Tag Archives: RPG

Where the wind blows

It seems simple enough, yet the stage of the blowing wind was for most of the day in my mind and I did not know why. It was when I sat down when the image occurred. I wrote about the arcane houses. They are:

  • the Floating house (water)
  • House of Chimes (wind)
  • Monks of the Sulphur Cave (fire)
  • House of Bones (earth)

Yet in all this, how do they recharge? They can recharge slowly (like a point per minute), yet if we add elemental points like resting in water, swimming or in a shower the water element will got +10 a minute, when we add 1-2 elements (discussed later we can add factor 2 or 3. Wind is found in any strong, but also a wind-weave, fire by the fire and earth resting on the ground (directly), so you sleep less comfortable. You see, it is nice that Bethesda had their potions, but I wanted change. And this is how I get it. So when we see the direct approach, we could see a wet scarf or hoodie give us factor 2 for wind mana, we could swim, we could walk in the rain and we could wash for factor 3, so 33 per minute recharge. And we might need up to 1200 of mana recharged, so this is not immediate or direct, but consider that from a water source, you can recharge whilst you fight. Wind is direct and more powerful in windy place, but that is not the case in a cave, or at times in a ruin. But if we have a webbed weave we get more out of what is around, then there is a wind chime which is noisy but gets us factor 3 and when we get to 45 per minute, we can gain strength fast. Fire, torches are direct sources for the monks of the sulphur cave, but to illuminate that, we could get a necklace or ring made from sulphur and when touch it to fire we can really light up the tally. Earth is the hardest until you make a cloak of the death, a cloak made with ground bones. It protects, conceals and gives you factor 3 like that. It was the parts I had not considered and the arcane has its own rules and it could develop into something more, remember you will only be a member of one house, but then there is the generation gap, so the next generation might inherit some of the previous one. All set to a now larger station. 

An RPG path now developing in places we have not seen before because Bethesda adhered to you can do it all and my game needs to be generations larger, as such other limitations come into play. But it will be something that is new, not seen before and showing Bethesda the short end of the Microsoft stick is just a little too appealing. So here we go and for my next trick (soon to be released) there will be a setting of setting of discrimination, because the cogs have not experienced religion and that too needs to be addressed and they need to interact, or anti-interact with arcane houses, so wish me luck (I will need it) to set the next bit to paper. 

Have a great Saturday 

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Creating economic sides

Yes, we saw the optional impact of inns and sustenance. We were given the impact of the smith, and some sides. But how to control them? 

Well that is the first part, we do not control them, the cogs set some form of balance, like tables but with cogs we have less issues. We have slightly more control (or seemingly so), but the setting is an adjusted form of tables. We need no tables, we need the cogs to adjust seesaws and create a foundation of balance. This is hard to put into words and even as the foundation is set to credits, we need second seesaw creator that turns the credit value for each store into goods. This needs to apply for the jeweller, the bookstore, the smith, the general store and so on. I believe that it is like some form of chess assessor. Low value goods, medium value goods and high value goods. There is a side that we learned in school. For example 237 is 2*3*7(33), 28 is 2(2)*7, so how could we translate that into goods? I am still working on it and when we have that, we know what was left, we also know what the location has as revenue, this translates into town welfare. This welfare needs to translate into a balance for the town and a residual that translates into a positive or a negative. The negative pushes the location down, the positive lifts it up. The trick it to stay close to the seesaw balance. Too much into either direction turns places into ghost tows, or over lively places of expansion. I reckon it takes a real mathematician to set the stage for it to work, but the benefits are decently overwhelming so I need to create a way for this to work and it needs to work before we unleash the stories. The stories need to test the seesaw balance, it can flip a little, but it cannot take control, that is the challenge at present. 

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Music and sustenance

In continuation of the previous two articles. It is time to set a larger scene. In the first we talk about sustenance. You see there are always food places in RPG games, yet until Monster Hunter, I never saw any of these games take advantage of the sustenance factor. In this I got to thinking.

In the first, the levels of that. As I see it there are coffeehouses, taverns, Inn’s, restaurants, and as such we get to the basic setting we see below. As you might understand, you cannot have a village with a 4 star (or larger) sustenance place. And some places could get an upgrade. The upgradable settings are furniture, sustenance, and lodgings. Taverns can only upgrade sustenance and furniture. Sustenance are upgraded by getting that place a cook, it gets you a 20% discount for the rest of the game. Cooks can be upgraded by getting them a cookbook. Furniture can be upgraded by getting them better furniture and it gets you a +20% discount for the rest of the game. And the setting for the upgraded places is what I wrote earlier. In towns the production goes up, happiness goes up. It has all kinds of long time benefits for the gamer and the gaming area. Then we get another benefit, its benefit is temporary, but larger. You see in the old days the minstrel (bard) could invigorate the area. But the bard can only be in certain places. Restaurant/inn with terrace (as such it would have a podium), and there is an upside in that area. 

It is one of the benefits of the cog system. It showed me the ideas and the benefits of a larger stage, it brings the larger stage to the player and stops the person from being the centre of attention. The player still gets to set the tone in places, set the upgrades. But the larger stage will become the populous and the economy, stages where the player is a simple small factor, not the staging agent. And as we consider that the minstrel can be upgraded (2-3 upgrades in total) we need to make choices. A setting most RPG games tend to avoid, we can do it all, but it takes away replayability and sets the stage for blanket actions and grinding. That are things we can avoid to some degree and we get aa better game because of it. 

Consider that the minstrel can be upgraded 2-3 times. The clothing, the instrument and the music. Then we see that these are extremely limiting items. Like 2 outfits, 1 instrument and three pieces of music at the most. Who will you upgrade? One minstrel completely, or three minstrels partly? All choices we have to make. We could even adjust the music to the max of the highest minstrel, or the level of the minstrel in your home town. All parts that shape a game, all parts that make a game more desirable to the gamer, because a game that shapes in different ways, a game that gives more than one option and makes it replayable, that I a game that will be cherished for a long time and streamers will need long term interest in a game, it is their margin of profit on a large scale. And in this article I am merely scratching the surface of what is possible.

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Tally part two

Straight into the deep we go. Breathe in, hold your breath, dive.

Commerce
I wrote most of the foundation in ‘The stage of commerce’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/25/the-stage-of-commerce/) but not all, the foundation is larger than what I set there. I did it some time ago, but the article came to mind on February 25th 2022. Yet over the last few months I also reconsidered other parts. I stated “In the past I already discussed bookshops, taverns, and smith. We need to include goods and foods. This gives us the shops we need as a bare minimum, and considering the size of any area (in the past shops were seen in larger towns and anyone within a distance came to this place). So we now have the larger stage, and the people in that area add to this commerce.” But the world is larger than this, even if we base it on a 17th century fantasy premise. The cogs tend to simplify the setting, but does not change the dimension and that is what we need. But I feel that additional cogs to prevent the game from falling short. We can all rejoice into tables and the setting for armour, weapons, groceries, food, general items, books, jewels, taverns, masons and the list goes on. There are the cogs that drive 1:1, and the others tend to set the equation 1:2, 1:3, 2:1, 4:1. It is the balance that they set that keeps the game going and the more balanced that is, the longer the attention span the gamer gives it, and that I part of the equation. You can run from quest to quest like some set it, raid after raid and a quick trip to the stores to exchange equipment to coins. The one needs to be prevented, the other needs to be dismissed. The first element was discussed yesterday, by altering the concept and the kind of loot you find, the larger your benefit is in the beginning of the game. As the game progresses we get quarries and mines. The mines might make some of the requirements go away, but not all. As you get into the need of silver weapons, gold for enchanted jewellery. That gave me the idea to add Platinum as a source (it started with an engagement ring, but that is another story and she does not know it yet). But Platinum added a few other options, a few I had not considered before. So as we can find every mine EXCEPT Gold or Platinum we can create a handle on some parts of the equation. Then the idea goes from one side to the other. 

Towns
These are all over the place in many games, there we see villages, towns and optionally cities. This is how it has been, but the setting that we see villages and towns, they support farms, abbeys, convents, and keeps. Keeps have a more central setting in my mind, Keeps are supported by towns and cities, but the distance of a keep allows a town to BECOME a city. That is the larger setting, people can contribute to the creation of a city, but cannot push it. One person does not make an economy, people do, so I had to consider the setting where people are the foundation towards creating a city and even as the player you set the domino stones to get it done, I need a stage where (at least) 10% is out of our hands. I believe that the cog system does work and it works beyond economy, it could be the balance setter for entire games, not to manage it, but to set is as a setting of checks and balances. A setting where we can test the game in its true potential and that is essential. Streaming RPG’s are basically new, they might be based on old games, but the moment the makers realise what else is possible, they will run to what more they can get. They will make their games merely larger but not better. The deeper I dive into creating the next RPG, the more I see that another system is required, another pattern is required and in this I came up with the cog system. It is not unique, it is not the only way that it can go, but it is the way I designed it to go. I personally believe in the cog system. It is flexible, it an be adjusted and tailored to any specific situation or need and that is the foundation towards creating an RPG, is the cog model too small, we can add a cog, we can move cogs to be connected, it is a foundational choice. I believe that for me it is the best choice. For you? You will have to make up your own mind on what works for you. 

Four elements towards any RPG, towards any new story that gives life to a dynasty of gaming, it is time we prepare for the next stage of gaming, whether it is Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, PlayStation 6. We need to prepare what what comes next, not for the 10 year old game that we can play again, even if it was a really good ride. 

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First tally of thoughts

After yesterday’s article, I started to make a tally of what the game ‘has’. In the first there was the article ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which had a run down of a lot. But that rundown was not enough. There was the search ‘Lawlordtobe + RPG’ which gave me a lot more of what I wrote (and weirdly enough at least one story I forgot about). The basics are covered. In the basics there is the map, the character and the story. In the deeper run, the map is also covering the environment, the economy and the map itself (which is an environment, challenges and spiking of the map).

Spiking
Spiking is an early term I had. Like in places like Skyrim and Oblivion, there is a lack of caves, ruins and other places. So we spike the map to have these places. Yet the maps to some degree have an approach to caves (and some look really good) but as I personally see them unnatural. There are two problems with my train of thought. Caves are set in stone (literally so), as such they are part of the permanent map. Some places have way too many ruins and these ruins are a weird  form of small. But the idea of some ruins are a good thing, yet how to employ them? 

Brush and thickets, Fallen trees, Hollow trees, Evergreen trees, Rock formations, Rock overhangs, Caves, Low landforms and high landforms. Some are for single opponents, some are for groups. Ruins are a side here. They tend to be a good place for groups. But the setting needs to be natural (or as close as natural as possible). If there is a ruin, there was a reason that the building was there before it was a ruin. And not always is it a castle or a keep. But spiking is a dangerous setting. There is a danger of making it a place of convenience, and that is dangerous for the game. 

As we look into the economy I saw the dangers of ‘loot’ in the game. In some game we enter an old (really old) place, but it has the most modern of ‘loot’. So we redefine what loot is. broken swords, daggers, broken shields, old coins, chains. Elements that can be reforged into metals, old coins (copper, silver, gold) that can be set into metals. Yes there will be chests with actual new(er) stuff. Like groups of brigands, they have bounty, they have conquered stuff (that needs liberating). It will not be about wealth. In one RPG I had 300K, so in what living form of delusional would an adventurer have this much money? Too many RPG seem to value credits as an indication of achievement. That too needs to change. 

I took examples from classical masters, from stories (the non-Robin Hood kind) and from historical events, but they need to evolve in RPG gaming. In the economy that side is merely a cog, but a cog that could evolve. Yet the station of evolution is a larger problem that I have not solved yet. I did like the nemesis system that we see in the Shadow of Mordor, but that was THEIR system, I need a similar but different system. This is to stop grinding, the stage where there will be spawning (one man’s ruin) is the next persons envy. But if the previous group was defeated, the next group will have better defences, and optionally one or two more brigands. There are shelters for singular people and those people are sly a lot more like cutthroats, so no warning. All sides we see very little of in current RPG’s. All sides that are new in the RPG.

Stories
I gave more than one story start and that is central in any RPG, yet there is also the additional stage. You see there is no stage where we can do it all, play it all, live it all (the latter is a matter of debate). But the stories cannot be around you, around the player. The main quests yes, but the side quests need a larger setting than we are used to. There is a side that takes me back to Robert Ludlum’s Scarlatti Inheritance (I think), a local village event and a burial that is part of the story. So to set a side quest needs the seeding of a story all by itself that has several connections. There needs to be an intelligent part in this, so that stories can be written en mass and spread in the game, so that some side quests are not part of every game (another way to prevent grinding) and there we see that we need 50-150 side quests. That can intervene to a larger degree to the character that you play at that time. So far we see the foundation of an RPG that can be played on console or streamer. 

Then we get to the cogs of the economy, I spoke about them but I considered one additional set of cogs for each part. About that in the next story which will happen during my weekend.

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IP intoxication

Yup, this just happened to me. I will try to be as clear as possible, yet I cannot say too much. It all started as I was contemplating new RPG IP, not entirely new, it was to be added to the RPG game that I have been giving visibility to on this blog. As I was considering parts in the economy to interact with the play world my thoughts skipped to Brendan Fraser. I was rethinking some parts of Encino Man (with Sean Astin aka Rudy), as well as The Mummy (with Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan). At some point the mint was drawing a line and even as additional IP came to mind, I ignored it as this would be Ubisoft territory. But the line became and as such my mind saw an interaction that has NEVER EVER been done in RPG gaming before. It would be optionally the stage for Sony, but it seems that streamers (Amazon Luna) had a much better grasp of the option. To get this added in a game would imply that the game would require module of machine learning and deeper learning. Now that is not so odd. A multitude of RPG games have some kind of NPC AI in play (to coin a phrase), but to add this to the character as a side setting has to my knowledge never been done before and the added options would give it more traction towards gamers. There are a few more sides, I discussed that in part in ‘Mummy and Daddy’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/19/mummy-and-daddy/), so well over a year ago (March 19th 2021). There I made mention of “it is basically, to some degree the end of the linear quest person, it is a stage never seen before and I believe that whomever makes that game to the degree we see will make that developer a nice future stage as a new larger development house, and as Micro$oft learns that they lost out again, perhaps they will take the word of gamers against that of business analyst claiming to be gamers.” Additional sides that connect and in this not only has it never been done before, it seems that whomever adds this to their RPG will have additional sides that Bethesda (the company that Microsoft paid $7,500,000,000 for) comes up short on. It feels intoxicating. To have several options in a game that none of the others ever did or contemplated. And now I see that there is more to it all. There is in part a side that touches towards IP Bundle 3 I have, something that could bring Amazon billions (but with a small amount of risk). Yet I never considered it as a side of a game, well to some degree. So as the mind is connecting idea to idea, evolve IP into IP+ and a multitude of IP’s I merely wonder why the others (Google and Amazon) are not on this page already. Google seems to driven to advertise its nest security, Amazon is doing whatever (clothing stores and trying to buy EA), but as I watch the news, and the deeper news that the news will not give us, I see an absence of true innovation in games. In a sense I wonder what is wrong with me, you see I have never been this ahead of any envelope before. 

I tried to explain it in the past. You see there is a side where gaming is, most games are in that ‘light’ circle and the bar is set to the edge. Now there is an area outside the gaming area and that is the area of what is possible, this is where innovation is. the really good games (like Horizon: Forbidden West) are in part there, and they are not alone. The real AAA games are in part there, they are coding there now because it is what will be possible tomorrow, the darker circle is what future games will see as ‘current technology’ that is how games have evolved and that has not changed. I went a step beyond that, I went where tomorrow games are currently not and I set out a slice of gaming heaven and decided to add this to the upcoming technology. There are two dangers. The first is that it has a danger of being delusional. The second is that not all technology can get there. The second one is simple. I see the streamers as a stepping stone to what will be possible in for example the PlayStation 6. A (for the lack of a better term) a hybrid streamer. A fat client client/server application in gaming. One that needs a real power player, but that is not possible UNTIL there is a national deployed 5G network. I believe Amazon Luna and Google Stadia need to get to that point, it is what is required in the evolution of gaming. So there are these two dangers, but is the first danger mine? I do not believe that to be as my mind can clearly see the parts required, but that is the hidden danger of a delusional mind. In my defence I have been involved in gaming since 1984 (connections to Mirrorsoft and Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Virgin Games at the time), so I have been around since the very beginning of games. My mind has seen a mountain of true innovator and innovations. As such I feel I am awake and on top of it. But the hidden trap is there and as such, one can never stop to question your own abilities to avoid falling into the first trap.

But for now I feel intoxicated, and not a drop of alcohol in me, innovation can be that overwhelming. This is why the previous article remains under construction. It has a lot to do with Texas, the ATF and the NRA. I wrote about that before as well and interesting enough the media seems to avoid that side to a much larger degree, with the one or two exceptions I mentioned in a previous article. I wonder why that is. Do you not?  Well time to sign off, snore like a sawmill and get ready for the new day which is already here.

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Residual seeking

Yes, what is it? Well it connects to the game I am designing. You see, Any RPG has its sides and it needs to change, it needs to be a lot less Bethesda (their games are not bad), yet I seek originality and this all connects to ‘The stage of commerce’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/25/the-stage-of-commerce/) where I give a lot more and in previous articles (seek and thee shall find) where I give more of all this. Yet there is a side I forgot about. You see, we all expect coin, we all expect funds. But what happens when money had no value in a place where they have no lemonade caps? Well, we will have to make a gander towards older times. In this we need to set steady steps towards other parts, but what if the few gold coins we find have more value by making it into something else? Gold and silver have their uses, especially in the arcane, but when do we see that in gaming? That is the 10th (might be 14th) altering thing that other RPG games are not giving you. So what happens when the chest holds a broken sword? Pieces of chain and two coins? There is a need for nearly anything, you just need to adjust your view and lets be honest, what was the last RPG game you played where it was not about gold, credits, or caps? Any place can grow on commerce, but the driving force of commerce is not always gold based. Many places had other means, even in ancient roman times, the soldiers were paid in salt. Salt was more valuable than coins in some places and a return to that opens a whole new set of gaming parameters. Then we have the fact that the broken sword can be remade as a knife, or could be melted into iron and iron (if enough is obtained) gets you a plough, which means more land and more food for a town. All settings to adjust the view of the gamer and to be honest, I cannot find one game offering this alternative view. 

As I wrote in that previous article “because of the random factors the rainbow tables are dynamic and that creates a whole new environment. One where the game can live without you and you become a contributor, not the driving force of anything.” This is important as your play style changes, the dynamic setting remains to some degree and that can push you in other directions. A stage where you optionally have an island that is an evolving stage as we start the island at 18,040 km2 (Halmahera), but there is nothing stopping us to upgrade the island down the track to 138,794 km2 (Java), there is something awfully satisfying to that. It evolves playing and makes it about the game you play, not WHERE you are. And lets be honest, if you could play a game again a year later and that place is 600% larger? Not go from one island to the other, but end up in a similar island a lot bigger and in that setting when you play the generations, what more can you find? It might not be needed as 18,040 km2 is huge, but the option opens a new frontier for RPG gaming and that is what we want, new frontiers and in that only streaming systems would be able to do this, and as I stated very recently, the streamers differentiate themselves or they will become trivialised. There is nothing interesting in playing the same Ubisoft game on these two systems. Yet what happens when AC Brotherhood suddenly has Spain and France added to the game? It becomes a different game, you as a gamer would have to make choices, because you could never see it all. You see, replayability becomes infinitely more important for streaming systems, and as such to prepare the next level of RPG games for such a setting is becoming more and more important. It was one of the truths I realised when I designed Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration. Evolution is where gaming is and the current makers are too much about selling the same cookie to all the other systems, all whilst some can only store cookies, the others are capable of storing a whole apple pie. And when you can have the apple pie, are you really looking out the window for the next cookie dealer? Fair enough if you are hoping for Shannon Elizabeth in a girl scout outfit, but what are the chances? 

Consider how far the Stadia and Luna can take you and then look at the failures of Ubisoft, what are you waiting for? Now, in their case I will make an exception for AC Origin and some might like to play the others again, I get that, but do you really want a Ferrari to get your groceries, or do you want to see what is 2365 km of your current location? How will you get there? You might never see it all, and that is fine too. A game that still has more to offer is a game you will play for a much longer time and there is also the rub. Ubisoft and others have made us completionists, yet how much of your own nation have you ACTUALLY seen? Are you really that driven in gaming, or can you see that the story is bigger than you. Can you see that beyond the main story, beyond all the quests there is just more and we will never see it all? That is perhaps the only real flaw that Bethesda has in its games and we all fell for it. In previous systems it was a natural flow of what a system could hold and we get that, but the newest consoles (PS5) and streamers have broken that limit, so we need to use the new settings to offer more gaming, different gaming and we need to throw repetition out of the window. That is merely my view on the matter, and it starts by creating a new mould, one based on historic parts, but still offers more than we have gamed before. It is possible, it is out there. Grab it and make it yours.

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A dark matter of factuality

It was something that had been nagging at me for a while. Whilst I was working on an idea for TV, an idea that was in ‘And a little more’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/04/04/and-a-little-more/) and a few articles before then (and one after), the setting was a little too vanilla, too sweet. Yes, it works when you have a pilot and you need to slowly submerge the viewer into this person. But after that you need to have something more and the dark place is at times so much more rewarding. So what happens when loss, loss that would drive any person insane is part of all this? No matter how we slice it, lets say a child is lost to drunk driving, to whatever reason and that person gets off on a technicality, not something that happened now, but something that happened decades ago. So when some events come back, so does the avenging rage. But not like the timeline. But a timeline that is distorted, as memories come back together. So how would that go? That is what I am contemplating. The vengeance is that he takes the life of a family member every decade. A hunt going on for decades and the family is scared beyond believe because this had been going on and they have no idea who to blame. When you know that EVERY decade on the dot a family member dies extremely brutally, how would YOU react? That is the stuff I am trying to add to the idea. You see the dark appeals to all, the need for vengeance appeals to all. In our lives as we add water to the wine, as we add compromise to our values for fairness, the dark gets a free turn on all of us and that side is appealing to all. Yet the power is not to hide it in some lame ‘conspiracy’ setting. We have seen so many of those, but what happens when the deaths also allow for something more? Lets not forget that this is the story of the grandson of Hades. And that is before we get to the part where his father is Ares. Yet that implies that he has another grandfather. All settings that seem to be clear in season one, so what gives?

A stage where decades of corpses set a line in place, a line that I am trying to give volume, but I cannot yet tell in what direction, because I do not know what the direction is yet. That is part of the thrill of creating stories. You need to keep everything in mind, just like an RPG. And this story needs to have angles, sharp sides, soft sides and surprises. It is setting a ying and yang, but shaped like Hesiod and Plato. The dialogue goes better if there is some polarisation, some opposition to either view whilst the bulk of both views are accepted. That is the stage I need to create, and if I succeed the story becomes a lot better and that is what every storyteller tries to do, create the most enticing story. And that setting works when one side is dark, really dark whilst both sides accepts the darkness and shines their own light on that darkness. You see, shadow die in the absence of light or darkness. Both are needed, a shadow cannot exist in absence of either, the first truth all storytellers learn, most often in the midst of their first story and they rewrite it.

I am no different, although I started when I saw the story became too sweet, too vanilla.

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Changing the setting

To get to here, some need to read up. In the first there is ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which was written on September 25th. There was another story, but you will stumble upon it. You see my mind was remembering both Oblivion and Skyrim. So what happens when the unique items are not in the same place? What happens when we add a new layer of non-predictability? What happens when some treasures are part of the story of a book? So when we add a level of books named ‘First editions’ what else can we find? More importantly, these books are not in the same place. They are either in ‘important’ (read: expensive) houses, treasured items of a book store and in some book cases. More important what happens when these 20 or so books are scattered over the locations with EVERY new game? More important, what happens when two gamers get a different first game. Consider all the news that will stage the media, will stage the personal social media. Titles like ‘The bookshop at X had book titled Y’ will stage the larger stage. Because an RPG is about adventure and learning new things. And that is staged on what we experience, but help pages do not teach, it makes sheep out of gamers. So changing on how a unique weapon is gained becomes a test again. More importantly when every generation in the RPG has minimum achievements, the game changes by a fair bit. And that is what we need, new game changers, new games and more RPG, preferably RPG we had not seen before. In all this the storyteller becomes more important and the game becomes more engaging. 

But that is only one side of the story. You see, the larger station of to prevent predictability. It is hard, especially for me as I tend to take a shine to symmetry. So how do we change that?

We can alter the bad guys we face, not merely one ‘boss’ at the end, but a mix of simple and veterans throughout the location with a boss at the end, but what is the end? In a cave it might be the end, in a tower it might be on the highest point and in some cases, it could be in the beginning. Then there is the faded response we saw in other games to stealth players. I can guarantee you that when a body is found, or when too many people are missing, the rest will not relax and that was missing in too many stealth games. And you can hide the corpses, but in the end if you are in a house with 9 others and when you only see 2, you will get nervous. This is seen in two ways. In the first many NPC’s have a limit to where they can go, or how far they can go. In the second NPC’s are often limited to a level, but what happens to tactics when that changes? What happens when the NPC’s are there to make you fail? What happens when the guards are there to murder you? Tactics need to change. There comes a time when stealth does not always holds the candle, and neither does brazen bashing. Most games do not adjust for that, why not? OK, perhaps in the age of PS3 and Xbox360 there was a need to adjust to limitations, we all get that, but now, in the age of PS5 the stage has changed, the RPG games however do not seem to have this trait, and change is valuable, especially in RPG games. But how to go about it?

Well, in my universe, the first thing is to remove all limitations, to remove breaks and barriers. There will always a need to have some in play, but the larger reason for having them is removed by the coming of streaming systems and the PS5. This also sets the need of a safety zone. Most towns were safety zones, but in the wilderness it becomes important to have a safe place too. In the old days, the riffraff and animals were kept at bay with a fire, but not always and there we get a new setting. The ambush play. When have you faced an ambush in either Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, or Fallout 4? That is merely one of the changes that the new RPG games need to introduce. In the old days (1050-1850) there would be bands of brigands on the roads, travelling to ambush and these games did not really have these groups did they? A larger station of gaming that was missing and should not remain missing. With new hardware we need to change the setting of gaming. In my case RPG gaming because that is my passion and it would be the passion of any storyteller, but it is not the only stage where things need to change. I created the premise of half a dozen games, and the game makers went on the same track again and again. So let the smaller people hide behind ‘Microsoft Seemingly Confirms Ubisoft+ Will Soon Be Part of Xbox Game Pass’, to replay what was and doing that again and again is a waste of good gaming time, to set a new boundary is what keeps the players engaged. So whilst we see settings like ‘Skull & Bones Leaks In A Big Way’, the larger consideration is that this game was rebooted and delayed again and again, all whilst it took me a week to set the foundations of half a dozen games, all new, all having edges never seen before. And as you saw in the blogs, one totally new RPG set to a station no game has ever done. Do tell me how far behind Ubisoft and Microsoft are. Streaming old titles seems nice, but without a strong presentation of actual new games, the Microsoft streamer is nothing more than a history lesson and at $18 a month, Disney+ is a lot cheaper and more entertaining. You did figure that out, did you not?

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Skill to kill

Yes, very bright, is it not? But in the last few days I have been mulling over the RPG game I out here on my blog over the last few months and whilst playing Horizon: Forbidden West something stuck in my mind. 

You see something got stuck there and the skill tree is fine for THAT game, but for me, for the player it had drawbacks. It is not the game, it is within the game, and that is fine, but consider that  you play in such an open world. In that open world you tend to go in one direction. I tend to go the way of the sneaky archer. And that game limits what you as a sneak can do. This is not a weakness, it is not a flaw and they did NOTHING wrong. But the thought was in my head and stayed there.

So then we saw the smallest piece of Hogwarts Legacy and they gave us another path. In that path we are given:

Now, that is also a path we see, but my mind started blending the two elements. You see we get the stage of limitations, we get the stage of directions, but we often miss the blending of choices and there we ultimately see the stage where some are given the tendency to unlock EVERY skill. But that is not realistic, it is also counterproductive. So what if a game gets another edge. Consider that CCG games in the past had a limited version and a generic version. The limited version was black or silver, the factory set was gold (a factory set is a complete set of all cards bought at beginning). Now consider that we connect skills to a trait like the CCG game Illuminati did.

In that game we saw the head you ‘ruled’ in this example ‘Shangri La’ (see below), it can connect to any card, in this example we use a card named ‘Big Media’

As you can see it connects from a higher card on one side and connect to THREE sides to smaller skills. Now some have 0 connectors, some have one and a few will have two, but YOU decide the application of that skill. Now consider we go back to the first card, it is in the game not called ‘Shangri-La’, but ‘Covert’ and we have 2 of those cards in the beginning of the game ‘Covert’ and ‘Overt’, now we have archery which is (comparing to Big Media) not 4/4, but 2/3 It can connect to 2 stacks and enforce three connecting skills. In addition any card can be upgraded. The Big Media resistance will be its own power. So over time that number goes up (as you become a more skill-full archer), now consider that we end up with 4/5 stacks Covert, Overt, Social, Commerce, Faith and Govern. Six elements and you have either 4 or 5 stacks so something has to give and in the beginning you only have two stacks, so it will be about choices. How will you decide? 

And there is no better choice here, it will be about YOUR choice as you play the game. Now consider that as you get awarded cards through levelling or quests, you get new options and alternative options. For example the covert archer will level up having a larger chance of getting the scout card, the scout card can evolve into a mapping card, the edge and back of the card now represents a map, yes, we all forgot about the back of the card, but in a game, in a digital environment that side has options. And as the mapping option becomes available to select you see that mapping has benefits in the commerce side, especially if you gain art cards. There is still place for improvement (there always is) but when did you see a game that gave you CHOICES to evolve skills and adapt them in any way YOU could? I have been busting my mind and I saw no such options, not in ANY game and that is the power of versatility. It now becomes a side we never saw coming, but there is more.

What if I set that option aside like I did when I designed the Amazon Luna achievement keys? What if playing a game of chess allows you to gain the strategist card to apply to this game? It is just a thought but in that setting we get a stage that skill in one side enhances another? I do not think it is a great idea, but it could apply to cosmetic sides of the game. We could add a whole range of options. As we go forth we can also add cards, or evolve abilities with a black border (Covert only), white border (overt only) or gold border (commerce only), so kill shot would be covert only and if we evolve this over time the border becomes green, or brown and it an be applied to both covert or overt. And when we see this we can concentrate on higher end card, as they bolden all cards connected to them. In this there is one more stack, the homestead stack. As I state before we can influence to some degree, but if we add the homestead stack and we allow for levelling points to this stack the overall setting improves in town and that setting opens up a whole new range of options (and limitations). 

It is just one side of a game that is not ready yet, but consider who else has this and more important, which RPG allows for this? 

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