Darío Penas


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Bringing Roguelikes to Visually-Impaired Players by Using NLP
Jesús Vilares | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez | Luís Fernández-Núñez | Darío Penas | Jorge Viteri
Workshop on Games and Natural Language Processing

Although the roguelike video game genre has a large community of fans (both players and developers) and the graphic aspect of these games is usually given little relevance (ASCII-based graphics are not rare even today), their accessibility for blind players and other visually-impaired users remains a pending issue. In this document, we describe an initiative for the development of roguelikes adapted to visually-impaired players by using Natural Language Processing techniques, together with the first completed games resulting from it. These games were developed as Bachelor’s and Master’s theses. Our approach consists in integrating a multilingual module that, apart from the classic ASCII-based graphical interface, automatically generates text descriptions of what is happening within the game. The visually-impaired user can then read such descriptions by means of a screen reader. In these projects we seek expressivity and variety in the descriptions, so we can offer the users a fun roguelike experience that does not sacrifice any of the key characteristics that define the genre. Moreover, we intend to make these projects easy to extend to other languages, thus avoiding costly and complex solutions. KEYWORDS: Natural Language Generation, roguelikes, visually-impaired users