Owlchemy Labs believes that VR is for everybody, which is why they are bringing a low-vision update to the chaotic yet cute world of Cosmonious High.
Sticking to their beliefs of VR for everybody, the upcoming update offers a suite of accessibility options focused upon those in the Blind community — but Owlchemy hopes that everyone will find something to help make their time at out-of-this-world high school just a little easier.
They start with new access to audio descriptions, which is the foundation for good blind accessibility. Game descriptions that put players in the game and explain important emotional cues — without becoming Marvel’s Avengers, where almost every action has a description.
The audio descriptions will also dim background music and sounds to offer guidance and direction from Microsoft Sam, which is a very nice feature! There has been a push in the game accessibility community over the past few years to use live readers or AI with more natural inflections, but that can get pretty costly in a heartbeat, so this is fine.
For those with limited amounts of vision, Owlchemy has added object highlighting to make it easier to follow your hands and interact with the world around you. There’s also audio and haptic feedback to indicate when an item has been grabbed or released.
Finally, there is also a screen reader that players control with hand movements.
It’ll be interesting to see where Owlchemy goes next. While VR is getting better at adapting to the Blind community’s needs, it still hasn’t done the best job of adapting to those with mobility issues. There’s a universe of accessibility questions out there.