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How accessible is our game?


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https://www.npr.org/2024/04/23/1197964005/the-indicator-from-planet-money-the-last-of-us-accessibility-gaming-04-23-2024

"Gaming provides entertainment and community for billions of people worldwide. However, video games haven't always been accessible to those with disabilities. But this is changing.

Today, in the next installment of our series on the business of video games, we explain how accessibility has become an increasingly important priority for game developers and how advocates pushed them to this point."

 

I heard this on NPR this morning, and it made me think about how accessible our game is.

The keymapping in-game is beefy

The ability to write macro might help.

 

Any thoughts?

If it is.... how do we let people know?

/e poofgone

 

 

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I asked something like this a few years back, as I recall and the answer was "somewhat better than expected" (summary, not quote).  I believe I was asking specifically at the time about color blindness and how our so-challenged players might need to have some adjustments made.   It was the players themselves who responded.

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Deaf player here, and I never had any great difficulty. The friends closest to me know of my condition and make accommodations when necessary, but that's rare. The only time its posed a problem is trying to find the glowy to click, but that's hardly a deal breaker for me. Other games are far worse. At least this game has chat bubbles and the like for the dialogue scenes and so on.

 

I don't claim to speak for all deaf players mind you, only sharing my personal experience. It's never posed a significant problem, and other games are far worse, such as mechanics-heavy fights which are kind of few in CoH, compared to other games where I might have to really research a boss mechanics before engaging. Here? Most fights are tank and spank, debuff, -regen if you can, and avoid the purples. Even Hardmodes are not terribly complicated, but of course YMMV. 

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Binds have huge potential to increase accessibility. I've helped a number of players get around physical limitations.

 

Nothing is really going to remove the need to make fast, accurate actions, but the keymapping can certainly be moved around to suit one hand, or an unusual console posture, or the like.

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UPDATED: v4.15 Technical Guide (post 27p7)... 154 pages of comprehensive and validated info on on the nuts and bolts!
ALSO:  GABS Bindfile  ·  WindowScaler  ·  Teleport Guide  ·  and City of Zeroes  all at  www.Shenanigunner.com

 
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Short of things like colorblind friendly alternate color options or visual indicators for things like the directionality of "glowies", I'd say that making the game accessible is down to a player's ability to learn/use macros & binds or get their hands on other specialized hardware.  Also, some way of disabling or mitigating flashing/strobing power FX would be nice...

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3 hours ago, JasperStone said:

I was not posting this as a negative about our game.

Just looking to promote how we are able to accommodate people so they can play.

Apologies if my post gave that impression.  It was not intended.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Techwright said:

Apologies if my post gave that impression.  It was not intended.

I did not take it that way at all.

I listened to NPR segment and just instantly thought about what Coh does.\

Just thought I would ask

Edited by JasperStone
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/e poofgone

 

 

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12 hours ago, biostem said:

Short of things like colorblind friendly alternate color options or visual indicators for things like the directionality of "glowies", I'd say that making the game accessible is down to a player's ability to learn/use macros & binds or get their hands on other specialized hardware.  Also, some way of disabling or mitigating flashing/strobing power FX would be nice...

 

Yeah, this has been one of the more common issues with CoH as well - or perhaps most notable? There was a pretty hefty series of threads on the original forums about Sonic Resonance provoking migraines and headaches in numerous players, for example, prompting the power FX to be changed back in Issue 10. The only modern set with similar issues I can recall off he top of my head is Electrical Affinity's intense strobing when combined with a bright color palette.

 

In-general I'd say CoH is pretty solid, if not necessarily due to baked-in options but from how modular the framework is. Don't jive with a certain sound? Players are free to replace or remove the sound file for it. Need adjustments to the UI? Tweak the colors or replace various icons with more user friendly symbols. The game is lacking against the 'modern standards' of user accessibility but the freeform modding approach makes up for some of it (and for a 20 year old MMO, it's certainly not awful). Though, those options can also require player initiative beyond 'search in menus' and information that's gradually becoming outdated in modern gaming, but that's a whole other can of worms...

 

As for letting people know, aside from stickied threads on the forums, wiki entries, and mentions in the in-game Options I'm not sure what else there is. Get CoH onto a list of 'Accessible MMOs' or something and list what modifications it's good at handling? An op ed piece? It'd get the word out more, but that'd still require investigation.

Edited by El D
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In regards to colorblindness, in Windows look at Settings-> Ease of Access -> Color Filters. This has options to change the entire display to better accommodate those with deuteranopia, protanopia, and tritanopia kinds of colorblindness.

 

These filters seem to work at a low level and affect most all applications and games. 

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I have issues with players picking costume color and fx that are too bright for my eyes -and- also the screen becoming just a cloud of colors and VFX to the point that I can't see the mobs I'm trying to battle. 

 

/macro fx0 "noparticles 1"

/macro fx1 "noparticles 0"

 

Goes along way to resolve this for me.

 

Which makes me think of how someone that is deaf may not have a way to directionally locate glowies (or even know they are nearby) or know that there is combat outside of their field of view other than by watching the team menu (which all of us should be doing to some extent).

If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they may be on ignore.

(It seems I'm involved with so much at this point that I may not be able to easily retrieve access to all the notifications)

Some players know that I have them on ignore and are likely to make posts knowing that is the case.

But the fact that I have them on ignore won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it. There is a group that have banded together to target forum posters they don't like. They think that this behavior is acceptable.

Ignore (in the forums) and /ignore (in-game) are tools to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using them.

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11 minutes ago, UltraAlt said:

 

/macro fx0 "noparticles 1"

/macro fx1 "noparticles 0"

These work very well.

 

Sometimes, too well. They make many powers completely invisible, and some mobs are made entirely out of particles and will become invisible. As an alternative, there is the "Max Particle Count" setting under Advanced Graphics. This ranges from 50000, which makes bright in-your-face VFX, and down to 100, which, imo, makes a much more subtle reduction in VFX density.

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17 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

/macro fx0 "noparticles 1"

/macro fx1 "noparticles 0"

You can do just one macro

++noparticles

To alternate betwee particles and no particles

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20 hours ago, Andreah said:

some mobs are made entirely out of particles and will become invisible

 

this is true. The bubbling goo in the last sewer room in DFB becomes entirely invisible.

I'm not sure which others do. maybe some of the spectral or ghostly ones?

If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they may be on ignore.

(It seems I'm involved with so much at this point that I may not be able to easily retrieve access to all the notifications)

Some players know that I have them on ignore and are likely to make posts knowing that is the case.

But the fact that I have them on ignore won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it. There is a group that have banded together to target forum posters they don't like. They think that this behavior is acceptable.

Ignore (in the forums) and /ignore (in-game) are tools to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using them.

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4 hours ago, Lyrium said:

To alternate betwee particles and no particles

 

But then the problem is that the particles don't all the way come back until you zone, so that makes it harder to make sure you have clicked on or off.

I have plenty of tray space for those two macros.

If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they may be on ignore.

(It seems I'm involved with so much at this point that I may not be able to easily retrieve access to all the notifications)

Some players know that I have them on ignore and are likely to make posts knowing that is the case.

But the fact that I have them on ignore won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it. There is a group that have banded together to target forum posters they don't like. They think that this behavior is acceptable.

Ignore (in the forums) and /ignore (in-game) are tools to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using them.

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On 4/24/2024 at 8:17 AM, JasperStone said:

If it is.... how do we let people know?

 

Just kind of coming back around to this — I think letting "people" know that CoX has a massively configurable UI is an uphill challenge, given that most of the player base has faulty notions about it. Without going into the whole shopworn rant, large portions of the community make little or no use of "binds" — which is a niche term for "rearranging the keyboard to better suit the player preferences" — for reasons that are between timidity ("I might break the game!") and ignorance of how much power is within reach of so little effort. (Incessantly bitching about poor key combinations or locations or how hard this feature or that is to access and use, but stoutly maintaining their rationalizations for not re/mapping one single key, for example.)

 

I dunno. Maybe the differently-abled player base isn't so... stubborn.

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UPDATED: v4.15 Technical Guide (post 27p7)... 154 pages of comprehensive and validated info on on the nuts and bolts!
ALSO:  GABS Bindfile  ·  WindowScaler  ·  Teleport Guide  ·  and City of Zeroes  all at  www.Shenanigunner.com

 
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On 4/24/2024 at 7:17 AM, JasperStone said:

Any thoughts?

 

If I remember correctly, this game is not that accessible. The lift to make it accessibility compliant at shutdown was cost prohibitive. The bar may have shifted since.

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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