Can you allow the player to set a preference (Expanded vs. Minimal Status Line)?

I love the status line in Bronze. Likely, others don’t care for it. So often, these design decisions will land differently on different players.

I think this is an area where accessibility matters. A sighted person may appreciate the visual cue provided by a compass rose in the status line. I have not tested it with a screen reader, though. I imagine it could frustrate a player who relies on one.

Is it possible to create an action out of world that would allow the player to set the kind of status line they prefer? Would this be as simple as a global variable for the setting and a custom action that allows you to change the contents of the global variable?

The discussion in this related thread should be helpful:

Yeah, that’d work.

So far as I’ve heard, terps in screenreaders don’t read the contents of the status line unless the user goes out of their way to request it to do so. But prompting with a “Are you using a screenreader?” question up front and turning off the status line if they are removes any doubt.

But either way, it’s an author’s responsibility to ensure that no significant info appears in the status line that isn’t readily available another way, and that no notifications or status changes the player needs to know occur only in the status line.

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From a technical perspective, it’s straightforward enough. I recommend my own extension (to nobody’s surprise) that makes it even a bit easier.

Include Boolean Variables by Daniel Stelzer.
Status line is an active boolean option.
Rule for constructing the status line when status line is inactive:
    do nothing.

Now players can type “status line on” and “status line off” to turn it on and off (and see this, along with any other options, with “options”).


Thanks for the link @Zed. I look forward to reading the thread. I did not know that screenreaders default to ignoring the status line. I must start including accessibility testing as a default part of my process. I think about it. I need to do it.

Love this! Thanks so much, @Draconis.

So the active boolean option turns a variable into a boolean switch the player can toggle? That’s elegant.

I’ve been following the thread Your favorite extensions. This could easily become one of mine.

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Yep! “Boolean option” is a new kind of thing, with a single property “active/inactive”. The extension then provides actions to turn on, turn off, or toggle any boolean option.