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As people can read Here on Marty Schultz blog Apple have not only rejected the last planned set of updates to marty Schultz Blindfold series of games, but also effectively stopped all future development.
Apple have now apparently decided that since the games all use the menu structure, they need to be fused into a few aps in order to continue, a time consuming task which would effectively mean rewriting all the games.
This means no more updates to the Blindfold series, or more games unless Apple change their minds.

the blindfold series includes not only many sport, traditional and arcade titles for Ios (several of which, though not all as yet have db entries), but also the porting to Ios of some pc classics like the Rs games client and phrase madness.
So, unless this situation changes it means a major blow to accessible games, plus, who knows which ap series might be affected next.

Marty has provided phone and email contacts for Apple, so it's recommended anyone with a concern about this accessibility blocking move contact them (they've already had an email from myself).

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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That's all the proof I need that Apple's only consideration for accessibility is to use it as a marketing strategy. If they were truly serious about accessibility, they wouldn't be shutting down accessible game developers.

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Dark,
I am pissed that Apple has decided to punish Marty for something that greedy app developers are doing.
He has been willing to take suggestions from me for updates to his games and me and my wife have purchased many of his games and enjoy playing them.
Here is the info from his blog for contacting Apple which I plan to do.
If you are unhappy with this decision, you can express your opinion to Apple.  The accessibility desk is at 
[email protected]
or you can call 1-800-MY-APPLE.  Thanks to everyone for enjoying my games.

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This is outrageous. Those games were one of the best. Hope that apple will change their minds soon, though we all know what grait companies like Apple are like

Aleksandar
My search criteria on audiogames will never be the age of the developer, what ever someone else may say.
If you wish to contact me, please do it by email or any other way in my profile.
And, give me a thumbs up, that keep me motivated to do stuf, even if I cant do any stuf.

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Myself I do think that contacting Apple is a good idea.
marty has had issues with them in the past though generally they've been fixed, so I think this is one occasion where community support will help, especially given that Apple has been comparatively good about accessibility generally speaking.

I have already sent Apple a formal email myself, and would encourage others to do so, not deluge them with spam or epithets, but let them know that no, Marty is not trying shoddy development practices, there are reasons behind the way his games are designed and this assumption by apple is unreasonable.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Hi,
This is sad. I hope we can convince apple o change their decision. I'm wondering what would happen, if, say, PG13 let's plays did a stream to help, because they can be good at humour and stuff. We could prove that each game s different.

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Personally I will not be contacting apple about this. I think its disgusting how they took advantage of people through microtransactions. Also with the stunt they pulled to make even more money off of rs games, I cannot endorce them

Through the wilderness I prowl, woof woof,
My pray I chace, growl growl,
And when I catch it, nom nom,
I am the great Kurtwolf Cubscout!

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After seeing this kind of crap from them, I hardly think that Apple can be called a great company any more.

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sent them a strongly-worded letter explaining the situation and why it needs to change. Was not a fan of blindfold games but also didn't try many of them as many of them didn't appeal to the types of games I seemed to like, at the very least the ones I new about though I know now there are over 80 so what I knew about wasn't much.

I did it more to be honest because I see a disturbing trend in apple and app developers. While some, like Curious, (a maker of a learning site, not a game) and the guys who make godville and app11y are going with us, a lot of games that used to work for me now no longer do. Also, with some of the recent IOs updates, I've found my equipment is actually less accessible and has little bugs and problems that it didn't used to have. The trend is worrying.

Oddly, amazon is actually getting better at this and I might start using more android and amazon products in the future if this downhill slope continues.

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No, don't contact Apple. What he did is unacceptable. He gave the info for the accessibility team. Now let me ask you. What does accessibility team have to do with the team for reviewing apps? Nothing. For those who say how Apple is using accessibility as marketing, think again. They have apsolutely no reason to change their whole user agreement for the apps submissions just for audio games. They can't give him exceptions. The reason he wont continue developing is because he can't make money. Oh well, so sad. He could at least write a more complete blog post and give us the right people to contact instead of throwing the first available apple email.

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As to the blindfold gamesthe nuts and bolts of the mechanics of those I've played have been solid enough, I actually rather enjoy their arcade titles and what of their card games I've tried.

My only major issue with them is that often Marty's design hasn't been one I agreed with. For example, he frequently makes things that should imho be more difficult levels accessed once you've completed easier ones as optional extras that must be enabled in settings, but this certainly isn't a major objection.

@nidza07, one thing I will say, is that I don't think this is a case of Apple changing their hole user policy at all or Marty being greedy for money. There have been plenty of blindfold games  obviously, and Apple have only just objected, this is a new direction for them and a new attitude, one reason why I do think contacting the accessibility team might be helpful since obviously those who make the rules concerning what aps are approved have made a policy decision which does not take into account accessibility requirements. This is one reason I hope the situations is solvable.

I don't think it's a case of "Apple is a crap company", "accessibility as a marketing strategy"  or similar so much as the usual bureaucratic shenanigans where rules are being wrongly applied than situations looked at individually, which you'll find in any organisation, again one reason why I do hope to change minds about this.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Hi,
Agreed. While the accessibility team is not necessarily the app review team, they are, after all, the accessibility team, and surely they might be able to have a say in what happens here, especially as this is a developer catering directly to the blind community, but targeting sighted as well. Unlike, say, Somethin Else which was basically a company within a company (see what happened with The Nightjar when it was first released), Marty from Blindfold games is creating apps that, as said earlier, cater to us, and is just one guy doing it. It's not like Somethin Else where they have a few different types of content across the web and different publishers.

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For years I've been telling people on here that I swore off working with Apple a long long time ago, and that is why I don't work on any iPhone games.  I've had dealings with the Apple app review team, and I am very much bothered by how they can pop out of nowhere to demand changes be made to your software.  Call me spoiled by the freedom I get elsewhere, but once Apple started deciding what I could do and how I could do it, especially considering I had to pay them a yearly fee, I was done with them.  There are pros and cons to their approach, but for me personally the way they handle developers is a deal breaker.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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good. blindfold are overpriced as fuck. just wants to milk money out of people and their games aren't really a blow to the accessibility of games anyways.
just look at how rs games is managed when it comes to pay to play all the games and you'll get what i mean.
i personally think this was a good move from apple and i'm happy they finally did something about it. maybe this guy will realise that money milking is not going to help him in the long run lol.

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@14 thumbs up from me, great post!

Through the wilderness I prowl, woof woof,
My pray I chace, growl growl,
And when I catch it, nom nom,
I am the great Kurtwolf Cubscout!

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No no, let's get this straight.  3 things I want to address here: 1. This isn't accessibility related at all. They wanted him to merge apps, nothing less, nothing more. They didn't say your games have no graphics or anything like that for it to be accessibility related, and this could have happened to any company, that's why it's not related to accessibility. I am sorry that he's making people who aren't so tech savvy think it's accessibility related, when the reality is different and he just uses accessibility in this case as a way to get more support. 2. The posts like sito's aren't right in any way. The games being overpriced is one thing, and I didn't comment here because I don't like them, and saying how you're happy cause Apple did this isn't what I support either. Here, we're just realistically talking about why Apple did so. 3. Apple's reviewing of apps is in no way the best, however when you start developing iOS apps you should know what you can expect. Just like Aprone said, if you don't want it, then don't develop for iOS. It's as simple as that.

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I'm afraid I do not agree there nidza07, since the issue is the menu structure of the games which is the same over different games to promote accessibility.
That actually is one thing I will say has worked in the Blindfold series, the fact you can start one game and know what your getting and don't need to go through a massive menu structure to work out what is what.

Apple however I suspect simply ran a couple of the games, saw the white screens with text and menu items in the same place and applied their rule indiscriminately, after all why should a game based on frogger and a game of hearts, and a game simulating ten pin bowling  be bundled in one ap? There is no way Apple would've suggested this if they'd open the aps and seen different graphics, heck I can think of several cases (the storm8 games for one), when essentially you have! had the same aps running with different graphics and Apple have not complained.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Dark, not all apps have to be in the same app. What they suggested was better grouping for apps. He could have made something like blindfold card games, blindfold arcade games, blindfold sport games and so on. Menu structure is still not very related to accessibility, though even if it was i still don't see any reason for apple to give him exceptions. He was not open minded with apple at all, and expected them to just play by his rules instead of the other way round.

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19 (edited by Orko 2017-11-09 22:27:52)

Apple's rules aren't always fair.

Years ago before I lost my sight, a large iOS game developer had this game, it was not all that great in its design and implementation, but was a popular game. At about the same time, this small indie iOS game developer released a similar game, just as Candy Crush is similar to BeJewelled, it had better graphics, music, and was just generally better quality than the game from the big developer. The two games were released too close together for one to be a copy of the other. Instead of competing fairly with the indie developer by making better quality games, the big developer complained to Apple that the indie developer was infringing on their copyright, which was nowhere close to being true, the games had some similarities, but had even more differences. So what does Apple do? Instead of rejecting the one game in dispute, they kick the indie developer out of the app store which results in the indie developer going out of business. I doubt that Apple even bothered to look at the two games to see if the claim of copyright infringement was valid, they just picked sides and like the bully they are, kicked the little guy out of the playground.

And then there's the story about how Apple sued a small family owned restaurant in Germany because they had "Apple" in their name and an apple that didn't even come close to Apple's logo in appearance, in their logo. The only reason anyone could figure out why Apple would do this was because Apple is a bully, plain and simple.

I know lots of stories about Apple and how they keep proving to the world that they are nothing but a bunch of jerks and butt holes. You will never convince me that any company that behaves like that is worthy of being called great.

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20 (edited by Ethin 2017-11-10 00:04:43)

@sito, I must disagree with your post. If you think those games are overpriced, go check out the Mac app store -- now there are some majorly overpriced apps. Blindfold may want money, but how the fuck else do you expect him to not only continue to develop games, but continue to host a web site, continue to purchase sounds, etc? If you price your games to what the public thinks you should price them as, your not going to earn very much income. Doing this is actually very common, look at JAWS or the price of Windows as an example. Neither product is worth even close to how much their priced as, yet Microsoft and FS price it anyway. It's one of the keys of successful marketing -- price something at a higher price than it's actually worth. It may seem wrong, but it actually is a very, very good way of balancing out your income and expenses. Now, I'm not going to discount the fact that there is a point where your price gets to such a high number that your income becomes null and void; the key to performing this strategy right is to make sure you don't price your products above about $100.00. And on iOS, where prices are usually low, the limit should probably be decreased to about $20.00. Any more and you start to lose income rather than gain it. I myself have never seen an app on the iOS app store that's more costly than $18.00, and that was for an audio book (that, coincidentally, thought I'd read but never ended up reading it).

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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ethin, 20 dollars is not the maximum for price on the appstore, KNFB reader is 100 dollars at least, or close to that. That is very over priced, even more so than jaws.
While I personally was not too big a fan of many blindfold games, I did not know there are over 80 of them. I do think its rather annoying that apple have rejected their games, however I don't think it was because of accessibility. While contacting the accessibility team at apple is a nice jesture for blindfold games, I also don't think its going to do much. Apple don't seem like the type of people to really care about third party apps. Even if they did, I don't think the accessibility team would know anything about this since, at apple, you can't discuss anything with anybody. Nothing. Since I don't think the accessibility team would have had anything to do with this, I don't think anybody on the team would know much about it since they are so clasified.

I am the blind jedi, I use the force to see. I am the only blind jedi.

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@Ethin, since it's an accessibility issue relating to menu structure, and I'm fairly sure a rejection due to the games not being graphically different from each other, I disagree that contacting the team isn't a good idea.
Of course I am very sceptical of huge companies like apple taking notice of anything, but it's worth the effort nonetheless.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Due to the way he wrote the blog post just so he writes it, we can only speculate what the issue is. He didn't go into detail, perhaps he knew that if he did, people wouldn't contact the accessibility team so easily? All he said is that they required him to merge the apps.

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Well nidza07 it depends upon your beliefs.
I tend to take him at his word, but if you don't that's up to you.

While I do have my issues with some of his design decisions, I will say in communications I've had with him he seems more than a reasonable chap and has been very honest with the community over the years, one reason whu it would be nice if those of the community who wished supported him about this, but it's of course up to everyone to decide what they're going to do, if anything.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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@Dark -- post 22, I mean: I think your refering to someone else.
@21, yeah, I know. And on Android it's only $20.00. At least, last time I checked it was. $20.00 is just a general price limit that you should always set -- never set a price for a product on an app store like iOS's above $20.00 unless you've got a reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally good reason to do so. To be honest, this doesn't seem like the Accessibility team is at fault here, so contacting them isn't going to do much. It seems like it's the approval process, of which I am unsure who to contact. I doubt the accessibility team will be able to solve this problem.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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