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Gaming Group Seeks Volunteers To Create Accessibility Guidelines For Tabletop Games

Gaming Group Seeks Volunteers To Create Accessibility Guidelines For Tabletop Games

Meeple Like Us is a group of gaming academics, developers, hobbyists and enthusiasts with a keen interest in board games, tabletop games, video games, and all things in-between, co-founded by long-time Slashdot reader drakkos. Today he reminds us that accessibility “has become an increasingly visible part of video game development.”
It’s even become something of a selling point for many games, with Naughty Dog’s focus on the accessibility of Uncharted 4 gaining it pages and pages of enthusiastic support across the industry. Tabletop games, despite being much older an entertainment format, lag behind video games in many respects.

Meeple Like Us has for the last year been working hard to identify the accessibility issues in tabletop gaming, and is currently recruiting for volunteers for a working group aimed at developing v1.0 of the Tabletop Accessibility Guidellines.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
Original Colossal Cave Adventure Now Playable On Alexa

Original Colossal Cave Adventure Now Playable On Alexa

Last month Eric Raymond announced the open sourcing of the world’s very first text adventure. Now Slashdot reader teri1337 brings news about their own special project:
A few old-timers here may recall with fond memories the phrase “Somewhere nearby is Colossal Cave…” Well, a voice-playable version of Colossal Cave “Adventure” is now available on Amazon Echo devices as a [free] Alexa Skill. This is a port of the original 1976 text adventure game written by Willie Crowther and Don Woods, which started the interactive fiction genre and led to later games like Infocom’s Zork. This version was written from scratch as an AWS Lamda function incorporating the original 350-point game database, and made available with permission from Don Woods.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
ESR Announces The Open Sourcing Of The World's First Text Adventure

ESR Announces The Open Sourcing Of The World's First Text Adventure

An anonymous reader writes:
Open source guru Eric S. Raymond added something special to his GitHub page: an open source version of the world’s first text adventure. “Colossal Cave Adventure” was first written in 1977, and Raymond remembers it as “the origin of many things; the text adventure game, the dungeon-crawling D&D (computer) game, the MOO, the roguelike genre. Computer gaming as we know it would not exist without ADVENT (as it was known in its original PDP-10 incarnation…because PDP-10 filenames were limited to six characters of uppercase)…

“Though there’s a C port of the original 1977 game in the BSD game package, and the original FORTRAN sources could be found if you knew where to dig, Crowther & Woods’s final version — Adventure 2.5 from 1995 — has never been packaged for modern systems and distributed under an open-source license. Until now, that is. With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure.”
Calling it one of the great artifacts of hacker history, ESR writes about “what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software,” ultimately concluding version control lets you preserve the original and continue improving it “as a living and functional artifact. We respect our history and the hackers of the past best by carrying on their work and their playfulness.”

“Despite all the energy Crowther and Woods had to spend fighting ancient constraints, ADVENT was a tremendous imaginative leap; there had been nothing like it before, and no text adventure that followed it would be innovative to quite the same degree.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
Celebrating '21 Things We Miss About Old Computers'

Celebrating '21 Things We Miss About Old Computers'

“Today, we look back at the classic era of home computing that existed alongside the dreariness of business computing and the heart-pounding noise and colour of the arcades,” writes the site Den of Geek. An anonymous reader reports:

The article remembers the days of dial-up modems, obscure computer magazines, and the forgotten phenomenon of computer clubs. (“There was a time when if you wanted to ask a question about something computer related, or see something in action, you’d have to venture outside and into another building to go and see it.”) Gamers grappled with old school controllers, games distributed on cassette tapes, low-resolution graphics and the “playground piracy” of warez boards — when they weren’t playing the original side-scrolling platformers like Mario Bros and Donkey Kong at video arcades.

In a world where people published fanzines on 16-bit computers, shared demo programs, and even played text adventures, primitive hardware may have inspired future coders, since “Old computers typically presented you with a command prompt as soon as you switched them on, meaning that they were practically begging to be programmed on.” Home computers “mesmerised us, educated us, and in many cases, bankrupted us,” the article remembers — until they were replaced by more powerful hardware. “You move on, but you never fully get over your first love,” it concludes — while also adding that “what came next was pretty amazing.”

Does this bring back any memories for anybody — or provoke any wistful nostalgic for a bygone era? Either way, I really liked the way that the article ended. “The most exciting chapter of all, my geeky friends? The future!”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
Google Maps Adds 'Ms. Pac-Man' Feature

Google Maps Adds 'Ms. Pac-Man' Feature

An anonymous reader quotes a blog post by Google Maps:
Starting now until April 4, you can chomp fruit, avoid ghosts, and collect PAC-Dots along city streets in Google Maps worldwide — all as Ms. PAC-Maps. Just tap on the Ms. PAC-Maps icon on iOS and Android, or click the Ms. PAC-Maps button at the bottom left on desktop, to enter the maze and start chompin’. Sign in to save your top score on the leaderboard and share with friends.
A playable Google doodle commemorated Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary in 2010 — and was estimated to have cost the IT sector (and other workplaces) 4.8 million hours in lost productivity.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
New Release Of StarCraft In 4K Ultra High Definition Annouonced

New Release Of StarCraft In 4K Ultra High Definition Annouonced

The classic 90s-era videogames StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War will be re-released this summer — remastered in 4K Ultra High Definition. An anonymous reader quotes The Verge:

It will also include a number of updates, such as remastered sound, new additional illustrations for the campaign missions, new matchmaking capabilities, the ability to connect to Blizzard App, the ability to save to the cloud, and more… Blizzard also announced that it was issuing a new update to StarCraft: Brood War this week, which will include some bug fixes and anti-cheat measures, but will also make StarCraft Anthology (which includes StarCraft and Brood War) available to download for free.

Kotaku reports that the news was announced at this weekend’s I <3 StarCraft event in South Korea, “a mini-tournament between some of the game’s best players being held to honor the game’s legacy.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames