Tag Archives: CBM64

The games one yearns for

We all have that. We focus on a game and that is our push point. It is a rather large issues when it is set to exclusives. In there Sony has a massive advantage over Microsoft, but Microsoft is not out of the race yet. Delay after delay, there are now more indications that Redfall and Starfield will get to the Microsoft community in 2023. I saw a first part of Starfield today and I will immediately admit that it looks really good. I am still not getting the Xbox contraption, trust lost is trust close to never regained, I am wired weirdly that way and the BS I once got from the Microsoft Helpdesk gave me that they really do not know what they are doing. Or better said, they know what they are exploiting but they keep their customer service department in the dark. Still, that is not what it is about. Redfall will come first (as several sources state), and it is Starfield that will be taking the cake It is definitely not some Skyrim version of a space game. It is much larger and there is a lot more. Yet that also comes with issues, but I will not speculate on what could be, what might be. It will be about the game and what I saw looks impressive.

In 2023 for me there is merely Hogwarts legacy waiting. I am unsure of other titles at the moment. I tend to not look too much forward. 2022 was AWESOME. Horizons Forbidden West and God of War brought gaming for me to a new high. I am merely looking at the exclusives. Yes there was also Elden Rings and Returnal but I never played these two. We all have our preferences. I am currently on the fence for Diablo 4, some news that reached me did not make me happy, but I am keeping it to myself. I have questions on that source too and I do not want to spread something inaccurate.

You will have them too and others will love their Xbox, they made their choices and as I see it they will go nuts over Starfield. I applaud all excellence in gaming, whether I support the system or not.   I revere games, not the system. As a system I am merely disgusted with the stupidity of Microsoft, so there.

We are now 3 days away from the next Pokemon, so my Switch will get some game-time too. Nintendo has its own release list, some not exclusive but that doesn’t matter. I still enjoy the games I have there and one more is added this week. For the most I have been thinking of what we can do more. Yearning is not limited to what comes NEXT week, NEXT month and NEXT year. Yearning also looks at the past. A spectacular moment there was Golden Eye (N64) and a few others. And there is where we see some news, some news that saw delay after delay (all the way from 2020) System Shock, the remake from 1994 will come to PS5 in March 2023. The notion alone is making me happy and with the hours I played the game (three times over at least) gives me butterflies (yes, I need help). Gaming gets a new lease on life as some makers are seeing the reengineering options unfold. The first feeling was when I saw my beloved (yes, I need help) Elite from the CBM64 getting remastered. I hoped for more of the same and David Braben would not have that. What he gave us blew most our minds away and it took some a decent amount of time to get a handle on that game. It had proper teachings, but the game combined Elite, Privateer and  added 21st century graphics, in addition the game became well over ten billion times larger than the original. Now consider that concept to some other games. That is where streaming games can take us. Yes, we can wait for the next mediocre program by Ubisoft. Yet would you not want to feel actual butterflies when you hold your controller? And that I not all, this will be possible for well over a dozen games all before 2024. Is that not the real feeling we wait for as a gamer? Lets be clear I am decently anxious to get to Hogwarts legacy. The little I saw (I try to avoid as much as possible) blew me away and it is still blowing me away. Yet I want it to freshly hit my eyes in February 2023.

We all want that, the people seeking every spoiler will lose larger than they imagine and in this Starfield might give the Xbox community the game they dreamt for, for well over three years. I hope they get that feeling too, because they too are gamers, they are in a sense family.

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First of two issues

I had a rage attack today, it was right after some stupid set of saggy t*** decided to attack Elon Musk in a Presidential briefing. It feels like she is from Forbes. They have been pushing the Musk envelope. It is my personal belief that they are close friends with Jack Dorsey, a person they seemingly never asked any serious questions from and ‘the national security danger that is Saudi Arabia?’ Oh, I got her number and then some. But there is time for that and I have seen that death is not the worst a person can experience. It will be my delight to introduce that terror to her. But there is time for that and certain plays are not completed. But then something happened. 

A tweet brought Me back to my senses. This lady is totally nuts about Elden Ring. I get that drive, that devotion, optionally that obsession. I do not agree with her, but that I her right. I did not play Elden ring. I could never finish BloodBorne. I still have it as it is one of the most beautiful games I have, next to Dark Souls 3, a game I equally never finished. Both utterly sublime, but in my lifetime I doubt I will ever finish that. Yet it was about her feeling. I thought I had the same with Horizons: Forbidden West. But then God of War: Ragnarok came. I am taking me time as every corner, every sight is a feast for the eyes. I lost a few lives, but that is OK. The game delivers again and again and the story is magnificent, as is the music. I do not believe that Guerrilla software has anything to fear. There is space to love control of both Kratos and Aloy. Two amazing pieces of faming IP, this was a good gaming year and I am not forgetting Gotham Knights. Three Amazing journeys. Yet at present I am knee deep in Asgardian folklore and epic myths and Santa Monica Studios deliver in ways you cannot believe (unless you are playing the game) it is good that in the twilight of my life I can still be amazed by games. I started gaming in 1984 and I never stopped. I might not have the drive I once had (like playing 167 levels of Loderunner on the CBM64 in one sitting). I did take a sickie for that event. It was a time when you could pause a game, but you could not save a game. Still, 38 years later and that gam is still part of me. Games evolved from CBM64 we got the CBM Amiga, then PC, then the PlayStation range one through five and gaming never disappointed. I might not like everything, but that is not required. There is space for the yearners of Elden Ring, the obsession with Quake, Halo and Bethesda games. It is an inclusive group, the more the merrier. 

There is no hindsight, not a new piece of IP (other than the ones I already have). Many forget that gaming is not a business (to some it is), it is the ones that see games as art, those are the games that get the 90%+ reviews and Sony has a basket full of those, no matter how many ‘opponents’ troll rating into the basement. The gamers know what is what and they are driven to success. To achieve the end of the story. Anyone finishing Horizons Zero Dark can tell you about that. There is a need to finish the story and God of War: Ragnarok is no different. Do not worry, no spoilers here. 

Passing that line yourself is so fulfilling it gives value to a game and you will cherish EVERY dollar you spend on it. Today was a great day for gaming. I wonder if that is why I became angry at Forbes with its BS sense towards an owner and a partner who owns a mere 4% of Twitter. Which is interesting as the China hatred in the US does not give rise to the partnership that Microsoft and Tencent have, not even from Forbes, where is their national security interest there?

I am contemplating words I once got from Frank Herbert “He who can destroy a thing, can control a thing”, he published it in 1965, 57 years ago. Words to live by and I am feeling rebellious and frisky, a dangerous combination in someone with my mindset, but Forbes will soon learn that lesson. I’ll give fair warning a day after I have completed the exercise. Only fair, not?

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Equational parts

Today might take a moment. You see I was getting ready to write something else when my brain started to shout in my head. The phrase was ‘shifting sands’. I am uncertain what started that, but when the brain shouts, I tend to listen. I had to look it up as it was kinda familiar but the exact meaning wasn’t clear. The dictionary gave me “used in reference to something that is constantly changing, especially unpredictably” that did not completely helped me, yet a thought was getting hold there. You see, I offered part of my IP to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And even as Amazon and Google decided to ignore the option, I saw the IP for what it was, a stage to something larger and the three elements that it did cover was a lot bigger then the sum of the individual parts, as such I thought I was sitting pretty, even  though I am not great at waiting. So as I was contemplating the individual parts, I suddenly realised that there are additional stages that interact. As such we get “used in reference to elements or parts that are constantly changing towards the engine that supports them, predictable or not” and if I am correct (still uncertain) then the IP picks up a few billion in value. Now, at this point I do not completely care about its total value, but the 20 year sales commission will take a leap forward. So let me try to explain it without compromising the IP. You have a game for example Skyrim, this came has locations and this game has clothing. You can see both as cosmetic parts, but when they become elements of the game they change application. For example cold Skyrim relies on warm clothing, we have (almost) never been been exposed to these elements, but what when that changes? What happens when the bad weather picks up? How useful will a bow be? All elements Skyrim ignored, but what if that is not the case? So what happens when you are dressed for Skyrim and you end up in a place like Valenwood? Now, you can see that when you are in a game like Elder Scrolls or Fallout. But what happens when we go into a game like Diablo? Or even more contextual, I saw today that someone is making Impossible Mission 3, a game franchise that flourished on the CBM64, so some people are picking up the ideas I had and they are evolving them. So what happens when we take the simple game below and make the terminals more interactive and more important, what happens when we do not have limited time, but limited access because elements are still unfound? 

Have you thought of that? I reckon Google did not and neither did Amazon, and no one cares what Microsoft thinks, but Apple remains an option. Now take THAT idea and add the game ‘V’. There on the CBM64, we merely ran from place to place and we were content, but what happens when we add the mini game of Impossible Mission to that game (or the other way round)? 

I had some thoughts in that direction in the past, but I never contemplated a larger stage but when the system is accepted by Saudi Arabia the larger stages become debatable and they become elements of discussion. They are not games, but the same setting applies. The shifting sands elements allow me to grow system one with system two and we get a much larger system 3. Systems like Facebook sort of gave it to you, but they basically added to the junk you had and called it novelty or ‘expanded opportunity’, but we could see that it was merely more for THEM. Yet when these systems are (partially) in YOUR control and you get to decide whether you want system two to enlarge system one? We get a form of system individuality, like a system SHOULD have been all along and that is at the back of my mind (without giving the IP away), as such we could optionally see that the application of shifting sands to a user system will make it truly user friendly, now consider that we add security like WE want it to be, whatever it is. Now we have a new setting, well optionally a new setting but these systems are up to US, like they should have been all along. I just never contemplated it because I was thinking like an American as the expression goes and now I see that more is possible, but the application is a new one, and it is not free of challenges. You see, how can we evolve a closed system? It has to be closed as there is too much cybercrime and cyber theft. There is not a way to make it zero, but we can make it so that only the top tier hackers might get away with it. So whomever the 80 people are that the NAB hires (see previous article), they are all about stopping hackers, whilst the access levels were the ones that required scrutiny. Should you doubt that then consider the news that we got merely an hour ago ‘Major crypto trader Wintermute hit by $160 million hack: CEO’, there we are being told “Decentralised finance platforms and software, which aim to provide crypto-based financial services without traditional gatekeepers such as banks, have been targeted by numerous heists in recent years. The sector is little-regulated and victims of crime rarely have recourse” yes, because hackers really take notice of rules and laws and a bank vault that is open is one they can access, and there is a reason that banks use traditional gatekeepers (pointless or not), the larger stage is that open systems are done for (like Microsoft) a new setting is required and that is what I figured out. I am certain that others have too, but the greed of Fintech is stopping them and as such they lose small amounts like $160,000,000 such is life. And as such the world turns, so congrats you hackers on getting enough to pay next year rent, but at some point Fintech will grow up (or they go out of business). It is merely a matter of time which of the two becomes the winner. 

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Resetting contemplated options

There is a time when a person needs to reevaluate the choices he is considering. I am at that stage. I had hoped that the parts I have shown would have enticed Google or Amazon, but they have not (or so it seems). So I have the option of considering two more options. The first play for the third party is now underway. The third party here is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. You see they are intent on getting out of the oil business, or better stated, they do not want to depend on it too much. Here I am offering a gaming stage with well over 50,000,000 subscriptions. The nice part is that they can now consider Google, Amazon or Tencent. I personally do not care (as long as they can keep it close to Amazon Luna quality. You see, for me it cares as part of the deal is that I get 10% of the IP and sales value (plus a starting fee). 10% of 50,000,000 subscriptions could be anything from $25M to $50M and when this takes off, I have no idea where it will end, but even at a mere 1-2 years I could end with $25M to $50M a month in the second year if its running. I reckon that is a good retirement fee. Even at a maximum of 6 months it will be more money than I ever contemplated (or even dreamt of) having I was never greed driven. 

So consider the graph below.

The main event is the idea I concocted. The Master Choice is a set of old CBM64 and Amiga games now set to the latest in game streaming. Games that you all forgot about (Younger players are exempt from this). The CBM64, Atari ST and Amiga had created so much awesome IP and most are left unattended, left as garbage. Something these master pieces never deserved. I wrote about them in the past. And as I stated this is merely the start. Then there are the remasters. New games now made to fit this platform. There will be interest, the moment this solution surpasses 10,000,000 subscriptions, others come calling like junkies at a free cocaine feast. It is not good News for Bethesda or Blizzard, they decided to become Microsoft solutions. And when this takes off, Microsoft will fall flat. Yes, they will have their mobile options, but the larger stage will be lost to them. I have nothing against Bethesda or Blizzard, I loved their games and I still do, but there is a consequence of choice and if I get this done, they face hard choices. Then there is a part I cannot tell yet. The new IP. This needs to be catered so that independent developers can grow and can facilitate to, because any GAAS solution will need that. I have close to a dozen options for the start, but after that it will be time to hand over the reigns to the next generation, I will have proven I was right, I will be entitled to my retirement and months of skiing every year. Time for the next generation to make a mark and now there would be a new player. A Saudi group of programmers giving us a new stage of gaming, a stage no one ever considered, no one ever contemplated. But if a small nation like the Netherlands can give us Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West, what can a nations like Saudi Arabia achieve? You forgot about the small parts, did you not? Minecraft was Swedish (as was ABBA), and that is merely when we look at two of the most visible houses at present.
So I want to open the field to others, I want to entice new options and a new era of gaming, because evolution of gaming is important. Nintendo will remain, Sony will remain. They always considered the gamer number one, it is not that I am telling that they remain, the gamers have decided that they remain and some will still side with Microsoft, that is fair. But the Microsoft field will tighten in gaming as it will in two other directions and I will hopefully be there to see it happen (health issues). Yet until recently I never considered Saudi Arabia as the new Mecca for gaming. It was an article in some magazine that dropped the coin. Saud Arabia was always in the back of my mind, but I expected that my IP would have gone to Google or Amazon. Now there is every chance that I will win a lot. A setting that sets the owner on par with Nintendo and Sony is not to be ignored, and even as Microsoft would still be number three for a little while, the humiliation of them getting surpassed by a new player will tong, it will sting a lot. It will show in the first that I was right, it will show in the second that their path was wrong all along. Yes they will make serious money with mobile games. But to lose one niche in technology to this effect will hurt, it will make everyone wonder what Xbox was and why it no longer matters. But for me it is about a new era for gamers, a stage that puts them in the pole position. The front person in a technology that depends on enticing their senses with creativity and inspiring them to become creators. And it has every chance of happening soon. How soon? I have no idea. I am still dependant on the selectors and the choice makers, in this I am a small fish, but a fish dangling 50 million subscriptions in looked at and my blog speaks for itself. Almost 2500 articles on all kinds of matter, many of them games and a lot of them showing ‘evidence’ that I was right long before others knew what was happening. It might be my delusional side and that is a fair observation for others to make, but if the sale happens they will suddenly state “Why did you not come to us?” At which time it will be too late and they don’t need to look at me, their superiors (or shareholders) will look at them asking them why they missed out, these people have no sense of humour. But I do, I will be on the sidelines giggling, enjoying a hot cocoa with rum and watching the snow fall and the slopes prepare for winter fun. And the one thought I will have is that I made ti the end of the rat-race maze, in a way I never contemplated 30, 20, or 10 years ago and I wonder what I will do next, because the creative mind only stops when it is dead, that lesson I learned through many sleepless nights (and three bundles of IP).

73 minutes until breakfast, whatever will I do now?

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Foundations

We seem to forget about foundations. You see we all have the essential need to play. And some like replaying the same games. We see what the Amazon Luna offers and we have seen these games before on EVERY other console. Not all mind you, but the Ubisoft games, Resident Evil and several others. Now there are plenty of people who want to play them again and there is nothing wrong with that, but these are all games that are driven to achievements. It is like every gamer is getting ready for Gaming Olympics. Now for some this is fine, I reckon that not all are like that. I am not a Chess player, but the streamers are uniquely qualified for games like Chess, Checkers, Backgammon and many more. Streaming offers the ability for those at home to engage in play with either the NPC system, or another player. Both Stadia and Luna have the ability to set that right. I am still in the mindset that either would do well with games like Millennium 2.2 and Paradroid. Games that allows for a single person just to have fun. Even now, as I am contemplating these games, whilst watching the very first Rambo movie. I hadn’t seen it for close to 2 decades. A time when Sylvester Stallone was actually young and innocent. And we can consider he was actually young and innocent once, or he would never have been able to play Corporal Weaver in Antz (LOL). I see the same kind of games, the same kind of challenges, but games that allow for the simple pleasure of play, which games are like that? I think that Skyrim was one of the last games that allowed for that. Oh, and there is Lumines. I am not closed minded, there are too many games with a time ticker, a pressure point and that is fine. Yet sometimes we merely want to play and forget about time. The two games I mentioned fill that bill for me, and I reckon that they would fill the bill for many others. A game that could use an upgrade in graphics and in play style. The asteroid bug would be fixed, the game would be more appealing in todays environment, I would add layers so that you cannot jump SolaGen power options.

The game has a few other sides. Optional need for additional life support settings. In the old version where there was only 256Kb Ram and the game fitted a 700Kb diskette. Now we can do so much more. As such there are plenty of additional sides to the game that allow for a much more interesting stage of playtime, you merely need to stretch your imagination the smallest of amounts.

Another setting is Paradroid, the CBM64 version was too basic, too little resources, the Amiga version was a lot more challenging and a lot more rewarding and could offer even more with todays equipment, the IP is out there and it is open (as far as I know) and that is merely two of a whole truckload of gaming pleasure. Playtime needs to be treated seriously or those stating that they are there for the gamers are merely there for their own ego as I personally see it. A setting that is open to both Amazon Luna and Google Stadia and whomever creates this game could even consider the mobile stage. And all this could escalate to serious settings when you add several of the Microprose titles. A dozen titles optionally ready for anyone to implement a remaster and a reengineered version. 

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Increasingly Pretentious

Yes, that happens, and that is how some see others. The first group does that out of envy, they do not understand what they are confronted with and as such they ridicule it. Their belief is that their biggest asset is between their legs and the fact that their wives/partners disagree is lost on them, hence the adultery rates. The second group is different. They know they are looking at something new, but they cannot concur the percentages, or the revenue from these innovations. That group is more interesting. They can add to my ideas, they can add to my considerations, their objections are food for the soul and food for the evolution of IP. To ignore that group is beyond stupid, it is worse than pretentious, it is dangerous. The second group might not be right, but they come with their own wagons of experience and as such they should be listened to. Listening does not mean adhering. Listening does not mean (but could mean) changing the IP. A person that sets its IP blindly into concrete will loose a lot more than the IP. 

And that is where I find myself, three bundles of IP, one bundle holding media IP and I added to that last night, or better stated. I am still adding to this. There are a few items I discussed two days ago, but last night a new part started to be added to this. The problem is that I am all sixes and sevens (the other numbers are to be added later) whether this is a new game, or a new movie. It could go either way and there the fault comes into play, or so I think. You see they used to have very different stages and were not interchangeable and that is about to take another turn. The question becomes do you d one, the other or both? And there lies the setting. This is perhaps the first game that cannot be set to consoles. The solution becomes too large. It is also a setting where game IP and movie IP becomes close to indistinguishable. No matter how we want to twist and turn, how much some want to maximise money be keeping them apart. The streaming solutions are done with that greed driven stage, and there is every chance that this puts the Netflix solution a little ahead of the others, in this Amazon can fight back and keep its niche and overlap with Netflix, but it is anyones guess how the Google Stadia will take it. Not technologically, they are on par, but with games and movies the other two will have an advantage, no doubt about that. So what is the new IP?

Consider the stage of a game, almost any game. Now consider that this game has a cutscene. Now consider that the cutscene is not a cutscene, but a playable part of the game and as we go through the game, we can alter from ‘game play’ to cut scenes at the mere push of a button, anywhere in the game. Not only does it change the game, it changes the nature of gaming and weirdly enough, the one with the largest advantage here is Ubisoft. Yes, I have hit them more often than anyone else, but they also have had their moments and in this, the way they did their AC and Watchdogs games, they might just have the playing field here. This is an evolution that is waiting to happen. The nature of gaming evolves or we go under replaying the past again and again. Weirdly enough it were the Dutch that started this thought. You see the two Horizon games have something in common. They are utterly unique, the world they created had never been done before. With the additional thoughts I had on the Citadel as well as Mass Effect 4 and 5 game more and more of this IP to the forefront of my mind. Yet I am placing it here. Why? Because an innovation like this cannot be maintained by one person, no ones greed should allow for this and making it public domain in this blog opens the doors for all kinds of players to recede the waters of the old and create the waves of tomorrow. I would love that Sony and their PS5 would be on front of it all, but in the end this will most likely be a new frontier, one played by the streamers in the leading roles. A first setting where computers and consoles can no longer  keep up. We are reaching the age of the streamers and again there are three players (four if you consider Microsoft). This is not something that happens in a day, this will take the technology and IP of all players. And it is here where Ubisoft has the field advantage. 

So is this a set of Increasingly Pretentious idea’s? Is this innovation for a new day after tomorrow? Time will tell, but there is no holding back, I am not ridding this for a pretty penny, there is too much at stake, I merely hope that Netflix takes up the baton and take this future to heart and become one of the top three consoles (I am happy to see Microsoft in an eternal 4th position).

The largest systems will come at a larger stage and this step is essential for a few other sides that evolve from this. Evolution is essential, especially in gaming. In the 90’s technology evolved because gaming kept pushing. We need to return to those days and push the next two decades ahead, not when some business graduate tells you it is more effective that way. It reduces you to the iteration stage and the bosses of tomorrow are the ones pushing innovation. Should you doubt me, consider Horizon Zero Dawn with over 20,000,000 copies sold, a feat that its successor has not equalled because there are not enough PS5’s available, but they will get there, slamming pretty much every other game for the numbers. That is the impact of innovation in gaming and streaming will have its own innovation and that will require a national 5G, but more important we need to start now, if they start when the national 5G is out, it will be too late for those beginning then. Those who did prepare will become the rulers of gaming stream land. 

That is how I see it and there is every chance that I am wrong, yet the stage of innovation needs to be adhered to and respected. The dangerous setting of gaming that it is up to business people (those less likely to comprehend games) is folly to say the least. So will this lead to a new commodore 64, or another colecovision (1982)? I can make whatever claim I like, but that will not mean it is correct and I feel being correct is more important than anyones ego, even my own.

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First the weird

Yes, it was something that happened on Wednesday night. It was (apparently) important and it involved Batman. It was a dream, mot likely about IP, but I cannot state whether it is based on the comic books, I do not think it was the Arkham games series. I also do not think it was the movies, but beyond that it is blank, I just cannot remember it and if I do not write it down quickly, it becomes lost. So now I have to wait for the REM stage to kick in again. Beyond all that, there is new IP. A new setting, a digital setting that comes to mind on some of the MB games, in the first it is Hotel and now we have a new stage, Yes, we can ‘just’ copy the board game, but that is such a waste of time, unless it is a mode you can unlock. A board that becomes bigger as more players come to it. The nearly same setting, but now we add a library of hotels. So the original game had the Boomerang, Fujiyama, Royal, Le Grand, Safari, Taj Mahal, Waikiki, and the President. But the fun part is that digitally we can add, we can replace keeping the game new and fresh. So we can get hotels based on famous hotels in Dubai, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, London and so many other places. As we add multiplayer options where the player can select from a pool of online players, friends and game fans, this game could get a lot more attention, and history has shown that there was an interest in this game. I still haven’t given up on the notion of collectible keys (used on the Amazon Luna) to unlock elements in games that other games provide for. And Hotel could be no different. Other games unlock additional hotels and this game could unlock other elements in other games. A stage that pushes novelty and pushes the desire to play, to find and to embrace any game that streaming offers. 

I mentioned the keys before and it could be one of several enhancements that could push the Amazon Luna (beside the 50M extra consoles option). You see, the need for gaming is different on streamers, yes there is a like minded setting with other consoles, but the plus value is not merely some subscription, it is the part where the subscription leads to additional sides, it keeps the gamer invigorated. And in sandbox games there is plenty to see, but in other games after you played it once or twice you think you have seen it all, unless you add to the game, unless the game keeps on developing. There is only so many times the bulk will play Monopoly. Yet if we can localise Monopoly and unlock local editions the interest in such a game evolves from medium term to long term enjoyment. And there several MB games could find themselves in a larger stage. In earlier writings I evolved the game Stratego to a much larger online stage. Yet what happens when we do this to the game Tank Battle? What happens when we evolve the game Clue to a version based on the CCG the X files? All games with multiple options, all games with an evolved nature that offers long term appeal. And as stated on multiple times, some of the original CBM-64 games could get a whole new era of gaming enthusiasts if they put their mind to it. 

All settings that some ignored, some were forgotten and many were overlooked, or perhaps the game designers never considered the early years of gaming. Just like some of us seemingly forgot  about some of the TV shows from the 60’s and 70’s, several of them bubbling with new life if the right director comes along. The acquired IP from the old days could be the cheapest and that offers a whole new stage. Some of the makers are all about looking at the new, but to find. Truly new series with no connections to the past is so utterly rare that it is almost folly to join those crusaders, all chasing windmills. Which is still weird because the fields are covered with fix them uppers and some of them have solid housing frames. 

The fact that some are racing to remaster decent PS4 games for PS5, and they are merely looking behind them, in the rear distance there are true gems waiting to be rediscovered and I hope Amazon does so, Google too, but then they decided not to develop games, so they need to rely on the indie developers and some will be looking towards the CBM-64, Atari ST and Amiga games. As I see some development notes pass by, I can see that they are and they will have decent chances to pick up an interesting amount of coins. 

 

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Relaunch or remaster?

It was 04:00 (local time) and I needed to seek out some address in London, the address did not matter, but the stage did. In the first there was Lancaster Gate station, it now holds a dearly departed sign, it is closed (apparently). For some reason seeing the map of the underground again made my mind wander. It went back to the days of the Commodore 64. I reviewed a rather fun game for the younger players. It was called ‘Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego’, it was fun because of two elements. Instead of dealing with copy protection, they merely wanted a word from a line in a page in a book, the book was however an Almanac with 900 pages.

I think I still have that book somewhere. It was fun because it had an educational side, it had an exploration side and it was fun to play. Now consider that a lot of this info is in apps, consider that the Switch could hold that info, so consider a game where the location you currently are (and offline containing the old mode) you can play a game that has at least two modes, it might not be that possible on the Switch, but both Android and iOS can contain all the elements needed. An enhanced stage with optional local added information that is added to the bookshelves of the app. We can look on any map in any location, so why not use that to a larger playing stage? Racing, wandering, sleuthing and a whole range more. The Almanac was essential in those days, but now we have equal options online and perhaps the makers have the rights to that almanac. Consider that in the old game we could go to 4 locations and from there to three buildings. Now we have the entire map, we can go anywhere, we can up the ante on several levels and even as we start with a number of locations, we can add and add as the game is released, making 200 locations, 5000 locations, making 3 buildings, 150 buildings. Making the dozen or so facts hundreds of facts. A playful app with educational sides and its educational sides could remain growing for a long time. We can add complexities with airlines, busses, ferries and subways. We can add photo’s as part of the investigation, we can do more with currencies and make credit cards a larger stage in the game (it was none in those days). All additional sides that give a much larger stage to the game and this game could resurface in a refurbished coat. In that case as it evolves into streaming systems we see a game that is for the younger players and when you count the games for younger gamers on a non-Nintendo system, how many do you find? 

Just a small idea before I am having my first coffee (05:23 now).

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The missing gap

I woke up this morning (03:15) and I started to realise what I had been missing (no, not a gorgeous woman, but yes, that too). I have been a gamer for the longest of times and I have been active going back to the Commodore Vic-20 (1982). Over the span of 40 years I have seen a huge collection of games spanning the Vic-20, CBM-64, AtariST, CBM Amiga, Megadrive, Playstation, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Xbox-360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Playstation 5. I am not counting the PC and Mac Games but yes I had them too. My mind suddenly wandered on certain titles and the one that woke me up was an old PS1 game, Kula World. 

I suddenly realised what I missed. Game makers are all about the achievements, the progress and the hardship. Yet, when was the last time you set down relaxed and just played to have fun? I reckon that most of you had with Minecraft, but with what other game? Do not get me wrong, Skyrim is heaps fun, but it is a game with missions, a game with targets and I do not oppose them. Sometimes we just want to have fun, either alone or with friends. I reckon that is why Mario Party is such a success. Gaming just for fun. When was that?

It is almost a setting that gaming is now intended to push artsy people into a business degree. It is OK for some and ok for some all of the time, but not for all people all of the time. The new games (even the ones I designed) are about targets, populations and getting to a point, but what if there is no real point? Kula World was a game with a target in the distance, but oddly enough, when you were playing it was about the fun and I actually miss that. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still love hours and hours of Elite Dangerous, I still enjoy my Skyrim time and at times even Watchdogs: Legion. Yet the stage of focussing on fun is dwindling down in gaming and I think that is a shame and it is a loss for all gamers. I get it, some want to get contracts done in Grand Theft Auto, some what to get their team to the cup (NHL) and some want to survive (Last of Us) and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet at times it merely needs about the fun of playing and that is gone in too many places. And even I am guilty of that, all the designs I created, my mind created was about going somewhere, and for moments I forgot the feeling I had in Oblivion to just look at the scenery. Why is that, what did the game makers forget? What were we made to forget? 

I do not know how it happened. Perhaps people (game makers) were too intent on staring at Ubisoft and their one AC a year, perhaps they all forgot what the fun of playing was or perhaps the makers hired Business degree people to get them a money making game. Yet I feel that something is being lost and I hope that some will rectify this sooner rather than later. I reckon that if I looked back to the last 3 years, playing Minecraft and losing time and the sense of time there is the most fun I have been having playing a game, which is a shame. I had that feeling a lot in the Amiga and CBM64 time and I miss that feeling, I suddenly realised that I missed feeling that way. There is no way in hell that I am the only gamer feeling that way, but there it is. The gap I am missing and it makes sense, after all that school, who took a gap year? Where is our console gap year? Even now as we marvel on the sanctity of new titles, new challenges and new horizons, where is the gap that allows us to sit and just have fun?

Think back, when was the last time you had actual fun playing?

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Jump into the deep part

I have a mission. In part I no longer need to look at the Sony side, they have theirs covered. Yet now I must focus on the Amazon Luna. Apart from a plan that will sell them 50,000,000 consoles. I also think it is important to fill the setting with more games. They have a selection, but not enough and in my mind. There will be no peace until I hand over the wooden spoon (with gold engraved Microsoft 2023) to Phil Spencer, I will not have done enough. I reckon it is time for the world to Microsoft to see them as they are, a mediocre organisation who ends up dead last whilst they have (by their own words) the most powerful system in the world. They are already surpassed by the weakest system (Nintendo Switch), and Google Stadia will not count as they do not develop games, but now only Amazon Luna needs to surpass them. One plan already gets them there, but more games will offer a much faster track and and the idea that shelling out $8,500,000,000 did not aid them will be the sweetest aftertaste for me. I just roll that way.

To set the stage, we need to take another gander at espionage games. Yet we need to be better and more refined (and larger) in this. We also need to make sure that there is enough variation to keep the need alive to play this game more and more. 

To take a few small steps, the first part is towards an old CBM64 game called the 4th Protocol after the book and the movie. As the image shows below, it was not much, but the idea was sound. Even for a system with 40KB of memory. Yet the idea is the dashboard, we should add a few items and set a larger station (like localisation), in the end it is more than a game, it should have an ‘educational’ side. In this we can grasp to some of the elements of the old Microprose game Covert Action. 

Here we see bugging and encryption. There is nothing to stop us from evolving these parts. Setting a much larger setting to include VOIP and normal telephones. (Still a game though). We see that as the game progresses we add more and more to the dashboard and the load of the operations spymaster. 

In the original game it was about setting up locks, but what if we take a gander to Hacker 2 (Activision, 1986) and add the camera feed? We now have a larger station than before and we have the technology to make it look really good. We can add the cross-over that as the hacks were more complete and better we see more camera views. 

And as we get operational settings underway and we add trainings we can up the agents efficiency, so in time settings we cannot do it all, we need to rely on agents, and as they are better the hacks and intrusions are more complete, so badly trained agents will give you access to less and no results. And in cities the size of London, Berlin, Washington DC, Paris, and Moscow we get two new additions. We can hack, but we can get hacked as well, then there are counter hacks and the danger of getting caught, so an agent with a 60% rating might float in Berlin, but not in Washington DC or Moscow. And as the agents get better (which requires you to get better), we get more access in more places. Then there is the allegiance side. What happens when we select to be the Spymaster of the UAE, Egypt or Italy? It will change the place where we are regarded as ally, neutral or optionally hostile. I do not think we can get a real live game (like Watchdogs, or Elder Scrolls), yet the setting that was once accepted could be upgraded and give us all a new challenge. The original hacking in Covert Action was the approach Julius Caesar used 2075 years ago. So what if we educate the players on encryption and as they get better we add encryption options? The nice part of Amazon is that a subscription service implies that they already paid for it, we merely need to add more, just like the addition of boardgames and achievements and rewards I wrote about a few months ago. The added value over time will entice more and more players to include the Amazon Luna, especially when it is only there that they can have it. 

Will this be for everyone? No off course not. The delusion of Ubisoft is that they make games for everyone, but a game that offer satisfaction to everyone is a game that basically pleases no one, that has been a truth for decades and it does not have to be that way, the stage becomes to offer games that pleases people in a niche and then make games to cover many niches, that is the only way to grow your population. A simple but harsh truth and why is my idea a good one? I do not know whether it is a good one, but it is one that others are not doing, to have something unique matters. Ask Sony if you disagree, they have a dozen games on that path. And yet we can do more, have more ‘hi-res’ games, but the larger truth is that until 5G is completely ready and rolled out, congestion will hit the Amazon Luna and other streaming consoles. So looking at the old games and seeing whether we can give them a new look, a fresh paint job and better rendering, w are merely digging our own grave if Amazon relies on Ubisoft they will be done for. Less then 2 weeks ago there was “Amazon Luna bug glitch” for Assassins Creed Valhalla. And when I search “Amazon Luna Ubisoft bugs”, I get pages of results. Now there might we an overlap with other systems, but the gamer wants a decent game and Ubisoft has been falling short of that, so Amazon needs a plan C (my 50M consoles solution is regarded, by me, as plan B). 

And it does matter, when there is a full 5G within the net 2-3 years, the streaming console war begins in earnest and that is when (my wish-list) comes to fruition and Microsoft wins (and earns) the wooden spoon. There are of course a lot more games they can work on, but I already covered several in earlier stories and I hate being overly repetitive. 

There is a time for waiting and a time for acting. It is my personal believe that the time for waiting is over, it now matters how Amazon will feel about winning that race. I know that Microsoft cannot afford loss there and that makes it more and more important (for me at least) for someone else to win it. 

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