This is what I expect if I am going to go to the trouble of learning to play
*any* game, whether it is specifically created or adapted for the blind or

The game needs to have sufficient complexity, changeability and depth that
it is an intellectual challenge to me, more than just a memorization of
sequences, environments and the like, but constantly evolving tactical
and/or strategic choices that are different every time I play the game.  I
expect to be able to make full use of the information the game provides,
whether that information is specifically designed to be accessed by sound,
braille or not.  If playing against an AI, I want it to be able to be
unpredictable at least to some extent.  If there are elements that are
passed to the player visually, I want there to be sound analogs that provide
the same depth and speed of information as the visual player would receive.

What it comes down to for me is that I'm picky as hell; have a limited
amount of time to spend on games, so I demand that a game provide me the
maximal entertainment value per unit effort put forth that I can have.

I am prepared to be taught that there are mainstream video games that might
fulfill these rather stringent requirements.  Among accessible games I have
played or tried, only Lone Wolf and the new release of Time of Conflict
coming up fit them squarely, meaning no disrespect to other developers; I'm
not the target audience for some of you, and while I have great personal
respect for Thomas Ward, MOTA is not my cup of tea, though if he ever
updates his STFC game, it will likely come a lot closer to my own tastes and
complexity/replayability standards.  I played the Savage Gambit for a while,
until I mastered the hand-ear coordination necessary to beat every opponent
without fail.  I'm done with that game.  Alien Outback was a very nice bit
of nostalgia from when I used to play Space Invaders on other people's Atari
consoles with a few bonuses, but again, once you've mastered the basics, the
rest is just speed of reaction.

So, when a mainstream game that is an in-depth strategic or tactical
simulation, as opposed to a first-person shooter comes out that provides the
level of sound access I expect, I'll very likely be in line to buy the first
copy.  Until then I'll be making TOC maps/unit sets and trying them out.
Look for a Gettysburg campaign scenario, and perhaps a theater-level Russian
Front game using David Greenwood's fine game engine hopefully some time in
the next six months, or whenever he releases it to the public.

        Christopher Bartlett

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