Tag Archives: RPG

The next challenge

Gaming IP is always a challenge. There is the iterative challenge of getting a sequel or a remaster into play. Even as the innovative charge does not hold up for too long, a great game remastered can fill the coffers of a software house rather fast and nicely. We have seen it in the past, we could optionally see it when someone decides to take SEGA Dreamcast IP to a new setting. I personally think that both Fur Fighters and Wacky Races are undervalued and cast aside. Fur Fighters has its own challenge and graphically on the Dreamcast it would be able to hold itself up against most of the IP we see today. It had the quirks that made us wonder what else would be possible, and that is a good thing.

There there was the Hanna Barbera classic Wacky Races. It was a race game that held up against Mario Kart and it was unique, a setting where the racers all had special abilities and overall each racer was gifted with all kinds of options, it was when the game was done against one another when it truly started to shine. There are of course more, but a lot of them were done in new ways and with new options. Yet these two were forgotten and in the age of play that is a shame.

When we look at the innovation station, the setting becomes oblique, there is a lack of clarity, in almost everyone and I am no exception. You see, we look at the games that exist and how we might do better or how we might change the way we play and that is hard, it really is, I do not deny it. I created several pieces of IP, yet I am also gifted with the weakness of looking to those who did make amazing games. I believe that is a problem, not a big one, but one none the less. I tend to look at the age that stands between the CBM-64 and the CBM Amiga (Including Atari ST). That era gave us so many games and so many could be upgraded and improved upon. Not  because the makers failed, they did not. But what is possible in 2022 was not an option in 1986, moreover there is every chance that the makers never considered it in those days. In this David Braben might have been one of the few to move Elite (1985) into Elite Dangerous (2014), it was great then and it became overwhelmingly amazing in 2014. It is one of the few games that made a multi generation leap and the best part is that there are dozens of games that could have that ability. I wrote about it in the past. The 1983 EA game ‘Murder on the Zinderneuf’ could be the next thing. In this that it could be revamped, set to a larger stage and it gave me the idea to set the streamers (Google Stadia and Amazon Luna) to a new set of achievements one that could transfer into other games. Setting a new premise towards gaming and optionally trying new games. Yet that does not make it innovative. I believe my generation RPG, see previous story ‘Recap to the intro’ on September 25th 2021 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) for details. The question becomes how many original new parts are required to move from iterative to innovative? I actually do not know. An RPG is not like other RPG’s and I avoided to copy the settings that Bethesda had, and I added options that Ubisoft ignored in the Assassins Creed. Sucks to be them! I ended up with more than 1 IP and a setting where Amazon could grow its population by 50,000,000 (not a typo). All settings that Microsoft just overlooked and ignored. The strongest console in the world? My ass! A ship is only as good as its captain and their board of directors are pushing ideas for self preservation whilst they do not understand what gamers want and need, as such they tend to lose battle after battle and it was Nintendo (the weakest console) that overtook them in less than half the time Microsoft had to grow its population. 

Yet the station remains valid. If we need more gamers, the need for innovation is adamant. Yes, we ca add iterative new games and that keeps the interest going for a little whilst, but it is long term games that a console need to gain real traction with consumers and that is why innovation remains key. Innovation is the next thing that drives hardware sales and that is what Ubisoft forgot about long before their 11th hour was up. And now that we see partnerships and all kinds of marketing messages (all whilst they lost another creative director), we can see that players like Ubisoft is trying to make their life last a little longer, all whilst the gamers know and see that their game is done. My prediction given last year was a lot more on the nose than most expected it to be and it matters. There is every chance that the headlines of Ubisoft that left become the new indie designers we hoped for and in this both Google and Amazon have a need to set that directive to their systems as fast as they can.

Time is running out and when gamers look around for a good game, it would be really nice if they are ready to support those gamers. Sony is ready, yet as a gamer I feel that a good gaming environment requires more than one platform and Microsoft is no longer a contender, so who will be the number two? Nintendo? Will the the people at Google and Amazon take this console war serious? We will let them decide.

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Expanding story time

Yes, this happens. Sometimes we get more to a story, but when was that when it was expanded on the main system and not a DLC or expansion? When was the last time that you were confronted with an additional story in the main game? I reckon that most of us cannot clearly give an example. And when someone pushed a demo of the Unreal Engine v5 to YouTube showing us a broken down version of Riverwood, my mind went 145% on the body and thoughts came to mind. Now in this case it will not apply, because Riverwood is decently fresh in the mind of all gamers, but when they see the new (older looking) Riverwood they should catch on.

What happens when we add a few villages, not unlike Riverwood, off the beaten track, off the caught setting and all storylines by themselves. A setting that some might recognise in Spinalonga Island on Crete. It had its own story, but remains a ghost town even now. So what happens when we find the story, evolve the story in the now, solve the story, the riddles and the curse (or other reason for abandonment) and when we find refugees, traders and other people we could direct them to the empty village. Riverwood had a trader, a smith and an inn. There is no stopping us from adding shops, and it would fit the equation towards building the local economy as well. As I wrote earlier. Too many RPG’s are depending on US to build the economy. Yet what happens when the NPC’s are in a secondary stage that they too become drivers of an economy? What happens when traders build economies, adventurers do, mercenaries do and as such, some places will grow even larger, grow more and grow distinctive. In this we can set markers like you need to have certain ranks in the main quest, and side quests as well as levels of fame before your word is accepted, but at that stage your influence grows too. We need to realise that in RPG games we are NOT the machine, we are a mere cog that fuels the machine, but we are one in many cogs and that has never taken a larger stand in RPG games and that has been overlooked for too long. I do understand that some might state that this was not possible until the PS4pro. I believe that this is not merely that case. Game makers are too often in an iterative mode, we get more of the same (Far Cry, Assassins Creed), there are leaps forward (Fallout and Elder Scrolls), yet I believe that more could be done and I also believe that the PS5 now shows that more is possible. And it will not take long for the streamers to show that they are capable of more. And until these players consider that the main quest is nothing more than an outspoken side quest we will not see the leaps forward that RPG’s are capable of. The fact that I came up with TESVII: Restoration and the fact that I am still finding new ways to grease the system into other directions, directions that TESVI:unknown place might not even touch on is speculative, but not entirely impossible. A stage where we see that RPG makers are for a lot about more of the same (not their fault) is a little troublesome and When I wrote about a new RPG, a generation one that I summarised in ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which I wrote last September and even now I am still gaining more ideas that could grow that IP to larger stations is interesting to say the least. The side quests are merely one setting. Growing a virtual economy is another one, but it all sets the station where we have an RPG game where there are two stations. The station of you the player and you the influencer, both important, yet influencer we can become through skills, through power and through achievement and they all interact to some degree, and it is those influencer sides that give a much larger unknown to the game and how it shapes. We need to do it in that way, so that the system is free to evolve, if we merely have two settings with a clean and a deprived location (A Fable II event) we lose the plot, we will not see the impact of flourishing villages.

I believe that this is the expansive side of gaming, it fuels replayability and optionally dampens grinding. The last part is not a given or a real event, but could be the impact of influencers, it is merely a thought. So when did you see your last creativity on the sliding scale of something you haven’t figured out yet? A station that keeps me busy, why? I can tell you that I can, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with the thought “Because I have to”, and I am not sure why at present.

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When the plot thickens

This happens, it happens all the time. We notice it in movies and books, we sometimes face it in real life. There are moments when the plot thickens, but it tends not to happen in games and in RPG games fit rarely happens. There the NPC threat in singular directional, it always awaits your command, your action and your dialogue. So why is that?

It cannot be the technology, the technology was on par 1-2 generations ago. Is it gaming technology versus scripting? It could be, I am not the best source of information on this. 

We tend to see the Louis 14 approach in gaming, the world revolves around the gamer, it is like the missions. As the missions are lacking time needs, as the missions can be completed at YOUR convenience, we get to do it all. I think it is wrong and I think we need to alter our perceptions here. We cannot do everything, we can not please everyone and we cannot be everywhere. Just like good RPG games need an economy, it needs a transitional stage, it also needs  servicing stage. Mercenaries and guards that do take charge. Games like Shadow of Mordor invented and realised a nemesis system, I reckon that was a real step forward in gaming. So why did we not adjust RPG gaming to be more challenging? Was it that much of a leap? 

There is nothing like a stage that has no opposition, it becomes docile, it becomes a stage of non-stress. So what happens when you are there but so is the stage of mercenaries that can finish your jobs, making you lose fame and more important making you lose credibility. A stage we have never faced before. There is always the more seasoned adventurer, this happens. Yet in gaming we do not see that part. We are denied the challenge. Why is that?

When you create a career and you grind the same levels, we think we are being clever. Yet what happens when you lose out to a lot more? What happens when another adventurer becomes the famous one? Not in a multi player environment, but a single player environment that has its own nemesis system, not merely opposition, but a setting of peers and antagonists that become more that a mere hassle. It sets your career mode in a mode of bland anticipation. A station where you are not the best thing since sliced bread, you are merely the last resort and starting the game out like that is not the worst idea either. It shows the player that they need to be on their A-game all the time. And so far the RPG games have not been facilitating in that degree. Why is that?

It cannot be that I am the only one thinking in this direction, it cannot be that technology stayed behind. I believe that Bethesda pushed RPG into mainstream gaming and left a few things out. It is not their fault because their Elder Scrolls and Fallout series are pretty amazing. Yet by pushing that into mainstream they left something out and we all lost a little, it is a shame and at present there is no one replacing or contesting them. I pushed a few ideas to the surface in earlier articles, yet I also overlooked that part in RPG games. I apologise and I am trying to alter what I have at present to add that setting to future games, or at least inspire others to reconsider what they have and there is a lot that could be done. Will it? I hope so, but at present there is no way to tell, so we will have to see who picks this gaming direction up first.

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That lucky blow

Yes, these things happen, the point where luck is a factor and in some games they do happen, but the factor is not as profound as a Ravenclaw boy hoping he gets noticed by Emma Granger, or was that Hermione Watson? No here we apply the Skyrim principle. Instead of grinding, later in the game, I enter the embershard mine wearing dragon plate and before the bridge there are two miners, I walk up to them and let them have a go at me, with Dragon plate my armour rating is well above 550, so they can pound on me whilst I have dinner, read a magazine and at the end I am up 1-3 levels and my heavy armour is now legendary 100. A simple solution.

Yet what happens when we change the premise? What happens when the bad guys get a lucky blow as well? Consider:

  • Bandit
  • Bandit Marauder / Plunderer
  • Bandit Chief

There lucky blow rating starts at 1%-3%-5%, yet as levels go they can go up to 5% – 15% and 25%. Now that game changes a lot, but we can introduce negative influx. A 25%-50% and 75% protection through blocking and defence parameters. A stage that alters the game somewhat. So my approach of walking into their midst would no longer work (well likely a very limited version). It is the old battle setting that all attack without defence is pointless and all defence without attack is useless. A setting we all forgot about, or at least too many of us forgot about it. Oh, and their lucky blow is a blow that does 300% of the normal damage.

That same principle applies to sneak as well, we tend to see ‘a failed sneak’ as a side effect, whilst a failed sneak giving the opponent a free first hit is much more intense and optionally realistic? Many RPG games see a failed attempt at the stage of a loss of positive elements, whilst introducing no negative ones. That failing stopped the gamer from becoming clever at what they to, a setting that is a failing in the game because the game needs to contribute, always contribute. 

I believe that having a lucky blow element is nice for us, but it needs to contribute by being nice for them too (to coin a phrase).

We can never rely on more of the same, we can never rely on the easy path because it will undo gaming in the long run. And in this Skyrim is a perfect example as it has shown itself to be close to perfect for over a decade now. And the only way we get better games it to push that envelope. Did you think I was kidding when I stated that Amazon with its Luna has an option to sell 50,000,000 consoles? It isn’t that Google is not worthy, they decided not to develop games. And any clear and massive bodyblow to Microsoft is a winning punch for gamers everywhere. We gamers must stick together because Microsoft only stands for itself, it has shown that for well over a decade as well.

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Inventing the economy

Yes, this sounds bigger than it is (and it is). This is the economy for an RPG. A few places had idea’s, one was particularly helpful. Yet in the stage of the game I designed here, I decided to take a different route. You can barter all you want, yet in the end it is the economy around you that needs to flourish as well. If you do not take that route, you get either a ghost town, or a passively silent one, one that can only move when you are there. It is that approach that is reluctant to me. You cannot create your story, become your story on a blank page where everything is depending on you. That has been the case sine before I was born (in the age of Black and White TV’s). 

So as I was mulling over what I personally believe to be a shortcoming on the Elder Scrolls. I turned in another direction and saw the glitch in Fable 2, but the stage was good, so I decided to take a larger gander and set up my own premise. On September 25th I wrote ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which gives the list of most articles linked to this game.  I will now add:

Behold the economy
(OK, that was way too ego driven) yet the stage remains true, you cannot live or play in a vacuum, so as I wrote ‘An almost ordinary generation quest’, I set out the stage of stamping out the economy, there needed to be a stage where you can grow and optionally through you the town could grow. In t6his we need to take notice that a city takes decades to grow (if not centuries), so the town can only grow to some degree. If we consider the baker, the butcher, the fisherman, the blacksmith, the bookshop, the tailor, the potter and the leather shop we see that these people have average skills (2 or 3 out of 5), we need to see how to grow the town. In one stage I talked about the potter part, it will be a growth stage, so to grow the economy, when you gain skills (in your travels) on any of this, when you return home you can teach the shops the skills you learned, it gives you some income, but the larger stage becomes that a town gets X amount of people travelling through it. More important, when a shop becomes more important, more people will come, so there is a benefit to teaching them, because what they sell, benefits you too. And more importantly, when these shops grow into 4 star places, I needed to add a risk as well. You see, some people are depending on ‘non change’ I insist on change, so there is a small percentage of a chance that when the get to that level there is a small chance that they will pack up and leave for ‘the big city’, in addition to it that risk increases by a factor when they become 5 star places. It creates momentum and it creates a larger stage of movement and turmoil. You or your kids can teach the shop again, or they can move themselves. 

A stage of fluidity that we haven’t seen before in RPG gaming, and I wonder why not. I can not be the first one to come up with this, could I? A stage of increased growth and economic values will also hit the city, when the city grows, the shops have less reason to move (they are revenue driven too). It sets a new stage, instead of having 15 axes, 23 swords, 7 mauls and 2 halberts, we get a stage where we can sell that as scrap to the blacksmith who will create new ingots and create new weapons. That only works when he becomes 4 star or more location. The herbalist has a need for resources, you bring he has no need to move, or to seek out danger. And in this all shops are almost the same, there are shops that will not need ‘feeding’, but their skills too are related to the ranking they have and as you teach them, their value increases and the village grows another step. 

And so we create a new stage, not merely collecting weapons and armour, but a stage where the shops grow what they have and to that respect also the scrap they receive from NPC’s and the new goods that come with that.

I feel happy, I created the foundation of an entire economy in a game, there are a few unmentioned parts and there are a few parts not here, but I am still mulling them over. In the meantime, anyone who wants to create an Amazon Luna and Sony Playstation exclusive RPG, feel free to use these ideas (free of charge) and let’s give Bethesda a run for their money, whilst pissing off Microsoft at the same time (slugging two for the price of one tends to be more satisfactory).  

Have a great day

P.S. WordPress still haven’t fixed colouring, their CEO might be colourblind

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What should be done

This is a personal view. This is based on personal experience and on personal feelings and believes to create a great game, a great RPG. There is plenty to not agree about and you might be right. It is merely my personal view on the matter. It all started a few hours ago when several Hogwarts legacy videos passed by, I looked at one of them, and soon thereafter turned it off. For the most so that I will not be hit by optional spoilers. I also saw a few headlines on how it might be bad, how some people claim to be experts. I am not one of them, I merely give my view and it is not connected to any part of the Hogwarts or the Hogwarts storyline.

Part 1
In part one we need to set the ground rules. As an RPG, I believe that the largest power is replayability. So when we use the HP movies as a backdrop the game will need 20 main story lines. 4 houses, each house has its storyline, with 4 intersecting stories. As such if you start as Hufflepuff, you get the Hufflepuff story and the three non-house stories and one generic story. That makes 20, also each house will have 25 side quests (could be 50). As such we end up with 100-200 side quests in total. Finally there is a red wire and I personally think that JK Rowlings should do that. 4 small books of 50 pages each, every storyline will have 50 hidden pages, it is about (for example) the origins of the house makers, Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. The story is only revealed when all 50 pages are found and then a small booklet will unlock on the system that the gamer can readSo after 4 play throughs all 4 books are available to the player.

In that setting when one game is completed a new Game+ is selected and you go from the beginning, yet in the second game any of the three minus the one you already played becomes available. Now we have a game people will run to the shop for.

Part 2
All what I write would still be possible in the game no matter how it is staged, not even the storyline is messed with, that can still be there. As such the four generic stories will be connected to the house, but will not be connected to it. As for the side quests no more than 10% can be replicated to other houses, so it will be a large stage. It also comes with limitations (I love those). Side quests on potions are only available to Slytherin players (as the potions master was Slytherin), Gryffindor and Ravenclaw will get magical creatures quests and so on. 

As the screen shows, each house has quests that link to a non house, so if you had Gryffindor in game one and Ravenclaw in game two, the second game will offer a rerun of the Magical Creatures side quest, but none of the others. 

I believe that in such a way a massive wave of replayability is offered whilst at the same time offering a large fountain of playability. It would create a direct dent in what Bethesda offered in its games, it would be close to unparalleled. And let’s not forget the number one rule, it is merely my take on the matter.

It is merely a small part, and this took me less than an hour to think through, more? Yes, naturally, please ask the makers of Hogwarts Legacy and if they want to use what I just wrote, it is for them and to at their discretion to use, a simple equation.

And I leave you with the small stage. This took an hour (at the most), so why can’t Ubisoft come up with this stuff? They are the multi billion dollar corporation, so what is taking them so long? 

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Recap to the intro

This happens to us all, we need to remember how we got to where we were and I am the same as many of you. So today is about a recap of what I had written before (links given) and the station of where the setting is going. 

Title
Yes, every game needs a title and in gaming, too often it needs to be bold, to be brave and it needs to entice, but I believe that for RPG games that is not that much a given, it is the challenge, so I decided on ‘An almost ordinary generation quest’, it gives part of the station, it gives part of what you face and nothing beyond that. Too many games are about the spoilers, but the game is about the game and how you fare, you will fare different from your neighbour, that is almost a given, unless he married someone special, at which point you want to end exactly where he did (its a defining rule of the universe). 

Links
The story that drove all this was given to us in The Race is on (Sept 30th 2020), Playing the Stage (Oct 18th 2020), Door two of the Arcane (Oct 19th 2020), Chimes are wind translators (Oct 20th 2020), It’s in the Bones (Oct 25th 2020), RPG Arms race (Nov 25th 2020), Mummy and daddy (Mar 19th 2021), The quest for tea (Mar 23rd 2021), Until the lungs give out (Sep 21st 2021)

Separately influences are found in Eureka, sort of (Nov 26th 2020), What gives experience? (Dec 11th 2020), Building NPC faith (Jan 3rd 2021), First the sting (Mar 14th 2021), Then the bite (Mar 15th 2021), River of Choices (Mar 23rd 2021), Belated brilliance (Apr 9th 2021)

So this is the bulk of it, 16 stories (actually there are a few more) that are the foundation of a new game. As I had stated the story is everything and we are too often given a stage to get into, it makes sense, but is that how people like Roald Amundsen, Jacque Cousteau, Yuri Gagarin or Hugh Glass got started? It is always a challenge to set any beginning. As it is a game it is not set to reality, so we create the variables so that WE can become a larger than life character. In my case, I believe in the open beginning, a beginning with choices and it is not a good or evil choice, it is a direct choice. Will you go east, or will you go west? It is that initial choice that sets a foundation and when it is a simple quest like setting the prolonged safety of your house and household that drives a choice. It creates the explorer, it sets the stage of the adventurer and that adventurer needs skills, knowledge and drive. These three need to be adhered to and that is the choice we face, we face a similar stage in nearly all RPG games.

So what can we do to change the stage? That is the question that was in my mind as I tired to develop the idea of this game. And we always played the antagonist, yet what happens when that stage alters? That issue can be made more relevant as we enhance RPG games with machine learning and deeper learning. There is no workable stage to set the workaround on everything (not yet at least). So before we get into some lofty stage of ego, the one element is missing, it is the story or the main story. In RPG games in the past, we had the main story and side quests, so what happens when we alter it? We have 7 main storylines and as you go about it you will only find 1 optionally a second one. The games will still have side quests, but in a stage where we manage what is sought and found. We see the NPC characters, yet what happens when that NPC needs a set of triggers before additional dialogue is released? I saw that stage when we were treated to Neverwinter Nights, yet over the years no one seemed to have picked it up, so I decided to set a stage of ‘discrimination’(well sort of). Arcane quests cannot be given to no-Arcane people. So those who create a pure warrior will miss out on stuff, yet that same person will find other stuff, if someone abhors a non-arcane person, there will be another person who is the opposite.

As such we can look at the storylines to be 7 lines, or one rather long line over 7 generations and that is where the story takes us. A stage where the generations are important, but then so is the family line and the characters that become family. Because as you start as you, but the one you select to share your life is equally important, even if you have no control. You might not have it at that point, but the next generation is a combination of both and that is how the story unfolds and that is the change of creation, it comes with a handicap. And as far as I can tell, no other RPG has EVER taken that route. So as we consider how to design a new game, look at what I left you, consider the other stories, some with a quest line, some with a background and all with a much larger stage. A stage to replay the same game and find new challenges, finding new options traits and skills that will educate you and the generation that comes after you. As far as I can tell, no game ever considered going there, so it makes for one new true original RPG game. 

Have fun and enjoy the weekend.

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Until the lungs give out

I have been thinking of the RPG game that I set up as a free IP for Sony and Amazon developers, a sort of exclusive freeware IP for all except Xbox developers as a response to their Bethesda tactic. There were several parts set in earlier articles, but over time my mind got bogged. I had a new version of arcane characters, I set the stage to replaying the game in new and never seen before ways and as I looked at the past, my mind went to the future. I added different stealth parts and I added new elements to other sides of the arcane. Yet the fighter class remained. And now I add another part of ranged fighting. As you see in the image (I believe in emancipation, so both genders can be assassinated) yet even in the past there was a stage of armour, and precision. So as you see can see that there are to aims, the size of the circle is influenced by distance, by stamina (out of breath) and the stage is also hindered by people wearing armour, so we have a much larger stage of getting the ranged attack being successful, slightly unlike in Skyrim where I successfully expired people, animals, draugr, trolls and even dragons with my bow and arrow. The Green Arrow, Robin Hood and William Tell would be proud of me. It is a good feeling, although I do know that it is a slightly delusional one, if it was real the digital graveyard I filled would be greater than the city of Tokyo (10 years of Skyrim does that), and as I go forth I considered that we need new ranged weapons, not more of the same, so the blowpipe became a reality. Also there would be a stage to evolve the blowpipe, just a it happened in history. Different woods, different arrows with optional toxins to paralyse, sleep or poison would add to that impact. Than we get to the stage where we always run to a blacksmith, but the blowpipe is different. Several of them do not come from the blacksmith, the stage of that allows for more options in the game, it will also add to additional (read: different) skills to master. 

As we see in most RPG’s the bow and the arrows, this game will have the pipe and the darts, there will be additional darts and there will be an additional ranged weapon. I wanted the weapon to add to your abilities, not forced to set a stage for guided evolution, so I came up with an altered rungu, The rungu is still there, but there is a cup added to the other side of the stick opposite of the ball-end of the stick, making it a rungu able to throw with precision and much harder a stone at the head (or other body part) of any target. With the rungu we set a new need that we haven’t seen in a while, a ranged weapon that needs strength as well as precision. So as we add weapons and add choices the player can evolve more towards what he or she prefers and chose a weapon that fits the need. In addition to this, I want to make add a personal style. I want to add the main-gauche into the fight, not merely relying on sword and shield. I personally always loved the parrying dagger and the stage sets a new style of fighting and we get an altered level of fighting. It is essential to offer a different stage to what Bethesda has, it makes for a much more acceptable game that is a lot less of Bethesda like gaming, we need to up the game and change the game, so I opted for that. I am also considering altering the spear to be adjusted so it can work underwater, a sort of speargun (rubber driven) with a rope, yet in all this we see the need to add to weapons, not to set a stage where we have 15 weapons. A stage thought through so that we have a larger playing field that is new to those who prefer ranged weapons (me being one). The parrying knife gives an added side to stealth (especially when you are seen), and as I loo what I had wrought in the digital world, I see the need for graveyards, the setting of plants only found in cemeteries and optionally a few herbs that have arcane and alchemical uses, all sides that Bethesda never used, so I am adding them to the IP I create for those ready to make money in creating original (read: limited exclusive) Sony and Amazon games. 

A day well traversed and that is when I consider that this was the second article written, I had to make sure that gaming was not forgotten or ignored. And we can do this until the lungs give out after which the blowpipe becomes useless, so there is that consideration. 

Have a great day.

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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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Presented choices

There is a flow in two directions, it is in most of us, it is stronger in the people who actively engage in critical thinking. It is often mistaken as ‘the devil’s advocate in us’ and I have made the same mistake. This is a dangerous place to be, not precisely dangerous, but hazardous. You see, we want to give ourselves time to mull things over and often that is good, nowadays with COVID, vaccines, lockdowns and other things happening at the same time it is hazardous. You see the media is no help, they are in it to create click bitches and stir flames, which gets them digital advertisement funds and traction. When you mull things over too many people are in a stage of making up their minds whilst the media is trying to cross them over to a field that benefits THEM and not the reader. Unless you are able to reject ALL media at a moments notice, that place you are in to mull things over goes from hazardous to dangerous and that is when things fall apart. The doubters get pushed into a place where they are slightly too uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable enough to forcefully take a stand.

This matters as gaming is in a similar place, or better stated the gamer is in an RPG game and is left to mull things over in doubt on what to do. There is a correlation of inaction towards too much signals as well as no signals at all. The brain seems to find the stage of non-signals too unnatural. And that is the stage any new RPG will find themselves in.

In the past it was not an issue for the mere reason that technology was not ready, now that it is too many gamers expect there virtual life to signal them in a similar way and even as technology is there, the game makers are not. 

It is not a setting of what to do to make it fit, it becomes a stage of adjusting the gamer to the ‘new life’. I was reminded of that in the last two days as I was rewatching the Harry Potter series. In the third film we are given the choice between what is easy and what is right, which fits the storyline of Harry and his gang (plus owl). Gaming and real life tend to not have that question, yet I see a larger wave go towards ‘What is easy or what is pointless’ and that is not the bill, but it is a concept of the two choices seemingly given. The mind loves a choice, even a fictive (or virtual) one and that gets us in hot water. 

So whilst we await the Hogwarts Legacy game, we wonder what is in it. We tend to compare to the RPG games that were truly fantastic and there we see Skyrim and Witcher 3 being the larger stage. So will Hogwarts have the Harry Potter CCG as an element? It is extremely doubtful, but there is an internal need to get a new RPG with some Witcher 3 Gwent game. We would want to be able to have our own house decorated in OUR style of choice (Skyrim) and the list goes on. This pushes the needs towards pointless, yet where is the setting on what the line from gaming to pointless becomes and that line differs per gamer and that low range and high range of that line is a gap no smaller than the Gran Canyon and that makes for an awkward programming stage. The opposite side leads to easy and grinding which could spell an early death for any future RPG game, so where to go? Fable 2 had an awesome solution towards vocations (Forge, Bartender, gambling) but the stage becomes how to remain unique, have elements like mini games and larger ownerships without breaking the IP and that is not an easy task. Even Skyrim with its levels of grinding is so close to perfect that people still desire this game 10 years later. I myself had the game on PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One and optionally (hopefully) in 9 weeks and 3 days I will have the PS5 edition, optionally a little later as I face all kinds of budgets, but the message behind this is strong, a good game lasts a very long time and that is where the game makers need to be. I believe that the best option is set towards a trilogy solution. We can play, we can alter and we can circumvent. Alter is adding a CCG or mini game option. Instead of looting the same place with consistent time, we can have the CCG to make is smarter, the mini game to make us richer and a combination for investments. It takes the mind of grinding. The CCG element could give us cunning, intelligence and the cards we win could lead to unique items like clothing that are rewarding depending on the class we play. We could get rare items that we need to make special potions (like the golden cauldron in Harry Potter CCG), and the list goes on. In Fallout New Vegas we were given the useless Snow globes that is until we met a person who paid dearly for it. There are the Vault-boy bobbleheads in Fallout, so what can we do to create the part that adds value to the game?  That depends on the game maker, but the objective would soon become a race to avoid the pointless borderline. 

The second borderline is less visible. Metal Gear Solid got there and it was not their intent because the last game was magnificent to behold, yet they got there, the game had gotten too big and soon in the game you felt like you were in a stage where it felt pointless (it was not) the game was too big for its own design and even if you consider revamping the stages, at some point (ACT 3) you started to wonder what it was for. I got there a few times and I loved the game, so we need to design carefully and become weary of what signals we give the player, too many and the gamer seeks the easy route, that same route gets trodden on when there are no signals, so there needs to be enough signals to make it worth your effort.

I believe that we are due for more time based stories and the best way is to let the conversations with NPC’s progress that, but there too too many of those and the game gets to be regarded as pointless. So how to go about the presented choices? One option is to limit NPC’s to optionally give quests in a set of two parameters. The first is the day of the week and the second is a correlation of conversations with other people in town. It gets so that each town has optionally 2-3 side quests a day, so beside the main quests and storyline quests you can score new quests each day in one place, to throttle the over-quest danger we limit the chances we get to the pointless border. By having enough signals we also limit the dangers of people heading for the easy line and on top of that, if we create a random partition that directs all the quests to a day at the beginning of the game there is a chance that two players end up having very different experiences making all players more and more curious on what more is there and how to find it. 

There are more things to do, but this is enough for today, today was to address the dangers of the pointless borderline and that borderline is a lot more dangerous than you think. 

If you do not head that line you could prematurely kill your own game in month one, an eerie setting that no game maker would ever want to face. More importantly, it also shows how we are treated by the media in todays events and that tends to reverberate in us too. So when we escape towards games we really need to get that signal stopped as soon as possible, it is perhaps the one danger any RPG faces, we tend to push ourselves into our RPG games the way we were before we started that game, emotional baggage and all, we cannot really hope to stop ourselves, but we can demand that whatever RPG game we play takes that feeling away within the first 10 minutes of gaming. I reckon it is part of the success of Skyrim.

Have a great day!

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