Owlchemy Labs today announced that their alien adventure VR game, Cosmonious High, received a Vision Accessibility Update (VAU). The VAU is a first-of-its-kind update adding features to make Cosmonious High accessible to players with vision impairments, showcasing Owlchemy’s commitment to their “VR for Everyone” philosophy. The VAU is available as a free download for all players who own Cosmonious High on Quest 2, PlayStation VR2, and SteamVR.
The VAU was made possible through collaborations with accessibility consultants, providing valuable information about tackling challenges players with vision impairments face in VR. Playtest sessions with players who have low-vision conditions gave Owlchemy Labs real-world data to develop accessibility features, such as an assist button that can be toggled at any time. In testing sessions, 100% of low-vision players were able to complete entire sections of the game.
- Tutorial Descriptions: Audio provides instructions in places where controls or actions are shown.
- Teleportation Descriptions: Players can point their controller at an area for a description of the location before moving. The location is repeated after the player teleports.
- Object Highlighting: Key objects have a high-contrast outline, allowing players with a low-light vision to see them more clearly.
- Object Descriptions: Players can use vision assistance, which describes what the player is holding while the assist button is pressed. Players can also use vision assistance to hear an audio description of items they’re pointing at, including larger items, flyers, and items hung on walls.
- Grab and Release Confirmation: When the assist button is held down, players are notified when an item is picked up or released.
- Environmental Descriptions: Players are given a brief description of areas as they enter them.
All accessibility features can be turned on and toggled via the player’s backpack, which players can access at any time by reaching over their shoulder.
Cosmonious High is an alien adventure where players take the role of a Prismi, a rare alien species that develops superpowers when they’re in a stressful situation, on their first day of school. When Cosmonious High is hit by a meteor shower, a series of mechanical issues force the player to adapt and use new powers to save the school. The school also hosts a colorful cast of alien teens, each with their own story and motivation, that the player can befriend. The game previously received an Accessibility Update that included tools for gamers with physical and cognitive disabilities.
Owlchemy Labs encourages players to try the new update and share their feedback to help improve the accessibility of VR gaming for all players.
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, High on Quest 2, PlayStation VR2, and SteamVR