[games_access] Worthwhile project?

Reid Kimball reid at rbkdesign.com
Fri Mar 28 15:35:39 EDT 2008

Hi Jason,

The SIG plans to make a book about Game Accessibility and I think we'd
include examples of what you are proposing. There would be sections on
what can be inaccessible and solutions for those issues including how
to implement those solutions.

Regarding Bryan's comments, they are true to some degree
unfortunately. It's a catch-22, chicken and the egg kind of problem
because game accessibility under the usability umbrella is a brand new
concept. I have talked with many devs and publishers who have said,
"We've never thought of that before." Then they ask what the numbers
are, both in demographics and financial. Yet, I don't have many
compelling figures to share because it is so new. As a result, they
usually pass. Without the numbers developers are less likely to
implement GA features, and without GA features we aren't going to get
the numbers...


On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 11:02 AM, Bryan Peterson <b-peterson at hotmail.com> wrote:

> The other problem though is that not all developers are willing to learn. As

> Michelle could tell you she's run into that quite a lot. THe general opinion

> is that accessibility is nice but it wouldn't work in our games. Or they

> don't want to be known as an accessibility company, whatever that means.

> Granted Nintendo seems open to the idea, but it still all comes down to

> those colored pieces of paper with the numbers on them. Devs are usually

> afraid they'll lose more of those little pieces of paper than they'll gain

> by making their games accessible.

> Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.



> ----- Original Message -----

> From: "Tlaloc" <tlaloc.raingod at gmail.com>

> To: <games_access at igda.org>

> Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 11:46 AM

> Subject: [games_access] Worthwhile project?



> > 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.

> >

> >

> >


> > 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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> > games_access at igda.org

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> >


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