Naughty Dog‘s lead systems designer Matthew Gallant has said that accessibility and challenge can coexist in video games and one doesn’t impact the other.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Gallant was asked what he thinks a lot of players don’t understand about accessibility design in video games, to which he said:
Accessibility is orthogonal to difficulty. Providing a ‘very light’ difficulty option may remove barriers for some players, but others want to play on ‘grounded’ or with permadeath enabled. (Shout out to SightlessKombat!) Challenge and accessibility can coexist in harmony with the right design choices.
Gallant added that every game has unique challenges when it comes to accessibility design, which require evaluation and playtesting. However, he believes accessibility is a “true frontier of game design” and he’d like to see accessibility features become a norm in the video game industry over the next decade.
Developers like Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games consult disabled players and experts to guide the accessibility design process. Insomniac Games’ director of experience, Brian Allgeier, told Eurogamer that the studio deems it important to create inclusive worlds with relatable characters. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, for example, the team introduced deaf street artist Hailey Cooper, portrayed by Natasha Ofili who is also deaf.
“We’re excited about continuing to create worlds that represent characters from a wide range of backgrounds and we hope it continues to resonate with our fans,” Allgeier concluded.[Source: Eurogamer]