The announced security update to VRChat, that we reported on last week, received a lot of feedback from players including concerns about accessibility currently provided by third-party mods. VRChat Inc. has responded to community concerns raised in an update on their original blog post announcing the 2022.2.2 VRChat update, an additional post, and a beta update.
In their words, VRChat Inc. is reprioritizing, reorganizing, and changing its internal development roadmap based on the feedback they have received from the community. The update is not being rolled back which may be disappointing for many concerned about their access to the game.
Improving accessibility has a high priority for development. In a subsequent blog post titled Addressing your Feedback, the developer shared planned features relating to accessibility and general QoL (quality of life) improvements. Some of these features are included in a beta update.
Accessibility updates in VRChat update
Horizon Adjust gives players the option to orient their horizon as they see fit to match their playing position. Movable Menu allows players to adjust the placement of the main menu. Both of these options intend to benefit players while lying down. Improvements have also been made to Look-To-Move, preventing its direction from suddenly inverting.
Enabling Portal Prompts will ask a player to confirm traveling through a portal before it does so, preventing unexpected or unintended traversals. Gesture Indicator enables a new HUD element, to show the gestures currently in use on the controllers. This visual feedback for those who might struggle with the coordination to achieve the intended gestures.
The linked Developer Update describes several more features, while also noting several known issues. It also details some information on planned accessibility updates relating to in-game communication in VRChat. This includes a Text-to-Speech (TTS) solution that works across all platforms, and a text chat option that shows messages in a speech bubble above the avatar when you are close enough to them. An early prototype of the text chat feature is complete, while the TTS version is still in an exploration phase.