In light of the recent discussion, I thought people would be interested in 
hereing about one project I've been involved with recently. 

i hasten to add, this is something which is unfortunately in developement. On 
the pluss side, developement is very structured, so i have hopes of it 

That litle disclaimer out of the way, what I'm talking about here is the 
roguelike game Angband. 

This is a very large, very complex, dungeon exploration roguelike game, in 
which you must desent into the depths of Morgoth's stronghold of Angband and 
defeat him. 

For those unfamiliar with the Silmarillion, Morgoth is the original Dark lord 
of Middle earth, and was Sauron's boss ages before Lord of the rings. 

The Angband game is a typical roguelike, with some of the most complex item, 
equipment and spell management I've ever seen. The focus is very heavily on 
combat and exploration, but with innumerable spells, many status effects (some 
of which can be deadly), resistances to balance, and many monsters pluss unique 
bosses, the game is deffinately rewarding. 

It's also completely randomized like most roguelikes so you don't know what you 
will find from game to game. 

I might also add that the game is huuuge! the dungeon has 100 levels, with 
about a thousand different monster types and a huge selection of items. 

The game is also deffinately and distinctly challenging! if you have the wrong 
items, have balanced things incorrectly, or get into a bad combat situation 
with too many enemies at once you will die, no questions asked. 

I've never had much luck with roguelikes, sinse I do not have a braille 
display, and the aski graphics don't do well with Hal. 

I found however that mucking about with certain graphical settings, Angband was 
actually playable through a combination of my limited vision and Hal to read in 
game text messages. 

After playing for a bit, it occurred to me that there were many features of the 
game, ---- ability to list on screen objects, a really nice look and targiting 
system with the curser, inventories etc which worked by text lists accessible 
with letters, ---- that would actually make the game highly playable without 
use of any graphics at all with one or two tweaks, such as a directional look 
command, a coordinates system and maybe some extra messages about exits. 

So, I asked around on the angband forum ad contacted the dev. 

the good news is, he agreed about the changes, and added them to the features 
request list for future versions. The bad news is, he said they'd probably make 
it into version 3.12, ---- and version 3.10 came out in January, ----- so I'm 
guessing it'll be a while before this surfaces, and even at that point it might 
take some tweaking to work correctly. 

Stil, I thought people would be interested to know there's another project in 
the works to provide an accessible rpg. 

Oh, and the best part? Angband is not just a great game in it's own right,but 
also the basis for a hole host of varients. 

these introduce different monsters, quests, environments other than the 
dungeon, npcs, different weapons spells and classes and other ways of using 
them, and world outside of Tolkeen's to play in. 

Sinse a good many varients also use the original game as their basis and update 
their features according to it, ----- there's a good chance some of these would 
be accessible to if the original game could be made to be. 

That's all future plans though. 

I'll look forward to reporting this, ---- and if Zackery cline or anyone else 
has experience of playing Angband as a roguelike with aski graphics to share, 
---- feel free. 

Beware the Grue! 

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