Accessibility in gaming is becoming a larger and larger part of inviting players of every capability into the fun and conversation. From colorblind, text size, and audio options to full peripherals like the Xbox Adaptive Controller, it’s a great thing to include more options that allow more people to play. It’s important to Valve too. They’ve reportedly been working on a number of accessibility options that will be included with Half-Life: Alyx at launch.
Valve revealed their efforts in accessibility for Half-Life: Alyx on January 22, 2020 in a Q&A thread on Reddit. Where they’ve already included features prominent in good VR games, such as comfort and locomotive options (such as snap vision vs. smooth vision and teleport movement vs. smooth movement), Valve is also working on a number of options that will make the game available to various handicapped players, such as an option that will allow players to play and operate the game’s functions with one arm.
Valve wrote that there are several accessibility functions still in the works, and they hope to invite players to offer suggestions if there’s an accessibility feature they would like to see in Half-Life: Alyx.
“We have almost all our accessibility work done,” the Half-Life: Alyx team wrote. “But there's a little bit more we'd like to do there (support for one armed play, for instance). If you have questions about specific accessibility features you need, then feel free to reply here or send Gabe an email.”
As Valve is confident in their release date for Half-Life: Alyx already, it seems they’re pretty close to done with all of the things they want to include. Even so, more accessibility means more people who can play, and more people who can play is always a good thing. After all the effort that’s gone into Half-Life: Alyx, including enlisting the consultation of original Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw, it’s definitely a game that should be shared with everyone who wants to play.