Yeah, on line networked game play is becoming more and more important with blind as well as mainstream gamers. When Che introduced these features in Rail Racer I must say I was extremely impressed. It is such a totally great experience being able to fire up the game connect to a chat room, talk to other Rail Racer players on line, and then pick a track and race each other on line. Like you said it is a feature of many newer mainstream games, and audio game developers may want to consider looking into it for future titles. One of the reasons why I decided to switch to Java rather than stick with C# is Java has a lot better Networking API. It is well documented, works on just about every platform imaginable, and is fairly straight forward. I'm realising as you do that on line game play is the way of the future. It is good to have off line play as well, but the on line gaming experience is so much better when playing against a live player or players. Take a game like SoundRTS. In single player mode against the computer the A.I. armies aren't all that bright. Either they build up an army to guard their lands with mostly footmen and archers which can be whiped out quickly with a few well trained knights, or they attack you early on and defeat you before you really have an army. Pretty simplistic tactics and not very effective against a really sharp human player. All that is required to beat SoundRTS is be the first to get afew trained knights and the game is basically won already. With a human player both will be attempting to build the stronger army, and both might be sharp strategy players. In such a case it could turn out to be a long drawn out war. I've had games last a couple of hours when both sides get knights, dragons, mages, etc going it is a real fight. That is totally different from the computer A.I. who never uses dragons, mages, etc from what I can see. If you kill its army of knights it then reverts to spending gold on footmen and archers by the dozens which is not tactically effective against 5 or 6 good knights. When we look at mainstream games Warcraft, Galaxy Civilization, etc man they are awesome. Besides high quality sound effects some of the battles can last a really really long time and there are some hard core players out there to pick from in those games. If you want to get stomped be a newby and play Galaxy Civ or Warcraft in a one on one on line death nmatch. It is this kind of mainstream game that could become popular with audio games if we as a community put our minds to developing something along those lines.

Yohandy wrote:
I'm very glad you are doing this Thomas. You're right of course. There is no comparison between games for the blind and games for sighted folk. I personally just pre-ordered MK VS dc universe yesterday for ps3. can't wait for that game to be released! the voice chatting should be awesome. and there's another thing we're missing. not many games for the blind have the ability to be played online let alone voice chatting. the mainstream games however, have these chat-room environment whereby you can jump in there and challenge people at random, or some of your friends. it's great.

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