We all have a setting that we want to switch off, I do too. Yet at this moment it is weirdly in overdrive. It is almost like it knows that the end is nigh, and if so, I need to make my 5G IP public, so that the next innovation wave will be a public domain driven one, inventions openly to be used for all. Yet we are not there yet. As such, I was watching a gameplay on Vampire Bloodlines 2 and my mind suddenly shifted to an old X-Men comic, in that we are confronted with a person named Tarot. That person can spring forth the tarot card revealed to him and make it a living entity. The comic book is decades old, but it crossed my mind as I was watching the game demo. I suddenly remembered the Vampire Jihad CCG and that is where the ideas started to cross. What if we do not always have the choice? We are trying to set the stage to what is the best solution, yet what happens if the player is limited to a CCG deck that he or she holds? So what happens when we are on a level and we see all the opposition, and the card we are offered is the Fool? It can be an area effect, or a selected effect, as such the meaning “having beginner’s luck, improvisation and believing in the universe” can be in a few ways, beginners luck implies we get get by this area unseen, things go bump at their end (beginners luck) and whenever the trot deck is used it needs time to recharge, also when we reshuffle again and again, luck runs out and bad luck falls upon us. The 22 cards are The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool. Yet they have two meanings normal and upside down, so 44 options, and all that randomised. It makes for a very different game.
In this we can be a gunslinger, a sneak or an illusionist, but the cards are wild. We cannot predict what we will set to next and when we consider that they are powerful, merely relying on our skills might not get the job done, so when do we go one way and when the other?
A stage no one has ever faced before, we all remember Spiderman, yet who remembered Tarot or Tarantula (Marvel characters), yet the comic world is so much larger, beyond DC (Mad Hatter) and Dark Horse comics (Hellboy, Ghost). Instead of focussing on the character, consider the abilities that the characters had, most might remember Cloak and Dagger, yet who remembers Mayhem from the original comics? When we think back to Infamous: Second Son, it starts magnificent, the smoke ability really gave a good start, it was the linearity that drove it back to average, a real shame. Yet the setting is not merely on where, and who, but how we adapt to a new setting we never had before (hence the Tarot Mention). We set the skill list and power ability to what we think is the best solution for our gameplay, but what happens when we do not get a choice? What happens when interaction becomes the wheel of fate for us? As far as I can tell no game does that, not now and not in the past, but does that not create a much more satisfying feeling when we grow beyond that? We do get the option to tweak, yet we are not given a choice of what the powers are, I stated it in a much earlier story towards a version of Infamous 3, what happens when the parents push the solution from them into us? From father and mother and a stage where the gender decides how much of mum or dad resides within us, Gregor Mendel gave that premise in 1845. Is it so wrong to use the classical greats to set the story to some part we cannot influence? How can we grow our comfort zone in gaming when we tend to rely on where our strength is? Especially when we are entering a stage where the game replay becomes much more important, we need to set a new stage on how it is played. If we are set to a location (London, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Gotham, Metropolis), the one element we can influence and set outside of our reach is us, the player we control. We can in addition change the stage of what we can do by selecting through parentage what we can do and leave us to tweak the ability to the best of gameplay. We forgot the one rule that is natural, that is the inability to select what we are, we can merely shape ourselves to the best of what we have.
Look at the long list of games that are out there and you will find no titles that match this. When you consider that gaming will be set to $138,000,000,000 in this year alone, it will not be about those who make the best replica, it will be about true original gaming, they will take the larger slices, whether it is PC, consoles or a future setting of cloud gaming.
I hope you had figured out that part, if not consider that the most anticipated games are some remakes of true originals, the rest are true original games. Some franchises will forever run, but some are running out of luck and options. I wonder who will fall to their knees in 2021 and 2022, because we need to realise that 2022 is as important as 2021 is, it gives view to what the developers think we want, it is a fair setting and some will make the cut, some will not but they all want a slice of that 138 billion and the most original games and most perfect games will get the bigger piece that is how it always was, and now that this cake is so big, they all want the largest slice, but it will be art designer that defines originality, not the business analyst. It is the simplest application of evolution, if the games do not truly evolve, the gamer will lose interest a lot sooner than the developer is ready for.