Tag Archives: Horizon Forbidden West

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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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.

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Increasingly Pretentious

Yes, that happens, and that is how some see others. The first group does that out of envy, they do not understand what they are confronted with and as such they ridicule it. Their belief is that their biggest asset is between their legs and the fact that their wives/partners disagree is lost on them, hence the adultery rates. The second group is different. They know they are looking at something new, but they cannot concur the percentages, or the revenue from these innovations. That group is more interesting. They can add to my ideas, they can add to my considerations, their objections are food for the soul and food for the evolution of IP. To ignore that group is beyond stupid, it is worse than pretentious, it is dangerous. The second group might not be right, but they come with their own wagons of experience and as such they should be listened to. Listening does not mean adhering. Listening does not mean (but could mean) changing the IP. A person that sets its IP blindly into concrete will loose a lot more than the IP. 

And that is where I find myself, three bundles of IP, one bundle holding media IP and I added to that last night, or better stated. I am still adding to this. There are a few items I discussed two days ago, but last night a new part started to be added to this. The problem is that I am all sixes and sevens (the other numbers are to be added later) whether this is a new game, or a new movie. It could go either way and there the fault comes into play, or so I think. You see they used to have very different stages and were not interchangeable and that is about to take another turn. The question becomes do you d one, the other or both? And there lies the setting. This is perhaps the first game that cannot be set to consoles. The solution becomes too large. It is also a setting where game IP and movie IP becomes close to indistinguishable. No matter how we want to twist and turn, how much some want to maximise money be keeping them apart. The streaming solutions are done with that greed driven stage, and there is every chance that this puts the Netflix solution a little ahead of the others, in this Amazon can fight back and keep its niche and overlap with Netflix, but it is anyones guess how the Google Stadia will take it. Not technologically, they are on par, but with games and movies the other two will have an advantage, no doubt about that. So what is the new IP?

Consider the stage of a game, almost any game. Now consider that this game has a cutscene. Now consider that the cutscene is not a cutscene, but a playable part of the game and as we go through the game, we can alter from ‘game play’ to cut scenes at the mere push of a button, anywhere in the game. Not only does it change the game, it changes the nature of gaming and weirdly enough, the one with the largest advantage here is Ubisoft. Yes, I have hit them more often than anyone else, but they also have had their moments and in this, the way they did their AC and Watchdogs games, they might just have the playing field here. This is an evolution that is waiting to happen. The nature of gaming evolves or we go under replaying the past again and again. Weirdly enough it were the Dutch that started this thought. You see the two Horizon games have something in common. They are utterly unique, the world they created had never been done before. With the additional thoughts I had on the Citadel as well as Mass Effect 4 and 5 game more and more of this IP to the forefront of my mind. Yet I am placing it here. Why? Because an innovation like this cannot be maintained by one person, no ones greed should allow for this and making it public domain in this blog opens the doors for all kinds of players to recede the waters of the old and create the waves of tomorrow. I would love that Sony and their PS5 would be on front of it all, but in the end this will most likely be a new frontier, one played by the streamers in the leading roles. A first setting where computers and consoles can no longer  keep up. We are reaching the age of the streamers and again there are three players (four if you consider Microsoft). This is not something that happens in a day, this will take the technology and IP of all players. And it is here where Ubisoft has the field advantage. 

So is this a set of Increasingly Pretentious idea’s? Is this innovation for a new day after tomorrow? Time will tell, but there is no holding back, I am not ridding this for a pretty penny, there is too much at stake, I merely hope that Netflix takes up the baton and take this future to heart and become one of the top three consoles (I am happy to see Microsoft in an eternal 4th position).

The largest systems will come at a larger stage and this step is essential for a few other sides that evolve from this. Evolution is essential, especially in gaming. In the 90’s technology evolved because gaming kept pushing. We need to return to those days and push the next two decades ahead, not when some business graduate tells you it is more effective that way. It reduces you to the iteration stage and the bosses of tomorrow are the ones pushing innovation. Should you doubt me, consider Horizon Zero Dawn with over 20,000,000 copies sold, a feat that its successor has not equalled because there are not enough PS5’s available, but they will get there, slamming pretty much every other game for the numbers. That is the impact of innovation in gaming and streaming will have its own innovation and that will require a national 5G, but more important we need to start now, if they start when the national 5G is out, it will be too late for those beginning then. Those who did prepare will become the rulers of gaming stream land. 

That is how I see it and there is every chance that I am wrong, yet the stage of innovation needs to be adhered to and respected. The dangerous setting of gaming that it is up to business people (those less likely to comprehend games) is folly to say the least. So will this lead to a new commodore 64, or another colecovision (1982)? I can make whatever claim I like, but that will not mean it is correct and I feel being correct is more important than anyones ego, even my own.

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Enraged two (or too)?

Yes, the previous stage that I gave to you in ‘Rage’ is not done yet. It was more than just a ramble, there was a lot of truth in there, but it was not about the setting, it was about the stage. You see, we have seen movies in that direction. Dutch, Swedish, American, and other nations have given us a movie in that direction, but NONE of them have ever considered a game in that direction. This all started when my mind took a dive into the games I played on the Gamecube and I suddenly remembered ‘Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s requiem’ and my mind took a wander. It dove straight of the deep end. The PS2 gave the people Bully, the Gamecube the game I just mentioned. But none of them gave the people a game about rage, about the insanity of rage.

Consider a game, that plays in a large city, not unlike the cities we see in Watchdogs, but here it is not about being special, it is quite the opposite. You are confronted with rage, a buildup of rage and in the beginning you can make the character play games, play sports and take frustration out in the boxing ring, but it does not work completely and as you are surrounded by elements, the rage buildup is more distinct, more profound. We can focus on the AI of an NPC, but it needs to be more, we need psychological elements to set the game in a direction. I have no illusions, most platforms will not go for this, but PC’s and streamers might. This has never been done before and I like games that were never done before, I like the originality and the effect it will have. Consider that political opposition that it will bring. Blaming games towards violence, whilst their own political ploys are exactly why this is happening. A game that gets the talking going on the ludicrous setting we face in every day life and the consideration that the people are never given. So what happens when you need to blow off steam and you cannot ever be seen doing this? In nations where CCTV is drowning the population (London), in places where social events are the tone setters to injustice (San Francisco/Los Angeles) and that is before we see the impact of population pressure (New York) and you, as a frustrated person needs to keep your sanity or be confined to less nice places where the insanity of rage is total. A game like that has never been made and perhaps it is time to make such a game. Perhaps it is time to introduce the people and the larger audience of the true settings that a lot of people face and the impact it tends to have on the frustration levels of people. I can guarantee you that it will not be a nice game, it will never be a game that gets the larger population across, but it can become a niche for a few million gamers, and that represents millions in revenue and the people are eager to play games, especially games that have never been made before. 

Now consider one of the most hated games Manhunt. A game that sold 1,700,000 copies. It represents well over 51,000,000 and consider that this game required an infusion of less than 15 million, so well over twice that amount was made and when did anyone turn down the option of making 300%+ of their investment? Now, there would be a risk, a game like this always has risk, but when you add elements, when you entice towards something never done before and you appeal to the teenage mind. It makes for an interesting setting and an optional side of revenue that many never considered. A stage I merely show here, so that the indie developers can get to work. Close to half a dozen IP gaming ideas in these blogs and it seems that it will take some time for people to catch on. There is a reason I played the cards in the way I did. My views have been increasingly correct and that should be enough, but it is not merely about what others make, it is a way to show that the age of big brands is ending. We look at Microsoft and Ubisoft, but it is not only them, that list is increasing and the larger players are losing track of where they were, of what they could do and that is one part of the stage that allows the indie developers to take hold and claim their slice of a $200,000,000,000 pie and whilst they grow, those who relied on created hype and spin end up with less, the world of gaming needs progress, actual progress, not what some claim is progress. That is the setting we see. Why do you think that people are going nuts over Elder Ring, Horizons Forbidden West and soon Hogwarts legacy. The gamer recognises a work of love. Some makers think that they can tell others what they should love, but when did that work out that way? Perhaps in 1985 when there were less than 20 games per year. Now that stage differs and we keep on getting more of the same. Even now a game less than 6 months old being sold for $39, a stage now essential to these brands because they could not deliver quality and this is as good as they can get it, so how will we see the next batch of games, the next batch of true original gaming? Sometimes we cannot rely on vanilla games, we need to go dark for someone to see the light and give us a next version of something totally new. Something they have never seen before and that is what Nintendo has done on the N64, Gamecube, Wii, and Switch. So to follow in the footsteps of the original makers they need to rely on thought and creativity, not to rely on the spin of the most powerful console in the world. It got defeated by the weakest console of them all (Nintendo Switch), so creativity is essential and perhaps taking it for a ride on a really dark road is not the worst idea to have. It all depends on the willingness to take a chance.

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Skill to kill

Yes, very bright, is it not? But in the last few days I have been mulling over the RPG game I out here on my blog over the last few months and whilst playing Horizon: Forbidden West something stuck in my mind. 

You see something got stuck there and the skill tree is fine for THAT game, but for me, for the player it had drawbacks. It is not the game, it is within the game, and that is fine, but consider that  you play in such an open world. In that open world you tend to go in one direction. I tend to go the way of the sneaky archer. And that game limits what you as a sneak can do. This is not a weakness, it is not a flaw and they did NOTHING wrong. But the thought was in my head and stayed there.

So then we saw the smallest piece of Hogwarts Legacy and they gave us another path. In that path we are given:

Now, that is also a path we see, but my mind started blending the two elements. You see we get the stage of limitations, we get the stage of directions, but we often miss the blending of choices and there we ultimately see the stage where some are given the tendency to unlock EVERY skill. But that is not realistic, it is also counterproductive. So what if a game gets another edge. Consider that CCG games in the past had a limited version and a generic version. The limited version was black or silver, the factory set was gold (a factory set is a complete set of all cards bought at beginning). Now consider that we connect skills to a trait like the CCG game Illuminati did.

In that game we saw the head you ‘ruled’ in this example ‘Shangri La’ (see below), it can connect to any card, in this example we use a card named ‘Big Media’

As you can see it connects from a higher card on one side and connect to THREE sides to smaller skills. Now some have 0 connectors, some have one and a few will have two, but YOU decide the application of that skill. Now consider we go back to the first card, it is in the game not called ‘Shangri-La’, but ‘Covert’ and we have 2 of those cards in the beginning of the game ‘Covert’ and ‘Overt’, now we have archery which is (comparing to Big Media) not 4/4, but 2/3 It can connect to 2 stacks and enforce three connecting skills. In addition any card can be upgraded. The Big Media resistance will be its own power. So over time that number goes up (as you become a more skill-full archer), now consider that we end up with 4/5 stacks Covert, Overt, Social, Commerce, Faith and Govern. Six elements and you have either 4 or 5 stacks so something has to give and in the beginning you only have two stacks, so it will be about choices. How will you decide? 

And there is no better choice here, it will be about YOUR choice as you play the game. Now consider that as you get awarded cards through levelling or quests, you get new options and alternative options. For example the covert archer will level up having a larger chance of getting the scout card, the scout card can evolve into a mapping card, the edge and back of the card now represents a map, yes, we all forgot about the back of the card, but in a game, in a digital environment that side has options. And as the mapping option becomes available to select you see that mapping has benefits in the commerce side, especially if you gain art cards. There is still place for improvement (there always is) but when did you see a game that gave you CHOICES to evolve skills and adapt them in any way YOU could? I have been busting my mind and I saw no such options, not in ANY game and that is the power of versatility. It now becomes a side we never saw coming, but there is more.

What if I set that option aside like I did when I designed the Amazon Luna achievement keys? What if playing a game of chess allows you to gain the strategist card to apply to this game? It is just a thought but in that setting we get a stage that skill in one side enhances another? I do not think it is a great idea, but it could apply to cosmetic sides of the game. We could add a whole range of options. As we go forth we can also add cards, or evolve abilities with a black border (Covert only), white border (overt only) or gold border (commerce only), so kill shot would be covert only and if we evolve this over time the border becomes green, or brown and it an be applied to both covert or overt. And when we see this we can concentrate on higher end card, as they bolden all cards connected to them. In this there is one more stack, the homestead stack. As I state before we can influence to some degree, but if we add the homestead stack and we allow for levelling points to this stack the overall setting improves in town and that setting opens up a whole new range of options (and limitations). 

It is just one side of a game that is not ready yet, but consider who else has this and more important, which RPG allows for this? 

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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.

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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).

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Salad with that?

It has been a while since I wrote about gaming IP, and I am not sure if it is really IP, but it is something the Sony and Luna developers might like. Even as I haven’t written about making games since January 25th when I wrote ‘daemonis more’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/01/25/daemonis-more/), an idea came to mind. I was watching ‘First we feast’ in this case the episode with Tom Holland and an idea came to me. You see, food has been in gaming for the longest of time, but we never set the bar of necessity there. Yes, most of us made at least one setting of Elsweyr Fondue (I always play a Khajiit), but it was not until Monster Hunter when I saw that there was a massive upside to having a meal before fighting. We forgot the sustenance setting and even as that is a mere copy, I thought it would be an idea if we add to that. 

So as an adventurer, you get the option to buy recipes, you can find and buy books with forgotten recipes and more important you can offer them to the local tavern where you live. So we can set a new set of elements to flourish a town. There are all kinds of side quests you can gain there. More important, we can set like the impact of a bard (which I discussed earlier) the impact of food. In the beginning there is one main meal, but as the tavern progresses which it does as the town progresses, it can do more and in each stage the recipe is either replaced or added as more recipes are only for a larger tavern, a larger tavern with a cook and as that escalates the town flourishes in other ways too. You see, you can be the centre of the universe, but that is not how the universe works (it only works for me this way, LOL), it is directed by all kinds of cogs and as we are able to grow cogs, replace cogs we see a much more interesting place, a place that grows different almost every time we play it, which adds to RPG games in no small way. So if writings become increasingly more important we will see that only the larger towns will have a bookshop and that also iterates a new set of options.

This is now possible because streaming and the PS5 are now of such size that we can add to the complexity of an RPG (and even more, but that is at present for Amazon eyes only). 

We can add to all businesses in all kinds of ways, but the clever part is not doing it, but setting the stage where it can grow and it can maze YOU the gamer into a setting where the game becomes at times a surprise. Think back to Elder Scrolls Oblivion, consider Chorrel, it was always the same (as were other places), but what happens when the change is not something you control, what if tomorrow you go into your RPG town and suddenly a store is upgraded and another store is added? In a game you are the antagonist, but what is the wonder of the game when at times you are merely the spectator? Not a cut scene, but the evolving nature of the town through the game and the game play you in part brought? It makes for a new (and very old) version of RPG gaming and that is where you will find the gamers. In a place where they never expected to be, where they are a force to be reckoned with, but not the stage master. We see some of the elements in the latest RPG games like Horizon2: Forbidden West, but it can go further and over the next 5 years it will, it will be a new standard of gaming because the PS5 allows for it and streaming consoles like the Google Stadia and the Amazon Luna allows for it. That is where optionally gaming will go and the first one with a real original and captivating game will get a nice slice of a cake that is expected to grow to $25 billion by then, should you doubt me, that is fair, but consider the people going nuts and tweeting all over the place on HFW on nearly all social media channels, originality accounts for that and Guerrilla delivered. Yet in this world there is space for more than one player and as Bethesda sold itself to Microsoft the market for close to 120 million PS4 players and 15 million ps5 players is now wide open. They said that the next elder scrolls is not coming to Sony, fair enough, but will happily become competitors, for several software houses the idea of servicing up to 135,000,000 gamers is appealing. I do not know what the streamers do in numbers, but Amazon (if they accept my terms) will grow by well over 50,000,000 consoles. So there is a market and whoever becomes the most innovative game designer will laugh all the way to the bank, every day for the rest of their live they go to the bank. And Microsoft? Who cares, they made their bed, now see how it pans out for them.

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The Dutch lead the way

If someone told me 5 years ago that the Dutch would become a new leader in open world gaming, I would have told them to stop using drugs and could I please have some of whatever they were taking and I would be proven wrong and I am. The software maker Guerrilla Software, the makers of the Horizon series did something way unique, not only did they set a new record, the have now 2.3rd (if there will be a third part) to actually surpass Mass Effect in storytelling. A scenario that was unheard of 5 years ago. There was no doubt, there was no doubt that part one was exquisite on many levels, but at present, as I approach the level with three snakes, the point of the first repel I feel that there is a larger station, a story that could become legendary and a Dutch software maker did this. Yes, I saw a few glitches, I saw 1-2 bugs, I also saw 1 error and as Eloy is now visible in the red grass (intentional or not) is beside the point. This game is roaring an introduction that is unheard of and it is merely the intro to something we can only guess on. And (to vex Microsoft) it is only for Sony PlayStation gamers! 

The game plays like we are getting in our most comfortable shoes. We see the things we loved, the controls we remember and the game has the feel of a world we understood and on the PS 5 it is so gorgeous, water the blight, it is amazing and there are dozens of hours head of me, optionally up to 100 (speculation) hours of amazement and gaming. The posters revealed San Francisco (what is left of it), those large red towers were a bit of a giveaway and some of the trailers showed that we have so much more to see. But the part that get me the most is that the intro part gives us what was and a larger story (supplementing) on what became through time. A station largely ignorant of the player, making us watch whilst we game through a story that goes into a direction we do not know where. In part because I would not give spoilers, but to the largest part because I am merely at the first repel point (it makes sense when you get there). The horizon story is breathtaking and I feel certain that NO ONE had a clue what we were in for when the first trailers were given to us in 2015 I believe. We knew that we were seeing something special but how special is only coming clear in the beginning of part 2. 

In the speculative part of me, I do hope there is a deeper setting to Sylens (Lance Reddick), apart from the cast of Fringe (Scarecrow) being upset, I believe that there is a lot more to the setting of Sylens (but that could just be me), It seems that the story can go a whole lot further, but that too is a combination of speculation and wishful thinking. What is true is that I am at the mere start of the game and it is impressive beyond believe, to be honest, it has been a whilst since I was that impressed. It is the combination of Story, gameplay, character and anticipation/thrills. You see, the corners, the triggers we have seen in past games have presented anticipation and even as we think we know what we get into the first repel will dazzle and optionally surprise us (I actually do not know yet). 

And this is brought to us all by a Dutch game maker. It would be folly to think that all great games come from America/Japan, but to see another game maker surpass thresholds like the story of Mass Effect trilogy and new levels of gaming that America seems unable to deliver is something no one would have expected and as other games come, some need to realise that the old standards no longer apply. The old masters have to some degree now been surpassed. It would always happen, but I never expected to be around to see that and it should be a harsh lesson for players like Microsoft and Ubisoft. There levels will only maintain with the upcoming new titles, so whatever they think they have, they better test it and if it does not break the 83% marker it will bring them down, not sustain them. We have arrived at that point and their influencers and marketing will not aid them, not when these new levels of excellence are brought to the gamers. It was a lesson they were always going to have to learn, but I reckon that they hoped that there would be time until 2023/2024. As I see it, 2022 will be the first moment these makers will get the crap kicked out of them. And it was a Guerrilla army of makers (360 of them housed in Amsterdam) that would treat them to the first kick.

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The game you hope for

This comes one sleep away from the game Horizon’s forbidden west (PS5), the sequel from Horizon Zero Dawn. It was a great game, a great journey and as I see it, this game put the Dutch firm Guerrilla Games on the map as a top tier developer. The game was new, original and the story was close to amazing. The first game was a good journey into awesome IP and of course the people who got hooked on the first game want to jump into game two (that includes me). Yet it also reminded me of others, what had been. You see, I remember a game called Steep, as 

I was getting into winter sports, this game had appeal, which fell to zero almost at the point of arrival. You see beyond the claims is the engine, and the engine was made for people who like ‘turbo’, so there is no stage where someone just enjoys training downhill, it has to accelerate (all the time) and the game shows this, the moment you go down, the acceleration is off the wall, and in real live it never is like that. In the end one (of several) views were “Simply put, Steep is average at best” and that is a shame because that 71% game could have been an easy 85% if the makers did the numbers and especially did not charge another $20 for extra game modes. You see it matters and Horizon Zero Dawn gave us the whole enchilada and that was quite the trip. Now, comparing these two games to each other is like comparing coconuts and pineapples. So I am not comparing games, I am comparing effort and as I personally see it Guerrilla Games has it, Ubisoft does not, or had it and lost it is perhaps more precise. But there is another side too. It has been my experience that too many YouTubers are trying to appeal to the software houses too much. There are of course the ranters, but they will always be there. That being said watching a review and then a ranter tends to show a few settings you might not have considered. And in the end it is about finding the right game, especially as a budget is getting more and more towards one game every other month at best. It is at that point that Microsoft shows its Game Pass and the deal you have. But consider this one view gave us “Yet, currently totally free with Xbox Game Pass, Steep is still worth a quick backflip or two. Find out all there is to know about one of Ubisoft’s worst” and hidden there it shows the problem. A pass that allows us to be happy with a 70% game, why is that? The game pass needs to show us that you can play 12 90% games in 2022, but that is not really the case is it? We want to play Ratchet and Clank, Ghosts of Tsushima, Horizon Zero Dawn, Horizon Forbidden west and 8 others, but the Game Pass cannot give us that, can it? Although, it will give you the flight simulator and that is truly a 90% game. 

We hope for that next 95% or better game and my hopes are with Horizon Forbidden West. 2022 will bring at least 5 more games to PS5 and we all hope for the best, we have good hope on what came before but there will always be a sliver of doubt until the game arrives, it is in our nature and in this I am no different, we have all seen decent games, decent games that could have been 90%+ games if only a little more effort was taken. We want to blame Ubisoft and they are a clear example, but they aren’t the only one. The problem is that the game pass has the ability to make the choice field smaller and soon it will be just Ubisoft for some consoles. It is one of the strongest reasons to see Streaming consoles (Amazon Luna) grow faster and stronger. It will soon be the best path to the games we hope for, we want to embrace Sony and Nintendo, yet the clarity is that it will not be enough, we need a new generation of game makers, the list looks impressive, but these are games that were coming for some time. You see the games you never saw coming (like Ghostwire) are coming less and less, gaming is moving from the wild west into corporate west and that leaves us with dwindling choice, have you not noticed that?

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