Evolution

We all see it, we all face it and it is programs, games and many other settings. Evolution is where it is at (at times). Take management survival. One of the best games ever made is Fallout Shelter. I even came up with some ‘improvements’ (read: additions) that could bank Bethesda (now: Microsoft) a few more coins, not that it was needed, as the game was free and I think they made more money on the microtransactions than any of there other games. There is no envy, there is no anger. The game can be played without ever spending a dime, so whatever they made, they earned it, no exception.

And now as we see all these fallout copies (to some effect) in many cases they are Zombie apocalypse games, we see another setting. A setting where Bethesda has the option to evolve their game into a larger game. I entered in my blog somewhere in the past a few additions (or improvements), but now I see that there is more to be done. 

It can show in a few ways. In the first there are additional support rooms, rooms that give added returns on rooms. There is the setting where localisation becomes an issue. For example a fallout shelter in Canada, Norway, Sweden, or Siberia has a much better return on water via snow. Yet food will be better in temperate settings and the tropics and loads of sun has power benefit. So what happens when you get no choice in the location, but it is handed to you. You need to seek more information and then we get a new location, a library. A library can offer a new book, common, rare or legendary. Each book has the ability to create a support room, or upgrade a support room. It now becomes a much more rewarding and harder game, especially long term. Especially when rooms have to be redone to accommodate for support rooms, with the larger station where we see that some rooms would need to be at the upper level the game changes. It changes a decent amount. Some support rooms are more delicate when it comes to attacks, so more repairs are needed over time. For example a wind support room for a power station. A snow capture room for water and a trap room for animal attacks giving more food. 

All kinds of additions that are possible and that was before the other additions I suggested (somewhere in the past). So why do it? I believe that some of the rip offs are nice, but they are nowhere as close to perfect as Fallout Shelter was. Even with all the critique of ‘lack of depth’, which is not untrue. The game offered more play than many games that are not free. And play is where it is at and this game delivered. There are fun parts, less fun parts, but overall a good game to play and even when you drop the game, you can pick it up a year later reliving the fun you had. It is one of the few games that I have had on nearly every platform available. That shows the game has appeal on many platforms. Bethesda showed colours and the colours were vibrants and appealing. They earned what they got and if a new idea helps them to maintain the game into new generations then I will happily oblige, because if the game offers true gameplay we all win.

There could be another room, a pet-store keeper, allowing the upgrade of animals, a weapon support room, giving in the first level a weapon for less resources, or return a weapon for more resources in the second level an upgrade to add to the weapon in the third level. It changes a few items and it has an impact, the same could be done for armour, with the a different setting, making some armour gender neutral. We can come up with all kinds of changes, but when we consider the stage where we are in a northern nation, warm armour becomes a lot more important. All stage that can be added to a game and it changes us from chasing a goal to enjoy and emerge in a game. You see when the game is too vanilla, we all see the same path, when we are in different locations the same path cannot apply and it gets people talking. It is merely one path of evolution that we see and optionally one we face, but what happens when we try to conquer what we did so easily before? We add to the challenge and create a new generation of fans, that is what I personally believe and I have seen similar paths in Eye of the Beholder and Ultima (4-7) to name just two franchises, there are scores and we all have the one we treasure the most, so what happens when you consider how to upgrade THAT game to be more challenging? I reckon that is one mistake Ubisoft made and in AC2-Brotherhood it was accepted, yet by the time we got to AC3 it was all about the ship, it was all about the hardware, yet the story and dance were too similar. So what happens when you add a wildcard that is handed to you and is the one you are stuck with? Can you then too rise to the occasion? That becomes a much larger question.  And that is before you realise that to some extent random factors will decide whether you find a library and even more what you find there. Perhaps some chests in locations will offer a common book, but the rare and legendary can only be found in bookshops or libraries you encounter. 

Call out any game and for the mot the dedicated player can come up with an addition, or additional challenge and that is when real evolution starts. And it matter, because in gaming evolution can at times lead to innovation and that is such a rare stage that it entices scores of gamers to your game. That is what matters, because innovation is rare in franchise games, so when we see it we jump to attention fast. So are my ideas here innovation? No, they are merely iteration, but at times in iteration can lead to an innovation, and we all want that, especially in games we love playing. We all do, no exception.

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