Ultima: Synchronicity

Is the future of the Ultima franchise becoming less murky?

I don’t know how I missed this, because I’ve been Googling all sorts of Ultima stuff lately (I have a series of posts planned on Ultima 7 that I should be rolling out pretty soon).  But, wow, a BioWare Ultima game.  This might be what the Ultima series needs to get a reboot.  A good thing considering behind all the dated, clunky games there are really some conceptual gems.

Other research (happily) confirms it’s both free and also not an MMO.

Sign up for the beta. 


Bin Laden raider is ‘Medal of Honor: Warfighter’ consultant

Great stuff. I’d love to see who’s able to figure out what the next level is with the combat FPS format.

Hero Complex - movies, comics, pop culture - Los Angeles Times

There’s a reason why shooting games are becoming so realistic.

The Tier One U.S. Navy SEAL who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year and identified by name Thursday by Fox News is a consultant for an upcoming game published by Electronic Arts titled “Medal of Honor: Warfighter,” according to a person close to the matter. The person declined to be identified because of a confidentiality agreement.

Matt Bissonnette retired from the Navy last summer and wrote a book under the pseudonym Mark Owen describing the raid that led to Bin Laden’s death. The book, “No Easy Day,” is set to be released Sept. 11 by its publisher, Penguin Group.

Bissonnette’s name had been a closely guarded secret, both for national security reasons as well as his own personal safety.

Besides writing “No Easy Day,” Bissonnette did what many retired military personnel do — founded a…

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Watch Dogs

Second or third post I’ve seen on WordPress talking about Watch Dogs.  Take 10 minutes and watch this video.  It looks like it’s a missing link in bringing the sandbox genre to the next level.

Adding an open world aspect into a game obviously is a prized element because it has the potential to draw the user in, and create greater number of user experiences.  Why program objectives when you can let the player create their own?  I think this feature is generally done poorly in a lot of sandbox type games though.  Sure GTA is great, but does anybody remember True Crime, Streets of LA?  A bland world, or one where all of the encounters are scripted, and therefore limited, sets a winner apart from a loser.  More often than not the people are just in the game as animated shrubbery.

Where I see the real potential with Watch Dogs is that the world is both very organic in that it exists outside the player as a being in of itself, and also offers a more fulfilling connection through the hacking concept.  The character derives power from the access and control of information, not through a magic artifact or radioactive deus ex machina.  The impact of exploding digital information on our lives, and how it has changed our world really has taken place outside the game design sphere.

Take this bloggers observations for one:  http://zoyastreet.com/2012/07/26/phantasy-star-online-2-a-glimpse-of-the-future-through-the-prism-of-the-past/  A million years in the future and no Wi-Fi?  Please.  For god’s sake, the U.S. military has more advanced weapons than the Terrans.  Not that a video game ever will, or even should be realistic, but creating some sort of demi-god through the manipulation, disruption, and control of communication is an interesting paradigm.  Not necessarily because it’s realistic, but because it says something about our actual world.  I’d really like to see what the developers do with this great concept.