ADOM and blind players

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BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 09:05:4528.07.2004
do
Hi there! This is my first posting on this venerable newsgroup, so I
don't know if this has been brought up, but anyways:

Adom, due to the verbose descriptive text when doing anything, is
pretty well suited for blind players. Thanks to the native windows
version in combination with her speech synthesizer, my blind
girlfriend, who has never touched a roguelike before, is now glued in
front of her machine and slashing through the dungeons of the Drakalor
Chain. I need to check with her from time to time, though, since there
are two minor problems that sometimes can make playing ADOM confusing
for her.

The first is the "walk mode". It is a pretty handy tool for finding
items or branches in tunnels, but it turns corners without asking. It
would be cool if ADOM would include a config variable to stop that.

The second thing is the inability to put down markers or orientation
signs. We experimented with dropping "useless" stuff like rocks or
arrows in front of doors to be explored later, but "thanks" to the
current state of monster inventories, these things get snatched away
by wandering monsters. So I was thinking about including pieces of
(maybe) magical chalk to use as tools for in-game marking, perhaps
along the way of "'character name' was here" :-)

I found out about the several ADOM frontends circulating around and I
was thinking if there was the possibility of either having Thomas code
them in (which seems pretty unlikely, given the insignificant amount
of blind players) or if there was a way to implement it per a
frontend. But since I'm a programming doughnut, I really don't have a
clue how to get this done.

What does the rest of you think of these points?

Przemyslaw Brojewski

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 09:51:3528.07.2004
do
BlackFurredBeast <chri...@web.de> wrote:
: The first is the "walk mode". It is a pretty handy tool for finding

: items or branches in tunnels, but it turns corners without asking. It
: would be cool if ADOM would include a config variable to stop that.

: The second thing is the inability to put down markers or orientation
: signs. We experimented with dropping "useless" stuff like rocks or
: arrows in front of doors to be explored later, but "thanks" to the
: current state of monster inventories, these things get snatched away
: by wandering monsters. So I was thinking about including pieces of
: (maybe) magical chalk to use as tools for in-game marking, perhaps
: along the way of "'character name' was here" :-)

The walk mode, I guess, could be reimplemented with AdomSage macros.
Don't know about markings. Let AdomSage guru speak about it.

brojek.

Malte Helmert

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 09:28:5928.07.2004
do
BlackFurredBeast wrote:
> Hi there! This is my first posting on this venerable newsgroup, so I
> don't know if this has been brought up, but anyways:

Welcome!

[Snip suggestion on improving ADOM's interface for blind players]

> I found out about the several ADOM frontends circulating around and I
> was thinking if there was the possibility of either having Thomas code
> them in (which seems pretty unlikely, given the insignificant amount
> of blind players) or if there was a way to implement it per a
> frontend. But since I'm a programming doughnut, I really don't have a
> clue how to get this done.
>
> What does the rest of you think of these points?

Good points! I think Josh (ADOM Sage) or Vladimir (AdomBot) would be
able to implement some of those ideas in their ADOM interfaces. The
chance of Thomas implementing them any time soon into mainstream ADOM
are slim, I guess.

Malte

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 15:45:2628.07.2004
do
> The walk mode, I guess, could be reimplemented with AdomSage macros.
> Don't know about markings. Let AdomSage guru speak about it.
>

... which will raise the question if the linux version, coupled with
the ADOMSage frontend will work with the speech synthesizer software.
After some reading in the newsgroup I tried to patch the Winbeta4 with
the patch from
http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~houeland/adom/ , and the speech synth stopped
working with it. But I'll give it a try nonetheless :-)

Joel

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 16:15:4628.07.2004
do
BlackFurredBeast lifted a small glowing green tetrahedron and spoke these
arcane words:

> The second thing is the inability to put down markers or orientation
> signs. We experimented with dropping "useless" stuff like rocks or
> arrows in front of doors to be explored later, but "thanks" to the
> current state of monster inventories, these things get snatched away
> by wandering monsters. So I was thinking about including pieces of
> (maybe) magical chalk to use as tools for in-game marking, perhaps
> along the way of "'character name' was here" :-)

I know I've often wished for the ability to scratch a message in the dirt
(or stone).

--

Joel
http://moleculor.blogspot.com/

Rubinstein

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 16:58:2028.07.2004
do
Joel wrote:
> BlackFurredBeast lifted a small glowing green tetrahedron and spoke
> these arcane words:
>
>> The second thing is the inability to put down markers or orientation
>> signs.
>> [...]

>
> I know I've often wished for the ability to scratch a message in the
> dirt (or stone).

Nethack has a lot more to offer in those aspects (I don't say it's the
better game, though) : several kinds of engravings, from very fuzzy
(with your finger in the dust) to durable (with certain gems or weapons)
up to the famous E-word which actually has an effect on your opponents.
Nethack is also better in the area of setting markers: most (or all?
don't recall anymore) monsters won't touch cursed items (what is usually
used to protect your piles).

Jukka Kuusisto

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 17:32:0528.07.2004
do
Rubinstein <picom...@t-online.de> writes:

>Nethack is also better in the area of setting markers: most (or all?
>don't recall anymore) monsters won't touch cursed items (what is usually
>used to protect your piles).

No, in general only pets try to avoid stepping on cursed items.
For pile protection you use a locked chest on a square with the
E-word engraved under a boulder in a locked closet. Or just put
the pile next to the downstairs on Sokoban 1.

-Jukka
--
Jukka Kuusisto

Vladimir Panteleev

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 17:53:3728.07.2004
do
In article <383c17e2.04072...@posting.google.com>,
BlackFurredBeast <chri...@web.de> says...

> Adom, due to the verbose descriptive text when doing anything, is
> pretty well suited for blind players. Thanks to the native windows
> version in combination with her speech synthesizer, my blind
> girlfriend, who has never touched a roguelike before, is now glued in
> front of her machine and slashing through the dungeons of the Drakalor
> Chain. I need to check with her from time to time, though, since there
> are two minor problems that sometimes can make playing ADOM confusing
> for her.

> The first is the "walk mode". It is a pretty handy tool for finding
> items or branches in tunnels, but it turns corners without asking. It
> would be cool if ADOM would include a config variable to stop that.

A patch wouldn't be too hard to make.

> The second thing is the inability to put down markers or orientation
> signs. We experimented with dropping "useless" stuff like rocks or
> arrows in front of doors to be explored later, but "thanks" to the
> current state of monster inventories, these things get snatched away
> by wandering monsters. So I was thinking about including pieces of
> (maybe) magical chalk to use as tools for in-game marking, perhaps
> along the way of "'character name' was here" :-)

Hm, are you sure that you are using the native Windows Beta 4 version? I
can't imagine how would a speech synthesizer integrate with it, unless
it either uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition?) to manually read the
text drawn by ADOM, or hooks the text drawing functions.
Anyway, you know that some items can have names (up to 32 characters
iirc). It would be possible to modify an item that doesn't appear in the
game (spear of raw steel?) to a new item (sign), and modify the drop
code so that when a "sign" is dropped, the game would ask you a name for
the sign.
It would look like this:
A sign "Boogie monster behind door" (0s) is lying here.
As for monsters picking them up, each item has (thankfully) a flag that,
when set, prevents monsters picking the item up. Also, if the item is
maked as an artefact, it won't be destroyed by element damage (area
spells, monster breath etc.).

(from another post)


> After some reading in the newsgroup I tried to patch the Winbeta4 with
> the patch from
> http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~houeland/adom/ , and the speech synth stopped
> working with it. But I'll give it a try nonetheless :-)

I don't understand why would ToGu's patch affect the speech
synthesizer's work... unless, the program has a predefined special
configuration for ADOM. It must calculate the program's checksum, and
look it up in a program database.
If it's so, it's still possible to patch the executable after it's
loaded in memory.

--
Knowledge belongs to the World.
That's why I'm here for.

http://wercorporation.da.ru/

Joel

nieprzeczytany,
28 lip 2004, 19:45:1028.07.2004
do
Rubinstein lifted a small glowing green tetrahedron and spoke these arcane
words:

Yeahh... I know. (Though I don't know about the e-word thing, seeing as I
suck at Nethack worse than I suck at ADOM.)

Writing on the ground is the ONE thing that Nethack has that I wish ADOM
had.

--

Joel
http://moleculor.blogspot.com/

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
29 lip 2004, 04:13:1729.07.2004
do
>
> A patch wouldn't be too hard to make.
>

That sounds promising :-)

-- snip --

> Hm, are you sure that you are using the native Windows Beta 4 version? I
> can't imagine how would a speech synthesizer integrate with it, unless
> it either uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition?) to manually read the
> text drawn by ADOM, or hooks the text drawing functions.

-- snip rest ---

Yes, I'm pretty sure I used the Winbeta 4. I DL'ed it from TB's
website and it worked fine. To be more precise (and maybe help with
developement):

My girlfriend uses ADOM Winbeta 4 in conjunction with the screenreader
Jaws For Windows 4.51 by Freedom Scientific (ask Google for the
address). I know my way around computers, but I'm more the network guy
than the program guy, so I really don't know the method JAWS uses to
get the input it reads aloud. The nice thing here is that Jaws reads
the "description text" in the first two lines of the screen and skips
the whole ascii map. In contrast to NetHack (which we tried as well,
btw) ADOM is much more verbose in the amount of info given even when
moving (e.g. "Ouch, you run into the wall", which NetHack dosen't.
That's why we tried ADOM in the first place :-) (and the fact that
I've been babbling fondly about it since 0.9.something :)

>
> (from another post)
> > After some reading in the newsgroup I tried to patch the Winbeta4 with
> > the patch from
> > http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~houeland/adom/ , and the speech synth stopped
> > working with it. But I'll give it a try nonetheless :-)
>
> I don't understand why would ToGu's patch affect the speech
> synthesizer's work... unless, the program has a predefined special
> configuration for ADOM. It must calculate the program's checksum, and
> look it up in a program database.

As I said, I really don't know the inner workings of JAWS, I only know
the results :-). And the result of using the "fixed exe" with JAWS
resulted in silence.

Ask if you need more specifics :-)
*waves a furry paw*

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
29 lip 2004, 04:58:1029.07.2004
do
On a side note:

We just tried Angband 3.0.5, since it has (at least) a decent look
mode and warning when you bounce into the wall. I don't know what it
does different from ADOM's winbeta, but it strictly refuses to work
with the speech synth. The screen reader has two modes, one that
tracks the PC cursor and reads updates on the screen (which my
girlfriend mostly uses for navigating the dungeons) and a second mode
which uses a virtual cursor that she uses to read the message buffers
or inventory screens. With Angband only this second mode worked, and
just barely. We may try NetHack (again) later today, but here the
problem lies with the lack of "wall bump" warning, a "must have" for
her kind of dungeon exploration :-)

Erik Piper

nieprzeczytany,
29 lip 2004, 05:33:0729.07.2004
do
bork bork bork BlackFurredBeast bork 10:58:10 AM bork 7/29/2004 bork bork:

Maybe your girlfriend can be the first player to win the ADOM Zen Monk
challenge!

(http://tinyurl.com/4u8zk)

NB I found not having a map in front of me during this challenge to be an
insurmountable problem; for your girlfriend, the difference from the usual
situation will be less dramatic (some messages omitted, some made more
vague). However, I imagine the restrictions will still be annoying, and in
actuality she'll prefer sticking to a normal win. Still, may be worth
mentioning.

Erik

Rubinstein

nieprzeczytany,
29 lip 2004, 07:56:4929.07.2004
do
BlackFurredBeast wrote:
> On a side note:
>
> We may try NetHack (again) later today, but here the problem lies with
> the lack of "wall bump" warning, a "must have" for her kind of dungeon
> exploration :-)

Another side note, when you try Nethack again and if you didn't found
out by yourself already: have a look at NetHack's Guidebook (there is a
html-version on their Homepage) chapter 9.9 "Configuring NetHack for
Play by the Blind". Nethack also provides a special configuration file
called NHAccess.nh as a replacement for the common defaults.nh. I don't
know whether it solves your "wall bump" problem, though... Good Luck!

Rubinstein

Vladimir Panteleev

nieprzeczytany,
29 lip 2004, 14:33:1129.07.2004
do
In article <383c17e2.04072...@posting.google.com>,
BlackFurredBeast <chri...@web.de> says...
> Ask if you need more specifics :-)
> *waves a furry paw*

I downloaded the demo version of JAWS 5.0 and encountered some problems.
First of all, I failed to configure it to automatically read any new
text displayed; does that mean you have to move the JAWS cursor to the
top lines every time to read the messages? Also, the command to read the
entire screen didn't work properly; it kept skipping the first line.
And, under certain circumstances, it kept sending keystrokes to ADOM
making the PC run madly and bump into NPCs.

I tested it with the Linux version under Adom-Sage, and it worked well,
but I didn't get to test it throughly because the evaluation version
only runs n minutes before a reboot, and rebooting is probably what I
hate doing most to my PC.

Anyway, could you give more details on how to properly configure and use
the program with ADOM? I will need to test the patch...
Also, see if you may want to switch to using ADOM-Sage. The save-game
files aren't compatible, but ADOM-Sage provides some useful features
like macros.

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
29 lip 2004, 15:49:0529.07.2004
do
Rubinstein <picom...@t-online.de> wrote :
--- snipples ---

> Another side note, when you try Nethack again and if you didn't found
> out by yourself already: have a look at NetHack's Guidebook (there is a
> html-version on their Homepage) chapter 9.9 "Configuring NetHack for
> Play by the Blind". Nethack also provides a special configuration file
> called NHAccess.nh as a replacement for the common defaults.nh. I don't
> know whether it solves your "wall bump" problem, though... Good Luck!
>
> Rubinstein

Well, the nethack issue has been solved, although in a rather sad way.
Jaws (my girlfriends' speech software) won't work with NH, so it's out
of the question. I'll check the NH guidebook anyways, maybe it has
some info that I overlooked. But AFAIK that deals only with braille
displays... (the things that you read with your fingers, for the
"uninitiated" :-))

Thanks anyway...

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
1 sie 2004, 18:45:2001.08.2004
do
Hi again!

This time I would like to give you a little progress report on how my
lovely girlfriend gets along with ADOM. In short: she rocks :-)

m
a
y

i
n
c
l
u
d
e

s
p
o
i
l
e
r
s
Since she's a beginner, I made her a save/restore script but will try
to discourage her from using it.

Her first character, a grey elven elementalist, made it up to level
17, until she deceided to retire her in the CoC graveyard.
Some memorable moments: She did all Thrundarr quests, offered the
Greater Daemon who went rampaging in Dwarftown to Ayssia, became
championess of the arena and freed the spirit of Griff Bloodaxe -
after some of the most furious fighting I have seen since my early
ADOM days (in 9.9 g8). She had found a large crystal shield with
killer stats and a barbed mithril dagger, but she didn't want to
change to use another weapon - and so she had one hell of a knife
fight versus Griff and Nonnak, with most of her spells gone and her
wands useless, since she became a living mana battery. The bone golem
was especially troublesome, but she got the better of him by throwing
her last Improved Fireball his way. But in the CoC graveyard, she
finally ran out of food and spells...

In general, my girlfriend has a good grasp on the world map, since the
area around Terinyo has so many notable landmarks. In dungeons she
improves with every day, especially since she discovered that the look
mode operates even "outside" the character's Perception range, so she
can use the "l"ook command to backtrack and check on areas where she
might have missed a branch in a corridor, instead of having to
"physically" walk back there and waste precious time.

Vladimir Panteleev

nieprzeczytany,
3 sie 2004, 23:18:4003.08.2004
do
In article <MPG.1b736f65d...@news.individual.net>, Vladimir
Panteleev <pv_wer...@programist.ru> says...

> In article <383c17e2.04072...@posting.google.com>,
> BlackFurredBeast <chri...@web.de> says...
> > Ask if you need more specifics :-)
> > *waves a furry paw*

[snip]

Since BlackFurredBeast is using Google Groups, he didn't notice my post
I'm replying to now, and we clarified the problem by e-mail.

I still couldn't get JAWS to work properly with ADOM, so I couldn't test
if it would work with it. Anyway, I patched the executable, but I added
a new section (I hate looking for code caves) so I've uploaded the whole
patched executable instead. I know that's against the ADOM license, but
I doubt Thomas will disapprove that.

Anyways, the patch is located here:
http://www.geocities.com/adombot/adom_blind.zip

Things patched:
- while walking, you don't turn at corners and
- a new item is added: a "sign".
You can't obtain signs naturally within the game yet, you will have to
use AdomBot and set an item's "Item type" property to
"itSpearOfRawSteel". I'll fix that later.
Signs are weightless, undestructable tools. You use them by dropping one
on the floor. At that point the game shall ask you what to inscribe on
the sign. Picking them up doesn't remove the inscriptions; I might fix
that later.

Please see if the modified executable works with the screen reader; if
it doesn't, I'll either have to think of another way to modify ADOM
(patch it in memory?) or give up >:(

OTOH, the bug seems to be on JAWS's part. Since you are a registered
user, you should get tech support, right? (as a last resort...)

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
4 sie 2004, 06:40:1704.08.2004
do
Vladimir Panteleev <pv_wer...@programist.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1b7a82064...@news.individual.net>...
---snipples---

> Anyways, the patch is located here:
> http://www.geocities.com/adombot/adom_blind.zip
>

That sounds intriguing! Thanks so far - and maybe you should check the
URL again, because I'm unable to DL it :-(

Kind Regards
BlackFurredBeast

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
4 sie 2004, 06:44:4804.08.2004
do
Vladimir Panteleev <pv_wer...@programist.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1b7a82064...@news.individual.net>...
> In article <MPG.1b736f65d...@news.individual.net>, Vladimir
> Panteleev <pv_wer...@programist.ru> says...
> > In article <383c17e2.04072...@posting.google.com>,
> > BlackFurredBeast <chri...@web.de> says...
> > > Ask if you need more specifics :-)
> > > *waves a furry paw*
--- snipples again ---
> Anyways, the patch is located here:
> http://www.geocities.com/adombot/adom_blind.zip
>

I have no clue why it didn't DL by using the link. I instead surfed to
the page and looked for the file manually, but that worked like a
charm. I'll test-run it and get back to you :-)

matija

nieprzeczytany,
4 sie 2004, 10:29:5204.08.2004
do
Vladimir Panteleev, completely geschtonkenflapped, wrote:
> http://www.geocities.com/adombot/adom_blind.zip
> Things patched:
> - while walking, you don't turn at corners and
> - a new item is added: a "sign".

this is an incredible gesture. you have my utmost respect.


--
there is a cheer. the gnomes have learned a new way to say hooray. [-shpongle]

address is scrambled - remove the superfluous "x" marks to reply

The Wanderer

nieprzeczytany,
4 sie 2004, 14:24:0404.08.2004
do
BlackFurredBeast wrote:

> Vladimir Panteleev <pv_wer...@programist.ru> wrote in message
> news:<MPG.1b7a82064...@news.individual.net>...

>> Anyways, the patch is located here:

>> http://www.geocities.com/adombot/adom_blind.zip
>
> I have no clue why it didn't DL by using the link. I instead surfed
> to the page and looked for the file manually, but that worked like a
> charm. I'll test-run it and get back to you :-)

The reason would be that Geocities doesn't like remote linking (i.e.,
people putting just images in their Geocities Webspace and using them as
images in sites hosted elsewhere), and so it doesn't let you view
non-HTML files from them if you aren't coming from a Geocities page.
It's possible to fake it, if you know how, but most of the time it's
just easier to go through channels.

--
The Wanderer

Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any
side of it.

A government exists to serve its citizens, not to control them.

BlackFurredBeast

nieprzeczytany,
4 sie 2004, 16:36:0304.08.2004
do
Hello again!

Today I received a mail from Vladimir Panteleev, notifying me about
his preliminary improvements to ADOM with regards to the suggestions
my girlfriend and I came up with when starting this topic.

Some quick testing revealed that the ADOM version Vladimir patched was
indeed playable with JAWS for Windows, although with two minor
annoyances (which doesn't have to do anything with Vlad's coding, but
maybe with the way JAWS works).

1. One needs to have the screen echo set to "all", otherwise you won't
get any voice output while running the game. Annoying: When the
Windows task bar is up, you'll get a time update every minute, since
the "all" screen echo reads out all changing characters on screen,
including the Taskbar clock.

2. One needs to ignore the readings of ascii characters. The unpatched
winbeta 4 doesn't read out the ascii characters, only the "status
text".

But anyways, these are minor points. The "plusses" outweigh these
little things hundredfold.

The first good news:
The walk mode doesn't turn corners anymore. That's especially helpful
when using the general directions for navigation and the walk mode to
find branches in long corridors. Works like a charm!

The second good news:
For now, Vladimir fiddled with the properties of an item called the
"Spear Of Raw Steel", turning it into a sign which can be individually
labled.
The little downside for that right now is that you need ADOMBot to
edit an item in the players' inventory, which will then become the
pile of signs, but Vladimir told us that he'll try to fix it so that
every new character gets a heap of them. My girlfriend is thrilled, of
course!
The only small improvement idea that came up while playing was that
the sign should be identified as such when using the "l"ook command on
it. So far it only says "An item is lying here", not "A sign is lying
here". But if that can be done is another question.

My girlfriend is pretty impressed with the way ADOM is playable now
and we are looking forward to the next version of the patch. A
stunning effort!

Vladimir Panteleev

nieprzeczytany,
28 sie 2004, 08:28:5828.08.2004
do
Hi.
I haven't been around for a while; I got back a few days ago, only to
find that my IDA ADOM database is corrupt. Restoring from back-ups and
re-doing some decoding took some more time. Anyway:

In article <383c17e2.0408...@posting.google.com>,
BlackFurredBeast <chri...@web.de> says...


> Hello again!
>
> Today I received a mail from Vladimir Panteleev, notifying me about
> his preliminary improvements to ADOM with regards to the suggestions
> my girlfriend and I came up with when starting this topic.

The second version of the patch is ready.
Also, there is another package to mess with WinBeta4's look.

> Some quick testing revealed that the ADOM version Vladimir patched was
> indeed playable with JAWS for Windows, although with two minor
> annoyances (which doesn't have to do anything with Vlad's coding, but
> maybe with the way JAWS works).
>
> 1. One needs to have the screen echo set to "all", otherwise you won't
> get any voice output while running the game. Annoying: When the
> Windows task bar is up, you'll get a time update every minute, since
> the "all" screen echo reads out all changing characters on screen,
> including the Taskbar clock.

In that second package, there's a program that maximizes ADOM to full
screen, covering up the task-bar and system clock.

> 2. One needs to ignore the readings of ascii characters. The unpatched
> winbeta 4 doesn't read out the ascii characters, only the "status
> text".

I don't know how to fix that, sorry.

> But anyways, these are minor points. The "plusses" outweigh these
> little things hundredfold.

[snip]

> The little downside for that right now is that you need ADOMBot to
> edit an item in the players' inventory, which will then become the
> pile of signs, but Vladimir told us that he'll try to fix it so that
> every new character gets a heap of them. My girlfriend is thrilled, of
> course!

Fixed. I hope 65535 signs will be enough.

> The only small improvement idea that came up while playing was that
> the sign should be identified as such when using the "l"ook command on
> it. So far it only says "An item is lying here", not "A sign is lying
> here". But if that can be done is another question.

Also fixed. However, I thought if it wouldn't be just fair to allow you
to know the item type when looking at the item from a distance. Non-
blind players can already see the item type by its ASCII symbol, and can
sometimes identify it completely by its color.

The file locations:
http://www.geocities.com/adombot/ adom_blind.zip
http://www.geocities.com/adombot/ tweakfont.zip

I have also included links to the files on the AdomBot homepage:
http://www.geocities.com/adombot/index.html#tools

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