Games for your Browser
If I’ve done it right, these games can be played on any modern browser, and also on MSIE 9 and up.
Mobiles may or may not work—I’d say tablets yes, phones no. You do need to use some text input, which is likely to overwhelm smaller screens.
The bad news . . .
The good news . . .
You do not have to sign up or log on. At the beginning of a game, your browser will load up all sounds and pictures (“Loading...” message). Once this is done, there won’t be any more interactions with the site. So connection speed is not an issue and you’ll never be bumped off a server. Cookies, if any, are written to your own browser.
What You’ll See
Picture on the left, text on the right, assorted “Menu” commands below. Since all of this is happening within your browser, you can’t use keyboard shortcuts. Either type or—for simple commands—click.
Each game is a single web page. If you refresh or reload the page, the game will start over unless there’s a saved game. Other than that, it will stay where it is forever. So you can leave a game open in one tab while you do stuff in other tabs.
If you’re not using cookies, game preferences only apply to your current session. Be sure to click the “OK” button, or changes won’t be recognized. The options are:
On by default. In games that have a separate setting for background sounds, the primary sound preference is called Event Sounds. It covers things like slamming doors and breaking glass that are directly connected with gameplay, and some sporadic sounds such as dripping water.
On by default. This preference only applies to scenes with ongoing background sounds such as music or bubbling fountains. No game plays background sounds in the first scene. Pavilion, Tower and Color by Number (and the Xanadu demo) have no background sounds at all.
On by default. Navigate by clicking near the edge of the picture, and also by clicking on certain objects such as doors and stairs. Works in conjuction with the double-clicking preference. When it’s turned off, clicks on objects will give you information (“a door leads to another room”) while clicks near the edge of the screen will be ignored. Compass commands work the same, with or without this setting.
In future releases this preference setting will probably be eliminated—that is, mouse navigation will be enabled for everyone all the time—unless I’m flooded with emails from people saying they hate mouse navigation and always turn it off as soon as possible.
Off by default. With this option, the game distinguishes between single and double clicks. Single clicks give you information; double clicks take action. Generally this means “GET” for a portable object, “TALK” for a person, and directional moves as described in “Mouse Navigation”.
But wait! One-quarter second, to be exact. I can’t detect your system’s double-clicking speed, so I’ve had to set an arbitrary interval. After each click, the computer waits to see if it will turn into a double click. You may or may not notice the lag.
In future releases this preference setting will be eliminated. I don’t believe anyone actually uses it, so it’s just one more thing cluttering up the code.
These options are only available in the full-length games.
Saving requires cookies. If you’re security-conscious, download and play a local copy; the website can’t see cookies you set in this way. Saved games are read whenever you reload or refresh the window.
Save your current values. You can do this at any time, regardless of your overall save prefs.
Manual Save Only
Default setting. Nothing is saved automatically.
Automatically save each time you enter a new room except “Collapse”. So if you did something foolish, you can go back and pretend it never happened.
Automatically save each time something significant changes. In addition to changing rooms, this generally means: people or objects appearing or leaving; inventory updates; counters for some important interactions. Same “Collapse” exemption as with New Room.