[games_access] Towny Hawks Ride

oneswitch at googlemail.com oneswitch at googlemail.com
Fri Aug 28 15:20:26 EDT 2009

Just FYI - I recall Namco's late 80's arcade game Final Lap using a rubber
band system with their multi-player game. If you fell too far behind your
opponent, the leader would start to travel more slowly, and the players
behind would speed up. Not entirely fair, but made for much more enjoyable
and fun play, with lots of close flung duels.

As Reid mentioned - taking the previous top tens and then going into further
detail would be a really useful way to go forward.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Reid Kimball" <rkimball at gmail.com>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Towny Hawks Ride

I wondered when the list would bring up this game. I've been working
on the Nintendo Wii version of TH RIDE for about a year. We are in
heavy crunch (7days a week, 14hr days) right now trying to finish it
in the next couple of weeks.

The "elastic band" Sandra is talking about is available in "casual"
mode. For new players, standing on the board and maintaining balance
is extremely difficult. It's still very hard for me to do.

In casual mode, players don't need to worry about leaning left or
right very much. The only time they need to do that is when choosing
which branching path they want to take. The yellow ribbon line will
split at junction points to take players to different parts of the
level. Players don't even need to lean if they don't want to, the game
will automatically pick a path for the player. In this mode, while
automatically following the path, the player is left to do tricks, by
lifting and tilting the board in various directions and using the

It's a nice addition and works well for the player. It's not the same
for the designer however because it's a very cumbersome and time
consuming process to author the navigation paths correctly.

I have a deeper understanding of why developers are hesitant about
including brand new accessibility features into games. I spent three
days trying to get the navigation splines working correctly in Venice
Beach Downtown Showdown and it was hell. In terms of man hours,
because other people were brought in to help, it was very expensive.

I don't fault the idea, but the implementation of the idea. Yet, it's
the implementation that developers are most concerned with, it's what
costs them the most in time and money. If we really want to help
developers implement accessibility features we have to go deeper into
the implementation strategies. Sure, we can still have top 10 lists,
but we should follow that up with here's how implement #1 and so on.

I submitted a poster session proposal to GDC 2010 in San Francisco on
how to implement closed captioning in games. They accepted it once and
I felt the people that went found it helpful and eye opening.

Reid Kimball
Game Designer / Writer

On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 6:04 AM, Sandra Uhling<sandra_uhling at web.de> wrote:

> Hi,


> I tried out Towny Hawks RIDE.

> There is something like an "Elastic band" effect.

> This helps beginner to stay on the track.


> Is this new?


> Best regards,

> Sandra

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