Attractor



Attractors, is a simple puzzle game developed by The Game Kitchen with AccessAble Games as accessibility advisor. The game has special accessibility options that include: no time limit, invincibility, quick restart, game speed controls, one switch mode, microphone control mode, high contrast and no-click mode. 

You can play it for free at: www.thegamekitchen.com/attractor and read a review at the Accessible GameBase.

You can also download it and place on our own web site. Take it from here: www.thegamekitchen.com/attractor/attractor-redis01.zip

While playing, press ESC to return to main menu; you will return to the level that you have left when you click play again on main menu. Main menu and between levels menu are also accessible for one switch and no-click mode.
 

Attractor menu screen for accessibility.

Info taken from Javier Mairena's post on the IGDA GASIG Blog

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BrainDriver - a mind controlled car


Brain controlled driving of real cars: what fun! Autonomos Labs in Germany have used an Emotiv headset and developed a way to drive using thoughts to decide LEFT or RIGHT. What amazing freedom this could bring many people currently unable to drive. And how long before we see mind control car races in the real world I wonder?

Link via: Hackaday

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BlindComputerGames.com

Head shot of a young woman wearing headphones, and large wrap-a-round glasses with colourful Atari VCS style graphics in the lenses. From one of Atari's 1976 Video Music magazine adverts.

"blindcomputergames.com is an information resource that includes:

A set of guidelines for developers who want to improve blind accessibility in their games.

An article for gamers who are blind to help them show developers how to make their games accessible to them.

Articles that give developers technical information, including code samples, to help them make their games accessible.

For gamers, it gives the technical words they need to communicate with developers at companies, big and small. It explains who to talk to, what information the developer will need, and when in the development cycle to communicate with a developer and to have the best chance of obtaining the changes that will increase accessibility.

For developers, it explains screen readers and self-voicing, and includes a blind accessibility checklist, some good example games, technical “how to's”, and a short guide to blind etiquette.

It's totally free and requires no registration.

The project took three months and was done at the request of and with the help of Dark, the administrator for audiogames.net and the leading advocate for blind gamers.

He is frequently asked by developers, "What would it take?" Now he has a place to send them, and a place to send his readers who have a game or other software program that they can “almost use”.

Although it is focused on games, much of the information is applicable to any software, not just games.

Any feedback would be helpful."

Via: Eleanor Robinson - 7-128 Software on the IGDA GASIG mailing list.

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Air Chair

France O'Brien image of many, many jet planes all with vapour trails, in a beautiful blue sky.

Reproduced from the MERU Friends Update newsletter:

"How can a family go on holiday if one of the children is disabled and needs special seating to travel by plane?

This is a conundrum MERU designed a solution to over 10 years ago when we developed the MERU Air Chair. 30 of these chairs have been made under license over the past 10 years enabling children with postural support needs to travel with their families all over the world.

MERU has one Air Chair in our workshops in Epsom which we have been lending to children like Evie.

However, there is always room for improvement, so after 10 years MERU is working with an organisation called Devices 4 Dignity to design the Air Chair MkII, and MERU would like to hear from anyone who has experience of travelling as a disabled passenger to help us with our new design."

Fantastic "Mr Blue Sky" image via Francis O'Brien.


Update: MERU have a dedicated page for their brilliant AirChair page now up on-line.

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Why This? Why Us? Why?!




I've mentioned Badlands before, Konami's 1984 (mainly) one-switch laser-disk arcade game, but this time there's a video to share. It looks like a lot of fun, especially with the super hammy acting!

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Game Accessibility Campaigner: Gareth Garratt

Gareth and Mum, Jacqueline Garratt, in front of his game controller, a Toshiba Mouse on raised box to bring it to a comfortable chin level.


Gareth Garratt has achieved something fantastic. He's one of a growing number of disabled gamers who have petitioned for greater access in a game, and then been promised it by the developer.

Facing the familiar problem of being unable to reconfigure the game controls on his latest purchase, EA's Dead Space 2, he posted his frustrations on the  OverClockers Forums.

This in turn led to people spreading his message further, a huge boost to Chuck Bittner's Custom Remapping Petition, and eventually straight to the developers of Dead Space 2 themselves. They ended up posting the following:

"Hi Gareth, I'm a developer from Visceral Games Australia, the studio responsible for the PC port of Dead Space 2. Sorry to hear about your issue - I've spoken with a few key people here and we'll do our best to include a fix for it in the next patch. In the mean time, please PM me. Cheers! Michael."

Then, in a message to Joystiq, Dead Space 2 executive producer Steve Papoutsis went one further.

"The Dead Space 2 team is aware of the issue that disabled players are having with Dead Space 2 PC. In fact a number of folks on our team are so passionate about getting this fix done that they are currently working hard to allow players to re-map key bindings to the mouse which should help disabled players enjoy the game.

"I'd like to say I'm very proud of the people on the Dead Space 2 team for coming in today and jumping on the fix first thing. Working with such a talented and compassionate group of people is incredible and makes me proud to be a part of the Dead Space 2 team, Visceral Games, and Electronic Arts.

"In addition to the key binding fix the patch will include other fixes for PC players. Thank you for taking up the cause for our disabled players and letting us know about this problem. Once the patch is fully tested we will announce a release date."

Let's hope EA will be encouraging all their teams to add reconfigurable control options in the future.

Links to: PC GamerEuroGamer and others - via Gavin Philips, Mick Donegan and Lynsey Graeme on the IGDA GASIG mailing list.

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D.I.Y. Talking Joystick Mouse

D.I.Y. Talking Joystick Mouse. Brightly coloured joystick with push buttons on the left-side, and a push-button box on the right.

Really nice and pretty simple D.I.Y. guide for an accessible PC USB controller over at Instructables. What was new to me was the freeware utility AutoHotKey being used to make the stick talk, detailed in step 11. This is something that JoyToKey can't do.

Link via Caleb Craft at Hack a Day and added to the OneSwitch D.I.Y section.

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Portem


I was recently kindly sent a copy of Portem from Mirrow Games, which is a very rare thing: A free roaming 3D game with a one-switch mode. Rarer still is the "Brain Fingers" mode allowing for brain/face muscle control. See my full review over at the Accessible GameBase.

A few more one-switch games have come my way recently too, that you may like to investigate. In rough order of ease of play: The Cow Jumps Over the Moon and Jack Be Nimble (via TLWMSN Blog); Mine Sweeper-esque Bounty Sweeper and Tron like Trail Blazer; The Flood Runner 2 (via Accessible GameBase).

I must make time too for Graeme Singh's fantastic utility that can make emulated fighting games, such as Tekken and Virtua Fighter one-switch playable.

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National Treasure Charlie Brooker

Inclusive Playpark in Exeter


Great to see The Playpark in Exeter go from strength to strength. Just had to share the video above. The new SMP Mirage Revolution looks like a fantastic addition to the park too, and will suit many children who can transfer from their wheelchairs. All towns and cities should have parks like this one.

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1969, 1975, 1976: The First One-Switch Games




I could be wrong, I could be right, but the videos above are of what I think are the first ever commercial one-switch playable games. Kee Games/Atari's 1975 Steeplechase coin-op, and Fairchild's 1976 shooting gallery.

First ever one-switch computer game? No idea really, but the earliest I've seen is from the UK in 1969 on the computer nick-named "Nellie" (see top video around 2:38 minutes in). Probably the first audio game too. Ah, the good old days when you had to check the oil levels of your computer(!)

2014-03-14 Update: You can now play a version of the Nellie Reaction Tester on Windows PCs with huge thanks to William Pilgrim.






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PS3 One Handed Controller Attachment


The 'Biotic Controller' above is a brace for a standard Playstation Dual Shock controller that makes one-handed play a possibility. I've seen a few controllers built in a similar way across the years, but this one is the most professional looking.

Why was it made? "My dad made this attachment so that my brother could aim and throw tactical nades!!" according to the video notes.


See more of this 'Biotic Controller' over at YouTube.

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'Skoog Covered with Whistles'


Pretty wonderful updates from the Skoogmusic lab above. You can do so much with a Skoog, they really are fantastic. Can't wait to see the promised one side to play a sequence of musical notes mode.

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