[games_access] Worthwhile project?

Tlaloc tlaloc.raingod at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 13:46:43 EDT 2008


Would it be worthwhile to try an develop an "accessibility bible"
which could then be given to game development houses making concrete
suggestions for ways they can improve accessibility in games?

I suspect a lot of developers don't really have the time to think
about ways to make games accessible but if you put a laundry list of
suggestions in their hands they'd at least consider some of them. I
give an example below of a hypothetical accessibility bible entry on
difficulty levels.



DIFFICULTY LEVELS
Description
A difficulty selection is a common feature of games. Usually from
three to five generic levels of difficulty can be chosen by the
player. The difference in game play from easiest to hardest may be a
function of the speed of game play, number of enemies, number of
lives, difficulty of tasks, et cetera.

Options to best increase accessibility
The least desirable solution is to have a single difficulty level.
This means the game will only be suitable to a narrow range of
players. The more difficulty levels that are available, assuming
there is a meaningful difference between levels, the wider range of
people can enjoy playing.

The best possible solution is to deconvolute "difficulty" into the
component parts, and to make each selectable. For instance in a First
Person Shooter you might have difficulty control the number of enemies
and their accuracy. What would be better is to have two controls, one
for the number of enemies and another for their accuracy. This not
only allows people to better tune the game to their abilities but
gives the game grater replay values as people explore how the game is
different with few accurate enemies vs. hordes of inaccurate foes.
Deconvoluting difficulty into component parts can also make testing
easier and quicker because you have isolated variables instead of
trying to test several changing variables at the same time and
approximate what mix of each is "easy", "moderate", and "hard."



-It's just something I wrote just now off the top of my head to give
you an idea, I'm sure we could do a much more thorough job. What'cha
think?

Jason


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