The creation of the no-fail mode has not compromised a core mechanism tunic: Exploration. Players are actively encouraged to seek the unknown and regularly return to visited areas with new items. Discovering alternative paths and searching every nook and cranny of the zones is what matters tunic so tempting to play. Despite the success of the no-fail mode, the feature still needed refinement and proved that accessibility is an ongoing process that doesn’t end when a game is released.
“A few months before launch, we set up a discord so press people could collaborate on pre-launch puzzles,” Shouldice says. “One reviewer got to the credits after defeating the final boss in no-fail mode. It didn’t take long for them to realize that they missed a big part of the game – you shouldn’t beat this fight to unlock the next act of the game. That’s why we’ve added a special case where you can die in this fight even if you use no-fail mode. Our reasoning was that if someone enabled this option because they preferred the more mysterious aspects of the game, there was no point in penalizing and banning some of them tunic more intriguing late-game puzzles.”
Player feedback is critical in developing accessibility features and inclusive design practices. Without input from actual users, developers may struggle to customize options or even overlook bugs and errors such as: tunic. For coromona monster tamer with puzzle sequences similar to titles like Golden Sun, public testing was necessary, especially when creating accessible options. TRAGsoft CEOs Marcel van der Made and Jochem Pouwels discuss the importance of directly involving people with disabilities in game development, despite the size of the development team.
“Since we’re a small team working on a huge game, our initial focus was on getting the game out to people as a demo,” they say. “We thought player feedback would be very valuable and efficient in figuring out in what ways people would have trouble using our mechanics. We have never regretted this decision because it allowed us to find far more accessibility issues than we could have imagined on our own.”
The results of this decision can be seen in coromon‘s settings and theme. Regardless of your preferred platform, players can enable features that reduce flash and use colorblind modes to make their experience more accessible. But beyond just learning about the needs of disabled people, testing gives developers several ways to refine potentially complicated options.
“The hardest accessibility feature for us was not forcing the player to use a specific control scheme,” say Van der Made and Pouwels. “We wanted our game to be playable with a touchscreen, keyboard, mouse or controller or a combination of these. This way, players always have an alternative way to play if they are having trouble with a certain type of control. The reason this is so difficult is because all the menus need to be user-friendly and feel fluid with each of the control methods. We had a lot of iteration and brainstorming on each screen to make them perfect.”
Even with larger indie studios like Rebellion Developments Limited, understanding the importance of accessible design is an ongoing process. Senior Accessibility Designer Cari Watterton explains the need for guidelines and community input. While these are important for studios across the industry, they’re also critical for teams developing games using their own specific engine.
“In terms of tools, at Rebellion we have our own engine, so we have to build all our tools from scratch,” says Watterton. “When I joined, there were things that we could use that happened to be implemented in an easily accessible way – like our colorblind settings. We had already exposed parameters for these colors and minimal coding was required to create some presets. More specialized areas like controller remapping or narration have to be developed from scratch by our in-house engine team. These tools and resources grow with us. The team lets me know where help is needed to fill knowledge gaps and when we plan future features with the engine team. We’re trying to implement accessibility features with the idea that they can be carried over into new games – so we have access to what we’ve done before.”
Without official resources or disabled users to guide teams, indie studios may feel overwhelmed when asked to make their games accessible. The task of creating options to enable as many people as possible to play can seem daunting considering that there are a range of disabilities coupled with the uniqueness of the disability experience. However, as Watterton and others have noted, accessible features and design practices create brand new experiences for disabled viewers – and everyone’s goal is to let as many people play as possible.
“Accessibility can be intimidating, especially if you’re a non-disabled developer,” says Watterton. “When I started, I was scared because I was worried about designing a feature that wouldn’t help people. Through user testing, I found that I had done just that. It wasn’t scary or embarrassing. It was an opportunity to learn.”
https://www.wired.com/story/indie-studios-accessible-game-design-tunic-coromon/ How Indie Studios Are Pioneering Accessible Game Design