Yeah, I don’t think games like these would really write a story so much as tell you about things that happen. You would have some control over what those things are (combat orders, construction and the like.). The “narrator” wouldn’t really be able to comment on big picture things.
Well, maybe with a sufficiently trained AI… Hmmm…
This is definitely the bigger concern for games like these.
When you boil it down, the utility of the visual cues is that you can easily identify where to direct your attention among a vast selection of options. You are able to see an entire 2d space at one time, subconsciously discard information that is irrelevant (assuming the artists have done their job), and allow your attention to be grabbed by whatever needs doing. I’ve been trying to figure out some ways to address these.
- braille or 2d pin boards
- touch screen with haptics
- “standard” sound field used in 3d games
- Use a hilbert curve to map 2d space to audio frequencies Hilbert's Curve: Is infinite math useful? - YouTube
- cycle among these “maps” for different kinds of things in the world
- Game design should exclude things that are solely visual. Even if you simulate every patch of leaves that falls on the ground, it should take some effort to examine the ground that closely, unless the leaves are important to your story.
- game design might abstract away certain ideas like strict spatial relationships (euclidean)
- Summarization systems (heuristics, maybe AI-based?)
- game design might have alerts, auto-pause, etc. for user-configurable events. E.g. you might do “build wall” or “build wall then pause”
- auditory cues