Tag Archives: ZX Spectrum

Hammer hits anvil

Yes, that is the foundation of an idea, the idea is voiced, in the ear, the hammer hits the anvil, the anvil vibrates the wires and the lightbulb in your brain lights up the room and the idea is born. The setting is the same for all, the only difference is that when the hammer hits the anvil, not everyones wires vibrate, and as a result in some people the lightbulb never lights up that room that is known as ‘skull space’, still my setting was that I did not come up with one idea, I came up with three. It is an idea that was someone else’s idea, but that foundation can still be used today and in a cloud space game setting.

Lets go back to 1984, George Orwell was making noises in regards to government oversight (of everyone) and in that same year Mike Singleton had an idea and created ‘the Lords of Midnight’, now even as the setting was nice, it was set to computers with a limit to 48KB (ZX Spectrum) and the 64KB that the Commodore had. Yet what happens when we take that idea and use the map of the UK (that island left of France) and set ourselves in a stage of riding, stealth and travel to collect the alliance of a minimum amount of keeps to secure the safety and unity of one region, each keep is in one county. The stage is all set, so to change it and make it a real challenge, the stages vary, the keep is not always in the same place (sometimes they are), and we aren’t always starting in the same place, so there will always be more than one option. The area is all in a stage where there is an enemy, not always visible, but as we align, we are given who is not our enemy and they will give the information of what is against us. A stage that is more alike the old days, when communication took days, not seconds. We need to adjust our way of thinking without removing the first person challenge. Even as it is based on that game, it will be a completely new game, it will be a larger setting based on the entire UK, all with optional awards (virtual diploma’s) of achievement and a retirement award. A game that shows time in a new setting if you like.

The setting of a cloud will allow a larger setting of randomisation, as the server does all the alignments, as such if 10 players play it, there is a chance that 2 players have close to the same setup, but not completely. A game where you need to do the work and not rely on some wiki solution where the one solution fits all. 

About a decade later someone made a game called Virus! It was an original game and even as it never made any headlines, I never forgot the originality. Yet in this day, what can we do to innovate? For example, a shooting game is one completed a game that has been completed, but it does not need to be like that. What if the opponents and the level of play is determined by a QR code? In the game Virus! It was Windows and your hard-drive, which in those days was innovative, yet today it does not work like that (or at least it should not). QR codes are everywhere and any level completed will be one we have already seen, yet what if we had on any mobile the option to save the code and use it to transfer the image to the cloud game? It does not matter whether it is a spaceship with an environment, a soldier with an urban or rural setting, it is about the fact that we are not in control and the maker cannot be creating levels again and again, and random generators tend to be less random than you think. Yet the setting of a QR code is out of our control and we can decide what every dot means, we merely are in the dark whether that dot is used. A game with almost infinite levels and a never ending stage of challenges, a lovely idea for any shooter with drive to compete.

Yes, I agree that it is in fact an iterative idea when we revisit an old idea, but the people seemingly forgot about the idea and as such it becomes a new ballgame. When we are given “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Known Issues [Updated Feb 5]”, in a stage when Ubisoft gave the laughingly statement that the game would be released days early and we see 3 months later that there are well over a dozen issues with impacts on a dozen missions that cannot continue, is it such a bad idea to look at the past when these kind of screw ups would never make the cut of publication?

And a lot could have been prevented from day one by properly testing a game. In this I tend to fall back to Skyrim, a game that has issues, no one denies it, but in all the years (since 11.11.11) that I have played it, I only witnessed 3-4 bugs myself on any console (Xbox360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PS5) and a dozen or so glitches, yet glitches do not break a game. And that was made almost 10 years ago. I think it is time to reconsider what we love to play and what maker consider to be a good game. When we consider the size of Skyrim, my only issue with the game (after playing it again and again at least 8 times, is that the missions are always the same, yet the openness of the game allows for a lot of exploring and doing things your way. But what gives when the QR code resets the opposition and changes what you face in every dungeon, crypt or hollow? 

And that gives me another idea, I reckon that there are a few nordic directors with a grasp of the dark side of tinsel town, and when you consider Troll Hunter (2010). I thought it was awesome, André Øvredal took a folktale and pushed it and us into another direction. I am certain that it can be done again. So, what happens when we take that part of Skyrim that is based on Nordic legends and create a new horror movie, but one that is close to the folktale of the Draugar “Draugar usually possessed superhuman strength, and was “generally hideous to look at”, bearing a necrotic black colour, and was associated with a “reek of decay” or more precisely inhabited haunts that often issued foul stench”. Lets not forget in the academic world where people hunt academic recognition, stupidity (read: shortsightedness) is found a dime a dozen and when we see the people’s admiration with the zombie apocalypse, the idea that it had already happened is not the weirdest idea to consider, so what happens when someone opens up the wrong thing (tomb or urn) in Malmo and before the authorities have any clue what actually is going on, the issue has spread to Norway, Denmark and Germany. So as we need to rely on folklore, folklore that is specific to Scandinavia, what will those do who have no knowledge? The military will merely grab bigger weapons, weapons that have some effect, but the stage is different, you can hunt cockroaches with a flamethrower, yet what happens when that roach is somewhat heat resistant? The option are nearly endless and it could make for an entertaining 2-3 hours with a box of popcorn. As you see, these AAA game designers are all about being cool and having hot items (riddled with bugs), I needed one salad to get three ideas on paper. I wonder what I will be able to think off with a decent cheese pizza (with extra oregano).

Have a great Monday!

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Through an urban legend

It all started with me not getting any sleep. So as I was pondering in all directions, I remembered a really old issue. It was something I heard as a kid. The story was: ‘the laws of aerodynamics prove that the bumblebee can’t fly‘, as I have seen them and as I knew they would fly, I knew that the story was false, but the urban legend remained alive. It was much later when I learned of the full story and in my view, the consideration of non-flight, whilst the person had a limited knowledge of ornithology made it a bit of a comedy. So there I was pondering that event and suddenly I connected it to the principle of Archimedes. As I pondered ‘upon immersion an object receives a buoyant force equal to the weight of the water displaced‘, it is the first part you learn in ships engineering. It always fascinated me whenever I saw a large warship, all that steel and armour, and weight. So in that I realised the issue with these large boats. You see, the part that is keeping them afloat is almost set to a decimal point. So what happens when that changes? So there I was and CNN was giving me (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/26/politics/iranian-boats-stop-harassing-us-navy-ships/index.html), on how the Iranians have their boat escalation and I was mindfully becoming creative. So as I went through the five stages of such a project

Design, Devise, Delivery, Deployment, Detonation, My mind became more and more creative. As I changed one element for the other, I suddenly realised that I had a new concept, something that is not stealth, but would not electronically register. It had the potential to take down a warship with them having almost no defence against it and the consequence was that this could be universally applied. It has limitations on where it would work, but wherever it does, it could be devastating. So basically I optionally solved the Iranian navy problem before there even is one.  Even in my own light I will use the word ‘optionally’, because I, like nearly all others am a flawed person, I never tested the solution for real (not enough Iranian frigates to test the solution on in Sydney) and in the end it was merely a puzzle for my mind to solve. Data, Engineering, Science, the puzzle does not matter, merely the need to solve it when I am confronted with one. The entire puzzle took an hour to solve; it was not as challenging as the NHS issue, but a nice distraction as I remained awake.

I went over every stage a few times. With every pass I improved the solution, I improved its effectiveness. It remains close to undetectable. The deployment system is slow but to some degree maneuverable and the solution could take out a frigate or destroyer. In theory it could also take care of a battleship. I do wonder if it remains ‘invisible’ with the upgraded electronics that a carrier tends to have.

So what do you do when you are sitting on a solution that could have such wide repercussions?

The idea, sell it or forget it?

I wonder how this is seen, in light of the revelation from Wesley G. Bush, as Defense News reveals today: “Northrop Grumman will form a new business sector focused on new, innovative technology once it closes on its acquisition of Orbital ATK this year, a top Northrop executive said during a Thursday earnings call“,  In this we get also “We believe that after the transaction has completed, our collective set of market-leading technologies and products, along with very compatible, innovation-focused cultures, will enable us to better serve our customers’ current and emerging needs“, according to Kathy Warden, President and CEO of Northrop Grumman. So, in light of the stated innovation culture that is meant to their customers and not the consumers at large, we wonder where their innovation will take them and as such the Defence spending bill of the United States.

In all this, I considered the length that the US went with the USS Zumwalt, versatile, 610 foot and $440 million for this dinghy. Here I am, coming up with a $5 million solution to sink it. It feels almost too comical to consider that it cannot afford the $1 million smart shell and this vessel cannot afford the cost of filling the 600 shell armoury. Here I am coming up with a nickel and dime solution to a high tech problem. A feat that was possible because these ships need to go into harbours, which is their weak link. They need to resupply and I considered the disadvantage the Iranians have at Bandar Abbas and how that plays into the hands of its enemies.

We seem to seek security, safety. We get lulled into some state of false safety, because the falsehood of all this is not about the high tech, it is what happens when the opposition goes low tech and all the technology leaves you without options, because the armistice race has all been about pushing forward, not look backward and solution nature had for a thousand years and no one sought to see an application for that knowledge. The danger of someone stating: ‘be clever about it‘ whilst the reality of a solution was to get back to basics.

That is shown with “For decades the Navy faced no major rival on the open ocean. As a consequence, it allowed its missile arsenal to shrink and grow obsolete, even as Russia and China developed better and better ship-destroying missiles“, so as they all sought more versatile and more intelligent missiles to do the work for them, I looked at the ceiling and came up with a low tech solution that was a solution almost 250 years earlier. I merely upgraded the concept to be partly biological in nature and upgraded it with the smallest amount of electronics, the mere 10% of a ZX Spectrum and not that much additional computation power. A solution that can down something 200 times its value. An idea that we got to see in the book and movie Charlie Wilson’s War. It is as I personally see it a simple and economic solution to end the impasse between superpowers. The Russian Hind helicopter, each at $12 million, versus the FIM-92 Stinger at $38,000 each. It really did not take that long to find a naval alternative. The solution, tested on several fields against whatever Northrop Grumman or Raytheon throws at the Defence spending committee and according to some sources with the upcoming cost of $1 million, per smart shell. So how smart is the envisioned solution?

I do not know and I actually do not care, but I wonder if defence committees all over the world need to reconsider the way they spend their money and that is all before that new behemoth will spend even more. It is called the EU Army and so far the people are lucky that the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal and Malta have so far not signed up. Some idea driven by France and Germany, whilst the operational folly it could end up being is going to be devastating to economies in several nations, in that they should realise that even as Charlie Wilson’s War was an American victory, that same tactic could be pointed against any of them. And it would happen in a day and age that none of the nations can afford to become the victim of a tactic like that. Because that is how the law of Murphy tends to unfold.

Now realise that this was set in motion by remembering the fake fact on non-flying bumblebees, the mere application of creativity in action.

 

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