative for

> this version of Rock Band that has just come out? If there is a software

> solution, what would we need access to in order to implement something?


> Thoughts? We have their attention! We might be able to really influence

> this game. Certainly I'll make Alex aware of Eelke's design solution for

> Guitar Hero for the visually impaired. But this is a rare direct

> opportunity for us to work with a major game company on current and future

> versions of this so we can get an inside look at what it takes to

> implement any one solution in a company. If it works out, this gives us

> some "street cred" as a group and be able to talk about the process at,

> say, next year's GDC with them.


> Hey, it could happen -- this is the CEO we're talking to!


> Michelle

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