In recent years, Microsoft has made a name for itself in the industry as a player dealing with issues of video game accessibility. In 2018, the company launched the Xbox adaptive controller for gamers with disabilities. This controller is a real hub that can be used to connect a number of buttons, triggers, sticks and a lot more. He opens the video game to new players. As of January 2020, the company has also defined a set of best practices for developers and publishers. Baptized Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAG)These recommendations make it possible to better structure the efforts of the production teams and thus better meet user expectations. But Microsoft is now going even further and is launching a tool to test game accessibility!
This is a great first for the video game industry indeed. From now on, Developers can use Microsoft’s expertise to measure the accessibility of their games. All you have to do is send a copy of your production to the manufacturer so that it can be checked by an internal algorithm. After the analysis, a report is created and shared with the creators. This describes how it respects that or not Xbox Accessibility Guidelines and will be able to make developers aware of issues that are a real problem for players with disabilities.
To create this test engine, the Game Reliability Engineering Team
- Use clear terms Avoid the use of technical jargon or medical jargon as much as possible
- Define a specific goal for each XAG to make its application and its contribution to the game very specific
- Provide a better overview and a better understanding of the interactions between each XAG
- Support developers when prioritizing the tasks to be carried out, in particular by means of a preliminary questionnaire
- Define the critical points of the experiment changed to best respect the XAGs
- Inform and provide context to better understand the XAGs and their benefits.
- Illustration of the implementation casesespecially the most complex ones to explain the implementation and application of certain XAGs through videos or images.
Microsoft is therefore continuing its massive investments in accessibility and video games. Promises have been made along these lines, and we must admit that they keep coming true every year. We must now hope that developers will follow this example and incorporate this transformation into their developments.