Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Description of App
From the makers of Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the real-world augmented reality (AR) game inspired by the Wizarding World that puts magic in the hands of players worldwide. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is co-developed and co-published by Niantic, Inc. and WB Games San Francisco as part of Portkey Games, a label dedicated to creating new Wizarding World mobile and video games inspired by J.K. Rowling's original stories that place players at the center of their own adventure. Realize Your Wizarding Potential A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing Foundables—magical artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories—to mysteriously appear in the Muggle world. As a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, you’ll work with witches and wizards from across the globe to solve the mystery of The Calamity and keep magic safe from Muggle eyes. The Magic Is All Around You As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic that indicate the location of Foundables. These Traces are found at various real-world locations and trigger richly detailed 3D encounters in full 360-degree advanced AR. You’ll need to cast a variety of spells to defeat the confounding magic surrounding the Foundables in order to safely return them to the wizarding world. Keep an eye out for other things that will aid you on your journey including Inns that replenish Spell Energy, ingredients that can be used to brew potions, and even Portkeys that can whisk you away to iconic wizarding world locations. Stronger United Gather your friends to take on even bigger magical feats such as Wizarding Challenges, real-time cooperative multiplayer battles against dangerous foes. To overcome the stronger threats and discover rarer Foundables, you’ll need to team up and strategize with your fellow witches and wizards and specialize in different magical Professions—Auror, Magizoologist, and Professor—that each have their own unique skills and abilities that come in handy at different times. Ready your wand, alert your friends, and be ready to protect the wizarding world from a global calamity. Your Wizarding adventure awaits! Stay tuned for the latest at WizardsUnite.com
Free or Paid
Apple Watch Support
Device(s) App Was Tested On
This app is not accessible.
This app would be perfect for Harry Potter fans, but alas it is not compatible with VoiceOver. Maybe one day, someone could make it text-based, like an interactive fiction game or a MUD.
Developer's Twitter Username
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This is expected from Niantic, Who also developed Pokémon go.
I'm pretty sure this is likely developed in Unity, which, sadly, does not allow accessibility hooks out of the box. The accessibility plugin for Unity is pretty much a workaround/hack to get around the fact Unity is inherently not accessible and there are some that are hesitant to use a third party plugin/depend on it for a major production release.
That being said, I'm slightly hopeful due to the fact that the makers of Unity have actually posted something on their Unity forums asking for input on how they can make the whole suite of Unity more accessible (including the code editor for developers, the actual platform, etc. etc.) They are mainly reaching out to developers, though, not people who play games ... but there have been already a huge amount of replies from game developers pointing out the issues with the inability to interface with screen readers. Including something I had no idea about involving educational game makers having to ban the use of Unity due to the sheer inaccsesibility of it, as educational game makers have an absolute requirement for accsesibility. (This has apparently severley hamstringed the educational games able to come out, though, because Unity is very powerful and the educational game developers are forced to use substandard approaches and/or do not have the same abilities to develop without Unity.)
I had been extremely bitter regarding Niantic/Unity as more excitement worldwide started to build for this Harry Potter game, knowing deep down that there was 0 chance it would be accsesible just like Pokemon Go. And how Pokemon and Harry Potter were/are 2 things I do love and used to love a whole lot when I could still see. And how much I would have loved these titles if I hadn't gone blind. And the unfairness of it all that the games are being released on a paltform (IOS) that has built in accsesibility tools, but the platform being used (Unity) is making it out of reach.
It was right when I was feeling this way that I saw the post from Unity makers reaching outa bout accessibility. I really do hope that this is going to be a concerted effort on their part and that games made in Unity can start to actually have true accessibility without having to force it with third party hacks. There are so many Unity games that could actually be made accessible ... it would be great.
I do know that whatever change they make will probably be months, if not over a year or more, in the making to develop (since they have to design, code it, test it, try to figure out how to backwards compatible games made in the older Unity versions, etc.)
I downloaded this today because Apple was recommending it to me. But when I opened the game, well, not surprisingly, inaccessible.
You know, sometimes I wonder if the accessibility implementation will actually get done. Will it? Or will they be like other developers and move on. They might say that it is expensive to do it. Don't think so.. I'm a Harry Potter fan as well and was very, very disappointed. Well. Looks like I'll have to move on then. I might just delete this game off my device, since I can't even play it. This is so unfair.
I will also try to email them, but I'm sure I will get no response. I can already see it happening.
Sadly Niantic's support form has an inaccessible captia on it (no audio version).
We'll have to pin our hopes on the fact that Unity seems receptive ri now to updatiname is most likely coded in) is apparently receptive now to makintheir platform to be accessible
I know that the app will take a few months or years before it becomes accessible, but maybe in the meantime one of us could make an Inform 7 or Quest version of it on playfic.com or textadventures.co.uk. The game, I was thinking could even be a largeish project, about the size of Cragne Manor and that's saying something considering that it took over 80 IF authors to programme it.
This developer does not care about accessibility so I didn’t even try it. I love Harry Potter but this appears to be a version that is like pokémon go. The app will not be made accessible because there are layers up on layers on the screen and this can not be done.
I know inform 7 but I don’t have a computer otherwise I would be able to make one.
It seems that accessibility of this game is an issue of concept as well as coding. AR is inherently inaccessible, (it involves creating a visual overlay a smartphone/tablet displays over a person's physical surroundings), so I don't see why some people are dragging the developer incessantly for a flaw of concept that, if rectified in the release of this app, would upset sighted users who would appreciate a more immersive, image-based gaming experience. The best way to go around making these types of graphical games playable would either be AR but with sound, (creating an auditory overlay of sorts, similar to what Microsoft Soundscapes does to orient people to their environment), or a text-based solution, as mentioned by others in this thread.
Well, I have heard some videos of the game, and they have great sounds, and great diolaug in the game but, the spells, in order to cast them you have to trace your finger in order to do it..
If they were planning to make it accessible, how do you think they would implement a way of tracing your finger or another similar solution?? That is just a question I'm asking..
Also I changed my mind about contacting because I'm sure I'm going to gt some canned response or some stupid response.
Is there some information somewhere indicating that AR (augmented reality) apps are inherently inaccessible from a concept point of view? My understanding was that the basis of these apps (Unity, probably) inherently do not have any accessibility hooks out of the box, so they wouldn't be able to make it accessible even if they wanted to. (At least for now.)
3D objects, even overlayed over real images, are simply elements to the phone, I would think. The problem being is that there is no way for the assistive technology to understand that there are multiple elements/images it could interact with, as the platform that is used to code the game is essentially not able to tell the screen reader about it. So the screen reader thinks the application screen is just one big element/pixel. It is not getting any information such as "this is something you can use as a button" or "this is a menu" or "this is an interactive element on the screen" like it would with an app natively coded in the IOS programming language.
I'm pretty sure whatever is overlayed over the real life images is something a sighted person can interact with, usually - maybe tap it or something. There has to be something in the code to specify to the program that the spot on the image being overlayed is something that the sighted person can interact with, so to the program it's an element. It's just Voice Over is not getting any information about that.
I am certain Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have to have things such as menus/tabs, profile information, lists of spells you know, lists of things you've caught/encountered. Notice that the screen reader can't interact with any of this, either, even though it's not technically "AR". It's falling into the same trap of being coded in a platform that is essentially unable to communicate with the screen reader about what it is putting on the screen.
I think a programming team at a Unity hackathon recently managed to make an entry that would make Unity accessible, and would hopefully be simple for a developre to implement. The problem being it was just a prototype and they'd have to work at getting it in the core Unity code and make it something that developers can easily add to their projects.