Tag Archives: HFW

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming

IP intoxication

Yup, this just happened to me. I will try to be as clear as possible, yet I cannot say too much. It all started as I was contemplating new RPG IP, not entirely new, it was to be added to the RPG game that I have been giving visibility to on this blog. As I was considering parts in the economy to interact with the play world my thoughts skipped to Brendan Fraser. I was rethinking some parts of Encino Man (with Sean Astin aka Rudy), as well as The Mummy (with Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan). At some point the mint was drawing a line and even as additional IP came to mind, I ignored it as this would be Ubisoft territory. But the line became and as such my mind saw an interaction that has NEVER EVER been done in RPG gaming before. It would be optionally the stage for Sony, but it seems that streamers (Amazon Luna) had a much better grasp of the option. To get this added in a game would imply that the game would require module of machine learning and deeper learning. Now that is not so odd. A multitude of RPG games have some kind of NPC AI in play (to coin a phrase), but to add this to the character as a side setting has to my knowledge never been done before and the added options would give it more traction towards gamers. There are a few more sides, I discussed that in part in ‘Mummy and Daddy’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/19/mummy-and-daddy/), so well over a year ago (March 19th 2021). There I made mention of “it is basically, to some degree the end of the linear quest person, it is a stage never seen before and I believe that whomever makes that game to the degree we see will make that developer a nice future stage as a new larger development house, and as Micro$oft learns that they lost out again, perhaps they will take the word of gamers against that of business analyst claiming to be gamers.” Additional sides that connect and in this not only has it never been done before, it seems that whomever adds this to their RPG will have additional sides that Bethesda (the company that Microsoft paid $7,500,000,000 for) comes up short on. It feels intoxicating. To have several options in a game that none of the others ever did or contemplated. And now I see that there is more to it all. There is in part a side that touches towards IP Bundle 3 I have, something that could bring Amazon billions (but with a small amount of risk). Yet I never considered it as a side of a game, well to some degree. So as the mind is connecting idea to idea, evolve IP into IP+ and a multitude of IP’s I merely wonder why the others (Google and Amazon) are not on this page already. Google seems to driven to advertise its nest security, Amazon is doing whatever (clothing stores and trying to buy EA), but as I watch the news, and the deeper news that the news will not give us, I see an absence of true innovation in games. In a sense I wonder what is wrong with me, you see I have never been this ahead of any envelope before. 

I tried to explain it in the past. You see there is a side where gaming is, most games are in that ‘light’ circle and the bar is set to the edge. Now there is an area outside the gaming area and that is the area of what is possible, this is where innovation is. the really good games (like Horizon: Forbidden West) are in part there, and they are not alone. The real AAA games are in part there, they are coding there now because it is what will be possible tomorrow, the darker circle is what future games will see as ‘current technology’ that is how games have evolved and that has not changed. I went a step beyond that, I went where tomorrow games are currently not and I set out a slice of gaming heaven and decided to add this to the upcoming technology. There are two dangers. The first is that it has a danger of being delusional. The second is that not all technology can get there. The second one is simple. I see the streamers as a stepping stone to what will be possible in for example the PlayStation 6. A (for the lack of a better term) a hybrid streamer. A fat client client/server application in gaming. One that needs a real power player, but that is not possible UNTIL there is a national deployed 5G network. I believe Amazon Luna and Google Stadia need to get to that point, it is what is required in the evolution of gaming. So there are these two dangers, but is the first danger mine? I do not believe that to be as my mind can clearly see the parts required, but that is the hidden danger of a delusional mind. In my defence I have been involved in gaming since 1984 (connections to Mirrorsoft and Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Virgin Games at the time), so I have been around since the very beginning of games. My mind has seen a mountain of true innovator and innovations. As such I feel I am awake and on top of it. But the hidden trap is there and as such, one can never stop to question your own abilities to avoid falling into the first trap.

But for now I feel intoxicated, and not a drop of alcohol in me, innovation can be that overwhelming. This is why the previous article remains under construction. It has a lot to do with Texas, the ATF and the NRA. I wrote about that before as well and interesting enough the media seems to avoid that side to a much larger degree, with the one or two exceptions I mentioned in a previous article. I wonder why that is. Do you not?  Well time to sign off, snore like a sawmill and get ready for the new day which is already here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Science

Chaos on the brain

Yup that was me alright this morning. It started actually pretty good, I was enjoying some tea (yes I drink that every now and then), I was enjoying being in my bonnet and behold, a thought passed me by. It was a mix of Queen, a thought of Ted (the teddy) and things started to click. You see, when I grew up (a really long time ago) I got my hands on some Flash Gordon comics and the mix started to rattle. 

I loved it, it was just different. So I was a fan before Queen, Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson decided to have a go at Max von Sydow. I loved the music, the movie all because the comic woke something up. Even nowadays, I miss the comics, I can still enjoy the Queen album (they truly outdid themselves) and the movie was for a 1980 movie quite enjoyable. But something was missing. You see, now we have the streamers and they could transform the original comics into something dark, gritty and closer resembling the comics. Who? I have no idea, but Amazon, Hulu and Netflix should seriously consider it. No matter who wins, if they can make it truly dark and more resembling the comics, they could have a large win on their hands, merely my point of view. Nothing more. So whilst that process started chaos came knocking on my display. It was Hogwarts Legacy (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AZmuZNu5LA) and it blew me away. Not by a little either. Even now as I am still enjoying Horizon: Forbidden West, I cannot stop thinking of what Avalanche Software has set in motion. What I saw was unique and flawless.  I plays a century before the Hogwarts we know and it works out that way. Yes, we recognise parts, we see things and creatures from all kind of places, but there is so much new to be seen, so much art in nearly every screen that I believe that on view alone, it will drive millions of Harry Potter fans insane with the need to get this game. Yes, I heard about the critique, I cannot say how I feel as I avoided (intentionally or not) most of the information as it was too far from release date. So whatever goblin issue there was the clip I pasted was my first introduction to the game and it looks utterly stunning. So even as some will say, I saw that. I avoided the 2018 leaks, I see no need to get hung up on something 4 years before release, and I still believe that. I saw some teasers that were released, and now some real stuff and this game could optionally set a new bar for many game developers. First Guerrilla, now Avalanche and Ubisoft cannot release anything to that level of gaming as I personally see it. Can you not see that Ubisoft is about to become a ‘has been’, like Microsoft (just a thought). So why the link?

I believe that any new IP, could be linked. Could transgress from comic to both games and series and here the path for Amazon becomes a lot more clear, but there is nothing stopping Netflix to seek an alliance with a real hungry and futuristic software house to unite and create both using one design and art team. There really is no need to reinvent the wheel and nowadays these wheels are a lot closer alike and a lot closer together than was the case in the past. 

In this fantasy and science fiction seem to be more easily adapted to both stages than others, but that is merely a personal view. And in this, what happens when you consider what games like Horizons: Forbidden West and optionally Hogwarts Legacy allows for. So what happens when the world of Flash Gordon become a much larger RPG styled game than ever before? It goes further than this. Consider Hansel and Gretel. Not the fairy tale, but the movie that gave us a bad ass Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. Now consider the environment. Take Southern Germany, a map that maps Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in the 11th century. And the Black Forest is only a small part of Baden-Württemberg. Now consider what you need to do to become a famous witch hunter. And optionally the golden Emma Watson statue if you kill more witches than anyone else (no need to avoid humour, is there?) And consider the era, the first Crusades are in full swing, so there is an abundance of criminals and charlatans, there are corrupt officials and in that stage you will need to put your stamp. And it does not come easy. In the movie they had the weapons, but in this game you will not get far without the help and alliance of a really nice blacksmith and they only work for coins. We are so gung-ho about the kill-shot that we forgot that before we get to do that kill-shot a lot more needs to happen. Would it work? I honestly do not know, but in this day and age, the larger entertainer and the larger holder of a unique piece of IP has a much better chance than all others. Guerrilla showed that and believe it or not, I believe (from what I saw) that Hogwarts Legacy is on that same track. Avalanche did something really good and I cannot wait to find out. And if I had to choose? I honestly do not know. I would look forward to all three games and it has been a while since more than one game was on my list. At present HFW is just so fulfilling, it is almost scary. 

But that too is part of gaming, the anticipation and finding out that it was well warranted, Ubisoft used to be like that, but now it seems the new software makers are on that path whilst the old makers are exiting the stage on the left side.

Chaos is on my brain, but it comes from a weird mix of the old, the new and what might be, and in the stage of a place that now has more than 20,000 castles? I reckon that any witch would want one, so there is a reason to play this in southern Germany and there is no reason to think that the map is limited to merely there. In 5 years, no telling what systems are capable of in 2027/2028.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, movies

Pushing cogs

Yes, for me that was the setting. In the previous articles (several) I set the boundaries for a new RPG game, freeware for all Amazon Luna and Sony developers (just to piss off Microsoft). And if we are going to take a chunk of the marketshare of Bethesda, we need to offer more and we need to offer different. In this I set the player as merely one of many people. Making sure that the world does not revolve around him (or her). So the towns need an economy, It needs a stage to grow and it needs to be in a trend that causes the need for replayability. I always believed in replayability. It is lovely that we all have a house in EVERY town, but reality is not like that. So even if we are going into that stage, I needed to set a larger premise towards WHAT the stage was. The tavern sets productivity in villages and towns. So does the Blacksmith and so does the general store, bookshop, butcher and grocer. Yet in this we see internal economy, the parts that feed the town (Butcher, baker, grocer, tavern) there are the shops that feed an external economy (Blacksmith) and there are the shops that feed both (herbalist, general store) and there is the luxury shop (bookshop). So as these shops are doing better, they could upgrade, they could grow the town. The external shops call in adventurers and more money into a town. And if a town grows to lets state 3 stars, the infrastructure upgrades (lights, guards) This cannot be merely tables that ‘satisfy’ the needs of the game. Each town gets his stage of cogs, one gear feeding another and that need is there. You cannot get a dynamic town in place merely letting the adventurer set the speed of growth. There also needs a risk setting. For example if you fed the tavern too much, and it gets to 5 stars, whilst the town is a 3 star place, the tavern gets sold, and you get to start anew there. Luxury shops (bookshop, tailor) are there when the town reaches its 4th star. This upgrade the overall look of the town, wealthier people come into town and that calls more adventurers and more charlatan’s. To set this all in cogs is nearly impossible, but such an attempt is required to create a dynamic playing world. Consider Bethesda’s Oblivion (2006), we see Chorrel, Cheydenhal, Bravil and Skingrad. They all stay the same, but what happens when you set the game where we see Chorrel doing better and Cheydenhal recedes towards another Bravil? To set such a gaming stage was not possible in 2006, but now with streaming servers and the PS5, that setting becomes achievable. And when you return to a town after weeks, it might look very different. And that is what we are trying to aim for, because the $200,000,000,000 gaming revenue (expected 2023 numbers) does not go to those doing the same again and again. It goes to the people who offers what others do not, or cannot. I do hope that Horizons: Forbidden West showed you that much (as did Elden ring). To give the world a new a really new creation will be rewarding beyond expectations. So here you go and you are welcome. Oh and none of this links to my optional additional stage of selling 50,000,000 Amazon Luna consoles, so there is that too (it sucks to be Microsoft in 2022).

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT