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Actor / EntertainerWe are director Luke Korem and card mechanic/card magician Richard Turner from the new documentary DEALT, here to answer all your questions about magic, card tricks, and living a life without limits – ask us anything!

Oct 25th 2017 by redmoon612 • 28 Questions • 61 Points

My short bio:

Our indie game development company turned 5 years old today. Two years ago we were at the brink of bankruptcy with my brother, after 3 years of work we had $50 000 in debt. Today, after a long series of events caused by a Reddit post and Redditors rushing to help, I paid it off, and our company is now debt-free!

 

Our Story:

5 years ago I had embarked on an unpredictable journey with my brother, after one year of hard work we managed to release our very first game accompanied by a lot of excitement. Excitement soon turned to disappointment, total sales ended up at $1000. After some contemplation, we decided we were not ready to give up on our dream.

 However, to give ourselves a chance, we needed to take a loan of $50 000. Through a series of coincidences, a third person appeared in our lives, and it quickly dawned upon us he had been the missing link. We grabbed him with us and started on a new game, which in hindsight ended up taking way too much time. After almost two years of work our second game was released and ended up with $2000 in total sales.

  Devastated and with very limited funds left, we made a 180 degree turn in our strategy. Despite everyone stating premium games were dead, we decided to try anyway. We realized spending time trying to figure out how to milk money from customers wasn't for us. We wanted to create a game, ask a fair one-time price and let players play without restrictions.

  Time was ticking, and we were developing our most ambitious game yet. We stretched as far as we could, but we eventually ran out of funds. With only $1000 left on our company account, I called our landlord and canceled our office tenancy agreement ahead of time. We thought we were done.

  But fate would have it otherwise. In my darkest moment I decided to post here on Reddit, and found myself overwhelmed from all the help we received from you Redditors. With your help our then released game (Battlevoid: Harbinger) was to send out a message to the world that the story of this small indie game development company was not yet over, and today I can happily state the game has sold over 150 000 copies across all platforms. It feels so surreal after many years of struggle.

  Through our story I want to encourage you to follow your dreams. You don't have to be super smart or know everything to try something you really want to do. We made so many mistakes on our journey, but persistence kept us alive. Let your passion guide you, stay persistent and be ready to learn new things every day.

  The gaming industry is ruthless, and we continue on one game at a time. Today we released a new game into our "Battlevoid" series on Steam, Google Play and Apple App Store and once again we are excited to see how it will fare out there among all the other games. Feel free to ask me anything about our journey, our games, game development in general or the gaming industry!

 

My Proof: Battlevoid Twitter

Q:

Hey Richard and Luke! I had the great pleasure of meeting you, Richard, at Magic Live, and I was super hyped when Luke showed the opening scene in the theater. I watched the film two nights ago, and I found it inspiring and awesome. Richard, you are one of the most skilled card handlers I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing (but you know that already).

Where, aside from Erdnase, did you learn your skills? Was it all from Expert? What was the most challenging sleight or move for you to master?

A:

Was it always going to be the Blue Man Group? Was there ever a discussion about being a different color?


Q:

What would you do differently if you had your time as PM over again?

A:

What was the most difficult obstacle to overcome? Is there anything you know now that you wish you had known when you started?


Q:

Will there ever be a revival of SMBC Theater?

Also, you're awesome!

A:

Congrats. I feel like I'm you before the big successful part... so um, you hiring?


Q:

from Richard: Dai Vernon, Charlie Miller, Tony Giorgio, and Ed Marlo. I spent many years with each of them.


Q:

As I said just before, I'd be less trusting of some of the folks I worked with.

A:

Replied to this one above, again, my apologies for not understanding how to reply in the beginning.


Q:

I will always appreciate how many people ask that question, but sadly no. None of us would have the time any more, and unfortunately SMBCT just never turned a profit.

A:

We're not big and successful yet, just out of the hole that we were in and really happy to be able to continue developing games.

Hiring, huh! Are you willing to move to Finland?


Q:

Hey Richard and Luke! I had the great pleasure of meeting you, Richard, at Magic Live, and I was super hyped when Luke showed the opening scene in the theater. I watched the film two nights ago, and I found it inspiring and awesome. Richard, you are one of the most skilled card handlers I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing (but you know that already).

Where, aside from Erdnase, did you learn your skills? Was it all from Expert? What was the most challenging sleight or move for you to master?

A:

What's the meaning of life?


Q:

Hi Mr Rudd,

Do you think there should be a Royal Commission into the NBN debacle to hold those accountable?

Cheers

A:

Exactly. It doesn’t hurt to have the exact same answer in two places.


Q:

Follow up: what is your smbc theater buddy James Ashby up to nowadays?

A:

Hey! I played your game. Pretty awesome!


Q:

from Luke: I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the film!! It was a fun journey making this film.


Q:

Yes. Abbott and Turnbull have so far got away with blue murder on this. The cost to the taxpayer as a result has been beyond belief.

A:

I totally apologize for my noobness. I think I'm getting the hang of this now, and will continue to use reddit. Thanks!


Q:

Traveling a bit and writing some lovely fiction that hasn't been released yet. We're working on putting out a comic book based on a beautiful script he wrote.

A:

Hi! That's awesome, did you find any bugs?


Q:

How confident were you going in that your trick on "Fool Us" would fool Penn and Teller?

A:

Do you paint "other" things blue besides whats visible?


Q:

Hi Kevin, what suprised you most about life as PM and the roles it entailed?

A:

Kudos on the adoption and plant-based diet. I had adopted a few pups in the past. They've all passed from old age, but I plan on rescuing another soon. I also transitioned to a plant-based diet and got my weight from 275 down to 185 and eliminated about 80% of flare-ups and associated issues caused by my Crohn's disease.

Question: What was the final motivator that got you to get up and try something completely different? Most people (obese with health issues, like we were) would scoff at the idea of a plant-based diet and would rather endure extreme surgeries and other procedures, such as gastric bypass, to deal with their issues. What made you switch?


Q:

Your comics steadily evolved from one panel single cell organisms into huge, monstrous megafauna. Now I feel like there's a great deal of genetic diversity in your comic ecosystem, though the megafauna of yesteryear is much less common. What personal thoughts do you have about your comic length? When did you decide to move from single panels to multipanel comics and how has your planning/layout process changed since then?

A:

Is it a coincidence or does finland have some kind of advantages for indie game developers? I swear 5 posts I see about people developing a game either lives or moves to finland


Q:

from Richard: 98%, but quite nervous!


Q:

The GFC. It meant we had to work 16 hour days just to survive.

A:

An embarassing situation where I caused a plane flight to be delayed, because they ran out of seat belt extensions and could not take off until I was buckled in. I was wedged into a center seat with at least 8 inches of me flopping over each armrest, and the guy next to me was brutal about this.


Q:

I did single panels for a long time just because that was a genre I enjoyed. After a while it felt very constraining, and the comics just started growing and growing as I experimented more.

Lately they've gotten a bit shorter (on average at least) in part due to time constraints. I'm also more interested in prose writing, so sometimes when I have an idea for a longer story I just write it down, with the intention to do the whole story when things have slowed down a bit over here.

A:

Finland has opportunities, much more so than other countries for sure I would say. Much of this is thanks to Rovio and Supercell I would say, sparking a real interest in investing in gaming companies and trying to nurture them.


Q:

How long did it take to come up with and master that trick, and had you ever done it in front of an audience before?

A:

Can you share an inside joke that you guys have?


Q:

Hi Mr Rudd,

Are you as disappointed with the state of current politics as we are? Where constant blame games are played instead of actual problem solving? Where each side picks on each other instead of focusing on policies? Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us btw!

A:

Good bot


Q:

I'm a regular sized person but a huge fan of your comic. It's given me many laughs and had gotten me thinking about all manner of human things.

My questions are these:

Excluding your own work, what comic series or graphic novels do you enjoy most?

What is your favorite comfort snack? For me it's is Mac and Cheese Eggrolls© and almonds.

A:

Have you ever considered making a multiplayer game? Also I recommend linking your patreon or starting a kickstarter for a new game, I imagine it would be very successful


Q:

from Richard: (sorry I didn't see this one) - That trick is a combo of skills that I mastered over 40 years. Once I decided on the exact combination, It took me about two months to put together that one demonstration, burning through a deck every two hours.


Q:

Yes. But the Murdoch media don't provide a fair platform for a policy debate on the future. Their interest is to conduct personal campaigns against individual labor politicians.

A:

It's an awesome bot!


Q:

Comics: I've really loved Guy DeLisle's traveling series.

Comfort Snack: I do a handmade pizza that's greasy and covered with pickled or brined vegetables, all of which my wife hates. The latter adds to the savor. Although, if I could eat anything all day, it'd be these.

A:

A future Kickstarter has been on our minds regarding Space Haven! As a form of getting alpha testers.


Q:

Hey Richard! Have you ever messed up a move and just felt that things weren’t going right based on the energy of the people around you, but noticed they weren’t saying anything? If so, Please describe that experience.

A:

Aw no! I'm late to the party... and I know what the blue man group does to late arrivals. Think they'll notice?


Q:

Do you still hit up Yarralumla Turkish Pide when you are in the area?

A:

To anyone who watches this: A DOG DIES: PREPARE TO CRY. Seriously though, it's a beautiful story. Dogs are amazing companions, and truly, our species barely deserves such a gracious gift from Nature.


Q:

Oh my goodness that looks delicious!

I work in a pizza shop. My favorite pie to make is pepperoni with pickled onions, pickles jalapeños, and pickled peppers. If you're ever in New Orleans, come by and we'll hook you up with all the pickles you want! We'll make /u/sciencegal gasp at the horrors of our many pickles!

A:

Is there a special reason why you're called bugbyte? Didn't Bugbear (FlatOut 1+2) also come out of Finland? What is it with you guys and bugs? Aren't they something to avoid?


Q:

from Richard: Yes, that's happened several times. I was doing my double signed card routine in front of hundreds at a night club (1987), and there was so much commotion that even the audience was having a hard time following the routine. It was aggravating, but thankfully it ended well. I think only 1/3 understood or absorbed the demonstration. Let me think of a time I messed up....thinking....when I mess up in general, I just skip it and move on.


Q:

Not only do I visit for a kebab when I'm in town my son Marcus has been one of their biggest customers in history.

A:

Thank you :)


Q:

I may take you up on that one day...

A:

Haha, I don't know! When we started we didn't have any other Finnish companies on our mind.

I think we did what many others would do when trying to come up with a name. Taking industry terms and trying to combine them in a way that would create a new word of our liking. At first we were Bugbyte Productions, but later on dropped the "Productions" :)


Q:

when you're practicing on your own, how do you tell which way your cards are facing and if your trick has been successful?

A:

No one ever writes my name :(


Q:

Mr Rudd,

How deep does the rabbit hole go in terms of media moguls influencing policy?

Is there a reasonable solution to get the NBN back to a standard that Labor proposed and started, or are we going to be held back for another 10 years+?

A:

HES A GOOD BOY


Q:

Damn it's been five years since I left home to study abroad in France (came back after a year and a half) and I had totally forgotten about Canellés. Fuck you

A:

I have never heard of this game series.. But it looks awesome! Good job! My question is: Where do you see your franchise heading in the future?


Q:

from Richard: (i posted this but didn't show up): The push off sweep second took thousands of hours of practice! But I love it!


Q:

Murdoch's fox news network in the United States is one of the biggest reason for the emergence of Trump. Murdoch also campaigned in support of Brexit in Britain. Murdoch's control of 70% of the Newspapers in Australia is a major problem for us all.

A:

HE'S THE BEST BOY! :)


Q:

I live down the street from a bakery that makes them. $3 a piece and worth every penny.

A:

It all depends on how this newest one, Battlevoid: Sector Siege manages to capture the interest of our community and new players. As long as there is interest there is always a chance we will do more into the series.

We have been working on a new and really ambitious project on the side as well. It's called Space Haven, and it's inspired by Rimworld, X-Com and FTL.

You can check out a dev blog we have for it. Starting with this post to see some screenshots: Space Haven Screenshots


Q:

when you're practicing on your own, how do you tell which way your cards are facing and if your trick has been successful?

A:

Do you ever engage in promiscuity whilst still in makeup?

Asking for a friend.


Q:

Hi Kevin,

What made you change your stance on marriage equality to a yes? How did it come about and who/what made the realisation real for you?

A:

Any before and after photos of your pupper?


Q:

SMBC is the most consistently good comic I've read, so thanks for making procrastinating so much easier! What is your favorite scientific field to make fun of, or which is the easiest?

Also side note, will we ever see pharmacology as a field show up in a comic?

Thanks you!!

A:

How much programming experience did you guys have when you first started?


Q:

from Richard: they would sneak up on me when I wasn't looking ;).

from Luke: At first, I think Richard was performing for the camera (because it's in his blood to perform). So, it took several months before both he and his family forgot about the cameras and just lived there lives. That's when we captured the good stuff that's in the film.


Q:

If you go to my website you will see a 3000+ word essay written in 2013 well before I returned to the Prime Ministership on why I had changed my position.

A:

Only after photos, so sorry. I was obese for over 20 years, stopped going outside, had no friends, and even had not gone on a date for over 15 years. Worst of all, I owned a flip phone at the time, and also never took photos because I was ashamed of my appearance. I didn't start taking photos until after I lost my weight, and that includes of my dog.


Q:

Thanks!

I really enjoy economics humor, though I haven't done much lately for some reason.

Recommend me a good pharmacology book and I'll try to check it out!

A:

My brother had made a really small simple game in flash before. So not much :)

My brother is way more talented than I am though, my strategy is to be stubborn and fiddle with a problem until it is solved somehow.


Q:

Huge fan of your work, Richard! I hope I can see your act in person sometime.

Anyway, my question is; I know documentaries can take forever to make, how long did you guys spend on this one?

A:

What did you guys do with Gavin Free?


Q:

Why do you think the NBN, a $50B nation wide project, has barely been covered or properly discussed in the media?

A:

Just edited the comment with pics!


Q:

Hey Zach, what do you think you'd be doing if SMBC hadn't taken off?

A:

Thanks for the response. How about now, since you have a few more people? Are you more into game design, or do you also do development?

What does it take to have a successful team? Your history mentioned you and your brother found a 3rd person who seemed to be the missing link. Why so? Was it the ideas or expertise the other person brought to the table?

Sorry for all the questions, I've considered making games as well for many yeara, but it never seems like the "right" time, and I can never put together a committed team.


Q:

from Luke: We worked on the film for 3+ years.


Q:

Please read the transcript of my interview with Leigh Sales on Monday night.


Q:

Hard to say. SMBC lifted me out of a shitty job, then later got me out of finishing a science degree.

Honest best bet - I'd probably be a mediocre (but not unhappy) physicist, or maybe be a stay-at-home Dad writing fiction in his spare time.

A:

I'll just give you this one image and let it explain why he was the missing link: Sector Siege title art

I'm always amazed by the work he does. He made our games look how we wanted them to look. Actually, we had no idea, but when we saw what he made we were like Yes!

Finding a committed team is extremely hard, that is why so many games fail to deliver in the end. Execution is key, and without a committed team it's impossible. Developing great games take anywhere from 1-4 years, people doing it need to be very committed and stay focused. It's not easy.

I really hope you find the right people, but I think you don't really know if you are around right people until shit hits the fan and you see how they react. Are they willing to push or do they just say: "screw it all", I'm out of here.

What does it take to have a successful team? I think it takes one person knowing what that is, what kind of people are needed and how to keep them motivated and work with everyone's strengths and weaknesses.

I don't think there is ever a right time, there's just now or later. You got to take a risk to have a chance to win!


Q:

Huge fan of your work, Richard! I hope I can see your act in person sometime.

Anyway, my question is; I know documentaries can take forever to make, how long did you guys spend on this one?

A:

What part of a show do you dread every night because it's uncomfortable, unpleasant, or whatever?


Q:

Hi Kevin, In your opinion, what's the best decision you made as PM?

A:

Please share your story over at /r/pitbulls


Q:

Hey Zach, I love your comics.

Was it tough growing up with that last name though?

A:

This game caught my eye today on Steam. Why should I play it and what elements of the game are you most proud of? I'm a huge fan of FTL and Rimworld If it shares anything with those.


Q:

Thanks everyone for your questions! That's all the time we have! We hope you enjoy the film and share this story with your friends! We'd love you to see the movie on the big screen so check out our website for theater listings & cities. If you can't then you can rent On Demand (including iTunes, Amazon,etc etc). All links are on our site: www.dealtmovie.com Thanks everyone! - Luke Korem & Richard Turner


Q:

To intervene radically in 2008 to stop Australia from falling into a deep economic recession.

A:

Seriously doing my best to figure Reddit out, sorry it took me so many years to come over here, will try and do that. Thanks!


Q:

Well, I grew up hard and I grew up mean. My fists got hard and my wits got keen. So, it wasn't too bad.

The truth is Weiner is probably preferable to a name adjacent to Weiner, because all people can do is say "HEY WEINER." I imagine it'd be worse if it were pronounced like "whiner" and I had to defend the proper pronunciation over time.

Fortunately, I got married, and now have a nice dignified last name.

A:

It's not really similar to FTL or Rimworld, it's quite far from.

The best way to describe it would be to say it is a light star craft type of game. Take away all the buildings and just build units. But the cool thing is that you get to customize every unit you build, you get to board enemy ships and then you can start building those! All the while this is happening there will be surprise warps here and there making you shift your focus frantically at times. There's also a bunch of cool tech to research, so you get to equip your units with new turrets and hangars.

The game will also challenge you, the difficulty and the AI and all the surprises can really throw you into loops.


Q:

What was the first trick you ever learned?

A:

If you were to do a Blue Man Group movie....Who would be the lead actor?


Q:

What was your biggest regret as PM?

A:

this needs way more upvotes


Q:

Was the "red button" always a feature in the smbc website? If not, when did it start?

A:

How are the dynamics between the 3 of you? Is the third partner a friend or someone you found with the necessary skills you needed?


Q:

from Richard: The Circus Trick!


Q:

Being a little too trusting of others :)

A:

I agree!


Q:

Lonnng ago, we used to participate in these online voting sites, where you tried to climb ranks by getting people to click a button. As an inducement, I'd draw a bonus panel you saw after voting. Over time, it became a normal feature of the site, so that even after we stopped doing the voting site stuff, I felt like the panels needed to stay. HENCE, the red button. Also, hence, why longterm readers still sometimes call it the "votey" or "votey comic."

A:

We realized we couldn't do graphics all that well. So I went hunting for someone and found the guy at a university. We chatted for a little bit, but then the event continued and we got separated. Just as he was about to leave the event I shouted to him and asked if he would like to come have a look at our office.

If I would have missed him then it would have been a whole other story. He's been crucial to our success, the missing link. Someone who can make great graphics.


Q:

What was the first trick you ever learned?

A:

How can we cheer Phil up?


Q:

Hi Kevin.

Has your perspective on Australian politics changed from your recent time in the United States?

PS miss you!

A:

Fellow vegan here. Love reading your story. So cool how you both rescued each other :)


Q:

So how nihilistic/cynical are you in real life? Or is it all just theoretical?

A:

How does one get into the game dev field? Where to start , what to learn etc...


Q:

from Richard: If good projection, I like larger. Without projection...give me the Magic Castle close-up gallery!


Q:

Yes. What I see in the US, UK and Australia is the Murdoch empire harnessing the forces of the far right in every country. It is a national and international disgrace.

A:

Thank you!


Q:

This is pretty close to autobiographical: http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-consolation-of-philosophy

A:

Honestly if you really feel a spark to do it I would say one of the best ways would be to start online. If you can find someone who is also interested you can work together.

But we learned everything online, and by experimenting and just jumping in and giving it a try.

The best way to start is with a small game, and choose your game engine based on how well it is documented. I recommend Unity for this reason, you will find answers to your problems.


Q:

What was the first trick you ever learned?

A:

Which one of you hooked up with my friend Amy in Reno like 10 years ago? Or is that one no longer in the group?


Q:

Kevin, What's your favourite flavour of meat pie? Love you heaps

  • Andy
A:

I love this story.


Q:

Sorry to go off on a tangent here, but you linking an old comic brought this to mind. Zach, there's no good way to search the SMBC archives and it's really hampering my ability to quickly post "relevant SMBC" links for that glorious karma in order to spread awareness of your most excellent webcomic. Normally when I try to find a specific, half remembered comic, I end up spending half an hour on it until I either give up or find it but the offhand comment that sent me down the rabbit hole has long passed.

I'm actually still trying to find one you did a while ago where some characters are arguing about the distinction between something that is alive and not alive, then the punch line is about how God thought it would be funny to creat a universe where all meaningful distinctions are arbitrary. That one comes up surprisingly often and I still can't find the damn thing.

A:

I came here from r/linux_gaming. I don't want to pry, but I'm curious: what do your Linux sales numbers look like? Are they more than you would have expected, or less?


Q:

from Luke: I'm glad you found the film touching on a deeper level and enjoyed it! I wanted to make a film that both magicians and the general public would enjoy....and show the personal side / human side which makes for a better and more powerful story. And of course...good magic in the mix! PS - we are working on int'l distribution. Sign up for our newsletter on our website for updates as well as follow us on Facebook @ dealtmovie


Q:

4&20

A:

Me too!


Q:

Yeah, sorry, we need to fix that. Meantime, you can always ask https://www.reddit.com/r/SMBCComics/

A:

Linux sales is 2% of total sales currently. Hehe, I would say less! But I'm happy to support it.


Q:

Who is the most vocal of your group?

A:

Kevin, why did you wait until your autobiography was being released before telling us what you really think about Murdoch's involvement with the LNP in ruining the NBN?


Q:

Recipe list formatted better:

3 cups pinto beans

3 small, 2 medium, or 1 large yellow onions, chopped

3 bell peppers, red, yellow, and green, chopped

8 large green jalapeño peppers, with seeds removed then diced

2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes or equivalent

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp oregano flakes

1 tbsp cumin powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

3 bay leaves, freshly ground

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sea salt

Optional for chili:

one 11 oz package Beyond Beef Feisty Crumbles, by Beyond Meat Plant Based Protein

A:

Zach, I’ve been reading SMBC for years and years now so I appreciate all the laughs. How do you stay productive when feeling unmotivated?


Q:

and we few are very VERY happy that you support linux. Gonna check out your games after work ;)


Q:

I have said this many times before publicly. It's just, surprise surprise, the Murdoch media weren't keen on printing it.

A:

Thank you!


Q:

It helps that comics pay for food and shelter.

I also have a daily schedule I'm pretty strict about. When working from home, keeping disciplined can be pretty tough. There's an extent to which it's a skill you have to practice. In terms of staying productive on "creative" work, I suggest you think deeply about what you were doing at times when you felt most able to make good work. For me, it involves reading difficult books, being a bit stressed out, and having at least lead a few books that same week.

A:

Thank you! :)


Q:

Who is taking these photos and how do I get that job?

A:

Is Abbott as awful in person as he is on TV?


Q:

Just switched to plant based 5 months ago and I'm down 50 lbs! This is the way to live ones life. I was 345lbs. Still a ways to go, but its really not as hard as it seems to make the switch.

A:

Do you still see Screech regularly?


Q:

What do you use to make your games and how does the process start?


Q:

About the same.

A:

Great job and keep it up!


Q:

I refuse to get this joke.

A:

I used Unity to start. First step was to look up Unity tutorials and follow them, creating simple games. From there I decided to make my own project with what I had learned. Every time I stumbled upon a problem I opened the browser and started googling.

I learned more by reading solutions to my problems online and after 14 months I had a game together! I worked 12 hours 6 days a week, so that made it come together a bit faster.


Q:

Can we tell poop stories on here?

A:

I still have my Kevin 07 tshirt. Can we be real life best friends?


Q:

That sounds delicious, gonna test this recipe later :) maybe throw some daiya on it

A:

We meet up with him at The Max pretty regularly.


Q:

Have you considered doing a 3D game? Unity makes this quite simple.


Q:

Absolutely. I'm thinking of printing more T-shirts.

A:

Thank you!


Q:

ಠ_ಠ

A:

Yes, but we kind of like 2D! Perhaps in the future.


Q:

How do you do your quick changes?

A:

What are your thoughts on Canada? Friend or Foe?


Q:

Friendly tip, you should also hit reply under the specific question you're answering so your reply appears near the question. It's helpful for readers.

Inspiring story, thanks for doing the AMA!

A:

The philosophy in your comic seems pretty broad and insightful to my cretin mind. What do you read/watch/smell/eat for inspiration?


Q:

Perhaps 3D graphics games which are restricted to 2D plane? Like Smash Bros or many RTS games?


Q:

BFF's

A:

Thank you!


Q:

I try to read everything. Lately, I've been reading all of Nevil Shute, in part because it's a busy time and I find Shute very relaxing.

I haven't had as much time for philosophy and science lately, but am hoping to get back into it more once our kids are a bit older.

A:

Perhaps!


Q:

How did you get to our planet and what do you want from us?

A:

KRudd, big fan of your cats Mei Mei and Qing Qing on instagram. What do you say to all those cat haters out there who think dogs are the superior pet?


Q:

Will modern astronomy, using LIGO detectors [and their descendants] be able to use gravitational waves to find advanced intelligent extra-terrestrial life?

A:

On The Beach is one of the most engaging books I have read. I have never had as much trouble grocery shopping as I did during reading that book. I mean, what’s the point? We are all going to die.


Q:

how do you feel about lootboxes and microtransactions dominating video games in 2017? where will it take us in 2018?


Q:

The truth is we have almost always had dogs and cats together, and if they can get on together, surely cat lovers and dog lovers can get on together.

A:

No.


Q:

It's a great book, but I'm more fond of Pied Piper and Requiem for a Wren. On the Beach is not very characteristic of Shute, though it's still excellent.

A:

Well, they are designed to milk money from customers. So the focus has been on how to get more money from players, instead of how to make the game better.

I don't like that. I don't like that time is spent on developing features to milk money from players, when all that time could have been spent on developing features that make the game better.

I feel like it's going all wrong here. In my ideal gaming industry world games would have a one-time price + for every big content update there would be an additional price. I feel this would keep the focus on making great games and enable developers to get paid for their effort.


Q:

Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame?

A:

Nearly ten years on from your Sorry speech, what do you feel has changed for Indigenous Australians over that time? How do we get to constitutional recognition?


Q:

Favorite meal to cook? Tomorrow is meal prep day and I have no ideas. Lol

A:

I tried making some puerco pibil for my family and it didn't turn out well. The meat was very tender but it was way too sour

Could you please cheer me up? I'm sad


Q:

Will you be making this game free and pay to win in the future? Those bloodsuckers make so much money.


Q:

Aboriginal education has improved in many areas, and we now have many young Aboriginal kids at our universities.

A:

Replied above, thanks!


Q:

Cheer up - one day you'll be dead and then you'll stop doing so many things wrong.

A:

No we will not :)


Q:

What do you guys think of Redman?

A:

What do you think is the way forward for the ALP and central-left politics in Australia and other western nations?


Q:

This is awesome, animal love and living your best you all in one! I need to ask a question, did it take long for you to find the right doggo??

A:

that helps, I suppose

Thanks


Q:

I have less than 20k in debt. You mind taking on that as well?


Q:

The capitalist project has to be adjusted in order to provide a bigger slice of national income to lower and middle income Australians.

A:

When I adopted Peety, I had never owned a pet before. When my new doctor told me to adopt a dog, I asked her if it would be ok to adopt a cat instead. She looked at me sternly, and asked if I had ever walked a cat. I said no, but I thought I had seen it done on TV. She then replied, just adopt the dog. I then went down to Humane Society Silicon Valley in N Cal, where I lived at the time, and they introduced me to Peety. He wasn't what I expected, and I don't think I was what he expected, but as I found, you don't always get what you want, but instead you get what you need. Peety and I needed each other, we just didn't know it at the time.


Q:

Also, tonight's failed dinner is tomorrow's pie.

A:

Not right now, maybe later!


Q:

What can you agree on as your favorite soup?

A:

I have to ask, how much do you miss The Chasers?


Q:

Will I lose 150 lbs if I adopt a dog?

A:

Given how long SMBC has been going, do you ever accidentally get an idea for a comic that you've already done? Do you have to go back and check your previous comics to make sure you don't repeat? Or are you just clever/insane enough that no joke enters your brain twice?


Q:

So I loved the first game and had you on my list of favourite indie devs. Now with todays release you guys are charging twice as much for the game on steam, and I have to buy it twice, instead of once with a key for any other device? It feels like a metaphorical slap in the face.


Q:

Quite a lot. With no Chasers and the loss of John Clarke there's a big hole in Australian political satire.

A:

Do you need to lose 150 lbs? If so, I can show you how you can do that by adopting a dog and a whole food plant based no oil diet. :)


Q:

Yeah. A few times I've actually drawn the same idea twice. What's really weird is how similar they end up being.

A:

Hi!

Unfortunately we cannot provide keys for other platforms. Additionally, we are forced to ask a lower price on mobile to sell units and stay on lists to stay alive and be able to continue developing games. It's just the way it is. Hope you understand.


Q:

Do you guys have any other interests, aside from being blue?

A:

Hi Kevin. Who's idea was the Kevin 07 campaign? It was absolutely brilliant in design!


Q:

How did you make new friends in adulthood, after not interacting with others for so long?

A:

Do you maintain a buffer of comics that are ready but unpublished in case shit happens and you can't finish on time? How many days could you update without actually making any new comics, if you had to?


Q:

Not sure if you're still answering but what's different between the new game and Harbinger?

I bought Harbinger in 2015 and definitely got my money's worth from it. Keep up the good work!


Q:

A combination of Tim Gartrell, the then national secretary of the ALP, and the late Neil Lawrence.

A:

Getting outside with my dog lead to me meeting most everyone in my neighborhood, so I got started on making a lot of new friends that way.


Q:

Normally yes, but it's been tough now that we had kids. Right now I'm a few weeks ahead, since we're starting our book tour.

A:

Here's what I posted in our forums:

Max 10 ships + 8 stations to command in Sector Siege versus 3 ships in Harbinger.

Marines added to ships.

Boarding feature added, both the player and the AI can board.

Capture points added, generating resources.

Old and new ships.

Turrets are mostly the same. Area of effect added.

Fog of war added.

Seamless saving and loading added, save and load at any time. Cross-platform save/load support.

Ability to capture all enemy units and stations added, and it's possible to start building them once you have one captured.

1 new race, the Guardians added.

All alien races may warp in to a fight and attack any other race. This means alien races will be fighting each other too.

Skirmish game mode with 2v2 added, you can play with an alien ally.

Star map is not randomized, but a lot of the elements inside a sector are randomized. Sector Siege is all about what happens inside a sector, and one sector play can easily take 30-60 min. A campaign has 25 sectors.

You can build up the Battlestation.

Defense missions added.

Skirmish also has defense mission and you can play against endless enemy waves trying to reach a high score.


Q:

Have you ever considered Blue Man ASMR? Y'all are so good with sounds already, I'm sure you could put something weird and wonderful together.

A:

Why did you cop out of taking an ETS to a double dissolution election when you were killing it in the polls?


Q:

Is there any particular reason why you failed at all the diets?

A:

If you could genetically modify your offspring, what changes would you make to them?


Q:

How do you guys get the word around about your game ? More importantly how do you take care of consumer satisfaction ?


Q:

We had already had our ETS legislation knocked over in the senate twice by then. By the time Gillard and Swan had conducted their coup in June 2010, there was still time to call a DD. Gillard had opposed one from the get go.

A:

Hi - I replied to this one above also, sorry for my replying noobness.


Q:

Despite stereotypes, higher IQ is associated with pretty much universally positive effects, so I'd go with that. I say that not without reservations about genetically upgrading babies.

A:

We mail a lot of places. Youtubers and press. It's really hard tough, you really need to have an interesting game to have a chance.

We have built our community over years and that's the best way to spread the word. We do it by reading what they write regarding our games and try to fulfill many of their wishes, this creates solid fans who are ready to help.


Q:

Does the carpet match the drapes??

A:

G'day kev, are you aware that in schools all around this great country of ours you are viewed as a handball god? How do you feel about this and do you have intentions to hit the squares again any time soon???


Q:

First of all, congratulations on your journey towards health and happiness. I have been on a plant-based diet for more than a year now and have never been stronger or felt better. I exercise a lot and my favorite go-to breakfast is a mix of oats, berries, rice milk, soy powder, coconut oil and peanut butter. What’s yours?

Also, how did it feel like being isolated from the rest of the world for so long?

A:

Your comic has one of the most diverse casts of characters within it. Was this a conscious decision of yours to do?


Q:

Hell, I'm happy for you guys. good on you for pursuing your dreams and finding success.

Space Haven perked my interest. How management based would you say it will be? I have a penchant for tycoon games, but on mobile it's often just a case of build the next thing and wait. I want something more like theme hospital, with challenge.

Either way, I'm happy to support you, have a 4 hour flight later today so I'll buy battlevoid sector siege. Hope it's kind on my battery life!


Q:

Yes I know I am seen as the handball champ of the Southern Hemisphere. In fact I have challenged one of our local schools here in Brisbane to a match on Monday.

A:

Hi and congratulations! I became a vegan in 2010, and people treated us like space aliens then. I've found in the years since, more and more people know what "vegan" means, and fewer now ask me if I still eat fish and chicken. I have smoothies for breakfast every morning, and this is my recipe:

Eric’s Maximum Nutrition Superfood Smoothie 10-15 MINUTES PREP / SERVES 2 I prepare my smoothies for nutrition first and taste second. Use a high speed blender for best and fastest results – with a standard blender, you will need to add ingredients one at a time and keep the mixture thin. Add water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Fruits: My usual smoothie includes one of the fruit combinations below. I try to use fruits that are organic and commonly available fresh from a local farmers market or supermarket, or frozen in large bulk quantities from a warehouse club. Tropical: 1 banana, 1/4 fresh pineapple, 1 fresh mango Berry: 1 cup cherries, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup blueberries Kiwi Banana: 2 bananas, 4 kiwis (skin on) Banana Strawberry: 2 bananas, 2 cups strawberries Blueberry Pear: 2 cups blueberries, 2 pears Apple Grape: 2 apples, 2 cups red/purple or blue/black grapes Vegetables: The vegetables listed below are relatively “taste neutral” when fresh and raw, meaning that you are unlikely to taste them when mixed with fruit. I use 2-3 of the organic veggies in my smoothies in the amounts listed: 1 leaf of kale 1 cup of spinach 1 cup dandelion greens 1 cup beet greens 1 cup sprouts 2 carrots 1 leaf collard greens 1 cup arugula 1/2 cup red cabbage Superfoods: I include each ingredient below in my morning smoothie. In addition to the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients provided by each ingredient, other purported health benefits are listed in parenthesis. For more detail about the health benefits of each ingredient, enter the ingredient name in the search box on nutritionfacts.org and watch the short video associated with the term. 2 tbsp raw cacao powder (energy and physical stamina – note, this is not cocoa powder) 1 tbsp raw walnuts (omega-3s and numerous other health benefits) 6 raw almonds (various health benefits) 1 Brazil nuts (selenium) 1 tbsp dried goji berries (antioxidants) 2 tbsp flax seeds (omega-3s and cancer fighting lignans) 1 tbsp spearmint or peppermint flakes (enhanced oxygen delivery and athletic performance) 1 tbsp maca powder (libido enhancement) 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon (weight loss and other health benefits) 1 tsp chia seeds (omega-3s and cancer fighting lignans) 1/2 inch fresh ginger root (anti-inflammatory and other health benefits) 1/2 tsp turmeric (anti-inflammatory and many other health benefits 1/4 tsp black pepper (enhanced bioavailability of nutrients) 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (weight loss)

Just add ingredients to your high speed blender, puree and enjoy!


Q:

It was, maybe around 2010 or so. It's not something I try to call attention to, because it seems to me to be more in the category of decency than goodness, if that makes sense.

To this very day I get accused of virtue signalling, and every time that happens it warms my little heart.

A:

Hi!

Something a bit more towards Rimworld is what we're trying to achieve. A lot of focus on the characters, but also management. It's like taking a base building game but you get to move that base all the time :)


Q:

G'day! Politics aside, what's your favourite thing about Australia?

A:

Hya, just a reminder that you should answer to people's comments rather than comment on your post again, for simplicity's sake.

Also, what motivational words can you say to someone that wants to start losing weight but is too lazy to actually start?


Q:

I've always liked to pretend that you make the comic with just blank characters and then use a randomizer to determine gender/race at the end. True or False?

A:

Fantastic. Well I loved rimworld so that definitely sounds enticing.

What would you say you are doing that will make me play it instead of Rimworld (if I'm honest I'm concerned a game of that type that is also available on mobile would lose depth and therefore longevity in its appeal).


Q:

The beaches. Just extraordinary. Best in the world.

A:

It is harder to be miserable and sick than to take the really simple actions needed to become the awesome person you've always wanted to be. Please read any of the resources I posted above to get started on your own path to health and happiness - there is nothing to buy except for an investment in knowledge and your willingness to change. Just try this for two weeks - see if you agree with me - if not, you haven't lost anything and can go back to eating drive-through on the couch. You truly have everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Give this a try!


Q:

No randomizer. Just, try to keep things various.

A:

We're developing Space Haven PC first. PC is the main focus and we will do everything in our power to bring it to mobile too. We will try our best to make the whole experience different enough compared to Rimworld to make it exciting. There's a lot of possibilities to do so since the setting is different. Rimworld is on a planet while Space Haven is set on space ships.

Remember, FTL is on mobile too :)


Q:

Much has been made of the alleged story of the NBN being dreamed up on the back of an envelope. How did Senator Conroy & others actually communicate the concept to yourself and have it signed off?

A:

Congratulations to Petty for locating such an awesome human. I am in your preloss situation right now. Miserable, miserable, miserable! What one though or motivator kept you wanting to succeed?


Q:

I mean, what possible reason could you have for having a diverse cast except to make people say "wow, that guy is a really virtuous dude"

Why would any character be non-white and/or non-straight unless those factors are required for the joke, I just cannot get my tiny brain around it.

(That's sarcasm, if it wasn't obvious)

A:

Fair point, though I'd say FTL is very different from Rimworld and maybe more easily moved over.

Either way don't mean to give you a hard time, just intrigued about your thought process and intentions. Either way clicking buy on sector siege on playstore... now!


Q:

The envelope story is bullshit. The NBN was the recommendation of a committee of senior Commonwealth Treasury officials after 6 months examining all the financial, economic and technical options.

A:

When I got Peety, he was such a mess that I immediately began feeling sorry for him, and stopped feeling sorry for myself. Everyone needs someone. If you don't have someone, please adopt a dog from your local shelter, because the dog will love you more than anyone has ever loved you in your entire life and will give you the motivation you need to succeed!


Q:

Similarly, the only reason I bathe is to hygiene signal.

A:

Thanks :) hope you like it!


Q:

Hi Kevin,

During the Howard years, the ALP struggled quite awhile in opposition. What do you believe were the reasons the ALP weren't able to return to office sooner?

A:

Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help somebody else.


Q:

My pre-ordered-from-April Soonish copy arrived to my neighbor and I nearly had a stroke. Is there a medical condition for anxiety from misdirected internet orders of geeky books or do we have to wait for ICD-11/DSM 6 for that?

Second question: typing Soonish into my Amazon app I get Spanish book recommendations. What will your next book misdirect to?

A:

Hi! I absolutely loved Battlevoid: Harbinger. When I first downloaded it from the Google Play store, I was amazed by how much time I spent on this game.

Question: If either you or your brother is married, what did it feel like answering your spouse's questions about work and the state of the company while you were at your lowest? Did you try to remain upbeat? Were you brutally honest?

Thanks for entertaining all of us with your creations! Going to download your newest game now.


Q:

As I mention in my book, "Not For the Faint-hearted", Howard was a master of the politics of fear - fear of refugees, fear of muslims, fear of deficit. We weren't able to counter those arguments effectively.

A:

The path to happiness, according to most great philosophers and world religions, is to selflessly perform acts of kindness for others without any reward or expectation of benefit. Selfless acts of kindness result in happiness and balanced mental health.


Q:

re: anxiety - we can fix it with CRISPR

re Spanish - damn. I wish it would just direct you to my other books. Preferably one of the more expensive ones.

A:

Thank you!

Well, I guess we had to say to our parents how much we were making. I found it funny and depressing at the same time. But when you give something your all and it doesn't end up well, you're going to be sad but also proud of yourself.

I would say to friends sometimes that things seem so hopeless, but you can only try try and try and hope it turns out ok.


Q:

Do, aliens exist? I mean honestly, what's the harm. Less and less people are religious these days, you've got to know something. We all know that some debriefing said if you let the people know, that your secret service will make it very hard for you but seriously, we've got to know. lol

A:

This may seem like a silly question, but was it hard to adjust to the taste of plant based eating? I've never tried vegan, but a some of the foods that seem to be staples in plant based diets just bother me either bc of taste or texture. (The texture of beans, for example, just grosses me out) Did it take you awhile to get used to, and to start really enjoying those foods?


Q:

Lots of your longer comics (like the one about the moon colony populated by prize winners) take a hypothetical scientific advancement or political decision and explores the consequences for humour. Have you ever considered fleshing out a comic idea into a longer-form comic book? I'd totally buy something like that if you made it.

A:

How'd you get into programming? Any tips for a novice coder?


Q:

Do aliens exist? Haven't you met Tony Abbott.

A:

It took me about 2 months to lose my cravings and adjust from going from an omnivore to a whole food plant based diet. Thanks!


Q:

It's a goal of mine during the next five years.

A:

Online! Start with c# and Unity for example. Look at tutorials on Youtube and create something of your own with the help from those tutorials. You will find out how cool it is soon enough!

It just takes a lot of work and persistence, like learning to play a guitar.


Q:

You are a notable proponent of a Big Australia. What do you say to people who claim that extremely high population growth has lead to the housing affordability crisis and stagnant wages within a growing economy?

A:

Where's Peety?! Did he die? I'm sad now.


Q:

Hey Zach, I'm a really big fan of your work and can't wait to read Soonish. Now that you've finished Soonish, what's your next Big Project?

A:

Hey if I'm not too late, I've been following you guys bc I liked the past battle void game, but haven't looked at the details of sector siege. Can you tell me what differences there are between games and why should I buy this new one?

Thanks, keep up the great work


Q:

Our government had a housing policy to reduce the cost of housing and to boost the supply of social housing. This government doesn't even have a housing minister.

A:

Peety died in 2015. When he died, I lay on the floor with him for two days and sang him John Lennon songs. He had a fully conscious death, and i saw the life pass out of him. I want to go in the same way when it is my time. This is described in chapter 20 of my book.


Q:

Likely order of operations:

1) New SMBC book, with a new abridged minibook

2) Pro-immigration non-fic graphic novel with Bryan Caplan

3) SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY?!

Aspirationally, I'd also like to do some serious fiction writing, some books for little kids, and maybe some young adult fiction. But, time is limited, and unfortunately I have a very happy family who like spending time with me.

A:

Hello! In short Sector Siege is much more of a light starcraft type of game compared to Harbinger. Here is a list of differences:

Max 10 ships + 8 stations to command in Sector Siege versus 3 ships in Harbinger.

Marines added to ships.

Boarding feature added, both the player and the AI can board.

Capture points added, generating resources.

Old and new ships.

Turrets are mostly the same. Area of effect added.

Fog of war added.

Seamless saving and loading added, save and load at any time. Cross-platform save/load support.

Ability to capture all enemy units and stations added, and it's possible to start building them once you have one captured.

1 new race, the Guardians added.

All alien races may warp in to a fight and attack any other race. This means alien races will be fighting each other too.

Skirmish game mode with 2v2 added, you can play with an alien ally.

Star map is not randomized, but a lot of the elements inside a sector are randomized. Sector Siege is all about what happens inside a sector, and one sector play can easily take 30-60 min. A campaign has 25 sectors.

You can build up the Battlestation.

Defense missions added.

Skirmish also has defense mission and you can play against endless enemy waves trying to reach a high score.


Q:

Mr Rudd, how important is it we re-think our relationship with the US in its 'pivot towards Asia'? And should we be aiming to form an alliance with China at the expense of ours with the US?

A:

I worked (a looooong time ago, before vet school, even before HSSV was in the "new" Milpitas location) at HSSV, where you got Peety. Have you kept working with them? I can imagine that you'd be a good ambassador for them. I found them to be a pretty good organization, they work hard to do what they can within their limitations!


Q:

Thanks for the answer, I'd really like to read some serious fiction writing from you! Good luck with all those projects!

A:

We need to wait out the Trump administration and see what the next administration does. This guy is right out there.


Q:

Yes, and thank you for asking. I am a spokesperson for HSSV's Mutual Rescue initiative, at mutualrescue.org. They make short films highlighting the fact that helping animals helps people. Here's a link to the film they made about me and Peety: https://youtu.be/47Xk3l_FDhY

A:

I'm sure I'll do it eventually. Just a matter of time...


Q:

Dear Mr. Rudd,

I admire you overall because you are one of the few Western leaders who can actually speak in fluent Mandarin and understand Chinese culture. I wanted to ask you: with the rise of China in the world stage, as well as the election of Donald Trump as President of the US, what can we expect in the next 10 years as China moves on to be more prominent?

A:

People who see dogs on the wrong kind of vegan diet. It can be done, but you have to be very careful they don't get malnourished. Most vegans I know just feed their dogs meat.

Don't even think of trying it with a cat. They are obligate carnivores and you will slowly kill them.


Q:

Hi Zach! Have you ever considered compiling a book of all the hate mail you get? Like a "best of" kind of thing. It would only make sense, considering how much you openly invite the stuff.

A:

The Chinese president has said he wants to shape the new international system with much greater Chinese input. The key challenge for all of us, is to ensure we still have a global rules-based system. And we need America to re-engage the world.


Q:

My veterinarian completely supports my dog's vegan diet. Below are some of the recipes I feed him. I feed him one home made meal per day, and one meal from commercially available vegan dog food, such as VDog or Natural Balance Vegan Formula:

If you have any questions about your dog's nutritional needs, please consult a vegan-friendly veterinarian. Tofu and Sweet Potato 1/2 container (14 oz container) of uncooked organic tofu, mashed or cut into small cubes 1 medium to large sweet potato, cooked (5-6 minutes in your microwave) and cubed 1/2 can or equivalent cooked green beans 1 tbsp coconut oil 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Beans and Quinoa 1 cup pinto beans or black beans 1 cup cooked quinoa 1 cup fresh raw spinach, chopped 1/2 cup green peas, cooked 3 tbsp flaxseed, ground 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos 1 tbsp parsley flakes (for fresh breath)

Chickpeas and Brown Rice 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas), mashed 1 cup brown rice, cooked 1/2 cup raw kale, chopped 1/4 cup cooked tomatoes, diced 1/4 cup raw carrots, shredded 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Also, check balanceit.com and use their autobalancer to design balanced meals for your dog.

A:

I'm afraid I really get very little hatemail. Ages ago I used to do a lot of creationism jokes, and then I got a bit more. I think as the comic has gotten nerdier I get less hate and more "this is slightly incorrect, sir."


Q:

Neoliberalism is looking increasingly out of favour in many parts of the world, and both the UK and New Zealand labour parties have recently become much more critical of capitalism.

Do you think the Australian Labor Party should join them?

A:

Somewhere (can't remember) I read your story & saw a video of you & your dog.

Edit: I found a link to your story: https://ericandpeety.com/about-eric-o-grey/

You're very inspiring! Reminds me of the Animal Humane Society's slogan "Who saved Who?" You must be very disciplined. I'm very proud of you!

*What kinds of things do you think about to keep you motivated? *What is your typical exercise routine? *Where's your favorite place to walk?


Q:

Will there be a Starpocalypse Season Two?
— Somebody who bought Starpocalypse Season One, and wants to buy Starpocalypse Season Two.

A:

Read the article I wrote on this in the monthly over one decade ago. My views on this have not changed.


Q:

Thanks! These are links to a interviews I did the week before last on The Today Show and People.com:

https://www.today.com/video/-walking-with-peety-author-tells-megyn-kelly-how-a-rescue-dog-rescued-him-1069816899582

https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/peopleandplaces/eric-ogrey-opens-up-about-how-his-adopted-dog-peety-helped-him-lose-150-lbs/vp-AAtE1HX

Regarding what I do to keep motivated, if you have a dog, he will demand to be taken for a walk at least a few times each day, so that accountability partner maintains my motivation. AFTER I lost my weight just by walking and practicing a plant based diet, I found I had so much excess energy I needed an additional exercise outlet, and took up the sport of long distance running. Now, my dog Jake and I run an average of about 40 miles per week. We do about 5 full marathons per year, and about 15 halfs.

My favorite places to walk are on any trails, especially mountain trails. We are fortunate to live near the Greenbelt in Boise and we spend a lot of time on that trail.

A:

I'm afraid there almost certainly won't be. Video is quite expensive and difficult, and the video stuff never quite turned a profit. Thank you, though!


Q:

whaling. How come Austrailia does not pressure Japan about their illegal "research" whaling in the antarctic?

A:

This may be an odd question, but as someone who needs to make a change in my life, I would really appreciate an honest answer. What was that last day like before you woke up and went to the shelter to adopt Peety? Was there a "last straw"/specific event?


Q:

What is the likelihood that standard, automotive battery packs will be developed so that service stations can just swap out depleted units?

A:

Good question. I took them to court. We won the case in the international court of justice. Turnbull has done bugger all since.


Q:

The last straw event is shown in the short film about me from mutualrescue.org - I delayed a flight, and caused most other passengers on the plane, to miss their connections because I had a 52 inch waist and the airline ran out of seat belt extensions, so could not take off. See more here: https://youtu.be/47Xk3l_FDhY

A:

This is a book about more mediumterm and longterm technologies, so we don't get into things like self-driving cars, ecars, solar panels, etc. Plus, those things are amply covered in other books.

So, we're not particularly well-read on that topic. Personally, I'd be in favor of energy beaming for electric cars. If we had that and autonomous cars, I'd just live in a trailer that never stopped moving.


Q:

Kevin,

Do you feel that covert Chinese intervention through its citizen's in Australia, prominently through curricular groups within our Unis is a legitimate concern? And is it emblematic of the broader approach that the Chinese take to foreign affairs? Is China utterly uncompromising or do you think we can establish a truly effective and productive working relationship?

A:

Would you rather fight 1 350lb Eric or 350 1lb Erics?


Q:

How do you feel knowing you've taken so much money from me? I have monocles, Augie, Sciences and bibles, now soonish, at least one choose your own adventure in physical format plus the rest in digital??? I hope awesome, cause I enjoyed it all and hope to continue enjoying it! Thanks for everything!

A:

Not really. But we should ban all foreign donations to political parties like I tried to do in 2009. The Libs opposed.


Q:

Q: What is your diet like: A: I practice a whole-food-plant-based-no-oil diet. It took me about 2 months to acclimate to that, but once I did, I found I preferred it far more than the omnivore (actually window diet, because most everything I ate was handed to me through my car window) diet I previously subsisted on. This ain't hard - what's hard is being obese, in pain, and on 15 different meds as I used to be. I'm on no meds now. Here's the resources I recommend to get from where I was to where I am now, and these will work for anyone:

Books

How Not to Die: The best and most comprehensive book about how a plant- based diet will maximize your life span and reduce your risk of preventable disease, including cancer, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. Includes an easy-to-follow guide on what to eat to add years to your life. Greger, M., M.D., & and Stone, G. (2015). How Not To to Die: Discover The the Foods Scientifically Proven To to Prevent And and Reverse Disease. New York, NY: Flatiron Books.

The Starch Solution: A complete primer on how to practice a plant- based diet. Eat the foods you love, regain your health, and lose the weight for good. McDougall, J. A., & McDougall, M. A. (2012). The Starch Solution: Eat the foods you love, regain your health, and lose the weight for good! New York: Rodale.

Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook: An extraordinary collection of recipes, all of which can be prepared from common ingredients in 30 thirty minutes or less, and proving that the whole-food-plant-based-oil-free lifestyle is not about what you can’t eat, but what you can. Sroufe, D. (2012). Forks Over Knives—The Ccookbook: Over 300 Rrecipes for Plant-Based Eeating All Through the Year. New York: The Experiment.

The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet: The follow-up to the best seller Engine 2 Diet series, the Seven-Day Rescue Diet is a perfect kick- starter to lower your cholesterol, drop your blood sugar and blood pressure, and help you lose weight in only 7 seven days! Esselstyn, R. (2016). Engine 2 seven-day rescue diet: Eat plants, lose weight, save your health. New York: Grand Central Publishing.

The Engine 2 Cookbook: Rip and Jane Esselstyn’s first fully illustrated book to help readers bring the Engine 2 lifestyle into their kitchens, with 130 plant-based recipes. Esselstyn, R., & Esselstyn, J. (2018). The Engine 2 Cookbook. New York: Grand Central Publishing.

The Vegan Way: For those who are intimidated by going vegan overnight, but don’t want the transition to stretch out for months or even years. In a 21 day plan that emphasizes the core reasons for going vegan, this book provides inspiration along with a specific goal to achieve each day with all of the support you need to accomplish it. Day, Jackie. (2016). The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You. New York: St. Martin's Griffin.

Documentaries Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Forks Over Knives: The first and greatest documentary ever produced about the imperative and benefits of a whole-food-plant-based diet. https://www.netflix.com/title/70185045

PlantPure Nation: From the producer and writer of Forks Over Knives, this documentary follows the story of people on a quest to spread the message about the importance of plant-based nutrition. https://www.netflix.com/title/80068073

Cowspiracy: This documentary exposes the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and investigates the policies of environmental organizations on this issue. https://www.netflix.com/watch/80033772

What the Health: This film examines the link between diet and disease, and the corporate self-interests in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industries. https://www.netflix.com/title/80174177

A:

Feels good man.

(for real though, thanks - people like you make the weirder projects possible)


Q:

How long do you give Turnbull and why?

A:

This might be a good place to plug /r/PlantBasedDiet for anyone interested.

Other delicious resources include: r/vegetarian r/VegRecipes r/veganrecipes r/vegan r/EatCheapAndVegan r/vegangifrecipes, and r/EatCheapAndHealthy does weekly Meatless Monday threads.


Q:

Would you be willing to do a strip (or series of strips) with Randall Munroe of XKCD fame? If so, what kind of format would they have? i.e. he writes, you draw/you write, he draws/you tell one story but each stick to your normal format /something else entirely..?

A:

Mid 2018. That's because the Liberals as a political beast do not have a history of being sentimental towards leaders about to take them over a cliff.


Q:

Hi - I had type 2 diabetes, and was off insulin and reversed my type 2 diabetes, with normal glucose and A1C, in less than six months after transitioning to a whole food, plant based, no oil diet. I also reduced my weight from about 340 lbs to 185 lbs in 10 months. I'm sorry I can't speak from personal experience about type 1 diabetes, but I'm told, and my research indicates, that you can also dramatically improve your symptoms for type 1 on a whole food plant based no oil diet. Please search "type 1 diabetes" on nutritionfacts.org for the best source of additional information, they have many short videos on the subject that do an outstanding job of breaking down the technical information into understandable information. Thanks!

A:

I did a guest comic once! https://xkcd.com/826/

I'm always happy to work with anyone awesome, though I haven't had much time for full-on collaboration lately.


Q:

FYI, click the "REPLY" button under a comment to respond, otherwise reddit.com won't know to connect your comment to the one you're replying to.

A:

Do you get mistaken for Randall Munroe (aka that xkcd guy) a lot? If so, how does it make you feel?


Q:

Thank you! So sorry, this is my first time on Reddit, thank you so much for helping me understand that! :)

A:

I don't, actually. It's just a dumb joke :)


Q:

Did you notice any effects to your mental health when transisitioning to veganisim? I've heard people claim their depression and or anxiety decreased with the vegan lifestyle.

A:

Really enjoying the comics but there is one fatal flaw on the website and that is the navigation. Its basically impossible to watch old comics that are not the oldest without skipping through 100 pages. Maybe having a 6 month interval-led counter could help. Without the random function its a bell curve of inaccessibility basically where the oldest and newest are accessible but the rest isnt. Could this be changed?


Q:

Yes, I was on 3 different anti-depressants when I was obese. I hated life and wanted to kill myself. I actually asked God to take my life. Soon after adopting Peety and a plant based diet, I began to feel happy for the first time in over 20 years. My world, and the entire universe, changed for me. Today the only drug in my home is Tylenol, and I feel indescribably happy and joyful every day.

A:

We're working on a way to sort by subject. Maybe we could add timespan as well!


Q:

strangest thing you've ever put in your mouth?

A:

Hi Zach,

I don't think I really have a question, but your comic with the guy dressed in Victorian garb being banned from the Ren Faire still makes me laugh. I have it up in my office.

So, question.... Uh.... Make more history jokes?


Q:

Jackfruit, which was prepared to taste exactly like barbecued pork. I was stunned by the delicious taste.

A:

I dooo need to do that. Haven't had as much time to read history lately.


Q:

A question from a teen who's been dieting, currently, I've lost ~65 pounds, and I'm sort of insecure about excess skin everywhere. Any ideas to reduce all that extra skin hanging around?

A:

What is your inspiration to make comics about the more obscure subjects?


Q:

Excess skin you end up with, if any, depends on several factors, especially your genetics, how long you've been overweight, and how overweight you are. The good news is, no matter how much weight you lose, you will still look much better than when you were obese, so it's definitely worth doing.

A:

I mostly write in response to what I'm currently reading. So, if the topic is obscure, it's probably because I was reading some weird book recently.


Q:

Whats your favorite color?

A:

Hey! Just wanted to say I'm a huge fan. Loved the earlier comics in all their geekery but I have to wonder if you've given much thought to smaller social structures like polyamorous relationships and such.

But the real question: how much of the earlier strips dealing with raising kids do you find yourselves seriously tempted to do?


Q:

Green, I don't know why, but I can remember someone asked me the same question in kindergarten in 1964, and I answered green then and have been faithful to the color ever since.

A:

I've occasionally done jokes about poly couples, but I'm not exactly sure how much humor potential there is there?

It's funny - I was told after having kids that jokes about being mean to children seem less funny. I've had the exact opposite experience.


Q:

My family (unbeknownst to me) helps run Plant Based Utah, I got tricked into going to one of the meetings and I think it’s a wonderful way to live and it’s an attractive life style, I was convinced for about an hour to try a plant based diet but the urge for cheese, butter or a steak runs strong in this one. The meeting talked about the benefits of plant based diet and also the effect that the production animal industry had on the environment, but I don’t feel as motivated to change as I want. I have weight I want to lose, depression and anxiety and low energy and I have also tried diet plans but nothing has helped. I’ll tell you what though, your story is more motivating than meetings or lectures. Would you ever be interested in some public speaking and promoting your book in Utah? I think my parents would be very interested in your story, it’s a different outlook for people who are still hesitant and it may help make meetings more entertaining.

A:

For your viewing pleasure

r/childrenfallingover


Q:

I hate to say but I'm not sure how to upload pics of my dog to this, if someone can 'splain that I'd be happy to do so!

A:

I am SO already there.


Q:

I've always wondered, why is God in SMBC represented as a golden disk/pizza?

A:

Mostly because I wanted God to be abstract. He's loosely based on the way they drew halos in Baroque art.


Q:

What saith you to the very likely, and all but proven, accusation that you are, in actual fact, a robot? The world needs to know.

A:

01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100100 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101


Q:

Will rated: "Not as in depth as I would have liked. And the jokes are weak."

What would you say to Will? (*I am not Will)

A:

Depth: Most people have actually said we're more in-depth than typical pop-sci. Given then we're covering each area in 10k words or fewer, I don't think we really could go more in depth without having stacks of equations or something. But, if Will wants more depth, there's what one reviewer called a "gratifyingly large" bibliography.

As for the jokes - Will is scientifically incorrect. The jokes contain references to both poo and butts.


Q:

If there was a Zachy-treat (or Kellyy-treat), like a small piece of food one could use to teach you tricks, what would it be?