|Supervisor:||Prof. Gudrun Klinker|
In computer games, more and more emphasis is placed on graphics in order to improve the gaming experience, this can be seen in the increasingly realistic titles. However, this cultural good is withheld from people who are severely visually impaired or even blind, as there are hardly any opportunities to play them without the sense of sight, especially in the big worlds of action role-playing games.
In this bachelor thesis, game design principles are sought that make playing such games possible without the sense of sight. The main focus is on the use of audio and haptic feedback in order to achieve a gaming experience similar to that in a normal game. For this purpose, the most important game elements are analyzed and techniques developed for these so that they can also be used without the sense of sight. The main focus here is on wayfinding areas of interest and artificial cues.
The purpose of this work is to define game design principles that developers can use to enable blind and visually impaired people to play current story-based action role-playing games.
This is possible, at least in theory. By analyzing current games, the most important game elements of such games could be found and then adapted so that they can also be mas-tered by blind and visually impaired players. If simple tasks such as navigating in a menu were still relatively easy to access, the subject of wayfinding is a bit more complex. This is because the player first has to build up an inner map of the environment in order to be able to find his way around later. Since in this case the player cannot see important waypoints, these must be designed with sound so that the player can recognize them. But there are also game elements that can be made accessible without major changes, including dialogues. These are spoken, for example, in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [L10] here, only the choice of answers would have to be set to speech. Another point that must not be neglected is that the player only consists of sounds and haptic feedback, so it must be ensured that there is no overlord that negatively affects the gaming experience. Another point that must be observed is that all information that is given on the screen (artificial cues) must now be introduced into the game differently, as these are mostly important for the game but cannot be seen by the blind and visually impaired.
Whether all these game design principles that have been defined also work in practice cannot be confirmed in this thesis, as this requires a user study with blind and visually impaired participants. But since there are already a few games that have been made for the blind and visually impaired, this indicates that it is also feasible to make a current story-based action role-playing game accessible to blind or visually impaired people.