A little over two years ago (time really flies!), we shared the story of a boy who overcame serious social difficulties through playing Ultimate Chicken Horse. This remains one of our most treasured stories about the game. We are of course perpetually thrilled to know that many people out there enjoy this lighthearted creation that is so dear to us, but knowing that we have had a significant positive impact on someone’s life definitely makes us feel pride and joy on a whole other level.
Earlier this week, we received another email that made our hearts grow a few sizes, and we immediately knew we wanted to share that story too. Without further ado, here is the message we received from a lovely person in Germany named Jana:
"I just wanted to tell you about how we use your game in the residential home I work at. I created a really easy level with your level editor just to try if our elderly are able to solve it and they loved it! I even had to make a level more difficult for some of them. It is really awesome that I can switch to the building mode so easily and adjust the difficulty if it is too hard or too easy. Even residents with dementia could play the level and they really liked the animal characters."
Jana also shared with us a (German) video report on how this retirement home introduces its residents to games like Ultimate Chicken Horse, as well as VR experiences. How cool is that?!
We’re so thankful for people like Jana who introduce games to under-targeted demographics, like the elderly, to enhance their quality of life. It’s an absolute honour that our own game is being used to that end. As Jana puts it:
"There are so little videogames for elderly people, especially for the ones with dementia, and we hope that we can spread more awareness that videogames can be used in such a fashion. And we hope maybe in the future there will be more videogames suitable for the elderly and their special needs."
Aside from sheer pride, a big takeaway for us is that making games more accessible to a variety of players and play styles does not have to be a hard task or detract from “normal” game development! We didn’t have this specific group of people in mind when we added rule customization options and the level editor – we were simply expanding the possibility space within the game because people asked for it and it could be done without changing anything in its core design. This is certainly something that we will keep in mind as we move forward in our creative endeavours.