Tag Archives: Nintendo

The mobile reward

We love the words ‘free’ and ‘rewards’. In this I am no different. This setting all started when I was taking a look at some version of ‘merge life’ iPad game. The game starts nice enough, challenging enough and I saw the warning ‘absurd amount of advertisements’ yet initially when I started that was not really the case. So after 10-15 minutes I had reached stage 2 and the game was oddly satisfying. It was then that the advertisement wave hit me. Close to one advertisement EVERY 30 SECONDS. Yes, that was absurd and after 2 advertisements I deleted the game. But the mind took a wander and I remembered something from the AC Brotherhood time. Yes Ubisoft did do good things, even innovative things. But the idea got twisted in my mind to something more. I wrote in a previous article about games for Amazon Luna, not sure if I did this (I have written over 2000 articles). There are two stages in this.

Stage One
Board games. Most forgot about the power of board games. They are simple games, but a setting we always return to. We do not need to kill everyone (I mostly do). There is tranquility in a game of chess, a game of checkers, a game of Monopoly, a game of Backgammon, a game of Shogun (and so on). But what w forget is that most people prefer to play alone. Now, there is some need to connect to like minded people, people who just want to play a game. For them there are three options. Set up the Luna to facilitate for 2-4 players, connect to up to 3 online players and play alone with computer managed NPC’s. The powers behind consoles and streamers forgot about that, didn’t they? Now the optional connected IP is separate and for another day.

Stage Two
When it comes to rewards, Ubisoft forgot a side (it was fair enough) but when we have mobile games they could lead to a lot more visibility. For the example I will use the Fable Pub games. You play the games and you get the rewards. In the mobile game it might be about money, yet the goal is to get to the 5 star (might have been 4 star) point. When you get there you will get 2 rewards. So each game there (Keystone, Fortune’s Tower and Spinnerbox) will result in a direct reward, a weapon, or an outfit that is linked to Fable in Amazon Luna (just as an example), the second reward is a Luna Key. Each board game will get a Luna Key, so if you play 4 games, each of the 4 games will get a key. And the Luna key will open a special option. So in the examples given Chess will give you a new board and a new chess set, Backgammon will give you a new board and stones (there are Indian, Egyptian boards and stones), Monopoly will give you an NHL, NFL or other city board, Shogun has additional colours and Japanese family crests and so on. Additional rewards that can grow the interest in other games and that is beside the setting that could be offered. All stages forgotten or ignored and why? Is the setting of a Luna Key so complex? Is the setting of offering the player something more not enticing? I would think that with all the bugs Ubisoft introduced they might go overboard pleasing the customers they so often disappointed. 

The stage of giving a player more is important (and growing in need), especially now. There are the bugs the glitches, yet when you add the congestion it comes down to the choice of limiting yourself to urban players, or give rural players options to play when there are too little. There is also the need to feed the beast (the players), they need to go to work, they need to be somewhere else and setting a stage where the player can optionally play a fitting mobile game (like Ubisoft did for AC Brotherhood) where the player can play to get a new unique 5 star blade, pistol, outfit or whatever. A stage that adds to the game, not replace it, or circumvent thresholds. Offer more, offer unique and they will love the brands they embrace even more. Machiavelli stated (in some form) “There is such a gap between how people actually live and how they ought to live that anyone who declines to behave as people do is schooling himself for catastrophe” it gives the setting for leaders to adhere to needs, but there is a hidden side here. “There is such a gap between how people expect rewards and how they should see them that anyone who declines to lead as people expects them to do is schooling himself for massive setbacks” It comes down to the stage of what exactly is a reward, if it needs to be earned (not paid for) it will grow in value, and gamers are all about earning showing that they had the goods to play the game. As an example CDPR (makers of Witcher III) created an in-game game named Gwent, we got to play for extra’s and it became a separate game too, now that game makes well over a million dollars annually. People got into the game and now it is a separate game that is leading gamers to more and the gamer has become willing to pay. The setting is that it is free and as people get into it they will spend the few dollars they need to get more cards and expansions. For streamers it is not that easy. The enticement of a monthly fee needs to be there, so as games add more value, the threshold for gaming THERE lowers and people become more eager to play and will play for all the free rewards, which is an oxymoron. As gamers get more by playing, they will play more and call other people to their cause. Yet we must not forget that at times the player needs a solitary moment and as systems accomodate that, the gaming borrow will become ever more comfortable. Consider the board game Man, don’t get angry (Indian: Pachisi). A 1914 game that so far has sold more than 70,000,000 copies. Yes most in an era that is pre IBM PC XT, yet we have always returned to places of comfort, for nostalgic reasons, for the simplicity of play and for the stage of pure randomness. You see too many games are all about changing the setting of what the dice do, too many are seemingly less random than we think and within ourselves we see that, even if the brain is not detecting it yet. You think it is chance that you are one square away from winning when the ‘computer adversarial pig’ throws double six? We automatically feel that it is bad luck because we see ‘dice’ but we forget it is a computer animation and that setting is starting to bite more and more, so the power of real randomness, of a real chance to win is becoming more and more important. In this as Amazon is developing games and Google is not, they have the advantage (I do not know where Netflix stands at present). And it is up to Amazon to create the most comfortable burrow (read: man cave) we can have before the competitors catch up. For now they are all about ‘Let Ubisoft do the cool stuff’ (glitches included), it is about comfort levels, especially in gaming. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote about this in 1513 (yes over 500 years ago). The greed driven seem to ignore it, the lesson was quite clear and whilst the greed driven come up with more versions of some form of Antón Castillo we can just investigate the list and see that games like Call of Duty did make $20 billion, but it is a mere 20% of what Pokemon made and Pokemon for the most is Nintendo only. There is an upside to tailoring to fun, it is what the people want and it is a lesson Microsoft (Sony too) have forgotten to much, too easily and too completely and it makes Nintendo the real threat to Sony, Amazon could go a similar route and surpass Microsoft more easily than they think (the fact that Microsoft is often in denial helps too). 

As I see it the consoles (streaming or not) is one, yet the ability to correctly connect a mobile or tablet has a lot more going for it than most realise and as that link is more and more visible the connected system (console or streamer) will reap additional rewards as well.

Just a thought, enjoy the day.

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Adaption 103

I just had an idea, it got to me when I was tweeting with a person I know. A few minutes later my mind grabbed back to the age when I had a Dell laptop. Then an idea grabbed me. I wonder why Apple never considered this. When you have more than one device, when you need your MacBook Pro or air too regularly. Did no one consider the power of the docking station, or the port replicator? Instead of connecting device after device, having a station on your desk where you can connect your iPod touch, your iPad, your MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro to all with one replicator in the centre of it all. A setting where they are all connected, with the station also connecting to an external keyboard, external drive and optionally a larger screen. The power of direct connectivity when you get home. The songs, the tablet and all of it to a  larger screen, more storage and not to forget interacting all with one another. No worry whether you had the document on your tablet, your laptop or even your iMac or Mac Pro. Connecting them all through one station. You see, when you have one Apple product, you might have more, I do and many other do too. Even for non Apple products the setting of connecting laptops, desktops, music solutions, and tablets, all whilst giving any the power to connect to Bluetooth speakers is becoming increasingly important, especially as streaming will go from device to device. A multi system station, no matter if it is a docking station or more aptly seeing it as a connecting port replicator will take the foreground in the near future. I synch my iPad, and soon my iPod touch (my iPod Classic will not connect), a larger setting of interactivity is required and consider that when you get home, via the replicator. Connecting to data on tablet, laptop and desktop they can all grasp the data of one another and they can all be used in conjunction. A setting that none have offered, always in the second degree, so why not in the first degree? That would be real innovation and so far none have opted for it, They all want to do each other work, they all want to do the same, but the laptop makes you less mobile, the tablet has its own restrictions, but on the road it is OK. And so on, yet at home we need access to all, we need it all without a larger setting and the cloud is too often a limitation, especially when it is confidential data. The people need their secure environment and anyone stating that the cloud is a safe space is lying to you. Some give you “Cloud security is tight, but it’s not infallible. … But the bigger risk with cloud storage is privacy. Even if data isn’t stolen or published, it can still be viewed. Governments can legally request information stored in the cloud, and it’s up to the cloud services provider to deny access.” 

So why not set the stage where it is with you and with you alone? And when we look at the data breaches with. Microsoft, Estee Lauder, MGM Resorts, Facebook, Zoom, Magellan Health, Cognizant, Nintendo, Twitter, and Whisper. These are places with large infrastructures and cyber sections and they could not keep THEIR data safe, how much of a chance do you have? I am not anti-cloud. It has its uses, but it has a bad safety reputation, as such the replicator gives more and offer more too. It is just a thought, but it Tok me less than 30 minutes to seek out part of all this and write it down and when we add the streaming gaming platform the need increases rapidly.

All devices that need connection, whilst the connection does not always exist. 

So consider what you have and how easy it would be to connect it. Now, if you only have 2 devices the value is not really there, but consider a desktop and a laptop connected giving the user access to both, would that make it? I thought initially to connect the Apple devices, but the setting is much larger and will grow over time. Consider that the MacBook Air has a max of 2TB and so does the new iMac, so why have 2 backups when both can be connected and be connected to a much larger drive, seagate offers 4TB for $99, WD has 6TB for $200, and that offers perspectives to keep your music in one location, not on all locations. Option after option are added as we see more devices connected and I am surprised that no one took it into that direction, especially Apple. 

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As the shoe drops

Yes, there is a lot of anger in Bethesda land. As we take notice of “We have tried to be as clear as possible, not a timed exclusive, this is simply where the game is being made.” Starfield is a Microsoft exclusive and the fans are angry. I get it, I am not angry, it was a brilliant move by Microsoft, it is why I placed all kinds of IP on the public domain (here in my blog) for Sony and Amazon (Luna) so that their independent developers can make a totally new RPG game and the IP is free for them, it is my way to giving Microsoft the bird. These developers are not out of pocket for $8,500,000,000. And they deserve it (I hope). 

So whilst we take notice of “Hines went on to point out that Bethesda fans on PlayStation consoles might not be shut out entirely from playing future titles from the studio”, we do understand that the PS5 is outselling the Xbox 2:1 and it will take some time before cloud gaming is expected to become congestion free, and that is providing that you have a true unlimited account, as some give us the stage of Xcloud on about 3GB per hour, so someone with a new 200GB account will run out of data in about 65 hours, that is likely less then 2 weeks for average gamers and 1 week for what some call the true gamers. After that it will be $30 per hour to game. And that is if it all goes correctly, I feel certain that congestion will hit soon enough. You see some sources give me “Optus now offers unlimited data across its range of postpaid mobile plans. As with Telstra, if you go over your data allowance, you’ll be capped to speeds of 1.5Mbps.” so if it is unlimited, how can you go over your data allowance? And consider that capped data does not allow gaming, not at 1.5Mbps. So we are (for now) locked to our consoles and PC’s. Is it a wonder that Amazon gives you Ubisoft+ at $1? The end is nowhere near here and it is a lot worse in places where you are rural, especially the US, Canada, France, Germany and several others. And in that light we need to see Bethesda. And they do give clarity with “Certainly, there are going to be things that you’re not going to be able to play [on PlayStation]” that is why Microsoft paid billions. They had a bad setting an inferior system and they got the people addicted to certain games across. Even though it is not a given, I feel certain that the new none online Elder Scrolls is most likely going to be a Microsoft exclusive. It makes no sense to get angry, they paid billions and the people on Sony will have to make a choice and I helped them by handing the independent developers on Sony and Amazon IP for free. I will try to add a few more titles and it is up to the developers to create them, but at least I handed them an alternative and I did mention a few more titles for consideration to remaster. 

So whilst some people will get needlessly angry over “I want to be careful. I know it’s a question people care a lot about. It’s also a tricky one for us to answer because, frankly, it can get sensationalised on the internet”, I see it as a BS answer. It is not tricky to answer, it is the result of a $8.5 billion takeover, there was never any tricky setting. The only tricky setting was Deathloop as it was already a PS5 exclusive. At present PS5 is looking at 25 exclusive titles (until mid 2022) and that is not including a few titles that have no clear release date. In addition, the PS5 has crossed the 10,000,000 units sold line whilst Microsoft is nowhere near that, and as we see in some sources “the Xbox team has made it a policy in recent years to not disclose exact hardware sales numbers”, which makes sense when you are the number three console trailing PS5 AND Nintendo  Switch. So the Bethesda move was the only one that made sense for them and they had to pay a massive amount for it (because Bethesda is worth it), and yes, there will be a group of people who will switch as they are dedicated as well as bug nuts for the Bethesda games and that is fine, it is what Microsoft paid for, as such I handed my creativity to Indie developers so that they can make a new RPG on PS5 and Amazon Luna. Will it happen? I cannot tell, I do not know, but at least I did not resort to anger, I merely gave others the chance to take a slice of the RPG cake on two platforms. Perhaps that is not the right sentiment, I offered IP so that they could consider going there. And if I find my IP on these two systems I can raise my glass and give Microsoft the bird. 

No matter how many how many games Bethesda will make Xbox Exclusive (the right Microsoft paid for) it will hurt them to lose out of millions of gamers who will stick with Sony and that is the stage that they overlooked. When Sony gets a new RPG that is Sony exclusive and it does catch on (one hopes) Bethesda will lose out on a lot more and Microsoft will taste the sour grapes that come with a $8.5 billion investment, it was as I state before a brilliant move, and in this day and age as we are in lockdowns, I will add as much Gaming IP for Sony and Amazon developers (for free) and let that be the lesson Microsoft gets to learn the hard way.

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Missing hardware

This train had been on route for a while, and there are a few reasons for that. In the first my mind took the easy road, but as I pondered the stage again and again, my mind was trying to view another road, even if I remained unaware, I try to not look into the back of my mind. It is a messy place and covered with corpses. We all revere the idea’s we complete, but the others not that much, in this I am just like anyone else. There is no excuse, like a good IT person, I can be as lazy as the next person. 

The new hardware (of course a free idea for Sony and independent Sony Playstation and Amazon Luna makers is set in two parts (I’ll get to them soon enough). The thoughts came more clear as I was finishing the last Harry Potter movie. In the back was also an idea that Peter Molyneux had in Black and White, the gesture system. But it is one of the few times that it was employed. Harry I Potter games are a natural thought and Someone made it a harry potter game as well (Book of Spells), I never played it, but the wand was ugly as hell, It was a mere sign of the times. 

Now consider the image below, a wand we can buy and they are there for nearly any Harry Potter character, now consider that in the next batch onwards it was two small compartments, each for a cylinder that is no more then 3mm thick and 11-17mm long. One at the tip and one at the handle with two small metal points that connect to the inside, so that it can be charged without opening your wand all the time. 

Now consider that the first part is like the observer, like what the Nintendo Wii had, but not in one part, in two parts. One goes to the middle of the upper or lower side of the TV, the other to the middle part of the left or right side of the TV, two parts so that the scan will be much more accurate (even thought the Wii was pretty accurate), the second one, the locators are in this case in the wand, or perhaps a steering wheel, a sword, a bow and arrow and we can go on from there. 

Locator

These locators can be ordered per 2 and are relatively cheap. Yet what is more interesting is that a gamer can now get ‘almost authentic’ wands of choice, the gamer gets to choose and as we see the market bounce back, we see a much larger stage, because who wouldn’t want something almost geeky alike whatever they love? The steering wheel of Steve McQueen (GTA V), The sword of Viggo Mortensen’s Anduril (Lord of the Rings), you name it we tend to get overly enthusiastic on some movie and some special item, the Lord of the rings gets to hundreds of millions, Harry Potter Merchandise is well over 20 billion and that is a mere two movies. What happens when we add the Fast and Furious steering wheel that Dominic Toretto uses? And there is an upside, you can go as expensive, or keep it as cheap as possible, the steering wheel would merely need to two small hidden compartments with the two small connectors for charging. The generic locators would do the work with the scanners on the other side, and as the group of games expands over more devices, the gamers can consider buying two more locators, I reckon that a gamer will end up with 3-5 locator sets, they’ll start with one and buy another one when they get the two games they always wanted. After that they will exchange the locators to their new device of their game of choice, yet a steering wheel can optionally be used in nearly all racing games. The sword in plenty of games and as we see this grow we see a more complete engagement in gaming, something all game designers hope for and by setting the premise of a steer or anything to be as cheap or as realistic as possible will open new markets as well. Yes for the younger players that thing that case with the Book of Spells will suffice, but when that 9 year old turns 15-16, they want something more alike and those wands are anything between $9 and $90, it will be open to the gamer to decide what they spend on, we merely need to add the hardware to allow for that and as their choice of gaming adjusts, the locators can be moved from one to the other. 

A new stage where some will chose the cheap plastic sword and some will go for the Weta Workshop originals (or is that near originals?) It is up to you to choose, but we need the hardware makers to consider that there are parts of any choice that rely on the decision of the gamer. That is how the market rolls and we need to adhere to that because if gaming cannot lead the way the other markets are pretty screwed from the word go. That is a clear sign we have seen over the last 20 years.

Is it an option? I believe so, I believe that the markets are ready to show us that they can offer something new, is it enough? Time will tell.

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Yesterday was fun

Yes, yesterday was fun for several reasons, not in the least that some people (referring to themselves as a member of the Anony Mouse population) are in the misgiven idea that I could be Mr Theodore Raitor. Nothing could be further from the truth!

In the First
In the first the arms industry is a business. I did not make it that way, the American did that during the Vietnam war. They made it a business and less than a dozen boards of directors took home billions in all kinds of manners. I am not opposing that, I am not offering another view, I could but there is some wisdom in taking that route, it comes with successes and it also comes with failures. 

In the second
Following the first, I have at all times the direct believe that ANY sovereign nation is allowed its ability to defend itself, that includes Middle East and Far East Nations. The ability to arm and defend itself should be open to any nation. The Belgium Fabrique National in Herstal founded itself on that premise and for them in the 80’s (optionally 90’s as well) business was good, really good. 

These two rules are there out in the open, the media tends to not report on that side of it all. You see the media relies on ‘click bitches’ and their reporting is centred around that premise. National defence is a well trusted stage for emotional reporting and I am not objecting to that, they merely made a choice. Thats also where I drew the line to failure. Ford created the Edsel and for 3 years they tried that but after year 3 they stopped it, their losses came down to what would now be regarded as a $2 billion loss. They quietly let this failure die, which is what they were allowed to do and yes, we all (the older people) make jokes on it and Hollywood added to that in Peggy Sue got Married. It was all good. Now we see that the Lockheed Martin boys (girls also) are trying to continue their stage after making an investment well over 1000 times and they want it to continue. Losses a thousand times bigger than Ford had, is anyone seeing that marker? Now it is up to Lockheed Martin to do whatever they need to do, because it is their right (and other people’s money) and that is the larger stage, the US taxpayer is paying for that failure. 

For me there is a simple setting. There is a customer (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) that has a right to defend itself, so I would happily sell them the BAE Typhoon, but there the UK cut themselves when we see the CAAT (Campaign Against Arms Trade) with all these grannies with signs telling the UK government that Saudi Arabia is evil, it cannot have weapons, but they do not hold that candle up to Iran who is funding Houthi attacks on civilian populations. So there is an alternative, China has an alternative. And even if that makes me a really well paid courier. I am willing to ferry those papers between buyer A and seller B. Yes, I agree that getting 3.75% out of $11,000,000,000 is a bit much, but I never made those rules, did I? The US and their business enterprises did that. I merely saw the ball falling and I decided to pick it up. China is not in a war with Australia, the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group is a respectable defence ability offerer (most usual to China) and the US has a lemon, so there is nothing wrong and those trying to create click bitches need to consider that I never made any of these rules, I merely use the rules of the game to get a job and to get a decent payment. If the KSA decides that I cannot have the $412,500,000 and that I am only allowed $50,000,000 I will not be upset (optionally a little disappointed), but that is any mouse who gets the slice of cheese and not the cheese wheel in a building filled with cheese wheels. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a right to get defence materials and the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group has a right to sell them to anyone their government is not at war with. These are not my rules, the Americans did that and they stood by whilst the Taliban ended with over 8 billion in American hardware and they also did close to nothing when ISIS got their hands on more American Toyota 4 wheel drives then can be found in Guttenberg, New York. So there!

Do I stand a chance? Not really, but the fact that I am willing to do business where there is business also implies that there are other players and as a former NATO boy, I rather see these funds go to China then to Russia with their Sukhoi Su-57 or their new puppy the Checkmate. This is the consequence of making defence a business, its all good and overpaid fun until someone creates a lemon. A lemon one that costs the taxpayer $2,300,000,000,000. Are you awake? Can you see the cost of one article (read: lemon) currently equals the total debt of Germany? 

Do I want in? Absolutely! This one deal could make me more money than half a century of day to day slaving, it is like getting the golden lottery ticket and this really pays off! 

Is it bad for Lockheed Martin? Yes it is, like Ford with their Edsel, all failure is shared, but it could result in a big win, you merely have to watch Nintendo who turned their WiiU failure into a homerun success (Nintendo Switch), I personally see the Lockheed Failure in the same way as we see failures from Microsoft. Too many politicians who ignore the core business and try to steer towards the Fata Morgana of mountains of gold on the horizon, when you do that you merely steer from failure to failure and the defence players better catch on quick. You see the buyers are not interested in hype creating marketeers, they want results and Lockheed Martin is not delivering that and whilst we speculate that the media is taking notes from speculative stakeholders, the buyer in the end is a defence industry who is not interested in marketing, they have a clear goal, not a fictive on on the horizon and that is one ferry I am happy to board (with permission of its captain). It is the direct result of a labour force who is all in touch with feelings and not in line with expected needs and KPI sessions. So yes, yesterday was fun for more than one reason and it could end up being a whole lot more fun if I do get that job.

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Time slice or lemon tart

That is indeed the question, but the question is not that important at present. It all started with a weird dream. In this dream I was in Montreal (Canada), now let’s be clear. I have no connection to the city, and apart from the fact that they have a good hockey team, I know next to nothing on the place, I know it is in French speaking Canada, but that is all. So in this dream I saw someone, it might be a reflective me, it could be anyone. They saved a hawk, or falcon from their balcony. The animal was shivering and clearly afraid, the person put on an oven mitt and offered his hand. The bird jumped on the hand with the mitt and carefully the bird was taken in the house. He placed the bird on top of a chair and got the bird rare roast beef (it seemingly really liked the rare roast beef) and gave it a bowl of water mixed with a lot of sugar. The bird was no longer seemingly afraid, but it was nervous. The person was looking at the clouds and wondered. He then moved what was drinkable and eatable into the bathroom, the bathroom and this is important was one of the innermost rooms in the house, no windows and no direct outer wall. He also placed a chair and a small table (it was a large bathroom), moved the goods into the bathroom and walked around the house pushing the heaters up everywhere, yet not to the highest setting, setting 4 was used on knobs with a 6 setting, I think that mattered somehow. Then he carefully moved the bird, now aptly named Horus with the mitt again and took the chair as well. He then got into the kitchen, took several items and moved to the bathroom where he set the radiator to high. 

Then it started to happen, Montreal was hit with a cold snap, it was only October, or November, but the cold-snap happened and well over 50% of the people in Montreal froze to death. 

Now, none of this is a mystery. I saw the Day after tomorrow, I played AC Origins, so all the elements (all except Montreal) fell into place, no real mystery or divine intervention.

Then I remembered every time I played a new game of Minecraft. Did you play it? The first day is important, because you need to create a safe location before the sun goes down. That part is important because too many RPG games are a service where it is at your convenience. Whenever you get around to it, and Bethesda has used that setting since I started playing it in Oblivion, in that same setting Fallout 3 onwards has the same stage. Yet what happens when that is not an option? When a house is on fire, it does not help to hand the bucket to the owner of the burning house when you get to level 13. He (of she) needs it now, or really soon. This is a stage we forgot about, the time slice. There are two issues.

  1. Do you have the minimum skills to cater to a time driven need?
  2. Should such a stage be set and always be achievable?

These two setting are important, there are gain two stages we must contemplate. In the first we cannot always be there, that is a mere fact of life and programming around that element is often folly. The second is that if we have a proper RPG, we have houses (guilds), but what if your first guild is not a mage or a tinkerer? So early in the game you see a setting where you can only watch, be that famous Monday morning quarterback and watch others do the job. Then we get to the important part, we need to set these parts to some level of randomisation that instigated when you START the new game. Not when you get there. So we see the need to have 20-40 missions with a decent rewards, but we need to be partially lucky, so that the internet cheater miss out as well. That is setting a larger story, especially when success unlocks a larger side quest. And the second part in all this, it enables and fortifies the replay of a game. So in the dream we can see that Horus was the trigger, but what happens when you never noticed that bird? Would you be ready? Would you make it to any shelter? And most important, without resources you will go hungry, thirsty and optionally will continue with decreased stamina and health (a day without food makes a person weak, try it for yourself if you doubt me).

So is the approach of having time sliced missions a hit or a lemon? I cannot answer that, I think it could be great if you program this properly and it will take proper programming to get it done. Programmers could ask Anunnaki (god of fate), but there is a chance that you will not receive any help from that direction. It will be a challenge on several levels, but should you pull it off you will be the one adding a new dimension to RPG gaming, a dimension that has been lacking for close to a decade, before that systems were just not strong enough.

In this I merely remembered the settings I came up with in Mass Effect Andromeda 2, Base of the pillar. And yes, I will admit that I had some overlapping ideas that I had for Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, but I think that a good foundation (as long a the story is completely different) is not a bad thing. I saw the massive mass driven mistake that Andromeda was and there was a setting to fix it and regain credibility, but in that setting ME Andromeda would pack the second game with the first game, and even as a lot was the same, it was added with an enormous amount of changes and different storytelling. One needs to be faithful to the original trilogy. 

Yet all these settings cannot be more of the same, there needs to be a level of evolution. Yes there are plenty of gamers that do not mind more of the same, but they will soon realise that they are stuck in the past and that is as I personally see it never a good thing. And is success a guarantee? No, it is not. I do not offer guarantees, I merely dabble in ideas that can make the next generation of gaming special and enticing.We all might come up with a Nintendo WiiU, and that is fine, but it is not that system, it resulted in the Nintendo Switch and the few who are able to make THAT leap will make it big and that ups the level of gaming for everyone, that I the setting that players like Amazon Luna and Google Stadia (they a little less) get to look t and there is the larger station of play, a setting we have not seen before, not a game that exists everywhere. This is not about exclusivity, but about a totally new level and dimension of play, I think too many are forgetting that we need to push that part and not enough of us are making that leap. 

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To serve the gamer

Yup, that is a topic that is open for debate, but in my case it comes from a different angle. I need to explain how I got here. You have read my ‘displeasure’ with Ubisoft, they bungled (again and again), yet I also clearly stated that AC Origins is one game they got right. I actually disagree with the high 80’s scores the game had been receiving, I believe it to be low 90’s, but that is my view. The topic rose as I (due to lockdown time) decided to play it again and get some of the achievements I missed out on, I got half a dozen so far and I finally got to the Curse of the Pharaohs. I had the DLC, but my PS4 crashed to death somewhere in 2019 and as I had a little manoeuvring (covid retirement savings) I ended up with a PS4pro in 2020. And until a month ago I had no time for it, but in the last three weeks with being locked down I decided the play it again. So whilst gunning for ‘Old Habits’, I stumbled on ‘Where’s my Black Flag’ and a few others. But it was the Curse of the Pharaoh that made the difference. The first time I entered Aaru my jaw dropped. It was amazing, the field of reeds, the places, it was amazing and the boats made it all slightly surreal. The makers outdid themselves here. But this is also the place that gave me an idea. It was the side mission ‘Love or Duty’, the mission does not matter, the interaction does not either, but the mission clicked something in place. I had some similar ideas for Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, but as it was not considered, it could be set to other RPG’s and even the one I designed. 

Your home is your castle
In nearly all RPG games, we are confronted with a house, unless you had Oblivion and you completed the Battlehorn Castle mission, in that case you have a castle. And there is the crux. In the light of Magic Carpet I want a castle with archers protecting what is mine. I had a few idea’s like the Magical armoury (a very different mission). And now the idea comes to add servants and more important make them a lot more useful. Consider that a person (a he or a she) is driven by needs, so if you can make one person happy (really happy), the others will pick up on it, and increase the power of your place.

Happy Happy, Joy Joy
To get to this stage consider that you have servants, some through concern and protection, some bought (yes in fantasy games slaves are real) and the proper treatment of them makes them more useful, yet if we can give one of them real happiness, an elated feeling of achievement or recognition they will become a sort of Uber-servant, a person that infects the people around them to be better and more productive. When we take the Battlehorn location, we see the Forge, the kitchens, the walls, the stables, we see a person in charge, but if we can fulfil the personal needs of one servant in that area, we get an area that is twice as productive. The house is cleaner, thee is more food, the weapons are better and the list goes on, it changes a 100% castle in a castle with 150% resources and optionally 150% defence (250% defence after the magical armoury mission). 

In RPG games it is all about us doing the missions, but a setting where we influence another to be the better person and set a non directive, a automated directive is almost never seen and that is a pity, because a game can become a lot more rewarding that way. Consider the old classic Dungeon Keeper, the monster we had fought for themselves, we could train them, we offer options, but we cannot set the marker on them, merely on the area. That element is often missing in RPG, it is not a fault, it is not a flaw, it is a choice and it is not used often enough, too many are about giving ALL the power to the player, but the world never goes that way, we forgot about the fact that we are not the deciding power, we tend to be merely influential. There is the thought that the reward is not 100% plus, but it is a random number between 150% and 200%, making it optionally a stage where we please a second person in that area, but the game also denies a red line approach, so the missions are not given directly, they need to be found and they depend on the persons we have, implying that we might never get more than one option, or even one setting. It is the second flaw on RPG. The ‘we always have an option’ clause. At times we should not have one, it is the hand dealt to us, and optionally it is a hand that sucks. That is the RPG we need to see but were never given. In an age where consoles will in be surpassed by streaming systems, the need to evolve gaming in general and RPG games specifically will become more and more pressing. To be another version of a game we have known for 20 years will soon come to an end and then? That will be the cruncher and streamers with one central game hub will have a lot more manoeuvrability than any of the consoles, the consoles will not phase out, not for the next decade, but when we do get to 2031, the field is highly debatable who will be in there. Because of stupid decisions in the 5G field, there will always be a need for consoles, as such there will be a Nintendo and there will be a Sony PS6/PS7, but streamers at that point will be a much larger field and optionally there will be a streamer next to a console in well over 50% of the cases. 

And in that light the need to evolve RPG’s (and a few other game forms) will become essential, it will show for the streamers, yet those who evolve gaming will survive (Nintendo and Sony for sure), the rest will be close to forgotten when we get to 2031.

Doubt me? Fair enough, just remember I said it first, I was the one stating it a decade earlier.

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COMPUTE BigTechPlotGoogle = ‘Lost’.

Yes, we all have to create variables to set a larger stage. We know that age gives us a lot, but the 15 people of age 18, the 7 with age 19, the 3 with age 20 are useless, yet when we group them in an age classification of 18-23 we get a lot more information out of our data. This is not new, this is. setting that market research has walked on for decades. Even before some programs added ‘functionality’, the people behind programs like Quantum were already on top of mentioned groupings. So when I see Google 9 to 5 giving us “Google is adding five games to Stadia Pro for August 2021”, I wonder if they have any clue what thy are doing. Apart from the fact that we also get “Killer Queen Black, inspired by the hit arcade game, Killer Queen, let’s you fight for your hive with three ways to win. Will you claim your victory by hopping on the snail, hoarding berries, or wiping out the enemy’s queen?” As well as “Stadia Pro is Stadia’s premium subscription service and your gateway to the best that Stadia has to offer. With an active Stadia Pro subscription, you get a variety of perks, including free games, exclusive game discounts, and top-tier visual and audio quality”. Here we now see a setting where Google is not merely fumbling the ball, it is giving the court to Amazon. There was always a risk of that, but to do it in such a direct way is rather silly. There is no Google Stadia without decent games and by confusing gamers by giving them “there’s Killer Queen Black ($19.99), Valkyria Chronicles 4 ($49.99), It Came From Space & Ate Our Brains ($14.99), and Epistory – Typing Chronicles ($14.99)” we see a stage where Google will not be part of any gaming stage soon enough. Any platform needs traction, any platform, especially streaming systems will need a cluster of gamers, that like grapes suck your soil dry for EVERY game possible, the numbers and exclusivity decide the winner. So when I saw this last Friday, I had to ponder what this means, not only does the setup implies that Amazon Luna will rule the streaming environment, it also implies that Google would fall dead last behind Microsoft. A stage I had not expected to happen. Not only should Google be first, it should be way ahead of Amazon, which is apparently not going to happen, so when we get “The count now stands at 29 titles” leaving us with the implied setting that at present Amazon Luna is wielding a games list three times the size of Google, how was that EVER a good idea? It also leaves us with the implied stage that Amazon will soon be the number 3 system behind Sony and Nintendo and it gets to be better, in that setting there is a larger stage where the Luna could be seen as accepted NEXT to the Playstation 5 gamer and Nintendo Switch gamer, optionally we will see households with these three systems. This changes the future for Amazon in a few ways, should they think this through, they can offer a new level of social networking, offering a link to Sony and Nintendo players, so that they can partake on the social scene, they can offer a much larger stage that would offer the Kindle to a large population who have ignored it (for whatever reason) and set a new level of consumer staging. In this there is an optional chance that a new Triumvirate could be created. In line of the old version where the world was ruled by Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey. This version will be one that gamers want, because they are getting hat THEY want, not what makers think they want. Sony, Amazon and Nintendo will get a larger stage to unite and perfect gamers needs, the rest will merely watch on the sides as they are trying to figure out what gamers (according to their marketing department) need. It will set their agenda’s back for close to a decade and in the mean time these three will excel in giving us gamers what we truly want. This is not a given, but when we unite the news from different sources, there is every chance that we go in that direction, and it would make me happy, especially if that puts Microsoft dead last in that field. Serves them right! Huh!

OK, that might not be called for but my ego took over for a moment. And there is a larger stage, a stage that goes beyond what we merely think can happen, there are options for Amazon to make it happen, will they? That is hard to say, streaming needs a good internet connection and there is time, but in the next year this war will be settled on the streaming winners and Amazon does seem to be in pole position here, I am not writing off Netflix, but I have no idea where they are at and how they want to offer services, in addition Netflix is also seen as a competitor with the Sony streaming services, a setting that Amazon does not have, so Sony would be eager to add to their functionality without impeding the Playstation and Luna is no threat there, more interesting the Luna, Switch and PS5 can easily sit next to one another and that would sit well with all three, a triumvirate in the making and that is where the others fall away.

I have no idea whether this will really happen, it largely depends on the actions by Amazon and their Luna to show it can be done, but the other two will happily accept a brother in gaming that is not taking the wind out of their sails and Google forgot to see and centre their view to the larger ocean instead of calibrating to whatever coastline they are ogling. That setting of wrong focal point is more likely than not, the stage that will cost them the streaming gaming war, it was up to them and they chose (very) poorly as I personally see it. To be honest, I thought that it would take until early 2023 when 5G is more widely spread for the streaming consoles to set their battle lines and now it seems that at present, with the information given to us, Amazon Luna is all but a decided winner even before the race is off. Considering that they were up against Google and Microsoft, it is an achievement that should not be underestimated. 

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Ignored options

I was thinking (yes, I do that at times) and my mind wandered towards a few Amazon fields, not because it is Amazon, merely because it is not Microsoft. If I can get these arrogant idiots to lose more than 2 battles, I would feel good. I need that idiotic marketing arrogance to pay for their ‘Most powerful console in the world’, all whilst they happily ignore the needs of the gamer. They lost so much credibility (and I roughly $599), I feel that it is my right and my civic duty to make sure that they lose $599,999,999, just a dollar short of a large number. So if I can hand over the ideas to make sure that their Xbox Cloud Gaming will be a number three at best (if Netflix is present number four would be better), I would feel good. Sony passed their 10,000,000 PS5 consoles sold, no matter how Microsoft phrases it, they are nowhere near that. The console equation on Sony versus Microsoft is now at 3:1, three PS5’s for every Microsoft system. So that is one battle they will not ever win at present and there is Nintendo still going great, so they are a mere third option console. Yes, the strongest console is that much behind and I want to offer whatever idea I can to make their cloud gaming solution equally a fiasco. 

You see, Amazon has another benefit, another arrow in their quiver and I am a little surprised that they haven’t grabbed it yet. There are two sides to it (actually three, because I couldn’t find the images). In the 80’s there were books, they were printed on the same wood pulp paper that newspapers were printed on in those days (1978-1988), there were two series I read (there were more). One was a disaster series, they were a cheap version of movies like Earthquake, 2012, The towering inferno. They were about $2 each in those days affordable and they sold. Yet these books are now all but forgotten, they weren’t that bad, they were a decent option to pass the time when I took the bus every morning and it was 45 minutes each way. The second series was a horror series, in that there was one series (a series within a series) that was some sort of non-governmental form of the X-files (a decade before that series was made. The men had descriptions like X-Ray-A, X-Ray-C, the women X-Ray-3, X-Ray-5. It might have ben the other way round. The stage is that these books are pretty much lost to the ages, all that IP out there and optionally open for business. Not only is there a larger stage, Amazon has one additional stage. It can offer the game, whilst within the game there are options to get achievements that will opt for a kindle edition. A stage NONE of the others can offer. More important, it could drive sales in either group. There is a lot more when you consider some of the sexualised comic books like the Italian Oltretomba. A comic book form that still exists with collectors, some of them going back to the 70’s. Now the books are to some debatable and plenty want to offer their $0.02 after they read it at least twice, but the stage is larger.  You see, the stories are nowhere near the calibre of Tolkien (or Shakespeare), yet in gaming, the stories when distilled are all in some form missions that could be added in most RPG’s. Consider creating any RPG and now consider that you have access to 125 missions, jut like that. Yes, you and I can create a few missions, we all can, but access to well over 100 missions is nothing to be sneered at. If you want to create an RPG that is a decent alternative to whatever Bethesda offers (Elder Scrolls & Fallout), you need serious ammunition, no matter how original you are. 10 missions do not cover it, you need 300-500 missions (part of, or independent of the main story). 

That is the game that the streamers are looking at, some are relying on some Ubisoft link to make up for the gap, but Ubisoft has not been bringing home the bacon for almost half a decade and they need exclusivity to make it happen. I offered a solution in social media for gamers, Amazon has a kindle link that no one has, and I even wrote about a larger gaming stage via achievements, which could help Amazon and its moonshine (a Luna joke). Consider that I had to go from memory, the images (like covers) and keyword searches reveal nothing (to me), as such the IP might be in the open and that is merely a western approach. Places like India and Japan might have all kinds of additional path to acquire IP as well as writings to beef up the streaming games. 

And if I cannot find that, what else is out there from your youth that is forgotten by too many? As such Amazon Luna (Google Stadia too) have several paths to consider before they enter the stream battle with Microsoft and any exclusive that they can offer that Microsoft. Cannot merely pushes them to third or even fourth in another console war, it sucks to be Microsoft (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk).

Even now (19 hours ago) when I see that 4 more titles were announced and that the Amazon Luna has 91 titles, the stage is not set. Yes, Hokko will be nice, but it is basically some form of Animal Crossing. I skipped the Skateboard part, but some will like it, I get that.  Yet it will be about the exclusives, that will make the race, and before Facebook gets everywhere, Amazon (Google too) will need to offer their game minded alternative. It will impact and the better that part  the stronger the impact becomes. I also foresee that if we get a true interaction of achievements there will be a larger stage that they can win, but will they? I reckon they will not, they will at first give us a ‘considering it in a future update’, it will get delay after delay and then it gets scrapped. It is their right, and they can opt for that, and when the losses are clear they will overreact and have some half baked solution out there. That is the field we see and I believe that gamers do want to talk about games, but they want THEIR data to be safe and they do not need to see 4 advertisements a minute, they are past that now. Exclusives will set the stage for Google and Amazon, mark my words, when Ubisoft has another failure on multiple systems the gamers will see whatever they can get and there is a lot out there, is it enough? I do not think so and focussing on exclusives is important. Do you think that Microsoft paid billions for Bethesda because they were nice people? No, they wanted the two top hitters to be on Microsoft consoles only and that is where we are, so I gave the world a new RPG console, made it freeware to all Sony and Luna developers. It is the one way where Microsoft gets to feel the sting faster and harder. And whilst Microsoft buys its way into gaming (Portal anyone?), I feel the need to warp my creativity towards Luna and Stadia to give them a chance to beat a two trillion dollar company opposing inferior contemplated tactics and taking games away from us, Sony is doing its bid by outselling them 3 to 1, so I offered some IP to the other two hoping they wake up and smell the coffee whilst the drinking is good.

Microsoft bungled bing, wasted tablets, sudden death’ed their game, all whilst they rely on marketing to convince the people the opposite is happening, and if they print and publish it often enough some people might accept that. I do not and I used my creativity to give the others a fighting chance, a tactically superior fighting chance, mind you. And I believe that the ignored options are a path, one should not rely on them, but they can be a great support for good ideas when they are around. Consider the next Fallout with a Microsoft logo, all whilst we can play something with 100+ more missions and a good storyline that has not be seen before. It would be the ultimate nightmare for Phil Spencer to face and let’s face it, it is not the worst setting for him to be in, that is when Microsoft gaming is dead last on nearly fronts (they are the true number one in flight simulators, we accept that). That is where I want them to be, I roll like that.

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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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