Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Magical Girl MMORPG...

The idea just, well, hit me.

A "magical girl" MMORPG.

Stick with me a moment here, lemme walk you through it...

You have a nice fictional Tokyo, with all sorts of neat sights and created maps, where our players hunt monsters and have occasional Fight Club PVP battles. They're all hunting down monsters and critters and creatures and all the naughty things that go bump in the day (and the night). Girls-and boys-of all sorts are on the battlefield, trying to make Tokyo a safer (and PG-13) place...

I can even see the character archtypes-

Cosplayers-They can change their powers by their costumes. Higher levels mean more interesting costumes...

Meganeko-Gadgeteers and Weird Stuff creators. Occasionally blows up property in the area.

Miko-They cast buff spells and healing spells. Oh, and can banish some kind of spirit critters.

Joshikousei(and whatever the male version is)-Major sailor suit action, with all the fun and excitement that brings. Divided into the ones that actually use weapons and the ones that are spell casters.

Tsundere-Years of harem abuse means that these are the game's "brick" characters.

There's probably a "gun otaku" character type a'la Sosuke Sagara, with options of "real world" or "sci-fi" guns. Add a Martial Arts template, too.

So, our (of legal age-18 and over) characters go out and make the world a better place-hopefully without doing too much property damage. The various districts of Tokyo serve as a way to control character levels (and it all converges on the center of Tokyo...). Map-accurate, too...tho not probably "ground-level" accurate.

Probably can pull this off with most current MMORPG engines, but I would definitely want the whole "high anime" aspect to the graphics. Lots of explosions...and havoc and chaos and panty shots. Real-world clock as well, where players are on Tokyo time. And, some monsters are out during the day, some are out during the night...

I'm almost tempted to add a connection so that you can play iTunes native to the game.

So, anybody want to start throwing more ideas up against the wall, to see what sticks?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If It's A Religion Of Peace, Why Isn't It So Peaceful?

Just, read the first two stories, then come back here. I'll wait.

The last days of Aqsa.

British iman's daughter needs police protection when she converts to Islam.

Read and follow up the links. Especially read the whole article on the British woman whom converted. And, remember this is England, a land of high liberalism and claimed that everybody more-or-less "got along well". There was a statistic there, wasn't it? Just to bring it up again...

"Earlier this year, a Policy Exchange study found that 36 per cent of British Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believed those who converted to another religion should be punished by death."

This is not a small minority. This is not-in theory-a group that has just come from the home country and many of them have probably been born and raised in England their entire lives. In short, they've lived most of their lives in a Western society with certain rules. They have not just fallen off the banana boat and are still gawking at the big city-they can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse.

We keep getting told that Islam is a religion of peace. Of peaceful interaction, when Moslems and Christians and Jews lived in peace with each other, and it was only the coming of the Evil Jooos whom took Israel away from the Palestinians and George W. Bush's evil that made them mad and angry and willing to blow themselves up.

The problem with that is that the history is that ignores several hundred years of Islamic history-not the least of which is the jizya-go read the Islamic legal commentaries, especially the humiliating nature of the tax payments to Islamic rulers. Or the status of the dhimni, whom have their lives hideously legally restricted and have no escape by conversion to Islam, for example. In many cases, conversion was restricted by law-it lessened tax receipts for the Islamic government.

I've held-and have always held for years-that Islam could probably be considered the only real form of fascism that would have worked for the Middle East, in which it tried to unify the various amoral familists of the extended-clan structures into a single unified whole. And, that if Islam wants to be a religion that wants to live with the rest of the world, it needs to have a version of the Reformation. The issue with that is that the Koran is considered to not have been divinely inspired a'la the Bible, but the literal Word of God. There are no mistakes in it, no errors, no "feature creep" from people making errors in wondering what the translation of really obscure words are.

Yet...I don't see it happening, in all reasonably. And, I don't know how to make it change-the Islamic world has to change itself and there's too much inertia for it to change. The Saudis fund their extreme radicals to go away and try not to seize Mecca again and doubt the Islamic street credentials of the Royal Family's rule. The Palestinians live high off the money of the UN and if they ever took Israel, that money would end-as well as taking over Syria which has a much better claim of being a Palestinian majority country. And, let us not talk about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom is convinced that he might be the Tenth Iman and he will be the one to solve the Jewish Problem-with nukes.

I just hope that the mess...doesn't explode while I'm still around. The solution for it is going to be messy. It will be a solution that will probably offend most Americans, but by that time we won't have a choice. We will have to do what is needed, because we must.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Zen And The Art Of Beer

About 2002 or so, my dad's dad died. Thud, dead. Not only did this give my current car (which has lived well, but shall soon have to be retired...), I drove my dad down to a meeting with several members of what was left of Dad's dad family.

I learned a lot about my Dad on that drive, all the sorts of stories and tales and such that I should have learned years ago...mostly because my Dad's dad family and Dad's dad got alienated from each other after the death of his mother and that he didn't give up the kids (i.e. Dad and his brother) immediately for adoption. I don't know anybody of Dad's family beyond his father, a short man that survived World War II, made a home, worked his ass off even when he grew old.

About two weeks later, I got the basic hardware needed to make beer, an ingredients kit, and made my first batch of beer ever with my Dad.

And, about five years later and much beer, I know my Dad a lot better. I've got more reasons to talk with him. I've learned a lot from him, and we've learned more about each other.

We do need to make more beer...Mom is going to be in one of those "not good" situations in a few years and I need more stories from him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Nukes, More Of The Time

Via Instapundit and Slashdot, former nuclear activist Gwyneth Cravens is advocating that we get off the coal (and by extension, gas) teat and switch over to nuclear power. Not only does this tick off the Saudis and the oil industry (which a lot of the moonbats can appreciate), it is a lot cleaner and a lot safer than coal power.

Don't drag out the old beaten horses-Chernobyl would haven't passed the laugh test at the AEC development committee. Three Mile Island functioned exactly as designed, and while it was a mess...the reactor came back online. That, and it was a perfect-storm event where a really bad movie happened soon before the accident, and the two got co-located in people's minds.

Still...we need more power, and we're running out of options. Especially if we want to live our lives in about the same way we want to...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some Details On Game Design Concepts...

From my replies so far, both on and offline...they've been pretty useful, the spaghetti is sticking to the wall very nicely-

Basic Concepts And Such-
  • Once upon a time, I had a somewhat sarcastic thought about RTS resources management, on the basis of the old cliche of "Mars Needs Women" a'la really BAD '50s movies. So, by the following logic if Mars Needs Women, Venus Needs Men, and the poor humans are just trying to hold onto both of them with both hands. Venus needs Men for their high-end, Tier 2 and 3 units, Mars needs Women for major upgrades to their walkers, and humans need 'em both for keeping their really advanced weapons working.

    This, of course, lead to the whole joke of "how do you catch women? Shoe sales?" and going on and on and on from there. The horse had been VERY well flogged, thank you....
  • One of my big problems with Supreme Commander was just how BIG it could get. Oh, it was fun, no doubts about that, and the whole "sending hordes of soldiers across the map, raising huge dust clouds" has an appeal to it, but at a certain point, I kept getting the feeling of pixel bitching, wishing I had a few (human) sub-commanders I could just assign bits of the combat assignment to, I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of a on-line game, etc, etc...

    So, we have both the scale (enough to give some tactical variety and make it challenging without "oh, it takes three hours for our fastest ground vehicle to make it to the other side of the map") and by building infantry in a squad format encourages players to save units that have built up a really high level of experience-pull them back from the front lines, rebuild their capability, then send them right back out into battle again...
  • Mid game...this is the point in DoW where you've maxed out your Tier 1 building capabilities, have about half or so of your Tier 2, and looking seriously at your future options. Better yet, in Supreme Commander, you have your builders building Tier 2 defenses, the factories are churning out Tier 2 vehicles and you're seriously thinking about what your Experimental Weapon for stomping the enemy flat will be.
  • When I was talking about resources...Humans have their resources sent to their base directly by teleport technology. It's slower, but it can't be stopped short of destroying what's mining the resources. Mars and Venus need to use vehicles and build buildings to store resources, and they can be attacked and destroyed. Mars units can have shields and weapons added to their transports to make them much harder targets, Venus can add stealth systems and boosters to make them faster.
Universe Notes Bit-
Ah yes, THIS bit of fun...
  • The game's basic concept is "serious comic"-we have humor, only 40% of the humor is black, and the game does take itself (mostly) seriously. The designs of all three sides are practical within their context.
  • The game takes place on Earth, Mars, and Venus. The game's campaign mode (which ties into the game's on-line can play campaign battles online and earn achievements a'la XBox Live!'s system...) takes you through the story and the three factions. Each one of them has a part in the story to play...
  • All three sides are (in campaign mode) mostly shooting at each other. Both of the Alien sides want humans, the Humans want their world back, and nobody is going to play nice.
  • The game is in full 3D with "fog of war" effects on both the visual field and radar possible.
  • The technology is realistically can tell right away "oh, that's a Martian" unit right off the bat...
The Factions
  • The Humans are the "conventional" faction. You need to build or improve buildings to build better units. They have infantry and vehicles...and these are separate things. Human infantry is built in squads, etc, etc....
  • The Martians start out with a central core/factory that can only build light "infantry" drones, construction drones, and materials transports. As it gets resources, it upgrades into a much larger core, which can build heavy "infantry" drones, then the first Walker lands. Walkers, with the right Core upgrades, can build "vehicle" drones and "aircraft" drones. As the Walkers grow more legs, they grow more Core slots, which you can add more facilities to produce drones, which means you can build better drones. Of course, each space taken up by a drone facility could mean you can't upgrade your shields...and shields are what keeps nasty weapons away from your fragile hull.
  • Venusian units start out with a single factory...and all it can built are Builders and Troopers (basic soldiers). You mix and match Builders and Troopers into buildings, more powerful infantry units, and eventually you can build Scouters, in which you can combine 'em with Builders and Troopers to produce even more powerful weapons, base defenses, infantry and vehicles, etc, etc...

    One small note about Venus buildings-blow one of them up, and you suddenly are under attack by the "liberated" Troopers....
I'll talk more about units when I have some chance to figure out exactly what the units will be...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Some More RTS Game Concepts...

A while back, I kept tossing ideas against the wall to see if they would stick for a RTS strategy game.

After some thought, quite a bit of beer, and playing some more games, I've come up with ideas for my game that would make sense, fill bullet points, and could be easily summed up. Oh, and maybe be made with the grace of God(dess)....

Basic Concepts
  • I damn well am going to try and keep the idea of "Mars Need Women/Venus Needs Men" game mechanic. All the sides needs them, the Humans are the only producers of them, and in multi-player games they can be traded around for other things...
  • The game scale is to be between Dawn of War and Supreme Commander-no map should be bigger (in "real-world" scale) than ten kilometers by ten kilometers.
  • Units will be built around squad-sized units for "infantry" and individual vehicles.
  • All three sides will have a different combat dynamic, and that dynamic can be adjusted within the three types of combat dynamics. This change in combat dynamic is based around the building of a mid-game building, which offers access to several technologies and augmented units.
  • There is a definite "resource flow" in the game. Human players have the advantage that their flow of materials (there are only three resources in the game-humans, matter, and energy) cannot be interrupted, Martian material transports can be upgraded with shields and armor and guns, and Venusian units can have cloaking devices added.
  • There will be ground and air units.
Okay, to the factions!


The Human faction is a bunch of survivors from the early days of the war, hidden deep underground and developing their technology to fight the alien invaders on the surface of their world. They use a LOT of nanotechnology and cloning technology-a Clone Complex has to be built so they can deploy advanced units and vehicles. They are the most "conventional" of the three races in the game, and all their tech looks like it was developed by Masumune Shirow (lots of glowy bits...)

One of the Human's big advantages is that they can steal and upgrade their own hardware with the technology of the other two sides. For example, they can salvage shield technology and improved energy weapons from Martian walkers, and stealth technology and improved projectile weapons. The other big one is the use of teleport technology-Human material feeds come directly from the miners to the base, without a vulnerable supply line to interdict. Later units can also "blip" across the map in deadly rear attacks.

The mid-game development point is a Citadel, in which one of three technology tracks and final weapons can be built-
  • The Art Of War-Units will incorporate heavier weapons and armor, at the cost of mobility. This technology line leads eventually to the Overlord walker and the Lucifer supertank with it's massive quantum cannon.
  • The Art Of Fortresses-Defensive structures will be improved, and are cheaper to build. This technology line leads to the Quantum Reaper fixed defensive gun and the Mammoth four-legged walker.
  • The Art Of Cavalry-Mobility is supreme in this Art-all units move faster, and air units can pretty much zip from one end of the map to the other with hideous speed. This technology line leads to the Wyvern bomber and the Shiva supertank.

The Martian faction has come to Earth to take our women. They need women (for reasons that SO do not involve tentacle rape (not!)) to build their war machines beyond the basic core. A Martian base starts out with a Core (think of it as a HQ building) and several Constructors. As the resources flow into the Core, it upgrades automatically (you can build other units at the time, mostly infantry) into a Sepulcher, which allows for the first of the War Machines to arrive. As you gather resources, another War Machine arrives, to build up the total army (of six? eight?) in the area. The tech looks an awful lot like something made in the '50s or so, many fins and shiny bits and curves and fun stuff.

Each War Machine is pretty much a mobile base (stole this idea from Universe At War) and they auto-upgrade as resources flow into them. At first, a War Machine has three legs, three leg slots for upgrades, three torso slots for weapons, and three core slots for add-ons. As time goes on (in a very...disturbing ripple of growth), a fourth leg is added, giving more slots....and so on until you hit the total of six legs. Heavy units are built at the War Machines, and upgraded via technology built at your Sepulcher. Air units are built at the Sepulcher, as well.

The mid-game tech development point is the Reliquary, where one of the three technology lines can be built-
  • Tomb-Heavier shield technology is the heart and soul of the Tomb series of technologies. The most powerful shield technology and the Thermobaric Cannon (big explosion) can be mounted on your War Machines.
  • Grave-Faster shield regeneration and the ability to penetrate enemy defenses easily is a core element of Grave technologies. Faster-regeneration shields and the Twist Cannon (bypasses shields) can be mounted on your War Machines.
  • Masoleum-Shields are much, much cheaper and the weapons are built to do huge amounts of damage. Cheaper shields and the Lash Cannon (think of it as a killer rope gun) can be fitted to your War Machines.

Four armed, very busty and well-built female aliens, the Venusians have come for our men and...well, for our men. And beer, too. Can't forget the beer. They start out with several Assemblers, which will either split into more Assemblers, or merge into a Foundry. The Foundry can build Assemblers or Soldiers...and by combining numbers of Assemblers or Soldiers, you can build more powerful units. (Think of the "more faces equal more power" of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann-the more units that merge, the more powerful a unit can be created. Of course, you can queue up building the units entirely...).

Venusian units tend to steal from the '60s in terms of design concepts and looks. The Venusians tend to rely a lot more upon mobility and stealth than their enemies-even their "basic" units are hard to detect on radar than the other two races. The best way to describe their strategy is "stick and move".

The mid-game tech development point is the Liturgy, and they can choose one of three technology development paths...
  • Chorus-Stealth technology is first, foremost, and paramont. Pretty much their units vanish on the radar screen and the "normal" stealth units are invisible in all ways...with this technology, the Venusians can build the Monolith superheavy tank and the Scimitar fighter-bomber.
  • Soloist-The quality of the units increases, and they can withstand more damage and deal it out, as well. With this technology, the player can build the Romancer walker and the Fresco superheavy tank.
  • Glissendo-The air is where this technology leads. Flying units get faster and can do more damage, and all units can engage air targets now (except for fixed defensive weapons). With this technology the player can build the Stevedore airborne assault walker and the Marathon bomber.
More ideas as they come up...