Author Topic: Mapless Challenge :)  (Read 756 times)

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Offline Caplin

Mapless Challenge :)
« on: January 15, 2018, 04:11:20 PM »
As an experiment, I'm wondering how many people play the game while using the System Map for visual information? As a totally blind player this is obviously not an option for me. Therefore, I propose a mapless challenge, as follows:

1. You can't use the System Map info to get an orientation to star systems or for sensor information, you only have access to the F9, system information window and other textual displays.
2. The events window is preferred for getting information, if only because it's easy to inadvertently look up and see something on the map, even if accidentally. I don't have that luxury :)
The point of this challenge is to document the experience. How'd it go? Were you disoriented? Did your ships blow up more than usual, or do you have a good enough map of systems only from the other information provided? There's no set length for this challenge, it can just be a one-time thing, or if you really want to you can try expanding from a Conventional Start with it. Have fun :)
I'd love to hear about people's experiences.

Full disclosure: Steve added a "show coordinates," option to the map a while back at my request, but I don't know how one can use just that information without accidentally getting more from the map, even if subconsciously.
 

Offline ChildServices

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Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 04:04:23 AM »
Y'know, I think I only really look at the system map for any information during combat, it's the most useful there. I still have it open at other times, because it is technically the "main screen", but I'm looking in the System Info and Economy screens for most of the game.

You must be like a modern day Jan Zizka, because I can't even comprehend trying to play this without working eyes.
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Offline bowman

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Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 04:42:50 AM »
Can we make use of the Galactic Map at all? I imagine not as that's not technically a "textual display" but I'm curious both in terms of the challenge and whether you yourself are able to make use of that window.   
I imagine without the system view my gameplay wouldn't really be affected much but maybe I'm wrong.    It's quite possible I gain far more information from it passively being open than I realize.   

Actually I've thought about it a bit longer and I'm realizing I do use it for getting distances sometimes and I couldn't imagine setting up waypoints to have a ship avoid unknown contacts by going far out-system in a giant curve to the warp gate.   .   .    can you even do that without the system map? Huh, how do you get distance from your TGs to potential enemy TGs or other contacts.   .    I suppose bearing? You can turn on bearing for the system window but that's sort of the issue- does it display that same information in other areas? This challenge is getting more interesting the more I think about this.    It seems I use the system window a lot more than I initially thought.   

Although, any results I have (If I do take up the challenge) might be a little skewed: I'm new to Aurora in the sense that I've played perhaps 5 games total but 4 of those 5 I stopped rather quickly because turn times simply became too slow or I encountered errors I didn't know how to fix at the time.    Now, though, I've managed to keep a game going for a solid week and, since I'm a college student without classes (well, until Wednesday, that is) I've been playing quite a lot.    As of posting I'm at year 81 of a Conventional Start.    I'm not sure when my current game will manage to end, but your challenge is interesting me enough that I may very well take you up on it if I haven't temporarily burned myself out on Aurora by then.   

I was just thinking and I have another question for you if you don't mind: I assume you either have some form of reader that vocalizes things in the various windows or otherwise a form of digital-to-braille thing (I think I recall hearing about those becoming a thing? Maybe I'm going crazy) so what I am wondering is if you open the F9 screen where it lists all the planet's various stats does it somehow highlight low colony cost worlds for you with like an asterisk or something(Although I suppose you could also just sort by colony cost and then read the first few in the list)? The big thought I had is that I get a quick sense of a system just by glancing at the numbers due to color codes and I was curious if you have an equivalent or not. 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 04:53:42 AM by bowman »
 

Offline Caplin

Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 10:29:05 AM »
Nope, no Galactic Map. It's manual tracking of jump routes for you ;)

I can't do anything with waypoints as far as I'm aware, it's a System map only feature. As I mentioned, Steve did add some coordinates for objects to the map, but I can't really see how a sighted player could use them for orientation without looking at the rest of what's there. So I guess the challenge isn't quite fair in that respect. I haven't had a lot of combat experience yet, so don't know how badly that would be impacted.

I have a program called a screen reader, which basically vocalizes the contents of windows. It's theoretically possible to distinguish text color, but that's a feature I never use. I mostly just check each system body marked with an "M," individually, and note the colony cost. I've arbitrarily decided that anything above X2.0 or so is an automated mining outpost only.

I've been thinking lately that I should really do some kind of recording for folks to get insight into both the game and how I play it. I'm not nearly as "efficient," as I could be, and their are probably techniques I could use to lighten the cognitive load, so to speak. I think waypoints are entirely out though :)

Good luck to folks who decide to take up the challenge, and please keep the comments coming.
 

Offline bowman

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Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 02:57:22 AM »
Btw, in case you weren't aware, C# Aurora looks to have bearing and distance-from-nearest-object information in the task group listing in straight text, along with the task group window receiving some much-wanted / needed overhauls.

I've come to the conclusion that I use the system view quite a lot to get a bearing on situations (such as new contacts appearing in the system).  I imagine you have trouble getting an idea of how close enemy ships are to your planets or individual task forces, and the inability to use waypoints is also an unfortunate loss.  At least with the lack of the galactic map I think you only lose easy information, since I imagine you could lay out your own map relatively easily by simply listing JP links.  Although, that would get quite tedious to read through as your system count rose: I couldn't imagine figuring out how 100 systems linked to each other (or, for instance, how to get from Sol to one of the furthest-out systems without a map).  There is the benefit of the "show all populations" button for task groups, so as long as you have a colony you can order your ships right there and, so long as you have tankers for the trip, they'd probably be fine.

Just some thoughts, not sure how correct they are given I have yet to actually try the challenge.
 

Offline Caplin

Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 01:19:36 PM »
I did not know that about C# Aurora. :) That gives me hope things will indeed be as accessible, if not more so than the original. Bearing and distance is indeed hard to figure out, but I also need practice juggling the various windows and event notifications. The textual system overview helps a lot with things like finding where jump points are, though of course planetary orbits can throw that out of whack.
 

Offline hyramgraff

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Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2018, 11:05:10 PM »
I've started a game using this challenge.  You can follow along with my progress here: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=9821.0
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Mapless Challenge :)
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 08:16:24 PM »
Just doing without the system window will be hard, but something else thats very important is the ability to quickly find the information you need by glancing at specific areas of a window.
I very frequently open the ship window or whatever just to glance at a single thing then close the window a second later, I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to require the entire contents of that page to be read out.
What aurora really needs for blind accessibly is a text based user interface, similar to a simple OS.
For instance you are presented with a list that corresponds to the main game windows.
(1) Economic
(2) system maps
(3) commanders
(4) class design
(5) ships
You can enter 5 into the console. Then get the following
(1) List ships
(2) List classes
(3) Ships requiring repair
(4) Fuel situation
etc, But if you remember a ships name you can just type that in and get it's main detail screen straight away
Then again instead of just listing every detail you have options. Perhaps you just want to check how much fuel the USS Harrison has left, or ammo? or damage? targets in range? Maybe multiple arguments can be checked at the same time
Type:
uss harrison fuel ammo damage targets
Getting the following
USS harrison : Fuel 15% 150,000 : Magazine 10% 53 ship killer s6 etc.
Considering Aurora is all inside a database it shouldn't be too hard for somebody to make something that can trawl through it for relevant information.
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