Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Saturday, 1 August 2015 9:45 a.m..
With thanks to Colin McDonnell, Clive Galway and SpecialEffect I recently created a way to play Pool Paradise with a single switch. The key new part of this system was a way to emulate pulling back on the right-stick different amounts, then pushing full-forwards, all mapped to single button.
Thanks to Clive, the new version of the "One Switch Pulse" makes this possible, opening up lots of Pool and Golf games using this control.
The gear needed is a Titan One adapter with firmware updated, a Windows PC with switch, the One Switch Pulse software system and some patience to get it working (or contact me at SpecialEffect to help install it remotely). Will eventually update this for Pure Pool on Xbox One and Pool Nation FX on PS4 all being well.
Technical help: Within Pulse > Bindings tab, make sure the Hard Pool cue shot is E, Medium is F and Soft is G. The Pool cue settings should be similar to those below. You may wish to adjust the Medium and Soft settings a little bit, up or down 10%. Make sure the Direct Input is Enabled, and DI Settings are pointing to "vjoy". Pressing E, F or G on the keyboard or with a switch should see the lRy setting reflect pulling a right stick back then pushing it forward.
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Thursday, 30 July 2015 10:32 a.m..
Video game accessibility adaptations date back to Pong and span the globe. Everyone wants to play. The video above is from Japan this month, linked to the fantastic "Let's Project" at Hirake55.com.
I can't follow all the translations, so have a look yourself if interested in robotics, 3D printing, OAK Kinect switch, electric wheelchair balloon bursting and accessible gaming: Hirake55.com and Sun Sun. For my Western feel, the room is a bit too 1960s clinical, but the work is brilliant and fully up to date. Cool to see the mix of technologies and from my side especially the Titan One and JoyToKey mix. Hope they'll consider using the Profile Shifting method and PULSE as used in many Gaming Redux methods.
Via: Eiichi Tanaka's YouTube channel.
This one-off one-handed arcade modification from Ben Heck and John Jacobsen is a lovely piece of work. In essence it uses a mix of a one-handed mechanical grab-on joystick with switches, linked to weighted solenoids which remotely physically push the buttons on an arcade machine, powered by a drill battery.
Admittedly, people can use emulators and even hack cabinets to get around this particular issue, but that's not the point here. This gives someone the power to go to a gaming event and play many old-school games with as close to the original feel as is possible. Brilliant job.
Try this link for more on adapted arcade games, with much more to come.
Gem Elimination by Tyler Winters is an experiment in making classic "match three" game Bejewelled one-switch accessible. There are two methods of control, being Scan and Select or better suited to this game, Rotate and Extend. Resurrected from Eelke.com with kind permission of Eelke Folmer, and hosted over at the One Switch Gaming library.
The top picture is of some basic environmental controls I built for Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions first multi-sensory room. The black box controls up to six basic on/off electrical devices such as fans and projectors. The Doro remote allows you to freeze the 100" projector image and also skip tracks on the MP3/CD player.
In the video below is also a glimpse of Proteus, which can be explored using just two switches via an adapted Xbox joypad through a Titan One adapter with custom scripts (look and latch walking forwards on/off).
If interested, a link to the cloud video and more can be found at the fledgling TLS PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities) section.
Never Ball is a fantastic one-switch adapted game very much like Super Monkey Ball. The time-limits are tight but this is a great game for many switch gamers. Resurrected from Eelke.com with kind permission of Eelke Folmer, and hosted over at the One Switch Gaming library.
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Tuesday, 21 July 2015 9:12 p.m..
Above from today on Twitter are two alternative ways of playing Minecraft. The top picture is of Colin McDonnell building a castle in Minecraft with a single switch, at the William Merritt centre. It's working better now thanks to Colin's play-testing, so thanks, Colin!
The bottom picture is a work in progress by my colleague at SpecialEffect, Bill Donegan and a tie-up with Smart Box. They've both worked on Minecraft longer than me, and are plotting to make Minecraft accessible with a single pointer device. That's eye-gaze, mouse, head-tracker and so on using The Grid 2. Very nice.
A way to play Minecraft was requested by Colin and Maxine McDonnell and Nathan Popple. Through SpecialEffect I added this feature to the free One Switch Pulse system (requires a Titan One adapter). It was not a small feat, as this is a massively complex control set for a game.
Below is the current profile system (I've used Photoshop to make it a little clearer as to the divisions of control). You start off towards the bottom of the list with a choice of game control modes. First is the Menu Navigation mode (to get you started and change options). Next is access to Attack, Creative, Exploration (including flying) and Special Modes.
The Special Modes give access to taming horses and setting off fireworks presently. As a note, for horse taming, you have to repeatedly try to ride the horse once you find one (empty handed) until it stops throwing you off. You then need to get on it, equip yourself with a saddle, then use the horse inventory to place the saddle on the horse (top slot). Quite a faff, but fun once you've done it.
For less able one-switch users, this can work well with two switches, where a helper navigates the menu, then gives the main control (e.g. walk forwards) to the one-switch player. Just remember to move the Pulsing control to an unused button (e.g. 32). To see more on Gaming Redux click here.
Nintendo are still making the most physically inaccessible game consoles for a lot of disabled people in my opinion. XCM are the key-player in trying to get around this with off the shelf solutions.
So far there's the Maxfire above and Maxgear Cross Fight adapter below to choose from should you wish to use alternative controls. The Maxfire above is the more versatile allowing for keyboards, mice and joypads to connect. The Cross Fight below is for Xbox 360 wired joypads only. I had hoped that the Titan One adapter would work with this, enabling speech, head-tracker, one-switch control and more. It didn't sadly last time I tested, but I've heard that there's been upgrades since, so I'm hoping to try this again over at SpecialEffect when I get a chance as I don't own a Wii-U yet.
For Xbox and Playstation, linked to SpecialEffect, I've also uploaded a range of scripts for the Titan One which give extra powers you can upload to this fantastic little device. Stuff like latching, toggling, alternating controls, reducing or amplifying the strength of analogue controls and so on. See the Console Tuner GPC library and search on "SpecialEffect" or "Accessibility" for more.
There's been some great news I've discovered since the start of the year in assistive technology slanted towards games and other leisure pursuits. Here's some that I would have posted at the time had I had more time...
Sony's PS4 and Vita Accessibility operating system updates. Update 2.50 on the 26th of March 2015 brought a raft of accessibility features to the PS4. These included contrast, zoom and basic controller remapping. More of this please!
Music Search update: My short list of fantastic web-sites offering free music to listen to.
SAM Labs: Electronics construction kit in the modern age with no wires and no coding needed.
Ian Hamilton: Two brilliant posts, one Ways to Further Accessibility in the Games Industry and also How to do Subtitles Well: Basics and Good Practices.
Eye Tracking experiences as a Game Dev Teacher.
One Button Games film from Germany. Actually from 2013 but too good not to post. Linked to a teaching project in Potsdam.
Cognitive Accessibility 101 Part 1: What is cognitive accessibility? A personal take by Jamie Knight "a slightly autistic web developer".
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