Tag Archives: Netflix

Refraining

It happens, sometimes we need to stop ourselves from acting, from jumping, from engaging. It is not that the action is wrong, it is because it is wrong at that stage. I do not know what pushed the act, yet the stage is larger and as I almost decided to trot on the novel I am still working on, optionally by giving away in another setting what comes afterwards, I was able to stop myself from doing what should not yet be done. 

It might also be the impact that Dracula (the Claes Bang edition) has on me. It was probably the first time that marketing drove me to watch anything. The ad (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIEr1Pcu03Y) and it is not merely the billboard (which was all kinds of perfect), it was not merely the cast Claes Bang and Dolly Wells are beyond believe, it is the way the story is set, it is a new and novel gander into the path of the undead, all whilst exposing us to all kinds of fears and in this the vampire fear is actually not the worst one. It pushes the envelope and it pushes us all to  surpass ourselves. Yet whilst doing that, we need to refrain from overacting on our impulses. It is a sort of balance between 2 innovations on one side and 4 iterations on the other. We want to be the 2 innovation side, but over reacting, reacting without some level of self discipline and we become mere iterations of the same. 

In this I created an approach to one game in my article ‘Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/10/electronic-entertainment-expo-2019/), yet there I merely considered the approach to one game. 

Yet in the larger stage we create a very new kind of sandbox. Where every coloured ball is a new addition, a new DLC if you must that is added to the game, making the game a lot larger over time, so what I started with the teaching of Islamic religion using Medina as a centre stage, could evolve into another direction, a sandbox game that allows your person to evolve, to increase into a larger game where religion now becomes a segment, as we added new forms of gameplay, we didn’t alter religion, we merely enlarged the stage, a side of exploring, a side of economy, allowing you to get a house (in the game) and interact with others, whilst exploring the knowledge that is given to you, teaching you history and economy in new ways, altering what you know by letting you see what others saw. But in this, refraining becomes a much more essential stone. It is not like some Americans do, adding and adding. Sometimes more is not more, it is merely clutter and the overall experience is lessened. But how to go about it?

This is where QA becomes the essential side of developing any game, in the streaming world we will be able to create more, but it becomes a lot more important to create better and that is an essential lesson a maker like Ubisoft never figured out, not over at least a decade and I have no time to hold their hands, but the right people can take lesson from what I say, they can create and optionally create the right way. And my bonus is that Microsoft is equally not on the learning side, they are all about their azure and it will cost them, the sales of their latest Xbox One series X-file is so far proving me right. Between all the ‘hidden’ numbers, we see that the PS5 has well over 250% more consoles sold than its Microsoft counterpart and that difference is merely increasing. Yes, their golden boy talks a good talk but they are faltering in the field, all about cloud gaming now, optionally deserting the gamers on what they call the most powerful console in the world. There is an acceptable understanding that games need to evolve and that exclusive games take the cake (one Microsoft cake versus 15 Sony cakes), and we see that streaming will be the long term battle, but there they are falling hopelessly behind Amazon all whilst Google remains a player in that field and Netflix is yet to show it serious intent. And as we look at the options out there, they are also optionally restricting their stage and setting. All whilst I (mere little old poor me) came up with three games, one with the optional stage for up to 1,000,000,000 interested players and one stage where I redesigned three AAA+ games in new editions. And why is Microsoft failing? They have seemingly no alternative options to show in any direction. One UK newspaper gave us three hours ago “GAMES with Gold subscribers are getting closer to the official reveal of the free Xbox games for August 2021, but will Microsoft add a new Xbox Series X optimised game to the lineup?”, with all the careful leaks we see, this list is apparently more secure than the Windows source code, odd, is it not?

And these races are important too, you see, these races show the essential gaming experience that streamers can have, the consoles have too many ‘more of the same’ titles, all of them, even as we accept that there are markets and exclusives, but they are not the full range, mere icing on the cake, in a world where the three big cakes are the taste makers, two are too much alike and that is the market where the streamers and cloud games can rule. This why the Google decision on Stadia made no sense and I reckon that Amazon is loving that approach, it gives them a massive advantage. To be honest, I am a little shocked, 2 years ago I had no view on Amazon Luna, they were mostly one of the lot, a position 3 or less, now there is a decent indication that the Amazon Luna could evolve into the second best system in less than 4 years, that is impressive, they have a chance to overtake Nintendo by 2023, Sony will take longer, but if they push innovatively, they could be the ruling system by 2025 a setting I would never have anticipated in January 2020. That is the second marvel of gaming, true gamers are always on the edge of technology, a setting a few makers forgot about. Amazon apparently did not, is it a given, no it is not, but the fact that this stage is entertained implies that Amazon got a lot further than anyone anticipated. 

Is this till about refraining? To some extent it is, Amazon is not alone, even as the story of Microsoft can be dumped overboard, their story remains the same in the end, Google could change if they alter their current course and Netflix remains an unknown for now. So, Amazon Luna has the stage, it is what they do over the next 6 months that will decide how large their cake might be. Google sees (in their search) that refraining is merely another word for abstinence, a big mistake, refraining is halting action, stopping to act, it is also a setting to pause and reconsider, a tactical move to oversee what can be done, what is the best path to go and an optional form of balance between the fastest road and the shortest road, because these two are not always the same. I will need to keep my eyes on Amazon Luna for now, I wonder how close they end up getting to what Sony has achieved. 

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The power to teach

I wrote about the idea in the past, I wrote about it specifically on one side, yet it dawned on me (whilst watching Star Wars) that I wasn’t looking at the larger picture. This happens, you, me, we all tend to focus on our own street. Yet the streamers (Google, Amazon and optionally Netflix) allows for a new setting of teachings. Just as I saw my mind create a game based around the Vatican, there is nothing stopping a nation like Saudi Arabia to create a game of education around the Quran and Islam, Israel a game around the Torah and the Jewish teachings. And these are games for all. Consider people actually learning about the Quran through playing a game, To walk the streets of Medina (optionally Mecca too) whilst rebuilding the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. And as we unlock conversations, as we unlock teachings and historical figures, we also unlock more of the Quran, and this is not something I can do, this Neds to be done by Muslims, together with Muslim clerics to give the proper allocation of passages allotting to the entire Quran, a true face of islamic teachings. If we accept that the statement “Islam is a major world religion, with over 1 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population). It is considered one of the Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths, along with Judaism and Christianity. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are in fact Arab. Muslims are found all over the world, of every nation, colour, and race. The most populous Muslim country today is Indonesia, a non-Arab country”, an educational game with an interest base of 1,000,000,000 and optionally growing. Why didn’t anyone else think of this? The same for Christianity and all the other religions. 

But I personally feel that teaching people about Islam and the Quran will be an option to fight Islamophobia. Fight religious discrimination through a game, who considered that application of streaming systems? There is nothing stopping the games coming up on other consoles, but the exclusivity applies strongly to streaming solutions, and this is not a game that is done in a year and it will take growing steps, it is a large undertaking, no matter what religion is the focal point. 

Quran App

This all started longer ago when I was trying out the Quran App, I needed to learn a little more about the Quran, I do not trust any source that is one sided telling me what is true, so I tried to learn more, but having an app with the Quran is not a decent way to teach about Islam, a lot more is needed and games are an excellent form of teaching. I have that seen to be a reality for decades, I am merely surprised that no one considered teaching the young and old more about religion this way. There are a lot of questions that I cannot answer, for one, I do (only recently) know that there are no images of the prophet, but who else in the non-Islamic community knew that? If we know that, the French secular move to have a teacher show the images of the prophet is not educational, it is merely insulting against Islam, games can offer a better stage, a global stage and in all ways an educational and optionally a cultural stage. 

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Two to plenty

I have had enough of looking at covid numbers, and I have had enough of several things. As such, I feel the most at ease giving service (I did it for more than a quarter of a century) and creating new IP.  And as I was playing a personal favourite, I realised that Microsoft was holding two massive trump cards and to overthrow that, the other makers need to consider taking a leap, a leap that will make the Microsoft position shaky, very shaky indeed. This solution will optionally fit Amazon the best. Netflix has a chance, but if Google does not change its position, then they are up at the mercy of the developers. It is a choice they made. 

So what is out there? You see, I always knew that our lives revolved around creating places to live, kill things and eat (let’s not forget about the food). Minecraft drilled into that brilliantly and as Markus Persson, Jens Bergensten, and Stephen McManus played on that brilliantly, they sold it to Microsoft in 2014 for two point five billion. Then there was Bethesda who created Skyrim on 11/11/11. A game that for a very long time avoided (not completely) the levels of grinding. And Microsoft offered $8,500,000,000 to the makers. Yes a brilliant move, but it also implies that if someone makes a game like these two for Amazon, the Microsoft gaming share will drop by a decent amount. And it is a tall order, to make something alike and different enough not to be seen as a copy. It can be avoided to some degree. For one, the building materials can be set to marble sorts (Romans and Greeks), giving us all kinds of other challenges and achievements. In a lot of ways Minecraft was brilliant and close to perfect, but it can be done in other ways too and the Minecraft setting will require a streaming solution, which get us to Amazon Luna. But they are not the only player, anyone picking these ideas up can design something for Google Stadia. And it matters, with the massive amounts of revenue to be seen in the next two years, would you turn away a billion dollars? I wish I had been more pressed as a programmer in my youth, I would have done it myself. Alas, I made choices, I have no regrets, but if I was a decent programmer, I could have had more (not in a greed driven way). And now I get to spout other non 5G ideas to the world giving them a chance to take a slice away from the Microsoft pie. 

I will leave it to you, but consider that Skyrim has over 15 million players, Minecraft has 126 million players. Do you still think it is a bad idea? And as the gaming frontiers are changing, as Microsoft is trying to sell THEIR Microsoft Cloud all over the place, the gaming dimension polarises, Microsoft only respects what their board of directors tell others what matters and I have no intention of seeing my devices being overrun by some Azure thin client. As such I see the need to set my dreams and non 5G IP considerations towards public domain, to let you all grow on non Microsoft fields. Azure might have the advantage, but that does not mean that Google and Netflix are out of the race. It is merely a speculative idea and I will let you consider where the race takes us all.

So when you are creating YOUR version of a sandbox game, you can focus on building (and you need to), yet the stage of that can be done in various ways. You can focus on how the Greeks and Romans did it, so you need to create a place create income and become part of an economy. Anything else and you face the dangers that it is too much like Minecraft. As you grow your status and economy, you can opt for one side in game one, the other in game two and every iteration opens up the free game to a much larger extent. If you are in Volos, Larissa or Ladochori (Greek places) you will have to employ different solutions, but in a sandbox game, location is not the key, it is the surroundings you face. A setting that shapes all your decisions. You can only go with the flow and create, and seek, and pillage, and murder and explore. And in all this pillage and murder remains open to addition or choice, but in a sandbox game you make the decisions, you set the tone and you become your own legend (sanctified by Amazon, Google and/or Netflix).

If I feel up to it I will draw out a much larger setting towards real social media for gamers, not marketed messaging for large corporations.

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Disturbed by memory

We all have that, we all get these thoughts that come from childhood, or from early teenage years and we make some form of connection, but the links are vague, missing and usually incomplete. For me it started today as I was figuring out a few things. I had the thoughts before. The first one was about elemental droids (see image) it was a comic book in the early 70’s, and just now I learn that there was a reboot in 2019. The second was some form of living cars, in part animals. Yet this was well over a decade before the original Transformers were launched as a cartoon. The mind is trying to make links, there is the option for gaming, the option for more. I am not doing to much about it, because it is not my IP, someone did the work, someone is doing the relaunch and for the other part, my mind is trying to make links and it is grasping back to those images for some reason. Just like there is setting where streamers (or Hollywood) would do good to start talking to Don Lawrence, who is one of the creative minds behind the Trigan Empire, as I see the half baked series on current channels, that might be a great catch for whomever scores those rights. 

Yet the creative writing mind of mine is seeking an outlet and the images my mind calls forth seems to be pushing me back to the 70’s, not sure why. It is like the mind found the solution and it is trying to remember the complete story to present to me, but that is merely me speculatively grasping. 

In an era where IP is growing a much larger concern in nearly all fields, as we realise that gaming will represent an amount exceeding $200,000,000,000 by 2023, IP is everything and we already see that only the strongest franchises will survive, Sony and Nintendo have their fair share, Bethesda, Guerrilla and a few others have strong IP, the rest needs to find it or become lost in mediocrity. And they all want their slice of that 200 billion dollar pie. So new IP is where it will be at and at the end of 2023 streaming games will be a massive part of it, games designed to work in client server mode with the client will be as small as possible. And here Amazon Luna has an advantage, with the only unknown player Netflix, who has game-able IP all over the place, so there is the crux. Google is not developing in house and Microsoft seems to rely in their master chief to save them. In that setting the consoles have their market and Amazon Luna has an optional field that could fetch them a massive advantage over the other players, but will they grab it?

We might wonder where they find it. And in all this we see what was brought in 1985-1992, the IP on three systems might not be protected and those owners might be interested to see their ideas push to new levels, there are all kinds of new options, especially in the old alternatives. But that does not stop my mind of thinking up new ideas and new IP. For those in doubt, consider that Jeff Minter brought us the mutant camels and everyone was happy. Yet it took 17 year old Matthew Smith to teach us that Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy were more than ground breaking. Someone had to take a jump into the unimagined. And in all this we ignored a whole range of games, because in those days it as always about the next game, not admiring the current game. That led to the diminished visibility of Andrew Braybrook who would bring the people Paradroid and Paradroid 90, Microprose brought us Covert Action and no one considered where those two could lead us on consoles and in streaming. Even now, some of the games from those days are now making it to Android, they will have an advantage as they develop for streaming systems and those systems will want these games, because the more games they have and the more games that an work in a limited 5G environment, the stronger the pull will be and soon these systems will wake up to the call of number of games and they want that level to be as high is possible with as much quality as possible. In the last 24 hours over a dozen sources are making this claim, as I have clearly made the claim for weeks, for months even. We are now seeing the media waking up, the streaming systems were already on that page, but do they have the IP? That remains to be seen. Yet time will prove that I am right, the moment they make a run for the IP, we will see that they have the sets to make a run on the number three position and they are setting a Hugh yield low impact race. Microsoft paid billions for Bethesda, a good move but there we see less then half a dozen IP, good IP mind you, but still the same IP on other systems and that is the difference, there will be a run on IP that other systems do not have, or not anymore, and the remastered and new versions will be accepted (Mass Effect proved that), yes, Mass Effect is exceptional. Yet the makers relied on that to push forward. Now when one of the players get their hands on a dozen IP’s that can be remastered, we will see systems with over a dozen unique games. If they are good enough, it will make them a winner, that is the game and the winning system will have a much bigger slice of 200 billion than mediocre games do. Sony is ready, Nintendo seems to be ready and Microsoft claims to be ready. So where are Netflix and Amazon? They remains silent and they are having a game plan, they aren’t silent because the media makes it so, they are silent because in the final hours any marketing wave will be 2-3 times more powerful than waves created a year in advance. For me Netflix remains an unknown, Amazon less so and they are off to a good start, will they make the number three position in gaming? It is becoming more and more likely, but it is not a given. And there is more, Microsoft gave us 4 hours ago (via Video games chronicle) “As an industry, I would love it if we came together to help preserve the history of what our industry is about so we don’t lose access to some of the things that got us to where we are today and built this industry. That would be a cool thing.” And we see the intent, but not what happens to the IP, it seems to me that Microsoft wants to claim it all, they fear the setting I gave for some time and now it becomes sort of a race and there is where I get to laugh. I put my IP out in the open, making it public domain, it gives game makers free reign to make gams for Sony and Amazon free, but that also limits Microsoft, and any created game is a loss for Microsoft and as they try to make the historic jump (over time) they will lose out more and more. In a stage Microsoft gives us ‘I would love it if we came together’, yes because that has always been their objective (not really). They want it all under the Microsoft flag, a flag I personally detest because of steps they made in the past. They ignored the players and decided for the players what the players wanted, it is not the right way. So as a gamer I revolted and published IP for all other game makers to freely use, my way of stopping a short sighted giant. And it was easy to do, I had the time and I (hopefully) expect that my 5G IP will get me through, it is all I need. The rest is to make a new stage for gamers by gamers and that stage is highly unlikely to have a Microsoft logo. 

And still my mind is giving me issues with a comic book from the 70’s, I see a little more, but so far not enough to identify why my mind is pushing me there. Irritating!

Yet I do believe that the mind will win and it will show me what I missed (and why), perhaps in my dreams, perhaps not. 

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Birth of IP

I have a few parts, mostly 5G. Yet a few hours ago, all whilst I was considering a few other things, whilst I was watching (again) NCIS, season 1 at present an idea for a new game came up. You see, I have nothing against shooting, I have been a well established CIA wet team operative and killed my share of people in Kabul (Delta Force: Land Warrior), yet I also saw the need for a tactical side and my mind went racing. In all I wanted a new way of tactical thinking which got my mind thinking back to Dungeon Keeper, but military style. I do not want some copy of a good game that someone else made, but the premise was good, so I took another side. Perhaps you all (the older people) remember the game Stratego by Hasbro. When I was young the issue became that the board was always the same, a setting a computer never has. Moreover, we can switch between urban and rural warfare in an instant. But the military mind is always similar per nation. So when we look at the Stratego pieces (as in the image we see the flag, the Marshall, General, colonel, major, captain and so on. But what if we change that setting. We still have a Marshall and a general, colonels, majors and so on. Yet the game had other lacks but not in a bad way, there is a difference on a board game and a computer game, and what was acceptable in 1972, might not pass water in 2022. 

So consider a board, a board that is only partially visible, and pieces that might be there and are not known to what is there. Now consider the settings. An HQ, a Forward base, and the operational stage. The Marshall (flag also) is ALWAYS in HQ, the General can be anywhere. A colonel is set to a stage (in field or in HQ), the majors are in the field and every Colonel has 2 majors, every major has 3 lieutenants. Now consider that every lieutenants has a field. There are the engineers (for bombs, hardware), supply, logistics. There are three spies, one spymaster (HQ) and two spies in the field. 

There are a few more items, but that is it. So how do you ‘beat’ pieces? First the map is one that is generated from a library, so there are dozens of maps (and more coming over time). Now the stage is that we move, but we all move in different ways. So the map is the same for both sides, but the way we move is not, and we do not see how the other side is moving, we can only see a game piece (without seeing the identity, when it is within two places). Now we see the functionality. It is partially the same. Engineers can remove mines and obstructions, a spy can identify ANY piece without the opponent seeing it, it is the only piece that can kill the Marshall. This now gives a new situation, the general MUST move to HQ. One Colonel can become Colonel plus (field general) and now the setting will influence the others. 

The HQ is a different map, the spy remains unseen, only the spymaster can see an enemy spy and when the spy acts (like killing the Marshall) his ‘invisibility’ stops. He can only capture the flag and he needs to leave HQ to win. A spy can kill a spymaster, or can be killed by one. When the spymaster is lost, all spies are lost too. In the field each lieutenant has three sergeants and each sergeant has 6 troops. A troop can be a scout, a rifleman or a third type (still mulling that over). A scout can see any adjacent piece. A rifleman can shoot any scout or a sergeant two spaces away. Yet that is the larger setting. If a Marshall is killed, and line of succession starts general goes up, so does colonel, so does major and lieutenant. Yet anything below the promoted the lieutenant is lost. If succession is not done the enemy until their Marshall is lost will only move one against the opponents two moves. So it becomes a tactical setting that changes. Bombs instantly kills any piece (regardless of rank) moving next to them except the engineer, the bomb is removed when that happens (like in the game). So the game has three maps your HQ and the battle field. The HQ has a few pieces, but there is one catch, the computer moves one piece in any direction every turn, so you cannot create a static setting there. 

I am still working out a few parts, but feel free to use this idea, It is free (a public domain idea) for Sony, Apple and Amazon systems. I came up with this setting in one hour, so if you are wondering why some game creators have a hard time coming up with ‘original’ ideas, I share your concern. 

That’s al I have to offer at 3:30 perhaps there is more to this game soon enough, but I gave the larger lines, time for game creators to get clever programming. 

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New and reinforced

It all started a few hours ago, I decided not to write about the Canadian catholics, because I am too angry, some Bishop Bittman in Nelson asking for patience, we see (source: CBC) “Bittman says those buried in the unmarked graves may also include staff members of the schools”, yes, unmarked graves holding hundreds of unregistered teachers. Their families are all about dumping their carcasses in unmarked graves. Then we see “It’s coming out quite clear now tuberculosis, for example, was rampant around that time, and we know that there was overcrowding in the school”, yes, hundreds of unmarked graves, no notification to officials, as such catholic schools are not just murderous, they are stupid as well? I am in awe of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, I personally would have scalped the whole lot of them years ago. But this is not about me, and it is not about Canada. As I was venting the rage within me I decided to browse YouTube and I cam across something I had seen before. It is a comparison of space ships from movies, games and TV series. I had seen it before but I looked again and two thoughts (optionally three) became the foundation. The first was seeing the Citadel (Mass Effect series). I was strengthened that my thoughts are still seemingly correct, EA screwed up Mass Effect Andromeda to the largest degree, and I am not sure if they can fix it, moreover the original trilogy is seemingly proving me right. So as the ships and stations pass by two places peak interest, the O4 (Halo), which might have some real life application when you consider the structural advantage that a circle has and the second one is Elysium, the station from the movie with an irradiated Matt Damon. Now consider that we find a station with a 25 mile diameter? Now some shoot them up, but a station with issues, dilemma’s and faults, abandoned for no one knows what reason and you arrive there. A station 1:1 in size and built to size, as such it will only work on a streaming system (for now). Stranded in a segment, trying to make sense of it all and not in some weird fabric way, no a station with systems, with computers with things to fix and as you go through that station you find records, books, recordings and you need to figure out what is what, a game that takes a year to complete, perhaps even longer. Do you have what it takes when it is not about the kill rate? What can be done when you get one robot fixed, then another and more. As you go through the systems, the station and the parts you can access, what more can you find? What more will you be able to do?

A game that I not a game, but it winks at places like the original SimCity, the original programs and we create a place where you work things out and learn. Would you like to learn about the foundations of hydroponics or actually use that knowledge to get a space station running again? And let’s face it, it had never been done before, that is well over half the fun of this and setting your record on your profile will fill you with a massive jolt of ego pleasure, when those around you are behind you, that is where the fun and pride take shape, a drive to be the better scientist, to be the better engineer and the greatest story collector. This is (for now) a streaming solution, to update millions of copies as things needs to improve is not a situation a console and its gamer want to endure, consider Ubisoft and Unity, if 14GB pisses you off, consider what 150GB will do and streaming has the server that keeps it all, the players will notice almost nothing. I wonder who will take a gander into the unknown first, Amazon or Netflix (Google is not developing in-house).

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Chook Chook thinking

Yes, I could have said ‘train of thought’ but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it. The thought came from two articles. The two articles set my mind in motion and they are not related in any way, other then the provider of both articles which is Reuters. The first article (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-regulation-tencent-m-a/chinese-antitrust-regulator-blocks-tencents-5-3-billion-video-games-merger-idUSKCN2EG029) gave me ‘Chinese antitrust regulator blocks Tencent’s $5.3 billion video games merger’, I have nothing really to add, other then the thoughts I had wondering what the antitrust regulators were thinking. I am not saying, or implying that anything wrong was done. The ‘official’ version is “Antitrust laws are statutes developed by governments to protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition” that is the official version, unofficial it is that competitors use their version of the excuse “to protect consumers” into a version of “stopping competitors with actual innovative inventions to get the upper hand over their need for revenue (read: greed)”, Google has been the most clear victim but they are definitely not alone. In the article we see that it is about Tencent Holdings Ltd’s and the merger of Huya and DouYu. If the merger goes through we get a setting where their combined market share in the video game live streaming industry would be over 70%. So I am not sure what to think, I do not know whether it is valid or not. It was merely an article that  got my attention. 

The second article is ‘FTC extends probe of Amazon, MGM deal’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mgm-m-a-amazon/ftc-extends-probe-of-amazon-mgm-deal-source-idUSKCN2EF2EF). There we see “Amazon.com’s deal to buy movie studio MGM for $8.5 billion is headed for an extended probe by the Federal Trade Commission, after a source familiar with the matter said on Friday the agency had issued a second request in its review of the merger”, so there is no connection there, and there will not be one. But the two articles made me think on what else Amazon could do. They do have the inside Track at present and if they push they could do titles that all others are not considering. To see this, we need to go back to 1983 then ‘Dragon’s Lair’ took the breath away from nearly everyone who saw it, it was an arcade machine and a laserdisc. No one had done it before and it took the cake, now on streaming no laserdisc is required, with MGM, Amazon has the option of launching a whole range of interactive movies. James Bond might be the most visible one, but when we consider the size of their IP which also includes the Hobbit, TombRaider and a few others, we can see that interactive movies have an option, and Amazon will own it all. The larger station is not merely interactive movies, but it is a play style that Sony and Microsoft added to their games, they merely forgot to make games like that. They did nothing wrong, they added flavour to their games. Yet Dragon’s Lair showed that a game like that is possible. In 1995 Tia Carrere added to this with The Daedalus Encounter, it started on 3DO but it did get on PC on the early age of VGA and CDROM systems with often no more than 300KB/s. Now with the consoles and streaming systems coming we can do a lot more and now we see that Amazon might be holding on to a lot more and even if the FTC tries to block it, it is merely a temporary setback, Amazon has the inside track and when the others consider this they might wake up and take old ideas into innovative new internet streaming highways. 

As I said, it was merely a train of thought, but so far the others aren’t showing their actions and that is before Netflix steps into the ring, consider what they have and what they would be able to push for, the innovative player takes the cake, that has been proven by Sony and by Microsoft in the past, and with the bar set to $195,000,000,000 in 2022, do you think that the innovators are going to let slip any sliver of a pie that big? What are you thinking?

As stated it is merely a train of thought, but is it that far fetched when you think of what we can now achieve?

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The Wheel (reinvented)

I happened to stumble upon 9 to 5 Google, with all kind of non-Google news. The article (at https://9to5google.com/2021/06/25/bandwidth-xbox-game-pass-and-amazon-luna-announce-july-2021-game-additions/)

We see titles like:

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction
Saints Row The Third: Remastered

Some of them are really great, but I am missing something, a new dawn, an actual new dawn, a setting we have never seen before. I am a little bit surprised, none of them have anything really new. I am not talking about new games, new titles, new originals. I am talking about a new stage of gaming, cloud gaming made it possible, so what is stopping them? I even dropped a few ideas in previous articles (go look for them). Cloud gaming allows for a new stage, so why do we see the same stage props that we saw on PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox360, N64, Wii even Nintendo Switch. Cloud gaming allows for a different station a larger setting with optionally a private set social media option, none of them are going there, they all seem to be much more relaxed in reinventing the wheel. None of them show us a station that is actually new. Perhaps it is still to come, but it is day 1 where you show that you are not the sheep or it’s herder, you are new, you are unique. So why do they not see that option? I am pondering it, I actually do not know. But to see some level of herd mentality is a little disappointing. Will it be up to Netflix to teach them that? 

The Amazon Luna has a refreshing amount of new games, yet there is an overwhelming presence of Ubisoft, not that this is bad. There are plenty of titles I never saw before and that is good, but so far cloud gaming shows more of the same, nothing refreshingly new and that is a disappointment. And with Luna starting at $6 a month and Ubisoft+ at $15 a month Amazon will soon need to reconsider what they have (without Ubisoft) and see how they are different from Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Being different is at times scary and it does have its own unique set of challenges. Yet we have seen how exclusive games make a console, Xbox proved it, Xbox360 continued it, Xbox One wasted it. Playstation 1 through 5 have shown that exclusive games make the difference and Nintendo did this as well. Now consider that cloud gaming is more than a console, it offers a few unique settings that others cannot offer, the cloud gives the makers a unique advantage, so why was this not drilled on? Why was that source not tempered into a powerhouse? 

Cocoon (at https://cocoon.com) shows a ‘new’ kind of social media, not unlike what Google Plus offered. It seems that none of them adjusted those two ideas in a stage where the gamer can talk to friends, can optionally open up to talk to fellow gamers of a game. All options were there and it seems no one took that. No one took the idea that games can have a larger impact on more settings and it seems to me that these makers are all about others doing the work and no innovation comes forward. Achievements can be traced back to 1982 (Activision) and we have seen the evolution on systems, yet as far as I can tell no one in cloud gaming land had the idea to evolve that into something more. It was the Xbox360 that had the last evolution, it was Ubisoft that reinvented the badges and none of them took it to the next step, so why would anyone consider cloud gaming when we see: “Cloud gaming enables you to play games on devices you already own, without the need to purchase a gaming console or gaming PC” yet if we already have a gaming solution, why go there unless it offers more and in this I do not mean the same games and more games. Cloud gaming needs more and so fr I see none of this happen, I left the ideas months ago and so far none seem to be clued in on what others seemingly throw at their feet. At best we are most likely to get a ‘we are looking in that direction’, which is like marketing telling Jaguar that they are waiting for more customers, it is innovation that drives a system to customers, when innovation is absent the customer merely looks form a distance and considers ‘I can already do that. It is innovation that drives the games, the hardware, the technology and from there the customers flock. Yes there is an equal chance that they distance themselves, but the true innovator can see the chances that are out there. So what is keeping them?

Consider that we see Ubisoft+ at $15 a month, yet on consoles Amazon (the dot com version) offers the Division for $10, The Division 2 for $13, for Honor $12, the Crew $15, Black Flag $11, and in this case the subscription only pays if you pay more than one new game every month, so how long until the mediocrity of Ubisoft games (and its glitches) gets to you? Yes, it seems interesting when you consider the latest games, but still, you break even in month two, after that the cost continues and any delay will set you off, that is the setting we all ignore and their marketing hopes we ignore it. And when we take notice of Android Central and with “Ubisoft is dedicated to cloud gaming, specifically Stadia and Amazon Luna, and that was reflected in numerous announcements”, so what happens when they service the consoles, PC’s, Stadia, Luna and xCloud? What happens when patch after patch is required? How happy will you then be? This is not on Ubisoft, this is the cost of doing business and I expected that Stadia and Luna were ready, yet all I read is that there is a ‘more of the same’ approach and games alone will not get you there. Luna has a fair amount of titles that I see nowhere else and as such they have an advantage, but none of them took the environment to the next level and that is a bit of a disappointment, and there were options. There were ideas that I (others too) threw out there for them to pick up and they did none of that. Perhaps it is not the mission statement (which already cost one firm billions), perhaps it was not their technology, which shows us that they were optionally not ready and there was no brainstorm on what else is possible and that is the foundation of ANY game. 1984 gave us (unknown to George Orwell) Elite, Ultima, Archon, Spy hunter, and Lode Runner. Some of these games still have a following today, some of these games reinvented themselves (Elite Dangerous is the most visible one). They all set a new standard, the hardware evolved and now we see the makers of that hardware show us that they can do it using our PC, MAC, Console. But they had the option to give more and they seemingly neglected that.

New hardware that brands ‘itself’, yet they ignore the path of awareness. When we look at awareness, perception, and cognition we see mere words, but any market researcher will look deeper and the makers of cloud gaming seemingly learned nothing, not even from their marketing department. Perception without awareness, cognition without perception and awareness with no lead towards cognition. Three elements that they do not connect but that is the larger mistake, one leads to the other. It is almost a Pokemon setting water beats fire, grass beats water and fire beats grass, yet what do we get when we reverse that? No one looked at that part and in the Pokemon setting it does not really work, yet in consoles we see what lacked (even though there was a hidden hint with Sony) they never pushed through, now cloud gaming has the opportunity to make it all a reality and it seems that they are not doing that. Perhaps Netflix will and make a clean sweep, or perhaps Nintendo will. We cannot tell, but the one that does will have a massive advantage, a place where others seemingly dreaded to go, and now that setting changes the game completely. Yes number one and two will remain the positions for Sony and Nintendo, but the number three (most likely Amazon Luna) is not secure, so the one who innovates the cloud the most will head for position three with the option to gain and optionally overtake position 2. Will that happen? I cannot tell, because Nintendo has been innovative and it has a massive advantage, even before their second version is out. Yet personally I feel that one thing is clear. More of the same will not hack it, not in this economy of people trying to pay their bills, unless there is a massive upside the consoles will remain the largest players in game land. That part is almost certain. There is a clear space for cloud gaming, but not in the ‘more of the same setting’ not for 1-2 years to come. 

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Choices by media

We all have them, we all have choices, believes and convictions. The media has them as well and they are entitled to them. I never objected to their choices, I merely want them to have accountability towards their actions. To kick this off, I need to confess. I had difficulties believing Bill Cosby was guilty. I went with what TV fed me, his character, his demeanour and I will admit, I was taken in by all of it. I saw the jokes, I saw the accusations and when we got ‘Bill Cosby released from prison after sex conviction overturned’ my mind went to different locations. I am unsure. Yes, I accept “The court ruled that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby”, it does not make him innocent, yet why would any prosecutor come with an “agreement not to charge Cosby”? From a legal point of view it strongly implies that the prosecutor had no evidence to begin with. If the evidence was there, that promise would never be voiced by any prosecutor. And this got me thinking on Kevin Spacey. When we see “Kevin Spacey accuser who tried to sue anonymously is dismissed from case” (source: ABC) and we are given “A US judge has dismissed all claims by one of two men suing actor Kevin Spacey over alleged sexual misconduct in the 1980s, after the plaintiff refused to identify himself publicly” that is a voiced 50% loss, 50% went out the window just like that. And that is merely the beginning. The media is now in a much larger stage, a stage of denial and a stage of their big mouths that could land them an 8 figure settlement, optionally 9 figure, but that is a stretch. You see, at the height of the ‘House of Cards’ he was cast out, thrown away and that show was the talk of the town. Now we see the impact of the media and their need for a pound of flesh. So when we consider ABC giving us “The other plaintiff, actor Anthony Rapp, said he was 14 in 1986 when Spacey engaged in an unwanted sexual advance with him during a party at the actor’s home. Spacey, 61, has denied CD’s and Rapp’s sexual misconduct accusations. His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment”. Did it happen?  I do not know, but in legal settings evidence matters, flaming opinions do not. Yet for an issue to wait 20 years until Kevin Spacey has his golden moment sounds off by a lot. And is no one asking what a 14 year old person is doing at a party? There might be a valid reason, there might not be, yet the lack of information in the media makes me wonder. A media that is too much about flaming and too little about informing. So I am not upset with Netflix when we see “Spacey starred in Netflix’s House of Cards before Netflix severed its ties with him after sexual misconduct accusations surfaced in 2017”, Netflix had to protect what was theirs, and there was damage, but in all this the media flamed that damage and when we see “the man known in court papers as “CD” said revealing his identity would cause “sudden unwanted attention” and be “simply too much for him to bear””, I have an issue, this could be a blackmailer hoping to cash in, ‘could be’ being the operative part. More important when we consider ‘10.83 The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him’, a simple foundation and when I see “Peter Saghir, a lawyer for CD, declined to comment on Thursday” I wonder what had gotten into Peter Saghir. It is speculative of me to think that the case with just Anthony Rapp was too thin to proceed. Yet the media is not looking at that picture or any picture that has the shown image as a picture in picture. And it is Reuters who gives us “Peter Saghir, a lawyer for C.D. and Rapp, declined to comment on Thursday. He has suggested that C.D. might pursue an appeal if his case were severed from Rapp’s”, so he is willing not to be ‘anonymous’ when Rapp is off the charter? It gives us a larger stage that the Rapp case is thin, optionally too thin. And that is when Kevin Spacey will made the 8 or 9 figure claim, he lost that much and that is the ball game and when the media gets that much of a claim, the game changes, the wolves become crying chihuahua’s trying to hold on as much of that money as possible, in a stage where every penny counts, losing over a billion if not well over ten times that much pennies will make them suffer, and with all the BS I have watched over the last decade, the media could do with a little suffering. 

Some people are all about Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey, I am on the fence because we are lands of law, evidence is part of that and when the media is all about emotional flames, it tends to be the setting for a lack of evidence. Yes, this is speculative, but in that I have been proven right a lot more often than I was proven wrong. 

So what is next? 
When you see the flamed accusations against Spacey and Cosby, all whilst the media is going with excuse after excuse against Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of dead media mogul Robert Maxwell. It seems that the media seems to be a protective shield for anyone with strong ties to media. So when you see the slams against these two gentlemen and we see ‘SHAMED Ghislaine Maxwell was left “broken” by her “horrendous childhood”’, ‘Ghislaine Maxwell’s prison cell flooding with raw sewage’ and more, yes she is so sad and so broken, but these people cannot afford a ‘$1 million home paid for in cash’, can they? When you have enough money to get a “4,300-square-foot house sits on 156 acres of land, at the top of a half-mile driveway” (source: NBC News), things do not add up. Especially as her daddy forfeited (read: default) on £50,000,000 in loans and went yachting. Yes, poor, poor little Ghislaine. 

Do you see the problem? The media has two measures and none are holding evidence too high and in all this we become the flock that relies on flamed materials, too often devoid of evidence.

So when you see this and we reconsider the hack (Kaseya) and now we add Government Security Info (at https://www.govinfosecurity.com/kaseya-ransomware-attack-this-dramatic-escalation-a-16996), I wonder what is true (I really do wonder) they give us “There’s one big question that hasn’t been answered, says Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at VMware Carbon Black. “Who gave REvil the zero-day?””, yet Fortune dot com gives us “The Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure said it had alerted Kaseya to multiple vulnerabilities in its software that were then used in the attacks, and that it was working with the company on fixes when the ransomware was deployed”. So one side gives us ‘zero-day’ the other gives us ‘multiple vulnerabilities’, as well as ‘it had alerted Kaseya’. Yet no one will give us how long this was known by Kaseya, how long the issue was out there and for how long Kaseya did too little in protecting their customers? The media is on both slots and the lack of voiced investigations are staggering, so when will we get the real deal, the state of matters drowning in facts and evidence? 

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A quarter of a century later

There is a side in me that yearns for all the old games, the games that emphasised on fun. Don’t get me wrong I love some of the games that are new Ratchet and Clank, Aragami, Sniper Ghost warrior, AC Origins, God of War and there are several others. Yet there are moments that I am driven towards the old games. Portal (the interactive novel), Millennium 2.2, Mass Effect, Masters of Orion and lately I have been thinking back to the game Ascendancy, a game 25 years old, yet it was an amazing forward thinking game in those days and I wonder why it was never released as a remaster, or even to some degree overhauled for today’s systems. If Cloud gaming is the wave, then these players need all the fun games that they can get and so far it seems awfully quiet. In part this is to be understood, as I stated in the past, until there is a proper 5G in place Cloud gaming is optionally nice to have, but without 5G it will not go anywhere fast, if even at all. Yet to get a library of good games, you need to start now to have a decent calibre of offers when it matters. And it is important to cover the foundations, in this (with no attack on that player) to rely on Ubisoft to cover your bets is massively stupid. No matter how good the coming games are, when the next game is as glitched and as buggy as AC Valhalla, you endanger your hardware. The ages of CBM-64, Atari ST and CBM Amiga have created some of the most amazing gaming journeys, a lot of it is no longer protected IP and using that foundation to create gams will be a great start in having a larger library, moreover, these games have some limitations, and even when upgraded, they might not take that much on the download. The difference between two streamers, one with Ubisoft and one with Ubisoft and half a dozen original and optionally exclusive games will give us that the one with the exclusive games will win, when the hardware is too close together, the one with the large exclusive (providing the are good) wins. We saw this in PlayStation 2 versus Xbox, Playstation 3 versus Xbox360 and PlayStation 4 versus Xbox One and that list goes on, Playstation won every time and only in the Xbox 360 age did Microsoft catch up to a decent degree, only to lose it again in the Xbox One age. In streaming Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Netflix it will be the games that decide on the winner, giving Google at present a distinct disadvantage over Amazon Luna. Netflix is one boasting its arrival, yet nothing is known, so they are an unknown for now. 

So as we consider Ascendancy, a game I enjoyed for years, the stage has one weakness, the AI in the game was overly bad and that requires an upgrade, but that is the only large part, and even then the game scored 90%+ on several formats, A score Ubisoft had not seen since Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (2005), Which is not entirely fair, Metacritic gave AC Origins a score of 81, I myself thought it was worth somewhere between 88%-93%. And as I replay the game, my score remains. The game has one flaw, or perhaps a wrong choice, but that is all and my view is not important. The fact that there is a massive limit to really good games is why the streamers need to open their search and they need to make sure that they have a decent library of games. Both Nintendo and Sony showed that it was essential one is number one and the other one surpassed the most powerful system in the world with the weakest system around. I believe that the evidence is clearly out there. As such games like Ascendancy can grow a larger base, especially if the game makers take care in what was and what could be. So far I have seen that option (or opportunity) with half a dozen games, a few movies and a TV series (self made), but in all this, the staggering push for ‘new and cheap IP’ by the makers, all whilst one corner away, there is a pile of good IP, all ready to be chiseled up into fabulous remasters and that is before you realise that a lot of these games come from an age before the gamers of today were born. Now, I do not know if there is IP on the following two titles, but the Dreamcast also gave us two titles that were just too much fun and great looking, they can even stand up to todays games on PSX4 and Xbox One.

The titles were Wacky Races and Fur Fighters. By the way, the PSX2 version of Fur Fighters is a joke, but the Dreamcast version was amazing, why it was forgotten we might never know but that stage could reinvent itself with cloud gaming. With 4 players in that arena, the one with the great games, great exclusive games mind you will take the cake and they will win that race, and when you consider that being number one in that race will grab you more players and more visibility from the moment you are that number one, that is how you win a race, wacky or not. So I will look and see what Amazon, Google and Netflix are up to (I am already disregarding Microsoft, as they seemingly have an Azure preference of taste), there is no way to tell how this ends, but in this the Verge gave us a few months ago ‘Google is shutting down its in-house Stadia game development studios, which is a choice, but it is one that could serve both Amazon and Netflix to a degree that could bank them pole position. Time will tell.

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