Tag Archives: CBM64

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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Insomnia non habit legem

Yup, could not sleep and it is 03:00. So what happens? My mind thinks up a new game, actually I came up with two games. One came to me via Ryan Reynolds (bloody bastard). I was watching his Gaelic Wrexham advertisement and things started to click, it is a game that is based on two games, two existing games mind you.

Consider Draughts (Checkers on a chess board) and Chess, but both playing on the same board at the same time (hence a digital game would be essential). Chess remains the same, all the pieces move in the same way, no difference. It is the draught game that alters. Consider you are playing checkers, you hit an opponents piece. There is a difference now, the move remains the same, but if a chess piece of the SAME colour as the checker piece, then the piece is NOT removed. It opens up a new way of strategic thinking. In opposition, it forces you to place your chess pieces in a different stratagem. Do you support your draught pieces or forfeit the location? I wonder if the game could be playable in that way and when you ‘king’ a checkers piece, the setting becomes more complex and in that fact, hitting pieces that are protected might set you up for the fall, you might end up losing your ‘king’ a lot faster. 

The second game is based also on an existing game. The original was a game on the CBM-64, it was called something like kinetic puzzles. It was a puzzle of a videoclip. So the image of the puzzle would always be in motion, as such the puzzle was more challenging. I liked that game and until today I had pretty much forgotten about it. Yet my mind wanted something more and now we go off the deep end.

As I was contemplating stories (some time ago) I came up with a quantum puzzle, the stage was a little bit like an episode of Fringe. We see a room and a person appears out of synch in a room moving irregular all over the place, like slices of a videoclip. Yet if you analyse the images, you will see a different timeline, something that shows (read: indicates) what the sequence of the motion is and when we see the image in time and side by side the image shows the image, or the person to represent a location, now if we see that same person in that location, the things we see will seem to make sense, the are all connected in some way (the way is the final part of the puzzle). Yet there is the crunch, we would need Google Maps to be able to translate the initial number (like a 14 digit map reference) to represent a location, any location in the world and that gives us the puzzle challenge, to set a puzzle not to a 2D image, but a 3D location and that place becomes the actual puzzle. I am still working on a few angles, but that I what my mind came up with. New ways to invoke a different way of viewing things. We forgot to take the stage and change the stage of application and distribution giving us a new way to solve things. I see it as an essential step in the evolution of our minds, if we do not, we are lost, we need to push forward and offer more to our brain, it can do so much more and if we get tuck in the setting of reinventing the wheel, we remain mere wheel dealers. I think it is time to tell the box that it has become too much of a limitation. 

It reminds me of a thought I had, or was told hen I was young (like half a century ago). The shadow one one dimension is the representation of the previous dimension. So the shadow of a 2D object is a line, the shadow of a 3D object is a 2D object and so on, so in that light, how do we see the shadow of a 5D object? Perhaps that view is too limiting to use but it we are to reflect pace as a shadow, what will we get? Computers can give us that represented image and as such we can use them to evolve our mind. I know it is far reaching, and perhaps it is over reaching as well, yet I believe that if we overreach we might be able to see what is just beyond our reach. Am I nuts? Perhaps I am, but the creative mind seeks an outlet, through gaming, through books, through art, through stories and in that instant we might touch on something we were not able to touch before. If reengineering is merely the setting to redesign something, it is not always to adapt to wider application, sometimes it is to start a new direction of what was never contemplated before. In my mind what does a game, a nuclear meltdown and a movie have in common? They are merely all the contemplation of stories, the question becomes, which of these stories can become a reality? More important, should they become a reality? It was Spielberg in Jurassic Park who gave us the question of whether we can versus whether we should attempt something. In the business world the only limitation is profit, cash is king, money is all. Yet we seemingly forget that we should or should not might not be a question of profit, but a setting of ethics. In that same setting I reused an image of a report yesterday that states that 50% of all pollution comes from 147 facilities in the world, the EU reported on it and the media remains seemingly blind. Some blame the rich and their jets, yet I did not find any newspaper or media piece that takes a long hard look at these 147 facilities, why is that? Is it too much about profit? It links because if we can learn to think differently, in different path and multiple stages, perhaps something could be done about these 147 facilities, it is merely a thought. 

If IBM completes its quantum computer to a degree we need it to be, we will need practical applications in quantum settings and at present there is a workforce of ZERO that can get us there, as such we need a next generation that thinks differently thinks on different levels and what I stated in the 80’s now applies. Gaming gets us there, it took some 30 yeas to get to that level of thinking. If we do not prepare the next generation, the ones that do will end up ruling all others. If you doubt that consider the 5G stage where America is blindly accusing and not providing evidence, they are losing the race and they are scared. So what happens when Asia and Europe rule the Quantum computing realm? As I see it the US and its Trumpism is setting itself up for a rather large fall and if he gets enough votes the economy will change, it will change by a lot and in that, should the 5G and Quantum computing fall outside of the US workforce, it will be game over for them. So they better learn that new shapes of games need to be taught to the next generation it is all we might have left. And yes, this sounds negative, but wonder for yourself if more of the same will solve whatever you see is wrong around you, or does it require a different form of thinking?

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Hammer hits anvil

Yes, that is the foundation of an idea, the idea is voiced, in the ear, the hammer hits the anvil, the anvil vibrates the wires and the lightbulb in your brain lights up the room and the idea is born. The setting is the same for all, the only difference is that when the hammer hits the anvil, not everyones wires vibrate, and as a result in some people the lightbulb never lights up that room that is known as ‘skull space’, still my setting was that I did not come up with one idea, I came up with three. It is an idea that was someone else’s idea, but that foundation can still be used today and in a cloud space game setting.

Lets go back to 1984, George Orwell was making noises in regards to government oversight (of everyone) and in that same year Mike Singleton had an idea and created ‘the Lords of Midnight’, now even as the setting was nice, it was set to computers with a limit to 48KB (ZX Spectrum) and the 64KB that the Commodore had. Yet what happens when we take that idea and use the map of the UK (that island left of France) and set ourselves in a stage of riding, stealth and travel to collect the alliance of a minimum amount of keeps to secure the safety and unity of one region, each keep is in one county. The stage is all set, so to change it and make it a real challenge, the stages vary, the keep is not always in the same place (sometimes they are), and we aren’t always starting in the same place, so there will always be more than one option. The area is all in a stage where there is an enemy, not always visible, but as we align, we are given who is not our enemy and they will give the information of what is against us. A stage that is more alike the old days, when communication took days, not seconds. We need to adjust our way of thinking without removing the first person challenge. Even as it is based on that game, it will be a completely new game, it will be a larger setting based on the entire UK, all with optional awards (virtual diploma’s) of achievement and a retirement award. A game that shows time in a new setting if you like.

The setting of a cloud will allow a larger setting of randomisation, as the server does all the alignments, as such if 10 players play it, there is a chance that 2 players have close to the same setup, but not completely. A game where you need to do the work and not rely on some wiki solution where the one solution fits all. 

About a decade later someone made a game called Virus! It was an original game and even as it never made any headlines, I never forgot the originality. Yet in this day, what can we do to innovate? For example, a shooting game is one completed a game that has been completed, but it does not need to be like that. What if the opponents and the level of play is determined by a QR code? In the game Virus! It was Windows and your hard-drive, which in those days was innovative, yet today it does not work like that (or at least it should not). QR codes are everywhere and any level completed will be one we have already seen, yet what if we had on any mobile the option to save the code and use it to transfer the image to the cloud game? It does not matter whether it is a spaceship with an environment, a soldier with an urban or rural setting, it is about the fact that we are not in control and the maker cannot be creating levels again and again, and random generators tend to be less random than you think. Yet the setting of a QR code is out of our control and we can decide what every dot means, we merely are in the dark whether that dot is used. A game with almost infinite levels and a never ending stage of challenges, a lovely idea for any shooter with drive to compete.

Yes, I agree that it is in fact an iterative idea when we revisit an old idea, but the people seemingly forgot about the idea and as such it becomes a new ballgame. When we are given “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Known Issues [Updated Feb 5]”, in a stage when Ubisoft gave the laughingly statement that the game would be released days early and we see 3 months later that there are well over a dozen issues with impacts on a dozen missions that cannot continue, is it such a bad idea to look at the past when these kind of screw ups would never make the cut of publication?

And a lot could have been prevented from day one by properly testing a game. In this I tend to fall back to Skyrim, a game that has issues, no one denies it, but in all the years (since 11.11.11) that I have played it, I only witnessed 3-4 bugs myself on any console (Xbox360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PS5) and a dozen or so glitches, yet glitches do not break a game. And that was made almost 10 years ago. I think it is time to reconsider what we love to play and what maker consider to be a good game. When we consider the size of Skyrim, my only issue with the game (after playing it again and again at least 8 times, is that the missions are always the same, yet the openness of the game allows for a lot of exploring and doing things your way. But what gives when the QR code resets the opposition and changes what you face in every dungeon, crypt or hollow? 

And that gives me another idea, I reckon that there are a few nordic directors with a grasp of the dark side of tinsel town, and when you consider Troll Hunter (2010). I thought it was awesome, André Øvredal took a folktale and pushed it and us into another direction. I am certain that it can be done again. So, what happens when we take that part of Skyrim that is based on Nordic legends and create a new horror movie, but one that is close to the folktale of the Draugar “Draugar usually possessed superhuman strength, and was “generally hideous to look at”, bearing a necrotic black colour, and was associated with a “reek of decay” or more precisely inhabited haunts that often issued foul stench”. Lets not forget in the academic world where people hunt academic recognition, stupidity (read: shortsightedness) is found a dime a dozen and when we see the people’s admiration with the zombie apocalypse, the idea that it had already happened is not the weirdest idea to consider, so what happens when someone opens up the wrong thing (tomb or urn) in Malmo and before the authorities have any clue what actually is going on, the issue has spread to Norway, Denmark and Germany. So as we need to rely on folklore, folklore that is specific to Scandinavia, what will those do who have no knowledge? The military will merely grab bigger weapons, weapons that have some effect, but the stage is different, you can hunt cockroaches with a flamethrower, yet what happens when that roach is somewhat heat resistant? The option are nearly endless and it could make for an entertaining 2-3 hours with a box of popcorn. As you see, these AAA game designers are all about being cool and having hot items (riddled with bugs), I needed one salad to get three ideas on paper. I wonder what I will be able to think off with a decent cheese pizza (with extra oregano).

Have a great Monday!

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Before life was, I was

Yup, there is the ego, floating over your head, look to the right, no, your other right, look about 43.8 degree higher (if you are outside) take the second star to the right, yup, there I am. So as you might have guessed, it is time to talk about god-games and whatever I consider here, is free to use in any Sony exclusive game.

To see this, we need to go back to the foundation of god-games. My introduction to this type was in the 80’s when Little Computer People came to the CBM64. We all see the age of Peter Molyneux as the stage of the ‘true’ god games, but it is out in the open to accept or reject that notion. And in all this, most of us might remember the game Black and White. It was a more god game than most god games and even the guy upstairs agrees, right Hades? 

Yet what if we create a game where it is merely part of the game, not the game itself. For example, if we set to an example most of us remember ‘Assassins Creed Brotherhood’, consider that the game remains the control of Ezio Auditore, yet the god side of it is that we can to some degree control the actions of NPC’s. An example, Ezio is running through town, and that is fine, but in the god side we unleash rain on the area and as a result all the courtesans hide inside their houses. Ezio loses an ability to his side. This is a crude version. 

So if we use the divine powers in Black and White, it is a direct option, what if it becomes indirect? Like drawing a line in the sand, the ants will find another path, but that is as clear an option as it comes. So what happens when the game is about indirect channelling and it becomes about indirect guidance. Not as a setting in the game, but as a setting towards the game? So like Batman fights his opponents in Arkham knight, we influence the brutality of those around him, we set the premise of depression of the victims around him, it changes the game, it changes his focus, whilst the gamer does not see a change in the player, the stage we see in detective mode of Batman and we see the criminals are at some point terrified, Batman instilled this, but what happens when we set a secondary stage that affects the persons in the area, but Batman cannot directly influence that. That stage is influenced by the the NPC’s, not like the stupid wave like behaviour we saw in AC Unity again and again, but a sort of herd like behaviour in NPC’s, it changes the entire setting of the playable area and we forgot about that, thee gamer (and the developer was so focussed on Ezio Auditore, Batman, Edward Kenway, they forgot to set the influence stage on the population when Batman, Poison Ivy, or Vaas comes into the level. Yes, there was some attempt (AC Unity) the the fear was where we see street run away in front of you was a failed attempt at this. A stage where we can only influence a second tier (up to a point), is something we have never faced. In this I grab back to the Black and White part. Until we set the premise where an evangelist is created by their own choice, the influence is limited. So we can directly interfere in the game (buildings, infrastructure), yet the NPC influence is only limited. Games like Spore, Black and White set the action as direct. I want to change that, give a much larger challenge where the person having the finger needs to think where he draws the line for the ants.

It is a speculative setting, but that is all that I can offer in a conceptual setting. It is conceptual, because it has never been done before and evolution of games happens in a stage where things are new and never done before, there was always the first one. And that is what we are aiming for, something never done in gaming before, upgrading the level of gameplay down the line, and that was all that gamers want, a new level of play, we all want that, because sooner rather than later more of the same becomes tiring. And for the most, the sandbox games has left the NPC part of their game to too much of a limiting factor. So we need to change that side of things if only to make sandbox games more realistic and more believable.

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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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I see dead people

There is a stage we all see and we all think we seem to know, I am very set on the ‘seem to’ part. I stumbled upon a 5 years old article by TechCrunch, it is about Peter Molyneux, a person I personally know, so I was curious. It was the beginning that got to me. With “the British game development hero that spearheaded famous studios Bullfrog and Lionhead, but who also always had a reputation of being fluid with the truth. Molyneux was the guy who made Populous and led the studios that created Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, The Movies, Fable, Black and White, Magic Carpet and many others. But Molyneux was also a teller of tall tales, a maker of wild promises in interviews that had little chance of being realised” the game is on, you see it is about the games, and Bullfrog let by Peter delivered again and again on CBM64, Atari ST, Amiga and PC. I still miss some of these games. They opened the mind, the made us creative and it pushed us to think different. So when we get to ‘a teller of tall tales, a maker of wild promises in interviews that had little chance of being realised’, we are b being misled on two fronts. The first is that (as far as I know) Peter has always been in the business of pushing gaming boundaries. It is hard to prove this, but I have an example, in those days I had a mouthwatering PC, it had all the bells and whistles and it would make coffee for me if it had hands, so here I am with a high end graphics card that can do anything with was, so even as Black and White is fun and amazing, it was that merely fun and amazing, about three months after the game releases there is a new graphics card and I install it, I had nothing real to do and I restart Black and White, so when the temple is built and I walk inside my mouth drops, it blew me away. Black and White was the first game that was ready for the nextgen graphics, it was the first time this would happen to me. Even now I still hope for a remaster of Magic Carpet on the new consoles, a rerelease of dungeon keeper, and only team bullfrog can deliver on that.

The second part is the one TechCrunch does not mention, in the early 90’s, the media was on gaming like nothing you ever saw, the journo’s at the ECTS were renowned, worse than paparazzi and always looking for a sound-byte, an exploit and that part is not mentioned, also the words of Molyneux have been pulled out of context more than once, he did something other gamer makers did not achieve, he surpassed the boundaries of systems. That can be seen if you compare the reboot of Syndicate with the original, the original remains vastly superior 20 years later. The reboot got a mere 66%, it is vision that get us games and Peter Molyneux had just that. Then we get a part the is hard to dispute and most likely correct “The other reason Molyneux thrived was that his team delivered. There are, and will forever remain, disputes over exactly how much he was involved with some of the titles to his name (Glenn Corpes, Sean Cooper, Demis Hassabis and a variety of others deserve their credit) but what was inarguable was that Molyneux had managed to create an environment in which great games happened”, yes Peter was not alone and we all get that, but Peter made it happen and it is undeniable, great games happened at Bullfrog and Lionhead. The titles are still revered and people still yearn for another fable, another dungeon keeper and another theme park, even now, even 20 years later, that is gaming at the edge!

Then we get a gem “He would combine those ideals to form an exciting story for what a game might be, often road testing a certain phrase or image with you before using it with the press. This, I gather, is not unlike the way Steve Jobs seems to have been”, the man was part visionary and could recognise visionaries in coders, that is part why his games were so great (the original concept is part of that), until Bullfrog, who had considered being the bad guy in Hero quest would be entertaining? And that is the foundation of great gaming, bel to turn the equation upside down and get another nugget of gold, he had this. I particularly like the end of the article “Ambitious design, big ideas and bold visions are what propel the games industry forward. When all is said and done, create-a-cash-engine mentalities are only ever temporary, but it’s the ambition that makes video games forever. I for one hope that Molyneux rises from the ashes one last time to teach us this lesson again”, it is all the parts Ubisoft forgot to be, it is all the sides the spreadsheet driven BI executives at EA and likeminded companies are dumbstruck on. I hope that he gets a few more notches on his 6 shooter with new titles on nextgen, optionally Google Stadia too. Consider the titles we saw at the beginning and consider that those who knew the games still remember them and love them 20+ years later, that is an achievement only Nintendo has been able to equal. 

So when it comes to Bullfrog, its staff and the man behind it, I tend to see dead people, it is the press behind it, not the makers of games, they have proven their grit, they did it several times. 

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