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Audyssey; Games Accessible to the Blind
Issue 49: 4th quarter, 2006
Edited by Ron Schamerhorn


Fun, Friendship, Knowledge, Charity



+++

Welcome

Welcome to this issue of Audyssey. This magazine is

dedicated to the discussion of games which, through accident or design,

are accessible to the blind either with or without sighted assistance.

Note: This magazine uses plus-signs as navigation markers. Three

plus-signs are placed above any articles or sections. Within these

sections, two plus-signs denote the start of a new sub-section. Smaller

divisions are marked by a single plus-sign. This allows people to use

their search capabilities to go quickly to the next division they are

interested in. For instance, the "Letters" section is preceded by three

plus-signs. Each letter within it has two plus-signs before it. Answers

to letters have a single plus-sign before them.



+++

Contents:

Welcome

>From The Editor

Letters

A decades accessible gaming

Phil's Funnies

Here there be Dragons

News From Game Developers

Game Announcements and Reviews

Contacting Us

Distribution Information and Submission Policies



+++

>From the Editor



  Hello all.

  Here it is finally the holiday and 10th anniversary edition of Audyssey
magazine.  It certainly has taken longer then I had hoped originally to get
things prepared, but I feel this has turned out to be a splendid issue for
one and all.

  An advantage to this later release has been that the developer section is
not only larger, including some new names, but also includes notices about
holiday savings on some great accessible game titles.

  Now that the switch has fully been made from Yahoogroups for both the
discussion and magazine only lists it's a good step forward for Audyssey.
If you haven't checked out the site

http://www.audyssey.org

recently I'd encourage you to do so.  It's now simple to view the archives
and follow a particular thread of conversation even if you aren't subscribed
to the main chatting list.  Also as time goes on there will be other changes
and improvements to the site and suggestions would be welcome.  Thanks Raul
for the time and effort on this undertaking.

  I've tried to put a lot of good information into this one, so I'll wish
you all a wonderful and happy festive season!  Catch you in the games and
2007!



+++

Letters

  Here we will have some posts taken from the gamers list  They are ones
which I have found to be interesting or thought provoking.



++

Subject: [Audyssey] Audio Game Survey participants and play testers wanted

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2006



(by way of AudioGames.net, from MarkFrance)



*quote*

Hi

I am looking for any blind or sighted people who are interested in audio
games, as well as audio game developers, to participate in a short survey.

Also I am currently developing a new survival horror audio game, if you are
interested in play testing it, please let me know.

The survey can be completed at: http://www.student.ljmu.ac.uk/cmpmfran

Thanks :

*quote end*



Find more info on the AudioGames.net forum:
http://forum.audiogames.net/viewtopic.php?id=925



Greets,

Richard

http://www.audiogames.net



++



Some of you may already have read the post about the questionnaire related
to this, but here's the full story:



==========



Audio Game Maker: game building environment for the blind



The Bartiméus Accessibility foundation has announced the development of
Audio Game Maker, an application which enables visually impaired people to
make their own computer games. A first prototype of the application is
scheduled to be released in Feburary of 2007.



Audio Game Maker aims to increase the number of computer games for the
visually impaired, since very few accessible computer games exist. Many
visually impaired players want to create their own games but give up when
confronted with programming difficulties and other technical issues.
Creative players manage to modify existing games with their own recorded
sounds in order to make 'new' games. Despite these efforts, there is a huge
demand for an accessible tool that enables visually impaired people to make
computer games.



Audio Game Maker aims to be a solution for this problem by offering a simple
and accessible game building environment. Audio Game Maker is part of
project Game Accessibility, a series of activities conducted by the
Bartiméus Accessibility foundation in order to improve the accessibility of
computer games for players with impairments. Accessibility has been
researching the accessibility of computer games over the past few years, and
participated in the development of two games for the blind: Drive, an audio
racing game, and Demor, a location-based audio-augmented reality game.



For more information, please visit http://www.game-accessibility.com



==========



Greets,



Richard



++

HI all



So far there are 2 accessible games around the theme of Christmas

produced.  Both of them  are really nice games, but its sad that both of

them feature the negative side of Santa Claus. These 2 games are Toy

Robbery  from L-Works, and Bobby's Revenge from BSC games.  IN the one

game the boy wants to kill  Santa Claus, and in the other game the boy

wants to steal Santa Claus' presents.  Don't you think that children will

learn to be naughty through these games? Say for instance a child is naughty
and he doesn't deserve any presents for

Christmas, by playing these games will it also teach him to do a   similar

thing  towards the persons in his family, or friends who are Santa Claus?



I think when developing games around the theme of Santa Claus, the focus

should be shifted more positively. Like the suggestion I mentioned to

Liam about the ape, protecting presents from harm.



Its just upbuilding criticism I would like to share.



A game can be developed for example where Santa Claus runs around,

giving presents. You must be quick to catch him to get a present. Each

time you catch him you get a present. A game could be developed  where

Santa Claus is riding on his sleigh,  each time you catch him on his

sleigh  he gives you a  present. It can also be a game where   the

sleigh goes from left to right and if you miss him, if he gets off the
screen, then you loose the game. Just like   Bobby's

Revenge, but the focus is shifted more positively,each time you catch

him on his sleigh you get a present; instead of trying to shoot him

because you were  naughty, not deserving a   present.



+

Then what about the game "Santa Claus is Back" by Code Factory

(http://www.audiogames.net/db.php?action=view&id=santaclausisback) and

"Giftanum" by XLStudios (not available anymore

http://www.audiogames.net/db.php?action=view&id=temp75)?



+

Hi,

Don't worry no one is going to moderate you for giving an honest

opinion. I felt you expressed yourself quite well.

Now, as to the games you have a point a majority of the time the

Christmas games out there are negative in nature. I am not just talking

accessible games, but mainstream games as well. Many times they have

themes of robbing Santa, shooting Santa, or something else along those

lines. I guess the reason is that mankind has a downright mean streak in us,
and

there is something fun about beating up on Saint Nick. As far as if it

really effects how people in reality act, psychologists and interest

groups have been arguing over that point for years. It seams if someone

buys a violent game, and kills someone later the psychologists and others
then

want to blame the game or violent contents for persons x behavior.

Personally, I disagree, and feel a person still has a choice, and if you

do the crime pay the time.

I am basing this on my own mental state, and that is not the general

public. I love war games allot, but that doesn't mean I'd really like to

take up arms and fight, or kill people for real.



++

Hi gamers,

This is just a discussion thread about one of my favorite audio games, a

little gem we like to call Shades of Doom. I've beaten it on all five

difficulty levels (yes, even It's a good day to die), and throughout my

experiences with the game I noticed some similarities between SOD and a few

novels I've had the pleasure of reading. Fair warning, those who haven't

beaten SOD may wish to skip this.  I won't be spoiling the actual ending to

the game but there may be some spoilers nonetheless.

  Perhaps the biggest thing I noticed was that, once the experiment is shut

down, any enemies left in or outside the bosses' lair die instantly. This

rang a bell in my mind that brought to mind a novel by Mr. Dean Koontz

entitled _Midnight, which was a story about a research project seemingly

similar to the one in SOD, though not conducted by the military. This

experiment involved the injection of microcomputers into a living host's

bloodstream, a nanobot that would enhance human mental power and enable them

to change form pretty much at will. However either something went wrong with

the experiment itself or the subjects' make-ups didn't agree with it. Those

"converted" tended to regress to lower forms rather than evolve to higher

ones, usually with deadly results. The mastermind behind this experiment was

a man named Thomas Shaddock who, as a precaution in case one of his

creatures turned against him, wore a small device that was perpetually

linked to Son, the project's supercomputer. This device monitored Shaddock's

pulse and would, if this signal were lost, transmit a message back to Son,

which would in turn send a signal to the nanobots inside all the Converted

Ones, triggering a chain reaction that killed them instantly. I would assume

that the masterminds behind the experiment in SOD would have put a similar

safety measure in place in case the experiment went wrong. That way a person

would simply have to shut down the machine to prevent the outbreak from

spreading.

  So here's the big question. What does everybody think? I posted this to

GMA Games Talk a while back but the traffic over there seems to be extremely

light these days. I guess we can call this the SOD Theories and Ideas

thread, since that's basically what my intention was in creating it.



+

Ugh, that's scary! Speaking of mutant humans, and mutant dogs, I wonder how

big they are. I picture mutant dogs to be smaller than mutant humans, since

they require less ammo to subdue them, whereas mutant humans require a

little more. I wonder if the boss is the biggest monster there is, or if

it's the temporal disturbance? I picture the gelatinous blob to be the size

of a Jell-O log, I wonder what it's shaped like? Yucko! Not to be getting

off the subject, but I wonder sometimes about some rooms I go into while

playing SOD, and there's an annoying noise like some equipment. I have to

shoot it and blow it up just to concentrate. Plus, there's the fan room

on level one, and if you shoot it while you're really close it can

kill you. I just wait till I open the door at the end, and if a mutant human

or dog comes, I'll shoot, and it blows up the fan and possibly kills the

monster. I'm not saying it always works, but it shuts the fan up. Plus, I

don't understand the part of level one that has an opening in the floor. Why

is there a hole in the floor? I know that if you pull the sewer cover on

level five, then there'll be a hole in the floor, and you'll hear the water

sound on level six which means you're close to the sewage system. Also, why

does the crate on level three have a gelatinous blob? Why can't it have
other

equipment, like weapons, ammunition, or maybe a proximity or timed mine?



++



Hi Brandon,

I think to constructively discuss this matter we need to come up with a

common definition for accessible and playable. One does not necessarily

mean the other is true.

To me personally accessible means that I can grab that PS2 game, pop it

in the machine, I can play it without having someone tell me what sound

x means, use the menus without having to memorise them, or have to have

someone teach me the menus. In other words the day I buy the game I can

play it without sighted help.

To me playable means it might be accessible but even if it is not 100%

accessible I can memorise the menus, sounds, and so forth and one day be

able to play it on my own after I memorise the game.

Let's play the game of assume for a second. Let's assume we whiped out

your memory of how the menus are laid out and what all the sounds mean

for a given game. Ok, how are you going to access those menus. Will you

fumble around relearning those menus on your own,or ask a sighted person

to tell you the layout, because at that very second they are usable, but

not accessible since you don't have those menus memorised.

In fact, one wonders how you learned them in the first place. You can't

tell me you baught your PS2 and the first day automaticly without

training knew every single menu by memory. You had to have some trial

and error, and perhaps some outside help to learn them.



+

Brandon wrote:

 I don't mean this as an argument, but I consider the games in which the

 menus can be memorized to be just as accessible as the ones with spoken

 menus. Sure it takes a bit longer for that accessibility to happen, but
that

 doesn't change the fact that we can pretty much play these games
completely.

 Just my thoughts.



+

 The above thread went on for a few days on list, and it's always an
interesting discussion to see the variety of points of view when it comes to
the word accessible, and what it means to different people.



+++

A Decade's Accessible Gaming:

An Old Editor's Anniversary Observations

By Michael Feir



I find it hard to believe that ten years have now passed since I published

the very first Audyssey Magazine during July of 1996. It's a lot easier to

swallow when considered in terms of accessible games progress. We've come a

very long way indeed. Text was the only medium that was widely known about

when it came to computerized fun for blind people. There were a few

relatively crude sound-based games around which served more to agonize the

player with untapped possibilities than anything else. If only they were in

stereo sound! If only more sounds could be played at a time! If only. I was

deeply involved in two epic games. My yearning for adventure and randomness

was being well served by Fallthru. I could get lost for hours in its vast

territory filled with dungeons, peasants, warriors and demons. Jigsaw also

held me in its brilliant story of history, morality and destiny. Each of

these games had a profound influence on me and I can only hope that these

older text-based games are not passed by entirely by newcomers in favor of

the auditory games we have now.



At this point, things are certainly in very good shape. We have a multitude

of sound-based games covering pretty much all genres. Sports games are still

by far the most rare. One of the most exciting areas that has just started

to be explored is the possibility of real-time strategy games. Galaxy

Rangers certainly demonstrates that such games are possible using sound. The

final level in GMA Games's GMA Tank Commander also offers a rudimentary

real-time strategy experience. I very much look forward to future attempts

in that area. The sidescroller genre could certainly stand further

exploration. That type of game just lends itself beautifully to being

translated into stereo sound.



The ground work has now been done in pretty much every genre of accessible

game. I believe we've reached a critical mass of accessible games. This

should mean that there is at least one accessible game of interest to any

potential blind gamer. We've particularly seen growth in the puzzle genre

lately. Another very positive development has been an increase in the number

of free accessible games available. I was absolutely astounded when

Topspeed2 emerged as the first multi-player racing game. I was certain that

a commercial developer would come through for all those salivating racing

fans first. Not only can people race each other but they can also race

against computer-controlled cars. The folks at Playing in the Dark certainly

cheered up a whole lot of us with their product late last year. Spoonbill

Software has also cranked out a variety of puzzle and card games. The

quality and attention to detail is very commendable indeed. Even a

non-card/puzzle fan like myself can appreciate these games for the labors of

love they clearly are. Jim Kitchen has been pumping out free games since the

very beginning and has produced some real treasures over the years. My

personal favorite is his version of Pong. Who would have thought that such a

simple game could be so very addictive.



I believe it is vital to the success of all commercial developers that a

number of completely free full games are made available. This allows less

fortunate people an entry point into accessible gaming and may encourage

some to try commercial demos and potentially make the necessary investment.

This is particularly the case with such high unemployment and low awareness

of what access technology can do to enrich the personal lives of blind

people. Games make an excellent way of learning about and getting

comfortable with computers. I'm surprised that interactive fiction, largely

produced as freeware, hasn't been used more by educators and/or those

wishing to promote reading or Braille. Most text adventures ought to work

flawlessly with a Braille display and I can't think of a more tempting way

to get youngsters to read than letting them be an active part in the story.



Despite the difficulties posed, I very much hope we also see an increase in

companies taking All inPlay's approach of designing games with graphics and

sound so that blind and sighted people can play. This area holds a lot of

promise for building bridges. Terraformers garnered accessible gaming an

immense awareness boost. I hope Pin Interactive is working on further

titles. The fact that All inPlay has survived for as long as it has speaks

eloquently of the steady demand for accessible games. Personally, I hope

they eventually take a stab at a multi-player action game as they originally

intended. They've certainly got the community building part down solidly.



Clearly, the next big frontier for accessible gaming is multi-player

sound-based action/strategy games. Board games playable over the Internet

will likely appear relatively soon seeing as VipGamesZone and All inPlay

have laid the groundwork there. It will be interesting to see how successful

results divide up between free and commercial products. As to more intense

action-oriented games, they could emerge from pretty much any of the better

established companies. It is most unfortunate that BSC Games had to give up

on its initial attempt in this untapped sphere of gaming experience.

Actually completing such a game, even a comparatively simple one, will take

extreme effort, skill and dedication. However, there's definitely a growing

hunger for such experiences and I have every confidence that successful

developers will be rewarded if pricing is kept reasonable.



Piracy is unfortunately always going to be a serious issue for commercial

accessible game companies. One danger which I very much hope can be avoided

is the erosion of the rights of legitimate purchasers of games. Some

developers still give registration keys which you can use on any computer.

This is basically the equivalent of purchasing a game in a store. You get a

full copy which you can transfer and keep backup copies of as you please. As

long as you have the registration key, you're all set. It doesn't matter

what happens to the company. The game you bought is yours forever. These

days, more companies are using online registration. This forces purchasers

to decide which computer they want to have the game playable on. Most

developers are quite willing to make special arrangements in such

circumstances as long as the customer has established a degree of trust.

However, there's also the issue of lost registration keys or unanticipated

computer problems and upgrades. Either of these can suddenly render one's

registration useless. Again, as long as developers come up with a reasonable

approach, things ought to be fine. Should piracy increase drastically, I

fear that the pendulum will swing too far towards product security and

customers will in effect be paying to have a game only so long as things are

fine with his/her computer. Shane R. Munro warned of this growing trend in

the mainstream world of digital entertainment in a recent episode of

Retrogaming Radio. Thankfully, we have the fact that compassion drives

pretty much all accessible game developers. This should allow the consumer

to come out on top.



The trend towards having demos only be useable for a certain number of days

is in my opinion a losing strategy. Producing a demo which remains

functional but limits game play or time gives people more reason to keep

demos on their computers and show them to others. These games which simply

stop altogether after days or weeks are completely removed and do nothing

for the developer besides prevent their users from getting a small amount of

free entertainment. I offer my own circumstances as an example of what I

mean here. As you read this, I'm likely either on my way to or enjoying a

vacation at the Lake Joseph Centre. This is a resort specially set up for

blind people. Assuming the week I've chosen is a busy one, there are likely

to be something like fifty to a hundred blind or visually impaired people.

There are plenty of opportunities for me to show accessible games. Rainy

days, evenings where people don't choose to partake in scheduled events,

etc, all present opportunities for me to set up my laptop and let people

have a go at a game of interest to them. They may hear me play an accessible

game and have their interest aroused. Blind people visiting other blind

people might see a similar opportunity to let a guest try a demo they kept

on their system. Word of mouth is a force powerful enough in the blind

community to make or break businesses catering to its members' needs.



Very slowly, a body of articles and coverage of accessible games is building

up in the mainstream. Sites such as the BBC, CBC, NPR, Wired, and many

others have published articles or broadcast segments of general interest

shows about accessible games. There may very well eventually be a non-blind

market for these games due to their sheer novelty. Demos can also be loaded

and kept ready on computers belonging to schools, institutions, guide dog

schools, access training centers, or the computers of new recipients of

access technology. These make a fine introduction to accessible gaming as

well as computers in general. I hope more developers choose to have less

restrictive demos in future.



In closing, I'll take this opportunity to wish all Audyssey readers new and

old a very happy tenth anniversary this Summer. Please make certain that I

can look back on another ten years by stepping up to the plate and

contributing your talent to the community. Write articles and reviews.

Produce audio reviews or demonstrations of your favorite games. Help

developers make better games by taking opportunities to help test games in

development. If you have a good acting voice and aren't afraid to use it,

contact the various developers. They may have a use for you. I plan to keep

being an ambassador for accessible games. I will contribute to, promote and

represent the blind gaming community to the best of my ability for as long
as I'm able. Ron has done a fantastic job keeping Audyssey going. Give him

the materials and he'll continue to work his magic making a whole issue

greater than the sum of its parts. That, afterall, is the editor's job. We

can only work with what we're given or can bring to the table ourselves. If

enough of us step up and do our part, we have a very fun future to look

forward to.



Michael Feir

Creator and former Editor of Audyssey Magazine

1996-2004

E-mail: [email protected]



+++

Phil's Funnies

A Day in the life of a game developer

By Phil Vlasak



+ This was from awhile back but I'll bet while developing Sarah and the
Castle of Witchcraft & Wizardry it might still be accurate *grin*.



6:00 wake up.

quick trip to bathroom shower,  get dressed, talk to wife, make coffee, eat

breakfast.

7:00 walk dog, feed dog, walk dog again.

7:20 pour second cup of coffee, check email.

8:00 talk to wife, say goodbye as she leaves the house to go shopping.

8:15 pour third cup of coffee, finish reading and answering email.

8:30 answer phone, appointment with dentist tomorrow.

8:35 back to computer and finally check list of things to do in new game.

9:00 Write new function and compile program to test it out.

9:03 find new function doesn't work, so try changing it.

9:10 While testing function find another bug and add it to the list.

9:15 answer phone, driver to take me to dentist office.

9:20 back to computer room check new function where left off.

9:22 dog wants to go out again.

9:30 wash breakfast dishes and put them away.

9:45 bathroom break.

10:00 wife back from shopping, Braille can goods and put cold and frozen

items in fridge.

10:30 dog throws up on bed, strip bed and put sheets in washing machine.

11:00 make bed with new sheets.

11:15 take blanket out to dry on line.

11:00 dog wants to walk again.

11:30 make lunch and talk to wife.

12:15 wash lunch dishes and take out garbage.

12:30 bring blanket in from line and put on bed.

12:45 check answering machine for customer call but turns out to be phone

company that we don't use.

12:50 check email.

1:10 go on Internet and order sound effect cd's.

1:20 forget password to look at Amazon account.

2:00 after searching computer for password, go through procedure to get new

password.

2:15 finish order and get ready to start programming again.

2:17 dog spots postal carrier delivering mail.

2:20 get mail and run it through scanner.

2:50 finish reading mail and shred junk mail.

3:00 check email and answer some messages.

3:15 dog needs to be walked.

3:30 get back to computer and start working on editing sound effect.

4:00 feed dog and walk dog again.

4:30 visit bathroom, prepare dinner and eat, talk to wife, wash dishes and

take out garbage.

5:30 watch news on TV.

6:00 walk dog again.

6:15 get back to computer, back up work on second hard drive.

6:30 read email, answer messages.

6:45 take garbage bags out to street.

7:00 Check out new game on web, download game and try it out.

8:00 walk dog again.

8:15 turn on talking book machine and read another chapter with wife.

9:00   watch TV show with wife.

10:00 get back on computer, read email and answer messages.

10:20 try another version of game function but realize you are too tired to

think straight.

10:30  make cup of tea, play another  game to wake you up.

10:45 decide to stop programming for the day, leave computer room.

10:50 walk dog, lock doors for night.

11:00 watch news on TV.

11:30 visit bathroom, change clothes, go to bed with wife.

11:45 dog jumps on bed curls up and goes to sleep.



+++

Here there be Dragons

By Ron Schamerhorn



  The parchment makes a quiet yet distinct rustling sound as it's unrolled
revealing the lay of the land.  At first glance it is easy to identify the
regions which are nearest your location.  Over time these areas have become
like old friends, familiar and always welcoming to you during your ongoing
journey.  The names you read written by a skilled cartographer's hand stand
out among those you have heard talk of.  Surprisingly there is a section
with an all too well-known legend "Here There Be Dragons".

  I believe this to be an apt description of editing Audyssey.  By no means
am I trying to show any negative connotations with it.  More so I view
editing as embarking on an adventure, each publication having a rhythm and
unique quality all it's own.

  To highlight this point I'll briefly mention about this issue.  When
putting it together, initially I was concerned with how many reviews and
announcements I had to use in the section.  Fortunately I had saved, and
forgotten about a couple until they had been revisited when going through
the magazine folder where I keep the submissions I receive.  Obviously I was
pleasantly surprised when I made this discovery, and as it turns out that
part of the magazine developed quite well.

  One other item I have some worry about and it's two-fold is the editing
itself.  Primarily because, and my friends and family could back me on this
claim, I was by no means the best student in English class.  Naturally who
would wish to put their name on something they wrote if it ended up being
horrible?  I know my grammer and such isn't the greatest at times, but I'm
not ashamed either.  I like thinking of my position as editing Audyssey, not
writing the magazine.  I do enjoy being creative in an article such as this
or giving my opinions on a game in a review, and plan to keep doing just
that.  I try my best and take it with a few grains of salt.

  The second part has a good remmody and typically I don't worry about this
as much.  It's contributions for the next issue.  It's a mantra "I never can
have enough."  Granted I think the ones I have been at the helm of have been
good, as editor you can't help but ponder the question of "Will I get enough
submissions for the next Audyssey?"  Fate has up to this point been with me.
I've felt each magazine was a worthwhile endeavour.  And with written
material from you, the reader, Audyssey will continue to flourish!

  On other fronts I've recently been playing Sryth, the age of Ikthean.  It's
a free [or optional membership at a fantastic price] online role playing
game.  To sum it up in a few words you create a character, equip him/her
with various weapons, armour, magic items, and such.  You then embark on
adventures throughout Sryth.   There are several cities and event adventures
you can undertake.  Like clearing the goblins from the caves near Hawklore,
closing a Shadow Gate underneath a monistary, and even one involving a
pumpkin patch.  I've got two characters and have barely scratched the
surface of this game, and it's being added to all the time.  In the next mag
I'm going to write a much more thorough review.

  I find it somewhat funny to look back and remember a time when I knew
absolutely nothing about accessible games, not even text adventures!  Now
just a few years later the realm of gaming has expanded for me drastically.
Including not only text adventures, but online play, audio games,
multi-player and more.  The possibility of how far this goes is only limited
by the creativity of those excellent people we call developers.  Long live
the devs!   And they should, even though not every game is up my alley, I'm
only one person in an ever-growing community of players.  What I may like
someone else might not, so it balances out nicely.

  Perhaps one day I conceivably may write a game even.  I do have an idea or
two floating around.  What I'm unsure about is both the learning curve and
if programming would be of enough interest to me.  I'm glad to have the
express editions of VB and C# [freely available from Microsoft] and I
suppose the next step is to boldly go and find some samples of code and/or
novice books telling me how to program.  Though to an extent one need not
completely learn from the ground up as GMA's game engine can be licenced,
not to mention of a couple  other companies doing similar applications for
future game  creators.

  I've totally enjoyed being part of this expanding community over the past
years.  I'm ever ready to talk games with whoever and wherever I have such
an opportunity.  One will be forthcoming as I'll be getting a new Guide Dog
early in 2007.  I'll have to make up some cd's with Audyssey, some demo
games to show others, and hopefully add new voices to the call of let the
games begin.



+++

News from developers



++

News from All In Play

Nov 20, 2006



Greetings from All inPlay,



Whether you're warming yourself by the fire or working on your tan in  the
land

down under, we hope this finds you well and enjoying the start  of this
holiday season.

We have some news that should further brighten  your day.  The All inPlay
Holiday

Sale is back!



Right now, you can treat your best friends, your worst enemies, or even
yourself,

to a year of All inPlay games for the reduced price of $59.95  for a year's
worth

of play.  Is there someone new you're dying to  introduce to the All inPlay
community?

Maybe you'd like to surprise  someone you haven't heard from in a while?
We've made

it easy with the  All inPlay gift subscription.  Here's how it works:



Log into your All inPlay account and select the All inPlay Store link from
your My Home page.

Follow the instructions to purchase a gift membership.

Send the lucky (or unlucky) recipient of your gift an email with the gift
code you  will receive upon purchase.  You can either forward the special
email we send you, or create your own. The recipient can then either log
into an existing account or

create a new account and  redeem

their gift.  Important: Don't redeem the gift from your account, unless
you're planning to give yourself a gift.



It's that simple.



If you have any problems during the process, you can give us a call at (413)
585-9690 between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. U.S. eastern time and we'll be
happy

to help you.



We hope you enjoy being a part of the All inPlay community as much as we
enjoy bringing it to you.



Cheers,

The All inPlay Team



+

Nov 20, 2006



Hello everyone,



On the 6th we bounced a new table layout by everyone.  It received, overall,
strong support.  It incorporates several key features:



1. Practice tables with bots - In addition to their normal role, these
tables can serve as a *fun* waiting room.  If you're low on chips and no one
is on

a low-stakes table, you can hang here and have fun while waiting for someone
else to show up.  Then you two can move off to a table together.



2. Low chip-count friendly tables - For folks under 5k, there are 3
different types of low stakes tables, each with CAPs.  These caps ensure a
level playing

field for people regardless of their chip-count.



3. Mid stakes - for people between high stakes and low stakes, the new
30-chip ante tables offer a safe place to play before competing with all
those card

sharks <smile>.



4. Tons of high stakes tables.



5. A speed for all players.



So this new table layout is going beta.  That means that it will be live on
the server, but likely to change in the near future based on your input.  We

may need more of some tables, fewer of others, different caps, maybe a high
stakes fixed-limit table or two, etc.  Only testing it live will show us
what

changes are needed.



So please check out the new tables and send in your feedback.  Thanks!



Paul and Jeremie

Chief GoofBalls



++

News from Azabat Software

Oct 1, 2006



Hi,



Bowing to public pressure, I've produced a SAPI version of my accessible

Backgammon and put it in the download section of my website:

www.azabat.co.uk



It's a commercial product and will sell for 10 pounds (18 US dollars) but

you can download it and try it out a little for free then buy a registration

code if you want to play the full game.



I'd be grateful for comments and feedback. If it's successful I may do the

same for some of my other games.



Cheers,

Steve



+

Hi All,



Just to let people know that I've slashed 20% off the retail price of my

games.  Full details at www.azabat.co.uk



Cheers,

Steve



++

News from BSC Games



Greetings Gamers,



The holidays are here and discount savings are jingling over at BSC Games!



Save 20% off of our popular titles troopanum 2.0, pipe 2 blast chamber, and
hunter...  offer expires December 15!



Don't forget that you can conveniently order any of our games as a gift for
a friend or family member by using our email a gift service. You can read
more

about our email a gift service when you go to place an order for any game.



Happy holidays from bsc games.



Visit us on the web at:

http://www.BscGames.com



++

News from Draconis Entertainment

Nov 28, 2006



Greetings gamers,



We have lots of news to get through, so let's get started!



Holiday Savings

Throughout the month of December, Draconis Entertainment will be

offering a variety of holiday savings. Check back at our site often to

find out what's available at great low prices for that special someone

on your Christmas list!



new Free Game

Old Man Stanley's back . and this time, he's decided to make a little

extra money to offset the cost of rebuilding his house by playing Santa

Claus at the local department

store . But the stress of all the little brats and then having his house

destroyed by a miniature wrecking ball has proven too much for him .

when his assistant elf starts to mouth off . well, he just can't take it

anymore!

Draconis Entertainment wishes all a merry Christmas with the release of

a modified version of our classic ESP WhoopAss game. You can download

Christmas WhoopAss from the Freebies section of our Download Center.



Bug Fixes

We've updated ESP Pinball Xtreme to version 1.2.6. This version corrects

some problems that could arise when registering or playing the demo

version of the game under specific circumstances. We recommend that you

download and install this update, but it is not absolutely necessary

unless you experience problems with registration. ESP Pinball Xtreme

V1.2.6 can be downloaded from our Download Center.

Please install and varify that you have the latest version before

requesting technical support for any of our titles. Up to date version

numbers are listed in both the Products and Download Center sections of

our web site.



Keeping Up to Date with Draconis

As development continues on several projects, we've made it easier to

keep up with the news here at Draconis. In addition to a new and

searchable format for our news archives, you may now subscribe to one of

our two RSS news feeds.

We are now offering a Draconis News feed, as well as a Cinema Citadel

feed. Subscribe to these for instant notifications of when these

sections of our site are updated. For

an explanation of news feeds and how to use them, visit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed

We recommend using Mozilla Firefox's

Live Bookmarks for the easiest access to news feeds, but there are many

other feed readers and browsers which also support this technology.  To
download Firefox, visit

http://www.mozilla.com



Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Draconis Entertainment will be distributing the game, "Sarah and the

Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry," for PCS Games. Se the PCS press

release for more information on this new great title, from the creators

of Ten Pin Alley and PacMan Talks.



 From everyone here at Draconis, we wish you a safe and festive holiday

season.



Draconis Entertainment

"Feel the Power...wield the magic..."

www.DraconisEntertainment.com

www.DracoEnt.com



+

Nov 24, 2006



Greetings Gamers,



It's the biggest shopping weekend of the year! And here at Draconis is

no exception! We're please to announce the second of our series of

holiday sales. Save 20% on our popular titles Alien Outback, DynaMan,

and Pinball Party Pack, Vol. 1, from now until 12/December/2006. Happy

holidays from Draconis Entertainment.



Visit us on the web at

http://www.draconisentertainment.com

or

http://www.dracoent.com



+

Nov 10, 2006



Greetings gamers,



Just in time for the holidays! Check out the 20% savings at the Draconis

Shop on our popular game titles ESP Pinball Classic, ESP Pinball Xtreme,

and Monkey Business.  This sale will only run until December 5, so don't

delay! Visit us at

www.DraconisEntertainment.com



++

News from Dragon Slayer Games

Nov 26, 2006



Dear Gamers,

If you don't know about this, I'd like to take the time to inform you about

Dragon Slayer Games, my semi-new audio games development team.

We started in December of 2005 and produced a few very simple games over the

span of about 4 months. After a computer crash and a busy summer on my part,

DSG closed for a while. Then in September or October of this year, we

Reopened. I had been working on some bigger and more complex games for about

a month before the launch of the website. Now, a month later, we have

brought some interesting games to the accessible gaming comunity.

We specialize in fantasy games(currently mostly rpgs). We have two rpgs out:

Elemental Battle and Dragon Warrior. Each is set in a prehistoric/midievil

time and both include battling to the top and improving your stats.

The story, in short, for Dragon Warrior is:

You are a well accomplished young fighter with the task of becoming the next

Dragon Warrior. To do this, you must fight your way up the ranks in the

arena of legends, until you become top ranked. All Dragon Warriors have

dragons, so you can buy one of your own and train, feed, heal, work with,

and bet on it! You can also buy potions and better your weaponry to help

your chances at completing your quest.



The story for Elemental Battle goes like this:

Billions of years ago, the world was ruled by the people of the 4 elements:

water, fire, earth, and wind. You, like any other elemental warrior, want to

achieve top rank. To do this, you must kill other elements and elements of

your own clan to achieve higher clan rank. You can bolster your attacks with

weapons purchased from the weapon shop. There is also an armor shop, a magic

shop, and a bakery.



We also have a number of smaller games: Destroy the Castle, a realtime
online

Game. Dueling Swords, fight against your friend or the computer in strategic

turnbased swordfights, and War, the classic card game of War designed for

rainy days!

We also have an audio game in development called Dangerous Waters. For more

information, visit us at

www.dragonslayergames.net.



Have fun,

Tommy



++

News from Kitchen's Inc

Nov 2, 2006



Hi,



I have put a new file up on my web site.



File name wingcfs2.exe file size 86k bytes

70 new golf courses



The file can be found on the free windows text to speech games page.



BFN

     Jim

Beer doesn't make you fat, it makes you lean.



+

Oct 20, 2006



Hi,



I have put two new files up on my site.  The files are



winmbfs1.exe file size 74k bytes

18 new Monopoly boards which are: A christmas Carol, Broadway Musicals,
Candy Land, Disney Parks, Disney, E T, Halloween Village, Its a Wonderful
Life, los Vegas, North Pole, Pirates of the Caribbean, Princess Bride,
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Simpsons, Spooky Town, Super Mario Brothers,
The Wizard of Oz, Twilight Zone



wingcfs1.exe file size 66k bytes

10 new golf courses which are: 3 of a kind, 69 on the mind, Exeter  and
Country Club rating 75, from the hood to the woods rating 65, gold coast
country club, phils fans fun course rating 78, Pussle  Club rating 73,
spookie greens rating 66,Stepney Green mini hole rating 45,The Crazy
Insanity rating 73



Both files can be found on my free windows text to speech games page.



Enjoy and BFN

     Jim



I have found that nothing written in fine print is ever good news.



[email protected]

http://www.kitchensinc.net

(440) 286-6920

Chardon Ohio USA



++

News from LWorks

Nov 17, 2006



Here is the latest news from LWorks.



Judgment Day release date announced:



Our latest game Judgment day now has a definite release date.  The game will

be released December 8th.  The game retails for $25 and more info as well as

an audio demonstration can be found on the Judgment Day Page at

http://www.l-works.net/judgmentday.php



it is the year 2015, and the world is at war. This war has been the most

catastrophic to humanity. Two powers are fighting for control. The allies

and a group of nations calling themselves The Supreme Evil. Little is known
about

this group and it's motives, but one thing is clear. This group has advanced

weaponry. Over several months, the Allies have been slowly destroyed by

strange and lethal weaponry. The commander of the Supreme Evil known as

Supreme Commander Ather has quickly dispatched several countrys in the span
of a few

months. In one last effort to retain any hope, the allies have gathered all

their forces in one area. A defensive station was built, and plans were made

to finally lay the Supreme evil to rest. However, this task may prove to be

harder than one thinks, and this is where you come in.  Your job is to fend

off the group of The Supreme Evil's forces, as well as deal With supreme

Commander Ather.



You command the only allied defensive post left. Your job is to fend off the

enemies. Compared to the Supreme evil, your weapons are primative. However,

they can be effective. You are given a machine gun with unlimitted shells, a

supply of rockets, and a small supply of sky clearing nukes. Your crew will

do their best to keep the base undamaged. If there's no damage, they may

even find time to replentish your nukes and rockets if you're running low.



the game will include.

. 10 levels of play plus a boss level where you get to take on Supreme

commander Ather himself

. 3 levels of difficulty

. a trophy system allowing you to earn awards for performing certain tasks

in the game

. 4 unlockable bonus levels

. an unlockable ending for collecting enough trophys

. an unlockable ultra difficulty setting

. online score support to post your scores to all bonus games and difficulty

levels

. and more!



Preordering for Judgment Day:



If for what ever reason you want to purchase the game earlier at a reduced

price, this is totally possible.  LWorks will start offering the ability to

purchase a preordered version of Judgment Day from the store at some point

this weekend.  The benefit to buying earlier is that you will be the very

first to receive a download of the game as soon as it is released.  Beat the

rush when it comes to downloading.  Also, the game retails for $25, but if

you buy early, we'll knock 20 percent off the normal purchase price.  I

understand there are some misgivings when it comes to preordering.  Lworks

will insure that on December 8, there is a completed and bug free copy of

Judgment day for you to play.



If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write to

[email protected].



Liam Erven

KC9KHY



msn and Email:

[email protected]

homepage:

http://www.liamerven.com



++

News from Mardy Productions



Hello to all,



I want to tell you about the newest Mardy-Production, a Computer-Game

called Mississippi.



Mississippi is a trading simulation which starts in 1770 in the wild west

of good old America. One day you receive a letter, that your uncle who's
living

in America has died and bequeaths you his whole estate. That means 50

square meters of stockroom, 1000 dollars and 50 grain. After that you decide
to

jump at this chance. You leave your old home and emigrate to the new world.



You have to buy and sell your goods, build kontors in several towns, build

wagons, and earn money. If you are good enough at least you will be

president of America. But, as in real life, there is good and bad news,

some for yourself, some for all players. E.g. you can win a lot of money, or

all your wagons could not leave your HQ and so you won't get goods for this

round.



You can play the game with 5 persons. And, that's a very interesting fact,

you can play it with sighted people together.



There is alot of music, and most of the news is spoken. The game itself is
not

self-voicing, so you need a screenreader to play it. We have tested it with

Window-Eyes and JAWS and it works properly. If not, feel free to ask, and we

will see what we can do in the code to solve problems.



The game is shareware, so you can test it for yourself, if you will have fun

with the game.



You can download this game here:

http://www.mar-dy.com



Best regards

Marco



Mardy - Andrea Mackowiak

Email: [email protected]

www.mar-dy.com



++

News from PCs Games.

Nov 28, 2006



It's finished! So hard to believe. You outline, and you record funny sounds,

and you write and rewrite the code until it works, and edit and rewrite and

stress and eat chocolates and rewrite and scream, "Will this game EVER be
done????"

And then one day it is.

"No, no that's not possible. I'm not ready for it to be finished," you say.

I wonder if this is how parents feel when their children go off to college?

 I've worked on the castle starting from the ground floor up to the top of

the towers, and when I finished the

Owlery it was done!

I used wet toilet paper to simulate owl droppings.

I dropped M and Ems in a glass fruit bowl to simulate giant hour glasses

filled with Gems.

  I've used dry wood branches to simulate small animal bones.

Now its in the hands of my beta testers and will soon be available for

purchase!

When I finished the public beta last December, I didn't realize it would

take eleven months to make the changes and develop all the suggestions that

came my way.  But I did it.

Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is very close to being

released. I've removed most of the synthesized voice of Sarah and have

replaced them with a human voice. I've fixed several bugs and added many

features suggested by testers.



The Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry transports Sarah  into a world of

corridors and secret passageways. she travels all through the floors

searching for magical items, fighting creepy  creatures knowing at any

minute, disaster may strike.

Take a trip to the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry and pay a visit to the

ghost's Deathday party in the dungeon, pop into the kitchen for a chat with

the sometimes helpful Dobby; go out for a spot of spelunking in the chamber

of secrets, gasp in awe at the speed of the golden snitch while flying above

the Quidditch pitch; pick up plenty of coins to buy sweets at the sweet

shop; spend some time in the library learning new spells; and finally, try

to hide from the cranky caretaker.

Always remember - the malevolent Dementors may not be what they seem!

Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a fantasy castle game, is

inspired by JK Rowling's books.



I can not set a specific date for release but I am confident that it will be

within the next two weeks, perfect for a Christmas gift. After the game is

released you can download and try out the demo level and for $31.95 US,

purchase a registration product key that will unlock all of the other levels
of the castle.

The game will be sold and Distributed by Draconis Entertainment from their

shop web site.



As an added bonus, for those reading this far, you will be the first to know

about  this special offer.

Anyone purchasing the game from the day of release until the end of the 2006

year will be put into a raffle for a magic wand. This is the officially

licensed Deluxe wand with light and sound. It is motion activated, has 3

magical movie sounds and lights up. A must have for any true fan! Requires
two (2)

AA batteries, included.



You can find out what is in store at PCS Games by going to the PCS web site

at:

http://www.pcsgames.net

If you have any questions, E-mail Phil Vlasak,

[email protected]

We make games that tickle your ears.



++

News from Spoonbill Software



Hi,



Ian Humphreys from Spoonbill Software here. You are receiving this email
because you have previously requested a Blind gamers game. This is to
announce

the release of Blind gamers Boggle 1.0 - BG Boggle for short.



BG Boggle is the accessible version of the popular word game where you make
as many words as you can from the sixteen letter cubes arranged in a four by

four grid. It is suitable for both blind and visually impaired players, and
like all Spoonbill games in the Blind gamers series, it is self-voicing.



With BG Boggle, you can generate random games, or enter a game manually.
Manual entry is useful if you are playing with a sighted friend who is using
a

regular Boggle set. You can also save your game to resume later.



If you would like to try a copy of BG Boggle, just email me at:



[email protected]



If you do not want to be informed of future Blind gamers releases, let me
know and I will remove you from my mailing list.



Regards



Ian Humphreys

Spoonbill Software

Albany, Western Australia.



++

News From USA Games Entertainment



Holiday News

Nov. 29, 2006



Introduction



Greetings gamers,

There is allot happening for USA Games customers and supporters this

holiday season. We have a couple of releases coming up as well as a

completely new and improved web site going up. So read on to get the scoop.



Star Trek Final Conflict



At last after two years of development, testing, and many setbacks we

are happy to announce STFC 1.0 is nearly complete and is ready for final

release. As most of you know the code was lost for this title, but I

managed to sort through my betas and found one stable enough to release

to the general public. There will be a few miner bugs and snags in 1.0,

but for the most part it is stable and ready to ship. All that really

needs doing is finishing the users guide, rebuild the installer, and

post it on the web site for download.

As many of you may have heard this 1.0 final release will be released as

free ware. There will be no charge for the full release, and among the

changes is the full version of the game, support for DirectX 9.0C 2006,

Microsoft .NET 2.0, and uses InnoSetup 5 for installation.

Although, we know the game will be released between now and Christmas we

aren't prepared to set a specific day and time. More information will be

announced on the Audyssey mailing list, the USA Games mailing list, or

our web site

http://www.usagames.us

when the announcement is ready to be given.



Montezuma's Revenge



I'm aware many of you will be interested in venturing in to temple 2.

However, I've not been able to complete that level do to time.

I do have plans to update Montezuma's Revenge with support for .NET

Framework 2, a new manual, and other miner bug fixes, changes, and updates.

More information  will be announced as the release is nearer to completion.



USA Games Web Site



As mentioned before the USA Games web site

http://www.usagames.us

is undergoing a major upgrade. It is not certain when the new site is

going to be launched, but we do intend to upgrade this month.

Many of the new changes will include a slightly new look and feel to the

web site. For those interested we have dropped the split frame view and

have decided to switch to a more traditional table layout for our site

navigation section. We feel not only is this a bit more accessible I am

told the appearance of the site looks better by having two rows of

organized links  along the top and bottom of each page.

In addition we will be adding more to our download center besides our

own games. We will have links to download the latest Ubuntu Linux

installation disks, links for other third party software, and we will

eventually be putting up links to other places as well.

This is likely to be an ongoing project through December, and probably

on into 2007. However, when done USA Games will have more content, and

be more than just a place holder for our games and projects.

At this point we do not plan to discuss all the changes we will be doing

to the site, but when it is launched we will certainly let you know.



+

Nov 9, 2006 [snipped from an earlier update]



I know many of you are no doubt wondering what is happening with USA

Games, how progress is going both in my personal and professional life.

I intend to give a full progress report here on our projects, plans, and

updates.

As many of you know allot is going on in my personal life. For example,

my wife and I are attempting to relocate, but haven't yet found anything

that looks promising as far as our future housing. In addition, my wife

has taken on some day classes to improve her education, and that has

left me in charge of watching my two year old son for a larger amount of

the day. The end result both activities have reduced my time to join in

list discussions, and even less time to spend on USA Games ongoing

development projects. Never-the-less work is still going forward, but at

a much slower and reduced rate.



General News



Before I get into the news about our titles I would like to share some

general news of what we at USA Games are doing to help speed up

development time. In fact, we feel this will probably become our primary

method or mode of development in the future.

A couple of months back a woman brought in a laptop for my dad to

repair. It was an Averatec 6200 notebook computer which was a 2004/2005

mottle. Pretty current all things considered. Apparently the woman's son

had dropped the laptop breaking the 15 inch wide-screen display, and not

to mention her family had totally trashed the Windows XP install. Well,

after finding out how much it would cost to fully repair the laptop she

decided to sell it to me for a fraction of what it was worth in working

order, and went out and purchased a new system. Fine by me since I am

able to repair the notebook myself saving myself huge savings in the

process.

Over this past week I have reformated the notebooks drive, installed

Windows XP Pro, acquired the official drivers cd from Averatec for this

laptop, and purchased some used parts off of Ebay to repair the laptop

with. When done this laptop will become my portible development station

for working on USA Games projects. Not to mention all the extras this

system has. Here is a look at the laptop when it is fully restored to

working order.

My new laptop is an Averatec 6200 series notebook. It has a 2.4 Athelon

XP processor, 512 MB ram, 60 GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, 56K

modem, both a wireless and standard network card, a dvd/cd burner,  a

firewire port, a touchpad, AC97 audio, and of course a 15 inch

wide-screen display. One of the really cool things about this laptop is

that there are buttons on the front of the unit which allows you to play

dvd movies directly in the computer as a portable dvd movie player

without having to boot in to Windows XP. Simply press eject on the

drive, insert dvd, put it in, push play on the front of the unit and you

have a 15 inch wide-screen portible dvd player. Pretty slick.

In addition, to the hardware I am upgrading the software on the system

mainly to my own personal taistes. The unit came with Windows XP Home,

but I am putting on Windows XP Pro instead with service pack 2. I Am

also placing on there Visual Studeo .NET 2005, Window Eyes 5.5,

Microsoft Office, Goldwave 5, Quicken 2006, Nero 6, and will be

multibooting the system with Ubuntu Linux 6.10. All and all once I am

done reparing and restoring the system back in to working order this

laptop is going to be my primary development computer.

I have two other computers besides this new laptop, but my old laptop is

starting to show it's age. I have given that one to my wife to use for

her photos, games, and whatever and will use my new laptop for work and

play. My desktop system is pretty close to the specs of the new laptop,

but unfortunately it isn't very portible. I often used my desktop, since

it was the better computer, for working on USA Games stuff, but I am

away from home so much I never had the stuff with me when I was away.

Now, with a laptop equal to , and actually better than my desktop PC I can

take all the USA Games projects, real work, games, and anything else

along wherever I go.



Asteroids News



As most of you know a couple of weeks ago I mentioned beginning an open

source Asteroids project written in C#.NET to teach gamers the art of

game programming using a classic Atari game as an example. This project

is doing quite well. I have been working on a sample engine framework

for the game in which all of you can use in your future game titles. In

fact, I may use the new framework myself as I made sure to do strict

error checking, and I am taking pains to be careful and debug the

framework so that those of you newbies won't make to many mistakes based

on my own blunders and or errors. As a result the new classes I wrote for

the Asteroids game are better than my own framework files which I wrote

a long long time ago without going back and making the changes I am

doing now for Asteroids. What you will get with Asteroids is a set of

classes that should be stable and a good starting point for writing new

games.

You will first get the USA Games Audio Class. This class file contains

higher-end functions which will allow you to quickly open, close,

position, etc up to 99 DirectX DirectSound buffers. In addition the

Audio class allows you to load files in to speech buffers for speech

playback to self-voice your games.

Next you will get the USA Games Formula class. This class contains many

common math formulas you will need to write games. Most of the functions

thus far in this class are Algebra/Trig functions. This engine framework

file is used to calculate a 2d trig based game. You will have

calculations to calculate the distance between to objects, be able to

calculate next x/y coordinates, calculate percentages, randonly select

numbers, and other related type formulas and functions.

You will also recieve the World class. The World class is a class

containing a 2D array. In short a special structure which can be used to

hold the location of every object or item in the game and can easily be

accessed using the provided Encounter, Add, and Remove functions I put

in to the class. This class is especially handy for drawing mazes like

you might find in Montezuma's Revenge.

In games like Asteroids the world class is an easy way to detect if your

next x/y position will land you head long in to an  Asteroid, blackhole,

Star, or similar hazard.

 Over all, the framework being used in open source Asteroids can be used

over and over again in new projects. What stuff that can't be used over

again is a working example of what you might do to make your own next title.

In addition, to code Asteroids is going to be a better-than-average

clone of the classic arcade game. The sound effects and music are

expected to be as cool as I can make them, and I am adding some other

random elements like extra flying saucers, space worms, and other

enemies and dangers which were not present in the 1979 classic.



Thomas Ward

President of USA Games Entertainment

http://www.usagames.us



++

News From VIP Gameszone

Nov 28, 2006



Dear friend!



Hot Holiday gift from VIPgameszone (software for the blind and visually

impaired people)! New game package "Super sport" is available for

download now. There are 2 new games in this package.

"Beach Volleyball" is a sports game. It will simulate Beach Volleyball with
some restrictions.

"Funny bowling" is not a simulator of real bowling. We've designed

special rules for this game to make it more accessible and more fun.

Each game has natural human voices and multiplayer features. Please visit

to download and try these new games.

http://vipgameszone.com



Yours sincerely

VIPgameszone team



+++

Game Announcements and Reviews:

Below are some of the new games available.  Though an old treasure or

two may be discussed also.  It's noteworthy that in some cases it's only

an announcement of a game, taken from the email list, and may not be a

full review,    or an official notice from the developer.  Reviews of games
will not  appear in any particular order. The only exception to this will be

when  we have more than one review for a game. In this case, reviews will be
placed consecutively so that it is easier to compare them.



++

Azabat software game reviews



A Look at Azabat Software Games

Commercially available from:

www.azabat.co.uk

All games fully accessible without sighted assistance

Reviewed by Michael Feir



When I returned from my week away at Lake Joseph this Summer, I was so well

rested and rejuvenated that I couldn't sleep. Over in the UK, a large

blindness convention called Sight Village had taken place during that week.

I had followed the exciting launch of the free Thunder screen reader while

on vacation but hadn't had time to investigate any other developments. I did

so that insanely early morning with the help of Google and couldn't believe

it when I stumbled across a site on the Web talking about an accessible

version of Backgammon. Early in Audyssey's history, we had a contest running

sponsored by an American woman who was an absolute Backgammon fanatic.

Sadly, none of the developers known to us at the time produced an accessible

version of that game. The contest eventually closed. My personal excitement

at having at last found a developer who offered an accessible version of

Backgammon was therefore tempered by my inability to contact her and share

the terrific news.



In 2005, Steve Crawford began working on accessible games. He has a very

different target market and philosophy than the majority of current

developers. Simply put, he's looking out for the absolute novice user who

isn't necessarily up to complicated installation and registration. There are

currently four collections of games designed to run straight off CDs that

you just stick in your drive. No registration is required either. More

skilful users may copy the games to their hard drives and keep their CDs

ready as backup. In this era of increasingly tenuous game ownership where

games are tied to the computers they're first installed on, this is an

absolute breath of fresh air. Once you buy a collection of games, you

actually <gasp> own them! They're yours for life! If your current computer

goes belly-up suddenly and you have to get a new one or reformat from

scratch, you can just stick in the game collection CD and bleed off some of

that stress playing Backgammon or Scrazabat. You don't have to worry about

that registration key you failed to back up or convincing the developer that

you genuinely need or deserve a fresh product code for your new/reformatted

computer. Some developers charge fees for such replacement codes. To be fair

about this, the developers who use more stringent security are quite

reasonable in such matters where unusual circumstances exist. A short delay

is likely all customers will have to worry about while their record is

checked.



One of the first things I did in my contact letter to him was to try to give

him an idea of the lay of the land in terms of what such seemingly high

prices and no copy protection would lead to. Even with very strong

countermeasures, piracy is a definite problem in the accessible games

industry. His response to this was quite surprising. We have here a very

kind and thoughtful man who is genuinely determined to put the customer's

rights and experience first. I fervently hope that the blind community at

large rewards his generosity by purchasing his games legally rather than

sharing them illegally. As a relative newcomer to accessible game

development, he's been learning some unpleasant lessons over the past months

that I have been in communication with him. He's eager for customer feedback

and addresses issues quite quickly. I've already received several updates to

the strategy games collection which I view as his absolute best work to

date. If you're not impressed by his other offerings, be certain to read my

remarks about the fourth volume. He has also lowered his prices by twenty

percent.



With the preamble out of the way, lets get right down to the games.

Inserting an Azabat Software CD into your drive will normally bring up a

fully self-voicing menu which lets you choose among the various games. I

have to qualify that because some people might run into some trouble if

their firewalls prevent programs from running each other without having

first received permition. My laptop is protected by the Sunbelt Software

firewall which behaves like that. The first time you run the menu and/or

each of the games, you might want to keep your screen reader loaded so that

you can deal with any firewall issues. None of the games access the Internet

at all. Assuming normal running circumstances, you should disable your

screen reader before inserting the CD. You won't need it until you've

finished playing. The games all speak using the same easily understandable

female voice. There's no way to alter the speed of that voice and this might

prove annoying for more veteran gamers. However, having a slower voice can

be a bit help to novices who normally wouldn't take the plunge and try

playing games.



All games use a number of standard keys. The f1 key is the gateway to a

game's online help. Hitting f1 will cycle through one or more sections of

instructions which are read aloud. The f12 key is always used to quit a game

and return you to the menu of the collection of games being used. The f9 and

f8 keys are used to start new one or two-player games respectively. Other

keys are used as required. Everything is quite easy to grasp leaving people

free to enjoy mastering the actual games rather than the interface. Even

complete computer novices shouldn't find anything too taxing.



Each of the four volumes has a particular theme. The first volume contains

an assortment of



games which are "easy to play". These are Blackjack, Yahtzee, Klondike and

Connect Four. Right from the word "go", we run into one of the main concerns

I have with what Mr. Crawford brings to the table. In many cases, you're

paying for games which can easily be had from the Internet for free. Without

even trying, I can point you to Jim Kitchen and Spoonbill Software where you

can get excellent and even superior alternatives to three of the four games.

I'll use Yahtzee as an unfortunate illustration of what I'm talking about

here. The Azabat version is certainly done well. I didn't encounter any

bugs. It is a single player game which plays the standard version of

Yahtzee. There are minimal sound effects mainly consisting of dice rolling.

Both versions offer easy interfaces although Azabat's interface is

definitely more simplified. Jim Kitchen's version of Yahtzee offers the

ability for multiple players and also offers the ability to play double and

triple variants of Yahtzee. Other than the slightly simpler interface and

much easier installation, it's hard to see experienced gamers being very

happy having paid for Azabat's version of Yahtzee when it's compared with

Jim Kitchen's free one. This same kind of thing holds true for other similar

situations where free alternatives are out there. There are definitely

people who will be served well by Azabat's hallmark simplicity. They just

don't think they have the time it would take to learn to handle

installations and other such things. It's also good to be able to use these

games on anybody's computer and have no accessibility issues or security

limitations to worry about whatsoever. As I said before, that is a major

plus in my book. Schools, senior centers, and other places serving many

blind or visually impaired clients should definitely consider purchasing

these games. Also, keep in mind that some alternatives there are for totally

blind people won't be as suitable for visually impaired people since they

won't necessarily have graphics. Spoonbill Software definitely includes

graphics. However, Jim Kitchen's games are made strictly for blind people.

Therefore, if you're dealing with situations where there are sighted

participants, Azabat Software's work may be better suited than others for

you.



Most collections have at least one game which hasn't been done by anybody

else either as freeware or commercially. In the case of Volume I, that game

is Connect Four. The game is quite well done and lets you play against the

computer. I surmise that this was one of Mr. Crawford's first efforts at

making board games accessible as it doesn't offer the ability to play a

two-player game. Other than that shortcoming, I didn't find anything else to

criticize about Connect Four. The interface is as simple as it gets. There

aren't any sound effects except the sound of the counters being dropped into

place. However, in this case, it's hard to think of other sounds which

should have been there. Some background music may have been nice but that's

about the only frill I can think of for this game which might have been

included but wasn't. There are three levels of difficulty which adds some

additional replay value to this title. Another bonus is that the difficulty

automatically adjusts depending on whether you win or lose a game. This will

doubtless be appreciated by novices who won't have to think about the

difficulty level but should still be challenged according to their perceived

ability. This one game certainly isn't worth the price of the whole

collection. However, you can also buy single games at a lower price. People

keenly interested in having an accessible version of Connect Four should

consider buying it. It's too bad there's no two-player option. Due to this,

others will likely find the bang not worth the buck.



The theme of volume II is word games. You have six in that collection and

five of them have no free alternatives. There are, of course, several

Hangman versions available. Azabat's rendition is certainly no slouch coming

with a large dictionary to draw words from. However, it offers absolutely

nothing over other free renditions. Countdown is a simple game where you

draw up to nine letters which can be either consonants or vowels and then

try to find the longest word possible with those letters in as little time

as possible. The computer will find numerous words and you can hear them

after you've done your best. You can read over the letters with the left and

right cursor keys. However, you can't either type in words you've thought of

or rearrange the letters to find words. You have to do all that sort of work

in your head. Another game in this collection, Numbercrunch, suffers from a

similar kind of problem. You have to reach a target number by using other

numbers. While you can review the numbers, you can't perform operations on

them except in your own head. After you've done your best, the computer can

let you hear a solution that it found using the numbers chosen. This lack of

interactivity leaves the games feeling very thin. Target fairs a lot better

as you can type in words as you find them. It also times you. Different

levels of difficulty presents you with increasingly harder target numbers of

words to reach. Wordsmiths ought to be pleased overall with this collection.

You shouldn't run into repeat words very often at all and the games are put

together well. However, there are no atmospheric bells and whistles. That's

another aspect of Azabat games which veterans of other accessible offerings

will likely find disappointing. Particularly with games like Backgammon or

other games commonly played in social environments. A lot of room exists for

creative sonic ambience, background music and so-on. Frills like that can

lend a degree of weight to the player's overall experience. As a comparable

example of this, check out GMA Games's free version of Minesweeper. The

exact same game as you'll find in the next volume of Azabat games, but the

presentation gives Mr. Greenwood's free version far greater urgency and

class.



Volume III is the grid games volume. It includes Sudocu, Memory, Battleship

and UXB which is an accessible version of Minesweeper. This collection

suffers the most from the "available for free" problem. Versions of all four

games are available free on the Internet. As



with the first volume, the free versions are as good or better than the

Azabat versions. Again, I'll clarify that it isn't due to a lack of quality

workmanship. It's more due to the makers of the freeware games caring very

passionately about their creations and doing commercial-quality work. The

version of Sudocu is certainly one of the better ones. It allows you to save

puzzles and enter in your own puzzles or ones you find in newspapers. I had

no difficulty at all using the interface and encountered no bugs at all. I

just have no inclination or aptitude for actually solving those Sudocu

puzzles. If this inclination were to strike me one day, I have Spoonbill's

excellent free Sudocu, a free online version from Audiogames.net plus

Draconis's offering as an alternative commercial offering. Other than Space

Invaders-style games, I can't think of a game which has more quickly gone

from being inaccessible to there being almost too many accessible versions

out there to make any more commercially viable. There's a significant

qualitative difference between the free and commercial Space Invaders style

games. No such differentiation exists between free and commercial versions

of Sudocu. It's the exact same game. The Battleship game is similarly on par

with other free renditions of that game. You and the computer shoot three

times in a row which somewhat changes the feel of the game. Also, you don't

get to place your ships. That doesn't really make a bit of difference in the

game but people who enjoy placing their ships might not feel that they've

had a complete Battleship experience. The Minesweeper game is another

brain-blasting logic game which I don't personally favor. Having said that,

Steve offers all the bells and whistles like marking spots you're not

certain about and other such features. The trouble is that GMA Games's David

Greenwood has a freely available version which comes complete with sound

effects and is just as easy to use. Jim Kitchen's Concentration version and

Spoonbill's Sudocu are easily as good as Azabat's takes on the games and

they don't cost a cent. With money being as tight as it is in the blind

community, I find it very hard to imagine that many people couldn't just

take the small amount of time and effort to learn how to install and play

the free versions. Even the effort to find out about them is so minimal that

all a complete novice needs to save quite a chunk of change is a friend or

trainer with a little awareness, time, and patience.



And now we move out into brighter territory. I have high hopes for the

future of Azabat Software. This will no doubt surprise people who have read

this far into my Azabat overview. Again and again, I've had to point out how

free and often superior versions were available of much of Mr. Crawford's

work. Keep in mind that we're talking about a man who came completely new

into the whole area of accessible games. He simply wasn't aware about what

others had already accomplished prior to his arrival. Also, his focus was on

a very different target group who simply wouldn't be aware of the

competition. However, I've saved the best for last as you'll now see. These

hopes I have are founded largely on the excellent fourth volume which I'm

about to dissect for you. The fourth volume consists of strategy games. It

includes Backgammon, Dominos, Draughts also known as Checkers, and Scrazabat

which is an accessible version of Scrabble. Talk about an impressive group

of titles to nicely remedy the lack of good accessible computerized board

games! This collection is where Mr. Crawford's talents and attention to

detail shine through with a vengeance. There are no free or commercial

alternatives to any of the four titles here and I've seen request after

request for information on accessible versions of all of them. The only area

of weakness is in the area of extra frills and presentation. You often find

this in similar collections for sighted people. In Canadian dollars, you're

basically paying just under a hundred dollars for a collection of four games

when you throw in shipping. This is around $72 US according to Azabat's

handy currency conversion options on its price list. Frankly, for that kind

of money, I think people expect to get all the extras a developer can

conceive of. The comparison between production values and prices  of other

very different accessible games is simply as unavoidable as it is somewhat

unfair. Making an arcade game accessible entails an entirely different set

of objectives and solutions to accessibility problems. As an example of how

this kind of thing breaks down, you can buy four titles from GMA Games for

$95 US. These four titles, for example, might be GMA Tank Commander, Shades

of Doom, Lone Wolf and Pacman Talks. These are some of the top game titles

out there. All four feature well-done sound work and lots of replay value.

However, they are, by nature, pretty much exclusively attractive to blind

people. Also, they have limited objectives. Small things such as the exact

placement of tanks change from game to game of Tank Commander. However, the

overall six missions don't change. Once you've beaten them, you're not going

to encounter anything truly unique within a subsequent game. Lone Wolf

doesn't suffer from this limitation as much since people can create new

missions. However, the point basically holds true. You have fantastic

presentation. Sounds and ambience put you right in the middle of what feels

like an epic adventure when you're really caught up in the game. After you

have completed the game once, going through it again just doesn't have the

same kind of thrill. You'll have fun and fresh moments, but you've already

had your cherry high. However, the action experience combined with the sound

artistry leaves you feeling fairly compensated for your cash. These games

exude that "larger than life" feel which leaves the gamer feeling satisfied.



What you get with the Azabat strategy games collection are four very well

done but basic versions of  classic time-tested board games. There's just

the one female voice at one unadjustable speed along with minimal sounds.

All of them allow for one or two-player games between blind and/or sighted

players. Those who are after flashy sounds and pulse-pounding excitement

should definitely look elsewhere. There is no background music, alternative

AI-driven players with different styles, internet play capability, etc. If

you go in with the same high expectations that I had in terms of this sort

of thing, you might find yourself pretty disappointed. Take a step back

though and think things through as I had to. I promise it won't hurt. If

you're into more thoughtful slower-paced endlessly fresh play, you have come

to the right place. It's similar to purchasing an Infocom collection of text

adventures or one of the



new offerings from Malinche. Text adventures don't have the same endless

replay value but offer a similar kind of thrill to avid readers and

adventure-lovers. Outright game play which isn't propped up by sound and

music artistry are what's on tap here. Azabat's strategy games collection

gives those of us capable of making that mental leap a very rewarding

experience which can be shared even with our sighted visitors. Often, our

grandparents and elderly friends are left floundering about trying to grasp

the basic fundamentals of modern computer entertainment. These same people,

however, will be able to plunge right into a good game of Scrazabat,

Backgammon, Checkers or Dominoes. What these games lack in frills, they can

make up for in cultural significance and wide familiarity. Can you put a

price on the value this might have to families with blind members? That, I

think, is where Azabat games truly fill a niche which is largely untapped in

the accessible games market other than somewhat by Allinplay's accessible

card games.



Lets start with Checkers or Draughts. You can easily examine the board,

select and move pieces using the cursor and enter keys. There are six levels

of difficulty to choose from as players become more experienced. I can't

think of any way this game could have been done better. Everything you'd

expect in an accessible game of Checkers is right there for you. I mean,

would you really want noises of a children's party or cartoonish music

playing in the background? Would it add a ton to the actual game play

experience to have pieces sonically pounce on each other? You want the

actual game of Checkers in an accessible form and that's exactly what you

have. I picture a lot of parents, grandparents and children having quite a

bit of fun with this game. I have similar thoughts for Dominoes. It offers a

game of standard Dominoes for either one or two players. There are sounds

for dominoes being mixed, placed, and for when you have to knock and pass

your turn. The computer will give you lots of help. It tells you when

there's only one possible move and offers the ability to get hints by

pressing f2. You're also told when you or your opponent have three or fewer

dominoes remaining. A simple old-fashioned game done in a simple

straight-forward way. Your average senior citizen won't think it would be

easier to make a physical leap over their apartment rooftop than making the

mental leap to learn how to play a game of Dominoes with their blind

relative.



Scrazabat, an accessible version of Scrabble, is an absolute masterpiece. It

offers one or two-player games, has basic thirty-thousand word and advanced

hundred-thousand word dictionaries, can give recommendations to stuck single

players, and can zoom in on parts of the board for those with some useable

sight. Hard indeed to imagine how Scrabble could have been made more

accessible. There is certainly room for improvement here in terms of

atmospherics and options such as tournament facilities, optional time limits

on moves, more than two players and other such additions common to versions

of Scrabble for sighted computer users. However, these additions might be

viewed as daunting for some novices. Changing between the basic and advanced

dictionaries is done with the tab key. It's apparently possible to beet the

computer player since it doesn't look ahead more than the current best move.

Even English majors like me would be very hard-pressed to vanquish the

computer though. It's quite easy to examine the board and look for more

strategic options which take advantage of special squares.



Finally, we've arrived at my personal favorite. Backgammon is done in about

as perfect a manner as one could want in terms of accessibility. The points

on the board are numbered sequentially from one to twenty-four. You use the

left and right cursors to move between the points, the up and down cursor to

select the die you want to use when it's possible to use either die in a

location and the enter key to make a move. The space bar toggles between

providing three types of info. It will inform you which die values are still

useable during a move, where you or your opponent are vulnerable having only

one piece on a point, and how many pieces each player still has on the

board, on the bar, and born off. For me, Backgammon has just the right

balance between luck and skill to make it absolutely fascinating. The only

aspect to the basic game which isn't present is the doubling cube. I can see

how Mr. Crawford, attempting to keep things as uncomplicated as possible for

novices, reached his perfectly sensible conclusion not to include this.

However, more experienced players and the kind of enthusiasts for the game

that the woman who ran the contest in Audyssey was aren't going to like this

lack of the ability to play for points. I can still hear her voice in my

head going on about the doubling cube and how much it added to the game. For

the sake of completeness, facilities for playing for stakes and keeping

track of them should have been included. Along with differently focused AI

players and background soundscapes suitable to the game, I can't think of

anything else one would think should be included. It's a very nicely put

together implementation which plays a good single-player game. The

two-player capability provides for tremendous replay value and lets you

share the fun with those who are interested whether they are blind, visually

impaired or sighted.



Well everyone, there you have it. I hope this helps you make an informed

decision about Azabat Software's titles. While more experienced gamers like

myself might wish Mr. Crawford had directed his efforts more towards games

which hadn't already been done, newcomers to computers in general will

hopefully enjoy this stepping stone he provides into the realm of accessible

games. Advanced users who like word or strategy games should check out the

second and fourth volumes as these are by far the most rewarding in terms of

original games not done elsewhere. The fourth volume in particular offers

enough replay value to be well worth its price assuming you're not too

isolated from others and have people who'll enjoy playing against you. Even

purchased for play against the computer alone, the fourth volume would make

an excellent addition to a blind gamer's collection. Now that Mr. Crawford

has been introduced to the larger accessible games market, he has a far

clearer perspective. There's a lot of room for more original board games,

turn-based games with random and strategic elements, etc if he chooses to

pursue that route. These aims would certainly make good use of the skill
he's

demonstrated so far. Alternatively, he may have as yet untapped audio skills

and surprise us all with a completely different kind of fun. Whatever the

case, he comes out of his first year with, I suspect, all the really hard

knocks behind him. I keenly look forward to seeing what he turns to next.



Michael Feir

Creator and former Editor of Audyssey Magazine

1996-2004

E-mail: [email protected]



++

  This came my way in an email awhile ago and it announces a free game
created by Jose Alvarez.  This version offers some interesting differences
from the norm.



Dear Ron Schamerhorn,



I will like to publish the release of a free new game for blind persons in
the

next Audyssey magazine issue.



The game is called Tiflo 21, and is an inclusive version of the popular

blackjack card game.



The game can be played either in English or spanish.



The game contains graphics and is self voicing. The game is for Windows.



For more information and to download the latest version of the game, please

visit:

http://www.manolo.net/tiflo21e.htm



Thanks for your attention,



Jose M. Alvarez

www.manolo.net



++

Haunted Factory

Review by ? *my apologies as there was no name included*

Available commercially from Mithral Games for Windows

http://www.klangogames.com

Game fully playable with no sighted assistance



Now for a more conventional Audyssey game review.  I can still remember
trying out "Change Reaction" back several years ago.  Unfortunately, I was
one of a small number of folks who actually found the game frustrating.  I
figured it was difficult to navigate quickly around the game board and move
coins about on it.  Subsequently, I'd thought about what it would be like if
a traditional Tetris-style puzzle game could be invented.  The only options
I saw in doing this would be to have sound-emitting blocks continue to emit
sound even once they reach the bottom of the game board, which would,
needless to say, become odiously confusing.  On the other hand, memory could
be used in place of repeated sound.  I wasn't sure how feasible this was
until Mithril Games, based out of Poland, released just such a game this
summer.  In "Haunted Factory", you control an assembly line which transfers
various types of packages.  A package will start at the top of the screen
and emit a specific sound.  It will begin moving down toward the end of the
conveyer belt which is the playing field.  Your goal, as the assembly line
superintendant, is to move the package to the particular column on the
assembly line which you feel is most likely to help you earn large sums of
money, which represent a player's score in the game.  You accomplish this by
pressing the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard.  Like in "Tetris
Worlds" for the Play Station 2 (which happens to be a personal favorite of
my wife's), pressing the up arrow speeds up the motion of the conveyer belt,
thus propelling the package toward the end, where it will sit temporarily.
Not to worry, though.  The people opposite you on the conveyer belt will
only load one package onto the conveyer belt at a time.  When a package
reaches the bottom, one of two things will happen.  If a package is in the
same column or row which is identical in type to the package currently in
play, the two will be wiped out and you will earn some money.  If not, it
will remain on the belt until a mate is found for it.

As you can see, the game takes good memory and some deduction to be
successful, as the game is billed by the designers.  One must remember what
types of packages are where on the conveyer belt.  This can become
disorienting at times, as the belt may be four, five, or six columns in
width, and is seven rows deep.  As if this were not enough, more difficult
game modes equals a more diverse and wider range of packets and a wider
conveyer belt.  For instance, the trainee mode presents you with a
four-column assembly line and six types of packages to transfer.  On the
"director" mode, the most difficult skill level I've unlocked, the line is
six columns wide and you are responsible for fifteen, count 'em, fifteen
different types of packages.

I make no jokes when I speak of "different" types of packages.  One error
that Mithril Games made, in my not-so-professional opinion, is that to the
untrained or inexperienced ear, the possibility is not entirely remote that
one may confuse two or three package types with one another.  One would have
to play the game to understand my meaning.  Suffice it to say that some
packages do not sound diametrically different.  I am only successful because
my ears are trained to distinguish fine shades of sound quality.  This may
or may not be true for every user.  This observance is neither in favor of
or opposed to other users.  I simply believe it is the one thing Mithril
Games might have done a bit differently.  As for unlocking difficulty
settings, it is actually rather easy to accomplish.  One need only earn one
hundred dollars on any difficulty level except trainee to unlock a higher
difficulty mode.  On the other hand, this is no easy feat in manager mode,
where you unlock director mode by earning one hundred dollars.

To spice things up a bit, you have a Mr. Slate-esque foreman who's never shy
about keeping you in line.  Huh?  Did.did you like that pun.was.was that
funny?  Naw, it sucked, I'm sorry.  Your foreman doesn't have time for
jokes, either, as you'll find out.  Just brace yourself if you decide to
quit in the middle of a game.  Even directors aren't immune to managerial
reprimand.

Okay, so it's not all shards and heedless words and Dante's Inferno.  There's
always Bob the friendly ghost.or something.  He's always one hundred percent
behind you, and in front of you, and beside you.  I mean, he's a spirit, so.
Anyway, pause the game at some point and listen to his whacky stories.  I
haven't checked any of them out, but if any of you wish to, simply press the
space bar for that.  Press escape if you're bold enough to quit midstream.

Menu navigation in "Haunted Factory" is a bit nonconventional.  I surmise
that part of this stems from the game's creation via the Klango development
application, which is still undergoing changes and improvements, but may be
available to beginning programmers in some months.  One navigates the menu
by pressing the left and right arrows to highlight a menu option and by
pressing the enter key to select the highlighted option.  The options are:
beginning of work, tutorial, training department, best workers, and founders
of the factory, with an option to the far right to exit.  If you choose
beginning of work, you will be asked to select a skill setting.  To start,
only trainee and stiff are available.  The tutorial will unlock an audio
lecture about game play.  The training department opens a submenu, with
introductory training, which is the same as the tutorial in the main menu,
directions for use, which is a guide to the game's controls, a sound index,
two options which describe various skill settings, and an option to return
to the main menu, one which is found on every submenu.  The best workers is
fairly straightforward, listing high scores on the local machine.  Founders
of the factory is a credits option which introduces you to the game's
creators.  Or, you can exit altogether.

I would rate this game at nine out of ten.  I find myself confronted by the
question whether one can really keep fifteen different package types in one's
head at once, and whether some will not be confused by certain packages.
Barring these two minor shortcomings, Haunted Factory serves as a stunning
puzzler for VI gamers, and certainly worth a look for those who are
interested.  Gamers must be prepared to pay $22.90 for the game, however,
This game certainly forces the mind through a pretty challenging regiment,
and Mithril Games' staff is to be commended for a most brain-teasing trip
onto the macabre side of puzzle gaming.



++

Fantasy Golf Course



Hi Everyone,

I've just started building a game on frappr maps. It's a fantasy golf course

game where you create your own course by choosing one hole from 18 real

courses. I have just created the space for people to come and play so this

is the first invitation to come and try it out. Create a free account to

join the map members and away you go.



http://www.frappr.com/fantasygolfcourse



Hope you'll help me build this fantasy golf game and make it a success.

Please spread the word too if you will.

I'm interested in the idea of maps as game facilities. Please share any

other ideas for maps too. I'd be interested.



cheers,

Nick



++

CHILLINGHAM

Commercially available from

http://www.bavisoft.com

Reviewed by JOHN SNOWLING



SYNOPSIS

You are Freddie.  Your sister has been collecting information for a book.
At some point, she goes missing.  It is up to you to solve the clues and
find her.



REVIEW

I enjoyed this game because it got you thinking.

The first time I played this game I was stuck on a particular part for
months until someone gave me a suggestion.

With this game, you need to listen to the clues very closely.

I also liked the attack scenes where you have to fight the witch, werewolf
and vampire.

The only down side to the game for me was the bug collecting,  was a bit too
repetitive.



I would give this  8 out of 10 and can't wait for Chillingham 2.



++

GRISLY GULCH WESTERN EXTRAVAGANZA

Commercially available from

http://www.bavisoft.com

Reviewed by  JOHN SNOWLING



SYNOPSIS

You are in the town of Grisly Gulch.  You can go to the saloon, play games,
and do bounty missions for the marshal.



REVIEW

Out of the two games from Bavisoft, this was my favourite.

It had plenty of twists and different story lines.

I found the shooting effects very realistic.  There were times during the
robbery or shooting scenes nothing would happen for a couple of minutes then
it would happen all at once.



I'd give this 8 out of 10 as an audio game.



++

Online Hangman

(from http://www.AudioGames.net)



Net Systems Solutions have created two Hangman-games in Flash, which were
made accessible for screen reader and keyboard users using different
methods. Adobe (who recently took over Macromedia, the company that
developed Flash) encourages screen reader users to try these games to see
what people's reactions are to each of these versions. Please give these a
try, with a screen reader of your choice or with just the keyboard, and let
us know what you think. Response content will be shared for all to see on:

http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/2006/08/two_accessible_flash_games_whi.html.

Here are the links to the two versions of the game:



Example 1.1: http://www.n-syst.com/hangman1.htm

Example 1.2: http://www.n-syst.com/Hangman2.html



Greets,

Richard



++

Online poker sites



Hi all,

Yes, I brought this up some while ago, but I better tell you what sites I
have tried.  I have tried them with Window-Eyes, and not JAWS.

www.partypoker.com

With the help of the mouse keys I was able to sign up for a playMoney
account.

I had difficulties selecting play money or real money tables.

Once I managed to select a table I could view the ongoing game. The cards
are shown as text on the table,I  dont think that your own cards are shown
as text

though. The cards are shown as 10C for ten of clubs, 8H for eight of hearts,
and so on.

There are hot keys for folding, calling, and raising. I was not able to take
a seat at the table either. I clicked on every graphic but with no luck.
Maybe

it had to do with the fact that i was at a real money table.

www.absolutepoker.com

They have keyboard shortcuts for most functions but Window-Eyes crashed with
their client, but it was some time since I tried it so maybe it will work
better

now.

www.pokerstars.com

has no keyboard access so it's not possible to use.

Also, some of the installers are not accessible at all. I have tried a few
more but with simular results.

I really hope that someone else is interested in maybe testing and telling
us how it goes. I have also written to most of them, but their interest is
not that

big.  I have also posted to several online forums, and have recieved some
comments but nothing that makes it possible to play as of yet.



All the best and thanks,

Christian



++

Popomundo

Available online at www.popomundo.com



Hey all;



Just to let everyone know, I found this cool game, popomundo from

www.popomundo.com



If you like Hattrick, it kind of has the same stuff VIP, etc, but

it's bands, and it's cool because unlike project rockstar [if anyone's

played that before], you don't just create a band. You have two

options. One, create a band. Be the actual band leader. Or, have your

friends sign up and join a band that they create. Either way, your

band needs members, and the members are actual players because in

this game you have a character and the best one, it doesn't reset so

all that hard work isn't lost at the end of the month.



In fact, the creaters of this game, apparently to people on wikipedia

are the same as Hattrick, and the summories of shows, concerts etc

are, well, not all that detailed, but they put different messages in

there so it's not just numbers, as the matches are detailed in

hattrick. The reports that is.



I've only seen one show, so I don't know. Perhaps they get even more

detailed as you progress through and get more fame.



So I like these two games both Hattrick and popomundo. Yeah I'm doing

a bit of comparing here between the two games, the forum layout is

the same, links are similar and the design of the popomundo website

is easier to navigate than hattricks.



So I play a character named Anthany Woodcock so if you search for me,

cool. i'm in a band called Bandage as well, so you can look us both

up. I say both because there's only two of us. So, if anyone wants to

join, we have slots open, though I won't get into much detail here,

just because I don't really wanna make this into a guide.



See you in the Popo world!



Orin



++

Games at asmodean.net

Raul Gallegos's website containing various audio reviews



I have an audio game page located at http://games.asmodean.net where I

talk about my favorite games which are mostly for blind people. In this

section under the game audio link there are many audio recordings of me

playing my favorite games. These recordings feature me by myself for the

most part but also occasionally feature my kids as well. Some are just

games that I've played whether I win or not. In those I just talk about

what ever comes to mind and maybe give a hint or three in the game.

Others are actual audio walkthroughs. I have the first 17 stock missions

of Lone Wolf available as well as walk throughs for Super Liam, and GMA

Tank commander arcade mode. Of course the Shades of Doom walkthrough I

did last year is still there.



Second part. I'd like to tell the gaming community about my son Tristian

who is now ten years old. He's been playing Troopanum from BSC games

since he was 6 and has gotten better and better. In the summer of 2006

he beat the game for the first time. I believe Justin from BSC games

said that Tristian is the youngest player he knows of who has beaten

Troopanum 1.6. The game he won was also recorded and is featured at my

games site.



+

Raul has been a member of the community for quite some time now, he
possesses a good knowledge of a variety of games.  I encourage people to
take a look at the above mentioned section of Asmodean.net



++

Self Destruct

Abandonware



Hello all!

OK, you can now download the game SelfDestruct here:

http://robin24-server.dyndns.org/selfdest116abw_setup.exe

Enjoy!

Robin.



++

SHOW DOWN

Freely available from pb-games

Reviewed  by JOHN SNOWLING



SYNOPSIS

This is the blind version of table tennis.

You have to get the ball into your opponent's goal to score two points while
if you hit the ball out of the table you give a point to your opponent.



REVIEW

At first when I downloaded this game, I couldn't play it for love or money.

After I'd heard a review from the Blind Cool Tech website, I began to play
the game and now get much enjoyment out of it.



I'd rate this game as 7 out of 10



++

Sound Voyager

Commercially available from Nintendo



Hi,



A member of the AudioGames.net has submitted a nice review of SoundVoyager
on GameFAQs.com. You can read it here:



http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/gbadvance/review/R104724.html



Greets,

Richard

http://www.audiogames.net



++

 "Space Channel 5: Part 2"

Reviewed by Bryan McGucken

Game commercially available for the Play station 2 game console

Fully playable with almost no sighted assistance



In recent years, dancing simulations have enjoyed a good deal of success and
trendiness in the gaming community.  Games such as "Dance Dance Revolution"
and "Bust a Groove" have enjoyed popularity with most gamers.  I say most
because, unfortunately, these games rely heavily on a player's ability to
perform dance moves based on visual cues, such as arrows or the like.
Obviously, blind gamers would have a difficult time playing such games
without extensive sighted assistance, especially since rhythm and timing are
crucial.  One must have fast reflexes and good hand-eye coordination to play
such games.

It should come as a pleasant surprise, therefore, that AgeTec, who is also
known for the "Armored Core" series of games, has produced a title for the
Play station 2 game console that, with a few easily remedied exceptions, is
fully playable with absolutely no sighted assistance.  "Space Channel 5"
only cost me $8.99 used at Gamestop in the summer of 2005, two years after
it was released in North America.  The game itself is actually a "special
edition" which collects the original game released for the Sega Dreamcast in
North America in June of 2000, itself not nearly as accessible, with Space
Channel 5: Part 2, the subject of this article.  As if this weren't enough,
"Space Channel 5", unlike many dancing simulations, has an actual story
line, albeit one which is, at times, on the campy side.  In "Space Channel
 5", you play Ulala, voiced by live action anime sensation Apollo Smile,
just about the hippest fashion reporter this side of the Andromeda galaxy.
Our scantily clad heroin is, as it turns out, also one heck of a dancer.  To
guide Ulala on her adventures are Fuse, played by Kerry Shale, who won't
hesitate to crack the whip if Ulala's dancing starts to flounder, and Noise,
played by Alan Marriott, always behind Ulala one hundred percent and with an
encouraging word every now and then.  Throughout her adventures Ulala will
be joined by other goofy characters, and the player will alternately control
these at various points during the adventure.

In "Space Channel Five", the basic object is to have Ulala copy the dance
moves of her opponents.  This is done using the four directions on the
directional pad of the Play station 2 controller, as well as the x and
circle keys, located on the bottom and right-hand portion of the diamond
formation of buttons on the right side of the controller, respectively.
Throughout the game, instructions of an audio nature are given to the player
about what buttons perform what functions.  A dance sequence is performed,
with the directions spoken aloud, followed by a magical noise, and the
player repeats them.  If she repeats all moves in a sequence without making
one mistake, a doorbell style sound is played and the next sequence is
started.  If one or more mistakes are made in a sequence, a buzzing noise is
played, and the next sequence is initiated.  If enough mistakes are made,
the player's game is over and she must choose to continue, restart the
level, or exit.  She can do this in any event by pausing the game to bring
up the menu.  For instance, when the player hears choo in a given sequence,
he can have Ulala perform that move by pressing the x button on the
controller.  When the player hears hey, she presses the circle button.  So,
for instance, if the player hears the sequence "left, right, left, right,
choo, choo, choo" she would repeat it with the sequence "left, right, left,
right, x, x, x".

That's not all, however.  One has to perform these moves in the exact same
rhythm as they are performed by the opponent.  The game makes use of
syncopation in many cases to challenge the player at repeating the rhythm.
Syncopation involves notes or sounds not exactly played on the beat.
Sometimes the rhythm can be oblique, in other words.  Additionally, Ulala
has the chance to jam out on an electric guitar, play the drums in a jazz
number, and shout it out with Space Michael, played by a man who never quite
grew up.  Then again, how many of the Jacksons ever grew up?  As an example,
Ulala is challenged by rival reporter from channel 42 Pudding, played by
Larissa Murray, to a test of dueling guitars.  Ulala must mimic Pudding's
licks, and the player helps her accomplish this by pressing down on the
directional pad in the same rhythm as that of Pudding.  Suffice it to say it
takes a while to take Pudding down.  The same rules apply to Ulala's dueling
drums test with Pine, or Texas as she will later be known, and her
shout-it-out contest with Space Michael.

There is one small issue in the game that is actually easily worked around.
The game, divided into six levels, or "reports" as the game refers to them,
has a few sections which would require visual acuity to play.  Generally,
the rhythm sequences are spoken aloud, as are other additional instructions,
for the benefit of the player, who then repeats them on the controller.  In
two parts of report five, however, the player is required, at least in part,
to perform sequences based on visual cues.  These can be avoided by pausing
the game, holding down the R1 and R2 keys, and pressing, in order, circle,
triangle, and square keys.  Triangle and square are located top and left on
the diamond formation, respectively.  Resume game play, and Ulala will
perform the moves herself without input from the gamer.  For those who are
not satisfied with this, a walkthrough of these sections is forthcoming.
Note that the visual elements occur in the first section of Report Five and
the last one, where one must distinguish the real president from the fakes.

The game has two modes, campaign mode and challenge mode.  The campaign mode
is the default menu choice when the game starts.  It is called "1 player
game", although the menus are not spoken aloud.  Press down on the
directional pad twice to reach "1 player Ulala's dance", a challenge mode in
which the player must complete a set number of rhythm sequences without
making a single mistake.  The campaign mode is more liberal in its margin
for error, but not by much.  There is also an optional settings submenu, for
which interested players should seek sighted assistance.  To access the main
menu, players should wait until they hear the phrase "ladies and gentlemen,
this is space channel five", and then press start.  There is some
introductory audio at the beginning that may be heard or skipped by pressing
start.  In the challenge mode, instructions are given because different
dance moves are performed that yet use some of the same buttons from the
story mode.

Our story begins with Ulala delivering a report about an unidentified dance
troop.  The troop turns out to be working for President Purge, who's bitter
about who-knows-what, but by golly he's gonna teach those humans how to
boogie!  Yes, that's right kiddies, you have to dance President Purge to
death!  As the game progresses, Ulala meets and interacts with many
different friends and foes, and some of the latter become her allies when
she defeats them in dancing tests.  President Purge will develop a ballistic
groove gun, which he plans to use for universal domination.  Ulala's not
about to let him pull it off.  It's just too bad that the more she slugs it
out with Purge, the stronger he seems to become.  The game ends with a final
showdown between Ulala and Purge and, you willing, she'll put him out of the
galaxy's misery once and for all.  Okay, not really.  You actually have to
play through six reports twice to win altogether.  Your progress is
automatically saved if you have a memory card.  To continue from the last
report you ended on, select the story mode, wait a few seconds, and press
left on the directional pad once to highlight the last report you left off
on.  It will be useful to have a sighted friend calibrate the game to
automatically save progress to the memory card when you play the game for
the very first time.

Think you can dance, dance, dance your way to glory and into the hearts of
the galaxy's biggest Ulala groupies?  If so, you'll see a whacky ending
where strange midgets parade across the screen to the unique, unparalleled
stylings of musical sensation Danny Ishio?  Naw, I don't know who that is
either, but "This is My Happiness" is a really upbeat tune.

In the interest of full disclosure, SC5 has a fairly high learning curve,
especially if you're not a musician, even an amateur one like I am.  Even I
had to work through a few sections of the game a few times myself to get the
hang of it.  The game is brilliantly designed, and receives high praise, a
ten out of ten from me.  There are even some quasi-ethical sections in the
game as well.  For example, President Purge uses his kidnap victim,
President Peace, as a human shield during report four.  The catch is that
the gamer must perform the opposite moves of her opponent to avoid hurting
President Peace.  For example, "left, right, left, right" would be followed
by the user inputting "right, left, right, left".  Folks, this game has
something for everyone.  I'd highly recommend this game to anyone who's
always wanted to try a dancing simulation or likes a good, heartfelt story
line.  In the end, there's one life lesson to be gleaned from the game:
never give up, no matter how hopeless things may seem.  The music is, all
around, upbeat and catchy, even though some of it makes me feel like I'm
stuck in the seventies.  The plot twists are unexpected in many cases, at
least the first time one plays the game.  The game has some replay value,
although once you've played through the game, you've done all the move
sequences you'll ever perform, since they aren't random.  This might prove
an interesting innovation if a sequel is released, as is currently rumored
and hinted at by the game's designer.  Even considering this, the game is
still a challenge for me even now, and most of you will agree, I think.  The
game is rated T for suggestive themes, but who's gonna notice?  Okay, I
guess some of you will.  *grin*  The voice acting is goofy at times in the
anime sense, but well-done.  All in all, if one can look past the sometimes
stilted dialogue, this game is definitely worth a look by novices and
hardcore gamers alike.



++

3D SNAKE

Freely available from pb-games

Reviewed by  John Snowling



SYNOPSIS

In this game, you have to pick up as many pieces of fruit as possible.

The only slight problem is that you have to avoid hitting the walls
otherwise, you will be destroyed.



REVIEW

This game is based on a mobile phone version that sighted players play.  In
the sighted version, I am led to understand that every time you pick up
fruit or items you grow.

In this one, however, you move faster and as some of the fruits are close to
walls, you have to get the fruit without touching any walls.



I like this game because it does get very tense as it gets faster.

I'd rate this one 9 out of 10.  Thanks to Pb-games for inventing this one.



++

Trade Wars®: Tournament Newsletter from Sylien Entertainment<?

November 2006



Welcome to the first newsletter edition of our exciting new project, Trade
Wars®: Tournament.  EIS and Sylien Entertainment have been working very hard

to get this far in developing a brand new graphical version of the 22 year
old classic.  We will use this newsletter to give you news on any upcoming
Sylien

project, promotions and interesting partnerships.



Want to be involved?

To  start off, we are excited to tell you that we've created a new web site
where you will not only be privy to the most recent information on this game

and its development, but may also actually become involved in the
development itself.    The Club's intent is to serve as a community of
like-minded people

who want to be involved in designing Sylien games including the new Trade
Wars® product, as well as being creative with their own projects, whether
graphically,

musically, in development or design, as well as creating a space where
interesting partnerships can spawn freely.



The new site is called the <

http://www.syliengameclub.com/>Sylien

Game Club and you're welcome to take a look by clicking on this link:



http://www.syliengameclub.com



To celebrate our reaching this milestone, we've decided to give away some
free or reduced price Trade Wars®: Tournament registrations.  Registration
keys

would be handed out when we reach our next big milestone, which is when the
product is close to completion.  This is a way to hold a registered copy at

reduced price (or totally free if you have your own TW2002 License key).  It
is a limited time offer as we'll want this place to be dynamic and catering

to the member's whims.



>Check out our new site and let us know how we've done!



>Sylien Game Club Team



TWT Development news



Right now, Sylien is involved in creating a brand new video that will show
how Trade Wars®: Tournament will be played, full with graphics and drama
(ta-da!).

It will be posted first on the <

http://www.syliengameclub.com

web site to get some advice and guidance from the registered members,
afterwards we will probably distribute it throughout the Internet to see

what other people might think of this "old" game remade.  Sound cool?  Wait
'till you see the game layout!



We are planning on releasing a first version of the game as soon as the
first quarter of 2007.    If we can get it out sooner, we will, but we want
to

make sure the game works, is fun, and worth your valuable time to play.  I'm
sure you will want to get in there and run a server or play a game with new

graphics and a brand new interface, just as we do, ASAP.



>After our initial work is done, we'll strive to provide options that you've
>never seen associated with Trade Wars® before, like wireless/handheld
>device

access to games, a 2D MMOG casual aspect where you get to play around with
an Avatar inside StarDock (a famous Trade Wars space station), and play
Sylien-hosted

ranked Tournament games as well.  Lots of good stuff.  But these will take a
few months to develop after the first bit is released.



The good news is that even though this product is commercial, we managed to
keep Trade Wars®: Tournament play and hosting of games FREE.  You would only

pay for added value items, upgrades and services.



Cool no?



Thought you might like it.



Other products



On other news, you should be aware that Sylien Entertainment is not a
one-trick poney.  Trade Wars®: Tournament is just the first product of a
series of

products we have designed and have planned for release next year and beyond.
Plus, if we have sufficient input from the community through great game
design

ideas, proposals and a good success with this initial product, we might even
develop several other games within the next 12 months.



We have an original 3D MMOG in the pipeline as well as another completely
free to play and totally accessible product designed.  We're also tinkering
with

a few other great ideas for the future.



The question we're asking ourselves is whether or not YOU will be involved
in our journey to success?  How?  As a player?  Or as a designer,
programmer,

artist, storywriter, partner?  Everything is possible through the Sylien
Game Club and the other resources where you can connect with Sylien
Entertainment.



Speak with you again next month where we will give you development news and
perhaps even show you a few things from Trade Wars®: Tournament development

as it unfolds.



Stay tuned.



Sylvain Rochon

Sylien Entertainment information guru



+

>From an earlier post regarding the Trade Wars, and the survey is still
available to fill out if you are interested.



Oct 14, 2006

This message is being sent to you on behalf of EIS Online the developers and

owners of Trade Wars 2002.



Dear Trade Wars fan,



As we approach the 20th anniversary of the original release of Trade Wars

(December, 1986), I am pleased to announce that I have reached an agreement

With Sylien Entertainment to develop a long-overdue graphical remake of this

classic game.  But before we can proceed, we need your help.  Because Trade

Wars is 20 years old, I have lost touch with all but a small percentage of
its

fanbase.  Unless we can reach out to this fanbase and prove that interest in

Trade Wars still exists, we will be unable to secure the funding necessary

to complete this project.



To accomplish this, we are running a small survey to estimate the number of

people who have played or hosted Trade Wars over the years.  By answering

this one-question survey, you will enable us to demonstrate the great
potential

of a new Trade Wars project.  Nothing else will be required of you, but if

you choose, you may request to receive a monthly Trade Wars newsletter with

updates on our progress.  And if you really want to help out, you can

complete an optional, more extensive survey.   We would love to learn more
about your

experience with Trade Wars.



The survey is located at

http://www.sylien.com/survey.php



For this effort to succeed, I need you to forward this email to anyone who

might be in contact with a past Trade Wars player or game host.  Most of

them have been away from the game for many years, and this is our only hope
of

reaching them.



Thank you for helping us to update this classic game for a new generation of

gamers!



John Pritchett, EIS

[email protected]



++

Top Speed 2



Please download the new Cars from the Vehicles folder. They are:

Ambulance.zip, Plane.zip, Prop.zip and Train.zip.



Here's a reminder on how to get to my ftp:

Ftp Site:

djc.my-net-space.net

Username: PlayingInTheDark

Password: racing



+Remember no passive mode on DJC's ftp, and it can also be accessed using
internet explorer.



+++

Contacting Us



All material for inclusion  in upcoming issues of Audyssey should be sent

to me at the following address:



Ron Schamerhorn

1180 Dorval Dr. #303

Oakville On L6M 3G1

[905]-842-1933

Or if you would rather email your contribution to me:

[email protected]

or

[email protected]

and to chat find me at

[email protected]

for Windows/MSN messenger only, no email to this one please.



+++

Distribution Information and Submission Policies



This magazine is published on a quarterly basis, each issue appearing

no earlier than the fifteenth of the publication month for its quarter.

All submissions to be published in an issue must be in my possession a

minimum of two days before the issue is published. I use MS-Word to

produce Audyssey, and can therefore accept submissions in pretty much

any format. They may be sent either on a 3.5-inch floppy disk, or via

e-mail to:



[email protected]

or

[email protected]



  Please write articles and letters about games or game-related

topics which interest you. They will likely interest me, and your

fellow readers. This magazine should and can be a

highly interesting and qualitative look at accessible gaming. To insure

that high quality is maintained, I'll need your

written contributions. I reserve the right to unilaterally make changes

to submissions if I deem it necessary to improve them grammatically or

enhance their understand ability. I will never make changes which will

alter the spirit of a submission.

All submissions must be in English. However, people need not be great

writers to have their work appear in Audyssey.

Many of our community come from different countries. Others are quite

young. Where possible, I try to preserve their

different styles of expression. The richness that this adds to the

Audyssey experience far outweighs any benefits

gained from having everything in prose so perfect as to be devoid of

life. Audyssey is a community and magazine built

on the need for blind people to have fun. There are no formal

structural requirements for submissions. Within reason,

they may be as long as necessary. Game reviews should all clearly state

who created the game being examined, where it

can be obtained, whether it can be played without sighted assistance,

and any system requirements or other critical

information. Although profanity is by no means banned, it should not be

used gratuitously. Submissions not published

in a current issue will be reserved for possible use in future issues

if appropriate.



* Those who are on the Audyssey  discussion list should be aware that I

often put materials from the list in the "Letters" section if I feel

that they warrant it.   Anything posted to this discussion list that in

some way stands out from the common and often lively ongoing  discourse

will be considered fair game for publishing unless it contains the

author's wish that it not be published. From now on, this is official policy
of the Audyssey community.

This magazine is free in its electronic form, and will always remain

so. I'm writing this magazine as much

for my own interest as for everyone else's. Your articles, reviews, and

letters, as well as any games you might care to  send me, are what I'm

after. Send any games, articles, letters, or reviews via E-mail, or on

a cd or 3.5-inch disk in a self- addressed mailer if you want your

media returned to you. Please only send shareware or freeware games. It

is illegal to send commercial games unless you are their creator or

have obtained permission to do so. By sending me games, you will do

several things: first, and most obviously, you will earn my gratitude.

You will also insure that the games you send me are made available to

my readership as a whole. If you can, I recommend that you send e-mail.

I can send and receive attachments with ease. This way, no money will

be  wasted sending me a game I already have, and you'll get my reply

more quickly. You are responsible for shipping costs. That means,

either use a disk mailer which has your address on it, and is either

free matter for the blind, or is properly stamped. I can and will

gladly spare time to share  games and my knowledge of them, but cannot

currently spare money above what I spend hunting for new games. I

encourage all my readers to give my magazine to whoever they think will

appreciate it. Up-load it onto web pages and  bulletin board systems.

Copy it on disk for people, or print it out for sighted people who may

find it of value. The larger our community gets, the more

self-sustaining it will become.

Due to Audyssey now having it's own official domain

http://www.audyssey.org

is where you can go to sign up for either of the two lists.

  The magazine only list is just that.  Extremely low traffic as all that
comes through it is issues as they are published.

  The second list is the discussion list.  This list can often be rather
high traffic as topics come up.  Sometimes it's an announcement of a new
game title or discovery, and other times it can be discussing issues about
gaming.

  The former lists at Yahoo groups are going to be shortly discontinued.
The discussion list itself has been deleted.  The archives are still
viewable and can be located from the Audyssey.org website.  The magazine
only list [email protected]

Will also be deleted from the Yahoogroups site.  I hope by including the
above information that this transfer to our own lists goes without any
snags.  The discussion list has changed problem free and all is set up for
the magazine only distribution list as well.

 I feel this is a step forward for the community as a whole.





All are welcome as long as they respect their fellow community members

and keep in mind that the topic of the list is supposed to be games.

Other topics are allowed within reason as long as they don't begin to

monopolize the list traffic for too long. Newcomers should be advised

that  traffic is frequently fairly heavy.  Anyone participating in the

discussion list will have issues of Audyssey automatically sent to them

via E-mail. Representatives from all major developers of games for the

blind are actively participating on the list.  There are two moderators

keeping things civil and orderly. Be certain to read the Audyssey

Community Charter as all list members are expected to follow its rules.

If you want an active role in shaping the future of accessible games,

this is where you can dive right in. To subscribe to this discussion

list, go to the Audyssey.org site and follow the links.



Stan Bobbitt has made Audyssey Magazine available in HTML format for

easy on-line browsing. To take advantage of this, you are invited to

visit our home-page. People can easily and quickly navigate through the

various articles and reviews, and directly download or visit the sites

of the games that interest them. This will be of especial benefit for

sighted people who wish to make use of Audyssey and/or join the growing

community surrounding it. The Audyssey community thanks Mr. Bobbitt for

his continued efforts on its behalf in this matter.



  Darren Duff also provides a home for Audyssey.



http://www.angelfire.com/music4/duffstuff/audyssey.html



Where the issues can be read, downloaded individually or one zip file

of all the issues.  Thanks Darren!



Another location to find Audyssey current and back issues is



http://www.audiogames.net/page/audyssey



Thanks to Richard and those at Audio-games!



We extend our gratitude to Kelly Sapergia who has provided a place for all
the issues of the magazine. .  You can find them at



www.ksapergia.net/audyssey.html


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