mike, are you going to pay for the lawsuit when he gets hit in the ass with it?
great, I thought not.
Second, character names, titles, etc could be patented.

Thanks,
Tyler Littlefield
Visit tds for quality software and web design:
http://tysdomain.com
skype: st8amnd127
aim: st8amnd2005
msn: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Forzano" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Gamers Discussion list'" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 10:15 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] To the developers of Montezuma's Revenge


I don't understand how making an audio version of Montezuma's Revenge is
infringement of copyright. If the name is, why can't you just change it?
Which you did. I sorta lost track after that, I thought it became
Montezuma's Return because of copyright issues, so why couldn't you release
it. And also the levels aren't exactly the same due to the nature of the
audiogame version...So Thomas, I don't think you should let people push you around like this, in my opinion, it isn't a valid lawsuit anyway. And also, this game is being made so us blind people can play, not for the purposes of
copying.

Thanks,
Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Thomas Ward
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 8:41 PM
To: Gamers Discussion list
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] To the developers of Montezuma's Revenge

Hi,
Yeah, taking over Raceway and Montezuma's Revenge has resulted in a lot
of personal grief and misery for me. I've had my reputation marred, I've
been verbally insulted, I've been called a thief, I've stayed up late
trying to get this or that done,  and it has just been one bad thing
after another. To ice the cake, so to speak, my apartment management had
us out of our apartment for four months, and unfortunately I didn't have
everything with me to work on the games. As a result I've gotten the
blame for that too, because people want to know why the game wasn't
finished asap.
However, on the bright side of this I really think I can pull a couple
of good games out of the hat. No MOTA won't exactly be Montezuma's
Revenge, but it still will be a side scroller, will be a treasure
hunting adventure, have fire pits to jump over, avoid spike traps, lots
of baddies to fight, and should at least give the person the feeling of
a NES or Atari game.



Michael Feir wrote:
In my judgement, Tom has found the most fair approach in this tricky
situation. It all started out because he wanted to save those of us
who had waited ages for James North to finish Raceway and Montezuma's
Revenge from the crushing disappointment we faced when he decided to
pack it in. That attempted good deed has brought him no end of grief
since. Everyone has had to compromise somewhat. We, the customers,
won't be getting precisely what we originally paid for. However, Tom
is going to give us a new and improved platformer so we'll at long
last end up with a good one of those which is fully accessible. I've
long felt that this genre would be spectacularly suited to blind
people and be helpful to people just getting used to computer games as
opposed to a fully 3d adventure. I'm profoundly grateful to Tom for
deciding to do this. It wasn't an easy decision for him to reach and I
know he has his own dreams he'd rather be working on. Although he has
a lot of creative latitude now, I believe he would rather work on
fully 3d games. Ultimately, I believe we'll end up with a spectacular
platformer as long as we give Tom the patience and good will that he
needs and deserves.

Due to this whole episode, I don't believe we'll see any developer put
a game up for pre-ordering again. Too much distrust and damage was
done to the whole concept for it to work in this gaming community. It
can work for the sighted gaming world because the companies producing
their games have the financial backing to handle things if projects go
bad on them. For us, we're just too much at the mercy of the personal
life circumstances of our developers. That's a sad thing because it
could have helped established developers finance better assets such as
sound effects and music to put in to their final products. I've just
begun working on an accessible game which I believe will take me
something like four years to create. I'm engaged to be married in
around a year's time to a wonderful woman I've had the good fortune to
find. Anticipating tougher economics after we're married, I decided to
purchase royalty-free music while I still have my own source of
income. That way, she's not going to have to sink any of her income
into what is essentially my dream. In total, I've spent a little under
$400 on the music. During my last attempt to create a game, I spent
around the same on the SFX kit from Sound Ideas. That has around 20000
sounds I can legally use. Altogether then, I've spent around $800 on
my dream of creating an accessible game. It helps a lot that I'm
currently single and don't have other financial responsabilities. Most
developers aren't in my somewhat unique circumstances. Unless I
ultimately succeed in creating the game, I'll never see a dime of that
investment.

What happened to Tom was a stroke of tremendous bad fortune which has
had repercussions for everyone connected with accessible games. I
believe that it has lowered the sense of trust and solidarity in the
community as a whole. It has put everyone more on a business footing
but somewhat reduced the overall feeling of community developers could
once have enjoyed. This is ultimately a good thing as we'll see a lot
less hopes being dashed due to developer burn-out in the future.
However, new developers may find enthusiasm for their ideas somewhat
more lacking. Less attempts at creation mean less successes as well as
less failures. This community can't afford to lose any more game
developers for any reason. Games take too long to create and we don't
have that many who are known to be working on new games. That's also a
sad part of the fallout from this whole episode. Developers are likely
to be a lot more careful about what information they release than they
were before all this happened. This means less information for
Audyssey issues and less community discussion of fresh ideas that are
actually being worked on. Dry spells will seem a whole lot longer due
to this.

As members of this community, we likely don't have the ability to
financially support new game developers other than to purchase their
games once created. However, there's a whole lot that we can do to
support developers who we already know about and encourage new people
to take a crack at making accessible games. We can be patient and
offer moral support while a developer works on a project. An
encouraging email can count for a whole lot when you're slogging
through the long dull aspects of creating your masterpiece. It makes
such a nice change from "When's the game going to be ready?" When we
see evidence that people are pirating games, we should take that
evidence to the developer so they can take countermeasures. We can
also be ambassadors to people about accessible games and help spread
word about the games which are out there. Over the past while, I
believe I've noticed a number of new members. That's a good indication
that we're at last moving forward as a community. We also have at
least one new developer working on a project that I know I'm going to
love. A sound-based rpg is certainly going to go down my gullet
nicely. It's Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. A very appropriate time
to say a public "thank you" to Tom and all other developers who are
working away. Games are a very powerful art form and you bring that
splendidly to a group of people who otherwise would once again be
stuck on the sidelines. I salute you all and hope one day to add my
contribution to your own.

Michael Feir
Author of Personal Power:
How Accessible Computers Can Enhance Personal Life For Blind People
2006-2008
www.blind-planet.com/content/personal-power

A Life of Word and Sound
2003-2007
http://www.blind-planet.com/content/life-word-and-sound

Creator and former editor of Audyssey Magazine
1996-2004
Check out my blog at:
www.michaelfeir.blogspot.com


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