A weird term to say the least, but it will soon make sense. I was watching the Patriot today (the Mel Gibson version) which I had not seen in over a decade and something came over me. I suddenly wanted to play Assassins Creed 3 again.
One called or the other. I did not think it was a bad game, it had interesting elements and for one, the intro was brilliant. Yet the game had a missing part. It was a lot less AC then the previous ones and that is not bad, the game was not bad. It was merely less great. Yet one called for the other and I needed to recognise that. As such I wondered if BOTH directions work. You see the PS5 and Streamers (soon enough) have an optional additional side. To get there you need to answer a question. Have you ever watched a YouTube with cutscenes? What if there was another mode with more? To keep in the AC line, what if there wasn’t some DNA you were filling, but film reels? Consider any game, you have a main line and side lines (in RPG’s at least). So what happens when we find all the reels, more important when we find them all a new mode opens up that we can see at the end of the game. The movie! Not merely the cutscenes but a complete movie in 4K based on cutscenes with additional footage, footage that tells part of the story, but we never played that part of the story, it merely completes the entire storyline. Now consider that we play a game like Diablo 3, the cutscenes are fabulous, but what if the acts become additions to the movie and we have a wizard edition, a necromancer edition, a barbarian edition and so on. A game, nearly any game giving us a 4K movie to watch. Streamers are better equipped for it, but I am willing to bet that any Horizons Forbidden West gamer will go nuts when they complete the game and are then treated to the HFW movie. What surprises me is that this feature was never part of any game, why not? We can argue that previous editions weren’t ready for this, but these systems (Nintendo Switch gets an exemption) are and this option could be available in the next decent RPG game.
I wonder who will bring us the most exciting game movie next.
It is a simple term, a simpler act, but when is it a good one? That is the question. We had the ghetto blasters that had cassettes, CD and radio and for a longer time it made sense, combined sound solution brought Lord Sugar the wealth and position he has now, yet it is not the only field where this is possible. I pleaded with Sony in the late 90’s to let go of this regional shit and create the console that played all region DVD’s. Sony Music would not hear of it and I believe they lost in the process by winning the argument, but that is not a given (I need numbers to prove that). Now we see more settings and stations of unification, but not all is a given solution. I believe that both Amazon and Google would win by setting a proper station with proper social networking. Social networking where the user is in charge, not the advertiser. It will be the new wave. Google and Amazon have the advantage, but it is not a setting where they are auto assumed to win. You see, Sony dropped the real social networking with the PS4 (not the pro) and as such they lost the field a little. But in streaming it becomes a larger stage and now we have a new contender, not Tencent, but Netflix. Their gaming is not going the direction it needs to, yet if they had proper social networking it could change the course of their future. In my blogs on augmented reality I clearly stated that the news wave of people is the one where we properly engage with the people, not assumed topics in Twitter, not the advertisement and flaming in Facebook, because that is growing thin on the people. You do remember that element, don’t you? People are the heart of social media and too many are forgetting that. trolls, politicians and anyone with a beef of a lost cause, all sending mails towards as many as possible, to grow a wave for them, but I see more and more that the people are sick and tired of becoming part of someone’s wave. The time is growing where proper social media makes a difference and as Twitter is losing that field, as Facebook is losing more and more (until Meta) we see the larger field become the one where the people decide what they are part of, they are part of self, they are part of their family. Facebook and Twitter seem to have forgotten that part, but there is a new station, the streaming consoles (consoles too), and those adhering to the people (not to self, or marketed budgets) they could stand to gain the larger field in this and with optional streaming wins as well. You see gaming markets is not what Ubisoft, Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony says they are, it is what the people decide on where they want to be, not by drowning them in suggested topics (Twitter please pay attention here), it is the ability for people to figure out where they are and leaving them in that setting, one of the few settings they are entitled to.
And those with peace of mind, in their little bubble will reach out and see what else there is, not having them pushed into a vat of bubbles like a vat of grapes. The people are seemingly sick of all the social BS that is thrust upon them and that is where the larger gains can be made, not by the “and that too” state of useless mind that boards of directors seem to have, but to leave the people in a state where they can decide what they are ready for, because a social network is depending on the people in it, not on the connections that players like Facebook states they are depending on. This stage is now more front and center than ever before and the streamers have another option they never considered, not for a long time and if they let the people, their users decide they could win a lot more than they think they do.
That is what we are at times, a dark player in a field of poppies trying to remember where we were in the first place. It is not some riddle, at times most of us (including me) are clueless on where we go, yet we know we need to get there. It drove Ubisoft to fame, and even now as Ubisoft becomes less and less relevant to the gamers of today players like Guerrilla take over with their Horizon games. What was the world of Mass Effect and Assassins Creed became the world of Elden ring, Horizon and the heroin Eloy. Tomorrow it seems to be a stage of the last Horizon part, Hogwarts Legacy and Gotham Knights. And it is important that we address ‘seems to be’. You see, I have heralded moves to the streamers and there is every indication That they did not listen and Tencent did. You see, even as some state “Chinese tech giant Tencent is apparently planning to launch its own handheld gaming console, going by a patent spotted recently. (2021)” I do not think that people have any idea what gamers are about to get. You see this looks like a handheld Switch lookalike, but it isn’t.
Jumping to the past In 1989 Astral Software launched Archipelago. The game was decent enough, the graphics were not the greatest but with 1000 levels there was enough fun for everyone and in the end there was. Some called it ““one of the most original games I’ve seen, both in gameplay and in original concept”, with an “odd and eerie setting that works despite an eminently forgettable scenario”” Now consider that this was a game that was less than 1MB. Now reset that game with todays graphics, make it an offline game and when you consider that this was originally a 92% game, consider that this game (and well over a dozen others) could end up being 88%+ games. Now all the other streamers have a problem. They relied on ‘has-been’ Ubisoft to cater to their needs. A player that could not keep its eyes on the price and with what we were given this week
We now have two streamers that need to adjust image, adjust course on their streamers, or they will be surpassed by Tencent. Another field here China ends up getting the mustard (my 50 million console idea is still safe, I checked). And now that the facts are slowly seeping, I wonder what Netflix will do. Microsoft is not a player in this (merely a marketing idea), and if Tencent makes at least two steps in the direction I expect, before the end of this year Google Stadia will be a forgone lost solution to a direction gamers are not interested in, that leaves the Amazon Luna, it has options, but Tencent is seemingly directed into a field to capture the heart of gamers, something the others needed to have done long ago.
Even as Google is seemingly using the media to give us quotes like “After debuting to middling reviews, it had to suffer through a slowly growing library, a limited user base and the shuttering of its first-party studios. But Stadia is still alive and kicking, and Google intends to prove it next week.” They are in more trouble than they think, they relied on Ubisoft to solve their issue, but Ubisoft only tries to solve its own issues and now the earlier article makes more sense. Techspot gives us “In a nutshell: Ubisoft will decommission the servers of 15 games in the next two months, including some of the most popular entries in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Most of these titles are about a decade old, so there are likely not that many people still playing the multiplayer components. However, users also won’t be able to download DLCs they previously bought for these games.” Gamers hate to loose parts, including DLC’s, and for the “so there are likely not that many people still playing the multiplayer components” could be translated into a stage where the 2-3 games per server idea was cast aside. Now, in many cases I do not care about the online parts, but Ubisoft made it part of the game (to embrace people), and now when revenue is king players are pushed out. Gamers will see this as a betrayal. In a time when Tencent is looking for gamers to push its IP forward, Ubisoft plays right into their hands and if they considered what I put online, gamers will get dozens of golden oldies. They will feel catered to and that seals the fate of Ubisoft and optionally Google too. They decided not to develop games and now that decision will bite them.
We now get a new pool and the streamers (seemingly) are Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Tencent. They will vie for a slice of the entire pie that includes Sony and Nintendo. These two will see the impact, but will not lose players, if anything these players will have a streamer on the side and that is where Tencent becomes really visible, over time they could get a much bigger slice of the $200,000,000,000 that is stated to be the pie of next year. Yes, we know that a lot of it will go to mobile games and that is exactly where Tencent will see the profit, catering to gamers, catering to online players, mobile gamers and their console can store it all, they played a beautiful hand. I personally hope that Amazon gets the push it needs, I do not care either way whether Tencent gets it, as long as Microsoft does not. There should not be any award for stupidity, should there be?
A stage I emphasised over two years ago and it is coming to fruition in the next 12 months. Although to be honest, I merely saw Microsoft as the loser and I did not see Tencent coming two years ago, now they are a much larger concern to the other players. But perhaps the Tencent console will be seen as spy equipment by the CIA, they still haven’t presented any real evidence on Huawei, so why should we expect to see any on Tencent?
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?
Yes, they came, the images. My mind played out the beginning of a new movie, one with Owen Wilson in the lead. I am not ready to tell that story yet. During that escape I also saw a few other things, it is there that we find ourselves. In the middle of a story not to be told, but with images that make sense in gaming. You see, in the early years (1993) Origin made a game that had potential, the game did not really exploit it, but it had created an optional new wave and even as the finale implied things in the end, they never came. Yet it is only one side. Games are always about options, but nothing ever comes from the tail side of that coin. What if choices are set upon us? More important what if the other side has equally strong negative sides? We can select the internet to do our work for us, or we can go forwards embracing the choices we have made. Too many games forget about that. I believe it was the wrong take to make on gaming. We grow and we get clever through adversarial settings. That as been proven for the longest time, yet we overlook it because it is not what the gaming community wants. By whose standards? Players like Ubisoft and Microsoft have no idea what gamers actually want and they have shown that lack over and over agains for at least 10 years. So let’s take this up a notch. You are at a shrine, there is a camera, a book and a potion. You can only select one, what do you take? When the clue is unfolded it makes sense to take one of them, yet each give a formidable advantage, yet you lose the other two. In the age of Gauntlet and Diablo based games we might take that part later, but what happens when the choice if final and the others are removed from choice? As I see it it enables replayability, it grows a much larger value in any game. You see a game that does everything will basically please no one. We forgot that the founders of gaming like Infocom with Zork enabled us to think things through, a side in gaming we tend to forget. And I did too, for the longest time I merely went from achievement to achievement. I forgot to have fun, I forgot what replayability enables, not the same track again, but another path towards the same destination. More to see, more to experience and more the encounter. Most game makers are about story experience and one story fits all, but that is seldom if ever the case. For the same reason two role playing gamers might select different races (orc, dwarf, human, elf). All part of the package, all part of 4 learning experiences. Yet most people stick with the one choice and work from there, yet I believe that they take the one path because no one explained that they can get more by taking another path the next time around. It does not fill the revenue bill and that is a shame, yet in the new stages, in streaming stages that option will become increasingly important. Streamers have a monthly fee, so if one game can be played 4 times the revenue meter fill up larger. More importantly the games would have to become a lot better, a lot more immersive and the stories would need to become a whole lot better. I do not believe this to be a bad thing, this is how evolution of gaming starts and it does need to start, you see fully deployed 5G is no more than 3 years away and at that point the console wars will go into a new dimension with the streamers (Google Stadia, Amazon Luna) will become fierce and a lot more decisive. I do not believe that they will replace the Nintendo Switch or the Sony PlayStation 5. Yet they will be next to a lot of these systems and that is where the $200,000,000,000 revenue ticket for 2022 is at, and with the Amazon Luna with an optional 50,000,000 more consoles that war takes a hard turn into better gaming and the ones not ready for upgrading gaming will lose out to a lot of revenue clambakes. It will not start drastically, it will be all nice, but it sets the stage for 2024 and there the numbers do add up to failure or success and none of the players are embracing failure, or so they seem to think, but which of these systems have truly embraced upgraded gaming? Not many, I can tell you that much and that is merely the first wave, the second wave will add the previous revenue success to the next one and those who missed out on pile one, have little to no option for an increased pile two. That is where they all are, in denial. Phrases like ‘We are working on it’ or ‘this will sort itself out’ but behind the curtains they sweat, they have no idea where to take it next and I wrote about at least half a dozen options, and they all laughed, but in November 2023 they will stop laughing. They will face the shortcomings of choice and the lack of options they left their gaming community with, so these people will dump that system and cancel that prescription. So these people will face 2024 with limited revenue and no plan of implementation. That will be the losing streamer. The other one will take a bow and head for revenue piles two and three, at that point Sony will face a true contender for the first position in console wars, the field is wide open, but I believe that Microsoft has already lost, they did this to themselves. To be honest, as the information goes at present the Amazon Luna is the most likely winner in that direction, but I have no idea where Netflix is going, so there are options in a race where some horses cannot compete and some horses are unknown. In that race I see Nintendo in third position, with their gaming attitude they could go higher and they have what it takes, but they work on a formula that is almost guaranteed to keep them in the race, yet like any formula, it has limits and that is not a bad thing, it is what they chose and so far they kept 93,000,000 gamers happy with the Switch overtaking Microsoft by a lot, the weakest system defeated the strongest console in the world. Why is that? Technology? No, Nintendo listened to their gamers, gave their gamers what they needed. That was the simple truth since before the Switch arrived and when it did in 2017 the world saw a winner and Microsoft became the number one loser. This is about to happen again yet in 2023/2024 it will be the streamers who fight over the initial number three position, but some will have it within them to get to second place. And good games is where they get the winning positions, the better the games, the more the gamer wins and that is my stage, I want gamers to win, because if they win, I win. I am after all a gamer.