Accessibility in Games I Retro Rebel Podcast

With CVAA waivers dropping in 2018, more games than ever are accessible. Today we talk about accessibility in games, the tools, hardware and features that allow everyone to enjoy games. Amanda is joined in the discussion today by disability games advocate Holly to discuss what game companies are doing well and what they can do better to accommodate all kinds of gamers.

Retro Rebel Podcast

Retro Rebel Podcast is hosted by Amanda Fox and Stacy Bishop. Each week they dive deep into the gaming industry and discuss news, current games they are playing as well as the topic of the week.

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Intro musicFinal Impasse By Ground is Lava

What were playing

Amanda– I just played Horrified over the weekend. It’s a cooperative game where players try to save themselves and townspeople from retro monsters like Swamp Thing, The Invisible Man, Dracula, and more. It was fun, only took about an hour to play and really challenging when you add more mobs.

holly– I played Can’t Stop on BGA. It’s a lucky dice game for about 4 people where you climb a mountain. If you can block 3 paths to the top of the mountain, you win.

Main topic – Accessibility in games

With the Derogations from CVAA legislation which fell in 2018, more games than ever are accessible. Today we’re talking about the tools, hardware, and features that make gaming fun for everyone.

Amanda – I didn’t know how many were actually out there until I started researching this. Thanks to LauraKBuzz on YouTube, Microsoft and Make It Missoula for the crash course. Some features I’ve learned and accept should be standard:

  • Subtitles with non-verbal information, speaker denotation and music lyrics
  • Parameters/development with color-blind spectra included
  • Fonts suitable for dyslexia
  • Support for custom button mapping
  • Support for text-to-speech and vice versa for multiplayer
  • Support adaptive controllers
  • After games for the blind and visually impaired

As Laura says in their video, this support may be too expensive for small developers. So I think it’s worth considering subsidies for companies with less than a certain number of employees to allow for these adaptations.

holly – There is a lot to unpack here. There are so many things that could be standard to help players with different abilities:

  • Having the ability to create your own difficulty by manipulating the settings would be ideal.
  • Allow the enlargement of the scopes and their change of color regarding the environment
  • Just make QuickTime events more accessible
  • Promoting the website “can i play this& https://gameaccess.info/
  • Understanding gambling problems and their impact on mental health
  • Maybe have a choice tree to skip difficult sections without losing the story
  • Accessibility testing and SuperBlindMan
  • Accessibility for Xbox series x is also out of the world and their rating system and developer suggestions are a powerful tool for progression

Disability games advocate Holly joined me in today’s chat to discuss accessibility in games and what game companies are doing well and what they can do better to accommodate all kinds of players.

Holly is a disabled child who has spent the majority of her life playing games. Growing up in hospital due to childhood cancer, the classic console game brought escapism and joy to a difficult situation. Still a Sega lover at heart, as shown by their collection of classic consoles, the crown jewel of which is the Dreamcast they bought with their very first salary. Still a console player (PS4), he is a fan of J-RPGs and obsessed with Kojima’s games, especially the Metal Gear saga, to the point of getting a Foxhound tattoo. For Holly, Ludens is their life. Holly’s social networks are Twitter: @HollyDspoonieme and PSN: Tiny_Caska.

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Check out previous episodes

Retro Rebel Podcast – Episode 150: 30 Best Platformers of All Time

Retro Rebel podcast: The best RPG games of all time

Retro Rebel podcast: The 30 best stealth games of all time

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