[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Mon Dec 17 06:48:04 EST 2007

I forgot to mention exactly why I though your suggestion was interesting.
Because I wish Cyberlink could be the solution here and gamers could trigger
the kickdrum by merely thinking about it :)

----- Original Message -----
From: "AudioGames.net" <richard at audiogames.net>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

> Hi,


> 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.


> Greets,


> Richard



> * 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


>>>>> 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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