Tag Archives: RPG

Building NPC faith

We all have it, faith in ourselves, yet in gaming it takes another turn and even as I am a catholic, religion in gaming is often a cautious stage, we might have liked faith in the Assassins Creed, but as it is a historical piece of work, there is not a real problem, yet what happens when you want to make an open world, what happens when you work on a new RPG? Setting sides is a larger problem than you think, unless it is a side no one has. So as I was listening to R.E.M’s Losing my religion last night, a thought occurred ‘What if I create one?’ It is not the weirdest idea, and I have had a few thoughts in a life philosophy for a long time, I just never considered using it in this way. 

Opposition
Yes, there will be opposition, there are people (gamers too) who wonder if religion should be part of any game, but in an RPG we have a reflection and like it or not, 95% of the planets population has some form of religion at their back, leaving it out tends to be a lesser idea. It might not be needed for action games who wield the religion of lead and boom, but in a sandbox setting, and anything a little more complex than Minecraft, religion tends to rear it (at times) ugly head.

In this I set the image of the ‘faith’ in a version like Rodin the thinker, three men, with backs connected, showing the three sides of a person. Holding a book (or scroll), the educated man, he thinks through, he learns and if need be, that person adapts. The second man holds a plant with a butterfly, the spiritual side, we are all part of a greater system, plants are part of us, as are the animals and as we accept that we are part of a greater system, we might find our place. The third man holds a shield, the physical, we do not go out to hurt, yet we must always be ready to protect from those wanting to hurt us. A setting of three sides, all seeking balance within us.

Premise of my origin
The origin I designed in the past (a long time ago) was set to a triangle, we are the triangle, we as couples are actually two triangles, each side is one element, there is a physical element (sports, or anything of a physical nature), there is an intellectual side (anything academic, or anything relating to comprehension) and a spiritual side, two of the elements are our foundation, we all have this, there is no exception, optionally just denial. As we find a partner with the same grounding (academic & spiritual) for example, we connect better as the sides of the triangle are more alike we connect better, longer and optionally deeper, As the triangles are closer to identical we are connected more complete, but this is rare, for example one might be all about physical sides, sports, hiking, camping, the other less so, so as the length of that line differs, the stronger it differs the less we align, but there are three sides, we align to the side that is the most in common, the educational side tends to be that, consider all the high school and university sweethearts, and there we see where eduction, with either physical or spiritual tends to have been the grounding of the triangles, I believe that as only one side connects, we are either a friend (or companion), a lover or a romance, with only one side aligned it does not last, parts of this is seen as the The Triangle of Love, but I believe that it goes with any of the three sides. The connection of two sides is required to make the commitment work, the more aligned the two sides are, the better the fit, if the second side is too unaligned the result is pretty much always the same, it ends in divorce (which doubled in the last 10 years), having an alignment of all three sides is utterly rare, I believe that for the most, brothers and sisters as well as twins share this, the love of their family, the need to equal, the drive to push both sides, it is something I merely observed.

So why do we care?
In gaming, there is the need to evolve the NPC character side and as such the triangle as given to any person, not through self evolvement, but in a premeditated stage would give a larger NPC alignment in many facets, and it matters because any game above a certain size either has a way to set the premise, or you need to set the premise for EVERY NPC, making the game almost impossible to manage. Yet if the physical, emotional and spiritual stage is set to one triangle as well as the interactions, you get a much larger stage with almost no event setting, you merely have to apply the same coded interpreter to all NOC, they all basically rely on the same subroutine. They are all guided by their own faith (their spiritual side) and as such you get a whole wave of options and as they are all influenced by elements that are not identical, we see an NPC  community that differs per player, a stage where we all adjust to OUR play style and more important, as the NPC does not react alike, we get a whole new game from day one. And many players have a setting that their neighbour does not. When one has faith in ones self, the game changes for all concerned, that has been a truth since the game Pong was designed, we merely adjusted the paddles to be a lot more interesting.

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What gives experience?

Hah! I did not give up, I persisted and it came to me. I was looking at a way to set levelling in the RPG game that I discussed in previous blogs and I have a handle on it now. You see, Bethesda was not wrong, they were merely incomplete (as I personally see it). They almost got it right in the past but they set a different premise (something they are allowed to do), as such, in the RPG I devised there is a different jump. The artisans, the members of arcane houses, they all have settings of levels, but they are all DIFFERENT. It took me a while to set that premise. So as I started to discuss them in ‘Playing the stage’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/18/playing-the-stage/), there I started with the House of Forests, and introduced the Floating house. It was in ‘Invoke the liquid mountain’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/20/invoke-the-liquid-mountain/) where I mentioned House of Chimes and I almost forgot about the Monks of the Sulphur Cave and the House of Bones. There is some (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/22/chimes-are-wind-translators/), and it did not dawn on me to make the levelling different for each class. As forests can only exist by preserving it, as such the power and levelling of druids come from seeing the sick trees and save them or kill them and replaced the killed tree by a new sapling. As his staff is instrumental it will be the focal point of experience and levelling. A similar (but not the same) approach can be used on the Monks of the Sulphur Caves. It is different for the members of the Floating House, the water specialists. It would make them swimmers and water breathes, but that would be too shallow, they are rain invokers and their experience is set to the amount of spells they cast. As I am showing now, I am not completely there yet, but as we are confronted with a player that has an arcane and an artisan cast, we see different levelling systems, you have to become more aligned with the person you create. Gender might no longer be a real concern, but the choice of arcane and artisan house more so. If we see this we are looking at one of five and one of four levelling systems, we will not now, not ever become all round specialists of everything, but that is the price we get for something new. It also sets a different focal point in taking out enemies and overcoming barricades in the game. It is perhaps not completely original, but in this shape it is completely new. We can be an expert, the expert, we merely cannot be the expert in everything, it seems lacking Zen, but I believe that this approach will make the game a more Zen experience. I reckon that this will also create an optional very new ‘New Game+’ version. Where we optionally reincarnate with part of the abilities of the previous life, but not the powers derived from them, an option to have additional stamina and a larger setting of magical hubris (read: mana), it is merely a stage and this gives me the setting where I designed the larger stage for a few options in less than 4 weeks all by myself (yay me). Or as I would optionally say “Ubisoft eat your heart out”, but that is just me. So I got some of the arcane done, a larger stage of levelling, now I need to concentrate on the larger main stories and some of the side stories. Perhaps I will put them here too soon enough. 

All this and it is not even midnight yet. Whatever will I do next?

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Tripped by a thought

Yup, this happens. We watch things, we read things and it mixes into an idea. The first element in this was the movie Kingdom of Heaven (by Ridley Scott). I love this movie, for some reason it feels more real than any of the other movies that are founded on the crusades are. There are a few other reasons, there is always a good reason to watch any movie with Orlando Bloom and Alexander Siddig and the fact that it also had Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons and several others did not hurt that cause either. I was struck by the charisma that Ghassan Massoud brought to the screen in Kingdom of Heaven. That movie is pretty much forever in the back of my mind. The second element was something I read. The quote “An ifrit can further be bound to a sorcerer, if summoned”, as well as “In the latter account, the “ifrit among the jinn” threatens Muhammad with a fiery presence, whereupon the archangel Gabriel taught Muhammad a Du’a (Islamic prayer) to defeat it”, this struck a chord as it is the only reference I have seen at present where Christian faith and Islamic faith crosses (perhaps there are more). But it got me thinking. What happens if an Afreet, a dweller of the sands is confronted by the invasion armies of the west? The Crusaders, the Templars, the Teutons, and some of these organisations still exist today. So what happens when an Afreet goes on a quest to understand the enemy of its sands? The idea is not entirely new, the Afreet made an appearance in True Blood and in American gods, but in both cases it is less seen from the view of the Afreet, and as a demon they are part immortal, or at least can exist for thousands of years, anyone with that level of timespan has a different view on matters. As such the Afreet can be in the past and the present giving us a very different stage.

We have been so obsessed with the western folklore, that we forget that there is a large area of folklore that has almost never been tapped into and when we consider that Netflix is present in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, I wonder why we get this oversight. Of course they can also go for the other movie I came up with ‘How to kill a politician’ which optionally might be a big hit in the Islamic world, it might not be something that a person like Geert Wilders likes, but it is a door he opened himself and France added spice to that soup. 

All options I did in mere hours, as such I wonder what is keeping some so called creators in creating actual new stuff (instead of a new version of old stuff). It is as I personally see it the difference between iterative and innovative. A stage that America is shifting in, they are moving more and more towards iterative because they can no longer find the innovative people. A sad state of affairs as I personally see it.

Is it me? Am I tripped by a thought, or am I seeing it correctly that we are missing out on true innovation in both movies and TV series? I am not ignoring the stage where we are told that there are “In 2019, the number of original scripted television series in the United States hit 532”, I am not doubting that, I am merely noticing that other places in the world, these series are missing, or not shown. And to be honest, I have my doubt on all 532 series being actual innovative series. There is nothing wrong with iterative series, but they are a prolongation of something else. Another CSI, another NCIS, another Star Trek, another Superman. I will agree that there are plenty of fans for them, but at times we need to offer something so new people gasp at the notion of difference. I get the setting that this does not always ends up being positive (Firefly, Dollhouse) but they were true innovations, they were different and they have scores of fans, but it was not meant to be. I get it and perhaps my ideas will never become reality either, but I remain innovative in my thinking, it did lead to several 5G IP parts and I expect a few more in the coming year. 

Yet in this I do not pursue a path, I let it was over me just like the Afreet did, just like the soon to be dead politician (in the Movie) and the stage of being between two universes (Keno Diastima), a stage I found in mere hours, yes I agree they are not finished, yet I did most of the work by myself in mere hours. So I wonder what others are capable of making, even if we do not see these results on Netflix, Stan, Youtube or TV. I wonder what became of the 532 series, because so far what we get to see is “Find Out Which Series Will Return for Another Season”, a stage that we accept, but there is more then returning series, they are an accepted and essential part of TV (and streaming), but where is all the new stuff? 

It is a thought that is tripping me and making me trip (to coin a phrase).

And all this is happening whilst I am trying to find a new and original way of levelling up a character in the RPG I have been writing about. We tend to see RPG’s in missions, kills and achievements. I want the levelling to be different, but I am still seeking a way, perhaps I will return to the mission stage of levelling up, but I am trying to avoid it, an RPG can only stand on its feet when it offers more and different stages, not merely more of the same, we have all seen that and as such I am considering other methods, yet the thought of how is not clicking into the frame of mind and the frame of gaming, yet I hope that to be a temporary thing for now.

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Eureka, sort of

I just had an idea, it woke me up, in light of the main story of the game I have been designing in my mind, I suddenly had a setting that has never been done to this degree before. There is the optional discussion on what drives a main story and what drives the side quests, yet what happens when they are related. My good friend and trusted adversary (Dante Alighieri) had given me an idea before, but I never thought it through, this time I did. As such, what if Greed, Gluttony, Violence, Fraud and Treachery are the foundation of the main quest in one side, and the stories are set around these 5 items, yet there are also the other settings, for the artisans, we rely on norse mythology, Alfheim, the bright elves where the skills of pottery (agility are maximised), Jotunheim, the realm of giants where strength is maximised and Hela where the necro spear of Hela is worshipped. 

A setting where norse mythology is not copied, but it is the foundation of the three warrior sides, an overlap of Greek, Celtic and Viking lore, to shape each of the three worlds and the three story lines giving a stage where a player has several story lines to follow, but they need to be scripted as main storylines, not side quests to follow from point A to B. Each part of the tory might have up to 5 missions and linked to that one side quest (which opens up another story), in that setting the people will replay the game again and again, optionally at some point merely to see all the stories, but in a stage where we see a larger story behind the 5 stories (partially) emerge. As I see it, in all of RPG history this has not happened, as such any exclusive Sony developer (who can use this freely) we see an optional first in open world RPG. Some will say, but we saw this here, and that part there and they would optionally be right to some degree, but none of the games has ever linked the stories to a larger whole, that would be the new part and that would guide the player to a stage of exploration and subtle pushing in one direction, whilst not demanding the player goes that way, they are optional routes and whether the person does the optional path will lead to one way, the other route to route B to a similar but not the same mission. As far as I can tell, this was never done before and it pushes ‘the story is everything’ to a much larger degree. It is not where we go, it is how we. Get there that fuels the sweetness of porridge, and as such we see an optional third progression, it is a little wing to the makers of the term ‘Would you kindly’, yet it is not a prerequisite. I is a larger stage, like learning to cook, we did it all in Skyrim, but now it becomes essential. You can play Skyrim without ever eating a bite, in this game food is more than a source of energy, it becomes a source of support to strength, agility and/or magic. So having food and the right ingredients will be a much larger part of you, and lets be fair, in what universe did you ever conquer the evil mother-in-law without a bite to eat? 

All considerations, all stages that implement a much larger storyline, it is like a collection of stories, like we see in the movies Into the woods, the league of extraordinary gentlemen or even the movie van Helsing (2004), a stage I merely a stage if you call it that, others will refer to it as a podium or a floor of commerce, it is your action that decides how far you can take each in the same space at the same time.

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RPG Arms race

Yes, I had not forgotten my promise, so before I start resetting the Saudi Airforce from the American options to either the BAE Typhoon or the Chinese Chengdu J-20, all whilst bagging myself a rather nice (and large) commission, I have a promise to keep. It took me a whilst, yet when Bethesda made the Elder Scrolls, they had the alone stage for Fantasy RPG and they grew it rather nicely, close to perfection. Yet I am no ones second fiddle, as such I thought it would be nice to change the game. In the setting where you are a ranged ‘fighter’, or a stealth type, I decided on the Indonesian blowpipe. It has the benefit of stealth, speed, some distance (not overly large) poison dart options and a few more, as such the blowpipe would be in, there is the Trisula (Indonesian version of the Japanese Sai), the Gollocks, yet they also have swords and spears, so there is a whole range of new weapons giving the RPG lover a new set of discoveries to make in how to best give the realisation of mortality to your enemies. And as I was taking a look at the weapons, I came to the conclusion, that as I spread the power of magic, the same could be done to the weapons. Even as we might like all weapons (some people do), giving them the power of one (agility for the blowpipe) removes strength for the sword and spear. It is a little more natural that way. Stealth still has knives and blades, but that person would be less in other weapons, the other way as well, those adapts and better in swords and spears are lousy in the precision of the blowpipe, they can still use knives for stealth parts, but not much more, the stage to reply is set. As I set the stage of magic and weapons, the third need would be there.
The support of the craft of artisan. The agile are good at pottery, but slow and less able to be the armorer or blacksmith, the blacksmith would be less of an alchemist and pottery person, item can always be bought and the fighter can still be a good alchemist in nearly every way, yet the division pushes a person to become passable and average n all directions, or set towards excellence in one or optionally two directions. Too many RPG’s are about inclusions, the ‘you can be all approach’, yet as I have stated towards Ubisoft for the longest time, a game that states it pleases everyone, in the end will please no one. That setting set a larger stage, a stage where you can reply the game, optionally multiple times and face the stage where you see new things at least twice over, it makes for longer joy in a game. 

And all whilst doing this, I got the inside idea of yet another game, based on a golden oldie. It was done by Melbourne House in 1985, yet not unlike the older version, you have to grow your skills, go to places and unlock abilities and unlock moves. So what happens when the stage is not all, but you get one night to do it, you get 5 hours until the final showdown where you are the challenger, and every time you play the game, the powers are somewhere else, so no running to the 6 points to get the max character, you get a stage where the skills you acquire are the skills you have for the final fight, yet the stage is not who presses the button faster, it is more like Nioh, a tactical challenge, we keep on forgetting that the old games have actual diamonds in the rough (sorry Disney), actual gems that can shine, even now on the PS5 can bring joy to millions of Playstation gamers (as such all ideas are always free for Sony Playstation exclusive games). 

So as I finished the ideas of fighting, artisans and magic, it is time to think of a storyline, a main story where we need to set a new level of adaptability, because if you are in one place in one chosen group, you will not face the same story, so what happens when the main storyline is not one story, but there are 5 for you to find? How to go about that part? I can tell you one thing, that has never been done before, I wonder why not?

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The Old stuff

I have it at times, I do not know about you, but at times I want to see the old movies, play the old games, listen to the old sounds. It allows me to balance my feelings about a game, let me mesmerise on other ideas, contemplate thoughts, a whole range of actions become available when I do that what I had done before. So, as I watched Robocop (2014), It’s a wonderful life (1946), Planet of the Apes (1968), listened to the golden oldies by Madonna and Rammstein, my mind wandered as I was playing Fallout 4 again, thinking of Fallout 3. Two games I really liked. At that point my mind started to wander, what if we could play Planet of the Apes as a RPG. Consider the 6 original movies. What if the setting of the game was in the era of Charlton Heston, but covered close to the entire east coast? Optionally merely Rhode Island (the state) and as DLC’s within a year to add Massachusetts and Connecticut. Consider the amount of exploring one could do, find the old stages, create villages against a physical and morally superior force. Finding books setting the stage of a history group, a science group, a medical group. Find books for them to evolve, finding books to teach the next generation. Finding skills that can be transferred to books teaching the next group. A multigenerational game, so as the previous group becomes to old, you can transfer (with the right group enabled) to the next generation. No RPG has done this before. When you consider this, is it not weird that no game (in light of so many copying each other’s concepts) that something original can be staged. 

I am not sure when the ideas started to mingle, but the setting is there. A stage where the game is NOT on one person, but it is your stage to create a much larger foothold as you create generations for you to move from one to the next generation. It should also have drawbacks. The older person learns faster and learns more, the younger person can find more, can achieve more faster, a set of balances to chose from.

I also see the interactions with other books, for example (an idea I had last year), the setting of a prequel to Soylent Green with Chris Hemsworth in the lead. Yet what if we add Soylent Green (without the dead people) to the mix? What if the sea becomes the larger food provider again? The setting where the books and skills result in advanced options? It is merely a setting, a stage to draw and see what connections we can make. If great apes cannot swim, is the start on an island not perfect? It will not get you far, but as a training, the game can help you get the maximum out of the game, before you find a small Rigid Inflatable Boat. The initial game with a mapped 3,140 km² before we add 27,363 km², another thing we have not seen before (that is apart from my version of Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration), the continuation of a game, you keep what you create and we see  much larger consideration when the expansion comes, will we start again, or do we go on? OK, it might not be completely feasible on 1:1, yet 1:100, or 1:1000 might work. Yet in that stage we ned to adjust. And that is before you realise that it will be a much larger consideration when we add regions that are internationally largely unknown. Apart from the fact that (as far as I know) has never been done before becomes the creation of a much larger IP for any software house.

And whenever you go over the old stuff, the chance is that your mind makes silent Connections that could be diamonds for any one person to consider. It is the power of the old stuff, because we were done with it and we forgot what it contained. So as our minds see it again, time will be a larger stage for our minds, it does not re-create old links (will to some degree it does), it will create new connections, because you have seen other things over the last 3-7 years that you had not seen this work, or listened to it. I reckon that not watched Planet of the Apes for almost 2 years and a lot of things happened in that time, so we see things differently and we connect to it in other ways too. I have no evidence of this, it is merely my thought on the matter, yet s it got me a new concept (apart from the 4 I already have) not a bad days work.

Well, that is it for me for today. Perhaps I have more to add to the idea of Simian World tomorrow, you never know what Spinach does to the brain. For me it is agony, because for some reason I feel the massive need to have Tourte Pascale, my mum used to make it and now for some reason I want it, now after 3 decades (it might be four), I feel the massive yearn to get my fingers on a slice. Life is hell at times, so I will leave you with an image I found online, so that you will become as equally hungry as I am at this very moment.

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Reality helps out gaming

Yup, it happen, it is a little rare, but not unusual. So as I was setting the stage of a post apocalyptic game in Sweden, I was a little stuck. Yet reality was there to help me out. Yup, the Local SE newspaper gives us (at https://www.thelocal.se/20171101/why-sweden-is-home-to-65000-fallout-shelters) ‘Why Sweden is home to 65,000 fallout shelters’, we assuming that this is partially true, because 65,000 is a bit much, but it is something to work with, and as such we now have shelters, a lot of them, so the game is still in concept stage, but with that many shelters, the idea is starting and in this, Norway is helping out, they apparently have the Sentralanlegget (read: Central Facility). As such we now have a start and I am not one to be the minor, so I am setting the map stage from Alesund (Norway), to Sundsvall (Sweden) and the map is everything south of there, so it is a huge map. Instead of travelling everywhere, the stage would be that you get to chose the top of person you are and from the you wake up in a place (somewhere), and that age is the beginning. I have a few twists in mind, but it will include seeking strawberries on Gotland (the Swedish readers will get this). 

I will not give away the whole enchilada, because the gamer needs a surprise or two, but I want to set the stage where permadeath will make the game a lot more challenging (yet not essential), in addition to that with Oslo, Goteburg, Malmo and Stockholm in play, we have a lot more to see and to do. Yet it all started with one shelter and as we have no idea where we are, the sage is set for RPG, mystery and a whole dose of challenges. 

Wow, that took mot of the day to think this through, but I was hindered by the fact that Fallout is a really good product and I wanted to avoid the overlap, it cannot be completely avoided, but it can be minimised to the least and that is how I went to work. 

In this, the stage was about setting a new game based on a foundation that we have seen dozens time over from the C64 up to the current generation of consoles. 

So the news in the Local dot se was really a nice find, they give us “The country is home to around 65,000 bunkers, fit to host seven million people in the event of war, and an official report has now advised the government to start building more, following a 15-year pause”, implying that every bunker is for around 100 people, that is something we can work with. If the bunker is too big, it might not be operable with one person, with 100 that is still a risk, but a lot less likely. With that starting point, the stage is set for a story, because as I said before ‘the story is everything’, and in that resetting stage we see a larger need to find, to travel and to achieve. 

And the timing is right, some sources are confirming the fears I had regarding AC Valhalla, I will not give them here, because I would merely be repeating their reviews (read: rants). I have not seen it, and mot of the evidence has (as I suspect) been based on previous (pre gold edition) alpha’s and beta’s. So I will wait and take another look in 32 hours when the game becomes available. I know a person who is getting the game and I am not willing to spend a nickel on it (at present), I can wait for Black Friday and get it at 25%-50% of retail value. The other thing is that I am still playing Watchdogs: Legion. Now, that game has a few issues, but it is definitely a step up from one and needs you to engage in more sneak than number two demanded. It can be a good thing depending on your view on what hackers do. Yet there is little to no question, Watchdogs is a decent hit (it is better than a lot of other Ubisoft titles), even as Eurogamer gives us ‘Watch Dogs Legion review – a bleak and buggy retread of Ubisoft’s formula’, I particularly liked “Legion is too terrifyingly real, and just a tad too grim. I doubt the very real climate in the UK is helping much – which clearly isn’t Ubisoft’s fault – but I usually play games to escape the ills of Westminster, not to be smacked over the head by them. I appreciate that terrorist attacks and food banks and too many homeless people add a frosty layer of authenticity to this fictional vision of the capital, and I know this isn’t Ubisoft’s fault, either, but good grief, it’s depressing to recognise so many signs of a fictional dystopia from your local real-life news reports”, perhaps after the American President events it is a little too real, but that too adds to the positive, the hackers and their need to act. The ‘frosty layer of authenticity’ is as I see it positive, not negative. It is about hackers for a reason. Yes the game has issues, but nothing that will break the bank or glitch into reset. In some cases a better description (read: rant) might have been the solution, but such is life. 

Overall, after playing for a while, I do not disagree with “it will eventually grow stale as missions rarely deviate from this template”, yet as a hacker I signed up for the, did I not? Not to get shot in the face when a hacker should have far too little firearms experience against Albion special forces. So the article (at https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-11-03-watch-dogs-legion-review-a-bleak-and-buggy-retread-of-ubisofts-formula) is good, yet I feel that there is a setting that is partially overlooked. Yet I do understand and like the words Vikki Blake give us “Watch Dogs Legion is dark and unpleasant in more ways than one, and it doesn’t matter how many protagonists a game boasts if you’re unable to care about a single one of them”, it is an eye of the beholder view, agree or disagree, it is up to you. That part matters, because Ubisoft got a small reprieve, if AC Valhalla is near perfect they get a shot to survive, if not they might end up being part of Microsoft too. Microsoft is unlikely to pass up on 23 houses with fps experience, especially if they can get it for 5 cents on the dollar and lets face it, they spend most cash on Bethesda anyway. 

So here I aim handing out free Sony exclusive materials because that is the guy I am (when pissed off an absolute nightmare), and I did have some fun designing a way to sink the Iranian fleet (we all need hobbies). As such setting my fingers into a post apocalyptic games was also essential, you see it was an actual snow globe that gave me the idea on how to meltdown Bushehr 1 (a still untested concept), and that side might actually help me to design a few missions for the Swedish post-apocalyptic game which I aptly renamed ‘glödande godis’, and we all need candy, whether we glow in the dark or not. Ah well, such is life.

So even as reality can help out a gamer, we need a fair amount of indiscriminate imagination to get it all to work and lets face it, at present only the Japanese know what life in a post-apocalyptic setting has been (small reference to August 6 1945).

So whilst we will get to know what is the truth around AC Valhalla in a little over a day, the stage of finding an alternative to fallout will take a little longer than that.

In the mean time we will sit back, relax and enjoy the Trump show (as he is getting fired), for me it means that we can enjoy a more global version of the news in 1-2 days and that has been sorely lacking at present.

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The edge of IP

Yup, another bout of insomnia, another idea in the IP range. I state this casually and carefully, because even if the stage is altered, there might be a setting where it in not entirely my IP. In the first I came up with a new Mass Effect Andromeda, I wrote about it previously and to make the story fit, the game would contain a remastered and rewritten part one (the bad version we saw in 2017), a lot would be used, but the game would be different, even if the planets are not. That was only part one, the stage of part two is in three parts, the Nexus, the missing ships and 5 additional planets. Also we would revisit the planets that were cleaned up with a lot of additional materials. Yet my mind kept on racing. It was the Prothean Vigil VI who gives us “They used the conduit to gain access, but the conduit is only a prototype. The portal only links in one direction, so they were trapped on the station. I do not know what became of them there, it is unlikely they found any food or water, they suffered a slow grim death”, the game is 13 years old, and I have lashed out to Microsoft on a number of occasions, but this one, this one they got right, and the second game was even better the the first one, optionally one of the best RPG games EVER produced. 

So what happens when a group of people makes it to the Citadel, about 2 millennia after the reapers. The station cold dark and we get to see the restart of the station, the keepers are setting the parameters for races to come, yet what happens when teams Humans, Salarians, Drell, Turians, and Protheans make it to the Citadel? Not the original station as shown in the game, but the station in its complete complexity. Each race starts in the original building that was meant for them, as they could dock there, but after that, it becomes a chase, a challenge, of puzzles and wit to survive, to create the stations energy settings, the interactions that are required and not to mention as you play one race, all the others become NPC’s, with the option of a previous completed race to use your achievement as a template to equal. Something like that has as far as I can see never been done before and to that extent wasn’t even possible until the PS5 (and its Microsoft equivalent) were released. Not to mention there is every chance that the Google Stadia might keep up, so that is three, all whilst it would be possible to link a friend and set his milestones as one for one of the NPC’s. 

You might wonder why that and not a new station, a new environment. Yes, that is true, but to create all the races and all the settings takes a lot more and these races have been clearly established, also there is a danger that we might inadvertently copy parts of another Citadel station (System Shock), as such I wanted to get head of the curve (as I am not getting any sleep)

It would still be a large undertaking, The idea was bugging me when I was redesigning MEA and MEA2 in one package, the setting of the size of the station was never that clearly represented, also the cryogenic unlocks made little sense, there was too little pro and con options. A setting where we see the plusses on one sided and we weigh that, all whilst the minus side was largely ignored. So as I went out to create a new version in my mind, I kept on looking at the larger stage, the larger needs and it kept on kicking me back to Citadel station, especially the parts we saw in ME1 and ME2, I thought it was time to kick it in another direction and this is what I came up with in a mere 2-3 hours. 

Consider the screenshot, it is part of the citadel, 5 arms, one arm holding dozens upon dozens of skyscrapers, each building (or at least several of them) explorable, yet there is also the danger of that needle and haystack expression, there needs to be a clear directive on what is required, what are we seeking for, and not all are in the same arm, so paths are needed, airlocks, and larger cargo spaces so we can travel between the arms, yet the keepers (now under clear Reaper control) must also be avoided and changes need to be done whilst they are not looking. All whilst ever building is getting cleaned and sanitised by worker drones. 

It becomes a much larger setting and it might be one that the explorers under us (Dora too) might like to get a handle on. And let’s not forget, there are 5 teams, optionally some with advanced knowledge. All this and the Andromeda challenge too? What a luxury! I would love to make it a Sony exclusive, but Microsoft already has the beat on the IP, so if there is exclusivity, it might be Xbox (something I really would not like).

Well, it is 2:14 now, I have no idea what I will come up with next, but I got roughly 4 hours until the sun comes up and I forgot my Maui Jim glasses. 

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Its in the bones

There is a stage on anyones life when we realise that we do not matter, we never did, universally speaking we do not even register, on a local level we are more and more inclined to destroy that what supports us and we are already too late to stop the impact. But no matter where a person is, no matter in what stage that person is, the setting where we do not matter will always rise. And that is where we find ourselves, the House of Bones acts on what does not matter. Any meme er knows that they are finite, they do not matter, they will always be replaced and it is a strength. The House of Bones is not an open and known group, the other arcane groups know that they exist, some see one, but it is a rare event. The members of the House of Bones are not in the open, they do not have a staff, but a wand, a short stick that is like a club, it is made from a radius or a tibia, and it is alway made from a former member, there is a rule that it can be made from a family member, yet at that stage, the handle will have a phalanges of another member of that family inserted, and that family will be a living one. The wands are powered by the House of Bones, during the years of training and its ability lasts a lifetime. 

Even as the abilities of the members of the House of Bones are set on the power of death and power over the dead, they will not take a life unless they are attacked, those who attack tend to not live long enough to regret their stupidity. Any member has the ability of seeing in deep darkness, they can drain the life of others to heal themselves almost instantly. Unlike others they cannot create heat, but they can drain heat from others, they are almost expert marksman, and when they focus their bow, everything slows down. They are impervious to other magic attacks and in addition to drain health from others, they drain magic powers instantly from any arcane level attacker. 

This was the fifth house, the arcane setting has now been resolved. Yes there is more, on spells and potions, but that is not the station we need to focus on. You see, the story is everything, as such we need to focus on the main story and it can be an invasion, it can be some evil, but it must have a setting that can be overcome. That is how it works and when we have the story towards the danger, we can set the location of the Houses and the locations of villages and small cities. From there we can look into creating some level of infrastructure. People (NPC’s) need a sense of purpose, or we end up watching the painting of a fruit basket, hoping that there is actual fruit around. As I see it, at that point, the biggest fruit is the one watching the painting (the one watching to quench hunger that is).  The biggest stage is not the fact that the combinations match, they should not, you see, when you make a match, you create an algorithm to be created. Even as we want to match up larger stages, it is the 100% creation that is actually a flaw and not a clever thing. Exploring the stories is part of the joy of an RPG and the moment the player sees a formula, his or her brain will work it out and we get a ‘filling the blanks’ stage, RPG players tend to have this feeling early on, so fighting that is. much larger need than one imagines.

The second problem is that Bethesda has set the bar really high, and it is important not to look like a Bethesda copy. As such the Arcane part would need to be redesigned in a very different way. And that is merely the beginning, when I have the setting of locations and shops, we get the next degree. But that is the sideline to create the main story, the red fibre of the quests.

But more about that later, and remember, this is free public domain if it is for a Sony Exclusive game.

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Chimes are wind translators

The stage was not set in this day, there was another day and another week, but the origin of the order was always known, each mistress of the house kept records of what happened, and they also tend to keep record when things did not happen, or more precisely when nothing happened. The scope of all gave the exceptions power and made them more insightful. The first Mistress of the house of chimes always knew that. The House of Chimes was a little different, even as they knew that the monks of the liquid mountain had the strength from within, the house of chimes bestowed powers. The mistress did from day one. Only women were allowed in this house, it was not because there was something wrong with the men, but for some reason the power could not be handed to another man. The mistress suspected that a similar reason existed with the cave of monks. The House of Chimes had one mistress in charge, two teachers and each teacher had 4 students. As the mistress gave power to all in the beginning, they learned over time that the powers were shaped by the teachers. As the powers of each student grew stronger in the first 10 years, it would not grow stronger after that. That had always been the case, yet the powers would mature more and more as the students slept in the houses of the teachers. There was no real explanation for that. It was possible for students to learn more than one speciality, but that required the student to spend more time in the house of chimes with the second teacher. One teacher taught the student the powers of the wind, the other would teach the students the powers of the lightning, that is how it had always been. These women had a staff with at the top an empty vial. The staff was made from a combination of wood and silver, with a silver lightning symbol surrounding the vial. The women had the ability to call for wind and tornado’s. Beyond that they could summon lightning. Even was some might not have ben impressed, their abilities are set in speed. They can move fast, really fast and as the wind goes around a person, the wind informs them and highlights dangers, animals and people. Even the weakest lightning will cripple any person hit by it, or so the story goes. The women are natural healers and illusionists. The wind makes nearly everything light as a feather, and allowed them to climb near vertical walls. Their last ability is merely whispered about, it has not be seen, the women have the ability to throw voices and more important make sounds that will deafen anyone who hear it. All seemingly useless powers, but that is only to the untrained. If you cannot hear anyone, you cannot hear them approach or get away, that is if their lightning hadn’t twisted you in some bizarre way. 

It was a soft night, there was close to no wind when the student walked over the hill. She was looking around her and saw no one. The dark was comforting, ever as the night was dark, she saw near perfect, the and would warn her of dangers and that was good, not only because she hd no lust to cause harm to an animal, she was not too fond of damaging brigands either. It seemed so pointless. She got to a fork when she noticed the fog in the distance, the fog seemed so unnatural. It has a local look, no more than 200 meters in diameter it was then that she noticed the 4 shapes, they looked like brigands and she held her staff a little tighter, it was then she noticed a fifth shape in the fog, this shape was clearly a man, but he looked different, even as the brigands were red, as they always were, the fifth shape was light yellow, light as the sun. He seemed to avoid the others and struck one after another with a precision strike. She considered that this was someone from the floating house, she hd heard of them, but this was the first time that she saw one. She kept her distance and saw the entire event unfold, the brigands had no real chance. She also noticed that the brigands were not dead. Merely out for the count, and as the fog lifted she noticed the floating house member walk away. She watched him for a little while from a far safe distance, and as he went north towards the village, she walked in eastern direction. It was her first encounter with one of them, she was not about to test his feelings towards diplomacy. It was then that she noticed the hollow tree, this tree was different, she had never seen one like this before, there was a clear drop down, and there was a a corridor of sorts under the tree. She considered a few things, and the only thing pushing her was her curiosity, she contemplated the action and she hesitated for a second and jumped into the hole. 

This was the 4th house. We have one more house to add to the mixture it will be the house of bones. The story cannot merely rely on the 4 elements and in this we set the stage for necromancers to enter the fold. When we consider the House of Forests, The Floating House, Monks of the Sulphur Caves, the House of Chimes and the House of Bones, we have 5 houses. A person can only become a member of one, we set the stage of replayability. The player is not limited to the house, that person can also become an artisan or guild member. A larger stag is required and we only looked at the arcane part. My biggest issue with The Elder Scrolls is not a negative one, they had a good grasp of anything, but the stage where a person can be EVERYTHING was a little off putting. If a skilled master is merely a skilled master in one, then the stage of a larger power was close to impossible. Yes I loved Skyrim, but I had become so powerful that my Dragonbone bow was able to kill close to any dragon with a few arrows. Too much of it came across as a little bit of a steeple chase, not a challenging one. As I chewed on these elements I set a different light for playing the RPG game. If I can set the stage of a 100 hour game and make sure that these people can play the game 5 times and in different settings they would end up with a 500 hour game, a good value. So I set pout in a different direction, where the choices you make will decide where you wake up (sorry Richard). It has been done before but s fr as I know my RPG games, only once. So as we are on an island that is 200Km by 175Km, there is every chance to play the game more than once and see different settings (well I try). 

A stage that is not merely replayable, the stage where the path in a cave, a mine, or an underground fortress is different for a floating house member or a house of bones member. You can have multiple goals in any one place, but a person can only do one. It also leaves us with the stage where a person can get stuck in a place where you need one skill, but the lack of it stops you. Issues that are very real but the RPG seems to shy away from that path, there is a Montessori approach to gaming, you have to get a price, you have to win, there is always a price. It seemingly makes for weak adventurers. And I have the sage where it is different, now if we add time played (like 1 year for every 10 hours played), we get a career stage where you can become a better hero than the previous hero you played. To do this we set the stage that there needs to be  a larger story to follow and the graveyard can have merely have one type of hero, which lives you with 5 people to play (a wink to Diablo), so as such we see the larger stage, but I am merely at the start of it all, now that I know what the fifth house will be, I can consider the next stage, because in any RPG game, the story is everything. And gain this is free public domain for any Sony exclusive.

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