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Comment Re:Was it EA..... (Score 1) 386

Yeah, we want to put in individual controls for each kind of disaster in the options menu before you start a new game. So you can control the frequency and intensity of meteors for example.

I realize that some people play the game as a challenge, to see how much crap gets thrown at them and to try to overcome it, but other people sort of want to build the perfect colony. We're designing the game with disasters strongly in mind, so while I wouldn't recommend turning them off it would be possible.

Comment Re:Was it EA..... (Score 1) 386

You nailed it,

Terminus is thematically inspired by Outpost 1/2. The number of problems with both games could fill a small book, but from a standpoint of imagination and /potential/ gameplay there is a lot to love, and love it I did. When I played Outpost 1 the game created a need that I never knew I had for that kind of grand city-sim in space, unfortunately Outpost failed to actually /satisfy/ that need it had created, so after years (NINETEEN YEARS) I'm trying to make Terminus to fill that void that Outpost initially created.

There are other inspirations, either for piecemeal mechanics (Alpha Centauri's social policy system has a parallel in Terminus for example) or for other gameplay mechanics. And with the abundance of hardware and software prowess available today the game is not technically difficult to make, allowing even an indie studio like us to tackle it.

Comment Re:Was it EA..... (Score 1) 386

Thank you muchly!

Be sure to let people know about it too, everyone who's seen it seems very keen but we are lacking coverage so far, so every view really helps us out.

If you liked the Douglas Adams reference see if you can spot the Carl Sagan theme in our first update video: http://youtu.be/KakpodIR0O8

(Hint: it's not very hidden)

Comment Re:Was it EA..... (Score 1) 386

To be fair, people *are* trying new things in the city builder genre, it's just not EA and Maxis doing it.

For example I am working with a small team to produce a city-builder that takes place on hostile alien planets. Lots of storms, caustic or absent atmospheres, earthquakes, fires, population control... sort of a Simcity meets FTL: Faster Than Light type game.

You can learn more about it here where we are crowdfunding to make it happen: http://www.indiegogo.com/terminusgame

Full disclosure: yeah it's my game and this is self promotion, but it's directly relevant to the discussion.

Comment Re:The rest of the world plays the same video game (Score 1) 1168

You also neglect to mention that the weapons are issued to civilians who have undergone military training. This is not like turning up at Walmart and buying a semi-automatic.

Hey that's a really good idea. Why not restrict gun ownership in the US to members of the militia? So you have to join the militia and receive training on proper gun ownership and the responsibilities of being in the militia before they let you have a gun. Doesn't that kind of more closely follow the intent of the constitution, you know, the whole 'well regulated militia' bit?

Hmm, I guess hunting rifles could be acquired without being a member of the militia since hunters will probably never give up their rifles, and a bolt action hunting rifle is not exactly an UZI anyway.

Comment Re:Not to disparage anyone... (Score 1) 97

A lot of kickstarter (and indiegogo) projects already have funding or development costs raised through other sources, using the kickstarter as publicity as well as extra funds raising. In many cases the games in question are being made anyway, the kickstarter is just security or feature expansion.

That said, some of the low-funding-goals kickstarters are done by 'ramen and coke' developers who want so badly to make their games they are willing to live on breadcrumbs and hope while coding. These are people so desperate to make games they pay themselves next to nothing so they can get it done.

Not saying it always turns out rainbows and sunshine for all involved parties, but it's accurate.

Comment Re:Logical fallacy in assuming drugs help (Score 2) 878

I agree with you in sentiment but wanted to point out that there is nothing inherently religious about meditation. A lot of religions have meditation as a component but a lot of religions also have specific clothing, chairs, tables, buildings and other trappings, but textiles and architecture aren't religious by nature either.

Comment Re:Human Psychology (Score 1) 341

And you are so ready to declare these people monsters? The people in the Milgram and Stanford experiments, every military man and woman following orders? 60% of the population, amoral beasts? Any viewpoint founded on the idea that the majority of human beings are evil is nauseating and no rational argument could touch such a belief, I won't try.

Comment Re:Human Psychology (Score 1) 341

I can say with certainty it is evil. But it's not universal. Milgram only found that about 2/3s were willing to do so in his experiment. Thoreau put the proportion at less than 1 per thousand square miles. It's rare, but there are good people out there. Perhaps you prefer to think it's universal to feel better about your own tendencies?

The way a moral human being deals with moral conflict with authority is to resist in every practical way. You can choose your battles to be effective, but submission is never an option. We all have the moral responsibility to question authority at every juncture, and we can never abdicate it ever.

You seem to be speaking from an ideological standpoint. I don't know how involved your examination of the source of your 'certainty' about normal human behaviour being evil is so I can't really offer a counterpoint since you didn't present an argument to counter.

I agree with you in that authoritarianism is a wrong and that those with power should justify it and its use, but I do detest your accusation about my character and my tendencies of which you know nothing, and I suspect I would disagree with your solutions to the problem of misused power as well.

Comment Re:Human Psychology (Score 1) 341

The mere act of shedding moral responsibility itself is evil. That's the problem with your analysis.

Shedding of moral responsibility and burdening an authority figure with it is an observed universal human behaviour. If it's 'evil' or not I cannot say, but the behaviour exists. It's the way we respond to situations of moral conflict with authority.

Comment Re:Human Psychology (Score 3, Informative) 341

The Milgram experiment shows us not that people are inherently evil, malicious or spiteful but that in the right social context people will follow an authority figure's instructions even if it overrides their normal moral response.

What exactly is the difference? If you substitute an authority's conscience for your own, you are inherently evil. It is this reaction that is responsible for the great majority of evil in the world.

The sickest psychopath in the world is capable of killing a few dozen people on his own. But a psychopathic leader is capable of killing millions. All that extra blood isn't really on the hands of the leader, it's on the hands of those who chose to follow that leader. Those who thought obedience was the best thing. That's where true evil comes from.

I don't see how this is complicated at all. Authoritarianism is evil, and most people are authoritarians. Ergo, most people are evil.

One of the interpretations of this behaviour by Milgram himself: "the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view themselves as the instrument for carrying out another person's wishes, and they therefore no longer see themselves as responsible for their actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow".

And in this case I agree with Milgram, if it is the case that people shed moral responsibility and adopt the aspect of a tool, instrument or cog in the machine when dealing with an authority figure demanding they do something they find personally amoral then it seems to me to be a defence mechanism to protect and preserve their own moral viewpoint as the other alternatives are:

1. Defy the authority figure, possibly be fired, suffer a court martial or be shot depending on the situation
2. Change your moral beliefs to match those of the authority figure

Since, I would argue, most people have a preference for not being shot and an affinity towards good moral thought and behaviour they can't reasonably choose 1 or 2 and so are left with:

3. Shed moral responsibility for the action and leave that responsibility to the decision maker and authority figure.

It shouldn't be inferred from the Milgram or Stanford experiments that all humans are evil given the right circumstances, but rather, that given the right circumstances good people can do evil or amoral things.

Comment Re:Human Psychology (Score 4, Insightful) 341

The reason is very simple, if somewhat disheartening. Take a look at some of the literature on human behavior, particularly the studies on the "banality of evil" (texbook scenarios are the Milgram Experiment and the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment).

The sad truth pointed out by both of those studies is that approximately 60% of us -- all of us, even those of us who claim to be, and act like, normal ethical people in polite society -- will commit acts of cruelty upon another human being, even to the point of delivering potentially lethal electrical shocks to someone obviously in distress, if the social sanctions against it are removed.And those were both cases in which the victims had voices and (in the latter case) faces by which the perpetrators could witness the suffering they were causing.

In short, the majority of people will be cruel, spiteful bullies if they believe they can get away with it. For me, a good example is (oddly) watching how people treat pigeons (??): they're harmless, no more dirty than, say, hoboes, and live around us. But they are negatively viewed as carriers of disease ("rats of the skies" is such a cliché, and what's so bad about rats, anyway?), and most people wouldn't think twice about trying to scare them and threaten to cause them harm. It seems a bit melodramatic, but I often wonder why a person would want to be mean to some random harmless animal. I think, sadly, that it's because most people like being mean, and just need a venue to get away with it.

The Pinochet regime in Chile figured this out pretty quickly: you don't need to make people commit acts of cruelty against their will. All you have to do is provide a venue for cruelty without consequences, and the people will come out of the woodwork of their own accord. And Facebook/YouTube/your local news station's comments section are just such venues.

Don't be so pessimistic!

The Milgram experiment shows us not that people are inherently evil, malicious or spiteful but that in the right social context people will follow an authority figure's instructions even if it overrides their normal moral response. The origin of the experiment was as a response to the question of if Nazi soldiers were responsible for their actions in war or if their superiors should be held accountable.

The Stanford prison experiment showed that when given a 'role' such as prison guard people will begin to 'act' as befitting their role, behaving as they think they should behave and becoming mentally trapped by the subjective experience of the situation as opposed to the objective reality.

The truth is as always more complicated than 'people are just evil'. It's a matter of context and the situation we find ourselves in as much or more than base nature and upbringing are concerned.

But don't just trust me, keep and open mind and investigate for yourself. As a matter of fact the two linked Milgram and Stanford studies are VERY interesting reading!

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