Tag Archives: gaming

daemonis more

Yes, from one we go to the other and it is time to look towards the setting of protection. Armour if you want. You see the games all have their take on it, and so do I. We have cloth, leather and…..

Yes, you are roaring to name dozens of armour, all from other games, Blizzard and Bethesda did their work, yet I believe we need to go back to the basics. You can have 60-200 forms of armour, but what does it serve? The basics are what some call undergarments, the armour and the cloak. Yet be not deceived, the undergarments can be fur, cloth, thin leather or chainmail. Each their protection, each their weakness. Try walking through the winter scape of Scandinavia or Canada and try doing that wearing chainmail UNDER your vest, you soon will learn that col travels and Chainmail holds onto the freezing cold like nothing you have ever experienced. Yet chainmail has properties that we need. So we could go chainmail coated fur. You see, each benefit will have a drawback and it becomes a much larger puzzle when you imbue the armour with magical properties. I do not believe that there are only upsides. Like magnets, what pulls on one side, pushes on another. Any natural product is like a small balance, upside and downside go hand in hand, but overall the larger benefit is found. The cloak might have stealth magic, yet the iron armour imbued with strength or poison magic will negatively impact stealth. It is not completely set in stone yet, but I believe that a lot more can be done on balance instead of merely adding percentages here or there. 

And as armour is stronger, it tends to be less stealthy, still stealth will have a side that benefits all, it will have options making it worth having and so begins a new water table of balance. 

As I personally see it, we get a lot more puzzles and joy by having the three elements of armour in the personal screen and work our way from there. Three elements in stead of a combination of 8. Three elements and each having its options instead of X*Y*Z armour settings you have to program ahead of release. There is of course more to be done, but I just handed three separate sides (including the previous two articles) to get you going and become a new and competing Blizzard. Let’s not forget that there are several systems where Microsoft is not welcome, so you have options in the long run and this was handed to you without charge so you can design your version of a slicer and dicer on Sony and Amazon systems at no charge. When was the last time you had an offer like that? You still have to do your dues and your perseverance in making the game, but you have a head start now. I will try to add a few more sides to this all giving you more to work with and let us remember that we want a better set of options for gamers in total. You see Microsoft is about removing choice, they have the largest companies and you get to play those games as long as it is on a Microsoft system. An inferior system that betrayed its gamers (as I personally see it) more than once. Do  you really want to be part of that, or do you want to be the new wave of game designers in a setting where the gamer gets to choose and they choose you? Now they will choose Microsoft because there is no other system that has it, how is that freedom for gamers? 

And freedom is where it is at, so I design the IP for you all so you can oppose a Microsoft dictatorship for gamers. It is merely my way of fighting that technology usurper. At least that is how I personally see it.

So feel free to agree or disagree, yet those who disagree when choices fall away, you better realise that you were part of that limitation of choice.

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Expanding story time

Yes, this happens. Sometimes we get more to a story, but when was that when it was expanded on the main system and not a DLC or expansion? When was the last time that you were confronted with an additional story in the main game? I reckon that most of us cannot clearly give an example. And when someone pushed a demo of the Unreal Engine v5 to YouTube showing us a broken down version of Riverwood, my mind went 145% on the body and thoughts came to mind. Now in this case it will not apply, because Riverwood is decently fresh in the mind of all gamers, but when they see the new (older looking) Riverwood they should catch on.

What happens when we add a few villages, not unlike Riverwood, off the beaten track, off the caught setting and all storylines by themselves. A setting that some might recognise in Spinalonga Island on Crete. It had its own story, but remains a ghost town even now. So what happens when we find the story, evolve the story in the now, solve the story, the riddles and the curse (or other reason for abandonment) and when we find refugees, traders and other people we could direct them to the empty village. Riverwood had a trader, a smith and an inn. There is no stopping us from adding shops, and it would fit the equation towards building the local economy as well. As I wrote earlier. Too many RPG’s are depending on US to build the economy. Yet what happens when the NPC’s are in a secondary stage that they too become drivers of an economy? What happens when traders build economies, adventurers do, mercenaries do and as such, some places will grow even larger, grow more and grow distinctive. In this we can set markers like you need to have certain ranks in the main quest, and side quests as well as levels of fame before your word is accepted, but at that stage your influence grows too. We need to realise that in RPG games we are NOT the machine, we are a mere cog that fuels the machine, but we are one in many cogs and that has never taken a larger stand in RPG games and that has been overlooked for too long. I do understand that some might state that this was not possible until the PS4pro. I believe that this is not merely that case. Game makers are too often in an iterative mode, we get more of the same (Far Cry, Assassins Creed), there are leaps forward (Fallout and Elder Scrolls), yet I believe that more could be done and I also believe that the PS5 now shows that more is possible. And it will not take long for the streamers to show that they are capable of more. And until these players consider that the main quest is nothing more than an outspoken side quest we will not see the leaps forward that RPG’s are capable of. The fact that I came up with TESVII: Restoration and the fact that I am still finding new ways to grease the system into other directions, directions that TESVI:unknown place might not even touch on is speculative, but not entirely impossible. A stage where we see that RPG makers are for a lot about more of the same (not their fault) is a little troublesome and When I wrote about a new RPG, a generation one that I summarised in ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which I wrote last September and even now I am still gaining more ideas that could grow that IP to larger stations is interesting to say the least. The side quests are merely one setting. Growing a virtual economy is another one, but it all sets the station where we have an RPG game where there are two stations. The station of you the player and you the influencer, both important, yet influencer we can become through skills, through power and through achievement and they all interact to some degree, and it is those influencer sides that give a much larger unknown to the game and how it shapes. We need to do it in that way, so that the system is free to evolve, if we merely have two settings with a clean and a deprived location (A Fable II event) we lose the plot, we will not see the impact of flourishing villages.

I believe that this is the expansive side of gaming, it fuels replayability and optionally dampens grinding. The last part is not a given or a real event, but could be the impact of influencers, it is merely a thought. So when did you see your last creativity on the sliding scale of something you haven’t figured out yet? A station that keeps me busy, why? I can tell you that I can, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with the thought “Because I have to”, and I am not sure why at present.

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When the plot thickens

This happens, it happens all the time. We notice it in movies and books, we sometimes face it in real life. There are moments when the plot thickens, but it tends not to happen in games and in RPG games fit rarely happens. There the NPC threat in singular directional, it always awaits your command, your action and your dialogue. So why is that?

It cannot be the technology, the technology was on par 1-2 generations ago. Is it gaming technology versus scripting? It could be, I am not the best source of information on this. 

We tend to see the Louis 14 approach in gaming, the world revolves around the gamer, it is like the missions. As the missions are lacking time needs, as the missions can be completed at YOUR convenience, we get to do it all. I think it is wrong and I think we need to alter our perceptions here. We cannot do everything, we can not please everyone and we cannot be everywhere. Just like good RPG games need an economy, it needs a transitional stage, it also needs  servicing stage. Mercenaries and guards that do take charge. Games like Shadow of Mordor invented and realised a nemesis system, I reckon that was a real step forward in gaming. So why did we not adjust RPG gaming to be more challenging? Was it that much of a leap? 

There is nothing like a stage that has no opposition, it becomes docile, it becomes a stage of non-stress. So what happens when you are there but so is the stage of mercenaries that can finish your jobs, making you lose fame and more important making you lose credibility. A stage we have never faced before. There is always the more seasoned adventurer, this happens. Yet in gaming we do not see that part. We are denied the challenge. Why is that?

When you create a career and you grind the same levels, we think we are being clever. Yet what happens when you lose out to a lot more? What happens when another adventurer becomes the famous one? Not in a multi player environment, but a single player environment that has its own nemesis system, not merely opposition, but a setting of peers and antagonists that become more that a mere hassle. It sets your career mode in a mode of bland anticipation. A station where you are not the best thing since sliced bread, you are merely the last resort and starting the game out like that is not the worst idea either. It shows the player that they need to be on their A-game all the time. And so far the RPG games have not been facilitating in that degree. Why is that?

It cannot be that I am the only one thinking in this direction, it cannot be that technology stayed behind. I believe that Bethesda pushed RPG into mainstream gaming and left a few things out. It is not their fault because their Elder Scrolls and Fallout series are pretty amazing. Yet by pushing that into mainstream they left something out and we all lost a little, it is a shame and at present there is no one replacing or contesting them. I pushed a few ideas to the surface in earlier articles, yet I also overlooked that part in RPG games. I apologise and I am trying to alter what I have at present to add that setting to future games, or at least inspire others to reconsider what they have and there is a lot that could be done. Will it? I hope so, but at present there is no way to tell, so we will have to see who picks this gaming direction up first.

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That lucky blow

Yes, these things happen, the point where luck is a factor and in some games they do happen, but the factor is not as profound as a Ravenclaw boy hoping he gets noticed by Emma Granger, or was that Hermione Watson? No here we apply the Skyrim principle. Instead of grinding, later in the game, I enter the embershard mine wearing dragon plate and before the bridge there are two miners, I walk up to them and let them have a go at me, with Dragon plate my armour rating is well above 550, so they can pound on me whilst I have dinner, read a magazine and at the end I am up 1-3 levels and my heavy armour is now legendary 100. A simple solution.

Yet what happens when we change the premise? What happens when the bad guys get a lucky blow as well? Consider:

  • Bandit
  • Bandit Marauder / Plunderer
  • Bandit Chief

There lucky blow rating starts at 1%-3%-5%, yet as levels go they can go up to 5% – 15% and 25%. Now that game changes a lot, but we can introduce negative influx. A 25%-50% and 75% protection through blocking and defence parameters. A stage that alters the game somewhat. So my approach of walking into their midst would no longer work (well likely a very limited version). It is the old battle setting that all attack without defence is pointless and all defence without attack is useless. A setting we all forgot about, or at least too many of us forgot about it. Oh, and their lucky blow is a blow that does 300% of the normal damage.

That same principle applies to sneak as well, we tend to see ‘a failed sneak’ as a side effect, whilst a failed sneak giving the opponent a free first hit is much more intense and optionally realistic? Many RPG games see a failed attempt at the stage of a loss of positive elements, whilst introducing no negative ones. That failing stopped the gamer from becoming clever at what they to, a setting that is a failing in the game because the game needs to contribute, always contribute. 

I believe that having a lucky blow element is nice for us, but it needs to contribute by being nice for them too (to coin a phrase).

We can never rely on more of the same, we can never rely on the easy path because it will undo gaming in the long run. And in this Skyrim is a perfect example as it has shown itself to be close to perfect for over a decade now. And the only way we get better games it to push that envelope. Did you think I was kidding when I stated that Amazon with its Luna has an option to sell 50,000,000 consoles? It isn’t that Google is not worthy, they decided not to develop games. And any clear and massive bodyblow to Microsoft is a winning punch for gamers everywhere. We gamers must stick together because Microsoft only stands for itself, it has shown that for well over a decade as well.

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Upgrades

Upgrades, we all know them, at times we desire them or we hope to be around to see them. For the most, no upgrade was every loathed (except Windows Vista). So where can we take gaming? We have one stage, w have more stages and we have the ability to connect stages. Now, lets take Skyrim. The anniversary edition was a welcome edition, beside the glitches there is not much to tell, and focussing on the glitches with a game this big is utter BS. For the most I have had a hell of a time. But the mind keeps slipping, and it is not needed, I want to wait until Hogwarts Legacy is released to see what else is possible. So far I have created two new gaming IP, yet the mind is struggling to find a third. This matters to me, because that IP will focus on a separate station. Something that might not be unique, but this version has never been done before. A Greek RPG, that focusses on the three Olympian gods. You must choose between Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. You align with them and as such you will be instilled with the powers that align to that god. So we get basically several worlds. Olympus, Earth, the oceans (earth too) and Tartarus. A world where the gods have missions, they play games and you have to steer your ways into diplomacy, battle and conquest, and subterfuge. You will need to resolve issues, collect evidence, clean messes up and at all times you are rewarded with Ambrosia. Very small items and you need three full cups to become a genuine deity. So could you do that? It is not merely can you do that, can such a game be made? In this it makes sense to look at Skyrim. Now consider that I had the setup for TESVIII: Restoration, that setting had the map of Cyrodill, but now at 9 times the size, connected to that was Skyrim (about 50% larger) and for the main story Valenwood AND Elsweijr. Now consider that the map for Όλυμπος would be well over three Times the size of Όλυμπος and it would encompass the entire Mediterranean, Spain, Italy, Greece and north Africa. That is beside the setting that Tartarus would be massive as well, and mount Olympus would not be too shabby or small either. 

Why so big?
This is easy, to create a biodiversity, a larger setting for natural combat and survival, the need for interactions. The larger the map the more natural could feel. So this ends up being not a console game, but a streaming game. This leaves us with the Google Stadia, the Amazon Luna and optionally the Netflix console as well. And the game needs three main quests (three gods, three paths, three main quest lines), that is bedside the side quests that will take up a massive amount of time, there are two versions, the one you have as an aligned player, or an unaligned players. So you will need to consider what you can get away with and what you need to drop. That is the part we forgot about in Skyrim, is it not? We can do everything and there is always time to do everything. So what happens when time and alignment becomes a hindrance? We forget the oldest setting, we need to consider that some things cannot be done and that is before the people intervene. 

Not everything can be done, not even as a god, doubt me, then ask Hades. He’ll tell you when you die and he always has the same joke “So where is your wine now?” And that is before you see the impact that happens when the game-map is not static, it is actually dynamic. The Mediterranean map that goes from the beginning of the game 4500 BC – 2000AD, and the map will evolve and you can watch, travel or participate. A game setting that has never before been done. There would be a real consideration that this generation of streaming consoles cannot deal with it at present and that is fine. Yet should we stop developing to the fringes of hardware in the future? I believe not. 

And this is not a small project, it has never been done, so it is appealing, the stage where we can traverse this area over 6500 years, and as a god you are immortal, but the stage is still finite (reason classified for now). Consider mapping out the Roman Empire and the impact it had, an impact you can watch yourself. A stage where we need (beside the quest lines) well over 300 quests per alignment, well a lot can be replicated and aligned challenge versus unaligned challenge. And as you become more olympian and as you lose your humanity you might lose options and you might lose links but that is part of life and we forgot to add life to the RPG’s of the last decade. There is no blame, it is no ones fault. It is a mere setting of what the computer can deal with and now that we have the hardware that can deal with it, ignoring that much of a leap seems trivial. 

A game that is a challenge and educational in several areas, a game that has never before been made, because until recent there was no hardware to support a stage that big. 

So what do you think, would you try such an upgrade? 

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Pricing of choice

There is always a counter side. It does not mater how good anything is, it does not matter how large the win is, there is an opposite it is the price we pay, the price we accept, because on the whole the deal is actually rather good. There is no opposition, this has been a given truth for decades. At time you need to be ruthless, at times you can be compassionate, at times you have to cut the deadlines, at times you can extent deliveries. They are choices, there are always choices. Some good, some less so. It is the way it has always been

The price of lame
It is a side we see and often ignore. In many situations it means crappy, I would say it merely means crappy but that would be wrong. In this example we look at Bethesda and their latest iteration of Skyrim. Some will say ‘Lame’, ‘more exploitation’, and ‘more of the same’. I say when a game is this perfect you would want to have it as you move on. I have played the game on Xbox360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, and PS5. The game is so large and so near perfect I would want to keep it and there is an upside. The PS5 is free as download if you have the PS4 version. There was alas no physical version. We can state it is lame, it is less, but this is a game that millions have enjoyed for 10 years. So yes, parts are a set A$80, yet the game gives you a lot more, the free edition gives you less new stuff, but I have seen my share of free parts already, after 4 days I see that the game is renewed, it has more and it feels great getting these achievements again. In 10 years the game never disappointed. The price of lame is perhaps a lack of innovation, the opposite is that the players want this game, not another game, it is a tough balancing line and so far Bethesda has done OK, apart from selling their soul to Microsoft (for $8,500,000,000).

The price of tame
Weirdly enough it is Google who gets that part. On the one side they have shown great innovation, they have shown massive strides in many areas, from searching to advertisements, they were there, they were first and they keep on rocking, on the other side their console (Google Stadia) is tame, they are not developing software, they are relying on Ubisoft to push that crate (and it will cost them). The other side is that two innovations will pass them by, the innovation I worked out (and are now meant for Amazon Luna) could bring Amazon an additional 50,000,000 consoles to the market. I know, even with shortages it will be a stretch, but that is the setting of tame, you can be non-aspiring, to be non-exciting yet that too comes at a price and in this setting Amazon would be in second place (temporarily overtaking Nintendo). On the upside, it makes Microsoft the wooden spoon contender, with the most powerful console in the world they end up in 4th position and I like that. Microsoft needed to be taught a lesson and I intend to bring it (If Amazon accepts). And that is not a high number, it is massively conservative, because this has never been done before so I have no data to rely on, the numbers could end up being decently higher. And that is merely the first wave, the second wave relies on another player, so I cannot say at present, but that could end up pushing the Luna even more, but I have no idea how much more. What is a certainty that gaming will alter and in the first stage many players ant a piece of that, not all, but plenty.

The price of game
It is not easy to look at people as game, but these anti-vaxxers are taking their toll. We can be as social as we like to be, we are unable to properly set up taxation, but we will tax the health system to the max. We see people dying of heart conditions in ambulances, because the ICU’s are filled with anti-vaxxers who now have covid and they are crying like little children. I say that unvaccinated people are not eligible for ICU unless they pay upfront, the reckless endangerment of life is not a cause for healthcare, it needs to become private care. The umbers are staggering. Of all the hospital admissions 80%-90% is unvaccinated. This evidence is ignored too much by too many. There is a slight difference per nation, yet that is understandable. We can treat these people like kids, but then they claim they have rights. OK, you do and with that you get the right to pay for it yourself. 

We see three examples where we price choice, price is not always monetary, but often it is, yet the opposite of that coin is often not monetary. It tends to be quality, quantity or quest like. There is no clear formula either, it is not a neat package, yet there tends to be some red line forming in the sand. The underlying part is that some accept the cost of doing business, others are in denial and they want it all, and guess what. You cannot have it all, there is no way. It is like the old equation of a house. Price, Quality and speed. You can only select two of the three, the third will go in another direction. A sales division will state that you can have all three and then they task their marketing department to set the premise of the third to expectations. Yet that is a figment in their imaginations, and when the data comes forward we get some ‘miss communication’ excuse. 

All neatly wrapped up, yet when we dig we get to see the price more clearly and we often see a party in denial, but what happens when it is YOU who pays that price? What happens when YOU need to make a choice, can you? Choosing is often hard, especially when the price is clear. But what do you do when it is not? It happens and not always intentionally, how can you decide the price then? 

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Inventing the economy

Yes, this sounds bigger than it is (and it is). This is the economy for an RPG. A few places had idea’s, one was particularly helpful. Yet in the stage of the game I designed here, I decided to take a different route. You can barter all you want, yet in the end it is the economy around you that needs to flourish as well. If you do not take that route, you get either a ghost town, or a passively silent one, one that can only move when you are there. It is that approach that is reluctant to me. You cannot create your story, become your story on a blank page where everything is depending on you. That has been the case sine before I was born (in the age of Black and White TV’s). 

So as I was mulling over what I personally believe to be a shortcoming on the Elder Scrolls. I turned in another direction and saw the glitch in Fable 2, but the stage was good, so I decided to take a larger gander and set up my own premise. On September 25th I wrote ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which gives the list of most articles linked to this game.  I will now add:

Behold the economy
(OK, that was way too ego driven) yet the stage remains true, you cannot live or play in a vacuum, so as I wrote ‘An almost ordinary generation quest’, I set out the stage of stamping out the economy, there needed to be a stage where you can grow and optionally through you the town could grow. In t6his we need to take notice that a city takes decades to grow (if not centuries), so the town can only grow to some degree. If we consider the baker, the butcher, the fisherman, the blacksmith, the bookshop, the tailor, the potter and the leather shop we see that these people have average skills (2 or 3 out of 5), we need to see how to grow the town. In one stage I talked about the potter part, it will be a growth stage, so to grow the economy, when you gain skills (in your travels) on any of this, when you return home you can teach the shops the skills you learned, it gives you some income, but the larger stage becomes that a town gets X amount of people travelling through it. More important, when a shop becomes more important, more people will come, so there is a benefit to teaching them, because what they sell, benefits you too. And more importantly, when these shops grow into 4 star places, I needed to add a risk as well. You see, some people are depending on ‘non change’ I insist on change, so there is a small percentage of a chance that when the get to that level there is a small chance that they will pack up and leave for ‘the big city’, in addition to it that risk increases by a factor when they become 5 star places. It creates momentum and it creates a larger stage of movement and turmoil. You or your kids can teach the shop again, or they can move themselves. 

A stage of fluidity that we haven’t seen before in RPG gaming, and I wonder why not. I can not be the first one to come up with this, could I? A stage of increased growth and economic values will also hit the city, when the city grows, the shops have less reason to move (they are revenue driven too). It sets a new stage, instead of having 15 axes, 23 swords, 7 mauls and 2 halberts, we get a stage where we can sell that as scrap to the blacksmith who will create new ingots and create new weapons. That only works when he becomes 4 star or more location. The herbalist has a need for resources, you bring he has no need to move, or to seek out danger. And in this all shops are almost the same, there are shops that will not need ‘feeding’, but their skills too are related to the ranking they have and as you teach them, their value increases and the village grows another step. 

And so we create a new stage, not merely collecting weapons and armour, but a stage where the shops grow what they have and to that respect also the scrap they receive from NPC’s and the new goods that come with that.

I feel happy, I created the foundation of an entire economy in a game, there are a few unmentioned parts and there are a few parts not here, but I am still mulling them over. In the meantime, anyone who wants to create an Amazon Luna and Sony Playstation exclusive RPG, feel free to use these ideas (free of charge) and let’s give Bethesda a run for their money, whilst pissing off Microsoft at the same time (slugging two for the price of one tends to be more satisfactory).  

Have a great day

P.S. WordPress still haven’t fixed colouring, their CEO might be colourblind

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The racing brain

It happens to some of us, the brain shifts into overdrive and will not stop. For me it happened this morning as I was contemplating a few things I saw on YouTube. There are so many expectations, so many people heckling non released products that I wonder where they are coning from. Is their expectation of games that low? I heckled Ubisoft (for good reason) but I also gave them credit when credit was due (and they did several good things). So as we see the next batch of comic book heroes games, I wonder what happened to the old classics. Now I am not stating that they need to be remastered but they could be revamped into a new coat. So let’s take a gander on some of these

1. Commandos
This game was awesome, especially 1 and 2. But instead of doing the same thing again, we could consider redoing the game based on Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children (by Ransom Riggs) and make the game more accessible for the younger players. Maps where you can release the birds that create the time loops and those you can visit to gain more peculiar children. 

2. Suspended
Basing an existing game in a new jacket on a book is not new, it has been done before. Does that make it a bad idea? I do not believe it to be the case, yet how many games are based on a game? When I grasp back to my first week with the CBM-64, I ended up buying three games. The Microsoft Flight Simulator, the very first one with 4 maps and a manual that looked like a novel ($199), the second game was Loderunner (I never stopped loving the original) and the third is todays discussion ‘Suspended’ by Infocom. It was one of the hardest games I ever played in those days and I was unaware that it was one of the hardest games to do, even by Infocom standards. But the setting is actually decently unique, so what happens when you control Iris, Whiz, Waldo, Auda, Poet, and Sensa? What happens when you see what they see? What happens when you take control of a global management system? What happens when the earthquake comes and you have to get things back to some level of normal? Not an easy task is it? 

3. Knights of the Sky
There has been an avid following of Flight Simulators, there is no denying this and those who want to go up against Microsoft, good luck. One does not cross near perfection, yet that does not mean that there aren’t stages where we can become active. In 1990 Microprose did a swell job of introducing WW1 to the gamers and there was a stage where we would welcome the simplicity of a Sopwith Camel. The game also allowed you to choice either the Germans or one of the Allies, a setting that was pretty unheard of and I do get it, there is nothing novel about the resolution of the CBM-Amiga, yet this on a PS5 would be a lot different, that and the fact that the PS5 disc could contain the entire WW1 map from France to Germany as well as have the updates in place for every year of that war. 

We are so overwhelmed by console shooters of mach speed vehicles, we forgot the reality of WW1 where the maximum speed was no more than 180km/hour. It is not specifically the game and stage, it is the realisation that we look at making things fast, we forget that there is still a load of thrill and suspense in a stage where things were not as fast as they could be. In this there is a whole league of Flight Simulators out there that are often forgotten. Yet, we should avoid to redo the same wheel. Knights of the Sky is 30 years old, so it feels that the stage can now be shown more like it was. There are some remakes and some of them are finding their way into the Apple store, we can now get arcade precision and even better graphics on a tablet and it is a great idea, the more people and game developers are exposed to those titles, the larger the chance of an actual new and innovative game will be set upon us all. Even as games like Midwinter are now surpassed by what Ubisoft offers in Far Cry 3+, 

4. Manhunter New York
Even if the location is not important and should consist of a new location, the game spoke to the imagination of gamers, even now in Abandonware the game scores 4.9/5, high praise and the stage of the story has options. One of the games that Sierra on Line would produce in the 80’s and the ten years that followed it. King’s Quest, Space Quest, Manhunter, Police Quest, and Leisure suit Larry, all games that spoke to the imagination of the gamers and what is important here? The story, the story pulled the gamer in and even as we not have more graphic games, more direct control and several other active elements, the stories were often not equalled and that is a shame, the stories were good (for the era), so why do we see a lack of stories in too many games? 

I mentioned before that one of my very first games was Suspended (Infocom), they also made Starcrossed that I saw much later in my gaming days. It would be surpassed by ‘Rendez Vouz with Rama’ and that made sense, the CBM-64 is no match for a decent PC with a CDROM drive. And now? That is beside the point that games like Wishbringer (1985) are seemingly forgotten. This is important, because we all (me included) seem to steer to the games that tickle us, but there is a whole generation behind us that is forgotten, a stage of gaming younglings that  seem to get pushed into the Epic foundations of Fortnite, why is that? There are decades of games out there that could see a new coat, a new interface a graphic world and a stage that parents have no issues with for the gaming not blood driven youthful masses. It matters because it is the one place that is almost completely owned by Nintendo, kids go there because there is no alternative and it seems to me that Sony (Amazon too) need to wake up to that small gemstone of information. 

The stage is filled with options that are ignored, forgotten and discarded, but there were real treasures there and the makers need to consider that these abandoned IP could use a new paint, some additional bells and whistles and it will fuel the imagination of the gamers of tomorrow. Most of them are at present getting trained to become the Navy Seal graduating class of 2029. There is more to life (yes, I will admit to this). 

And this is all based on forgotten and/or discarded IP. And whilst I am typing this, I wonder what happens when we add to the stage with new IP? IP set to younger players, and a stage is given where the player is given their chance towards immortality. To do this the player will have to set traps in tombs (a cross between Infocom: Infidel and Dungeon keeper), the longer the sarcophagus is not transgressed upon, the larger the time reward gets to be. So consider a stage where you get to ‘design’ traps in graves and pyramids and the longer they stay out, the more power you get and the larger the reward ends up being. The stage is not that simple. You see, you design the traps in the time they are build, yet over time technology advances, so you need to go old school there. And every time you redo this, you get the chance to improve on what was and create a new level of protection, just an idea that popped into my head. 

You see that new IP is easily created, but to make it worthy for a game is not stated here, it requires the creative soul to design it. And am I wrong? Consider that Magnetic Scrolls is releasing remastered versions of their games 30 years after initial release. I reckon that they are seeing what I was seeing as well. There is a $135,000,000,000 spending on games on an annual foundation. Why should you not gain some from that granary? It is open season and when you are in lockdown you can stare at the ceiling or find a way to grab some of that cash, it is up to you.

Enjoy Sunday!

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What should be done

This is a personal view. This is based on personal experience and on personal feelings and believes to create a great game, a great RPG. There is plenty to not agree about and you might be right. It is merely my personal view on the matter. It all started a few hours ago when several Hogwarts legacy videos passed by, I looked at one of them, and soon thereafter turned it off. For the most so that I will not be hit by optional spoilers. I also saw a few headlines on how it might be bad, how some people claim to be experts. I am not one of them, I merely give my view and it is not connected to any part of the Hogwarts or the Hogwarts storyline.

Part 1
In part one we need to set the ground rules. As an RPG, I believe that the largest power is replayability. So when we use the HP movies as a backdrop the game will need 20 main story lines. 4 houses, each house has its storyline, with 4 intersecting stories. As such if you start as Hufflepuff, you get the Hufflepuff story and the three non-house stories and one generic story. That makes 20, also each house will have 25 side quests (could be 50). As such we end up with 100-200 side quests in total. Finally there is a red wire and I personally think that JK Rowlings should do that. 4 small books of 50 pages each, every storyline will have 50 hidden pages, it is about (for example) the origins of the house makers, Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. The story is only revealed when all 50 pages are found and then a small booklet will unlock on the system that the gamer can readSo after 4 play throughs all 4 books are available to the player.

In that setting when one game is completed a new Game+ is selected and you go from the beginning, yet in the second game any of the three minus the one you already played becomes available. Now we have a game people will run to the shop for.

Part 2
All what I write would still be possible in the game no matter how it is staged, not even the storyline is messed with, that can still be there. As such the four generic stories will be connected to the house, but will not be connected to it. As for the side quests no more than 10% can be replicated to other houses, so it will be a large stage. It also comes with limitations (I love those). Side quests on potions are only available to Slytherin players (as the potions master was Slytherin), Gryffindor and Ravenclaw will get magical creatures quests and so on. 

As the screen shows, each house has quests that link to a non house, so if you had Gryffindor in game one and Ravenclaw in game two, the second game will offer a rerun of the Magical Creatures side quest, but none of the others. 

I believe that in such a way a massive wave of replayability is offered whilst at the same time offering a large fountain of playability. It would create a direct dent in what Bethesda offered in its games, it would be close to unparalleled. And let’s not forget the number one rule, it is merely my take on the matter.

It is merely a small part, and this took me less than an hour to think through, more? Yes, naturally, please ask the makers of Hogwarts Legacy and if they want to use what I just wrote, it is for them and to at their discretion to use, a simple equation.

And I leave you with the small stage. This took an hour (at the most), so why can’t Ubisoft come up with this stuff? They are the multi billion dollar corporation, so what is taking them so long? 

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The mobile reward

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

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

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

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

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

Just a thought, enjoy the day.

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