Grounded, the new survival game from Obsidian Entertainment is available tomorrow on Xbox Game Preview with Xbox Game Pass and Steam Early Access. In the game, players wake up in a suburban backyard after being mysteriously shrunken to the size of an ant. Guided by a strange robot voice named BURG.L, players must explore, build, and survive while confronting the dangers and perils that come with suddenly being insect sized.
Some of these dangers include an array of hostile spiders, which present a regular threat to surviving the backyard. However, the team behind Grounded considered that some players might have a potential fear of spiders and experience a negative reaction to their appearance in the game, so Obsidian worked closely with the Xbox Research team to explore what triggers arachnophobia.
During their study, fear, and disgust increased across all respondent groups as spider textures, number of eyes, and audio effects were added. The findings from Xbox Research helped determine the best form for spiders to take in the game, while also deciding how to vary their appearance depending on the severity of the phobia.
This resulted in the game’s Arachnophobia Mode, where players can alter the appearance of spiders and limit their audio effects, helping to make the game more accessible for everyone.
Grounded is rated ‘T’ for Teen by the ESRB and is available tomorrow on Xbox Game Preview with Xbox Game Pass and Steam Early Access for $29.99.