Hey fedi, what are some of your favourite accessibility features that you've seen implemented in video games?

Boost if you'd like, I'd love to get some wide perspective on this one

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Also quick PSA, just did a little bit of research and discovered this wonderful website:

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@Aleums UI scale adjustment, I know that's not hardcore accessibility but one thing I fuckin hate is a game where i can't read anything on the darn screen. Lotta games didnt used to have that.

@Aleums I use colorblind mode for all games that have it.

I don’t know if this counts but games that have bold outlines on your teammates vs enemies helps me a lot. I have a lot of visual processing issues, and especially in R6 they don’t show you any difference between enemies and your teammates besides the name over the head so it often leads to me shooting them on accident. Overwatch does a great job with this!

@Aleums Spiderman for PS4 had an option to change all QTE's to button presses. That's one I don't think a lot of video games consider. Additionally, games with color-dependent puzzles and objectives that have color-blind accessibility options are a huge plus.

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@Aleums im really a huge fan of what they did in celeste where you could kinda scale the difficulty to your comfort level ^^

@raekh I was thinking about Celeste when I wrote the question! I think they did a wonderful job, not only with the features but also with the way they were presented unpatronizingly, not as an easy mode but as clear features that make the game more accessible.

@Aleums UI scale rather than just font size scaling. the ability to rebind every key. having a config file that is human editable.

@Aleums Colorblind mode is a perennial favorite. Visual design in games isn't just a matter of aesthetics, but also of readability, and a designer who relies solely on hue to communicate important information is being negligent.

@Aleums Subtitles do a lot for a lot of people, including people who's first language isn't English. I also like a lot of the anti-puking mechanisms put into VR.

@Aleums colorblind mode, visualized sounds, and subtitles

@cute ooh, visualized sounds is something that never occurred to me. Great feature

@Aleums yus. i dont use it in most games but its pretty neat in some of them

@Aleums Full control rebinding

It allows people with mobility issues to play but also it benefits people who just don't jive with the defaults for any reason

@witchfynder_finder this is the thing about accessibility features, they often end up benefiting more than just the people who need them

@Aleums Also graphic options that are aimed at reducing motion sickness. Any game with a headbob that you can't turn off is going to have me feeling sick within half an hour and sometimes turning off motion blur and such can help, too.

@witchfynder_finder @Aleums Motion blur also looks really bad if you don't have a very smooth framerate imo

@Aleums Although I don't strictly need 'em, subtitles are probably the one I get the most use out of. This improves accessibility among a very wide cross-section of users:
- People with difficulty hearing
- People who speak a different language (subtitles are easier to localize than voice clips)
- People playing in noisy or distracting environments

A related feature is message logs. Games convey a ton of information, and being able to check something you missed helps. Videos have rewind for this reason.

@Aleums Portability can be framed as an accessibility feature, granting access to people who don't possess a particular platform. Performance options that can be scaled ridiculously low applies for the same reason.

@Aleums It's more work on the designers to prevent it from appearing patronizing, but I like "assist mode" features. A well-integrated way of bypassing the intended progression through a game is a boon to players who, whether due to inclination or inability, don't play as well. Sometimes these features are framed as cheats, other times they're offered in response to detecting the player doing poorly. There are better and worse ways to do 'em, but on the whole they're a good thing.

@Aleums Support for mods is a great one. It's impossible for a designer of finite means to anticipate every possible need in their audience. Making it possible for the community to bridge the gap is sometimes the only way that it can get done. Not that moddability is an excuse for negligence on more predictable accessibility matters.

* subtitles
* text log history (when you've missed the subtitles)
* colorblind recoloring options
* visual indicators for audio sounds (ffxiv visual alerts)
* Celeste's difficulty accessibility options
* Similarly, Sayonara Wild Hearts has a "oof you messed up here a bunch, do you want to skip this?" helper

@picklish the wording on those helpers is so easily done wrong. So often it betrays a flawed philosophy on the part of the developers

@Aleums Yeah, it definitely does. I know Celeste reworded theirs, but I think it's still an accessibility option nonetheless even if it's condescending.

Sayonara (which is very tarot-themed) pops up the Magician which says "I will make your wish come true, would you like to skip this bit? yes please / no thank you / never ask me again", which I think comes off ok?

@Aleums (1/3) Oh boy, get ready for another rant about Apex.

Apex: Legends is probably the most accessible competitive game I’ve ever played. Their ping system is designed entirely around never needing to vocally communicate with your teammates.

This is done via the ping action. When you ping an item, an enemy, or even a direction, what you ping is highlighted on the UI and the player character speaks for you.

@Aleums (2/3) For example, pinging scenery will prompt the character to say “Let’s go over here,” or marking a weapon will prompt a description (“Flatline here”). By holding the ping button to bring up a dialogue wheel, you can specify an action associated with what you’re pinging, such as looting (“I’m going over here to loot”), watching a spot (“I’m keeping eyes on this area”), or tracking someone (“Enemies have been through here”), amongst others.

@Aleums (3/3) Pinging an enemy will automatically mark them as an enemy. Additionally, each one of these ping icons that appear on the UI is unique to its purpose.

These correspond to text prompts in the top right of the UI, clearly describing the pings’ purpose (exp. “Gekko pinged Heavy Ammo”, or “Gekko is looking for an Extended Heavy Mag.”) and the dialogue subtitle that pops up at the bottom. It’s incredibly intuitive, and after using it, I wonder why it isn’t in every game like this.

@gekko this sounds awesome. This is a natural thing for players to do in voice chat, so opening up the option to everyone and making it clear is super natural!

@Aleums Absolutely! Pinging takes zero time, and the game does the heavy lifting for you. While in-game text chat is super useful, it just doesn’t fit in a fast-paced game where info needs to be given quickly. I really hope more FPS games pick up the system, as it’s just an outright positive for everyone.

@gekko ROR2 does the same thing! pinging gets you a chat message and a visual indicator. it becomes instinct to tag anything as you mention it.

@gekko but it sounds like Apex's system is much more developed. Really smart move for a team-based game like that where communication is what gets you a win.

@Aleums I didn’t ROR2 used it too, that’s awesome! Yes, it’s a huge QOL feature to incorporate pinging into your discussion. I do it too, even when I’m in voice chat.

You’re absolutely right about the necessity for communication. Respawn spent a lot of time polishing the system, and got non-vocal focus groups to test it out.

I really do believe more games can incorporate the ping system. Even casual games could benefit and expand on it, I’m sure.

@gekko are respawn working on any other titles? everything you've told me about apex sounds great, and though that genre doesn't really appeal to me I'd be interested in seeing something else from them

@Aleums They’ve also developed a souls-like Star Wars game, and the Titanfall FPS series, but I don’t know if either suit your fancy.

They haven’t announced any other titles thus far, but when I hear about anything else I’ll definitely let you know! I’m hoping they experiment with other genres as they grow.

@gekko ooh they did fallen order? neat, I didn't know about that. heard good things about it

@Aleums It was good! The story was a little lacklustre, but they definitely picked up the right stuff from other souls games.

@Aleums i absolutely adore games that have subtitles enabled by default. also when games have colorblind modes and like, they explain what each mode is like? so im like, more aware of what theyre like even if im not colorblind

- everything @fool said, but esp. the cheat codes and autoaim

(though i'd rather the cheat codes be documented only as a regular app feature and no notification be made subject to the player performing poorly - it's insulting while even players who perform well may benefit from such things)

@Aleums @fool (the "- " was a leftover from when i was posting a list, before the list ended up being a restatement of a subset of fool's replies)

@Aleums I have a couple that I'm not sure counts.

The first is having subtitles list the speaker's name along with the dialogue, which helps me remember people's names and assign them to the voices I hear.

The second is customizable HUDs, so you can have it display as much or as little information as you need. This helps me not get so overwhelmed with everything happening on screen and so I don't feel like I'm looking at an Excel spreadsheet when playing.

@Aleums and maybe you could consider Outer WIld's ship's log an accessibility feature... it was really amazing having the game help me remember what i had actually discovered and telling me if i left a stone unturned or not

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