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Subject: Boardgame for the Blind rss

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Péter horog
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Greetings!
I'm in the process of developing a boardgame, that can be played by both the blind and who can see. I'd like to have some feedback about my work.

- Suggested Ages: approx. 9-25
- Number of Players: 2-4 + single player puzzle mode
- Playing Time: 15-30 min.
- Game Pieces (everything has embossed elements enabling them to be recognised with a touch): a board with 6x6 holes in it, 32 cards, 4 player tokens, 36 dice shaped tiles which fit into the holes of the board
- Categories: abstract strategy, collectible components, maze, dice, card game

A presentation describing the rules and the pieces more deeply, in english (it loads a bit slow. flash player required!):
http://garabonczia.deviantart.com/art/Game-for-the-Blind-Pre...

Summary: The gameboard is filled with dices which represent the spaces where the plyers can move. Each dice have numbers between 1-4. If a player steps over one, then the space's number will be substracted by 1. If it reaches 0 (what can't be shown on a dice), then that tile must be removed from the board leaving a hole on it. You can't move on a hole, so the goal is to eliminate the tiles from the board so that the other players can't make any more steps. The card are drawn when a players eliminates a tile, or steps on a special kind of tile giving the player more options when used.

Status: The game has been tested approx. 14 times with 2 and 3 players with a test set.
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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Pieces could be magnetic to prevent messing up the board.
I'm assuming the dies have Braille as well as printed numbers.
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Brian P Lewis
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Hi Great Idea, but to me there seems to be some problems for a visually impaired person.

I'll assume the cards would also have Braille on them.

There are to start 36 tiles all with different numbers on them, for a visually impaired player that is a lot of information to remember, they would have to feel the entire board and then remember the locations of the players and what all the numbers are, for a sighted player its easy to track numbers and players posistions but a visually impaired player would have to keep checking numbers and locations, in doing so not only would this be repetitive but it could give away their strategy if they keep checking certain places on the board.

The idea of a game for mixed abilities of sight is great and this game seems a good idea, but I think that for visually impaired people having so much information, which changes after every single players turn would be quite complex.

Has it been playtested by a visually impaired person, or have any of the playtesters worn a blindfold and tried it, another player could tell them the number on the dice etc when they touch it.

Edit Added: I will reply again once I have had a think about some constructive ways to help solve the problems.
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Sam Mercer
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Seconging this as a great idea Peter - very cool
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Péter horog
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Sam Houston wrote:
Pieces could be magnetic to prevent messing up the board.
I'm assuming the dies have Braille as well as printed numbers.


Magnets don't work, becasue if they're too strong then they snap together ruining the game state and if they're too weak, then they will move away if touched. The pieces are stacked and plugged, so they're not supposed to move away. The dies have different touchable symbols so they you can see and touch them too.
 
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Péter horog
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tqboz wrote:
[...]The idea of a game for mixed abilities of sight is great and this game seems a good idea, but I think that for visually impaired people having so much information, which changes after every single players turn would be quite complex.

Has it been playtested by a visually impaired person, or have any of the playtesters worn a blindfold and tried it, another player could tell them the number on the dice etc when they touch it.[...]

Nice observations!
I based my research on the chess for the blind: they almost use the exact set as sighted people. It seems a bit complicated for me, so i reduced the board size and the pieces that could be moved (player's characters). The numbers on the board are't that much relevant unless they're reduced numbers of tiles - that's when the real strategy begins.
If only visually impaired people uses the game it's important to say out loud the coordinates that you are crossing and all the other moves.
It's absolutely true that one's strategy can be given away if they heavily check an area but as a custom in playing chess against a blind person one shouldn't look at other's turn in progress. I think this problem is partly solved with the game's structure: you won't suffer a heavy penalty if you don't manage your turn that good, because the game consists of smaller steps, so you can help yourself easily if you have a disadvantage. This doesn't mean that you can't make steps that heavily matter in building a strategy. There are a lot of smaller changes each turn, so you have to chech the whole board, but it's not a long time as you don't have to know the whole board because usually you can only step two squares.
This is a theory because we didn't have the chanche to try it blind-folded: almost everything is acessible by touch, only the cards don't have embossements and the the character pieces textures. The pieces need to have a hole too, so you know what you're standing on. The texture is a hard nut because I can easily imagine it from plastic, but with only from paper it could really mess up the aesthetics.
Thank you for the effort!
 
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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OMG. I just realized your game might be what I've been looking for. I have something I've been trying to reimagine as a gameboard. It's 12x12 clear acrylic with 36 round "cups" in it. Bought three of them on sale at Michael's a year ago. They are intended to hold bottles of acrylic paint upside down.

might be an easier way to construct prototypes for you.
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Filip W.
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wakkawakka wrote:
I based my research on the chess for the blind: they almost use the exact set as sighted people.


The thing you have to remember is that chess is a memory game. The better you can remember the patterns of previous games the more successful you are; mid-range and better chess players spend lots of time learning the games of the masters.

Also, in chess only a very limited subset of possible positions are actually ever used in a real game. There have been tests done where chess players who can remember a board setup that's "realistic" won't remember where the pieces are on a board where they've been set up randomly.

Thus in blind chess you rely on long term memories that have been built up over a long time. Would that work for your game? If not you might have to think about simplifying it in order to make the positions easy to remember.

Other than that, great initiative!
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Péter horog
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Sam Houston wrote:
OMG. I just realized your game might be what I've been looking for. I have something I've been trying to reimagine as a gameboard. It's 12x12 clear acrylic with 36 round "cups" in it. Bought three of them on sale at Michael's a year ago. They are intended to hold bottles of acrylic paint upside down.

might be an easier way to construct prototypes for you.


I don't think that a round cup could be a good option, because in my opinion the square shaped holes are more stable at holding cubes.
Anyway it's a good idea to modify ordinary stuff into game pieces - unfortunately during the making of the prototype I didn't have any options like this. :/
 
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