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Building Guidelines & Best Practices for Accessible Games

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Building Guidelines & Best Practices for Accessible Games by Eleanor Robinson from 7-128 Software and Tara Tefertiller Voelker from the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG.

Building Guidelines & Best Practices for Accessible Games by Eleanor Robinson from 7-128 Software and Tara Tefertiller Voelker from the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG.


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  • 1. Building Guidelines & Best Practices for Accessible Games Eleanor Robinson : 7-128 Software &Tara Tefertiller Voelker : IGDA Game Accessibility SIG www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 2. In this session: •Game Accessibility Basics Crash Course •Simple accessibility features for any title •Examples from AAA games •Handing it over to Eleanor •Guidelines for Blind Gamers •Discussion www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 3. What I’m Playing... www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 4. Game accessibilityWhat are the numbers? How many Americans have a disability? www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 5. 54 million Americans •They represent almost 20% of the population, or 1 in 5. •3.3 million Americans use a wheel chair, with another 10 million using a cane, crutches or walker. •.7.8 million have difficulty reading printed words and letters •1 million can t hear conversations and 4.8 wear hearing aids. •16.1 million have limitations with cognitive functions or a mental or emotional illness that interferes with daily activities http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p70-117.pdf http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb10-ff13.html www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 6. Don t forget the baby boomers. About 40% of Americans 65 and older have at least 1 disability. Casual & Family Gaming One day, you ll be old, too. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 7. What can you do? Provide features that can help everyone. Here s a list of the 10 most popular accessibility features in today s AAA titles. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 8. Subtitles and Closed CaptionsOn screen text for all spoken words or important sounds,including speech during gameplay, not just cut scenes. 7.8 Million withhearing troubles,and 1 million deaf in America. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 9. Remappable ControlsAllowing the player to assign the game s controls to the buttonthey choose People with certain physical disabilities, custom controllers, arthritis, and many more www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 10. Additional Control OptionsAnalog stick sensitivity, look inversion, horizontal inversion, southpaw controls, etc Lefties, one handed gamers, custom controllers, arthritis, other gamers with disabilities and many more www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 11. Multiple Difficulty LevelsFrom complete noob to veteran, can also include various levels of speedsNew gamers, elderlygamers, gamers with certain physical or cognitive disabilities www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 12. Calling out important items/ Highlighting pathsMaking quest items high contrast, having in-game GPS Gamers with lowvision, new gamers, elderly gamers,gamers with certain cognitive disabilities www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 13. Color Blind friendlyIncluding red-green, and blue-yellow color blindApproximately 10% of all males are colorblind www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 14. High Contrast Mode / Turningoff BackgroundsGamers with low visibility, with crappy PCs www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 15. Training Mode and Tutorials To allow people to adjust to playing with their skills and equipment, and help them through the game New gamers, elderly gamers, gamers with certain physical or cognitive disabilities, gamers with custom controllers, etc www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 16. Assistive Modes Auto aim, enemy lock on, auto-centering New gamers, elderly gamers, gamers with certain physical or cognitive disabilities, gamers with custom controllers, etc www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 17. Provide Documentation in an accessible formatHave manuals available online as PDFs or plain text Visually impairedgamers, gamers whomisplace things easily www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 18. Now just because these are the most popular doesn t mean they address everything. * For PC titles, label all the controls so that screen readers can speak the label * Add specific help for any "hot key" option available to the player. * Variable font size in any game that has written dialogue or cut scenes. igda-gasig.org www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 19. The best choice is to be flexible. Give the player options. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 20. 2 minute video to show what I mean. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 21. Even then, not everything is covered, so Off to Eleanor! www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 22. What I’m Playing... www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 23. Blind Computer Games What does it take to make computer softwareaccessible to people who are blind or visually impaired www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 24. www.blindcomputergames.comA website for:Blind Gamers to refer developers to who want tomake their games more accessibleDevelopers who need accessibility information.Anyone who is looking for information about gamesfor blind or visually impaired gamers. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 25. Features Guidelines for developing computer games for blind gamers Technical how to articles to help gamers approach developers and developers understand blind gamer needs Example games Links to our top 25 websites lists www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 26. Accommodations Tab order left to right, top to bottom. Also, not missing any controls. Focus is critical all controls, menu items, images and tables should speak when they gain focus. Context is all! Font size should be variable. Contrast is important. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 27. More Accommodations Ensure background music and sounds can be turned off. Help screens need to be spoken and traversable by keyboard. Use punctuation since screen readers and speech synthesis use it for inflection. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 28. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 29. Control Panel www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 30. Captions www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 31. Big Type www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 32. Conclusion It is possible to add accessibility accommodations to many more games than currently have them. It broadens the market to silver gamers today. The same things that make a game accessible, make it better for everyone. There are developers out there that are currently doing it. www.gamesforhealth.org
  • 33. Break for Discussion• Alternate ways of representing information based on graphics.•What will "silver gamers" need to let them continue to play games•What types of accessibility accommodations will improve game play fornon-disabled players•One button mode•Alternate ways of representing information based by sound (besidesclose captions)•The issues Kinect can pose to those with certain physical limitations•Kinect and sign language• Addressing cognitive disabilities www.gamesforhealth.org