2019-04-08 21:20:08 (edited by zkline 2019-04-13 18:47:09)

Hi ALl,

I felt that things were sufficiently far along on this project for me to mention it on the forum here, though I don't have an official  release for people to enjoy quite yet.

For the past month and a half or so, I've been working on making a completely new kind of game accessible for us. For people who aren't aware, Battletech is a turn-based tactical game, centered around giant mechs/robots and the warriors who pilot them. It has a whole elaborate fictional history, and has existed in one form or another since the 80s.

There is an open-source version of the tabletop game called Megamek, and that is the version of this game I've been working on. It's written in the Java programming language, and is generally straight-forward, code-wise.

So where do things stand at the moment? There is a basic command line interface set up, which allows you to move ground units, fire weapons, and get unit status info. There is a 95% accessible graphical UI for the rest of the game, including scenario setup, army creation, and so forth.

The biggest problem at the moment is figuring out how to handle the hex map. The game is designed so that it's drawn visually, and at the moment we're limited to asking about individual tiles one at a time, or at most a few at a time. I don't really have a great solution for this problem, though I'm sure one exists if I poke at it a bit. Any Java programmers who happen to frequent this forum, I'd love to hear from you.

What can we do in the game so far? I've brought it  to a point where we can play a multiplayer or single-player game, with some difficulty, including units such as mechs and infantry but nothing air or space-based quite yet. There are a few miscellaneous things I need to code text commands for, but these should be fairly straight-forward. The hex map is the most difficult part of the entire enterprise, as it's more a conceptual problem than a straight-forward coding issue.

I hope that the game will become officially accessible at some point in the near future, even if only via the text commands. My ultimate goal would be to make the graphical interface fully useable as well, but that's a slightly harder problem.

Still, I thought i should at least share news of the current progress and let everybody know at long last what I've been up to. There's nothing like Battletech available for the blind, and I really hope people can enjoy it soon.

My current Github fork is at https://github.com/BlindGuyNW/megamek/t … ChatWindow

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2019-04-08 22:06:00

For anyone interested, there's a Github Megamek accessibility project here. ANy help would be very much appreciated..

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2019-04-08 23:01:06

Interesting. I wish you the best of luck, sir.

O, they ruled the solar system near ten thousand years before, in their single starcrossed scout ships, mining asteroids, spinning lore.
Then one true courageous miner spied a spaceship from the stars. Boarded he that alien liner out beyond the orb of Mars.

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2019-04-10 20:28:44

It seems to me you should be able to setup a command that would return a string of information to you.  Such as when you hit the firing stage, the game defaults to the first weapon on the list. Seems if you could have it return units in range of your weapons it would prevent you from having to scan each hex individually.

I'm still working on different ways you could get the same instant feedback of information or changes on the map that can be had visually.

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2019-04-13 10:40:09

I find the  commandline interface very friendly to use. I even find it not very hard to check my fire list to the near units to see which ones i can fire at, though i think the goal of op here is to make this game accessible to everyone not those with golden patience.
I'm really hoping for a way for us to navigate the board with the keyboard I still don't know how but my big wish is to see the board with the screen reader to be able to make tactical choices.

John Petrucci Fan all the time.
twitter: @hadirezae3
skype ID: hadi.gsf7

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2019-04-13 18:48:03

Fixed the git link. I didn't realize it had a period at the end and thus lead nowhere. Oops.

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