21st Century Paladin’s Dojo Info – 1/26/13

Is Paladin going to want one of these for his dojo? Yes, Papa-san.
  1. Samsung teases ‘unprecedented new TV shape’ set to be revealed next week (and it could be transparent as well)
    Slick to the nTH degree. Transparent TV!
  2. Grinnell College’s Jack Taylor scores NCAA record 138 points
    What a ball hog. ;^)
  3. Four Things That Will Cost Less in ’13
    I’ll buy the other 3 but I have a hard time believing Cable prices will ever go down. Them’s is greedy people.
  4. Could a cup of tea made from coffee be the healthiest hot drink option?
    So lemme get this straight, coffee tea is the new coffee? Where do I sign!?
  5. Did someone say Lego Hotel?
    Might be time to prep the Family Truckster.

Paladin is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Realtor. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter.

Lifelike Manifesto: Paladin’s Rules for Improving Role Playing Video Games

Originally published: 2/3/2006. In all but a few of my 40 46 years, I’ve been playing video games. Now I’m starting to accumulate a list of rules that video game developers should consider (really, they should just obey them) when they’re looking to build the more realistic, engaging adventure experiences that we all crave.

I’m sure you have others. Please let Paladin know.

General

  1. First-person perspective
    Do any of us live with a third-person perspective? Of course not! The benefits of 1st person far outweigh the disadvantages.
  2. Adventuring is dangerous
    Other than monsters, there should still be other ways to hurt oneself. If a character tries to walk off a cliff, the game should let him. No invisible fences. There should also be traps set from time to time, especially where bad guys have secured a valuable item. Like, “Duh?”
  3. Life Isn’t Linear
    The only thing linear about life is time. We aren’t constricted to only be able to open 1 of the rooms 4 doors. If I’m holding a gun powerful enough to blow away a giant space alien, surely it’s strong enough to open a locked door. Don’t build levels where I can only move through it one way, give us choices.

Movement

  1. Realistic speed of movement
    Dogs can run about 20-25 mph, whereas a Greyhound can reach speeds up to 45 mph. Humans can job at about 5 mph, sprint up to 22-25 mph while Sprint Champions could possibly reach approximately 35 mph. Now, if we’re playing a superhero, those numbers go out the window.
  2. Duration of sprint
    There should be nothing called “Always run.” Humans, like animals, all wear down over time. Then they should have to rest before being able to sprint at high speeds again.
  3. Unexplored places should be unknown
    The Fog of War is generally a good idea. Unless I have an map of an area (which would make a great item, hint!), I shouldn’t know what to expect it to look like until I get there.

Inventory

  1. Realistic weight limits
    There should be any slots, it should be based on how much weight that character can carry. Certain objects are heavier than others. There should never be any unlimited categories, such as gold, ammunition, etc.
  2. Backpacks are not instantly accessible/stored
    Putting away your long bow and getting our your set of throwing knives should take significantly longer than 1 nanosecond. All weapon switches should take at least a few seconds with the possible exception of pulling a blade from an accessible holster.
  3. No arbitrary ammo limits
    How does it make sense to cap my rocket launcher shells at 5? If there are 10 on the floor there, I should be able to pick them all up, right? Unless that breaks #1 (see above).

Combat

  1. Expertise comes from practice
    Reading books, talking to other characters, etc. should never increase a character’s expertise. In some cases, a magic potion could potentially temporarily enhance or even permanently improve an area of expertise. These increases should happen gradually over time, not all at once when some arbitrary level or threshold is achieved.
  2. Weapons/Armor break
    Unless there is a special magical property, all weapons, armor, shields, etc. should degregate over time and at some point should be broken and at that point useless.
  3. Friendly-Fire is reality
    Making it impossible to hurt an ally is absurd. If you buddy is currently engaged in battle with a Ghoul and a couple of Skeletons, you better move around to the side if you want to avoid hitting your comrade.

Enemies

  1. Enemies size should factor in to their Hit Points
    It’s rediculous to think that a giant Ogre would have less hit points than a ferocious Ferret, no matter its “level.” Size matters.
  2. Enemies size should factor in to their Dexterity
    Common sense tells us that Serpents and Wild Cougars would be more dextrous than a Lumbering Giant or Woolly Mammoth.
  3. The concept of Respawn is insane
    I know that games can’t be totally realistic or you’d have only one life then *poof* but if you clear out a section of terrain, Monsters shouldn’t just respawn but might be able to move in from another part of the world.
  4. When close to death, Enemies should flee
    It almost never happens, but if you’ve whittled an opponent down to within an inch of their life, and their not hopped up on crack or a magic Rage potion, they should bolt. At least, the thinking creatures. Crazed loonies aren’t governed by this rule.
  5. Each type of Enemy should engage you differently
    Most enemies should attack en masse. Some might send one or two to “scout” you out. Others could even run up close, not attack, then flee immediately when they see they are grossly outmatched. But most of the time, all the enemies should attack, all at once.
  6. Enemies should be grouped according to Task
    It’s completely unrealistic to scatter enemies about, standing idle or “patrolling” a tiny piece of earth, just so the Adventurers can fight them in more easily digestible groups. They should be part of a scouting group (small), an attacking group (larger) or some other functioning group like sleeping, repairing, buiding, meeting, etc.
  7. Enemies should utilize weapons, ammo, powerups themselves
    Isn’t it strange to finish off a group of soldiers firing pistols at you, only to find that there’s a stash of high caliber machine guns sitting on the floor directly behind where those enemies were stationed? If I were an enemy, I would have traded in my pop-gun the first chance I had.

Rewards

  1. Animals shouldn’t have gold
    Only thinking beings who actually use gold to buy and sell stuff should ever have gold. If I kill a Swamp Monster, he shouldn’t have any gold on his person. Orcs, Dark Elves, etc. yes, but unthinking beasts no.
  2. All visible items should be available after a creature is killed
    If an Orc is attacking me with a bastard sword while wearing chain mail and wielding a magic shield, when I kill him, those items should be available for me take. Period.
  3. Treasure should never be larger than Monster
    How in the world could a giant rat produce a 25lb. halbred after it’s killed? I mean really.
  4. Magic items should be practically unique
    It’s not like they are created on an assembly line. How many +3 Mace of Sturdiness’s could there be?
  5. The nature of a magic item should only be identifiable by someone with expertise in that area
    The strong Captain of the King’s fighting force should not be able to differentiate be a +1 Sword of Sharpness and a +5 Vorpal Sword, except that he might understand they behave differently when he uses them. Note: Determining whether an object is magic or not magic can be open to everyone, or hidden. “Would you like at that blue glow coming of that long bow?!?”
  6. Other than Magic, Healing shouldn’t be instantaneous
    How unrealistic is it for you to gather up boxes of “Health” then after your arm is blown practically off of your body to “Use” one of these boxes to fix you up? Truly bizarre concept.

Paladin is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Realtor. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Would Be Disappointed with Where Our Country Is Today

It’s important to remember what was most important to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the grand scheme of things.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday, but today is his birthday.

I think too many people forget that his driving purpose was for more than just equal rights, it was for people to know and share in the love of his Savior.

If you don’t read anything else today, please read this. I copied it from Promises to Keep: Daily Devotions for Men of Integrity

A middle-aged black man on skid row in Los Angeles recently paraded down the street with a sign that read, “I NEED ‘BREAD’ TO GET ME TO THE MILLION MAN MARCH IN D.C.” He held out a hat for donations to finance his trip the 1995 event. Drugs and alcohol had failed, maybe he could fill the void in his heart by going to the march. He, like thousands of others, felt empty but didn’t realize that you cannot find meaning in an ocean of lost souls.

This man’s father had been in Washington in 1963, gathered with whites and blacks at the Lincoln Memorial with demands to pass civil rights legislation. And those demands were met. But what effect did this victory have for him? His only son was steeped in hate and was imprisoned for “wasting” a rival gang member. Three generations in search of imperishable food and all remaining empty. His father may have been searching for the right things but did he go to the right place to find it?

Few will forget the surge of the crowd when Martin Luther King Jr., made his “I have a dream” speech, accompanied by while folk singers such as Joan Beaz and Bob Dylan. One writer described the event as “in keeping with King’s color-blind vision of the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners sitting together at the table of brotherhood.” Even today I know few people who can’t sit through a recording of that same speech without being captured by the beauty of the vision of a unified country. King’s legacy will remain with us, but how many neighborhoods have become brotherhoods? Is this nation closer to judging people by the content of their character? The work has been done in the House of Representatives and the Senate of this great nation, but we have forgotten the greater work that must be done at the altar of repentance. Even with legislative victories, the insatiable hunger for meaning persists.

Rhetoric does not satisfy the soul. New laws will not feed people who are starving for purpose. Only Jesus does. Two thousand years ago He proclaimed that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt: 4:4).

Are you hungry? broken? dispossed? searching for meaning? purpose? … Do you thirst for truth? God wants to speak to you straight from His heart. After hope and reason have failed, faith conquers.

Wellington Boone, from his book Breaking Through: Taking the Kingdom into the Culture by Out-Serving Others

Paladin is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Realtor. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter.

21st Century Paladin’s Dojo Info – 12/22/12

Can be built by a team of five in a week and with materials that we’re generally throwing away. No brainer!
  1. How to put a roof over the world’s poorest people: Ingenious idea for recycling 700m discarded wooden pallets unveiled
    Now here’s a truly green concept that I can get behind. Where can I invest?
  2. Grinnell College’s Jack Taylor scores NCAA record 138 points
    What a ball hog. ;^)
  3. The amazing pacemaker powered by your own heartbeat instead of batteries – and is smaller than a one penny piece
    How incredible is this? Incredible potential here.
  4. Wine lovers boot camp lets you make your own wine
    Paso Robles is quite a trip from Louisville, but perhaps we could make this happen.
  5. Grocer, 70, gives stores to his employees — for free
    I wonder if going this route helps him avoid the evil inheritance tax… hmmm…

Paladin is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Realtor. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter.

World’s Largest Mall Is in Dubai, But Don’t Miss the Fountain

Incredible! Dubai, the city where money is unlimited.

From their website:

The world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination. The Dubai Mall, with its 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores, and over 160 food and beverage outlets is one of the Dubai Shopping Festival strategic partners.

Watch the video for that amazing fountain too! And I didn’t even mention the world’s tallest building. Wow.