Blind main characters

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Lucian Paul Smith

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Nov 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/6/96
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I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
character. In searching Stephen van Egmond's collection of old posts, I
came across one thread ('non-human POV', in the 3000's) where there was a
brief discussion about this, a mention of a previous discussion about it
(which I couldn't find), and Whizzard seemed to indicate that he had a
blind character in 'Avalon'.

What do you all think? I think it would be a fascinating prospect, if a
bit research-intensive. I know that blind people frequent this
newsgroup; would any of you be willing to help out if I decided to do
this? Whizzard, are there indeed blind characters in 'Avalon', and if
so, do you play one? And does anyone know where that previous discussion
on this topic might be found?

In case you want to re-read the old thread, it starts at:

http://www.truespectra.com/~svanegmo/raif/3/msg00920.html

-Lucian "Lucian" Smith

Matthew Daly

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Nov 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/6/96
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In article <55qsqn$q...@listserv.rice.edu> lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith) writes:
>I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
>character. In searching Stephen van Egmond's collection of old posts, I
>came across one thread ('non-human POV', in the 3000's) where there was a
>brief discussion about this, a mention of a previous discussion about it
>(which I couldn't find), and Whizzard seemed to indicate that he had a
>blind character in 'Avalon'.

You are in the darkness.

> NORTH

A grue eats you. Would you like to Restart, Restore, or Quit?

> QUIT

---------------------
Okay, okay, I was just kidding.

Are you thinking of a text adventure or a "GUI" one where you are guided
by stereo headphones and a scratch-and-sniff card? I think the latter would
be quite fascinating, although I couldn't imagine what sorts of plots or
puzzles could be used.

(Oh, and FWIW, article numbers are local to your own site, so "in the
3000's" doesn't mean much to anyone outside Rice.)

-Matthew
--
Matthew Daly I don't buy everything I read ... I haven't
da...@ppd.kodak.com even read everything I've bought.

My opinions are not necessarily those of my employer, of course.

Gerry Kevin Wilson

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Nov 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/6/96
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In article <55qsqn$q...@listserv.rice.edu>,

Lucian Paul Smith <lps...@rice.edu> wrote:

>(which I couldn't find), and Whizzard seemed to indicate that he had a
>blind character in 'Avalon'.

That was a different project that I have since rejected, simply because
after I finish Avalon, I doubt I'll have the energy for another text
adventure. I have some notes on the subject, but I'm afraid I can't
distribute them, as they were sent in confidence, sorry. I was going to
call it Sight Unseen. Of course, I have since noticed that Cliff Diver 2
is also named that. Oh well.

--
"Cheese. It's not just for aliens anymore."

Stephen van Egmond

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Nov 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/7/96
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>(Oh, and FWIW, article numbers are local to your own site, so "in the
>3000's" doesn't mean much to anyone outside Rice.)

Nope. He's referring to the raif archives, that are on ftp.gmd.de, and
now also on http://www.truespectra.com/svanegmo/~raif. The article
numbers are not going to change, and the URL he gave is very, very likely
to remain stable.


Bill Hoggett

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Nov 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/7/96
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On 07-Nov-96 Lucian Paul Smith <lps...@rice.edu> wrote:

>I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
>character. In searching Stephen van Egmond's collection of old posts, I
>came across one thread ('non-human POV', in the 3000's) where there was a
>brief discussion about this, a mention of a previous discussion about it

>(which I couldn't find), and Whizzard seemed to indicate that he had a
>blind character in 'Avalon'.

>What do you all think? I think it would be a fascinating prospect, if a


>bit research-intensive. I know that blind people frequent this
>newsgroup; would any of you be willing to help out if I decided to do
>this? Whizzard, are there indeed blind characters in 'Avalon', and if
>so, do you play one? And does anyone know where that previous discussion
>on this topic might be found?

Spoiler space
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I don't know whether this counts, but there's "Aayela" in this year's
competition. The main character is not blind, but has to wonder around
in total darkness for a bit. An extension of this concept would result
in a full adventure with a blind character. It would certainly be
something different!

Bill Hoggett (aka BeeJay) <mas.su...@easynet.co.uk>

IF GOD IS LIFE'S SERVICE PROVIDER WHY HAVEN'T I GOT HIS I.P. NUMBER ?


Andrew Plotkin

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Nov 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/7/96
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Avrom Faderman (av...@Turing.Stanford.EDU) wrote:
> In article <55qsqn$q...@listserv.rice.edu>,

> Lucian Paul Smith <lps...@rice.edu> wrote:
> >I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
> >character.

> although it gives more the impression of a world without visual
> stimuli than one in which the main character can't perceive the visual
> stimuli.

Oh, there's gotta be a difference between a *blind* character and a
*seeing character in the dark*. One is going about his normal business;
the other is cut off from his most relied-on source of inforamtion! This
had better make some difference in the writing.

Looking back on it (ha!), I should have made the dark scene in _So Far_ a
lot more tense, near panic.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Avrom Faderman

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Nov 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/7/96
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In article <55qsqn$q...@listserv.rice.edu>,
Lucian Paul Smith <lps...@rice.edu> wrote:
>I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
>character.

There is a competition entry this year that, while the main character
isn't blind, takes place almost entirely in complete darkness. So
there's at least a loose precedent.

And of course there's a fairly drawn out dark scene in "So Far,"


although it gives more the impression of a world without visual
stimuli than one in which the main character can't perceive the visual
stimuli.

-Avrom

bout...@blade.wcc.govt.nz

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Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
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>
>(Oh, and FWIW, article numbers are local to your own site, so "in the
>3000's" doesn't mean much to anyone outside Rice.)
>
>-Matthew
>--
I think he means http://www.truespectra.com/~svanegmo/raif/ which has a lot of
archived posts in an internally consistent numbering system. *Well* worth a
look (jeez, some of you guys have been here for _ages_)

-Giles

mathew

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Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
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In article <55qsqn$q...@listserv.rice.edu>,
Lucian Paul Smith <lps...@rice.edu> wrote:
>I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
>character.

If you haven't already, you should probably take a look at Infocom's
"Suspended", which features a blind main character. (The game features a
set of robots, each with a different sense or special ability.)


mathew
[ It's probably a safe bet that Activision won't be starting work on a
multimedia "Return To Suspended"... ]
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Matthew Daly

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Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
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In article <55v93h$7...@rocannon.cam.harlequin.co.uk> me...@pobox.com (mathew) writes:
>
>[ It's probably a safe bet that Activision won't be starting work on a
> multimedia "Return To Suspended"... ]

Oh, I don't know. I think of all of Infocom's games, Suspended is the
one that is most amenable to being ported to a graphics application.

Like Critical Path, having an interface that involved pushing buttons,
turning dials, and watching movies on monitors would be a completely
reality-based interface.

Avrom Faderman

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Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>Oh, there's gotta be a difference between a *blind* character and a
>*seeing character in the dark*. One is going about his normal business;
>the other is cut off from his most relied-on source of inforamtion! This
>had better make some difference in the writing.

Oh certainly. That's why I only said there was a "loose"
precedent--one that shows that a game can get by without the sense of
sight.

But in one sense, it should actually be easier to write a game with a
blind main character that one with a sighted one plunged into
darkness. You can bring back a lot more descriptive prose (since the
main character can presumably glean considerably more information from
his or her other senses), which obviously helps both to make the
environment interesting and to provide ways to progress through the
game.

-Avrom

Bill Hoggett

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Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
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On 08-Nov-96 mathew <me...@pobox.com> wrote:

>In article <55qsqn$q...@listserv.rice.edu>,>Lucian Paul Smith
><lps...@rice.edu> wrote:

>>I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a game with a blind main
>>character.

>If you haven't already, you should probably take a look at Infocom's
>"Suspended", which features a blind main character. (The game features a
>set of robots, each with a different sense or special ability.)

If I'm not mistaken, it was more of a `disembodied' character than
a blind one. The use of robots also makes "Suspended" a different
proposition because there all the senses are separated, and the
robots can "see".

My question is: If you're going to use a blind protagonist, will it
be someone who is blind from birth, or a person who has lost his
sight as a result of an accident or illness. This should make a
big difference to a character's perceptions.

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