This is a personal view. This is based on personal experience and on personal feelings and believes to create a great game, a great RPG. There is plenty to not agree about and you might be right. It is merely my personal view on the matter. It all started a few hours ago when several Hogwarts legacy videos passed by, I looked at one of them, and soon thereafter turned it off. For the most so that I will not be hit by optional spoilers. I also saw a few headlines on how it might be bad, how some people claim to be experts. I am not one of them, I merely give my view and it is not connected to any part of the Hogwarts or the Hogwarts storyline.
Part 1 In part one we need to set the ground rules. As an RPG, I believe that the largest power is replayability. So when we use the HP movies as a backdrop the game will need 20 main story lines. 4 houses, each house has its storyline, with 4 intersecting stories. As such if you start as Hufflepuff, you get the Hufflepuff story and the three non-house stories and one generic story. That makes 20, also each house will have 25 side quests (could be 50). As such we end up with 100-200 side quests in total. Finally there is a red wire and I personally think that JK Rowlings should do that. 4 small books of 50 pages each, every storyline will have 50 hidden pages, it is about (for example) the origins of the house makers, Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. The story is only revealed when all 50 pages are found and then a small booklet will unlock on the system that the gamer can readSo after 4 play throughs all 4 books are available to the player.
In that setting when one game is completed a new Game+ is selected and you go from the beginning, yet in the second game any of the three minus the one you already played becomes available. Now we have a game people will run to the shop for.
Part 2 All what I write would still be possible in the game no matter how it is staged, not even the storyline is messed with, that can still be there. As such the four generic stories will be connected to the house, but will not be connected to it. As for the side quests no more than 10% can be replicated to other houses, so it will be a large stage. It also comes with limitations (I love those). Side quests on potions are only available to Slytherin players (as the potions master was Slytherin), Gryffindor and Ravenclaw will get magical creatures quests and so on.
As the screen shows, each house has quests that link to a non house, so if you had Gryffindor in game one and Ravenclaw in game two, the second game will offer a rerun of the Magical Creatures side quest, but none of the others.
I believe that in such a way a massive wave of replayability is offered whilst at the same time offering a large fountain of playability. It would create a direct dent in what Bethesda offered in its games, it would be close to unparalleled. And let’s not forget the number one rule, it is merely my take on the matter.
It is merely a small part, and this took me less than an hour to think through, more? Yes, naturally, please ask the makers of Hogwarts Legacy and if they want to use what I just wrote, it is for them and to at their discretion to use, a simple equation.
And I leave you with the small stage. This took an hour (at the most), so why can’t Ubisoft come up with this stuff? They are the multi billion dollar corporation, so what is taking them so long?
We love the words ‘free’ and ‘rewards’. In this I am no different. This setting all started when I was taking a look at some version of ‘merge life’ iPad game. The game starts nice enough, challenging enough and I saw the warning ‘absurd amount of advertisements’ yet initially when I started that was not really the case. So after 10-15 minutes I had reached stage 2 and the game was oddly satisfying. It was then that the advertisement wave hit me. Close to one advertisement EVERY 30 SECONDS. Yes, that was absurd and after 2 advertisements I deleted the game. But the mind took a wander and I remembered something from the AC Brotherhood time. Yes Ubisoft did do good things, even innovative things. But the idea got twisted in my mind to something more. I wrote in a previous article about games for Amazon Luna, not sure if I did this (I have written over 2000 articles). There are two stages in this.
Stage One Board games. Most forgot about the power of board games. They are simple games, but a setting we always return to. We do not need to kill everyone (I mostly do). There is tranquility in a game of chess, a game of checkers, a game of Monopoly, a game of Backgammon, a game of Shogun (and so on). But what w forget is that most people prefer to play alone. Now, there is some need to connect to like minded people, people who just want to play a game. For them there are three options. Set up the Luna to facilitate for 2-4 players, connect to up to 3 online players and play alone with computer managed NPC’s. The powers behind consoles and streamers forgot about that, didn’t they? Now the optional connected IP is separate and for another day.
Stage Two When it comes to rewards, Ubisoft forgot a side (it was fair enough) but when we have mobile games they could lead to a lot more visibility. For the example I will use the Fable Pub games. You play the games and you get the rewards. In the mobile game it might be about money, yet the goal is to get to the 5 star (might have been 4 star) point. When you get there you will get 2 rewards. So each game there (Keystone, Fortune’s Tower and Spinnerbox) will result in a direct reward, a weapon, or an outfit that is linked to Fable in Amazon Luna (just as an example), the second reward is a Luna Key. Each board game will get a Luna Key, so if you play 4 games, each of the 4 games will get a key. And the Luna key will open a special option. So in the examples given Chess will give you a new board and a new chess set, Backgammon will give you a new board and stones (there are Indian, Egyptian boards and stones), Monopoly will give you an NHL, NFL or other city board, Shogun has additional colours and Japanese family crests and so on. Additional rewards that can grow the interest in other games and that is beside the setting that could be offered. All stages forgotten or ignored and why? Is the setting of a Luna Key so complex? Is the setting of offering the player something more not enticing? I would think that with all the bugs Ubisoft introduced they might go overboard pleasing the customers they so often disappointed.
The stage of giving a player more is important (and growing in need), especially now. There are the bugs the glitches, yet when you add the congestion it comes down to the choice of limiting yourself to urban players, or give rural players options to play when there are too little. There is also the need to feed the beast (the players), they need to go to work, they need to be somewhere else and setting a stage where the player can optionally play a fitting mobile game (like Ubisoft did for AC Brotherhood) where the player can play to get a new unique 5 star blade, pistol, outfit or whatever. A stage that adds to the game, not replace it, or circumvent thresholds. Offer more, offer unique and they will love the brands they embrace even more. Machiavelli stated (in some form) “There is such a gap between how people actually live and how they ought to live that anyone who declines to behave as people do is schooling himself for catastrophe” it gives the setting for leaders to adhere to needs, but there is a hidden side here. “There is such a gap between how people expect rewards and how they should see them that anyone who declines to lead as people expects them to do is schooling himself for massive setbacks” It comes down to the stage of what exactly is a reward, if it needs to be earned (not paid for) it will grow in value, and gamers are all about earning showing that they had the goods to play the game. As an example CDPR (makers of Witcher III) created an in-game game named Gwent, we got to play for extra’s and it became a separate game too, now that game makes well over a million dollars annually. People got into the game and now it is a separate game that is leading gamers to more and the gamer has become willing to pay. The setting is that it is free and as people get into it they will spend the few dollars they need to get more cards and expansions. For streamers it is not that easy. The enticement of a monthly fee needs to be there, so as games add more value, the threshold for gaming THERE lowers and people become more eager to play and will play for all the free rewards, which is an oxymoron. As gamers get more by playing, they will play more and call other people to their cause. Yet we must not forget that at times the player needs a solitary moment and as systems accomodate that, the gaming borrow will become ever more comfortable. Consider the board game Man, don’t get angry (Indian: Pachisi). A 1914 game that so far has sold more than 70,000,000 copies. Yes most in an era that is pre IBM PC XT, yet we have always returned to places of comfort, for nostalgic reasons, for the simplicity of play and for the stage of pure randomness. You see too many games are all about changing the setting of what the dice do, too many are seemingly less random than we think and within ourselves we see that, even if the brain is not detecting it yet. You think it is chance that you are one square away from winning when the ‘computer adversarial pig’ throws double six? We automatically feel that it is bad luck because we see ‘dice’ but we forget it is a computer animation and that setting is starting to bite more and more, so the power of real randomness, of a real chance to win is becoming more and more important. In this as Amazon is developing games and Google is not, they have the advantage (I do not know where Netflix stands at present). And it is up to Amazon to create the most comfortable burrow (read: man cave) we can have before the competitors catch up. For now they are all about ‘Let Ubisoft do the cool stuff’ (glitches included), it is about comfort levels, especially in gaming. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote about this in 1513 (yes over 500 years ago). The greed driven seem to ignore it, the lesson was quite clear and whilst the greed driven come up with more versions of some form of Antón Castillo we can just investigate the list and see that games like Call of Duty did make $20 billion, but it is a mere 20% of what Pokemon made and Pokemon for the most is Nintendo only. There is an upside to tailoring to fun, it is what the people want and it is a lesson Microsoft (Sony too) have forgotten to much, too easily and too completely and it makes Nintendo the real threat to Sony, Amazon could go a similar route and surpass Microsoft more easily than they think (the fact that Microsoft is often in denial helps too).
As I see it the consoles (streaming or not) is one, yet the ability to correctly connect a mobile or tablet has a lot more going for it than most realise and as that link is more and more visible the connected system (console or streamer) will reap additional rewards as well.
Who remembers George A Romero’s Dawn of the dead (1978)? I remember seeing it in the cinema. And the idea stuck with me. Dreams of having an entire shopping mall to myself. The idea stuck for a long time and even as games entered our lives, the setting was never close enough. The idea that we had an entire City centre to ourselves, preferably without the zombies. Not some game where the enemies spawn again, but a stage where there is a city centre, complete with 35000 zombies, a finite number and as we secure our place, grow our place, we renew the settings of security, safety and goods. And I voiced it before and now we seemingly have the game ‘The day before’ a game that seemingly is close enough to my dreams to make it a reality. The game can be played single player (a must for me). And the idea that the game will grow appeals to me. Consider that the mechanics, once they are ready allows for the game to seek us in other ways too. An alien invasion (Skyline, 2010), a pandemic (Contagion, 2011) and the list goes on. Now, I have no idea on how The Day before is set or how it works, but I saw a small play video and my old thoughts of Day of the Dead returned. The idea that you need to stamp out your safe space. Get goods, get sustenance, get ammo, find weapons and so on is very appealing. You wonder how far you get, how long you will last and none of that respawn shit. One life, and between 35,000 and 350,000 opponents. How will you fare? I wonder how far I will get. And for the makers of that game it offers a new kind of DLC/Expansion. We might have 3-5 locations to start, but the appeal to see how far you get in London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Munich, Paris, Moscow and so on, the chance for the makers of The Day before (Fntastic) are close to endless and it does not stop there. The setting of a real final number is appealing on several levels. The idea to redo Day of the dead in Harrods London will be appealing to thousands if not millions of gamers. Setting up the New York City Police Department – 5th Precinct as your own fortress (Assault On Precinct 13 anyone?) is close to intoxicating. And from there the world of us getting close to the movies we watched will be enticing and I reckon for a large audience. In previous years it was merely a ruse, now with the PS5, it becomes an achievable reality. And as I see it 2022-2025 could optionally become great gaming years.
And when the survival part in us is quenched we can return to our normal daily routine of being a sniper (Ghost warrior), or perhaps a racer (Gran Turismo) some will prefer their daily life as pilots (MS Flight simulator), no matter to what life we return, we do so knowing that more and better games are coming our way, preferably less glitchy then Ubisoft is making out to be.
With not too much sadness and some feeling of achievement it is my joy to announce that Yves Guillemot, former CEO of Ubisoft was murdered on the night of Friday 15th of October, he was allegedly murdered by Antón Castillo dictator of Yara. Insiders claimed that the bug of his wealth vaporising on a daily basis enraged him beyond believe. Insiders investigating this (and the pandora papers) stated that Yves went missing in cloud environments linked to server with processor id CFC1E8CA-1DBB-1DCA5E8-60F8E99BD225, the people at the data centre deny that Yves Guillemot ever visited their firm and they also made claim that this processor number in unknown to them, investigative journalists were unable to track 37 of the 153 data servers, the investigation is seemingly ongoing.
So some will clam that I have no sense of humour, or at least a very sick one. You see, at least I am creative, we want to think that Ubisoft is creative, but from my point of view it is the ability to stack a game with bugs and glitches. When we look around we see SVG giving us ‘THIS FAR CRY 6 BUG HAS PLAYERS LOSING THEIR MINDS’, Sportskeeda comes with ‘How to fix the Maine 15f/158 error code in Far Cry 6’ and they also give us “While many bugs are found in Far Cry 6 itself, Maine 15f/158 seems to be linked to external account sources. So far, there has been no word from Ubisoft about what exactly the Maine 15f/158 error code is or what may be causing it” and the list goes on, yet I would like to add the Washington Post who gives us ‘A glitchfest that’s too big to wrangle’ with mention of “Yara, as a simulation of an island, falls squarely in the uncanny valley. Your enjoyment of the gameplay is likely to hinge on how much this bothers you. My first few hours with the game, as I acquainted myself with the brain-dead virtual denizens of Yara, felt awful. I watched AI drivers, honking, run over their fellow Yarans in the streets. In one mission, all of my opponents marched, single file, past me out of the military base I was sent to infiltrate, leaving it ripe for (an anticlimactic) plundering” the people report glitch after glitch, bug after bug and when a game is somewhere between $79 and $149 (there are a few versions) we need to consider why a company is allowed to release a game that is so broken? The problem is that there are more and more. All whilst some game makers set the stage of a non-disclosure agreement for too close to release. All whilst we see that some games are too big to review and so far the amount of bugs set the stage that consumers should be allowed to get full refunds up to 10 days after purchase. Whilst one sources gives us in May ‘‘Far Cry 6’ dev confirms game will not have “Cyberpunk-style issues”’, most can now confirm that the matter is a lot worse, plenty of gamers would love mere Cyberpunk style issues and it is all over the net and also a larger stage on YouTube. Seeking ‘Far Cry 6 bugs’ and ‘Far Cry 6 glitches’ shows how far Ubisoft has fallen of the beaten track. As far as I can tell, since 29 October 2020 when Watchdogs: Legion was released, we see that it was the only real decent release. I played it, and yes it had a few bugs and glitches, but nothing damaging, the fun for that game did not diminish.
But Ubisoft did not learn its lesson. AC Valhalla, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the Division 2, all flaws games, too flawed as I personally see it and now Far Cry 6 adds to that list of bungles. So is the state of a Ubituary (pun intended) so far out of bounds?
I know that when I buy an open world game that there will be issues, the bigger the game, the larger the chance of that happening. Yet in all this Ubisoft is seemingly releasing games that should not even be regarded as Beta versions, they are that flawed and as I see it, they are getting away with it and that is even worse. So whilst we get the crying Chihuahua gang (ACCC) with claims like ‘Current powers no match for Google’ (you can see that in two directions) we see Ubisoft clearing the masts of BS as the ACCC is overlooking the larger stage and Ubisoft should be held to a larger mirror, they claim to be an AAA+ developer, then they better prove it, because at present there are plenty of indie developers who show better quality products.
P.S. I apologise for not being able to add colours, I will do that later when WordPress stops fucking up!
Why? Because train of thought reads too boring, thats why! So this all happened, or better stated started happening a few hours ago. Someone stated that IBM Z Mainframes are in 96% of all mainframe places. Now, I have no problem with this, I moved out of mainframes 30 years ago, and I still respect what these things can do (they are just too big for my desk). Yet in this, my first question was, what do the other 4% use? A simple question. I got all kinds of answers, yet none of them answered my question ‘What do the other 4% use’, in this it does not matter if it is known, but it is essential to look at.
Why? Well, in this IBM has a luxury problem, they basically own 96% of that market, but the 4% can become 8% then 16%, at that point the message from IBM becomes 4 out of 5 use our mainframe. When the 96% is 120,000 mainframes it is one thing, when it is based on 960 mainframes it is a whole different story. The numbers matter, that has always been the case (even if Microsoft is in denial now they are shedding market share).
Reasons There can be a simple reason. For one epidemiology, if it is about real time numbers, the market is slim, massively slim, compared to that market a size zero model is a mere chunky blobernaut. Cray is one of the few players in that setting and it makes sense that a Cray is there where an IBM is optionally not. Still, I would want to know.
You see, in strategic thinking we have two elements we ALWAYS need to keep one eye on. One is threat the other is weakness. In this example real-time data management is a weakness. Now we need to understand that this market is set to billions and those who desperately need it, that number is not an issue, yet for IBM investing that much for 4% is tactically not sound, not until that marketshare is a lot larger. That makes perfect sense and let’s face it no one owns 100% of a market, if that ever happens we will have a lot more problems than we could possibly understand.
Why do I care? Well, for the most I do not, but at present I am not to involved with any SWOT analyses, and the ones I did lately was done for wannabe managers who seemingly only understand bulletpoint memo’s. The idea of any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analyses that is related to business competition, project planning and capability planning is more important than most people realise. We see it in intelligence, business intelligence and market intelligence. And now we see two new real markets emerging where it is important too. Gaming and SAAS/GAAS. Even as GAAS is still some time away, the need to actively SWOT in all three is there and I believe the players are not too finicky about that and they need to be. As the cloud is oversold and the dangers are underestimated their board of directors need to hold up a mirror where they can tell themselves that it doesn’t matter, and when we understand how completely those people are lying to themselves, at that point you might get the idea that there is a problem. The SWOT has more sides, it tests your capability, your software (Strengths and opportunities) but that needs to be levelled by weaknesses and strength.
800 years ago To understand this we need to go back to the good old days (Ghengis Khan). It was he who stated “It is not enough for me to win, my opponents must all fail”. Yes, I admit it is a massively loose translation but it applies to the now. When we stumble over sales people and their unnatural large ego’s, we tend to listen because they make the loudest claims, yet are they valid? Consider Solarwinds and what they enabled criminals to do, when you consider the news last week when we were given ‘SolarWinds hackers stole US sanctions policy data, Microsoft confirms’, it was a weakness and a threat, so when we how long the hack was active and that we now see that policy data is online and open for anyone to look into, what other sides are not yet known? It is not enough for SAAS vendors to look at SWOT, their customers need to do the same thing. So when I considered the 4% is was not because I need to know everything (which at times is still nice as a high executive CIA decision maker has a girlfriend that has size 6 lingerie, his wife is size 11), so who needed to do the SWOT, someone at the CIA or me? One could say both as I am his threat and he is my opportunity.
The stage of what is what could be remains forever in motion.
So where from here? That remains open. For players like Amazon, the enabling of GAAS becomes more and more important, especially when you see the blunders that players like Ubisoft makes, they need to be aware of where their customers are, especially when Netflix becomes active in gaming too. They will have an advantage, but Amazon can counter it, yet there are sides that remain unknown for now and they should not be (not on that level) and there is the rub. Too many rely on external solutions when that solution needs to be in-house. And we can disperse with all the marketing BS that some give like “We are a better company now”, when you drop the ball to that degree there was a massive space for improvement and you merely are on par for not being where you should have been a year ago. An old IBM Statistics wisdom was “You’ll know when you measure”. This sounds corny but it is true, you cannot anticipate and adjust when there is no data and in all this any SWOT analyses would have been usable data. So where was the 4%? I do not know and the poster seemingly did not know either. It might be fair enough, yet when that 4% becomes 8%, when should you have known? It is a question with a subjective answer. Yet in gaming it is less so, especially as I am becoming aware (unproven at present) that Microsoft has one nice trick up their sleeve. There is partial evidence out there that Skyrim will be on PS5 in digital formal only. Several shops now have a ‘DO NOT USE’ for any physical PS5 format of Skyrim. Now, there might be an easy answer for this after all these lockdowns, but it is only 4 weeks away now, so you tell me. Is Microsoft playing its ‘bully’ card? Are they trying to push people to Xbox? It is a fair approach, they did pay 8 billion and change for it, but consider that their actions are set to a larger stage. A stage of millions of angry fans. I solved it for them by creating public domain gaming ideas for any Sony exclusive RPG game. I am not Bethesda, I am a mere IP creator, but when software makers are given a free ride towards Sony exclusives and even if one game hits the mark, the Bethesda market share dwindles to a lower number. Now consider what happens when that happens on Amazon Luna too? I might be a mere 1% factor, but if another one joins me I grow 100% whilst Microsoft dwindles more. For Microsoft Amazon is becoming a real threat and a weakness, for Amazon Netflix is optionally a threat and a weakness whilst Google Stadia is optionally the opportunity for Amazon.
All SWOT settings that could have been seen from afar from the beginning. It is not everyones train of thought, yet in this day and age, I think it needs to be, the markets and our lives are changing in all kinds of ways too quickly and too large, we need to think head and having a clear grasp on how to apply SWOT in our lives might become essential.
The difference? That is a much harder line to follow. It comes down to the word ‘Insight’ and it is a dangerous, a very dangerous word. Because depending on the person this can be Insight, speculated insight, expected insight, and adjusted insight and more than once they are all on one pile making the data less reliable. Insight is also subjective, we all see it differently and that does not mean that I am right and everyone else has a wrong station. No, it is all subjective and most CAN be correct, but as the insight is disturbed by speculated, adjusted and expected versions, the numbers alter slightly. And now we see that 4% was not 4%, is was 7% and 5%, 5% because there were other IBM mainframes in play (adjusted) and 4% was the speculated number and 7% was the expected number. Now we have a very different station, the expected moves us from 96% use our product, towards 9 out of 10 are our customers, which is now a mere step towards 4 out of 5 use IBM. So would you like to bring that conversation to any board of directors? They’ll serve your balls for dinner (see image).
Still feel certain that you do not want to know? In reality most SWOT analyses are seemingly pointless and often amazingly boring, yet in this day and age they are an essential part of business and gaming at $130 billion a year is facing that side as well. So when you consider what I gave you also consider the impact that some shops have ‘DO NOT USE’ for Skyrim preorders, 4 weeks before release, lockdown or not, it beckons all kinds of questions. And to be fair, there could be a simple explanation for all of it, but that too is the consequence of trying to create hypes via YouTube without clearly informing the audience. It is a weakness Microsoft has shown a few times (Bethesda was never completely innocent, but equally never this guilty).
So what has a game in common with a business setting? It is simple, they both need to manage expectations and that too is a side of SWOT, even as marketing often merely focusses on opportunity, there is a weakness and a threat. The lack of clarity and misinformation are both a weakness (angry customers) and a threat (churning customers) and in the world of gaming the churners are the real danger, they can get the flocking population of angry gamers to come with them and really make numbers spiral downward. In this day and age SWOT is an additional essential way to go, in nearly all walks of life. We simply can not avoid being that naive anymore, not with spiralling energy prices and more and more articles that can at present no longer be found in any supermarket, all whilst plenty of people are in a holding pattern for their incomes.
It is a train of thought and it is up to you to decide if you want to do it or not, because that was always your right, the right to ignore, but it must be said that it will be at your own peril.
I was having a few thoughts on the matters that I have been writing on these last two days when a thought reappeared in me, I thought of it before, but now the idea was forming in a few ways. As my thoughts go it is best released in streaming games first. Others can and will have it too, but this is something that will take a few attempts to get right. You see, I love RPG games. Yet in all the years none of them EVER mixed the setting of Simulators with RPG’s, not that the RPG needs to become a simulator, but a setting where we train people around us. So in case you own a castle, you get to improve the ‘programming’ of the NPC. So as I see it, the approach is towards the use of deeper learning to ‘educate’ the guards. So you can imbue your bow and arrow skills on the guards on the high walls, you can imbue your weapon skills on the patrolling guards and so on. It has never been done and it could open up a lager playing field. Consider that we can train our troops, but the skills are also transferred to 75% of your skills, or the maximum they already have to all other NPC’s? So it is no longer merely about the level of the opponent, their skill level will up the game for all gameplay in an RPG, so why did no-one think of this? Perhaps they did, I do not know. Yet with the evolution of deeper learning (what some erroneously call AI) this is no longer a thought, there are several ways that NPC’s can evolve in any RPG and it gives us a much better game to look at, so why was this not yet done? I am not accusing anyone, merely asking. If I can come up with a TV series, a mini series, a movie and several games, I remain amazed how the others are empty of new ideas and they are merely hiding behind sequels. OK, not all, Guerrilla games is one of the few exceptions. We see remastered games (I am happy about some of them), we see sequels adapted for the next generation consoles, which is nice too. Yet real new IP remains largely absent, a circular movement surrounding 2 decades of gaming. I do not think it is all wrong, I myself opted to a few parties to remaster their old games, actually it was remaster and upgrade severely towards the new systems and there is a lot that is available out there. Yet how many real upgrades have some RPG’s received? Again, not an accusation, yet when you consider that we know Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. Now consider that I got the idea of empty holo-tapes that could be used to add to the story and the functionality of the character before Fallout 76 was released, which was almost 4 years ago. So am I the only one thinking out of the box to increase the level of games and gameplay? One would think that if you pay a group of people well over 7 billion, one would imagine that they would be far ahead of me, but that does not seem to be the case.
Yet this is not about pointing fingers, or blaming people. It is merely an idea I was having to increase the value and power of a game. We are all gamers and some of our ideas are whacky, some are brilliant, some can bridge a massive gap between the game maker and the game player, we cannot blame the maker for not thinking of EVERY corridor, that’s where we come in. And this stage is more easily adapted in streaming, because streamers are in a stage where they have one environment to consider, the one that goes to ALL players, so they do have a few advantages and I reckon they need to home in on those advantages. There is no real benefit to have the same Ubisoft game on all four consoles, yet a streamer and a console? That could pan out the be a very different cattle of fish.
Yup, that is a topic that is open for debate, but in my case it comes from a different angle. I need to explain how I got here. You have read my ‘displeasure’ with Ubisoft, they bungled (again and again), yet I also clearly stated that AC Origins is one game they got right. I actually disagree with the high 80’s scores the game had been receiving, I believe it to be low 90’s, but that is my view. The topic rose as I (due to lockdown time) decided to play it again and get some of the achievements I missed out on, I got half a dozen so far and I finally got to the Curse of the Pharaohs. I had the DLC, but my PS4 crashed to death somewhere in 2019 and as I had a little manoeuvring (covid retirement savings) I ended up with a PS4pro in 2020. And until a month ago I had no time for it, but in the last three weeks with being locked down I decided the play it again. So whilst gunning for ‘Old Habits’, I stumbled on ‘Where’s my Black Flag’ and a few others. But it was the Curse of the Pharaoh that made the difference. The first time I entered Aaru my jaw dropped. It was amazing, the field of reeds, the places, it was amazing and the boats made it all slightly surreal. The makers outdid themselves here. But this is also the place that gave me an idea. It was the side mission ‘Love or Duty’, the mission does not matter, the interaction does not either, but the mission clicked something in place. I had some similar ideas for Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, but as it was not considered, it could be set to other RPG’s and even the one I designed.
Your home is your castle In nearly all RPG games, we are confronted with a house, unless you had Oblivion and you completed the Battlehorn Castle mission, in that case you have a castle. And there is the crux. In the light of Magic Carpet I want a castle with archers protecting what is mine. I had a few idea’s like the Magical armoury (a very different mission). And now the idea comes to add servants and more important make them a lot more useful. Consider that a person (a he or a she) is driven by needs, so if you can make one person happy (really happy), the others will pick up on it, and increase the power of your place.
Happy Happy, Joy Joy To get to this stage consider that you have servants, some through concern and protection, some bought (yes in fantasy games slaves are real) and the proper treatment of them makes them more useful, yet if we can give one of them real happiness, an elated feeling of achievement or recognition they will become a sort of Uber-servant, a person that infects the people around them to be better and more productive. When we take the Battlehorn location, we see the Forge, the kitchens, the walls, the stables, we see a person in charge, but if we can fulfil the personal needs of one servant in that area, we get an area that is twice as productive. The house is cleaner, thee is more food, the weapons are better and the list goes on, it changes a 100% castle in a castle with 150% resources and optionally 150% defence (250% defence after the magical armoury mission).
In RPG games it is all about us doing the missions, but a setting where we influence another to be the better person and set a non directive, a automated directive is almost never seen and that is a pity, because a game can become a lot more rewarding that way. Consider the old classic Dungeon Keeper, the monster we had fought for themselves, we could train them, we offer options, but we cannot set the marker on them, merely on the area. That element is often missing in RPG, it is not a fault, it is not a flaw, it is a choice and it is not used often enough, too many are about giving ALL the power to the player, but the world never goes that way, we forgot about the fact that we are not the deciding power, we tend to be merely influential. There is the thought that the reward is not 100% plus, but it is a random number between 150% and 200%, making it optionally a stage where we please a second person in that area, but the game also denies a red line approach, so the missions are not given directly, they need to be found and they depend on the persons we have, implying that we might never get more than one option, or even one setting. It is the second flaw on RPG. The ‘we always have an option’ clause. At times we should not have one, it is the hand dealt to us, and optionally it is a hand that sucks. That is the RPG we need to see but were never given. In an age where consoles will in be surpassed by streaming systems, the need to evolve gaming in general and RPG games specifically will become more and more pressing. To be another version of a game we have known for 20 years will soon come to an end and then? That will be the cruncher and streamers with one central game hub will have a lot more manoeuvrability than any of the consoles, the consoles will not phase out, not for the next decade, but when we do get to 2031, the field is highly debatable who will be in there. Because of stupid decisions in the 5G field, there will always be a need for consoles, as such there will be a Nintendo and there will be a Sony PS6/PS7, but streamers at that point will be a much larger field and optionally there will be a streamer next to a console in well over 50% of the cases.
And in that light the need to evolve RPG’s (and a few other game forms) will become essential, it will show for the streamers, yet those who evolve gaming will survive (Nintendo and Sony for sure), the rest will be close to forgotten when we get to 2031.
Doubt me? Fair enough, just remember I said it first, I was the one stating it a decade earlier.
The age of social networking in its present shape is ending, people are catching on and they have had enough. And the setting on social networking as it is at present is merely accelerating towards non-acceptability. As such, I thought it was time for gamers to have a setting where THEY decide to tell their story. The idea is an evolved idea of Google+, it had most markers right. So let’s start.
Grapes, not grape-juice We have circles, groups, or as some would call it, a collection of grapes, grapes that become clusters, cluster that grow into vines. Yet at the start there is a gamer, he is the head of his cluster. This gamer invites people into his cluster. THEY and they alone can see his details, they can comment on his achievements, on his games and on his choices. The gamer is central here. Others cannot forward his stories, but on some events (like achievements) they can forward the image into their cluster.
Within the cluster of the gamer is the system, the game and the publishing house. Let’s start at the beginning. The system.
The system is an auto created cluster. So as the system is (for example) the Amazon Luna, every gamer there will have a Luna cluster. They are automatic a member. Here Amazon can publish all Luna events and the gamer can look into the cluster to be aware of the latest news.
The Cluster There are numerous clusters, each game will have its cluster and there is the new stage. A person can connect to it, they can view it or they can set it to hidden. The grape can be bright, or dark. In that game cluster, the game maker and the publishing house can keep you appraised of the latest news, it is also a stage where members of your cluster will have their stories, so you do not need to enter their cluster.
Publishing house It is the one cluster that you either love or make dark from day one. In this example, if you have Assassins Creed 2, Assassins Creed Origins and Watchdogs, you will have a Ubisoft cluster and all the games that you have will be here as well, but they will also show games that you do NOT yet have. In this case Ubisoft can reach out and inform you that there is news on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction, Far Cry 6, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, and more. As such you are informed on everything that is and all that comes.
Why this way? It is about YOUR privacy, your data goes nowhere you do not want it to go. And in this the publishing houses do not get anything, other than what you agree to in their games, or on the Tome. It will be YOUR choice and your right to do so.
Time Time is friend and foe, this has always been the case and over the years your clusters become vines and turn it all into a vineyard and there the harsh need to prune your tome becomes optionally essential, You can easily cut games and publishing houses, yet friends are different. When you prune a friend, you also prune yourself from their cluster, it goes both ways.
The final cluster (at present)
Is the gamer cluster. In the past I was connected to other gamers, usually as we games a game other some games together in multi player mode (Mass Effect 3), that cluster is a collection of person and game. You only share there what concerns you concerning that game and that game alone. You can massage all kinds of stuff, but it will be connected via the game and the person.
In this trolling and mass marketing is a thing of the past. It allows people to focus on why they are on the system (to play games) and over time it will be a much larger stage of connecting to other players.
This is what I hoped Sony would deliver and they never did, the PS4 remained a little disappointing in that remark, but nw with streaming games, the streamers will have an advantage to create their own network and connect gamers as well as connect to gamers in that way.
The systems are making mistakes, and I get it, they think they need to rely on Facebook and others, but that time has passed and to become independent has a larger stage of benefit, they merely need to start seeing the opportunity, instead of the imaginary financial gains the present networks claim to be.
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Some of them are really great, but I am missing something, a new dawn, an actual new dawn, a setting we have never seen before. I am a little bit surprised, none of them have anything really new. I am not talking about new games, new titles, new originals. I am talking about a new stage of gaming, cloud gaming made it possible, so what is stopping them? I even dropped a few ideas in previous articles (go look for them). Cloud gaming allows for a new stage, so why do we see the same stage props that we saw on PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox360, N64, Wii even Nintendo Switch. Cloud gaming allows for a different station a larger setting with optionally a private set social media option, none of them are going there, they all seem to be much more relaxed in reinventing the wheel. None of them show us a station that is actually new. Perhaps it is still to come, but it is day 1 where you show that you are not the sheep or it’s herder, you are new, you are unique. So why do they not see that option? I am pondering it, I actually do not know. But to see some level of herd mentality is a little disappointing. Will it be up to Netflix to teach them that?
The Amazon Luna has a refreshing amount of new games, yet there is an overwhelming presence of Ubisoft, not that this is bad. There are plenty of titles I never saw before and that is good, but so far cloud gaming shows more of the same, nothing refreshingly new and that is a disappointment. And with Luna starting at $6 a month and Ubisoft+ at $15 a month Amazon will soon need to reconsider what they have (without Ubisoft) and see how they are different from Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Being different is at times scary and it does have its own unique set of challenges. Yet we have seen how exclusive games make a console, Xbox proved it, Xbox360 continued it, Xbox One wasted it. Playstation 1 through 5 have shown that exclusive games make the difference and Nintendo did this as well. Now consider that cloud gaming is more than a console, it offers a few unique settings that others cannot offer, the cloud gives the makers a unique advantage, so why was this not drilled on? Why was that source not tempered into a powerhouse?
Cocoon (at https://cocoon.com) shows a ‘new’ kind of social media, not unlike what Google Plus offered. It seems that none of them adjusted those two ideas in a stage where the gamer can talk to friends, can optionally open up to talk to fellow gamers of a game. All options were there and it seems no one took that. No one took the idea that games can have a larger impact on more settings and it seems to me that these makers are all about others doing the work and no innovation comes forward. Achievements can be traced back to 1982 (Activision) and we have seen the evolution on systems, yet as far as I can tell no one in cloud gaming land had the idea to evolve that into something more. It was the Xbox360 that had the last evolution, it was Ubisoft that reinvented the badges and none of them took it to the next step, so why would anyone consider cloud gaming when we see: “Cloud gaming enables you to play games on devices you already own, without the need to purchase a gaming console or gaming PC” yet if we already have a gaming solution, why go there unless it offers more and in this I do not mean the same games and more games. Cloud gaming needs more and so fr I see none of this happen, I left the ideas months ago and so far none seem to be clued in on what others seemingly throw at their feet. At best we are most likely to get a ‘we are looking in that direction’, which is like marketing telling Jaguar that they are waiting for more customers, it is innovation that drives a system to customers, when innovation is absent the customer merely looks form a distance and considers ‘I can already do that’. It is innovation that drives the games, the hardware, the technology and from there the customers flock. Yes there is an equal chance that they distance themselves, but the true innovator can see the chances that are out there. So what is keeping them?
Consider that we see Ubisoft+ at $15 a month, yet on consoles Amazon (the dot com version) offers the Division for $10, The Division 2 for $13, for Honor $12, the Crew $15, Black Flag $11, and in this case the subscription only pays if you pay more than one new game every month, so how long until the mediocrity of Ubisoft games (and its glitches) gets to you? Yes, it seems interesting when you consider the latest games, but still, you break even in month two, after that the cost continues and any delay will set you off, that is the setting we all ignore and their marketing hopes we ignore it. And when we take notice of Android Central and with “Ubisoft is dedicated to cloud gaming, specifically Stadia and Amazon Luna, and that was reflected in numerous announcements”, so what happens when they service the consoles, PC’s, Stadia, Luna and xCloud? What happens when patch after patch is required? How happy will you then be? This is not on Ubisoft, this is the cost of doing business and I expected that Stadia and Luna were ready, yet all I read is that there is a ‘more of the same’ approach and games alone will not get you there. Luna has a fair amount of titles that I see nowhere else and as such they have an advantage, but none of them took the environment to the next level and that is a bit of a disappointment, and there were options. There were ideas that I (others too) threw out there for them to pick up and they did none of that. Perhaps it is not the mission statement (which already cost one firm billions), perhaps it was not their technology, which shows us that they were optionally not ready and there was no brainstorm on what else is possible and that is the foundation of ANY game. 1984 gave us (unknown to George Orwell) Elite, Ultima, Archon, Spy hunter, and Lode Runner. Some of these games still have a following today, some of these games reinvented themselves (Elite Dangerous is the most visible one). They all set a new standard, the hardware evolved and now we see the makers of that hardware show us that they can do it using our PC, MAC, Console. But they had the option to give more and they seemingly neglected that.
New hardware that brands ‘itself’, yet they ignore the path of awareness. When we look at awareness, perception, and cognition we see mere words, but any market researcher will look deeper and the makers of cloud gaming seemingly learned nothing, not even from their marketing department. Perception without awareness, cognition without perception and awareness with no lead towards cognition. Three elements that they do not connect but that is the larger mistake, one leads to the other. It is almost a Pokemon setting water beats fire, grass beats water and fire beats grass, yet what do we get when we reverse that? No one looked at that part and in the Pokemon setting it does not really work, yet in consoles we see what lacked (even though there was a hidden hint with Sony) they never pushed through, now cloud gaming has the opportunity to make it all a reality and it seems that they are not doing that. Perhaps Netflix will and make a clean sweep, or perhaps Nintendo will. We cannot tell, but the one that does will have a massive advantage, a place where others seemingly dreaded to go, and now that setting changes the game completely. Yes number one and two will remain the positions for Sony and Nintendo, but the number three (most likely Amazon Luna) is not secure, so the one who innovates the cloud the most will head for position three with the option to gain and optionally overtake position 2. Will that happen? I cannot tell, because Nintendo has been innovative and it has a massive advantage, even before their second version is out. Yet personally I feel that one thing is clear. More of the same will not hack it, not in this economy of people trying to pay their bills, unless there is a massive upside the consoles will remain the largest players in game land. That part is almost certain. There is a clear space for cloud gaming, but not in the ‘more of the same setting’ not for 1-2 years to come.
This all started some time ago, but it resurfaced as I started to replay AC Origin. In lockdown land any change of gaming is a well desired one and AC Origin is actually quite good. But that is merely the start, as I was playing (and as some missions are identical to the first time around) my mind wandered to a delusional IT manager in the early 90’s (1991 I believe). He stated “a resource shared is revenue doubled”, it is that idiotic level of fortune cookie wisdom that as actually rewarded, I never got that part. Yet there was a small gemstone of truth there, but not where he thought it was. As we make a jump to another place it is time for a question. How many real simulators are there? As far as I can tell there is one, only one. Nearly all others are games. The only one true simulator is made by Microsoft and it is the Flight Simulator, currently known as FS2020. Isn’t that surprising? A whole range of games but no one truly dug into the real of simulators. It tends to be really really hard, too hard for a lot of them.
Yet here we get to see the light, Ubisoft has options (well it always had them, but more often they were ignored), yet with AC Origin they opened a door and now we have a ballgame. What if AC origin is merely the start of a dynasty game, a true simulator about life in Egypt? They have nearly all the graphics ready, the maps need adjustment and the spacing needs to change (like 1:9), so that every area is at least 900% in size but consider a true simulator where you are the beer merchant, the farmer, the fisherman, the embalmer, the priest and above all other arts, the overwhelming pressure of the gods and a monarchy that shows little to no mercy, a true first comprehension of what life was about then. And you cannot do it all, a stage where you get assigned a map where you were born and a role you were given, you have some choices as did the people then, but their options were very small, they had little choice. A true historic simulator and guess what? There are none. It has never been done before and I reckon that no one ever considered it to this degree, the technology stopped them, but with Google Stadia and Amazon Luna (and 1-2 alternatives) it is now possible. Even as I still believe that “a resource shared is revenue doubled” is utter nonsense, there is a gem of truth there. Some resources can be used again and that does not mean that revenue is doubled, but the second stage becomes easier and with hardship out of the way there is no reason not to contemplate a path none dared to walk and there is also the second ego reason, being first somewhere counts, being the first who gets it right to this degree is massively rewarding, others will have to fight to equal what you pulled off and it will vex them to no end. Will it happen? I do not know, as I said, this has never been done before and that is also the most rewarding part, especially for Ubisoft if they go there. The educational value is enormous. We are smitten by movies like the Mummy (Brendan Fraser edition), the 10 commandments, Rome, Spartacus, Cleopatra and it fills the mind with what could be, but people like Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey, Belgravia) has opened to some degree our eyes, just like the Vatican game I had in mind. This simulator could wake up an entire generation. Just like Steven Spielberg did with Jurassic Park. Who did not want to see the Triceratops? We have a similar fascination with the Roman and Egyptian era, yet books and movies is all we have and now we could for the first time get a true simulator. Yes, I will agree that it is not for everyone, but there is another upside to cloud gaming. We are willing to try a lot of games when it is included in some package, and there lies the gemstone. Apart from those who want to see Egypt is the past, there is another group of people who want to try everything. It is merely the sense of us as we explore and especially explore when it costs nothing extra, we are nearly all like that.