Programmer, Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games, sought the assistance of the Accessible GameBase and AbleGamers.org to help with accessibility features. His very polished game now includes:
A high-contrast option, to aid with tracking the on-screen action.
A choice of difficulty modes.
A full one-switch mode.
Quick start option.
Fantastic stuff, Nathan! Look out for a GameBase review soon, but until then, I encourage a pop over to the full press release.
Xbox 360 Indie Arcade shoot-em-ups at XNplay, including the about to be highly accessible Shoot 1UP (speed control, one-switch option, high-contrast options, reconfigurable controls).
New Future Pinball tables ripe for adaptation listed at Pinsimdb.org. See the ATE Arcade for more.
Partially one-switch accessible NeoGeo Bowling with a nice multi-player mode at Classic Games Arcade. On-line emulators are no where near as versatile for access as an off-line version, but they're a very quick way to get at the games.
Virtual Atari is another on-line emulator of the much loved Atari VCS. Includes one of my all time favourite games Superman. See the ATE Arcade for off-line versions.
And very interesting, in the pipe-line, work from Ovine by Design. A full playable simulation of an arcade. See Retro Remakes for more.
I've not had one in my hands yet, but it seems like there's a new source for battery powered water pistols that look easy to adapt for switch accessibility. It's an AK47 Aqua Fire Water Pistol. It should be quite easy to adapt, roughly following this old "Water Blaster" D.I.Y. Guide.
Try eBay and Google Shopping to track these down whilst you still can. If you'd like for me to adapt one, just get in touch. Link via The Gadget Show.
UPDATE: Rob 'Oddbob' Fearon has worked through the night to add accessibility options to give you control over the overall speed of the game, and two ways to adjust how fiercly the alien hoards attack. Brilliant! The game can be made playable to many more players now. It's "pay-what-you-want", so go and get it, and have a tweak!
Via: Bag Full of Wrong and reviewed in full at the Accessible GameBase.
Labels: switch toys
Reconfigurable controls are something that the Accessible Gaming community at large has been calling for over many years (see this IGDA GASIG Blog post). It's great to see this finally getting some very broad support. When you think about the huge range of ways that people may need to play, it seems crazy that this isn't a standard in mainstream games.
Link via: Hack a Day and Kotaku
You may spot that there's still no way for switch users to emulate specific motions to play the likes of Wii Sports. One day...
These are Playstation 2 controllers, but using an easy to connect adapter, can be used on many other games machines too. You can see alternative one-handed controllers over at the Accessible Gaming Shop's One Handed area.
I've recently been looking at ways to make gaming accessible for people who need lighter controls than standard. As part of SpecialEffect's GameBase, I was asked if I could reduce the weight of a Wii remote. It turns out that it's quite easy to more than halve the weight, simply by leading the batteries out into an external box, and pulling out a few unnecessary components. See the Wii Remote Lite prototype here.
A week later, I've been approached to see if we can find a solution for two teenagers with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They used to be able to play Playstation and Xbox games, but no longer have the strength to use traditional controllers. I at first thought of a touch-sensitive glove patch-leaded up to a switch interface. I then remembered Mobile Air Mouse, which is a way to emulate the mouse and keyboard using the lovely touch-sensitive screen of an iPhone or iPad. That could open up a lot of PC/Mac games, and indirectly older console games via emulation).
Would love, love, love to see something like the Mobile Air Mouse giving super-light touch sensitive control over games consoles. PS3 would likely be the easiest target. Xbox 360 the least likely (see Microsoft Aren't Listening).
Many thanks to Will Wade for the Air Mouse info. Will often passes on really useful accessibility tips my way. This might be invaluable.
UPDATE: My colleague, Bill Donegan, at the Accessible GameBase has just pointed me to a USB external touchpad for the PC, called a Glidepoint SmartCat. We think this could be hooked up to an Xbox 360 using an off the shelf adapter. Wonder if the Peregrine glove might be usable too? Watch this space.
New gaming hardware added to the Accessible Gaming Shop Various section.
Or vice versa, depending on your state of mind. There's three rooms, same game, just different players. Go for the one with the least players if you want a chance of spelling a five letter word.
"Letters" is available to play over at Lunchtimers. Link via Five's Gadget Show.
If you're interested in this, do take a look at these too: Boundless Playgrounds (Canada and USA), Judith Aronson-Ramos (USA), GL Jones Playgrounds (Wales) and a BBC Video of The Play Park.
Labels: Accessible Park
Personally, my dream theme park would be designed by Keita Takahashi, the canteens by Heston Blumenthal, that has a bit of a Scooby Doo haunted fair theme about it, and of course a highly accessible arcade designed by me and some selected friends.
Thanks to Mike Taylor of Excitim and Dream-Technology for the link.
Labels: Accessible Park
"This short video demonstrates the use of a tilt angle sensor to simulate the analogue joystick input for the LEPMIS PS3-Switch Access Pod. The tilt angle sensor can be used for a number of things, including mouse input to a computer, (under development), as well as the original purpose as a tilt angle warning device for wheelchair users. The sensitivity is adjustable, (using specialist equipment), depending on the specific requirements of the application. For more information contact me. Geoff@LEPMIS.co.uk"
More one handed controllers at the Accessible Gaming Shop.
I've been receiving some updates from Adam Perry on his switch adapted radio controlled car, and push button switch. Love seeing stuff like this. He said that he picked the car up from Pitsea Market in Essex, but can't find any more that are the same. If anyone knows where you can buy more of these, please let me know, and I'll pass it on.
See my D.I.Y. pages for more ideas on switch adaptations, if you fancy following Adam's lead.
It's not likely that I'll be chasing after legend Fauja Singh, after boiling up in my first ever marathon run. I completed the race in just over six hours, after a ding-dong battle with Little Miss Sunshine, Spiderman and a 10 pound note.
Running for SpecialEffect really gave me a boost, as did all the personal good luck wishes, sponsors, family, friends and the relentlessly rowdy and supportive crowd on the day.
My friend, Andy, who I ran alongside, even managed to get us interviewed live by the BBC at Tower Bridge, which was great for the charity. At the end I was just beaten by a Storm Trooper and Princess Leia. It felt good just to finish.
Thanks so much to all those who have sponsored. I'm very close to my target, so this is my last call to any who'd like to sponsor, or learn more about SpecialEffect, to pop over to: www.justgiving.com/kneecruncher. Normal service will resume shortly.
Labels: Special Effect