Tag Archives: EA

Unions

The thought took me by surprise. I had been playing Minecraft that day and the dream took me in a different direction, the merging of games. Now in the case of Minecraft this might merely be a DLC, or added to the game, but the stage opens up new directions in gaming.

To give you the rundown, I need to take you on a small trip. In my days of the Atari ST, the game ‘The Sentinel’ was released and I was happy, a remake was made in the late 90’s and it was awesome on PC, the music was fantastic and the game left an even deeper impression. The game is about a sentinel, it cleans the world, it rotates and nothing will survive in its gaze. It seems simple, but the 3D landscape is tricky and there are 1000 levels (if I remember correctly). So to win you need to get to the highest point and devour the Sentinel. The game is simple, but addictive and the PC edition even more so. But what happens when we take the Sentinel and make it massive, it cannot be devoured. Yet if you can get close to it, you could ‘attack’ it and get glowing bricks from it. The glowing bricks give the player powers. Blue will drop never ending water when active, red drops lava and so on. Yellow becomes a sun beacon. The Sentinel however changes the landscape it sees, and as such destroys your house, reduces it to rubble (with all the stuff still there. A rare event that changes the speed of the game and creates chaos. But that is merely one side, so what happens when we have BOTH games? We have thought of it and it does not always apply, but what happens when we have games from the same maker? For example AC Origin and AC Valhalla? They have implemented the cosmetic parts in later games, but what if we can push it both ways and more than just cosmetic? So Horizon Zero Dawn AND Horizon forbidden West? The games can be played separately, but what if we could unite these games? Add even more terrain? That is (optionally) the power of streaming games, streaming games will make this possible. 

It is a continuation of an idea I had in the past (and wrote about it). The original EA CBM64 game ‘Murder on the Zinderneuf’ now with a Bioshock look. Fully 3D, yet that is merely the start. For the Amazon Luna, the idea came for Luna keys, gold and silver. So when you play the game you could find a chess set, when found the option opens up to unlock THAT chess set in the game chess. It makes for a new setting of long term gaming. In addition, the idea came that could open up other games and other makeover of games. Like the game Clue, Harry Potter themes (if that was open to offer) and so on. In that same stage Assassins Creed 2 could offer a renaissance Italian chess set and so on. Not every game will offer this, but with every iteration that does we add value to gaming, we add interest in people who like to play chess to play other games. When you play the new version of ‘Murder on the Zinderneuf’ a game like monopoly would suddenly get an additional playable token (the Hindenburg) and it is that interaction that gamers will become hungry for and they will play more, enjoy more and experiment more. The power of streaming games is not unlocked for the simple reason that the game owners are merely looking to ‘copy’ their game on a new platform, to get more names, more players but no one is looking in creating better players, more fun and more joy. It is seemingly past them.

It is a stage that needs to be looked at now, because the new makers of systems are looking in that direction and there is no price for second place. As I see it The Tencent Streaming solution is merely a year away. The current owners squandered billions, lost the middle east and now Tencent is about to offer new options, new terrains and they will offer it to millions more. So how much of the playfield will Amazon surrender? Google left the gaming sphere and Microsoft remains useless (which they will spin in a direction like blaming Sony), but the truth is that these three players left well over 6 billion a year on the field and that field is now increasing and is slowly moving towards Tencent. Yes another fine mess they left the gamers.  The only player, who had their own niche is Apple and I have no idea what they are up to, they play their cards close to their chest. But they could be the new winner in the 11th hour. I cannot tell, too much speculation on that direction.

But the union of games is a natural concept in streaming games and look at how many offered that stage, the simple answer is none. And when Tencent does offer it, they basically become winner by default. It was so easy to actually listen to gamers (something Microsoft has never done). Sony and Nintendo were not streaming solutions and they have THEIR market. The others (Apple excepted) did this to themselves. Consider what you read here and consider what you see in gaming and then see how natural the ideas actually are.

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Scuttle the ship

A thought occurred to me a moment ago. You see, we are so in a stage of what to do next, what to do in reaction and it came to me. We already have all the ammunition we need. You see to show players like Epic Games on how it is done, by actually doing hat WAS done and redoing it in a few ways. To take commercial sails away is by offering an alternative and here the Streamers (Amazon Luna) can set a new stage. Because it is not a free service we can ensure that loot boxes become free. Take a page from the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode. That part was the best multiplayer experience that I have ever seen, the best experience that I ever faced and the free loot boxes were part of that. OK, not completely ‘free’, it required effort. Yet effort is what a player brings to the stage. Consider any game, any shooter. Now add battle stages to it that are based on parts of the game. Now set a stage of 4 players versus a clever NPC part and slug it out. In the end, the ones standing get the credits and these credits go towards a loot box. In ME3 I had to play 2-4 games to get enough points for a Platinum box, and these rewards were awesome. All elements that we have now. Weapons, armour, support item, cosmetic items and with enough of that you can get a whole generation of people to the new game. Lets be clear, I do not hate Epic (I do think they were overly stupid) but we need to do something about the loot boxes and this is one way to counter them. Have a game where you can earn them without EVER spending a penny. And it will not be an easy fight, but the start is that you can get people to another solution where they do not pay and that is the start of more. Once the stage changes Epic either alters their approach or they become obsolete (that will take some time). But a player like Amazon has the option to make change happen. And this is not the new idea, I feel certain that Tencent is doing similar stuff, but their plan is brilliant (and insidious), they play the long game because they can afford to, the cherry on top of the cake is too rewarding for them and we need to see a counter move whilst we still have options. There is no talking with Epic Games, they are too far gone into the rabbit den of greed, but we can counter with new games, with altered games all with the same setup, Loot boxes for those showing effort. When effort becomes the currency the other solutions start to fade every so slightly before fading entirely. This is not a short solution and it will not come quickly, but it is a solution that has merit, because gamers are all about the showing of effort and gaining achievement that way. It is merely an idea, but I think it could work and when we start the stage of crossover loot boxes, the games will change the premise even further. Just a thought! Now Amazon needs to consider what games they will set to this stage and the first chip from the armour of greed that Epic games wields becomes a reality. 

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The games we desire

We desire games, we all do. In Star Trek we were once told “the more complex the mind, the more essential the need to play” (Star Trek, season 1, episode 15). I always embraced that. Gaming was my large escape and I have enjoyed it for decades. Yet the foundation of gaming changed after the Playstation 2 came (and all other systems). Gaming became big business, people with business degrees got involved and soon it went from art to business needs. Gaming suffered and it has suffered for quite some years now. Micro transactions is merely part of it. The larger stage was that art was taken out of the equation. This is why games like Elden Ring, God of War, Horizon Forbidden West are such successes. They embraced art and artsy sides to a much larger degree. This is the reason why places like Ubisoft went from great to below mediocre. There are the games that will always have appeal because of secondary reasons. Sport games being a clear first example.

When we look back to the days of Bullfrog, there was almost no game we did not desire, art was the driving force and it drove our needs deliciously and amazingly. Consider Populous, Flood, Populous 2, Magic Carpet (1 + 2), Dungeon Keeper and some (including me) still worship those times, those games. EA went and created some exploitation version of Dungeon Keeper. Yet they could repair the damage, and they are running out of time. They will need those who played the original to give rise to the next generation. They now require credibility. And it is not the weirdest idea. Six games that represents millions in revenue. Some can be re engineered, yet the larger setting will come from re engineering driving evolution of the game. This reminds me of another good Ubisoft game (they had a few). It was Conquest: Frontier Wars, the review gave it (for the most) 78%-88%. I would set it to around 85%, a game that makes the gamer want more. And there was another side, you could set up a battle game with two other Computer players and you had some options. What was important, you could spend hours in a new galaxy again and again, with two other races, each with intelligence settings. Now what if that concept is remade and also remade in games like a remastered Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper and Populous. Three games that were initially less than 1MB and could optionally keep gamers busy for years. That could spark a new wave of gamers and that is what the streaming services need, fresh blood and returning blood. And the need to play will draw them in. You still need decent games, and I just handed them 6 of them. Well, handing is a stretch, EA has the rights as far as I can tell, but consider that Yesterday I handed the option for 50 million gamers and consider that many games never get anything near that amount. I reckon that my solution with the additional games is a step into the direction of the number I predicted. That solution still needs the first phase, but without the second and third phase it will never grow to the degree required or is that desired? And there we have it, a stage we grow and a stage we create by looking backwards. The six games I mention are most likely IP protected, yet The Commodore Amiga had 2198 games, The Atari ST had a little over 1000 games, close to 10,000 games, If we rate from the highest and look at 10% we get to 219+100+1000 we end with 1319 games and that is if we merely look at the highest 10%. Now some will have protection, but not all will and there is the solution for streaming systems. Upgrade what was and get more people feeling the joy of gaming, not the challenge of some flawed Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game. Even now we get ‘The final Assassin’s Creed Valhalla update has launched a week early’, the fact that it is for some systems 13GB does not lead to questions, the fact that the game was released on November 10th 2020 is a much larger issue. It is over 2 years old and still requiring patches. It is one of the reasons that streaming systems will win over time. But a system that has good games will endure a lot longer and the games from the old systems remain superior to many of the games released today, not all, but a lot of them. It sets the need for more play, and Streaming systems will deliver there. 

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That nagging feeling

It all started in 2021, July 12th to be exact. I was writing ‘New and reinforced’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/12/new-and-reinforced/) and another thought occurred to me. This had the options of an interesting stealth game. Consider the Citadel in Mass Effect, the time is when the Citadel becomes a hub (Mass Effect 3), the bodies are piling up and in that setting we have a stealth game. Consider an engineer, he is creating stealth armour for the Shepard and other spectres at that moment the attacks start. As he was working in a special R&D lab on the station, the humans decided to go off books and create a space in the citadel with no visibility at all. That is the start of the game. Visually it looks very much like the Mass Effect series, but here there are no firefights, a firefight is not something this engineer is equipped for and he is not much of a shot, a mere energy pistol that can deal with rodents and not much more. But stealth, that he can do and he is invisible to the camera’s and scanners, the armour works. 

The lab is below the human embassy it is slightly larger than a room with 5 bedrooms, 3 of them are work related one is a power hub. It is in that setting that he has to find food, make recordings and set up stealth camera’s. In a setting where husks are collecting bodies, where cleaning systems work 24:7, he needs to find places for the camera’s. He has to record what is going on. And unlike the first game, the Embassy section is completely mapped, every room, all views and every item. The player has to download logs, has to avoid and deactivate security systems, even though he seems invisible, he learns that the suit has issues and the points can be gotten to improve the suit, make stealth weapons and collect information. The game expands into other areas later in the game. Larger, not bigger, wider and more challenges. The idea for that setting was that EA could expand on the storylines on the citadel, expand on the races and expand on the locations. The second reason was that there is a lack of good stealth games. After Thief we only got Styx and Aragami, both excellent games. There are other games that have stealth elements, but games driven by stealth are rare on the market and as such this made sense. The idea to have a streaming stealth game was also rewarding in other ways. It would be a first and after the bummer that Andromeda was, taking it into a side street (not a replacement) might make the gamers, the obsessive Mass Effect gamers happy. And consider how large the citadel is, there is plenty of challenges to bring about, especially when you need to make a second and a third location. Consider the problems, or the challenge to create a new space under the noses of those who want to kill you and when we add a little science to it, it could be all kinds of fun. A game based on avoidance and trapping the other party. It could be a blockbuster for EA (they own the Mass Effect IP), just a thought. And consider how many games they released. It is not that they have shown a whole lot of creativity, have they?

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Just for fun

It is 07:14 and I just woke up. My mind came up with a nice idea which is now freely given to Electronic Arts. You see, I am a hockey fan, always have been. I do not care for the other games, but that does not mean that they couldn’t have it. In my dream there was a small altercation between the Shaq and me (nothing violent), I merely accused him of looking down on me, as I would. It then occurred to me that these sport games all have one oversight, a flaw if you like it. When was the last time you had a homie face off? A tournament in NHL, NFL, NBA, FIFA or another sport? A tournament that has a 4-12 player game. So the game gives a grid, you enter the names and you (or them) select which team they represent and you have an evening of friends opposing friends. The grid an be saved and exported and at the end of the evening/afternoon you have one trophy winner and the list of scores to show the victor who ruled that evening. 

EA could even still add it as a patch in all these games and create traction in every game they have. I am merely surprised they never did this before (as far as I know). As such, Electronic Arts get cracking and give the people what they optionally desire. 

And with all the house tournaments with games like pool, ping pong and a few other games, I am surprised we never saw anything like this before, 2K never added it to their games either, as far as I can tell and is that not essential in group plays? I am merely surprised that it does not seem to be there yet.

Enjoy Sunday, my weekend ends in less than 24 hours, yours?

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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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