2019-01-25 20:25:43 (edited by Dark 2019-01-25 20:26:38)

When I was having a poke around Applevis I noticed this new release from Marty Schultz and Kidfriendly software which should be of interest to people looking for a racing game. Indeed, I tried it myself and the difficulty is pretty steep.

It has its own Db page here, but for a brief explanation, its an audio game simulating going down a Bobslay run.

point the phone right or left  to steer, and either tilt back and forward, or tap with three fingers for speed. As in top speed, the  more off  to one side the sound of your sledge goes, the closer to the edge of the track. Depending upon the game's difficulty you'll either  just bounce off a fence or plummet to your doom.

what makes the game interesting is that controlling the sled is quite a fine tuned matter, indeed acquiring it is something of a skill, and one which it takes time to learn, which is why I thought this one might appeal to  people looking for a true racing game (which Blindfold Racer obviously isn't).

There are various different modes available, from short or long tracks to changes in the sharpness of turns, to an endless mode and even an upgrade where you can pickup snowballs for extra points, plus there is a heavy amount of customisation in the settings, including width of the track and whether you instantly lose when you crash into the fence or not.

now, talking about price. You can play the short, 20 second practice modes as much as you like, and the game comes with ten coins that can be used on any of the other modes.

Each category of tracks costs two English pounds to buy, plus an extra 99 p for snowball mode, or the hole lot for five pounds.
I believe in the American version of the game that translates to each category of tracks being 2.5 usd, with the hole lot available at a discount for 7 usd, but I'm not sure since the ap store won't give me an individual price run down.

One thing I will say price wise, is that bare in mind each mode is rather different, especially when you factor in random turns being chucked at you, indeed I don't know at this point if I'll be buying the game myself or not, since while I really admire the mechanics, they're not easy ones to master, and racing games have never been my strong suit 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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2019-01-25 20:59:34

Oh yeah Marti, milk the fucking cash cow. I don't know what is worse, the guy pumping out those games or the people who eat these up with large spoons and shout "More please" in between bites.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-01-25 21:11:32 (edited by Dark 2019-01-25 21:13:54)

@Simba, that's a trifle harsh.
As someone whose had to  play most of the Blindfold games to add to the db and intends to play the rest, In many of the Blindfold games, the cash requirements are for modes that effectively function as separate games as is the case here, or for pretty large extra packs, EG trivia packs with extra questions (while the wheel of fortuen game sounds bloody expensive on paper, considering there are two thousand possible puzzles for two dollars it doesn't seem so bad).
In the case of the above Blindfold Bobsled, I personally wouldn't even consider buying the longer tracks until I'd sufficiently mastered the short one, and whether that will happen we'll see big_smile.

The one occasion where I do think the games fall down price wise, is not smaller addons which are essentially cosmetic or game changing, such as the customisation option for Blindfold doggy which seems that it should be available as part of the default game settings, or some of the customise opponents options for some of the hearts and trivia style games.

Then again, here the Snowball game addon costs just 99 p, which is about as small price wise as it gets so I can't complain too much.

I won't disagree  some of the games can be on the expensive end, but I wouldn't start throwing around words like "cash cow" quite as rapidly, especially because the design, particularly in those games that make use of haptic control such as this one does is pretty awesome, one reason why i wrote this topic to let people know about the game who might be interested.

Hope this makes sense.

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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2019-01-25 21:12:15

sadly i have to agree with post 2. i looked at blindfold doggy recently with my partner and i found that to be a disappointment. you would have thought that considering how long he's been knocking these apps out for he would develop more games with playability.

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2019-01-25 21:16:40

@Darren, playability varies with title, the arcade and sports titles particularly that make use of analogue control are imho very well put together. The problem with a lot of the blindfold games is that they're programmed well, but not designed well, and Blindfold doggy is an example, since often a lot comes through settings and customisation options that should be in the regular game.

That being said, when they work, they work well. this is a case where I thought they did hence why I shared info.

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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2019-01-25 21:46:51

Hi.
@dark, yes, my post was harsh and i intended it to be too. Yes, that will possibly not really grand me any credibility as a game critique, but it's just my personall popinion.
You see, Marty has been pumping out games for I don't know, years by now. And often the games use the same concept same playstyle, often same sounds.
Prime example is the war game. The game is literally tapping the screen to draw cards, nothing more.
Or, the snakes and ladders game, also just tap the screen to throw the dice.
Or, take fireworks, tapping the screen just to get some sounds which you can get for free with any sound generator app.
And, all these three apps are paid, I think they were about 3 dollars each. Doesnt sound that much on paper I agree, but for a game which just requires me to simply tap the screen, I wouldn't charge any money.
Look at iPhone games like Feer or sound of magic, they are a bit less than 5 bucks each, and with sound of magic, you get a fully narated storie, puzzles to solve and a whole lot of awesome entertainment for a few mind boggling hours.
With feer, you have to react fast, listen carefully and see how far you can come before an enemy, zombie or robot or any other obstacle on the map sends you to your doom.
These games are products which I am supporting and willing to support with my money.

If you have the time, give the pg13 stream about the blind fold games a listen, I think it's called trying to get are heads around the blindfold maze.
They play quite a lot of games there.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-01-26 01:25:18

I have to say, I agree with simba here.
While I agree that some games/upgrades of games should be payed to an extent, I wouldn't go so far as to say, well, here ya go, have 10 coins to play my newly released game, and then, you have to pay me! If you want to play even the same game you played 10 times before that is....
Another example of this is the Audio game hub.
Heck, they even took away the chance to buy all the games, so now if you want to play the games that, in my opinion, aren't worth the money anyway, you have to pay an annual subscription!
I know it's not completely the same subject, but it's just another example of being ridiculously charged for something that isn't worth the money.

Several enemies tried to ambush me in the darkness, only to be casually struck down by my never-ending power!
If you like my posts, do them proud by giving them some thumbs up.

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2019-01-26 04:29:05

I tried the bobsled game, and I think it's fine, but WHY, did it have to be gesture-controlled? I know I can get used to it, but the control is weird, and the sounds just aren't that good.
I remember Marty posting on Applevis about how he wanted to keep file sizes down, but with the ever-increasing storage benchmark, it shouldn't be that small, and should have higher-quality sounds.

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2019-01-26 04:33:49

Oh yeah, totally makes sense RS partnered with this guy. I feel like their vision fits perfectly.

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2019-01-26 12:47:38 (edited by Dark 2019-01-26 12:52:14)

I'm certainly not going to say I agree with the pricing on all of the blindfold titles, in particular gambling games like roulette or some of the simpler card games like War and uno.

I will say though, that I do think sometimes when Blindfold games come out with better titles that use the technology well, people aren't always as ready to try them out as they might be. Also in many cases what is paid for is tantamount to an extra game rather than an extra game mode as I said above.

I do wish the games had a slightly more extensive demo, especially in something like Bobsled where your games can end pretty quickly, indeed while I have  bought some of the blindfold games in the past (usually those like breakout which make use of the hardware in interesting ways, or strategic games like hearts which are good for long journeys),  whether I'll be 
getting Bobsled I don't know since the controls are rather precise , which is ironically why I thought people here might be particularly interested in the game, since one thing  you can't accuse bobsled of being is too easy big_smile.

Still, as is usually the case i'm just giving information here people  are welcome to try the thing and make their minds up, as in fact I will do myself.

Personally, I always try to look at the blindfold games on a case by case basis, which is what I've been doing as I've given them db entries.

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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2019-01-26 12:49:43

Hi.
Thanks for sharing.
However, I must say that I also have been disappointed many times by the Blindfold games. Bad design in almost every games I have tried, and the feeling that it's not worth the money.
Seems like a lot of people are enjoying the games though, since the developer is constantly releasing new games. I'm overwhelmed by all those games and I'm glad to see that he is doing all that for the blind community.
I shouldn't complain, since I haven't contacted the developer to suggest any improvements. In my opinion, such active developer should be better at designing games. That is, if he even cares about the design and the quality of his games. For me, it seems like he don't really care, but I don't know. Maybe he is just not good at making great design?
Again, I'm glad a lot of people like his games. If no people liked what he is doing, he wouldn't make more than 50 games... big_smile

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-01-26 13:00:24

@Slj, I'd be interested to know what you mean by "bad design" in the games.
Generally what I've seen myself, is that when it comes to producing games that contain a degree of precise challenge, EG precise swipes or use of the haptic controls in an interesting way, the games have worked pretty well, as is the case in blindfold breakout, Blindfold Barnyard, blindfold hopper or indeed Bobsled. Ditto with use of trivia questions for challenges as in something like wheel of fortune.

Where the games have fallen down is  firstly in the lack of progressive challenge, in that the games are built to be so customisable, that instead of having harder levels you tend to just have to alter the factors to make the game more difficult (blindfold Runner is pretty cool, but only when you ramp up the difficulty to max), and secondly that many of these smaller style customisations cost extra money rather than being a default part of the game, For example having to buy access to extra challenge modes.

this problem with charging for smaller customisations also affects some of the traditional card/word/puzzle games, for example rather than just being able to buy Blindfold hearts out right and play with four people, you have to purchice the upgrade, I also dislike always having to alter the voice speed and type for computer voices since for some strange reason the default ones are set on a bloody awful setting, amazingly slow and usually pitch shifted the wrong way (daniel sounds pretty cruddy).

so I'd be interested in hearing what you mean about design issues.

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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2019-01-26 13:41:22

the reason why people don't want to try them is the same reason that i warned freedom 69 about the type of games he wants to develop next. blindfold games are known for their more simplistic titles and known for just knocking out title after title after title with no real difference betwen that and the previous one. its about the amount of titles you get known for as it is the type and quality of the titles you develop and put out for general consumption.

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2019-01-26 13:42:52

Hi.
Well, let's look at the UI of the blindfold games, all under the premisse that Marty himself always states that his games are for those who don't have many experience with iPhones and that his games are also for learning iPhone jestures and controls.
if we for example want to change  the settings  for one of the partys voices in a game, we need to go to the options menu, click on change voices, click on the more info button next to our voice.
A new window pops up with for more buttons, use this voice for, change speed, change pitch, change volume.
When you click on the voices name in the previous menu, you get an example on how the voice sounds.
you call that intuitive? Why not make it like this?
You go to settings, click on customize voices, click on the voice you are currently using. Then, you would get a menu with three sliders for pitch, volume and speed, you could change them without getting thrown out of the menu and needing to get back into it.
You also would have a speak example button in that sub menu where you can hear how your current settings sound.
If you are finished, click a done button and you land in the voice selection screen again ... that is what I call intuitive game design, not that nonsense he is doing  now.
Also, he recycles option names, for example even in bobsled, the male voice which is used for the rate of turn is called voice for your opponent or dealer actions ..., there is no oponent or dealer hear you clott!
Then, let's stay in the options menu. You have your list of options, but if you want to change them, instead of them beeing just switches, you get a new window  when you click an option and two buttons to turn it off or on. So, if he wants people to learn how to use the iPhone, why do we need special windows to change an option and not integrate simple switches like in every other app?
Oh yeah, let me guess, to hard to program for that ideot.

Lastly, the main menu. When you enter one of his games you have this huge list of game modes, with settings and help somewhere around the bottom.
It would look cleaner if the main menu would look like this.
Play game, high scores, settings, help.
In the play game option you would find your tutorials, practice modes and the different game variants.

P.S, why is it so hard to integrate the multiplayer mode into an exxisting game?
Let's take bowling, we had the normal blindfold bowling, and then blindfold bowling with friends. Well, one app to much, why not release an update with the multiplayer mode integrated into the already existing app.

Ok ... design rant over.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-01-26 14:07:17

@Simba, agreed on main menu design, though I suspect the lack of sliders and other controls is so that people can  use taps and swipes for everything and get a basic options box for each thing, EG setting pitch and speed. I also believe the voice settings depend upon what voices the user has installed on their phone which is why they go with each box.

It is again the issue  mentioned regarding the customisation problem, that so much in the games which should by rights occur as part of the main game's challenge has to be dealt with by customisations, for example, rather than letting you play levels and unlock successive challenges, instead having difficulty tweaks settable in the settings menu.

I wouldn't say though that the games are "all the same exactly.

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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2019-01-26 14:24:59

It reminds me of saying, well, I've got 200K in my pocket to buy a car, so I'm going to buy a bunch of shitty everyday cars for 10K each because I can, and ending up not bothering with any of them, rather than buying a sports car for the 200K I have, which I know I would use because it's better.
It's the same with the games he brings out.
Lots of games, but no challenge, or any kind of difference really.
If I want gambling games, I'll go with Pontes game zone.
If I want card games, I'll go with RS Games.
I don't, however, want a developer to release the same games we currently have for no apparent reason, when they could be putting more time and effort into something he knows we'll all use.
Better have 1 good thing we will all like, than a lot of useless things we won't even bother with. :d

Several enemies tried to ambush me in the darkness, only to be casually struck down by my never-ending power!
If you like my posts, do them proud by giving them some thumbs up.

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2019-01-26 14:34:42

yup totally agree with 16 on that.

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2019-01-26 15:35:38

Well dark, if out of 80 games or something like that, you can bring up only 5 or 6 great ones, then that says something. He keeps copying the code all over the place and it has just been confirmed with the example of voice settings screen. Moreover half the blind community can't stand him because of his immaturity when his app got rejected by Apple. I make games for blind people so I should not respect standards, please guys email the accessibility team even though they have nothing to do with your crappy coding.

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2019-01-26 16:13:50

But here's the thing. You mentioned Freedom69, I believe if he developed something even that's simple but different enough that we haven't had it before, like, say, that Dungeon Keeper thing he wants to work on, then that's different.
I still think that the blindfold games need to be split up into a couple of different apps with multiple games in, accept for the stuff like blindfold doggy which could be separate unless it got put into a simulation app or something. Choice of Games was forced to do it, and they took the time and they are only a few programmers, so why not him? He does a lot of blogs on things, he cold just as easily inform people that he has to do this, create blogs on what's going to happen and report on the progress. I think it's stubbornness in my opinion.

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2019-01-26 17:11:33

Hello,
When blindfold airhockey was released, we could watch like 10 videos for a coin and get a free right to play. But now we have to buy it. If online mode was there, I would surely buy it but now it does not offer anything for me. The mechanic is there, he just doesn't bother improving it. The separate app issue is lazyness imo.

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2019-01-26 19:03:17

Hi.
@Dark: Post 14 explains what I mean by bad design regarding the interface.
Regarding game design:
I agree that the demo versions are too short. Only having a few coins to check out the game before you buy does not work for me. If you don't get how the game works by using the free coins, you need to buy more coins to see if the is for you or not. If you could play the first level for free or practice as much as you want for free, then I would have been okay. That is a failure in the design of the game in my opinion.
The new racing game is a good example of what I want. A way to practice as much as you want, but all the Blindfold games does not work like that as far as I remember.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-01-26 19:31:27 (edited by Mitch 2019-01-26 20:17:04)

One thing I've noticed regarding the appeal of the Blindfold Games is the split in the blind community. This isn't conclusive, but when looking at AppleVis, the majority of people love the games for what they are and how often they come out. However, on the Audiogames side, a lot more people are crittical of the quality of said games. Maybe this is a statement about how the Audiogames forum has been used to quality games for a while now.
I know this isn't completely true, but this is one thing I've noticed.
I also distinctly remembering a time on AppleVis where someone requested the card games to be in Braille, which Marty seemed to be stubborn and objected to. However, he did end up doing it after a while, but I agree that he seems to be stubborn regarding certain aspects of his games.
My main issue with the game design is the fact that it seems that where he could incorporate Voiceover itself into the games, he decides to code his own third-party usage of the TTS  voice instead. Not sure if I'm being clear, but this is what I see.
Also, has anyone noticed the copy-paste qualities of his descriptions? And, not to be a grammar nerd, but "an fully accessible" just makes me cringe.
EDIT: and that's what I get for complaining. What I meant to say is "an fully accessible," ... grammar pickiness never ⠐⠺⠎⠲

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2019-01-26 19:52:15

Urm, isn't an accessible right? I mean accessible starts with a vowel, so isn't an right in this case?

And yes, I also noticed that the applevis comunity likes the games, go say one bad word about those games and you have the majority of them chasing you around with pitchforks so to speak.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-01-26 20:19:15

@simba, whoops! And that, kids, is why you never complain about grammar. You will end up misquoting things, and the person trying to make a fool of someone will be the fool.

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2019-01-26 20:37:08 (edited by Dark 2019-01-26 20:47:36)

Lol Mitch, you should talk propper like what I does big_smile.

@slj, I wiull say on the practice issue that Bobsled has a nice option there since you can have either the 20 second practice or the turns practice as often as you like, but imho the game really should come with 25 coins instead of 10 since it is a tough game to learn.

In terms of how the games are received, i'm afraid again Blindfold games seems to be one of these polarising issues, people either love them unreservedly or hate them unreservedly, and there isn't really a middle ground.
One reason why I posted this topic and why I've been giving them db pages (apart from the fact that its obviously the job of this site to give any fully accessible game a db page anywaly), is I was hopign people would leave their pitchforks behind big_smile.

While there are definitely things about the blindfold games I do not like, there are also things I do like as well, especially the use of more complex control methods in a lot of their sports and arcade titles, which is really  something more developers should be taking advantage of.

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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