Shogun 2

Infect Teh Interwebs

I am deeply impressed with the riches and depth of Shogun 2. I played it on Steam, and even the Demo is like huge and days of play. If you are a gamer with a penchant for battles and colourful, evocative, enhanced realism, do get into this and explore it. The graphics are, considering the state of the art, fairly good. The whole thing feels authentic, rich and makes me interested in Japanese medieval and latter history. The Total War franchise is something I’d love to explore at length, even while I suck at the rather complex battles.

I am like financially ultrachallenged, but hey, someone can always sponsor me to explore the actual game, right?

I know that while there is a solid modding scene for Total War, it is very difficult to add structures to the game. I think the makers of the franchise should come up with a bunch of editors that allows easy creation and insertion of maps, new units (including combat stats and programmable abilities), unit shapes (from historical and realistic to fantasy and utterly fictional), animations and strategical maps. I can imagine a games company making a fortune by facilitating a marketplace where everyone who creates items makes some money in a sale on the company server. The next step would be to make sure that all players play over the servers (to secure this business model) and make sure the service keeps expanding and growing.

I’d LOVE big “Total War” based resource management multiplayer environments or worlds. I have been enchanted by that idea since the 1980s, as over a hundred of my previous victims can attest to. In such worlds players should be able to play with social interactivity, strategical and resource management, trade and speculation, problem solving, quests, gathering, item creation and maybe even some other features. Everything in such games can eventually have interlocking game values – a player can create an intensely valuable dragon monster, and then find that this dragon also spawns a rare resource used elsewhere in the game, and find his dragons hunted by adventurers.

Middle Earth total war packs. Elric Total war packs. Hyborian total war packs – IP sillyness allowing.

By interlocking worlds (or land masses) in elaborate land maps such worlds can be made very big, in terms of players. I get goosebumps thinking about that. The only game coming even remotely close to that ideal right now is Eve Online. I can inagine themed (consistent) worlds with content managers (game masters) who at first pay to set up a world in the game company servers, but later get paid to do so. Some participants would do the typical MMO thing and adventure with a single high level ultrabuffed and insanely skilled (and probably breathtakingly styled) avatar. Other participants would set up the whole plethora of caravan trails, mines, farms, NPC organizations, gangs, plundering hordes, etc. And of course, befitting the philosophy of the Total War franchise, the driving motor would be armies and great warlords locked in to massive battles.

If you do this as an MMO this would have to be P2P networking – a single server connection would lag the game to a stutter. But the idea of a battle that takes hours, with thousands of NPC troops (in a historical setting, as low fantasy, as high fantasy or even as a totally surreal setting) and hundreds of players from all over the worlds, seriously why isn’t this being developed yet?

Nice game.