Stray Gods accessibility info detailed

Marijn / ActiveB1t4 minute read

Summerfall Studios released an accessibility page for Stray Gods explaining the gameplay and accessibility of their upcoming roleplaying musical game. The page starts with a statement with the studio’s commitment to accessibility, while recognizing they may not have covered everything.

Following this statement, there are several screenshots with textboxes explaining several aspects of the gameplay. While there are image descriptions (alt text), it would be more accessible to include the explaining text as a caption for each image. Regardless, explaining basic gameplay is very helpful for potential players and we’d like to see this more often.

Accessible design and settings

To start a game, menu interactions are kept to a minimum. Players can turn off the timer for timed choices. Pausing the game is possible at any time, allowing for a more relaxed pacing. Text on screen will remain visible when the game is paused or the player needs to make a dialogue decision.

Players can return to a previous scene using the loading menu. Players should be aware that any saves beyond that scene are deleted, due to the lasting effect players’ choices have throughout the game. To avoid players mistakenly deleting their progress, the game will warn players of this before loading.

Subtitles and night mode

Players are able to turn subtitles on and there is an option to toggle a larger subtitle size. Importantly, the game does not communicate essential information by sound alone.

A man wearing a cowboy hat playing the saxophone, with text above him at the regular size settingA man wearing a cowboy hat playing the saxophone, with text above him at the large size setting
A comparison of the regular and large text size.

There are many separate audio volume sliders, allowing players to mix these to suit their needs or preferences. Turning off sound effects (SFX) for the UI is possible as well. A night mode is available which decreases the volume of loud sounds, and increases it for quiet sounds.

Audio descriptions, but not blind accessible

According to Summerfall Studios, Stray Gods isn’t fully blind accessible. It lacks screen reader support for menus and dialogue choices. There is an option to enable (English) audio descriptions however, which read out what is happening in a scene at certain times. An example of the audio descriptions is available on Stray God’s accessibility page.

The developer further states that there should be no repeated flashes. Any flashes that are present affect only a small section of the screen. That said, some visual effects (VFX) can’t be turned off, and some fading transitions may seem like flickering to some players. This is important to know as effects like flashing and flickering may trigger headaches, nausea, or seizures.

There is no font choice, but the developer made a deliberate choice for a sans-serif font in the game. Fonts like these are often easier to read for most players. To avoid issues due to color blindness, no essential information is communicated by color alone. For example, a combination of a color and an icon indicate traits.

Remapping and relaxed controls

Keyboard remapping menu for Stray Gods showing the gameplay actions which can all be remapped

Lastly in terms of options, remapping is possible for all of the controls in the game. Both for keyboard and controller. It is also good to note that Stray Gods doesn’t require any long presses or button mashing to play.

Content warnings

The page concludes with a list of content warnings. The content warnings are presented in a categorized list including alcohol use, violence, PTSD, death, and suicide. Clicking an item in this list provides more context which may contain spoilers.

Summerfall encourages people to stop playing if the content of the game becomes upsetting to them. The page includes a link to Checkpoint, which features a global collection of mental health resources.

As always we can’t underestimate the importance of early and honest accessibility information. Summerfall Studios have done a wonderful job explaining their accessibility strengths and weaknesses here. In time for the release of Stray Gods on August 10 this year.

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(ActiveB1t)Website operationsHe/They

CIPT's resident one-person IT crew responsible for the looks, functionality, and accessibility of the site. Inclusion and accessibility troublemaker and creator of the Alt Or Not browser plugin for Twitter. Child of the 80's without an intention of growing up.

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