1 (edited by EternalGamer 2017-10-05 19:11:35)

Hello everyone!
This will be exciting news for all text adventure lovers. Bob Bates returns with a new commercial text adventure called Thaumistry, and it's accessible by design! You can read more about it at www.thaumistry.com.
Why is this amazing? Younger gamers might not know that Bob Bates worked at Infocom, the most successful text adventure publisher of all time, then later co-founded Legend Entertainment. For Infocom he designed Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels, and Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur. So a text game he releases is automatically canonical.
And before you ask, nobody's paying me to write this. I'm really that excited.
So why am I sitting here rambling rather than playing Thaumistry? Because it will be released to the general public tomorrow. It will be available on Steam as well as through the game's website as a direct download for Windows and Mac.
Let's have fun! Especially considering this is a comedy game.
Greetings,
E G

In the hands of a gamer, word becomes weapon, argument becomes shield, and life becomes a quest.

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[wow] the guy who composed the soundtracks for the Turrican games on the team? that sounds amazing if the accessibility is there.

I love Chris Hülsbeck  and Arthur is probably the infocom game I got on best with, so I might check this one out myself.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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3

Hello again,
I stand guilty of some misinformation here. The game does not have a soundtrack. That was a Kickstarter stretch goal which was unfortunately not reached. I edited my initial post to reflect this.
Happy adventuring,
E G

In the hands of a gamer, word becomes weapon, argument becomes shield, and life becomes a quest.

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4

Hi.
How can you make sure the game will be fully accessible with screenreaders on Mac and Windows?

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

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5

I have tested this. It is accessible with windows with NVDA (using screen review, it does not speak text automatically but you can use the screen review like you do in wingit/winfrotz) and I suspect it would probably also be accessible with the jaws cursor.

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6

I scored 100 points in 1727 turns. It was a fun play, and took me about a half day to complete. Very interesting, but it still leaves some questions as to the premise. Would've liked there to be more cause and effect puzzles, but there were some points when the number of open puzzles seemed overwhelming. Anyhoo, it was a great birthday present!

A “critic” is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased—he hates all creative, people equally.
THE ONLY THING YOU CAN BE ABSOLUTELY SURE OF...
IS YOUR OWN...
EXISTENCE...

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7

Hi!
@Sneak what screen reader did you use? In case it was NVDA, did you find a way to make it read automatically and/or to make it not present one paragraph per line?
[wow] I guess I'm slow. Scored 24 points in 3 hours or so.
Greetings,
E G

In the hands of a gamer, word becomes weapon, argument becomes shield, and life becomes a quest.

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8

Hi all.
Well I forwarded the link to this thread at bob and he is quite approachable.
So the issues will be fixed at least he will have a look.
For eternal gamer and others, there is a link to directly get the game but its not supposed to exist anymore.
Its only on steam though in a few weeks the direct download will happen.
At some point  of unknown time the tads 3 story file will also be readuy to go.
As far as the access issues and a few other things in this thread, bob says he is not sure what he can do but he will try.
I have asked him to appear hear, weather he does or not is unknown but well I hope this moves the topic along past 7 posts.

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9

Hello.

I have tested the game too.

From the information I received I believed that making NVDA read the text automatically is not possible, so I did not speak about the issue again.

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Hi all,

Just a note to say that we are working on making a JAWS compatible version of the game. We're not guaranteed of success, but we are optimistic. I also understand that Steam is very difficult to use, so we hope to make it so that you can buy the game directly from the Thaumistry.com website.

I'll report back when I have more concrete news, which I hope will be within the next few weeks.

Cheers,

--Bob

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11

Hi Bob.

I'm really pleased the game will be available without steam.
One problem however is that not everybody uses Jaws, which is a rather expensive commercial screen reader, so you might consider looking  some sort of alternative output, either outputting to other screen readers such as Nvda, Window eyes or system access, or to using the in built Microsoft sapi available on all Windows machines.

Hope this goes well, as I said a bove I am a huge fan of Chris Huelsbek's music, I even  his kick starter and have some of the limited edition turrican remix soundtracks, so a text adventure game with his music would rock!

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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12

Hi!
@Dark, I'd like to point out that the Kickstarter goal of music for Thaumistry was not reached, so the game is text-only. Having completed it, I can highly recommend it to oldschool Infocom fans as well as anyone who thinks they could enjoy a gentle, high quality introduction to text adventures, also known as interactive fiction. Think of a single-player, highly quest-driven mud without stats, and with an extremely rich implementation of objects and rooms. If that sounds great then this game is for you.
For Infocom fans: this is like Enchanter gone 21st century Manhattan. Sounds weird? It is. That's what's fun about it.
Also, to clear up any confusion regarding screen reader compatibility: Thaumistry is NVDA-compatible already. JAWS compatibility is being worked on.
Greetings,
E G

In the hands of a gamer, word becomes weapon, argument becomes shield, and life becomes a quest.

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13

Hello all
I am definitely interested in this, since I completed all infocom games with a little walkthrough assistance in high school in the 90's.  Is the game delivered as an exe file that you have to use something like NVDA review cursor to read incoming text?  Or can you use the tads NVDA add on and load it up in the tads interpreter?  Has there been a walkthrough or other add on materials written yet?
Thanks!

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Hi all,

We're making progress.  The game is now available as a direct download from https://www.thaumistry.com.

I want to stress, however, that it is not yet JAWS compatible, although we hope to be there very soon.

At that time, we'll also offer a few other options to make it easier to play.

Cheers,

--Bob

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15

Hi bob, good to see you on the forum.
I have the game 22 nz bucks, will be playing this this afternoon, I havn't played a good interactive fiction in ages, and after reading the rick wizardry books and being a tech myself, well [wow] is all I will say.
I have read the cyber feelies allready an age before, and the way those read is like out of the apocolipse or something kind a reminds me of rage or similar.

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16

Ok, how do I play this game.
I hit start, get the main text window with all the text then I type a command in.
doesn't work.
That is I should get feadback shouldn't I?
I thought it was my addon I used for well various things to do with interactive fiction, but um it doesn't work screen reader mode is on but bar reading the text from the top each time I type something, well there is the issue.
I noticed the engine uses qt, which is not allways accessible.
How do others play this, not much good if I can't even get started.

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Hi!
@Crashmaster did you choose yes when the game asked whether or not you would like to enable screen reader compatible mode? If not, you can still adjust this setting in the configuration dialog.
With NVDA, you can use numpad 7 and numpad 9 to read the game text one paragraph at a time. Technically, what you're doing is moving the review cursor. The review cursor will usually retain its position in the text as long as you stay in the game window, but in those cases where it ends up back at the beginning, you can press shift+numpad 9 to move it all the way to the end, where the newest > prompt is.
After typing your command, hit enter, and don't worry if you get no automatic feedback: you will need to use numpad 9 to advance the review cursor and read the new text. It's not at all tedious but is a great way to absorb the text in chunks.
Commands are generally simple imperative sentences referring specifically to the situation at hand. Movement commands can be abbreviated though, so n corresponds to "go north" and u corresponds to "go up" etc. There are many other abbreviations: type "abbreviations" to get them listed.
The game tries to make it easy to get into the format. Treat the first room as a tutorial level and go along with what it suggests.
Happy adventuring,
E G

In the hands of a gamer, word becomes weapon, argument becomes shield, and life becomes a quest.

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18

Hmmm I hope I can do this on the number row screen reading mode is on.
I have a laptop but have a desktop keyboard,
I have never used the numpad before though never needed to.
I will look at this again.
Thanks for replying.

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@crashmaster: Were you able to get up and running?  --Bob

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