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The story of how I began playing Alter Aeon

This is the story of how I began to play alter aeon, the best online

text game I’ve ever played. If you want to join me and play along,

visit alter aeon’s website
www.alteraeon.com
11 years ago I discovered the game that would literally change my life:

Alter Aeon.
I still remember the day: It was July of 2001. I was 9 years old at the

time and didn’t know much English (I am from Spain). As a curious and

young blind kid, I was always keen to explore the internet. Keen to

discover new things, and of course, new games to play… I was on a

website called whitestick: Tom Lorimer’s Whitestick Website, a website

for blind people based in the UK. I started looking around and found

another site called the Accessible Friends network, which offered some

games and stuff. There was a link to Alter Aeon, an online text game.

What’s this? I thought. I had played a text game in the past, but it

was not online, but a text adventure for blind people. and a mud seemed

like a nice way to get to play a real game where you could interact

with people and practice my, at the time, horrible English. So I

joined.

My name is Oriol, and everyone in Spain called me Uri. Mega is an

adjective in Spanish, and sometimes also in English, to describe

grandure or something big. So my name was, of course, Megauri!
I joined Alter aeon as Megauri. I was really lost, and my English

wasn’t good enough to understand anything. But I joined anyway. I

remember I started reading help files and using commands, each new

command being a challenge for me due to the lack of proper English

knowledge.
But I managed. I started going through the mud school, killing the mud

school monsters and getting armor. I remember I was really happy

because the game said that I had four armor class and was very well

armored for my level…

At that time I just kept running around and not really folowing any

gaming strategies, so I kept asking people how I could do things. I

remember noticing that my sword was attacking very slow, so I kept

spamming kill deer, kill deer, kill deer, kill deer and the mud would

keep saying You do your best! You do your best! You do your best! But

my English was so bad that I didn’t get the hang of this sentence, so I

would just keep spamming kill deer kill deer over and over, without a

real clue of what I was doing.

Then the time came, I was looking through the options and login and

found ppk. I thought that it was really bad if I didn’t register, I

don’t know why. Something in my poor English told me that I better

register for ppk because it had many advantages, something about

getting experience if I was a permanent player killer or something. I

remember I used to think that if a player killed me in ppk I would be

unable to play that character anymore. Something like that. I don’t

remember it, really. so I registered for ppk and well, no one killed me

at first. I remember I survived for a few weeks, but then someone

killed me. Kaoken, I think. Could it be? Or Ruin. Maybe both. I

remember being ice imped and being unable to move, and I had to wait a

long while until I could play again.
The first time I killed a ralnoth Cityguard I was so happy. Ralnoth

issue eq gives me so much armor class!
Basically, the only things I worried about were hitroll, damroll and

ac. Yeah, I had a warrior character. But I kept training stats. I

remember I couldn’t spell strength because I was using the spanish synthesizer to play and of course strengt and strength in Spanish sounds the same… Oh and cristal coat and crystal coat. But at the

time I didn’t even know about spellcasting. I didn’t practice any

skills! I just kept training strength because well, I’m a warrior and

I’m a strong guy. So let’s just train strength. Until strength was at

25, and my practices started to accumulate.

Then came the first person who really helped me out… And I would say

with a 99.9% certainty that itt was him, even though he doesn’t

remember. It was Pharel.

Pharel took me through the mud university because, according to him, it

was so much better than mud school! I was totally amazed Oh! There’s

more stuff in here! The whole mud is not just some cityguards and a mud

school! I remember thinking at first, OK  I’m going to go down this

road in Ralnoth, and eventually there will have to come to an exit

where I can only go the previous way I came right? The mud cannot be

endless… This road has to have an end, it can’t be that big.
But anyway let’s not get out of topic. Pharel helped me out, he showed

me mud-u and the Ralnoth guildmasters. He even told me that there was

something called spellcasting and a spell called shower of sparks! I

learned shower of sparks and I could kill so much faster than with my

crappy sub issue sword!
And the next day he showed me a waypoint called the glade of spirits.

It was such a cool place, because back then you could regen hp and mana

so much faster if you were in that room.
So Pharel helped me out and I discovered spellcasting. I don’t remember

much after that.
Oh, and I’ve talked about the mud school and Ralnoth, but 12 years ago

the newbie islands weren’t even in Dentin’s head! The newbie world

revolved around mud school, mud-University if you were an advanced

player and didn’t feel like going through the whole newbie monster

killing thing. And then a few other newbie areas, but I don’t think I

got that far because I took a long break for a few years.

After my first long break from AA, I came back. And the newbie islands

weren’t there yet. I can’t remember exactly when it was that I came

back, but my English was a bit better then. I could communicate with

other players and understand help files, so that was a huge plus. Now

that I think of it, I must have been around 12 or 13, so 3  years

later. I had a friend from the UK with a character called Tigger play

with me and he helped me out too, even though he was also a newbie.
I met some pretty cool people back then: Eva, or ava or something, from

the elfs channel, maybe someone remembers her. Franco/Page was also in

the lot, wuver then joined with us, he was also friends with tigger,

but I think he had another character back then. Magekiller or

something. I can’t really remember. I can only remember I had a

character called ultramage.
I remember having a heated discussion with my English teacher because I

told her that mages are also people who can do magic, because we were

talking about magicians.
Like the magicians in the circus. And I said that you could also use

the word mage for magician. And she said no no no no no no  you are

wrong. So I started arguing, that I play a game where a mage is a magic

user. So you can also call a magician a mage, can’t you? Because

magicians do magic… Yeah.

But anyway, I’m getting out of topic again. After that I took another

long break until 2005 or so. And there things got a little more

interesting. I met a bunch of blind people, like Lillie, Pjbdude,

Moose, I don’t know. Many. Oh, Torax of course. But Torax came later.

He still plays, even. Maybe you are Torax and are reading this right

now.
Anyway, I met a guy from the UK, his name was Matt and he had lots of

characters: Libertine, Mattias, and he had another friend from the UK

and would tease him a  lot about not being able to tank boulders and

being a walking punching bag. Oh, and they supported two different

football teams. I remember Matt supported the westham team and the

other guy supported Sheffield United. Oh yeah, the other guy had a char

called Sheffutd. and he was silenced/noyelled because he started

yelling all over unholy that his team lost in the Premier League.
But anyway, I’m forever blowing bubbles (Westham anthem that Matt sang

to me through gt while running a ball lightning tome at Apollo) and God

save the queen. Yeah.
Matt and I wanted to mess around with ltype0 and ltype1 chars. You

can’t make these anymore because they were disabled by dentin,

basically all ltype 0’s were forced to convert to ltype2, the new

scheme and later also the ltype1’s. but anyway, ltype0 and ltype1

worked in a way that you had to get equipment to raise your stats if

you wanted good hp, mana and movement stats when levelling. It was

pretty fun, but unless you were a really experienced player and knew

were to find equipment with stats and negative hp, mana and move

values, it was pretty hard to get good stats. Me and Matt would have

competitionsto see who could raise a char to like level 15 with the

best stats and so on. and then more people started making ltype0 chars

to join us. It was fun.

From then on, there’s not much history. Just work on my part. I had

characters Soulsurf, Armagedoom, and then Zhiun. Zhiun was the

character with which I started creating mush-Z, hence the name mush-z

(hiun) and the zt channel Zhiuntell! Now I play as Kurek, but I can’t

easily rename mush-Z to mush-K without there being confusions, so it’s

stayed mush-Z since July of 2006, according to Zhiun’s date of

character creation. Yes, I’ve been working on mush-Z for over 7 years!

And it’s become so big… With more than 40 players using it at any one

time, it’s become, I think, the biggest mud client for blind people for

any mud, correct me if I’m wrong.
Mush-Z has gone through many, many stages that I can’t really think

about right now because it’s been very hard work, but it’s also been

gratifying. The first versions were just basic sounds for fighting and

battle music and so on. Then came the calculating of regen times, the

addition of channel history, the revolutionary pan/pitch progress bars

so you didn’t actually need a prompt and you could easily know things

like xp to level, your current mana, movement and health and so on.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article. I appologize if I say too many

technical things, or things that apply specifically to the mud. I know

that some of you will have never played and will not understand some of

the things I said, but I really hope you try it out and join us all.

Once again, you can find the game at http://www.alteraeon.com
And if you want to try out mush-Z, visit http://www.mush-z.com

Much time has passed since the last post

It’s been a while since I last posted here. The truth is that many interesting things have happened. I know that the last time I posted, I posted that I would go to sight city and I haven’t posted anything else about this. well, we did go to Sight City on may 15th. We went a group of blind people (Pia, Pia’s brother, Birgit and I) and we went. Ana came with us. she’s also a student in Saarbrücken and she works at a blind school as a mobility instructor and studying psichology.
De thing is that Pia, maybe you remember, is doing an exchange semester in Spain as a volunteer for European Services but she decided to come to Spain for a week.
The Sight City was very interesting. We saw things that were really great, and others not so much. For example, I remember being fascinated by the electronic braille writing machine. It’s like a Perkins writer that we’ve always had in Spain but it’s electronic and you can plug it into a keyboard. I was all fascinated and the Germans kept telling me they’ve had it for more than 20 years. And then they say that the ONCE in Spain is modern…
Talking about the ONCE, we saw two people from this spanish organization selling stuff. I bought a Parchis, which is like an english ludo, at a discounted price. The Spaniards were al hapy because they were in Germany… But I don’t think they could speak much German. The girl had to interpret everything and the guy didn’t really speak English either. Oh well. I eneded up translating for my group. I can’t imagine how they managed, when everyone asked them questions. there were a lot of people in there. I was happy to see them there, some spanish people at the Sight City in Germany. It’s a pitty they didn’t come from Barcelona or I would have possibly known them.
Another very interesting thing we saw was like a touchscreen but in Braille. It could show pictures in Braille and you could press on the screen to interact with the contents of the screen on the computer or whatever.
We also saw some crazy guy selling flashlights with ambulance sound. He went around saying that if a blind person is in trouble, we can use this superlantern and make ambulance noises… Yeah, may the force be with you and careful you don’t hit someone with the lightsaber. I told him, ironically, that I’m glad someone has finally decided to make a product to really show the world that we are blind. as if we didn’t have enough with the armbands.
I then stayed with Pia in Tübingen for a couple days and then we went to Trier, because Pia had to fly in Frankfurt Han.

But what else has happened in the last weeks? Many things have happened. Pia has shown me how to wash the dishes the German way and you can find a video in Spanish here

Basically what they do is, instead of wasting water like the Spaniards, they put all the dishes in the sink and put the soap in the sink.

I also started taking interpreting classes, in fact fact you can find a Spanish video here:

After interpreting for a while I get a headache,a nd given that these conferences last for about an hour… Well.

Last weekend we went to Trier and Homburg with Ana and Giorgi. Ana, the one who went with us to Sight City and Giorgi, a friend of hers also from Georgia.
I posted many pics on Facebook which you can find on my profile because they are public. 🙂
http://facebook.com/ogomez92

Many other things have happened, like the construction by my residence or the huge bee that came in the other day. I really thought it was a goddamn motorbike. No kidding. It was so huge and I didn’t even realize at the first moment that it was a fucking bee, and I thought it was a sound from the construction or something. My god if that thing would have got me, i have a huge panic of these despicable creatures so I went in and ran to the bathrom and I’m not ashamed to say it. You would have done the same if a be like that came in your room.

I’m going to talk about the constructions they are doing by my residence. They occupy the whole street and they mde a hole that’s like half a meter deep for which, if I’m not careful, I can fall every time I go to university or to the bus stop. But it’s only about being careful. The problem is that everything is enclosed and it’s hard to get to the bus stop, but I think I managed it in the last days.

I’ll try to post more in the coming days, promise. I don’t know why I didn’t write more often. I guess because of university (I had a presentation on monday) and other random things that made me postpone the blog.

Good week everyone!!!

Sight City 2014

The 16th of May I’m going to go to sight City, the most important event here in Germany for Blind and visual impaired people, where they will do many presentations, conferences and exhibitions of new products that help blind people in our daily lives.
It remidns me of the year 2007, when I went to Atlanta to attend the National Federation of the Blind convention. It’s something similar, but here in Europe, in Germany. I’ll tell you all about it, even though there’s still 15 days left. By the way, it’s in Frankfurt! As if I hadn’t visited this city enough times in the last months already… 😉

my first interpreting session!

Well, I know it’s my third post here today but I just wanted to share something cool. so much has happened today.
Today I did my first interpreting session! It’s a class called simulated conference, in theory as Erasmus Student i just needed to write a summary after each conference. But the teacher came and said hey, you speak good German, so go to booth 7 it’s empty. So I went in and started, I was a little unsure at first but I started interpreting and it went really well. I loved being able to interpret what others were saying. First I started interrpeting from English into Spanish, then I switched to German, because the English guy wasn’t doing a very good job (he kept stopping at stuff he didn’t understand). So I switched to German and it went pretty well.
At the end they told me I did really good and from next week on they’re going to put me in a booth 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
I just wanted to sahre this with you guys. I hope you’re all having a nice day and for the catalan speakers here, feliç sant Jordi 😉

My next goal: learn the way to the campus without taking the bus

Well, now that I can already find all the university buildings I need by myself, it’s time to try something else. My next goal is to learn the way from home to campuscenter without having to take the bus. When I got here in october I already tried, but due to my lack of orientation and motivation, and my predisposition to see everything “black” I wasn’t able to learn the way properly… so now it’s time to do it again and be successful. 😉 I’ll tell you guys about it, I don’t think it’ll be too hard.

Good day

Well today was a good day.
I had to learn the way to a new university building, it wasn’t so bad though. I also found a way to the damn Sprachenzentrum, since they blocked the stairs now or so it seems I can’t use the way I had learned, but there is a way through the c5.2 building and then c5.4 the Sprachenzentrum is just in front. 🙂
Anyway as I was saying. I started the new course on German-Spanish translation and I liked it a lot. We did some text to practice without dictionary or anything and I think it went well. I participated a lot and gave suggestions as to how to translate stuff better and I think the teacher likes me. 😉
Then I went to eat something and then to English class, which just finished. I came back home and discovered that the wonderful presidents of the student Residence I’m in are giving away free chocolate for easter. Mmmmmmmm! Chocolate time! 😀

Berlin and more

I just realized I hadn’t written anything about Berlin. Last week, when I was in Hamburg, on Saturday we took the chance to go to Berlin and we spent the weekend there.
we went to the spectrum science museum, I’d say it’s for children because they show you how things like temperature, electricity, sound, etc work. It’s a little simple, but it was fun. Pitty we had to leave our bags behind and I forgot to take the recorder with me, because there was a place where you pressed a button and it made electrical rays and sparks which made a really cool sound and smell of burning. 😉

Berlin came to me as a poor city, which was a surprise because it was a surprise, being the main city in Germany and all. There were beggars on the subway, the train stations seemed old (in one instance the escalator didn’t work), etc.
We also went to the ddr museum, which is the museum for the Democratic Republic of Germany. It was dedicated to the Communist impact in Germany: Cars, school material, telephones, radios, documents… It was very interesting! We were even able to enter a house like those in that time, they had a TV which played recordings from political parties etc.
There was also a restaurant with food from that time (of course we ate there!) and different inscriptions telling the story of how communism came and went in Germany. The next day,w e went to the Reichstag, but we were unable to enter because there were too many people.

I was in Frankfurt yesterday! Remember about the iPhone that kept crashing and had connectivity issues? Well, I called apple Store in Germany. the Americans have no idea of how stuff in Europe works, so they told me that an iPhone bought in Spain could only be fixed in Spain. But in Frankfurt they said something else… So I went to frankfurt and took a train, and in 3 hours I was there. I found some very nice people at the station that were going to the same place as I, and we went together to the city center, where the Apple Store is. I was too early though so I went to McDonald’s first. Mmmmm! At apple I got a new iPhone replacement, which is what they do in there when something in the Hardware doesn’t work. For now, it works well. 😉

Holidays in Hamburg

This week I’ve been in Hamburg. I’m still there, in fact. So you get an idea, Hamburg is in the north of Germany, close to the Ostsee. Saarbrücken is in the southwest of Germany, which means that I had to travel 13 hours by train to get there.
I’ve lived many nice experiences in Hamburg. On Tuesday I was in a museum (dialog im Dunkel) where it’s completely dark and you have to go through different rooms like a ship that moves, a fruit market with real fruits so that the people can also distinguish them using their other senses… the thing is that it was all dark, so people couldn’t see anything at all. There was a blind guide who kept locating us all and people had to find their way around with their cane. In each room we went through, there was a different smell, sounds, ambience and music. It was interesting to see that people, used to going down stairs and ramps and so on being able to see it all, they were sort of scared when they found themselves unable to see what was in front of them.

We also went to the spicys Museum, where you can taste and smell spices from all over the world! I hadn’t seen anythign like this before, but I find it a little gross. I mean, people just stick their hand in the bag and try out the spices and then who knows maybe they have a cold or something and they put their hand back in there…

We also went to a Queen music show! It was on the Hamburg Planetarium. There was like a representation in Surround, with Queen music and videos about space and smoke.
And tomorrow, we’re going to berlin!!!!!