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Revisiting Vassal and the Visually Impaired

Topics related to the main Vassal engine.

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Revisiting Vassal and the Visually Impaired

Postby BlindGuy » May 16th, 2020, 7:41 pm

Hi ALl,

I posted about this topic previously, but it has been several years and I've gained a decent amount of accessibility experience, in addition to motivation as I've found several games I'd very much like to be able to play.

I've been poking at the Vassal UI with my screen reader, and discovered the module editor, and the various components which make up a game. I was intrigued by the various "report formats," which seem to be a way for the module to describe what happens in game state. I can't quite seem to trigger enough of the game UI to see if these are as detailed as I hope they are.

Is it possible to move pieces around using a game inventory tree view, instead of the mouse to click on a map?

I realize this is, to a certain extent, a matter of how modules are designed, but I figured I might get more traction by posting in General Discussion. I'm trying to figure out how I might be able to play, for instance, Arkham Horror or Friday, when the current screen reader accessibility to the game UI itself isn't great.

Can I theoretically add a game inventory window to any module and use that for piece control and the like?

Thanks for any thoughts. :)
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Re: Revisiting Vassal and the Visually Impaired

Postby Martinov » June 10th, 2020, 6:56 pm

Hi

It might be worth investigating the wargameroom games made by Bruce Wigdor.

He runs a website which hosts computer versions of a lot of GMT games. Nothing like the range available on vassal of course, but overall, imho, easier to use and play.

You can find the downloads at the link below:

http://www.wargameroom.com/downloads.htm

His programs have a number of features that might be helpful for you.

The programs enforce the rules - which is very useful indeed.

They are heavily text based, with an excellent log of whats happening.

They structure the game play very strictly and linearly, which helps you to keep track of your options at any given point.

He has a particularly good text based version of the very popular ww2 cardgame UpFront.

He tends to focus on card driven location to location games.

Some of his older games, like Paths of Glory, Berlin to Barbarossa & Sword of Rome have abstracted maps with boxes connected by lines against a white screen. This might make it easier for your device to detect connections between locations.

Normally one player starts up the program in server mode and the other in client mode. If I remember correctly, they do not normally offer a hotseat or solo mode. Although that could be changed quite easily if you take an interest in them. But you can get around this by starting the program twice, once as server and once as client, and toggling between the two instances of the game to play both sides.

Hope that helps!
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