Making Accessible Games for the Disability-Aware Era - A Not-Fully-Comprehensive Guide by an Actual Disabled Developer

These main posts are subject to change as I personally learn more about other disabled communities and hear feedback from other disabled people. If you are disabled, play Roblox games, and have ideas for additions, please comment!

Making Accessible Games for the Disability-Aware Era:

A Not-Fully-Comprehensive Guide by an Actual Disabled Developer


INTRODUCTION
TL;DR?

Let’s accept the fact: a lot of the gaming- especially Roblox- community is disabled in some way. Games are one of the most common ways the disabled community cope with life, a nice break from the world. However, accessible games are not a very common thing.

Everyone’s seen or been a part of a disability or illness awareness campaign. We have whole months for those. Everyone’s seen the brightly colored ribbons, the charities (both good and bad), and the donations. But, while our society are aware of these things, not very many people are accepting of disabled people.

Abled people really only care for disabled people for a month or less- typically aligning with these awareness campaigns- and then don’t actually bother to continue to try and help us. Accessibility is a big issue, and this extends to games too.

Accessibility in general isn’t common anywhere, and while big strides are being made to fix that, we still have a long way to go.

Even for games, it can get… difficult. Not all of us are free of the pain our disability (or stigma towards our disability- in the case of a number of harmless ones, like autism) causes.
Technology becoming accessible is a rather new thing. Computers only recently added the abilities to dim screens, change the color or color contrast of the display, and the ability to change the size and opacity of certain things (my cursor, for example, is about double the size of a normal person’s cursor, because I can’t see it all too well). Screenreaders have been around for a while in varying qualities, but closed captioning is uncommon and automatic captions vary wildly in quality, if they’re available at all.

While us disabled lot are able to change some things on our ends to make computer usage easier, there’s some things that can’t really be helped by us. Things that are up to site, app, or game developers to change. A lot of the time, however, these get brushed off as unnecessary and time/resource wasting. And we suffer for it.

Okay, Angel, we get it. We should care about disabled people, but how exactly do we make our games accessible?
I’m glad you asked, my friend. There’s a few ways developers on Roblox can make their games more accessible to disabled players, but it ultimately depends on the disability in specific.
Everything is different for everyone, and it takes time and patience, but to help those of us who live with disability, disorder, or illness, it’s worth it.

Sometimes, accessibility helps abled players, too! It’s a win-win!

Please note: This won’t teach you how to make these things individually. This is just a compiled list of ideas to make games more accessible. I’m no scripter, sorry.


Visual Accessibility

COLOR CONTRAST SLIDERS
Helps: Epilespy, Autism, Colorblindness, Eye Strain, etc.

Lots of games have bright colors. But there’s arises a problem when there’s players who have a hard time with bright colors because they can cause seizures or eyestrain, or if colors are too bright or too dull, they might blend together and cause issues for colorblind players who can’t differentiate between one color and another.

A color contrast slider is a common way over this. This will allow players to change the contrast of the game’s colors on their screen and give them an easier time playing.

Mac computers have one of these:
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The issue with the Mac slider is that normal contrast is on the far left end, instead of in the middle- there’s no option for lower contrast, only higher. This is okay for colorblind players, but not okay for epileptic players or players prone to eyestrain.

An ideal contrast slider would look like this:
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(note: color saturation and color contrast are basically the same thing)

Normal contrast would be in the center, with the lowest setting on the far left, and the highest setting on the far right.

A contrast slider would make your game look like the following (using one of my WIP game screenshots as an example):

Lowest Contrast

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Lower Contrast

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Normal Contrast

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Higher Contrast

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Highest Contrast

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BRIGHTNESS SLIDERS
Helps: Epilespy, Autism, Colorblindness, Eye Strain, Poor Night/Day Vision, Bad Eyesight, etc.

I have a hard time, personally, with game brightness. I’m autistic, so I have what’s called light sensitivity, and on top of that my night vision is awful. Very bright lights hurt, but if it’s very dark, I can’t see a thing! I have to keep a lot of my games on the highest brightness setting just so I can see- Minecraft and SCP: Secret Lab come to mind (and even in SCP:SL, it’s hard to see on the highest brightness).

In games that you can mod, like Minecraft, mods that change your gamma can help you make your game brighter than the highest default setting. Some computers also allow you to change your gamma for the whole computer screen, but it tends to be a more advanced setting. Normal brightness settings on computers exist, too.

Sometimes, the opposite is true, and games are too bright. Before I got my glasses changed to block blue light, I’d often wind up with eye strain from using the computer that would take me several days to recover from. Too-bright lights can physically hurt for those with light sensitivity, and possibly trigger seizures for those with epilepsy.

Brightness sliders are great, and even commonly used by abled people as the light in their environment changes (ever notice how it’s harder to see your phone screen when you’re outside in the sun?).

I’ll use Mac computers as an example again:
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Here’s Minecraft’s brightness slider (which ranges from “Moody”- the darkest- to “Bright”- the brightest):
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And what people are probably more used to seeing, the brightness sliders of phones:
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Brightness changes are possible in Roblox- this I know for sure- as it’s seen in a few games where you play as animals, like Wings of Fire, Creatures of Sonaria, and the late Primordial Lands (I still haven’t played Malgamation’s Island, but suspect it still has night vision). Here, some species of creatures have night vision (ie: the SeaWing in Wings of Fire), allowing players to see in the dark more easily.
It’s a cool feature for games like these, but the problem arises for when you just can’t navigate as the species without night vision because it’s too dark.

I, for one, appreciate when games automatically give me a working light source! Illimitable Regains comes to mind, where you spawn in with a lantern. These can cause lag, though…

Which is why a brightness slider is so important! They help immensely and allow for players to more easily get around, allowing them to enjoy your game more.

EXAMPLE GAMES

Poor:

  • Wings of Fire Early Access’s night vision
  • Minus Decendance’s flashlight
  • Breaking Point’s player light sources

Good:

  • Restaurant Tycoon 2’s day/night cycle toggle
  • Pet Zoo (Tycoon)'s day/night cycle toggle
  • Dreamcore | Weirdcore Home’s lantern

Great:

  • Gem Galaxies’s ambient light changer

COLORBLINDNESS SETTINGS
Helps: Epilespy, Colorblindness, etc.

Edited: Jul 28, 2021

When I think of colorblindness settings, my head immediately goes to the colorblindness settings of iPhones and Macs. You can tell I’ve never owned anything else…
These are unique settings that adjust the colors of a computer’s screen to be colorblind-friendly, allowing a colorblind user to easily use it.

Here they are on the Mac:
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On the iPhone, it looks basically the same as the Mac.

Humans have 3 color cones in their eyes that let them see color: red, green, and blue (RGB). When a person is born without one or more of these, they’re colorblind.

4 primary types of colorblindness exist: deuteranopia (green or green/red colorblindness), protanopia (red or red/green colorblindness), tritanopia (blue or blue/yellow colorblindness), and achromatopsia (complete colorblindness - black + white)
These can range in severity and are different for everyone.

There is an opposite to colorblindness, tetrachromacy, where a person is born with a fourth color cone. This doesn’t cause hindrance to the person with it, just means they can see up to 100x the amount of colors the normal person can. (Fun fact: I’m a tetrachromat, albeit to a lesser extent. I can see about 1.5x more colors than normal, and the rainbow has two extra colors for me- magenta above red, and pink below purple.)

So, colorblindness settings in a game. These aren’t unheard of at all, actually, and some already exist.
The Splatoon games feature a “Color Lock” setting that will set the ink colors to contrast each other as much as possible, so colorblind players can tell the difference between their allies and enemies’ ink colors better.

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Here are the Color Lock colors of Splatoon 1:

And the Color Lock colors of Splatoon 2:
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Colorblind settings are tricky because to be perfect, they have to be unique, and have an intensity slider (see: the Mac color settings).
Splatoon’s Color Lock doesn’t appear to be customizable (and I’m not going to open my copy of Splat 2 just to check) and is rather a catch-all, but limits the color options to just 1 per gamemode, making it at least easier to manage.

Splatoon locking itself to only one color palette is a strategy that can be used for other games too, of course.

Here’s how to get colorblind-friendly palettes for yourself:

ANIMATION + CAMERA SHAKE TOGGLE
Helps: Epilespy, Autism, ADHD, Motion Sickness, Eye Strain, Bad Eyesight, etc.

The ability to turn certain animations of games on and off has no doubt saved lives. One of the most common accessbility settings in video games, these either completely turn off or reduce the amount of movement from an animation or camera shake.

For those old enough, remember how your DS would boot up to that screen that read “read the health and safety instructions”? How video game boxes have a disclaimer saying that certain games can cause seizures in epileptic individuals? How, when the 3DS released, there was a whole disclaimer about how young children and people with motion sickness should not use the 3D feature?
This is why those exist.

Not only are anti-animation and camera shake settings good for epileptics and those easily made motion sick, it’s great for people with ADHD and autistics too! It helps reduce the chance that we get overstimulated, which is one of the worst feelings in the world, in my opinion.

My favorite animation and camera shake settings have to be Minecraft’s.

These are split between the Video Settings and the Accessibility Settings:

Video Settings

Accessibility Settings

Now, I’m going to talk about Minecraft’s amazing accessibility settings more later, but right now we’re going to focus on a few of these options:

  • View Bobbing
  • Particles
  • FOV Effects
  • Distortion Effects

These settings involve a good number of Minecraft’s animations and automatic camera movements.
Note that View Bobbing and Particles are toggles- View Bobbing can be set to On or Off, and Particles can be set to Minimal (practically none), Decreased (reduces the number of particles), or All (all particles show).
FOV and Distortion Effects are sliders, letting you choose how much the camera moves when something happens to your character that changes how the camera acts (ie Slowness affects FOV, Nausea affects Distortion).

Some Roblox games feature things like camera shaking (ie Rogue Lineage + Horrific Housing) and animations that can cause eye strain (ie Gem Galaxies prior to their GUI overhaul).
Being able to turn these off would not only reduce lag for the player, but also prevent seizures, overstimulation, and eye strain.

If you can’t for whatever reason remove or allow the player to disable these, adding a warning to your game before the player actually plays it is a great idea. This is especially good for epileptic players.

Here’s an example of an epilepsy warning, from one of my own games:

EXAMPLE GAMES

Poor:

  • Restaurant Tycoon 2’s disable NPC animations

Good:

  • 3008’s disable camera shake

SIZE ADJUSTMENT
Helps: Bad Eyesight, Blindness, Dyslexia + Dyscalculia, Astigmatism, Lazy Eye, etc.

The ability to change the size of things- notably cursors, text, and GUI elements- is a fantastic way to assist people who have difficulty seeing or reading smaller things. Remember I mentioned earlier that my computer’s cursor is about twice the size of the default because I can’t see it well otherwise? Yeah.

This one is pretty easy to understand how it would help, so I’ll post my examples and move on.

Here is the slider to change the size of your cursor on the Mac (this is a screenshot from my computer, note my size setting is higher!):
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And here are Minecraft’s Chat Settings:

Scale, Width, and Height allow a player to change the size of the chatbox, making it easier to read.
There are also options in Minecraft that allow a player to change the size of GUI elements so they’re easier to see!



Auditory Accessibility

VOLUME CONTROL
Helps: Autism, Hard-of-Hearing, Blindness, Auditory Processing Disorder, PTSD, etc.

Alright, so everything has volume controls. Your computer does, your headphones might, and Roblox itself does. Why do we need more?
Because it’s always better to have more.

I’m talking individual volume control. Sliders for specific types of sounds, like ambience, or the sound of a weapon, or the sound of the player’s footsteps- all individual sliders to control whether or not the background music or the enemy behind you is louder.

A lot of games have this. Once again, Minecraft comes to mind. Overwatch has this as well.

Here’s Minecraft’s Sound Settings, probably my favorite of any game:

I like to personally hear hostile mobs more loudly in Minecraft than I do, say, the rain, or the chickens in my farm. It’s just a more important noise, since the rain can’t kill you, and neither can the chickens.
But individual volume control matters more than just being able to hear a certain thing better than another.

Autistics like me have noise sensitivity. We tend to hear sounds much, much louder than non-autistics do, and it can physically hurt. Lowering the volume of our games helps us not experience that pain.
People with PTSD or other trauma, as well as those with psychosis and paranoia, might be sensitive to a certain noise. The sounds of firing guns, horror ambiance, or sirens and alarms may cause them to have a break. I know I’ve mistaken someone slamming their trunk closed for gunfire before, and I had a very bad paranoia episode afterwards. Police sirens can possibly trigger my PTSD (but they usually won’t). Allowing a player to lower the volume of these types of sounds can help avoid this.

In the inverse, people with auditory processing disorder (which is often comorbid with a ton of other disorders, like autism and ADHD) and those who are blind or hard-of-hearing would maybe need to turn the volume up on specific sounds.
Back to my previous example, someone with APD may want to raise the volume of hostile mobs over the sound of non-hostile ones, so they can better and sooner register the sound of danger.

EXAMPLE GAMES

Poor:

  • Restaurant Tycoon 2’s volume changer

MUTE BUTTONS
Helps: Autism, PTSD, etc.

If you can’t do volume control, try a mute button.
These are better for those who do not want to hear a sound, of course, like those with noise sensitivity or trauma disorders.

Not to mention that this helps if a player, disabled or not, finds a sound or song annoying.
This can also help make sure ADHD and autistic players don’t get overstimulated!

CLOSED CAPTIONS/SUBTITLES
Helps: Auditory Processing Disorder, Hard-of-Hearing, Deafness, etc.

You’ve probably seen closed captioning (CC) or subtitles before, such as on Youtube or televisions in sports bars, ice cream stores, hairdressing locations, and others. CC comes in a few flavors, such as prewritten captions (seen on some Youtube videos and shows on streaming platforms), manual real-time captions (seen on live sports games), and automatic captions (seen on most Youtube videos).

CC in games is always prewritten, and lately they’ve become very common! CC can be found in almost all visual novels (ie Telltale Games), some first-person shooters (ie the Borderlands + Half-Life series), and even in games with no spoken dialogue, like Minecraft (again).

CC works best in games with spoken dialogue. Luckily, that’s rather rare on Roblox, and games that do have spoken dialogue here often have NPC text accompanying it.

However, you could always pull a Minecraft and create a CC system that tells a player the noise they’re hearing as well as what direction (left or right) it’s coming from relative to their position.
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UNIQUE SOUNDS
Helps: Blindness, etc.

Unique sounds for individual objects is hard to program.
Most drinkable tools in the Toolbox use the same Bloxy Cola sounds, the sounds of the can opening and then the player drinking it, followed by the classic “ah” of refreshment.
But, imagine if different drinks made different noises. The Bloxy Cola makes it normal sound, but a drink with a straw makes straw slurping noises, a normal glass of water makes an ice clink sound, etc. That’s what I mean by unique sounds.

Notably, things like this have been used by speedrunners to speedrun games while blindfolded. By memorizing noise patterns and specific or minor differences in sounds, blindfolded speedrunners are able to finish games in record time- all while they can’t see a thing at all.

This same logic helps actual blind players (remember “blind” also includes those who are legally blind, not just those who are completely blind) play games.
This can also help those who were blinded because of an accident or otherwise play their favorite games the way they used to before their injury or illness took their sight.

This is also the reason why you can probably play a game you’ve played a ton without looking at the screen a whole lot!



Motor Accessibility

KEYBIND CUSTOMIZATION
Helps: RSI, Chronic Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tremors, etc.

EXAMPLE GAMES

Good:

  • 3008’s keybind changer

HELD BUTTON CONTROLS + TOGGLE BUTTON CONTROLS
Helps: Arthrogryposis, RSI, Chronic Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tremors, etc.

Holding down buttons in games becomes a pain when you have to press more than one button to do something, especially repetitively.
We see this in Minecraft with sprinting (holding down the sprint button- I personally still double-tap W, though I know there’s been a new sprint button for a while now) and jumping repeatedly.

Luckily, you can hold space in Minecraft to jump automatically, and Minecraft actually solves the issue of holding down the sprint button itself. Normally, sneaking is also a held button.

The way to fix this is to allow players to press a key to toggle that action instead of holding the key down.
Minecraft has the option to change this in its Accessibility Settings:

EXAMPLE GAMES

Poor:

  • 3008’s toggle crouch (placed in poor due to lack of toggle sprint)

Good:

  • Wings of Fire Early Access’s toggle fly and emotes
  • Wings of Fire Seven Throne’s toggle fly and emotes

Great:

  • Gem Galaxies’s toggle run, fly, and emotes


Other Things That Increase Accessibility

ANTI-ABLEISM RULES
Helps: Every disabled person. Ever.

Ableism is a big, big, big problem. I don’t go a day of my life without seeing its effects. It’s the reason I’m not taken seriously, the reason I can’t get help easily, the reason it took me way too long to get medication and diagnosis and treatment.

Ableism is discrimination against disabled people (of all kinds). Abled people don’t know it, but often ableism is casual, subconscious. It’s deeply rooted into our society, just as racism is. It, unfortunately, is part of many of our cultures. And we should change that.

Ableism on Roblox is, most of the time, language. Luckily, the autofilter catches a number of the slurs used against us, and people who use ableist language or believe in ableist rhetoric can be banned with a simple report.
More minor forms of it still show, though, and often for the reason that people don’t know what they’re saying is ableist. The “reee” joke comes to mind- it’s an offensive and ableist joke used to make fun of autistic people, stemming from the belief that we’re “stupid”, “loud”, and “weird”. These things aren’t jokes- they’re not funny, they hurt people for things that they can’t help, they hurt people based off stereotypes, harmful caricatures, and flat-out lies.

Simply, the best way to stop this? Make rules for your games that state that ableism is not allowed. More hurtful forms of ableism are bannable offenses according to Roblox TOS, but this doesn’t mean that people should be able to get away with more minor forms of it.

Here are some examples of ableist things:

  • usage of words on this list - some of these are okay when they aren’t used in a negative way, with a negative connotation, or as an insult. some of these, such as “dumb”, “idiot”, “mad”, and “crazy” are okay ONLY when they’re NOT used to describe/insult a disabled person. I’ll got a bit more in-depth on a few of these bollow.

  • "reee" jokes - harmful to autistic people

  • the terms “mental r-tardation” and similar (SEE FIRST BULLET POINT) - harmful to all mentally disabled people. use mental illness or mental disability.

  • the word “r-tard(ed)” (SEE FIRST BULLET POINT) - it’s a slur. just about the worst thing you can say. harmful to all mentally disabled people, but especially autistics, those with Down’s, learning disabilities, and some others.

  • the word “trigger(ed)” as a joke (SEE FIRST BULLET POINT) - triggers are real things that hurt people. they are not jokes. they should be taken seriously. they can hurt traumatized people very, very badly.

  • supporting hate groups (ie Autism $peaks, NEXT For Autism, N-zism, etc.) and ableist media (ie the movie Split, anything that portrays all psychotic people as dangerous/evil, etc.) - yes, Autism $peaks and NFA are hate groups. if you really want to support autistics, try ASAN or AWNN (formerly AWN), and support #ActuallyAutistic and #RedInstead. for other disabilities, support things like #ActuallyDisabled, #ActuallyPsychotic, #ActuallyParanoid, #ActuallyTraumatized, #ActuallyEpileptic, etc. there are a TON of Actually hashtags that you can support!

  • supporting the torture and abuse of disabled people (ie supporting usage of restraints, ABA “therapy”, graduated electronic decelerators/GEDs and other shock devices, etc.) - restraints and shock devices have killed people. these are still used to this day and we’re fighting to get them criminalized. ABA is an abusive practice that traumatizes autistics and ADHD people.

  • "mental asylum"/“mental hospital” games - a lot of these exist on Roblox. there are a few that are okay, but some of them spread harmful stereotypes and only encourage further ableism via viewing mentally ill people as violent/dangerous/etc. “asylum” is an outdated term we don’t use anymore due to the negative connotations around it. remember real disabled people were killed in real mental hospitals- things are better nowadays, but it still happens.

  • usage of the words “psychotic”, “autistic”, etc. as insults/in negative connotations (SEE FIRST BULLET POINT) - this should be self-explanatory. we are not insults. we are real people.

  • calling someone’s disability “fake” or telling an actual disabled person they’re faking being disabled (SEE FIRST BULLET POINT) - this should be self-explanatory. do not assume someone is faking just because they say they’re disabled. some people do fake disabilities, but they’re rare. everyone experiences disability differently, and no two experiences will be exact.

EXAMPLE GAMES
Very Poor:

  • Word Bomb’s censoring of the r-slur (it is still a valid word in the game’s dictionary and can be played)

Poor:

  • Kaiju Paradise’s banning of the r-slur (placed in poor because it’s not an outright bannable offense as other slurs are)

Good:

  • Gem Galaxies’s ableism ban
  • Little Witches PhD’s ableism ban

OMISSION OF COMMON TRIGGERS
Helps: PTSD, DID, OSDD, Paranoia, Psychosis, etc.

Triggers are not jokes. They’re real things- and they can be anything- that hurt traumatized people and people with paranoia.
The word “trigger” can mean a few things in this regard, but they’re always something that sets off a harmful reaction in a disabled person (ex: exposure to peanuts are a trigger for someone with a peanut allergy).
We’ll be using them in the sense of things that set off a person’s PTSD/trauma or paranoia.

Check this article on WebMD out: What Are PTSD Triggers?

Omission is simple- it’s the act of not including something on purpose.
Omitting common triggers from games is a fantastic way to make them traumatized-friendly!

Common triggers for those with trauma disorders
  • Guns / gunfire
  • Police
  • Loud noises
  • Explosions / bombs
  • Abusive / neglectful parents
  • People shouting (at one another)
  • Vomit
  • The sound of fireworks
  • Arguments
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Blood
Common triggers for those with psychosis + paranoia
  • Darkness
  • Horror games + elements from them
  • Creepy eyes
  • Body horror
  • Bugs
  • Holes or holes bunched up together- trypophobia

Now, if your game is built around one of these in specific, then you don’t have to omit it. It’s okay to have horror games, war games, etc. If a trigger is a prominent aspect of a game, we avoid playing it, or we take great caution in playing it. This is why I avoid playing police games a lot, because that’s where some of my trauma is based.

In games that are broad, though, like fantasy kingdom games, school games, some survival games, and city games, it might be better to omit common triggers.

If you can’t omit a trigger, include a trigger warning!
Trigger warnings (TWs) or content warnings (CWs) alert players that a common trigger is in your game.
The best place to put these are either in your game’s description, info, or rules! Someplace that everyone will see it before they play.

TUTORIALS
Helps: Autism, ADHD, ADD, DID, OSDD, Amnesia, etc.

Tutorials are always helpful! Jumping right into a game can confuse any player, and for autistic players might be overstimulating. If your game is fast-paced and strategetic, always include a replayable start tutorial.

Why replayable?
Some people who experience amnesia or get distracted may forget how some game mechanics work. With a tutorial you can replay, they can always go back to see how something works.

With this in mind, you also can’t go wrong with a controls list!

If your game’s a roguelike, I understand not having a tutorial, but even Pokemon’s most difficult franchise, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, which is a randomized dungeon-crawl roguelike, has tutorials here and there! Your game can be a roguelike and still help players along!
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CALM AREAS
Helps: Autism, ADHD, PTSD, Psychosis, etc.

If your game is fast-paced, exciting, intense, and loud, you might want to include an area that players don’t often go to, as a quiet spot.
The houses in Neighborhood of Robloxia come to mind- while being near the shops, where the most activity is- can be loud and overstimulating at times, players can always go down to the quieter housing area to take a break.
In horror games, these can be quieter rooms that the player cannot get hurt or die in. Somewhere they can catch their breath.

Bonus points if you remind a player to take a break from the game.

EXAMPLE GAMES
Poor:

  • Kaiju Paradise’s PVP-disabled rooms (placed in poor due to the exclusivity of one, the difficulty of reaching the other without being attacked, etc)
  • Minus Elevation’s spawn area (music is a bit too loud, with no way to turn it down!)

Good:

  • Super Bomb Survival’s spawn area + AFK mode
  • Super Doomspire’s spawn area, tennis court, + AFK mode
  • Pepper’s Playhouse’s cafeteria (frequently used as a rest stop during/after exploring and as a player meeting place)
  • Minus Decendance’s spawn area

QUESTS OR ACTIVITY LOGS
Helps: DID, OSDD, Amnesia, ADD, ADHD, etc.

Does your game have quests? Make a quest book or a quest log telling your players where they are in their quest, what quests they’ve accepted, and hints on what to do next.
These help players with amnesia or those easily distracted remember what they were doing, and how to go about continuing it, which will help their memory even further.

Activity logs are logs that tell a player what they’ve done so far. The adventure logs that pop up when you continue a game of Pokemon Diamond or Pearl are a good example. They tell the player what they did the day before, and they can tab back and forth between pages and see their whole history.
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EXAMPLE GAMES
Poor:

  • Restaurant Tycoon 2’s quest log
  • Pet Zoo (Tycoon)'s quest log

Good:

  • Bee Swarm Simulator’s quest log
  • Super Bomb Survival’s quest log

Great:

  • Little Witches PhD’s assignments log + orange arrow

SPREADING ACCEPTANCE
Helps: Everyone!

Finally, you can spread disability acceptance and accessibility through your game! Teach players about disability, incorporate disabled characters in your game, give players the option to have a disability or disability aid (but make sure it doesn’t actually hinder their gameplay- this is a no-no), etc.!

Examples of this include the American Sign Language alphabet board I have in Care Bears Paper Roleplay (also in the upcoming Landmark RP and another project of mine):
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(Sadly this is the best image I have of it actively on me.)

Toca Boca games, which allow players to have a wheelchair/prosthetic limbs/walking aids/etc.:



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The WIP Landmark RP, which features a few playable characters with missing limbs:
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And more!

EXAMPLE GAMES
Poor:

  • Neon District’s setting (cyberpunk in general tends to promote disability acceptance in its subtexts, but may do so unintentionally, poorly, and/or incorrectly)
  • De Pride Isle Sanatorium’s general acceptance (placed in poor due to the fact it’s an asylum game at worst, and players may take this to ableist extremes. however, it is a LOT better compared to other asylum games in the realm of acceptance, etc.)
  • Les Beyond’s general acceptance (same as above)

Good:

  • Little Witches PhD’s general acceptance, disabled NPCs
  • Gem Galaxies’s Selenites, mute gems, defective gems

Great:

  • Warrior Cats Ultimate Edition’s character customization
  • angel’s sensory room’s avatar editor and game as a whole

Thank you so much for reading!

If you have questions, please ask away!
Remember the best sources of info on disabilities come from those with that disabilitity.
Don’t be rude in the replies, of course.

Don’t start arguments- this is not a place to argue. Those who are disabled have the highest priority say in these issues. Do not speak over us or try to make decisions for us- we are not helpless and we should not be silenced.

If you are an abled and neurotypical person, it is not your place to talk about how you think people should treat those with disabilities, nor is it your place to talk about how something could be more or less accessible.
Remember this if you reply.

Other disabled developers and players: give me your thoughts! Let me know what to tweak or include! Your opinions matter the most here.

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Here are some cool things to support, with accessibility in mind!

EDIT: By the way, thanks for all the support on this, guys. This took 6 hours to write (while fighting a bad bout of CFS) and is 17 19 pages long in a Google document.

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Some great insight here, thanks your work!

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Damn I didn’t know that “Ree” and “Triggered” memes were ablest
I’ve realized how much I’ve said “reeee” in roblox games
:frowning_with_open_mouth:

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I’ll give my thoughts on this post.

Basically stuff that should be a part of basic/average game design. Not saying it’s bad, in fact I’m saying it’s great! Not sure why not a lot of the games I play use these. Maybe the developers don’t know how to script these or something.

Once again something that should be a part of basic/average game design. I play this game called “Monke” and there are different colored monkeys (each with their own traits) and sometimes, because of the red tint that appears when you’re a monkey, I can’t tell if I’m red or brown. It would be cool if they added some sort of way to know which kind of monkey you are without taking a look at the color. Monke is a good example of a game WITHOUT proper accessibly settings.

This doesn’t just apply to the disabled. This also applies to a lot of non-disabled people. This is because darker colors are better for the eyes, BUT it makes it harder to focus. So some might want a darker GUI and others would want a lighter GUI.

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exactly! a ton of accessibility settings that help disabled people also benefit abled + neurotypical people! i know a lot of abled/nt people who use minecraft’s accessibility settings for one reason or another.

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This is really good to think about! Though I don’t have these kind of problems, it’s best to support so everyone can have fun playing games. Games were made for everyone; not just the able. This is a very interesting guide and I hope to see more attention put into this. @ControlCoreAngel, this is a great guide and would love to hear more and see more like this on ROBLOX.

I know many people that are autistic, or have ADHD (The ADHD being myself and many other people I know), and it is great to see a resource looking at this. Once I publish my game, I will make it my goal to make it so my game is accessible as possible to everyone.

Love to see some more inclusive people bring this up! The world doesn’t accept so many people, so I’m happy to see this. Hope to see more like this, and more from you @ControlCoreAngel.

@MintSoapBar, I definitely agree with you. I read an article on triggered and how it is disrespectful. And ree, bringing up triggered (or PTSD) is not a funny joke or thing to say in my opinion. :no_entry_sign:

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This is a very good post that people should be reminded of, roblox alone has limited settings that do not fully support people who have a disability. I myself am not a disabled person and have never been bothered by it in any games. How would I implement a first-time configuration screen that does not trigger any disability?

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I believe a lot of developers don’t do this because they are scared they’ll get moderated for it. It’s sad to see that Roblox is scaring devs away from doing this.

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Well actually, the ColorCorrectionEffect instance covers most lighting related issues for players with a disability, such as contrast, saturation and brightness, all in one package. I think they don’t do it because there’s not such a large playerbase who have a disability

I am talking about how some devs don’t implement character with ‘disabilities’ since they are in fear of getting moderated over it.

I put ‘disabilities’ in quotation marks, as not every ‘disability’ is purely negative.

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I thought I’d add a bit to this, being disabled myself.

Adobe has a free color picker tool which has a mode for picking color palettes that are safe with every type of color blindness: https://color.adobe.com/create/color-accessibility. Using this when picking a palette for your UI can go a long way to making sure colorblind players will have a good experience without needing to enable special colorblind modes.

The color filters mentioned in the OP, as far as I know those are for simulating colorblindness rather than correcting for it. You can use tools like those to be able to test your games to make sure they’re playable for colorblind people.

Avoid strobing lights when possible, or if for some reason they are essential, it goes a long way to add specific warnings when a sequence is going to have them. Marking your entire game with an epilepsy warning means that people with epilepsy will be forced to choose between their safety and trying to play your game anyway. There’s lots of guides online which help tell epileptic players which parts of a game will be problematic, as the games often just have a generic warning at startup. Including guides like this right into your game can go a long way.

Using large text sizes by default can help make your game more playable for people with below-average vision, not just for people with specific vision disabilities.

Adding keybind customization to your game, while unfortunately not yet supported out of the box by Roblox, is something that can go a long way to helping players with RSI, motor disabilities, and other physical disabilities. I use an ergonomic keyboard with a custom layout because of RSI, and some games have default controls that don’t work very well for me.

To add to the point about calm areas, having a way to pause or quickly get to a safe area can help a lot of your players, not just disabled people. This type of design is usually the expectation on Roblox (where people can often leave the game at any moment and then resume later), but I thought it was worth mentioning since it’s not the norm in the wider games industry.

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Great information! Thank you for this. Will help a lot! :grinning:

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I don’t really talk about this outside of my personal life and to a few friends within the developer community, but I do too have a physical disability. I have Arthrogryposis. It essentially makes it harder for me to bend; I can only bend to a specific degree.

While I was creating my game, I’ve had it in my mind during development: “If I can play this game, many others can too.” That’s why you’ll see many buttons in my own game a bit larger, keys are not combined, you only need to hold down one key because of this reason:

It’s so hard for me to hold down more than one key, it’s worse with three. I’m glad to see this guide up there, it will it not only teach developers to set up precautions for players who have a disability, but it’ll make our lives easy. I’ve done extensive testing with my game’s controls, ensuring that I can play it, as well as others can play it. And as of now, I haven’t had any complaints about my game’s controls. I’m willing to do everything I can to allow a player who has a disability to play my game, I want them to have an equal opportunity as much as I would like it in other games.

I hope to see Roblox implement something for accessibility because when they do, I’ll be one of the first to implement that new API.

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this is a really good post; i’ve read through the entire thing and learned a lot
i’d like to add that it’s a good idea to avoid forcing the player to hold down buttons while possible (or at least provide an option to prevent having to hold); for example, if you have a crouching or sprinting button, instead of having to hold down the button to keep doing the action it’d be better if you just had to press the button to toggle it
(you actually quietly pointed this out in the post with the screenshot of minecraft’s accessbility menu, but i feel that there should be more emphasis on it since it’s one of the more common problems that are seen in games)
this post also helped me realise that one of the jokes i used to make a lot in the past was actually unintentionally ableist – thanks for helping me find out

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Just wanted to thank you for making this guide, as a developer I find that accessibility guides are very lacking. The only one I am aware of for Roblox is the accessibility best practices guide on the developer hub.

My adhd personally doesn’t inhibit my ability to play games, however it affects me outside of Roblox, like easily getting distracted, short attention span, etc. Because of my short attention span, I have trouble reading the post. I recommend breaking it down using details tags, so it is easier to read for those with extremely short attention spans. After all, this is an accessibility guide. That is all I have to say :slight_smile:

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thanks so much for your addition, i’ll make sure to edit this in!

i will say the color filters on macs and iphones are placed in the accessibility settings for a reason- they don’t simulate colorblindness, they exist to help those with that type of colorblindness.
i can’t show it via screencaps because for whatever reason mac doesn’t work like that, but if i were to toggle the tritanopia settings on, it very, very noticeably changes the color blue on my screen, which is the color that those with tritanopia can’t see all that well. i have studio in my dock, and it changes it’s sky blue to a deep royal blue. same with the sky-blue banners here on devforum. otherwise, other colors aren’t as effected and look relatively the same.
the protanopia settings change colors a little, but noticeably turns red into magenta, while the deuteranopia settings change red and green enough to tell them apart.
the grayscale settings do appear to be just a filter, but you can tell red and green apart. there might be issue with telling apart green and teal with maroon and brown, or pink and purple from red and orange and sky blue, but that’s the only issue i can see.

i’m not as versed on colorblindness as i used to be, but i did make a comic when i was younger with colorblind protagonists, where pages were colored only in the specific character it involved primarily could see. this is another reason i can tell the color filters aren’t simulating colorblindness, but assisting with color differentiation.

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yeah, i definitely rambled on a bit!
i got autism, so i know where you come from. normally i wouldn’t like reading a post as long as this at all.
accessibility’s a big special interest of mine, though, so i couldn’t help but go on about it.

it’s as broken down as i could get it, from my perspective. at least, to still have it make sense.

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Thank you for posting! I suggested a few days ago that people should do some of the things mentioned but did not have all the resources on hand for them. This is a great resource that I will share with others, and will utilize some of the things I haven’t thought of here. Great work. As a person with several of the disabilities on this list, it’s certainly a great thing to see.


im literally autistic.
way to call an actual autistic person active in the autistic community who knows that “”“joke”"" is offensive nonsensical.

i gave reason as to why these “”“jokes”"" are offensive and u clearly didn’t read my post!
here are some sources:

(“Reeeee” is an extension of the “autistic screeching” “meme” and has roots in making fun of people with autism. Don’t do that.) - IndieAlpaca via Twitter

PSA: “Reeeeee” is just as offensive as using the R-word. Its origins trace back to a meme making fun of the sound an autistic person was making when overstimulated. - Steven Spohn via Twitter

Sometimes, “ree” is used to mock people on the autism spectrum, supposedly mimicking a noise that someone on the spectrum might make. This variation of “reeee” is overtly offensive and disrespectful. - Stay Hipp

I see it constantly. It irritates me as it’s associated with the autistic screeching meme. I very rarely have fits, but those less fortunate than myself on other parts of the spectrum do, as I’m sure we’re all aware. I find it mocking and insulting to those unable to help themselves. - u/Yodamort via r/autism (this user is also autistic themselves)

Redditor Dragon___ replied that the sound was similar to shrieks made by autistic people … - Know Your Meme

(here’s a screenshot of that, spoilered because of uncensored slur usage!)

ca5

and yes, kym and a lot of other places will say it originated from the screaming frog meme. however, in modern times it is mostly used to make fun of autistic people, and just because its origin is not in that doesnt mean its not offensive.

please get off my thread abt not being ableist if ur going to be ableist urself! thank you and please educate yourself. :heart:

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