Blindfold Games: January Update

There are now over 80 games in the Blindfold Games series. You can visit our website to see the list here:  https://blindfoldgames.org/apps-we-built/

Games are listed with the newest games first.  Click on the game to go directly to the iTunes download page.  All games are designed for rapid audio play and have been built with the help of dozens of visually impaired gamers.  If you are using an iPad when searching for Blindfold Games in the app store, make sure you un-check the setting IPAD ONLY.

Blindfold Song Name – Just like Name That Tune – guess the song in under 30 seconds.

Blindfold Wildcard – An Uno type card game. Now supports a Braille Display.

Blindfold Sudoku – Completely redesigned. Audio Sudoku in a 9 by 9 grid, with easy, medium and hard levels.

Blindfold Cryptogram – Completely redesigned. Decode famous quotes and phrases in a letter substitution game.

Blindfold Slide Puzzle – The classic 4 by 4 slide puzzle with tiles from 1 to 15.

Blindfold Millionaire – Who wants to be a millionaire, like the TV show.

Blindfold Sea Battle – Just like Battleship.  Also good for learning grids.

Blindfold Bop Gesture Game – Just like Bop-It, but with gestures.  Greating for learning too.

Blindfold Flappy – Similar to the famous Flappy Bird game

Blindfold Deal or Not – Just like Deal or No Deal.

Blindfold Pyramid Tiles – Tile matching game like mahjong and toodle town.

Blindfold Home Run Derby – Baseball game just like Major League Baseball’s Annual Contest.

Blindfold 3D Tic Tac Toe – Tic Tac Toe but in all three dimensions.

Blindfold Clues – Detective game – who did it and where did they do it.

Blindfold Word Search – Find words in a grid of letters with increasing difficulty.

Blindfold Invaders  – Just like Space Invaders video arcade game, but this is an audio game.

Blindfold Connect  – Just like Connect 4 – get 4 checkers in a row.

Blindfold Feud – Inspired by the TV Game show “Family Feud”.

Blindfold Travel Cards– Be the first player to drive 1000 miles in this card game similar to 1000 miles or Miles Bornes.  Now with car, sailboat and trains.

Blindfold Words From Words – How many words can you create from one word?

Blindfold Oppoly – Inspired by Monopoly.

Blindfold Euchre – Trick-taking card game, much easier than spades.

Blindfold Fireworks – Tap and swipe to conduct your own audio fireworks show.

Blindfold Seven Words – Similar to seven little words.

Blindfold Word Biggle – Inspired by Boggle – Find words in a 5 by 5 grid of letters.

Blindfold Jeopardy Match – Just like TV Game show “Jeopardy”

Blindfold Snakes and Puzzles – Snakes and Ladders but with trivia or arithmetic puzzles

Blindfold Soccer Kick – Soccer – European Football – Kicking and Blocking.

Blindfold Cat and Mouse – Just like Skipbo.  A two player card game similar to  Solitaire, but much easier.

Blindfold Sound Search – More Sound Packs added.  Matching game using Common Animals, Asian Animals, National Anthems, Musical Instruments and Everyday Sounds.

Blindfold Color Crush – Many more gem packs added: A cross between Bejeweled and Candy Crush.

Blindfold Barnyard – New barnyards added: Move your animals from the barnyard to the fence to the barn.  It’s addicting!

Braille Fortune Wheel – Practice your braille contractions. Inspired by Wheel of Fortune, spin to guess a letter or a contraction in the phrase and win.

Blindfold Greeting Card – Create and send your own audio cards to friends and family.

Blindfold RS Games – 21 different multi-player games, played by thousands of people on Windows and Mac, are now available on the iPhone and iPad.

Blindfold Sound Search – Matching game using Common Animals, Asian Animals, National Anthems, Musical Instruments and Everyday Sounds.

Blindfold Basketball – Grab the ball and start shooting.  Great sound effects!

Blindfold Bird Songs – Find that Bird and Match that bird – two great games for learning bird songs.

Blindfold Checkers – Play checkers with easy, medium or expert opponents.

Phrase Madness – Famous as a windows game, now on the iPhone and iPad.  Match the phrases and laugh your socks off.

Blindfold Pinball – Play pinball on diffferent pinball machines.

Blindfold Pool – Play pool by hitting your cue ball into the other balls, and landing them in the pockets.  Hours and hours of fun.

Blindfold Fortune Wheel – Inspired by Wheel of Fortune, spin to guess a letter in the phrase and win.

Blindfold Shuffleboard  – Slide your discs into the scoring area, and push your opponents discs out of the way.

Blindfold Bingo – Play bingo with lots of patterns. Win coins. Record yourself saying Bingo and share it.

Blindfold Crazy Eights with Friends – Crazy Eights card game with with other people, via Game Center or in the same room.

Blindfold Word Games– Hangman, Word Ladder, Scramble and Word Flick.

Blindfold Horse Race– Race against other horses by walking your fingers on the screen.

Blindfold Juggle– Juggle animals on earth and other planets.

Blindfold Rummy – Gin Rummy card game – collect sets and runs of cards.

Blindfold Tile Puzzle – Tile games including 2048 and Threes, with several variations.

Blindfold Vee Ball – Just like Skee ball: Roll a ball up a ramp to land in the highest point hole.

Blindfold Craps – Dice game where you bet on the outcome of a dice roll, just like in Las Vegas.

Blindfold Air Hockey – Air Hockey – use your mallet to shoot the puck into your opponent’s goal.

Blindfold Breakout – Breakout game where you smash bricks with a ball, similar to the arcade game.

Blindfold Bowling – Ten pin bowling just like at the bowling alley.

Blindfold Roulette – Play roulette just like in Las Vegas.

Blindfold Hopper – Inspired by the old video game frogger.

Blindfold Pong – Pong game similar to the classic arcade game.

Blindfold Dominoes -Dominoes game where you play until you are out of tiles or blocked.

Blindfold Hearts – Hearts card game where you avoid collecting hearts or you can shoot the moon.

Blindfold Simon – My Simon type game where you follow patterns based on gestures and sounds.

Blindfold Spades – Spades card game where you bid and collect tricks as you win each hand.

Blindfold War – The classic war card game where you try to collect all the cards.

Blindfold Solitaire – Solitaire card games including Klondike, Spider, Free Cell, Golf and many others.

Blindfold Wildcard – An Uno type card game.

Blindfold Crazy Eights – Crazy Eights card game with several variants of play.

Blindfold Video Poker – Video Poker just like the machines in Las Vegas.

Blindfold Blackjack – Play Blackjack against the dealer.

Blindfold Sudoku – Audio Sudoku in a 9 by 9 grid, with easy, medium and hard levels.

Blindfold Sudoku Mini – Audio Sudoku in a 4 by 4 grid, lots of fun and great for people who never played Sudoku before.

Blindfold Cryptogram – Decode famous quotes and phrases in a letter substitution game

Blindfold Racer – Drive your car using your ears, not your eyes.  The original game that started all of this.

Advertisements

Blindfold Song Name: Improvements

I mentioned Blindfold Song Name in a prior blog – it’s an accessible version of the TV Game show “Name that tune”.  The game plays up to 30 seconds of a song and you pick  the name of the song, or the performer.  The faster you guess, the more points you earn.

feedback image

When testing the first version, people said it was too difficult, and they wanted the game to start out easy, and become progressively harder.  I changed the game to initially offer two choices, and add a third choice in level 2, a fourth in level 3 and so on.

The next complaint was that the music choice – pop music of the last 30 years – was too limiting.  The testers suggested different genres of music: Pop, Rock, R&B, Blues, Hip-hop, Classical, Christian, Holiday, Gospel and so on.  I created music packs for all of those genres.

The younger testers could not recognize older songs, so I created music packs for each of the genres, restricting to the last decade.

With each game I build, after a few months of testing, I quietly release the game in Apple’s App Store, without announcing that it’s available.  Game fans who are always looking for my new games will notice it, and check it out.   Releasing games quietly lets  the game be fully  vetted before thousands of people try it out.  Now over 100 people were testing Blindfold Song Name.

In this expanded testing, I usually receive many suggestions and improvements.  For example, some people wanted to preview the answer choices before hearing the song fragment.  Others wanted bundles of music packs – such as a pack of all decades genres – so they could purchase packs at a lower price.

The game was officially announced in December, and it looks like it will be the most popular Blindfold Game for 2017.

To get Blindfold Song Name, tap here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindfold-song-name/id1290989842?mt=8

 

How to create a multi-player game

I often get requests to turn some of the games into multi-player games: games where you can play with another person, instead of the computer players built into the games.

There are several ways to create a multiplayer mobile game.

people playing on iPhones

The simplest method is to have a game server – a computer in the cloud that manages that game.  Each person’s iPhone is connected to the game server.  So if it’s a 4 player game, your iPhone, and your friend’s three iPhones are all connected and part of the same game.

When you make a move, such as playing a card, the iPhone tells the game server that you  drew a card, and the game server tells the three other players that you drew a card, and the game server gives you the card.  The game server keeps track the cards in everyone’s hand, and after your move is over, it lets the player on the next iPhone make a move.  This is how the RS Games server works.

A cloud-based game server requires that the software developer program a game server in addition to the programming apps on the iPhone.  The server is the hard part; the apps on the iPhone are, relatively speaking, easier.

A more complex method is to not have a game server, but let all the iPhones cooperate with each other.  That’s how simple games on the iPhone work.  In a card game, once your iPhone is paired up with another iPhone to play a game, they talk back and forth with all game information, and what your latest move was.

For example, after you draw a card, the app bundles up the following information: all remaining cards in the deck, the discard pile, your hand and your opponent’s hand, and what your last move was.  It sends this bundle to your opponent’s iPhone, and tells your opponent to make a move.  Your iPhone waits until your opponent is done.  Once your opponent is done, his iPhone bundles up the newer version of all that information, and sends it back to your iPhone.

This is much harder than  a game server, since there’s no centralized referee to make sure everything proceeds fairly.  Not only is there a lot of information being sent back and forth, but the app must handle conditions such as one player ending the game, or making trying to play when it’s not his turn.  We created multiplayer versions Blindfold Wildcard, Blindfold Crazy Eights and Blindfold Bowling this way.

Apple provides several ways to send information between iPhones when not using a centralized game server, and we’ve experimented with all of them.  In general, not having a game server can make for a very frustrating gaming experience.

The third approach is to pass a single phone back and forth  between two people.  We do that in Blindfold Simon and a few other Blindfold games.  This is easier, since neither a centralized game server or other iPhones are involved.

If you would like to see the “pass-back-and-forth” method added to your favorite Blindfold Game, please contact us.

 

Join us at Tek Talk on Monday

I  will be appearing on Tek Talk this Monday evening at 5PM Pacific – 8PM Eastern to discuss Blindfold Games from its development to its current status. You can go into www.accessibleworld.org and into the Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room or by going to:

invitation

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rsc9613dc89eb2

 If you have a PC or Mac, you will be able to participate verbally with a question, or write a question on the screen.  If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android, you’ll need to download an app first.

 I’m looking forward to meeting many of you there.

Marty

Blindfold Name That Tune

A good friend of mine suggested building a Name That Tune game.  He thought that would be an easy game to create, and would appeal to both sighted and visually impaired people.

itunes-10-logo

I checked, and of course, an iPhone app similar to Name That Tune already exists, but it’s not accessible.  One of the Blindfold Game testers mentioned there was an accessible game like that a few years ago, but it hasn’t been updated recently.

The difficulty in building this type of game is finding a source of music.  Originally I thought I would access your iTunes library, but everyone told me that they already know those songs, and they would like the game to test them on songs they don’t listen to all the time.

With Apple ‘s iTunes you can preview up to 30 seconds of a song prior to purchasing it, and Apple makes that preview available.  The only stipulation is that to access these previews, you must be approved by Apple as an affiliate, and let people purchase a song if they want.  Blindfold Games applied to be an affiliate and was approved a few weeks later.

The next step in building the game was determining which music to include.  I did a Google search on top 100 pop artists, and discovered that the Billboard website comes first, followed by Rolling Stone, Wikipedia and several other music industry websites.

Once I had the names of the top 100 pop artists, I used the iTunes website search to find several thousand songs by these artists, and used those in the game.  I repeated that for rock, hop-hop, classical, country, soul and several other music genres.

The first version of the game plays up to 30 seconds of the song, and then lets you pick from 4 different artists.  If you are right, you get points based on how quickly you guessed the answer.

The testers liked the game, but demanded slews of changes.  More in the next blog.

To get Blindfold Song Name, tap here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindfold-song-name/id1290989842?mt=8

 

Blindfold Gifts under the tree

Two weeks ago, we announced a holiday gift give-away for one of eight games:  Bingo, Breakout, Connect, Dominoes, Hearts, Phrase Madness, Snakes and Puzzles, or Shuffleboard.  As of this morning, more than 200 people found a Blindfold Game under their Christmas tree.

christmas tree with presents

Here’s some more fun Blindfold Games statistics:

  • We recently passed the 500,000th download of the games, in total.  We track our information with the company App Annie, who gets their information from Apple, and they tell us how many times each game has been downloaded.  They don’t tell us who downloads each game, only the number of downloads.
  • Blindfold Racer, the original game, still leads with 20,663 downloads as of December, 2017, followed by Blindfold Barnyard at 20,132.
  • Our hall of fame games – those with over 10,000 downloads include Bowling, Greeting Card, Solitaire and Word Games.

Happy Holidays.

For a full list of Blindfold Games, visit:

https://blindfoldgames.org/apps-we-built/

Blindfold Games: From a 9 year old

I received this email the other day:

dear-letter

Hey Marty,

My name is Hayes. I am 9 yrs. old and I am blind. I love your blindfold games. Thank you for making those for blind people.

My mom said you had said to send you ideas for new games. These are my ideas. Hope you like them.

-Just dance
-Cooking game
-Mind craft
-Super Mario
-Pokémon go
-Pac-Man
-Caring for a pet
-Flying an airplane
-Catch the fairy: hide and seek type game
-Mermaid and pirate game where you find treasures
-Chess
-Mixing instruments
-Running a business and buying things
-Grocery store or retail store
-Unicorn simulator
-Harry Potter type games with wizards
-Dress up game: dress the princess
-Mad libs
-Outer space and rocket game

Let me know if you need more ideas.
Hayes

I replied:

Thanks for your email. I’m considering some of those games, but several of them, such as Minecraft  are way too complex for me to build. Several of the games you mentioned require dozens of programmers to work for many months.

One of the difficulties in building an audio game based on a video game is finding sounds that match each of the things that someone would see on the screen. If the screen shows lots of things going on at once, it would make the audio version of that game too complex.

I’m considering a cooking game, a runner game like mario, a pet-caring game and a musical instrument game. Before I create any game, I ask hundreds of other blind people which games they would like the most. People of all ages play my games, some much younger than you.

–Marty

 

 

 

Blindfold Sudoku Facelift

Blindfold Sudoku was the second audio game – after Blindfold Racer – that I built.  It was launched more than three years ago, and I haven’t improved it since then.  It was clearly showing its age when people wrote to me complaining how the game is too hard to play, and the puzzles are too difficult to solve.

sudoku grid

The few who did play it wanted more puzzles; they had solved the original 50 puzzles included in Blindfold Sudoku.  Since I couldn’t find any puzzle vendor to sell me Sudoku puzzles at an affordable price, I didn’t bother improve the game.

Then, about a month ago, I was searching on some open-source websites, and found a Sudoku puzzle generator.  I also heard from two Sudoku aficionados that the Sudoku games they previously played on the App Store were no longer accessible after iOS 11 came out.  Finally, I was motivated to improve the game.

I re-progammed Blindfold Sudoku to incorporate the Blindfold Games common interface, such as its menu, settings and help screens.  Next, I generated thousands of puzzles – varying from very easy to easy to medium to difficult – and made them available in the game.

I added several features to the game to speed it up and added a gesture to tell you how many cells you’ve gotten wrong.  When a sighted person plays the game, they focus their efforts on the rows, columns and squares are close to completion by looking at the Sudoku grid.  To match that, you can now swipe left with 3 fingers to hear which row, column and square are almost complete.

The game testers told me that the improvements made the game more enjoyable and they can solve even the difficult puzzles.  You can download Blindfold Sudoku here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindfold-sudoku/id915175243?mt=8

Blindfold Games at Baruch College

I was invited as a guest speaker to Baruch College in New York earlier this week.  Baruch houses the Computer Center for Visually Impaired People and offers a High School Enrichment Program to teens; this class is focused on how to enhance the lives of visually impaired high school students in terms of life and possible career options.

students at civic at baruch college

A handful of high school students and teachers attended.  I first talked about what lead me to create the Blindfold Games: it grew out of a S.T.E.M. app club at my daughter’s middle school, and the 4th, 5th and 6th graders and I created the first game, Blindfold Racer.

The high school students installed  Blindfold Racer on their iPhones and iPads and played the game for a half hour.  I knew the game was a hit when the room became very quiet: everyone was concentrating on attaining their best score.

I explained why blind people are better when playing this game than are sighted people, and we talked about how this game was designed.  For example, each sentence narrated by my daughter (the voice behind Blindfold Racer) took about 10 “takes”; I’ve included some of these hilarious bloopers in prior blogs;  the bloopers are also featured in the game.

These high school students are learning to program, starting with web page design using HTML and javascript.  When asked if they could have a career in programming, I mentioned the guys who created RS Games: several visually impaired people who developed a great cloud-based game server.  They are currently employed by some of the largest software companies, doing web accessibility testing, quality assurance and project planning.  Other blind people I have met through these games are employed as software engineers, or have their own company where they provide I.T. and networking consulting.

If you would like to have me speak at your event or meeting, feel free to contact me.

Blindfold Games Holiday Special

We would like to thank the thousands of Blindfold Games fans for their appreciation and help of the past year by offering one free game from the following list:

Bingo, Breakout, Connect, Dominoes, Hearts, Phrase Madness, Snakes and Puzzles, or Shuffleboard

wrapped gift box

To get your game, send an email to holiday@blindfoldgames.org, and you’ll receive your coupon.  Based on the number of emails we get, you might not your coupon right away.  This offer expires on December 20, 2017.

Please specify in your email which  one of the above games you want, and we’ll send you a coupon.  The coupon must be used the same day we send it, and that will activate the game.  Make sure you download the game prior to asking for the coupon, to make sure you like the game.