Disc Room designer on its granular difficulty options: 'accessibility helps everyone'

Wide shot of an astronaut in front of a red door, clutching a glowing orb
(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Disc Room is a bloody hard game, but designer JW Nijman and crew chose not to be rigid about the challenge, acknowledging that what's merely difficult for one person may be untenable for another. To that end, the sawcore disc-dodger features a variety of settings to tweak the challenge.

Posting on Twitter this afternoon, Nijman said that the team put a lot of thought into Disc Room's accessibility concerns, and ran through the ways Disc Room tries to be as accommodating as possible while slicing you up.

It doesn't take too many buttons to play, for one, and those it uses can be customised. Getting more granular, everything from the game speed to individual velocities of discs and hazards can be modified at any time. Or you can leave the game speed untouched and just make the objectives easier to accomplish. It's rare that a game gives players this much control over the challenge, especially a game that's all about the challenge.

Beyond the mechanical challenge, Disc Room includes visual settings designed to broaden its accessibility even further. There's the option to turn blood off, change its colour, or replace it with colourful confetti. 

The focus on accessibility extends into the comic-book cutscenes, too. They're wordless and can be changed to read in either direction.

Alternatively, you can make Disc Room harder for yourself. The game tracks optional challenges with each new run, such as beating the game with under 30 deaths, or never dying from the same disc type twice.

Difficulty discourse is one of those discussions we keep repeating in the games scene, with Dark Souls regularly held up as a banner for the sanctity of developer intent when it comes to how challenging a game should be. For Nijman, however, there's no question about it: Options open the door to new players, and even those at the highest level can benefit from fiddling with the game's mechanics. 

"The thing is, accessibility helps everyone," said Nijman. "Even the most hardcore of players can use these settings to quickly unlock a room they want to practice, to observe disc behaviour, or to figure out new speedrun strategies. Disc Room caters to a wide group of players."

Tyler enjoyed Disc Room a good deal—you can read his review here.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.