3D Space RTS fan. Searching for life outside the homeworld :)
I want to discuss the word “khar”, that is the part of notable names for kushani/hiigarian history. It would be interesting to understand what does it mean. There are two believed meanings of it: the “first” and the “ship”. Both seems to be right, but let's check the usage.
1. Kharak - Planet habited by the Exiles
a) Guys translated it like "the First Planet" that was possible to habit; or we can transform the word 'first' to the 'the unit', 'the one': like, the planet that we chose. Like the article 'the', but with much more weight: THAT (The Very One) Planet.
b) "Ship" meaning should not be taken so straight: it could mean something like "place"; but even without it, the planet is a quite big ship - for those who had seen only their prison ship for generations, "ship" could have more sacred meaning then we do;
Actually, there is a city Al-Karak, and its name once had the meaning 'Fortress'.
And there are few more ancient city names with Kar/Khar in it. Like Khar-Nak - Egyptian city near the Tanis.
2. Khar-Selim - Explorer ship;
a) First explorer, or the Pioneer, the first to discover something. But does it mean that 'Khar-Selim' can be applied to all pioneers? Or ''The Lonely Wanderer'? Or like in the previous case 'THAT (The Very One) Explorer', as it was very special ship.
b) Ship-explorer, very simple. But what if the 'Selim' is some name, name of some wanderer and the great explorer, like it was in the case of taiidani salvette codename - 'Tiirshak', the scientist and explorer of Kharak?..
3. Khar-Toba - City on the ship ruins;
a) Something like "The First City" or 'THAT (The Very One) City';
b) Ship-city; ship-landing or else. Some are taking this name with guide stone - the reflection to the Kaaba in Mekka (Mekka's "brother" is Sajuu-ka, IMHO), the black stone. This is quite correlating, especially if we know that "kara/khara" in turks language is "black" (even here we can play with 'black/danger/sadness/void/universe' meanings, imaging the whole story behind 'khar' evolution through the physical, association, social and religious applications).
4. Kharam - ship wreckages on some mp map;
a) First-am :). Well, we should know more about this ship and it's purpose. Mb, it's the first, but... we don't know. Or it could mean 'The One' ship, the lonely ship. Or else.
b) Ship-am :). Well, '-am' suffix meaning could be - 'what's left of', 'abandoned', 'ruined', 'contaminated' and, of course, 'forbidden', as the actual meaning of the Arabic term 'Haram'.
5. Sajuuk-khar - "The Chosen One"
a) The first after Sajuuk? Like, 'Who's that guy? - 'THAT (The Very One) with the Sajuuk'
b) The placeholder of the Sajuuk, the “sajuukshipped”; the one who's is lead by Sajuuk, the Great Captain Who's Hand Lead Whatever It is :). So, the ship of the Sajuuk could be named nearly the same but in the reverse order - Khar-Sajuuk, and that's something that correlates with the 'Khar-Selim'.
Well, personally I like "ship" version - it's more like translating from other language, where you have to take two or more words and to think what is the logic in their connection to understand the final sense of the phrase. The words themselves have their history, usage habits and cultural background.
For example, there is a famous word, heavily reminding the Homeworld's 'Sajuuk':
The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew יהוה, transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the actual pronunciation is disputed. The most likely meaning of the name may be “He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists", but there are many theories and none is regarded as conclusive.
In case of 'Khar' there might be similar approach, though after 'Cataclysm' almost straight links to the Earth names and "HW:DoK" simplifications, I doubt that there was and will be a smart and sophisticated approach to the language question in HW universe. But, maybe, after 'Game of Thrones'/'Star Trek' artificial languages inventions, something will change to make universes more believable.
Days, when released games were considered a final product, are gone. With internet speed advance developers had their chance to fix the game with patches. And as games complexity began to rise, checking for patches in the internet after installing the game from CD/DVD became standard. Steam as a game distribution network was just an evolutionary step forward. And this, along the overall software development tendencies, was a step towards paradigm change from "Game As a Product" to "Game As a Service". Something similar is Windows10 is doing right now, constantly upgrading every time I log in ("What's he building in there?" (c) Tom Waits), so I try do it less :)
In this article I will try to think of what changes come with this paradigm shift.
"Game as a service" suggests that game life-time is as long as possible. And as the "Broken Reality" book says, a game now requires not the hype-train gamers, that would swallow the game and ask for the sequel, but gamers that would live normal life and access the beloved game from time to time. Something of a life-time addiction :). And, for example, mobile devices allow player to switch to the virtual reality while riding the bus or else.
And it's no wonder that a lot of play-and-pay mechanics were brought from MMOs and mobile platforms. While advertisements were not so successful in PC/Console games - though "Quake Live" had been changing levels in a favor of their sponsor Intel, and it was pretty much OK, and, even more, it would fit perfectly in a city environment of some modern combat game, just hire some professional product placement specialist - loot boxes and mini DLCs found their way to the player asses, so that some countries announced it as a gambling, which automatically limits player base to adults only and grants huge taxes to the developers.
And while it's quite natural for a human being to try to find its own visual look (you know that feeling when all try to be different and end up with still looking the same), and it's OK to pay for some... hats?.. to look differently from the initial grunt, it should not go into pay-for-everything mode. There should be balance between some free starter kit - player should still have some choice to have initial positive link between him and a screen character - and observable potential outfit to be accessed. And this outfit should be accessed in two ways: pay or play. First one bring us the money, and some rear items definetely should be only for the money; and second one gives us the player base, which nowadays is one of the most important assets a game possess: no players - no game. For example, that's why "Quake Champions" had been made free-to-play: to increase active player count. Personally, though I had no chance to play "Aliens: Colonial Marines" online as there were no players, I liked their upgrade system that worked in a single player as well: with level-up you get points for weapon upgrade and outfit modification. Surely, it's not the only game that uses similar system, "Battlefield"/"Quake Wars"/"Call of Duty"/"WoT" probably use the same mechanics.
Btw, it feels potentially interesting: as for Multi Player we require players, MP could be free-to-play with play-or-pay modification system; but Single Player could be a normal payable DLC, that would give you some character upgrade points in MP for playing SP DLC. Probably, as a canonical model of a SP campaign was a game mechanics introduction along the game story disclosure, a game introduction part could be simultaneously a MP tutorial and SP demo, fair enough. Cannot be 100% sure, but it seems that "StarCraft II" and "Hearthstone" have similar mechanics. Though, "Hearthstone" has given access to previously unavailable SP assets, probably, so that certain part of the players could get into the game, feel its intellectual potential and stay also for MP with its lootbox mechanics. I see something like a players pyramid, with a base of free2play, but to increase the speed of going up in ranks - to improve chances of acquiring cards for a deck of a certain strategy - you will need to pay with your time or with your money, and that's basically is the same for an average adult. Seems like unobvious pay2win mechanics.
So, we've come to the dark pay2win side. Gamedesigners are already taught to use this effect: regular free2play mobile game offers you several easy levels, where you're get hooked to the game mechanics, that might be not so good, but achievement feeling says that "you're good!" as you win - and then you get a level with a much more higher difficulty set. And some greedy devs are just making levels unpassable without the donation cheat. Can't say for sure, but probably unfair pay2win game mechanics made players criticize heavily EA's "Star Wars: Battlefront II". Of course, real life has no perfect balance and sometimes it's really pay2win - whether it's your money or your time, growing up your skills; but we wait from the game to be more fair than the real life.
Most addictive links are created when things are given: the more you spent time in the game, achieving something there, the harder is to leave the game. To gain this, game needs several things. First, player needs to get positive reinforcement - game should be winnable, otherwise it's kinda of a masochism, as it was shown in the "The Beginners Guide", and these kind of guys are very narrow part of the potential audience. Second, player needs a challenge: winning should not be easy, otherwise it would feel like pure boring time-killing, not the process, where a player can prove that he's worthy, show and gain skill that might be pretty much useless in the real world - but the feeling of some achievement would remain. And for that gamedesigner should create challenges in a player's zone of proximal development, something like difficulty levels in case of PvE - game logic might adjust difficulty automatically, like it was in "Homeworld"/"Homeworld2", sometimes quite cheezy, with simple multiplication, which is not good - or in case of PvP there should a fair ranking systems, so that players with same level skill are met, otherwise it would turn into the "childbeating", like it was in the earlier days of "Quake Champions" or in some MP with only oldfags left. Fair play is respected.
Other way to create short-term addiction are daily rewards working best with counting some regular stats not events that might not happen at all which may lead to player's dissatisfaction as it's something that be cannot be affected. Accumulative bonuses for a day-by-day logging-in work longer as a player would not want to loose his progress - and this leads us to the next level of a player associating himself with a game.
Third, there should be a possibility for a player to know and show others what is his place, rank, what he has achieved. It's like Maslow's pyramid level of Esteem, "prestige and feeling of accomplishement". Probably, if we go back, then Physiological level is about game optimisation, so that game runs smoothly on the computer; Safety is about "you can play this game"; and Belongingness is about fair play with same level guys, feeling that you are accepted in this "world". And for players to have this prestige feeling safe, game ranking and economic systems should really be stable. It will really hurt their feelings if a new balance fix would make new players achieve in no time things that old player gathered for years. Probably, that's why some critical balance and gameplay improvements are better to be done in a sequel; and that's why it's so uncozy to play "Early Access" games.
The game itself might not have this level of communication with player, but the distribution service may add this level. We can see this in achievements system, profiles leveling, statistics gathering, around-gaming activities (blogging, chatting, communicating etc): all this helps to hold players to games and their shops, compare themself to the others, and see how geekish they are. Game giveaways to involve and growing game library would increase this feeling of a connection, bounds that are hard to break.
And forth, sometimes ideal gameplay cannot compensate the context of a game. If a player don't like elves devs have a little chance to get them into the fantasy game. For my surprise, we can even compare this to the final stage of Maslow pyramid - Self-actualization, creativity - if a player can't understand why the hell he's doing all this entertaining action, having no high goal, he would leave as well. The plot and entourage are powerful tools - probably, that's why kinda average games based on movie or boardgame license are sold pretty good. In this case player sees the world not just pretty bones of game mechanics.
For example, in "Magic Duels" (online "Magic: The Gathering") there are short campaigns, that serve several purposes: first, it's an advanced tutorial, second, it's an introduction of new game mechanics, and third, these campaigns tell the story of a world, including a player as a planeswalker. The same was done in the Bethesda's "The Elder Scrolls: Legends" CCG - there is a free campaign and several to buy for those who liked the game and want to play it single. Probably, CD Project Red should have done the same with their "Gwent", instead of releasing stand-alone single player game, that gained not so much success as their "Witcher III". And Valve's "Artifact" should have been free2play not to be ripped among these CCG sharks.
It's a pity that Ubisoft's tryout with "Might & Magic: Duel of Champions" CCG was considered unsuccessful: they could have transformed it into the single player game similar to MtG's "Magic 2015". Seeing so much CCG's sometimes I think that Nival's managers are headbanging the wall because they've released some casual mobile gamy in the "Etherlords" universe - which is not bad - but not the CCG or TBS/CCG - unlike the "King's Bounty: Legions" or "Disciples" mobile disciple "Lord of Discord" that while modificated managed to stay in the genre of the originals.
Another strategy of keeping players aware is to implement long-term tasks among the short-term tasks of the basic gameplay: these are hard to find or require some collective gathering. We saw that in "Metal Gear Solid V", where all the players should have denied nuclear weapons to access the alternative ending of the game; "Battlefield" had some interesting quests that required something more than a regular shooting but community interaction and thinking out-of-the-game; "Quake Champions" tries to implement system of gaining stuff by collecting certain number of achievements in matches; "Reigns", besides the funny card moving, had a higher goal that wasn't so easy to achieve; Valve plays with "Half-Life" fans sending them syphered messages... And so on.
On the other hand players themselves might create the high goal for the Greater Good, like killing 10 billion aliens in "Halo 3" MP. You know, burn the heretic, kill the mutant, purge the unclean (c).
This probably will make players spend more time in a virtual world with artificial rules. Hard to tell were will all this lead us (see "Man Disconnected"). Hope these new games will propagandize us something kind and good, like it was in "Detroit: Become Human" or "Wolf Among Us", where despite your decisions you are still on the ideological rails of the game creators. There was a story about elephants that while baby could not break out from a tied rope, but grown up they don't even try. On the other hands, there are games like "Eve: Online" that have no story but the one that is created by the gamers themselves...
Due to the fact that game's content and core mechanics might change heavily in a process of development (see examples in the "Blood, Sweat and Pixels" book), especially if the game comes to the public testing as an "Early Access" product, we need an application to have a high moddability, so that changes would not be scary, but quick and doable. Like in the best Karmaki engines traditions - ok, we may discuss if users may mod the game as cheating and hacking are not welcomed - but certainly, developers should be able to do it, as loot boxes, mini and major DLCs are popular nowadays :). Just let's not forget that long love and life of many classic games were granted by modding communities, that have shown untrivial ways of playing the original product. Surely, I don't mean that "Daikatana" development way should be applied (see "Masters of Doom" book), I mean that the development should be agile.
Imagine, "Battlefield" is made modular: like the next chapter of a franchise contains all the chapters done previously, and you simply select and pay for the era you want - from WWI to modern conflict. And this would sound familiar for players of "World of Tanks"/"Warthunder" - it seems like all is required is to add the infantry and weapon evolution system with the next "WoT" patch to get a new "WoT" competitor :). Anyway, we see here that MMO monetization practices are the part of a long-term support plan.
As an example, we can mention Valve's "Half-Life 2" plans on episodes release: it also can be seen as an evolutionary step in mixing sequel and DLC and using existing resources as much as possible. And while the idea seemed to fail (with the followers like "Sin Episodes"), I consider this was a premature success, as the big publishers now use very similar approach - "Fallouts" and "Far Cries" with obligatory set of DLCs are released nowadays like a "Fast & Furious" and are going into online - "Fallout 76", "GTA Online", "Red Dead Redemption Online"... Big publishers invest money in profitable titles so they can have income in a long-term: few stable investments and some experimental to enlarge their portfolio. Indie developers can act in the similar manner: there was a video from GDC, where a game developer was telling how his several average casual games being not so profitable by one, together made him independent: he supported games, games supported him.
Some AAA-titles sufferred of incorrect resource investment strategy: for example, this has happened to Relic's "WH40K: Dawn of War III". While being one of a relativetely new and already well-known RTS franchise, the game was literally abandoned by developers. What happened? I admit that the game had some issues with graphical design and game design, but I guess that wasn't the main problem: both developers and publisher didn't have long-term post-release product support and development plan. Maybe, they didn't believed in it - and then, why player should? But, maybe, they planned game as an old-style selling product - release once, get money/critics, go for a sequel: well, typical Waterfall-type project that lacks feedback from the customers.
On the other hand we have Blizzard that continuosly updating it's products, improving balance and gamedesign, looking forward for a years-long support, like it happend with old titles, and happens with "Starcraft II", "Hearthstone" and even with "Diablo III" that started not so good, going into the "pay2win" mode, but it was fixed - btw, with the help of Relic's ex-gamedesigner. So, here we see story of success that show us that correct post-release investments bring even more success and might even fix broken thing.
Like, there was a joke about two programmers, creating their dream-app. The first one wanted to create ideal product, the second released the product as fast as he could, got the money and hired the first one to work on improvements of the product.
So, I'd say, it should be considered that the release 1.0 is not a final release, but the late stage of beta-testing. The final release comes with the latest patch, obviously: devs of "Broforce", "Shovel Knight" or "No Man's Sky" will approve it.
But, of course, money is money, and if even Activision Blizzard, that spent 500 mln on a dark horse of the "Destiny", closes its project "Heroes of the Storm" (well, they should have not been greedy when "Dota 2" was a "WarCraft III" mod), then how can we blame Relic/SEGA for not trying to save the game? Probably, there was no man who'd say "In the name of the Emperor, we're going to rework all the mechanicus, at least in multiplayer, to make this game involving!" and a budget to support this man. Well, shit happens. Will see how Relic will deal with the "Age of Empire IV".
Similar approach might be applied to the opensource games - the ones that are driven by the community, like "Battle for Wesnoth", "The Dark Mod", "VCMI" etc; we can even say this about some greater mods - a development of a product never stops with a first release, while there is a demand for a product, it's alive and evolving. These games's development are made in the bazaar not the cathedral way, with all the advantages and disadvantages of the approach. And also, there's no money involved, but man-monthes directly without transition.
Nowadays gamemarket is overfilled with games of all the types, and according to the economics law, a product that can offer a customer more or better features will win customers. The product and the team behind should be adaptable. And this is also about the platforms.
Many developers teams are ignoring UNIX operating systems - Mac and especially Linux OSs - but despite the fact that there's not so much users - I don't know the official statistics - they could become the most loyal ones, as many game genres are outnumbered in Linux.
Of course, this situation is getting better. First, with Steam native client for SteamOS/Ubuntu; second, with Vulcan slow but inevitable incoming, third, with Steam implementing its own Wine analogue, SteamPlay, and forth, having PS4 and Switch using FreeBSD forks. You can see yourself that selecting between various gameshop launchers, presented on Windows - Steam, GoG, Discord, Battle.Net, Origin, Uplay, Bethesda, Microsoft Store, Epic (and probably Unity will enlarge its asset store to something bigger after the event with SpatialOS and Epic)... - having Linux as main trusted platform, user will select, of course, Steam. And his wishlist will mostly contain multiplatform games, unless the game is a "mustplay".
And because of that, despite that I liked Amplitude Studio's "Endless Space" and "Endless Legend", I decided not to buy "Endless Space 2", though it was great (on Steam free holiday); despite that I like "Q.U.B.E." - I've decided that I don't want to buy "Q.U.B.E.2"; and despite the fact that "Starcraft II" should be a great game (million flies cannot be mistaken!), I'm having "Dawn of War III" in my library. Probably, "Age of Empire IV" won't have such a luxury of multiplatform, as it's Microsoft franchise now (see "Blood, Sweat and Pixels" book to know what happend to the original developer studio).
Of course, many great games lack multiplatforming - like windows-only "Homeworld" remaster with "Deserts of Kharak" (but karma is a bitch, and now Gearbox head is experiencing some problems with a law - that's the "Vox populi - vox Dei" for "Homeworld", "Duke Nukem" and "Aliens:Colonial Marines"!). And, for example, GoG could have invested in their own native Debian/Ubuntu client with Wine fork, bringing good old games to Linux as well, where they'd be felt damn good.
In the very beginning of the HTML5 and WebGL public release there was idea that all this multiplatform problems could be resolved by a web browser. There even was a browser port of "Quake Live" in the early stage of development that worked on Firefox and was truly multiplatform. Google had an idea of a browser-based ChromeOS, but that didn't worked, though it's funny that even Microsoft is planning to use WebKit engine for its Edge browser, the heir of the Internet Explorer. But of course being on the edge of the progress requires some more resources than browser can offer, so still it's required to get deeper to the machine resources.
And let's not forget that many PC games are good enough to play on tablets, and while iPads use same MacOS, AndroidOS is just another Linux fork. Modern engines, like Unreal or Unity, allow multiplatform builds. And mobile gaming market has a lot more potential in a "game as a service" paradigm. For example, "Reigns", "Hearthstone", "Clash of Heroes" feel very natural on a tablet, and same, many TBS would fill same, but of course, you need to work on a responsive GUI for a mobile devices - for example, "Clash of Heroes" was a little bit glitchy, and, probably, same Ubisoft's "Heroes III HD" was removed from the Google Play because of poor quality port - well, even the PC version raised a lot of questions about quality assurance.
But, of course, in the end it's all about the money - how many features you can develop in a given budget i.e. time calculated from per month cost of salaries and rent. And it's good if the project is 80% done - according to Pareto principle. Everything above becomes "a feature nice to have", and these feature realization go to the post-release plan, if there was such. But as I said earlier, you never know what feature will be fateful - like in a Nash equilibrium going for a mainstream win you might both lose and win everything, but having something unique about your product might find you a smaller but stable audience. That's how the "Game as a Service"/"play'r'pay" strategy works: you engage players with something unique, so that created players community support the game further. And like in the saying "One cannot live in society and be free from society", same the developers cannot be free from gamers opinion: ignoring customers may lead to ignoring of the product. And to follow, change and try something new you need to be Agile, because your goal is not a product, but customer satisfaction.
Alike to the list of games I'd love to replay, I've decided to make a short-list of games I enjoyed on my phone/tablet (Android OS) and they were worth the money or time. Or both.
Will be updated. Sometimes.
Having read another post on upcoming champions with tries to think outside the box, recalling those old and not so old classic action heroes, like Serious Sam, Duke Nukem, Lo Wang etc, I thought about one game that was very close to Id Software core games.
I'm talking about 'Prey'. I really feel very sad that there is/were that conflict of Human Head Studios and Bethesda, that lead to denying the heritage of the title, born in torment of development hell since 3D Realms, and building something completely new, I'm not questioning the quality of the new product by Arcane - but still it's Prey In the Name Only.
Old 'Prey' was kinda cool, kinda very close to the Quake 4, Doom 3 - well, yes, including it was using idTech4, and Human Head Studios was partly Raven Software, that id-satellite studio (well, at least in some it's life moments), and the game relied heavily on slipgates, I mean, portals! And now original title is abandoned.
Well, I'm thinking that current Id Software, that revives her old and new titles in a better quality, could obtain new IP from HHS (or in cooperation with it) - without the lost title, but like Gearbox did with Homeworld: Cataclysm rereleasing it as Homeworld: Emergence (due to strange title copyright problems), old 'Prey' could be renamed somehow - I dunno, 'The Hunt'. And that would lead for players to have old game in Gog and Steam, and for Id Software that would mean new possibilities in developing new games, not being stuck to old IPs, and of course, new champions. Like these two guys:
Indian guy could have secret Icon of Sin skin with cry "Domasi Tawodi about to make you his bitch!". And Active ability to have shift gravity so that everyone flies :)
The Bounty Hunter guy could use some of his trailer arsenal.
And, yes, that not the only option.
John Romero's Daikatana could have an interesting potential if redone right.
And Ritual Entertainment's 'Sin' could share charismatic hero for championship: John R. Blade. As I recall, there was even demo of Sin II done on idTech4.
Also, there was the game "Magrunner: The Dark Pulse", which told us about the distant future, where some corporation under the hood of portal-like TV-show was planning to open portal to Cthulhu worlds. And this guy, Dax Ward, was one of the survivors of this successful attempt.
As QC is now strongly set in a world of Cthulhu,and this guys is somewhat of the same dimension as Slash/Anarki, it would be fun to meet him once in the planes of Dark God's twisted reality.
I believe, since upmentioned title are not really used, being consumed by FPS veteran Id Software for potential development would be better than nothing.
And have some champs from these.
Of course, IP holders might not agree on this :)
I've always considered Quake1 and Quake2 different games, that are in serie by name only.
So, Quake3 was something of a id Softwaffe Multiverse, the Vadrigari Valhalla, and while being Arena game, it still had very simple, "karmaki porno", plot: you were introduced to arena by Crash, taught by Sarge, and finally spaced by Xaero. So, every character there had their lines, their small history, like Hunter and Sorlag hatred; Wrack being lost in the Arena; Klesk experiencing loud silence of missing voice of We, his all race, slowly replacing by the voices of Vadrigari telling to kill everyone... And so on, so on.
There was a joke: "Doomer was slaughtering the Hell. 1st lap, 2nd lap, 3rd lap... 7th lap, he's finished, every demon is killed, he appears in Paradise. Angels come around him - "Hey, Doomguy, you're so great, no demons, glory to you!". Doomguy, watching this, swithes on chainssaw: "The 8th Lap!""
So, these warriors are lost in their battles, that's their personal hell - they can't stop no more, like in Sarge's intro. Or maybe Vadrigari have taken their projection with body and certain state of mind, so these are trapped in ethernal respawn cycle, and Xaero like no one knows this, like budhist dressed guy :)
And this is very much like Q1, which was very Lovecraftish, with brilliant OST by NIN - and not even first, menu track, but the others, with crazy ambient, with whispers, probably, those that talked with Klesk after all. For Q2 we had Q4, QW:ET, and I'd love to return to Q1 Universe, to have brutal gameplay in environment of Clive Barker's Undying or Call of Chtulhu or Magrunner: Dark Pulse. Like Doom3. But with Chtulhu instead of Hell. :)
Also Q3 with all these characters marked the history and potential plots for another games: another dimensions of Q1, Strogg war of Q2, distopia cyberpunk streets of future Earth, interstellar travels with pirates and so on, just read the bio and phrases of chars.
Well, I hope that Quake Champions will be a true continuator of Q3A. And here are some my ideas what could be taken from old id classic to new incarnation.
Well, for now in QC there are Ranger, Scalebearer, Visor, Anarki, Sorlag, Clutch, Nyx,Slash, Galena, William "B.J." Blazkowicz, Doom, Keel, Strogg&Peeker, Death Knight, Athena and Eisen.
Part of these gladiators have been seen earlier:
And I guess there is a place for another gladiators. And let's think about what they could be.
Quake 3 gladiators are not heroes, not nice and handy characters; they are anti-heroes, the fallen one, those who stuck in a battle for too much time, like forever. If collect those guys, then it would look like Suicide Squad, Predators or Broforce company. Some stereotypical, even archetypical guys with special skills...
I think, that as other id Software games characters are used, then probably, they are first candidates to appear as a new Gladiators.
But let's checkout Q3A.
Basically, she look like Doom female version and she's never considered as a boss. But still it was a nice model; And she's your crash course instructor. Your trainer, so that you can pass Sarge, after all! :)
On the other hand, don't underestimate her... She's a Doom-girl, after all :)
Well, I wonder if the Doomgirl a.k.a. Crash is a Quakeguy's daughter in this Santa-Barbara story...
Well, it's kinda ethernal sargeant, very stereotypical. He's face is a combination of Arnold Schwarznegger and Clint Eastwood if we look at the model, but more like old John Cena if we watch the Q3 intro.
But, like I've already said, you can take some guy with a square face, paint it silver, give him a cigar - and voila! Remember colonel Miles Quaritch from Avatar? Or Basil Plumbey from We were soldiers?
It's interesting, that in Quake Live Sarge is without the cigar. Oh, these day's modern gaming industry!..
Sarge had to represent an older version of a Quakeguy in an earlier stages of Q3A, but then he became a different character. But on the other hand, there are rumors, that Sarge is an another descent of Billy Blaze, a brother or a clone of a Doomguy or else. It's complicated.
There's even possibility to use Doom3 Sarge, Thomas Kelly, or his opponent, Jack Campbell, they both look pretty much 'sargish'. And as for outfit, we can have skins with armor from different id games - from Doom to Quake4, including Wolfensteins. Like, Q3A lore skin, some basic marine outfit, Q1, Q2, Q4 and D3 armors.
As for his Special Ability, I'd say, that I see him more Q3-oriented champion, Visor alike - mb, even with similar stats - and with special ability to restore ammo for all of his weapons. Old experienced Sarge knows that you need to take more ammo in battle... Plus that, ammo boxes and weapon speeds up ability restore. And mb, team mates near by will receive ammo too. And mb, some anarki-style effect time, with achievement "Reloaded" for killing enemies in time of.
Well, her initial look probably was a little bit free-minded, but on the other hand she is a tribal woman most probably from tropical areas, so it's completely understandable to wear this kind of outfit. But censorship is censorship, and in Quake Live steam cards she has changed.
I think, she's the one that needs to be in Quake Champions. I guess she'll be Quake's Wonder Woman in her original outfit. Besides, she's a natural enemy of the Sorlag, so she definitely need to appear in-game. There is question about her active ability, but it could be thought out. Also, her outfit can be modified in a various ways - Tribal, Predator, Barbarian, Aztec, African, Celtic... Like Heavy Metal Predator or else:
It would be cool if her shaders would change her battle tattoo/drawings.
This one I've tried to draw by my one:
According to the lore he's telepathic and hears voices; I'd say that he could make visions to appear: so everyone around will hear strange sounds, will see distorted, and two bots same as him as distractions, shooting same time. I hope there will be possibility to get 'Flisk'-looking Klesk.
Well, he's already implemented, and now it's looks like classic extraverted Cyberpunk Hacker or else. But the thing is that original Anarki had mouse sewed, which ment that he was totally introverted, not allowing anyone to get inside of his thought. And it was inspired by a gamers that spend all their time in-games, thus game reality becoming their reality - Q3 Anarki was in his cybervision only.
Very good analysis of this character you can find HERE.
Vadrygar original hero or anti-hero, and most probably, he's a demon, Doom's antagonist; and there are two options for his special ability: it's a fog/mist from his arena; or a pentagram setup for imidiate teleportation in case of need;
Zero is a cybernethic monk. Hard to say what is his ability, but something could be done about meditation - like health restore, or like taking Q3TA powerup, he'll be invincible and static for a period of time; for a passive ability he might have 'flying tiger, crouching dragon ability' - double jump, for example. Or not, as Doom guy will definetely have this ability. Anyway, there's plenty way's to upgrade this guys outfit (including Bruce Lee costume) as despite his cyber-something from the back, he's quite stereotypical:
And talking of Visor's mask - he was not the only one with mask, you know!
And there are other guys. Some of them have multiple skins, and it would be nice to be taken into consideration when creating outfit for a certain character.
My drawings about some of the gladiators:
Well, her name tells it all: 'Someone or something that is fucking great or can dominate at ease' (c) urbandictionary. With such a name, bio, and lips of Angelina Jolie, she wouldn't make to the modern gaming world. So they replaced it with Nyx, who looks kinda similar, but different.
This girl is already implemented a bit censorshipped. Sounds nasty. Interesting analysis of this char you can find HERE.
This girl is implemented too but her initial model looks a lot more different from QC Sorlag. It was more untraditional, and really, looks like Scalebearer with a strange legs and head.
Well, this guy is already implemented. It would be interesting to make him look like Wrack for variability in look.
It's interesting, that after Doom-girl, instructor, you meet Quake-guy. Ranger's lost, and so do you. And you gotta find your way out of this Arena hell :)
But there is skin called Wrack - another one talking name - and I'd like to know more about another one quake-guy, lost in Slipgates... Or it would be cool, if Ranger would have an attachable beard and moustache like Anarki does.
He's already implemented and I think he looks gorgeous, so there's no need to turn to his look in Q3 or his clone Gorre. Though it would be interesting to see the fight, who's the best. Like Ryu vs. Ken :))
As I've already told, Doom is most probably in plans for implementation, so I'd talk of Phobos. If you remember Doom3: RoE, then marine's outfit was different from D3: green vs. blue (btw, RoE doomguy's name was John Kane - is he somehow related to Q4 Mathiew Kane?..). So, Phobos - is a third guy from a forgotten add-on, Lost mission. And he should have orange suit :) Anyway, on a new engine, it's just shaders, not entire skin change.
Some say that he looks like Bruce Willis, and that he was Q2 war hero, but Q2 was oldskull game that had a player as action hero, not some Gordon Freeman or else guys, who steals all the glory afterall...
On the other hand he has quite strange hairs, and alternative skins, so as his fate was unclear after killing Macron (not the French president, you know), so he might become something of a Matthew Kane, only with completed and updated program, so he will become something of a Terminator.
Like in the case of Bitterman, nothing to add here: it's a Major, Q2 playable character (in MP, of course). With Bitterman, Sarge and Grunt, she makes a nice Strogg War team. Beside's that - well, cool looking fighter. She could speak spanish, as her another skin - Daemia - does.
Another one anonymous grunt from Q2 Strogg War. Even bio of his reskin - Stripe isn't helping.
Well, this is another one human cyborg, this time with some alien tech. Shoots grenades in QC. But original Q3 version of Keel is more mature and interesting than kinda stereotypical QC Keel, IMHO.
Orbb is an interesting thing: it's like journalist on war that decided to take weapon instead of camera in his hands. Also, it's player inpersonification than some archtype or popular hero inspiration: you run with your hands, and you have only eye; hard to say what skills it might have - manchkinism? :) But it's cool looking character. Interesting analysis of this char can be found HERE.
Well, I'd create a mixture of a Biker and Hossman. He doesn't look like something special (even from the Q3), but he's looking cool and could have a variation of his outfit, including Cadaver prison robe.
So, I can imagine some story of him, that his name is Hossman, was the biker gang leader (like "Hell raiders"), once robbing some van found a Necronomicon, started reading it, couldn't stop, organized cult with human sacrifice, got caught and electrified. Story can be various, like escaping prison, got skinned alive and like Rasputin not be killed; or some Hellraiser stuff, when his suffering are brought from the other dimension, so then he's wondering the Elder Realm with endless pain and anger, as he suffers and he still cannot die.
I'd suppose electro charge for him as ability. Or some choking with chain or guts :) Or both.
Razor story is kinda typical, but Patriot's more interesting: we can read about his active ability - he's a vampire. So, while active ability he could convert damage done to others. And of course, Patriot can share his original model - Razor - outfit.
Strogg War enemy, that has a lot to tell to humans. Well, I guess we can forget about seeing him in-game as there's Clutch. But.. who knows?
Lucy is one of the anti-heroes gladiator. Nothing more. Like Biker. And Angel.. Beautiful, body-positive, but what her special ability could be?...
Part of the Femme Fatales of the Q3A, including Slash, Lucy and Hunter:
And, finally, Bones, simply bones: "This fearsome foe showcases the powers of the Vadrigar, for it has no true life of its own". I guess, it was a showcase of the powers of the developers :), and Bones cannot be counted as a real gladiator with some backstory and personality.
As Bones is stupidly simple model, we can count that Death Knight is a spiritual successor of him.
Well, it's hard to make any prophetic conclusion.
We might think of gladiators coming in pairs, and we saw that Anarki had Slash, Scalebearer had Nyx, Ranger has Death Knight, Strogg&Peeker with Athena might be considered as a q2 pair, Clutch has Eisen (the engineer has robot's vanity in his outfit)... So we might think about some other pairings, especially as there are some clues. Like, there's Hunter feather in Sorlag's artifacts... And Klesk appearing in Keel's story... So one of these might be in a plan for upcoming champions. For now it's solo for Visor, Galena, BJ, Doom... Doom could stand against Uriel, and BJ might rise some Nazi zombie - like this Q3TA Fritzkrieg (though, he requires redesign, IMHO). And Visor against Patriot :)
But as Visor speaking Russian, and Eisen speaking German, we can wait for more non-english speaking champions, like Daemia or Xaero. This could be decided upon the player's language selection statistics or planned target audience. :)
Then there are my preferences: I'd love to see Hunter, Klesk, Sarge, Xaero, Orbb, Patriot and Matthew Kane, because for other ones I can't think of any special ability - like, Q3 Strogg War warriors were soldier - what specials then? And for the leftoovers, I'd love to get some classic TDM/CTF w/o abilities, but with good old updated models characters. Also, it would be cool to have Quake4 soldiers against Doom3 marines, mb, against QW:ET sides... Something of a QC: Team Arena.
Otherwise, it would be good to have QC ported on a fresh idTech7, and to have more other id games thematical maps, more champion-based maps like it was in Q3, or even antagonist pairs based maps.
Great thanks to following sites:
...100 years ago, a satellite detected an object under the sands of the Great Desert.
An expedition was sent...
That was original HW1 baserunner of 1999. In 2003 it has changed a little bit:
Well, it could be counted as different machine of a different expedition, as there were at least two of them...
But then BBI developers have shown baserunner version of 2013, with some weaponry. Well, time was not so peaceful that time... But kinda interesting - is it some early stages of HW:DoK?..
And then in HWR artists used the same picture for HW1 and HW2, marking that it's the same expedition. And design has changed once again:
And in 2016 we will see final version - canonical (if we can say it about something that rewrites the very first game) - of baserunner.
There was a funny moment in HW2 beginning: was told that the taii have JOINED the vaygr.
For me it's quite nonsense. Of course, the original HW/HWC script writer wrote a book where Russian & China have made united country (this script is one of the usual stupid beliefs about Russia, among the "bears walking in the cities" and balalaika, vodka, ushanka, perestroika), but he made the Taiidani Republic exist.
If we take the vay-gr as the chinese, and the taiidani as Soviet, now russians, does it make sence? Okey, for somebody - yes, but not for russians. These are two very different cultures. It's more likely that Russia joines the EU than the China, that already is hardly believable. I guess, the West simply misses that old understandable Cold War enemy. The China and the Islamic countries are quite chaotic, and it's unclear how to fight with country that makes you rich (low cost production), or with the religion, that calls it's zealots to conquer the infidels and denies all the Western values. The Soviets were so simple! :)
The same goes here: after these words I felt like V & T had such of a conversation:
- Hey, guys! Where are you going?
- To Hiigara!
- Oh, yeah? Take us with you!
Another one absolute evil. As the Taii Emperor, as the Turanic Raiders, as the T-Mat, as the Beast...
But okey. Actually, we can think of these words as the official Hiigarian propaganda. Like every country, it has the official position to this and that question, and tries to convince it's people that it is true - to make it easier to manipulate. It's not always bad, but usually it's not good. Like "everybody lies" (c) Dr. Haus.
Let's remember what happend when the Exiles returned from the Hegira. They did - what? - the same thing that the taiidans made with them. And again I really doubt that they could make the billion population world (the capitol of the Taii Empire!) disappear. They really did the same thing with the taiidanies, just more cruel.
They haven't let go the ones who were guilty of Kharak massacre. They made the taiidans - the ones that came from the other taii worlds, and the ones that were hiigarian descendants - the citizens of the 2nd sort (like it happened with russians in post-soviet republics), thus building the "Golden Billion" system and following the Siidim way - dividing people into pure and unpure gritiidims...
Of course, this circumstance was quite annoying to the new Taiidani Republic and it's people, but they needed this "formal non-aggression and co-operation pact" and further in-law relationships for normal existance in Galactic Council. But still, after the threat of the taii imperialists has dissappeared, everybody remembered that taiidani were empire once! And they could do it one more time! Especially, as many lords of taiidani empire assembly were presented in Republic government. So, no matter how tried, taiidans were bad...
So when the Makkan came, he said - "join us or die", and the taii imperialists agreed, as they were too weak to resist, and Makaan really represented their forgotten claim for Hiigara and Emperor. But the republicans were fighting - they had things to lose, but they could not resist the uberlong hyperspace jumps of Makaan fleet: while they were gathering fleet at one point, he was far away. And I think he made the same trick with taiidani, as the the taiidani made with Kharak: he said "Give up, or I will destroy the Taidan, your homeworld!"...
And thus came out that the taii have JOINED the vaygr...
After playing System Shock 2 Infinite, I've thought about Doom3. In some ways they are quite similar: dark corridors of human-built environment, survivalism, lockers with codes, computers and so on. Of course, these are two different type games: Doom3 is mostly one-way shooter, System Shock 2 mostly allows player to choose waypath, gameplay tactics and character skills development strategy.
But Doom3 has assets that could be used in some kind of System Shock remake. System Shock 1 was rereleased recently - but it's really old, and for modern players it's hard to get to it. There were tryings to get SS1 modernised via Revert3D engine by direct conversion, but it has no progress for a quite of a time. There's even remake of it called "Citadel", created on Unity5 engine. But the same as remakes of SS2 on other engines (Source, and most incredible - CryEngine realisation, that I'd recommend to llook on YouTube, hackkker), they could be blocked by IP owners.
And on the other hand there is Dark Mod - "Thief" inspired modification for Doom3, that became stand-alone free game. It took "thief" gameplay mechanics - and then there was only need for a new maps, that income quite frequently, if I'm not wrong. So, probably, while you copy concept of a gameplay it's quite OK, then when you make a direct plagiat. Why don't we use it for Doom3?
Imagine: you will have ability to hack lockers; medkit terminals will be modified not only to heal you, but also to upgrade your skills. Doom3 even has enough space for magic (a.k.a. psy-powers): remember the SOUL CUBE? or Demon Heart? Of course, you need to hold it in two hands, but in System Shock 2 and Bioshock it was the same thing, you coudn't hold weapon and use magic in the same time. Sure, we can make one-hand magic to combine it with pistol and flashlight.
There is game, similar to SS2 and BS1/2 by gamedesign of weaponry, it's Clive Barker's Undying (I'd really love to see it in redone in HD). So, we could take some scrye (night vision analogue), invoke (similar to control but with already dead ones - become the zombie master!) and scull storm - imagine flying head around you, going for any enemy in sight? There could be a lot magic in D3, so that Quake Guy would jump of the slipgate trying to kill you as he will think you're one of the Shambler witchers!
I already imagine this kind of powers:
So, for this idea there must be:
I don't like idea of player cannot use weapon if he has no skill of it - when STALKER developers thought on RPG system, they decided not to use it as anyway player would master his game skill along playing, but forcing player to play worse feels stupid. I believe that's why total weakness of Penumbra or permanent madness of a Call of Cthulhu player feels weird - damn, you are armed with hammer and you can't kill fucking dog, which is same fragile as you are, actually?! damn, you see weird shit all the time, but you're still going mad? Probably, that's why I like Quake and Doom3 - you see crazy hellish/cthulhish/stroggish shit of your worst nightmares, but you gather your shit together and reload your shotgun again and again. In "Aliens vs. Predator" a player had both powerful guns and control over it, but still it was scary game.
I'd suppose something like that (SS2 inspired):
Quite simple isn't it? First triad is universal (it can even be setup at the beginning of the game, or thrown away to have predictable gameplay...), psychic skills allows you to cast better spells, technic skills allows you to maintain, modify and repair weapons. Psychic and technical skills are conditions for weapon and spell upgrade - you can use weapon or spell, but if you have not enough skill point, you would not be able to upgrade to 2nd or 3rd level, or even to modify if it's complex spell or weapon (BFG!).
Well, there can be invented something better, of course. Bioshock or similar game (Dishonored/Prey) should be checked for ideas. But it's just a concept anyway.
Human brains are divided into two hemispheres, and though they are working together as one, each of hemispheres has it's preferences.
There were experiments on disabling brain hemispheres by electroshock, and it appeared that human being act quite different in these situations. For example, while only left hemisphere was working, human is very rational but unemotional; with right hemisphere active, human is very emotional and cannot speak much - due to the fact, that most of the memory abstract tags like words, numbers etc belong to left side of the brain.
This was approved by patients with brain damage or those, that had brain operation dividing major connection between hemispheres. Last one from now on felt like "double-persons" because of brains halves were functioning more independent. They had interesting effect: as hemispheres control opposite sides of the body, with their right hand they could only write, and with left hand they could draw, as right hemisphere is about right-here-right-now visual perception and left hemisphere about encoding in tags for past analysis and future prediction.
So same goes with the other senses: ears, eyes... For example, if you want to have better sense of you talking on phone, you have get your phone to the right ear, if you want to have better understanding of emotions expressed on the other side, you'd better listen to your phone by left ear. And I believe this should work with eyesight: it's connected to have one picture but still each eye has it's angle and ending point in hemisphere.
Getting back to UI, here comes some simple suggestion: so if left part of a picture belongs to visual perception of right-now moment, and right part of a picture belongs to analytics and prediction, then why don't UI is organised in natural way? So, leave left side for monitoring battlefield, minimap and , maybe, important unit current status. And right side leave for buttons, building and so on - something to operate with.
This also would cooperate with the fact the most of the human beings are right-handed, and that means while moving mouse it's faster and more convenient to operate within the area that could be circulated around monitor lower right corner as a center of a sector.
But of course, having convenient shortcut keys would make gameplay even more pleasant for those who have passed introductionary course of a game and its UI :)
Well, we can see that there's very much attention to the Bible in the Homeworld - especially in the campaign part. And it's kind of confronting game manual. I'm very confused with it, really.
Authors merged too much senses together, so it's now quite unclear what their position was.
But destiny of Kadeshi is quite clear from this point of view.
While watching "The Double" I've managed to recall such films as "Brasil" and "The Dark City". Well, decorations reminded me of spaceships - System Shock 2, Pandorum, Event Horizon, Fallout bunker Nr. 13 (ok, not a spaceship) - dark, gloomy, everything is known for a long time, same persons, same places, restrictions and rules... Sounds like Kafka's hell - people just doing what they've been told, every day is exactly the same, society grows their children to obey, follow the rules to survive... Something like in "Captive Universe" of Harry Harrison. Or Ursula Le Guin novel, where habitants of colony ship started doubting if there is world outside the ship.
And if so, then people grown up in claustrophobic space would admire agoraphobic doors of The Great Hangar, separating them for the Great Wastelands of Cosmos (and Chaos same time), Nietzsche's Void that looks into your soul, while you look into the mirror...
Great sacrifices as a Great Goal.
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