It was something that had been nagging at me for a while. Whilst I was working on an idea for TV, an idea that was in ‘And a little more’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/04/04/and-a-little-more/) and a few articles before then (and one after), the setting was a little too vanilla, too sweet. Yes, it works when you have a pilot and you need to slowly submerge the viewer into this person. But after that you need to have something more and the dark place is at times so much more rewarding. So what happens when loss, loss that would drive any person insane is part of all this? No matter how we slice it, lets say a child is lost to drunk driving, to whatever reason and that person gets off on a technicality, not something that happened now, but something that happened decades ago. So when some events come back, so does the avenging rage. But not like the timeline. But a timeline that is distorted, as memories come back together. So how would that go? That is what I am contemplating. The vengeance is that he takes the life of a family member every decade. A hunt going on for decades and the family is scared beyond believe because this had been going on and they have no idea who to blame. When you know that EVERY decade on the dot a family member dies extremely brutally, how would YOU react? That is the stuff I am trying to add to the idea. You see the dark appeals to all, the need for vengeance appeals to all. In our lives as we add water to the wine, as we add compromise to our values for fairness, the dark gets a free turn on all of us and that side is appealing to all. Yet the power is not to hide it in some lame ‘conspiracy’ setting. We have seen so many of those, but what happens when the deaths also allow for something more? Lets not forget that this is the story of the grandson of Hades. And that is before we get to the part where his father is Ares. Yet that implies that he has another grandfather. All settings that seem to be clear in season one, so what gives?
A stage where decades of corpses set a line in place, a line that I am trying to give volume, but I cannot yet tell in what direction, because I do not know what the direction is yet. That is part of the thrill of creating stories. You need to keep everything in mind, just like an RPG. And this story needs to have angles, sharp sides, soft sides and surprises. It is setting a ying and yang, but shaped like Hesiod and Plato. The dialogue goes better if there is some polarisation, some opposition to either view whilst the bulk of both views are accepted. That is the stage I need to create, and if I succeed the story becomes a lot better and that is what every storyteller tries to do, create the most enticing story. And that setting works when one side is dark, really dark whilst both sides accepts the darkness and shines their own light on that darkness. You see, shadow die in the absence of light or darkness. Both are needed, a shadow cannot exist in absence of either, the first truth all storytellers learn, most often in the midst of their first story and they rewrite it.
I am no different, although I started when I saw the story became too sweet, too vanilla.
What if education got a helping hand? We seemingly play games, we seemingly read books, we seemingly learn. What if we unite this? And here we have a setting to the larger stage and I will admit that Ubisoft has the baton. They got it when they aded the Discovery tour to AC Origin. And when we weren’t in a rush to get the achievements we would have learned a decent deal of life in Egypt. The embalmers, the beer makers and so on. I stated it before, Ubisoft screwed up [plenty, but not that game. That one they got right and credit should be given where credit is due.
And Ubisoft (others too) have been sitting on top of a whole range of IP that they could redistribute in a ‘plus setting’. The stage is decently easy. We have the person we play, we unite the maps of AC Origins and AC Odyssey and we go to town. Remove the wild animals, remove the enemies and so on. Then we add the tracks and works of
Homer, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Plato, Hesiod, Democritus, Socrates, Empedokles, Anaxagoras, Herodotus and many more (well over 300 more). When set in a time line we learn and we now have an educational program. This can be done for Greece and Italy (aka Roman empire). The finny part was that I would have expected that Ubisoft had picked up on this, especially after the discovery tour. And let be honest, it is a much more interesting way of learning. See it as missions, from person to person, take a gander from where they were born to where they stopped living (or until the big works are illuminated). We see all thee boring books (not all mind you), but to use games to educate has not been explored enough and weirdly enough Ubisoft has an inside track here the renaissance (AC 2, Brotherhood), US independence war (AC 3), And there is plenty more to tip on and with streaming systems seeking a larger hold, having the games with optional educational side will be a growing thing and lets be clear the expected $200,000,000,000 that the analysts state that gaming represents might go longer for Ubisoft if they find the larger application and I reckon that AC Origins (with Odyssey) might show to be a larger cash cow that could help them stretch time, time they basically no longer have. I would grasp at all options to stretch what is there. And they are not alone, but they are as far as I can tell the most visible one.
We need to realise that not all games have an educational option, but those who do could have a larger stage to fill and a larger appeal (especially to parents). And don’t knock the idea. To get kids (11-16) interested in classical education topics is hard enough, getting them to walk the timeline of Homer and write a paper in it (with screenshots) might be the new setting no one in education considered before. It might not be their fault, but I reckon it is the foot in the door Ubisoft desperately needs at present.
Yup, it all started two days ago. I left you all with some impressions, yet the stage was larger. We cannot set omnipotence without foundation , well we can because I am here, but I am that one exception to the rule (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). The others (Hades, Poseidon and Zeus) they grew their powers. We tend to make fun and call some settings ‘fabrications’, there we see “Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld)” The gods got a decent role in Homer’s illiad, and more wrote about them in all kinds of ways, yet when you dig down and dig to the past several people, people who had never had contact had similar writings. It is trivialised by people who have internet and mobile phones, yet in the old days they had no contact, in no way were groups of people with no levels of contact ever stating the same believes and adhering to the same rules. Perhaps there is something to be said in “he was appalled by human sacrifice and other signs of human decadence. He decided to wipe out mankind and flooded the world with the help of his brother Poseidon. After the flood, only Deucalion and Pyrrha remained” and it is not the only time, even the first time that floods were a larger stage of cleansing. So why? Consider that power grows and power is gotten from somewhere. If Aristaeus got his powers from bees, what happens if people abuse bees? A stage we might not consider, but in a stage where power was important, the abuse of sky (Zeus) and waters (Poseidon) would inflict the wrath of these two. That is the stage we seek!
If we can create a god (ourselves) it needs a power foundation, the smaller the creature, the more simplistic their needs, the easier their power is milked. Hence the 6 animals I gave two days ago. So when we get to “both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing powers of honey, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world; on some Minoan seals, goddesses were represented with bee faces”, with this I personally reckon that the German Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1845) was a lot closer to the truth with his view on it and it is important that any game has some handle on the past. Anchors in how power is distributed, how it is gained. If not, then Zeus, Poseidon and Hades could never have defeated Cronos, their father.
Now consider the paths that Ezio Auditore and Bayek of Siwa undertook (two actual masterpieces), how they grew their powers and abilities. Would it be any different for deities? No matter how the had the ability to do so, they still needed to grow their powers, we all do and now we have a handle on us and on the character we play. Yet if we want something that is larger than life as such some sandbox trip is needed, choices are to be offered. Whether a person has the bee, the wasp or the termite. It starts with a foundation and that foundation grows towards a power base and a weakness, we all tend to look towards Athens for inspiration, but those who do tend to forget to look towards Poseidonia, a ‘village’ on Siros. When we see the elements shown we need to wonder how it was possible and there we have a setting towards the power base of a deity. If Ambrosia is food for the gods, or is it the food that creates gods? One might fuel the other. These thoughts are below the creation of a game, as we set the stage to a larger stage, we need to consider what gives foundation to that stage. A brilliant example is Horizon Zero Dawn, and soon its sequel. We chase in the first game what created the game, we see that there was a machine that creates larger than life events, but there is always a shoe in the cog (Hades). Any stage needs checks and balances or it becomes a fuelled stage of disbelief, even whilst you play it. That was the brilliance that led to Ezio Auditore, a stage we understood (historically speaking). As such, when you figure out that the events in Ancient Greece and ancient Iran (Mesopotamia) are not unrelated, how long until the cogs connect?
As such we see can see out minds evolve the new god game, but is it a god game or forging a deity? There is a difference and even as the Atari ST, Playstation one, two and three needed us to make mental jumps, the Playstation 5 is now advanced enough to make us see the difference and play accordingly, the specifics are now in our grasp making for a much larger stage of handling evolution. And I reckon that over time cloud gaming will take it to the next level. And in all this Ubisoft was not alone, consider the path that the God of War took, and even he was not alone. It was a path and we forgot about that part in god gaming. We merely have the maker of the games (Peter Molyneux) and his examples Populous and Black and White as examples, but what if growth is a stage that encompasses both? Setting a different sandbox environment might be the way to go and we finally have hardware that can take us there.
How it done? That is up to the game makers, you can’t expect me to do everything. You need to get creative and make the next stage of excellent gaming, because if we leave it up to Ubisoft it will be anyones guess what excellent gaming looks like and it will end up being below par and we have seen enough games like that.
So get to work, get to the drawing board and consider the stage we play (entire Greece), what we can do short of everything and start considering what makes power grow. If you are done with that hold it against the deities of Egypt, Aztec and Inca deities and see how you hold up. You see checks and balances is where it is at. That is what makes people choose and it will make them come back for a second and third time. A game played three times over, that is the stage of a legendary game in the making.
As such in this story I left two clues. They were Deucalion and Pyrrha. Why were only those two spared? If you look at the historic writings (Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, Apollodorus) some things add up and some do not. Now, we can allow for creative views and that would be OK, yet Homer (Ionia, 900 BC), Hesiod (Cyme, 725 BC), Ovid (Sulmona, 43 BC) and Apollodorus (Athens, 180 BC). People that can never have been connected in time, also consider that with our options of preservation, we do not have books that last 300 years and that is whilst we have all kinds of machines that allow for mass replication, that did not exist before the 14th century. A whole range of places most of them more than a life time of travelling away, yet the similarities are almost astounding. When you consider those elements, consider what more there I and what is making these sotries survive, now consider what you need to make a game of THAT magnitude survive the onslaught of players and their increased need of perfection, have a great day.
It started last month when I decided to create a new TV series out of thin air, well, it is in space, so air was not a factor. It was a little homage to RendezVous with Rama, yet I added a twist, as one does. I started that journey in ‘And that was a hard sell?’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/09/21/and-that-was-a-hard-sell/), whilst I was exploring a few ideas, I stumbled (for more than one reason) on Thalia, the muse of comedy. Leave it to me to seek out the history and optional origin of my bad sense of humour. Now, when we consider the origin of humour, or better stated the muses, Their origin goes back 7 centuries before there was even a christ, and even then there was some correlation to comedy (the muse Thalia) and her mother Mnemosyne the goddess of memory. The heralding of the muses starts (as far as I can tell) in 800BC when the poet Hesiod makes mention of them. Over the three millennia two of his works survived. The first is Theogony, the second one is called Works and Days, describing the peasant life. The Theogony is basically a story of crime and revolt (by Zeus) and set the story of gods and titans, yet I do not want to digress, it is not bout the gods, it is about Hesiod. He sets the stage of muses, he sets the indication of Mnemosyne and her 9 daughters Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania. They are the depiction of Epic poetry, History, Love poetry, Music and song, Tragedy, Hymns, Dance, Comedy and Astronomy, in all this, we merely whisk them away as the stories of those with angst and superstition, yet in all this Hesiod was apparently a native of Boeotia, a district of central Greece. It is said that he had mastered the technique and vocabulary of the epic by memorising and reciting heroic songs. He himself attributes his poetic gifts to the Muses, who appeared to him while he was tending his sheep. So a sheep herder focussed and learned the setting of entertainment to an almost eerie level of precision in a time when none of it existed (or mostly none of it). In this no one is wondering how that happened?
I was wondering about the setting of comedy, about the stage of dance and what christianity broke and almost destroyed. Is no one wondering why? A stage of entertainment and insight into the mind and we are seemingly dumb do the notion, I was, and I was this to the largest degree, schooling made me this way. We have been said to a stage of moving forward, all whilst we ignore the past, the past that leaves us with more questions and not a lot of answers. You see, Hesiod did not merely have a muse of poetry, he had two, Calliope the muse of epic poetry and eloquence and Erato, the muse of love poetry. She was also part of the Aeneid almost 750 years later. So consider that we have lost the texts of most of the events between 1250 and 1400, a lot of it destroyed, yet this work survives. It also sets another person, the writer of that work Publius Vergilius Maro, who before there was a christ created three legendary works, the Aeneid, Georgics and Eclogues. In one of hist works we see the growth of tension as a forward momentum and hist work would be the larger inspiration to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, where Virgil becomes the authors guide. 6 notable legendary works in a stage where works mostly did not exist. More important, these works were kept safe, in an age where we now are swallowed by trash, spam and fake news, we disregard deeper works of optional philosophical nature and are left in the dark on their existence.
Yet in this age, in the age of streaming entertainment, it seems natural that we take a deeper look at the old works, we might have to, even as the Vatican did it best to remove as much of the Rhaetian language as possible, they did not remove all and when we see these old works, we might ask actual questions that matter. You see, if a man herding his sheep sets the stage of entertainment to a much larger degree 3,000 years ago, even as his own audience (the sheep) had no clue what he was on about, he sets a larger frame, that frame is seemingly important, because of the goddess of memory had a sense of humour (Thalia), we better figure out what that is and how it affects us.
It is perhaps best seen in: “Do not, I pray thee, do not weep for me, neither pursue me thus ominously as I go to the stern shock of war. Turnus is not free to dally with death. Thou, Idmon, bear my message to the Phrygian monarch in this harsh wording: So soon as to-morrow’s Dawn rises in the sky blushing on her crimson wheels, let him not loose Teucrian or Rutulian: let Teucrian and Rutulian arms have rest, and our blood decide the war; on that field let Lavinia be sought in marriage”
Now consider his assumed past “Virgil was from an equestrian landowning family who could afford to give him an education. He attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum, Rome and Naples. After considering briefly a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry”, which I do not debate, yet consider that he died at the age of 50, he was at home the first 10 years, yet after that he attended 4 schools, over a distance of 1100 KM, which would have taken at least a week per part and in that setting he would have been exposed to all kinds of issues. And when we see this work (one of three important ones) over 12 books, hundreds of words per book, we forget the important question, how was this created? There was no typewriter, this is the work on scrolls, likely several per book and now consider that this would have to survive well over a thousand years. Each fact gives us something more to consider, and when we look at then, perhaps we are doing something really wrong now, have you even considered that part?
If we consider merely these two writers and the massive impact that they had, what did we lose over time and more important was was removed from sight since the 11th century? These are part of the questions that were plaguing me as I was setting the tone in my idea for a TV series, but here I am, I already forgot the title, but not the setting. And in all that there is the choice, but what happens when we never had a choice? Did you consider that? Some might have seen the movie How It Ends, but did you consider it? Basically Theo James had a lot less options than he thought he had, and we merely see that ending come to us as the movie ends. Yet what if Hesiod and Publius Vergilius Maro were telling us about the fight, the fight that is coming in the only way that they could grasp and we wasted 90% of 2750 years and 99.9% of the 47 years that followed, with the last 3 years 100% wasted due to spam. We consider and we accept that some (in the most weird corners of life) can be the stage masters of life and creativity (JK Rowling being an example), but we have something to look back to, we have (to some degree education), as did Publius Vergilius Maro, yet what about Hesiod, who pasturing sheep on Mount Helicon? Shall we write it all to ‘imagination’?
I am happy to do that, but from what we know now bout then, his work leaves us with all kinds of questions, questions that we (for the most) cannot answer. How many people (of non noble origin) had the ability to write? Were versed in all kinds of manner? And consider that Mount Helicon was close to 150KM from Athens, not a trip sheep herders tend to make. So where did the refinement of his work come from? We are left with questions and some people (academics) will give bright answers that make total sense today, but 2000 years ago, a lot less so.
As such, when I was considering memory and humour as I was trying to find a scientific narrative in season one of Keno Diastima (I had to name it again) and that is where I find myself. A station of choice where the choice is an illusion, because the option of choice was only valid for a while and we decided to waste time and options, as such what would we face then?