This is a status report post that was published for my patrons on Patreon on June 26th 2020.
Good day, Patrons!
How is everyone doing? It’s been a little while since my last post here, but some of you already have an idea what I’ve been working on in the past week.
Deep Space Dice
The Deep Space Dice launch has been quite smooth. There haven’t been any major bugs reported in the past two weeks and besides the game being a little difficult, there haven’t been any negative comments about it. Based on the analytics I get from Alexa, about 40 unique users have tried the game so far.
After the game’s release, Brian Counter, who is also a patron, commented that the victory sound effect was too short. He was absolutely right about this, and I needed to improve that. I had an idea about using Alexa’s Poly Voices to get a special message from the Admiral of the fleet, but Brian offered to record the victory message with his own voice. His wife, Ruthie Counter, has voiced some commercials, so he said he’ll also get her to record a couple of lines.
After I sent Brian a few atmospheric sound effects to mix with the voice, in a couple of days I received the results and I was blown away. The message that Ruthie recorded sounds like it was created for the Command & Conquer video games. I included both Brian’s and Ruthie’s versions, so now when you beat the game, you get to hear one of them at random.
When I was still working on Dungeon Roll and Desolate, I had some ideas about using Amazon’s Poly voices and give some lines to each crew type with different voices, but the Poly voices still sound a bit robotic. However, if I could get some lines recorded by five different people for each crew type, that might be cool. Something to think about for future updates to the game!
Anyway, now you have a reason to try and beat Deep Space Dice so you can hear the recorded messages!
Next, let’s talk about Incan Gold. In one of my previous status updates I mentioned that I had not yet decided which game I would adapt next. After considering a few games, I decided to go with Incan Gold for a few reasons. Firstly, Incan Gold is a multiplayer game, and after adapting three solo games, this should be a nice change. Secondly, the game is not very complicated, so I should also have some time left to work on updating Dungeon Roll in parallel. Thirdly, I have played Incan Gold remotely, and the host of the game, Chris, who is also blind, and a patron required sighted assistance to manage the deck of cards for the whole group. With the Alexa variant, a full group of blind people would be able to play the game, and none of them would be required to know how to read Braille or modify the game components. Finally, with this variant, I would be able to host a remote game using something like Discord and we could organize a Patron-exclusive game for those of you that would be interested in testing the game once I have the first version ready.
Briefly, in case you have never heard of Incan Gold before, it is a game where the players are exploring an archeological site in search for treasure. It is a push-your-luck game that also requires some strategic decisions. With only two player actions, which basically mean keep going, or stop, it provides an entertaining experience. If I can find some nice sound effects, the Alexa experience might even end up being more exciting than the physical version of the game.
Dungeon Roll New Beta
Now, before I wrap up, let’s talk about Dungeon Roll! I have been looking at the analytics page for Dungeon Roll, and it looks like that this game has the most active users, averaging around 20 per week. Because of this, it seemed like a good idea to add a few new heroes to the game. Some of you who have signed up to get beta invites may have already received an email from Amazon with a new Dungeon Roll Beta invite, but if you haven’t received that yet, follow the link below to enable the new beta to get access to the new heroes:
If you follow the link above, you need to click the Enable skill button. Then, you can just use the same keywords to launch the game, “Alexa, open Dungeon Roll Game”. Keep in mind that as long as the beta is enabled, you cannot access the public version, and once the beta is over, any of your saved game progress is lost as they are considered as two different Alexa skills.
This version has two new heroes, the Alchemist that becomes a Thaumaturge when leveled up, and the Tracker that becomes a Ranger after you gain five experience points. If you find any bugs with these heroes, or somehow I broke the other heroes, please get in touch so I can fix the problems.
The plan is to add at least two more heroes before I push this new update to the public. Some of the new heroes are somewhat complicated to adapt, and might take much longer then I would like to spend on this, but I will do my best to include as many new heroes as I can.
Another feature I would like to add is tracking of high scores with each hero. This should give players some incentive to try and get the Hero Of Ages rank with each hero. I will post an update here when a new version is pushed to the beta channel for you to try out.
And that’s about it for this Patreon status report! I hope you are having a great start to the Summer season if you are in the Northern hemisphere, and thank you very much for sticking around and continuing to support this work!
Posts like the one you just read are timed exclusives for my patrons. A lot of time and effort goes into developing the adaptations of these games and releasing them for free. If you like what I do and enjoy playing these games, or you just want to support something that makes the hobby more accessible to a wider audience by making those games playable for the blind and visually impaired players, you can become a patron on Patreon. In return, you will be able to get early access to the beta versions of the games while they are still in development and help shape up the final product. You will also be able to participate and vote on future games that I will be adapting next.