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Does anyone know enough about how this game works internally to know if alternative interfaces and presentations are possible?

I'm blind, and have wanted to play this game ever since I heard of it years ago. I used to play console-based roguelikes, and while they were a bit slow to interact with, RLs were a refreshing tactical change from text-based IF.

Reading lots of DF stories would suggest that there's some sort of internal eventbus-style system by which the characters themselves interpret their surroundings, and if you could hook into that, you could describe the world textually to some extent. You might even add audio cues for certain events to increase the non-visual fidelity of the UI.

I see in some of the below comments that there's a text-based mode. Might give that a try to see if it's playable on the same scale as Nethack/Angband were for me.

As for audio cues, I do know there is a system called SoundSense which does exactly what you suggest: http://df.zweistein.cz/soundsense/

Sweet, I will check that out. Thanks!

Answering my own question:

Google led me to an 8-page forum thread on the subject. Checking it out now, and spinning up a Vagrant VM to play with the Linux version's text mode (it segfaults for me under Windows, unfortunately.)

The interface that most of the visualizers work with is DFHack [1]. DFHack is a third party, open source utility that can access the memory of the game. It also has access to the interface system as well as the map contents.

[1] http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Utilities#DFHa...

how did you worked out the maze map of nethack?

An old 90s-era laptop with a monochrome display whose brightness I could turn down to 0, a screen reader that let me arrow around all the tiles, and a bunch of long boring high school classes where teachers thought I was such a diligent student, always taking such great notes.


You need to tell us more about this. It sounds like an extraordinary story!

There's a Roguelike Radio episode called "Designing for the Visually Impaired" where they play an excerpt from a blind player playing a game of ADOM (IIRC, could also have been DCSS).


They also touch on games that have been developed especially for blind player, without graphics only audio.

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