Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
May 3, 2016
arrowPress Releases
May 3, 2016
PR Newswire
View All
View All     Submit Event

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Mockup of Heavy Rain with Full Closed Captioning
by Reid Kimball on 06/21/10 06:00:00 am   Expert Blogs

4 comments Share on Twitter Share on Facebook    RSS

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutraís community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.



I recently found a video of Heavy Rain and downloaded it so I could edit it. I did a mockup of Heavy Rain with full closed captioning. My goal is to work with other game developers to help them implement full closed captioning that enhances the accessibility of their games to reach a broader audience, primarily deaf and hard of hearing players. Part of the problem is communicating to developers that closed captioning won't ruin the game in anyway and that it can be turned off. I think this video demonstrates how useful it can be for someone who can't hear all the atmospheric audio.

Please notice:

1. The text is larger, therefore easier to see. Many video games that have subtitles (dialog only, no sound effects) use very small text that is hard to read on SD TVs, which I have.

2. Text uses a bright color with a black outline. This ensures it is readable on many different backgrounds. Bright yellow is not a common color used the environment of video games, while bright white is more likely.

3. Limited stacking of multiple lines (2 max shown) leaves the rest of the screen uncluttered. Depending on the game, closed captioning can merely increase the awareness of game atmosphere for the hard of hearing and deaf or it can provide essential feedback they miss out that comes from the audio.

For example, in Doom 3[CC], closed captions help deaf players know enemies are approaching or attacking off screen when they can't be heard. In Heavy Rain, the player can walk up to an apartment door and hear a woman inside screaming as she is attacked. However, these screams are not captioned and hard of hearing or deaf players are likely to miss out on a key sequence of gameplay.

Let me know if you'd like to talk with me about figuring out closed captioning solutions for your game.

Related Jobs

Particle City
Particle City — Los Angeles, California, United States

Server Engineer (Contract)
War Drum Studios
War Drum Studios — Gainesville, Florida, United States

Game and Systems Programmer
Apex Systems
Apex Systems — Warren, New Jersey, United States

15+ Virtual Reality Developer Opportunities (OpenGL, WebGL, OpenCV)
Churchill Navigation
Churchill Navigation — Boulder, Colorado, United States

VP of Engineering

Loading Comments

loader image