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Old July 15, 2021, 10:01   #1
tangar
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Cool Blind-friendly Angband

This topic at my blog

Sometime ago I've founded Russian MUD (text based multiplayer games) community in discord and there plenty of visually-impaired people. Some was interested to play roguelikes after listening my stream in Tangaria.

I've googled this topic a bit and found that actually atm there are 3 blind-friendly roguelike games:
http://www.grupolys.org/~jvilares/topplayerENG.html

Good podcast on topic: http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2012/1...-visually.html

Also there is an option for text output description of objects on game screen in Nethack..

And finally I found a topic about Angband ( https://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?p=18550 ) with this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulBlay View Post
3. Introduce a "blind-friendly" option to Vanilla Angband. Drawback is that those maintaining Angband may not be keen on additional options and, again, that large changes may be awkward to implement / maintain.
Maybe it's the time to start working on this option in Angband? As now the game went far forward in technical aspects.. What do we need:

the option to output text description of room - so player will be able to get information about surroundings when they change - in text format. For example.. Player got 0,0 coordinates. All objects around him got relative coordinates. So each turn player will get something like this in Message Window:

"Door 5N3W. Goblin 2S1W. Magic Wand 1N2E"

Also using 'l'ook command player could understand where walls and other static objects located..

Maybe there are better ways to represent surroundings.. Lets brainstorm!

As we already have 'target-close' monster macro which could help to cast spells or use ranged weapons without need to target precisely certain tiles - it's possible to play even ranged classes.
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Old July 15, 2021, 14:00   #2
Julian
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The monster and item list windows provide some of this functionality, so it seems possible to extend it.

I have to wonder how well any textual-description system would be able to usefully handle maze and cavern levels, or the aftermath of earthquake or destruction.
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Old July 15, 2021, 16:02   #3
Archenoth
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Perhaps the current "move to position" command could have say how many steps it will take in the top bar if it knows in advance?

I'm thinking about how Brogue draws a path to the places you can automatically move to (or move the mouse over), and if you were to just count the yellow squares, you could get the number of "steps".



While I'm not suggesting drawing lines or anything, that number could be handy for telling blind players if the thing they are inspecting is connected to where they are currently!

Like, if it says "10 steps" away, you know that it's possible to traverse to that square easily. But if it says "532 steps" away, that would say that the only known route to that square involves a looot of traversal, or a shorter path they have not yet encountered.

That would make it easier to conceptualize "gaps" that abled players would be able to see normally..!
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Old July 15, 2021, 16:39   #4
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uh ..

so, when you say MUD, i think you mean Multi User Dungeon ?

In Mud you got a room, 1-4 exits, a handful of mobs (like 3 or 4), a few items on the ground and the other players.
The mobs don't move either. The room is essentially one tile.

In Angband you got hundreds of items, traps, mobs, some hidden from view but known. You got monster qualities as well, so not just "ooze" but "purple ooze" which affects how you approach that mob.

So .. lots of things to convert into audio. Not just each mob and item, but their location too.

Frankly i cannot imagine having to convert a vault to audio, and repeat that every turn. i can't even imagine someone listening to that audio, and actually managing to understand what is happening.
To really drive the point home, i cannot imagine a single turn of an Angband vault being converted into audio, and then someone managing to sit through that entire audio and managing to have a visual understanding of what they just heard.

and then repeat every turn.
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Old July 15, 2021, 17:12   #5
Julian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
uh ..

so, when you say MUD, i think you mean Multi User Dungeon ?

In Mud you got a room, 1-4 exits, a handful of mobs (like 3 or 4), a few items on the ground and the other players.
The mobs don't move either. The room is essentially one tile.

In Angband you got hundreds of items, traps, mobs, some hidden from view but known. You got monster qualities as well, so not just "ooze" but "purple ooze" which affects how you approach that mob.

So .. lots of things to convert into audio. Not just each mob and item, but their location too.

Frankly i cannot imagine having to convert a vault to audio, and repeat that every turn. i can't even imagine someone listening to that audio, and actually managing to understand what is happening.
To really drive the point home, i cannot imagine a single turn of an Angband vault being converted into audio, and then someone managing to sit through that entire audio and managing to have a visual understanding of what they just heard.

and then repeat every turn.
Certainly, a naive implementation would suck, but that doesn't mean it's not worth talking about how to do it better. Instead of a continuously-updated monster list, notifications when monsters enter and leave LOS would be better. (And it's also useful for people playing on smaller screens, or even on the normal screen.)

There's a lot of information on the screen that's not really necessary on any given turn. What matters in the moment is the change in status, and that's true for sighted players, too.

There's a lot of messages that nobody really needs to read. What if there were some way to better control which ones you see? Can we better consolidate the information you get? (Monster attacks, for instance. Do we really need up to four hit/miss messages with their own attack names on hit? Sure, it's flavorful, but "The giant red scorpion attacks you for 21 damage, your strength is drained" is way easier to cope with.

There's a lot of color-based information. How can we make that better available? This helps the color-blind, too.

And so on, and so forth.

I have my own doubts that it can be made workable, just due to the size and complexity of the maps. But I could be wrong. And remember: the visually impaired are not just the blind; there's a lot of gradations in sightedness.

I was surprised when someone asked for the photos in my cat's Twitter account to be captioned, but I've been doing it ever since. While there's a lot more work involved here, it's worth thinking about it, instead of dismissing it out of hand.

Edit: this is the internet, so someone's going to ask: @PlatonicFloof
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