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Ignored options

I was thinking (yes, I do that at times) and my mind wandered towards a few Amazon fields, not because it is Amazon, merely because it is not Microsoft. If I can get these arrogant idiots to lose more than 2 battles, I would feel good. I need that idiotic marketing arrogance to pay for their ‘Most powerful console in the world’, all whilst they happily ignore the needs of the gamer. They lost so much credibility (and I roughly $599), I feel that it is my right and my civic duty to make sure that they lose $599,999,999, just a dollar short of a large number. So if I can hand over the ideas to make sure that their Xbox Cloud Gaming will be a number three at best (if Netflix is present number four would be better), I would feel good. Sony passed their 10,000,000 PS5 consoles sold, no matter how Microsoft phrases it, they are nowhere near that. The console equation on Sony versus Microsoft is now at 3:1, three PS5’s for every Microsoft system. So that is one battle they will not ever win at present and there is Nintendo still going great, so they are a mere third option console. Yes, the strongest console is that much behind and I want to offer whatever idea I can to make their cloud gaming solution equally a fiasco. 

You see, Amazon has another benefit, another arrow in their quiver and I am a little surprised that they haven’t grabbed it yet. There are two sides to it (actually three, because I couldn’t find the images). In the 80’s there were books, they were printed on the same wood pulp paper that newspapers were printed on in those days (1978-1988), there were two series I read (there were more). One was a disaster series, they were a cheap version of movies like Earthquake, 2012, The towering inferno. They were about $2 each in those days affordable and they sold. Yet these books are now all but forgotten, they weren’t that bad, they were a decent option to pass the time when I took the bus every morning and it was 45 minutes each way. The second series was a horror series, in that there was one series (a series within a series) that was some sort of non-governmental form of the X-files (a decade before that series was made. The men had descriptions like X-Ray-A, X-Ray-C, the women X-Ray-3, X-Ray-5. It might have ben the other way round. The stage is that these books are pretty much lost to the ages, all that IP out there and optionally open for business. Not only is there a larger stage, Amazon has one additional stage. It can offer the game, whilst within the game there are options to get achievements that will opt for a kindle edition. A stage NONE of the others can offer. More important, it could drive sales in either group. There is a lot more when you consider some of the sexualised comic books like the Italian Oltretomba. A comic book form that still exists with collectors, some of them going back to the 70’s. Now the books are to some debatable and plenty want to offer their $0.02 after they read it at least twice, but the stage is larger.  You see, the stories are nowhere near the calibre of Tolkien (or Shakespeare), yet in gaming, the stories when distilled are all in some form missions that could be added in most RPG’s. Consider creating any RPG and now consider that you have access to 125 missions, jut like that. Yes, you and I can create a few missions, we all can, but access to well over 100 missions is nothing to be sneered at. If you want to create an RPG that is a decent alternative to whatever Bethesda offers (Elder Scrolls & Fallout), you need serious ammunition, no matter how original you are. 10 missions do not cover it, you need 300-500 missions (part of, or independent of the main story). 

That is the game that the streamers are looking at, some are relying on some Ubisoft link to make up for the gap, but Ubisoft has not been bringing home the bacon for almost half a decade and they need exclusivity to make it happen. I offered a solution in social media for gamers, Amazon has a kindle link that no one has, and I even wrote about a larger gaming stage via achievements, which could help Amazon and its moonshine (a Luna joke). Consider that I had to go from memory, the images (like covers) and keyword searches reveal nothing (to me), as such the IP might be in the open and that is merely a western approach. Places like India and Japan might have all kinds of additional path to acquire IP as well as writings to beef up the streaming games. 

And if I cannot find that, what else is out there from your youth that is forgotten by too many? As such Amazon Luna (Google Stadia too) have several paths to consider before they enter the stream battle with Microsoft and any exclusive that they can offer that Microsoft. Cannot merely pushes them to third or even fourth in another console war, it sucks to be Microsoft (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk).

Even now (19 hours ago) when I see that 4 more titles were announced and that the Amazon Luna has 91 titles, the stage is not set. Yes, Hokko will be nice, but it is basically some form of Animal Crossing. I skipped the Skateboard part, but some will like it, I get that.  Yet it will be about the exclusives, that will make the race, and before Facebook gets everywhere, Amazon (Google too) will need to offer their game minded alternative. It will impact and the better that part  the stronger the impact becomes. I also foresee that if we get a true interaction of achievements there will be a larger stage that they can win, but will they? I reckon they will not, they will at first give us a ‘considering it in a future update’, it will get delay after delay and then it gets scrapped. It is their right, and they can opt for that, and when the losses are clear they will overreact and have some half baked solution out there. That is the field we see and I believe that gamers do want to talk about games, but they want THEIR data to be safe and they do not need to see 4 advertisements a minute, they are past that now. Exclusives will set the stage for Google and Amazon, mark my words, when Ubisoft has another failure on multiple systems the gamers will see whatever they can get and there is a lot out there, is it enough? I do not think so and focussing on exclusives is important. Do you think that Microsoft paid billions for Bethesda because they were nice people? No, they wanted the two top hitters to be on Microsoft consoles only and that is where we are, so I gave the world a new RPG console, made it freeware to all Sony and Luna developers. It is the one way where Microsoft gets to feel the sting faster and harder. And whilst Microsoft buys its way into gaming (Portal anyone?), I feel the need to warp my creativity towards Luna and Stadia to give them a chance to beat a two trillion dollar company opposing inferior contemplated tactics and taking games away from us, Sony is doing its bid by outselling them 3 to 1, so I offered some IP to the other two hoping they wake up and smell the coffee whilst the drinking is good.

Microsoft bungled bing, wasted tablets, sudden death’ed their game, all whilst they rely on marketing to convince the people the opposite is happening, and if they print and publish it often enough some people might accept that. I do not and I used my creativity to give the others a fighting chance, a tactically superior fighting chance, mind you. And I believe that the ignored options are a path, one should not rely on them, but they can be a great support for good ideas when they are around. Consider the next Fallout with a Microsoft logo, all whilst we can play something with 100+ more missions and a good storyline that has not be seen before. It would be the ultimate nightmare for Phil Spencer to face and let’s face it, it is not the worst setting for him to be in, that is when Microsoft gaming is dead last on nearly fronts (they are the true number one in flight simulators, we accept that). That is where I want them to be, I roll like that.

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Destined to entertain

We all want to be an entertainer, most of us (not all) have that feeling inside of us, the need to be entertaining, our social structures have also pushed it, but in the stage where it is a sort of PC (politically correct) version of that what entertains us, it is in that setting where some of us become actors, some become writers, some become directors and some become game creators. There are a few more options, but the foundation of books, sound and vision have been upon us for centuries, last century vision (movies, TV) was added and about 35 years ago games were added. Yet the setting of games remains new and they too are going through the motions. A stage where they are relying on re-using any wheel instead of inventing a new one. We can agree that there is a stage of sequels that some accept (some do not) but that stage comes with labels and warnings. The God of War has pulled it off 4 times and they did it well, Ubisoft with its Assassins Creed did not, yet from my point of view, they did do a decent job and pulled it off with WatchDogs. Yet these makers have an issue with the story, they forget that the story is the driving factor. It is easiest seen When you compare God of War IV or Mass Effect to the Assassins Creed stories (Unity, Syndicate, Odyssey) you get a first glimmer why the AC range was failing, they had a great thing, they bungled it, then they seemingly fixed it with AC Origins (which was amazing) and then they bungled it. Even now, AC Valhalla is according to some too shallow, to much chasing after something whilst forgetting the Assassins path. I cannot vouch for AC Valhalla as I stayed away from it, but the critique makes sense, and that is before we consider the fixes to bug and glitches. This is why new games like Horizon Zero Dawn are cherished (and it is a really nice game too), or the mere fact that Skyrim is still being played on new consoles 9 years after its release. The story is everything, Ubisoft forgot about that, Bethesda seemingly did not. But this is not about Ubisoft bashing (even though it is entertaining), Bioware is in a similar stage, They messed up ME4, and they now rely on ME1,2,3 to fatten their coffers so that they get a chance at ME5. A setting that is dubious, but if they really fattened the pot and make ME5 a game that breaks the mould, they might pull it off. It is funny, it took me less than 2 hours to think through a sequel all whilst ME4 collapsed. Yet I digress, you see, to become the entertainer you need to be a creator, all whilst silly people at some game companies relied on Business Intelligence, but entertainment cannot be set in that way, you merely get a setting where you try to include everything and in that setting you never satisfy anyone. And as such creation falters (AC Odyssey is a prime example). And a we now see that there are more games coming, that some indie developers are changing the game (Hades), we see that gaming is not dead, but the story mattered and so does game play. 

So as gaming becomes a rather large stage (due to Covid issues) we get to see a new stage where some game developers are losing options and optionally their firm and some shine. And in all this it is not about the highest graphics, That is seen with Animal Crossings: New Horizons. A game that surpasses 20 million copies, which implies that 1 in 2 Switch owners has that game, it is almost unheard of. It shows that gameplay is just a important as the storyline and the fact that this game is a long term game, not something you finish in 100 hours has close to never been done before, and Microsoft (Sony too) are a little bit in the dark, that is why Nintendo is such a competitor. I said it 2-3 years ago and it is coming true, gaming is more than relying on a Business Intelligence analyst, it is a setting where a painter and a storyteller unite to give the traveller a story that this person has never experienced before, and that is what Skyrim and Mass Effect (1-3) delivered on, others did too, so why are some game makers blind to that part?
It took me a day at the most to give the Elder Scrolls, WatchDogs, Mass Effect a sequel on a new storyline, a new creation, so why can’t they do this? OK, there is still an Elder Scrolls coming, but I  made the first design 6 years ago, Mass Effect 4-5, 3 years ago and Watchdogs 4 last year. Now consider that I am a nobody and these high and mighty game designers can’t come up with the goods on several fronts, so what are they missing. How come Nintendo is on the ball, Microsoft forgot what a ball looks like and and Sony is seemingly slipping a fraction, and all this has close to nothing to do with new hardware, games are paintings, the console is a palette and the palette becomes bigger or change shape but the creator adjusts view, adjusts grip and continues.

So in this, and as we see what is coming, what makes them destined to entertain? 

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Project One Fiver

We all have the setting in our heads, we have an idea and we partially roll with it. It is there where we get the problem, some see problems, some do not. I am the one in category two, yet I also have flaws and they show themselves rather quickly. I am the entire opposite of those, I am one who quits as the challenge is gone. It is a basic law, it is stupid, but in 1989 there was a different stage, the BS artists were in charge, I was new, I knew nothing, but I had my 

Nantucket clipper compiler and a book on how to program and within weeks I was ahead of a lot of people.  I was asking container programs, admin programs and I loved it. But it came with an inner flaw. Someone in the cinema world asked me for a solution, I was not thinking like a consultant, because I was self trained, I rejected the offer, not because it was hard, but because it was easy. I had in my mind set the stage and developed the solution in an hour, I saw what was needed and my mind set the stage in minutes. The shows, the cinema’s the date’s, it was the simplest application of Clipper and dBase 3, as such I saw the premise that I was doing all the work and getting almost nothing for it, because people would state that it was too easy, and in those days the rent was due. I leaned a lot over time and I went in a different direction, but the ability to see solutions remained in me. 

So as I am watching the Battlestar Galactica series (again) an idea came to mind, what if the premise of the RPG is changed? What if the game is not one game, but 15? All linked into one massive game, into one large game that is in part driven by the parameters of other gamers? Not just that, but your achievements will be an added parameter for them? Over time your stage will be the overbearing one, but you are not one voice, you are one of a choir and over time you are the choir. As far as I can tell, that has never been done before and even as my idea grasps some idea’s from others, the stage of philosophical drives, the stage of a limited stage is not new. Other games programmed around it, I am considering it to be part of the game. And over that stage we see the ability where we intersect in a much larger stage. Yes, it sounds confusing, me talking about stages, about parameters and about requirements, yet games are like that and we fill in the blanks in stages, the stage of where we play, the stage of where a character is and we have the ability to set a much larger field of play in a  game that could set a new record in gaming in the next console war. 

A stage that has several planets, a stage that is set where we have a formula that creates 15 planets, and you have no idea where you are. This is not for the weak of mind, or those walking around in Minecraft, this is Elder Scrolls Oblivion on a scale that is 15 planets big and we do not set out to gain a flag or to kill a monster, we set out to create a dynasty and that is never a clear sailing premise. I see the solutions that other greats did before this, There was the Ultima series an RPG by Richard Garriott that is something that still drives me and why it was never refurbished in a new coat with new graphics still puzzles me. But they were not alone, there were others, to some perhaps forgotten, but with gems in its coding. Hopefully we will see a remade System Shock soon, yet it was not alone. Whist Ubisoft is all about triggers and respawning enemies, the stage is out there for a different kind of RPG, I believe that the PS5 will open up more options and different sets of games. The problems is not the game, the issue will become where is the IP, who owns it and how can it be staged in different ways. We see series like Westworld and we wonder how it can become a game. There was someone with the Westworld Shelter approach, I never saw it, I would have liked to have seen it, but it was removed before I could see it. This is not a random phrase, the question becomes that in the age we face, sources are limited, so how can we make a game enjoyable, repayable and original without it becoming a mesh of Minecraft and Animal Crossing? Whilst Ubisoft showed us how not to do it, w still need to do it and we need to do it right. It needs a hand that looks outside of what coders look at. We need to consider the creation of a strategy guide before there is a game, so that we can ensure the long term existence of the created game. And to be there for the long term you need to look with different eyes, to see in a different scope. I saw the option of scope when I created the foundation for Elder Scrolls VIII: Restoration, I saw the option of views when I considered Watch Dogs IV: Refugee, it also gave me the idea to set different dimensionalities (there was was an example in System Shock), yet the combining of elements is a much larger stage and it is a different stage. It is not like we go to the theatre, it is the entire block around the building that houses the theatre as well. That is the stage we work from, because when the surroundings are there, that is when we give size to the stage in that theatre. It has always been that way, yet in the past the computers could not deal with that stage, computers are finally catching on and even as the remade Pirates (Sid Meier) was betrayed into a diminished stage and labeled Assassins Creed: Black Flag, does not mean that it was so, we had no reason to give up on a time honoured classic, yet that stage was burned before it flourished. I wonder what we can get done when that is ignored in a future project, what happens, when we have a planet making program like we see in No Mans Sky and we prepare 15 codes, 15 places with enhanced detailing, 15 stages where the plant is the stage, where we are a person in a much larger field and we get to set up the stage of history, I reckon that it has never been done before, not to this degree and not to this reference of options, a stage much larger than ever before and to the degree where we at the end of 200-600 hours want to play it again, so far only Bethesda and CD Project Red have come anywhere near that stage, there is off course GTA5, no one denies that, so out of 2300 game developers, only 3 only got that near, would it not be the right challenge to be one of 10 ever to get that near? It is not a hard question to answer. 

I’ll let you simmer on the question and the questions that will be in your mind at this time.

 

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The shows on E3 (final part)

Time for part 3, this time it is Nintendo that makes the waves and they did make waves. Right off the bat, my first issue was a slight lack of game play, but that is not quite fair, there was plenty of gameplay, it was so mixed in with the other parts that it was at times impossible to tell what part was game play and what was not.

Smash bros got the highlight in several ways and the arrival of everyone’s favourite bird and bear gives us that there will be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for a very long time to come. It has been nominated for 20 awards these last two years taking home 6 of them and Metacritic gave the game 93% (Ubisoft please take notice of this part). Lisa Dahlgren reported recently that the game had sold over 13.81 million copies worldwide in March 2019, making it the best-selling fighting game of all time and still Nintendo adds more.

Then the focus goes to Luigi Mansion 3 giving us a lot more in a new game, with local and online co-op play that you can do alone, or with a friend, (Gooigi), optionally known as per today as the Google Janitor.

Dark Crystal Tactics did not give us much, but it looks good and it is based on the famous movie by Jim Henson, so there is plenty already and that was just the start. Now I have to make a sidestep to something I wrote in May 2013 in the article ‘Previous Generation towards future Games‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/09/previous-generation-towards-future-games/) where I stated “They were able to deliver a game that was able to run on a 640Kb system (yes, I know that most do not even have a memory card that small). So, consider how the bulk could be transferred to something as ‘simple’ as the Nintendo DS. Add slightly better graphics and several of these titles will soon be more coveted then several high marketed products on the game store shelves today. After 20-25 years that is some achievement” and now we see that Nintendo is doing just that. Not merely a new Trials of Mana (2020), but in addition to that we got collection of Mana which were the previous three and they are now available as per today, some of them were never released outside of Japan, the digital version is available as per today, there is a limited version that is physical, so if you see it, buy it immediately! It goes further the remastered games kept on going Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil four, five and six. And the avalanche just kept on going, Dragon Quest Builders 2, AI: The Somnium Files, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Daemon X Machina, Grid Autosport, Spyro Trilogy, Witcher 3 and many more.

We got very little regarding Pokémon sword and shield in the presentation, but there were playable versions at the Nintendo stand (bastards!). We can even do some predictive steps as Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is all about Tokyo 2020, but coming to us in November 2019. Seeing that gameplay made me think back to the days of Epyx and the summer games on CBM-64. These graphics were truly new and amazing, yet that playful competitiveness is something that had been missing and Nintendo must have noticed it too apparently. We also got some Animal Crossing on Switch, so almost all the big hitters of the previous console are now on Switch.

I had to re-watch the show more than once, there was so much information and even if not everything is for all (we all have different tastes) there is no denying that Nintendo is about to unleash a tidal wave of games over the coming 52 weeks alone, and that is besides all the games that Bethesda, Ubisoft and Square Enix announced for Switch.

My final rating for Nintendo is 92%, making it the best E3 presentation in 2019.

There is more on the E3, but mostly now Steam, PC gaming and a few small ones; I will let the gaming community reviewers like Eurogamer work on that. As I see it, for gamers this will be a decent year, if you have a Switch as well, it will truly be a fantastic one.

So in the end, the trophies for best E3 show go to:

Gold: Nintendo

Silver: Square Enix

Bronze: Ubisoft

Honourable mention: Microsoft for Cyberpunk 2077 (the Keanu Reeves surprise) and the three WW Superstars under the podium.

To all, have a great year of gaming and let’s see what E3 2020 brings, because that one will have a lot, a lot more than we saw in these four days, that is an absolute guarantee.

 

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