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'Games do more than entertain the disabled': How Naughty Dog made Uncharted 4 more accessible - MCV

'Games do more than entertain the disabled': How Naughty Dog made Uncharted 4 more accessible

Changes ranged from snap-on targeting and camera assistance to optional ability to hold button instead of mashing and multiplayer UI colour tweaks
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Naughty Dog went one step further in making Uncharted 4 accessible to as many players as possible, thanks to the help of a disabled fan.

Josh Straub, who runs the DAGER System website dedicated to highlighting the accessibility of games, got in touch with UI designer Alexandria Neonakis to inform her that he was unable to complete Uncharted 2 due to its late-game button-mashing requirement to open a series of doors.

Naughty Dog responded by upping the number of optional accessibility features in Uncharted 4, including the ability to hold controller face buttons instead of repeatedly inputting commands during scripted sequences or melee combat.

In a new video detailing its efforts, lead game designer Emilia Schatz added that another main point of focus was reducing the need to use the right analog stick.

This manifested in the ability to turn on camera assistance when taking cover and aiming at enemies, as well as a lock-on feature that offers generous snap-on targeting at enemies.

UI scripter Andrew Ortiz recalled his own colourblindness resulting in changes to the game’s multiplayer UI when he joined the team, saying that a very minor alteration – turning the enemy team’s colour from green to blue – allowed him to fully experience the mode.

“No one ever questioned it,” Ortiz explained.

“What developers need to realise is that these games do more than just entertain the disabled,” Straub urges in the video. “First of all, they provide an escape from sort of the doldrums of being disabled. Second of all, they provide a social space where instead of being judged for physical appearance we’re judged by the actions that we do and things we produce in the game.

“You don't need to make the game so you can play it with a head switch; you just need to make the game’s controls flexible enough.

“That brief period of escape is why accessibility is so crucial, because the more games that offer that the more people with disabilities will be able to escape and have better lives.”

Watch the full diary below.

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