[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Mon Dec 17 11:56:27 EST 2007


Oh I think Richard might/would agree (I'll let him confirm/deny this
himself, though -- hehe) -- for those who playing Rock Band wasn't an
option AT ALL, alternative means help them get into the fun! We just
have to remember that since this is a band sim some gamers -- with
and without disabilities -- are going to want to really physically
play out the sim as much as possible. We just have to think through
the advantages (being able to participate) and disadvantages (not
being able to ROCK -- ok, I'm getting carried away with the whole
ROCK thing) of everything on our palette of choices. :) But that's
what makes this such an interesting issue!

Don't forget -- the offer of a kit for tinkering/development purposes
is on the table for those with the know how. I see that it's not
coming out for the UK/Europe until March 6th but he might be able to
send a kit out before the sell date...if not, then definitely after.
It will be out for the PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360 on the same day.

Michelle


>This is what everyone said about the Wii before it came out. "My arms

>are going to be so tired." A year later, it's still selling like crazy

>and very hard to find in stores.

>(http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16640) Disabled

>players have so few options these days and we aren't the customer,

>they are. Richard, you may get tired, but maybe not other people?

>

>At this point, we should put all ideas on the table and see which ones

>float to the top after brainstorming.

>

>-Reid

>

>On Dec 17, 2007 1:52 AM, AudioGames.net <richard at audiogames.net> wrote:

>> 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 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"

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

>> >> _______________________________________________

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>> >

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