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Introduction

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Sir William
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Joined: 02/19/2011

Hello BGDF Designers -

I found the Board Game Design Forum while searching for a way to engage high school student that I was tutoring (way back) in 2011 and since then I've been semi-silent member. I've been interested in the rules & balance in games since High School when I, with a few friends, started creating custom cards for MtG. The interest expanded with the introduction of more European style games in the US over the last decade.

I started to focus on the pursuit of Game Design (and Game Design related) and other creative ventures as more than a pastime so I thought it was time for a little introduction.

Two years ago I left a full-time job as an Orientation & Mobility Specialist (teaching people who are or visually impaired how to safely travel, Cross streets, etc.) after a couple of surgeries that limited my ability to drive long distances. Shifting to part-time I was encouraged (my wife is awesome) pursue work as a comic book writer/game designer. I took part in an online course in RPG Design and I've been working for a small publisher (Outland Entertainment) on project management/development of Pathfinder supplements and other RPG products. I've also been doing some other freelance writing work for small publishers (like Combat Description Cards) and I've published a comic anthology the past.

I'm here to increase my skill-set, as well as to connect with the community and creators, as Outland Entertainment plans to explore the possibility of expanding from just RPGs into boardgames/card games in the future.

William

Squinshee
Squinshee's picture
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Joined: 10/17/2012
Great to have you aboard! My

Great to have you aboard!

My advice would be to show us what you've been working on (if you have a project), providing us with a nice set of rules to read, and ask specific questions about your design. I find that the more I know about a project, the more helpful I can be.

Tedthebug
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Joined: 01/17/2016
Hi (& a question)

Howdy, I'm new to all this as well & I've been enjoying this forum & the information that is shared openly by everyone. I'm looking forward to seeing what ideas you have as well.

Now for my question :)

Having experience in visually impaired teaching, do you think there is a market for making tabletop games accessible to visually impaired (not just colour blind but actually borderline legally blind) & blind players? E.g. Would it be worth printing MtG cards with some Braille or other form of marking so they can be used? What about board games with easily marked boards & pieces? I've wondered about this as I've seen blind players playing chess but not any other game & I'm not sure if it is because chess pieces are easy to distinguish by shape or if there are other factors.
(Sorry if this derails the thread. If it does, or you think it might, let me know & I will create a separate thread for it).

Sean

Sir William
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Joined: 02/19/2011
1. Having experience in

1. Having experience in visually impaired teaching, do you think there is a market for making tabletop games accessible to visually impaired (not just colour blind but actually borderline legally blind) & blind players?

Accessible games for the blind is a small market. The number of people with vision loss severe enough to necessitate braille for playing games is small percentage & most adults that loose their vision later in life don't learn braille. In terms of school-age children there are only about 6000 children in the US that use braille as their primary reading medium.

2. E.g. Would it be worth printing MtG cards with some Braille or other form of marking so they can be used?

There have been a few projects that use card sleves for braille (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/64ouncegames/board-games-now-blind-...), but they have been small in scale. Since braille takes up so much room it necessitates that players memorize or record the game rules elsewhere. To illustrate how much room braille takes, consider the Bible. The Braille Bible is made up of 18 volumes. Each approximately 12 inches high, by 12 inches wide, and 3 inches thick.

3 What about board games with easily marked boards & pieces?

There have been a few ventures into making existing tabletop games accessible for those with severe vision loss. The most common games that are available in versions that accessible are Playing Cards Games, Scrabble, Monopoly, and Chess. For most of these games accessible means that they have added braille. Those that are interested in other games often adapt games themselves. I've created a few accessible versions of Catan for students.

4. I've wondered about this as I've seen blind players playing chess but not any other game & I'm not sure if it is because chess pieces are easy to distinguish by shape or if there are other factors.

Accessible chess boards use pieces that lock in place (like travel chess) and are distinguishable by touch. Most blind players that are above average at playing chess keep track of positions in there head (similar to other chess professionals, many who can play without a board).

Example:
“In 1924 at the Alamac Hotel of New York Alekhine played 26 simultaneous blindfold games against very strong opponents (Isaac Kashdan and Hermann Steiner among them), with the score of 16 wins, 5 losses, and 5 draws.”

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