Tag Archives: accessibility

Blind Gamer Beats Ocarina of Time

Rich McCormick, The Verge:

His final video, uploaded on January 2nd, shows him using the same method to defeat Ganon, the game’s pig-faced final boss. Particularly important in Garrett’s playthrough was the use of the hookshot — a Zelda mainstay that fires a retractable chain — as a form of echolocation. When Garrett fired it against a wall, he’d hear a telltale clang; if he fired it into thin air, it would reach the end of its tether before returning to his hand, spooling backwards with a different noise.

Utterly fascinating. Congratulations, Terry!

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PS4 Adds Console Wide Button Remapping

Ben Kuchera, Polygon:

The screen at the top of this story doesn’t look like much. It’s a simple interface that allows you to swap any one button on the Dual Shock 4 for any other button. It’s a screen that makes gaming a much better place.

“Console wide button remapping is a huge deal for physically impaired gamers. One of the most commonly requested accessibility adaptation AbleGamers receives is for custom controller’s that move buttons to more comfortable positions,” Steve Spohn, COO of the AbleGamers charity; told Polygon.

“If you have limited movement in one arm, only one functioning hand, or even limited digit movement, button positioning is everything. And even more so if you have a neuromuscular disease such as muscular dystrophy where you fatigue more easily depending on what buttons you need to press.”

The push for full customization in button mapping has been going on for years, and some companies are better than others when it comes to offering the feature. What Sony has done is make the conversation obsolete by offering the option at the console level. This is a huge deal for many gamers.

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Space Age Color Blindness Options

@Spaceageapp:

Making sure Space Age is colorblind friendly.

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Awesome accessibility awareness. And top level too. (Tap Options on the title screen and there they are!) That alone earned Big Bucket Software my $3.99.

Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure is currently available for iOS. Looking forward to playing. Also hearing great things about the soundtrack by Cabel Sasser.

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Three Monkeys

Jordan Erica Webber, The Guardian:

In that demo, a sprite called Yoska teaches the player how to use their hearing to hunt a bird and shoot it down with a bow and arrow and fight bandits and goblins with a sword. It sounds like something you’d expect to do in a modern big-budget RPG, which Willey says is intentional: “What we’re really aiming for is an audio game that has a kind of AAA [those with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion] feel about it.”

That should appeal to vision-impaired players such as Harlow, whose experience of “real video games” before he lost his sight has led him to consider many audio games “kind of bad, and just not entertaining”. But Willey and Satizabal both hope sighted players will enjoy the game too, so that they can have a shared experience with those who are vision-impaired.

Sounds extremely interesting and like a great focus for game development. Start any piece with the words Super Mario 64 and you’ll have my attention.

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Tunnel vision

Robert Kingett, legally-blind video game reviewer with cerebral palsy via IGN:

In multiplayer games I will always be at a slight disadvantage because I can’t look at multiple parts of the screen at once because of my tunnel vision. It’s like looking through a toilet paper roll all the time. My cerebral palsy hinders me as well but not in games like MAGIC, or similar because that’s strategy. I do have a stutter and people who want to be gamers are quick to point out I sound “retarded” or “like I am disabled.” It saddens me to see that there are not many true gamers anymore who just enjoy gaming no matter how unskilled someone is. I actually know some mentally disabled people who play better than most, and when I say play, I mean their spirit.

I’ve experienced a lot of that, and I just don’t understand why people say some of the things that they say. It’s not going to create an elite gaming world full of epic gamers who know every Easter egg known to man. Gamers will game, no matter who says what. I’m a gamer and I will game on. I enjoy the art and everything else video games have to offer and that means enjoying it with all kinds of people. There are even cases of people being flat out derogatory to other races on video games. Again, I don’t understand why. I don’t want people like that ruining it for us gamers.

Kingett on what developers can do to make their games more accessible:

There are three words I’d say that makes a video game completely accessible. Customization, choices, and alternatives. Have a game very customizable in all assets and you will have an accessible game. Have caption customizations where deaf players can have captions in a font that they want to have. Make your HUD’s customizable so visually impaired players like me can change the map size, the radar size, the crosshair size and shape, have assist, control mapping options, different control styles – just make your game very customizable unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.

A must read.

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