A glossary of technical terms used throughout the SpecialEffect DevKit.

A B C D E F G H  I  J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


– An action is something that occurs in a game in direct response to input from the player. We often describe actions that occur for a set time after player input as being performed, whereas actions that continue to occur until subsequent input from the player are sometimes referred to as being activated or deactivated.

Action value

– Action value is the value an action takes at a corresponding value of an analog or digital input.

Adapted controller

– An adapted controller refers to hardware that has been modified or created to give a player a greater level of control.

Analog action

– An analog action is an action that is intended to be controlled by an analog input, and therefore can usually take a range of values.

Analog input

– Analog input refers to any input source that sends a signal that can take more than two values, such as the analog stick on a gamepad.


– Some analog input sources have a horizontal or vertical axis which describe the range of values they can take.


– A barrier refers to an element of the game that prevents the player from playing succesfully.


– A context is a specific part of a game where the set of actions available to the player differs from the set of global actions.


– Controller is often used in place of 'gamepad', but can be used to more generally refer to any input device.

Controller layout

– A controller layout refers to an overall mapping of actions to inputs, some games contain pre-made layouts.


– Controls is often used in place of 'action mappings' to describe the inputs mapped to each action.


– Cursor-based refers to an interaction model where elements are selected by moving a cursor around the screen and selecting them.

Digital action

– A digital action is an action that is intended to be controlled by an digital input, and therefore can usually only take two values.

Digital input

– Digital input refers to any input source that sends a signal that can only take two values, such as the buttons on a gamepad.

Eye tracking

– Eye tracking is an input method that uses a device to detect where the player is looking and can be used as an input source.


– Feedback refers to the method by which information is presented to the player, such as through the rumble of a gamepad.


– Gameplay is the second of two categories that Topics can belong to. Gameplay Topics describe how motor accessibility is affected by the way a game and its systems behave.

Global setting

– A global setting refers to a setting that covers the entire game as opposed to just a specific context, such as global action mappings or difficulty options.

Hardware setup

– Hardware setup is the physical input setup that a player might be using to interact with a game.


– HUD (heads-up display) refers to a standard user interaface format that many games use to display information to the player while they play.

Inner deadzone

– The inner deadzone is an area between two distinct values of an analog input, in which the bound action will not activate. In some games this is referred to as the inner threshold.


– Input is the first of two categories that Topics fall into. Topics under Input concern how a game handles and interprets the input received from the player.

Input binding

– Input binding refers to the input bound to an action, or vice versa. Used interchangeably with action binding, action mapping, or input mapping.

Input device

– An input device, either hardware or software, is the means through which a player interacts with a game.

Input event

– An input event refers to a change in state of an input, such as the release of a button.

Input interaction

– An input interaction is the series of input events and timings that a player must complete in order to perform an action.

Input method

– Input method refers to the type of input an input device sends to the game. Examples include analog sticks on a gamepad, or touch from a touch screen device.

Input prompt

– An input prompt is an in game visual element that informs the player what input is required to perform a specific action.

Input setup

– Input setup refers to the in-game input configuration that a player might be using.

Input source

– Input source refers to where input is being sent from, usually a specific part of an input device.


– A Module is part of a Topic that covers a specific aspect of the Topic. Each Topic is divided up into several Modules.

Outer threshold

– The outer threshold is an area between two values of an analog input where an action will activate at its maximum value. In some games this is referred to as the outer deadzone.

Player strength

– Player strength refers to the in-game characteristics and properties of the elements over which the player has control.

Precise timing

– Precise timing refers to the player having to precisiely time an input interaction with an event in the game, often in order to succeed.

Quick response

– Quick response refers to the player needing to interact with an input in a short amount of time following a prompt from the game.

Response curve

– A response curve describes the relationship between the value the game receives from an analog input, and the value the corresponding action takes.


– Sensitivity is a broad term that describes how an analog action feels to control, multiple factors can contribute to how sensitive the input is at different values.

Simultaneous input

– Simulataneous input refers to receiveing input from multiple different input sources at the same time, this could be from the same input device or multiple different input devices.


– Tap is a inexact term used to describe a short press and release of a button.


– A toggle refers to either a setting that can be switched on or off, or a continuous action that is activated or deactived with a digital input.


– Topics are the main building blocks that make up the DevKit. Each Topic covers a specific principle that developers should consider when desinging with motor accessibility in mind.