JournalistWe are members of NPR’s team covering Trump’s financial conflicts of interest, Ask Us Anything!
May 3rd 2017 by stevemullis_NPR • 16 Questions • 1204 Points
My short bio: I am riding the favorite, Classic Empire, in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs. Since starting my riding career in 2005 after coming to the U.S. from France, I have won more than 2,300 races and $139-million in purses but never the Kentucky Derby. I will answer questions at noon ET (9a PT) on Tuesday, May 2!
How common is it for NPR to devote four reporters to the same story?Is there a good example of a similar initiative you guys ran in the Obama years?
Thanks for responding.
My friend who has the disease used to have a fairly grueling physical training regimen. His father used to cup his hand and hit him in the back to help break up some of the mucas inside. I guess my question is whether or not there has been progress in that respect? Or if that type of physical therapy is still required? It was always hard to listen to when we would hang out. I felt bad that he had to go through it so often. But hey he's still alive and doing very well for himself so I guess it must have helped.
Wasup Cape! This is Dylon I lived across from you our senior year at ucsb. I remember one time I had to take a shower at your house and I didn't have any clean underwear and you loaned me a pair of boxer briefs. Until then I had only worn regular boxers and hadn't realized how comfy boxer briefs are. I now exclusively wear boxer briefs. I guess my question is what kind of underwear do you wear no now? No homo.
As someone who lost their face, lived for a time without one, and then received a new one, do you see your outward appearance as part of your internal identity?
Is what you see in the mirror "who you are," or just a mask being worn by the person inside?
Many peoples' entire concept of self is based on their external appearance, so I'm curious as to whether experiencing such a dramatic change to your outer shell caused you to reevaluate how you think of yourself internally.
What are you doing currently in places like Saudi Arabia? I have a Saudi friend who has mentioned that someone he knew there got put in jail for tweeting something against the government.
You float in the story a couple of potential explanations (population density, public transportation issues), do either of you have any other pet theories to explain the car theft issue in Pinellas County?
Why do I love you so fucking much?
YO DYLON! That's awesome man. That's so funny that you commented. I don't remember that underwear thing but it sounds pretty sick of me.
Honestly, I see myself, never really had any type of dysphoria.
Saudi Arabia has an absolutely atrocious human rights record, including but not limited to free speech issues. One of the world's worst governments, and one which several of the organizations participating in this AMA have been highly critical of in the past:
My own organization hasn't been very active on Saudi Arabia not because we have any affinity for that horrendous government, but rather because, as a small organization, we tend to focus our resources on countries where we see some potential of impacting positive change, which just isn't the case in Saudi. It's the same reason we haven't been that active on China, despite their atrocious record.
We don't have any particular theories. We tried really hard in interviewing kids to find an origin or at least a time when this kicked off. But they described it in extremely plain terms. "It just happens," basically was the answer. We're planning to look further into this as we continue reporting out car theft. There's something to be said for the West Florida laid-back atmosphere and unlocked cars. Multiple official-type sources told us they thought people feel safe here and thus are less vigilant in locking up their stuff. I'm not sure that's true, but it's certainly interesting to consider. We read in police reports about victims saying much the same to police -- I thought my neighborhood was safe; I was gone just a minute.
As to pets, Lisa has a wonderful dog named Landon.
PinchBetter: Carina Mia is supposed to run her first race back since Breeders' Cup. I'm also in the Kentucky Oaks with Daddy's Lil Darling -JL
Other than Classic Empire in the Derby, who else are you excited about riding this weekend?
Would Operation Mend be of any assistance, or do they only volunteer the surgeries?
My uncle was killed in the Iranian 1988 executions for political dissent against the Islamic regime. Today, there is no such thing as freedom of speech in Iran- speaking out against hardliner politicians or against Islam, even if you didn't mean to and somebody just perceives you as doing so, can result in a prison sentence and severe penalties (lashings, executions, etc). Hardly a few days ago, an Iranian TV executive that translated media into Persian was mysteriously killed in a drive-by shooting.
The more the west tries to influence Iran, for example if western circles publicly called for more freedom of expression in Iran, the more ground the conservative hardliners (aka most of the regime) would gain because they are against western influence. How can the rest of the world promote freedom of speech and expression in Iran today? Is this even possible?
Bit of a cliche but, What advice would yo give your younger self?
We wanted to make a rogue-lite game that focused a LOT less on vertical progression than others in the genre.
Basically what I mean by that is that we wanted our level-up system to work more like Zelda, where you get new abilities that expand your options, and less like Final Fantasy, where you get higher stats that make your 'numbers go higher.'
We also wanted to shift the focus away from the 'lite' persistent progression and more towards variety within specific runs. Chaos Cards are our only persistent progression mechanic. We never liked this idea of unlocking items that then become available for drop inside the 'main game.'
We also wanted to offer more of an opportunity for variety and experimentation earlier in the game so that the first few floors don't seem like such a flog...
We also just hate the 'pick three' level up system in most games in this genre so we got rid of that!
The intention, in a way, ended up being to make an almost real time version of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup if you have ever played that before.
I'll look into that.
Sorry to hear about your uncle. Iran's government is utterly atrocious, and one that my colleagues in this AMA have been sharply critical of: https://www.article19.org/en/azad/, http://www.ifj.org/nc/news-single-view/backpid/1/article/iran-three-journalists-arrested-in-one-week/. It's not an area we've been particularly active, because as a small organization we tend to focus our resources on place we see potential to impact positive change and, as you point out, outside criticisms seem to only fuel the hardliners. In terms of what to do in a case like that - solidarity among the rest of the world is important, as well as consideration of a country's human rights record in establishing economic relations. Without necessarily coming out in support or opposition to the recent Iranian nuclear deal, I do think that the country's human rights record has, to a certain degree, fallen by the wayside with the focus on their nuclear programme. Hopefully, with the proliferation of the Internet and the increasing democratisation of tools of mass communication, Iran's youth will be empowered to finish the work of the Green Revolution in 2009 though, like Turkey and the Philippines, when a government is dead-set against respecting human rights, and has solid support of the army and security services, it can be incredibly challenging to impact change.
Yes -- almost certainly. We saw a case where the would-be thieves couldn't drive stick. Others involved some stalled cars.
Tiordalol: You're part of a team, and everyone on the team wants Classic Empire to be 100% for the race. Accidents happen. Anything can happen between now and when we get in the gate -JL
how do you balance the excitement of having a known Kentucky Derby mount but also know something unfortunate could happen at any moment leaving you without a ride in America's most historic race?
Oh shit, your last sentence might have just sold me on the game. DCSS is incredible. Sometimes, though, I want to play something a little more fast paced that rewards play rather than just strategic planning (which DCSS can feel like from time to time).
Compared to DCSS, how deep is the game? DCSS has tons of stuff to do in endgame and extended runes. In Ruin of the Reckless, is level progression the same every time?
I saw your picture on your first AMA, and in that one you mentioned that you would soon go to Boston for some "touch-ups" and the like. How did those turn out? How has your face been adapting to being on you? How good of a "match" (for lack of a better word) is your face now?
How would you rate the freedom of expression in the United States as compared to other countries around the world? A lot of my friends think that the Government in the United States tries to shut down the freedom of expression, while it appears as Americans can say just about anything (with a few exceptions, of course). In stories I see about other countries, those same freedoms don't seem to exist in the same manner.
What was it like talking to the kids? Were they shy or boastful or somewhere in between? What kinds of questions did you ask them?
If you could go back and decline a role in something, which would it be?
Well, DCSS is like the deepest game ever made! I won't pretend that our two man team created a real time experience with fully animations etc... that even comes CLOSE to comparing to the DCSS team of several hundred people working with tiles.
We tried to nail some of the fun and tone of that gameplay style though!
It's been a great match i.g. skin tone, hair color, ect.
Freedom of expression is a multifaceted thing, so it depends on which areas you want to focus on. In some areas, like hate speech, the US has an almost absolutist approach to freedom of expression, which goes beyond most of the rest of the world. However, recent years have seen some alarming trends, such as the increasing targeting of whistleblowers, and even journalists. Also, widespread mass surveillance is considered by most to be an infringement of freedom of expression. On the whole, Freedom House's World Press Freedom Index is a fairly handy guide, which places the US in the "Free" category, but serious threats to freedom of expression nonetheless exist in the country, and it's important to be vigilant to safeguard this right.
It was strange to talk to the kids. I cover public safety/crime, but it's really atypical to speak to convicted people who are this young. I actually expected them to boast more, since this was seen as such a cool thing to do. But they generally undersold their history to us. They said they stole only a car or two, or didn't steal any at all, even when police records contradicted that. They said they never crashed (crashing is called "blowing it;" it's not cool). They didn't embellish their crimes, they diminished their history. And ultimately talking to them was like talking to pretty much any teenager. They were shy, they mumbled, they were slow to open up. They thought they could get one over on you. One of the most shocking moments was when a 15-year-old told me he'd never steal eyeglasses. I asked why, and he said "because people need the to see." They're smart kids, they're saavy, probably smarter than people give them credit for. But underneath it all they rarely had some profound reason for stealing a car. They spoke about it so plainly. It was just something to do.
From yesterday: "I ride since I'm 6, currently 19. I've never had a scary experience with horses, but I'm so afraid of speed that I don't ride horses that aren't "safe". It's really difficult for me to have trust in a horse, and obviously it shouldn't. Have you got any advice on how to manage speed when something bad happens, or when the horse is scared?"
The main thing is to trust your horse and have faith in him, and you'll lose the fear naturally. Trust your horse to gain his trust. -JL
Good OP. As a doctor i know what you go through. All the best and God bless you.
you released a game on my birthday! im forever linked to it now.
Did you request the transplant or did they seek you as a "guinea pig" as you say? When you state that you went into rejection, can you elaborate on what exactly that means?
What do you think about last year's story of Mike Ward (Stand-up comedian) VS Jeremy Gabriel and the Court of Human Rights in Quebec, Canada? Have you heard of it?
It sparked a lot of debate towards freedom of expression, specifically for comedians and what they can/can't say legally.
For context; Jeremy Gabriel has Treacher Collins syndrome (facial deformities, especially ears, jaw and cheeks. In his case, he was born pretty much deaf due to malformations. He eventually got very good hearing aids and around age 10 started his dream of singing. 5 or 6 years ago, his parents exposed him a lot to the media and more importantly, he appeared with the make a wish foundation, which made his dream of singing before the Pope come true.
Fast forward 2016, Mike Ward has a number in his one-man show that starts by reminding people about him from years ago, stating that most people were saying "he sings so bad, he sounds awful, etc." (which people were saying), but that he kept defending him. "It's ok, it's his dream, let him be, he's sick, he's dying, let him be, yeah he sings bad but it's his wish, he's dying, let him be."
But then, he's really upset because today, he's not dead! "Of course not, I now know what sickness he has. Goddamn, he's just ugly! I was defending him and now I look like a fool!" (Usually Make a Wish foundation is for very sick children who are dying, they make their wish come true before they die... But TC syndrome is not dangerous for your life). Then he goes on being upset that he wouldn't die. "It's simple; I defended you, you just had to die!" When his mother made him such a parade years ago and presented him with Make a Wish as a dying little boy, the whole Province pitied poor little Jeremy as if he was dying-sick when he never was (I was here and he actually became quite the pariah because of his mother). The harshest thing Mike Ward said is: "I saw him at the waterpark last summer, I tried to drown him but he just won't die!"
So the Court of Human Rights sided with Jeremy and sued Ward for difamation and damages to personal life, then won for an amount of $42 000. Mike Ward is waiting for a appeal to the decision.
Any idea what the average amount of money they make if they sell them? I'm sure a lot go for joy rides, but I wasn't sure how lucrative the stolen car market is...
Are you sure your name is Cheech? Cordially yours, Larry
Ruddiver: It's more about how the horse will perform that day. Now I have more experience in the race, so I'm not as nervous as I was earlier in my career. -JL
Do you feel more pressure being the favorite? or is it all about how the horse performs that you worry about?
Thank you for your support and what you do. :)
We are joined at the heart, like that Dragon from... Dragonheart and that douchey guy.
To elaborate more, there are four stages of rejection, the 4th stage can't be reversed and you lose the organ. As it progresses from stage 1 to 4, the face starts getting really splotchy, stage 3 looks like a full blown sunburn. I've been in stage 3 in the past but it was always caught in time before it hit 4.
I also had government insurance up until last year so I never saw medical bill, but it was taken away, along with my disability. The government ruled me no longer disabled but my leg still hasn't grown back.
I don't do a whole lot of freedom of expression work in Canada, because my organization mainly focuses on emerging democracies, but I find the Mike Ward case very, very troubling. People should have a constitutional right to say offensive or hurtful things, and it's not the State's job to protect people's feelings. This is absolutely chilling for Canada's expressive discourse.
There's not a lot I agree with that Stephen Harper did, but scaling back on the anti-hate rules in the Human Rights Act is one of them. We have hate speech laws in the criminal code. If speech doesn't rise to that level, it shouldn't be subject to State sanction. Unfortunately, at the provincial level enforcement is still more intrusive.
Great q. First, they don't really take these to chop shops. If they sell a car, kids told us, they do so only after police have chased them and they know it's "hot." At that point, just get rid of it, right? So they might flip it for $20 or $30 to a friend or someone older who is desperate for a short-term means of transportation. Sometimes, they claim, they can get $100 or $200 off a car. But as you can see -- selling the vehicle is not really the point, it's an after-effect of the ride itself.
Ruddiver: It's more about how the horse will perform that day. Now I have more experience in the race, so I'm not as nervous as I was earlier in my career. -JL
Do you feel more pressure being the favorite? or is it all about how the horse performs that you worry about?
Any details on the development process? In what language have you guys written the game?
The government ruled you no longer disabled with one leg? You must have made the mistake of getting a job.
Do you feel online spaces like Twitter or Facebook should allow equal opportunity to all voices to be heard without censorship?
Part of their post at the top is showing about police arresting a lot of them. I'd think that's a consequence?
The E.T/Eddie Torres/Extra Testicle bit was one of my all time favorite things. How much did y'all laugh when writing that?
Plenty of details! We wrote the game in Game Maker: Studio version 1.4
As far as other details well... there are a ton of things I could mention so you'd need to be more specific. :)
Yeah, I had 3 kids and then child support, disability wasn't covering that.
It's a very interesting question as to what level of responsibility comes with these intermediaries' role as the facilitators of online speech. Generally, human rights are understood to apply to States, rather than the private sector, but there's been increasing recognition that responsibilities should attach to these tech firms as well. For a broader discussion, check out something I wrote on this issue at: responsible-tech.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Intermediaries-Print.pdf
It is, to some extent, but a lot of kids said they don't care about the arrest because they're often sent right back home. They laugh as the cuffs click shut. One girl asked police to take her through the McDonald's drive-thru. Several said they'd be right back out to do it again.
@Runs_n_goses: A little bit, but not too too much. Not in a race. Florent Geroux and I like to mess with each other but not anyone else. It's a friendly rivalry. -JL
How much trash talking is there in the jockey lounge area before races? Also, any trash talking happen during the race?
What do you think of the situation on the island of New Guinea / Papua? Its such a large region with so many conflicts, and yet, there seems to be so little coverage of news. Do the original papuans have any free press or human rights at all?
Why do you think this particular county in Florida has so much higher of a car theft rate then other similar counties in similar regions?
What's your favorite strain to smoke, and what's your favorite way to smoke?
For Reddit, use /u/ instead of an @ symbol. For example, /u/RichardBachman
I went to Papua a few years back as part of an international human rights mission. It's a very troubling situation, and particularly relevant since this year's UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event is being held in Jakarta. I know a lot of people have been trying to draw attention to the abuses in Papua as part of that event, so hopefully it succeeds in shining a light on the abuses that continue to take place.
Good question! We asked a ton of people. Kids, law enforcement, judges, politicians. NO ONE had a clear answer. The most logical conclusion -- kids here have just latched onto it as a fad. Fads can be local. Once it becomes the "thing to do" in a particular place, it can spiral.
Our numbers are auto theft arrests, so they do show, in part, that cops here are really going after this particular crime. But all the evidence points to that being a legitimate reaction to the danger at hand.
sixfourthree: We are handicapping to win the race--see what we need to do to beat the favorite. Put the horse in best spot to win the race. -JL
What exactly do jockeys look for when handicapping a race they're about to run in?
I see a lot of small indie devs who either are artists themselves or work very closely with their artist(s). Can you talk about working on the game without knowing exactly where your art direction might go? What was it like having less total control? Did any issues arise from having so many artists and was it difficult to get your artists to match what you needed?
You can sell testicles???
In a time where "fake news" is spreading like wildfire, what role (if any) do governments have to play in regulating the profession of journalism? When does a government cross the line from legitimate standard setting to undue influence in the marketplace of ideas?
Follow up question:
Are Tampa/Clearwater residences more likely to leave their cars unlocked w keys available?
What was it like to play on Celebrity Jeopardy! ? Did Alex Trebek want a hit from your pipe after the show?
We were very selective about our artists. I would put out the APB on twitter for artists and generally get between 20-100 replies, usually we would narrow that down to one or two artists and then do a test with them to see if they could match the style.
If the artist couldn't match the style to our satisfaction, that was it. :/
Apparently, saw a few articles about it here and there.
The traditional approach is to always favour self-regulatory models over the press, rather than any heavy handed government intervention, and I personally am not convinced that the current storm over fake news is enough to warrant a shift from that. Dominance over the news industry is a hallmark of repressive regimes. Any time you get to a point where the government is regulating what the "true" version of the news is, it leads you into some dark places.
Interesting question. We haven't calculated location to car unlocked. We don't have broad data for Tampa but we do for Clearwater. Anecdotally, people leave their cars unlocked all across the county. There was never one area that stuck out to us as a place as having more unlocked cars. But I don't have specific numbers here, and maybe we'll look at this further as we continue to report on the problem. Thanks for the suggestion!
It was the most nervous I've ever been in show business, because you can look like a real doalt out there.
downeastkid: Classic Empire first, State of Honor, and Irish War Cry
What horse would you pick in your trifecta?
I saw you at Old Friends farm last year doing a photo shoot and I wanted to say hi but decided not to bother you. Do you typically mind if fans try to say hey when you're out in public?
that's a good question, I would probably have seen a therapist if, and i know this is going to sound bad, if my mum was not the person who suggested it. There's no malice between my mum and I, we love each-other to bits. it's just that when your mum has been saying for 17-18 years to do your medicine, if she says see a therapist it would have just sounded like noise "just another thing she's nagging me about".
If the suggestion came from a outside source, like a friend who's never commented on my health before.. I believe it would have made me stop and think that maybe there's something to it.
As for exactly what to say.. I really don't know. I guess it would have to be a fairly frank conversation with them to spell it out.. thing is at that age, the important thing on most 17 year old's mind is school and/or dating, not picking fights with their best friends.. so it would probably have not happened.
hindsight as they say is 20/20. I know now that therapy would probably have helped me back on the path to recovery earlier, but at the time there was in my mind "nothing that anyone could do to make it better" so I'm not sure how effective it would have been.
I'm paying for it now, but I kind of feel that I needed it to go wrong. I learned humility practically overnight, and did a lot of growing up staring at the hospital ceiling.
What was it like being involved with South Park? How did that come about?
Hmm was thinking tossing State of Honor, but I at least have to try this bet!
ShamIAmNot: LOL -JL
How much would I have to pay you to, if you win the Derby, dedicate the victory to Adam Hickman during your Winner's Circle interview? I'll start a GoFundMe!
My parents were always open with me about the realities of CF. If I asked them why, they would tell me. I personally love that they handled it that way.
I had my own personal revelation when I went off to college and I started having CF really affecting my life. I had to start fighting harder to keep myself healthy and sometimes, no matter how hard I fight, I still lose battles. It's just part of it.
They called us and had a bit for us and we said SURE! It was nice being part of that show, its one of the funniest ever
MostlyH20: I've been fortunate to be on a lot of good fillies. Classic Empire we find the perfect exercise rider for him that gets along good. They respect each other, and it's been going good since then. We're a team. -JL
Thanks for doing this! I've always appreciated your thoughtful, kind hand with your mounts- do you think that has been a significant factor in your success with fillies & mares? Similarly, Classic Empire is reputed to be a bit... erm... strong minded. Have you & Casse come up with any unique methods to get him running when you need him to and not just when he wants to?
Trailer looks good, but why does the screen shake so much? It's giving me a headache just looking at it.
Hey, how did your friends and family react to the face transplant? Are you in a countant pain? Like if your always feeling close to getting an infection. Hope your Government sort this shit out for you.
It's my personal belief that many people, in the US at least, have become intellectually lazy enough to rely on online sources of information that are highly biased, at best, and outright fraudulent, at worst.
In an age when people are so easily influenced, and just want to be entertained more than informed, how does serious journalism remain viable, politically and economically?
Did you talk to the parents? If, so what did they say?
Screenshake is a very personal thing, like your sleep number or the angle of the chair in your car!
Screenshake is fully adjustable, so you can turn it down or off if you'd like.
Perhaps we should have capped the trailer footage with a lower screenshake factor...
They were amazed! The only pain I'm in is in my amputated leg.
"Viable economically" is an enormous challenge, and not one I see any easy solutions for. The best long form journalism seems to be being produced at institutions that have independent sources of wealth - either from a trust, or State support, or from a rich owner. Not an ideal situation, and all I can really say to that is - pay for your journalistic content :)
But I do think that breaking people outside of their bubbles is one of the biggest challenges we face, especially given that, according to some accounts, the Internet, rather than bridging these gaps as one might expect, has actually made things worse. Even here on Reddit, you have Politics and The_Donald - and never the twain shall meet. I think that we need to do more to foster engagement between polarised positions, and to try and find forums to agree on shared interpretations of the facts, if there's ever going to be progress made towards addressing common challenges.
We did talk to parents. Most of them were frustrated. They said their children did not respect the courts, which made it harder to get them to respect anything at home. They also said their kids always started the same way -- falling in with a bad crowd -- before they began committing crime.
why yes, we will always be connected. We played golf yesterday at the George Lopez tournament
PAdogooder: Not really yet but feel like I will when my son is growing up -JL
Julien! You're my favorite jockey and I will often bet a horse just because you're on him- Louisville native here.
Question: do you ever ride horseback in other styles or for fun? Trail riding or jumping?
College universities are currently some of the areas most affected by dwindling freedom of expression and speech in the United States. How do you guys plan on addressing this?
Did you find trends in the time of day that most cars were stolen -- mostly in the middle of the night or all times of day?
Can you talk a bit about the Chicano art center and why it's important?
I'm actually troubled by this. The academic space is supposed to be the most open and freewheeling expressive environment out there, and the drive to silence dissenting voices, even offensive and hateful ones, is deeply troubling. Engagement is always preferable to trying to shut the other side down.
And, for the record, the reason I wasn't responding was because, at last count, there's 884 comments :). It's difficult to keep up, even if there are a few of us working on it.
Car theft happens in broad daylight and at night, but it's hard to track down the specific time of the theft. Speaking generally, many of them are reported in the morning, because people wake up to discover their car is gone. Then they call police. But police reports only say something like, Call time: 6:32. And then it'll say in the narrative, the car was likely stolen between the hours of 11 p.m. (the last time the victim saw it) and 6 a.m. (when they wake up to the horrifying shock of no car). A lot of kids certainly go carhopping at night, but if they spot a running, unattended car during the day or try a handle and strike gold, they're just as likely to take it at 3 p.m. as 3 a.m.
because it will be the first museum dedicated to chicano art, culture, and industry, and has the potential to grow into something increible world wide
kocomma: Top 10 jockeys get best opportunities to ride better horses, but it's also the top jockeys make less mistakes on big day racing -JL
What makes the difference between the top jockeys (e.g. top 10 money earners) and the rest? What do you do differently in a race that sets you apart from the others?
What was the learning curve like for game maker studio? Given your background was it easy to jump right in on the programming side?
You mentioned in one of your other answers that you usually deal with minor rejection once a year, and you've been up to stage 3 in the past.
Will there be a time when there is no longer a risk of rejection, or will this always be a risk no matter how long you've been healing?
I'm a property crimes prosecutor. Our motor vehicle theft detectives and I have noticed a weird new trend. When the cars are recovered, a noticeable amount have had the rear view mirror removed. Theories range from the thieves are keeping them as trophies to they think there's some sort of tracking device in the mirrors, like onstar. It's a newer trend so we think it's younger thieves. Notice anything like that with your subjects? Opinions?
Hey Cheech, since your movies were a huge influence on my teenage years in the 80's do you feel responsible for how I turned out, and if so would you change anything?
What made you want to ride horses? What made you keep the interest in horse riding?
Learning curve was pretty friendly I would say. Danny and I each had a small amount of programming education, but in a lot of ways we were basically working blind.
We made a lot of mistakes and were forced to re-write the code-base several times. Overall I can't complain though, within a week we were making 'real games' and at this point (after just over three years working with the tools) I am pretty confident I could make 'any thing I could imagine' at least as far as the coding part of it goes...
Edit: I should also note that we worked REALLY REALLY hard to develop our skills as quickly as possible. Especially at the beginning we were spending oftentimes 10+ hours a day researching code. I don't think there is a friendlier langauge out there than GMS, but it's still programming, and it's still plenty of work if you want to do it right.
Rejection will always be a risk until medical science finds new ways to trick the immune system which they are working on.
We've heard of this and were told it's because they think there's GPS in the onstar mirrors. Haven't heard that from kids themselves though.
colhurts: There's a lot. There's many horses I wish I rode. American Pharoah, Zenyatta, all the big horses are the ones you want to be on. -JL
Which horse that you didnt get to ride do you really really wish you could've ridden?
What made you want to ride horses? What made you keep the interest in horse riding?
amb326: I'm not sure, but he wore them in the Arkansas Derby -JL
Do you know why Classic Empire is now wearing glue on shoes?
In a similar situation, a brother and I have dabbled in GM:S (even buying the humble bundle license and some stuff) but it ultimately got put on the backburner.
In getting back into it again - the brother moves in tomorrow, and we start our hobby-but-still-serious, first actual project - I started looking into Unity and UE4. While IMO they are way more complex for a beginner (using C# and not a native 'easy' language like GML), the number of things you can kind of just do compared to GM:S is still blowing my mind every day. Lighting, texturing, even scripting is just so much more powerful it's crazy.
IMO, while GM:S is a fine option and excellent introduction into thinking like a programmer and tackling problems, I would heavily recommend at least looking into the idea of using Unity. Interestingly, it still carries a bit of the reputation of "for indie/new developers", which seems silly if you come from GM:S, which is like the "even more for indie/new developers" program.
Since this statement is only a few weeks old. Contact the DoD. Seems like this is an oversight. Proof that they arnt footing the bill would be nice.
That aside im sorry for your troubles. What happened to make you go back to get work done? I get rejection but i dont understand what that means. Did it start to slide off?
In the most open and inclusive of forums like Reddit let's say, where anyone can talk but nobody has to listen, should any speech or rhetoric or idea be off limits ?
What do you think mostly influenced them to do this other than to have fun?
You've managed to pull away from the combined cheech and chong image, do you ever regret how inseparable those names are together in people's minds?
Are TBs your favorite breed? Are there any other breeds you particularly like?
Yes this is pretty much spot on based on my conversations with other indies.
to elaborate more, there are four stages of rejection, the 4th stage can't be reversed and you lose the organ. As it progresses from stage 1 to 4, the face starts getting really splotchy, stage 3 looks like a full blown sunburn. I've been in stage 3 in the past but it was always caught in time before it hit 4.
The face wouldn't just come off, if I hit stage 4, they would surgically remove it. I also have a letter from the hospital that it was performed at that the DoD would not be doing anything to help, I can upload that if needed. This wasn't an oversight.
I think everyone believes that speech should have some limits. For example, you won't find many people defending death threats, or child exploitation images. The key is to craft restrictions around protecting against real and legitimate harms, and making them proportionate to promote a free and open discourse.
Good question. There are a lot of factors at play, but social pressure is a big one. They do it to hang out, to be cool, to gain popularity. A lot of them post pictures to Facebook or statuses about being "on wheels."
Car theft is a crime of opportunity, too. Many of the kids are those who don't otherwise have access to cars or, they say, the money to entertain themselves. One boy told us, simply, "We have to make our own fun."
Lastly -- access: It's super easy to steal a car when you find it unlocked with a key inside. So the simplicity is appealing. Then when they get caught, they're often released right back home. Then they do it again. They get sent home again. It takes a while for consequences to catch up to them, critics say, and that enables more thefts.
no I rejoice in it. Its all part of the deal and I would be sad if it wasn't
moaia66: My passion for it. I group up around horse racing. I always loved it and always wanted to be a jockey. Obviously I'm lucky with my size, too. -JL
Was it your physical attributes that lead you to the sport? A love of riding? A combination of some sort?
What the hell happens if they remove your face? I mean, they can't just sew the old one back on!
Hi there, thanks for doing the AMA! Do you think that potential misinformation (fake news) deserves to be restricted in order that 'credible' outlets reach the public? If so, how would you decide which is and isn't 'credible' as such? Once again, thank you so much for your time!
Are local politicians and law enforcement embarrassed about the story?
Do you have any thoughts on 1st generation Latino Americans and 3rd and 4th generation who weren't taught to speak the language and how to bridge that gap within the culture?
Are TBs your favorite breed? Are there any other breeds you particularly like?
The old one no longer exists, they would regraft skin from my own body and reconstruct my face like they originally did after the accident.
No. Once you get into the business of restricting "fake news", you have to have an official source who determines what the truth is - a typical hallmark of authoritarianism.
That said, there are avenues that need to be explored around promoting media literacy and public education. Also, it may be fair to differentiate in the case of government sourced campaigns to spread disinformation - though that's an area that still needs a lot of thought.
Embarassed might not be the right word. They told us they were shocked, a bit horrified. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist had a pithy statement: “This is not who we are as a community. It’s reckless and it’s criminal." He said he wanted “to put an end to this madness.”
Knowing more than one language is always a plus. For those who don't know a lot of English, learning more is a necessity. For those who don't know Spanish, learning more is an opportunity. It makes the exchange of ideas much fuller and richer. Do what you can!
skibonit: Hopefully not but never say never. I wouldn't mind being like Mike Smith and getting to ride whichever horse I want. -JL
Do you hope to still be riding in your 50's like Stevens & Smith?
Are you aware of any promising new treatments for CF? What treatments have you been through? Thanks for sharing and good luck to you.
Any plans on implementing a way to play online? Sales permitting of course. Or is the local only simply a design you chose?
The face transplant was funded through a DoD grant for veterans that Brigham and Women's Hospital has received. Source
What are your thoughts on Edward Snowden in specific but other whistleblowers?
Do people really leave their car keys in their cars in 2017? I feel like this doesn't happen in the UK, outside of perhaps isolated Scottish islands and the like...
Cheech, what are your favorite Chicano stereotypes?
Edward Snowden did the United States, and indeed the world, a great service by exposing illegal and incredibly abusive mass surveillance policies, and for that he's been exiled from his country and officially threatened with spending the rest of his life in jail and worse. International standards mandate that whistleblowers should not suffer any sanction for reporting in the public interest. His treatment by the US government has been atrocious.
Yes they very much do. That happened in 250 cases here in 18 months. It probably happens more than you think!
that we don't speak spanish, which lets face it, most of us don't
iwas99x: Those are the best ones. After that, any Grade 1 -JL
Mr.Leparoux, outside of the triple crown and breeders' cup, what is the best race and why?
related to /u/ScatStallion's question:
- two people quit their job 3 years ago
- ~17k were raised to continue "full time" development
do you guys live in your parent's basement? sell your firstborn? inherit a lot? how did you live for 3 years pretty much without income?
Is there a list of drugs that you are NOT allowed to take? Also are you not supposed to eat certain kind of food items?
How important do feel that Net Neutrality is as an aspect of freedom of expression/freedom of the press?
We have also locally seen a giant rise in car thefts in the area. 250 reported thefts in 2017 in a city of 150,000 These are also attributed to minors. Do you think this is becoming an epidemic in the US ? What do you think we as peers can do to curb this in minors ?
Can a young Chicano get some wise words of wisdom?
Sorry, there is a slight lack of clarity in my post here.
We worked on the game for about 2 years part-time BEFORE the Kickstarter. After the Kickstarter we worked for about 7 months before the game was released. ALL of our living expenses were paid out of our own finances/savings, Kickstarter money was only spent on game assets, contractor fees, etc...
We certainly didn't live for that entire time without any income!
No grapefruit or passion fruit
Vitally important! And very troubling to hear talk about this principle being scrapped. If you're in the US - call your representatives, and sign onto campaigns like EFF that are leading the charge against these changes.
Interesting! Where is your area? I don't think we've seen evidence to suggest this is a nationwide epidemic. One other area in which we've read a lot about an uptick in juvenile car theft is Milwaukee. The local media there has covered it extensively, and it seems pretty similar to our situation in Pinellas. What can we do to curb this in minors? Everyone we talked to -- politicians, police, judges -- said they did not have a single, perfect fix. But they said in general, keeping kids involved in more positive activities -- school, sports, clubs, mentoring -- will give them less time to act out. That seems like such a simple concept, but several of the teens we talked to said they did in fact start stealing cars or getting into trouble when they began cutting class or stopped playing on a local team.
iwas99x: I really enjoyed Go-Karting but now spend a lot more time with my family and son.
Leparoux,What are your hobbies outside of work?
If the temperature for everything you drank and your shower/bath temperature had to be exactly the same for the rest of your life how hot or cold would you chose?
What would be the chain of events if you go into stage 4 rejection? What is the best that can be done cosmetically and functionally if you'll have to do without a transplanted one?
Did you take Spanish in night school? What grade did you get?
WOAH! Just blew my mind... Um... I guess I could go with 'Hot Tea' temperature... but I worry that when I get really old that will be too hot for me to shower... :( I guess i'll be a smelly old man!
I would look similar or worse than I did before the transplant.
Many different ways. Some we cold-called. Some we met after court. Some we met on police ridealongs. Some we requested interviews with in jail, which is a process. When we sat down to talk to them, we tried to keep it simple, to let them talk, to just hear what they had to say. There's a question above about what it was like to talk to the kids. Most of them were pretty bright. They were more than capable of explaining themselves and talking to adults. They've spent a long time in the very confusing criminal justice system and in many ways have mastered its intricacies. Every interview was interesting.
I got a Beeeeeeeeeeeee
Any plans for future content/features? Borderless window mode would be great!
Have you ever ran into someone you knew from before your injury and then have to explain who you are?
We would love to add new content but it will really only be possible if our sales are good.
So far, things are looking good. If interest continues at this rate it should be possible.
That's really in reference to new content though, Borderless Windowed mode is a lot easier to implement so if enough people want it there's a good chance I can throw that in to an update.
Not at all, with all the media coverage and word of mouth, everyone pretty much already knew.
Maybe someday it will happen, I'll make a note to let you know how it goes.
Do y'all know of any plans by current FL legislators to fix this law, or at make the penalties for carjacking as a minor more stiff?
This article was really well done, your hard work is appreciated!
What's the weirdest thing you've ever smoked out of or turned into a smoking apparatus?
Yes, actually! Legislators have been moving a bill that aims to try kids deemed "prolific juvenile offenders" more quickly and to keep them detained or on an ankle monitor until they're sentenced. It's an attempted fix at a small part of this. And thank you! See more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/how-state-leaders-are-trying-to-fix-the-juvenile-car-theft-problem-in/2321579/
a clear palsti coffee cup. what you do is take a piece of paper and a pin and stick the pic through the bottom of the paper. You put a piece of hash on the end of the pin and when it starts to smoke you put the coffee cup on top of it. When the cup fills with smoke you lift the glass and suck it out. Works in every hotel room in America
What would you say was your greatest struggle during the process?
Did they use a condom?
This is all so interesting. How did you get an in with this kids? How did you get them to trust you?
It sounds like many of the factors that go into why this happens is similar to why you see children getting into trouble in lots of inner-city, high density areas. Do you have any ideas for communities to take steps to reduce this type of crime and provide other outlets?
What has been your favorite place to visit?
Hard to say, in a lot of ways it has been a constant struggle (not to sound dramatic)
Perhaps the longest and most stressful stretch was during our Kickstarter campaign. If you've ever heard that running a Kickstarter campaign is a nightmare... BELIEVE THE HYPE
Doesn't feel like it.
To the first part, we pretty much just asked them if they'd like to talk. I know that may sound ridiculous, but a lot of it was asking, being told no; asking, being told no; and so on. There were so many kids, we thought some of them would probably speak with us. And they did. Sometimes the kids were trying to change their ways and wanted to warn others. Sometimes they just were willing to talk. They didn't always trust us, but part of it was showing them we knew what we were talking about. We spent months researching, understanding this, building a database. We were able to demonstrate knowledge, to show that we understood and were genuinely interested in their side, and that helped build trust.
There are certainly some similar factors. I think everyone is looking for ideas and ways for communities to stop these problems. Good schools, social programs, opportunities -- that's always the answer. But still a lot of people need help or support.
Oh so many, but I love Ibiza, Spain and Bamf, Canada
The hot and the cold
You've mentioned Gamemaker 1.4 was used to build the game - did you make use of any third party software like Tiled for designing levels or did you use Gamemaker's level editor exclusively? I like Gamemaker in general but have found the level editor tedious.
What explanation was given for your loss of benefits? Was your insurance covered through DoD or VA? Check into the exact explanation given and then, depending on your income, contact a local veterans' legal services organization, or veterans' attorney. The VA (especially) likes to find bullshit ways of getting around payments here and there but, with decent representation and advocacy, they'll kowtow when called out... that or use your story to generate bad press for DoD.
So sorry for your predicament.
Do the kids that do this.usually have enough information to realize how dangerous they are when they do steal and drive a car ?
who do you miss more seeing on a daily basis? Tommy Chong, or Don Johnson?
Fyrfoot got it but yeah... basically the built in editor in 1.4 is borderline unusable. (I have heard 2.0 is MUCH better) You either need to code your own editor or code a solution that does not require an editor.
My income ruled me no longer disabled in the governments eyes.
They know that people crash cars. They know that people get hurt in them. But they told us they're not really thinking about the danger when they take the car. Kids feel invincible, right? We say that all the time. Mortality or injury aren't often at the front of their minds. So when they're behind the wheel, they said, it's all adrenaline. It's cool. And if a cop gets behind them? They said they'll speed the wrong way. They'll hop a curb. They'll do whatever it takes. Because at that point their mind is on one thing, getting away. It's not so much they don't have the information as it isn't a big factor in their decision-making, from what they told us. They don't think anything bad will happen to them, and an arrest isn't that bad -- they don't fear it.
I miss em both
Grats on the release! I'm curious if you've figured out how many copies you need to sell in order to make this whole endeavor "worth it" to you guys. How did that factor into your pricing decisions? And two days into launch, how are you currently feeling about hitting those goals.
If you don't hit those goals, will you be trying again with a new game project, or does the dream die here?
Why did you leave me?
Hi PP! Good to see you sir!
For it to have been 'worth it', we do have a number of copies we need to sell. We haven't reached that goal quite yet but I don't think many games do so quickly!
I believe we will almost certainly hit our goal, but maybe not as quickly as I would have liked/hoped.
If things don't go great, I have several contingency plans... some of them involve continuing to work on games full time and others involve me doing other stuff and making games part time.
I won't know which avenue makes the most sense for at least a few months I would imagine.
I think it would be very foolish for us to completely throw away all of the goodwill and credibility we have built during our crowdfunding stage up to now by liquidating the company. It is very, very unlikely that RotR will be our last game.
Lol, I bet I know you
Hey man, a different question; This article clearly took a shitload of work, if we want to be scientific we can say it took a "Metric shitload" of work.
With how difficult it is to source, cite, find, and corroborate all of this information, and with the contrary, low effort opinion pieces, getting a lot of buzz, how the hell do we rejuvenate journalism on a large scale when the major news outlets in the states seem to be actively working against it? And what's your opinion of how the biggest news outlets with the largest reaches approach the dissemination of information?
Hey interesting question. I'm sure a lot of journalists could talk on this for hours over a few beers. This did take a lot of work. I think the important thing we've seen is that readers really value long takes and accountability work. This story gets plenty of buzz, too, but part of the dilemma is defining value. At the Times, editors place a lot of emphasis on watchdog journalism, which sometimes involves projects like this. There's value in that, people really do read those stories and sometimes they lead to positive changes. Buzz or not, any impact in that sense -- a change that improves a dangerous situation -- is what we hope for. Sure, that sounds grandiose, but I think that's what a lot of reporters are after. I think anyone with a big platform or a mission of informing the public should be striving for accuracy and relevance.
Might seem like an inappropriate question but could you pull your face off?
Is the Dress Code at the newspaper camping attire? Your shirts make me think so, is it true?
What is your favorite dinosaur?
I did IT for about 3 years, it was just really not rewarding for me. I found myself getting frustrated with the customers and that's just not cool to them. I was doing everything I could to get out of the office ASAP every day, it wasn't fair to my boss, the company, our customers, or myself... so I quit.
Oh, also my degree is in 'Communication' (Yes, I know...) Danny has tons of degrees! I think he even has one in forensics!
Probably not, it's attached pretty well.
The newsroom is a tent. It's part of a new strategy to be mobile and nimble in the fast-paced digital world.
I like a stegosaurus
Your YouTube link for the trailer isn't working for me. Maybe dead?
If this has been a significant problem for the St Pete police for years, why hasn't anything been done legislatively to address the lenient sentencing?
On a scale of mouse to giraffe how high are you right now ?
Also -- the trend in juvenile justice reform for the last decade has generally been to keep more kids out of detention centers and less incarceration. More toward in-community treatment. It's a swinging pendulum. And auto theft is a property crime, right? So it's not something politicians tend to talk about as much as violent crime, crimes against people. Property crime is often lower on the agenda, seen as less bad. But clearly here it's extremely dangerous.
hippo, my friend
Holy shit! I've actually met the drummer for slime girls, and even shared some venues with him in some of his previous musical endeavors. I'm also super hyped to see a melee based rougelike. What was the biggest "oh shit I have to learn this now" moment when developing the game?
Out of curiosity, what are the racial and socio-economic statistics of the children stealing the cars?
We touch on this in the story, but most of the kids arrested for this crime in the last couple of years have been black. Many live in poorer parts of the county, though we don't have exact socioeconomic data on the individual level.
The game Hyper-Light-Drifter looks quite similar to your game in art-style and gameplay. I was thinking about buying that, but now i have to choose between either that or your game. How would you convince me to choose your title?
How fun was it working on the set of lost?
I won't try to convince you! Hyper Light Drifter is a fantastic game. I would not try to compare what we have to HLD, it's apples and oranges.
HLD is a fantastic, polished, wonderful game with extremely good pixel art, a beautiful cohesive world, and great game-feel.
Personally, I got frustrated with HLD because I would just wander around these giant beautiful areas struggling to figure out what I was supposed to do or where I was supposed to go.
If you want something really fast paced and intense, that is constantly putting pressure on you forcing you to learn and improve, maybe check out RotR too!
it was pretty good, it was in Hawaii so that was cool. My wife came along and we cocktails and stuff
Do excuse the negative tone for the question. Do you have a plan in place should you and your partner in this venture fall out and your friendship is genuienly irreconcilable?
This sounds horrible, but I guess I'm thinking along the lines of a pre-nup. It's horrible to plan for your marriage breaking up, but sometimes you just gotta
I love to cocktails
Good Question! Faux-Operative Games is an incorporated Partnership (LLC)
If we fall out, we will each own 50% of the company and the game. In that case, it would still be in each of our best interests to work together at least professionally.
I don't foresee any conflict of that type though, we have an extremely good relationship both professionally and personally.
What's your take on kickstarter games becoming more and more prevalent in the industry? I'm particularly excited about Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a game that otherwise probably wouldn't have happened.
I loved Born in East LA. Was it fun to shoot?
Bloodstained looks awesome! But my take is honestly that Kickstarter is almost a dead platform for video games. It seems to me like it is getting harder and harder to convince people that you're not some kind of scammer... mainly because there are a lot of scammers.
I think the chances that we will return to Kickstarter for the next project are quite low!
it was so much fun to shoot. It was so fun seeing it come together just like I envisioned it.
When will the Linux port be released?! :) No, really, unless it runs under wine, I won't be able to enjoy this awesome looking game.
Cheech, what actor and actress do you most want to work with and why?
If the Windows version sells well, we will be looking at other ports. Linux is definitely on the list!
Johnny Depp once again
Do you have any advice to somebody who is considering game development as a career?
What house would you be in if you went to Hogwarts?
This is a really tough one! I don't want to give bad advice, and i'm not sure what good advice I can actually give. We followed our own path and ignored a LOT of the advice we were getting from indie-devs. We were just... really stubborn.
Overall even at the beginning I thought we were just being insane. I dont know if I can recommend our path to someone else, especially with how much harder crowd funding gets every day that goes by. It remains to be seen whether we will even actually make enough money to 'pay ourselves' for the three years of work we did.
I guess I don't feel qualified to give such advice yet.
Huffle puff puff pass
Did writing or acting in your movies ever feel like work? Or were you having as much fun as some of your movies portrayed?
Haha... Noooooooooooooooooo Tech support is NOT fun. But it was a good work environment so i'm not complaining.
I always had fun, always always always, right from the very beginning. You can read about it in my new memoir "Cheech Is Not My Real Name, But Don't Call Me Chong!" available at a bookstore near you!
Congratulations, but from what you said, you basically lived together with your friend, for 3 years, on $17K?
What was it like working with Marty Feldman? Did you smoke with any of the Pythons?
I posted a reply explaniing things a bit more clearly, here it is again
"Sorry, there is a slight lack of clarity in my post here. We worked on the game for about 2 years part-time BEFORE the Kickstarter. After the Kickstarter we worked for about 7 months before the game was released. ALL of our living expenses were paid out of our own finances/savings, Kickstarter money was only spent on game assets, contractor fees, etc... We certainly didn't leave for that entire time without any income!"
I have over the years. Marty was a unique individual. We worked together on Yellow Beard and the last day of shooting we drove out together in a taxi from Mexico City. We were stalled in traffic for a few hours and we told eachother our life stories and we laughed a lot. He told me about a jazz festival he was doing in lake maggiore. We got to the studio, shot my last scene and went to the airport back to LA. I heard on the radio that he had died that night. He was a unique and wonderful human being.
Your story is similar to the developers of No Man's Sky. I wish you a lot of luck mate, I hope it turns out to be a great game.
If you had to choose between going deaf or going mute, which would you choose?
Cheech, are you better at singing or dancing?
Oh dang, that's tough...
I guess mute, although it would make it a lot harder to win in Overwatch!
singing by a long shot
Do you envision a console release if RotR becomes successful enough?
Hey Cheech! What was it like working with Martin Scorsese in After Hours? Also, how did Cheech & Chong end up in that movie? It's such a "New York" movie and it's very strange to see you guys in it.
We met him at the Cannes film festival one year. We had lunch and had a good ole time. Years later he was describing a movie and the two characters were exactly like Cheech and Chong, and then it dawned on him that he knew us, so he called us up and asked us to do the movie and we said, sure why not?
When was the very first time you've ever smoked weed, and how did it go down?
freshman in college and it went down my mouth
How old were you when you did this? I'm asking for someone else who says he's too old to follow his dream and quit his job like you guys did. He also has a game he wants to build out. I don't think you're ever too old but I'm just curious. Thanks for posting :-)
What are some of your favorite pieces of Chicano art that you've collected?
I'll be 30 in May. I don't think it's ever too late but I hesitate to encourage people to do what we did.
Overall we are pretty dumb to have done this but i'm crossing my fingers that it works out anyway! @_@
It changes all the time
Your collection of Chicano art at LACMA was very impressive when I visited several years ago. Are you noticing an thematic evolution in this artistic style as you've been collecting over the years?
yes I have, every five years or so, a new generation of Chicano artists jumps into the pool, and their first efforts are always news from the front. The art usually reflects the state of the community on a lot of different levels and techniques.
You've done a lot of movies with Robert Rodriguez, what's he like to work with?
Hes very cool, very efficient, great sense of humor, and hes looking at you all the time because he operates the camera.
You are an excellent dramatic actor. When will you take the lead role in a series of cerebral action films?
Next Tuesday will be my good news day
It was the most fun I ever had working with anybody. Donny likes to work hard and have a good time, just like me
Hes like gas, he will pass
probably Sativa, but I like her sister a lot too
Did you have fun in Houston for the Art Car Parade? Looks like you made some good friends who would love to see you come back!
I had the time of my life, it was the coolest live event I've done in a long time
pretty much anything
Do you believe that recreational marijuana use should be legal? Do you have any thoughts or feelings to share on the current marijuana legal status, especially as it compares to the legal status while you were producing all your films..?
I think should definitely be legal, but every state is different and has different laws. Its like a lava flow right now, were past the tipping point.