When it comes to Games, I tend to focus most on the areas that are most important to me.
My goal is that the following points aren’t immutable or set in stone, but rather talking points that are constantly expanded upon as the experiences of others helps me to grow as a Developer.
The need for accessibility in games has become apparent to me thanks to one person. My mother.
In my youth, she was (and still is) the only person I’ve ever met who finished both Abe’s Odyssey and Abe’s Exodus on the PlayStation 1 with 100% completion. It was the work of countless weeks after finishing night shift work, and was her way of relaxing. She doesn’t have great reflexes, and that has obviously worsened with the years. She’s not who we think of when we market our games, or when we come to making them.
She owns a PS4, gets giddily excited over Crash Bandicoot and I’ve never seen anyone laugh so hard playing Overcooked in my life. We lost countless levels because she fumbled a piece of food and sat there crying with laughter as she’d launched an essential piece of the puzzle into the trash from across the level.
But those slower reflexes have stopped her enjoying games that she would love to play. Uneven difficulty curves have gated her progress prematurely, and a lack of readability – the kind of games knowledge that I always took for granted – have left her lost and frustrated with games she should’ve loved.
All of those things come together to show us that there are more gamers out there than we know, and what we think passes for great accessibility and readability, isn’t always as instinctive as we think it is.
We can, and we must, do better than this.
These considerations can only ever help our games.
Learn from Everyone
Everyone you meet has had different experiences than you.
This is an immutable fact, and yet something that we don’t often think about.
Every single person you meet will know something you don’t, or offer a different perspective on something you know. There is nobody out there you can’t learn something from.
I commit to listening as much as I can to improve my personal and professional skillsets, to listening to the stories of others to broaden my own horizons and make myself more rounded both as a person and a developer.