This post focuses on our experience of educating on web accessibility across a truly remote team. Read on to gain an insight into how we supported team members spread across Europe and Australia to create an accessible game.
In this post we’ll cover some information and challenges in creating an accessible autocomplete box. A good autocomplete box is accessible by default and will allow all users to navigate intuitively, either by keyboard or mouse. Many of you may have used an autocomplete box before and not even realized that the keyboard shortcuts intuitively used were also there to allow impaired users access to the same functionality.
In one of our recent posts we described some of the work we’ve been doing to improve Tau Station’s star map. This week we’re going more in-depth about the process and will even show some of the code we’re using.
Initially, a canvas map was all we offered the player.
When we approached this, we asked ourselves one question:
Pretty, immersive, thoughtful, and inclusive – these are concepts that have guided us as we’ve been designing our user interface. Words and stories are the foundation upon which Tau Station is built, but we’re going beyond just text on the screen to create the universe that we’ve imagined. Our narrative, art, and graphic design all work together to create an immersive experience and the sense of adventure and exploration that’s at the heart of Tau Station.
We’ve always envisioned the Tau Station Universe as a place of escape and adventure, somewhere you can go when you want to step away from the world for a time. It’s important to us that we create it in such a way that everyone who wants to can explore and enjoy the universe with us. We’re doing our best to build a user interface that is accessible to as many people as possible, and in today’s post we’re going to share a little bit about the technical work that goes into that.
The inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, famously said:
“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
We share Sir Berners-Lee’s vision. As we design Tau Station, we’re striving to meet the highest principles of video game accessibility. This means being sure we meet level AA of the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and the game is playable across a wide range of devices and browsers. Our goal is to open the Tau Station universe to disabled gamers, and make it possible for those facing new physical challenges to enjoy video games again. The passionate developers on our team share their thoughts on game accessibility below.
People have been asking about our technology stack, so this post will be a bit “tech heavy.” Further, it will be opinionated tech-heavy. You’ve been warned!
When I started Tau Station, I knew that I was primarily looking for a robust Web framework, a flexible ORM (object-relational mapper), and a strong database. Due to my having been heavily involved in open source for years, only open source products were considered.