[games_access] Worthwhile project?

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Fri Mar 28 18:17:44 EDT 2008

Yes...unfortunately this is true as well. Which is why when we
present our suggestions we MUST present them as suggestions that help
additional users. I wish we could just say "hey this would help out
people using one handed controllers a LOT" and then companies think
"hmm...how many people have lost one hand or arm -- are the numbers
worth us re-routing our design, which will cost us pennies and/or
mega dollars?" Then we present the numbers of people with carpal
tunnel...the problem seems much greater, especially with examples of
the people who got it from being hard core GAMERS.

And the "accessibility company" is a touch one to deal with. Luckily
it's getting better...but there are still a lot of unenlightened
folks out there!!


>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.






>>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





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