Christmas Lucky Dip

I'm not sure if I'll be posting anything more between now and the 25th, so if not, here's some Christmas lucky dip links for you. Have a great holiday season and all the best for 2010!

Something to listen to (if you can): Spotify Christmas playlist.

Something to read: The Christmas edition of the Lamonical Chronical.

A video to watch: Misery Bear - Christmas from Roughcut Presents (as above).

Presents to unwrap: Christmas Presents from HelpKidzLearn.

A nice Matching Pairs Christmas Edition accessible game from Graeme Singh.

A bonkers one-switch PC game: Dracula Cha Cha (may need a Direct X update).

Hopefully, they'll be some best of 2009 round ups in the near future and maybe some for the whole decade from a one-switch point of view. I know there's some fantastic stuff in the pipeline from SpecialEffect due for launch in January next year, and I'll be on the beg to help me raise cash for my London Marathon attempt in aid of Special Effect. Cheers!

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One-Switch Bird Demo

"Click the window to start, then click the mouse button or tap the space bar to flap your wings. If you hold the button down, you will dive.

tap - flap wings
hold - dive
none - soar
collide - perch

To reverse direction, perch on a pillar by flying into it. When you lift off again, you will be flying in the opposite direction.

Every ten seconds, a new swarmer appears. It's quite a sight when you have a hundred of them on the screen at a time.

You can reload the page to get a new environment to play in." - You could use two switches with one set for rapid-fire using JoyToKey for those unable to tap a switch rapidly.

Via: Active Sketch 04 - Pillars by ~axcho on deviantART

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Gamma IV The Game

It didn't take long. The first Gamma IV game has been completed by Cactusquid and it's a beauty. The only one-switch games I can liken it to is a mix of Stone Worm and Mind Winder crossed with 1920's constructivism propaganda visuals. It's a truly fantastic little puzzle game. Donate what you think it's worth to get a copy. Works great with CPU Killer by the way, should you need to slow it down a bit. Hope this doesn't scare off the competition.

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Gamma IV: One Switch Help

Image of a red fist in brick sleeve surrounded by the text 'Push the Button' all within the outline of a head in profile. Cribbed from The Chemical Brother's 'Push The Button' album cover.
The "Gamma 4" competition seeks to encourage unique one-button game experiences. The submission deadline is the 31st of January 2010. This has the potential to be a fantastic thing for those who normally use a single button, or accessibility switch, to play games. For curious coders and game designers interested this far...

CONTROLS: The Gamma 4 rules state that the single game control must be accessible via the "A" button of an Xbox 360 controller (recognised by a PC as generic joystick button "1"). If games stick to this alone then the game will not be compatible with many PC/Mac accessibility switch interfaces. Bad news for many disabled gamers. The good news is that there is nothing in the rules preventing controls also being mapped to the SPACE BAR and the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON. That will offer a way to play to the vast majority of players using alternative input devices such as switch adapted mice. If using a game development tool that does not support joystick input, you can use JoyToKey to get around this issue as I understand. Don't forget to give people a way to quit your game too.

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ONE-SWITCH GAMES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 examples.

TOO BLOOMIN' HARD!: Many one-button games are ruined by a difficulty level set sky-high beyond an individual's ability and patience. Difficulty level adjustment options can make all the difference. And for some, there is no such thing as too easy. Just make it optional. Tinker with and play Aurikon to see a shining example.

ONE-BUTTON MENU: There are quite a few ways to make a one-button accessible menu system. Alice Amazed has a nice scanning system with speed control, as well as a really nice high-score entry system. The Pyramid has a tap and hold system that works well too. Don't forget that there are millions in the world who can't read English. Icons can be a big help. Quick and easy starting is a must for "Pick up and Play" too, so avoid cluttering up your front screen with too many options all in one go.

MULTIPLAYER alternating: The simplest accessible implementation, within the rules, would be for players to take turns with a single shared controller with the function of button 'A' duplicated to the SPACE BAR and LEFT MOUSE CLICK. Think multi-player pinball playable with a single button and you're there.

MULTIPLAYER simultaneously: The Gamma 4 rules allow the use of multiple Xbox 360 controllers, providing that button "A" will act as the game control. To improve accessibility and affordability further, I recommend allowing players to choose their own control in the style of Scorch Went Bonkers and Mystic Mine. Alternatively, duplicate the function of button 'A' for Player 1 to the SPACE BAR and LEFT MOUSE CLICK; and for Player 2 to the ENTER/RETURN key and RIGHT MOUSE CLICK. Beyond that define your own controls as there is no present standard beyond two-players. See the top 5 one-switch multiplayer games list for more inspiration.

MORE HELP?: One Switch, Special Effect and the IGDA GASIG are all very happy to take a look at any works in progress, to give support and ideas for tweaking and improving accessibility. Often times there might be just one or two things stopping an average game from being a really great game for disabled players. We'd all be very happy to support people in making their game more accessible for more players.

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Gamma 4: One-Button Game Competition

Image of four people in block colours with the text Kokoromi underneath in black.Potentially very exciting news for game programmers and one-switch gamers alike. "Gamma 4" has just begun, a one-button game programming competition with games being unveiled at the prestigious Game Developer Conference in March 2010. My hope is that programmers will consider accessibility, by including difficulty level options in their games, and ideally take a peek at these One-Switch Game Design Tips and Gamma IV forum posts here. Thanks to RetroRemakes on Twitter for the tip-off.


Gestural controls, multi-touch surfaces, musical instruments, voice recognition—even brain control. Games are moving beyond the iconic hand-held controller, and into the future. But is the secret to good games found in high-tech interfaces? Kokoromi proposes that game developers can still find beauty in absolute simplicity. On March 10th, Gamma 4 will unveil brand-new games that use JUST ONE BUTTON.

Gamma 4 invites software developers to push the limits of gameplay with a single input. Game developers, media, and industry luminaries from around the world, will join the general public to view and play the Gamma 4 games at at a party that bridges the end of the Independent Games Summit and the start of the main GDC. Following the event, all the games will be playable in a dedicated booth on the GDC Expo floor. Game creators whose games are selected for presentation at Gamma 4 will also be awarded free GDC All-Access passes.


•Use a single button as your player input, in a unique or experimental way. Be creative.
•The game must be “pick up and play.”
•The official controller is the Xbox360 controller. Player input must be assigned to the A button, which can be PRESSED or RELEASED. The Xbox360 controller is the only one used for judging, and the only one provided at Gamma.
•Your game can support any number of players up to 4. Each player may have their own controller.
•The game may be a Windows .exe or Mac .app, and must use an installer if ANY additional files are required to play.
•The game cannot rely on an internet or LAN connection (there will not be connectivity provided during the event).
•The gameplay cannot rely on audio information, since there will not be audio output provided during the event. Non-essential audio is permitted.
•The total gameplay session must be no longer than 5 minutes, including any intros, instructions, or credits. At the end of each session, the game must return to a “start” state for the next player/s.
•The maximum game resolution is 1024×768.
•The submission deadline is Jan 31, 11:59pm Pacific time. Submission instructions to follow in mid-January.
•Pre-existing games will not be accepted.

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Image of a Trabasack Curve - a padded laptop rest with velcro surface

The Trabasack is a fantastic UK designed product that is a bag and lap-tray all in one. The Trabasack Curve as pictured has a velcro surface making it ideal for many switch users when away from home. So nice to have something to add to the "Mounting Solutions" area of the Accessible Gaming Shop. I wish them all success with this. Great stuff!


Silent Night on Otamatone




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