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6:45 PM on 10.17.2010

Custom Button Remapping Industry's Feeling About It. Yours?

My name is Chuck Bittner a quadriplegic gamer looking to get the game industry to add custom button remapping to modern consoles/ games.

My previous blog post on this topic got Destructoided! So here is round two. Please add your comments again they were great to read and even clipped some of them and added them to my Google document that contains comments on the petition.

So someone I know works with the game industry and more directly works with developers in the marketing arena. He told me that he would bring up custom button remapping with game designers and get their fears and feedback this is what he said were the objections.


The objections I’ve heard fall into two

We want to give users the best possible option for the game we made. A gamer might, by remapping, make the game less enjoyable/playable.

The big one seems to be the perception that dev and testing time would   read

6:17 PM on 10.17.2010

Good News & Bad News-Black OPs Button Layout For HandiGAMERS

November 9, 2010 could be a black day for this Capper. No I'm just kidding not a black day but only a bummer of a day for me.  Someone posted a screen capture of two new layouts (only really one since N0M4D's layout was in World at War for xBox not PS3) for handicapped gamers in Treyarch's new entry to the call of duty series .  The image was posted on Treyarch's forums. 

Now many of you know I am Chuck the Capper and have been running a petition to get the game industry to support custom button remapping on console video games. The reason being as a quadriplegic I can't use my hands and can't reach many buttons for many games because I play with my face.  And with button remapping many games that were unaccessible become playable. Remapping as I have said from the beginning will help every gamer disabled or not.

Now I think it's cool that it seems Treyarch is thinking about handicapped gamers and implementing layouts for each one. But how painstaking and resource wasting adding a layout for each handicapped gamer.

Notice the layouts below the first images of the new layouts in black ops the seco   read

10:22 AM on 10.04.2010

AskACapper - The Benjamins vs. the button remapping petition

Hey boys and girls Chuck here with another custom button remapping petition blog post. Petition passed 8000 on sunday night and thanks for sending signature 8000 over!

My post from this weekend kind of got lost in the mix so here’s a link please check it out it deals with the Treyarch balance question in relation to button remapping.

So it’s all about the Benjamin’s? Really? We know sadly in this day and age many business decisions (okay all business decisions) are based on the simple question “Will this make us more money?”

The reason I bring this up is that this is the one objection that many developers are going to have “That adding remapping will cost us moar than it will earn us”. Is that really a true statement?

We understand that adding this will cost them money & time (time = money) in quality assurance testing. Plus there is the general cost of initially doing the code necessary. But are these valid concerns? And would them having remapping in their games add to their bottom line? Well here is my 69¢.

I believe that the cost associated with adding custom button remapping would pale into insignificance with the boost of game sales a company would receive. Now I say this and some of you might think “What? Will that many disabled gamers really go buy a game because it has remapping as to make it worthwhile for the developers to spend money adding it?”

But I think what many don’t realize is that MANY nondisabled gamers want remapping. I always imagine a company stepping up and saying we will add remapping to all our games.

We’ll call them “Company A”. So “Company A” tells the gaming community if ever you buy one of our games and don’t like the presets we have we will let you choose whatever layout you want. I then picture a gamer standing in a game store or a blockbuster (before they go out of business) looking at “Company A’s” game deciding if they want to rent or buy. But in the back of their mind they will already be thinking or remembering that they can remap the controls however they want.

I think the psychological effect will help the game industry sell more games. I’ve talked to numerous people who have expressed the fact that they have not bought certain games because of the control layouts, or even worse (for game developers) traded in a game simply because they hated the preset controls that came with the game.

And I personally have not bought games because I can't remap them (AvP, Red Dead Redemption).

PLEASE AWNSER THESE QUESTIONS BELOW: What do you think? Have you ever bought a game and hated it simply because the controls were not intuitive? Do you think I’m just tripping (it was a wild weekend) and adding custom remapping would not affect game sales to non-disabled gamers?

Hit me below the belt oh I mean down below with your comments. Okay I’m off to fap, fap, fap to other peoples blogs!

Chuck Bittner the Capper
[embed]185580:33794[/embed]   read

10:52 AM on 10.02.2010

AskACapper - Remapping petition update & Treyarch thread debate!?

Hey you Dtoids,

Chuck the quadriplegic gamer who is doing the custom button remapping petition (it's going very well thank you for asking! We passed 7900 signatures). I'd love to get your thoughts on the following post that can be found in TREYARCHS forums. One thing I would like to say is that I'm very proud of Treyarch for even bringing this topic up for discussion in an often close minded industry.

My petition FAQ:

Pic of David 'Vahn' Vonderhaar

your actions speak louder than words!

The thread from which this spring click the link for the ridiculous and insightful!


In bits and pieces of these forums are some posts with regards to a controller configuration suggestions that work for gamers with disabilities.

Our lead MP programmer 'Yer' was just in my office asking me what we wanted to do here. The truth is I haven't had a lot of time to think about this. Like many people, I use the default controls and those work for me.

As you may know, the previous games have had NoM4d (which helps some folks because of the Toggle ADS) (ADDED BY ME: N0M4D LAYOUT WAS ONLY AVAILABLE XBOX) and we added the Alternative Color Scheme option on the last game (which can help if you are color-blind).

Let me say right off the bat that it is not really in our scope to give you a mechanism that let's you completely map your own buttons and sticks to anything, everything, and whatever else.

One gamer suggested to me that he would be willing to live without certain features on his controller.

As a designer, I get consumed by the need to map features to buttons and it never occurred to me that a player with a particular disability would be willing to live without certain features on his control scheme in order to have more control over the things that were most important to him.

Please don't troll in this thread or I'm just going to ask the moderators to get medieval on you.

This is a thread for people who genuinely can't use any of the 4 basic button or layout combination because of a disability.

I make no promises. We just want to see if we can find some simple solutions that will make your experience better.

David 'Vahn' Vonderhaar

Okay so the following posts go on to Express users thanks and appreciation for their even thinking of this. But also some go on to express another POV.

Their fear that custom button remapping could be exploited (a.k.a. a certain layout giving the gamer an unfair advantage over others not using that layout)

what do you think? Do you think that this could be leveraged into something that would change the balance of the game (a.k.a. using stopping power because everybody else is using juggernaut you feel you have to)?

Now I am of the mind that this is the first step in a progression of steps necessary for custom button remapping to be adopted by companies. So I don't look at it as “they are not doing remapping so I'm angry” but more as at least I got them thinking.

Please feel free to hop into their forms and make a reply about how you feel.

RANDOM JOKE: A "friend" gave me a walkman for my birthday... Jerk! He knew I wanted the "Roll Man" instead.

Be excellent game on gamers!
Chuck the CAPper

[embed]185459:33742[/embed]   read

1:03 PM on 10.01.2010

A few industry objections to the custom button remapping petition

Hey Dtoids!

It is Chuck the Capper back again I hope this scramble of the English letters finds you doing excellent. I'm not very good at English in fact I can't believe I passed it in high school. So I hope reading this blog post is going to be a disaster for those of you who know how to write well. I would gladly take some advice if you have some to offer.

The petition is at 7847 (I have had 5 spam signings and 10-15 ghost signers)

So yesterday I posted my first blog in relation to the custom button remapping petition here are a few objections that a friend of mine has received, let's drill some holes in them. Now he works in the industry in the advertising side of things and when I met him at PAX East he really was stoked about the idea and said he would bring it up with his clients. Here is what they have said.

The objections I’ve heard fall into two categories:

We want to give users the best possible option for the game we made. A gamer might, by remapping, make the game less enjoyable/playable.

The big one seems to be the perception that dev and testing time would increase and everyone is always starved for those.

so what do you guys think? The way I look at it with testing time once you have a good set of code for remapping set up in one game transitioning it to other games shouldn't be too hard. How would you guys respond to these objections? Hit me down below and I'll update the blog with your responses and then I will send it to him.

This video below shows me playing Gran Turismo 5 Proluge with full button remapping. It's one of my older videos. But this video deftly demonstrates how remapping can make a world of difference to a disabled gamer.


Random thought: I just realized I'm not disabled I a super hero! Unfortunately I'm Can't Walk Man and my side kicks are Deaf Girl & Blind Boy!

Game on gamers
Chuck the capper!   read

11:14 AM on 09.30.2010

AskACapper - Quadriplegic gamer custom button petition info!

Hey Dtoids Chuck the capper here. I am the quadriplegic gamer who is doing the custom button remapping petition. I want to thank you all for the support and kind words. I am going to be regularly putting updates here on Destructoid and answering community questions so look out. The petition passed 7400 sigs thanks to you guys and girls.

Here is an FAQ from my FAQ page:
Why not just get a custom controller?
First off I do mention this in the petition but sometimes gets overlooked. Custom controllers by their nature are very expensive at each one needs to be customized to the disabled player. So expense alone is a detracting factor. When most of the time a disabled gamer would merely need to be able to remap the controls to play a game.
Secondly if you have a custom controller made for you they put control buttons in places that you can reach them. For example if I am playing call of duty on a modern controller I would have sight up not be L1 but more near R1 which is the fire button. And if I had a button over there it would solve a major problem for me in the game call of duty. Now if I want to transition to a racing game that control scheme will be totally different without remapping my custom controller is useless.

Here is a gameplay video where I talk about button remapping and why I need it with special guest Bender Bending Rodríguez from Futurama.

Here is my other thing I do Can't Stand Up Comedy...

Thanks again for the help!
Chuck Bittner   read

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