Where we look back on our concept:
Topics of discussion:
Our games were designed with deaf teens and blind teens in mind. For the text adventure we made sure that the game would be easily accessible by adding audio control and fully voiced text and braille keyboard compatibility. For the visual novel, whilst writing the script I made sure to be descriptive about sound to enrich the experience. The game demo that David and Chris made were also visually intriguing.
Representation was a big factor in our idea though since there are rarely any deaf, blind or mute teenagers that take up a significant role in any form of media let alone video games. So it was both crucial that we chose to make our main characters blind, deaf and mute but not incapable of enjoying and studying music like everyone else. The whole point is to not just to make the characters relatable to the target audience but to be a fair representation on them.
As Chris mentioned on his blog, more representation of disabled people in media is a good step into building awareness and increasing understanding.
For the cover design I went for a CD cover format (to make further reference about the game’s scene) whilst making the logo minimalistic (though enough detail to show the instruments that our three main protagonists plays) and colour scheme a pastel grey to reflect the classiness and tranquility of Jazz. I chose a bold but distinct font for the captions for the same effect.
David and Chris went for used san-serifs for maximum eligibility in the visual novel demo (as reading is the most crucial factor). Whilst different coloured fonts distinguish the characters ‘ names from each other. The artstyle of the character were bright and colourful to represent their exuberant personalities (and also because I like colour).
With the text adventure we had gone for a classic black and white aesthetic to fit into the themes of other text adventures. Also visuals are not necessary since the game’s emphasis is on audio so that it’s accessible for blind players.
What did you personally learn about audiences by making this product?
From my research I actually discovered that there was a lot of blind and deaf teenagers that enjoyed gaming as their daily hobby no matter the difficulties (I was especially surprised to see the popularity of fighting games amongst blind gamers). There are hardly any games targeted at this audience despite the player and charities’ preaching for more games designed for disabled gamers. As an aspiring games creator, looking at the design guidelines set written by AbleGamer, a fire of inspiration lit in me. It’s these kind of challenges that makes games design so intriguing and this project has taught me that this is a niche market worth targeting.