Tag Archives: Horizon Forbidden West

Gaming Oscars, a chalice of achievement

I was looking for a simple list, but none of them gave it, a simple lit with the game and the amount of awards. None supplied it as far as I could tell and it is weird because the Oscars have done this for decades. The simple stage is that Elden Ring (not my choice) got the Game of the Year win. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Elden Ring earned it, it really did, it is merely not my game. That does not make me angry, if anything it implies that gaming is bigger than me. The two games I had in that in that direction is the God of War: Ragnarok with Horizon Forbidden West as a second choice. 

So when we see GoW, we see that they won Narrative, Music, Audio design, Performance, Innovation, Action/Adventure, 6 wins in total. My second game Horizon Forbidden West didn’t get any, the competition was too fierce and too good. Elden Ring took home Game of the Year, Best game direction, Best Art direction, Best RPG, a total of 4 wins. Gran Turismo got a win too and a few others 11 wins for Sony, whilst Microsoft has 4 (Elden Ring is on both systems). 7 wins for Sony exclusives. It is a chalice of achievements and it was never in doubt. The exclusives are the system protectors and the system evangelists (if gaming was a religion). 

There we have the larger stage, the larger issue that Microsoft is spinning out of view. When it was all good, they were happy to announce it, now not so much. Even sales numbers are a combination of system S and system X. I reckon the numbers are basically that bad and they are getting worse. No amount of software house acquisition will fix that and the fact that Microsoft is spinning the numbers and hiding them is telling me more, in gaming Microsoft is done for. Not completely, they are the number one ruler in flight simulators and they earned that part, they truly do. Yet life is more than straight forward games. It is about the art and HFW and GoW clearly showed that, in 2023 Hogwarts legacy will show again that love of a subject and dedication to that love will make Hogwarts Legacy shine on any platform it appears on. I personally predict that Hogwarts Legacy will up the mark for achievements in a game by a fair bit. Yes, I saw “a Twitter user wrote: “Hogwarts Legacy got a VERY tepid reaction at The Game Awards… and also did not win.”” Yet that concern was not there for Bayonetta 3, was it? I missed out most of the Rowling debate, in the first because I do not care, in the second that people have personal views and they are entitled to them. If it offends you then crawl under your bed please. She wrote a series of books that captured the heart of two generations, in addition it inspired the creation of Hogwarts Legacy. We see all these people cluster around perfection whilst they have no idea what perfection looks like, perfection to them is anyone who agrees with them and that is the important part of the stage. Gaming is not that. This is why my view on Elden Ring matters. It is not my game, but I saw how amazing it looks and it was a clear competitor to the GOTY and they won, there is no negative thinking by me. Gaming is too big! I have shared my displeasure with Microsoft on many occasions, yet the Flight Simulator was a clear win and they won other items too and they will win more over time (until Microsoft is speculatively no more). You see the wins are not Sony, or Microsoft. These wins are made by dedicated people at Sony and Microsoft. Which Sony seemingly has more of at present. I like the reference to the Gaming Oscar’s, but there is a hidden flaw. A decade ago when Microsoft and Sony were on par, the games were better, now that is seemingly no longer the case. Microsoft games are too often makers like Ubisoft who are everywhere. Yet, we cannot discount Microsoft yet. With Fable, Starfield, The outer worlds 2 and an allegedly new Forza, there is every chance that Microsoft will win big in 2023. I like that idea, because it means that Sony will have to go full throttle in 2023 and 2024. When these two fight, the gamer wins and that is how I like it, gamers winning. So the chalice of achievement might be with Sony in 2022, but there is no assurance that they will get 2023 as well. It makes for great gaming years for all gamers, which is what I particularly like.

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Shortcut gaming ends

Yes, this is actually a setting that was a while in the making. To be honest, I had no idea what I saw in my dreams. Things did not make sense to me at that point, but the afternoon changed things for me. You see, streaming consoles are the solution to shortcut gaming like we see on the tablets and mobiles. A shortcut to funny money and advertisement dollars. Consider the games you played last week, how many had an advertisement every 90 seconds? Every level? Streaming ends that, you see streaming is paid for, and as such like console gaming no advertisements. The larger issue with streaming solutions that they can hold much larger gaming needs, gaming needs that is not solved in a few hours. Games to bring achievement, real achievement and real joy. Like in the old days. Games like Railroad tycoon, Theme hospital, Theme park. Games that we can play a long time and show off as what we created. That was in the back of my mind, but I ignored it. It all starts with the image below

A simple grid, but one with a difference. You can create a maze, an intricate path but every point is significant. It can connect to a path below and there are in total three levels. And it is not one grid, there are four. Green, Red, Blue and Purple, each a different area. And it does not start easy, it does not start at all. Places like the Efteling (Netherlands), Phantasialand (Germany) and so many others, they all needed time and that is what you will need. You draw the plans, you make the place and perhaps a little basic at the beginning. Yet the game allows for so much more. Graphic files to be uploaded to your solution, the personalisation of a theme world like Anton Pieck did for the Efteling. This is not a simple game and it is not a short game. This brings fulfilment and it takes time, but that is the challenge. Not to make some short term gaming experience, but one that lasts a long time. My mind saw it, but the brain never communicated it to me (in a way I understood). The pursuit of shortcut gaming needs to end and lets be clear, this game is not for everyone. And the nice part with streaming games, you can try them all. And when you have 4 of these sot of games, you end up with 4 times the populations than these short cut game makers have. Perhaps Idle games is the only one with a real population, but that is because they have 20 variations on the same theme, and after an hour they all feel the same and unrewarding. A game like Dungeon Master (FTL games 1988) broke the mould and became the forefather for 3d gaming everywhere. Why? They did not offer a shortcut and in those days 40,000 games sold was a big thing, because it was. We need to change the way we see gaming, not how we see games (that I an art issue). You see the BI manager that push short term gaming are at the end of their feed, they end up pushing and nagging some mobile game, and with every streamer that enter a household the lifecycle of these games end. And whilst we create a new fantasy theme park with mazes, rooms and challenges, some will take the option to create in something like Adobe illustrator a new kind of door, and export it to their game, and soon that place will take on a new life. A personalised life where we create the new challenge and let the NPC’s wander around. A machine learning battleground where it is about the art, not the shortcut. Yes, we can add the usual gimmicks, but the ability to truly personalise a game is coming because streaming makes that possible. A cauldron in the making and Google tapped out of that equation, now it becomes the gaming field of Amazon (and that other wannabe) before Tencent drops in. 

Do we not owe it to ourselves to create the best gaming environment we could ever have? We can look at the games that were and remaster them, or see them as the groundbreaking tools they were and see if we can do that one more time and truly create something new?

I believe that the second one will create more followers. Don’t get me wrong, to see the Witcher 3, a 2007 game getting renewed in 2022 for PS5 is awesome. It could be seen as evidence just how groundbreaking that game was that it can till inspire gamers right next to Horizon Forbidden West (2022), 15 years and Witcher 3 can till hold grounds, that is amazing gaming. That shows you what a 90%+ game is capable of and that is what too many game makers have forgotten. 

I believe and I hope that the next generation games will push maximisation on streamers because that I where we are heading. Do not get me wrong, I will never leave my PS5, but there can be more and the Amazon Luna is in a much better position to prove that at present. 

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The games one yearns for

We all have that. We focus on a game and that is our push point. It is a rather large issues when it is set to exclusives. In there Sony has a massive advantage over Microsoft, but Microsoft is not out of the race yet. Delay after delay, there are now more indications that Redfall and Starfield will get to the Microsoft community in 2023. I saw a first part of Starfield today and I will immediately admit that it looks really good. I am still not getting the Xbox contraption, trust lost is trust close to never regained, I am wired weirdly that way and the BS I once got from the Microsoft Helpdesk gave me that they really do not know what they are doing. Or better said, they know what they are exploiting but they keep their customer service department in the dark. Still, that is not what it is about. Redfall will come first (as several sources state), and it is Starfield that will be taking the cake It is definitely not some Skyrim version of a space game. It is much larger and there is a lot more. Yet that also comes with issues, but I will not speculate on what could be, what might be. It will be about the game and what I saw looks impressive.

In 2023 for me there is merely Hogwarts legacy waiting. I am unsure of other titles at the moment. I tend to not look too much forward. 2022 was AWESOME. Horizons Forbidden West and God of War brought gaming for me to a new high. I am merely looking at the exclusives. Yes there was also Elden Rings and Returnal but I never played these two. We all have our preferences. I am currently on the fence for Diablo 4, some news that reached me did not make me happy, but I am keeping it to myself. I have questions on that source too and I do not want to spread something inaccurate.

You will have them too and others will love their Xbox, they made their choices and as I see it they will go nuts over Starfield. I applaud all excellence in gaming, whether I support the system or not.   I revere games, not the system. As a system I am merely disgusted with the stupidity of Microsoft, so there.

We are now 3 days away from the next Pokemon, so my Switch will get some game-time too. Nintendo has its own release list, some not exclusive but that doesn’t matter. I still enjoy the games I have there and one more is added this week. For the most I have been thinking of what we can do more. Yearning is not limited to what comes NEXT week, NEXT month and NEXT year. Yearning also looks at the past. A spectacular moment there was Golden Eye (N64) and a few others. And there is where we see some news, some news that saw delay after delay (all the way from 2020) System Shock, the remake from 1994 will come to PS5 in March 2023. The notion alone is making me happy and with the hours I played the game (three times over at least) gives me butterflies (yes, I need help). Gaming gets a new lease on life as some makers are seeing the reengineering options unfold. The first feeling was when I saw my beloved (yes, I need help) Elite from the CBM64 getting remastered. I hoped for more of the same and David Braben would not have that. What he gave us blew most our minds away and it took some a decent amount of time to get a handle on that game. It had proper teachings, but the game combined Elite, Privateer and  added 21st century graphics, in addition the game became well over ten billion times larger than the original. Now consider that concept to some other games. That is where streaming games can take us. Yes, we can wait for the next mediocre program by Ubisoft. Yet would you not want to feel actual butterflies when you hold your controller? And that I not all, this will be possible for well over a dozen games all before 2024. Is that not the real feeling we wait for as a gamer? Lets be clear I am decently anxious to get to Hogwarts legacy. The little I saw (I try to avoid as much as possible) blew me away and it is still blowing me away. Yet I want it to freshly hit my eyes in February 2023.

We all want that, the people seeking every spoiler will lose larger than they imagine and in this Starfield might give the Xbox community the game they dreamt for, for well over three years. I hope they get that feeling too, because they too are gamers, they are in a sense family.

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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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