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Improving accessibility in The Walking Dead

posted by unmigo on - last edited - Viewed by 1.8K users

Hi there!

I have made a post about improving accessibility in the game for disabled people.

Since 90% of the game are dialogues, the game could have been very accessible for many people, especially in terms of mobility. But there are features that make it totally inaccessible to many people: no pauses to read the dialogue, have to make choices in very short time and some action scenes with quick time events.

I hope Telltales consider this issue important and add more options in the game to make it more accessible. Meanwhile this can help a lot of people that could not play it yet.


You can read it here:

http://www.videojuegosaccesibles.es/2013/01/the-walking-dead-mejorando-la.html (in Spansih)

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.videojuegosaccesibles.es%2F2013%2F01%2Fthe-walking-dead-mejorando-la.html&act=url (Google translated)

Or just watch this video demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4_qOAIBRKo

36 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Dildor said: I think it would take a massive amount of effort, a huge undertaking, for a very small group of people. I'm not saying they don't deserve to play the game, but Telltale can't just say "Oh, let's double the length of all given time for choices if somebody needs that option!" The game and choices were probably all looked at very carefully and timed to work with what is going on on-screen. I really don't see how they could easily give you more time in decisions without completely altering and butchering the game... They would have to go back from the beginning and rework everything...

    You're right, and I understand that updating season 1 with these options would be very expensive.

    But they are now working on season 2 and they have time to take all these things into account.

  • @Dildor said: I think it would take a massive amount of effort, a huge undertaking, for a very small group of people.

    @Dildor said: You're right, and I understand that updating season 1 with these options would be very expensive.

    Honestly you couldn't be more wrong. Just take a look at what's linked to in the original post, it was a really trivial job to make the changes, just tweaking a couple of variables.

    Secondly, about it being a very small group of people. That's one of the most common misconceptions, I hear stuff like that all the time.. 'disabled gamers are less than 1%' - that's completely completely wrong.

    The stats are pretty surprising, but they are actually true. 14% of the adult population of the UK and the USA (higher in some other countries, over 30% in Italy) have significant difficulty reading.

    Add in the motor and other cognitive issues that these things affect and you're looking at probably around 20% of the potential audience for the game.

    That is not, by any measure at all, a very small group. Imagine how much marketing spend would be needed to attract those kinds of numbers!

  • @kjeevah said: 14% of the adult population of the UK and the USA (higher in some other countries, over 30% in Italy) have significant difficulty reading.

    Add in the motor and other cognitive issues that these things affect and you're looking at probably around 20% of the potential audience for the game.


    But this would only be relevant, if ALL of these people were gamers. Given their disability, do you really think, all of these people got into gaming in the first place?

  • @Laserschwert said: But this would only be relevant, if ALL of these people were gamers. Given their disability, do you really think, all of these people got into gaming in the first place?

    Well, not quite - whether or not all people with disabilities are gamers is only relevant if all people without disabilities are gamers, which obviously isn't the case.

    What you're really asking is whether people with disabilities are less likely to be gamers than anyone else.

    Again this might be surprising - they're actually more likely to be gamers. The percentage of casual gamers who are disabled is 5% higher than the percentage of people in the general population who are disabled. And that figure only takes into account the people who admit to it, most people with low literacy claim they can actually read perfectly, because of the huge stigma attached.

    If you have some kind of impairment you have exactly the same reasons as anyone else to want to play games, plus more on top of that. Sometimes things specific to a condition, such as being told to play games as physio by your doctor (happens alot believe it or not), sometimes as a distraction to avoid needing to take pain relief medication, or even sometimes just because you've got less types of recreation available to you and more spare time to fill.

    PopCap wondered exactly the same question as you, so they commissioned some large scale research into it, and the above is what they got back.

    Quite an eye opener eh?

  • @kjeevah
    it was a really trivial job to make the changes, just tweaking a couple of variables.

    Well, it may take a little more work. Meetings between designers, programmers making changes, and a lot of testing after all.

    Maybe Telltales have sold a lot of copies to do it, that would be perfect. But at least I like Talltale take it into account for the second season. It is much cheaper to do if you have it in mind from the beginning.

    @Laserschwert
    Accessibility is also useful for all of us, although we are not disabled. In other media people also use accessibility options even if they do not really need them.

  • Although "only" 20% of people are disabled, actually all of us are disabled in some way at some point in our lives.

    We can all have some missing functionality temporarily by some accident or temporary illness. Times when maybe one of the things you want to do is play games.

    And even more importantly: we will grow old.
    I think one of the reason that accessibility is not yet really taken into account is that the average age of the player has not become old. But surely when all of us in this forum become old we will still want to play. I think it is fair considering accessibility now and not have to wait for that moment.

  • i personally don't have problems reading (thought i know people who do) but i suck at spelling, especially if i have to type fast, if this game was like façade where you have to type in your responses (and they don't understand spelling mistakes) i would have had a hard time playing and probably made loads of mistakes and just got frustrated by it and i would have wanted some kind option to make it more accessible to me, so when i look at the accessibility problem like that i can imagine how frustrating a simple thing like reading your responses quickly could be and i understand how just a few small changes could make a big difference.

  • Javier, have you tried bringing it to the attention of any of the devs on twitter? Not sure if any are reading this thread. They're listed here: http://www.telltalegames.com/company/ourteam/

  • @kjeevah said: Javier, have you tried bringing it to the attention of any of the devs on twitter? Not sure if any are reading this thread. They're listed here: http://www.telltalegames.com/company/ourteam/

    Good idea, I'll do it on twitter and e-mail.

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