Some games try to meet the needs of players with special needs, but many are still far from that especially over closed platforms that do not make it easy to customize the games and controls for this subset of people.
Continuing the journey she started in 2019, she began a company Microsoft has new software that helps game developers design their games with accessibility in mind even before the game launches.
Microsoft is expanding its outreach efforts with a new program to rate Xbox games and PC hardware.
Today, the Games Accessibility team announced that developers can submit their games to assess and test accessibility from players with disabilities.
The program was announced along with Accessibility Tips Updates To Xbox released in early 2020.
It says Post Xbox: Developers now have the option to send, analyze, and verify Xbox or PC games according to the recommendations provided in the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines.
The Xbox Accessibility Guidelines include comprehensive explanations of overall design considerations for developers, and are now updated to include clearer language, additional context, and implementation examples.
According to the post, every test the game passes includes feedback from disabled players and members of the gaming community, who will not only play the games but also provide feedback and insights.
The new software enables Xbox game reliability engineering teams and game accessibility teams to validate games. Plus links to information about inclusive design, relevant nonprofits, and accessibility experts.
Any issues found during testing are indicated through screenshots and other information to help the developer understand the aspect that might be challenging for some players with special needs in a given experience.
More companies have focused on access to games in recent years, including Microsoft with its adaptive Xbox controller released in 2018, but there are still a few notable examples alongside The Last of Us Part II.
Microsoft designed the Adaptive Controller for Xbox primarily to meet the needs of gamers with reduced mobility, and is a unified hardware hub that helps facilitate access to games.
And software like this can lead to more games with a similar variety of accessibility options.
It is also important for players with special needs to be able to provide insight.
The craving for accessibility to games has grown exponentially among developers and gamers alike in the past decade, and according to ESA, there are nearly 46 million players with disabilities in the United States alone.