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Treasure Islands is a freeware real time sailing and navigation audio 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.

Here is the link to download the 4.4 megabyte zip folder:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1izqtaF … sp=sharing
The game itself is an executable file named Treasure Islands.

More details are listed in an additional post.
For those who have played Echo Quadrant, this game is a totally different concept.
It shares a similar menu system, which has been re-written.
The sailing aspect is written like an arcade game, in that it loops 25 times a second to scan and track the scenery for a realistic simulation.
Speech requests are sent to a screen reader, via Tolk. But direct SAPI output can be heard by pressing F 3.
There is greater use of sound in general.
This game is, in some ways, experimental from my point of view, but tested and complete.
Hopefully it will lead to more interesting developments.

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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.

Sailing
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.

Leaving Port.
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.

Finding treasure
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.

Transporting cargo
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.

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hi there.
ah nice one
I have 12  golds so far big_smile
what could make your ship damage though?

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Hi.

Great your back with another game, and we've wanted a sailing themed game for a while now. It actually reminds me strongly of the audiogame classic submarine game, lone wolf from Gma games.

I definitely like the idea, and the ports and treasure are rather cool, however if anything navigation seems a little too easy.
Once I'd remembered how to convert  angles to compass bearings and worked out how the grid system was layed out, the game became a little too easy.

While you've given a lot of really great informational tools between the sonar, sea sounds and! full announcements it's nearly impossible to actually hit anything, though to what extent this occurred because I was playing on the easy map I don't know, I'll try one of the harder ones and  see how I get on.

I also noticed the issue with nvda and the arrow keys which was odd, though  w s a d worked fine.

You could also consider giving the player either the ability to input his/her course in degrees by typing numbers, or a key shortcut to skip through things a bit faster. Often when games have  360 degree turning circle players can usually use shift  the right and left keys to  snap to the cardinal directions though whether this would make matters slightly too easy I am not sure.

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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I think it would be coolif you could use your gold to purchase ship upgrades, like speed upgrades. I did manage to crash my ship into an island, and if you hold down the up arrow to try to keep on going, you will die very quick, so don't do that, because i did. lol

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Definitly gonna check this out!

Audio game king

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Okay forget what I said in the last post big_smile.
When I stopped trying to play the game like a strategy game and started playing it like an arcade game it was a lot more fun, and a lot more challenging, indeed this is how I recommend most people play, only bother about the calculation when  your finding treasure or have  port you can get to in a streight line, for most of the going round the islands it's far more fun to try and keep close to the coast but not so close in you damage yourself, this is also where the sonar comes in handy, though you might consider also making that directional as well since it is a little odd to have something to port that doesn't sound to port.

The two main things I'm finding now, is firstly that cargo runs and finding all the ports is much harder than finding all the treasure, and secondly that there really should  be a little more by way of incentive to make the player want to go faster.

I'd suggest adding  some sort of extra action element to the game to make players speed up, such as pirates attempting to steal the cargo, which move very slowly, but are always trying to get you. Ship upgrades as Keyisful suggests would also be nice, especially with the pirates, and anyway pirates are cool Garrrr!

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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In answer to Jason, there are reefs that can cause damage, as well as running into land or rocks.

Hi Dark.
Although turning might be a little slow at times, I wanted the game to have a realistic feel, and to move away from a grid alignment.
The difficult and devious maps probably offer the most challenge in terms of navigation.
I also wanted the game to be relaxing and a bit of idle fun.
Having incorporated new ideas for the use of sound, they may lend themselves to other types of games, including platforms and ladders, frogger, or perhaps a 2 dimensional version of Elite. I did start work on a very large space game to follow Echo Quadrant, but it started to feel repetitive. Environments created by algorithms can be limitless in size but dull.
I also looked at doing a conversion of Dungeon Keeper, at least as far as directing minions to take on certain duties.

@keyisfull: I did consider upgrades to the ship. I know people are looking for complexity. I'm hoping to combine everything I'm learning into making something bigger and better.

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Hi.

A game like Dungeon keeper is something I've wanted to play for quite some time, and of course audio  space trading and progression games are always great fun.
IN TERMS OF  PROCEDURALLY GENERATED STUFF, GENERALLY THE MORE ELEMENTS YOU have to work with, the more random things get, even down to things like text description of items which can make things feel new even if  game mechanics are the same, which is one tactic I've seen used in several very good text games to great effect (take a look at The wastes and warsim for some brilliant examples of this), so I shouldn't worry too much since when one doesn't have graphics  it's amazing how much even if   small amount of atmospheric description can do, especially when that description gets played with by random generation.

Getting  back to treasure islands though, I do get  that this  is a  casual game, and I'll definitely try more of the maps, though  I do like the idea of at least a little by  way of expantion to firstly  it clear that this is best played quickly, and secondly give something of a sense of danger while roaming around treasurehunting, and hay as your making all that gold you might as well use it for something big_smile.

Still,  I actually can  see how  between  this and echo quadrent your thinking in terms of more complex games, and I'd definitely be up for such a project if you plan one, and in the  mean time both games are definitely fun to play,  I need to work at echoe quadrent a little myself to get how to actually progress in the game big_smile.

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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oh would love to see elite brought to audio that would be a dream come true for me considering I used to play that a ton.

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if you want to add more complexity to a space trader make it an empire builder. something that can allow for npc traders to trade with you so you can affect the economy and make it so they can go into competition with you. defending your holdings from attack and other such things.

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Hey Freeman69! I am so glad to see you back here again!
HAHA, and let me tell you!
I had no interest in this boringsounding game. But i played the last 40 minutes and love it a lot! It is somehow..... sweet.....
I totaly agree with Dark and the others. This game could need a lot more of complexity. But if you want to keep the game as it is, its also OK.

OK, one little sugestion: You could add somekind of dockingspeed. Cause it is a little strange that you can dock on a port with full speed!:-)

I am looking forward whats next on your list!
A dungeon keeper clone? Yes please!
Elite? Please yes yes yes yes please!:-)

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I think elite or an elite style game should be the next thing purely because we haven't got one.

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Thats absolutely the point, yes! And, thats a truely shame!

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I am reading all your comments and I am hoping to build games that meet everyone's wishes.
Treasure Islands was originally intended to have a pirate theme, cannons and looting and walking the plank. But I had to focus on the navigational side of things, which involved a learning process. Everything takes time, but every step forward introduces new future possibilities.
I should have stated more clearly that Treasure Islands is a puzzle with some random elements, and not an epic quest. But I hope that it has a charm of its own.
Reading all your feedback makes me want to start working on the next project.

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have you decided what that project is going to be?

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Just a miner correction it isn't true that we have no space trading games, we even have some single player ones. It is! true we have no spaceship games that work in real time with an actual flight sim style navigation system, or even a 2d arcade navigation system ala treasure islands. Hell we don't even have a tie fighter  complex space shooter since all the space based arcade games we have tend to be of the space invaders variety.

In terms of trading, there are the smugglers games which are turn based and very cool for their theme and combat, but less free form in the way you progress (I love the missions, stories etc, but the trading is rather secondary), there is then traders of known space by valiant galaxy associates which is great as far as it goes, but basically functions like a board game albeit a randomly generating one.

So a game with some action elements in navigation plus trading and ship upgrades would rock, I've heard loads about elite and have friends who are huge fans, but due to too much text I've never been able to play it, even though the original probably did have simple enough graphics for my vision to cope.

I also however love the idea of a dungeon keeper style game, especially because the notion of playing an evil wizard breeding nasty monsters, expanding my evil dungeon with traps and  hazards, and squashing those pesky heroes quite appeals to me big_smile.

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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I will see what I can do with an Elite style game. Treasure Islands includes a few aspects that I can take further and develop into space travel and trading game.
I had wanted to add ships to Treasure Islands, but the complex shapes of the islands and the randomised map feature made that more complicated than I wanted to deal with. But in space, with just a large planet and sun, that simplifies the problem.
I also think I have a novel idea that will make 2D dogfights very interesting. Nailing that is the key.

There is one problem though. In Elite the star systems had randomly generated names with very strange spellings. Should I stick to a numbering system like in Stargate, for example P1234? It would allow the player to type in a hyperspace destination. Or should I stick with lists of names to scroll through, with descriptions, or maybe allow both?

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HMM, do whatever is best for you. I like both ideas!:xd
Oh my god! I cant wait to see even the first Beta!:xd

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well in the very first elite game each galaxy had around 2000 starsystems and there were 8 galaxies. but the galaxies and systems weren't randomly generated. you had a range of lets say 8 lightyears to jump with a full fuel tank. sadly the first elite only had 1 planet and 1 star and 1 space station per star system. but it was very much ahead of its time. that's 1 thing I loved about elite 2 it was far more detailed in terms of starsystems and it used real space physics including lightspeed theory whereby the closer you got to lightspeed time passed differently for you than it does for the outside universe. it might take a few seconds for you to reach another starsystem but a few days passed in reality.

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personally I'd suggest both names and numbers.
Numbers make for easier navigation, since it's always easier to type warp to 152 than warp to Taosetti miner,  names, especially if tied to text descriptions make things far more atmospheric.

As Darren said, a game like that would be amazing, though in the mean time I'll try to add treasure islands to the db this weekend.

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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Looks like I've got a new project. Although it will be more like the original Elite than Elite 2.
I've done something similar before so I know I can include the following:
Trading goods
Purchasing equipment for the ship, which takes up room in the cargo hold
Trading up for a different ship with different capabilities
Sun skimming for hyperspace fuel, and cargo scooping
Docking at a staton near a planet
What I'd like to include is missions, and perhaps the ability to land on some planets.
The real time combat is the most critical feature and something I'll have to experiment with.

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what about certain types of missions and perhaps owning your own stations etc?

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That sort of game would rock. I love the idea of missions, though I don't know if owning and managing your own station is needed, after all not every space game should be the same, though the chance to upgrade your ship, buy better gear and for the game to have some sort of end point would be nice indeed.

I've had friends who loved elite so the idea of an audio version with actual navigation that wasn't entirely turn based would be very cool.

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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yeah a real proper elite styled game would be brilliant. elite is the farther of all simulators.

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