Ubisoft shares Skull and Bones accessibility details ahead of open beta

Marijn / ActiveB1t3 minute read

Skull and Bones releases soon, and Ubisoft shared details on the accessibility of this open world pirate co-op game. The accessibility spotlight features the signature format of an interview followed by a list of features. This time they spoke to Samuel Soh (Project Manager, Ubisoft Singapore) and Yurii Martynchyk (Production Manager, Ubisoft Kyiv).

With Skull and Bones being a multiplayer experience, attention to balancing was important. Introducing unintended advantages through accessibility features is a risk, but well designed systems account for that. Samuel mentions most issues they faced surfaced as bugs, such as information being available too quickly through narration, before the information itself was visible on screen.

Talking about menu narration, this got a lot of attention in Skull and Bones. All menus, and other in-game interfaces are narrated for those who need it. The speed, volume, and voice can be customized by players. Players can also choose to narrate messages that are sent to text chat.

Additionally for in-game chat, both incoming and outgoing messages can be transcribed from speech to text, or from text to speech. This allows players to communicate through any chat channel in a way that fits their needs.

Subtitles and visuals

Players can customize subtitles by adjusting text size and color, speaker names (on by default), and background color and opacity. They can also choose which subtitle types are displayed, such as My Ship, Other Ships, Activities, and World Life. Direction indicators are present and on by default, but players can choose to disable them. Additionally closed captions (non-dialogue sounds) can be enabled for the subtitles. In addition to closed captions in subtitles, a widget is available that shows the name, direction, and distance of in-game sounds.

For colorblind players, there are several color presets available that affect visual effects, the map, and HUD elements. To help the readability of text, care is taken to ensure default text sizes are large enough. For subtitles and text chat, players can adjust the text size. Letter spacing is adjustable as well, allowing players to increase the space between letters. Players can also choose to disable camera shake.

Customizing controls

Control customization is also extensive in Skull and Bones. Players can use a combination of keyboard and either a mouse or controller. Mouse and keyboard are also supported on PS5 and Xbox. Of course remapping is available. For controllers players can swap sticks and trigger and bumper functions, adjust dead zones and sensitivity, and adjust or disable the vibration and adaptive triggers (on PS5). For controllers there are also several control presets available, and players can use an interactive control scheme to review the current mapping. This interactive control scheme shows which actions are tied to a button as it is pressed.

Lastly, players can reduce the need for button holds by changing them to a toggle. This is available for interact, open item wheel, Spyglass Mode, aim, and brace actions. Players can also choose to automate the QTE (quick time event) for harvesting, further reducing the need for button presses.

As Skull and Bones is a live game with regular new content, accessibility remains a priority. Feedback through Ubisoft’s official channels is welcome. The game is set to release on February 16, and the open beta will run from February 8 to 11. This free beta might be a good time to try this game out for yourself.

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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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