Pattern Template

Design Problem:

Players are unable or unreliably able to take in information via a particular modality, and cannot rely solely on it for information.

Design Solution:

Players can select additional channels of information via different modalities so they can reliably take in information from the game.

Related Patterns:

APX Design Drivers:

The above design problem can occur in the following contexts:

Players who are blind or have low vision may need an alternative to or enhancement of visual information through audio or haptic presentation.

Players who are Deaf or have low hearing may need an alternative to or enhancement of speech and non-speech sounds through visual or haptic presentation.

Players who are in noisy environments may need an alternative for visual information that they can access through audio or haptic presentation.

Examples of this Pattern in Action.

Captioning for key ambient/environmental sounds in Left 4 Dead 2


Left 4 Dead 2 features a setting that enables full captioning for the game. In addition to the game’s dialogue, this setting adds alerts of incoming attacks, noises that delineate special enemy types, story-related environmental cues, and specific player actions for all players (i.e. an exploding pipebomb, melee weapon hits, etc.) to the subtitling. Full captioning enhances the ways in which the player may perceive the game’s events. This feature facilitates an overall understanding of what is occurring in the game’s digital environment. By including this full captioning feature, players are provided with an additional way to manage their awareness and thus increase the likelihood of improved performance.

Of note, “Full Captioning” is a separate feature from Left 4 Dead 2’s “Subtitle Only” option. With “Subtitle Only”, players who may become overwhelmed by the details provided with “Full Captioning” still have the option to have dialogue only, or no captions at all.  In this way, players are given the option to choose what kind of captioning is preferred for their respective experience.