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Audyssey;Games Accessible to the Blind

Issue :  50 1st quarter, 2007

Edited by Ron Schamerhorn& Sylvia Alvaro

 

Fun, Friendship, Knowledge, Charity

 

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Welcome

Welcome to the  50th 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.

In this publication I've attempted to pack in a whole bunch of great
information about gaming and the ongoing developments that are taking place,
also I'm pleased to say as far as I'm aware this time we have an Audyssey
first!  So read on!

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.

 

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Contents:

Welcome

>From The Editor

Letters

Dreaming Games

Phil's Funnies

Classic Board Games

Word Puzzles

Audio Games and Windows Vista

A tribute to Judgement day

News From Game Developers

Game Announcements and Reviews

Contacting Us

Distribution Information and Submission Policies

 

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>From the Editor

 

  Gretings all

  Now I present to you Audyssey issue #50.  It's funny to think it's been
that many issues.  Most of which were put together by Mike, but I'm now on
the tenth one myself and time has indeed seem to have flown by.

  This issue I think has a vast amount of great content.  You'll find some
very interesting word puzzles, a review of Sryth written by yours truly, and
to the best of my knowledge an Audyssey first!  That's right!  Gaming
poetry!  A tribute to judgement day.

  One thing I'd noticed more this time around was that even though there's
lots to be read, #50  somehow appears smaller.  Maybe the fonte size is
microscopic?  Just kidding.

On the developers front the shorter list would seem to be those we don't
have some sort of update from.  This first quarter has brought quite an
array of both free and commercial titles to the community.

  One in our midst has made the jump to the new Microsoft Vista OS, and
graceously written about his findings on compatibility with the various
titles and what tweaking can be done by the user to have the games work.

  There are some very informative reviews, and also several announcements in
the appropriate section for the reading.

  I realize this issue is a couple of days late and apologize about this.
Life is hectic presently due to scheduling having my apartment painted, new
carpet installed, and most importantly wedding planning.  Which is just
under two months away.  On this note I'd also like to thank my fiancé Sylvia
for helping me with editing this issue.

  My mailbox is always open, all right now without further ado I bring forth
the current magazine!

 

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Letters

  In this section the content is taken from the list primarily, but may also
include something I receive directly.  Generally these are of course game
related, but perhaps not a review or announcement as such.  Sometimes it
might just be someone's thought's about a game or genre of game.  I hope
these prove interesting and informative.

 

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Ron,

 

You can print this if you like, but it's mainly a bit of encouragement and
feedback.  I will not be alone in being a silent but appreciative reader of
Audyssy.  While I enjoy reading Audyssey, I find I have no contribution, in
terms of a review,  that could not have been made a year ago.  While I am
interested in reading about all accesssible games, I only have the time and
motivation for games with a heavy strategic element.  There is  a lack of
such strategy games, and I quietly await the next release.

 

Keep up the good work,

Martin.

 

+

Martin thanks muchly for the above letter, it's always good to have feedback
from my readers.  I'll also say that even if a game has been reviewed before
there's no rule about doing another.  Reading about your perspective on a
certain game would be great.  Hope you enjoy this issue of Audyssey.

 

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Do you play the Jim Kitchen Golf game?

 

Hi.  My name is John Snowling.  I am a member of the FGA For The People Golf

Association Committee on the chat site for-the-people.

On the site, we have quizzes, music, movie theatre and of course golf.

We host a golf tournament each month.  Members use a small program called

quickmix which helps in saving  configurations of their sound cards to allow

others in a golf room to hear their game.

if your interested in learning some tips and tricks to a good game of golf

or you've never played but are interested in getting started visit

 

www.for-the-people.com

<

http://www.for-the-people.com/>

and become a member.

My handle on ftp is Snowy Owl.

 

Hope to see some of you soon.

 

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You know, there are a few blind people who have never heard of accessible

 games. They just play mainstream games, and I think that if the developers

 were to make there games accessible, then a lot more blind people would

 jump at the chance to play them, me being one of them.

 

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But it goes back to convincing devs to make their games accessible, since

they're not just going to do it. We'd have to find out just how many blind

gamers there are out there, how many of them would play games that

mainstream devs made accessible (and probably a whole lot of other

information), then get someone who's actually interested enough to consider

what we found out. Even once we get all the statistics you have to have

someone willing to learn, and not all mainstream devs are. They're either

afraid of how much it would cost, or they don't want to be known as an

"accessibility company," whatever the heck that means. They seem to think

that making accessible games, even if they built a toggle into their game so

that each player could have it set up the way he or she wanted it, might

tarnish their reputation or make people take them less seriously.

 

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You can't force accessibility, for the reasons mentioned by Che and because

"accessible" is a subjective term. What is accessible to you may not be

accessible others. I make games for blind and partially sighted people but

they won't work with a Braille display so people who are Deaf-Blind can't

play them.

 

Game companies respond to the market but gathering a few dozen signatures

isn't going to change anything. Everyone here knows that the market is tiny

and few developers are managing to sell more than a couple of hundred copies

a year. Yet, there are 2 million people registered blind in the UK, I don't

know how many more in the US, and I've just read that India has almost half

a million blind children. The potential market is massive but until game

developers can penetrate this market, it's going to go unnoticed.

 

+

The previous letters were part of a very good talk we had on list about
accessible games and the mainstream market.

 

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Hi Folks,

NPR.ORG has a stereo version of the blind game story you can listen to at:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6669943

Phil

 

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HI all

I've moved to a new boarding place so it will take a while for my

telephone line to be transferred so I have  to use my work computer to

send posts for a while .  I find it more often that sighted people

sometimes don't understand blind people properly.  The need to be

educated how to  understand  and handle blind people.

Something which really bothers me is that my mom thinks I'm wilfully

breaking my keyboard. Sometimes when she visits me, and I'm playing pipe2

and I'm hitting my control keys very fast to shoot the thugs, she will

say:

'Be more carefull with  your keyboard, son. Don't smack it'.

The more I try to explain to her that it's the way  I play the game, the

more she tells me:

'Its not necessary to smack the keyboard'.

Have you also experienced it  that  sighted people think you are smacking

the keys? What is the correct way of explaining this? I'm sure sighted

people that play games on a play station will also hit the joystick

buttons hard  when the enemies  appears speedily.

Sighted people need to   understand that we are  using our computers as

play stations, to play games. If  I'm in the middle of a battle

especially with dark  destroyer, I'm immersed into the game world. AT

that stage I'm not thinking of it as keys on a keyboard  that I'm

hitting very hard, I'm    imagining it as a gun I fire forcefully to

kill the enemies more efficiently.

When   I type a document for example then its wise not to hit the keys

too hard, but in a game its something different.

How can I  explain this to sighted people that think I'm trying to break

my keyboard?

 

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  I can completely agree with the prior letter.  I've not had anyone tell me
about breaking the keyboard but I know I'll hit the buttons with more force
when launching a rocket at my nearest adversary, or avoiding incoming
ammunition.

 

++

Has anyone experimented with the different versions of Sudoku that are
designed with the blind in mind?  I would like one that can be used with our
screen

readers so that I can hook a 40 cell braille display to my desktop PC and
look at the puzzle using it rather than relying on speech.  Suggestions??
Thanks.

 

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This came from one of the discussion members, and I'm not sure if an answer
was ever found or not.  Perhaps someone knows a workable solution.

 

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Dreaming Games

By Brandon Hicks - hicks.brandon2 at g mail dot com

 

HardCore Audyssey readers may remember that I wrote an eppisode of Adam the
Imortal Gamer a fair few issues back.

Well, now I'm back to explain about my favorite genres of accessible games,
and ones I hope will come out.

I think how I'm going to do this article is to state a favorite genre, then
give some examples of games I wish could show up in it. Keep in mind that
these are just my wishes. I realise that there aren't any mainstream
development companies in the accessible game market, that it's 3 or 4 people
coding games so some of these are no where close to possible. I also think
that there would be more of a chance for some of these games if more
developers like PCS and GMA colaborated on a game. For example, Draconus
Entertainment, GMA, USA and PCS could get together and work on a game,
putting all their experience together to make one wapper.

I'm a big fan of first-person shooter games like SOD and, if I could get it
to work, Kill All Zombies and Technoshock. Although I'm not having much luck
with that one either. I like that there's things that test your reflexes,
you have to aim and avoid traps and such. They're, for the most part,
fast-paced action and you don't need to figure out tricky puzzles. You just
shoot and keep going. I don't particularly like or dislike the violence part
of it, that's not why I play them. It's more just because they're easier for
me. I've never been all that good at problem and puzzle solving, so these
are good games to play.

A few games I wish could be ported, or changed a bit and put into the
accessible game market are older games like Blake Stone and

Wolf'nStein. I like those ones because you have to go along the rooms
hunting for more than just data wafers and killing monsters. You get
treasure, lives and all sorts of good stuff. Another thing I find exciting
about those games is that there are secret levels. For example, on the copy
of Wolf'n Stein that my cousin and I used to play, you could go to level 1
and find a specific secret passage. In that room there was a further
passage, which contained an elevator to level 10. I wish there was a game
out there that contained secret passages, secret levels, treasure, money,
ammo, and interesting stuff like dog food.

      Something that I liked about Blake Stone was the variety of monsters.
There were ones that didn't really die unless you used a specific weapon,
others that you had to shoot before they hatched, stronger ones and weaker
ones. Another unique thing about Blake Stone was that there were informants.
These were just random guys that you could find. They could give you
messages about the composition of the level, where a weapon was located, how
many enemies there were and I think there were other messages. I don't
remember them all, but no game, especially in the Blindness market, has that
type of feature. I'd love to be able to play something similar to these old
favorites.

Another of my favorite genres is racing. I really enjoy Top Speed 2. I think
the folks at Playing in the Dark did an awesome job on it. I also enjoy Mach
1 from Jim Kitchen. I'm really looking forward to USA Raceway. That's the
racing game I wish could be possible, and soon will be. I'd also like to see
a game where you race motor bikes specifically, so there were all sorts of
tricks and stunts you could do on your bike and, depending on the bike, some
would work well and some wouldn't. The better and more stunts you do, the
more points to go along with your finish position in the race. This sounds
similar to a game for the Play Station called Road Rash.

Before I go further, I'd just like to say that my personal opinion is that
we should, if the mainstream market has or had a good idea for a game that a
lot of people like, recreate it as an audio game for the visually impaired
if it's able to be done. I recognize that this isn't the creative way of
doing things, but most of us have never gotten to play these types of games,
so this would be a first for us, or in my, and probably some others' case a
better version of an old favorite game.

The third and pretty much final genre of games I enjoy and have a lot of on
my computer, well the few possible to play anyway, are simulators. By this I
mean something that accurately recreates the experience of commanding a sub
or a tank or some other vehicle. I really enjoy Tank Commander and Loan
Wolf. I've also got somewhat of a space ship sim, that being an old
dos-based game simply called Space. There's a note taker version of this one
available from BPC Programs.

What I'd really like to see is some sort of space sim, maybe based off
Robotech or some such idea, Star Wars maybe, and a flight simulator, for an
F14 Tomcat or FA18 Hornet. I think the cool part about these games would be
that, especially in the case of the Tomcat, you need to have either a player
and an A I or two players, one pilot and one Radar Intercept Officer, so you
could do an online game or a network game. I'd definitely shell out 80 bucks
for a game like this that I could play.

 

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Phil's Funnies

Written by Phil Vlasak

 

Games we'd like to play.

 

Invasion of the Scren Readers.

 

The planet Earth is invaded by a race of small impish creatures who's sole

purpose in life is to sit on the shoulders of blind people and tell them

what is in front of them.

Unfortunately the Scren  have a lisp and can not pronounce all the letters

of the English language correctly.

 

Human: "What is on my screen, Scren ?"

Scren: 'It shays, Welcomz to Windowsh."

Human: "What did you say?"

Scren: "I shays, Welcomz toz windowsh."

Human: OK, what does it say below that."

Scren: "It shays  Yoush musht updatesh yours driversh befogs thish programsh

wilsh worksh."

Human: "Uhha, OK, How about making me a sandwich instead?"

 

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    Games we'd like to Play:

 

Judgment Glory  Days.

 

After saving the world from a group of countries bent on destruction for ten

levels, you enter the Boss level.

 You stand in front of the Boss in all his glory,

And backing  him up, the E street band.

>From the first note he plays on his guitar you realize that all hope is

lost.

The room is surrounded by ten foot speakers blasting

Born to Run all around you and you can't hope to hear him walk towards you!

With one quick smash of his guitar on your head you are defeated and crumble

to the feet of the boss,

Bruce Springsteen.

 

smiles,

Phil

 

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This was sent in by a list member by the name of Dark, however this would be
the correct section for it to be placed in considering all the ongoing
discussion about the Sara game.   Those who have read the HP series should
find this amusing.

 

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Dear audeasy list.

 

It has come to our attention that at 29 minutes past 6 on the 23rd of March,

the possibility of the actual, real or otherwise tangible existance of

wizards and the wizarding comunity has been discussed on this mailing list.

 

Such behaviour on the part of muggles, is in contravention of the Statute of

Secrecy, and the reasonable enforcement of unsolicited speculation act,

section 35-B, paragraph C.

 

Obliviators will be arriving at your places of residence directly to effect

memory modification, and a nastyvirus charm will be placed on all eclectic

or self-thinking computerized devices to remove all such information.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Yours sincerely,

Empathicus Dark,

Internet restriction and monitoring office,

Department of magical lore enforcement,

The Ministry of magic,

London.

 

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Classic Board Games

by Thomas Ward

 

All, at least most, of us can remember a time when we sat around the

kitchen table playing board games like Monopoly, Risk, Life, etc with

our friends and family. Which resulted in many hours of enjoyment. As

Audio and Video games become more popular many of these time-honored

games are rarely being talked about on gaming lists such as Audyssey,

or in magazines such as the magazine you are reading now. So let's

talk about board games for a moment, and hope many of them will become

accessible audio games in the future.

One of the earliest and time-honored board games is an ancient Chinese

game called Go. Most often the game is played on a 19x19 board with

one player taking a group of white stones and the other taking a group

of black stones. Some modern variants may use chips rather than stones

and some modern variants use board sizes of 9x9 or 13x13. No matter

which variant is played the game is basically the same.

The game of Go is a strategy game, and is today still one of the

harder board games to master. Unlike Chess black always starts the

game first, and once placed stones can not be moved. The primary

objective of the game is to capture as many territories as possible by

surrounding vacant areas of the board with your own colored stones. It

is also possible to capture enemy territories by surrounding your

adversaries stones with your own stones. The player who captures the

most territory, and enemy stones is the victor.

I'm often surprised as challenging and fun is the game of Go is I

haven't seen really any accessible versions of the game out there for

those of us with disabilities. Sure we can adapt a sighted copy of the

board and stones to our needs, but I'd like to see a really good audio

game version with a reasonably good AI player. even better yet a

network based version where I could compete with others interested in

this game.

Perhaps the most popular board game of all time is the game of Chess.

Chess is over 1300 years old, and has been played more than any other

game in history. It is a game easy to learn, but you can spend your

entire life mastering it.

The game of Chess is played on an 8x8 board of 64 squares of

alternating colors.Each army gets eight pawns, two bishops, two rooks,

two knights, one queen, and one king. The objective of the game of chess

is to play until the opposing king is positioned where the next move

would result in the king being captured by the opposing army.

Fortunately, for us Chess fans there are accessible Chess boards out

there, and a few accessible computer games exist. However, I think it

would be awesome to have a PC Chess game with realistic battle sounds

and network game play where we could hear the actual sounds of lances,

swords, and the clash of armor on a realistic battle field.

Another extremely popular game is Monopoly. Growing up it was

certainly one of my favorites. I own several additions of the game

myself, including: Star Wars Classic, Star Wars Revenge of the Syth, Lord

of the Rings, Disney, and the classic Monopoly game.

While Monopoly is nowhere as old as Chess or Go, it is a favorite among

families for group play. The object of the game is to own more property,

money, and assets than anyone else in the game. All player's begin at go

and the game does not finish until there is one player left with a

substantial amount of assets, a monopoly, and the other players are

bankrupt. More modern games such as the Lord of the Rings addition offer

special rules which will speed up game play and end the game earlier

than the typical Monopoly game.

I'm sure most of you who are reading this have no doubt heard or even

played Jim Kitchen's accessible Monopoly game. I myself have played it

for ours on end, and do enjoy the game. However, I do see areas where

even that version could be improved if Jim Kitchen were ever inclined to

make some updates.

One of the major features about Jim's Monopoly is a player can make any

board he or she likes and drop it in the game. That is really cool, but

falls short of completely converting the different additions into one

audio game.

 Most additions have different tokens which match the board being

played. For example, the Star Wars classic board comes with Obi-Wan,

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, and other Star Wars tokens. The

newer Revenge of the Syth eddition comes with Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan,

General Grevious, Yoda, and so on. While the tokens make no difference

in game play it is kind of nice to play with the actual tokens rather

than the classic dog, cannon, battleship tokens.

Another feature I truly wish for is a chance card editer. Many of the

different additions have matching chance cards that also match up with

the board. For example a Star wars eddition chance card might say,

"Captured by Imperial storm troopers go to jjail," and the Lord of thee

Rings eddition chance card might say, "captured by an army of Orcs go to

jail." The differences are small, but none-the-less adds fun and realism

to the game for true Monopoly fans.

Last of all some Monopoly games have unusual rule sets. I can certainly

understand why Jim Kitchen would decline to put them in, but they are

kind of interesting to play. As mentioned above the Lord of the Rings

version has a couple of unusual rules. Since I mentioned it I'll go with

the LOTR extra rules.

In the Lord of the Rings version there is an extra ring token that looks

identical to the one in the movies. If this token is played every time

the eye on the dice comes up the ring will move onn the board. When the

ring reaches Mount Doom the game is over weather or not a Monopoly has

been reached. the player with the most assets wins. It is a very fun and

interesting way to play the game, and often speeds up game play.

Another popular strategy board game is the game of Risk. It was

introduced in France in the 1950's and has gone on to be a very popular

game in it's own right. Amazingly there hasn't been any accessible

versions of this game produced that I am aware of.

The game of risk is played on a board with six continents and a total of

42 territories. There are a total of 6 armies and it can be played by 2 to

six players. For a two player game cards are drawn and used to determine

where the player's first territories are, and where he/she can begin

placing troops. the objective is simply to defeat all opposing armies

and take control of the world.

For you Star Wars fans there is a special addition of Risk called Risk

Star Wars Clone Wars. This version is played very similar to the classic

Risk with some aesthetic differences. In stead of infantry troops you

can command clone troopers, Jedi Knights, battle droids, etc. The board

contains a total of 6 planets and 42 territories in which to carry out

your galactic campaigns.

However, like many strategy games Risk can take between 1 hour to eight

hours to play depending on the skill of the players involved. Between

two skilled players Risk is one of those games that is very challenging,

and very fun.

Sadly, I've looked for accessible Risk games and they haven't been

designed. Perhaps I or another one of the accessible game developers

will produce one someday. Until then we will have to buy and modify the

boards and cards on our own to play this wonderful game.

The main reason I am writing this article is it seams so often we get

excited and caught up in the new games like Judgment Day, Sarah, and no

longer discuss older time-tested and time-honored games like the classic

board games. While I understand the accessible game developers want to

produce something new and interesting to play I also think some care

should be taken in producing some of the true classics and make them

as good as they can be. I've generally found some board games played

against a skilled player such as Go, Chess, and Risk have far more

replay value than Shades of Doom, Tank Commander, Judgment Day, Sarah,

which are good and are fun but are not quite the same as the classic

board games of yesterday.

One of the reasons I think this is so is the fact games like Chess and

Go stimulate deep thought processes and problem solving. Anyone can

learn to play in a few hours, but can spend the rest of his or her life

learning, getting better, and never fully mastering the game. It is that

learning process that makes the game addictive, and the replay value so

high. Hopefully, each game will be different and finding harder players

to match gives Chess, Go, and Risk some long hours of serious challenge

that new audio games just can't match.

 

 

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Word Puzzles

 

  This issue I'm glad to yet again bring some hopefully interesting and
brain teasing word play to my readers.  These aren't all from any particular
list just one's which I've managed to find in my email, and hope I'm not the
only one who can't always figure out the correct answer.   Enjoy and good
luck!

 

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This is pretty cool!!

now don't feel real bad if you can't figure it out - it's not obvious

See if you can figure out what all of the following words have in common:

 

Banana

Dresser

Grammar

Potato

Revive

Uneven

Voodoo

Assess

 

Are you peeking or have you already given up?

 

Give It Another Try

 

You'll kick yourself when you discover the answer. Go back and  look at

them again and think hard.

 

OK Here you go hope you didn't cheat

This is cool

Answer:

In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter  place it

at the end of the word and then spell the word backwards it

will be the same word. Did you figure it out? Most people do not.

 

+

Now for 3 trivia questions posted to the discussion list from Rich.  Thanks
for these!

 

++

Question 1

  A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms.

The first is full of raging fires,

the second is full of assassins with loaded guns,

and the third is full of lions that

  haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

 

Question 2

  What is black when you buy it,

red when you use it,

and gray when you  throw it away?

 

Question 3

  A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5

minutes. Finally, she hangs

  him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful

dinner together. How can this be?

 

The answers below...

 

Answer one

The room with the lions. As it was pointed out the lions would be dead after

not eating for three years.

 

Answer 2

Charcoal

 

Answer 3

The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed

it and hung it up to dry.

 

+++

Audio Games and Windows Vista

by Thomas Ward

 

Late in January 2007 Microsoft unveiled their newest operating system,

Windows Vista, to the general public. This new operating system has

allot to offer in areas of security, multimedia, a better web

experience, but how about audio games?

In this in depth article for Audyssey I would like to fill in the blanks

about audio gaming under Vista, from a Vista user's point of view, and

let you know in advance some of the technical aspects you will have to

over come to make Vista a good accessible game platform.

In Late February I purchased my own copy of Windows Vista Home Premium,

installed Vista from scratch, and then began testing games. One major

issue I was not yet aware of is that Windows Vista does not ship with

the DX8VB.dll file which most accessible games depend upon. So therefore

initially some of the games I tried such as Draconis Entertainment's

Aliens in the Outback and Pinball Classic failed to run. Once I

installed DX8VB.dll most of the accessible games I had installed began

working properly.

While I may have solved the immediate issue of how to get audio games to

work under Vista there is a lot of issues that are left open. If not met

head on by our accessible game developers this could have dire results

for the audio games market, and the future will be uncertain as long as

VB 6 and DirectX 8 are employed by our accessible game developers.

 From ample testing and research on the Internet I have learned that

Microsoft has dropped support for DX8VB.dll which is a major dependency

for most accessible games. It does not ship with Windows Vista, it was

not tested by Microsoft under Windows Vista, and future DirectX upgrades

will no longer come with this dll. As a result many VB 6 games and

applications will suffer under Vista and newer operating systems from

Microsoft.

In order to have this support under Windows Vista game developers will

have to ship a copy of DX8VB.dll with their applications. While this

will solve the immediate crisis of getting VB 6 based games to work

under Vista it does have some undesirable consequences attached.

According to the Microsoft DirectX ULA, end user license agreement,

DirectX components can not legally be shipped with a third party product

and must come packaged in the original Microsoft software installation.

However, Microsoft is already removing that dll from future upgrades of

DirectX for 2000, 2003, XP, and Vista. Making the option of simply

running a DirectX upgrade to get DX8VB.dll impossible. Leaving the end

user to copy the files to his or her system folder manually, or an

accessible game developer to pack the files as part of the game

installation. Both which are considered illegal by Microsoft, and are

paradoxically in violation of the ULA.

If the DX8VB.dll was the only thing to worry about accessible game

developers could probably just pack the file, and hope Microsoft never

says anything about it. Which would solve everyones issues, but that is

not all that needs to be addressed for operating systems beyond Vista.

This missing dll file is the start of what is to come from Microsoft.

As it currently stands Microsoft's new Vista os does not have prier

support for existing audio games. In order for existing game devs to

support Vista they have to break the ULA, an illegal act, which means

they are illegally running games on Vista, irony that it might be.

In 2008, ten years after the introduction of VB 6, Microsoft is going to

discontinue all support for VB 6. That means any support for 2000, XP,

and Vista for VB 6 will be all that remains for VB 6 based applications.

Many VB 6 applications no matter how new or old will be reaching end of

life cycles and must be upgraded to VB.NET or another language that

directly supports Vista and beyond.

For developers seeking to go .NET picking VB.NET may not be an ideal

solution either. For one thing current DirectX upgrades have mainly

targeted C++ and C#.NET with no examples and almost no technical support

for VB.NET other than that provided for through the common library

runtime and common managed interface.

As a result our current game developers best choices will be to go C++

or C#.NET to stay current with the times, and to go beyond

Vista.Otherwise existing audio game companies will eventually slowly

reach end of life cycles one by one and be forced to upgrade sooner or

later.

As for the end users and gamers out there there has already been

statements to the effect he or she won't upgrade to Vista until this or

that is changed. Unfortunately, sticking our heads in the sand and

refusing to upgrade won't make the issues go away, but only prolong

them. Newer computers are already shipping with Vista, and there are

roomers newer hardware will have a much closer operating relationship

with Vista. Such as new chips on video cards to add a greater layer of

security to video content and media. If true older operating systems

will become obsolete in a matter of a couple of years, though this is

just speculation.

What is known Microsoft is removing support for a lot of older

technologies, and this is going to continue throughout the life cycle of

Vista and on into the next os from Microsoft. We as blind developers and

blind gamers can not afford to be left too far behind in the technology

race.

For those of you who are ready to move to Vista, before upgrading, be sure
to back up your DX8VB.dll files and copy them to your

Windows system folder before installing any accessible games. While this

is not technically legal it will allow you to have the best gaming

experience for the moment in Vista.  Most games work well in Vista and

here is a summary of my findings provided the DX8VB.dll is installed.

The Draconis Entertainment Games passed. The BSC games Troopenum and

Pipe failed but free games like Bobby's Revenge passed. Kitchen's Inc

games passed. GMA Games SOD and GTC passed. PCS Games Sarah, Packman

Talks, and Super Dog Bone Hunt passed. GMA Lone wolf fails when using

screen reader support but works fine using Sapi 5 support. The USA Games

passed. Blind adrenalin Simulations Rail racer passed. Drive passes from

Audiogames.net.

In short most games should work provided you install the DX8VB.dll, but

developers really need to address this issue sometime in the next couple

of years. VB 6 is reaching it's end of life cycle, and such games built

with it are facing the same dire fate.

 

+++

A tribute to Judgement Day

By Everett Elam

 

Twas a hallowed night of december or so,

When guns and rockets fired.

I had to beat judgement day on hard,

Victory I desired.

My mind and soul were set on this,

My every fiber bent,

I'd rock Ather's world this night,

And survive without a dent.

So to the start menue I did fly,

To the L-works group I sped.

I pressed enter on Judgement day,

And in eight minutes I was dead.

Again and again I struggled,

Again and again I tried.

But thus at the end of an hour and a half,

All I'd done was die.

Then the lord did speek to me,

 Victory is at hand, sir!

I entered on hard, heard my weapons load up.

My fingers were a speeding blur.

Level 1, level 2, level 3 went by

I fired without a worry.

Bang and boom and chchchchchcbang said my gun,

My rockets were a shrieking flurry.

When things got worse my nukes had some fun,

Hurry! hurry! hurry!

A supernova lit the sky as ather was defeated,

I leapt and cheared and mooed.

I won Judgement day and hadn't even cheated,

Time for some much-needed food!

 

+++

News from developers

 

++

News about Audio Game maker

01/31/07

 

I'm really really sorry to have to post this, guys:

 

***

Audio Game Maker Delayed Until Further Notice

 

In the night of the 25th of January a huge fire destroyed all of the offices

of the Accessibility Foundation. Fortunately Accessibility was able to move

into a new office in the city of Utrecht on Monday the 29th, where we are

gradually building up our service to the usual level. Our

new contact information is available on our websites.

 

A beta-version of Audio Game Maker was supposed to be released on Thursday

the 1st of February 2007. Unfortunately this release date will be postponed.

Although the Accessibility Foundation is operational to a certain degree, we

are still in the process of gathering the necessary equipment and software

that is needed to continue the work on the Audio Game Maker.

 

We will continue development on Audio Game Maker as soon as possible but

have decided to delay the release until further notice. Future

information about the release will be posted on

http://www.audiogamemaker.com and http://www.game-accessibility.com.

 

On behalf of the team of Accessibility.nl,

Richard van Tol

 

More information and pictures (in dutch):

http://www.accessibility.nl/algemeen/nieuws?id=136

 

Richard

http://www.audiogames.net

 

++

News from Axe Software

03/09/07

 

Hi

 

I have just released Quest 4.01, a system for creating and playing text

adventure games. You can download it now from http://www.axeuk.com/quest.

 

In this release I have made some improvements to the support for JAWS and

Window-Eyes, following the feedback I received from this mailing list. Quest

now automatically speaks its text via the screen-reader, instead of SAPI.

 

This release also includes a few games from the new Quest games website

www.textadventures.co.uk. You can download more games from the site. (The

site includes a "play online" feature, though this doesn't work at all well

with screen-readers - JAWS doesn't spot the text being written to the

Internet Explorer window. If anyone has any ideas how this could be fixed,

please let me know! Until then I recommend using the Quest software to play

the games)

 

Thanks

Alex Warren

Axe Software

[email protected]

http://www.axeuk.com

 

++

News from Blind Adrenaline

03/08/07

 

   Hi all,

  Just a quick update to let you know that Rail Racer is nearly done.

  Unfortunately, my wife and I are in the process of buying and then moving

into a new house, so the project has been delayed.

  I hope to have the full release of the game ready in April.

  Also, there will be a demo of the game released at the same time that will

allow you to race a test track to get a feel for what the game is about.

  I will post another update as the game nears release.

  In the meantime, you can get more details about the game at:

http://www.blindAdrenaline.com

  Take care all,

  Che

 

++

News from BPCPrograms

12/20/06

 

Greetings Gamers,

BPCPrograms has returned, and orders for Treasure Hunt are once again

being accepted. Please do not

Email me asking why I had shut down; I will not answer your post. I have

received quite a few questions along those lines over the past six months

or so.

I hope this does not happen again however, and will take every precaution

necessary to prevent it in the future.

 

http://www.bpcprograms.com

 

Sincerely,

Munawar

 

++

News from Draconis Entertainment

12/03/07 --

 

There are multiple pieces of news to announce, so let's get right to it.

 

Introducing BlindSpots.net

 

Draconis Entertainment is proud to announce the launch of its newest

free service.

 

www.BlindSpots.net  is a social networking site devoted to the blind,

visually impaired, their friends, and families.  At BlindSpots  you can

showcase your talents and wares, keep a blog, and make new friends.

Other features are already available, and more will be coming soon.  To

learn more, sign up, or read our first BlindSpots editorial, (an

entertaining look at one blind man's adventures at Disneyland), please

visit www.BlindSpots.net

We want to hear from you.  Be sure to use the Contact Us page if you

have suggestions on how we can improve the service, or if you are

interested in submitting articles for the Editorials column.

BlindSpots, as a more robust and multi-purpose community portal, will

superceed the old Draconis Community, which has been discontinued,

effective immediately.

 

Changes to Technical Support

All Technical Support queries should now be submitted using our new

Technical Support Form.  When submitting a technical support problem, be

sure to fill in all fields on the form.  Technical support requests will

be attended to in the order they are received.

The new support form will allow us to more quickly and efficiently

respond to inquiries.  You can find it by clicking the, "Tech Support,"

link at our web site.

 

Draconis Entertainment

"Feel the power...wield the magic..."

http://www.DraconisEntertainment.com

http://www.DracoEnt.com

 

+

The below is copied in this section since Draconis is assisting PCS with
taking orders for the new game SCWW.

 

23/03/07

 

Greetings all,

We're getting drowned in countless emails about ordering this title, so

we thought we'd post and make a few things a little more clear.  Please

pass on this message to anyone you feel may benefit from it.

When you order Sarah, it is important to realize there are three

companies involved in the processing of your order.  Draconis processes

the order initially.  Once we receive verification that payment has

cleared, we pass the order to PCS Games, who in turn have GMA Games

generate the key for the game.  This entire process takes a little

longer than if it was just us generating key and processing orders for

our in-house titles.

If you order through PayPal, it may take a little longer to get

clearance for the payment.  Until we get that, the order is held.  Once

we do get it, it is passed to PCS Games.

 

++

News from Dreamtech Interactive

10/01/07

 

Enemy attack and Wrecking Ball are up again.  Here is the link.  Thanks,
Kara.

http://tbrn.net/modgirl/Ken's%20games/

 

Ken Downey

President

DreamTechInteractive!

 

++

News from Kitchens Inc

03/19/07

 

Hi,

 

I have put a new file up on my site.

File name wingolfx.exe  File size 1.7m bytes

In version 10 I have improved the way that the pitching wedge and irons work
in the sand trap.  Also it now announces the distance that your shot went
even when it lands on the green.  We have added 100 new descriptions that
you can use when creating a golf course.  I have separated the two programs
into the golf game and the golf course maker program.  When creating a golf
course you can now say if you want a pond next to the green or not and you
can now type in your own custom descriptions.

There are now 242 golf courses included with the game.

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

 

BFN

     Jim

Check my web site for my free blind accessible pc dos and windows games.

[email protected]

http://www.kitchensinc.net

 

+

03/14/07

 

I have recently added a couple of files on my free windows text to speech
games page.  One is SpeechXP.exe.  This will give you the free Microsoft
Mary and Mike voices if you are running Windows XP.

 

The other files are SpeechFull.exe.  This will install the sapi5 text to
speech engine and the three free Microsoft voices if you are running Windows
98, ME or 2000.  And I have put the sapi5 repair program deluserlex.exe on
my site as well.

 

HTH

     Jim

 

+

03/04/07

 

Hi,

 

I have put a new file up on my site.

File name wintgf5.exe  File size 78k bytes

Three new trivia files, arthurian legends, Harry Potter 2 and macbeth

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

 

BFN

     Jim

Check my web site for my free blind accessible pc dos and windows games.

[email protected]

http://www.kitchensinc.net

 

++

01/04/07

 

Hi,

 

I have put a new file on my website.

File name winlad2.exe  File size 569k bytes

In version 2 I fixed the midi file player and added features such as

a save game feature, a selection of sounds for when you move etc.

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

The Snakes and Ladders game shows up as ladders in the Kitchensinc game menu
program.

 

File name winsim.exe file size 4.2 meg

The game of Simon with 26 sets of sound files and much more.

The file can be found on my free windows sapi5 text to speech games page.

 

Hope you like it.

BFN

     Jim

Check my web site for my free blind accessible pc dos and windows games.

[email protected]

http://www.kitchensinc.net

 

++

News from Lighttech Interactive

03/30/07

 

Hello all,

over the passed month, we received a number of bug reports on several of our
games.

so we compiled new setups for Light Cars, Blankblock, Treasure Mania1 and
Light Locater, which hopefully fix the reported bugs.

check out

www.lighttechinteractive.com

to get them.

Happy gaming,

Lighttech Interactive

 

+

03/24/07

 

Hello gamers,

We're very pleased to announce, our new game, "Treasure Mania 1: Hunting for
lost treasures" has been released!

Treasure Mania 1: Hunting For Lost Treasures is the first game in the
"Treasure Mania Series", Developed By Lighttech Interactive.

Take on the role of Guillermo Marsalis, as he is being sent on an expedition
to try and uncover the great treasures which are believed to be held
somewhere

in south america, in an island called the "Moajuba Island".

Sail with your boat in the Moajuba Golf, try to hook up as many treasure
chests as possible getting tons of gold and coins, avoid fish, sharks, bees,
clifs,

and most of all, try not to be spotted by the Moajubian locals as they will
get upset and start shooting their arrows at you!

Features Include:

" this game is the first ever Lighttech Interactive game to take advantage
of 3d sounds!

" the game includes a number of different dinamic weather conditions.

" Play the game on 3 difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, and Crazy.

" the ability to save your game.

" View the local top ten scores for all difficulty levels on your machine.

" The ability to send your gold to the Lighttech Interactive score charts!

you can download Treasure Mania 1: Hunting For Lost Treasures by visiting
our website:

http://www.lighttechinteractive.com

 

Regards,

Rob

Lighttech Interactive

http://www.lighttechinteractive.com

 

++

News from L-Works

12/12/06

 

Finally, the wait is over.   You can download the demo of LWork's newest
game Judgment day.  Visit www.l-works.net/judgmentday.php to read more about
the game and to purchase it.

 

It is the year 2015 and the world is at war. Two powers are fighting for

control: the Allies and a group of nations calling themselves the Supreme
Evil.

Little is known about The Supreme Evil and its motives but one thing is
clear:

this group has advanced weaponry. Over several months, the Allies have been

slowly destroyed by The Supreme Evil. Supreme Commander Ather, commander of
the

Supreme Evil, has quickly dispatched several countries 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. This is where you come in. Your job is to fend off the
Supreme

Evil and Supreme Commander Ather.

 

You command the only Allied defensive post left. Compared to the Supreme
Evil,

your weapons are primitive; however, they can be effective. You are given a

machine gun with unlimited 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 replenish your nukes and
rockets.

 

Liam Erven

[email protected]

 

++

News from PCS Games

03/14/07

 

Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry

 

Late in the evening of July seven, a young female was spotted entering the

Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Instead of reading about the intruder in a story, why don't we actually

follow her around the castle?

 

This is what you can do in the new game from, PCS,

Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

 

In the game you are Sarah, an American teenager, visiting it for the first

time.

 

She discovers that a mischievous poltergeist picked the pockets of the

students leaving for the summer holidays and sprinkled money and magical

items throughout

the castle.

 

Somewhere in the castle, she will be able to find and use wands that

increase her powers,

a two-way mirror, Extendible Ears, racing brooms, a

Time Turner Necklace   , and a very expensive invisibility cloak. With all

that and more, Sarah won't have to go through the corridors of the castle

unprotected.

 

The Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry game transports Sarah and you into a

world of fantasy filled with secret passageways and hidden chambers. she

explores

the castle searching for

magical items, fighting creepy  creatures knowing at any minute,

disaster may strike.

 

So, take a trip with Sarah 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 House-Elf;

slide down a pipe for a spot of spelunking in the chamber of secrets,

try to hide from the cranky caretaker,

pick up plenty of coins to buy sweets at the sweet shop, ,

spend some time in the library learning new spells,

and finally, hold on tight as you fly on a broom trying to catch the golden

snitch,

 

You can Download the Sarah game from two sites.

http://www.pcsgames.net/sarah.htm

 

The file name is, Sarah10.exe, and it's size is 176.4 MB.

 

Or you can also download the game on the,

Draconis Entertainment site.

http://download.draconisentertainment.com/

 

You can try out the first game chapter which includes the Ground floor, and

Basement.

You can play this chapter as many times as you wish.

A registration key will unlock all 14 chapters.

Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is sold through a

collaboration with Draconis Entertainment.

The price for a registration key that unlocks the full game is $31.95 US.

 

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

[email protected]

We make games that tickle your ears.

 

++

News from Spoonbill Software

01/03/07

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 Yahtzee 1.0 - BG Yahtzee for short.

 

BG Yahtzee is the accessible version of the popular dice game where you roll
5 dice and score in 13 scoring categories, attempting to get the highest
score

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

The first release of BG Yahtzee is restricted to a single player game using
the rules of the original Yahtzee game. It is possible in the future that a

new version will feature options to play other variations of the game such
as Triple Yahtzee, Scandinavian Yahtzee, and even allow you to play a game
against

the computer.

Remember all games from Spoonbill Software are completely FREEWARE with no
restrictions on their use.

 

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

[email protected]

 

Regards

Ian Humphreys

Spoonbill Software

Albany, Western Australia.

P.S. You can browse all eleven games in the blind gamers series by following
the link:

http://www.omninet.net.au/~irhumph/blindgamers.htm

 

++

News from USAGames Entertainment

 

Montezuma's Revenge News

3/22/2007

 

Hello gamers,

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned that we would be putting out a demo

sometime in the month of April. However, some very recent discussions with
the test

team have revealed a desire to make Montezuma's Revenge as close as possible
to

the original classic Atari game. After some thought I have agreed to do
this, but it

does require some substantial changes in the game core to do this.

When James North set out to create his version of Montezuma's Revenge it

was not a total authentic clone of the game. There were large similarities,
most

was the same, but some major things were not the same. For example, the
temple

layouts were not at all the same. When I took up the project I more-or-less
used his

layouts and not the classic Atari ones.

Now, though the test team and I have been discussing this, and we are

beginning to agree that classic temple layouts would be the way to go, and
that will

require some additional time to complete.

Some other notable changes between James North's version and the classic

game were the number of keys and doors. In James North's version there were
four

keys and four doors. In the classic there were several blue, green, red, and
white

keys as well as several matching doors. So the number of keys and doors will
have to

be increased to make the game more-or-less authentic.

We know that many of you truly want a copy of this game soon, and we

have worked hard to put out something as soon as possible. However, we also
feel the

game is based on a classic game, and should imitate the classic game as
close to

the original without too many additional changes. So please bare with us a
little

while longer as we work hard to put out an even better version of the game
than we

already have.

At this time we now have decided to call off the April release, and we

do not yet have an idea for another target date for Beta 1. It will largely
depend

on how long it will take us to work on the new temple levels and make
changes to the

game core.

 

++

USA Games Entertainment

3/15/2007

 

Introduction

 

Hello gamers,

We at USA Games are very happy to make some exciting announcements in

this spring 2007 addition of the Audyssey Magazine. A lot of work has

gone into our products this quarter, and here is a sneak preview of what

is to come.

 

Montezuma's Revenge

 

Last March USA Games took over production of Montezuma's Revenge from

Alchemy Game Studios. The original game was written in Visual Basic 6

which is nearing it's end of life cycle. To best support newer operating

systems such as 2000, 2003 server, XP, and Vista we decided to write the

game engine from scratch in C#.NET 2005. Now, a year later we have an

all new  stable and working game engine for Montezuma's Revenge. We have

scheduled Montezuma's Revenge public beta 1 for April 2007 if all goes

to plan. Here is a current look at public beta 1.

Thanks to the efforts of our testers Montezuma's Revenge now supports

lightning fast keyboard support  via DirectX direct input. You can now

use the control arrow keys to jump, alt arrow keys to run, as well as a

built in laptop keyboard layout where you can use control or alt j, k,

l, or i to jump and run.

As of the March 14, 2007 build of public beta 1 Montezuma's Revenge now

officially supports the use of most Sapi 5 compliant tts engines rather

than using wav files for speech. You can go to the Monty options menu to

change voices, set speech rate, and speech volume, and save your settings.

Through early testing the Realspeak voices, from scansoft, seams to work

best with Monty public beta 1. However, the game still does work with

the Neospeech voices, MS Sapi, Cepstral, and others speech engines that

meet Sapi 5 compliance.

For those interested in playing the public beta the first two game

levels will be offered free of charge for demonstration purposes. During

the first two levels you will be able to jump over and attack rolling

skulls, slithering snakes, and giant spiders. Find swords, whips, and

torches to aid you on your quest. Discover lost gems and gold which will

add to your score. Use color coded keys to unlock doors. Avoid deadly

traps such as fire pits, lava pits, and electric walls. Climb, walk, or

run over a variety of surfaces including ropes, vines, sand, dirt, mud,

and stone staircases. New and dark theme music and temple ambiance to

provide a more realistic audio environment.

If you would like more information about Montezuma's Revenge or keep an

eye on release dates for public beta 1 check out

http://www.usagames.us

and read our news section.

 

USA Raceway

 

ladies and gentalmen start your engines and brace yourself for the best

racing simulation for the audio games market. Put your peddle to the

metal as you race at speeds of 250 miles per hour against 9 other cars

for the USA Raceway golden cup. Race it out over a 26 game season,

choose sponsorship, and a driver to take you to victory. In addition,

race it out in different weather conditions ranging from sunny and clear

to snowy and icy, to rainy and cold.

We at USA Games know this is among our most desired titles. Therefore

after the release of Montezuma's Revenge beta 1 we plan to begin doing

more work on the Raceway engine and hope to have something out there for

you sometime around mid to late summer. We have scheduled features we

would like to add before Raceway goes to testers.

At the current moment in time we are now beginning to add Sapi 5 support

to the game for checking fuel status, gear status, speed, etc. However,

radio messages, and other announcements are still human announcers.

Unfortunately, do to the fact we are tied up with Montezuma's Revenge

public beta 1 we don't have a whole lot to report yet. More will be

coming as it happens.

 

Changes in technical support

 

As of April 2007 we are making changes to our technical support that we

hope will not effect too many users out there.

In January 2007 Microsoft has released it's Windows Vista operating

system which we are currently updating our games to directly support.

Now, that Vista is out there we feel it necessary to officially drop

support for Windows 98 and Windows ME. We recognize that continuing to

support older operating systems such as Windows 9x will only hinder our

efforts to provide better support for 2000, 2003 server, XP, and Vista

users.

That said it still may be possible to run our games under Windows 9x,

but USA Games will no longer garentee 100% compatibility. Our ability to

run our games on Windows 98 and ME will be totally subject as to long as

the .NET Framework and DirectX updates are compatible with 98. When

Microsoft drops support for those operating systems we will not be using

older versions of the technology to extend support for those operating

systems beyond their life cycles.

We therefore recommend for those end users who are still running Windows

9x to upgrade to Windows XP SP2 which seams to be the most hassle and

error free environment for our games. Although we expect Vista support

to be equally error free soon.

 

++

News from X-Sight Interactive

03/03/07

 

hi gamers!

 

some of you may or may not be aware, that my team of 17 lazy rebels are now
working on bomb blaster. this will be a game where you follow different
buildings deactivating bombs, picking up items, fighting guards, being a
total utter rebel yourself, smashing up unwanted objects, taking other
useful ones, punching and kicking and flogging the ever living daylights out
of people, and just totally taking out your frustrations on everything in
the building.

each level is its own building, with different rooms and floors.

we have just started on the game code, and are currently unsure of release
dates.

if you guys have any suggestions, please feel free to either reply or email
or msn me off list.

my email and msn address is [email protected]

hopefully i can come up with a game that you'll enjoy.

also, if you have any suggestions for other games and software, then please
also email/IM me. i always like to get people's feedback and suggestions.

thanks.

 

regards,

damien

http://x-sight.brandoncole.net

 

+

12/07/06

 

Hi gang.

 

i'm pleased to release Blind Man's Bluff, the open-source project i was
telling you about, developed by tony sales.

coded in vb, installer coded in inno setup.

the game already includes the sapi4 engine along with microsoft mary.

visit:

 

http://x-sight.brandoncole.net/games

to have a look at it.

 

if you have any feedback, please contact me or tony.

 

my email:

[email protected]

tony's email:

[email protected]

 

enjoy!

regards,

damien - x-sight interactive

 

+++

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.

 

++

Greetings:

 

I tried this audio trivia game.  I was able to get it to work with
Window-Eyes.  You have to switch off browse or MSAA mode to press the
numbers to answer the questions.

 

When I tried it with JAWS, I am not proficient enough to know how to get
into forms mode without there being an actual form.  There might be a way to
bypass pressing the numbers one through four without JAWS thinking I want to
get to that level of heading.

 

http://www.pressakey.net/tv/

 

++

Underwater

 

Amongst other things, Sander and I (of AudioGames.net) also teach a seminar
"Game Audio" to game design student at the Utrecht School of the Arts. Here

we have given the students the assignment to develop a small audio game. I
say small since they only have several weeks to come up with a game concept,

create the sounds and program and test the game. In a few weeks time the
students will present their work and the results will be published in the
Experimental

Audio Games section at AudioGames.net PlayCenter

 

http://www.audiogames.net/playcenter/index_exp.php

(so here you can download all games)

 

Three students have already finished their (mouse-controlled) audio game
entitled "Underwater". Here's a description:

 

*quote*

In this audio game you command a submarine and are exploring the deep sea.
With your sonar you navigate, and locate treasures.

 

Use the mouse to move to the left and right.

Press the right mouse button to move forward.

Press the left mouse button to use your sonar. Now listen carefully!

When you hear a low ping back, it means there is a wall. When you hear a
high ping back, it means there's treasure! When you get near a treasure you
will

hear it tinkle. Find them all and dive deeper in to the sea!

 

But be warned... There are rumors of sea mines in the sea. Some say you only
hear them by a beeping sound... so watch out!

*quote end*

 

The students are very interested in your feedback and comments and tips to
improve the game in the remaining time. You can download "Underwater"
through

this link:

 

http://www.drawingnightmare.com/games/Underwater.exe

 

Since the students are not members of this list, please post all your
comments and tips in the "Underwater"-forum thread at the AudioGames.net
forum:

 

http://forum.audiogames.net/viewtopic.php?id=1203

 

This way other students might also benefit from your feedback.

 

Have fun!

 

Richard

http://www.audiogames.net

http://www.game-accessibility.com

 

++

Hows That!: A review of Battrick

By Ari Damoulakis

Game found at  www.battrick.org

Fully playable without sighted assistance.

 

Battrick is an online cricket management game. It is, for me, one of the
most adictive and exciting games around. At the moment, due to three day
games not being implimented yet, the game isn't that fast-paced, but it
still requires strategic decisions and, of course, the fact that you're
competing against thousands of human players makes it more interesting.

How do I play?

The game is online, so you'd need an internet connection, but, even for
people using dial-up, it really can be played by just logging on about once
a day. You also need an email address to confirm your registration.
Registration and navigation is easy with JFW 6.0 and IE 6. I have noticed
that JFW 7.0 structures the site in a weird way.

 Once you confirm by email, depending on the number of teams in your
country, you may be put on a waiting list till the next season. When you do
get your team, you can log in to your account and read the rules.

Squad

You are given a squad of 23 players, as well as a start-up sum of money in
your account.  you can trim your squad to as few as fourteen players if you
wish.

Players

In Battrick, there are 7 attributes which a player has, and each one is at a
certain skill level. Your job is to try and choose the best players for your
first 11. At this moment, it is OK to make your squad as small as possible,
but in about two seasons time, three day games will be introduced, which
will make it necessary to have a larger squad due to players losing their
fitness. At the moment, there is only a 50-over one day league competition,
and a one day knock-out cup competition. If you're not happy with your
squad, there are many ways of acquiring better players, such as through the
Transfer Market, where users buy and sell players, or you can invest in
your youth academy. You train your players to improve their skills, and it
usually takes about 6 weeks for a player trained on one net to improve his
skill by one level.

You make money by collecting the proceeds from your home games. To get more
gate money, you can decide to expand your ground, but be careful not to
over-expand it, as you also pay maintenence costs.

I could really continue on for ages about this great game, but this is just
a quick outline. You'll find much help by reading the rules, and there
really are great community forums.

 

A few very important things which the rules might not be clear on are as
follows:

When you are hiring coaches, you should hire only 10 coaches, more coaches
than that just wastes money.

Another very important thing for blind users, is to use Alt Down when
opening combo boxes in the orders section, choose the player, and then press
Alt Up to close it again. If this is not done, often the boxes are reset,
making it impossible to choose your best 11 for the match.

It is possible to follow the online action with the text commentary, which
is accessible using your screen reader.

Good luck!

 

++

Blank Block

Available from Lighttech interactive

http://www.lighttechinteractive.com

Freeware

 

Hello, everyone. I've been messing around with Blank Blocks which I just

discovered from the Audiogames.net forum earlier this afternoon. Overall,

I'm actually quite impressed with this puzzle game. The sounds are good and

the mechanics are certainly easy to grasp. However, I get into situations

where it's simply impossible to make any further moves. At this point, there

really should be a system which realises that you simply can't solve the

puzzle and end the game giving you a final score or just telling you that

it's impossible to complete. Currently, you have to manually quit the game

yourself when in this circumstance. It's a fairly small gripe overall. The

presentation was very good for a free puzzle game. It's the best I've seen

from Lighttech Interactive so far.

 

Michael Feir

Creator and former Editor of Audyssey Magazine

1996-2004

 

++

HI folks

I'm working for a south african organization.  They have put up a

cricket game on our intranet to encourage all personnel to strive more

towards the target. The game is an online flash game making use

of adobe flash player.The guy who  made the game e-mailed me the shock

wave file, since attachments are not allowed on this list let me know if

anyone  wants to have a look at this flash game.

I want to know if this is accessible for blind people. I tried the game

and I  couldn't figure it out.

Would you guys like to  give it a try?

Just  let me know and I will send the file off-list to you.

 

+

Myself I know nothing of the game, but since flash and/or shock games have
worked well in the past perhaps this will prove to be screenreader friendly.
There certainly are those in the community who would like to play a cricket
game.

 

++

hello,

just wanted to let you all know about a game i found called world of legends
(those of you who go on the audiogames.net forum will know what i am talking
about.)

this is not to be confused with "legends", i think it's totally different.
for one thing, it's only 600 kb in size, but it's still rather large.

it's a text-based role playing game, and you must complete 15 quests.

the game's good for what it is, but it's annoying that it's number choices
instead of you going north, east, south and west there are things like town,
desert, great grass lands etc. but, i urge anyone who's interested to seek
it out on google, that way you will eventually find it.

  If anyone is interested it's easy enough to send off as an attachment via
email.   Drop me a line.

 

++

I had mentiond a few weeks ago that we were doing fantasy baseball.  I
didn't have anything defined, but we've been working on getting teams
together for

a league on mlb.com.

Fantasy baseball takes real players and let's you make a team of them.
Depending on how well or poorly your players do in real life, you are
awarded points.

 

The league I play in is a head to head league.  this means that every week,
your team will play another team.  Depending on how well the teams do you
will

either aquire a win or a los.  If my team scores more points than frank's
team, I get a win, and Frank loses.  one of the nice things about the league

is in is that you don't have to constantly make line up changes.  you can
set players, and then forget about them for the week till it comes time to
check

on stats.  there's also the possibility of winning

 10000 bucks, but I'm playing more for the fun of baseball.

 

If anyone wants to get in to the league we still have seven spots.  The
league I'm in is what I'd like to call an adult league.  It was started by a
fan

of an adult comedy and talk radio network for other fans to join.  So if
this doesn't really put you off, feel free to email me at

[email protected]

and I'll give you instructions on how to join.  It takes a few minutes, and
is very very easy to manage.  Like I said, we have seven spots left and
really

want more people to play.

 

Liam

 

++

Any Final Fantasy Fans out there?

 

Hi,

Just figured I'd let you all know of this pretty awesome mud I've been
playing for some time. Its called Eternal Fantasy, and its an LPMud
codebase, pretty much completely recoded. Now if you've played a Final
Fantasy mud in the past. take whatever mud it was you played and toss it in
the garbage, along with every other FF mud on the net. This one's perfect.
Its got nice, slow combat, perfectly adapted to screen readers. The battle
descriptions are well-written for skills and spells, and there are even

limit breaks. You can get espers to summon that will fight by your side, and
even force them into doing their in game special attacks like they would
from any game before FF10. Its got a helpful playerbase, and though leveling
at low levels is hard, there are usually a couple of people on perfectly
willing to take you and get you to at least level 10, where the real game
starts. I recommend this game to any FF fans out there in the blind
community.

eternalfantasy.org Port 3333

I'm Talerous on there, feel free to ask me for any help you may need and
i'll see what I can do.

 

++

Harry Potter Chess

The step-by-step course for future champions

http://www.deagostini.co.uk/harrypotter/chessset.html

Harry Potter with his Snowy Owl Hedwig

 

Enjoy the exciting adventure inspired by the magical film!

 

Uncover the secrets of the ancient game of chess with this amazing new

collection. The board becomes a battlefield in this challenging game where

YOU are the general. You'll need all your skill, strength and stamina to

find a winning strategy to wipe out the opposition army, capture the enemy
King and

shout "Checkmate!"

 

Week by week, each issue of the magazine will help you perfect the skills of

the game. Uncover the secrets of chess, the game of kings!

 

In each issue of your HARRY POTTER CHESS manual, you'll find two sections -

Level 1: Chess Apprentice and Level 2: Chess Challenger. Your entire
collection will turn into a comprehensive

guide to chess.

 

Issue 1:

With this issue, your first black magnetic rook and your magnetic magic

wand.

 

Issue 2:

With this issue, your first white knight with sound effect, your first white

explosive pawn, chessboard and card playing pieces.

 

Issue 3:

With this issue, your first black explosive pawn and your chess timer.

 

Issue 4:

With this issue, your first black bishop with sound effect.

 

Magazine 1

Level 1

You don't know how to play chess?

Well now it's your chance to learn the game. Learn all the secrets of this

royal game of strategy.

 

Level 1 is for beginners and all those who want to recap important moves and

strategies. You'll learn how to place your chess pieces on the board and

move them, as well as clever techniques to attack to checkmate and defend.

 

Magazine 2

Level 2

When you're finished with Level 1 or if you already know the basic rules of

the game, you can start with Level 2 straight away. Here, you'll learn the

secrets of strategies and tactics to open the game and to use in all the

situations leading to checkmate - and what's more, find out the tricks of

the great chess champions!

 

Magazine 3

Test your skills

 

With original pictures from the Harry Potter films!

Each issue comes with exciting questions for you to check your chess

knowledge!

 

Don't miss out!

 

Chess pieces with incredible special effects:

 

Amazing magic wands to move the magnetic pieces

Unique light-up chessboard

Storage case for all your pieces

Chessboard and card pieces so you can start playing as early as Issue 2

Fantastic accessories from the magical world of Hogwarts

PLUS: Time-Turner, floating magic pen and other amazing accessories for your

magical chess set.

 

 All the pieces come with fascinating special effects -

The rooks are magnetic and can be moved with the magic wand!

The king noisily lowers his sword at checkmate!

The knight and the bishop come with incredible sound effects!

The queen glows magnificently,

and the pawns are highly explosive!

 

Issue 1 is available for the special price of £1.99 (?2.95).

$3.90 US

 

Each issue thereafter costs £3.99 (?5.95)

$7.82 US

On sale every week from all good newsagents.

Alternatively, if you subscribe, you will receive 2 issues with your first 2

deliveries (sent fortnightly) and then 4 issues every four weeks.

 

Trouble-free home delivery: Your HARRY POTTER CHESS manual is delivered to

your home by mail. That way, you'll never miss an issue. And what's more -

you don't have to pay any postage as we'll send your magazines and chess

pieces for free!

get these four gifts for free

Mega poster (600 x 880mm) from the film

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Binder to collect and store your chess manuals

Baseball cap with the Gryffindor coat of arms

Exclusive watch showing Harry Potter playing Quidditch

 

De Agostini Harry Potter Chess:

Hotline: 0870 890 0021

 

De Agostini - Chess: The Step-by-Step Manual

Freepost NAT20038

Follingsby Park

Gateshead

NE10 8BR

Tel: 0870 043 6400

 

++

Judgement Day

Commercially available for $25.00 US from:

www.l-works.net

Fully accessible without sighted assistance

Reviewed by Michael Feir

 

What could yet another Space Invaders-style game have to offer which would
be worth any of my time let alone my money? Those were my initial thoughts
on learning that Liam Mervan was working on Judgement Day. I simply couldn't
imagine there was any new ground left to cover for commercial developers in
this oldest of sound conversions. However, Liam has managed to delight this
jaded old sceptic. The only sharp criticism I have left in my quiver is that
the demo really doesn't do the game justice. My impression after thoroughly
exploring the demo and after spending a week or so with the full game are as
different as night and day. To be sure, the basic game is well executed and
fast paced. Having three weapons of varying strengths and regenerative
speeds certainly doesn't hurt either. These virtues in and of themselves
simply aren't enough to make owners of Alien Outback or Troopanum2 shell out
cash for Liam's effort. However, what truly sets the game apart is its
surprising amount of extra content. You don't get to see any of that in the
demo which I believe was about the only error Liam made in the whole game.
Unlike other games which take ages to win and which offer the option to save
a game in progress, Judgement Day is a very short game. Win or lose, you'll
be at it for around twelve to fifteen minutes of frenetic action. Despite
this brevity, the game's extras including several bonus games give it a
fantastic amount of replay value. Through acquiring trophies and doing well
at the bonus games, you can increase your base's capacity in future games
and unlock fun extras like movies in the L-works Theatre and bonus games.
The demo doesn't give you any sense of that at all.

 

*The Interface:

 

The game is played with the keyboard. You move left and right with the
appropriate cursor keys and can use the up and down keys to switch weapons.
The control key is your fire button. The shift key emits a beep which
indicates your position. Other keys let you control the volume, pause the
game and receive status information. It doesn't take long at all to gain
proficiency with this setup. Menus are navigated with the up and down arrow
keys and the enter key for selecting choices. It's impossible for me to
think he could have thought it through any better at all. Liam gets full
marks for the interface of Judgement Day.

 

*Sound and Music:

 

Liam has given his Space Invaders-style game a very contemporary cartoonish
feel. Enemies include missiles, helicopters and jets which all have very
appropriate sounds. The panning is done quite well and it's pretty rare that
sounds unfairly mask each other. As with the interface, everything is very
intuitive. You can tell when you're scoring hits on each type of enemy,
detect which enemy type is destroyed due to different explosions and easily
keep track of what's moving where.

 

The music adds a very dramatic feel which somewhat crosses cartoon with epic
battle. Your fight with the forces of the supreme evil is backed up by a
rich orchestral score adding a lot of dramatic punch while not interfering
with your ability to follow the game. The cut-scenes where you hear from
your arch enemy himself are also similarly accompanied by ominous music.
Liam did a great job of choosing voices for the game. Supreme Commander
Uther is brought to life wonderfully and makes a great cartoon villain.
Despite him only having a limited number of monologs, you still end up
feeling like you've conquered a worthy adversary after the first occasion
where you beet the game. The general as well as the chief technician
supporting your efforts as base gunner are also well-played if a bit stiffly
portrayed at times.

 

*Game Play:

 

The game is divided up into waves of enemies. These get progressively harder
and the ramping up of difficulty is handled quite well. On the hard level,
it's still very challenging even after you get to the point where you've
beaten it. The duel with the laser satellite immediately followed by the
ultimate confrontation with the supreme commander give the game's end a very
penultimate feeling. Your choice of difficulty setting makes a very big
difference to every part of the game.

 

Your strategic use of weapons can often be the difference between winning
and losing a game. Using up too many rockets and nukes can leave you in
impossible circumstances particularly in middle to later waves in the hard
difficulty. Things can simply become impossible to accomplish with your
machinegun alone. Switching between weapons is easy and doesn't hold you up
much at all. It does add an element of strategy to the game.

 

The true lasting strength of Judgement Day is its extras. By doing things in
certain ways, playing at certain times, and even by sitting and doing
nothing, you can earn trophies. Once certain trophies have been earned, they
will unlock movies in the theatre or bonus games. These bonus games are a
lot of fun in and of themselves. Doing well at these games gives you more
trophies which can unlock yet more content as well as increase the overall
capacity of your base for future games. These are very satisfying and will
make a clear difference in future games. For instance, you can eventually
have far more rockets available at once than you initially can. Your base's
ability to absorb damage as well as the number of nukes can also be
improved. You can also unlock a top-secret weapon at one point. The movies
themselves are very fun to listen to and Liam has obviously put a lot of
effort into that component. Topics include things blind people just shouldn't
do, a drastic shortcut to the 99 bottles of beer song, and much more. No
other accessible game has offered nearly so much in terms of this type of
extra content.

 

*Conclusion:

 

While Judgement Day has a lot of fresh ideas to offer, the demo doesn't give
a good sense of that. It's certainly good enough to attract hard-core fans
of this kind of game. However, had I not obtained free access to the full
version, I would have missed out on a tremendously fun experience without
realising that fact at all. Had a few trophies and movies been unlockable in
the demo, that would have given sceptical potential customers a lot more to
go on when making their decision. For its price, Judgement Day is definitely
worth the money. While I personally hope we see Liam's efforts reach into
other genres, he has definitely demonstrated how much he's learned from
prior games with this surprisingly deep addition to his titles on offer.

 

++

'Sryth The Age of Igtheon'

online  at http://www.sryth.com

Fully accessible without sighted assistance

Reviewed by Ron Schamerhorn

 

The two excerps below are taken directly from the Sryth website in order to
provide some background about the game.

 

"

The Age of Igtheon

 

The timeline of the world of SrythT spans three great ages: Araludon,
Igtheon, and Thyreon. And, as you might have guessed, Sryth: The Age of
IgtheonT is

concerned with the middle of these three ages.

 

It is a time of gathering shadows, and encroaching darkness for the people
of Sryth. The demon Igtheon has completed the first phase of his
long-desired

conquest by having breached the fabric that separates the world of Sryth
from the shadowy dimension known as the

Neverness.

 

By way of

Shadow Paths,

(portals that allow passage between the world of Sryth and the realm of the
Neverness), Igtheon's minions have already begun their invasion, guided by
the

hand of their wicked master, and often aided by the insidious agents of the
demon native to Sryth. Unless the tide of evil is turned, Sryth will suffer

the same dark fate of so many worlds beneath the ravaging claws of the
demon.

 

The Age of Igtheon promises high adventure for those willing to join the
fight against the growing menace of the demon and its minions. The meek need
not

apply, for this is the age of the adventurer, upon whose shoulders rests no
less than the fate of the world!

 

If you haven't yet signed up to play,

Sign Up

today -- it's free! Start your adventures today!

 

Read a Special Introduction to the Age of Igtheon

"

 

and now for the special introduction.

"

 

An age long-prophesized has come to pass...

 

In the hour preceding dawn, in the city of

Asphyr,

a solitary figure stares out of a narrow window in the topmost chamber of
the

Tower of Anarain...

 

Carrinlar-Suth wasn't supposed to know fear.

 

Fear served only to shake the foundations of resolve, and crush burgeoning
hope. Fear cruelly haunted the mind with the spectre of dark tidings never
to

be heralded. Fear turned soldier against commander in the most desperate
hour, and sent the otherwise stalwart out of the night, seeking the safety
and

comfort of the fire. Fear was a monster, with a heart as black as any
troll's, and fangs as piercing as any serpent's. Fear begat intractable
doubt, spawned

mistrust, and crafted hatred. Fear was the unapologetic slayer of dreams.

 

Carrinlar-Suth shivered, and withdrew from the window out of which she
gazed.

 

"My lady, they have returned from Alnwin ere sunrise. Shall I send them up?"
The deep voice startled her, and Carrinlar-Suth turned to behold the stoic

face of her most trusted man-at-arms, his heavy frame nearly filling the
entirety of the doorway leading into her chamber.

 

"Dost thou fear me, Yisryn?" Steel-grey eyes peered out from behind the
cloth mask that concealed her face. The man in the doorway squared his
shoulders

and curtly shook his head.

 

"How might I hope to fear she to whom I have sworn undying allegiance?" he
asked, his response sounding more rehearsed than perhaps he had hoped.
"Anarain

remains a beacon of hope for the world, and you, my lady, are its..."

 

"Enough, Yisryn," she said, and a lengthy, awkward silence followed, broken
only when she again spoke. "Fear surrounds us, Yisryn. I have long studied
it,

and I am certain that, ultimately, none are immune to its potent grasp. Only
the utterly servile would bow unfalteringly before a master -- be that
master

wise and just, or a pitiless tyrant. The fearful, however, are quick to
adopt allegiance, even to that which they fear, clinging to the desperate
hope

that such an opportune bond shall afford them a moment's safety, where the
torment of their fears is, for a time, quelled."

 

Carrinlar-Suth adjusted her flowing grey robes and strode across the
chamber, taking a seat in a high-backed wooden chair set upon an ornate,
tiered dais.

Her piercing gaze scoured the walls and floor of the small chamber, and at
last came to rest upon the man who had, on two occasions, saved her life.

 

"No doubt, Yisryn, you have been made privy to the nature of their findings
in Alnwin?" She knew the answer to her next question before she posed it.
"What

was discovered in the ruins?"

 

"Shadow Paths, my lady," replied Yisryn, stepping forward and bending on one
knee as dictated by custom. "There were four open portals in the ruins at
Alnwin.

With deepest regrets I also relate to you that only Predrius and Neepsion
have returned. I know only that the others were felled in a battle at the
ruins

late last evening."

 

"And the Shadow Paths?" she queried, her gaze fixed on the kneeling soldier.

 

"All have been closed, my lady," he replied, "yet the small band we sent was
overwhelmed, and I am told that many of the creatures that had emerged from

those portals fled into the darkness before they could be properly dealt
with. I have dispatched a dozen of my best men to Alnwin to clean up the
scene

of battle. They will no doubt return bearing news, ere long."

 

Carrinlar-Suth did not immediately respond. Her mind raced. Her pulse
quickened. She struggled against the rising tide of fear that welled up from
the very

depths of her soul. The age long-prophesized had arrived at the doorstep of
the world -- an insidious whisper, in the desolate ruins of an ancient keep,

on the outskirts of the innocuous hamlet of Alnwin -- an arrival both
expected and unexpected in the same dreaded breath. She closed her eyes and
prayed.

 

"We have been idle fools," she said, opening her eyes and motioning for
Yisryn to rise, "but I, most of all. The signs of the coming of Igtheon had
risen

up around us, and yet I could not see the impending danger? How blind I have
been! Let initial lethargy and denial be all that we shall be guilty of, and

may it not prove our undoing! There is much to be attended to -- there is
still time. Convene the council, and make preparations for my journey to
Alnwin."

 

Yisryn bowed in response and promptly exited the chamber.

 

"The growing fear that has gnawed at my heart these many seasons has not, I
daresay, been unfounded, and indeed it now takes shape," she thought as she

returned to the window and gazed out at the shadow-draped landscape spread
out below. "The demon sinks its claws into the flesh of the world, and while

I have misjudged, and even ignored the prophecies that foretold it, there is
still time...yes, there is always time. The demon's hand has moved swiftly,

yet we must be swifter to the task. Igtheon's invasion must not go
unchallenged, and to that end, fear must no longer guide my hand."

 

Carrinlar-Suth placed both of her hands on the cold stone of the window sill
and stared out into the receding darkness of a late summer's dawn. She
closed

her eyes and began to silently prepare the stark words she would deliver to
the council.

 

Fear bred inaction and despair. Fear clouded wisdom and invited only havoc
and ruin. Fear was the unapologetic slayer of dreams. Fear haunted her
sleep,

and stalked her every waking step. Fear emboldened the wicked, and empowered
the very malevolence that sought to destroy her, and bring to ruin the world

she had sworn to protect. Fear was the greatest weapon in the demon's
formidable arsenal, and one that it wielded with devastating effect.

 

And fear, terrible and paralyzing, was the one thing that Carrinlar-Suth,
the

Grey Mage,

keeper of the

Tower of Anarain,

master of magic on Sryth, solemnly vowed would never again enslave her.

"

 

  Firstly I would like to extend my thanks to Matthew Yarrows, who is the
Game Master at Sryth.com for giving me permission to include the above and
some of the below for inclusion in this review for Audyssey!  Thank you
Mathew and keep up the excellent work!

  Sryth is an online role playing adventure game. These games can also be
known as RPG's.

This game has provided me with many, many hours of fun & entertainment.  It
is a text based game and therefore it's playability by someone who is blind
or visually impaired with screenreading programs is extremely
straightforward.  While playing the game, there are only a few types of game
controls.  These are links, combo boxes, and buttons.  It doesn't get much
simpler then that.

  As is typical in a RPG, you firstly need to create a character [char for
short].  This character will have a given set of statistics such as "might,
mind, spirit, " and so on.  In Sryth these are rolled randomly and  if a
person doesn't like the roll it may be rolled over.  However all stats are
rerolled each time so it's best to bare this in mind.  From these stats then
comes a persons melee rating [MR] and stamina ppoints [sp].

  Skills are then the next thing to be chosen when creating a character on
Sryth.  The choices include, but aren't limited to, "archery, weaponry,
diplomacy, horsemanship," and a host of others.  A beginning character will
have up to 4 skills in the game.  It is quite possible during your
adventures to have the opportunity to acquire a new skill, for example the
skill of "woodsmanship".

  Finally Powers are also a part of a persons character.  As said above
there are various powers to choose from.  "Necromancy, Illusion,
Elementalism, and Conjeuration" are but a few of these.

  After this is done it is then time to embark on the adventure in the world
of Sryth!  Your adventure begins in "Hawklore", a small town in the "Heart
Hills".  Here you are presented with various options for what you wish to
do.  You can visit a tavern, go to the stable,  travel and more.  after you
choose you are then told the outcome, and the links at the bottom of the
main frame will give further options.  Let me use an example here.

  *this example is only to provide an illustration of what was said
previously and not taken from the game.]

 

 You enter the tavern and see some other patrons gathered at tables around
the room.

 

  The links at the bottom might be like this:

 

Order something to drink'

Talk to the tavernkeep

Wander around the room

Leave the tavern

 

This may not be the most thrilling example but hopefully gives an idea of
how gameplay works in Sryth.  I'm attempting to highlight things without
describing everything possible in this review.

There is also the nesecity of money. In the game,  it is gold.  This can be
used to buy food, better weapons or armour, some property, or even gamble.

  The combat system is quite good as well.  When your opponent appears you
are told how your character will fair in combat with a line like "Are you
sure this enemy isn't already dead".  Then the link to "Begin combat".  On
this screen you have the choice of three different combat styles, defensive,
normal, & aggressive.  Each one has some benefits and drawbacks acordingly.
Here you may also decide to use a power, or special item in your possession.
This is done by selecting it appropriately from the combo boxes.  Next the
roll is done and the details of damage inflicted or received is given and
similar choices are made for the upcoming round.

To be expected are creatures for the adventurous to engage in combat with.
I honestly can't say how many there are as I doubt I've come acrosss all of
them yet.  A few that I have are goblins, skeletal warriors, rats, and water
elementals.  One of the really intriguing points about this game is when
encountering monsters, there is always a link which opens a new window
describing that particular monster.  However this link may appear for other
reasons too, to describe a plant as in 'Keptic Leaf,' a drink 'Pallo', or
even the 'All-Father'.

There are many quessts and adventures a person can play and again here I
will quote from the documentation as it is well-worded.

"

In some game sections you may encounter a special purple "action choice" at
the bottom of the action choice list titled "View Events for This Location".

When you select this choice you will be presented with a list of "events
adventures" that you can choose to embark upon. A small preview of each
event

adventure will be provided.

While embarked upon an "event adventure", you will notice a special purple
"action choice" at the bottom of the action choice list titled "Abandon This

Event". If you select this action choice you will be given the opportunity
to abandon the current event adventure and return to the exact point in the

game you were at before you embarked upon it!

"

 

  Regarding the events, there are far too many to mention here in the
review.  Suffice it to say there are some easy ones for the new player and
others that you will need to have some further experience in order to be
victorious.

  it is now important to bring up the Adventurer's Guild membership.  You
can have a free account on Sryth however some areas or adventures aren't
playable.  A Sryth Adventurer's Gild membership [and this is indeed my own
opinion] is a fantastic deal!  It's $9.95 [U.S. dollars] for a full one year
membership.  Other membership packages are available as well.

  Like in other RPG type games a player can progress by finding magical
items to increase your MR, better armour to give you more SP, and such.  I
believe there is even some degree of multi-player gaming.  Recently the
'Runeskin Adventure' has begun and there are now links to see what other
characters are in the area.  But I haven't fully tested this out yet, as I'm
still trying to obtain the needed items.

  There is certainly more to be said about Sryth and how extensive the lands
are.  I've had my 'Adventurer's Guild' membership since October and believe
me when I say there's still no lacking new adventures to play, or things to
do.

  All right, I think this covers some of the game.  I could easily go on
about the powers, special items you can find, places to explore and my
favourite adventures I've had up to this point in the land of 'Tysa'.

  If this has at all peaked your interest I encourage you to take a look for
yourself and form your own opinion about the fun to be had playing this
amazing online game!

Thanks again Mathew for allowing me to copy from the documentation and I
hope I've quoted everywhere that is from Sryth with either the ' or " I'd
add that the response about quoting from the documentation was sent and
promptly replied to.

I hope others enjoy this as much as I have over the past few months.

 

++

a new free audiogame : Tampokme

 

Hello !

Here is a game I write for the donation coder accessibility game contest
2006.

The name of the game is Tampokme. The meaning of Tampokme is : the audio
multi-players one-key mosquito eater, so it is an audiogame but also a one
switch game.

 Here is a link to download the game :

http://www.donationcoder.com/Contests/agame/entries/Tampokme.rar

it is a free multi players game.

Please, just tell me about your feeling about this game.

Thank you

 

Thomas Gaudy

 

+

 

  And this was sent in shortly after the original announcement.

 

Here is a link for downloading tampokme compressed in zip format.

 

http://www.axifile.com/?8295219

 

But this zip version is not on the donation coder server, so this link sends
you to a page where you have to wait a few seconds before another link
appears to download the game, and it seems that the downloadind speed is
slower. The game size is near to 75 mb : it can take a long time. I hope it
helps.

 

++

Top Speed cars and tracks

 

Ok on my ftp is a new car called the High Performence car.zip so pick this

one up.

 

Hello. I'm pleased to report that a New Track For Top Speed has been posted

to my ftp. This track is called Ride Through The Country Side. You can pick

it up on my ftp and I'd like to thank the person who designed it.

 

Please keep this message for your records:

 

It's on my ftp and for new people here's the information again. Also Please

use an ftp client. I get constant complaints from people who try to connect

with internet explorer. Internet explorer is Not a proper ftp client so you

need to download an ftp client. I myself use the free client filezilla

from:

http://filezilla.sourceforge.net

 

Site: djc.my-net-space.net

username: PlayingInTheDark and Note each word is Capitalized.

Password: racing

 

Note: if you log in and you don't see the directories I suggest that you go

to your options in whatever client your using and change it from say

default to active. I do not use Passive mode and if you turn Passive on

you'll never see the directories. I welcome you to use my ftp. I have high

band width and lots of space available. Thanks.

Don Coco, Sacramento California

 

++

Technoshock

Freeware

 

Hi.

I just checked audio games net, and a topic was posted announcing a new
audio game, Technoshock, obviously inspired by shades of doom (and I
believe, using

A similar engine).

The game release is listed as Beta, and a couple of things (like the scope),
don't seem to work (or didn't for me), stil here's the link:

http://www.tiflocomp.ru/games/ts/index.php?lang=en

 

Update pack for Technoshock 1.40b

The update pack is available. It fixes some bugs and adds a "Learn game

sounds" item in the Main game menu.

Note: Extract "setupeng_updatepack.exe" from a zip-archive and install it

into the same folder, where the game was installed.

http://www.tiflocomp.ru/games/ts/index.php?lang=en#update

 

++

Howdy,

    While extremely complicated and probably not what your looking for, the

game called Walstreet Raider, (or occasionally Wall$treet Raider, with a

dollar sign) is surprisingly playable.  This is a full-on business

simulation--with mostly standard controls, though the tickers and such move

awful fast, they'd move fast for a sighted person, too.  But it works, with

some effort.

www.roninsoft.com.

Have fun,

 

++

  Hey, I played a game around a year ago called perfect competition,

which was pretty cool, but I didn't have the proper time to devote to it as

I was starting to program Rail Racer.

  It is a multiplayer game, and the competition can be pretty cutthroat,

with you setting up companies and trying to out produce and out price the

other players.  If you play it, let us know how you like it, as I am sure

they have made many improvements to it since I played when it was pretty

new.

  The URL is

http://www.perfectcompetition.net/BusinessGame.html

Hope you dig it,

 

++++

Contacting Us

 

All material for inclusion  in upcoming issues of Audyssey should be sent

to me at the following snail or email address:

 

Ron Schamerhorn

1180 Dorval Dr. #303

Oakville On L6M 3G1

[905]-842-1933

[email protected]

or

[email protected]

and to chat find me at

[email protected]

for Windows/MSN messenger 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]

 

  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.

Those who want to receive issues of Audyssey as they are published

should send a blank E-mail to:

[email protected]

 

The Audyssey discussion list facilitates discussion about games

accessible to the blind between the publication of issues of Audyssey.

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, send a blank message to:

[email protected]

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 AudioGames.net!


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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