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Improving accessibility in The Walking Dead

posted by unmigo on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K 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
  • 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.

  • I stumbled across this thread when I was doing a Google search about accessibility in Telltale Games. With The Wolf Among Us now out I wanted to revisit this topic in hopes that Telltale Games has made some improvements in this regard. I actually originally did a review of The Walking Dead for a website called "Assistive Gaming". In a nutshell TWD is a great game but it's also unfortunately one of the worst examples of accessibility I've ever seen in a computer game, at least for physically challenged players like myself (I'm a quadriplegic). The review is actually reasonably kind towards the game in this regard however it does mention all the important problems. The bottom line is I never did manage to finish even the first episode because it was just way too difficult for me to play. The worst part is there is absolutely no reason it had to be this way. This is an adventure game for Pete's sake not a 1st person shooter. Just allowing customizable key binding would have helped somewhat. In any case you can read my review here:

    http://www.assistivegaming.com/spip.php?article91

    Hopefully The Wolf Among Us has improved in this regard. I haven't yet found enough information to say one way or another and I'm not going to drop $25 on this until I'm 100% certain. if you are lucky enough to have an iPad you should be able to play TWD (and The Wolf Among Us when it becomes available on IOS) even if you can only use a mouth stick stylus. But not everybody has an iOS device or like me may not want to play these games that way.

    I really do want to give Telltale my money but I will not ever again until this problem is solved.

    -PN

  • In reply to Paulyboy

    I stumbled across this thread when I was doing a Google search about accessibility in Telltale Games.

    link

    Hi!

    They did a little improvement on The Wolf Among Us. It is just one little improvement, but I think is really significant: you can pause the game and still have the text on screen.

    On TWD when you pause the game all text was hidden, so if your problem is that you don't have the enough speed reading in english because english is not your native language, or because you can't read quickly, or you have dyslexia, or can not see properly and need to read the phrase slowly, or... (infinite reasons). Now you can stop the game and read it.

    The game get a little dark, but you can read it: https://twitter.com/VideojuegosAcc/statuses/389458356743573504

    But the other accessibility issues are still there. I have tried to use Cheat Engine to slow down the game, and it works perfect :) But the script for infinite decision time that I had used on TWD isn't working on The Wolf Among Us.

    Hope this information helps you.

    Regards, Javi.

  • I'm game developer, and I'm currently working also on a episodic horror adventure called "The Last Door" (www.TheLastDoor.com).

    3 months ago I posted an article about accessibility in our game, we are doing a big effort to add accessibility on The Last Door. It isn't peferect but I'm proud of our work and maybe this article could help other developers:

    Reducing accessibility barriers on an adventure game

  • This is actually great for anyone who would need it, hope Telltale sees this.

  • I was a HUGE fan of TWD season 1 on PC. I've been poor lately, so I only picked up season 2 (and The Wolf Among us) during the Steam Sale. Sadly, I find that I am no longer able to play these games, due to disability issues. The required button-mashing causes me extreme pain. I'm still able to use standard input methods, but only slowly, and with frequent rest/stretching breaks. I'd be SO happy if there were a no-button-mashing option. I want to enjoy these games without feeling as if a zombie was gnawing on my actual thumb.

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    CathalOHara Moderator

    The dialogue one kind of breaks the immersion in my opinion. I remember when Hershel was patching Lee's leg up that some of the dialogue options were really, really quick and at the time. I wasn't sure what to say to him. Was frustrating to say nothing but it does feel more immersive since you have to respond to characters after a certain amount of time and it makes you feel like you're actually playing a part of this.

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