[Kickstarter] Tears of a Mchine RPG Embraces Accessibility

This Kickstarter just came to my attention, and I hope not too late.

Tears of a Machine is a mecha anime-inspired RPG that really plays up the notion of being teenage mech pilots. It sounds great, and it has a lot of unique game mechanics.

Of particular interest though is that the game’s designer, Russel Collins, is paying special attention to making this RPG fully accessible to people with print disabilities. As I understand it, he works at a company which converts textbooks to fully-accessible audio books, which gives him the skills he needs to give his RPG the same treatment.

From the Kickstarter page:

I work for an organization that provides accessible books for blind and dyslexic learners so I’m always aware of how the printed word is a barrier to more people than we recognize. RPGs are so print-reliant that many who would enjoy the hobby have to struggle through the reading. I don’t think that should stop people from having fun! When Tears of a Machine is released I will also make the text available in a basic format for users of assistive technology. As a part of the stretch goals I’ll provide it in other formats such as recorded audio and synchronized text, so that those with learning differences or impairments can enjoy the same access to the printed word.

Wow! This goes a step beyond making a tagged PDF and takes accessible RPGs to the next level. As I understand it, the intention will be to make a version available for the DAISY Reader standard, which is an audio format capable of synchronizing text with the print version of a product and making it easily navigable by sound.

Please head on over to the Kickstarter page to back this project.

As of this writing, Tears of the Machine has 69 hours to go and is sitting at $5004 of a $7000 goal. That means the project still needs $2000 in its last days. It’s completely possible to reach that funding goal if we all give it a big push!

For more information about Russell’s plans on making his RPG accessible, check out this blog post.