“The best way to figure out what we’re missing is an open dialogue with the players.”
Barely two weeks have passed since the release of Dead Cells’ third paid expansion, The Queen and the Sea, but developer Motion Twin’s astonishing post-launch support continues apace, with the studio now requesting input as it looks to improve the acclaimed rogue-like action-platformer’s accessibility features.
“Recently we’ve been exploring how to make Dead Cells as accessible as possible,” Motion Twin – or rather, subsidiary Evil Empire, which now handles Dead Cells’ development – revealed on Twitter. “We’re doing our own research, but the best way to figure out what we’re missing is an open dialogue with the players.”
Following some preliminary investigations, Evil Empire says it’s already considering the likes of adjustable font size and colour, adjustable colour palettes to assist colour blind players, options to increase UI and background contrast, alongside features such as auto-hit. However, in a bid to spread the net of knowledge wide, it’s now canvassing additional feedback.
Initial suggestions have been plentiful – including support for a broader selection of controllers, options that disable certain visual and audio effects, adjustable game speed, and even a Hades-style God Mode – but the developer is still eager to hear more.
Evil Empire’s request comes as the tide for improved accessibility in games finally seems to be turning. Microsoft continues its own push for inclusivity with initiatives including its impressive Xbox Adaptive Controller, while recent blockbuster hits such as The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Forza Horizon 5 (which includes sign language support) have all drawn widespread praise for their extensive accessibility options. Indeed, more and more studios, including Eidos-Montréal, are starting to take improved accessibility seriously, factoring in important considerations early in development, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.
AbleGamers’ senior director Steven Spohn and Can I Play That? editor-in-chief Ben Bayliss recently shared their insights on accessibility in gaming on Eurogamer, while Vivek Gohil examined the crucial question of hardware accessibility as we move into 2022.