Labels: eye trackers
By the way, using 4Noah and MAME, it's possible to play a perfect version of Space Invaders on your PC using one-switch. With MAME cheats installed you can switch off the aliens shooting at you, and set your base to fire automatically. It changes the game, but it's still a lot of fun, and accessible for some where before it wasn't.
Via: Vintage Computing and Gaming
Labels: one-switch games
If the display window is too small for you, please get in touch, as I could pretty easily host a fuller screen version at OneSwitch if there's any demand.
Via: Game Guardian
Labels: one-switch games
Have a good look around their newly spruced web-site to learn more of their projects. I'm especially excited to be involved with the "Game for Helen" project. And again, visit their Facebook page to see photos of the recent Accessible Gaming Roadshows.
Labels: games charity
Anyway - thought I'd share a link to "Gmaps Pedometer" which allows you to double-click points on Google Maps images to plot the length of a journey. 26 miles for a marathon seems a very long way off!
Nintendo Wii: The Wii and Wii Sports has been very popular. However, many players found the game they most wanted to play, Bowling, very difficult. In this game you have to re-enact a bowling action whilst holding a finger trigger down. At the end of your motion you have to let go of the trigger just at the right time. Many of the learning disabled gamers there found it really tricky to get this timing spot on. Potential solution? Give an option to remove the necessity of letting go of the trigger. When you stop your swing - you automatically let go of the ball.
Super Monkey Ball 2/Deluxe Mini-games: For the gamers unable to hold a Wii remote (of which there are many) a switch accessible alternative was provided. Bowling could be played with a single button thanks to an aim that constantly swang left and right. Unfortunately unless you chose to be "Baby" which of course many people were reluctant to be - the auto-aim swept at a frustratingly fast rate. In the game there is a facility to then add spin to the ball, but for those unable to activate this the game proved to be too difficult with balls constantly going out of bounds. Potential solution? Offer a gutter bumpers option, so that the ball could not go out of bounds, just as with the real game.
Pool proved to work really well, where an assistant would help the player aim up shots, according to the players wishes. The gamer could then tap their switch to choose the power and play their shots. For gamers unable to say 100% where they wanted to aim for - a helper could constantly slowly adjust the angle of the aim. When the player hits their switch - that's their choice.
Xbox 360 Burnout Paradise. Not as popular as the EyeToy nor the Wii but much enjoyed by those playing it. The split controls worked well to support team play. The digital steering proved a little dificult for some as it's hard to make small adjustments. Potential solution? Hardware to offer a way to vary the strength of maximum strength steering.
EyeToy Play went down a treat, with many thanks to the Sandbox "Play Room" on the original EyePlay game. There was no pressure here, with all the time in the world to experiment and have fun.
Just want to close in saying how impressed I've been with the Special Effect organisation and volunteers. Great to have linked up with such enthusiastic people who genuinely are making a difference. And if you want to see how much accessible gaming is enjoyed, then take a look at Special Effect's Facebook gallery here.
It's a good idea requiring a lot of skill to complete - but quite forgiving too (large jumps don't kill you). I was however disappointed to see a completely unnecessary mouse reliant menu system. I wish one-button game developers could see how disabling this is for gamers using a single button alone to play. I want one-button to mean one-button access for everything.
Labels: one-switch games
Started with a nice blog post on switch adapted scissors I remembered at TLWMSN blog.
Found some switch adapted scissors in the USA and Australia, such as these from Enabling Devices. However these are marked as not RoSH compliant and not for sale in Europe. AbleNet have a good video showing how a velcro strap and battery switch breaker can make a pair of battery scissors more accessible.
Basically, the scissors and velcroed to be on all the time, and the battery breaker controls on/off power. When you fit a switch breaker, you may need to nibble away a small hole to fit the lead through from the battery compartment. This isn't as good as fully switch adapting the unit with a socket mounted in the scissors, but it's a lot easier to do.
You can get unadapted electric scissors / power scissors in the UK from a few places it seems. eBay is an obvious place but Iosss.com seems the cheapest.
Labels: switch equipment
A couple of nice head-tracker compatible games, Peggle and Bejewelled, have come to my attention recently. Both games can be played at your leisure and both can also be played in a team with one player aiming and a second player activating the a left click to select (using a single switch). Peggle features a colour-blind fix option too which is more than nice.
Via: IGDA GASIG Blog
Jump: press and/or hold space and let go (jump = on let go)
Climb Ladder: press space and let go (when over/under a ladder)
Change Direction on ladder: press space and let go (when on a ladder)
Go Through Door: hold space when next to door
Water Seeds: hold space when next to seeds
Via: Richard Van Tol of AudioGames
Tower Bloxx is not a pure one-switch game - but once a "Quick Game" is clicked on it's (mostly) just SPACE or left mouse click to drop blocks. Quite a lot of skill is needed with this timing based tower building game, but if you do get the knack of it - it's addictive fun.
There is a commercial 3D version from Digital Chocolate, Tower Bloxx Deluxe, but I found this crashed badly on my laptop once I'd paid for it and presently won't work at all. Meanwhile - there's an alternative version of Tower Bloxx over at DiggyGames.com that is worth a play.
Via: Hybrid Arcade
What I like about this is that although it's hard to complete some of the levels - you can have fun playing at your leisure no matter what your ability. So on one hand - a nice little cause and effect activity - and on the other - a challenging game. I've passed a message onto the programmer in the hope that he'll consider a true one-button version. Download here.
Via: Eelke Folmer
Labels: one-switch games
Atari found themselves ahead of their time, and ahead of available technology. Gamers complained of head-aches as they strained to play the games with any accuracy, leading to the technology being ditched.
YouTube Videos: MindLink, Telepathy.
Assignment Details: This design challenge comes from Brandon Sheffield of Game Developer magazine and Gamasutra.com, and his assignment details are extremely minimal.
Design a one-button FPS game.
the game idea
the game mechanic
the target audience
why your game will be addictively fun.
Succinct ideas will be highly favoured! Can you describe all this in only a few sentences?
Remember, the businessmen and women in the game industry don't want to read a hundred-page design document.
Get to the point. Sheffield will weigh in on the results. (Hint: Click here to find out what kinds of themes and styles he might be into.)
To Submit: The forum is the place to go to ask questions, discuss ideas, and kvetch about this particular challenge. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Design Challenge: One Button."
Entries must be submitted by June 18, 2008. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title.
Please try to keep your answers to 500 words or fewer -- and remember that part of this particular challenge is delivering a great idea succinctly. "
The responses for this challenge will appear the week of June 23, 2008. "
There are lots of places to discover music you might like, especially tracks you'll never have heard before. Building mixes is fairly easy using the likes of Grooveshark which can then be Paused/Played or skipped using a single switch.
8tracks.com - Create music mixes up to about 30 minutes.
Grooveshark - Super starting point for free music.
Last.FM - Very simple search site - with a huge range to choose from.
MySpace Music - Many bands and artists have some free tracks to listen to.
Spotify - Perhaps the best of all, but with limited access around the world.
The Hype Machine - Lots of unusual and rare tracks.
We7 - Fair range of streaming music.
YouTube - Staggeringly huge range of music videos to track down.
See also the OneSwitch.org.uk Switch Accessible Music area for more switch music ideas.
It's the follow up to the fun and funny PaRappa the Rapper - but this time with an Easy option that allows the game to be played with a single button. You have to tap out guitar licks and riffs in time to an on-screen display (requiring pretty accurate timing it must be said). The aim is to get through a number of songs, to progress through a wacky surreal story. Huge fun if you can play it fairly well. Could also be played in a team too on harder levels (with a chance to mess about with virtual effects pedals such as a fuzz box and over-drive). Click the picture above for a short YouTube video clip.
Anything free for PCs? Chuck Rock Dance.
"This custom Wii nunchuk was something that I designed for a good friend. His left arm only extends a little below the elbow, yet he has always been able to use videogame controllers with little difficulty.Unfortunately, most games for the Wii require the use of the nunchuk attachment, and holding two separate pieces for motion controls was not an option for him. Although my redesign for the nunchuk is intended to be used at the elbow with the joystick resting on a knee, it is simple enough that it could be used on a foot as well. The two buttons from the nunchuk were moved to the side of the Wii-remote where they can be easily pressed with the middle and index fingers".
More fantastic Wii Hacks at Johny Chung Lee - including the possibility of head-tracker control over Wii games.
Via: BenHeck.com and Wiimote Hack
The controller can be preordered right now for £70.85 delivered (about $140), with a shipping target of 8-10 weeks. A portion of all proceeds goes towards Children’s Hospital and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers."
Great work! More on one handed controllers at the Accessible Gaming Shop.
6 Differences is the follow up to the beautifully animated 5 Differences - a trippy Spot the Difference game. The theme feels a little like that of a David Lynch film being slightly warped, but suitable for most. I like it very much.
Accessibility wise - it's head-tracker and eye tracker compatible - although you'll need accurate clicking skills. The original game window used at CrazyMonkeyGames.com is a bit small I found. Click on the picture above to play a full screen version (press "F11" on a PC to improve things further).
One problem for me was that the site seems to have band-width issues - so when downloads are slow - I can see kids getting click happy and annoyed that it's not doing what it should. A lack of a progress bar / download bar left me thinking that the games area was empty for quite a while too. Maybe when things quieten down for them things will run much smoother.
This all said - it's a very fine effort - that may just suit a number of head-tracker and eye-tracker using kids very well indeed.
Via: Leandro and TLWMSN Blog
"Kinetic.com have posted a D.I.Y. modification guide for Rock Band for people who can't use their legs on the drum set kick stand. Instead, the mod adds a button to the drum stick to replace the need to use one's legs on the kick stand."
Via: Able-Gamers and Reid Kimball