Games, God, me and the Arcane Magic Random Number Generator

So, again, its one of those periods where I cannot truely sleep - and not even due to coffeine. What keeps me awake at this point is the last article I published - and that because apparently I have to be a bit more clear about what I thought of Diablo 3. I further meant to write a bit more about Destiny 2 also; Especially since I kindof wanted to do so some time ago. And the longer I delay that - the closer I get to not making it 'in time'.
Regarding Diablo 3 - the closing was to say that I'm good with it. Personally and in general. Its a time killer; And that is only bad if you are so beat up on spending your time "wisely". Like - "whats so important?" actually? You can't tell me that 6 billion people all have so much important stuff to do that none of them has legitimate time to enjoy 'SILLY' games.
What I mean specifically is that Diablo 3 is really an 'end game' focussed game. That is where stuff comes into play thats badly explained in the game itself and requires at the very least some reading or otherwise some plain human guidance to really even just get started. And it only really starts to pick up pace once you already have some level of commitment to playing it. And thats why I would rather recommend Alienation. The difference is that within the first few minutes/hours of playing Alienation you've pretty much already seen it all. In Diablo 3 however - you may have beaten the game, but yet ain't know jackshit about it. So in Alienation you have one screen dedicated to your skills. In Diablo 3 its first of all a bit deeper than that - yet secondly: That means nothing because in the end-game content the gear you equip plays a much much greater role; And thats just to get started.

Regarding Destiny, my mood has changed - and sure, most of my "agony" regarding that game is in hindsight truely just that - agonizing Multiplayer experiences. But as it stands I am already getting certain vibes of shallow disappointment; And oddly enough those emerged just as I was about to say well, "I'm positively surprised". I'll here (at the bottom) include my initial writing on that matter. I wrote a bunch of things there that I possibly won't come to write about here - yet I think they may matter for the one or the other case/issue. You might there also notice why I didn't choose to upload it. In case I however feel that what I'm going to write here renders that segment obsolete, you probably won't be reading these words. ... Hmm - well. My memory sucks! I included it because I meant to refer to it at some instances.

Most importantly is it now so that I came up with some "huge" ideas that make Destiny feel actually inferior to what it would be when leaning towards my creative input; Though in what I wrote there I lean the other way. Clearly - there is no 'clear' line that can be drawn. But if people so feel that my ideas rock - then hey - I guess thats good for me!
My impression though, you might guess it, is that it shifts back and forth - depending on what I choose to publish, thereby however being the opposite to what I propose. Thinking about and like this however really fucks with my head. So I'll take it that people have a silent pre-disappointment they don't want to admit to themselves; Which will lead to an ultimately disappointing Multiplayer experience because everyone thinks the other one doesn't like it and so everyone ends up kindof sidestepping themselves, being somewhat unable to truely enjoy it. There then is however more to it. Issues like who made it, why - and for whats brought up as a concern to me: At no way did I attempt to "sell" Bungie any ideas; Unlike whatever I had liked ... some years ago where I loved being loud about my ideas or ... so. I mean, Nintendo, Capcom and to some extent Blizzard - Stephen Spielberg as well - they all can be put in a bad spot when listening to the complete story of my life; In a sense of them being douchebags for dismissing me. In one way or another. Street Fighter IV/V, the Mega Man/Mighty No. 9 debacle, Heart of the Swarm, ... Zelda. These are all in some way "Anti Games" - regarding my place in this world. Though, Street Fighter 5 is somewhere in between. Breath of the Wild too. And Blizzard ... well ... Blizzard is Blizzard.

Well - most of you probably got not the slightest what I'm talking about here. So, maybe check out (and for my own stuff) - which is by far no complete accout of all my stuff. What you'll find is not much -and a completely different Zelda/Link as you know today - and I'm almost 100% sure, I'd almost bet my head for that, that there are a lot of people out there who (would) Love my take on the Zelda franchise.

You might see from how poorly managed that stuff is that I actually really don't care about these things; Or at least didn't do so for quite some time. This subject is however a very complicated one - as, no matter my intentions - there doesn't seem to be a good solution other than to just ignore that any of this ever happened. Which is basically how I planned on dealing with issues of that sort. Rather than going on and on and on with addressing each and every minor hickup that fits into my schedule to be concerned about ... to just look forward.
I was however just impressed with an inspiration regarding a topic that I can shove in here ... which is to talk a little bit about game design.

So, my friend Martin had a bunch of questions for me - who is himself a W.o.W. player. And it is thereby a pretty widespread consensus that Blizzard just has the "Green Thumb" when it gets to making games. And Martins questions at me were directed at me being a Programmer of some sort. So, I'd have insights into that matter that other people don't - well, depending on how good I am at it. One of his main concerns was that WoW for instance has an open world thats seamlessly tied together, whereas other games - Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2 for instance - don't. So he wondered: Is it so difficult? Or what is it? And another concern of him was: How come some Game Devs make shitty decisions when it gets to their games, like, things that are obviously ... 'bad' - or - hard to put into words "but you get what I mean".

Thereby he basically addressed a few things that were legitimately on my mind. Its like he knew what I'm thinking about - which makes me wonder whether or not I did at some point write about them. And with this notion this article can also go into an entirely different direction; Like how Diablo 3 kindof messes with my "schedule" as I start to adjust towards playing it with friends, which is a thing ... that kindof interferes with how else I would spend my time; BUT - its not like I really have ever gotten anything done while cutting myself off from social interactions. Except maybe when I was concerned about sexual issues. Then what I'm getting is a feeling of shame about myself, some kind of worry of getting "caught" wasting my time on these crazy things. But well, yea. Obviously - once I'm busy with something or just too tired - yea - give a shit who plays what and when.

There however are a bunch of ways I could answer those questions - and in essence that also depends on whom I am talking to. Am I talking to someone who does not have a basic/general insight into coding? Then I have to start there and would for the most part just describe general problems of coding something together. The thing with seamless transitions for instance is that you really need to make sure from the get go that the engine is designed properly, ... and based on saying that you can resort to examples like WoW or GTA to point out that the quality of their (Blizzard, Rock Star) games must really be a matter of how the team works together and also what talents are at work there.
Thats one answer. Obviously - it doesn't say too much and so he would continue to ask me such questions.
Well - I'm reminded of this because the screen I'm using right now used to be his. He sold it to me. I'm using it because my other screen just broke down. I didn't use it because a) Paranoia (its a Dell) and b) my 'Cardboard box' that I used as a table for my screen could probably not support this one.
Hmm - if I put a sturdy flat surface on top of it it might though ... .

Yea, space is an important issue. Or in this case how accessible everything is. Which is the largest reason why my organization sucks. I don't have enough space to spread out and have ordered piles of work. So stuff ends up beneath layers of ... stuff. If I have a pizza, I eventually need to make some space somehow to but the box at. Then I'll write stuff, need the Bible, and so that one travels from the bottom of the pile back to the top and in the hurry I don't care where what goes.
Then I basically have too much stuff in too little space all in all - I can barely move here (let alone think of doing Tai Chi) - where - there is at least one obstacle between me and whatever I might need at some point. If not - it'd all be piled up into one stack that wouldn't be a clear stack for long. And effectively I every now and again "surrender in despair" about it. But I digress.

The thing with Blizzard for me is that through them I came to learn a lot about myself. That also would include Day 9 - in context of Starcraft 2. But first of all - there was World of Warcraft. Or much sooner than that, Warcraft and Warcraft 2. So, in the days where Command & Conquer was still an acclaimed franchise. Without any contact to "the Warcraft community" - and therefore no clue at all how the game is played competitively - I would just play the game to the best of my ability without knowing how good that is compared to others. To put that into perspective: During my time in the Philippines I once had the chance to play my friend "Br!x" (obviously a nickname) in a match of Starcraft (1) - and so, ... we started off, soon enough I had a bunch of Dragoons, moved out to explore the map (yea, ... thats where 'pro's notice ... they probably know whats coming) - and - what I found was a map crowded with Nexi and Carriers everywhere. Which is like ... a bunch of cavemen just having evolved into the bronze age, venturing forth to conquer the land, just to find that the other guys already ride around in Tanks and Fighter Jets.

World of Warcraft is Multiplayer by default. What it is today has come a long way. In the beginning - I wasn't there. I joined just short prior to the release of Cataclysm. That was during the day where the Mr. T grenade was still around. And that Advertisement actually worked for me, though it yet took someone else to actually take me in. But well - whatever. The issue there is that the interacting player base so interacts with each other - thereby adding what we might call 'culture' to the 'raw' foundation that Blizzard could provide. That then effectively being 'the Population of Azeroth' implied that the Game Devs now had to deal with a community that effectively took their way effectively "out of context", to say, players take things their way - in a sense. So, once they got praised for the good Dungeon Design in Cataclysm, they obviously did something right.
As for me - being a noob - I first of all had no clue what I got myself into - but sooner or later had to realize that if I wanted to succeed in the game, which in that sense were: being a good Paladin, I had to shrug off some of my own "individuality" and play by the rules of the game. Speaking of good Dungeon Design, the issue is that 'good' - this 'good' caters to how the players are used to play the game. Because I was a noob pretty late I can't really speak of what was and what wasn't standard in MMORPGs, but, for an average dungeon the game is played by a group of 5, consisting of a "Tank", a "Healer" and 3 "Damage Dealers". The point is that the Dungeons would be crowded with nefarious beings out to kill you - and it may at first seem a little odd how come that the "Protection Paladin" is less 'protective' in the classic sense, but there in the front taking all the beating. Its one of those things. The Tank has the job to "aggro" all the "Mobs" while the healer primarily is to look out for the Tank to stay alive while the Damage Dealers do all the killing. And the thing is that it works! Or in another sense: Once the Tank messes up and the Mobs start going after the DDs or worse: The Healer - you're in for a wipe. There, 'Good Dungeon Design' means that this is really getting clear. So, its not just some group of Mobs that the group of Heroes can jump in on spamming their attacks to get them downed. Like, lazy. And as this started to make sense to me - I enjoyed the game even more. I mean - there is something about ... "waving over" (the Paladin has a skill where he basically taunts a target, as, pulling it towards him, and usually a whole "mob" of enemies along) a 5-20 meter tall Monster ... "come at me!" ... while you and your team are professional Mob Slayers just waiting to get some loot. Uhm, but thats just a very narrow look at the whole. As mentioned - if the Tank 'messes up' - things can go really bad. But same goes for Damage Dealers that end up aggroing Mobs, ... which aren't usually 'Tanky' enough to endure a lot of hits. And so for the Tanks and Healers at least its much more than just a power fantasy. And 'good dungeon design' hereby means: Its challenging! It means that everyone has to watch out, know their shit, ... where in ideal cases I would first go in as Healer (the Paladin can fill all 3 roles) until I know the Dungeon (or else hoping that at least someone knows the way, but, actually thats lazy) and then go in as Tank, as the Tank is usually the one leading the way and should therefore know where to go - and in some cases what to watch out for specifically. But also how to watch out for the different enemies, that they keep focussed on him, ... and most of all that they don't go after the healer.
And between that there is Azeroth - which you can just go and explore as you feel funny doing. Solving Side Quests or not, tring to Level up, improving your skills, or to just be a part of the world. Some even go as far as to just do that - pretending to be part of the world. Some people even got married in WoW!

Alliance for the win! But lets be fair! Orcs have a place in that world too! (The movie was really awesome!)

What I'm getting at ... well. Not so quick. The issue here with Blizzard is that their games, at least the ones mentioned here so far (which are the ones I played for more than just a bit) usually require a lot of investment. And that is a good thing - as in other words: Once you are getting invested (because you're having fun) - there is content. But rather than just 'content' in a superficial sense, ... how to say? Its 'deep'er than that. There is stuff to do - or rather: Ways to 'play'. Does that summ up? I mean, 'content' in the superficial sense were like the Story that is told, the Levels you wade through ... stuff like that where you're eventually done playing it - end of the story. "And many have tried ... really, they did" - but well. The point is that this synergy between Content Creators and Consumers - mixed with Talent and Luck - created these games that are in a sense 'larger than the single individual'. This means that once I come in, as a noob, with my ideas - thats where 'they' were, some many years ago. And I would say that 'learning' "to be a better gamer" has a lot in common with the ideals of the Gospel. So for instance the issue of humbling yourself "to the Meta" - ...

... which is where I wanted to take this to go on with talking about Game Design. This humbling is so more about '(learning how to) play(ing) the game' rather than forcing the game to work as you want it to. Which in a sense is to say that games for instance need certain restrictions. I for instance heard of a sword - in Diablo 3 - that enabled players to get from Level 1 to Max Level with just one hit - and within 10 hits you'd hit Paragon Level 10.000 or something. So, you thereby could skip all the grinding, ... but respectively there so isn't much of a point in playing the game; And naturally the fun evaporates reasonably soon.

When it gets to me though ... its similar to that. There is a superficial Level whereby I'm just an ordinary human being - and for the most cases that works just fine. I mean, I cannot ultimately digress from that too far without hitting the ceiling sotospeak - like, yea, I too am only human. So I too have to "Learn 2 Play" or "Git Gud" as its these days ... which gets painfully obvious when I play Street Fighter. I mean - as for Power Fantasies, you don't get a powerful Street Fighter just by wanting to be Mr. Sun Wukong Fist of the North Star - and for various reasons I there just hit a personal "Level Cap" of some sort, beyond which more serious efforts are involved into even just getting slightly better. And that has nothing to do with the game itself. Its a matter of the Community, or more to the point: All the other Street Fighters out there and how good they are at it respectively. And there I have struggles staying in Super Bronze. To me reaching Silver is already something of a major achievement. (I actually even made it into Silver League of Starcraft 2 - yay! Thanks to Day 9!)

Where things change though is where God becomes part of the equasion. Say, what happens if someone plays shuffled music while skipping through the Matrix movies? Is it any different for me? ???
And why?
The thing is that the ideas I had concerning WoW for instance aren't really in the way of its gameplay; But - nonetheless to far apart to basically fit in. The point for me however was that early on in the game I had the impression that if I moved according to the Character animations I had the impression that I'd deal more damage - or that things would all in all work out better. So, the point is: WoW is pretty much an RTS (Real Time Strategy) on steroids put into an RPG environment. What I mean is that in an RTS you select some units, send them to attack, they move there and "do thy bidding". WoW is similar to that. You target an enemy and the figure you control starts to attack. You then can lean back - and watch it play out as though it were an encounter between two units in an RTS. So, the Character has an attack speed based on the Weapon and various other things, ... and so to me there were two playstyles. The one is to see it "Mathematically", a.k.a.: Just Autoattacking gives you X.Y DPS (Damage per Second) - which compares to the enemies defenses, its attack rating and your defenses - and who wins is in the end just a matter of the basic numbers. But Auto Attack is really not a 'skill' per se - so, the actual damage dealt is next to other things also a matter of how you use the various skills at your disposal. "Burst Damage" for instance is a term that relates to the amount of Damage you can deal within an initial window of opportunity based on a sequence of skills, like: Buff, Attack 1, Attack 2, Attack 3 - where for the sake of the example Attack 1 would give you some status that would increase the effectiveness of Attack 2 and Attack 3 being just the next logical high damage follow up - and is mostly relevant in PvP. And it is there where 'the other way' really doesn't matter anymore because the Auto Attack doesn't fit in there. Yet, this other way is a more RPG-ish way. So, if I danced around my enemy, taking care that the Attack Animation really lands a solid hit - by the looks at least - I felt as though it did more. And maybe it did as the Random Number Generator rolled in my favour.
And so I took some time to sit down and think about how this System might work when put into the game effectively. To so give the Attack Animation something of a 'sweet spot' - and whenever I get down to doing things like that, in MMORPG slang: I get a proc, ideas keep stacking up and I just loose myself to a flurry of ideas until I'm OOM ... ^^ ... Out of Mana ... and whatever I had at that time I did then somehow feel like sharing. And while I don't know who even whitnessed that - there is the least and the most likely without a way for me to tell; Though I then see how these companies however kindof start to fail thereafter. Which so to me looks like they ignored me - and because I am no ordinary person, that comes with some consequences that are beyond my control. Another way of looking at it were though to believe that these failures happen just to encourage me - to tell me that my ideas are 'good' - at least, not doing things my way makes things worse. And that seems to be the case because WoW didn't really suffer, but Starcraft 2 did - and I had nothing to add to that! Other than that what I saw them coming up with for Heart of the Swarm didn't quite sit well with me. Street Fighter 5 is a whole other issue. I there have been active on the Capcom Forums which wasn't a particularly crowded place at that time - and I think some of my ideas made it into the game. So the game got some support from God, but not quite all the way ... because there too - I wouldn't have been quite that happy with the result if I had something to say there. And that is mostly not an issue regarding the gameplay. Its mostly the interface. But for the gameplay I by now have to say that an all over health boost or damage nerf to slightly elonguate the average fight-time would be better.
And then some minor, but maybe also major issues here and there - but mostly details ... which along with the Interface issues are 'fundamental' issues, ... I mean ... initial design choices upon which the rest is being established.
That said though - my ideas aren't ... that is my own oppinion ... all that good on their own. I mean - Street Fighter is one of those games where my experience is similar to that with Starcraft. So, while I was still living at my gramps, doing my stuff in my room, I had no internet - and I thought it'd be a great idea (for Capcom) to make another Street Fighter game. But I had no clue what 'high Level' Street Fighting looks/works like. And now that I know, I wouldn't dare taking it all upon myself. Character Design-wise.


And so I came to basically sidestep myself, in a sense of personally distancing myself from what I did put on my homepage. Or ... all in all had shared. In a sense: Playing along with the fact that I'm a consumer - and just one amongst many, and another lot of people with similar ambitions. I mean, the whole issue of people having ideas, liking to share them, has been an issue on my mind since very early on - even before was let loose on the internet - and yet I never quite got around tackling it properly.
And so I didn't have a reason to pretend that I'm anyhow special - though being still confident enough when being confident in having good ideas.
In that sense you'll find me being however yet doubtful about the ideas I'm having. And that doubt is linked to - well - something along the lines of the Phantom Menace, so, some force that is in this case opposing my ideas by labelling them as inherantly/fundamentally bad. And this could even be right, when however done horribly wrong. I mean, thinking of Street Fighter 5 - how does Matchmaking while in Training Mode work out? Is it a good feature or not? I would say, in a sense, its an inevitable thing. But still, these loading times and frequent framerate drops are inacceptable!

Where now the issue however obviously becomes: Where does it go from here? What is this all about?

See, when it gets to my ideas regarding Destiny - I, when I think more thoroughly about it, can't really say whether or not its loot System is better or not. Here the thing is that in Destiny weapons and armor get dropped with random perks on them. What I was thinking of is now however closer to how Alienation does it, but ... that only in a rather superficial way. The thing is to me that in the setting of Destiny it only makes sense to "give" the Guardians the ability to essentially "warp" weapons in as out of basically nowhere - saying that 'weapon types' are effectively "shells" ... and here my argument falls apart. In Destiny the weapons the Guardians use are 'crafted'. So there is the Gjallahorn questline for instance where you have to gather materials and stuff to 'build' it. Saying, those shells have a very specific interior. So, you can't just go and "extract" shit to randomly put into a virtual shell. Yet you could go and spin my idea into that direction - and that would happen if I were a part of that team and people would be open for my suggestion. Though, at this point I seriously am just walzing in and ... imposing that they should do it my way. In such cases there really isn't a ground for me. As to say: Its 'Destiny' that I'm not a part of their team - and - being creatively not on the same page isn't really good. So, if there were a debate like 'my idea versus' - then I'd be ... I mean, I am ... when thinking of it ... taking a leave and moved towards my own. And I'm sure I have enough work on that to do. And by the way: The whole 'doing it alone' part - that doesn't say that I want to be the only one person that appears in the credits, sotospeak - though it'd be rather short nonetheless.
I mean - its - emotional? Not 'emo' emotional though. I can't 'spiritually' incorporate any entity into the processes that are layed out before me, except for 'one' maybe - and - some helps when it gets to the audio part, and of course my life aside of that. But ... thats beside the point.
The thing is that either idea, mine and the way it is, is flawed - as we may analyze when so pronouncing the concern: "But so, what will players gather loot for?" - like, either a) if you can assemble your perfect weapon from spare parts that float around or b) if you got your perfect weapon rolled or otherwise only get crap? The latter is of course the 'real' question as it applies on what Desinty is. Its not uncommon to hear sighs of disappointment because this didn't drop or again that did drop ... where I know both sides. Sometimes I'm a "dirty Loot Lucker" - like, in Diablo 3, the ring that allows you to get a set Bonus with one less set item equipped did almost drop instantly for me. While playing Monk who anyway gets a good startup set.
And I have my high stability impulse rifle with auto fire; And a high impact hand cannon with explosive rounds and lucky shot (a random bullet in the magazine deals extra damage)! Thats the 'ouch cannon' to me. Whenever I take it out in private matches thats what I keep hearing!
And I'm looking forward to playing Hand-Cannon 'and' Scout-Rifle ... best combo ever!

So yea, when it gets to Destiny 2 I'm ... somehow optimistic. I mean, speaking for myself at least. And when it gets to PvP - well - its gonna be ... interesting.

Yet so, it is debatable whether or not it is good practice to 'nerf' older weapons to so just ... give players a motivation to grind for new gear. So, on the other end that means that of course you have to think about it - and so there are ways to take my idea into that direction too.

The 'Arcane Magic' Random Number Generator

(Open Source. Just mention the 'Arcane Magic RNG' and my name in the credits and I'll be fine! If you so choose to use it.)

The Arcane Magic RNG is first of all not a solution to get multiple random values per frame, and more of a global state controller. Its basically an accident - where I ended up with a for my purposes desirable result ... well ... basically: "randomly".

The foundation is a field of in my case 48 bytes - described as a union of bytes, shorts and ints - though the ints don't matter in my code. To each datatype a counter is associated - and on startup the first byte of the current time stamp is added to the active byte, and the subsequent 2 bytes are xored with the active short. The counter is simply incremented.
In the next step, the first 4 ints are used to get an index value to get a dword from 4 random bytes (byte_access[0]=int_flux[0] % 48;). This one is moded to get a "d20" value. This was done to feed a chart showing how often which number rolled - and this is basically where the RNG already functions, where a 'multiple numbers per frame' solution would involve some sidestepping obviously. (Not there yet)

Now to the magic. It gets a little complicated though.
First the number that rolled the most is being recorded ("magic 20"). The deeper motivation is to sidestep the classic 'dice logic' by a deeper layer of what is a common and a rare roll. To so get to the "rare 20" I first introduced the "lucky 20". That is a simple value counting from 0 to 19, one increment per frame. Hereby the "high roll" (the amount of times the magic 20 has dropped) is used to calculate a factor (float lucky_roll=lucky_counter / (float) high_roll;), while the "Low Bar" is initialized to 1 at the start and reset to 1 when the lucky 20 is reset to 0 - while the recorded 'low roll' is set to be the rare 20.
Now, here's the important bit: Now, 'ARCANE_MAGIC' is 'true' when rare_20==arcane_20. The result is that most of the time ARCANE_MAGIC is false, where, by evaluating that I ended up with a more elaborate plot for the Arcane Magic state. Hereby I count the time each mode is active to retreive the "Arcane Balance" - and usually that value is decreasing as time moves on. Randomly however Arcane Magic triggers - and two values are retreived from it. The 'Arcane Flux' is the Arcane Balance when entering "Normal Mode" divided by the Arcane Balance as prior to entering Arcane Mode; and the "Arcane Wind" is that divided by the duration that Arcane Mode has been active ("Arcane Charge") - and the motivation is to have a counterweight to the flux. Usually the Arcane Flux is slightly above 1, ... and the wind ... well. Doesn't matter. Every now and then you get to longer Arcane times - so, a spike in the flux. Sometimes its more and other times less frequent. Well, its kindof random! The thing though is that whenever I moved beyond that, the ... "Arcane Magic" somehow ... didn't ... "feel right" anymore. Anyway.

The general intention of the Arcane Magic is to influence global conditions that don't factor into the gameplay too much. The Arcane Flux and Wind are thereby essentially "stubs" to encourage further playing around - as for various purposes. However - it seems advisable to not tie more relevant aspects of the game to the Arcane Magic. Simply put: Its supposed to be an environmental feature and nonsense. (Much like how thinking about how it works exactly gives me a headache!)

You can get the full code here: [Arcane_RNG.cpp] - and you are encouraged to tweak it to suit your purposes. Like, if you want any random value from it you'll have to write the function yourself. I didn't get to that yet. A suggestion were to extract the 48 byte part into a separate class as to have multiple of those present at one time. What I would demand to remain unchanged is how the values are being retreived ... of course. You are of course free to write your own too. (It is written for g++, so, you eventually have to change a few things anyway).

Random throw in.

Because - as for me - this isn't really a matter of 'my' ideas. I can't possibly be everywhere at once; Though ... totally cutting myself out doesn't feel well either. And this is how I can practically make a genuine contribution at this point. Ultimately these ideas I'm having, they don't make me special, as to me they are more of a part of my relationship to God rather than anything else. And because I'm getting tired ... I'll end this here - ... and say ... Good Night. Or ... Morning! Peace to y'all. GLHF and GG.

Arcane Magic!


Video Games and the Future

Video Games are important because of their Entertaining AND Educational values. Even when being dumb - everything but good - they have an Entertaining AND Educational significance. But more. Scientific evolution even. "But its just a Video game". No, its ... tech.

However - this is more like an apology from me. And based on it - well, I'll go forward.

I've written a bunch of stuff on games before - and so far ... ... . Well. There are a variety of things I've had burning on my chest to share - yet whenever I was trying to I couldn't quite say the things I wanted to ... like, instead of taking those five minutes to add the significance - I couldn't or didn't and for the time thereafter didn't bother. Well, therefore I then feel burdained by be thought of people who take it the wrong way ... and the recent Destiny 2 gameplay premiere has brought this back to my attention - and yea. I also kindof wanted to wait for this to write anything more about Destiny - as, it just seemed appropriate.

The premise of my apology is an understanding wherein I regard my general attitude as problematic. I - I'm up on the ropes about it. You might find traces of me trying to battle my errors here and there - like even here I can pull the excuse from my past pointing out that I meant to approach all media as good/positive by default ... just to continue bashing on the things I didn't like.
Well, life! And ... well. It is that situation, taking everything as positive, is where I now think I failed - for reasons however ... that I would say are excusable. Well, for once - being just blindly positive about everything - can be thought of as bad - but on the other side: without a struggle the good things come to stand out ... and yea, welcome to capitalism.


Its basically not a step forward ... its more like walking in circles. Uh ... ... well, whatever.

There certainly is no bulletproof point of defending any good or bad in a politically dominated/confused society as ours. For that matter everything is potentially bad and dangerous for us in the long run, and even short term. And this is the attitude that I can't get around. Obviously I'm there not concerned about games per se - but rather of how social bondings and identity politics would cause a variety of problems - much like the constantly "one upping" "attention whoring" ... the distraction, leading to a stagnation by carelessness ... uhm, but ultimately those concerns won't matter ... obviously.

On another note however - there's an issue - and that is the next thing. Ideas. Ideas are a strange thing; And I'm not sure where to put myself there. It starts with me and starting to really get into programming. Long story short: I had impressions that I considered inspirational that I later found in Final Fantasy XII. It isn't really gameplay, just a fraction of art direction, colors and a little bit of atmosphere. I suppose nothing you would even recognize as anything from Final Fantasy XII. Later I came to think of dungeons - and thinking about gameplay ... what I'd want or so ... I at some point thought of something as a tube maze, well, like sewers maybe, whatever ... while I later saw something similar in the early footage of a game called 'the Void' (by Capcom). Years went by and me still sitting at the early stages of my code and still not yet having a really concise plan of the gameplay I came to fancy various things - which when put into a game would be ... Final Fantasy XV, exactly. And now that I've somehow "loosened my grip" on wanting to do something - impressions I get go like: "Did you think of something like "that"" - like whatever backend Blizzard is using or Universe Simulator 2. And for some reason it annoys the shit out of me or even makes me angry, but ... whatever.

I suppose that Necropolis and No Mans sky would be the reverse situation. Where I have an idea and someone else catches up on that. Just saying. ... uhm, I mean ... "I'm sorry! I'm really really sorry!". The general idea to be portrayed here is more along the lines of saying that we don't ultimately own our ideas.

I mean, we do own them. We have intellectual rights - sotospeak - or simply put: They occur within our mind and our mind is where we are, what we are, what we got ... so we naturally move on with that and do whatever we want to - and there is no reason that I know of that I would accept to not do it so.

So, Destiny 2. I once mentioned that Warframe would be ... quite along the lines of what I pictured for what Destiny should be - but ... after playing a bit more Warframe I had to correct myself which I didn't - because ... whatever. The thing is that at first sight Warframe had some sort of a real economy, in the sense that events in the Solar System took place, ... saying - in essence - my idea would be that Destiny might benefit from some "real time" - thing, I mean. Some 'consequences' to the players Patrolling or not Patrolling. Something along the lines of an active battlefront - or events like: "We need so much of this and that". And the devs could go along with it - forging expansions around the real ingame progress.
But possibly this idea is rather naive because ... gamers are gonna play the shit out of it and win ... anyway ... no problem.

But now on to the core issue of this: Destiny 2 weapons and sub-classes. First of all: Yea - I'm definitely positively impressed by what they came up with. No doubt. But ... I'm still underwhelmed by it. However ... the thing is that I had ... "an" idea - carried by "a visual" ... thats basically - I'm not sure. Circles instead of Diamond-shapes - superficially speaking - when looking at the subclasses screen. Also the way they changed how weapon slots work. That all adds up into one thing - where, for sake of argument lets just say that the idea itself is a node in space - belonging to no one - where the ideas "we" (in this sense me vs. whoever is in charge of it at Bungie) 'have'/practically own are our individual takes on that - saying: It is clear to me that the people at Bungie have their own design concepts - which is why things are the way they are and not different; While - if I were in charge of a few things the game would be just a different game. Not entirely different - but different on the outlines. So, what do I do? Share my idea - on risk that I loose intellectual capital - or keep it to myself on risk of ... - ... well - "fates twistings curling against me" or whatever?

There's another thing I have to mention here. Watching the live-stream, when it got to clans, I had a super-amazing idea, based on the ideas that they had. And as I watched other live-streams analyzing the premiere - there was one dude having the same idea. And a lot think that way I'm sure: They need a reputation system of some kind. My idea is possibly deeper though. Whatever. The 'raw essence' of progress is there. It isn't tied to me. Whatever the volume or scope or depth of 'my' ideas is - that is in this regard my own "problem" or "perk" - its about me, my spirit, my connection to the divine, the state of harmony or chaos within me - lots of things. Like - whatever we do obscures our mind. If you're a game developer, chances are you're never going to be a 'pro gamer' because your mind revolves around different things.

Astair. Yea - that is ... something. Pretty much - I so for instance assume that Capcom is really trying hard to do the best they can to 'provoke' situations as the one known as "Moment 37". I mean, being somewhat "high" on the idea that they have some level of control to creating the 'sandbox' for such moments to occur. What I mean by "high" is ... more of a Zen level type of oppinion I have - saying: developping game mechanics with a certain goal in mind isn't ... as effective when it gets to making a good game - once there is a Level of inspiration that would 'do the magic trick', but gets discarded because it doesn't fit the concept ... apparently.

Idea Warfare?

There is some group or entity - I fear/feel - that rather stick to the "there is no such thing as "the good idea" - the only thing there is are 'well thought through ideas'". Like, pitching two ideas against each other - which one is the better one? The one who can come up with more 'reasons' why his/her/its idea is the best! But that is bullshit in my eyes!

And again Destiny swims in the flow as an anti-object, ... it just ... happens to be there so. But oppinions can go apart here. Is the "attunement" system OK, or does it need more depth? I mean, within my ideas - the one thing that would be different is that there are at least 'two' layers. There is the 'node' - and a set of options. So is Destiny really ... conservative ... when it gets to class design in the sense that there is a really 'controlled variety'. And still they failed (Sunbreaker anyone?). Kindof. Nothing that balancing can't fix but I'm more old-school in that regard. If the balance is off in first place ... somethings fundamentally wrong with the design. Kindof. I'm not perfect! So, ... comparing Starcraft to World of Warcraft for instance, those two games are effectively polar opposites. Not due to genre - or, maybe due to genre, but I mean - in terms of what is right and wrong to do. With WoW you have an MMORPG that is built on consistent classes with specific abilities that all have to kindof interact and so certain things come out on top and ... you're encouraged to make the best choices. OK. Starcraft 2 on the other end is more fluid. The 'right way' isn't really obvious. And once a strategy evolved that is OP, balance changes can change that and what works and what doesn't has to be eventually even fundamentally be re-evaluated. And what I earlier wrote about Capcom does here I think also apply on Blizzard - coz - I feel like they did some missteps with Heart of the Swarm!

Whatever. I'm just trying to get some concepts pronounced here.

I mean ... clearly: Blizzard did a great job designing Starcraft. Its naturally tailored towards competitive play - and Starcraft 2 is clearly based on how Starcraft 1s competitive scene had evolved. Like Street Fighter. And yea ... rights and wrongs ... time goes on!

Back to Destiny - I would simply try to make everything as modular as it gets. And I primarily am talking weapons. And at the very least have some 'loadouts' screen. Which ... so far never really worked out well in any game I played so far! "Just sayin'". So - on that end ... I can talk all the way I want - in the end I suppose I have to keep my thoughts to myself and show folks how its done ... in-sha-allah - or however you write that out (if god wills).

What the Destiny 2 reputation System would however certainly need - in my oppinion - is an indicator for from how many sources the reputation comes. Thinking of it like farming reputation in fractions within an MMORPG. Encouraging players to be generally good people - and to have some gain out of that. (Every system can and possibly will be exploited - and whatever ... sigh ... idea politics?)

Well, easily enough: Once people close the gap between themselves and God - I'm no longer a part of the equasion - and I have to deal with being a sore looser eventually. Thats just how it works! If you really got something - you work on it - or you fail it. I there have my own ways. I have no urge to make my ideas work for anyone. Once folks think they know stuff better than me - well - I'm not gonna denie that possibility! Except ... at the very least when it gets to my own stuff.

Here's a ... little bit to chew on: When I started to get into programming, using QBasic, I was really really - ... we could say ... pathetic. I first had to see how something stupidly moronically simple had to be done before I could do it - like - the discovery of 2 Dimensional arrays. Yea ... "duh". But MoA is different. There certainly are a few things I saw here and there - but rather than seeing 'how' it is done - I saw 'that' something was done and had my own take on it. And from all the stuff I've been reading about programming and game development - nothing felt like it enriched me in any way, shape or form - so I eventually began ignoring any sort of programming related information - except I really need to know a few specific things, like, which interrupt does what or "whats that functions name again?". Obviously!

In the end - I don't find the way back to the heart of my apology. The idea was: Be productive with your criticism. Yea - where my mind is just too ... troubled. I always see the contra, and then the story is over for me. Which makes me change how I think about it - arguing that being productive with your criticism is good amongst friends - but otherwise: Just be a douchebag, thats totally alright!

After all - a douche is a hygiene item - and once something needs a ... "thorough cleaning" ... you are obligated to say stuff: THE FURTH AWAKENZ SUCKS!