Tag Archives: Bethesda

8 missed opportunities

Yup, we all miss things at time, You, me, we all do. At times it is for the simple reason that we were unaware of issues (or opportunities), at times it is because we cannot get bothered. This latter part is not that simple. We cannot get bothered, because we lack certain skills, which is fair enough, and there is the stage where a person does not understand the opportunity missed, which is also fair enough. There is no blame in either case, now consider Google, they have been at it for a year trying to flog their console to the world, Sony taught them long ago that the power of a console is games. They did and proved that on their PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PR4pro and they will do it again on the PS5. So when I see Google waste options on the Google Stadia, several with optional micro transactions, I wonder what they are up to. A person can miss some signs, to miss 8 opportunities takes effort, even for a team it takes effort to miss that much, so what gives?

There is an optional chance that in 2021 the Amazon Luna could surpass the Google Stadia especially if their teams waste opportunity, I wonder if that will happen. Apple Arcade will continue regardless, it almost fuels itself and these so called AAA developers (Ubisoft, Bethesda, EA et al) will flog their games that are on every system, but the power of a console is finding something their that none of the others have, Sony explained that to them, didn’t they?

As such I wonder what Google is up to and if they are taking their Google Stadia seriously, it is not a shame if they do not, but that takes them out of the race soon enough. Luna, the Amazon Luna will love that, Apple will like it too, but they have other concerns soon enough. So, we will leave them alone. As I see it, Google optionally missed 8 opportunities, 8 times they could have had something the others did not, I wonder why that is. 

So as we consider the stage, I saw that someone rejected (or abandoned) their option, as such I see opportunity. Then there is the stage where I had a small go in one direction and I see transgression from concept to optional design stage and there is the stage where we see a rejected idea that could be redesigned into something workable. All stages that go somewhere, will they go towards a finished product? That is not for me to state, I merely see the development of what could be, that is at present all I can do. Oh and that I before we consider a stage that we never looked at, it seems an unworthy jab, and it is not meant to be as such, but who knows the lists of games of Microprose? Covert Action, Knights of the Sky, Silent Service, Masters of Orion, 4 titles, often overlooked, but games to make a difference for players, a long term difference to a large number of players over time. Now, I am not aware of the rights and where they are, yet who investigated this? Were these titles investigated? The list goes on and on, and there are two elements to consider

  1. Reinventing the wheel is often easier (as well as cheaper if there is no locked IP)
  2. These games are 30 years old, they can be made better, more inviting and optionally keep people entertained longer. 

We look at what is cool, we look at what is now, but the Google Stadia cannot compete with the PS4, PS5 or these new Microsoft consoles. So they cannot rely on things that are out there too. But they can make a difference and get a larger advantage over Amazon Luna and Apple Arcade, yet it seems that they are at present not doing that, I wonder why.

It is not the stage where they have a lot of time, the moment Luna or Apple get traction, that might  become the end of Google Stadia, is that what they are aiming for, if so, they are doing a decent job of it. 

The fact that my mind redesigned three games in a day and Google shows us the same list for Google Stadia games, oh and that is before you consider the congestion on 4G, it might not matter in the cities, but all over the EU and commonwealth (the US too), rural players will get massive amounts of internet congestion, when you realise that Google Stadia will see an expected larger issue with Cyberpunk 2077, Watchdogs: Legion, AC Valhalla, Destiny 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, Fr Cry 6, AC: Odyssey, Division 2 and a few more, so when we take non metropolitan France, non metropolitan Germany, non Metropolitan Italy, and several US *and Canadian) states out of the equation, it does not leave the Google Stadia a lot to work with, they needed to set a very different focus, especially as they knew the congestion issues would be a much larger part of the equation. I merely wonder why there was no adjustment made on day zero, as such this was a decently clear setting on November 18th, 2019, Covid merely enhanced that flaw, so why were there no visible actions taken? I understand that some of the games are not the high killer resolution, but a game you can play still beats a game that is stopped through congestion, and when we consider that Fallout Shelter has well over 150,000,000 downloads, as such over the last 3 years well over 100,000,000 played the game, does it make sense that the Google stage should not be limited to the high resolution games? I have played Fallout Shelter on EVERY system I own, it was never dull on any of them. As such I hope that Google takes a page out of the Sony bible and takes a look at the Nintendo Bible, neither is regarded as gospel, but they are the ruling systems, so ignoring their views is a bigger no-no than you imagine. 

I wonder what happens when Google misses 11 opportunities, will there be cake? They say that 11 is a karmic number and as I see it, some spiritual awakening and awareness would not go amiss at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain view. Yet, that is merely my view on the stage of missed opportunities.

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Alternative income

It seems that I hate Bethesda, I do not, I am not happy that they are part of Microsoft now, but that was their right. It is Microsoft I do not trust. So as I was playing (yet again) Fallout Shelter, we need to see how close to perfect that game is and it is a free game. The optionally dropped the ball on two issues, maybe three if they played their cards right, but that was their choice, gamer ended up with a near perfect version of gaming and that is what we all wanted (even though I would have paid $5-$15 for the game). Yet the game is not new, it is innovative adjusted, the origins of this setting goes back to Dungeon Keeper (1997), we tend to forget these little details. And when I say ‘innovate’ Bethesda truly did that to the game and their game rocks. 

It did however made me consider the stage and how it could be adapted. There was a Westworld edition, I had only heard about it, I never played it. The game was too much of a copy. Yet the setting of Dungeon keeper is one I tend to circle back to. It is the origin of that game that drives my thoughts. There is no advantage setting this to a larger Bethesda stage, Bethesda already owns it, but perhaps there are options in the Ultima stage (Richard Garriott), there could be a drive  through Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, there are plenty of options, but it is the drive of creation, with a little grasp of pragmatism (perhaps 1-3 optional micro transactions) that would make it work. The first thing is not the game, it is understanding the drive of the gamer, from that point we can move on to see what optional franchise has the larger cluster. We can chose any game, but if it has only 20 fans, the drive to a population large enough to make it work is one that we have to surpass and greed driven people always want revenue now (not me though). There are the protected franchises (Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) that had its own barriers. There are less known franchises (Ultima) that has dedicated protectors, so we can align ourselves with a protector, or find IP that is no longer protected (which tends to take time). I stated it before and will do so again, on the Amiga Millennium 2.2 had close to all we need, so how to make that a success? To do that you need to understand the mechanics of the game. We can work with clocks, the free game only allows a clock speed of 4 and 5 skip days per day, when you buy anything, even once you get the option of clock speed 8 and that can be avoided by a one time payment of $4 giving you direct access to 16 times the speed and unlimited skips, considering that it takes up 235 days to fly to Uranus (I had to allow for that pun), we see a game that could show us optional revenue. Then there is the stage of the arcade, change your mobile into an arcade machine, play the old games for $0.99 and it will keep a track of up to 3 games, for $4 you can add 10 slots and every month another game is released, another of the classic games that can be played, the amounts of fathers that spend a fortune in quarters can now play their favourite game (optionally) for a mere $0.99, how is that not a guaranteed drive? And the nice part is that dozens of these games were never IP protected, it was not an issue in those days. 

There is a whole world out there ready for the visionary programmer to dig into, covid be damned. 

And when we see that some older games are almost forgotten (Paradroid, Boulder Dash, Spy vs Spy,  Joust, and not to forget Theme Hospital), we tend to think as what is old is useless, but there are real diamonds there. I still believe that a proper set Magic Carpet could do really well on consoles (no micro transactions), optionally mobiles could people forget their destinations when they get sucked into Populous, as such I wonder why the people at Electronic Arts are not awake. Another larger player used to be Epyx, and I cannot fathom why a game like Chip-bits, never was rereleased when the systems grew up, there are other players like Laser Squad, that might have gotten right what a legendary game like X-Com missed when they relaunched. And when the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) relaunched the game as a movie, no one considered that Arcade classic was fun to play and relaunching it might have been an option? I am not sure if there were IP’s in place and who owned it, but it seems that the owners did not move on the IP, as such I merely wonder why. 

As for the number one question you all have, why am I not doing it? The answer is simple. I am not a programmer and I am ready with my IP, but those with the $$$ (or £££) haven’t reacted yet, but that does not stop my mind of remaining creative and if it is a win for the gamers, it is a win for all of us. Life at times is that simple. I know my strengths, I also know my weaknesses and limitations, the latter two you tend to avoid for obvious reasons. Well, it is time to fee the inner person with a shepherds pie, I am feeling peckish!

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RPG Arms race

Yes, I had not forgotten my promise, so before I start resetting the Saudi Airforce from the American options to either the BAE Typhoon or the Chinese Chengdu J-20, all whilst bagging myself a rather nice (and large) commission, I have a promise to keep. It took me a whilst, yet when Bethesda made the Elder Scrolls, they had the alone stage for Fantasy RPG and they grew it rather nicely, close to perfection. Yet I am no ones second fiddle, as such I thought it would be nice to change the game. In the setting where you are a ranged ‘fighter’, or a stealth type, I decided on the Indonesian blowpipe. It has the benefit of stealth, speed, some distance (not overly large) poison dart options and a few more, as such the blowpipe would be in, there is the Trisula (Indonesian version of the Japanese Sai), the Gollocks, yet they also have swords and spears, so there is a whole range of new weapons giving the RPG lover a new set of discoveries to make in how to best give the realisation of mortality to your enemies. And as I was taking a look at the weapons, I came to the conclusion, that as I spread the power of magic, the same could be done to the weapons. Even as we might like all weapons (some people do), giving them the power of one (agility for the blowpipe) removes strength for the sword and spear. It is a little more natural that way. Stealth still has knives and blades, but that person would be less in other weapons, the other way as well, those adapts and better in swords and spears are lousy in the precision of the blowpipe, they can still use knives for stealth parts, but not much more, the stage to reply is set. As I set the stage of magic and weapons, the third need would be there.
The support of the craft of artisan. The agile are good at pottery, but slow and less able to be the armorer or blacksmith, the blacksmith would be less of an alchemist and pottery person, item can always be bought and the fighter can still be a good alchemist in nearly every way, yet the division pushes a person to become passable and average n all directions, or set towards excellence in one or optionally two directions. Too many RPG’s are about inclusions, the ‘you can be all approach’, yet as I have stated towards Ubisoft for the longest time, a game that states it pleases everyone, in the end will please no one. That setting set a larger stage, a stage where you can reply the game, optionally multiple times and face the stage where you see new things at least twice over, it makes for longer joy in a game. 

And all whilst doing this, I got the inside idea of yet another game, based on a golden oldie. It was done by Melbourne House in 1985, yet not unlike the older version, you have to grow your skills, go to places and unlock abilities and unlock moves. So what happens when the stage is not all, but you get one night to do it, you get 5 hours until the final showdown where you are the challenger, and every time you play the game, the powers are somewhere else, so no running to the 6 points to get the max character, you get a stage where the skills you acquire are the skills you have for the final fight, yet the stage is not who presses the button faster, it is more like Nioh, a tactical challenge, we keep on forgetting that the old games have actual diamonds in the rough (sorry Disney), actual gems that can shine, even now on the PS5 can bring joy to millions of Playstation gamers (as such all ideas are always free for Sony Playstation exclusive games). 

So as I finished the ideas of fighting, artisans and magic, it is time to think of a storyline, a main story where we need to set a new level of adaptability, because if you are in one place in one chosen group, you will not face the same story, so what happens when the main storyline is not one story, but there are 5 for you to find? How to go about that part? I can tell you one thing, that has never been done before, I wonder why not?

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Reality helps out gaming

Yup, it happen, it is a little rare, but not unusual. So as I was setting the stage of a post apocalyptic game in Sweden, I was a little stuck. Yet reality was there to help me out. Yup, the Local SE newspaper gives us (at https://www.thelocal.se/20171101/why-sweden-is-home-to-65000-fallout-shelters) ‘Why Sweden is home to 65,000 fallout shelters’, we assuming that this is partially true, because 65,000 is a bit much, but it is something to work with, and as such we now have shelters, a lot of them, so the game is still in concept stage, but with that many shelters, the idea is starting and in this, Norway is helping out, they apparently have the Sentralanlegget (read: Central Facility). As such we now have a start and I am not one to be the minor, so I am setting the map stage from Alesund (Norway), to Sundsvall (Sweden) and the map is everything south of there, so it is a huge map. Instead of travelling everywhere, the stage would be that you get to chose the top of person you are and from the you wake up in a place (somewhere), and that age is the beginning. I have a few twists in mind, but it will include seeking strawberries on Gotland (the Swedish readers will get this). 

I will not give away the whole enchilada, because the gamer needs a surprise or two, but I want to set the stage where permadeath will make the game a lot more challenging (yet not essential), in addition to that with Oslo, Goteburg, Malmo and Stockholm in play, we have a lot more to see and to do. Yet it all started with one shelter and as we have no idea where we are, the sage is set for RPG, mystery and a whole dose of challenges. 

Wow, that took mot of the day to think this through, but I was hindered by the fact that Fallout is a really good product and I wanted to avoid the overlap, it cannot be completely avoided, but it can be minimised to the least and that is how I went to work. 

In this, the stage was about setting a new game based on a foundation that we have seen dozens time over from the C64 up to the current generation of consoles. 

So the news in the Local dot se was really a nice find, they give us “The country is home to around 65,000 bunkers, fit to host seven million people in the event of war, and an official report has now advised the government to start building more, following a 15-year pause”, implying that every bunker is for around 100 people, that is something we can work with. If the bunker is too big, it might not be operable with one person, with 100 that is still a risk, but a lot less likely. With that starting point, the stage is set for a story, because as I said before ‘the story is everything’, and in that resetting stage we see a larger need to find, to travel and to achieve. 

And the timing is right, some sources are confirming the fears I had regarding AC Valhalla, I will not give them here, because I would merely be repeating their reviews (read: rants). I have not seen it, and mot of the evidence has (as I suspect) been based on previous (pre gold edition) alpha’s and beta’s. So I will wait and take another look in 32 hours when the game becomes available. I know a person who is getting the game and I am not willing to spend a nickel on it (at present), I can wait for Black Friday and get it at 25%-50% of retail value. The other thing is that I am still playing Watchdogs: Legion. Now, that game has a few issues, but it is definitely a step up from one and needs you to engage in more sneak than number two demanded. It can be a good thing depending on your view on what hackers do. Yet there is little to no question, Watchdogs is a decent hit (it is better than a lot of other Ubisoft titles), even as Eurogamer gives us ‘Watch Dogs Legion review – a bleak and buggy retread of Ubisoft’s formula’, I particularly liked “Legion is too terrifyingly real, and just a tad too grim. I doubt the very real climate in the UK is helping much – which clearly isn’t Ubisoft’s fault – but I usually play games to escape the ills of Westminster, not to be smacked over the head by them. I appreciate that terrorist attacks and food banks and too many homeless people add a frosty layer of authenticity to this fictional vision of the capital, and I know this isn’t Ubisoft’s fault, either, but good grief, it’s depressing to recognise so many signs of a fictional dystopia from your local real-life news reports”, perhaps after the American President events it is a little too real, but that too adds to the positive, the hackers and their need to act. The ‘frosty layer of authenticity’ is as I see it positive, not negative. It is about hackers for a reason. Yes the game has issues, but nothing that will break the bank or glitch into reset. In some cases a better description (read: rant) might have been the solution, but such is life. 

Overall, after playing for a while, I do not disagree with “it will eventually grow stale as missions rarely deviate from this template”, yet as a hacker I signed up for the, did I not? Not to get shot in the face when a hacker should have far too little firearms experience against Albion special forces. So the article (at https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-11-03-watch-dogs-legion-review-a-bleak-and-buggy-retread-of-ubisofts-formula) is good, yet I feel that there is a setting that is partially overlooked. Yet I do understand and like the words Vikki Blake give us “Watch Dogs Legion is dark and unpleasant in more ways than one, and it doesn’t matter how many protagonists a game boasts if you’re unable to care about a single one of them”, it is an eye of the beholder view, agree or disagree, it is up to you. That part matters, because Ubisoft got a small reprieve, if AC Valhalla is near perfect they get a shot to survive, if not they might end up being part of Microsoft too. Microsoft is unlikely to pass up on 23 houses with fps experience, especially if they can get it for 5 cents on the dollar and lets face it, they spend most cash on Bethesda anyway. 

So here I aim handing out free Sony exclusive materials because that is the guy I am (when pissed off an absolute nightmare), and I did have some fun designing a way to sink the Iranian fleet (we all need hobbies). As such setting my fingers into a post apocalyptic games was also essential, you see it was an actual snow globe that gave me the idea on how to meltdown Bushehr 1 (a still untested concept), and that side might actually help me to design a few missions for the Swedish post-apocalyptic game which I aptly renamed ‘glödande godis’, and we all need candy, whether we glow in the dark or not. Ah well, such is life.

So even as reality can help out a gamer, we need a fair amount of indiscriminate imagination to get it all to work and lets face it, at present only the Japanese know what life in a post-apocalyptic setting has been (small reference to August 6 1945).

So whilst we will get to know what is the truth around AC Valhalla in a little over a day, the stage of finding an alternative to fallout will take a little longer than that.

In the mean time we will sit back, relax and enjoy the Trump show (as he is getting fired), for me it means that we can enjoy a more global version of the news in 1-2 days and that has been sorely lacking at present.

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The new setting

I had a partial start on Bethesda’s Elder scrolls, but not one for their Fallout series. You see, you do have the right to sell your IP to a third party (Bethesda to Microsoft) and set the agenda of forcing a million dedicated players into the arms of what I personally see as a disreputable solution for gaming, but I am entitled to create IP free for Sony exclusive solutions that offers the people an alternative. The idea that I am handing out free dedicated IP for Sony developers was probably not in consideration for Microsoft (who paid $8,500,000,000 for Bethesda software), yet the idea of me handing out free lollies was not on their mind either, and PS5 directed IP even less so. 

As such here I am watching Jason Bourne on Netflix whilst my brains is considering a larger stage for a radiated world to survive in. Yes, I can’t just be like any other normal guy enjoying porn, no my mind has to create puzzles and RPG settings, life can never be simple, can it?

Whilst I was starting all that, there was a larger (read: additional) stage I wanted to create. A longer stage. An idea to interact the PS5 with both (read: either) Android or iOS device, creating mini games that give an additional stages to the game. It can all be done on the PS5, but I considered that some games are interesting if an element gets added (for free), so here I am considering my old NBC knowledge the decontamination parts that were not really in the Bethesda games. Yet that part could be a stage in the game, finding the plans, creating the solution and managing it. Even if it is part of the game itself, management parts of that game can be set to automatic (after the elements are set), but if we create management apps, giving the player an added 30% return on doing so, we create interest, the need to participate. 

The game needs an enticing environment, yet we have seen so many games in the US, What if the stage is not there, but the setting is Stockholm? It is relatively close to a lot of places and what if we use that setting to create a haven, not like in other games, but one that requires fresh water, fresh meat and of course a red wire collecting images of the Swedish bikini teams between 1975 and 2175, fair is fair, and if you play a girl, you get to find the collector cards of Swedish fireman and park rangers (fair is fair). We just know (read: assumption) how you ladies want to see images of Alexander Skarsgård and Peter Haber, fair is fair after all. Yet we need more than simple alternatives for snow globes or pip-boys, but the setting is one that needs adjusting. We need more than a race from item to item and that is not by creating places to are to, but by creating a narrative that goes beyond what w expect, that shows the larger stage of the repercussions of radiation, not by taking pieces away from the adventure, but by adding to it, by creating an additional awareness, one the previous games only hinted at. I am not blaming the games, they were and till are fine games, but I want to create something new, not by creating a copy, a copy is second rate, yet if we skate on the fringe, if we add to the narrative we et something new and that is the are for the gamer, that is the race for those who love to play games, to get more, not to merely get more of the same. The difference is distinct and gamers know this, I know this, so we get create more as we create something new, something that differs and is different. 

That is the challenge, that is the perspective we require, one we have not faced before. It is how I got to think out the Palyar prerogative playing in Amsterdam, that is how I got the previous answer to a new IP, holding an answer to Bethesda and the Elder Scrolls and over the setting of Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, which I came up with in the past. A setting to Watchdogs IV and a few more ideas, all new IP, all in advanced concept stages.

Life tends to be about new settings, for the most it is about adapting to them, for some it is about creating them.

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Rule of thumb

It started with me wondering what else I could do. I have been involved with gaming since 1984, I started testing and reviewing games in 1986, so I have been around for a while. I met the giants in gaming. Sid Meier, Richard Garriott, Peter Molyneux and a few others. They and the games they made formed the views I have on gaming, there are of course more others too. 

My normal job was in technical support and teaching, as such I had a firm grasp on technology. I learned to teach, teach software and technology and as such, my life was a decently happy one. 

Still, I wonder what else is possible, you see only the delusional ones think they can do everything. I agree that any person can do anything and if they are given, committed and enthusiastic, they become good at it. I believe that to be true for everyone, no matter gender, race, religion or age. 

It kind of intertwines with the elections in the US, after 4 years we see a shift and now I wonder if anyone in the media has the balls to set an image of Donald Trump tomorrow on page one, with the text “You’re fired!”, providing Joe Biden gets the 270 he needs. I wonder when that stage will be reached, and if it will be reached. They all claim that Biden will win, yet there is a decent. Chance that Pennsylvania will remain in camp Trump, with 89% counted and 20 votes, the advantage of 2.6% there is no given that Biden will win and even if he does, the difference is too small, so a recount is inevitable. In Arizona the roles are reversed, yet here only 11 votes are up for grabs, giving us the optional score of 254 for Biden and 234 for Trump, it is a setting weirdly close and like the old series the West Wing, two states might set the end and at this point President Trump has the lead. Those three sites are Georgia and North Carolin with 16 and 15 votes. I am careful not to set the stage of what might be, I am Republican minded, but I am definitely no President Trump fan. So as I take notice of ‘Stop the count!’: Angry Trump supporters amass at counting centres’, I wonder just how stupid Trump fans are to call for an end to democracy. A vote is a vote and they should all be counted, that is how democracy works. And this is where the brain started to twist. Whenever we are in any RPG, it is about our actions, it is about what WE decide should happen. It matters not what the RPG is, that is how the game is set.

But what happens when we change that, what happens when we sign up for a game with a political stage? What happens when our actions becomes pro or counter RPG government? You see, when I initially designed the idea of Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration (before they gave their soul to Microsoft), I had not considered it, yet in MEA 1+2 and optionally Citadel: Incursion (I had to give it. Name), that stage becomes a larger issue. Politics is at the fibre of any stage and we ignored it in RPG to a larger extent mainly because of system limitations. The new systems will have computing power in abundance, so it becomes less of a hindrance and setting that stage to a proper foundation, especially in a game like Mass Effect Andromeda is has an influence, because as we unlock more and more pods to wake up, the political stage on a station like the nexus will also alter, it sets a larger stage, a larger application of what we need to do. Even as the stage is not always on what we need to achieve, the general direction will alter and so fr no game took this into account (as the systems weren’t powerful enough). 

This changes what gaming provides, yes we like to make decisions in our RPG and that does not change, but there is the greater good and the larger picture to consider, it becomes even more interesting if that picture is not available to the player, the story could take a few interesting twists along the way. To illustrate that, we can look at a TV-series called Babylon 5. When we were in season 1, we see the Narn, Centauri, Minbari, Humans, Vorlon and others. Yet the Narn and Centauri are arch enemies, so working for one makes the other off limits and that is a mere extreme example. If we decide to act alone, we might side with one group and optionally piss off another, it is the nature of the game and gaming will become less black and white and more grey tones. It is also a lot harder to program. For example it is not like in the old The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you could only buy certain houses when certain fame levels are reached.   Yet what happens when fame and infamy are more fluidic? What happens when missions are only offered to the infamous (or famous) and above certain ranks? It will not change the game, but it will colour the stage to some degree, that same stage will be influenced when we colour a governmental stage, like the US, Blue, Red and Green. We see a larger stage where working for the ‘other’ party is allowed, but at that stage, we gain infamy a well as political points. See it as a new complexity level in RPG gaming. There is no doubt in my mind that this is where we are heading, mainly because it os now possible to do just that, and as we see the need for games with a larger value to replay a game, the setting of another level of complexity is pretty much a guarantee. We might want to lean back and reach back to the original D&D rules of thumb rulings, but I reckon that console gaming has surpassed it a few times over. Even as Ubisoft stated in a game ‘Cull the herd’, that stage is one we seemingly walked away from. We do not oppose the eradication of the horde (it’s an Orc thing), but it also leaves us open to eradication as well. And as such we need to set the stage to a larger frame, because that is what we do.

Extremes are nice to colour the stage, but it is the blending of values that give a larger appreciation of any story, there is plenty of evidence out there and as I see it, there is a much larger stage to fill it up, how it is done is up to the gaming visionaries.

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Pointless versus useless

Yup, consider that part and consider just how useless government oversight really is. To show this we get to the articles about three weeks ago, I noticed them, because I had the aggravated issue with deceptive conduct in advertisement for a while. Several sources give us ‘Ban for annoying puzzle ads which don’t represent the actual game’ (or a version thereof), with the sub-line “The Advertising Standards Authority has banned ads for Homescapes and Gardenscapes”. I have nothing against the game, but any match three game is rigged from the start, it is a clever way to get you to try and perhaps you will make a small purchase, and then she are caught in the addictive need, some just quit. I am ahead of the curve and I steer clear of all these match three games. Yet, The people behind these games (not just these two, others too), made an actual brilliant advertisement jab at the games giving us a DIFFERENT game where you have to select a solution, as such we see “Paid-for Facebook posts advertising games with puzzles – but which did not represent the vast majority of actual gameplay – have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)”, this is what got to me too and when I saw the news, I was happy. So what happened today? Gardenscapes advertisement (the bad one) now shows up in Fallout Shelter in the iOS version, as such it seems to be bloody pointless. Perhaps it is the price for $8.5 billion, perhaps it is the price of joining Microsoft, yet these so called banned advertisements are back, or they never left. Sometimes vacation does not end, it merely changes location.

This gets me to the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/8593c8b5-5a98-4002-ac5a-68b59fbb6463) which was given to us in May with the headline ‘Russian brothers behind ‘Gardenscapes’ emerge as lockdown winners’, and we also get “Two Russian brothers living in London have emerged among the big winners of the lockdown, with their mobile games Gardenscapes and Homescapes making $200m from in-app purchases in April alone”, which sets the station that when you are rich, the ASA might not do anything, OK that is just speculation, but the stage is clear, and nothing seems to be happening. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for Igor and Dmitry Bukhman, 200 million in a lifetime is nothing to be sneered and they are making that each month, I merely wonder if the deceptive advertising was essential to make that much money. 

So here we see the stage of pointless (having little or no sense) versus useless (not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the desired outcome). You might think it is the same, but it is not. The difference was seen in my Pencak Silat classes when I was a young lad (when I was 63.8% smaller roughly). Defensive systems (like Judo) are pointless, you are under attack, only countering doesn’t get the job done, there are pure attack based styles which are useless, if you are under attack, one needs defence, so the best martial art is one that decently covers attack and defence. Yes, we have seen all those movies on how great defence is, yet those grandmaster have been at it a decade or two and that tends to be far away from those starting some form of martial art. It now gives rise to the same setting with the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), they can go after Facebook all they like, yet when the advertiser moves to advertise via Bethesda games (Fallout Shelter) how useful was the jab at Facebook?

And when the advertising server moves to the USA, or perhaps Canada, or Saudi Arabia, how will that affect the verdict? It seems to me that the leading man, Guy Parker who has been chief executive of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) since June 2009; living of £120,000 a year might be able to keep up his income and fruitless actions, yet I merely wonder at present what he achieves, do you not feel the same way? When I see advertisement (the deceptive kind) move from place to place, I wonder why we need a man making well over $250,000 a year, it seems a pointless action and a useless way to spend that much money. Feel free to disagree, but there is a massive digital failure in that regard and I reckon I am not the only one thinking that. 

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Its in the bones

There is a stage on anyones life when we realise that we do not matter, we never did, universally speaking we do not even register, on a local level we are more and more inclined to destroy that what supports us and we are already too late to stop the impact. But no matter where a person is, no matter in what stage that person is, the setting where we do not matter will always rise. And that is where we find ourselves, the House of Bones acts on what does not matter. Any meme er knows that they are finite, they do not matter, they will always be replaced and it is a strength. The House of Bones is not an open and known group, the other arcane groups know that they exist, some see one, but it is a rare event. The members of the House of Bones are not in the open, they do not have a staff, but a wand, a short stick that is like a club, it is made from a radius or a tibia, and it is alway made from a former member, there is a rule that it can be made from a family member, yet at that stage, the handle will have a phalanges of another member of that family inserted, and that family will be a living one. The wands are powered by the House of Bones, during the years of training and its ability lasts a lifetime. 

Even as the abilities of the members of the House of Bones are set on the power of death and power over the dead, they will not take a life unless they are attacked, those who attack tend to not live long enough to regret their stupidity. Any member has the ability of seeing in deep darkness, they can drain the life of others to heal themselves almost instantly. Unlike others they cannot create heat, but they can drain heat from others, they are almost expert marksman, and when they focus their bow, everything slows down. They are impervious to other magic attacks and in addition to drain health from others, they drain magic powers instantly from any arcane level attacker. 

This was the fifth house, the arcane setting has now been resolved. Yes there is more, on spells and potions, but that is not the station we need to focus on. You see, the story is everything, as such we need to focus on the main story and it can be an invasion, it can be some evil, but it must have a setting that can be overcome. That is how it works and when we have the story towards the danger, we can set the location of the Houses and the locations of villages and small cities. From there we can look into creating some level of infrastructure. People (NPC’s) need a sense of purpose, or we end up watching the painting of a fruit basket, hoping that there is actual fruit around. As I see it, at that point, the biggest fruit is the one watching the painting (the one watching to quench hunger that is).  The biggest stage is not the fact that the combinations match, they should not, you see, when you make a match, you create an algorithm to be created. Even as we want to match up larger stages, it is the 100% creation that is actually a flaw and not a clever thing. Exploring the stories is part of the joy of an RPG and the moment the player sees a formula, his or her brain will work it out and we get a ‘filling the blanks’ stage, RPG players tend to have this feeling early on, so fighting that is. much larger need than one imagines.

The second problem is that Bethesda has set the bar really high, and it is important not to look like a Bethesda copy. As such the Arcane part would need to be redesigned in a very different way. And that is merely the beginning, when I have the setting of locations and shops, we get the next degree. But that is the sideline to create the main story, the red fibre of the quests.

But more about that later, and remember, this is free public domain if it is for a Sony Exclusive game.

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Chimes are wind translators

The stage was not set in this day, there was another day and another week, but the origin of the order was always known, each mistress of the house kept records of what happened, and they also tend to keep record when things did not happen, or more precisely when nothing happened. The scope of all gave the exceptions power and made them more insightful. The first Mistress of the house of chimes always knew that. The House of Chimes was a little different, even as they knew that the monks of the liquid mountain had the strength from within, the house of chimes bestowed powers. The mistress did from day one. Only women were allowed in this house, it was not because there was something wrong with the men, but for some reason the power could not be handed to another man. The mistress suspected that a similar reason existed with the cave of monks. The House of Chimes had one mistress in charge, two teachers and each teacher had 4 students. As the mistress gave power to all in the beginning, they learned over time that the powers were shaped by the teachers. As the powers of each student grew stronger in the first 10 years, it would not grow stronger after that. That had always been the case, yet the powers would mature more and more as the students slept in the houses of the teachers. There was no real explanation for that. It was possible for students to learn more than one speciality, but that required the student to spend more time in the house of chimes with the second teacher. One teacher taught the student the powers of the wind, the other would teach the students the powers of the lightning, that is how it had always been. These women had a staff with at the top an empty vial. The staff was made from a combination of wood and silver, with a silver lightning symbol surrounding the vial. The women had the ability to call for wind and tornado’s. Beyond that they could summon lightning. Even was some might not have ben impressed, their abilities are set in speed. They can move fast, really fast and as the wind goes around a person, the wind informs them and highlights dangers, animals and people. Even the weakest lightning will cripple any person hit by it, or so the story goes. The women are natural healers and illusionists. The wind makes nearly everything light as a feather, and allowed them to climb near vertical walls. Their last ability is merely whispered about, it has not be seen, the women have the ability to throw voices and more important make sounds that will deafen anyone who hear it. All seemingly useless powers, but that is only to the untrained. If you cannot hear anyone, you cannot hear them approach or get away, that is if their lightning hadn’t twisted you in some bizarre way. 

It was a soft night, there was close to no wind when the student walked over the hill. She was looking around her and saw no one. The dark was comforting, ever as the night was dark, she saw near perfect, the and would warn her of dangers and that was good, not only because she hd no lust to cause harm to an animal, she was not too fond of damaging brigands either. It seemed so pointless. She got to a fork when she noticed the fog in the distance, the fog seemed so unnatural. It has a local look, no more than 200 meters in diameter it was then that she noticed the 4 shapes, they looked like brigands and she held her staff a little tighter, it was then she noticed a fifth shape in the fog, this shape was clearly a man, but he looked different, even as the brigands were red, as they always were, the fifth shape was light yellow, light as the sun. He seemed to avoid the others and struck one after another with a precision strike. She considered that this was someone from the floating house, she hd heard of them, but this was the first time that she saw one. She kept her distance and saw the entire event unfold, the brigands had no real chance. She also noticed that the brigands were not dead. Merely out for the count, and as the fog lifted she noticed the floating house member walk away. She watched him for a little while from a far safe distance, and as he went north towards the village, she walked in eastern direction. It was her first encounter with one of them, she was not about to test his feelings towards diplomacy. It was then that she noticed the hollow tree, this tree was different, she had never seen one like this before, there was a clear drop down, and there was a a corridor of sorts under the tree. She considered a few things, and the only thing pushing her was her curiosity, she contemplated the action and she hesitated for a second and jumped into the hole. 

This was the 4th house. We have one more house to add to the mixture it will be the house of bones. The story cannot merely rely on the 4 elements and in this we set the stage for necromancers to enter the fold. When we consider the House of Forests, The Floating House, Monks of the Sulphur Caves, the House of Chimes and the House of Bones, we have 5 houses. A person can only become a member of one, we set the stage of replayability. The player is not limited to the house, that person can also become an artisan or guild member. A larger stag is required and we only looked at the arcane part. My biggest issue with The Elder Scrolls is not a negative one, they had a good grasp of anything, but the stage where a person can be EVERYTHING was a little off putting. If a skilled master is merely a skilled master in one, then the stage of a larger power was close to impossible. Yes I loved Skyrim, but I had become so powerful that my Dragonbone bow was able to kill close to any dragon with a few arrows. Too much of it came across as a little bit of a steeple chase, not a challenging one. As I chewed on these elements I set a different light for playing the RPG game. If I can set the stage of a 100 hour game and make sure that these people can play the game 5 times and in different settings they would end up with a 500 hour game, a good value. So I set pout in a different direction, where the choices you make will decide where you wake up (sorry Richard). It has been done before but s fr as I know my RPG games, only once. So as we are on an island that is 200Km by 175Km, there is every chance to play the game more than once and see different settings (well I try). 

A stage that is not merely replayable, the stage where the path in a cave, a mine, or an underground fortress is different for a floating house member or a house of bones member. You can have multiple goals in any one place, but a person can only do one. It also leaves us with the stage where a person can get stuck in a place where you need one skill, but the lack of it stops you. Issues that are very real but the RPG seems to shy away from that path, there is a Montessori approach to gaming, you have to get a price, you have to win, there is always a price. It seemingly makes for weak adventurers. And I have the sage where it is different, now if we add time played (like 1 year for every 10 hours played), we get a career stage where you can become a better hero than the previous hero you played. To do this we set the stage that there needs to be  a larger story to follow and the graveyard can have merely have one type of hero, which lives you with 5 people to play (a wink to Diablo), so as such we see the larger stage, but I am merely at the start of it all, now that I know what the fifth house will be, I can consider the next stage, because in any RPG game, the story is everything. And gain this is free public domain for any Sony exclusive.

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Door two of the arcane

It is time to continue the promise I made myself, and as such I want to introduce you to the floating house. The floating house is the house of a medicine man at the edge of the land, close to the oceans and close to the plains. The people graduating here have mastered the elements of water in all shapes. The people who lives in the floating house can change moist into shard of ice, sharper than any blade, they can cool the land, water the fields and turn lakes into roads. They can create fog so dense that people next to one another cannot see one another. The people from the floating house are always welcomed by those working the fields, especially in time of drought. The origins of the Floating house are unknown, the house was suddenly there and a medicine man claimed it. Over time he learned more than others ever before and the floating house become home to 7 masters and 12 students, only when two graduate two new are admitted. Sometimes one becomes a teacher, when one teacher is closing the end of its life, the call is made and those who can hear it Make way back to the Floating house and submit themselves for inspection by the head of the Floating house. This is how it has been for many many generations. 

The second door
I wandered through the fields, I felt the wheats going through my fingers, the wheat was healthy., strong and nourishing. The waters had done their job in creating a good harvest. Even as I was looking over the fields, I felt heat, intense heat. I looked round, but the glow I expect to see with this heat was missing. I saw two houses, the fields were ok, I looked again and then I saw it. The larger house was radiating heat, a lot of it. As I walked towards the house, I summoned the moist, I focussed it on the house and the rains started, faster and harder, yet the heat remained. Then the side of the house exploded. The heat was overwhelming, and the heat came without large flames. As I walked close to the open side I saw what was going on, there was a lava pond in the house, not a place where it usually came, only the Monks of the Sulphur Cave could this. Their acne knowledge was unknown to anyone but the Monks themselves. These monks were not evil, but their powers were highly destructive, so whatever had set this monk off was something that had to be dealt with, at least if this fine harvest was not to to end up being a pile of charcoal.

I looked at the pool and had an idea, I concentrated on the moist, then turned it to rain, then turned the rain solid and let it slam the roof harder and harder, within a minute the roof was gone and the pond got hammered by icy cold hail. It took a few seconds before the pool turned darker, then darker still and as the blackness of the pond was seen, the heat dissipated. I looked to the fields, they were safe, but the larger stage was not resolved. I decided to walk down the hill, there was a village there, I could feel it, I would hide in the barns and listen to what was going on, perhaps I would learn what had angered the monks, I preferred not to interfere, a monk was not clumsy or taken to whimsy. I felt happy that I saved crops, but I needed to learn what the issues were in this place.

The members of the Floating house are masters of water, as such also ice wielders, they are driven by stealth, sneakiness, covertness and clandestine actions. They believe that the limelight is counterproductive. They help and aid in secrecy, the fog is a great way to hide, nothing hides from them, but the people in the fog cannot see anything and the light fog would carry the voices of any conversation for the longest distance making eavesdropping a good way to find out what was going on. The water staff is a staff of metal with a globe on two thirds filled with water and an uncut diamond representing ice at the top. The staff was more than an arcane relic, only the members of the Floating house could hold them, the reason is actually unknown to all but a few, Not even all the graduates of the Floating house knew that part. 

Premise
Here we now see a premise of two houses, one is out to fight and to be open, the other sets the stage covertly. Like any RPG we have several sider that we want to explore and even as some games try to give students all the options to be everything, there is a larger wisdom in giving limitations. Missions can not always be done in the same way, as such we see one mission having an optional 5 narrations into the same mission. It might not always pan out that way, but the stage might be inviting to a whole range of gamers, the game they play the way they prefer to play it, and optionally a stage where they learn to play it differently.

It is a stage where we open the RPG stage to a larger population, one where we offer choice in the beginning, but after that you must work with the cards dealt. A stage that might be inviting, and is original especially when you see what it out there. Most want to be a D&D, or a Bethesda clone. I prefer to create a new road if optionally available. It is merely an idea, is it a good idea? I believe it is, is it the best idea? That remains to be seen, but like Nintendo, copying others only gives limitations, the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS became reality by ignoring what others did.

Location, Location, Location
As we are taking. Look at the people in the game, the environment also needs to be considered, in light of the volcano power needed, I set my mind on Kabaena Island in Indonesia. The island would be a 1:1 map, giving us an island that is almost 50 by 40 kilometres, as such having two dozen locations will be leave us a lot of space to evolve the game. I set that size as it was the only flaw that Oblivion ever had, things were too close together, a flaw (as I personally see it) and so did Black Flag. So I chose a sage where there is enough space, yet I wanted to avoid well known places and there is no reason why Kabaena island would not suffice, especially in light of one of the storylines I am shaping in my mind. 

So this was the second door, next is the third door that leads to the Monks of the Sulphur Caves. See ya tomorrow (hopefully), Bethesda eat your heart out! I did this part in about an hour, so less than 4 hours got you all the setting I gave over two parts (well, actually three).

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