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Scott James Remnant
Works at Google
Attended Beacon Community College
Lives in San Francisco, CA
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Scott James Remnant

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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.
Chris Morey's profile photoRoman Shtylman's profile photoScott James Remnant's profile photoMichael Hasselmann's profile photo
Its fun indeed :). The dev wants to do Linux and Mac eventually.
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Scott James Remnant

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So this is what comment streams look like on Google+ posts?
Martyn Welch's profile photoRob Kendrick's profile photoRyan Demski's profile photoThilo Fromm's profile photo
Looks like the usual Canonical haters to me... :)
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Scott James Remnant

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I'm a "Double Fine Adventure Backer", which means I've got to play Broken Age a little bit before the rest of you, so here's my (spoiler free) review of it. If you ever enjoyed a LucasFilm/Arts graphical adventure game, or TellTale's more recent episodic games, you will absolutely love it.

The game very much feels like something LucasArts would be turning out if they hadn't stopped. It's stunningly beautiful; the artwork gives a real "storybook" feel to the game. The music, by LA alumni Peter McConnell, adds to that feeling even more. And the story and dialog is pure Tim Schafer, brought to life by a great vocal cast, with Elijah Wood as a particular stand out for me - he really captures the resigned boredom that Shay's character needed.

So it's a definite "must play" recommendation for me.

That said, there is one small issue, and I'm not sure whether it's the game or whether it's me. The best explanation I can give is that it's like Crossword Puzzles.

When you first start to play Crosswords they're fiendishly difficult, every new clue is a new headache and you're struggling to finish before the next one comes out. But after a while you know the puzzle setter, you know the kinds of clues they favor, and then they become much easier.

Broken Age's puzzles feel relatively easy, the first half of the game (Act 2 comes out later in the year) took me around four hours to complete, with deliberately listening to all of the dialog trees. I don't want to instinctively accuse the game's puzzles of being simple, when I try and describe them they come across complex enough with many layers; I think I'm just used to them, and know the kinds of puzzles Tim Schafer writes.

The only place I can really point my finger is that in a couple of places, both in Vella's world, there were puzzles solved just by choosing the right dialog option - and not in a "Can I please have the bucket?" kind of way either.
Scott James Remnant's profile photoGavin Panella's profile photoAlberto Ruiz's profile photoJames Henstridge's profile photo
If you're happy to tell Grimm's fairy tales to the children, this game should be fine.

The storyline of the female lead is that her villiage wants to offer her as a virgin sacrifice to a monster, and she'd prefer that they didn't.  It's not at all gory, but it also isn't completely sanitised.
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I have no problems with losing the majority of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it really is crud for the most part. I'm just hoping they throw out Episode I along with it, and those stupid midi-chlorians ;-)
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Have him in circles
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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.
William Culver's profile photoAndreas Proschofsky's profile photoThierry Carrez's profile photoTim Chavez's profile photo
+Scott James Remnant Very gracious post dude.  Even without direct lines of code upstart has/will continue to influence general design trends and the whole ecosystem, so for that I thank you.
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Scott James Remnant

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Scott James Remnant's profile photoMichael Hasselmann's profile photo
Nope. I was hoping G+ would turn this into an Animated GIF but it didn't 
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Scott James Remnant

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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.
Chris Stacey's profile photoKent Crispin's profile photoLennart Poettering's profile photoGraham C's profile photo
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Scott James Remnant

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Proof that Valleysmash, err, I mean Valleywag is an outsider to Silicon Valley...

Mitchell is the character in Betas most like a bunch of people I know :-)
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I want to go
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Scott James Remnant

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We sat outside a restaurant on the corner of 18th & Valencia, and this evening, I really do start to understand the anti-shuttle crowd. Not five minutes went buy without a giant coach passing or turning at that intersection, frequently with two or three in a row (from different companies).

I can't think of a better solution to the problem right now, but at least for people in that particular corridor, I start to understand the complaint a little more.
Scott Mcdermott's profile photoBenjamin Kerensa's profile photoandrew mcmillan's profile photoJoe Lynch's profile photo
Google should consider doing a lab experiment to run a public transit program in SF. The algorithms they developed for it would be quite useful for some of their other endeavors (like the auto-car fleet). Great PR value too.
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Scott James Remnant

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With the ongoing discussion within Debian about systemd and Upstart, I keep getting asked how I feel about it, or what I think about it. My answer is for the most part a surprise:

I feel the same as if someone told me Debian was thinking of not using Planet, and using a different RSS aggregator. It really doesn't bother me, I'm not working on it anymore, +James Hunt and +Dimitri John Ledkov are the maintainers and it's their project, not mine.

The only major reason I've read through the discussions is because Chrome OS still uses Upstart, and I want to make sure I don't get jumped in the hallway unawares. I wouldn't even have an issue if Chrome OS switched, I actually asked +Lennart Poettering and +Kay Sievers a pointed a question about systemd on someone else's behalf a while back who was investigating such a switch - but their answer wasn't what that person wanted at this time.
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Have him in circles
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  • Google
    Senior Software Engineer, 2011 - present
  • Canonical Ltd.
    Senior Software Engineer, 2004 - 2011
  • Demon Internet
    Software Engineer, 2000 - 2003
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
San Francisco, CA
Birmingham, United Kingdom - Brighton, United Kingdom
Nerdy British Guy
Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs.
  • Beacon Community College
    1991 - 1998
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