[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Mon Dec 17 04:29:30 EST 2007

how about using a Cyberlink to control the pedal input; simply mapping
it to raising eyebrows for instance


16 dec 2007 kl. 09.31 skrev <hinn at uiuc.edu> <hinn at uiuc.edu>:

> Hey --


> The main issue is that they cannot use the foot pedal but they can

> use the drum pad (the other four inputs) using the drum sticks --

> they are paraplegic and not quadriplegic...although Harmonix would

> like to know solution ideas for quadriplegic gamers as well!


> I have asked to see if we could get into the source code if we sign

> away our lives -- worst case he just says "no way." And that's cool.

> I can understand keeping the code close to the vest. Doesn't hurt to

> propose it though.


> At the party I was at last night, it took 2-3 people without

> mobility disabilities to play the drum on "easy" mode. So add in any

> mobility disability and it's even tougher!


> Another thing to think about is solo practice -- you can go through

> the game just playing the drum with AI players. So there is a loss

> of independence for paraplegic gamers who would have to get a friend

> to "drum" with them. So they get used to each other's cues and

> styles...what happens at a party when the friend might not be there

> and a "substitute" second person is needed. It's not absolutely

> critical but it can get annoying to get used to someone else who is

> essentially a part of your "skills" package -- after all, a lot of

> (most?) people practice on their own so that they can keep up with

> and/or beat the crap out of their fellow game players.

> Yeah...rockband IS about collaboration...but...when the scores came

> up, there was always clearly "the winner." :)


> Did I mention that I think this discussion is really cool? ;)


> Michelle


> ---- Original message ----

>> Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 00:10:01 -0800

>> From: "Eelke Folmer" <eelke.folmer at gmail.com>

>> Subject: Re: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

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

>> >


>> Hey,


>> Interesting problem, maybe a viable strategy would be to find the

>> gross or lowest denominator of the amount of interaction that a

>> paraplegic could provide; e.g. if this is a one switch you obviously

>> have a hard time providing five different inputs. Some amount of

>> interaction has to go or be automated.


>> I assume we will not be able to modify the existing source code and

>> hence a solution must be found in the hardware. If you want to

>> automate particular drum beats there is no way to get this

>> information

>> through a controller unless you would be using a videocamera that

>> would monitor the screen to see which buttons need to be pressed.


>> I propose a simple solution:


>> just splitting up the drums (physically) into a part (1-5) drums that

>> can be played by a paraplegic and the other part (1-5) shall be

>> played

>> by another human. You need 4 people anyway so finding a 5th should

>> not

>> be a problem. If the paraplegic is unable to drum but can only use

>> sip

>> and puff i would suggest splitting up the controller for the drums in

>> a sipp and puff part and the remaining drum parts.


>> Cheers Eelke


>> On 15/12/2007, d. michelle hinn <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:



>>> Hey Mike --



>>> The automation of inputs sounds like an excellent idea. I think

>>> you'd

>>> want it generic and per-input though and be clear that it's not

>>> *just*

>>> the foot pedal that could be problematic. e.g. Def Leopard's Rick

>>> Allen could easily handle the bass pedal (and a few more), but one

>>> of

>>> the pads might be a pain to hit simultaneously with another one.



>>> Yep, I was thinking about Rick Allen -- I'll have to do some

>>> surfing to give

>>> them some links on how drummers with mobility disabilities and

>>> amputees

>>> trick out their drum kits for their own personal situation. That

>>> might give

>>> Rock Band another source for information (actually...I'm wondering

>>> if we

>>> could get Rick Allen in on the accessible drum kit? I know that

>>> the Harmonix

>>> guys know some of the band contacts. I'm serious! How cool would

>>> that be to

>>> be able to buy a special edition Rick Allen controller that could be

>>> reconfigured to work with switches and so forth? For info on his

>>> custom kit:

>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Allen_%28drummer%29



>>> I've only played the original GH briefly - do these games identify

>>> the

>>> different players at the start of the game? Tying such settings to

>>> individual users/names would be nice, so that if you're taking turns

>>> it'd automatically reconfigure itself for each person once those

>>> configurations are set and keep the accounts/configurations around

>>> as

>>> options for future gaming sessions.



>>> Yes, you pick your own player and name them (and then you can

>>> outfit them

>>> with cooler clothes and instruments when you earn cash from gigs)

>>> and it

>>> saves your progress and such. So I would think saving accessibility

>>> configurations would be pretty easy.



>>> As far as hardware - if they provided a way to use a generic

>>> controller instead of the custom ones (e.g. use a standard gamepad

>>> instead of the guitar for instance, where the whammy bar became the

>>> joystick), and in software allowed for remapping of the generic

>>> controller's inputs and to the expected inputs of the custom

>>> controller, then that should allow people to use things like the

>>> QuadControl.com's controller to play, wouldn't it? Anything

>>> excessively hard to do with such a controller could be switched to

>>> "automatic mode" in the software? Making these configurations also

>>> per-user as above would be nice as well.



>>> Hmm...yeah there is no way to play without a USB

>>> controller...but...I'm

>>> wondering if one of Barrie's USB controllers might be "tricked" to

>>> work with

>>> Rock Band -- I mean they already need a hub to fit four

>>> instruments so one

>>> of those could be an accessible controller...and then someone with

>>> different

>>> mobility issues might be able to play with a hacked controller

>>> connected to

>>> five switches (four for the drum pad and one for the pedal. I'll

>>> also

>>> introduce them to the Quad Controller for the 360 -- they may have

>>> a "cheat"

>>> or something that would allow someone to override an instrument

>>> (stranger

>>> things have been put in games).



>>> Now this discussion is kind of cool and super fun -- maybe we

>>> should start

>>> brainstorming on a game every other week where we know we have a

>>> friendly

>>> person in a high powered position who could make things happen. We

>>> could

>>> advert it on forums and our blogs for more suggestions. Mark and

>>> Barrie

>>> could help us on the blog end of things and I can contact some

>>> other groups.



>>> We could then present them with mini-usability reports and if they

>>> are

>>> interested in more info/help then they can help support the GA-SIG

>>> foundation (our soon-to-be-made-real non-profit) where we could

>>> earmark for

>>> travel scholarships for SIG members to conferences like the GDC

>>> where they

>>> are speakers, etc. It's a bird...It's a plane...no...It's "SIG


>>> PRACTICAL!!!!!"



>>> I'm trying to set up a meeting with Alex and the Harmonix gang at

>>> GDC so we

>>> can show them the controllers, Eelke's haptic solution for the

>>> blind, how

>>> they are used, and discuss things further. Who doesn't want to

>>> ROCK after

>>> all? Beethoven was deaf -- and yet it was a rockstar back in his

>>> day. ;)



>>> Let me see if I can get a couple kits if we sign our lives away

>>> and promise

>>> not to resell them on ebay.



>>> Trust me on this one -- we have already benefited from the private

>>> generosity of Harmonix employees who dig our work. I can't say

>>> much more but

>>> trust me -- I know.



>>> Michelle

>>> _______________________________________________

>>> games_access mailing list

>>> games_access at igda.org

>>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access





>> --

>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

>> Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

>> Department of CS&E/171

>> University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

>> Game interaction design www.helpyouplay.com

>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

>> _______________________________________________

>> games_access mailing list

>> games_access at igda.org

>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

> .......................................

> these are mediocre times and people are

> losing hope. it's hard for many people

> to believe that there are extraordinary

> things inside themselves, as well as

> others. i hope you can keep an open

> mind.

> -- "unbreakable"

> .......................................

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