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    • Robin

      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!


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  1. Whoever's running the pot for Van and Tedd being half-siblings, put me down for two cookies.
  2. Story Friday December 15, 2017

    She's looking at someone who moments ago looked to be in their sixties or seventies now looking barely older than she is. As much transformation as has been going around, that ought to take a moment to process. That this is Raven's actual form. The fact that he's an elf, and a dashing one at that, can only increase the duration of that necessary moment. Besides, half-immortals cannot have children.
  3. NP Friday November 17, 2017

    Good point. But there could be clothing or animal form that gives same benefits as "Busty". So we might still have a situation with a "Ditzy" character having more than 3 cards to play.
  4. NP Friday November 17, 2017

    This is precisely the sort of card I was talking about when I said that implementing them on a machine can suck. I already have an FSM that applies cards one at a time with a filter checking for repetitions. This seemed like a good idea based on rules and before seeing all the cards. Now I have to bypass the filter check if "ditzy" tag is set and then do a counter on each successful application of a card to decide what the chance of new card sticking should be. Fortunately, I think this can still work with cards being applied one at a time if I do 100% to stick, 50%, and 33% for each subsequent card. And can a fourth card now be played if player is "ditzy" AND "busty"? Oh well, I can tune all these little things later.
  5. NP Wednesday October 25, 2017

    Platonic Solids are restricted by symmetries you don't need for fair dice. (Good discussion on Numberphile) There is a very nice regular 120-sided solid. The d30 and d60 are in the same family as that one. More Examples
  6. NP Wednesday October 25, 2017

    With an added caveat, that they might be able to buy a square, but at the cost of assuming a form/clothing combination that would put them at a disadvantage or take away advantage they already have. That seems to be implication about movement and the river/tunnel mechanics, and I'm sure there are other (dis)advantages yet to be revealed. Which is a good game design decision, because it allows tunning the game flow by adjusting how many advantage/disadvantage cards there are, and how they interact with each other. It also introduces considerable amount of strategy in timing the use of cards, rather than pure luck of whether you've drawn cards you needed or not.
  7. NP Monday October 23, 2017

    Should all players start on the same square? Board has two reflection symmetry. Along the river, and along line perpendicular to it. So any starting position will get reflected to 3 other equivalent points giving you 4 start locations, which matches number of players. If movement is allowed both clock-wise or counter-clock-wise, there are 3 starting arrangements that are 100% "fair". The 4 corners, the 2-point squares adjacent to river, or 2-point squares on sides with no access to river. Corners seem most natural. If movement is allowed in one direction only, I don't think there is an arrangement that mathematically guarantees to give no pair of players advantage over another pair due to rotational symmetry being broken by river, and reflection symmetry by chirality of player movement. I have no idea if any of that's relevant, though. The gameplay might be chaotic enough for starting positions not to matter at all. Good question either way.
  8. So this one's a bit complicated. I'm not touching politics of energy production with a ten foot pole, but I can talk about science of it. First, the good news. Solar prices are plummeting. They are well bellow costs of coal after environmental fees and taxes are applied, and are expected to be bellow costs of coal in countries with no environmental regulations in just a few years. That's a projection based on technologies we are already using. Tech we have in the labs is expected to drop that by another order of magnitude at least, but ETA is uncertain. This is in sharp contrast to situation we had just over a decade ago, when solar barely broke even in terms of energy produced in panel's life time vs energy consumed in production. In early 2000's, if you were using solar power, you were simply exporting pollution to China. It was still profitable in some regions due to environmental regulations and subsidies, but it wasn't really green. Today's solar is. It's green, cheap, and it's going to completely dominate the market with government's support or without. But it's going to be a slow road, especially without subsidies. The reason is that sun refuses to shine 24/7. Good for life on earth, bad for solar power. While total peak power consumption falls on the day-time, the night-time consumption is considerable, especially in colder climate where people use electricity or fossil fuels not to freeze. There is also great variation of solar availability by season, weather, and region. Which means that the consumer either has to store energy or have a backup. That means having a battery, having a generator, or being plugged into the power company's grid. This is why profitability of solar still heavily depends on subsidies and laws governing utilities. Unfortunately, situation with batteries is pretty grim. LiPoly is expensive. There might be a few replacements coming in (graphene, glass electrolyte) which will be a huge improvement, but still not nearly enough. And that's already pushing electrochemistry to its limits. We might get lucky with nuclear isomer breakthrough, but in best case scenario, that tech is decades out. In many parts of the world, having a home battery just isn't going to cut it. (Although, in sunnier, warmer parts of the world, it totally will!) Most of us will have to still rely on power companies absorbing a lot of the difference. The most likely way they'll go with it is synthetic fuels used for storage. Methane is probably the best bet, as it can be burnt on existing gas turbines. But hydrogen's viable too. These technologies will still be carbon-neutral, but they'll be way more expensive than direct solar, which means that we'll still have to pay our electric bills. And the worst part is that it will take a while to build out the necessary infrastructure. Not all is grim, though. Even if households will take some time to become near-100% renewable-powered, we have lots of industries and transit that rely on fossil fuels primarily during daylight hours. And that's a huge chunk of our carbon footprint that will be completely eliminated in the next couple of decades simply because it will be way cheaper for corporations to use solar power. This process has already begun. I'm sure, we'll be able to celebrate peak carbon before next decade is out. Whether that's soon enough remains to be seen.
  9. NP Monday October 23, 2017

    Your case law is out of date. According to Ninth Circuit, Fair Use is an expressed right, and an exception to exclusive rights granted by copyright. Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (2015) Modern copyright law actually requires copyright holder to have a reason to believe that Fair Use does not apply prior to asserting copyright. And the proposed work is non-commercial, transformative, and does not diminish source material. These are the criteria for Fair Use. Moreover, an implied license exists for derived works, conditional on attribution (e.g. Dan on NSFW edits) Consequently, per Effects Associates, Inc. v. Cohen (1990) this does constitute a non-exclusive license. I might not be a contracts lawyer, but I work for one. These things rub off. That's a standard footer. There's one at the bottom of this page. It is by no means going out of someone's way. Going out of someone's way is actually registering copyrighted material with Library of Congress, which by the way, is requirement for actually enforcing the copyright. Albeit, copyright can be registered after infringement has taken place, limiting author's ability to seek damages and attorney fees. No LoC registration under name Dan Shive exists, making that copyright footer a mere formality with no legal bearing. Again, copyright still exists, even unregistered, but that quoted footing is absolutely meaningless. But that's an aside. The crux of the matter is that Dan has been supportive of derivative works. The copyright is in every way respected. And if this is to become a thing, I'm sure we'll hear his thoughts on it one way or another. As I've said before, a mere mention from him that he does not approve would be enough for me to drop out of any attempts to make a game like this. But I'm also not going to bug him about permission for something that has less chance of happening than not. Given all of the above, that'd be just rude. You, however, have absolutely no legal standing in this matter. And I don't think an ethical one either, but if you'd like to debate ethics of it further, feel free to PM me. I'm done derailing this thread.
  10. NP Monday October 23, 2017

    Non-monetized derivative, using only a small portion of the original material (rules, few characters), that attributes and does not diminish the original work. This is Fair Use under US law. And yes, if it was just the game, without characters, it wouldn't even need that. Given that this is meant as a fan-work, not in any way trying to be passed for completely original work, and Dan's past reactions towards fan-generated content in general, I would be comfortable going ahead with this without seeking explicit permission. I wouldn't do this against Dan's will, if it were voiced or if there was any reason to believe it would be voiced, of course, simply out of respect for the world he created.
  11. NP Monday October 23, 2017

    For a simple game with a skeleton team, honestly, I'd be content with a few drawn/rednered frames of transformation sequence story-book style. The drawback, of course, is that there'd have to be quite a few sequences for various possible pairs of starting and final states, greatly limiting the number of transformations. A much better way is to deal with vectors, whether in 2D or 3D, and allow for procedural transformations. These will almost always require some additional artist work to handle weird edge cases, but you can greatly increase the number of possibilities and it'd support animations out of the box. I can think of several ways to approach the details, depending on what tools the artist(s) is/are comfortable with. And yes, I recognize that something like that would be a far greater time sink on both the code and art side. But the great thing here is that it's entirely open ended. You don't have to jump into the deep end of it if the resources aren't there. In fact, it can and should be started with just the board and the gameplay mechanics.
  12. NP Monday October 23, 2017

    Rules would have to be adapted to fit the mechanics, anyhow. Trying to use rules designed for a board game in a video game directly is a folly. I know some guys who worked on PC version of MTG. Trying to codify all of the special text on each card was a nightmare, because humans interpret rules very different from machines. Something that has an intuitive resolution in written rules to players is a critical bug waiting to happen when the conditions are just right on a machine. And yes, conflicts occasionally happen even in traditional MTG, but there you can at least argue about the rules, trying to come up with a resolution. When playing a game on PC, no such luxury. So barring direct intervention from Dan, I would just take the general outline that we're sure to get over the upcoming weeks and take liberties with it to fit the mechanics of the game. I already feel like a lot of transformation mechanics would have to become mini-games, which will fundamentally alter how the game is scored. And that might call for other balance adjustments. I find that entirely acceptable for a fan effort. Of course, I'm prepared to backtrack on any of the above as this arc progresses. We might get a lot of detail on how the game is played or very little. Some of it might be readily adaptable, and some would require changes. But I would argue that the main purpose of a fan game would be to try and make it fun, even if it has to diverge from in-story rules to do so.
  13. NP Monday October 23, 2017

    Anybody else suddenly got an urge of turning this into an actual video game? Probably something fairly simple, in the style of early Mario Party games, with board + mini-games (pending future clarifications on rules.) I'm willing to sacrifice my time on code, but this seems like it'd hinge on art, and I'm useless at that. I can roll with 2D or 3D, and it'd be easy enough for me to get a match-making server going, or it can be purely single-player, depending on how much interest there is in turning it into something. (Industry experience, two shipped titles, past work at Google in machine vision. I'm serious about getting the code working, but this is going to be a lot of work on the art side.)
  14. NP, Monday October 31, 2016

    Points 1. and 2. are acknowledged. This isn't a discussion about what can and cannot be done with magic, but rather what sort of EGS magic is most impressive when contrasted to limitations of real world. And yeah, you could replace internal human anatomy and metabolism with another mammal's, keeping in mind that you'll be forced to adjust some proportions. But even then, on the extreme end of 1/7th scale, it's not clear what to do about the cerebral cortex. There are animals with somewhat higher neuron density, but not by a factor of 343 we are talking about here.
  15. NP, Monday October 31, 2016

    Thermodynamics is statistical. And rules of statistics are easily broken with a time machine. There are some other interesting ways of completely bypassing some thermodynamics limitations in QM. Without getting into details, suffice it to say, that superconductors and superfluids ought to be thermodynamically impossible. Consequently, things like flight, element manipulation, and shape-shifting while preserving volume, are all relatively straight forward. Primarily because they aren't impossible under our laws of physics. Merely very, very unlikely. And breaking fundamental rules is very different from stacking the odds. That's basically what QM is for. No, it would not. Because we have all the different kinds of bonds to balance. Different attractive forces between particles have different scaling with elementary charge and distance. And you have to adjust elementary charge and Plank's constant just to get the correct atom size and correct energy difference between excitation levels. So you are already locked into a very specific reduction of elementary charge just to keep the individual atoms working the way they did. And then you simply don't have anything there to make sure the relative strengths of covalent bonds and hydrogen bonds is correct for the temperature ranges you had to choose to keep diffusion rates low. An example of not getting these right would be air liquifying in shrunk person's lungs because reduction of intermolecular attraction was insufficient to compensate for reduction in temperature.