[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Mon Dec 17 14:51:59 EST 2007

Re: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!Sounds like the hacked in 3.5mm socket would do the job nicely. I have a PS2, can borrow an Xbox 360 - but have no PS3 access at all I'm afraid:

http://www.meru.org.uk/diy_sam.htm (mouse adaptation with trailing 3.5mm socket)
http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/4/DIY/speech.htm (battery toy adaptation with mounted 3.5mm socket)

Reduced Controls idea. Don't think I explained it well. Here's a slight variation on the idea. Consider the second lowest pitched drum a dual-function drum serving as itself and also the kick-drum when needed. The software would need to anticipate what the drummer is intending through a fairly simple timer (closest to an expected Tom-Tom? Trigger a Tom-Tom - closest to an expected kick-drum? Trigger a Drum-Kick). If two are expected simultaneously - trigger both from the single drum hit. Make more sense? Think this might work out less confusing in practice than it is to explain...


----- Original Message -----
From: d. michelle hinn
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 7:25 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

Yeah, a software solution would be nice and I think that's what's we have time to get into the next version if I'm reading Alex correctly and they can pull it off in time.

For right now, though, the way the drum kit is set up it's just a matter of stepping on it and not how hard/soft you step on it. I'm looking at the wired connection -- it really looks like one of your controllers, Barrie, where you've drilled in holes to connect switches to.

If I can get my hands on a pre-release (or release date) UK/Europe version of "rock band" for you to mod, which console would work best? I'm assuming PS2 because I know you work on controls for that but I'm not sure if you work with Xbox 360 or PS3 as well. Given that a large (most?) alt controllers have been modded for the PS2, I'm thinking that would be the console to start with anyway.

Also -- reduced controls mode -- sometimes you have to hit two drum pads AND the pedal at the same time so there's one issue (three arms?). But certainly if there were modes that could take away the need to use the pedal and/or just, say, be about the rhythm and not about the exact buttons/drum pads hit, that would probably help a LOT of people. I mean, seriously, it took THREE people who did not have any mobility limitations to make sure it wasn't the drumming that knocked the band out of the game (if an instrument gets too low on the "good" scale it gets knocked out and/or can knock you out of the game entirely if the singer and the guitar player(s) are also struggling) -- this was largely due to their not having any musical training whatsoever so just hitting something/anything correctly was a "win."

Anyway...so that software solution idea may just help a whole lot of people -- especially in a party situation where drinking is involved... Some other things that they will be concerned with is online play but it already tells others that you are playing easy/medium/hard/expert mode so it could also say "modified." Not sure if that an acceptable solution...just brainstorming.


My thoughts for Rock Band...

Software solution would be very nice.

Auto-Kick Drum would be pretty simple to implement (please don't shoot me,
Reid!) to my mind. As soon as a drum kick is called for - the software could
automatically trigger one in perfect timing.

Reduced controls mode. Taking this further would be lovely too. Why not
allow the kick-drum to be triggered by any of the other controls? So if you
hit a snare (or any other drum control), if this is in time for the
drum-kick - that will be accepted.

Super Reduced controls mode. I really liked Um Jammer Lammy for the PSone.
This was the follow up to Parappa the Rapper (the original inspiration for
all of these music based Simon Says games). This required about six or so
buttons to play the guitar. The simple mode allowed you to hit any button at
all - which if in time - would be accepted.

Hardware solutions.

What is the software looking for? An analogue pedal or a digital pedal.
I.e. - does it matter how hard you step on it - or is it a simple on/off
switch? If it's okay to be treated as an on/off switch this is pretty
simple. If they've not developed the hardware completely yet - why not make
it connect to the main drum kit via a 3.5mm mono socket and plug (the
accessibility switch standard) with the kick drum acting as a press to make
switch. From there, users could plug in one of hundreds of different
accessibility controls (blink switches, extra head switches and so on).

If it's analogue - you may still find that adding a 3.5mm stereo socket and
plug might offer a solution - if you can provide some compatibility with
standard accessibility switches.

Finally - I'd be happy to look at the set-up - and even offer to adapt
existing set-ups. I'm sure there'll be others on this list and elsewhere
that would do the same too - perhaps following an easy D.I.Y. guide


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