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Old 09-17-2012, 10:20 AM
Crisses's Avatar
Crisses Crisses is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Middletown, NY
Posts: 644
Default Includification - Design for people with Differences

Found this awesome website with aid for game designers to include options/features and user interface options to help more people access the game. Site:

Some things mentioned, Soldak/Drox gets right. And some things could definitely be improved upon.

The documentation divvies up differences in to major categories: Mobility, Vision, Hearing, Cognitive, Other.

It's been mentioned in the forums that we already have people with vision, and mobility differences (at minimum). At least two people have some type of color blindness, and I've mentioned I have RSI.

I like a more relaxed game. I can't play twitch games. In terms of accessibility for people with cognitive & mobility differences, un-nerfing the "Slower Game" would be appreciated. A game that generates monsters & quests more slowly will, as a result, give less opportunity for gaining experience quickly. Why further penalize people with -15% XP? (this has been mentioned elsewhere) I didn't need to slow the game down at lower levels, but in the mid-game, I could definitely use to slow it down -- it's starting to hurt. But going up in level is already slow as molasses...

There are definitely UI color changes that need to be made for people with color blindness, some of the common changes are mentioned under Vision on the Includification site. (this has been mentioned as a UI difficulty for some players -- and I can't see how the Relations screen could be very helpful for someone with red-green problems!)

A mode for an EVEN SLOWER game might be appreciated by people who need to learn the game more slowly, and need a long "tutorial period" at lower levels (see the Cognitive section for more). And an actual tutorial (level -1?) is pretty important, but does not necessarily need to be required by everyone before game play.

Auto-pause -- which I've requested -- would be more-than-nice. For example, pause when I enter the trade screen. I do it myself, but that's an extra keypress and I do it ALL the time. And someone playing the game by mouse alone will need a way to pause the game without going to the game menu. [Wow, I wonder if you could play Drox with an eye-mouse.... hrm...]

The other thing I notice is lacking in the game is an ability to fully play without the volume on. Try it for an experience of a hearing-impaired person playing. All the verbal or audial cues for important events would be missing i.e. "Shields Down!" "Armor Destroyed." Warning sounds when something you open is trapped. I have trouble with these even when I play with the game volume way low so that I can play while on Mumble chat OR listen to other music while gaming. So some types of visual cues would be appreciated. I don't always notice the broken-item icon on the right, but I always notice the sound. If the icon appeared larger in bright yellow momentarily and faded to grey while shrinking to normal size, it would help. Similar visual cues are needed for the Shields Down & Armor Destroyed clues.

Another thing mentioned that's definitely true in this game is telling "friend vs. foe". Drox High Command can auto-declare war, races can declare war, and suddenly I'm clicking on a planet and attacking it rather than trading with it. I'd love a friend-vs-foe marker because I'm using system cursor not game cursor (I don't get a crosshair when I'm targeting enemies!)...and that's an accessibility issue for some people who have a hard time telling the enemies apart from the friends on the screen -- what's a monster, what's a race, vs. what's a race I'm at war with...etc.

All that said, I know people with differences in every category. I'm sure a game that recognizes that you do not have to be just like everyone else to want to play a game would be greatly appreciated. Many companies do not make accommodations -- and there is a market for games which do.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:31 AM
DarkTraveler DarkTraveler is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 43

Originally Posted by Crisses View Post
Why further penalize people with -15% XP? (this has been mentioned elsewhere)
My first thought was similar to yours. Why a 15% xp penalty? What if Slow Pace is simply someone's preference? Why penalize them for it?

So, I made a mod file. I used overrides to let Slow Pace run as normal, but without the 15% xp penalty. It wasn't too pleasing. It felt like I leveled too fast for the rest of the game progression. Basically, it felt like I turned Slow Pace into Super Easy Mode. Bleh.

So, instead, I made a Modest Pace mod that I'm testing out in Drox right now. It has 7% xp penalty instead of Slow Pace's 15%. It also spawns quests and monsters at a rate between Slow and Normal. It replaces Very Slow with Modest in case I still want to have access to Slow or Normal. We'll see how it goes.

As a side note: I also modded out of most of the mines/traps. Probably just me, but I hate the traps in Drox :P
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:30 AM
Crisses's Avatar
Crisses Crisses is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Middletown, NY
Posts: 644

Thanks for the input

Yes, for some of us "Very Slow Pace" without the XP mod may be "too easy" but for some it might still be too hard. Another recommendation was an ability to actually slow the game altogether -- the frame-rate if you would -- for people who need to use assistive devices or who have slow or limited movement.

For folk who need to mod the game, it would be nice if you could make a mod with instructions on how to adjust game play for those who need it, though. I do like that Drox is mod-able by the end user, but it's not always straightforward how to go about it to get the results that you'd like, and not everyone has the ability to grok how to mod programs. My son likes modding the games, but I told him that during the beta period we should play the straight game to give feedback. That didn't stop him from modding his game... lol
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