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Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in Gimp Gamers' LiveJournal:

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
3:18 pm
[wonky_diva]
Mac games?
Hi,
I'm a Mac user who is legally blind. I use a combination on Voice Over and Text Zoom to access my 450 mhz G4 with 512 meg of ram.
I'm in search of games that will work for me. I have a few that I can play using Text Zoom but most of those are things like Mah Jong, word games, or match 3 games. I would really like something that I can lose myself in and get rid of anger/aggression.
I can still sort of play The Sims and that's great for losing myself but it really isn't what I'm interested in at the moment.
Something like Shades of Doom would really be good. I don't have a way to emulate a PC.
I've thought about mudding but I can't seem to find a mud client I like. I'm using Cantrip at the moment and would like to avoid X11 or Java if at all possible.
Any ideas?
Thanks.

Current Mood: curious
Thursday, May 19th, 2005
10:09 pm
[codeman38]
[This was originally posted to deaf in this post back in January of 2003, but it's very fitting for this community, so I'm sharing it here as well...]

Ah, video games. Yes, they can be fun, but what happened to the good old days when dialogue was presented in textual form?

It's very frustrating at times, really. Though for the most part I can usually make out what characters are saying, there are exceptions— when a voice has been digitally distorted for some effect; when the voice happens to be in a certain pitch range (perhaps mutilated by my otherwise excellent speaker system) or particularly soft-spoken; when the character has a thick or unusual accent; when the dialogue consists largely of unusual words; when there's a lot of background noise in the scene...

And then there are the cut scenes. They're usually used to relay the story, they're usually long, and they're usually impossible to skip because, well, hey, they're relaying the story. Not bad if you understand the story fairly well, if the visuals are more important than the dialogue, if dialogue is nowhere to be found or in a fantasy language, or if, of course, there are subtitles present.

It's not that I can't hear the dialogue in games, even at a moderate volume; it's that often I have to strain to interpret what's being said, especially in the above-mentioned exceptional situations, and, well, it can get tiring after a point. Jokes and particular plot points (some of which might play a part later in the game's story) may go completely unnoticed. Also, in both in-game dialogue and cut scenes, if you mishear or simply miss a particular crucial line of dialogue, you'll be stuck forever in a mire of cluelessness, forced to eventually resort to a FAQ file to spoil what otherwise could have been an interesting exploration. Not the best thing, I can assure you, especially when the game's objectives are challenging enough as things already are.

This ranting brings me to a site I discovered a while back, and of which I immediately thought, "why hasn't something like this been done before?" That site is DeafGamers.com, a UK-based resource dedicated to video games and their suitability for the hearing-impaired. Some games fare quite well (Sonic Adventure 2 does indeed have excellent subtitling, and for that matter, I love the Monkey Island series), some in a mediocre manner (why subtitle Rogue Squadron but not the more recent Star Wars games?), and some are just terrible. (For that latter category, I'd nominate Jak and Daxter for PS2; I'm surprised DeafGamers hasn't already torn that one to shreds. A long, dialogue-driven cut scene begins the game, with no option to skip, and with objectives and gameplay hints given within or shortly afterward— and no subtitles to be found whatsoever, naturally).

I can only imagine what it's like for severely hard-of-hearing or completely deaf video gamers...
Saturday, March 5th, 2005
6:50 am
[liamerven]
intro
Just thought I'd post here and say Hi. For those who don't know me. I'm Liam, from chicago, and a game programmer. I run.
http://www.l-works.net
If you haven't gone there, I suggest you give it a whirl.

Liam
Friday, March 4th, 2005
2:33 pm
[slyfoot]
Interactive Fiction Games
Hello folks, this is my first post.  I'm glad to see a community like this and I hope it succeeds.

I am legally blind and deaf, with enough vision to see the computer if I use large fonts.  Unfortunately, though, my hearing is too impaired to use any text-to-speech software such as JAWS.  My own personal favorite types of games are trivia games, chess, and interactive fiction games (otherwise known as text adventure games).  I want to focus on the interactive fiction games for now.

Interactive Fiction (IF) or Text Adventure games are games that are text based.  Sometimes an IF game will use graphics, but the vast majority of them do not.  Examples of popular Interactive Fiction games would be games like Zork (which can be downloaded here) and the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy game by Infocom.  There are interpreters that can help visually impaired people play these games.  First I want to mention DOS Frotz and Windows Frotz and WinFrotz.  These are interpreters for interpreting Inform interactive fiction games, otherwise known as Z-Code games.  The nice thing about DOS Frotz is that it comes with a switch (-d 2) to play interactive games with a nice large CGA font.  And both Windows Frotz and WinFrotz will allow you to adjust the fonts and colors to whatever you like.  I like to use reverse text, such as bright cyan or bright white text on a black background, and both Windows Frotz and WinFrotz handle this beautifully.

You can choose from literally hundreds of free adventure games at The IF-Archive and Baf's Guide to the IF Archive .  Also of note is the Interactive Fiction section on the Underdogs Abandonware site, but please be aware that in order to download games on Underdogs it is required to enter in a code off of a graphic, and there is no sound alternative to these codes.  So visually impaired people may need to use a magnification program and totally blind people may want someone to help them download games from Underdogs.  This is unfortunate, but given the large selection of games to download on Underdogs, it is well worth pestering someone to help you to get the games you want.

In order to use Frotz, WinFrotz or Windows Frotz to play any of these z-code games, you would use these programs to open up the game file. Usually this will be either a *.DAT file or a file with a .z# extension, such as *.z5 or *.z8 for example.

I am interested in finding out whether DOS Frotz works well with JAWS for DOS and whether WinFrotz or Windows Frotz works well with JAWS for Windows so that I can know whether to recommend these interpreters and Z-code games to totally blind gamers.  There are other IF games to play besides Z-code games (such as HTML TADS) but I do not have much experience with these interactive fiction games yet.

Happy gaming.
~Sly
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005
4:45 pm
[thewordnerd]
First post!
Hi! I thought I'd toss out a brief personal introduction to both . . . ahem . . . introduce myself (really now!) and to explain my motivations behind the community.

I've been totally blind since birth. Any additional available information can be gotten from my userinfo. :) I've identified as a gamer for a bit over a year. Previously I'd looked at various open source 3-D engines and asked myself "Wouldn't it be awesome if I could create a 3-D, audio-based game?" I thought there'd be no interest, though, and gave the idea up.

I should have known better.Collapse )

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