One of Behavior Interactive’s game designers, Ethan “Almo” Larson, landed in some hot water over comments they made on stream. Larson made the comments on stream that “It’s getting really boring just blabbing about colorblind mode all the time, we’ve heard it a million times. We know. Continuing to badger us about it isn’t going to change anything.”
Let’s just say that things didn’t go over well. The remarks drew immediate criticism for a lack of tact when it comes to dealing with accessibility. There’s a pretty obvious reason why so many gamers want this stuff. Accessibility is vital in this day and age, and there’s no excuse for making it a big part of gaming. The developers have been working hard to make things right. Now, a new debate has been sparked over when Dead by Daylight colorblind mode will be a thing.
So while the backlash was getting going, the developer was already working on things. Behavior Interactive issued an apology stating that the comments were not “indicative of the views of the team” pretty much immediately. The posts went mildly viral on social media, prompting a further response from Steven Spohn, the COO of Able Gamers. Able Gamers has become a voice for accessibility in gaming so it’s worth paying attention to what they had to say.
“it makes me sad to hear this coming from a developer who is ‘Getting bored’ of people ‘blabbing about colorblind mode,” said Spohn in a statement. The follow-up from Spohn and fans was pretty clear, as the pressure is now on Behaviour Interactive to deliver something fans have wanted for years.
So how did all of this happen? The controversy got started when the recent PTR patch rolled out to test features for 4.5.0, and something was noticed to be very wrong. it turns out that changes to the UI for player stats and the like were very hard to read, primarily due to color choices made with the UI itself.
The player status widget (player names, health states etc.) has been redesigned. Along with a number of graphical improvements to animations, the player status widget is now positioned on the left side of the screen. While this change was not made lightly, it was necessary in order to make the player names readable across all platforms and resolutions as well as make room for new HUD elements like the Hook Count.
But this is not the only time that the specter of a Dead by Daylight colorblind mode was raised by fans; as the red trails left by Survivors can be hard to follow for some players, and folks wanted changes.
And it looks like the devs are paying attention, as they did finally announce that the mode is incoming. “This is not how we wanted to reveal this, but we feel it’s the right time… we have been working on a colorblind mode for some time now,” said Behaviour’s Twitter account after the news broke,
As for what’s coming, that’s hard to say, as plans have not been announced. One can only hope that things get better from here and gamers finally get the accessibility they deserve.