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Door two of the arcane

It is time to continue the promise I made myself, and as such I want to introduce you to the floating house. The floating house is the house of a medicine man at the edge of the land, close to the oceans and close to the plains. The people graduating here have mastered the elements of water in all shapes. The people who lives in the floating house can change moist into shard of ice, sharper than any blade, they can cool the land, water the fields and turn lakes into roads. They can create fog so dense that people next to one another cannot see one another. The people from the floating house are always welcomed by those working the fields, especially in time of drought. The origins of the Floating house are unknown, the house was suddenly there and a medicine man claimed it. Over time he learned more than others ever before and the floating house become home to 7 masters and 12 students, only when two graduate two new are admitted. Sometimes one becomes a teacher, when one teacher is closing the end of its life, the call is made and those who can hear it Make way back to the Floating house and submit themselves for inspection by the head of the Floating house. This is how it has been for many many generations. 

The second door
I wandered through the fields, I felt the wheats going through my fingers, the wheat was healthy., strong and nourishing. The waters had done their job in creating a good harvest. Even as I was looking over the fields, I felt heat, intense heat. I looked round, but the glow I expect to see with this heat was missing. I saw two houses, the fields were ok, I looked again and then I saw it. The larger house was radiating heat, a lot of it. As I walked towards the house, I summoned the moist, I focussed it on the house and the rains started, faster and harder, yet the heat remained. Then the side of the house exploded. The heat was overwhelming, and the heat came without large flames. As I walked close to the open side I saw what was going on, there was a lava pond in the house, not a place where it usually came, only the Monks of the Sulphur Cave could this. Their acne knowledge was unknown to anyone but the Monks themselves. These monks were not evil, but their powers were highly destructive, so whatever had set this monk off was something that had to be dealt with, at least if this fine harvest was not to to end up being a pile of charcoal.

I looked at the pool and had an idea, I concentrated on the moist, then turned it to rain, then turned the rain solid and let it slam the roof harder and harder, within a minute the roof was gone and the pond got hammered by icy cold hail. It took a few seconds before the pool turned darker, then darker still and as the blackness of the pond was seen, the heat dissipated. I looked to the fields, they were safe, but the larger stage was not resolved. I decided to walk down the hill, there was a village there, I could feel it, I would hide in the barns and listen to what was going on, perhaps I would learn what had angered the monks, I preferred not to interfere, a monk was not clumsy or taken to whimsy. I felt happy that I saved crops, but I needed to learn what the issues were in this place.

The members of the Floating house are masters of water, as such also ice wielders, they are driven by stealth, sneakiness, covertness and clandestine actions. They believe that the limelight is counterproductive. They help and aid in secrecy, the fog is a great way to hide, nothing hides from them, but the people in the fog cannot see anything and the light fog would carry the voices of any conversation for the longest distance making eavesdropping a good way to find out what was going on. The water staff is a staff of metal with a globe on two thirds filled with water and an uncut diamond representing ice at the top. The staff was more than an arcane relic, only the members of the Floating house could hold them, the reason is actually unknown to all but a few, Not even all the graduates of the Floating house knew that part. 

Premise
Here we now see a premise of two houses, one is out to fight and to be open, the other sets the stage covertly. Like any RPG we have several sider that we want to explore and even as some games try to give students all the options to be everything, there is a larger wisdom in giving limitations. Missions can not always be done in the same way, as such we see one mission having an optional 5 narrations into the same mission. It might not always pan out that way, but the stage might be inviting to a whole range of gamers, the game they play the way they prefer to play it, and optionally a stage where they learn to play it differently.

It is a stage where we open the RPG stage to a larger population, one where we offer choice in the beginning, but after that you must work with the cards dealt. A stage that might be inviting, and is original especially when you see what it out there. Most want to be a D&D, or a Bethesda clone. I prefer to create a new road if optionally available. It is merely an idea, is it a good idea? I believe it is, is it the best idea? That remains to be seen, but like Nintendo, copying others only gives limitations, the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS became reality by ignoring what others did.

Location, Location, Location
As we are taking. Look at the people in the game, the environment also needs to be considered, in light of the volcano power needed, I set my mind on Kabaena Island in Indonesia. The island would be a 1:1 map, giving us an island that is almost 50 by 40 kilometres, as such having two dozen locations will be leave us a lot of space to evolve the game. I set that size as it was the only flaw that Oblivion ever had, things were too close together, a flaw (as I personally see it) and so did Black Flag. So I chose a sage where there is enough space, yet I wanted to avoid well known places and there is no reason why Kabaena island would not suffice, especially in light of one of the storylines I am shaping in my mind. 

So this was the second door, next is the third door that leads to the Monks of the Sulphur Caves. See ya tomorrow (hopefully), Bethesda eat your heart out! I did this part in about an hour, so less than 4 hours got you all the setting I gave over two parts (well, actually three).

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One matter is not another

Yup it is that flaky, it all started with two events, I saw the first event, but I basically ignored it, it was more of old news and politicians getting in on the tailcoats of another is a setting we have seen too often. Then there was the other new news, the was based on the old, and I will start with that, it makes more sense that way.

I got the news (and I had seen it) Pikmin 3 is coming to the Nintendo Switch. I knew it but I had not made up my mind yet. A budget implies that I cannot go out and buy whatever tinker trait is out there. I am not in the worst setting, but blatantly buying a game is jut not on. What made it interesting is the Nintendo added a demo to their shop, so I went out and played the demo (twice) and I recaptured the feeling that the first Pikmin on Nintendo Gamecube left me, the endearing feeling of using the Pikmin and keeping them safe, it is a weird setting, the feeling that came to me almost 19 years ago (18 years and 49 weeks to be a little more precise). The game was a true original and never disappointed, a full blown homerun for Nintendo. I am not exaggerating when I say that Shigeru Miyamoto outdid himself with that one. There are times when we rejoice when something is knocking on our door and we see it is something we have seen before, this is quite the opposite to the first matter and is when we see ‘Australians sign Kevin Rudd’s call for inquiry into Murdoch influence’, you see, he is now in full show with a goatee, perhaps so that he looks as endearing as Rolf Harris once did. Oh, no, it is more of an actual beard, my bad.

Yes Kevin Rudd is calling for an investigation into Murdoch industries, something he never achieved when he was Prime Minister, did he? When we look back there was the Leveson inquiry that focussed on the UK and gave us a series of public hearings were held throughout 2011 and 2012. It resulted in the Leveson Report in November 2012. I remember it because I have it, all 2200 pages. In April 2012 we were given ‘Rupert Murdoch gives away more than planned at Leveson inquiry’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/apr/25/rupert-murdoch-planned-leveson-inquiry), so whilst Kevvie was Prime Minister, what did he call for? Nope, he left that apparently to get back into politics, now it is ‘‘A cancer’: Kevin Rudd calls for royal commission into ‘Murdoch monopoly’, so that took him 8 years to figure out? If it takes that long, he has no business been in politics in the first place. But I agree slapping around an 89 year old multibillionaire might optionally be entertaining, yet in this I find the sanctimonious actions of a former Prime Minister who did nothing when he was in office a bit much. And I am not alone here. When we see ‘Rudd has become Murdoch’s accuser, but once he was his cheerleader’, with the added “Under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, Murdoch took over the Herald and Weekly Times publishing company, which gave him control of newspapers accounting for about two-thirds of daily circulation”, so not only does Rupert Murdoch have the power he has now, but it was the Labor party the enabled it, can sarcasm be any prettier?  As such, when we get to “The Herald reported that “cabinet colleagues were appalled at Rudd’s flagrant courting of News’ favour”” we see the mess he made of it, and now he wants to get back into politics by opposing he former friends? Well, that is politics I reckon. And the result? Well, I have to agree with “But what could a royal commission achieve? It is impossible to see any legislation improving the situation. Journalists often justify their efforts to bring transparency as being in the public interest with the words of American Justice Louis Brandeis that sunlight is the best disinfectant” (source: Sydney Morning Herald), the Leveson inquiry showed us how useless this path is, the media will cry like prissy little bitches all claiming that they can do better and continue in the same way they did. We merely need to look at the headlines on MH-370 we were given in 2014, basically the ink of the Leveson report had not even dried at the point. Politics and media, it is a stage where one hand feeds the other, whilst the left and remains ignorant of the actions of the right hand, a stage that will not improve until the laws get adjusted FIRST, a stage that is never ever going to happen. So whatever Kevin Rudd has planned, voting for whomever is the other person remains the safer bet. He did this to himself, a sage that is fraught with danger, yet like the Pikmin, they are the consumers getting the idea of what is safe, but in this case it is not Captain Olimar guiding the consumers (Pikmin players will get this), it is Corporal KRudd the we must trust and he will guide the red Pikmins through the shallows and uses the Yellow ones for the Bulbears, in this I fear for the lives of consumers (sorry, I meant Pikmin), I am slightly surprised that he got 100,000 foolish enough to sign his so called ‘intent’ all whilst there is absolutely zero chance that is ends up amounting to anything at all.

I agree, that one matter is not the other, but both are pages we have seen before one leaves us happy and relaxed, the other does not, for those wondering, the political side is not the fuzzy one.

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When we reconsider

We reconsider at times, we all do. It is not merely a stage of changing of minds, it is a stage of giving a game another chance. In my case it is F1 2020. The last one I had was F1 2000, a game that I got with my PS2, I am not much of a racing fan, but I enjoyed the game to some extent. The ‘some extent’ is not to be mistaken with some critical view of the game. I do not have one, I like racing to some degree, I am not a lover of it. It’s a simple stage. Another game I had was Project Gotham 3, it came with my Xbox 360. That game I loved, it was fun, the F1 game is less fun, more of a simulator, till it is a nice challenge to have and at times we reconsider getting the game, so after 15 years I am willing to get another F1 game. Some go with statement like ‘cleansing the palette’, some go with ‘something else to devour’, some people (like me) never thought negative of the game, merely saw it as something that was not their cup of tea. Yet we all get to a stage that we want to try tea again. It is partially natural. For me, in part it was the stage where F1 2000 was actually a good looking game, I merely was decently lousy in racing. And the F1 game was a decent simulator. That in position to the fact that Project Gotham Racing III was more fun, slightly less of a simulator. Yet this is not about the F1 game, it is about FIFA. The BBC introduced me to ‘FIFA 21 review: ‘The virtual, beautiful game is passing off old as new’’, as well as the Verge giving us ‘FIFA 21 Is Limping Toward Retirement’. Now we should all accept that it is one hell of a test to prolong a franchise, even as soccer is one of the most favourite sports in the world, renewing it for 20+ years is still a massive task. Now, we can all go Monday morning quarterback on the makers, but in the end, I wonder if anyone could have done the job the way EA did. Now, I am not blowing their horn, they have a marketing department for that. In addition, I support their view that loot-boxes is not gambling. I have always supported that side, even as they clearly have made a few mistakes, the fact that they were made is open to debate. And even add the UK gives us “The Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (“DCMS”) has launched a call for evidence on the impact of loot boxes in video games to help it determine whether they should be classified as gambling products” I still have a personal nagging that this is is a rigged setting. 

Even as we see things evolve, we see a larger stage the is not explored, which is partially an option for discussion. Yet the stage is still in the open. Like the F1 game I looked at, others look at FIFA in a similar way, I am not a FIFA fan, I am an NHL fan and the disturbing part is the here in Australia, the game still cannot get ordered, which is an optional EA play push and a Xbox Billing wish. 

I get the stage that this is, not many Australians have a preference to Hockey. I played it when I was younger. Hence, my interest (and my delusional dream that San Jose, Ottawa, Edmonton, or Calgary calls me that they are in desperate need of a goalie and my name came up), who has not had that thought? Which soccer player does not want to be able to bend it like Beckham? There is a weird interaction with sports games, especially the one we really prefer. We go for the annual setting, but there too EA dropped the ball more than once. It is their right to drop it, but it seemingly gets them in the situation they are in now.

And the stage of sport games is larger than we consider NHL21, FIFA21, Madden NFL 21, EA UFC 2020, Rugby20 2020, F1 2020, NBA 2K21, PGA 2K21, a stage that is a lot bigger than we realise and even if we are not a great fan of some games, EA and others had the option to change the stage and get a much greater following, but they set the game to an event of capture the dough. We can all be or become Monday morning quarterbacks, yet what will this resolve?

We are in what I call a clear stage to reconsider, the gamers and the makers. This is not about sport games, yet this is the larger stage of gaming and to set the what is new, and the why renews. A stage the gaming seems to overlook again and again, As I personally see it it comes with the marketing field who increasingly limits the scope ‘How to acquire new money and how to get as much of it as we can’, it is a natural setting for marketing and that makes sense. But if gaming leads, it is time to set a very different stage. Even as some as in the setting of ‘What if that does not work?’ Nintendo faced that with the WiiU, yet that led to the Nintendo Switch, a system that broke all their records and pushed the Microsoft console from 2nd to 3rd position and as Switch is in 2nd position, still growing its markets, still growing after 3.5 Years. 

It is time to reconsider the plays that are currently being made.

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A Freebie for you

Yes, you read it right, I am about to give you all a freebie. Over the last two days I set in motion a new piece of IP, but there are parts that I am not ready for, the idea is, but I am not, So I am making it public domain with this article. It all started two days ago, there was an imbalance and I set it in writing but something happened as I did it, I realised that no one had taken it to this level ever before, all the clever people at Microsoft, Apple and Google, they have nothing on this, so I am making it public domain. I have at least 4 more pieces of IP, several ready for patenting, all mine, and this is my way of pushing the world into action. I considered to be a Jonas Salk in disguise, but that is not me, this is about something else and the power of progression is not to sell it, but to make it common good for all, if it cannot be patented it is open source to all who consider it and even as they do, there are a few persons who have the advantage, they worked on the paper that could be the foundation of what this becomes. Yet before I do that, I need to tell you the story how this came about, it is actually important, it makes what comes next easier to comprehend. 

My background in all this is data, I have been involved with data systems, legacy systems, cleaning data and arbitrary manipulation of data for well over 30 years, so I have been around a long time (I am actually that old). I was there when DBase 2 started, I was there at the beginning of the Clipper Compiler. The start of Microsoft SQL Server (which they bought from Sybase), the VAX/VMS data systems, IBM DB2 on AIX and more. I have seen data in so many ways it could be regarded as scary, but that was the past. An imbalance hit me two days ago and it resulted in the article ‘The mind stage’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/04/the-mind-stage/), I gave my view, however some threw questions at me, two were valid. So I set out to answer them to the best of my ability and it resulted in ‘The accusation and more’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/05/the-accusation-and-more/), yet as I wrote the article and set out with the examples, an idea hit my head and I had been busy all day today (in the back of my mind) to sort it out, in all this the discussed paper ‘Optimal control of a rumour propagation model with latent period in emergency event’ by Liang’an Huo, Tingting Lin, Chongjun Fan (et al) set my mind in motion.

To explain this a little more, consider a page rank (something Stanford University came up with for Google), every page has a rank and that is what sets out some level of importance or perhaps influence is at times a better word. And until now it was often enough, but 5G allows for people to be exposed to data 10 times more and now we see the pressure that the reader is exposed to, what is relevant? You see from the market research side we get exposed to bias, it results in: 

  • Irrational Escalation
  • Social Desirability Bias
  • Knowledge Bias

Yet the stage is no longer a level playing field, the exposure to the people is almost 100%, as such we see the need for an additional number, a ‘bias weight’, this is however not linked to the document but the reader, at this stage it is there but it is mappable, in the future it is less likely so, and like response weights, factorial weights and other corrective measures, no-one has taken the time to set the stage for bias, but in 5G it will be a big thing, much bigger than anyone realises. 

As such the stage is more important, if 100% is exposed to bias via news, via social media, via websites and preset stages, it becomes more and more important to figure out how much bias a person is exposed to and 5G allows for this (well 4G allows for it too, but the systems slow down too much), with 5G it all goes faster, so the stage needs adjustment and adding a group of filters becomes essential for all kinds of reasons. The paper gives us “Rumours are part of our everyday life, and its spreading has a significant impact on human lives. Hayakawa defines rumour as a kind of social phenomenon that a similar remark spreads on a large scale in a short time through chains of communication”, which I accept, yet bias moves in pretty much the same way, we have however until now never given it the consideration it deserves. Just like rumours, bias works like accumulation and that is where the sausage gets the sauce, yet in all this, who is the biased person? Can he influence our needs positively or negatively? That answer needs to be found. Not because it is nice, or because it is essential, but for all kinds of data collecting fields all kinds of product fields and all kinds of manufacturing it will matter soon enough, when 5G is racing at top speeds, it will become a massive issue and the developers need time to get any kind of systems in place, so I am making the thoughts public domain, and you all get to have good luck with it.

In this field, feel free to delete my thoughts, feel free to ignore me, but whomever works out the math will make one hell of an amount of money (please remember me if you do). Oh, and those who think I am rambling? In 1997 I came up with a servicing solution and the company at the centre, my bosses laughed at my idea, I still have the email somewhere, Facebook came 4 years later and did what I thought of (and more). I had one other idea which Sony got, but they neglected it and now some see the benefits the this system had, so I am decently certain on my ideas.

The work I looked at referred to Daley and Kendall, yet in that stage the setting is to some degree missing or incomplete (for my purpose). As we read “At any time an individual can be classified as one of three categories: X(t) denotes those individuals who are ignorant of the rumour; Y(t) denotes those individuals who are actively spread- ing the rumour; and Z(t) denotes those individuals who know the rumour but have ceased spreading it”, we can exchange rumour for bias, but the would be incorrect (incomplete is more correct), even as we see three directions of bias (mentioned earlier), we need to see that in two dimensions. Internal bias and external bias. For this example I will use gamers (myself), I am a PlayStation guy, I dumped my Xbox because of Microsoft actions and I lost faith in their product. So there is an internal bias towards Sony (optionally Nintendo too), and it is in the ‘automated’ negative towards Microsoft. We cannot do this on every brand, it becomes a data mess, but the exposure I have on classes might be different, a stage of Z scores in 6 parts (3 internal and three external) might be easier, and as this is set to the person, the seeker online, it is the persons bean (a java bean pun), so we need to find a larger solution that can paint whole populations by the actions they take, and this is not about transgressing on privacy, but on the system wielder disregardful of who they are, So as Kendall and Daley were in a stage of three, it is not merely ignorant of the bias, there will be an internal bias towards brands, towards application and towards choice, but the external factor is one that we see if the person has been exposed to, so we see part of the solution in front of us and to find the core the adjusts bias is partially found and over time optionally completed, but in this we are not about what the score is, but if  certain score exceeds a certain value, if that is the case the person is biassed, and now we can decently reflect whether the person is the one that we seek (we being the interested party whomever they are) and with the number, we get a much larger efficiency towards what the goal was. The old expression is ‘all cats are grey in the dark’, which now gets us to ‘all seekers are equally grey on the internet’, which changes the game for everyone, yet when someone learns of an ability to filter or weigh bias, that stage changes and it will change for everyone depending on the internet.

So whatever you decide, have a great day.

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The stage of a game

We all have an idea, some have the idea of a life time, but I cannot make that claim, not because I do not have one, but because I have too many. Yes there is the call to make remasters (Knights of the Sky), there is the call to reinvent the wheel (System Shock by Nightdive Studios), or there is the need to take it to the next level, a next level that was not possible in the past, mainly because technology did not allow for it.

This is how I always saw Pirates (by Sid Meier), there was a chance where Black Flag was a nice tribute, but it was the dawn of PS4 and Xbox One and Ubisoft took a cowardly way to progress a franchise on a lack of factors. So as I initially played Black Flag, my mind went racing. And then I remembered another pirate game, a board game with additional bluff cards. So what happens, when w take the foundation of Black Flag and make it more towards the original the Sid Meier made? The map would be well over 20 times the size, a lot more like the actual map of the Caribbeans in those days, the game would not be some fruity assassin, it would be your version and you get to live the life of a cutthroat, a buccaneer, a privateer, it is up to you, to go from a small skiff to a full-grown galley or slave ship if you are good enough. You see, there is something totally awesome about the way the game Elite Dangerous is designed (by David Braben). There your life does not matter, the game does not care, nor should it and it is time to set that stage to RPG and a pirate RPG makes a lot of sense. You cannot always be a captain, you start as a simple sailor. And in this you could get to a rank if you are good enough. 

So how do we go about it, we tend to look towards the wars of adjustment, yet there are so many wars the were never on the radar, the Dutch independence wars (which took close to 80 years), the age of piracy and lets not forget the Sudan wars (Mahdist War 1881-1899), all places that seem to be forgotten. Who remembers the siege of Khartoum? Some are so set in a stage of winning, the we sometimes forget that half the fun is surviving, so how far will you get? The original siege went on from 13 March 1884 to 26 January 1885, so what happens when you are in charge, how long will you last? Games are so much about winning, the we forget the enduring is nothing less. To make it to the date or even past it would be a victory and a half. It is so American to be the victor the most of them do not understand ‘the Last Samurai’, it is not about winning, it is about not losing, or better stated, the way you live towards the final days matters more, we forgot about that part, didn’t we?

We can set any gaming stage, but it is how we play where we see if we measure up, not if we merely tap the mile poles in a game. I reckon that the achievements made us all a little complacent in games. We can go in any direction, a Hindenburg flight simulator, yet in there we will always come up short against the Microsoft flight simulator, it makes more sense for them to add the Hindenburg. Yet what happens when we turn the script? What happens when we set the stage to a simple thing, what if the player is a no one, yet his/her grandfather was Hades, Poseidon or Zeus? What happens when we map a place like Monte Carlo completely and get him to retrieve a relic that one of the 2,261 millionaires or 50 billionaires has. Is it in a house, is it on a boat or is it somewhere else (like a museum)? We can simplify any game for as much as we can, but in the end we need a healthy story and for the most Wars tend to do that (an unhealthy endeavour if ever there was one). I saw the need of a game on mines, and remembered some bomb defusing game on the CBM-64, so where to go from there? The stage of a game is important, because it sets a vested interest of the gamer, Ubisoft had the down to perfection in Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood and after the they lost the plot, they almost won it back in AC4 Black Flag and they definitely got it back in Origins. I would think the a Battlestar Galactica RPG is one the would be favourable with the BSG fans, but not much outside that, the same can be said for Babylon 5, the Star Trek fanbase is huge, so that tends to be a close win any given day of the week, but that does not guarantee a good game, the issue is seen when an idea with a small base entices a large following, that is the stage we all seek. CD Project Red did so with Witcher and seemingly is about to do it again with Cyberpunk 2077.  It is the setting the fuels the story, and the story is everything, I have always believed that, it is the power of an RPG. It is because of the that we see out the great stories (Tolkien), yet I wonder what happens when we try this with Herbert on a larger scale with Dune, not merely on Arrakis, why if all the other places become involved? Perhaps a visionary will see that option with the next Dune movie (2020). In this books have been the strongest source of inspiration, mainly because there are so many of them. Yet most of us go to the same source, why? I agree that it is appealing, but there are so many nations with alternatives. That is something we saw when someone created the Untitled Goose Game, brilliant t in its foundation, as such I wondered if someone had considered the same thing with a cat (Minoes, Annie M. G. Schmidt), a writer the has a following of millions in the Netherlands and Belgium. In that same setting, as Skyrim became such a hit, did anyone ever look towards the famous Spanish Comic books of the Mercenary by Segrelles? It has all the makings of a much larger game, a stage where some are set not in multiple games, but one game with a season pass and several DLC’s.

Then there is the comic hero Rork, by Andreas, or even the Trigan Empire by Don Lawrence. I remember growing up to these stories and the stories of Ravian (Valerian), I am a little surprised that the Trigan Empire never made it to the silver screen or the computer, Don Lawrence has a flair for imagery and the computer always needs this. So what is the stage of a game that will be set next? The is the question and the is where players like Sony and Google/Apple will find themselves. Microsoft might be acquiring the brands (Bethesda), yet they do not have the stage alone and the next innovator might be just around the corner. For me, the idea that the $7,500,000,000 lemon the Microsoft acquired (not Bethesda mind you) would backfire largely and loudly and the would be OK with me.

As I personally see it, Microsoft pissed of true gamers and that group of people doesn’t pull punches when they play with their idols, we do not fault Bethesda in any of this, but aligning with Microsoft was not the best idea, as some say, you are only as good as your next game and Bethesda had plenty of winners, but what is next? We look not merely to the stage of the game, but to the next stage of gaming and I believe that they are too often hiding behind terms like ‘hype worthy games’, yet that is a setting from the mind of a marketing department, they predict that people who play games, will think this is a hype. Yet true hypes come from games the are on the edge of what is possible in gaming, the Witcher 3 is the perfect example there. Cyberpunk is also on the stage, neither of them are Microsoft games. Yet it was brilliant to buy Bethesda, but the also means that those who do not love the Microsoft console will look to the borders and see what else is possible, optionally setting the stage for the $7,500,000,000 lemon, not because of Bethesda, but because gamers have a lack of trust in Microsoft and the fact that some had the numbers that only 1 out of 3 considered the new Microsoft console, the gives me the impression that Microsoft has a much larger problem and buying software houses will not solve it, making visionary games do and the is the lesson Microsoft has not learned. They opened the door for Sony to look what else is out there, what else could become an exclusive and the is where Sony will win and gamers will win. Because it is on the edge of possible gaming where new gamers will be born, new games will be born and at the end of my life I see that there are options coming towards gamers, games the will create new gamers, it will create new creativity and new thinking through gaming and this is a good thing. The simple truth is the there is real gaming beyond Ubisoft and Microsoft, true gaming is never soft, it is challenging and the is where we need to look, we need to look where they are not looking. That is how I got most my IP in several fields. Not by being some bullet point presenter like all the others, but by looking in a direction they decided not to bother looking. That is how most revolutionary IP is created, and it is funny as this is the way Microsoft and Ubisoft started, to look where no was. Too bad they forgot about the part of the equation and I reckon the Sony is waking up to that lesson at present.

 

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The house of RPG

Yup, the news only just hit the walls of the internet and a new stage is already underway. This is not about slamming Bethesda, they made a decision and I reckon that 7 billion plus is a nice looking bandaid, but now the house is falling over, because the stage of gaming is set into another realm. Do you think that Sony will like the age of dependancy of Microsoft? So as Bethesda becomes a Microsoft institution, Sony will have to look in other directions. Yes there are good RPG’s out there. There is the Witcher and Cyberpunk is about to arrive, yet the stage is largely untapped and now we see that there is a larger need for an exclusive option for Sony. Lucky for them there might be an option. Richard Garriott created the Ultima series in the early 80’s, yet it was in 1985 that Ultima IV: Quest of the avatar was born. It would take RPG’s to new heights, heights that would not be equalled for well over a decade. Now consider a first person RPG (like Skyrim) with its own rules, its own places, and a storyline that can surpass most RPG games out there. On a map that would be close to 6,000% larger than Skyrim. The map of Britannia (Ultima 1-9) was almost completely designed by the time Ultima 4 was there and the game only got better. The stage would add new dimensions to RPG gaming, something that could be done again in a 1st person setting. It would add new directions in gaming from the original setting, something that had not been done for some time. And then there is the story. Even now I see new stages in shrines and stones that the original never allowed for. There is the stage to combine Ultima 4 and 5 in a much larger setting in sequence in one game. It implies a gaming size that surpasses most RPG’s in hours and way the game is played. The Ultima series set a larger stage with the use of ships and that could remain, so there would be more in the game and more challenges. The largest is to stay original to the Ultima formula and not be swayed towards more of the same. A game that becomes a journey, a journey that we have not seen before and in this Bethesda opened the door by becoming part of Microsoft. I hope that they will remain on the Sony systems, but there is every indication that Microsoft will take a time advantage and use Bethesda games to push people towards their console. That move makes sense because there are plenty of Elder Scrolls and Fallout fans, but that also means that Sony now has the task to protect its core gamers by offering an exclusive brand of their own and that is where we see the value of Richard Garriott optionally go through the roof. I believe that for Richard Microsoft buying Bethesda might seem like the opportunity of a lifetime. No matter how Bethesda phrases it, they are quoted to have stated “all future Bethesda games will release on both Xbox and PC, but their appearance on other consoles will be determined on a “game by game basis”” this is what I would call a dicey setting for Sony, but not all is lost, they could look towards what was and redesign it to the new. Ultima is one of the most likely franchises and the stage is much larger than you think. Microsoft has paid over $7 billion for Bethesda (actually they bought Zenimax Media, the parent of Bethesda), it is a clever move, but if Sony counters it with new RPG, that price might be a little sour, especially if the RPG marketshare brittles away from Bethesda. Microsoft ends up in a stage where the overpaid for a brand that is well worth it, but as Sony counters what was not set to value, the value of Zenimax media will take a bit of a dive. So not only is there an alternative, my mind has already seen the optional design for an adjusted RPG game that would be every bit as satisfying as the original, more so when you consider that the original was never first person, but in my mind I added a stage that the Elder Scrolls never possessed. It is not merely good news for Richard Garriott, it would also be great news for Iolo, Jaana, Julia, Dupre, Geoffrey, Mariah, Katrina and Shamino. They can dust off the weapons they hung up in 1992. And the world would optionally see them back into action as early as 2022 if Sony gets a deal with Richard Garriott sober rather than later, because Microsoft was sly in getting the deal, but was it a clever move? I am not so sure about that. If we are to believe some market research results, only one in three opted for Microsoft, the rest went the way of Sony. I had issues with the results as it was against two systems and Nintendo was left outside the choice, I believe that the Microsoft numbers are not that great to begin with, but that is pure speculation from my side. Will I be proven correctly? 

I actually do not know, but the Bethesda move has set a level of shock on me, that is true enough, yet I have made up my mind, I will not get the Xbox, and if that leaves me without future fallout and elder scrolls games, so be it, yet it took me no more than an hour to set an optional new stage of Ultima, so there is always an option, there will always be RPG, the question becomes will Bethesda be part of that? I actually do not know, there is too much unknown at present.

 

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It was tempting

Yup, there it is, my option to consider another part of IP, or talking about the console war. There was temptation for a few reasons, but the console war won. In the first we look at Notebook Check, here we see “Convincing PlayStation 5 price leak and latest IGN poll all but confirm victory for Sony and the PS5 in the first battle of the next-gen console war”, which is certainly one way if losing at the situation, we could also include “if the figures are genuine then gamers planning on pre-ordering either a Blu-ray console or Digital Edition model are likely to be satisfied. Another IGN next-gen console poll shows huge popular support for Sony’s devices, regardless of the recent appearance of the Xbox Series S”, we have a start and it would b e quite the start, yet I believe them to be merely side reasons. You see, the real reason is also the reason why I dumped my Xbox One and all the games, I have no further faith in Microsoft, who is not ruled by deeds, but by marketing hypes. Microsoft through stupidity on the Xbox One, lost me at least twice over, and as I personally see it, there is no coming back from that one in the near future. Consider that I would be more hyped to get Super Mario 3D All-Stars free at $69, then whatever that new console will cost, so consider, I am more interesting to get a remade Mario game on the Nintendo Switch, then the new Microsoft console, their credibility is THAT low. 

I have written about these issues in the past and this is not a reuse issue, so lets get back to the article (at https://www.notebookcheck.net/Convincing-PlayStation-5-price-leak-and-latest-IGN-poll-all-but-confirm-victory-for-Sony-and-the-PS5-in-the-first-battle-of-the-next-gen-console-war.493457.0.html), where we see “An IGN poll asking Twitter residents the question “Now that we have more info on some next-gen console prices, which do you think you’re most likely to buy first?” has now closed, and perhaps unsurprisingly it has been a convincing win for Sony.

The PS5 attracted 55.3% of the votes, followed by the Xbox Series X on a respectable 23.5%, PS5 Digital Edition on 12.9%, and Xbox Series S on 8.4% (out of 138,045 votes)”. It is here that we see the 138 thousand people gave large support to the PS5, 55% to the full edition and 12.9 to the digital version, as such 2 out of three select Sony, the rest selected the other brand, yet I feel certain that Microsoft would be hurting a lot more if the Nintendo Switch Pro was part of the question. I personally have a little issue with the phrase ‘respectable’ but OK, I’ll let that slip. Microsoft only has itself to blame, it did NOTHING to listen to their fanbase, they hype and twist, but the two largest issues were not resolved for 8 years and nw they get to pay for that. The idea that many would select the Nintendo Switch Pro over a Microsoft console is something that they will have to deal with in 2021, but by then there is every chance that they are more nervous of Google or Apple sneaking up on them from 4th position, than the next Nintendo system, especially as Nintendo is already in sec and place in the console war. A good system does that and the fact that its users are looking forward to a $69 game a lot more than the next Microsoft console is a warning to the size of: ‘Careful what you wish for Microsoft!’, for them it doesn’t get much more painful, but they achieved it anyway. Oh and I do believe that pricing has nothing to do with it, if the PS5 would start at $699, I would still take it over whatever a Microsoft console goes for, I want a good game, not an exporting console, the lesson Microsoft never learned. 

Tom’s guide also gives us a forecast, in this it looks good but I am not sure if I could agree, even as Sony is a little lower, Microsoft will be a lot lower, all because of Nintendo and either Google or Apple (that fight is nowhere near settling). I think the consumers are forgetting that these two will influence the field. It leaves Sony optionally impacting 3-7 million systems up till 2024, Yet there is every chance that Microsoft will equally be impacted between 6-12 million systems up till 2024. It is a personal speculation, but there are plenty who take the PS5 next to a Nintendo, the rivalrous setting of Microsoft is a lot less so and the Nintendo Switch pro with 4K will impact the Microsoft a lot harder. You see, the Xbox Series S will be around $299, there will be a drive that is a lot harder that people think, instead of this, I can get a Nintendo Switch. Weirdly enough, they will have the Nintendo and a PS5 on the side (reversal of fortune), don’t ask me to explain it, I cannot, but I always felt that a Nintendo is welcome next to a Playstation, whilst Microsoft has aways about ‘Its only us’ and that ill hurt them a lot more then you think. 

And I am giving you this a day before Sony unleashes internet hell with their presentation, I believe that there are a few surprises for all of us, yet I do not care, I have made my decision, I made my bed and I will snore like a sawmill. I believe there is a lot more to come early 2021, but it depends on how competitive Apple and Google will get, if they decide to unite Microsoft will be done for, if it becomes a fight between the to (most likely) I feel that on personal grounds Google will win, but that is NOT a given, more of an expected vibe. In this either has a chance to push to third leaving Microsoft on 4th position and basically in the dirt, it will be the harshest lesson they ever received in 15 years. And that is merely the opening setting, there I more, but the waters are fluid and it involves Ubisoft, I wanted to go all out here, yet after reading some of the CNN stuff, I get the feeling that Ubisoft is not getting a fair shake, and that offends me a little, do not get me wrong, I’ll happily make fun of Yves Guillemot at the drop of a hat (any hat), but I have always been fair and based on things I myself can corroborate, not on expected whims lacking evidence, that is merely a no-go for me (it sucks having principles). 

Still, Ubisoft is important here, if Microsoft loses out (which is a lot more likely than you think) it will hurt Ubisoft as well, they are on all platforms, but now we get to the quote I had two days ago. With “What if we use the power of Sony and for example Google Stadia to the max what that system can give? Will the gamer not end up with a much better experience? If you doubt that, consider Metroid Prime 1 and 2 on GameCube, a game that is still mostly unsurpassed on Xbox One and PS4 11 years later, an entire generation later”, there was method to my madness and as Microsoft loses foothold, players like Ubisoft will lose massive foothold too. Their position can only be held if the systems are on equal footing and that has not been the case of at least 5 years and as one system slips behind Nintendo, the fault line becomes at least unnerving. 

So as we see Sony’s intent this week we muster the coins we have, because preordering early is massively needed. And in 2021? Well, I merely wonder how many will choose the Nintendo Switch Pro over a Microsoft console, because that too will happen more and more. And if the docking slot with an extra game slot is true, I will be on board as soon as I can. It is just too tempting.

 

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The Yesterday approach

I was looking at the Google Stadia setting for games, and naturally I got a list of the games that is on all the other systems. The problem is that Google is just starting, and even as it has good games, it also has a few titles where we can wonder how many disappointments the gamers will be introduced to, this is not about bashing Ubisoft, but they do not have the best track record at present, giving the Stadia almost half a dozen games less. One option would be to renew the old games, and I am not merely pointing towards games from the PS3/Xbox360, which is not the worst idea, but another level of gaming. I mentioned Murder on the Zinderneuf in a previous blog, but today I was re-confronted with an old classic, Tower of Babel, it was a Rainbird production in 1989 and made by Peter Cooke. We might think that the game is simple and that is only partially true, what is important the this is a game that the younger players can play, it can be upgraded to 4K if need be, but the moment the Internet congests, I wonder how much playtime people will get. The game fitted originally on a 1MB disc, as such the game could be upgraded to some degree, but it was already a good game, and as I see it, the amount of puzzle games is a little on the low side on nearly all platforms. And it is not the only game that could make it there, I mentioned Millennium 2.2 in an earlier blog and as such there is a rather large game pool that can be connected too, and that shows the larger flaw in the Google Stadia arsenal. We see what some call ‘the cool games’ and plenty of others too, but for any console to copy the other ones, is merely an exercise in catching up at best and yes, the Google Stadia has the potential to make it to third position, but if they want to differentiate themselves they need and a larger arsenal and a different level of additions. Puzzle, strategy, RPG, but not merely the ones already advertised, they need more and the old games were really good, as such a streaming game that is an upgraded version is still a lot smaller than some of the 30GB games and in streaming that counts as well. And that is not all, NBA 2K21 is supposed to be coming, yet the games has all kinds of issues on the other platforms. Park not working, players are prevented from joining games, we see mentions of ‘hailstorm of issues’, which let’s be honest, was always going to happen, but on a new console, the more games with issues, the less appealing it is. Yes the Microsoft and Sony solutions had the same thing, but they had a pol of titles to rely on and Google does not have that. Nintendo has had this a lot less and they have the advantage there, but for Google being on par with Sony and Nintendo was never going to be realistic, as such Google needs its own pol of games, games that have been properly tested and they will need close to a dozen games added, a dozen Google games and the old games are a good option. So how many Chess games are there on non-PC systems? What is the range of games per category? I am actually a little surprised that Google lacked in that regard, at least according to their own pages. So I wonder who were the deciding voices at Google, especially as the Stadia list has Breakpoint, a game regarded as the worst game in 2019, and that is before we consider some of the other titles (without judgement), titles that have been ‘heralded’ as ‘more of the same’, is that really how Google wants to start a new console? There are a few other titles, but that would be kicking certain makers whilst they might be really wanted by other players, my view is merely my view for the games that I like, others like other games, yet no one will like a lack of games and in this Google has its work cut out for them. 

 

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The stage I partially ignored

We all have that, we hear and see something and partially ignore the small print (if it is stated at all), she deals are good. I have made no secret of my aversion to Microsoft, that remains, yet I thought that the Game Pass was a great idea, so when I was shown ‘Xbox Game Pass is a steal — so why aren’t people using it?’ (at https://www.laptopmag.com/news/xbox-game-pass-op-ed) two days ago, I was a little confused. I might not be a Microsoft fan, but there are plenty who love Microsoft and Xbox, it is their choice and they are welcome to it, in that part I would think that they would love the Game Pass, yet the article give me a few items that I was not aware of.

The first part is “If you’re in the middle of a long RPG like Final Fantasy XV and it is removed from Game Pass, you’ll have to buy it. In Game Pass’ defense, the service gives you a month’s warning when games you’ve downloaded are about to leave. You also have the option to buy the game at a discount”, as well as “Some players feel more comfortable buying and downloading games individually rather than getting them through a service like Game Pass. It sounds like semantics considering you’re downloading games regardless, but perception is key, and to some, knowing they are getting a game through a service turns them off. In their eyes, Game Pass removes ownership” it gives a stage where we basically never own games, we merely rent them and there is a plus side and a down side to that, it is slightly more clear when we set the Microsoft store quote next to this “Get 2-4 free games every month and save up to 50% on game purchases”, so basically you pay $15 a month and that gives access to some games, whilst buying a game is up to 50% cheaper. So imagine Assassins Creed 15 (whatever version) and any AC fan wants to own them, so that month the bill could be at least $65. How long until the basic setting of the game pass is no longer a real sweet deal? 

And that is not the end, the more people are hit with the temporary setting ‘removed from Game Pass’, the gamer gets the setting of an expensive pass. I am actually amazed that Microsoft did not do a better job there. How long until we see that the games that they offer have a mere 1 year (or perhaps even 2 year) shelf life? It is not a path I expected Microsoft to make and when we see “Game Pass is $9.99. For $14.99, subscribers get Xbox Game Pass for Xbox and Windows PC along with Xbox Live. This also includes access to play online games. An additional $5 on top of the $10 for Xbox Live doesn’t sound so bad, but to some gamers, it could very well be a deal-breaker”, which is not news, but when we see the temporary approach to ‘renting’ games, the entire matter changes. There is no denying that $15 is a good deal if the games are forever yours to play, in a temporary setting and the obligation to buy some games afterwards the setting becomes a non-deal for a fair amount of gamers and when we see this on top of the other stages that Xbox gamers have been exposed to since 2012 we see a stage where Microsoft might only have its Cloud and mobile gaming left, they squandered whatever advantage they had and now we see a stage where Xbox ends up in fifth position behind the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, that might be a setting I get to see in 2022, as such if Microsoft does not adjust its path they will end up dead last in a game where they could have been in second place.

That is the price of setting a business stage in a world where you do not comprehend the participants.

 

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Jealousy

We all have it and I am no exception. Yes, I am keeping the IP I have to myself (for now), and I have been involved in video games since 1985, so when I see ‘EA Executives Blocked From Receiving “Exorbitant” Awards’ (source: Kotaku) all whilst we see “Earlier this week, investors shot down EA’s proposed payment plans for their executives” in the same frame when I proposed a version of Mass Effect that would undo the damage the previous one did and give the players a 400% boost in exploratory gameplay is set on a slippery slope. When a group of people getting millions of bonuses for making junk why would I bother helping them? (slightly miffed me), yet when we see the list of games coming out, we see a drove of remastered games (now also coming to Nintendo Switch), with a huge spoonful of sport games, which was always their core business, yet there is now a hole, even as we accept that there is a border to Sims, there is an edge to the Medal of Honour and there is a life expectancy of Dead Space, EA had good games and that is merely in the near past. Especially now in the Google Stadia stage, they seemingly forget Populous, Populous 2, Seven cities of gold. Yes, we get it these are old games, but so are a large group of remastered games. EA has a large opportunity, Google needs fuel for its stadia, EA has a whole range of games that likes players and with Ubisoft the way it is now, EA has the advantage. We might see the temporary influx of a gem like Battle Chess and we all see it, yet it became a game that was (for a while) liked and optionally loved by a whole range of people with zero interest in chess gaming. So what happens when the tutor part of Battle Chess increases a lot more, what happens when a whole new generation of players can get into chess, optionally with the added play online, set groups of players and so on. A categorical side of Elo, the chess rating. There is still the option to add Battle Chess 2, yet the question becomes how many people warm up Chinese chess (different pieces, different moves). When we accept that we are willing to engage into the side of puzzles that need solving, chess puzzles are there for all and in the stage that Google Stadia finds itself in, there is a larger need to get the gaming fuel going and the fuel they are all forgetting about is the fuel that is out in the open. And it is not about the identical port, but it is about what more the games could offer and these games have plenty to offer, all whilst the IP is still in the hands of EA (most of them anyway). EA has a massive advantage. Even as there is a lot of anti-EA people, the quality of games was never below the par line, not like the par line Ubisoft waves anyway. There is also the stage to grow, a game like Shadow Caster was not the great game it could have been then, but the stage now could lead to a lot more gaming and dare I say it a higher quality level of gaming? And they are not alone, Ian Bird created a game called Millennium 2.2 31 years ago. A game that I still remember playing on the CBM Amiga, The CBM Amiga had to deal with 512KB of RAM and a disc holding 880KB of storage, Any system can surpass that now, so we could see a setting where this game could be restitched at the tailor giving us a new style of clothing, in new colours with more versatility. That is the stage that I feel the most on with Severn Cities of Gold. Ubisoft makes us chase in game loot boxes, yet the origin of this comes from discovering things and Seven Cities of gold delivered. Nowadays it does not hold up to our needs, but what happens when we set the stage to a much higher level, yet the original idea was sound. Yes, I know, we hear all these people with ‘I can do this much better’, but where are they? Where is their product? 

I am not claiming to do any better, but I see what is and what can be and they are merely mulling it over with their ‘improved product’ and not showing anything. It is a shame because there is a stage where Google Stadia can surpass Microsoft and I have a vested interest in showing them how wrong their approach was, treason to gamers is a stage I take very seriously and I am driven to see them fall, if only to show them the error of their delusional stage of self preservation. OK, I admit that this is a little over the top, but to see them having to swallow their words ‘We have the most powerful system in the world’, letting them surpass themselves by the weakest system (Nintendo Switch) and optionally set the stage of the Google Stadia surpassing them as well is a nice notch on my 6 shooter. The fuel for gamers is games and adding a whole range of games that entice, reward game time and let them feel the joy of gaming is rewarding to me. 

And the stage of setting loose on the gaming world of amazing games is just icing on the cake. In this EA is a good start, they had excellent games, no denying that and a package deal there would be a larger win for Google. I believe that the games that enticed the previous generation can still entice the current generation when we upgrade and adjust the game to what we expect in today’s environment. Let’s not forget that most games were created in a pre controller age, as such the quality of game play will go up a lot, and I believe that this stage is one that Google Stadia as well as Apple Arcade would want to pursue. They cannot beat Nintendo or Sony, but they can catch up with marketing driven Microsoft and optionally surpass them, I would see it as a personal achievement. A setting where bullet point driven executives are shown the door by the gamers they set up to milk. So I admit, there is some jealousy when my evangelical approach to gaming is not rewarded and the inferior approach to gaming is, on the other had, they delivered a product and I do not deny it, I merely wonder why some products (the non-sport games) aren’t better, yet I also recognise that the umpteen versions of Sims allow for jewels like Unravel to make it, one hand washes the other and we let slide the disappointment that was Mass Effect 4, especially as there is a stage where the mistake can be undone. All whilst those who love the Sims get another influx of juice, Jedi juice is you like.

We can channel our jealousy, we can ignore our jealousy or we can deny it, it is up to you to decide on your view, your choice and perhaps your drive. I will leave it with you, and to give a little shot to your drive, gaming revenue represented $120 billion in 2019, if you want a slice of that, get to work.

 

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