Treasure Islands is a real time sailing and navigation game running on Windows.
All speech requests are sent to a screen reader using Tolk.
The player must locate sunken treasure and deliver cargos to complete the game.
The game includes 7 fixed maps of varying difficulty, and one that can be randomly generated.
The current game is automatically saved on entering a port, or quitting when in port.
The player sets the speed of the ship from three options: full stop, half speed and full speed.
While at stop, or moving, the vessel can be turned continuously by steps of one degree.
The player is alerted to the presence of objects in front of the ship, including distant island coastlines, ports, navigational hazards and high altitude objects beyond the horizon.
There are additional controls to announce your current bearing and location.
Critical distances to objects are automatically announced.
Your ship is equipped with basic sonar.
Sonar usually points forward, but can be turned, to face to port or starboard.
The tone indicates the type of object detected, while the rate of repeat indicates proximity.
Basic navigation and tips
Navigation is achieved through the use of bearings, and a map co-ordinate system of northings and eastings similar to latitudes and longitudes.
There is an independent tone that indicates sector transitions, that is, movement from one map grid location into another.
The sound of surf upon the shore is directional, which may also aid navigation.
Island information can be purchased for islands not yet visited.
When at stop, decreasing speed will force the announcement of directly accessible ports.
Press SPACE to access the pause menu.
On running Treasure Islands, the game opens a Window, presenting the user with a bespoke menu.
The menu is controlled using the mouse, or the cursor keys and ENTER.
Due to compatibility issues, alternative keys to the cursor keys are available.
The menus follow a common layout.
A vertical exit bar is located on the left.
The remainder of the window is split into 16 rows, with the top row acting as the menu title.
For best compatibility use the keys W, S, A, and D, to control the cursor, but, NVDA settings need to be adjusted, see below.
Menu controls include:
Cursor up, or W, or 8
Cursor down, or S, or 5
Cursor left, or A, or 4
Cursor right, or D, or 6
Press ENTER or click mouse, to select a menu item
Press X, or 2, to exit the current menu quickly
Ship controls include:
Increase speed by tapping cursor up, or W, or 8
Decrease speed by tapping cursor down, or S, or 5
Turn to port by pressing cursor left, or A, or 4
Turn to starboard by pressing cursor right, or D, or 6
Press Q, or 7 to announce your current bearing
Press E, or 9 to announce your current location as a northing and easting co-ordinate
Decreasing speed when at a full stop triggers a quick scan for easy to reach ports
Press SPACE to open the pause menu
Press Z, or 1, to point sonar to port
Press X, or 2, to point sonar forward
Press C, or 3, to point sonar to starboard
As mentioned previously, using the cursor keys may create a compatibility issue, therefore alternative keys are recommended for playing the game.
The game was tested using NVDA on Windows 7, and for the announcements to function correctly, the following NVDA settings should be adjusted via the preferences and keyboard settings menus: Speak typed characters off, and Speech interrupt for typed characters off.
Alternatively, the ship can be controlled with a 3 button mouse, with mouse wheel.
Any combination of the controls, listed above, can be tried.
Another alternative is to press F 3 to toggle between Tolk and SAPI speech.
The menu system allows the user to create keyboard shortcuts.
Press F 1, to record a shortcut. Make sure the mouse pointer is over the required menu entry, before pressing the desired shortcut key.
To remove a keyboard shortcut, use the same process, but press backspace.
If you are using the mouse to access the game menus, then be aware that visible portions of text may result in occasional speech errors. To prevent this, hide the menu text via the visual settings menu.
When the new game option has been selected, or you are currently docked, there is a menu option to set sail.
Upon setting sail, your ship will be placed beyond the edge of the harbour, pointing on a bearing towards the open sea where possible.
Any ports, within easy reach, will have their respective names and bearings announced.
Not all ports or harbours are within easy reach, and you must navigate around each island to find them.
Islands come in various shapes and sizes.
For every new port you visit, you are rewarded with the co-ordinates of a sunken treasure.
A list of treasure locations can be accessed via the pause menu.
Sail to the treasure location and send down divers, via the pause menu, to recover the treasure.
Centring sonar when already centred will trigger the announcement of the nearest treasure location.
Most ports will have a cargo waiting to be transported to another island.
You will receive a small fee for shipping these large containers.
Your boat has room for one container only.
While in port, the Cargo Terminal provides easy access to loading and unloading cargos.
A complete Cargo Database can be accessed when in port, or when the game is paused.