• Advertisement

Make a small donation to Ye Olde Inn!

Donate via Paypal

Every cent received goes toward Ye Olde Inn's maintenance and allows us to continue providing the best resources for HeroQuest and Fantasy Gaming fans.

Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Topics relating to Fantasy Games not listed above.

Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby iKarith » Friday July 16th, 2021 5:26pm

Was thinking … Board games are often not terribly accessible to the blind collectively because of they're flat, not tactile, pieces easily knocked over, etc. RPGs could be, especially now that you can roll dice on an electronic device (though d6 with pips are sort of accessible, raised dots available in very expensive pairs that are more so…)

That got me thinking: What does a widely accessible game (not to just blind people, but as many people as possible) look like?

People don't generally give deaf players a second thought. They can see and read all the game materials, so why wouldn't they be able to play all the games that already exist? They probably can, and without too much trouble … except I can imagine a group of more than four or five players at a table where anyone might speak up and need the others to hear/see what they're saying could pose a little challenge. No sense excluding these folks from consideration just because the problem tends to solve itself.

Blind folks … At the table, the blind tend to play abstract card games. Most notably, just about every single blind person I know under the age of 80, including those from other countries seems to own an Uno deck. The game is large print out of the box and the each of the cards can be Brailled using two characters that even non-Braille readers can learn (combinations of b, d, g, r, s, w, y, 0-9), and is considered a Braille-learning aid. Board games made with us in mind tend to use pegs or tactile grids pieces lock into such that they can't be easily bumped, dislodged, or knocked over. Most of us can use d6 with pips but (way overpriced) raised pip "tactile" d6s are available (typically in pairs) for those who can't. Other dice would have to be too big to be made tactile, but we can all use an electronic dice dingus.

I think a theater of the mind RPG using d6 would probably be most accessible to the blind. Thing is, you've got to think about the tables and maps in case the GM is the one who's blind. Think Zork for the maps—rooms with exits. (Passages count as rooms, if there's anything significant in them…) And tables … Ideally you need only a few of them to avoid page flipping and they'd be relatively short (a US standard "Braille book page" is 11.5 x 11 inch, containing 40 characters and 25 lines.)

It'd work best if a character sheet was easy to represent in a serialized text-only fashion. Kurgan got introduced to me doing that for our online HQ games. At the table I might've done something with a whiteboard or overhead projector acetate or something, but at the computer it was just a flat text file.

Young players or players with learning disabilities probably would be best served if things like printed character sheets were short and used icons where they made sense. Stuff like that.

I think this is quite doable. It's probably be a fairly light crunch RPG system with some kind of uniquely written example campaign modules with maps that are made to be flowcharted as easily as mapped. I think combat might look like something somewhere between HeroQuest and Dragon Age not because either is most suited to the task, but because I know those two systems and haven't looked at many others. I can't imagine anything quite like this already exists, though all of the pieces probably exist somewhere.

Welcome to thoughts on this one, it's a rather long-term project in the earliest of idea stages, and I'm not even remotely sure what's going to work and what's not until I start kidna—er, finding some playtesters who wouldn't typically play board or RP tabletop games much and infl—er, inviting them to try some ideas that I haven't exactly sorted out even in my own head yet.
Milton Bradley: "So guys, everyone knows about orcs, goblins and mummies and stuff, but what about these 'fimirs' we're putting in the game? Tell me all about them!"

Games Workshop: "Uhhhhhhhhhhh...."
User avatar
Web Mage
iKarith

Elven Archer
Elven Archer
 
Posts: 546
Joined: Sunday February 14th, 2021 12:42pm
Location: Portlandia
Forum Language: English (United States)
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Hero:

Advertisement

Make a small donation to Ye Olde Inn!

Donate via Paypal

Every cent received goes toward Ye Olde Inn's maintenance and allows us to continue providing the best resources for HeroQuest and Fantasy Gaming fans.

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby cornixt » Monday July 19th, 2021 9:36am

Are braille D6 common? I was thinking about making my HQ-lite game into a more 2D6-based RPG to make it even more accessible, because D6 are more familiar to the general public and limiting the dice rolls to only a couple of dice makes it even easier while maintaining some amount of flexibility.


Rewards:
Destroyed a Zombie!
User avatar
cornixt

Elven Warrior
Elven Warrior
 
Posts: 633
Joined: Tuesday November 4th, 2014 12:56pm
Forum Language: British English
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Hero:
Usergroups:
Champion Group Member

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby Stig » Monday July 19th, 2021 10:03am

I think now that some people use 3D dungeons the board is much more tactile. There could even be braille for the squares (A1, A2 etc) on the floor of each room perhaps?


Rewards:
Zealot Miniatures: Twisting Catacombs Kickstarter Backer Slain a measly Goblin! Destroyed a Zombie! Smashed a massive Gargoyle!
User avatar
Stig

Ogre Lord
Ogre Lord
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Wednesday December 23rd, 2015 5:12am
Location: London, United Kingdom
Forum Language: British English
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon
Hero:
Usergroups:
Champion Group Member

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby iKarith » Thursday July 22nd, 2021 6:12am

cornixt wrote:Are braille D6 common? I was thinking about making my HQ-lite game into a more 2D6-based RPG to make it even more accessible, because D6 are more familiar to the general public and limiting the dice rolls to only a couple of dice makes it even easier while maintaining some amount of flexibility.


"Common" as in do I see them for sale all over the place? No.
"Common" as in do most blind folks I know have a pair of them? Yes.
"Common" as in can I order Koplow #05898 and have a whole stack of them to give 5 blind people at a table 5d6 each? Or #17420 for a bucket of 50? Well, Koplow doesn't make it real easy for me as an individual to order from their catalog, but if I had a few items from them I wanted ordered, I bet my FLGS would be happy to do it and give me a little discount on what would otherwise be their normal markup to cover profit and shipping.

Image
Milton Bradley: "So guys, everyone knows about orcs, goblins and mummies and stuff, but what about these 'fimirs' we're putting in the game? Tell me all about them!"

Games Workshop: "Uhhhhhhhhhhh...."
User avatar
Web Mage
iKarith

Elven Archer
Elven Archer
 
Posts: 546
Joined: Sunday February 14th, 2021 12:42pm
Location: Portlandia
Forum Language: English (United States)
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Hero:

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby Kurgan » Thursday July 22nd, 2021 11:56am

Are the pips on those tactile dice "outie" rather than "innie"?


Rewards:
Destroyed a Zombie!
User avatar
Kurgan

Polar Warbear
Polar Warbear
 
Posts: 3097
Images: 76
Joined: Saturday February 23rd, 2019 7:08pm
Forum Language: English (United States)
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon
Hero:
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby Stig » Thursday July 22nd, 2021 3:01pm

And do partially sighted people like the feel of miniatures, or would round discs with shapes on them work eg triangle = barbarian; square = dwarf etc? Or should everything tacticle be in braille, ie the barbarian disc should have "barbarian" written on it?

This has really captured my imagination. I think it can be done.


Rewards:
Zealot Miniatures: Twisting Catacombs Kickstarter Backer Slain a measly Goblin! Destroyed a Zombie! Smashed a massive Gargoyle!
User avatar
Stig

Ogre Lord
Ogre Lord
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Wednesday December 23rd, 2015 5:12am
Location: London, United Kingdom
Forum Language: British English
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon
Hero:
Usergroups:
Champion Group Member

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby cornixt » Thursday July 22nd, 2021 4:32pm

I wonder if Lego would be a good way of showing the maps. It holds together well so it can be passed around the group without disturbing the pieces on it.

I picked the idea of two dice for every roll because most people have a couple of dice in some game they already own like Monopoly or Clue, not everyone has something like Yahtzee with five or more. The accessibility to non-gamers was the main point. Sounds like it will work for legally blind people too, although some of the other parts I had in mind for the game wouldn't. Maybe I'll try to rework all of it for this purpose.


Rewards:
Destroyed a Zombie!
User avatar
cornixt

Elven Warrior
Elven Warrior
 
Posts: 633
Joined: Tuesday November 4th, 2014 12:56pm
Forum Language: British English
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Hero:
Usergroups:
Champion Group Member

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby iKarith » Saturday July 24th, 2021 5:31am

Kurgan wrote:Are the pips on those tactile dice "outie" rather than "innie"?


Correct. These dice tend to have an inset face with like sticker dice, but round. The pips are debossed (outies) and generally closer together. On 16mm dice, the pips are more like you'd expect for 14 or even 12mm dice, so they're easier to feel all at once with a fingertip. With 16mm dice (from a Tenzi or similar game) the pips are far enough apart and large enough to be felt, but not conveniently all at once. Smaller dice make the pips smaller, making them harder to feel at all if you have fat fingers or reduced finger sensitivity. (This is a problem mechanics, machinists, musicians, textile workers, diabetics who test their blood sugar a lot, and others who have calloused fingers have to deal with, as well as a number of medical conditions that can cause some reduced sensation due to neuropathy…)

So-called "Braille dice" are pretty easy to feel the positions of the dots just by putting your finger on top and feeling around a little. Very old dice will get harder to read with age—the debossed pips will round over and flatter as they're worn just from handling and skin oils (and presumably cheeto crud, we're talking about dice intended for fantasy gaming, right?) But then the blind are used to being expected to pay $3 apiece for their dice, so they will often only have a pair.

Getting more is easy enough, and again, for a reasonable price. Koplow's making them like they do their novelty sets—running off several thousand at once and doing another run whenever they are running low. It's not like they take up much physical inventory space and they'll ship some out here and there as they need to.

The dice are the easy part though—the challenge is building something that works with a few d6 that doesn't have a whole lot of complexity in the tables department. Actually, I was thinking before about the combat system in Dragon Age RPG would kinda be perfect. A blind person reads their dice one at a time, right? The third one read is your stunt points in the case of a double. But I'm only familiar with Dragon Age RPG (and Titansgrave) because of Will Weaton's stuff. There are undoubtedly more complex tables and whatnot than we were shown. In fact I know that there are.
Milton Bradley: "So guys, everyone knows about orcs, goblins and mummies and stuff, but what about these 'fimirs' we're putting in the game? Tell me all about them!"

Games Workshop: "Uhhhhhhhhhhh...."
User avatar
Web Mage
iKarith

Elven Archer
Elven Archer
 
Posts: 546
Joined: Sunday February 14th, 2021 12:42pm
Location: Portlandia
Forum Language: English (United States)
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Hero:

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby Kurgan » Saturday July 24th, 2021 11:29am

Ah, so you could jack up the price further by using materials like metal and have raised engraved symbols on the die faces too. Maybe a rounded bump for the skull, round flat shield for the bad guys, diamond shield for the good guys (and still balanced for "fairness"). Extend the lifespan by rolling them a soft surface (cardboard, leather, wood with a layer of felt expertly glued to it).


Rewards:
Destroyed a Zombie!
User avatar
Kurgan

Polar Warbear
Polar Warbear
 
Posts: 3097
Images: 76
Joined: Saturday February 23rd, 2019 7:08pm
Forum Language: English (United States)
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon
Hero:
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Re: Very early idea stage: Accessible fantasy game

Postby iKarith » Saturday July 24th, 2021 6:41pm

Kurgan wrote:Ah, so you could jack up the price further by using materials like metal and have raised engraved symbols on the die faces too. Maybe a rounded bump for the skull, round flat shield for the bad guys, diamond shield for the good guys (and still balanced for "fairness"). Extend the lifespan by rolling them a soft surface (cardboard, leather, wood with a layer of felt expertly glued to it).


Actually, since I've gotta invent something wholly new, I'm probably going to intentionally just use plain d6 to keep the costs low.

Actually, I'm thinking that a base "medium" creature (borrowing D&D sizing for discussion) will probably have about the same base of probably 6 or 8 HP, with armor serving to absorb. Except I'm thinking armor is going to work for just about everyone the same way. Which means four adventurers in light armor are NOT going to fare well against six heavily armored orcs, because those orcs are just as tough as they are, and they're better equipped.
Milton Bradley: "So guys, everyone knows about orcs, goblins and mummies and stuff, but what about these 'fimirs' we're putting in the game? Tell me all about them!"

Games Workshop: "Uhhhhhhhhhhh...."
User avatar
Web Mage
iKarith

Elven Archer
Elven Archer
 
Posts: 546
Joined: Sunday February 14th, 2021 12:42pm
Location: Portlandia
Forum Language: English (United States)
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Hero:


Return to Other Games Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests