Tomy Cosmic Clash


Things on a slight back-foot at the moment, whilst the wheels churn. The very talented Shaz Hossain has rebuilt my web-site which will enable me to get running with new projects.

Meanwhile, here's some filler. A Tomy Cosmic Clash. It's all mechanical (so not suitable for a conventional accessibility switch adaptation)... but what a clever little contraption. I had something similar as a child but no where near as advanced. Nice.

Picture via: The Old Robots.com


Mini Arcade by Tomy

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30 Days at Sea


30 Days Timelapse at Sea is a great candidate for TarHeel Gameplay for one-switch cause and effect control.

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Everybody's Gaming (via Glam & Geeky Mum)


Great looking new accessible gaming YouTube channel, "Everybody's Gaming". EGX video should be next. :)


Two hands balancing a game pad. Family of all sorts together.

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Release (Vectrex)



Probably the best game I've ever played on my Vectrex in 20+ years is Release, brought out this year by Malban. This will be getting a low-key demo at EGX from midday on Thursday the 21st only on the SpecialEffect stand.

The set-up uses: A OneSwitch.org.uk switch adapted standard Vectrex controller. The Release cartridge (soon from PackRat Video Games). Stereo sound via the Vectrex AudioPuck from Obtanium Gaming which I've mounted internally. Finally the psychedelic colour overlay from eBay seller Retrosounds.

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Playstation 4 (PS4) accessibility options screen in German. Barrierefreiheit


Some organisations in Germany who may be able to help with assistive technology to enable accessible video gaming.

Barrirerefrei Kommunizieren (Bonn / Berlin).

Aktion Mensh have supported some game accessibility efforst as seen on the Biu-Online.de blog.

Some other avenues to approach include: tjfbg.de (general assistive technology), barrierefreiheit.de, MedienArbeit-nrw.de, Digital projects support and World of Genesis.

Most links via: Sandra Uhling.

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Sonic the Hedgehog (one-switch)


Above is a method of playing SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog with a single button or accessibility switch. It consists of:

1. The AJ Chill Edition of Sonic (fewer levels, infinite lives and infinite oxygen when underwater).
2. Special profiles for the OneSwitch Pulse system.
3. A switch interface and switch.

This profile was set-up with support from SpecialEffect. Colin so far said: "It’s really great but difficult to play". He also said he's going to practice some more. I can't think of any other way to make it easier (beyond more hacking of the ROM).


Sonic the Hedgehog screenshot from Megadrive version.

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SpecialEffect Switch Interfaces Video


Great batch of videos coming out of SpecialEffect recently, including the Switch Interfaces one above. This shows a very basic run down of some interfaces that can be used on consoles and PCs.

It doesn't show the extra power the Titan adapter the C-SID 2 comes with, which is detailed in the on-line instructions. More to follow, or feel free to get in touch.


Image of a black and blue arcade stick with switch sockets fitted.

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Drop Zone 4 (1975) & Bombs Away! (1976) - Atari VCS


Drop Zone 4 and Bombs Away! "found" for the Atari VCS / Atari 2600 in time for its 40th birthday celebrations. DZ4 is the first commercial video game with a peace mode and first playable with one-button.

Links:
Bombs Away! Download
Bombs Away! Cartridge (coming soon).

To play on a modern machine use Stella (PC) or 2600.emu (Android). More discussion at AtariAge.

Game Accessibility Info symbol. White joypad rider on blue background.

Game Accessibility Info: One-button play and restart. Easier play option. High-contrast. Colour-Blind accessible. Deaf accessible. Flashing off option. No time limit.


The original Bombs Away! and Drop Zone 4 author, David Main, was a peace protester in 1975. He wanted to include a "peace mode" into his game where if you managed to ditch all your bombs into the sea without hitting any signs of life, you would be awarded a bonus free game.

A year or so later (so the anecdote goes) David was shocked to see Bombs Away! up for sale from Atari on their brand new Atari VCS console. It felt as though he had been pirated. Try Air-Sea Battle game variation 19 and spot the differences.

The Atari VCS version of Bombs Away! comes from a parallel universe where this was released instead of Air-Sea Battle, the peace mode made it in and programmers, artists and technicians were all given a written credit. Massive thanks to David Main (still working as an Electrical Engineer), William Pilgrim and all who helped resurrect this game. I'm also hoping to show off the original arcade game at the occasional game accessibility showcase.

Not sure if I'd be doing what I do without Atari arcade games and the Atari VCS I shared with my brother. Thanks Atari. If only there was a peace mode for this world.






















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Accessibility: The Curb Cut Effect


How things change... Fine video here detailing some of the wide ranging benefits brought from improving game accessibility. Huge number of people thinking about it in the comments.

Plenty of Game Accessibility Guidelines in place. Many more here.

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Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (One Button / One Switch)


It's taken a while, but with help from Clive Galway (with Gyros), I've found a way to make one of my favourite games one-switch accessible.

The Chinese Room's Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a unique and evocative game. So much so that I often get related smells pop into my head (being near a lake, pub smells, linen on a line, fresh rain on country roads). I've never known a game like it. I wish there were more.

The One Switch Pulse system allows for a single button (or accessibility switch) to change its function from a list. In "Look", pressing your switch will look up,right,down or left in turn. In "Walk" it walks forward whilst pressing the cross action button, or looks left or right so you can change direction. In six-axis, it's possible to now unlock the light spirits with a held press. Sometimes it takes a few variations of holding, releasing and holding for trickier spirits.

Before this mod, as with a few PS4 games, forcing six-axis caused problems for people without a means to access this very precise method of control. The Chinese Room solved this problem with their brilliant PC version. Unfortunately, the PC version does need a very powerful set-up, so I've always wanted to find a way to open up the PS4 version more fully. Now it's possible.


Black and white silhouette of a young man and woman on the brow of a hill holding hands, surrounded by three butterflies.

Blue small switch being held. Scene of an English lane in autumn sun.

Blue button being held, triggering a spirit release.

Image of the PC One Switch Pulse system with Everybody's Gone to the Rapture profiles.
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