[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Mon Dec 17 04:52:16 EST 2007


Interesting suggestion, Thomas. I think what needs to be taken into account
is that timing and control are very important factors for musical expressing
through a rythm intrument. I think it is very, very hard to do a good beat
with your eyebrows. I'm pretty good at timing, but I simply can't
raise/lower my eyebrows fast enough. I just tried "We Will Rock You" and
next to a headache*, I though it was very tiring and was glad the song was
over ;) I can't imagine me doing this a whole session with multiple songs. I
think the same might go for using cameras and head-bob-recognition. It all
depends on how you set it up of course, and how much 'bob' will cause a
trigger. But I foresee that if it's a 'big bob'**, players will easily get
tired*** which is not something I think you want to cause with a game.



* which could be related to last night's party but still ;)
** oh boy
*** and nausious* ;)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas Westin" <thomas at pininteractive.com>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 10:29 AM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

> how about using a Cyberlink to control the pedal input; simply mapping it

> to raising eyebrows for instance


> /Thomas


> 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 PROJECT

>>>> 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"

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

>> _______________________________________________

>> games_access mailing list

>> games_access at igda.org

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


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