Axel Paris - Graphics Researcher
--------------------------
Home   Publications   Resume   Email   Twitter

Accessibility in Video Games

March 8, 2018. Last updated on January 23, 2019.


As I was traveling in Scotland a few years ago to do my second year internship at Robert Gordon University, I knew nothing about accessibility in video games and I think most people and especially many game developers still don’t. The idea of this placement was to develop a generic plug in that would provide accessibility features to existing games made with the Unity game engine. Considering this was only a three months placement, I worked with two others friends to make a proof of concept of the program.

Resources on Accessibility

I learned quite a lot about accessibility in the process and as I said, it is a under represented topic. If you would like to know more about this, here is a list of very good reference on the subject:
To sum up the key points if you are not convinced accessibility is important:

Accessibility plug-in

We ended up with different features and helpers for different type of disabilities:
While I imagine visual helpers are very game-dependent because of artistic purposes, mechanical helpers such as key remapping should now be the standard in video games, and it's a shame that Unity doesn't provide key remapping easily considering the engine popularity.
Two screenshots showing the high contrast post effect shader and the close captioning features. You can see all plug in options on the right part of the screen.

Of course, each of these thing depends on the game you are making but the point is that it is very likely to be easy to integrate a few in your game, and you should consider it. Source code is available on github, but I would advise just reading the code and implements the thing you find the most interesting your way - the code is not going to help you a lot since it’s quite simple and more of a proof of concept than a production thing. Feel free to use it nonetheless if you want to: Sources.