With their upcoming game, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, independent game studio Falling Squirrel breaks down barriers for blind and low-vision gamers who remain shut out from the majority of mainstream games. The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, arrives on PC and Xbox One on August 19th, 2021, and offers a unique experience that illustrates how accessibility can be taken mainstream.
Today, in a new Developer Diary video, the studio shares a behind-the-scenes look at The Vale’s journey.
The Falling Squirrel team has worked tirelessly to include the latest assistive technologies and enlisted input from hundreds of visually impaired community members to ensure their diverse gameplay needs are met. As part of the studio’s commitment to accessibility, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown also features sincere and deliberate representation by employing visually impaired voice actors and developers — including voice actors and creative consultants who are core to their communities.
The Vale: Shadow of the Crown foregoes traditional visual gameplay, utilizing binaural audio technology and haptic controller feedback to create an immersive world that brings high-caliber gaming to visually impaired and sighted gamers alike. Players surround themselves in an emotional story of the Second-to-the-Throne — blind from birth and recently exiled to the edges of the kingdom upon the coronation of their elder brother as King of the Land. Through the ears of the hero, players must embark on a treacherous journey as they explore the world around them, fight off enemies in challenging, interactive combat, hunt for resources, acquire gear, and lose themselves in a rich narrative supported by top-tier voice acting.
The Vale: Shadow of the Crown will be available for Windows PC via Steam and itch.io, and Xbox One on August 19, 2021. The game will also be available on the Epic Games store shortly after. Players who wish to learn more may visit the official webpage: https://www.fallingsquirrel.com/the-vale.
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The Vale: Shadow of the Crown will also be featured in the ID@Xbox Twitch Indie Showcase on August 10. Tune in at 8:00 AM PDT / 11:00 AM EDT to the official Xbox Twitch channel to hear from David Evans and learn more about the development process behind The Vale.