I think those are some good thoughts. I'm glad you won't be limiting yourself to side scrollers, not because I'm good at FPS type games, though I like both types of game play, but because, in my opinion, we already are limited dimensionally as blind people. Our screen readers give us info on a 1-dimensional plain--up and down. You can go left and right of course but you rarely ever need to. As far as navigating goes, I think the biggest problem isn't navigating itself but trying to remember all the places you were, the overall shape of the levels and so on. I have a few thoughts on this point. First, a homing beacon could be set up to continually draw the player on to the next item of interest--not the one closer by distance, because you could be in a maze where the exit is ten feet away but be nowhere near it in terms of being able to reach it quickly. A homing signal could, though, tell the player where interesting items were by proximity not to them in terms of spacial reality, but rather in terms of what is closer considering how the maze is navigated, the walls in the way and so on. Next, I'd love a disappearing hallways option. If you go down a hallway and explore all side passages and get all relevant items, and if the hallway or dead end has no more function, I'd like to be able to seal it off. That way I'm not just wandering the same passages again and again trying to get to the next place of importance. I have recently been looking at virtual worlds, and navigating them using the voICe. An interesting idea that comes up in the navigation of these virtual worlds is that you can go from one element of interest to another and back again with the page up and page down commands. Similarly, in a mud, you can type remember bar and, later, go to that same bar you remembered earlier. Descriptions of rooms were interesting for me, but not helpful as far as navigating. The main thing for me was, had I been there before, its relationship to other rooms in terms of reachability and not necessarily coordinates, and so on. Well, I'm satisfied with this post except that JAWS can't say reach ability. LOL
Keep up the awesome work!




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----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 12:55 AM
Subject: [Audyssey] My MOTA Decision


Hi everyone,

After reading many e-mails, after much thought, I've come to the following conclusions about the future of Mysteries of the Ancients.

First, while many of you said you would enjoy an FPS type title you also said that you like the game as it currently is. Even those who were hoping for perhaps a more traditional 80's type side-scroller admitted they could except Mysteries of the Ancients as it is as long as I would not convert it to a full blown FPS. This is the kind of compromise I think I was looking for. Both sides seam to be agreeing that the game I've created is not only unique, but fun, challenging, and seams to satisfy the majority of people in both camps.

Second, a number of you indicated you have no sense of direction, navigation, whatever in playing FPS type games like Shades of Doom. As this seams to be a rather common problem among blind gamers I'm certainly sympathetic to your needs and issues. As a developer of accessible games it is always helpful to know what types of games my potential customers would find fun, challenging, and accessible. Even though it might not be my forte this is still very useful information to know.

For one thing as plenty of you know near the beginning of 2008 I began work on a highly advanced game engine called Genesis 3D. When I initially designed that engine I intended to be able to create 3D FPS type titles with full 3d movement such as the ability to walk forward/backward, move left/right, or climb up/down. There has never been a fully accessible title with true 3d levels, true 3d movement, and built to mainstream specifications other than Audio Quake I know of.

However, one thing I had not counted on is a majority of my customers having navigational issues in existing FPS games like Shades of Doom and Sarah. As I generally don't have a big problem finding my way around in these games I assumed most blind gamers didn't either. So I'm a bit surprised that many of you do.

The point I'm getting at is that FPS games built with my engine would add a new demmention of complexity that none of you have experienced before. Such as you might walk into a room with a hole in the floor. You would have to jump into or crawl down through that hole to enter a room below the one you are in. To get back up to the room you just left you would have to climb a rope, staircase, ladder, etc to get back up to the rooms above you. Basically, what I'm saying is not all of the rooms would be on a flat surface, and you might have to climb up or down as well as go north, south, east, or west to explore the entire level. As this is a totally new experience for many of you I'm not sure all of you would enjoy it. Those of you who have navigational issues may find this too complicated or frustrating. So having a side-scroller probably would be better suited for you in the long run.

Third, to Dark, Scott, and many others I hear you. The fact of the matter is this is now 2009, and there are now many good examples of side-scrollers that are every bit as good as the FPS titles out there. Dark has convinced me that rather than trying to please a handful of gamers who want a 80's style side-scroller I should investigate ways to create a completely new, modern, type of side-scroller with save game functionality, random monsters, random items,
modern combat styles, etc. To that end I say, "bring it on!"

As also has been said, now that I've spent all this time upgrading the Genesis Engine to support 2d side-scrollers as well as more advanced FPS type games I might as well get some use out of that functionality. Today it might be MOTA, and someday when I'm ready maybe i can do something else like a modern Castlevania, Megaman, or Double Dragon type clone. The ability/functionality is there.

All and all for the time being I'm going to stick with the current production plan. I have officially abandoned any plans to create a traditional 80's style side-scroller, and think I would be satisfied to create a completely modern side-scroller. So those of you such as Dark, who are more familiar with modern side-scrollers if you have any good ideas I'm missing I'd be happy to take them under advisement. That said, I'll only add what I have time to include, and of course what I think is practical for an accessible game.

As for my own thoughts and feelings on the matter I have never concealed the fact I'd rather be making a true FPS title. However, as I mentioned to Yohandy earlier the Genesis Engine is fairly stable and complete at this point there is very little to stop me from doing just that after 1.0 is released. So as I see it 1.0 could be the side-scroller, and after a while I can release 1.2 as an FPS. Those who don't want to upgrade to an FPS wouldn't have to, but those who do can do so. This is the best compromise and the best of both worlds I think. At this point I consider the matter settled, and I feel much better about the outcome.

Smile.


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