Hi Thomas,

I don't have much trouble navigating in a game such as Monkey Business or Shades of Doom. I just don't find them very interesting, because I spend more time trying to figure out where I am going than actually doing things. In my mind, figuring out a maze is not enjoyable. Granted my spacial skills aren't the best, but this is not the primary reason why I prefer sidescrollers.

As for audio games not being as developed as mainstream ones, I think the reasons behind that are fairly obvious to both of us. Time, number of programmers, and money. If we had a team of perhaps 30 or 50 programmers working for a full 6 or 12 months on a title with a few million dollar budget, I am positive that we would certainly catch up. But until that happens, we are stuck with hobbyists, some of whom without an actual company, producing the games. I am currently running Blastbay Studios as a full time business and so am making very rapid progress on my new game, but at one point or another I am going to seek employment as a full time programmer in a regular company. When that happens, there will be very few games from Blastbay Studios. I will be on a similar schedule as yourself, where game development is only done when I have a few moments free and personal matters don't come in the way. Right now I can dedicate all my time to product development, and this is exactly my point. Until the development stops being a hobby and becomes the full time activity of a semi large company dedicated to audio games, we will be standing on pretty much the same spot. Sure there will be advances every now and then, but I'm guessing we're still roughly 20 years behind the mainstream industry. And I also fear that what I stated above will never happen, because there simply is not enough money in the community to warrent a large scale business venture. I am going to make one last attempt with this game and see if I can have it translated into either Japanese or perhaps Mandarin, as I feel that those are markets that have not yet been properly tapped into.

Kind regards,

Philip Bennefall
----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: <phi...@blastbay.com>; "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 1:52 PM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] Seamlessly upgrading DirectX

Hi Philip,

Philip wrote:

Oh Q9 is definitely simplistic, and that was one of my goals when
designing it. It
was not initially intended to be commercial at all, it was a commission from the
institute for the blind over here.

My reply:

Oh, I see. That makes a lot of sense, and explains a lot of the behind
the scenes development of the game.
Philip wrote:

My upcoming game, while still a sidescroller, is
leaps and bounds above Q9 in every respect.

My reply:

That's nice to hear. I can't wait to check it out. Even though
side-scrollers aren't that common any more in the mainstream market I
can remember playing Megaman, Mario, Castlevania, Prince of Persia,
etc all of which had far more depth and complexity than Q9.  Which I'd
like to see games of that quality made accessible.

It isn't that I have anything against side-scrollers, but more the
fact that I can't really get into Hunter, Super Liam, Q9, etc because
they just don't live up to my standards. I can't help but compare them
to the mainstream games of the 80's and 90's I played and
unfortunately there is a lot of things that could make those games
better such as more traps, puzzles, moving platforms, perhaps a 2d
maze to crawl through, timed locks, whatever. There are hundreds of
things I know about that would be simple and easy to add, but haven't
been tried in audio games yet.At least not until MOTA which is sort of
my testbed for making some of these ideas accessible.

Philip wrote:

Personally I don't know very much about video games, and since I can't
really play
them (at least not in the same way a sighted person could), I don't
have any particular
interest in them. So while the gaming industry might have moved away
from platformers,
I still very much enjoy them and so I will create them.

My reply:

Oh, I didn't mean to say I don't like platformers, but more that there
is a big difference in game play between a 2d platformer and a big 3d
first-person game. One of the big differences is that first-person
games generally have more areas to explore, and usually the levels are
laid out as one big maze which I always find fun.

It is kind of funny alot of the VI gamers here on list say they don't
like Shades of Doom and other first-person games because they always
get lost. Its like they missed the entire point which is the levels
are intentionally laid out as a large maze. You are suppose to get
lost and have fun figuring out where to go and what to do. That's
where the replay value comes in because you have to work on the maze
for several hours perhaps days until you understand the layout of the
level and can progress further in the game. Although, from what I
gather this is more of a problem for many blind gamers because many of
them have spacial orientation difficulties which makes solving the
maze more difficult.

At any rate one of the reasons I personally became a fan of the Tomb
Raider games is because in addition to traps, various treasures to
find, puzzles to solve, and enemies to kill the levels themselves were
also half the challenge. They were often laid out as a maze and it is
easy enough for a sighted person to get lost let alone a blind gamer.

With a 2d platformer there is not much you can do in terms of mazes.
You can go left, right, up, or down. So even games that have mazes in
them generally aren't that complicated and are fairly easy to solve
quickly. Which I sort of find disappointing, because the
thrill/challenge of figuring out the level isn't there.

One other diference made me a big fan of first-person games early on.
That has to do with realistic movement. With a first-person game there
are litterally a couple dozen movement commands that you can't get in
a 2d platformer. If you want to avoid an enemy attack you can simply
sidestep left or right out of his or her way. You can jump up, jump
foward, or jump backward. You can do a short hop to the left or right.
You can walk foward/backward. You can climb up and down on climbable
objects. If you are in a room of enemies you can pick a machine gun or
something like that and strafe the entire room by holding down the
fire key and pressing left/right arrow to turn in place. Basically,
there are so many different actions you can do that side-scrollers and
other 2d platformers just don't have by design. So when I started
playing first-person games in the mid 90's I was pretty amazed at all
the extra stuff I could do that no side-scroller offered.


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