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Accessibility for vision impaired players

Atheist42Atheist42
Mabinogi Rep: 1,315
Posts: 87
Member
in Feedback and Suggestions
Summary: Please give options to turn off screen shake and turn off display of flashy dye colours.

Yes - some vision impaired people do play video games. People with partial vision represent a significant market.

Vision impairment is a sliding scale. Different types of video games represent different levels of challenge to those with visual impairments, so those with the least vision favour the types of games which provide the least visual challenge.

2D games tend to be less of a visual challenge than 3D games. Within the 2D genre, those with a fixed frame of reference, such as where the entire field of play is visible at once, are easier than those where the frame of reference moves predictably, such as side scrollers. Whether 2D or 3D, the challenge is greatly increased if the frame of reference moves unpredictably, such as a game with screen shake effects.

As an example in Mabinogi, think of golems. Their footsteps create screen shake when they run. Their stomp attacks also create screen shake. I'm guessing even fully sighted players can lose track of some on-screen detail when the screen is shaking, but they re-acquire a clear image almost instantaneously when the screen shake stops. For some vision-impaired players, it can take significant time to re-acquire the image after the screen shake stops and figure out where moving players and monsters have moved to. Again, there's a sliding scale here, and some vision-impaired players cope better than others. If a golem is stomping repeatedly, when the screen shake stops, for some it can be a challenge to re-acquire the image before the next stomp shakes things up again. This is not fun.

So, if you want to make the game more accessible for vision-impaired players, given an option to turn off all screen shake effects. Many games give this option, because many game designers don't want to make their games inaccessible.

The other big gripe for vision-impaired players is flashy dyes.

There's the obvious issue that flashing colours are simply distracting. They tend to draw your gaze away from the bits you're trying to look at, and I think fully sighted players also hate them for this reason.

But for vision-impaired players they are troublesome for another reason. I mentioned above that 2D games tend to be easier than 3D games for vision impaired players. (2D games can make a relaxing change from decoding real life, which is harder since it happens in 3D.) In most 2D games most moving objects have a consistent appearance, but in 3D games other players and monsters can turn around, which changes their appearance. Also, in most 2D games moving objects don't often overlap other moving objects, but this happens frequently in 3D games. So, in a 3D game, when the appearance of another player changes, our brain needs to figure out if this is because maybe the player is turning to face us or whether it is because the player has moved partially behind another player or object. If they are turning, their apparent colour may gradually change while if they are moving behind something else the colour tends to stay the same but the size of the area with that colour reduces. If they are wearing a robe which has a colour that is constantly changing, it's going to be a lot harder to figure out what is going on.

So, if you want to make your game more accessible to vision-impaired players, provide an option to turn off display of flashing clothing colours.

Would any epileptics support this request, or is the "flashing lights cause seizures" thing a myth?
SplatulatedMusicat

Comments

  • EmerisEmeris
    Mabinogi Rep: 2,120
    Posts: 134
    Member
    I agree! We can turn off the critical flashes, but not screen shaking or those other flashes of light?
    I always have to close my eyes when the golem dungeon boss cutscene comes up, upon leveling, or when Bachram Boost is about to trigger.
    The flashy-dye thing also hurts my eyes, so I've been trying to avoid passing by lots of people whenever possible.
    I've turned off everything else without it really impacting gameplay, so it kinda irks me that we can't turn off these too.
  • AeolysAeolys
    Mabinogi Rep: 5,115
    Posts: 469
    Member
    I'm not vision impaired but I would love to have no quaking cameras. Small golems are the worst since to make up for their small size they speed up their animation and their feet quakes the camera even more. I would love to have flashing criticals turned off just because it gets in the way.
    I don't think flashy dyes will go away as it has been part of the game since time immemorial.
  • BlissfulkillBlissfulkill
    Mabinogi Rep: 24,290
    Posts: 2,789
    Member
    Aeolys wrote: »
    I'm not vision impaired but I would love to have no quaking cameras. Small golems are the worst since to make up for their small size they speed up their animation and their feet quakes the camera even more. I would love to have flashing criticals turned off just because it gets in the way.
    I don't think flashy dyes will go away as it has been part of the game since time immemorial.

    The option to personally disallow it on the player's client shouldn't be too much work. It would merely be another minimization option.
  • MisuchanMisuchan
    Mabinogi Rep: 500
    Posts: 9
    Member
    On top of this there is no way to scale the UI or other accessibility related things that should be standard in the game. You cant disable certain things or even scale your UI making the game unplayable under certain conditions.
  • Atheist42Atheist42
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,315
    Posts: 87
    Member
    From the 11-Apr-2019 patch notes:
    The 'Disable Screen Shake' option has been added.

    From the 'Menu' button in the bottom left hand corner of the in-game task bar, select 'Options', then System>Performance, then check the 'Disable Screen Shake' box to apply the option.

    Thanks Nexon. Much appreciated! That's half of this suggestion implemented.
  • GretaGreta
    Mabinogi Rep: 51,765
    Posts: 6,975
    Member
    Using Internet Explorer i see...
  • Atheist42Atheist42
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,315
    Posts: 87
    Member
    From the Kemono Friends event:
    During the event, Sandstars will fall from the sky instead of rain.
    Well - they float rather than fall, but either way, that's another way to make the game difficult for vision impaired players. For players who already have some challenge perceiving objects in 3D space, having randomly placed coloured orbs just hovering in space makes life very difficult. It's not as if these orbs add anything useful to the game, so why bother implementing them?
  • MusicatMusicat
    Mabinogi Rep: 2,320
    Posts: 287
    Member
    edited September 15, 2020
    Atheist42 wrote: »
    In most 2D games most moving objects have a consistent appearance, but in 3D games other players and monsters can turn around, which changes their appearance. Also, in most 2D games moving objects don't often overlap other moving objects, but this happens frequently in 3D games. So, in a 3D game, when the appearance of another player changes, our brain needs to figure out if this is because maybe the player is turning to face us or whether it is because the player has moved partially behind another player or object. If they are turning, their apparent colour may gradually change while if they are moving behind something else the colour tends to stay the same but the size of the area with that colour reduces. If they are wearing a robe which has a colour that is constantly changing, it's going to be a lot harder to figure out what is going on.
    Back to that, it's rather a matter of vision processing delays than flashy things. The mechanics are alike though. Besides, a lot of 2D games have many flashing particles or sectors, which are also moving. Even the older console games, yeah? They didn't care much about such players back then.
    Atheist42 wrote: »
    From the Kemono Friends event
    About that. The Meow thinks that even the people with vision flaws can take that effect easy as long as they consider falling stars a normal thing, either irl or in the screen, and perceive the said effect correspondingly.

    What concerns the other points, Atheist42 seems to be totally right, and The Meow is glad to see the Disable Screen Shake function and will be glad to see an option to disable excessive flashing.