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Author Topic: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought  (Read 27726 times)

zkline

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2014, 04:54:14 pm »

Fair point. The map is the big stumbling block. The way I've solved this problem with NetHack or similar games was to have a separate "review cursor," which could move around and tell me what was on each tile, or at least what the symbol for each tile is. It's kind of slow, perhaps, but it will let me get a feel for things.

Another idea worth considering is landmarks, or whatever other name you want to use for them. The issue with these games is that 99% of the map is visual clutter. It's important for simulation purposes but your eye skims over it most of the time. A way to move from one point of interest to another, perhaps with a coordinate system in order to tel me where I am at any time, would go a long way. Does this make any sense?
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Boltgun

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2014, 05:28:28 pm »

Fair point. The map is the big stumbling block. The way I've solved this problem with NetHack or similar games was to have a separate "review cursor," which could move around and tell me what was on each tile, or at least what the symbol for each tile is. It's kind of slow, perhaps, but it will let me get a feel for things.

Another idea worth considering is landmarks, or whatever other name you want to use for them. The issue with these games is that 99% of the map is visual clutter. It's important for simulation purposes but your eye skims over it most of the time. A way to move from one point of interest to another, perhaps with a coordinate system in order to tel me where I am at any time, would go a long way. Does this make any sense?

On a mac you can edit data/init/init.txt and change the PRINT_MODE option to TEXT and GRAPHICS to NO. It will run in a console as a text aplication.

If that let you work around SDL, what you did for nethack will probably work for df. If your text reader can tell you what the look commands is returning, you have most of the game covered.
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mifki

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2014, 05:30:17 pm »

On a mac you can edit data/init/init.txt and change the PRINT_MODE option to TEXT and GRAPHICS to NO. It will run in a console as a text aplication.

No it's not supported on OS X.

zkline

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2014, 06:09:54 pm »

Yeah, I was going to chime in and say it isn't supported. :( The comments in init.txt are apparently outdated. I'm not too surprised, since this was originally Windows-Only if I remember, but it does make this whole process a bit less straightforward.
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My Urist Eternal

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2014, 07:08:15 pm »

Fair point. The map is the big stumbling block. The way I've solved this problem with NetHack or similar games was to have a separate "review cursor," which could move around and tell me what was on each tile, or at least what the symbol for each tile is. It's kind of slow, perhaps, but it will let me get a feel for things.

I don't see why this couldn't work for DF. Yeah, it would be slow, but you could play. You could pause the game anytime and move the cursor around if you needed to figure out what was going on. So the Nethack thing is a voice, right? In DF it would be something like "Engraved obsidian floor" and "rough basalt wall" and "farmer on a plump helmet plot" and "goblin archer on grass". DF does not have graphics per se, so a sighted person isn't really seeing any of this either. It's an abstract symbol plus your imagination.
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mifki

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2014, 07:55:28 pm »

Fair point. The map is the big stumbling block. The way I've solved this problem with NetHack or similar games was to have a separate "review cursor," which could move around and tell me what was on each tile, or at least what the symbol for each tile is. It's kind of slow, perhaps, but it will let me get a feel for things.

I don't see why this couldn't work for DF. Yeah, it would be slow, but you could play. You could pause the game anytime and move the cursor around if you needed to figure out what was going on. So the Nethack thing is a voice, right? In DF it would be something like "Engraved obsidian floor" and "rough basalt wall" and "farmer on a plump helmet plot" and "goblin archer on grass". DF does not have graphics per se, so a sighted person isn't really seeing any of this either. It's an abstract symbol plus your imagination.

I think jumping between points of interest as per zkline's suggestion is essential too - you probably don't want to hear "grass.. grass.. grass.." twenty times while moving to goblin archer.

Graknorke

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2014, 08:16:11 pm »

I remember the first thread for this.
Not that I think I could really comment much, I don't think there is a more elegant solution than having a cursor read out the contents of a selected tile. With sound there isn't an option to convey information in any way that isn't listing one at a time.
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zkline

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2014, 08:31:00 pm »

Unfortunately, yes, sound does suffer from that limitation. Somebody mentioned an interactive fiction-style interface in the original thread, I don't know if it was mostly intended as a joke. Text overviews of what can be seen are another way to go, I suppose.

FOr starters I need a way to access the menus and generate a world and so on. At the moment I can't even do that because the SDL interface isn't accessible. I don't expect it will ever become so on its own because of the way SDL works. What are we able to do with third-party programs?
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kevinfragger2427

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2014, 10:25:56 pm »

Wow, zkline. I'm really amazed! I mean, I've seen "blind" people play video games before (not completely blind), but this is truly extraordinary! Living proof that the bay12 community is truly beyond quality.

I'm just curious here: what program do you use to play? I assume some software that "reads" the information out to you, but I don't see that working with dwarf fortress.
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zkline

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2014, 10:32:41 pm »

I have a program which comes with my Mac, called VoiceOVer. It's also incidentally available for  iOS devices, not that we'll see DF for one of those anytime soon. I can play games, though most of them are for iOS or Windows, Mac gaming for the blind is distinctly lacking. :(

But I can't play Dwarf Fortress yet. That's what this thread is about. I know I can play with other people at the controls, but I'd rather not have to depend on someone else's mood. :)
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kevinfragger2427

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2014, 10:39:43 pm »

Oh, well I'm sorry to hear that. Yeah, I agree, there is certainly a severe lack of support for the blind in the games department. I can see why you'd love to be able to play it yourself, having heard many stories from the friends you play with.

Ugh, I hate giving reassurances and not being able to do anything. Have you considered eye surgery?
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zkline

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2014, 10:44:33 pm »

Sadly, fixing my eyes or whatever isn't really an option for me—I was born super early and my optic nerve is the problem. Besides, it'll be kind of impractical and expensive even when the tech does become available, and I've lived twenty plus years of my life without too many issues.

All told I think making a computer game—a complicated and insane one, but still just a game, playable would probably be easier. ;)
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kevinfragger2427

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2014, 10:57:07 pm »

Well, haha, I don't mean get optical surgery just to be able to play this game! But I see what you mean.

How often do you play (with others at the controls) dwarf fortress? And how did you do it before, exactly? (meaning, how did you manage playing with other people: )

Ugh, I really don't do player counselling. So, looks like all I can say is "best of luck"! I know, even typing it out makes me cringe.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 11:07:52 pm by kevinfragger2427 »
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Boltgun

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2014, 03:48:16 am »

On a mac you can edit data/init/init.txt and change the PRINT_MODE option to TEXT and GRAPHICS to NO. It will run in a console as a text aplication.

No it's not supported on OS X.

My bad, the comment in init.txt misled me and it tried it on linux.

At worst, a virtual machine is an option, but that would mean using Orca or another program.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 03:54:17 am by Boltgun »
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LordUbik

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Re: Dwarf Fortress for the BLind: Advice sought
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2014, 04:09:04 am »

Uhm... really interesting topic...

I could have a suggestion, but i'm not a programmer and english is not my main language, so i apologize in advance fir everything stupid i could say.

using sounds to "read" the world seems the way to go, but reading each single cell would be problematic at least. You would end hearing only "grass, grass, goblin on grass, grass, grass".

But, what if you could express what the program is reading not with "read text" but with simple sounds?
An "empty" (grass, soil, stone) could be expressed maybe with a low humming sound,  different for pitch and intensity to differenciate maybe stone and grass, and units would be instead expressed with normally voiced text.

Also, to avoid the "hunt that goblin cell by cell" thing, the reading program could use a reading grid that would read, lets say, a 3x3 or 5x5 grid and express the position of interesting things with a "radar" sistem using a surround sound sistem ( a good headset would be more than sufficient, or you could use a 5.1/7.1 sistem).

So i'm figuring...
Your pointer is at a coordinate. You hear a low ambience sound that makes you understand that you are surrounded by stone floors. Another, different sound pointing the north means there is a wall in that direction. A ping in the wesr indicates something interesting there. You move your pointer closer, the ping gets stronger, and when you are directly pointing at it a voiced text tells you there is a dwarf farmer there. Different pings can indicate different thing.

That way you could experience the surroundings without a voice telling each thing.


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