In this short series we will look at some of the ways Android players can customise and improve the motor accessibility of games.
This can be done by adjusting options in games or by using alternative controller, such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
In this video we’ll be looking at some of the optional features and settings found in some Android games, which may improve the motor accessibility for players. The aim is to demonstrate some of the available options to players in these specific games, but also as examples of what to look out for when playing a new game. We also aim to show developers these features so that they may consider whether similar features may be appropriate for their own games.
If you are a game developer who is interested in adding motor accessibility features to your game or a future project, SpecialEffect have created the SpecialEffect DevKit.
Over seven main topics, the DevKit covers many of the motor accessibility options we look for when assessing how accessible a game might be to some players.
The topics fall into one of two categories – Input, which focuses on how players interact with a game through the input devices that they use, and Gameplay, which looks at ways of altering the gameplay to allow players to play at a level of challenge that suits them with their current setup.
Please visit the SpecialEffect DevKit website to get started at specialeffectdevkit.info.
Brawlhalla is a platform fighting game that allows you to play using a controller as an alternative to touch. You can remap the inputs if using a controller and you also choose to disable the controller which can be useful for players, for instance, if using a controller to emulate touch on a device, rather than use it as a controller. It also features the option to move the touchscreen controls as well as resize them to create a customised layout to suit players using the touchscreen and place them where they are most comfortable accessing them. It also has a ‘Press Up to Jump’ option, which removes the need for the Jump action as a separate button input. So, if accessing the Left Stick or D-Pad are preferred for players using a controller, they can use the up direction on these instead. Players can test these settings and practice the controls in a in a pressure free Testing area.
For developers, the following modules on the SpecialEffect DevKit have more examples of these types of features: 1.2 Supporting Multiple Input Devices, 2.2 Remapping, 1.4 Blocking Input Devices, 6.5 Analog Action Assists and 5.6 Testing Configurations.
Dead Cells is a roguelike-Metroidvania where you make your way through procedurally-generated levels by defeating enemies and collecting power-ups and weapons along the way.
Controllers that are compatible on Android are supported and you can remap the button and trigger inputs.
You can also alter the left stick deadzone. By allowing players to adjust this area, players can choose the amount of input required on the Left Stick to initiate an action.
Increasing the deadzone can be useful for players with trying to avoid unintentionally performing an action. Decreasing the inner deadzone can be useful for players who would prefer to initiate an action with less input from the device, and therefore less physical movement overall.
You can also choose a ‘Controls Tutorial’ which shows control tips at the start of the game, which can help players become familiar with the inputs that are required sooner, if their controls need to be tailored to the game.
For developers, the following modules on the SpecialEffect DevKit have more examples of these types of features:2.2 Remapping, 4.2 Inner Deadzones and 5.2 Action Information .
Apex Legends Mobile
Apex Legends Mobile is a battle royale shooter game. At start up you are asked to choose a configuration, which can later be changed in the Settings menu. One of these options is that ‘Auto-Firing will be enabled.’ This means that when you aim at the enemy you will shoot automatically. It also contains a range of sensitivity options. And it also has an Aim Down Sights tap option, so the input does not have to be held. It also has a customisable layout for onscreen joysticks and buttons.
For developers, the following modules within the SpecialEffect DevKit have more examples of these types of features: 7.3 Automatic Digital Actions and 4.5 Action Values.
Call of Duty Mobile
Call of Duty Mobile is a first- and third-person shooter. The game provides controller support within a match to give alternative access to the game using controllers supported on Android devices, such as a standard Xbox controller or an Xbox Adaptive Controller. Touch input is still required for many of the menus.
The game includes a ‘Simple Mode’, which, like Apex Legends Mobile, auto fires when aiming at an enemy, which reduces the need for an additional input for shoot. It also includes sensitivity options for different contexts and a toggle option for aiming down sights, which removes the need to continuously hold this input.
Call of Duty mobile also includes an Auto Sprint option which will allow you to continue sprinting without holding an input until you cancel it for both touchscreen players and players using a controller.
Like some other games mentioned, it also includes moveable and scalable onscreen inputs.
For developers, the following modules on the SpecialEffect DevKit have more examples of these types of features: 1.2 Supporting Multiple Input Devices, 7.3 Automatic Digital Actions, 4.5 Action Values, 3.3 Continuous Holds and 6.5 Analog Action Assists.
Minecraft can be played using a connected controller or touchscreen controls. You can choose to use Auto-Jump, which reduces the need to press an input for it manually when you approach an obstacle. Again, you can remap the buttons and trigger inputs to actions of your choice if using a controller. You can also choose alterative touchscreen control schemes, such as ‘split’ controls or ‘lefty’ mode for left-handed game play. You can adjust the sensitivity of camera controls. You also have the option to choose difficulty and play in Creative mode, for a less competitive style of play.
Within the SpecialEffect DevKit, developers can find further examples of these features: 1.2 Supporting Multiple Input Devices, 7.3 Automatic Digital Actions, 2.2 Remapping, 4.5 Action Values and 6.3 Game Difficulty.
Asphalt 9: Legends
The racing game, Asphalt 9: Legends, has a steering mode called ‘TouchDrive’, that allows a player to tap onscreen icons to indicate which route you’d like to choose, rather than manually steering the vehicles by swiping, tilting or moving a joystick. When you approach a turn, for instance, the game will give you a window to choose one of the onscreen options for which direction to take.
When using manual controls, it also allows players to adjust the steering sensitivity, whichever input they are using. You can choose from swiping onscreen, tilting the device or using a connected controller to steer.
For developers, the following modules within the SpecialEffect DevKit have more examples of these types of features: 7.4 Automatic Analog Actions, 4.5 Action Values & 4.7 Input Methods.
In PubG Mobile, a battle royal game, players have the option to adjust the type of event that performs the action when firing Shotguns and Crossbows. They can choose to fire when the onscreen input is released or when it is pressed, allowing players to adjust what method works best for them and their use of inputs and timing.
More examples of which may be useful for developers can be found on the SpecialEffect DevKit.
This is just a small range of games available on Android which have options that may make them more accessible to some players. When playing a new game, it can be worth taking a look at the Settings or Options menu to see what features can be adjusted to customise the game.
Please be aware certain games shown may cost money to buy, have in-app purchases or have age restrictions.
In this short 3 episode series, we will look at some of the ways players on Android devices can customise their experience and improve the motor accessibility of games.
This could be by adjusting options in games or by using alternative controls with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, or both.
In Episode 1, we look at some examples of the optional settings and features within some Android games, that may improve the motor accessibility for players when used. We will highlight some of the available options to players in these specific games, but, more widely, these act as examples of what to look out for in the Settings and Options when playing any new game.
We also aim to show developers these features so that they may consider whether similar ones may be appropriate for their own games. If you are a game developer who is interested in adding motor accessibility options to your game or a future project, SpecialEffect have created the SpecialEffect DevKit. Over seven main topics, the DevKit covers many of the motor accessibility options we look for when assessing how accessible a game might be to some players. Please visit the SpecialEffect DevKit website to get started: specialeffectdevkit.info
0:00 | Intro
1:42 | Brawlhalla
3:07 | Dead Cells
4:20 | Apex Legends Mobile
5:17 | Call of Duty Mobile
6:58 | Minecraft
8:20 | Asphalt 9: Legends
9:27 | PubG Mobile
Episode 2 in this series looks at connecting an Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) to an Android device: Episode 2
Episode 3 looks at some games that can be used as a starting point for players using an XAC on Android: Episode 3
Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) – For additional information on the XAC, use the ‘XAC‘ tag on the GameAccess website.
Music in Episode 1: Skipping by Ian Post, Little Eyes by Yehezkel Ram, Assembly Line Dreams by Ostin Drais, Binary Love by Stanley Gurvich, Ezra by Notize, Dawning Light by Tristan Barton, When the Sunrise (Instrumental Version) by Yehezkel Raz, Europa by Yehezkel Raz and Tomb by VESHZA (all artlist.io).