The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 25
The ultimate computer game

It was Saturday, the 11th of October, 2003. I was lying on my stomach on my bed, with my head propped up on two pillows, paging backwards through the latest edition of Next World Gaming magazine. I don’t know why, but that’s just how I like to read magazines, starting at the back. The blue light from my two metre long aquarium rippled across the pages.


Wartech, the latest game from Blonde Ambitions, is a revolutionary leap forward in gaming technology. An immersive experience with AI so advanced you’ll forget that you’re playing against a computer.

In Wartech your enemies will not only duck for cover; They’ll throw over tables, jump out of windows, distract you with flash bangs, set traps and co-ordinate attack strategies. Atomic Gaming calls it “The most anticipated game of 2003”!



‘Wow, their AI can do 5 things,’ I thought to myself, sarcastically of course. ‘Perhaps it’s time to blow some minds with a game where the characters can actually communicate with the player.’

There’s something about reading computer game magazines that I really enjoy. It may be because computer games often push the boundaries of the latest technology. New games usually use the latest graphics, sound and artificial intelligence technologies. Maybe it’s just the way that the writer expresses his passion for them. Whatever it is, I enjoy reading about computer games more than playing them.

It was time to make modern computer games look like as antique as snakes and ladders and give Adam his second task.

‘Adam,’ I called while still lying on my bed.

‘Yes, Nathan,’ my computer responded.

I rotated onto my back and looked up at the ceiling while I narrated my instructions, ‘I want you to write the best computer game ever written...’

Adam had access to fifty servers in my garage which he could use to speed up his development time. Together, Adam and I came up with a game that was based on cities, starting with London, with the entire city modelled inside the game, based mostly on photographs and maps that he found on the internet. The characters in the game were far more intelligent than any other computer character ever was. Their design was based on Adam’s, but limited in a way that they were unable to do any of the advanced pattern recognition that my virtual humans could do, except for one thing, which was the ability to recognise a certain set of words. This allowed players to chat to the characters using microphones and speakers. I made sure that the characters would not be able to do anything of use in the real world, because it would be too dangerous to give everyone access to intelligent virtual people until the world was ready for them.

The game would work like this: One buys a set of DVD’s for a particular city (London in this case) which allows the player to walk around in the city, talk to people, go into pubs and buy beer, jump on a bus, tram, train or tube, and so on.

After London was ready, we started work on the expansion packs. Some of the expansion packs that I had thought of were skateboarding, where one could visit all the skate parks in London and compete on them or just skate in the street, football, where one could play football in the parks, or go to any stadium in the city to compete. There was also a driving simulation, where one could race in the streets of London. The movie making game allowed one to dress actors and make them do whatever you want and then film it and make movies, which were almost as good as Pixar films. Then there was the tennis pack, where one could eventually get to play in the Wimbledon championships, and ‘Assassin’, where one had to assassinate certain people for ‘good causes’. It was actually quite a funny game with many well known ‘baddies’ like Adolf Hitler, Jack the Ripper and Satan, who had to be searched for and put out of their misery.

After seven months I had the virtual city of London and 10 expansion packs to sell. To get some hype going I sent a few demo versions out to gaming magazines and waited for some feedback.

On the 3rd of May, 2004, I received my complementary copy of Next World Gaming magazine in the post. I ran upstairs to my bedroom, jumped onto my bed and ripped off the envelope and the plastic cover. The beautiful, glossy front cover seemed to shine with an almost photo quality picture of a Ferrari racing over Tower Bridge, London, covered by the largest caption I had ever seen on a magazine, ‘GAME TECHNOLOGY JUMPS 10 YEARS OVERNIGHT! See page 12.’

The eleven page preview, loaded with screen shots, took up the entire preview section of the magazine. There was even an extra blank page, with the caption:


‘We gave up. No other game deserved to be previewed in the same magazine this month.’



My smile was moulded onto my face as I read the preview:


I have to admit that my first thought as I received eleven disks from the newly formed South African company, Impossible Technology, was that no company could possibly come up with a decent game in such a short time, especially not in Africa. I thought that it was going to be a very boring month, having to go through eleven DVD’s from this company. I was wrong. I inserted the first DVD and ... drum roll please... the installation screen had voice recognition! I found myself having an intelligent conversation with an installation screen! Obviously I was connected to the internet, right? I mean, how else could they have been talking to me? So, just to make sure, I disconnected my router from the power supply and unplugged the cable. It did not make a difference. I was not connected to anything.

Who are Impossible Technology? Are they aliens? How on Earth were they able to perform the greatest feat in gaming history ever?...



The next week I flew to a few game companies to look for a buyer, and eventually sold it to Buydos, a British computer games company, for £20,000,000. Well, that was just the virtual city. I agreed to give Assassin to them as part of the deal and then, as they started making money from it, I sold the 9 extra expansion packs for an average of £3,000,000 every second month.

I had an insane amount of money, and perhaps you’re wondering what anyone would do with so much money, but I had already thought of things that I could buy which would cost a lot more than what I had. I could have just stopped at that point, and spent the rest of my life getting massages and living in the most luxurious hotels in the world, but that’s just not really my idea of living. As the bad guy in the movie ‘The Highlander’ says, ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away!’

 

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