Tag Archives: EA

The old debate

The BBC is hitting us with another version of a debate that has been going on for a while. The article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-61594815) gives us ‘Report blasts “manipulative” video game loot boxes’, first off, they are not lying to you, this is not misrepresentation. In this, I do not completely agree with the point of view of some. The article gives us “The contents of the virtual boxes are only revealed through either game play or by making a payment. While some contain useful tools or desirable extras which improve the experience, others are worthless.” These facts are true. There are two sides here. In the first, why allow for payment? It is the right of a person to buy something, we set ourselves up for that one. Yet in all this, the people who paid 12,000 euro for boxes. No one is debating the utter stupidity of these people. No one is debating that as an adult YOU are responsible for your actions. But the press was all about those poor poor junkies, weren’t they? The other issue is “others are worthless”, what makes the card worthless? It is a direct question. What makes a card worthless? In the NHL game, there are functional cards (stadiums and players), there are cosmetic cards (outfits) and there are support cards, so what makes a card worthless? Then we get “The report authors, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), say gamers are being “manipulated” into spending large sums of money on the chests.” I have an issue with that. Which games were they? How was there manipulation? The NHL game gave card packs on milestones, and there were a lot of milestones. In addition, you got three free packs a day, and if you connected to the game (logged in) often enough, you got enough markers (there is one in EVERY pack) to exchange those markers for an expanded pack, giving you 12 or even 20 cards. The packs also had a betting coin card. One per pack and these funds allowed you to bid for other cards. Within 3 months I had all the stadiums, all the NHL jerseys and hockey masks, as well as over 100 players. I NEVER spend a cent, this was all free. So please tell me “How was I manipulated into spending large sums of money?” There are always the stupid people who want it all on day one, is that the fault of the game maker? Is it THEIR responsibility for the stupidity of others? The next part of my disagreement is seen in “Critics say the boxes are a form of gambling because players cannot see what they have actually bought until after they have paid to open the contents”. In this it is important to see WHY I disagree. You see in CCG games like Magic, Star Trek, Star Wars, The lord of the rings and more we see that a pack has one rare (optionally one super rare), 2-3 uncommon cards and the rest are common. This is a set formula. So if a game set has 50 rare cards, you would be buying at the very least 50 packs. The optional rest is gotten through swapping with other players at events and at tournaments. It is NOT gambling because one element is missing. The element of gambling is that you lose everything, so until there is a pack where you get all blank cards stating “Thank You!”, it is NOT gambling. You always get a set equation, you always get something. It makes it not gambling. 

In this I oppose the setting of “Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy at the NCC, said: “The sale and presentation of loot boxes often involve exploiting consumers through predatory mechanisms, fostering addiction, targeting vulnerable consumer groups and more.”” Yet there is a sparkly of truth here too and I do not deny it. Players like Electronic Arts played the exploitative element too much in FIFA, it backfired. There is exploitation, especially when the complete pack contains 10,000 players. However I disagree with the ‘predatory mechanism’ part. There is a whole range of predators on YouTube with there ‘card reveal’ channel, there “Do this to get something for free” and that is never a good thing, but these groups did not separate the exploiters from the makers, did they? Lets be clear the makers are not freshly white innocent. Only the people from Mass Effect 3 who introduced these loot-boxes in their multi player element, they were phenomenal and massively innocent. Others used that stage to make big money. 

The article ends with “But the same year Fortnite-maker, Epic Games, decided to let players in its hit video game see what was inside its llama loot boxes before deciding whether to buy them.” And their case agains Apple gained traction. I believe that the Epic Games people are the lest innocent, and their setting will have long term repercussions, it is only a matter of time. The one element not seen was given to us by Android: Netrunner. They gave us a different setting making it fair all around, the expansions were all the same price and always had the same cards, so there was only one pack to buy (once a month). It allowed for a smoother and fair game stage. In addition, the CCG world has something called factory sets. They were slightly different (like a silver border) but that was the only difference. A factory set contained ALL the cards of a game. The game was instantly fully playable, but they do tend to come later. So EA had the option to release a factory set half way through the season, but they did not, did they? Is it on EA? That would be a fair question, and I do not know the answer, merely my feeling in this. Is there a larger exploitation? Yes, but not all of it is on the makers. YouTubers were all over their FIFA cards and the more bang the better their bucks and the numbers of their followers, but we do not see that here either.

The BBC (as well as Tom Gerken) never lie to you, yet I have issues with the article as I have issues with the setting of it. The players HAVE a responsibility and some are pushing it on EA (and others) and the media aided them, which is not fair either. All this is merely my point of view, so feel free to disagree.

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IP intoxication

Yup, this just happened to me. I will try to be as clear as possible, yet I cannot say too much. It all started as I was contemplating new RPG IP, not entirely new, it was to be added to the RPG game that I have been giving visibility to on this blog. As I was considering parts in the economy to interact with the play world my thoughts skipped to Brendan Fraser. I was rethinking some parts of Encino Man (with Sean Astin aka Rudy), as well as The Mummy (with Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan). At some point the mint was drawing a line and even as additional IP came to mind, I ignored it as this would be Ubisoft territory. But the line became and as such my mind saw an interaction that has NEVER EVER been done in RPG gaming before. It would be optionally the stage for Sony, but it seems that streamers (Amazon Luna) had a much better grasp of the option. To get this added in a game would imply that the game would require module of machine learning and deeper learning. Now that is not so odd. A multitude of RPG games have some kind of NPC AI in play (to coin a phrase), but to add this to the character as a side setting has to my knowledge never been done before and the added options would give it more traction towards gamers. There are a few more sides, I discussed that in part in ‘Mummy and Daddy’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/19/mummy-and-daddy/), so well over a year ago (March 19th 2021). There I made mention of “it is basically, to some degree the end of the linear quest person, it is a stage never seen before and I believe that whomever makes that game to the degree we see will make that developer a nice future stage as a new larger development house, and as Micro$oft learns that they lost out again, perhaps they will take the word of gamers against that of business analyst claiming to be gamers.” Additional sides that connect and in this not only has it never been done before, it seems that whomever adds this to their RPG will have additional sides that Bethesda (the company that Microsoft paid $7,500,000,000 for) comes up short on. It feels intoxicating. To have several options in a game that none of the others ever did or contemplated. And now I see that there is more to it all. There is in part a side that touches towards IP Bundle 3 I have, something that could bring Amazon billions (but with a small amount of risk). Yet I never considered it as a side of a game, well to some degree. So as the mind is connecting idea to idea, evolve IP into IP+ and a multitude of IP’s I merely wonder why the others (Google and Amazon) are not on this page already. Google seems to driven to advertise its nest security, Amazon is doing whatever (clothing stores and trying to buy EA), but as I watch the news, and the deeper news that the news will not give us, I see an absence of true innovation in games. In a sense I wonder what is wrong with me, you see I have never been this ahead of any envelope before. 

I tried to explain it in the past. You see there is a side where gaming is, most games are in that ‘light’ circle and the bar is set to the edge. Now there is an area outside the gaming area and that is the area of what is possible, this is where innovation is. the really good games (like Horizon: Forbidden West) are in part there, and they are not alone. The real AAA games are in part there, they are coding there now because it is what will be possible tomorrow, the darker circle is what future games will see as ‘current technology’ that is how games have evolved and that has not changed. I went a step beyond that, I went where tomorrow games are currently not and I set out a slice of gaming heaven and decided to add this to the upcoming technology. There are two dangers. The first is that it has a danger of being delusional. The second is that not all technology can get there. The second one is simple. I see the streamers as a stepping stone to what will be possible in for example the PlayStation 6. A (for the lack of a better term) a hybrid streamer. A fat client client/server application in gaming. One that needs a real power player, but that is not possible UNTIL there is a national deployed 5G network. I believe Amazon Luna and Google Stadia need to get to that point, it is what is required in the evolution of gaming. So there are these two dangers, but is the first danger mine? I do not believe that to be as my mind can clearly see the parts required, but that is the hidden danger of a delusional mind. In my defence I have been involved in gaming since 1984 (connections to Mirrorsoft and Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Virgin Games at the time), so I have been around since the very beginning of games. My mind has seen a mountain of true innovator and innovations. As such I feel I am awake and on top of it. But the hidden trap is there and as such, one can never stop to question your own abilities to avoid falling into the first trap.

But for now I feel intoxicated, and not a drop of alcohol in me, innovation can be that overwhelming. This is why the previous article remains under construction. It has a lot to do with Texas, the ATF and the NRA. I wrote about that before as well and interesting enough the media seems to avoid that side to a much larger degree, with the one or two exceptions I mentioned in a previous article. I wonder why that is. Do you not?  Well time to sign off, snore like a sawmill and get ready for the new day which is already here.

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The rock on the road

This is not entirely new. I wrote about it in ‘The Ai setting’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/16/the-ai-setting/), it was back in 2020. Yet I did not put everything there. Merely the outline. You see, the people need to realise two things. The first is that even as the Amazon Luna and the Google Stadia are seen as consoles. They are not. It is a new stage of gaming, it is a new dimension of gaming and they are fitted for very different games. To give a comparison, consider Horizon: Forbidden West. An excellent game, a near perfect game. Now consider that the Stadia and the Luna would allow that game, but with the ENTIRE continental United States as a map, boggles the mind, does it not? That map still needs to be filled, so it would be an achievement of well beyond titanic proportions. That is the stage we are about to see. That is the fear Microsoft has, because it cannot comply with that level of gaming, it goes beyond what they and the companies they buy are capable of. Did you think I was kidding that I have a setting that allows for 50,000,000 more consoles to be bought? But it is not about that, it is about EA and the Mass Effect stage. I Vought it, just like many more. The music was overwhelming, the stage was well beyond nice and after that the disappointment set it. It was a decent enough story, but consider the screen below. It is the first view we get of the Nexus and consider ‘all’ what you saw, that does it? 

Mass Effect™: Andromeda_20220507124243

There was a whole dimension of gaming overlooked. A whole range of gaming ignored and stepped away from. What could have been one for the ages became mediocre. What could have been a 90%+ game ended up being a mediocre 71% rating. 

The New stage
From the image we get three new stages. fabricators, initiators, launchers and replicators. The fabricators make elementals (like titanium and steel sheets and pipes). The initiators create more advanced materials like wiring, solar panels and a few other things. The replicators create industrial and scientific materials for equipment. They all need materials to work and the launchers create robots that facilitate. Three levels. Level one drones can do the simple stuff, the second level drones have also acquired the wiring and panelling stage and the third level can command level 2 and one drones in groups of 10 or 25. Now consider that image again. Miles to overcome. So whilst you have missions, that part almost flies itself, as you find more materials more can grow and the nexus will enable a lot more. 

A stage that was out in the open and it was neglected. It also gives a larger stage of what equipment and what scientific information becomes available, it was all wiped under the carpet.

Now we see the worlds Eos and Voeld, places where materials can be found (and in other places too) but by adding two unique materials (like Quartz on Voeld) we see a staggered increase, we see a much larger game unfold.

How to get there
I still believe that relaunching Mass Effect Andromeda with the added stuff, with the altered stuff and with the new stuff is the way to go. There is a lot of good in MEA, and a lot more could be added. Not finding the memories, they are a joke (and a waste of time) yet having them on the Nexus makes sense. How are we in a stage where copying games, doing the same thing makes us better? The streaming consoles are about getting farther, about going the distance plus and then we can have a lot more oft he same. It is not a flaw in your PS5, it is not a flaw in whatever console you chose, it is because Streamers can go further, it is a new generation because that is what they were made for, to set a new stage and when full 5G comes out over the next few years you could be seeing this, but only if Google and Amazon take the baton and push harder, because they can. So when you see a rock on the road, will you trivialise it, will you ignore it or will you see that you missed something?

And it is time you realise this. 

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Gaming without frustration

This is where I found myself this weekend. After facing a game where I had to watch 50 advertisements to get it to go along (and deleted it immediately afterwards) my mind started to take a journey towards the good old days. The days of Dungeon Keeper (1 and 2), the days of good gaming (and a few other titles). You see the old games had a decent setup and Dungeon Keeper better than most. The game got massacred by idiots at EA, yet the concept is good enough to make it into a decent mobile game. 

Gates for Heroes
In the first we need to turn this upside down, so that former Bullfrog people do not go nuts.
In the first we need a chaos gate, a gate where the dastardly come forth. This gate can come forth in different places, but always next to a gem brasier the gem brasiers cannot be destroyed and cannot be approached to closely. To get the setting of ‘chase’ we need to have more than one stage. People (villagers), buildings and shops. Like the archaic Missile Command we need to keep the places safe. We have a map and in the beginning we do not know where the fiends come from. As I am a firm believer in randomisers, we never know where the enemy comes from. This creates a little stress. But we also have an upside. Every race has its hero’s and we get the first hero, but there too I want to stop predictability.

So lets make a little list

Dwarves – Baragor
Humans – Astolfo
Elves – Amakir

Orcs – Mobrukk
Wizards – Merlin
Lizards – Komodo

Gnomes – Aripine
Trolls – Archimonde
Satirs – Orthius

Centaurs – Alduris

Lets think in groups of three. The first level the gate might start in the dark, but there is a town, so choices need to be made. The hero is there and the first setting needs merely people (Dwarves, Humans, Elves). The hero is a lot stronger but needs support, so the first thin you need to do is create a dwelling, tactically placed. As the hero fights the opponents, he (or she) gets weaker and when too weak the hero fades (and regenerates), so the dwelling will release a basic dwarf, Human or Elf every few seconds. A lot weaker they are all needed to fight the opponents and the larger station is that they might be strong against some types, they are weaker against others. So the proper fight needs to be set. In addition when the hero is surrounded by its own kinds it regenerates, whilst the basic creatures are 10%-35% stronger. As we upgrade their dwelling, we can push from 10% towards 25%. And as we get to deeper levels we see new horrors and new challenges. With all that is out there, it took me seconds to come up with this idea and there is more to this. As we use a randomising of gender, of names, the game could delight for a long time. A wicked way to spend some time crushing the armies of darkness. And in the stage of three, we could randomise them too, so that every new level has a basic new face, and as the levels go on and the gates start in different places, the village will evolve differently. A game that has a renewing look every time you play a new game. How fun is that?

So many options and so little time. Ah well, lets see what I can come up with next. At present I am ahead with a dozen games, three TV projects, an optional movie, 4 pieces of 5G IP and a few other stages (a few to kick Microsoft in the teeth), we cannot ignore our civic duty can we?

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Abbreviations

We all see them, we all use them and we all think we use the same ones. Yet when we take a look at ‘Games as a Service (GaaS) Market to See Huge Growth by 2028 | Netflix, Microsoft, Sony’ (at https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/games-as-a-service-gaas-market-to-see-huge-growth-by-2028-netflix-microsoft-sony) we see a decent story and it all seems to fit, yet when we see the list “The study includes market share analysis and profiles of players such as Blizzard Entertainment, RIOT, Netflix, Microsoft, Sony, Tencent, Activision Blizzard, Sega, Electronic Arts & Ubisoft” with the optional ‘attached sample PDF’ did you think you were getting the goods, or did you think you were catered to with “If you are a Games as a Service (GaaS) manufacturer” and at every turn you are seeing the mention of ‘digital journal’. So what gives? Well in the first instance this Games as a Service ploy is that, a ploy (for now) and it sets the largest upheave long before 2028. The largest settings will come to blow in 2024/2025. And the entire station of market share sets a longer approach. You see, there is still no way to see where Netflix is going at present. Their ‘stated’ indications are nice, but when you also hear sounds like “Research firm Ampere isn’t convinced that subscription services like Game Pass are taking over gaming.” We need to realise we are hearing merely one voice, and I get it, but it is the setting of what some call ‘dog eat dog’ that matters. Microsoft, Ubisoft, Netflix and EA will head for a fight, a fight for population and subscribers. Some have advantages, some have potential overzealous fans and some have merely hope. The issue is that these players will fight EACH OTHER for market share. And yes some of the mentioned players are all Microsoft, but that does not make Microsoft the larger player, it makes for a splintered one and in the end they all fight for ones self. Sony and Tencent have their own worries. They are both a lot stronger, but there is a station that polarisation will happen by 2025 and these two will have the numbers and the share. The second issue is not merely the setting here.

Consider the following names Games as a Service, Games as a System, Software as a Service, Systems as a Service, and all this before we consider Function as a Service (FaaS), Container as a Service (CaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) and it is more than some ‘hyped’ and quick mention of names towards a category. The larger stage becomes when the players start mixing the terms to get the audience to ‘flip’ in space to be part of such a community. It sounds nice, but it is not, it merely makes the water muddy. Tencent and Sony are not part of this because they have a setup, they have the setup, the hardware and the population, more important they are not in each others way. You see Ubisoft is on its way out, that much has been visible for almost two years. When Ubisoft did not deliver on quality they were going for their GamePass approach and they are coming up short, now that they are all over Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and the consoles they are merely running a steeplechase of patch after patch and they are coming up short per game and per system and it is taking it toll. To get ahead of the game they need near flawless games. Three at the least and they need them before 2023 and that is not in the cards, so they are merely one bad release away from death. EA has its own following and it is a decent following, but their games have issues, larger issues, not deadly ones, but serious ones. The problems for EA is to manage service levels to a higher standard and they seem to come up short (for now), their largest issue is clear communication and to FOCUS on games, one at a time to make them all better, more stable and less ‘issue prone’ that part is hard but doable. If their board does not fold under pressure from the other dogs they could be in a good place by 2024. By that time EA and Microsoft will be contemplating what to do with Ubisoft, because it is too far behind. At that same time Tencent and Sony will have the advantage and neither will have a clue where Nintendo will be, because if Games as a Service becomes a thing, Nintendo will be the quiet one gathering population with a strong system. Microsoft might want to trivialise them away but the rest will not. They lack the larger station that Sony and Tencent has, but Nintendo is creeping up on them and this article has no mention of Nintendo, do they? Yet by 2025 Nintendo will be a powerhouse and Netflix is nowhere near ready to take on the large three players. Microsoft is about buying whatever is out there, but from the 90’s onwards that approach has been devastating on all who attempted it. Yes, it makes for headlines but it lacks results and that is what we have been seeing for a little too long with Microsoft. It cannot maintain its posture in the current setting and when it starts its GamePass as collateral for population, we are more than likely get to see the downturn of it all and it does reflect my position of ‘dog eat dog’.

And these are the players vying for the attention of the gamers, all whilst they cannot decide who is the better provider or what gamers actually want and there too the big three (Sony, Tencent and Nintendo) will have the advantage. The problem I see is that a lot of this will be decided long before 2028 and in all this Amazon is not mentioned either. They too have a stake and could become on of the big four leaving Microsoft in fifth place at best and that is if everything goes their way, which so far has not be the case. And whilst most of them are hiding behind abbreviations the big four (Tencent, Sony, Nintendo and Amazon) will grow its population and cater to the one element that was central in all this, the gamer, not the process.

That is my issue with this article, that was my issue with some of the players. They stopped catering to the GAMER and started to cater to the image of SELF. I will let you make up your mind. There is time, this does not need to polarise in any one brain for at least a year. The largest game in all this are the players and the game they play, not the games they produce that too is an advantage the big three have over the other players at present. 

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Call of the brain

Weird, I am not done with one idea and another one pops to mind. I started this in the article ‘The setting of what might be’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/27/the-setting-of-what-might-be/) which I wrote on the 27th of February 2022. I had an idea for a torpedo that incapacitates submarines. Yet for some reason the stage of the why eluded me. So in comes a simple marine biologist, a simple devoted husband who gets into the middle of a crossfire with his wife and you guessed it, the lady does not make it and she was pregnant too (for dramatic moments). So out goes the timid loveable husband and future father and in comes Mr Hyde, a man with no sense of normal. As the officials (one side of the equation) are in all kinds of denials and the need to classify so that they can continue being dicks is thrown at him, he man loses it completely and decides to get even. It is later (not stated why) and we see the peaceful village of Saint-Jérôme in Quebec Canada. We see the same man and he has grown a beard. He seems driven and weirdly enough he has stacks of pucks and as we see him working on a torpedo we see he has something planned, but not what is planned. We see more moments of him, practicing shooting (with a silencer), knives and a blackjack. An older man (his father) is training him, day after day whilst he spends several evening hours each day tinkering on his torpedo. 

We then get a moment shot in some hospital, one of the people in the shootout is there. Guarded by what seems to be federal officers. It is clear the man is not happy, he is not a guest. Then on one side of the hospital our ‘hero’ comes back into play. Now with a goatee, his hair coloured grey walking careful with a cane. He walks into the elevator and his demure changes to active. He takes the elevator to the third floor, walks through the corridors to the part he needs to be. He is one floor too high and that was planned for. He leaves a plastic bag and takes the stairs down and carefully scans for what he needs to see, then he sees what he was waiting for. A team is getting on the elevator. He keeps his distance and sees that only the agents, five of them go on board. He takes out one of the pucks presses hard in the centre and rolls the puck into the elevator just as the doors close. He walks away, there is no seemingly no sound. He then goes to the room where the man is, there are two agents, he quickly shoots them and walks in. He looks upon the man who is clearly scared aims and pulls the trigger, the man is dead and he goes back exactly the way he came in, picks up the plastic bag and goes to the other end now revealing the flowers he is carrying. He stops short to get into a bathroom and washes out the grey, he is almost his self again.

This is merely the start, you see we need to get to the story, but how to go about it? There is a need to get the action in the beginning and the crossfire is that, yet from there we need a different stage, a memento stage if I was to give it a name. It is a similar stage that the movie Anna uses and it makes sense to do so. It is not to ‘reveal’ the twist, it is because if the movie plays chronological the sizzle falls flat, a soufflé without the captured air and the air would be part of the story. So how to continue. You see, the ‘simple’ solution is to set the story to some ‘corrupt’ official, but I think it is too easy and it has been done too often. There could be connected issues with industrials (the expected way), yet the larger stage is not any of them. Sometimes shit happens, it is merely that simple. They were merely ‘in the way’ and to set that stage we can use it as an explanation, or we can see it as a twist. That part I am still working on, but I got most of this in less than 12 hours. I wonder if I can get that same range of $130,000-$600,000. We can all dream and so can I. Anyway, with all the shit in the world, I thought I remain creative for a little while. We can always write the gunk of spunk that goes to the junk after all the hostilities are gone. In that setting (just sidestepping it all), has anyone figured out why EA removed all the Russian teams from FIFA? I reckon it is to save their loot-boxes and microtransactions. I reckon that America is pushing towards a new McCarthy era and in that stage an American paying money to get a Denis Cheryshev card will get rather upset. I reckon EA is scared their cash cow needs an overhaul. It is merely speculation, but I might be on the money there. What do you think?

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The new IP, the old stage

Yes, that is the station I found myself in this morning. It was not completely new to me, I did write about it in the past (too tired to find the exact article as I have written in excess of 2250 articles at present), but the stage is a little different now. Consider war (see the TV for specifics), we know it and it is now closer to many homes than it was months ago. But we nearly always played an EA or Ubisoft version with respawning NPC soldiers. What if the setting is staged finite and no spawning all over the place? What if the stage is London, Munich, Amsterdam or Paris? A stage where you get inserted into a random location and your war-zone is a 10 block radius from there. Google Maps has nearly every detail, so do other mapping solutions. And you could be defending, escorting local civilians and giving aid. You get no choice until you get to a certain rank. How long would YOU last? It is time to teach the gaming soldiers a little realism. And when you face that you think different on Call of Duty Beachhead with high realism. That is nothing! I think some people are catching on what it is like, somehow they take more notice on events in the Ukraine than they ever did in Yemen or Syria. I like games that have NEVER be done before. A lot of my IP is set to stages never done before and that is where we optionally see a side of gaming that is totally new and innovative. Others were there before you with other games (several examples in this year alone) and I believe that this is the way to go, whether it is a console or streaming system, innovation beats iteration EVERY. Time. 

And as these systems are more powerful, we get a setting where we can launch a game like that (or kart) in our own streets, redefining gaming realism acceptance on a few levels. I remember seeing Red Dawn, the Chris Hemsworth edition (I saw both editions) and when we see one of the kids state “We are living Call of duty and it sucks”, I heard someone giggle behind me stating that this would be cool. Yes, the response of a wannabe soldier. I however was in the Middle East, I saw what Hamas did, I saw the bodies. That wakes you up real fast and perhaps a game is not the worst setting to educate people. It has been done before and perhaps it is time to unite these elements. I don’t know, is it wisdom or folly to go that way? I honestly do not. On one side I am merely creating new IP, but I want something deeper in gaming IP, and amazing story (Horizons Forbidden West) is one way to go, when it goes to stories the game Portal (by Rob Swigart) is another direction and that can be equally fulfilling. Still there is a call, not one of duty, but one of fulfilment. We all have it, we want to plant our flag, set our footprint and leave some kind of legacy. When you are a dedicated gamer, we all want to be a Sid Meier, a Peter Molyneux or a Richard Garriott. Not everyone are driven to release mutant camels and that is fair, but where we will be going (streaming systems) and what is possible is almost at the touch and I personally think it is important to push Microsoft out of this market before there way remains the only gaming-less option.  The problem is that it would have been easier if Google had taken up some form of game creation department and with the fact that gaming revenue is predicted to be $138,000,000,000 by 2023 is something that seems overwhelmingly attractive, but that is me and for now my idea to sell 50,000,000+ systems remain under lock and key (on a cloud location far far from home). But it is merely one direction and there are plenty of other directions, the revenue speculation opens those doors and even as a large chunk is set to microtransactions, the people are seemingly fed up with the EA and Ubisoft stage of microtransactions. I also gave a few other options (go look for them) and they are largely set to streaming systems. So is there an upside to THIS IP I now mentioned? No, it is merely another road one could wander, and it is here because I cannot wander them all and I am handing my ideas for free use to Amazon and Sony developers. It is a choice I made as Google decided not to create games. The old stage is seemingly fading, or at least I think it is fading, and what is around the corner is almost within reach and it will be bright and exciting, that is what I think, you might think different and rely on great franchises (like Gran Turismo) to set your beaker of desire. That is fair, gaming is what YOU want it to be, I merely want there to be alternatives for you to consider trying.

That’s how I roll.

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Speculative design

Many do this at times. We look at something and we think ‘What if we move part N to location X?’ It is a perfectly valid idea and it keeps a brain active and in creative mode, which tends to be good for several reasons. So I was busy thinking things out, in one it is the side of pushing another IP towards public domain, it is too soon, but not by much. So the mind started to wander. The first part was the new trojan that the NSO group is suspected off (see previous story), the second was a line in the West Wing (which I am watching again during the lockdown plus curfew. There we hear about a pen designed for NASA that works upside down, one mentions that Russia solved it by using a pencil. You might not think it, but it is actually an important part. So as these elements rolled in my mind, I wondered on adding a setting (just to piss off the Iranians) in a stage to get two for the price of one, they do use Russian hardware. As such I thought that we need a few clever boffins and as such the people should call on the NSA (No Such Agency). What if we find a way to introduce a hippocampus to the hardware? A hippocampus is a trojan that is submerged (in this case) into the firing solutions. You see at some point a target needs to be setup and that moment the link becomes a weak link. You see not all systems have additional redundant systems and I am willing to bet that Iran has the latest hardware, but not every internal system is up to the latest standard. Implying that we can add something. So what if these missiles would then automatically start to be set to point X plus 1-10 miles? A submerged trojan horse might pull that off. There are a few questions that require me to have a lot more firing system knowledge. Yet when we consider the elements rocket-firing solution-guidance, we might see that the firing solution will be the easiest transgression and these systems do require to get to a base. A solution  that will hit EVERY firing system by infecting all the systems and the infection stays where it is until it fires and then it becomes a nice 4th July showtime. And there is a nice secondary part, the person firing is the one hitting ones self. Passive aggression in full view. 

So is my view realistic? I do not know, I do not care. I merely try to design a way to stop players like Iran and I will use any way possible. All whilst politicians make claims to do something and after spending truckloads on funds on long exclusive trips that tends to include a few 5 star hotels, I on the other hand, sitting on my sofa came up with ideas that had no cost, merely a few dimes of electricity. One works in whatever way the brain gets to be (more) creative. It was the same path I followed when I designed a way to push a  meltdown in the Iranian nuclear plants. OK, I also engineered two additional valve ideas and when I file for these I might get a few additional dollars as well. I do know that these solutions are pure concept, there is no guarantee it will work. But it keeps my brain busy and if it doesn’t work, it might make for a nice additional part to some TV series or movie. The creative brain can come up with a dozen ideas, just be ready that it ends up where it was not expected to go. You might find that funny and it is, but when you consider how books, games and movies got an infusion of brilliance. You merely have to consider how they got to be. Games like Ultima 3 became inspirations to a lot more RPG games (made by other makers). The EA game ShadowCaster was by way too many overlooked, yet when you see “the 49th best computer game of all time, calling it “an admirable attempt to show that RPGs don’t have to be boring””, so why was this game not remastered and redesigned for consoles and streamings? In that same light we can review all kinds of neglected hardware and see just how creative we could get with it. Everyone is so busy in making things not work that they overlook the option to make it hurt the activator and not the target. Perhaps we need to instil the need for people who work for no such agency to get better acquainted with gaming. You might not realise it but games have been on the fringe of hardware for at least 3 decades, optionally even longer and even as some ‘embrace’ that nowadays games are more advanced, people forget that the CBM-64 and Atari ST allowed for games that were often not possible, yet the game makers found a way around their limitations. Consider a game like Impossible mission (Epyx) and the fact that this game can still be enjoyed on an 8 bit system by any number of gamers today, and they got that done on a system with a mere 38KB, it can equal a game that requires an 8GB system, so there!

There are of course a few more ideas, but it is about the concept of working with limits. I ned not explain this to programmers, but some of them will grab an Azure SDK and start from there. We forget that that same company gave us the Microsoft Assembler. Azure solutions start at 765 kilo bits, whilst assembly gives us one of the smallest useful programs for a mere 4 bytes. It is not merely what solution is used, it is about what limitations can be used to our advantage and as a snow-globe gave me the idea to meltdown a reactor, an assembly program used to overcome some security on an EA game (8 bytes) might be the path to set the firing point of the Qiam-1 to the destination point as firing point + 10000 if the destination is measured in metres. At times we forget that having more space does not work, it requires limitations to give us the creativity we required to get it done.

Just my 2 bytes on the matter.

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The Lawyer wins, the law loses

Yes, it is a stage that we will be seeing soon enough. As the lawyer wins, the law loses and tht is just the beginning. As we see ‘Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle’ (source: Australian Financial Review) there is a secondary stage that comes up. It is not immediately clear, but someone gave the reader by Jeff Dotzler in GC Consulting in 2019 ‘Will You Get Sued if Your Business is Hacked?’ There we see “Even though the company was able to restore the records, one of the affected clients, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, sued Allscripts in federal court. Surfside accused Allscripts of not doing enough to prevent the attack or lessen its impact and sued on behalf of all affected clients for “significant business interruption and disruption and lost revenues.”” Now consider that ‘significant business interruption’ can be replaced with ‘game score disruption’, a stage I saw coming a mile away. Epic Games did not  consider the stupidity of their actions and now, should they win they will soon face several, if not well over a dozen class cases. They cannot make some ‘we are not responsible draft’, the moment ANYONE at Google or Apple squeals the setting of the hack and it comes with the accompanied ‘We could have prevented that’ Epic Games is lost, it will cost them billions in settlements and lawyer costs. If you doubt that, consider ‘SolarWinds says unknown hackers exploited newly discovered software flaw’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/solarwinds-says-unknown-hackers-exploited-newly-discovered-software-flaw-2021-07-12/), so they just got out of one mess only to land in a new one and these people have a decently simple system, Epic Games will have to spend on protection that is several levels higher and I feel decently certain that it is not enough. The moment any profile is transgressed on whilst there was a purchase, that is the game, loss Epic Games and loose they will, a lot. 

Even as we are told “SolarWinds said the flaw was “completely unrelated” to last year’s hack of government networks”, it will not matter, another flaw is found and there is every chance that more than one will still be found. In this Forbes gives us ‘Why SolarWinds Is The Wakeup Call No One Heard’, it comes with “everyone talks a good game, but the very structure of American (and other businesses around the globe) makes it nearly impossible to, for example, deliberately and significantly reduce EBITDA to prepare for cyber warfare” and when you consider that EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. You see the problem, it is not all, it is earnings before interest and depreciation that bites, earnings before interest is all earnings with cost diminishing this and too many corporate players tend to cut cost. In some cases they have no choice in the cloud a lot does not matter but it is transgressed on (according to some numbers) for almost 90%. And when you add that Amortisation is merely anther view of  depreciation the path is clear. Steve Andriole also gives us “The number of severity of cyberattacks will explode in 2020.  Cyberwarfare has now levelled the playing field in industry, in government, and in national defence:  why spend ten or fifteen billion dollars on an aircraft carrier when you can disable it digitally?” You think that this is about defence? Do you have any idea what 50 million whining gamers can do? EVERY ransomware player will target Epic Games and with an open Android and iOS setting they will succeed. I saw this when this all started in 2020 within 5 minutes, the short sightedness will hit Epic Games and others in a few ways. Think I am BS’ing you?  Consider that several sources gave you a month ago “Hackers Stole 780GB Data Including FIFA 21 Source Code in EA Hack” and EA has been in this game a lot longer than Epic Games has been. That is not evidence, but it is a setting that we need to consider and when Epic Games loses that data the class actions start, and it is not something that they can keep quiet (apart from that being a crime), the people will talk and the parties involved, including government parties will find a nice letter making claim to financial losses. The law source (see above) also gives us a link to the Ohio Data Protection Act. There we see “Under the law, damages cannot be imposed if a state court finds your company had a reasonable cybersecurity plan when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability. Or, as the legislation puts it, the law is “an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.”” In this I offer ‘reasonable cybersecurity plan’, was it followed through? Was there a backup if it fails, was there consideration for cross platform transgressions? In this last part I offer to the older programmers 

IF(clipper)
  
ELSE

   …
ENDIF

Those who know will nod and consider what else Epic Games and others have forgotten, what happens when someone exploits a Sony flaw over the entire system, and at that point these companies have little to no protection. 

Which gets us to ‘when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability’, but the suing side will argue that the breach could have been prevented on day zero, or even day -1, which will be their way of saying that they opened the system when they were not ready and that is another billion in class actions right there, and I agree with the stage that there will be enough cases that have no bering (just like the loot box cases in the media), yet Epic Games will have to hand to their lawyers to investigate them all, the hours alone will rake up millions and that is merely year one. The lawyer wins his bread and butter for a year (at the very least) and the law is up the creek without a clause. The law was never ready for this, so the going will be good towards the coffers of Epic Games, a looting box that requires time, not money. 

So when we go back to Forbes and consider “When I took the results to the CFO (to which technology weirdly reported), his only question was, “what’s all this going to cost me?,” which of course was the wrong question.” We see there setting, but I wonder who gave that same question to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with the question ‘What will this cost the firm?’, a question that he can decently predict when he considers 1-5 class actions and that result has to be scary and any consideration of future profit goes straight out of the window, not merely the legal costs, marketing will have to offer a whole range of products and services to stem the tide of people leaving for the next safer harbour, the most dangerous of all settings, and that is merely the beginning of year one as Android and iOS stores open. Forbes also gives a reference to Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine, 2019) said about why governments have been unwilling to deal with cyberthreats: “More fundamentally, governments haven’t been willing to sign on to cyberwar limitation agreements because they don’t want to limit their own freedom to launch cyberattacks at their enemies.  America may be vulnerable to crippling cyberattacks carried out by its foes, but US leaders are still hesitant to hamstring America’s own NSA and Cyber Command, who are likely the most talented and well-resourced hackers in the world.” And this is not a government setting, Epic Games will be hit be greed driven and vengeance driven hackers as well as organised crime, a %5 billion company? With the state of cybercrime convictions? They are definitely on board. A stage Epic Games could have prevented from the start, but someone saw 30% of $5,000,000,000 and did the math, but whoever did the math was not ready for the tidal wave they would be inviting through that choice. In this, Forbes had one more gem, it comes from Nicole Penroth and ‘The hubris of American exceptionalism’, when we see “More hacking, more offence, not better defence, was our answer to an increasingly virtual world order, even as we made ourselves more vulnerable, hooking up water treatment facilities, railways, thermostats and insulin pumps to the web, at a rate of 127 new devices per second”, now consider that Fortnite is on Windows, MacOS, Switch, Sony, Microsoft, iOS and Android, they drew more than 125 million players in less than a year, do you think that there will be no flaws? And how many devices a second will that add to the equation? Do you have any clue what level of protection is required, even as Sony, Solarwinds, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been hacked even though they had nowhere near that level of complexity required. This was a dangerous situation from the start and gamers will soon have to seriously consider to remove any program that has an ‘open’ store, the cost will be too high for a lot of them. 

And that is not all, as Nicole spoke about ‘an increasingly virtual world’ the danger that open stores will mean that you either have a dedicated computer, or healthcare and safety products will not be considered to be insured in your house, when that happens we get a whole new level of nightmare, I can only imagine that setting, but I am clueless as to the impact, we cannot oversee that, not with an evolving IoT and 5G evolving before our very eyes.

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New and reinforced

It all started a few hours ago, I decided not to write about the Canadian catholics, because I am too angry, some Bishop Bittman in Nelson asking for patience, we see (source: CBC) “Bittman says those buried in the unmarked graves may also include staff members of the schools”, yes, unmarked graves holding hundreds of unregistered teachers. Their families are all about dumping their carcasses in unmarked graves. Then we see “It’s coming out quite clear now tuberculosis, for example, was rampant around that time, and we know that there was overcrowding in the school”, yes, hundreds of unmarked graves, no notification to officials, as such catholic schools are not just murderous, they are stupid as well? I am in awe of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, I personally would have scalped the whole lot of them years ago. But this is not about me, and it is not about Canada. As I was venting the rage within me I decided to browse YouTube and I cam across something I had seen before. It is a comparison of space ships from movies, games and TV series. I had seen it before but I looked again and two thoughts (optionally three) became the foundation. The first was seeing the Citadel (Mass Effect series). I was strengthened that my thoughts are still seemingly correct, EA screwed up Mass Effect Andromeda to the largest degree, and I am not sure if they can fix it, moreover the original trilogy is seemingly proving me right. So as the ships and stations pass by two places peak interest, the O4 (Halo), which might have some real life application when you consider the structural advantage that a circle has and the second one is Elysium, the station from the movie with an irradiated Matt Damon. Now consider that we find a station with a 25 mile diameter? Now some shoot them up, but a station with issues, dilemma’s and faults, abandoned for no one knows what reason and you arrive there. A station 1:1 in size and built to size, as such it will only work on a streaming system (for now). Stranded in a segment, trying to make sense of it all and not in some weird fabric way, no a station with systems, with computers with things to fix and as you go through that station you find records, books, recordings and you need to figure out what is what, a game that takes a year to complete, perhaps even longer. Do you have what it takes when it is not about the kill rate? What can be done when you get one robot fixed, then another and more. As you go through the systems, the station and the parts you can access, what more can you find? What more will you be able to do?

A game that I not a game, but it winks at places like the original SimCity, the original programs and we create a place where you work things out and learn. Would you like to learn about the foundations of hydroponics or actually use that knowledge to get a space station running again? And let’s face it, it had never been done before, that is well over half the fun of this and setting your record on your profile will fill you with a massive jolt of ego pleasure, when those around you are behind you, that is where the fun and pride take shape, a drive to be the better scientist, to be the better engineer and the greatest story collector. This is (for now) a streaming solution, to update millions of copies as things needs to improve is not a situation a console and its gamer want to endure, consider Ubisoft and Unity, if 14GB pisses you off, consider what 150GB will do and streaming has the server that keeps it all, the players will notice almost nothing. I wonder who will take a gander into the unknown first, Amazon or Netflix (Google is not developing in-house).

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