Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Missing hardware

This train had been on route for a while, and there are a few reasons for that. In the first my mind took the easy road, but as I pondered the stage again and again, my mind was trying to view another road, even if I remained unaware, I try to not look into the back of my mind. It is a messy place and covered with corpses. We all revere the idea’s we complete, but the others not that much, in this I am just like anyone else. There is no excuse, like a good IT person, I can be as lazy as the next person. 

The new hardware (of course a free idea for Sony and independent Sony Playstation and Amazon Luna makers is set in two parts (I’ll get to them soon enough). The thoughts came more clear as I was finishing the last Harry Potter movie. In the back was also an idea that Peter Molyneux had in Black and White, the gesture system. But it is one of the few times that it was employed. Harry I Potter games are a natural thought and Someone made it a harry potter game as well (Book of Spells), I never played it, but the wand was ugly as hell, It was a mere sign of the times. 

Now consider the image below, a wand we can buy and they are there for nearly any Harry Potter character, now consider that in the next batch onwards it was two small compartments, each for a cylinder that is no more then 3mm thick and 11-17mm long. One at the tip and one at the handle with two small metal points that connect to the inside, so that it can be charged without opening your wand all the time. 

Now consider that the first part is like the observer, like what the Nintendo Wii had, but not in one part, in two parts. One goes to the middle of the upper or lower side of the TV, the other to the middle part of the left or right side of the TV, two parts so that the scan will be much more accurate (even thought the Wii was pretty accurate), the second one, the locators are in this case in the wand, or perhaps a steering wheel, a sword, a bow and arrow and we can go on from there. 

Locator

These locators can be ordered per 2 and are relatively cheap. Yet what is more interesting is that a gamer can now get ‘almost authentic’ wands of choice, the gamer gets to choose and as we see the market bounce back, we see a much larger stage, because who wouldn’t want something almost geeky alike whatever they love? The steering wheel of Steve McQueen (GTA V), The sword of Viggo Mortensen’s Anduril (Lord of the Rings), you name it we tend to get overly enthusiastic on some movie and some special item, the Lord of the rings gets to hundreds of millions, Harry Potter Merchandise is well over 20 billion and that is a mere two movies. What happens when we add the Fast and Furious steering wheel that Dominic Toretto uses? And there is an upside, you can go as expensive, or keep it as cheap as possible, the steering wheel would merely need to two small hidden compartments with the two small connectors for charging. The generic locators would do the work with the scanners on the other side, and as the group of games expands over more devices, the gamers can consider buying two more locators, I reckon that a gamer will end up with 3-5 locator sets, they’ll start with one and buy another one when they get the two games they always wanted. After that they will exchange the locators to their new device of their game of choice, yet a steering wheel can optionally be used in nearly all racing games. The sword in plenty of games and as we see this grow we see a more complete engagement in gaming, something all game designers hope for and by setting the premise of a steer or anything to be as cheap or as realistic as possible will open new markets as well. Yes for the younger players that thing that case with the Book of Spells will suffice, but when that 9 year old turns 15-16, they want something more alike and those wands are anything between $9 and $90, it will be open to the gamer to decide what they spend on, we merely need to add the hardware to allow for that and as their choice of gaming adjusts, the locators can be moved from one to the other. 

A new stage where some will chose the cheap plastic sword and some will go for the Weta Workshop originals (or is that near originals?) It is up to you to choose, but we need the hardware makers to consider that there are parts of any choice that rely on the decision of the gamer. That is how the market rolls and we need to adhere to that because if gaming cannot lead the way the other markets are pretty screwed from the word go. That is a clear sign we have seen over the last 20 years.

Is it an option? I believe so, I believe that the markets are ready to show us that they can offer something new, is it enough? Time will tell.

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Presented choices

There is a flow in two directions, it is in most of us, it is stronger in the people who actively engage in critical thinking. It is often mistaken as ‘the devil’s advocate in us’ and I have made the same mistake. This is a dangerous place to be, not precisely dangerous, but hazardous. You see, we want to give ourselves time to mull things over and often that is good, nowadays with COVID, vaccines, lockdowns and other things happening at the same time it is hazardous. You see the media is no help, they are in it to create click bitches and stir flames, which gets them digital advertisement funds and traction. When you mull things over too many people are in a stage of making up their minds whilst the media is trying to cross them over to a field that benefits THEM and not the reader. Unless you are able to reject ALL media at a moments notice, that place you are in to mull things over goes from hazardous to dangerous and that is when things fall apart. The doubters get pushed into a place where they are slightly too uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable enough to forcefully take a stand.

This matters as gaming is in a similar place, or better stated the gamer is in an RPG game and is left to mull things over in doubt on what to do. There is a correlation of inaction towards too much signals as well as no signals at all. The brain seems to find the stage of non-signals too unnatural. And that is the stage any new RPG will find themselves in.

In the past it was not an issue for the mere reason that technology was not ready, now that it is too many gamers expect there virtual life to signal them in a similar way and even as technology is there, the game makers are not. 

It is not a setting of what to do to make it fit, it becomes a stage of adjusting the gamer to the ‘new life’. I was reminded of that in the last two days as I was rewatching the Harry Potter series. In the third film we are given the choice between what is easy and what is right, which fits the storyline of Harry and his gang (plus owl). Gaming and real life tend to not have that question, yet I see a larger wave go towards ‘What is easy or what is pointless’ and that is not the bill, but it is a concept of the two choices seemingly given. The mind loves a choice, even a fictive (or virtual) one and that gets us in hot water. 

So whilst we await the Hogwarts Legacy game, we wonder what is in it. We tend to compare to the RPG games that were truly fantastic and there we see Skyrim and Witcher 3 being the larger stage. So will Hogwarts have the Harry Potter CCG as an element? It is extremely doubtful, but there is an internal need to get a new RPG with some Witcher 3 Gwent game. We would want to be able to have our own house decorated in OUR style of choice (Skyrim) and the list goes on. This pushes the needs towards pointless, yet where is the setting on what the line from gaming to pointless becomes and that line differs per gamer and that low range and high range of that line is a gap no smaller than the Gran Canyon and that makes for an awkward programming stage. The opposite side leads to easy and grinding which could spell an early death for any future RPG game, so where to go? Fable 2 had an awesome solution towards vocations (Forge, Bartender, gambling) but the stage becomes how to remain unique, have elements like mini games and larger ownerships without breaking the IP and that is not an easy task. Even Skyrim with its levels of grinding is so close to perfect that people still desire this game 10 years later. I myself had the game on PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One and optionally (hopefully) in 9 weeks and 3 days I will have the PS5 edition, optionally a little later as I face all kinds of budgets, but the message behind this is strong, a good game lasts a very long time and that is where the game makers need to be. I believe that the best option is set towards a trilogy solution. We can play, we can alter and we can circumvent. Alter is adding a CCG or mini game option. Instead of looting the same place with consistent time, we can have the CCG to make is smarter, the mini game to make us richer and a combination for investments. It takes the mind of grinding. The CCG element could give us cunning, intelligence and the cards we win could lead to unique items like clothing that are rewarding depending on the class we play. We could get rare items that we need to make special potions (like the golden cauldron in Harry Potter CCG), and the list goes on. In Fallout New Vegas we were given the useless Snow globes that is until we met a person who paid dearly for it. There are the Vault-boy bobbleheads in Fallout, so what can we do to create the part that adds value to the game?  That depends on the game maker, but the objective would soon become a race to avoid the pointless borderline. 

The second borderline is less visible. Metal Gear Solid got there and it was not their intent because the last game was magnificent to behold, yet they got there, the game had gotten too big and soon in the game you felt like you were in a stage where it felt pointless (it was not) the game was too big for its own design and even if you consider revamping the stages, at some point (ACT 3) you started to wonder what it was for. I got there a few times and I loved the game, so we need to design carefully and become weary of what signals we give the player, too many and the gamer seeks the easy route, that same route gets trodden on when there are no signals, so there needs to be enough signals to make it worth your effort.

I believe that we are due for more time based stories and the best way is to let the conversations with NPC’s progress that, but there too too many of those and the game gets to be regarded as pointless. So how to go about the presented choices? One option is to limit NPC’s to optionally give quests in a set of two parameters. The first is the day of the week and the second is a correlation of conversations with other people in town. It gets so that each town has optionally 2-3 side quests a day, so beside the main quests and storyline quests you can score new quests each day in one place, to throttle the over-quest danger we limit the chances we get to the pointless border. By having enough signals we also limit the dangers of people heading for the easy line and on top of that, if we create a random partition that directs all the quests to a day at the beginning of the game there is a chance that two players end up having very different experiences making all players more and more curious on what more is there and how to find it. 

There are more things to do, but this is enough for today, today was to address the dangers of the pointless borderline and that borderline is a lot more dangerous than you think. 

If you do not head that line you could prematurely kill your own game in month one, an eerie setting that no game maker would ever want to face. More importantly, it also shows how we are treated by the media in todays events and that tends to reverberate in us too. So when we escape towards games we really need to get that signal stopped as soon as possible, it is perhaps the one danger any RPG faces, we tend to push ourselves into our RPG games the way we were before we started that game, emotional baggage and all, we cannot really hope to stop ourselves, but we can demand that whatever RPG game we play takes that feeling away within the first 10 minutes of gaming. I reckon it is part of the success of Skyrim.

Have a great day!

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In your face space

It happens, something is staring me right in the face and I lay it beside me. It happens, it happens to us all. This trip started in 1992 (I believe), at a consumer electronic show in Amsterdam (RAI) we got to see the first Mini Disc, the first thought I had that it would be a great digital system for computers, it was roughly 4% of a Bernoulli disk whilst being able to store 600% of what a Bernoulli could store. The idea was rejected by Sony, too incompatible they claimed, nowadays we know more, it would have been a great option, it would have pushed players like Apple to the limit 5 years ahead of the curve. Yesterday I was confronted with that thought as my DVD was acting up (the disc, not the player). Now consider the new players, the new way to watch TV. All whilst the telecom companies want you to use more and more bandwidth, the more they can harvest, the more dependent you get to become.

What if we take that away? Consider this Compact Flash, one card, not 26 discs, merely one card and it is not even the start, in a time and place where collections are complete book cases and we can replace it in almost all cases with one card per TV series. The fans have a perfect copy per card and there is still the option to upgrade over time, in the age where 4K will define new boundaries, the retail side also needs to adhere, a setting where we can drive innovation, not merely follow it. Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Babylon 5, Teen Wolf, Games of Thrones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Dexter, Midsomer Murders, the Star Wars saga and so on, one card per setting and the technology is already here to set the stage to a much larger degree to meet the customer beyond halfway, a customer that can watch their series in perfection, one card that can last a lifetime. I reckon that players will have larger settings, they have the space, open up any blue-ray or 4K player, most of it is space and adding a CF, or SD card reader (optionally both) is the easiest thing to do. Not walking back and forth to the player getting the next disc, merely one card and all seasons are there. Yes, newer series will likely go per season, but at present there are hundreds of series all well above a dozen discs, and the fans have needs, they want that card on their mobile, on the road and the card can take a lot more than any disc could, so what stopped a player like Sony? Another ‘too incompatible’ mention, or the fear of piracy? Piracy is already there, the disc allows for newer protection and even in store upgrades. Go to any store where you buy movies or TV-series, now consider a box (like GoT) and that box will be able to contain a dozen of your favourite series, now consider the space it is taking up and consider that one card could have all seasons and you keep it in your placer at all time, to be able to play it at your hearts content. So why is that solution not here now? Consider all the telecom players trying to be clever with their 5G, all whilst it is just not ready and do you really want your bandwidth to depend on your 5G router? Consider that IT Pro gave us a week ago “as they promote Kubernetes as the secret ingredient for closing the gap between 5G’s promises and 5G problems. Kubernetes does indeed have some potential to make 5G actually work well. That said, it’s not necessarily the holy grail of edge computing and telco networking that it is sometimes made out to be” (at https://www.itprotoday.com/hybrid-cloud/can-kubernetes-solve-5g-problems-partly-not-soon), there we are told “They make promises like “5G networks will one day offer peak data rates of up to 10 Gbps” and “5G’s hyper-fast speeds will revolutionise the way we live.” If you read statements like those carefully, you’ll notice that they’re predicated on theoretical future developments, not what 5G is actually delivering to the typical user today. That’s because, to date, 5G network implementations haven’t been all that impressive. They turn out to be slower than 4G in many cases, not to mention less reliable. 5G, in other words, has become “a bad joke.”” A setting I have been mentioning for close to two years and the joke gets to be worse, at present Saudi Arabia has a 5G network that is well over 700% faster than anything the US can offer, their BS marketing drive is that bad and it will get worse, as such do we want to rely on congestion, or do we want an option where we can watch what we love unhindered, optionally in a better setting than now? So whilst we take notice of “it won’t address all 5G problems, and it will take a long time–several years, most likely–before Kubernetes is a full-fledged 5G solution, which I predicted a few times in the last two years, I made no mention of Kubernetes, I merely observed the greed driven stupidity of some and watch these ships wreck left right and center. So whilst American politicians are blaming China for their own lack of innovation, I created the setting of a 7th device that can push innovation and change. And when we consider that innovation drives creativity, I wonder what someone else can come up with tomorrow, I already set the design of a new device for IOS and Android, that is how I roll. All whilst Microsoft is pushing Forza on your mobile, I came up with two new pieces of hardware, yup, I feel decently good, especially as we see Microsoft falter again and again and now it get to pull the wool over the eyes of Apple and Sony too (life can be satisfying). Did I figure out everything? No, I did not, but if I had done so I would make life for 1,000 researchers at Microsoft impossible and that is not fair either, oh wait, I really do not care about that, sorry!

All this in a day, so what is stoping these moguls of achieving true innovation? #JustAsking

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The power of push

Yup, push is by far the greatest power in levelling the playing field. So when I heard that Bethesda had joined the Microsoft farm. From a tactical point of view, it was a brilliant move, the research a few weeks ago showed that merely 1 in three would select a Microsoft system, 1 in 3 is set to 3 in 9, but now there is every chance that the purchase might give Microsoft a shift towards 4-5 in 9, this is an important shift. We might see that it is a shift that cannot be avoided, but I see it as the opportunity to add to the power of Sony. You see, every RPG game is the same, there is land and there is a story, but what happens when we change that? What happens when the map is not defined by the story? What happens when we set it in two different dimensions? So what happens when the story has a localisation part? What if the map is wherever we need it to be, and we add the story on top? What if we can add the story to the map wherever it is? There is off course the need to transfer the map of the world into a playable map (which is not initially possible), yet the segregation of the two is a first step in a much larger frame, a frame that RPG games have not considered in the past. Yet it is only one of two parts, the second part is the revitalisation of the maps we play on. Yet what happens when the actions of a first game transfer to the second game? I am not talking about merely a change to an area because of actions (Fable), but the stage where the castle we add in the first game will be there in the second game as an existing location. At present, games are designed retroactively to avoid issues (Harry Potter), yet what options come alive when we embrace them? I thought in the direction before, but not to this degree. So consider the stage in a land, as we play the first game we offer quests we offer choices and so forth, but what happens that even beyond what we see in Mass Effect, the impact is not merely people, what happens, when we add and destroy locations, so the second game has the added/removed parts? We have seen shadows of this in games, but not to this extent, it is a larger stage of the accountability of the player. We accept that some will choose to only add locations, but in all this we forget that any RPG can have two sides, so what happens to the power core of any land, when there is no destruction? Bethesda did that quite nicely to leave us the options to save or destroy Megaton, but the is merely a fraction of what is possible, in that game the trade routes and the surrounding locations were not impacting by a shifted economy. So what happens when (in Fallout 4) the vaults become power villages? Each with an economy? That was in the back of my mind as I was looking at the Ultima setting, but that game is not alone. Yet there is no good example, because it has never been done to this degree before and it opens up all kinds of new settings and options in RPG gaming. 

In all this we need to thank Bethesda, no matter what reasons they had (the number 7,500,000,000) is a pretty nice reason, the station is now a larger setting, all kinds of needs to see a larger RPG change and even as Microsoft has the lead with its (as some say) 23 first person studio’s, it was a guy like me on a sofa who came up with the idea that no one ever brought to a game, not to this degree and that is where 23 studio’s came up short and Sony has the option to make a change to gaming, a larger change and that is what they have always done, I wonder how they will do it this time. I hope that we get to teach Microsoft another lesson, they have already been inclined to the fact that not listening to their gamers comes at a cost (only 1 out of 3 decided to buy the next Xbox), but there is every chance they get to learn that money does not solve everything, if you do not have the grasp of those who can create, you have nothing.

The power of push tends to hand a lending hand, but this time not to Microsoft.

 

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Software as a salad

Yup, we all have our moments of creation, although this is a redesign, the idea is out there and it is set to be an open invitation to the owners of the game Clue, to take it to a next level. What happens when we change the tally? It dawned on me when I was walking in a mall and I laid eyes on the Harry Potter edition of Clue, it looked nice, it looked revamped to be as close to the Harry Potter world as possible, but it was still the classical game of Clue. It was funny, because around an hour earlier I was sitting down sipping on a coffee and try to wake up (well a fair attempt anyway), I noticed two tables over a gorgeous young lady (19-21) and she was talking to her friend (no idea what about) and she was getting slightly over enthusiastic over pictures of Professor Snape (Alan Rickman is cool). I had to giggle internally and I would have given anything for Alan Rickman to be blushing one table over, but that was not the case, yet it started a thought and after the coffee when I noticed the HP Board game, when a thought started to take hold, what if one game could lead to another? What if we take the EA original Murder on the Zinderneuf (yes, it was original in 1983), make it a first person adjustable mystery, yet every game unlocks specific randomised new options. What if the game unlocks the game clue, but what happens when the game, a game that is different every time (apart from the stage). The game offers a challenge already, but when you get a different murder mystery every time you play it, in addition, you get the board game Clue to play at home or online with opt in players or a computer character, as well as a stage where you could optionally unlock the HP edition, the Downton Abbey edition, the Walking dead edition, the Asterix edition, a Scooby Doo edition and so on. The idea of opening a game an unlocking the other skins one at a time sets a larger premise, sets a drive to play the game, especially for those who love the game. The game would not alter too much, but the location, people and object skins do and that are cosmetic items. The option to seed the game like a minefield with other cards (like the ones in the game), but with different outfits, so the game keeps on looking fresh. Then there are the stage where the initial game when replayed will offer a person to find objects, like a Golden Snitch, the Resurrection stone, An Asterix flask, Scooby Do’s bone and so on. A game with a long lasting half life, because there will be options to unlock for a long time to come, yet who took on considering that approach in gaming until the Google Stadia became a fact? Let’s face it, I never saw this for the years that Steam was out. 

There is no end towards what is possible, but what should concern you is why the makers of current games aren’t thinking the far ahead, or that much out of the box. This is my 7th game IP concept in under a year, and in the gaming industry, these so called captains of industry haven’t come up with 50% of that amount of IP. So I leave you with that thought, will you buy software, or will you mix it up like a salad, it might not taste the way you think it does, but it is more likely then not an original taste and that counts in gaming. The stage of ‘I never had that before’ and it remains true, it is not for everyone, but when you set the goal to make a game for everyone, you merely make a game that pleases no one. 

 

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The view somewhere else

I was pleasantly surprised today when I got treated to: ‘Can Harry Potter magic tourists back to Japan?’ Yes, we can argue on when things need to be done and how things need to be, but consider the long term view, a case can be made that soon enough Japan would be a much more interesting place to visit than the US. Japan has its Disney Park, and when the Harry Potter park is completed another reason to visit Japan is born. It has interesting culture, it has entertainment, it has arcades, it has numerous food markets and overall In the direct vicinity of Tokyo most tourists can get a large amount of entertainment, and in all this they still have an upcoming Olympics. Japan is not the solution for everyone, yet I see it as an option for Asia and the Middle East, the nations shunned by President Trumps facade of idiocy, they can all relax in Japan, as such the US (and Europe to some degree) will have a larger faltering getting their economies back up, Japan will have a much larger stage of reserving their economy. Should Australians take the same route, Japan will push forward to a much larger degree whilst the US slowly limps into a less amicable endeavour. 

When we consider the options on a global scale, we see a larger contemplation. It is not where we were, but where we can go in the near future that counts and at present we see a larger absence of options in both the US and Europe. This is not about checks and balances, it becomes about the balance of opportunities and as such blatantly following the political needs of the US the entire setting of balance crashes for both the US and to a larger degree for Europe as well. So how does the view matters?

As we are being told that ‘The USPS is shutting down mail-sorting machines crucial for processing absentee ballots as the 2020 election looms’, as well as ‘A Fight Over the Future of the Mail Breaks Down Along Familiar Lines’ most consider quotes like “Without a financial rescue from Congress, they have warned, an agency that normally runs without taxpayer funds could run out of cash as soon as late September, raising the specter of bankruptcy and an interruption in regular delivery for millions of Americans”, that and the issues around voting issues are raised, but the stain of what might matter, the massive debt that the US has is left outside the bullpen. When we see “It was the White House that intervened in March, nixing a bipartisan plan to provide $13 billion to the Postal Service” (source: NY Times), we think it is about blaming this presidency, yet the larger truth is that the postal services need $13,000,000,000 just to stay alive and that is the issue, rural isolationism and connectivity issues are a much larger stage in the US, as such and only because the previous 4 presidents did not push rural internet enough, we see a stage of isolationists and it will go from bad to worse in the US. That is the stage that the US was always going towards and the Coronavirus issue merely hastened the direction it was going in, in an age where the US is bankrupt it had not many options in all this the China setting and the covid ignoramus people are merely speed accelerators, and as we see the
Middle East taking a different course, the US has more dangers as billion after billion in trade falls away and now we see Japan moving in the direction that Japan needs to be in and they will enjoy what comes off it. No matter what the US publishes on the ‘victories’ that they have in writing, 2021 will be a lot worse than 2020 was for them, the Americans that see this approaching will most likely m Ove to greener pastures in Canada, hastening what will come even more. Even as the NY Times makes the statement that Jeff Bezos is the nemesis, he really is not. Amazon made the decisions that were best for Amazon, and as Amazon grew, so did its delivery service, there is no issue with the USPS, they were merely outclassed by the existence of eMail, and the fact that it grew much faster than the USPS could adjust to. Amazon was a factor but not the cause, a bad budget was a much larger factor in all that and now we see the endgame and the struggle within the US to avoid whatever it can whilst the Wall Street bad boys have made enough to live larger than life for the next few decades. This is the stage we see there, yet Japan has a huge debt as well, in this they have the benefit of the 2020/2021 Olympics and after that it will be about tourism, because those people tend to come and spend money and the Harry Potter park was the one thing missing, we tend to go to places for a range of options and the more options the better the setting, in this a place that has close to a billion fans is not the stage that should be missed, that and the millions who love Disney and now there is more than one place where it an be enjoyed, all whilst the unacceptability of Americans can be avoided. I cannot answer how these matters are in Japan, but the louder stage of America is striating to rub a lot of people all over the world the wrong way and they seek another place to go to. I reckon that 2022 will start to be a shining light for Japan when things work out and it is up to them to shine that light stronger luring tourists like moths to the lighthouse. 

Is it the only option? No, it is not, but at this stage the US has so much going against them that Japan is a lot more likely to push for a new economy than the US is and that is perhaps one of the scariest things yet. 

 

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