User-interface design is a tricky part of game development. You have to find the right balance between usability and attractive aesthetic choices. This is only taking an “average” gamer into account, but there are many different types of gamers with larger hurdles to overcome than that which any game presents.
Legend of Grimrock developer Petri Häkkinen received an interesting comment after showing off the newest additions to the game’s user interface. Commenter HarpoonIPA wrote, “I’m disabled and use a mouth stick for typing, I always used the mouse in [Dungeon Master] just easier for me, but I will learn to play you’re way.” How did the Petri and Almost Human Ltd. respond? Why, by simply redesigning the user interface to accommodate larger keys for player movement and item usage.
By taking the time to listen to their fans, they have not only made their game more accessible for a multitude of newer players but have also shined a lesser-talked-about area of design. Judging by the time it took Petri to create and implement those UI changes as a small indie developer, it also shows the big boys how quick and simple it can really be if you take a few moments to consider more than just the “average” gamer. It’s stories like these that make me really appreciate indie gaming and the strong connection that it can create to its fan base.
Gaming vs Disability – an immediate and awesome reaction… [Reddit — Thanks, J.]