Tag Archives: Guerrilla Software

Networking for game makers

It seems weird, it even might appear dorky. Yet the setting is not to be underestimated. Now I have the advantage of age, so I was there when the very first games were new. One such moment in time was Dungeon Keeper (the very first one). 

Peter Molyneux had both a slam dunk and a home run all at the same time, the world went nuts for the game and those who did still remember the game up to this day. So it was disappointing when EA trashed it in their own shortsighted ways. Now, I am not about to ‘reinvent’ the dungeon keeper game. It has been done and the original is the best. But the setting that we had where certain rooms call for certain characters, that idea has merit, it still has. Consider the Warhammer 40000 game called Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr. They had the right approach, it is for all intent and purposes a new for of Diablo. It has its appeal, it has a few issues, but for the most it is an appealing game with a decent storyline. Now what would happen when we come across one of those giant cathedral ships? We dock and we get into the works. Now, I am very much against a game that is too alike. But the idea of being able to activate rooms, that will call for certain characters to join you has its appeal and the larger station is not getting it all up and running, but to fix things certain order must be found. So at times you will have the high need for engineers, but the next you need electricians, and the number or engineers get in the way. There are all kinds of settings we can go, for example an electrician will not appear unless there is at least one engineer, and so on. There is a stage where we need to set out what we need, what we can get and as the ship gets to be more and more fixed wealth and parts are yours, so you can upgrade your ship which will bring its own rewards and abilities. And as we map out the cathedral ship we will be able to find more, discover more and face more challenges and dangers. The nice part is that this game would have a small ship for the tutorial, get the introduction to other characters, but the larger foundation is that on a streamer, you can always add ships over time. A mere thought that took less than an hour. Yet do not despair, it will not be that easy and the art people will need to bring their A game to make it a true original. But I feel relieved, the idea that Peter Molyneux had will live on, it will entice more people and I feel that it is important to give credit (Like the Behemoth DSS Molyneux). There is a need for gamers to network, to exchange ideas and to keep the gaming community entertained. I played another Lego Star Wars, this one (the new game) is pretty fun, it has a lot of new parts in the game. It is a larger and true better game. It is a game that brings all the boys to the console (girls too). Perhaps in 10 years someone will come up with a new way to let Lego Games shine again. I do hope so because gaming for the mere fun does not happen enough. You see, I remember seeing the very first one 17 years ago. My first thought was “Cool, a game for kids” and I played in the store and it was fun to play. That was until someone from the shop tapped me on the shoulders asking if the other ‘kids’ could have a go. I looked puzzled, but then I realised I had been playing non stop for well over half an hour, I bought the game the next day. It was around easter 2005. Now 17 years later the game still entertains and that is a tough call. So even if we do not know how long this goes on, I do hope that someone in 2035 sees that game and gives it another spin. The old games can bring more joy than anyone remember, and when you see someone go on “Oh, that is so old. Why?” Stomp him (hard) and consider that some of these games only had 38Kb to work with, now we can do more but in gaming (with a f=ew exceptions) we achieve less. Why is that? A cool game does not guarantee a good game. A good game needs a decent story, it needs decent graphics (for its time) and it needs some level of challenge, yet we need to remember that no challenge is a challenge in itself. There is a reason I made the claim that I made yesterday (look it up if you are curious). Game makers are too often looking in the wrong direction, some for valid reasons, but the new ones are all following the wrong people. There is a reason I have what I have and I keep it cleverly locked away on a system nowhere near me, and for now the number of those interested would be increasing from 2 to 4. So what happens when someone figures out what I found out? Networking gets you there (well I personally hope not before I sold my IP) but networking in game makers has become too much like ‘Look how cool we are’ and not enough of discussing good ideas. The ECTS (London 90’s) was great. Talking to Richard Garriott and Peter Molyneux. They ACTUALLY shared good ideas, that time is now mostly gone, but it also means that the quality of gaming is harder to maintain. Until the end of the year we have Gods of War:Ragnarok, Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy to look forward to. And after Horizon:Forbidden west that is slim pickings. Now there are more good games, not that many great games and that is a shame. Consider that HFW scored 4.6/5 at Amazon 9/10 at IGN and 5/5 at JB HiFi. Valhalla (Assassins Creed) scored a mere 8/10 at IGN and one critic gave it a mere 65%. One thing that stood out was “It’s a lot buggier than it should be but also impressive on multiple levels.” That is a multimillion project by a firm that is (overvalued) at multibillions and has a little over 20,000 people. They could not get close to a Dutch firm with only 360 people and they have nowhere near the resources Ubisoft had. That is the state of gaming and it is not getting better, but there is hope. The streamers could open more doors and make more gaming an option. And there is also the new player (Tencent) coming soon, so the streamers need to upgrade their gameplay by a fair bit. I still think that Amazon could take the larger lead with its Luna, but I reckon that they will lose ground if they go the way they presently (as fr as I can tell). They need their own games, they need to accept different settings and they might just pull ahead, I put enough gaming IP on my blog site for them to get active on, one I did today (see the beginning of this story). Whatever they do, they have less than 2 years. After that Tencent will be in play and it will not play nice. I wonder how US Congress reacts when Tencent gets over 4% of the US market, ban it like Huawei? We will see, there is time to watch it happen.

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The reality teaser

That is my name for them, it was today that I was recollecting something I thought would make a good game. Yet it is not a mainstream game, it is a niche, but it will appeal to some and from there I would hope that it would catch on. I wrote about it on July 12th 2021, the article ‘New and reinforced’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/12/new-and-reinforced/) was the start of the idea. A game that was for the streamers, not that the consoles could not get there, but the sheer size of the game and the intricacies that would need several patches over time made it not feasible on consoles, but streamers are a different matter. There it was possible. The Zombie survival game came from that setting. And here the issue starts. You see, several games on Android and Apple have ads, they show something that is not in the game, but adding it would be a good idea. There has been some complaints on that and Apple and Google seemingly do not care, the advertisement money is coming in. Yet the idea that the Last Fortress uses as a teaser is actually a good idea. It is not implicated in the Zombie survival game I had in mind, but the addition of a room creator is not a bad idea. Especially in a safe zone. You see, I have mentally added a whole range of artisans that add to the game and to the gameplay, but in today’s world they are often forgotten. 

  1. The Seamstress

The seamstress adds to the creation of armour, now her speciality is not better armour, but more comfortable armour. I remain a devoted follower of checks and balances. So metal armour would be +5 protection, but they have a comfort level of -2, as such weapons and movement are degraded by 2 points. So it is not the greatest solution. But here comes the seamstress. Her ability starts by adding comfort levels to EVERY piece of armour, and as she does more alteration her plus one will become plus 2. As such metal armour has no longer any setbacks. A stage games forget about, the checks and balances.

2. The watchmaker
Yes that is someone you would ignore, but the watchmaker would add the setting of clockwork traps. Together with a tinkerer they could create traps that have a longer usefulness, and also they would use less power or none at all, a corridor with traps that can reset themselves. 

These are but two of a whole range of people that are optionally in the game to be saved and added to the community. But what happens when it is not in a place you know like Los Angeles or New York? What if you had to create a safe space in a place like Palermo, or perhaps Messina? 

An island where you need to eradicate well over 93% of 5 million people? Now the idea of a watchmaker and a tinkerer does not sound so weird does it? There is no way that you will find the 5 million bullets and not everyone is turned yet, so you will need weapons, you will need to find food and you need a safe space to optionally grow food and create drinks. So even as the reality teasers give you something you cannot play, that does not mean it cannot be made and next to the survival game on the Citadel and that might still be an option later down the track, but you need to start somewhere and a zombie survival game is as good a place as any. And be honest, who considered Sicily as a starting place? 

It is merely a thought but it opens up all kinds of venues for the game, you see when the mechanics are in place, the same game could be launched in a place like Malta (525,000), Gotland (57,000) but here we can now add a dimension, Gotland will allow us to add Hyperthermia as an element, as such the seamstress suddenly becomes close to essential. Each with their own challenges and as we become more and more adept we will see places where the population is increasingly hostile (Cuba), we could add Nassau, Crete, Falklands and so on. A game that evolves and has an increasing amount of places where you need to find your way around and learn to survive and no cheating these special people will not be in the same place every time, perhaps in some games they are not even there. As such I had decided to Create 15 special people. Each with a special skill that by itself is merely useful, but combined with another special person becomes a real game changer for the game. It is my way to have checks and balances and still keep the game interesting down the track. 

And credit where credit is due, it was the reality teasers that put me on this track and if you wonder where I get my ideas from and why game makers are not on this track you would be right. Some game makers are on the right track and give us new places to dream of (Guerrilla software) and the older ones like Insomniac are also on the right track, but the larger players like Ubisoft are losing the plot. We see news like ‘Ubisoft’s Bad Luck Streak Continues With Delays, Cancelations, Cost-Cutting’ where we get to see “Guillemot reiterated that despite these issues, the company is still aiming for over $US400 ($555) million in operating profits this year”, yes because gamers are really interested in how much profit you are making, even though a game like Valhalla was released on November 10th 2020 it still shows crashing bugs almost two years later. And when we see that the game is now in shops at 1/3rd of the original price. You think gamers are interested in their profits? They want a good game and there the plot falls for too many game makers and that is a shame because good games are worth their weight in gold. Still good games are coming, but from other directions and soon that changes too, because more and more are seeing the benefit and the larger profit margins of streamers. If I can find the hidden cache of 50 million people all willing to pay $10 a month, how long until others are figuring out that small thinking only gets you so far. It is the larger dream cut in manageable pieces could bring the game everyone has been waiting for. And it is not that far ahead, some of my ideas are already possible and could be ready early 2024. And when you consider that people are gawking at games that will not appear until late 2023, I think I have set the proper foundation of larger games and where they could go. Too bad some others are not ready for that yet, but I reckon that Tencent will give them a cruel wake up call, if they get where I expect them to go. The people at Google, Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft will be either adjusting their faulty vision or they will all become inferior to Tencent, a setting we would never have believed less than a year ago. Sony is still safe for now, but they too will see the realisation that there is a much larger player in town than they bargained for. 

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The place of choice

We all have. Place of choice, in some cases we have many. For horror it is the Nostromo, for Fantasy it is Lothlorien, for action it is whereever the action is you watched in a game or in a movie. So when I saw ‘How Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Franchise Subverts the Sci-Fi Genre’ I was puzzled. This translates to ‘undermine the power and authority of fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes’ from these we see that Guerrilla did more than the right thing. They offered a side of sci-fi that was new, unique and appreciated by millions of fans. The Gamerant article also gives us “Most notably, it blends futuristic elements with primitive ones to produce a unique new aesthetic. Additionally, instead of looking to the stars and imagining a future where the problems of humanity are solved by taking to the stars, it instead plants its feet firmly on Earth and imagines a future where humans instead try to solve the planet’s ecological problems.” It is a view, one that is shining with science fiction, in addition we see “The appeal of this dream is easy to understand, as Earth, as beautiful as it is, has finite resources which would seem to be incapable of continuously supporting a growing population. Furthermore, humankind’s time on Earth has resulted in ecological disasters from deforestation, warfare, commercial farming, and mining, to name but a few harmful human activities.” It is true and it also gives us a new setting, science fiction not as a setting of the future we desire, but as a setting it show us the flaws of realism. We can look at so many other games, but the larger stage is that we are destroying the world we live in and whilst we see President Biden play the Khashoggi card (as that would guarantee cheaper oil), the reality is that squandering oil will be the death of millions, and we did it to ourselves. Instead of embracing a future where we could exist better and longer, we seem to adhere to the Twitter vibe attacking Elon Musk and the setting of Fake accounts was never and is never properly addressed and the media is every bit as guilty on that part. 

We see media subverting reality whilst politicians, trolls, fake prophets buy clicks to forward their agenda. Kwork made millions on this, and consider that a firm offers 100.000 visits visitors for $20. OK, they offer more access, so it is not more twitter alone. But this setting shows that there is more and Twenvy offers 5,000 Twitter Followers Every Month for a mere $69 a week unless you want the ‘200 Twitter Accounts Sending You Traffic’ it will be more then, and that doesn’t require fake accounts, so where do these +6487 accounts come from? Explain please. I found a simple one in under a minute and there are thousands out there. Al making a buck out of Twitter. How do these connect? It fits the bill of major social changes, pretentious social changes that affect us all. We are given “Social media bots and Russian trolls promoted discord and spread false information about vaccines on Twitter to sow division and distribute malicious content, according to new research led by the George Washington University. Using tactics similar to those at work during the 2016 United States presidential election, these Twitter accounts entered into vaccine debates months before U.S. election season was underway.” What no one is considering, which accounts wee used and how long they remained active, there are no time lines and here we get back to the Horizons series. The story is all about a time line. From Zero Dark to Forbidden West we are shown a world consumed by greed, technology driven and pushed beyond its limits. In the games (both) Ted Faro, his greed, recklessness and lack of foresight led to the extinction of all life on Earth via an advanced military platform, also known as the Faro Plague, whose design and development he personally conceived and oversaw. A stage that was part of the story and never dug in too deep (it was not needed for the story) yet it is a reality that I shown in our world today, greed overarches common sense. Self-repudiation is ignored for what some call the comfort of the people, it does not give us the the part where self-repudiation halts automated revenue and slows down greed. A similar side is seen in security and as such we are given one part that is ignored. Science fiction tend to push outward, Guerrilla took it into a new direction and pushed it within us, pushed it towards the reality of today. It is science fiction and it could be seen as a new direction of science fiction. There was a reason Soylent Green was so good. I remember creating a prequel 3-5 years ago. In that version Chris Hemsworth played William R. Simonson when he was still young. The prequel still based on Make Room! Make Room! (By Harry Harrison) but the premise also looks at where we are almost now and that is the part, not realism but near realism and that is the part that Guerrilla got right. Not the technology of the old ones, but the mindset of the old ones and there we have a much larger stage. Guerrilla never subverted the science fiction genre, they added a branch, a branch that already existed and is now becoming a major branch in that tree of representation. The realisation how our dystopian future is based on our flawed screwed up self. I would call it a version that is true and real, but has enough fiction to make it a wondrous trip, fiction that is based on science. Star Trek might have preceded the mobile phone and the iPad, but the reality was that it was the people that drive it and as such we should ask the hard questions. Why is the media avoiding the fake accounts of Twitter, why are politicians using click farms to proceed their own agenda’s? Because they can and that is the premise of any dystopian future, it comes because nothing was done to prevent it. Perhaps Guerrilla is one of the best teachers of all, showing our flaws and showing that there is a price for everything. They aren’t alone, but their following is one of the largest at present and in that world size matters, it always has.

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Struggle

We all struggle, I am no different, but my struggle is not with the having of stuff, not with the acquisition. It is with creation. I create I keep on creating, yet I see not the reason why I do things. It is not to show me how more advanced I am, how much more perfect or better I am. I create games, stories, movies, TV series and software. Yet, I cannot see why I am doing it. A lot is here in this blog, I have no need for some of it but in the back of my mind, it seems to be about more, and I have no idea what the links are. I am in the dark about WHY I am creating stuff. Is it about old tech? The printable display is there, but I have no idea why I came up with it. The Giggle water (two days ago) is mere fun, to see any liquid infused with nitrous oxide that releases the gas from the liquid on consuming it is fun, but I do not see why my mind is going that way. I see the stage why I went for the 5G, I am a technologist after-all, the new stage of marketing makes sense. Preparing myself for a wave that is inbound and that makes sense. Yet all around it are iterations of innovations and they are linked somehow, but I cannot yet see why they are there. And my mind is screaming to know the why, at times it is deafening.

Is it some delusional part to show Ubisoft I am better than any of them? It seems stupid, Guerrilla Software and Avalanche Software are doing that just fine and I am nowhere near that good. I am for the most a storyteller. Is it part of any story I was creating? Keno Diastima is doing fine for now. The large lines of three seasons are done, the smaller stories of season one are coming along and the large jumps that make for Season 2, and Season 3 are basically done. The end of season 3 remains and open end to the story. I feel it is a better end than milking the idea. The shock stage is what needs to be. That is how I feel it needs to be. Then there is the mini series Residuam Vitam, It is still developing. Some of the storylines are set, are shaped, the involvement of others are coming and so far I left Anubis out of the equation, I need his involvement to be near stellar, but there are gaps in what I know of Anubis from History and from theology. There is a stage from Hades that is now shaping, yet there is  form of duality that I want to explore, but it needs to be defined and I am wondering how to go about it. The part of Meng Po is almost done, but I feel that it needs her personal drive there. There needs to be something that pushes her. I want it to reflect on Lady Meng Jiang, there is the part we see with “Lady Meng Jiang heard nothing after his departure, so she set out to bring him winter clothes. Unfortunately, by the time she reached the Great Wall, her husband had already died. Hearing the bad news, she wept so bitterly that a part of the Great Wall collapsed, revealing his bones.” It is a nice fitting part, a nice piece of a puzzle making an image, but I feel that the image I see is a little different. You see she kept on pouring soup like it was a solution, it was the path to someplace. A set of the mind, a set of pieces of a puzzle, but not the ones any story give me (the parts out in the open), it is possible that Chinese writings give me more, but I do not know Chinese. There is a place that those who give service embrace, but I always felt that Meng Po was doing it to keep ahead of something, to go towards someone and I believe that her path was not set to one person, it was more but I cannot answer it by ‘weaving’ my own tale. Like the story of a game shapes the way we think, the way we perceive and the way we react. Like the technology that opens what we can see and what we could get. These parts seem to be connected somehow. This is not the problem. I feel that I am missing a larger piece of a puzzle, but it is not an image. It is like the puzzle is not an image but a film reel, or there is a 3rd dimension component I cannot see at present. Is it an innovation that is yet to come? Perhaps that is what the mind struggles with? Like a stonemason who has his block of marble. He knows that three more pieces need to be removed, but he cannot see the three pieces. That is how it feels, but there is still another part, it is not as simple as three pieces, and that is where I struggle. It is like there is something just out of view, I see shimmers of what I am supposed to see, but that is as good as it gets. And there I struggle still.

We all do at times, it is what we want to achieve, it is why we want to achieve and for the creators it is not bout the money, it is about the creation, it is ego. I fought ego my entire life, I never accepted it within myself, but I have ego, we all do, the delusional ones think that they are above it, but they are not. In this I personally believe that Vladimir Putin is the latest folly of ego, it slapped him down and he remains in ‘hiding’. In his mind a two bit place like the Ukraine cannot stop the Russian bear and the fact that they did is scaring him, his own ego defeated him and it is more about defeat than anything else. If my ego is to be about success and not failure I need to push myself past ego, my struggle for me is real, I get that and that struggle is more than a fight, overcoming it will open doors to ideas. And that is where I find myself. What idea did my brain work out that I as a person cannot see yet? That is the struggle for me and you face your own struggles, we all do. It is how we go about our struggles, that sets the definition of success or defeat. I do not mind losing, but to be defeated by my own brain is weird. It is not sabotaging me, it is teaching me to look in other directions. I just have no idea in what direction I am supposed to look, lets face it, do you?

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