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WIF Accessibility for the BLind

 
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WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 11/17/2019 2:12:53 AM   
BlindGuyNW

 

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Hi There,

I’m writing with what is almost certainly an unusual question: is it possible for me to play World in Flames as a totally blind person? I realize the answer to this is likely to be no, but would appreciate any input from people more familiar with the game.

I have recently discovered a liking for complex computer and tabletop games, and WIF certainly seems to fit that criterion. It also seems to possess a great many tables, forms, and other ways to get at its various game information. I was wondering if anyone can speak to the way the system is implemented?

I have a program called a screen reader, which is able to read many Windows programs quite well, if they use mostly standard controls or at any rate make the extra attempt to include information in an accessible way. I have also discovered recently that my program can read quite a bit of information via OCR, which is how I am able to play some fairly complex games, though nothing quite on this scale.

I wondered if anyone could speak to the possibility of exploring this, before I drop $90+ on a game which I presumably won’t be able to refund if I can’t, in fact, do anything with it. Needless to say, I should note that I am a stubborn person, and willing to go through quite a lot to make things work, and provide any information which might be needful in understanding where I’m coming from.

thanks much for any insights. :)
Post #: 1
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 11/17/2019 7:22:40 PM   
paulderynck


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I'm sorry to say that my honest opinion is that it would be impossible.

_____________________________

Paul

(in reply to BlindGuyNW)
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RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 11/17/2019 8:56:48 PM   
brian brian

 

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Yes, the visual information density on the map, and the quantity of that info, would be insurmountable.

I would suggest inquiring about games with an area-based map, rather than games with hexagonal maps.

There is such a game for World in Flames, it is called WiF:Blitz. I do not know if it has a "module" for playing online with the gaming assistance software called Vassal, but it might. WiF:Blitz is more of an Army Group level game, and each country only has a few areas - the spaces that hold the units - inside each country. It is far simpler than World in Flames, but more detailed than Axis & Allies.

(in reply to paulderynck)
Post #: 3
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 11/17/2019 9:07:43 PM   
BlindGuyNW

 

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Regretably, Vassal isn't very accessible for me either, regardless of the game in use. I appreciate the input, however. THis is somewhat discouraging, but I'd at least like to see a list of available keyboard shortcuts and such to see what is possible. I can't even seem to find a copy of the manual without paying, though the tutorial videos are both very detailed and rather useless for my purposes. :)

(in reply to brian brian)
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RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 12/1/2019 1:32:22 PM   
TeaLeaf


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I realy understand that we -people with eyesight- immediately say that MWiF is not playable for a blind person.
But I think we need to establish first what kind of complexity you are already comfortable with. So what complex games do you already comfortably play?

I heard there are people that can play ~50 games of chess at the same time all the while being blindfolded. If people can do such a thing, however exceptionally brilliant they may be, then maybe some1 could also play a barbarossa scenario blind(folded). This is just a fraction of the total war campaign, but if you could play that then you at least have an idea.

And I don't think it is a problem if someone sends you a copy of some MWiF pdf players manual, so you can see for yourself (please forgive the expression ).
Also, you could take a look (again no pun intended) at the website of Australian Design Group for set-up booklets and inside these, search for Barbarossa scenario. Although mind you, everything on their website is now collectors edition (different from MWiF because the rules evolved).

So I guess the bottom line is please don't let us seeing people discourage you! We don't know @#$% about what you can or can't do .

(in reply to BlindGuyNW)
Post #: 5
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 12/1/2019 9:08:53 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Yes, as TeaLeaf wrote, Barbarossa 'might' be possible.

I can play chess blindfolded - although my skill level drops off rather drastically.

I can also 'review' my World in Flames game positions in my head, although the naval moves through multiple sea areas in the Pacific can be too much for me to figure out. The main trouble is that there are so many units in the game. Simply trying to take out Poland as the Germans in the first turn of the game requires remembering where dozens of units are positioned. And of course, all their strength factors and movement abilities. Easily 50+ units can be involved. Then you have to be able to envision all the hexes, their hex and hexside terrain, plus which weather zone they are in.

To accomplish doing any of this in my head required me memorizing terrain - going over it again and again, which is what I have to do for all memorization. The units participating is another large task of memorization. As I get older, I find I can memorize things more readily, but it takes a lot of time and effort. Typically, I have to go back and look at a position multiple times to make sure I have 'stored' it in my head correctly. By the way, sitting around waiting in doctors' offices provides my with a lot of opportunities to 'think' about positions in my current game.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to TeaLeaf)
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RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 12/11/2019 11:23:39 PM   
Dabrion


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I don't see a wy to comprehend the complexity of the WiF board without seeing it. The mayor device of this game is viasual/memonic identification. Unless you are into autitive-augmentation device thereis no way to access the game board for a blind person.

_____________________________

“WiF is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.”
- Richard P. Feynman, 'WiF, Sex, and the Dual Slit Experiment'.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 7
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 3/10/2020 10:04:29 PM   
tucsonbandit

 

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its nearly impossible to play as a sighted person

(in reply to Dabrion)
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RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 5/11/2020 2:15:37 AM   
BlindGuyNW

 

Posts: 24
Joined: 11/2/2015
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Well,

I have decided to grab the game, just because I like a challenge. :)

Thus far, the screen reader is able to pick up a lot of information, even though the forms themselves don't appear to be Windows standard controls.

I'm at least looking forward to seeing what I might be able to do.

I will definitely have to get familiar with the way to navigate the map, I suspect I'll be doing a lot of "Find this city," until I get familiar with the layout, if such is possible.

I found a full list of keyboard shortcuts in the manual, and I appreciate the thorough explanations of every form.

This is daunting but I'm excited to see where I can go from here.

< Message edited by BlindGuyNW -- 5/11/2020 3:04:55 AM >

(in reply to BlindGuyNW)
Post #: 9
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 5/11/2020 4:14:45 AM   
Courtenay


Posts: 3775
Joined: 11/12/2008
Status: online
I admire your dedication, not to mention bravery.

Don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have.

When and if you do start play, start with the Barbarossa scenario. This is advice we give to all new players. Doing so eliminates much of naval game, which is by far the least intuitive part of the game.

If you do start with the Barbarossa scenario, do not use the fast start Barbarossa scenario; set up the Russian defenses on you own. The reason for this is that the Russian set up in the fast start scenario is atrociously bad.

Please tell us how you are doing in this very impressive endeavor.

_____________________________

I thought I knew how to play this game....

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Post #: 10
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 5/11/2020 6:34:33 AM   
Angeldust2

 

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Courtenay, I like your comments and I appreciate the valuable advice you gave over the years to MWIF players. However, I dare to voice a differing opinion on the value of the Barbarossa Fast Start scenario as a learning tool.
I believe, the Fast Start is the best possible entry for beginners to dive into MWIF. In your first game, you are already overwhelmed by 1. the complexity of WIF as a game and 2. by the need to familiarise yourself with the user interface of MWIF. In this situation, you do not want to get second doubts about best possible set-up, this is only blocking your mind and without playing experience, you cannot come up with the "perfect" set-up anyway.
It is more important to start really fast and to dive into rules application and game mechanics, than to bother with an unbalanced scenario set-up. Barbarossa is more about learning the game, than winning a scenario.
The best way to play it with two newbies still somewhat competitively, is to play it two times as a rematch with same set-up, so both can compare their achievements. After such a double game, both players will be able to choose more fitting optional rules and have an idea on how to develop better set-ups.
In closing, I want to highlight, IMHO the set-up for both sides in Fast Start is not ideal (but for Axis less non-optimised, I agree). For some important aspects of learning the game, for example how to execute overruns, such set-up is actual necessary and not a bad thing.

(in reply to Courtenay)
Post #: 11
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 5/11/2020 1:44:20 PM   
Courtenay


Posts: 3775
Joined: 11/12/2008
Status: online
My main reason for advocating not using the fast start set for Barbarossa is that the Russian set up is so bad, it makes my teeth hurt. Others might have a different reaction.

Aside from that, I feel that setting up the pieces gives one a feel for the OB that one does not get from just having the pieces thrown down on the map.

_____________________________

I thought I knew how to play this game....

(in reply to Angeldust2)
Post #: 12
RE: WIF Accessibility for the BLind - 5/12/2020 1:36:33 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21870
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Angeldust2

Courtenay, I like your comments and I appreciate the valuable advice you gave over the years to MWIF players. However, I dare to voice a differing opinion on the value of the Barbarossa Fast Start scenario as a learning tool.
I believe, the Fast Start is the best possible entry for beginners to dive into MWIF. In your first game, you are already overwhelmed by 1. the complexity of WIF as a game and 2. by the need to familiarise yourself with the user interface of MWIF. In this situation, you do not want to get second doubts about best possible set-up, this is only blocking your mind and without playing experience, you cannot come up with the "perfect" set-up anyway.
It is more important to start really fast and to dive into rules application and game mechanics, than to bother with an unbalanced scenario set-up. Barbarossa is more about learning the game, than winning a scenario.
The best way to play it with two newbies still somewhat competitively, is to play it two times as a rematch with same set-up, so both can compare their achievements. After such a double game, both players will be able to choose more fitting optional rules and have an idea on how to develop better set-ups.
In closing, I want to highlight, IMHO the set-up for both sides in Fast Start is not ideal (but for Axis less non-optimised, I agree). For some important aspects of learning the game, for example how to execute overruns, such set-up is actual necessary and not a bad thing.


Yes.

Way back when I was figuring out how people could learn MWIF, I simply asked the forum members for their suggestions and recommendations. One of those was to let the player jump right in, reducing the amount of stuff a new player would have to figure out before moving units and making attacks.

MWIF provides several different starting points for learning the game: the players manual, the picture and text tutorials, the interactive tutorials, and the training videos are the main ones. But I think of the Fast Start setups as part of that group. With the fast Start scenarios, a new player doesn't have to cope with scrapping units, selecting which air units to use, and where to place his units on the map.

Yeah, the setups are not necessarily ideal. But then, experienced players will argue over which units go where for hours and still not reach agreement.

I believe someone once said something about perfect being the enemy of good - or something to that effect.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Angeldust2)
Post #: 13
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