UploadVR produced this post in partnership with Schell Games.
I Expect You To Die 3: Cog in the Machine, the third game in an escape room VR puzzle franchise developed by award-winning development company Schell Games is on the horizon, and Agents must save the world from Zor’s schemes once more. Along with telekinetic abilities and familiar quips from The Handler, one of the core features of the game that empowers Agents to be their own 007 is the accessibility features found within I Expect You To Die 3 (IEYTD3) and the many other games in Schell Games’ portfolio.
Accessibility is a hot topic in the games industry right now, and rightfully so. Accessibility considerations, or lack thereof, can make or break the player experience, and it goes beyond localization or the ability to toggle game audio/background music on and off.
Over the past 20 years, Schell Games has sought ways to make accessibility an integral part of the development process before work starts on a game — not an afterthought once a game was close to being complete. The Accessibility Matrix, a document based on years of experience from the Schell Games team, breaks down accessibility into goals across nine categories. Goals are broken down into tenets such as Comfort, Mobility, and Language & Communication, acting as the guiding stars for the team as they create key game features.
The Accessibility Matrix helps teams intentionally add accessibility features that complement core gameplay. As such, IEYTD3 is shaping up to be the most accessible VR game in the company’s catalog.
IEYTD3 is playable with one or two hands, standing or seated. The game considers colorblindness and avoids potential triggers for motion sickness for the most comfortable experience possible. Schell Games took things one step further and built IEYTD3 with motion comfort settings, colorblindness filters, text captions, translation panels, a "skip level" button, and day-one localization support, creating an enjoyable experience for all players.
IEYTD isn’t the only Schell Games title to offer such features. Among Us VR, a virtual reality adaptation of Innersloth’s popular social deduction party game, offers SFX closed captions, player-to-player moderation, colorblindness filters, an epileptic flash test, and localization support. HistoryMaker VR, a free content creation tool that encourages students to retain knowledge as they embody and perform as historical figures, has several accessibility features. With adjustable text size, visual UI controls, audio toggles, and a desktop companion for external control, HistoryMaker VR ensures a user-friendly experience for all learners.
A question that often comes up when accessibility features are weighed against the changes it requires around gameplay or mechanics is, “Aren’t you giving up cool stuff?”
The answer: Nope.
At Schell Games, a game developed with accessibility in mind is a great game. The alternative is a different great game that fewer people can play. At the end of the day it’s a no-brainer to the team at Schell Games. Greater accessibility fuels innovation and allows as many learners, gamers, and secret agents, to enjoy as many of Schell Games’ titles as possible.
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Schell Games will launch I Expect You To Die 3: Cog in the Machine (IEYTD3), the third installment of a popular VR puzzle series this summer for Meta Quest 2/Pro and this fall for SteamVR. Like its predecessors, the three-quel challenges players in a race against time to outwit the Agency’s sworn enemy, Zoraxis, with even more thrilling scenarios of espionage, menacing locales, and of course, hilarious ways to die.
Keep up with the Schell Games team and its latest advancements in VR accessibility by following them on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook or joining the #IEYTD Discord. To learn more about IEYTD3, sign up for the email newsletter on the game’s website, join the community Discord, or join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.