Okay, here we go!

I’ve started it on my other blog! Please check it out!

http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/2009/10/stark-land-family-threat.html

I’ve called it a story game at the moment, though I don’t like the term over much. Maybe I’ll make up another one latter.

Anyway, it should be an interesting online interactive project to watch!

Ah ha, I has returns model!

Ah ha!

Okay, so I’ve had an idea! At some point soon I’m going to spin a bit of a yarn, in text, about a world in some sort of strife. Then I will pitch two choices, of which one can be chose and that will influence that worlds future to some degree/will influence the yarn.

Instead of going full blown crpg, I’ve written a small platformer game (mostly modded up the game maker example). At the end of the level is a star that gives a code. The first person who gives the code, gets to make the choice!

“Why?”

Because instead of shooting for fiscal return straight off the bat, with all the workload for a mere chance of return that entails, what I’m going for is simply someone giving the effort of completing the simple platformer. That’s the ‘fee’, so to speak. Or perhaps it’s like bartering – I dunno. But it’s not working for absolutely free, there is a return involved – and that encourages development that moves toward getting more complex gameplay than a simple platformer.

In latter ones I’ll most likely have multiple codes, so as to give more than just the first person to the post the influence. But for now I’m keeping it simple until a return comes in.

Stay tuned for that yarn – I’m pretty sure I have one coming 🙂

CRPG without the dense content prerequisite

I’ve been thinking of making some sort of CRPG world – you might remember a survey from a few posts back (thank to the one soul who did vote 🙂 ).

Now the thing is with content, this is the dilemma – it’s speculative work in regards to actually getting any sort of income from doing it (and hell, I’m not even talking in purely fiscal terms – if I asked for poems from people in exchange for more CRPG content, I might not even get poems – ya know what I mean?).

So what content to provide, that’s engaging? And all my history of RPG gamers is that they always want complicated, dense stuff, or they wander away very quickly. And making complicated, dense stuff with relatively low chance of return? Umm, no thank you. I don’t mind making some stuff, clearly, but doing tons and tons on the hope of a tossed coin or two?

I would like to make something simple, like this thing I made awhile ago. Latter I’d develop it more relative to the amount of interest that was shown.

Possibly I could have some parts of it named or partly decided by readers even before any money transactions, as that give a bit of sense of being in on the project, rather than just another project that wants money. People are more likely to invest when they already have a personal stake (come to think of it, that’s how world of warcraft works…).

But the main issue is:

Effort for low chance of return Vs low interest for non dense and complicated material.

I’m thinking one work around is text, since that’s easier to generate (look ma, I’m doin’ it now!). But I have to figure some simple way of getting around the ‘wall of text’ problem.

Anyway, thinking through the problem out loud…

‘Ella Enchanted’ made me think

http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/

That 2004  movie staring Anne Hathaway.

I missed most of the start before finding it in the TV guide. The premise struck me – a girl born with a ‘gift’ of obediance. She has to do whatever she’s told. It sounded horrific to me – and so my rubber neck drew me to it. It’s set in a whimsical fantasy universe and has a bit of the vibe ‘The princess bride’ has.

Now I’d kind of seen this engaged before, in the old ‘Gargoyles’ cartoon, where a character suffers a control spell (rendering him automaton like), and then the means to cancelling that spell is lost forever. The solution? One of the good guys who had managed to get control targeted on her commands the character to obey his own will, forever. So he obeys her, but in doing so, obeys himself. Effectively the spell is cancelled.

Here, in a climactic scene where the villain has told Ella to kill her love (and not tell anyone), with the blade held over his back, she instead commands herself to not be obediant anymore.

And I thought it very striking that all that time she had suffered others ordering her about, it was because she would not command herself.

“Geez man, it was a fantasy rom com, why are you thinking about it so much?”

Because it shows what you can get away with if you just stick with a few of the regular conventions. It’s a wolf in sheeps clothing, philosophically.

Oh, and yeah, the link at the start? I’m guessing google will spider this and hopefully find my other page. Hope it wasn’t off putting.

Philosopher gamer, video games, mmorpg, pieces of string

http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/

Video games, mmorpgs, traditional table top roleplaying, more!

And sorry to regular readers* – I’m trying to direct google to spider into that site – it seems to do it for this blog really quick and it occured to me I’ve only linked to the other blog in edits, which the spider might not pick up on.

Traffic, traffic, traffic! http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/

I just want it to start showing up! I didn’t even try with this blog and it shows up on google! Crazy!

* Or am I humouring myself in thinking there are? 😉

High production just makes followers/moth to the flame

I’ve been thinking that most of the games, whether it be video games or even table top RPG’s, have such alot of production and work in them that it’s a bad thing.

Think of it from your own perspective – there are these sparkly games that draw your attention and maybe spark your imagination. But do you have the raw production capacities to actually make one yourself? To various degrees, the answer is no. Perhaps if we rewind to early D&D, or to video games on the c64, yes. But otherwise no.

So your entranced and in love with something you can’t actually make yourself. This throws you into the position of follower only – you can’t lead, because you need to be able to make it to lead. You can only follow.

A mix of sometimes following and sometimes leading is alright, but always following? That’s a bad thing, if you happen to share any values I have on self guidance.

I’m looking at all these things again and thinking wow, all the fancy production just leads me into being a follower. Pah!

Edit: And why on earth can I google this new post I made only an hour or two ago, yet I can’t google my new blog?

Oh bother, can’t stick adsense on here, aye?

Darn. Should have guessed.

Anyone got any tips in terms of setting up content and advertising?

Edit: Oh, I started up a ‘monetized’ blog over here:
http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/

I really like the title, actually – it forced me to make a blog name and I like what I came up with on the spot. Probably suits me quite well.

I’ll probably repeat content from here over there and vise versa.

Carrying real world morality into a mmorpg

This post, in regards to eve and ‘griefers’.

Specifically

Can-flippers and ninja salvagers are thieves. Thieves are considered jerks in the real world, so it seems perfectly reasonable to me to consider them jerks in EVE as well.

CCP hasn’t constructed an environment where all actions a player may take have the same moral freighting. They’ve simply constructed an online environment where I need to take matters into my own hands if I want to avoid EVE’s various criminal classes or retaliate against them.

This is apparently genuine moral judgement on someone for what they did in a game.

Something they did only because it was possible to do so within the code the developers wrote. And they wrote it because they wanted it to be possible.

Not only that, but apparently CCP (the makers of the game) have apparently declared that in the game they made, actions don’t all have the same moral freighting. Oh, they have the capacity to decide that, do they? And lo if they decide it, it is true for all (and that’s taking it they have even said anything like this and this guy isn’t just purely inventing this).

Somehow, because CCP allegedly decided not all actions have the same moral weight, someone is literally a jerk for doing certain things.

And if CCP declared jihad, no doubt whoever they declare it on is most deserving of holy war.

Feeling first, asking questions latter never.

Imagination addiction?

I was messing around in the runes of magic mmorpg with a new alt. As I often do, I was thinking of how you could make this gameplay engaging instead of alot of waiting and tasks which are about as complex as navigating the web.

And I had this lateral thought that I’m just kind of hooked on this imagined world thing, and I’m going to be hooked either way and I’m just trying to find some difficult gameplay so as to validate the feeding of my addiction. Kind of like if one was addicted to beer, and one started up a micro brewery to sell beers, as a way of validating it when feeding that addiction. It’s constructive, but it’s still just trying to make up for the addiction.

I don’t think that’s a real priority on designing difficult gameplay, upon reflection. It’s not a priority, it’s just doing it to try and make up for something else.

Hmm, I’ve often tried to figure out rules designs that are satisfying. No wonder it was so hard…it’s an addiction, it’s never satisfied. Atleast not for long.

Hmmm.

Free will – free of what?

There’s an old interview of an author I like, here, that I read again the other day.

On the other hand, I was dismayed to learn that at least one of the ‘future facts’ I pose in Neuropath has come true. Apparently, Professor John-Dylan Haynes at the Max Planck Institute devised an experiment where he and his colleagues were able to determine, via fMRI scans, what their subject’s choices would be seconds before they were conscious of them. Freaks me out just writing about it.

There’s going to be people who deny this stuff come hell or high water, just as there’s people who can’t abide evolution or the heliocentric solar system. Truth be told, I’m one of them. I believe there has to be something to my experience of free will, but all the credible evidence is piling up on the other side, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. All I can do is stomp my foot and say, “No! It just can’t be.”

Because if it is, then nothing fucking matters.

This is just a sample and what’s been going through my head about his concern includes a bit more of that interview.

But basically, in terms of free will, what do you expect it to be free of? Free of connection? Free of links to anything else?

There probably is a part of the brain that’s like a random number generator and can generate impulses that come from a highly random source. That would largely be free of any link to anything else.

But apart from that, what did you expect free will to be free of? Everyone talks about the idea of free will being free, but no one ever says what they want it to be free of/thinks it is free of.

I mean, to put in a crude example, don’t you hug your loved ones? Or do you want to really be free of any real and genuine link to them? “Oh, but it’s a neurological path, an actual mechanical firing of impulses, that then fires more impulses in my mind and so on – it’s just machinery!”. Yes, it’s an entirely money where your mouth is set up (one might say no mouth at all) – it’s all deeds instead of words! It’s all machine doing that connection, instead of just thinking of it but being free of actually doing it. What’s important? How that connection is made or that the connection is indeed made?

Goals met. Goals that originate in impulses from parts of the brain that are said to do with emotion, yes, but goals met all the same. What’s more important, that the goal is met, or that it’s met via some whimsical, fantasy free will thingie? In terms of hugging loved ones as an end, does the means matter more than the end? If you can’t do it via a particular means, does that mean that particular end does not matter!? What sort of screwed up priority is that!?

Or does that make me speak from a place that’s like a character from his books, called Kellhus? (and PS: My god, how obviously close to callous…)

There’s a ‘good’ for Kellhus, which is simply what most effectively allows him to achieve his goals. He is the perfect practitioner of ‘the end justifies the means’ rationality, or what philosophers call instrumental rationality. For Kellhus, the only thing that makes acts good or bad are their consequences. Since we seem to be hardwired, and are definitely socialized, to think that certain acts are good or bad regardless of their consequences, this makes him seem ruthless and unscrupulous in the extreme – nihilistic.

Hmm, no, I don’t say the end justifies the means. But taking it that justifying is the process of not failing certain goals, I don’t think there being a mechanical process that delivers those hugs to loved ones fails at any particular goals I have, atleast.

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