Thursday, September 20, 2012

Virtual GM

I was a big fan of Lone Wolf back in my middle school years. For those that don't know, the Lone Wolf series my Joe Dever are a pretty great collection of CYA RPG books written in the 80's. Check out the wikipedia page for more info. Anyway Project Aon is a fabulous site that obtained Joe Dever's blessing to release all the books in e-versions, pdf form, mobi form etc. If you ever were a fan of CYA books, you should pay this site a visit.
   There are also online version of every book in the series. I recently bought a TTS app for my Iphone called 'Web Reader'. What makes this app better than your run of the mill text to speech apps is that it will directly do text to speech from any webpage. All the other TTS apps I found involve copying the text into the app in order for the text to be read aloud. The format of the online Project Aon Lone Wolf books are perfect for the TTS feature on this app where it is easy as clicking one button in order to hear each numbered entry. I played through a bit of Flight from the Dark with TTS and it's kind of cool. It's sort of like having a virtual GM (semi robotic yes, but doesn't sound that bad, especially the female voice) and adds a whole new element to CYA. You can control the rate of speech and choose between a female or male speaker. Stats and dice roles can be handled of course with paperwork and rolling the dice yourself. Jumping to new sections entails clicking on a hyperlink - so it's very user friendly.
  I also tried this out with Buffalo Castle on Flying Buffalo's website. Works well once you get past the intro page.
  I might try this with Zork as well, using siri on my Iphone to speak my commands (Action Castle?).

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