How to use… the Game Control Mixer XAC

The GCM XAC Titan Two is an expansion kit for the Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller from OneSwitch.org.uk. We have used it to support people who can only activate a relatively small number of physical controls at once.

It has a number of features of note including:

1: Special SHIFT modes

The left and right-stick can be set to act in one of 24 different ways at any time. Basic modes include access to left-stick, right-stick, d-pad, shapes/ABXY and the shoulder-buttons. Other modes include PS4/PS5 glide-pad emulation, and a way to drive or explore a 3D world with a single stick. Sticks can be mixed in any combination. Other SHIFT features are detailed in the video above.

SHIFTING is via the XAC VIEW button, either tapping or holding and using other controls at the same time.

Xbox VIEW button. Used as SHIFT.
Change joystick modes by holding SHIFT then moving any stick North, East, South or West 1-6 times.
Game Control Mixer (GCM XAC) joystick guide

2: KMG capture (Keyboard, Mouse, Gamepad)

By connecting a Windows PC to the PROG socket on the back of the Titan Two, a large range of PC compatible controls can be added. This includes speech with analogue control such as saying “walk”, “jog”, “run”, and “sprint” to get different forward speeds. A large range of mixes is possible.

3: Cross-platform and Co-Pilot

It’s possible to use a XAC with a Playstation 5, PS4, PS3, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC (as a joystick or a mouse) and Raspberry Pi. Connection with other devices is possible too (eg the SEGA Dreamcast and Playstation), sometimes requiring extra hardware..


4: Customisation

A number of custom configurations can be requested, including shielding off controls that may causing access problems.

Get in touch

If you’d like anymore information or help with accessible gaming, please contact us through the SpecialEffect website: www.specialeffect.org.uk/contactus


Video By Cara Jessop
 
Music: Sleep Tight by Stanley Gurvich (from artlist.io)
 
Video Transcript:
 
 
 
 

New One Button PC Games (Nov 2020)

Chill Balloon, hot air balloon floating across a lovely landscape.
Witches stare on at a pumpkin, with an arrow and powerbar next to it.
Chill Balloon, hot air balloon floating across a lovely landscape.
Brick maze with three triangular space ships.

A selection of single button (aka one-switch) games for the PC that were created as part of a One Button Game Jam 2020 competition in 2020. These games are designed to be started, played and restarted using a single button (normally the SPACE BAR or the mouse left-click). Some of the entries are also low pressure games, where you don’t need to do anything very quickly. Most are for PC, Mac, Linux and/or are possible to play online. All are donationware: you can choose to play them for free or make a donation to the programmers.

Chill Balloon. A relaxed balloon flying game. Very low pressure. Fly at your leisure over a British countryside, with animals freely running around. There is just point of accuracy required at the end, where you try to land on a large round target area.

Little Seed Grow. Grow a seed into a full fruit or vegetable, and can choose to feed a beetle too while doing so. One switch will control the weather and time of day to match the needs of the plant.

One Button Peggle. An online bagatelle/Peggle like game for one switch. Try to hit all the pegs with your limited supply of balls.

One Button Dungeon. Enter every room to complete this simple puzzle game.

Pumpkin Toss. Four obstacle courses to overcome by launching your Pumpkin rightwards.

Xbox Touch Controls (Android)

An Android phone with touch-screen controls being rearranged by the user for greater comfort.

With the Xbox subscription service “Game Pass Ultimate”, it’s possible to play a small range of Xbox mobile games purely with touch-screen controls. No additional controller required. These are presently…

  • Dead Cells
  • Gucamelee! 2
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Hotshot Racing
  • Killer Instinct
  • New Super Lucky’s Tale
  • Slay The Spire
  • Streets of Rage 4
  • Tell Me Why
  • UnderMine

…there are customisation options allowing you to move the on-screen touch controls into a more comfortable position. It’s also possible to use game action symbols, such as a running figure, in place of conventional button symbols, making things easier to comprehend.

Three symbols. A stick figure jumping over three ascending slanted lines. A bolt of lightening with six emphasising lines. A stick figure ducking under three dotted lines, possibly 3 bullets.
Someone holding a large tablet computer, with very small touch-screen controls. Text reads, Dead Cells.
10 small mobile phones, showing gameplay and text for 
Minecraft Dungeons
New Super Lucky’s Tale
Hotshot Racing
Dead Cells
Gucamelee! 2
Tell Me Why
Killer Instinct
Streets of Rage 4
Slay The Spire
UnderMine
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

For more information on access to gaming on Android, please use the ‘Android’ category and if you have any questions about accessible gaming, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page.

TiX Tecnologia Assistiva – One Switch Games

Black background and column of coloured diamonds, each numbered for scoring. A yellow thick line falls from the top of the screen at 45 degree angles.

A batch of one-switch games, curated at TiX Technologia Assisstiva. Some may find them a challenge due to the timing required, but a challenge that could be fun. The website is in Portuguese, but some browsers (eg Chrome) offer a translation facility.

Arctic Pong: Slippery game of bouncing between two rubber bands, avoiding the Polar Bears. Requires fast taps and timing to play well.

Chef Jump: Jump to avoid flying chopping knives. Double-tap to jump higher. Fast taps and reactions needed most of the time.

Guns and Bottles: A lower pressure game. Bottles encircle your gun. Shoot them with your limited ammo. Requires accurate shots, but you can take as long as you like to fire.

Knife Smash: Throw your dagger at a rotating wheel filled with fruit (good) and weapons (bad – don’t hit them). As with Guns and Bottles, take as long as you like before pressing your button.

Perfect Fall: A basketball game based on Tower Bloxxx. Drop a ball into a hoop. Take as long as you like, but expect to miss a lot.

Zig-Zag line: Try to touch coloured diamonds the same as your line, and avoid all the others.

All play via left-click or touch. They also have some simple mouse games and an interesting accessibility controller. This “Teclado-mouse Inteligente” has nine main buttons with unique colour and symbol. This can be used as a mouse and as a fully fledged keyboard.

Jabberwocky (Android) Free Head Tracking

Jabberwocky Android head tracking. Mock up of a four mobile phones with a persons face indent bottom-right, controlling the phone. A How It Works guide. Dialing a phone number. Composing an e-mail. Playing a match-three game.
Jabberwocky Android head tracking. Mock up of a four mobile phones with a persons face indent bottom-right, controlling the phone. A How It Works guide. Dialing a phone number. Composing an e-mail. Playing a match-three game.

Jabberwocky (by Swiftable) is a free utility for Android phones and tablets enabling them to be used with head movement alone, tracked by the “selfie” camera.

Moving the on-screen cursor is by moving your head. Open and close your mouth quickly to tap. Open your mouth and move your head to swipe/drag.

Shaking your head left to right (as if saying “no” disables / enables the on-screen cursor. This could be useful if watching a film. It also helps to centre the cursor.

If the user is able, they can use Jabberwocky alongside other input methods (such as a mouse or switch interface).

It can be easier to use head-tracking with a mount to steady your camera or tablet device, and a fairly well lit area. I’ve found it smooth and responsive, and it could be a suitable option for playing lower pressure point and click type games, such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush as well as other low-speed activities.

Download Jabberwocky via the Google Play store.

PC and Apple iOS alternatives: Of note, head-tracking is also possible with a very recent iPhone or iPad Pro (one with Face ID / “TrueDepth” selfie cameras). Apple’s solution takes more steps to set up and felt less responsive in use. It could still be very useful though if you have this equipment. Some PC methods include Camera Mouse, Kinesic Mouse and more.

A short GIF showing a head alone with facial gestures to control a mobile phone.

Playstation Call for Accessibility Help

Research-I.co.uk - Paid Game Testing. And pictures of Playstation shapes, Steam logo of a piston arm, Nintendo Switch logo of two joycons and Xbox symbol.
Research-I.co.uk - Paid Game Testing. And pictures of Playstation shapes, Steam logo of a piston arm, Nintendo Switch logo of two joycons and Xbox symbol.

Sony UK are currently asking for help with their accessibility research in 2020. This from a Twitter post from Mark Friend:

“Want to help PlayStation with our accessibility research in 2020? We’ve got some pretty exciting projects in the works, and we’re looking for gamers with a wide variety of conditions and requirements to sign up to our mailing list.

The projects on offer are linked to some of the barriers you may be facing, and also if you’re able to get to their Oxford Street “client test-labs” or would need to do this from home only. That can be done via telephone or web conference. 

Tweet from Mark Friend. Want to help Playstation with our accessibility research in 2020?