Ultra-light Pressure Gaming: Marvellous Mojo

Photo of three zSensor sticks, mounted into position, with an analogue ultra-light sensitive joystick, on a tin tray covered with black material.

Ultra-sensitive sensors, that can be used as on/off switches, or analogue controls. Black rubber tips, attached to white plastic narrow cylinders. Each with a green round sticker on them.

A purple box with six LED strength displays, and 5 small white push buttons.

Image of a working area, where the Mojo 6 can be seen, with a monitor in the distance displaying the race game Blur in two player mode in Brighton.

Split screen race on Brighton beach.

At SpecialEffect, I've been investigating Celtic Magic's Mojo device. It's cutting edge technology, and as such, it's taken a bit of fettling to get it to the stage it's at now.

The stage it's at now, is likely the lightest pressure physical analogue joystick in existence. It's possible to expand the initial set-up in a very wide range of ways. Personally, I'm extremely keen to use some Gaming Redux methods, that will benefit all single stick and one or more button users. Hoping to work on this with Clive Galway over Christmas. This could open up most controls on Xbox and Playstation to such users, much like the OneSwitch Pulse system. I can see this having huge benefits for those without the strength to use standard controls to keep them playing.

Meanwhile, the set-up will be making a public debut this weekend for a Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) UK Christmas Party alongside some other fun stuff.

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ITAF 2015

International Teletext Art Festival 2015. A slide show of very low-resolution computer art.

Images from the 2015 International Teletext Art Festival. See more at their Tumbler and home page Teletextart.com. Link via the Teletext r Podcast.


Switch Recipes Ideas

A pixelated side on view of two teams of two football players by their goals. The text, "push the button to somehow control your team" is displayed. Bottom right is a large blue button with an arrow pointing at it. The iOS Switch Recipe icon is about to be selected within the IOS switch accessibility menus. Accessible Gaming for one-switch play.

Following the fantastic news that Apple added the "Switch Recipes" function to iPads and iPhones, here's a video and link to help on how to get set-up.

0:05: Soccer Physics (Recipe taps the blue player 1 button).

0:39: Orbital ("Tap Middle of Screen" receipe, 30 second Time Out to leave mode to go to Point mode for changing menus).

1:40: Reading a book ("Turn Pages" recipe)

2:12: Beamz (Tap top left purple beam to play a Sitar recipe).

2:50: Pond (Swish the water recipe).

3:11: Fruit Ninja (setting up a horizontal slash recipe).

4:35: Mole Hammers (Recipe very quickly taps the blue button)

5:02: Sound Box (Recipe swishes some animated stars).

5:32: Yamaha Visual Performer Sparkle (five finger wiggle recipe).

5:49: Garage Band Smart Drums (setting up a quick tap to trigger the randomiser dice button with 20 seconds time-out to return to Point mode scanning).

7:12: Canabalt (taps the bottom right of the screen. Not too short, so you get a reasonable length of jump. This is just about playable, but would be improved by a momentary mode).

8:43: Camera (portrait take photos using a quick tap over the shutter button).

9:14: Escargot Escape Artistes ("Tap Middle of Screen" using the accessibility mode).

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Xbox One Controller Remapping

Microsoft recently added their first accessibility options for the Xbox One console. This promising start has brought some basic remapping power to users as you can see in the excellent SpecialEffect video below.

The Forza 2 video above shows some instant benefits. A very easy modification to the Xbox One controller is to add two 3.5mm switch sockets to the thumb-stick push button contacts. The ability to change what these do, can open up a lot more games for otherwise disabled players, at little expense.

Xbox One remapping for two-switches. Accessibility features.

Here's a wish list for future development:

  • Allow for any analogue control to be mapped to any digital control, ideally with a way to adjust the sensitivity and power.
  • Allow for control duplicates. For example, I may want right-trigger to work when I pull the trigger and also if I press the RS button. Likewise, it can be useful to put two or more controls onto a single button (such as in Pinball or some First Person Shooters).
  • Multiple-profiles: Allow users to have more than one profile and give them a very quick and easy way to access them.
  • Add extra powers, such as latching, rapid-fire and so on.
  • Develop a tagging system within the operating system that allows games to correctly display what control does what.

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Fear of The Future of Eye Tracking in Games

I read this article "How Eye Tracking Will Totally Change the Way you Game" and just could not share the excitement of the author. For an average gamer supplemental eye-tracking will likely be a fun addition. For some it will create a disabling effect. Adding an extra tier of control requirements will just add barrier upon barrier for some players, especially for those hoping to use eye-tracking as their main input device. Looking at the evolution of the Playstation joypad since the mid 1990s it has become more and more problematic for players needing to use less complex control schemes.

I can't blame Tobii for wishing to grow their business. I can't blame Sony especially for massively increasing the complexity of game controllers for those who can manage them. The solution can only come though if there is a concerted push for offering reduced control schemes in games. Maybe one digital stick and two-buttons as a common standard where appropriate. How could this come about though, I wonder....

Link via the excellent 7-128.com with thanks.


Switch Scanning

Text box window reads, "hello". Beneath is a grid of letters, with a row of them highlighted in red.

Click on the window above to practice some basic scan and select skills and learn a little more. Huge thanks to Gary Derwent for permission to resurrect this great little utility.


Ohm Sweet Ohm



SimViz: Visual Impairment simulator for smartphones using Google Cardboard.

"Ever wondered how a visually impaired person sees the world? This app for Google Cardboard can simulate a number of visual impairments including: cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, floaters, and 3 different types of colorblindness (deuteranopia, protanopia, tritonopia). 

SimViz provides a better understanding of how individuals with visual impairments perceive the world around them and it enables interface designers to perform quick accessibility inspections during design. This app works with Google Cardboard or other smartphone VR adapters." - Via Eelke Folmer

Image of the simulation with a shadow over a colour-blindness test circle.

Grizpaw One Handed Controller

Guidance for the 14 buttons and 2 digital thumb-sticks.

Added to the OneSwitch Accessible Gaming Shop One Handed Controller section, is the Griztech GrizPaw. This all digital Playstation 2 controller gives another option for players needing a one handed solution.

As with most Playstation 2 controllers there are a wide range of adapters that should work with this to get it connected to all kinds of games machines. It will be limited as the thumb-sticks are not analogue (no graduation of movement - just on or off) and no motion control or track-pad for PS3 and PS4 compatibility. However, not all people get on with the feel of the DragonPlus style One Handed Controller and HORI's are getting hard to track-down.

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Universal Joystick Remapper and vJoy

The video above shows how a mix of controls can be put onto a single joystick. In this case, it's a two-button USB flight-stick (a Trust Predator SV 85 with USB converter). It's great for reconfiguring most joysticks though, including one handed controllers.

The PC software used is vJoy by Shaul Eizikovich, and Universal Joystick Remapper by Clive Galway. These two utilities work together and enable you to reconfigure one or more physical joysticks to create a single virtual joystick. You can view a quick help-guide here and can download the software from one place here.

Axes 1 tab, with a variety of sliders and drop down menus. Great for accessible gaming fixes.

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