OddBallers is a colorful multiplayer party game pitting players against each other in 15 different dodgeball themed mini games. As we’ve seen before from its publisher Ubisoft, a spotlight has been published to highlight the OddBallers’ accessibility features. This time they interviewed UI/UX Designer Maxime Ritter from developer Game Swing to talk about what they did to make OddBallers a more accessible party game.
Clarity of purpose
Maxime talks about how it was important to clearly explain the mechanics and goals of each different mini game. To do this, the game uses video and short clear textual explanations on a guidance screen before the game starts. Any text is shown in a sans-serif font, and the text size for certain elements can be adjusted. For overall readability, even on small screens such as the Switch, a larger default text size has been taken into account.
The controls are also shown on this guidance screen as a recurring reminder. As we can expect remapping of these controls is available, as is adjusting dead zones for more sensitive stick movement, and toggling vibration which may prevent pain and fatigue in the player’s hands.
Another important aspect of party games is recognizing your own character amongst others. To help make this easier, OddBallers allows for extensive avatar customization. OddBallers also improves visual accessibility by providing several visual aids beyond the usual color indicators. These aids include the option to apply different shapes around the players’ feet and colorblind presets. Screen shake can be turned off, which helps visibility, and may prevent motion sickness.
It is important to note that none of the features would help sightless players, which is understandably a difficult hurdle to overcome for a party game. It would be interesting to see how this will improve for these kinds of party games in the future.
OddBallers will release on January 26th for current and last gen platforms. Be sure to read the entire spotlight for all the information and available options if you are interested in the game.