We're adding sound, and it's already in almost half of our new games! We've launched some new game versions since our last Member News, and we're now celebrating a year on our new site. Also, if you get a blue screen instead of a game, we'll tell you what to do about it.
We've Got Sound!
Back in the old days, it was easy for us to put sound in our games. Every browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, and WebTV) could play MIDI, and it worked well over dial-up. If you go into our Legacy games on Internet Explorer, you can still hear the MIDI sound effects.
But that was a long time ago, and for years, it wasn't possible for us to make sounds that we could control from a game that everyone could play. When we launched the new site in April, 2014, we tried to implement sound using the best techniques of the time, but found it was freezing some browsers (and for some, it required Flash, which we don't like to use).
What a difference a year makes! The technology for HTML5 sound has advanced so that our new sound should work in all modern browsers. And even if you are using Windows XP, you can still use the modern Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the new games in all their glory!
How the Sound Works
In each game that has sound, you'll now see a button that tells you whether the sound is on or off. Just press the button to hear it, and if you want to hear the opening sounds, reload the page. Your browser will remember your sound settings for each game and if you turn it on, it will be on for that game next time you load it. If you use more than one browser -- for example, a tablet and a computer -- each will remember its own settings.
If you really like it silent, you can go to your Member page ("Your Pages") in the Games4TV home and select the Settings tab. You'll now find a button that will tell you whether or not your sound is active. You can turn all sounds off from there, but if you then turn on a sound in a game, it will turn your sounds back on.
A Note on iPads
Apple has set iOS so that it will not play sounds automatically until after you have clicked something on the page. So if you want to hear the sounds from the beginning (for example, Train's opening whistle), just load the page and press New Game. Once you've clicked anything, it will play all sounds normally after that.
The Games With Sound
As of April 5, 2015, we have sound in these games (remember to press the button to turn it on):
Herding Cats, Train, Alienz, Affinity, Take2, Barnyard, and the following solitaire games: Klondike, Canfield, Aces Up, FreeCell, Osmosis, Golf, Kremlin, Yukon, and Pyramid. Sound also is in our Snowball Fight (which was our first test of new sounds).
What to Do If Your Favorite Game Gives You a Blue Screen
This happens if a game has been updated but your browser is using a "cached" version of some of the page. We now send "do not cache" instructions to the browser before we update a game, but sometimes they don't listen. Try just reloading the page one or twice (the F5 key will do that for most browsers), or click the "refresh" icon on the browser that looks like a circle with an arrow.
If they still won't load, then you'll need to clear your browser's cache. On Internet Explorer, look in Tools > Internet Options and select Delete Browing History from the General tab. You'll have the choice of what to delete -- choose ONLY "Temporary Internet files..." Once you've deleted the cached files, reload the page and your game will appear.
On Firefox, select History and the "Clear Recent History." You'll want to only delete the selection that says "Cache." You can also find this in the Options panel under Advanced. The Network tab has "Cached Web Content" and a button to "Clear Now." Easier way -- press the Ctrl Shift and Del keys at the same time to open your "Clear Recent History" form.
On Chrome, select History from your menu (the 3 parallel lines) and and then Clear Recent History. After that, it works the same as we've described for Firefox. And the easier way also works here: press the Ctrl Shift and Del keys at the same time to open your "Clear Recent History" form.
Then reload the page, and everything should work!
We've launched our new version of Affinity. If you've never played it, it's a "thinking game" that is sort of like Bijoux (a match 3 game) but instead of the matched pieces disappearing, they light up. Your challenge is to light up the entire board. I've had a request for a video showing how to play it, and will make one shortly.
We also have our new version of Pyramid Solitaire. Instead of an Egyptian theme, we've done this one with a Meso-American pyramid. Enjoy!
Would You Like to Be a Beta Tester?
Our Beta Testers (aka "Beta Fishies") are our members who help us get the games just right by playing new and updated games before they're released.
It's a chance to see what's coming in Games4TV, and also to discuss what you're playing with fellow Beta testers in a private area of Talk4TV. You don't need to have any special abilities or expertise except a love for the games. It's fun, and you may make some new friends! Find out more in our Talk4TV > Would you like to be a Beta Tester?
Happy Easter to all! Enjoy!