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  • How We Made Our Business Strategy Game More Accessible

    [06.17.21]
    - Kunal Oogorah
  • Statistics show that about 8% of all men (1 in 12 men) and about 0.5% of all women (1 in 200 women) suffer from color vision deficiency. To put that in perspective, that's about 300 million people living with colour blindness. Adding the number of people living with other types of vision impairments to that number made us realize something critical. We had to take accessibility concerns very seriously in developing our very first game, a delicious food truck business management and strategy game called 'Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation.'

    This post is about some of the improvements we made to the User Interface of the game to make it more accessible to players with visual disabilities. We wish we could tell you that we designed the game to be very accessible from the start, but we didn't. If not for the contributions and feedback we received from Redditors and other community members, we probably would have missed the accessibility issues in the UI until it was too late.

    Old UI of Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation
    Old Inventory Management Window

    Anyone with low vision or even someone just trying to play complex strategy games on a smaller pc screen will attest to the difficulty of seeing some game elements. Just like in the first version of our UI shown above, these games are particularly notorious for having smaller buttons and text because of the sheer amount of information that is usually being presented to the player. Although Business Heroes is a business strategy game with a lot of on-screen information, we still wanted players with vision-related challenges to have an enjoyable experience playing the game.

    So, when the community alerted us to the problems with the initial colours, sizes, and contrasts we had used in the UI, we moved to fix them. Fixing the accessibility issues eventually led to redesigning the entire UI, and while it added an additional year to the development (it's our first time developing a game), we are very happy about our decision. We are optimistic that choosing to implement the following design decisions and options would enable far more players to enjoy the game better.

    Larger Buttons and Text Sizes:
    We started off by redesigning the button and text size to also work for players with impaired vision. We redesigned the UI layout to create more space for larger buttons, and we moved several components to a new window entirely.


    New Inventory Management Window

    Making the text size work for everyone was a particularly tough nut to crack. We had to consider the impact language translation would have on the interface text and spacing because we will be releasing the game in several languages. While we could not implement a solution that worked for all the text, we were able to allow players enlarge 90% of the game text to 24 points. This can be done in the game settings.

    We also stuck with a font choice and text contrast design scheme that made all the information in the UI and environment easy to read.


    Font Resizing

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