SpecialEffect DevKit spotlights motor accessibility

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

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Say hello to the new SpecialEffect DevKit, a freely-available video-based online resource that shines a spotlight on motor accessibility within game design, offering practical ideas and examples for developers looking to make their games more inclusive to players with physical challenges.

Drawn from the our decades of practical experience working directly with physically disabled players, the kit offers over 40 videos packed with accessibility principles, best-practice suggestions, and examples of the work developers have already done to create innovative ways of accessing games.

The DevKit breaks down motor accessibility into seven main topics that cover not only how players interact with a game through their input devices, but also ways of providing different levels of challenge in the gameplay that suit their controller setup. Developers are invited to consider players who, for example, may need to use multiple input devices, remap in-game actions, or use an alternative to holding or repeatedly pressing an input. Other topics unveil the potential benefits of adjusting control sensitivity, practice areas, assists and automatic actions.

“Our in-person assessments have given us an invaluable insight into the kinds of accessibility features that could make a literally game-changing difference to the gamers we help,” said Dr Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect Founder and CEO.

“The SpecialEffect DevKit breaks these improvements down into detail, explains why they might be useful for some players, and shows developers examples of how they might create and implement them into their own games.”

“We are hoping that the DevKit will become a valuable source of information for developers around the world.”

James Thomas, Lead Engineer at Rare Ltd, added, “SpecialEffect have been priceless at inspiring change within the studio. They’ve provided valuable guidance and feedback as we strive to improve accessibility at Rare.”

The charity has previously worked in collaboration with many game developers around the world including Microsoft, Rare, EA DICE and Playground Games / Turn 10 Studios, and the DevKit is the latest addition to their own growing list of accessible gaming resources, which include www.gameaccess.info, EyeMine and Eye Gaze Games.