Moving Out developer SMG Studio has shared a video and article detailing the assist modes and accessibility of Moving Out 2. Referencing the Game Accessibility Guidelines, and through extensive playtesting, they designed the game to be very accessible from the start. Assist modes and options are available to further customize the game play to a player’s preference or accessibility needs.
The video below shows many of the options and design decisions in action. Both the video and article on Xbox Wire detail the work done in three categories: Assist Mode, Quality of Life Accessibility, and Art & Design.
Assist Mode enables a series of settings players can use to customize their gameplay. Players can enable these at the start of every level. There are no negative consequences when a player uses any of these modes. The modes are as follows:
- Longer time limits makes it so players have more time to complete the level but does not remove the limit completely.
- Objects disappear on delivery reduces the need to organize the objects in the removal truck by having them disappear.
- Reduced Difficulty removes or slows down more dangerous obstacles in a level.
- Skip Level on Fail allows players to skip a level if it proves too difficult or just isn’t enjoyable to them.
- Lighter 2P items enables players to pick up items that would normally need 2 players.
- Moving In Snap+ removes some of the accuracy needed by having the items snap in place when they are close enough in Moving In levels.
Quality of Life Accessibility
Moving on from Assist Mode, we come to Moving Out 2’s accessibility options. These improve the quality of life for all players, not just those with accessibility needs. To customize controls, there is remapping available which also allows for one-handed play. Players can set grabbing and throwing objects to a toggle and can also turn vibration off.
The user interface (UI) can be scaled up to be easier to see. Players can swap the default cartoony font to a less stylized one. A subtitles option is available, but without an example it’s hard to tell if the default style is sufficient. Screen shake intensity is adjustable, and players can turn this off entirely.
Art & Design
Aside from options, attention to accessibility was part of the design of Moving Out 2. The rooms and mechanics are designed to be identifiable through more ways than color alone. For example, portals have colors and icons to identify and match them more easily. Toned down colors of the environment make the portals stand out even more. This removes the need for specific color blind options, which more often than not fail to achieve their intended purpose. Making elements more recognizable is also helpful for those with cognitive disabilities.
To prevent motion sickness in the game’s often dynamic levels, sequences of smaller movements replace constant motion. In a level held by a giant, gentle motion from side to side replaces a rotating motion making it seem like the level gets slightly tipped.
The mechanics needed to pass the level are visible in the level’s introduction, where the camera pans over the level. This attempts to explain the gameplay without the need for strict textual instructions.
The team continues to welcome feedback to make sure the game is enjoyable and playable to all. The attention to accessible design over options look promising for when the game releases later this year.