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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a few of the more common questions we receive and their answers. If any questions are not covered here, please ask them, and we will try to respond and include others as they arise.

Q. Are all your games science fiction?
A. No, we have released our first minigame, Yellowbonnet, set in the Old West.

Q. But, your main page says something about all games being set in the Valiant Galaxy settings?
A. We wanted to have a unified set of assumptions that carried through all of our games. Even though Yellowbonnet is not science fiction, to us it is merely at an earlier point on the same timeline. Our science fiction titles use the assumptions displayed in the Valiant Galaxy Timeline and the Races of Known Space portions of our web site.

Q. What programming language are you using in your games?
A. We are using the BGT language developed by Philip Bennefall. You can get more information at Blastbay Studio.

Q. Are all of your games for Windows only? Why?
A. Our games currently support only Windows. Our reason for making this decision was to avoid two issues: first at the time we began neither of us had any machines other than Windows machines (that is still true). Second, due to our own lack of experience with other platforms, maintenance and porting of our material into these formats would have been time prohibitive and caused our prices to increase.

Q. Why does it take so long for your games to come out?
A. A lot of it depends on how much of the ground work has been done beforehand, and how much time Aaron and Jeremy have. Interceptor was our first game and was begun in 2012. It did not enter beta testing until 2014. Due to some radical infrastructure work, and an aborted attempt to carry the original concept further, the process took longer than expected. Traders of Known Space was from start to finish a very short process. We began work on it and had it on the site and playable within a month. We released a second version of it in a month after that. Yellowbonnet was a similarly short game development process. However, both TKS and YB built on material from Interceptor, and another game we had begun work on. This speeded up their process immensely.

Q. Why do you use recorded speech?
A. There's multiple reasons. Aaron had programmed his voiceover script for BGT (available atAaron's personal site) and wanted to use it. Second, SAPI voices, which are the next most common voices used in audio games have issues. The recorded speech offered a reliable voice option that because it is downloaded with the game would work on all systems. Some of our games use a mixture of recorded speech and SAPI, but we've become fond of the recorded speech output.

Q. Why don't you have any first person shooter or side scroller games?
A. Because, frankly, we are still learning. Interceptor was a huge milestone for us in terms of complexity, and TKS and YB both have built on lessons learned from it. We wish to develop an FPS game as well as a side scroller, but we don't make guesses as to when this will happen. The map mode and game menu format works well and is quickly mastered by a player, so for now, many of our games will use that format.

Q. Why are you using GuideDog Games to distribute your games?
A. There's more about this in the next question as well, but the simple answer is that Dentin understands how to register games and handle the credit card services better than we do. Further, as we are friends of Dentin, we wanted to help him realize his dream of creating a space where developers of audio games and applications for the sighted could come together on one service creating, essentially, something like an accessible version of Steam. Aaron and Dentin worked closely together to produce much of the interaction software that our company uses to allow BGT to communicate to GuideDog and some of this work will no doubt find its way into helping other developers.

Q. Why do many of your games have to be connected to the internet? I find this annoying and I wish you would create games that didn't need this connection.
A. First off, there are a few of our games, notably Traders of Known Space, which do not require a internet connection to play. The reasons for the internet connection are briefly outlined below:

  1. By using GuideDog Games, we avoid the necessity of providing a registration key to the customer. Registration keys get lost, shared, and mangled, and this causes frustration to customers.
  2. By avoiding the use of registration keys, and because Dentin requires developers that use GuideDog Games to provide him with the appropriate files, even if Valiant Galaxy Associates disappears, customers who have purchased our games will have access to their games.
  3. Using GuideDog Games makes giving refunds to dissatisfied customers faster and easier. It also allows us to validate if a claim of inability to play the game is truthful.
  4. Using GuideDog Games means that game settings can be saved on the GDG server rather than locally. This allows a user to play the game on multiple computers without having to reset constantly. In future, high scores, save points, and other game information will all be kept on the server.
  5. Eventually we hope to introduce multi-player online gaming, chat functionality, and competitive scoreboards on GuideDog Games. Having this service run by Dentin and backed by his twenty years of experience running Alter Aeon means that mediating player disputes and dealing with problem players when the time comes will be easier. This is not Dentin's first rodeo, and he will have the tools in place to allow developers to deal with these issues in a timely fashion.
  6. Consistancy and quality. Dentin's site offers a fast, clear, and easy customer experience. If we had done this ourselves, we do not believe we could have delivered as thoroughly enjoyable a distribution experience.
  7. Less chance of player abuse or cracking of our program. GuideDog gives enhanced security, and prevents players from sharing games.