Valve doesn’t have to learn to count to three

Why wait for Valve to learn to count to three? With the Unreal engine, we can start anew and count to infinity!

 – Gregory B. Jackson

So all these people keep wanting to slam Valve for not being able to move on to a third installment of their games. They never released Half Life II Episode 3. They never developed Half Life III, etc.

After all this time, and considering the fact that all of the key people responsible for the Half Life IP have long since left Valve, does anyone seriously believe that even if Valve were to go ahead and produce these titles that they would be anywhere near the quality of their predecessors? The corporate game development landscape has changed so much since we last got an official Half Life title. We would likely get a half-baked game empty of heart and soul while loaded with the same political narratives and microtransactions that plague corporate-developed games these days.

As the title says, we don’t NEED to wait for Valve to learn to count to three. We can grab the Unreal Engine, come up with out own IP in the spirit of Half Life, and then build it.

By “We,” I mean the gaming community. This is not a project that is in any position to undertake. We’re just two people and we’ve got our hands full with our own projects. I just keep coming across comments about Valve not knowing how to count to three, and just wanted to throw this out there.

One need not spend very much time at all searching the internet to find new and awesomely talented artists who are looking for an opportunity to work on something that could earn the recognition they need to jump-start their career. And there are new people every day who begin their journey learning the Unreal Engine. And there is no shortage of people dreaming of the day Valve finally learns to count to three.

So what might happen if, from where these three groups overlap, a small but dedicated team were to form, taking it upon themselves to travel the road that Valve seems unwilling or incapable of taking, in spite of having an IP that is ideal for taking it, and an audience with a deep desire to go on the journey.

I would like to think that such a team would garner resentment at the start from those who feel that Anyone other than Valve attempting to do a Half-Life-type game won’t do it right, and that they have no interest in playing in someone else’s IP universe… But that won’t last, as once said group starts showing off progress videos of what they are able to produce, the much wider audience that is longing for an experience like what Half Life offered will start getting on board.

And this won’t even have to be a crowd-funded project. The team could actually seek an exclusivity deal with Epic to release on the Epic Game Store, and receive a nice chunk of change which could quite possibly fund the development process. And if that team is serious about running an on-going, episodic series that can in fact count oh so much higher than three, then Epic would have a direct counter to Valve’s biggest IP. And that right there may in fact be what teaches Valve to count to three…

My Response to YongYea’s “#RemoveEververse Mass Protest Ensues in Bungie Forums” video

Roll Back to Pre-NGE!

That was the outcry on the Star Wars Galaxies forums after SOE, at the behest of LucasArts, turned that now-shut-down MMO into more or less a World of Warcraft clone rather than the sandbox, open-world, fully player-driven game it was designed to be. And those forums were as saturated by that outcry as we see Destiny 2 players denouncing the Eververse…

Did SOE listen. Hell no! In fact, what they did first was to make the forums UNREADABLE by non-subscribers. That way, potential players would not be exposed to the wide-spread negative feedback from the community. But SOE had no control over the spilling-over of anti-NGE sentiment into many different unofficial gaming media forums. So SOE once again allowed the forums to be readable regardless of subscription status. However, they began mass-deletion of threads that called for rollbacks, and if people reposted them they got banned for it. It happened to me, so I speak from experience, not just observation.

So what does this have to do with Destiny 2?

Simple… If you think the outcry against the EverVerse is going to accomplish anything, you are deluding yourself. They control the narrative of their forums. They will do their best to silence voices of outrage and dis-satisfaction before they take one single step towards reducing or removing the EverVerse connection to Destiny 2. I really would like to be wrong about that. I really would. But, sadly, I don’t think I will be. In fact, I think they will TRIPPLE-DOWN on Eververse, as if doubling-down on it wasn’t enough. Their eyes are filled with dollar signs, and to them the EverVerse is THE ticket to unlimited profit…

We cannot trust them to accede to the wishes of their customers. Their customers will have to collectively decide that as long as the EverVerse remains Bungie’s focus, to the marginalization of all other considerations, that they will not spend a penny of real money on it at the least dedication, and at the most to not even play the game. That and continue to proclaim outrage and dis-satisfaction in every avenue available. If the community is really serious, then it needs to behave accordingly.


Let that be our mantra! And let us practice it.

Young or Ancient Earth?

So we have a Trump appointee saying he is not sold on science because Science has gotten it wrong throughout the 5500 year history of our planet. I’d laugh, only it isn’t funny at all.

Look, I’m a Bible-believing Christian, and even I accept that the earth is ANCIENT. The formation of the universe may have taken billions, even TRILLIONS of years. You can’t just add up the years accounted for in the bible, and then start counting them from some arbitrary date to get a total number of years. And while I do believe that there was a Great Flood, I have my doubts that it was GLOBAL. I mean, places like china have a history that reaches back WAY MORE than 5500 years. And where Noah’s Ark is said to have come to rest is way lower in altitude compared to mountains like Mt. Everest. God gave us science… AND common sense… so we could learn about the world around us.

As to the earth being created in seven 24-hour periods? Not buying that, either. Back when Genesis was written, long before the renaissance which propelled human knowledge and understanding, I don’t think that there was an understanding of billions, or trillions of anything. And what is the counting of years to God, a being that exists outside the confines of time and space? I do believe that there were seven stages of the creation process. But there is no accurate measurement of how long each stage lasted. And what did the origin of species actually look like? For all we know, Charles Darwin may have been spot on in terms of the PHYSICAL manifestation of the creation process. Nobody was alive that far back to observe it.

I have come to believe that Intelligent Design and Random Formation are reconciled with each other in the form of what has recently emerged in the creation of video games: PROCEDURAL GENERATION. That is the random creation of a world (Minecraft) or a universe (No Man’s Sky) within the scope of a series of pre-determined rules. In fact, science has revealed the same sort of numerical data in the physical world which has been put into those games, and you know what? IT WORKS.

Someone had to establish the rules. And just as the designers of those games exist outside the confines of the game world or universe, God exists outside the confines of our physical universe. And before you judgmental Bible Thumpers who call yourselves Christians attempt to demonized me, I have said nothing here that in any way diminishes the greatness and Awesomeness of God or the fact that he is not OF this universe, but beyond it, and therefore cannot be measured by anything in it, including science.

The earth is ancient, but still created by god. Maybe he took 6 of his days, but his days aren’t ours. If we deal with an eternal being, perhaps a day is 1 billion years. Using generous guesstimation, I calculated around 1.4 Billion years = 1 Day. And that puts us still on Day 7. The Day Of Rest. and what happens when your parents are trying to rest and you keep disturbing them, keep on causing trouble? They get mad. So while human folks get mad and yell and ground, perhaps other types send bog honking floods (which aren’t world wide, but the known world wide).

Key phrase in that last sentence: “The KNOWN world wide.” the entire old testament is written from the Jewish perspective, and the world had yet to be explored beyond the scope of relatively local trade. There was no contact with regions beyond the general relative region. It wasn’t until the New Testament that the much wider world begin to influence the region, with the expansion of the Roman Empire into Judea. Places like France weren’t even known of, and still we are only dealing with the Eastern Hemisphere. It wasn’t until 1492 that North and South America were discovered, and quite by accident. Nobody had a clue that the world was as big as it is. In a strictly literal sense, prior to the New Testament, any mention of “the world” as an inclusive word only refers to the world that could be known about. And at the time of the Great Flood, not nearly as much of the world known about by the end of the Old Testament had been discovered.

Oh… And one of the things that makes me doubt the seven 24-hour days of creation is the fact that the Sun and the Moon were created on the 4th “day”. The concept of Day and Night were 1st Day developments, true. But the measurement of 24-hour days could not be possible until the Sun was formed. We can observe the formation of Stars in nebulae. And while it has taken a very long time for the light from those stars and nebulae to reach earth, suggesting that the process is long sense complete, what we observe demonstrates that it takes way longer than 24 hours for a star to form. So again, I believe that the word “day” in terms of a stage of creation refers to an indeterminate, yet short in the grand scheme, period of time.

There are references to the coming Tribulation as the last terrible week of the Lord. The bible tells us that the Tribulation will last seven years, much longer than an actual seven day week. So again, we have a symbolic representation of a period of time.

I do not doubt the validity of the Bible, that it is inspired by a perfect God. It has, however, been written, copied and translated by imperfect human beings, and over the thousands of years of that, I do not wonder whether or not a significant portion of the inspiration has been lost in the translation of what God revealed to the minds of the original authors to what they first wrote on paper, to say nothing about all the rewriting that came after. And there is a lot about canonized scripture that is historical. And history is always written from the point of view of the author. There was no bible during the old, or even new testament. There was a collection of scriptures that were revered by the devout. It would not be until some time later that which of these writings would and would not be considered canonical. How do we know that there isn’t God-inspired scripture left out of canon simply because it doesn’t fit the narrative of those who decided what to and what not to include.

I don’t have the answer to that question. I just know that where people are concerned, there are always agendas. And religion manipulated by those in power is what brought the Dark Ages to Europe. Were it not for that period of human history, who knows how much further ahead we would be today?

Star Trek Online – What it was supposed to be

If you have played Star Trek Online, then you know exactly what it turned out to be. But not everyone knows what it was supposed to be. Here is the original announcement of the game as presented by Jack Emmert who was introduced to the audience by Leonard Nimoy.

This will eventually get moved to its own page under the forthcoming “Armchair Game Development” section of this website.

Why I will not be buying the Skyrim Special Edition

I know I’m probably not going to be very popular with all the folks who have been salivating over the special edition of Skyrim since it was first announced, but I’m sorry. I won’t be spending my money on it. It’s not that I think it’s bad. Far from it. It looks amazing, and the fact that it is the complete collection including the core game and its DLC expansions with an amazing graphical overhaul would make it the perfect choice for someone new to the game. But I already bought the game and DLCs for it. I simply have no desire or reason to buy the game again. The stories in the game won’t be different. The gameplay itself won’t be different. And I play on PC, so if I decide that the vanilla graphics are not good enough, there are many free mod community-produced graphics overhauls out there that will accomplish the same thing, if not more.

It’s really the console market that will benefit the most from the Special Edition release. And to my mind, Bethesda would have better spent its time and money on Elder Scrolls VI. They have said that TES6 is a while off because the technology needed to do what they want it to do is not there yet. You know, if they would have taken the graphics overhaul they did for the Skyrim special edition and just produced a new story and put it in a new setting and called it Elder Scrolls VI, I would not hesitate to throw my gaming entertainment budget money at it. Any time a developer cites lack of technology as a reason for delaying production of a title they know full well the masses will not hesitate to buy, it means that they’ve got some fancy gimmick in mind that they plan to wrap the whole game around.

I don’t care about some new gimmick. Just give me a new game!

One Tamriel is what we wanted from the beginning!

It’s ironic… What ESO has become since launch is what many in the community were SCREAMING at the devs long before launch that it should be. The only kudos I will give them is for recognizing that we were right. I will not give the kudos as if this was just some wonderful idea they came up with. Pride led them to launch with a game purchase plus a subscription, when the rest of the industry had moved on to alternative monetization options. We warned them of that, and they did it anyway. Now there is no mandatory subscription. We were proven right. Pride led them to sticking to their vision of a divided player community with locked content based on factions, where the only interaction with other factioned characters was PvP in one isolated (albeit large) zone. Now the barriers are dropped and the community is fully able to experience the game together if desired. Again, we were proven right. How much better received might ESO have been at launch had they actually listened to us, as the very ones who would be playing the game and knew full well what sort of experience we were after?