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Scott James Remnant
Nerdy British Guy
Nerdy British Guy

Scott James's posts

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Some screenshots from the last few hours of playing the Elite: Dangerous Alpha Test (now in the more open Beta Test phase).

I decided to test out Trading for a while instead of Bounty Hunting, and was able to trade up from the Cobra Mk 3 to the Lakon Type-9 Heavy Freighter (aka "the barge") in a couple of evenings of play.
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Banished is a game that I've been following the development of for the past year; written by a single developer. it hearkens back to the good old days of gaming when one person really could develop an active game on their own.

It's a charmingly simple city builder. You start off with a handful of families, a small cart of supplies and a large wilderness map to help them call home. You plan out some basic buildings and services and watch your citizens die of starvation.

Okay, so food needs to be a bit more of a priority than the town hall. This time you limit yourself to just the basics, housing, food production, and make it through to winter and watch your citizens die of exposure.

Fine, a more balanced approach required, this time you make it through winter and have plenty of houses for everybody, no more than two per house. You make it all the way to the second year until everybody dies of starvation again.

You built too quickly, clearly, everybody started popping out kids, including the 39 year old man shacked up with the 16 year old girl, seriously, what's up with that? No wonder these people were banished!

Now you'll go much more slowly, keeping things balanced, not growing your village too fast, but not too slowly either. It's year ten, doing much better, this time they don't die of starvation, and they don't die of exposure. They die of old age!

Turns out if you don't have plentiful housing, people stay home with their parents, and nothing puts a downer on the kid-making than mom and dad at home. Of course, by the time mom and pop finally kick the bucket, the kids are too old to have their own, so the entire village turns geriatric and they all die childless.

Banished is hard to get right.

But not in the same way that SimCity is hard. SimCity is hard because every single problem in your city comes down to one thing: traffic. Unhealthy citizens? Traffic problems are preventing your ambulances from reaching them. High crime? Traffic problems delaying the cops. Unemployment? Traffic problems.

And you can't fix the traffic because it's fundamentally broken in the game.

Banished isn't fundamentally broken, it's just fundamentally challenging. There isn't a perfect balance to be had, the game is a continual balancing act, juggling your citizens needs from year to year to stave off their deaths from starvation, exposure, old age and whatever the buggers are going to all die of next time.
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I'm happy to see that Debian has reached a decision about its default init system, and that the Ubuntu team have been gracious about it and opted to support their downstream.

What will probably surprise most people is that I think it's the right decision. systemd has the momentum out of the two projects, and has both the technical and community leadership advantages.

Friendly competition is a brilliant development model until there is a clear winner, at which point friendly collaboration tends to work out better. It's time for that transition.

I hadn't posted anything of this effect until now because I didn't want my position to influence Debian's decision ("Original Upstart Author endorses systemd!"). That wouldn't have been fair on the current Upstart maintainers +James Hunt+Dimitri John Ledkov and +Steve Langasek who have been doing an absolutely fantastic job continuing the project I started.

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So this is what comment streams look like on Google+ posts?

The Open Source and Free Software communities work on the principle that when I contribute patches to a project, I'm donating my time, expertise and resources. In return for that donation, I receive the time, expertise and resources of the rest of the community on equal terms to that with which they receive mine.

I benefit and the community as a whole benefits.

Certain projects make you sign agreements when you contribute that instead make the terms unequal, usually benefiting just one party. When you contribute under one of these agreements, the community may benefit, but one individual or company benefits more. They receive all your time, expertise and resources but reserve the right not to return the favor.

I'm a coder in my day job, and I give my time, expertise and resources to that company - and they aren't under any obligation to return that favor. In return they pay me.

A CLA is just an employment without a wage.
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