Yup, that is how I felt this morning. I am still reeling from the dream I had. Everything was OK when I went to bed last night, I was myself, I was working out new directions from the RPG I discussed in the last few articles, to coin a phrase ‘I was happy as a clam’, but then something happened, the dream changed, I was suddenly a co-pilot in an helicopter, nothing wrong with that, it had always been a dream to pilot a helicopter, something that happened after I saw Skippy, a fishbowl with a piece of fence at its tail and it could fly, it was almost magic (well, I was younger than 10, so that made sense). Yet, this was different, I have no idea what kind of helicopter I was in but the chopper was not the issue, my visor was. As we were flying low over canals and greens, I saw that the boats on the water became directional markers, like they were telling us in what direction to fly. If I focussed on a boat I could pick up the radio station and the information it was bringing. Crazy isn’t it?
To make sense, I need to take you back to the 80’s. There was a fab in those days, radio’s had a sort of enhanced METAdata part, so when a song was playing, you saw the band and the title in your display. It is almost like someone took that idea and put it on steroids, I cannot think of another explanation, what is more, I have no idea what my brain was working out. It is like someone figured out to hide more than a FoF (Friend or Foe) message in the radios broadcasting, with some cypher that gave the relevant information to any visor it faced. Yup, quite the ride and it went on for some time in my dream, the arrows had numbers, but the numbers made no sense to me, but to the co-pilot they made a lot of sense. They were following along the path of a canal with several branches, and the arrows were pointing along the canals they were on, several (not all) pointing in some sort of flight guidance setting. And then I woke up.
Yup, quite the ride, I had hoped to get a new chapter on the RPG written, my mind is still working on the 5 arcane quests, yet the other quests are now in another stage, one that is facilitating for the generation part of the game, like a multilevel dungeon with more than one boss, the idea is that the chests are markers in their own right, not merely a container holding loot, they are in part the loot too, consider the RPG games you played. All the times you see a lovely boss chest and you empty it, you go home and you put all that stuff in your kitchen drawer? Did no one wonder why you did not take the chest home? What if you can take any chest home, but you can only carry one chest? The chest becomes a focal point, a focal point that might have another clue, optionally one that only your son or daughter can solve.
It takes gaming to a new chapter, it takes RPG and treasure hunting to another leap of faith and treasure hunting, it seems to be something that Lara Croft might have overlooked, but with my knowledge of the VoC and their need for locked chest, one might consider that some locks (in more than one case, the key too) had their own purpose, a side some tend to forget, but the game doesn’t, the gamer thinks out of the box, some gamers are even wondering what a box is and that is where my thoughts come in handy, so as I am contemplating new ideas in how the chest becomes the clue, how the chest goes from cave container to a lovely piece of furniture in your virtual house, we consider what else can be altered, all things that some RPG makers did not stop to think of. A stage my brain is happy to dwindle on, especially after the weird dream I had, but I digress, you see a ‘Friend or Foe’ is more than that signal, we merely see it as some electronic thingamajig in a plane, but what happens, if we add functionality to it? What if the FoF becomes an individual cypher? I wonder if the boffins at DARPA had taken that thought and put it on a train, sometimes it is the game that gives premise to the larger stage. We know that some caterpillars become butterflies and some become moths, but what if we add the signal to a butterfly to increase its wingspan? It takes me back to secondary school where we were introduced in what would later be ‘radio ecology’, it was around the time that the old Hulk TV series had an episode on metamorphosis, the setting where Bruce Banner set a solution to turn a plague and made the devastating larva prematurely change into a butterfly, yet what happens when we take that premise and not make change, but to make it carry a marker, a marker we can read and the marker adds the counter where we can see when the pest becomes the harmless butterfly.
It was not really a sidestep, what happens when we give added markers to any carrier, smartphone, radio, TV or whatever and we have a way of reading it? Let’s not forget that our devices are only used to a minimal degree, for the rest of the time they can do whatever it pleases. So what happens when we adjust the electronics to do just that? A population of millions, all carrying their numbers, and at times even more, as devices that have a multitude of options, at times it is not about who they work for, at times it can be to give the build in GPS and the ability to set a signal into a multitude of directions. So you might wonder when I take my medication, but when did you ponder the question on what else a mobile phone, a MP3 player or a radio could do? Jut like the chests in an RPG, what if we adjust that premise to facilitate the quest or the storyline? I might have flown about in a virtual helicopter, but I stopped wondering where I was going and contemplated where I could be going, not merely where I should go. A stage in gaming that too many players forgot about.