The Playroom is a free online gaming platform, especially made to be accessible to visually impaired people.
Anyone can connect! 22 412 players around the world are already waiting to play with you, in 6 languages, and at anytime of the day and night. Join us now ! At the moment, there are 647 connected players and 334 open tables.
AFter long months of preparations and testing, we are proud to present the new version of the playroom client for windows today. Here's the greatly awaited playroom 3.0 ! Let's make the point on the many improvements made in this major upgrade.
After an aborted attempt during the fifth anniversary event, the arcade mode is this time coming for good.
Audiogames, very different from the games you have known up to now and as their name says, which we will be able to host from now on inside the arcade mode, will immerse you inside accessible sound universes. That's an entirely new dimension that open today on the playroom, a dimension we are of course going to enrich as the time pass. Our first title, Magic blocks, will let you dive into action with blocks, which you will have to make skillfully explode faster and faster in order to avoid being flooded of.
Magic Blocks, this name maybe reminds you something. That's indeed a game that has originally been created in 2008 by your Aminiel, at a time when multiplayer audiogames could still be counted with the hands. A first attempt to reintroduce it on the playroom in 2013 quickly failed due to a too big demand in server resources for the architecture present at that time. This time, it is back for good. Multiplayer mode isn't yet available though, but it will be soon, too.
Coming back to arcade mode more globally, it wasn't an easy task to put it in place ! After several failed attempts, though, we finally arrived today to an important milestone after 7 years of development. Arcade mode is using a specific programming language inspired by BGT, a well known audiogame development toolkit for blind developers. The objective of this integration is eventually to allow external contributions. You are developer and you would like to see your own game available on the playroom ? This isn't possible yet, but our efforts are actively going toward that direction.
We hope that you will enjoy arcade mode !
Bots in Chess and Go game
Version 3.0 comes with the possibility to play chess with bots. It wasn't possible in the old version because it required too much server resource to make an artificial intelligence play a so complex game. It's always the case. However, there's something we didn't thought about: the option to make you download an external game engine, so that the robot can play locally, using the power of your own machine. When you request to play for the first time in chess with a bot, a game engine will thus be downloaded. WE chosen Stockfish engine, because it is free to use, not too hard to set up, and can play to a configurable difficulty level. Warning though, that's apretty difficult opponent, even at minimum level !
We also have added another quite well known strategy game with the same idea, the game of Go. Originating from Asia and several thousends of years old, it comes to the occidental world a little more than one century ago. These few last years, its name came back out again from darkness, because Google managed to create an artificial intelligence able to beat the world champion only recently, while machines perfectly master chess since at least 35 years. Go is thus quite more complex than chess. We chosen the engine GNU Go to play it with bots. Like Stockfish, it's a free to use engine with configurable difficulty level. It is relatively old and didn't got the latest progresses from Google, thus it is said to be much less intelligent. This is far more than enough for it to largely beat the simple little amateur that we are, though.
We hope that these progresses will give you mood to play chess and discover the game of Go !
Security is back
You probably remember that sad day of January, where you were many to think that the playroom was no longer working. WE have been required to temporarily abandon all the security we started to put in place since version 2.2.8. With version 3.0, all that security is back, and we have even enforced it more !
Network communications will from now on entirely use SSL/TLS. Encryption is ensured from end to end from your machine to our servers. You don't have to worry any longer. You, and you alone, are allowed to access your private discussions.
However, please bear in mind that, even if end to end encryption is back again, the greatest danger for security stays the password of your account. Human beings are always the weakest link of security. Never give your password to anyone, and especially not to people in which you have trust today but may harm you tomorrow. Check that it is complex enough by mixing uppercase and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Finally, if you have any tiny doubt that anyone could have got access to your account without your knowledge, change it immediately !
Even more simplicity
The client 3.0 also includes a serie of small new features, totally optional but so essential !
Auto login: the login dialog box is annoying ? You can now get definitely rid of it and join the playroom easier and quickier !
Reduce to taskbar: you want to stay online all the day without always having the playroom window open ? This feature is for you !
Integrated browser: you have forgotten the rules of a game ? Ctrl+F1 now opens an integrated web browser. That's easier, simpler, and when you have finished reading, you can go back to what you were doing without being intimidated by the browser of the system.
Improved graphics: the games which had graphics have been improved slightly.
Service status: connection to the playroom don't work ? Don't panic ! A web page now allows you to quickly and simply know if the problem is coming from you or from us, and to stay informed of what's going on.
The way to set volume of sounds and streams has changed, by the way. Press F6 to select what kind of volume to change, F7 to lower it and F8 to raise it.
Abandonning Windows XP and Vista
The arrival of client 3.0 sadly cannot come without bad news: it isn't compatible with Windows XP and Vista. If you are still using these legacy systems, you simply won't be able to upgrade; you will have to stay to version 2.2.8.
Now that version 3.0 is available, the old 2.2.8 is doomed to disappear soon. IN this perspective, we suggest you to switch at least to Windows 7. The 3.0 update will very soon be mandatory for all those who can do it, and version 2.2.8 will progressively become more and more restrained before being definitely put out of circuit. It will be completely unusable at most in a few months.
We remind you that Windows XP no longer receive any update, including critical security ones since 2014, and Windows Vista since 2016. Even active support for Windows 7 ceased in 2020 for individuals. According to Microsoft, you should already have upgraded since then, but it's never too late to do it now. Note that the playroom remains quite conservative by continuing to accept Windows 7 !
With the whole work we put in this new 3.0 client, we hope that it will bring you its deserved satisfaction. If development took so much time, that's because we bet on an intensive beta-test phase, with the goal to solve many kinds of problems without impacting all regular players that don't have the time or the knowledge to help us. Some players have hard time to update, despite all what we do to make them as transparent and painless as possible, that's why we always try to limit them to the minimum. All players will progressively get a proposition to update in the next few days.
By the way, we warmly thank all those who participated in beta-test. If the new client is stable and works well, that's thank to all the points you reported to us since a couple of months. This is a crowning achievement after 3 years of work. We ourselves tested 4 technologies and 3 programming languages for arcade mode before definitely choosing the right one. And more than 500 users participated in the beta-test !
We wish you to greatly enjoy the new client 3.0. Long live the playroom !
Here is the beta of the new Playroom client version 3.0.
As all software in beta, this version isn't yet fully finalized. It still contains bugs, and isn't yet meant to replace the current version 2.2.8.
If you are comfortable enough with computers, you are kindly invited to test it and give feedback about what works and what doesn't. However, if you aren't very comfortable with computers, you are advised to wait for the final 3.0 version. No support will be given to install or get started with beta versions.
Note that all beta versions will be quickly blocked as soon as we don't need them any longer and/or got enough significant feedback to continue our work, in order for tests and feedback to be better targeted, and to make sure that you always have the very latest version. Note also that beta versions are said portable. There's no installer, you must extract yourself the downloaded archive in order to run the executable application of the playroom.
Your comments, remarks, bug reports concerning all 3.0 beta have to be made in this topic. Please centralize all feedback here on this topic rather than create a new topic for each new problem found, in order to be efficient and to avoid generating useless additional work.
Changelog 2.99.46: - Starting new beta phase with installer and auto-updates
Fixed context menu Shift+F10 in history zone
Fixed various malfunctionnings when the beta was run from a directory containing spaces and accented characters
Fixed audio issue where a sound wasn't played in the correct soundcard after a change in configuration
Uno and monopoly: suppressed superfluous spaces that could break speech synthesis pronunciation in some cases
Uno: fixed table saving/restoring while a player is in the color selection menu
Uno: rule "skip after drawing cards" wasn't indicated when pressing R if that rule was activated
Minor fixes in following games: rami, chess, bouillabaisse, monopoly, jass, hearts
Chess: the playroom sometimes allowed castling when it's normally forbidden
Chess: fixed false positives and false negatives in chess mate detection
Chess: fixed crash with Stockfish in certain situations
Improved crash protection to prevent chess and Go engine crashes from also taking off the playroom in the process
Trial to fix application icon
Update BASS library to version 2.4.16
Go and chess: the other player has now to approve move cancellation
Go: fixed bugs when playing with a bot
Trying to fix visual bug with High DPI screens
Fixed crash when sorting cards in uno
Added Ctrl+Z in Go and chess. You can undo up to 5 moves in Go. Warning, stats of games with undone moves won't be counted.
Games with two bots in Go and chess are now blocked
Added icon for the application
Fixed letter navigation that didn't work anymore after a tooltip is shown
Fixed focus problem when coming back to playroom window by Alt+Tab
Fixes for Go and chess
Fixed message reading when changing screen reader
Fixed focus problems in the embedded web view with NVDA
New option to enable/disable embedded web view in reading/appearence
IN the embedded web view, Ctrl+N or Shift+Enter on a link opens it in the default browser
Improved chess mate detection
PGN import support
Added bots in chess with stockfish engine
Added Go game
Added narrator support under windows 10
Fixed double reading (NVDA) or incomplete reading (Jaws) on the first and last menu list element
Added application icon
Fixed bug about some particular messages in the history, which make screen readers to crash
Added a periodic clean up of the history to struggle against slowdowns due to a too long history. To keep more messages, use the save history to file feature.
Fixed visual issues about scrolling and tooltips in the menu list, and other visual fixes
The tiny checkbox sound is back and working
Ctrl+Backspace to remove a word is back in the chat box
The clear history option is back in the history context menu
Insert+Ctrl+V shortcut of Jaws to announce version information is now working
Left/right arrow keys now work to go to next/previous card suit
IN rami, the sound indicating that a card has been taken from the table is back
The problem introduced in last beta concerning reversi AI is solved, and the AI has been optimized
Chat text field is again announced correctly by Jaws, but Ctrl+Backspace no longer work
Menu list scroll has been improved
Restore default settings is now working
Fixed Ctrl+Backspace to delete a word in MP and forum multiline input box
Improved reversi AI
Fixed bug in history report sendings
Fixed issue with streams when leaving or saving a table
History saving works again
Fixed a focus problem with the chat zone when the menu list is updated
Windows 10 dark mode is now taken into account
Other visual fixes
Officially abandonned support of windows XP and vista
Keys F10 and Shift+F10 sometimes were activating the system menu
Numpad enter key works again (it opened the language menu)
Keys F1-F12 and Ctrl+letter work again in chat and history zones
Keeping keys such as previous/next/play/pause/stop/volume/mail/browser/search pressed no longer trigger anti-flood protection
Activating the icon in the taskbar worked with Jaws, but not with NVDA
Activating the window from the taskbar or when it was minimized was sometimes done incompletely, i.e. focus cursor wasn't really in the window
Fade out of audio streams is back when leaving a table
Changing volume from menus no longer make bizarre and/or infinite sound
About dialog box is now also reachable from system menu and from taskbar menu
Restored secure SSL/TLS connection, using library OpenSSL instead of LibreTLS.
Volume settings: from now on, key F6, F7 and F8 are used to change volume. F6 to choose streams/notifications/sounds, F7 to make lower and F8 to make louder. F5 is no longer used.
The following shortcuts have changed: Shift+F6 open audio settings, Shift+F7 stop all sounds, Shift+F8 toggle auto reading of incoming messages
Auto connect on startup option, allowing to automatically connect to the playroom directly, skipping the connection dialog box
Reduce to taskbar option, allowing the playroom to be placed in notification bar instead of quitting it when pressing Alt+F4
Service status button in the connection dialog box. This button opens a web page indicating if the playroom correctly works, or if we currently encounter general server, infrastructure or network issue, as those we recently got with our host OVH. These informations will help you, in case you have difficulties connecting, whether the problem is on your or on our side, and will allow you to follow what's going on in case of big outage.
Added a split bar allowing to adjust, using the mouse, the size of the two zones history/menu list. Space sharing is automatically adjusted following the size of the window.
Improved graphics for the games where there are: chess, connect4, reversi, backgammon, battleship
Chat text field now allow to paste texte containing multiple lines
Update BASS audio library to 2.4.15, adding support and fixing bugs for several headphones and soundcards. Using WASAPI by default under windows 7, 8 and 10, possibility to switch back to DirectSound in case of problems with WASAPI.
Preparations for the next great revolution to come (code. armode/5a)
Following an important update independent of our will, secure connection to the playroom won't work anymore starting the 25th of January 2021 onwards. You will need to use the unsecure connection from now on, by choosing that option in the connection dialog box (once Shift+Tab starting from the username text field).
Despite that a little frightening term, the unsecure connection hasn't actually anything dangerous. Your data will pass through an unencrypted protocol. Nothing changes in using the playroom. You will still be able to play and discuss as usual, once this configuration modification has been done. However, we remind you to be extremely cauthious when you exchange personal information with other players. In particular, never ever give your password to anyone (including your boy/girl friend).
We are working at a new 3.0 beta version of the client, which will restore the secure connection with the new system. IN the meantime, sadly, you will need to satisfy yourself with the unsecure mode.
Be sure that we are incredibely sorry for this issue, but we have been obliged to act in a rush without any choice. Unfortunately, we haven't anticipated this brutal change. We will do our best to avoid the same kind of issue in the future.
Don't hesitate to forward the information to your friends who don't regularely go to the forum and who might have missed it.
We wish you nevertheless great pleasure on the playroom, as well as an happy new year 2021.
I have released this evening a new program to play card games online in an accessible way. I have called this program the playroom. Yes, that's a room where you can play games, hance this very simplistic name.
Ten years ago, smart was the one who could predict that the above innocuous lines would launch a small revolution in the world of accessible gaming. In any case, if you told me so at that time, I would have found you completely crazy. Think a little, just a tiny card game! I belief I would draw interest of no more than a couple casual players. I was far from imaginating that it would go to that huge extent, and even less that it would go so fast!
I think I shouldn't go red about the term revolution: beyond a simple game, the playroom has become a true city. A city with people coming in and going away. A city with those who live there, and those who only pass or stay for a while. A city with its good stories, its less good as well. But a city who live, day and night.
Today, the playroom is ten years old!
If this big city has been able to flourish, that's because of everyone. Wheter you have contributed to this great adventure in a way or another, be it as an administrator, helper, translator, quiz validator or writer, we would like to say you a great thank you for your support, or simply for your faithfulness presence. Without you, the playroom wouldn't be anything. WE also need to warmly thank all players, yes, you! You have carried on games one after the other. You have shared good times and fun laughs. You have created or participated to tournaments. You made us be known, to your near friends as well as everywhere around the world, without ever the need for us to praise or advertise. You have all built up this platform together and keep making it live. Really, you deserve a great thank you king size!
This message is perhaps an occasion to express yourself about what you liked, what you liked less, what you imagine for the future of this universe, or maybe to share a few small funny anecdotes.
We will of course have the occasion to share this soon around a virtual table. Given that our respective personal lives are much more full than in 2010, no date hasn't yet been fixed for a special event. Be sure that there will soon be one, though. We must celebrate it!
What's the future is going to be on our beloved platform? At short term, a small surprise. At the moment, I can only tell you that ducks are implied (No no, don't call ASPCA, I only talk about ducks for bath, obviously!) At middle term, a 3.0 client entirely made from scratch, and the concretisation, I hope, of what I started five years ago. No, I haven't forgotten, I only took bad directions and I lose my way. It can happen to anyone! And at long term, I don't know. Maybe one day there will be a client for Mac, for iOS, a nicer interface for sighted people, or maybe none of all these. Nobody knows. Maybe we will need to wear a mask to come in the playroom, who knows? Smart is the one who know where we are going to be in 2030, especially with the general uncertainty and the deep questionnings we are all living right now. What is sure, though, is that we will continue to do our maximum to preserve what have made the playroom a success until now. The best shouldn't change! Let's talk about it again in ten years?
Thank you very much everybody, and long live the playroom! Happy birthday!
Nowadays more than never in these troubled times, a place like the Playroom appears to us as being essential. We are always present to provide you entertainment and pleasure, and we will always be. That's why we aren't only very proud to have reached historical frequentation records, but additionally, we are extremely happy to present you a new game of our own creation: the duck's race!
As its name says, the principle is very simple: you are playing one of our so lovely birds and your objective is to be the first to reach the finish line. However, don't be misstaken: your way is full of traps and your concurrents won't mind making your life hard. Who's going to be the quickest? who's going to be smarter than his concurrents?
This new game has been entirely designed during this generalized confining. A great thank you to those who worked hard during the last two weeks.
Like any new game, there may be some malfunctionning, especially given that it has been designed in almost no time. Don't hesitate to report them in this topic. As well if you have suggestions, or just some impressions to share, this topic is open.
Today is a great day, since I'm celebrating my 30th anniversary. However, I, am going to give you a present; a present for the whole community.
I have the great pleasure to tell you that, not only one, but two, new games will be released during this month of October 2018 !
Get ready for the effective release day. Clues about the exact date and time of the event, as well as, of course, about the nature of the upcoming games are going to be discretely spread on the next days. There my even be exclusive previews to win for the most schrewd of you.
As I'm writing to you all, I would like to say thank you; thank you everybody.
Thank you to helpers, who are always there to help people, as well as watch the platform day after day so that it stays alive and comfortable.
Thank you to translators, who make essential work behind the sun, and which the playroom would be inconceivable without it for entire communities.
Thank you to quiz validators and correctors, who feed that game continuously beside those who send questions.
Thank you to those who made donations, either they were more or less frequent, or more or less generous. Thank to them, servers can keep running.
Thank you to my colleegues administrators, who are also there when things are getting hard or in case of technical outages, as well as for coordinating the other teams.
And finally, of course, thank you all, the community of the playroom in its entirety Since 8 years, thank to you, thank to all these moments of emotion, these moments of joy or cry all shared together around a table, that made the playroom what it became today and what keeps it becoming even stronger and stronger day after day. Without you all, there would have probably been already a long time that your well beloved unique developer would have lost all motivation.
However, yes, everything isn't perfect; some bugs are still resisting to our analysis; there are so many requests that we can't realise them all as we wish; and the vagaries of life make certain things to arrive so late. Despite everything, we still are all there; all together we are giving our best so that the better stays for ever.
So, once again, thank you all; thank you everybody.