GEEK 2015: SpecialEffect

GEEK 2015 line-up for SpecialEffect stand: A Light in Chorus with twin arcade sticks, Shenmue, Dragon's Lair for one-switch, and TV-POWWW played using a telephone.

GEEK 2015 line-up for SpecialEffect stand: A Light in Chorus with twin arcade sticks and Shenmue.

GEEK 2015 line-up for SpecialEffect stand: Dragon's Lair for one-switch, and TV-POWWW played using a telephone.

Shaz Hossain, developing head-tracker accessible set-up for Street Fighter 2

Ridge Racer to be played with a head-tracker. Might make it to the show.

Above is a mix of games Shaz Hossain and I will likely set-up for our SpecialEffect stint at Geek 2015 in Margate this Sunday. GEEK is a brilliant family friendly event, with "Meet, Make, Play" as the tag. In the pot will be:

  • 2015: A Light in Chorus: early access to this unreleased but staggeringly beautiful world. Twin stick access with optional switches.
  • 2000: Shenmue: a day in the snow in 1980s Dobuita with plenty of money to spend in the You Arcade on Darts, 30 year old classics Space Harrier and Hang On. Colour-coded subtitles.
  • 1990s: Arcade Classics: Street Fighter 2 and maybe some others such as Ridge Racer adapted for use with a head-tracker.
  • 1983: Dragon's Lair: The ever stunning Dragon's Lair adapted by William Pilgrim for one-switch access.
  • 1978: TV POWWW!: The earliest days of on-line speech controlled one-switch gaming! Pushing my luck with this working in a noisy environment with the 1970s telephone and TV, so it may get modified into something slightly different.

[UPDATE 01-03-2015] Geek 2015 was a joy. We had a steady flow of people from toddlers to people who were 60+. Such a lovely family atmosphere there, and great to chat about what we do at SpecialEffect, to share some fine games, and to swap ideas with Shaz. Here's hoping Geek 2016 will be in Dreamland, if opened in time.

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Space Invader


Space Invader from the ever wonderful Shoot Your Mouth Off Films.

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Push Button for more Accessibility News


Quick digest of three bits of accessibility news that passed my way, numbered in Ukrainian for no particular reason...

1 (Odin): Blink access for free utility in development. 2 (Dva): Microsoft announce streaming facility to make Xbox One games accessible in Windows 10 and possibly thus accessible with a huge array of PC controls. 3 (Tri): Tobii announce tie-up with Ubisoft to make eye-tracking part of Assassin's Creed.

Programmer Adam Barnett sent me a link to his very promising work in progress Blink System, which you can see below. He hopes to give it away free when finished, and for it to be used with a standard web-cam. There's a way to go in development, and he'd much appreciate any feedback from people with an interest. Feel free to get in touch via OneSwitch or more directly via his YouTube channel.




Xbox One on Windows 10 laptops, tablets and beyond.

Microsoft recently announced that it will be possible to stream Xbox One games directly onto Windows 10 platforms. This could open the way for a wide range of PC accessible peripherals to interface with the Xbox One with minimal complexity in setting up. We'll see, but it's looking very hopeful.


Tobii are pushing their Windows PC EyeX Dev Kit at 99 Euros, and with it are highlighting this: "Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Rogue will feature eye tracking integration. This makes it the world’s first AAA game to [deliberately] incorporate eye tracking as a component of gameplay."

I'm not sure that this makes the game more accessible in anyway, it may make the game less accessible for people unable to use the traditional mouse and keyboard controls as it adds a further layer of complexity to the controls.... but if it leads to more eye-gaze technology in gaming technology, it could certainly bring the price down. And that would be good. Wonder if it will come with a mouse emulator built-in. N.B. The consumer version may be more expensive.


Tobii Eye-Gaze technology in gaming.

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GEEK 2015 - Building a Manifesto for Game Accessibility - Game Blast 2015

24 Game Blast: Games Changing Lives. Game Developer Conference 2015 Game Accessibility - and Geek 2015 Margate.

Unu: GameBlast 2015 will be running 24 hour gaming events all over the world between the 21st and 23rd of February to raise money for gaming charity SpecialEffect. Many people have signed up already to support this, including game accessibility guru Colin McDonnell and friends at the excellent William Merritt centre.

Doi: Legends of the game accessibility movement (all with links to the IGDA GASIG) will be presenting at the March Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, USA: Building a Manifesto for Game Accessibility. Tara Voelker will also be running the No More Excuses, Your Guide to Accessible Game Design event. If you're here, and then you're there, you should definitely get signed up.

Trei: Meet, Make, Play at Geek 2015 in Margate, UK. I'm planning to be there on Sunday representing SpecialEffect with Shaz Hossain. We're just finalising the games we'll be show-casing, but there'll be some unique stuff for sure. A taste of what on-line action gaming was like in 1978 with 1970s phone and much more modern stuff. Geek is such a brilliant family friendly event. If you like video games, quirky, retro and modern, it's a slice of heaven. Full Geek 2015 details here.


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