Tag Archives: CDPR

The mobile reward

We love the words ‘free’ and ‘rewards’. In this I am no different. This setting all started when I was taking a look at some version of ‘merge life’ iPad game. The game starts nice enough, challenging enough and I saw the warning ‘absurd amount of advertisements’ yet initially when I started that was not really the case. So after 10-15 minutes I had reached stage 2 and the game was oddly satisfying. It was then that the advertisement wave hit me. Close to one advertisement EVERY 30 SECONDS. Yes, that was absurd and after 2 advertisements I deleted the game. But the mind took a wander and I remembered something from the AC Brotherhood time. Yes Ubisoft did do good things, even innovative things. But the idea got twisted in my mind to something more. I wrote in a previous article about games for Amazon Luna, not sure if I did this (I have written over 2000 articles). There are two stages in this.

Stage One
Board games. Most forgot about the power of board games. They are simple games, but a setting we always return to. We do not need to kill everyone (I mostly do). There is tranquility in a game of chess, a game of checkers, a game of Monopoly, a game of Backgammon, a game of Shogun (and so on). But what w forget is that most people prefer to play alone. Now, there is some need to connect to like minded people, people who just want to play a game. For them there are three options. Set up the Luna to facilitate for 2-4 players, connect to up to 3 online players and play alone with computer managed NPC’s. The powers behind consoles and streamers forgot about that, didn’t they? Now the optional connected IP is separate and for another day.

Stage Two
When it comes to rewards, Ubisoft forgot a side (it was fair enough) but when we have mobile games they could lead to a lot more visibility. For the example I will use the Fable Pub games. You play the games and you get the rewards. In the mobile game it might be about money, yet the goal is to get to the 5 star (might have been 4 star) point. When you get there you will get 2 rewards. So each game there (Keystone, Fortune’s Tower and Spinnerbox) will result in a direct reward, a weapon, or an outfit that is linked to Fable in Amazon Luna (just as an example), the second reward is a Luna Key. Each board game will get a Luna Key, so if you play 4 games, each of the 4 games will get a key. And the Luna key will open a special option. So in the examples given Chess will give you a new board and a new chess set, Backgammon will give you a new board and stones (there are Indian, Egyptian boards and stones), Monopoly will give you an NHL, NFL or other city board, Shogun has additional colours and Japanese family crests and so on. Additional rewards that can grow the interest in other games and that is beside the setting that could be offered. All stages forgotten or ignored and why? Is the setting of a Luna Key so complex? Is the setting of offering the player something more not enticing? I would think that with all the bugs Ubisoft introduced they might go overboard pleasing the customers they so often disappointed. 

The stage of giving a player more is important (and growing in need), especially now. There are the bugs the glitches, yet when you add the congestion it comes down to the choice of limiting yourself to urban players, or give rural players options to play when there are too little. There is also the need to feed the beast (the players), they need to go to work, they need to be somewhere else and setting a stage where the player can optionally play a fitting mobile game (like Ubisoft did for AC Brotherhood) where the player can play to get a new unique 5 star blade, pistol, outfit or whatever. A stage that adds to the game, not replace it, or circumvent thresholds. Offer more, offer unique and they will love the brands they embrace even more. Machiavelli stated (in some form) “There is such a gap between how people actually live and how they ought to live that anyone who declines to behave as people do is schooling himself for catastrophe” it gives the setting for leaders to adhere to needs, but there is a hidden side here. “There is such a gap between how people expect rewards and how they should see them that anyone who declines to lead as people expects them to do is schooling himself for massive setbacks” It comes down to the stage of what exactly is a reward, if it needs to be earned (not paid for) it will grow in value, and gamers are all about earning showing that they had the goods to play the game. As an example CDPR (makers of Witcher III) created an in-game game named Gwent, we got to play for extra’s and it became a separate game too, now that game makes well over a million dollars annually. People got into the game and now it is a separate game that is leading gamers to more and the gamer has become willing to pay. The setting is that it is free and as people get into it they will spend the few dollars they need to get more cards and expansions. For streamers it is not that easy. The enticement of a monthly fee needs to be there, so as games add more value, the threshold for gaming THERE lowers and people become more eager to play and will play for all the free rewards, which is an oxymoron. As gamers get more by playing, they will play more and call other people to their cause. Yet we must not forget that at times the player needs a solitary moment and as systems accomodate that, the gaming borrow will become ever more comfortable. Consider the board game Man, don’t get angry (Indian: Pachisi). A 1914 game that so far has sold more than 70,000,000 copies. Yes most in an era that is pre IBM PC XT, yet we have always returned to places of comfort, for nostalgic reasons, for the simplicity of play and for the stage of pure randomness. You see too many games are all about changing the setting of what the dice do, too many are seemingly less random than we think and within ourselves we see that, even if the brain is not detecting it yet. You think it is chance that you are one square away from winning when the ‘computer adversarial pig’ throws double six? We automatically feel that it is bad luck because we see ‘dice’ but we forget it is a computer animation and that setting is starting to bite more and more, so the power of real randomness, of a real chance to win is becoming more and more important. In this as Amazon is developing games and Google is not, they have the advantage (I do not know where Netflix stands at present). And it is up to Amazon to create the most comfortable burrow (read: man cave) we can have before the competitors catch up. For now they are all about ‘Let Ubisoft do the cool stuff’ (glitches included), it is about comfort levels, especially in gaming. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote about this in 1513 (yes over 500 years ago). The greed driven seem to ignore it, the lesson was quite clear and whilst the greed driven come up with more versions of some form of Antón Castillo we can just investigate the list and see that games like Call of Duty did make $20 billion, but it is a mere 20% of what Pokemon made and Pokemon for the most is Nintendo only. There is an upside to tailoring to fun, it is what the people want and it is a lesson Microsoft (Sony too) have forgotten to much, too easily and too completely and it makes Nintendo the real threat to Sony, Amazon could go a similar route and surpass Microsoft more easily than they think (the fact that Microsoft is often in denial helps too). 

As I see it the consoles (streaming or not) is one, yet the ability to correctly connect a mobile or tablet has a lot more going for it than most realise and as that link is more and more visible the connected system (console or streamer) will reap additional rewards as well.

Just a thought, enjoy the day.

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An optional ignored path

It happens, we sometimes overlook it and it is not a bad thing, or an evil thing, it just happens. In the last week I have seen so many stories on Cyberpunk 2077 and the bugs that I wonder (after laughing on some of the Tik Tok issues), did we forget something? Some other articles made mention of this, as such, I am not alone, but for me this morning started when I looked into the Cyberpunk 2077 art book and saw what most forget, or optionally ignore.

Cyberpunk is a massive achievement. Yes, CDPR (CD Project Red) needs to be scolded for the bugs, but they did something incredible. They created a world, a world that only existed in the mind of William Gibson, who created cyberpunk with Neuromancer. The book is filled with game advertisements that set the tone “Real Water, only 99E$ /Gallon” with really small print disclaimers, yet the foundation is there, Cyberpunk is more than merely a game, it is close to a real sandbox where we see a new level of quality gaming (without the bugs), the art shows the people, the weapons, the ammo, the transports, it is more than nextgen, it is actual newgen, it is an attempt (so far not completed, or achieved) that sets Cyberpunk 2077 apart from all others and with the choices you make, you will be able to play, play again and play again, never being bored, because there are so many outcomes, options and choices to make. A game any developer could be proud of. The car brands, all new, but founded on brands and brand approaches to cars we see now, Herrera (Jaguar), Thorton (Tesla), a dozen brands all linking to what was, giving us what might be and the art never stops amazing, that is what we see and CDPR almost succeeded, so when the patch comes that changes it all, those who let go of their game will not be happy, I get it, they feel unhappy and they have every right to be, but I saw more, I will never let go of this game, it shows a world that William Gibson dreamed of and now the PS4/PS5 and its Microsoft equivalent get to show what could never be shown before. When the game is finally done, it ill be the greatest race towards VR that any game had ever achieved and then some. I just went through 192 pages of art, cyber advertisements and I see that CDPR did something wholly amazing and unequalled, when they get it right, they will surpass Witcher 3 by a fair amount and I never expected that to be possible. A (sort of) sandbox game that sets a new stage, because you can select stages to focus on, making the missions and optionally the outcome a different one, Net Running, Edge Running, Thuggery, corporate tools, the options are there and we limit or open to selections, something Bethesda never achieved (not their fault), so even as I understand ‘CD Projekt May Face Class Action Lawsuit From Investors’, where we learn that the attorney looking into the lawsuit is also an investor, we see a different stage, here we accept that CDPR is not proven innocent and that they might face issues, yet what all the shouters around the non-success at present fail to see is that this game is so much bigger than anyone saw coming, I wonder what would take the setting to be a successful one. In the first, just like I slapped Ubisoft, CDPR should not have released the game in this form, I will hold onto it, but I understand that others might not and that is a choice we all need to make, but the art book (I have the hint guide as well) shows that this game is more than some path walker, the makers tried to make something never seen before and if they fix the issues, they will do that and Cyberpunk 2077 will get a new narrative that ill hold for years and others will try to get close to this achievement, optionally forever failing. The difference with Ubisoft is that Ubisoft makes a new iteration (Breakpoint, AC Unity, AC Odyssey, AC Valhalla) and blows it, CDPR did something we had never seen before and blows it too, but the premise is already different. Ubisoft merely made version X, CDPR made version 0.8 and it is so much more than anything we had ever seen.

Yes, not ignoring the bugs, but beyond that is something new, something beautiful, beyond Ubisoft was merely more of the same and I expect that they will make the same mistake in FarCry 6. Yet when we see the Malorian Arms in Cyberpunk, we see something Heckler & Koch wishes that they had designed it. And all this and more is all over Night City, which is massively big. No matter how we slice it, and some will focus on the bugs, and I get it, they are there, what is also there is a diamond in the rough, a diamond unlike we have ever seen before, I just hope that enough will see that soon enough (after the new patches) to turn the tide around for CDPR, as fr as I can tell, even as I am happy to present, they might have been better off announcing a delay until February 2021. It might have been the best course of action for them at present.

One thing, and they might do it to make up to the gamers (if William Gibson agrees), get one of his stories, for example Neuromancer, or Johnny Mnemonic into the game and each chapter the gamer finds will opt for some skill enhancement, just an idea.

So at present, I merely did the intro, because I want to avoid the bugs and I am happy to wait, what I have seen clearly shows pure greatness (well the bug free edition anyway), it is a path some are ignoring and that is not their fault, or their shortcoming, it is their choice, and the bugs as they are makes whatever choice they make a valid one, I recognise that, yet after so much gaming mediocrity, I prefer to wait until there is a final version. As I see it definitely beats another iteration of Assassins Creed or Far Cry, yet not Watch Dogs, that one, apart from some glitches, they really got right.

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