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GamingI'm Pierre Leclerc and 2 years ago I left my job at EA to create a turn-based tactical RPG, called Fell Seal, with my wife. I'd like to share my experience as a AAA and indie dev! AMA!

Oct 27th 2017 by 6-EyesStudio • 36 Questions • 60 Points

I weighed 350 pounds and was on at least 15 different meds, including insulin for type 2 diabetes. I had no friends and stopped going outside for almost 20 years. I had tried and failed on just about every diet program ever marketed in the US. But then I had an epiphany, adopted an obese dog, and achieved my optimal weight and health in less than one year just by switching to a plant based diet and walking my dog. I am passionate about animal kindness, plant-based nutrition, and helping others reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes. You can learn more about me and my initiatives at EricandPeety.com and in my new book, Walking with Peety. AMA!

Proof: https://twitter.com/Eric_OGrey/status/922951591400898560

Q:

What advice would you give to other people wishing to do similar? At what point did you decide to leave your job? So far, whats the biggest hurdle you've had to get over during this process?

Well done for perusing something that many would find too scary.

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:

Advice: well, as long as our game isn't finished and released and actually generates some income, I'm a bit wary of giving anyone life advice that lead to "having no salary whatsoever" I admit, lol!

That being said, I would say: make a solid plan, make sure you have enough funds so you don't starve. Having to rely to finding funding midway is definitely a tough situation, so make sure you're covered before you start.

Next, make sure you have your basis covered on the team: having a programmer and an artist as part of your core team is essential IMO, otherwise you'll have to employ the missing member and that's a big added risk in terms of budget. In our case our team is a programmer and an artist, so we know we can cover all the work (other than the music, but that's a smaller task) regardless of what happens.

Finally, start building your community, fan base and social media presence as early as possible: this is very important and will help later when it's time to get fans interested in your newly created game!

Leaving my job: I've been planning for this project for the last 6 years, making sure we had funds and everything ready. I ended up leaving my job when we felt we had enough savings and enough pre-work ready that we could start going 'full time'.

Hurdle: Probably not working early enough in building our community/fan base. A standard mistake many devs make, and we were no exception >.<

A:

https://i.imgur.com/fvYKGTb.jpg


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:

In our case our team is a programmer and an artist, so we know we can cover all the work (other than the music, but that's a smaller task) regardless of what happens.

I'm a programmer myself who was recently asked by a group of friends who were starting up a game dev studio to help them build a game.

However, I had to bow out due to contract a they drafted up. I'm curious to know from your PoV if this is actually the norm.

What advice could you give to a programmer who's interested in game dev? Should I be aiming for larger game companies or should I join an established indie dev studio as I start off?

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:

I'm not a lawyer or an expert in contracts, so my opinion is not going to be steeped in deep knowledge I fear. That being said, I would also not have been interested by that contract. A startup has to promise equity, or a clear fixed sum. Anything else is not attractive enough to compensate for the lack of a "safe job" that you would get from a big studio, IMO. And 2% capped to 40k doesn't fulfill that at all IMO. Again, just my opinion.

I don't know what's the best, but personally, unless you have a great opportunity for a very successful looking startup, I would probably recommend working for a big studio, so you can start building capital, connections and your own skillsets with a more veteran team. That will be easier to use later if you want to start your own business, etc.


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:

What's the work culture like at EA?

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:

Good question. First, EA is a very big organization. I personally worked at the Tiburon studio in Orlando, Florida, so I can't say about all their other studios (and there are many more).

Updsides: I started working there about 5 years ago now, which was after they significantly restructured things to limit crunch time. I personally found it to be a good place to work at. They're very flexible for your team and tasks and the Orlando team is very passionate about Football. The company has a lot of perks for employees and tries pretty hard to keep everyone happy. As far as a "large corporate style company" is concerned, it's probably the best place I worked at.

Downsides: I think the salaries are probably a little lower than the average for the area (but the perks and the health insurance probably make up for it honestly) and the company is so large that it's not as nimble as it could be (that's the case for most super large companies though). Probably a little management heavy on a few teams.


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:

How do you plan to deal with the tension between wanting to listen to fan/backer input, without devolving into "design by most vocal online objections" which can end up in a less coherent overall game? E.g, staying true to your own vision, while still accepting good input?

On a more technical level: are you using any off-the-shelf HLL as an abstraction layer (such as Lua, Python, or the like) to create game systems such as class spells and abilities? If so, will it be exposed to modders?

Also, do you have concrete plans to avoid personal burnout due to the stress and time sink of an indie game project?

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:

You could've very easily gone home and focused on the negative. You could've blamed everyone else and not done anything to improve. It takes a lot of strength to do what you did. People don't understand what an uphill battle these major changes are. Much respect.


Q:

Tension: well, to be honest, we waited to show our game until we had a very concrete vision: we started getting a presence going pretty much when we already had a demo ready and the code about 90% done, and so for there hasn't been too much of a push by the fans to change that much. The biggest change that was requested was a new "idle animation" for characters during the combat phase and we felt there was enough demand and it was a good suggestion that we made it happen midway through our Kickstarter. Here's an the old vs new idle animation in case you're interested. But generally speaking, if we think a suggestion is sound, is an improvement, is feasible and has enough fans asking for it, we're definitely open to listening. We're no fans of "design by committee", but at the same time, we want to make the best game possible, and listening to the fans' feedback is part of that!

We're using Unity and everything is written in C#. We're using a lot of configuration files though, controlling a large amount of game values, including AI behavior, scaling, balancing, specific maps events, etc and those files are simple .txt file that modders can change. It should be fairly easy for a modder to make a 'balancing mod' that could significantly change the feel of the game and of specific levels. We're also leaving most of the game text available so that if we can't cover a specific language during the translation process, there is a way for a fan to handle it if they want. Lastly, we have the ability to add custom portraits to the game (the usual way), which a very simple, but effective way, that fans can mod the game their way.

Contrete plans to avoid burnout: nothing especially concrete, but I've had my own game studio in the past and I've worked in this industry for over 15 years, so I've been there and done that, mostly. I am feeling about ready for a vacation after this whole Kickstarter business though, haha!


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:

Thank you :)


Q:

I can Imagine that the term "full-time" work takes on a different meaning when you're working for yourself, do you guys find it difficult to switch off and get some R&R?

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:

hey it's me ur brother


Q:

Definitely! We tend to work until we get too tired, in which case we start setting up a schedule to follow for a little bit (no later than 6pm for a bit!) until we're full of energy again. It's a tough balance, since you don't want to burn yourself, but at the same time, you need to finish the project as fast as possible since you have no salary to count 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:

You choose awesome aliases. :)


Q:

Would you recommend a beginner dev (like me) to start with tools I already know? (Namely javascript)

I've got the feeling that I would take longer if I'd also need to learn Unity/C++.
PS. Your website doesnt load on Safari iOS.
PS2. Backed!

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:

Your wedding pics are very cute :)


Q:

Hmm, I'm not an expert and I did all my own learning a LONG time ago (about 20+ years) when the internet wasn't even a thing yet, so that was a different ball game...

I personally do think Unity is probably a good engine to start learning on, as you can get exciting results pretty quickly and there's a lot of tutorials and resources for it. They DO support javascript, but I would switch immediately to C# instead. It shouldn't be that painful and the languages are surprisingly easy/quick to migrate I have found in the past.

I would recommend C# rather than javascript though (unless you're doing web work) because it is going to be a lot more useful to you in the gaming industry and will also start getting you more accustomed to C++ as a side effect, which is still the standard in the industry at large.

PS: We'll look into it, thanks! :)

ps2: Thanks a lot! :)


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:

Thank you!


Q:

Is your first job related to programming?

How did you get your first job as a programmer?

(Where you found it, how you got the job, what is the job about(app-dev/game-dev?))

Which do you find more valuable/require more skill, programmer or artist?

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:

Good bot


Q:

My first job was a gameplay programmer in a studio owned by Activision.

That was a long time ago, but from what I remember, I made a list of all the companies I wanted to work at (mainly because I liked their products more than a deep knowledge of the company itself), checked for those that had openings and applied to them. I had a couple offers, they flew me in for interviews after a brief phone interview, and chose the one that suited my purposes the best (I was working on a side project at the time, Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled that got eventually published for the NDS, so I needed an employer that would allow me to work on my side project without claiming all rights to it (which is standard in the industry)).

If you're asking for my opinion on how to make your resume stand out and get offers, my take is: you want to have game projects of your own to showcase. Things that weren't part of school assignments, but that you did on your own time. As many interesting ones as you can. It shows passion, dedication and self-reliance, which are all very prized by employers looking for talented devs on their teams. Games are exciting for young people right out of college, so there's a lot of them applying for positions and employers can afford to be picky. Show them you're very passionate and you're smart and talented and they'll be interested.

That being said, the video game industry tends to have worse pay and worse hours than the rest of the software industry, so make sure you ARE indeed passionate about it before choosing this path ;)

Programmer/Artist: Those are 2 completely different fields, it's really hard to tell. The industry values programmers more (at least salary wise), but you often need more artists than programmers (so more openings). Personally, I value a good artist more for my own company since I can cover programming by myself, but that's a specific situation I guess.


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:

It's an awesome bot!


Q:

So... the video game industry = more working hour + less pay?

What are the things that kept you in the industry? (Other than passion)

Won't you prefer cold hard cash + more free time + less stress?

Is it true that devs are often let go after development?

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:

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:

more hours and less pay: Not always the case, but in general, yes, that's the norm.

Kept me in the industry: frankly, it's passion. I just like making video games and it's been my dream since I was very young ^ It's not THAT bad though and the work is, to me, more interesting than it would be at a regular software company. Games are often at the forefront of new tech and new techniques as well, something I appreciate.

Let go: I've seen it at some places, but it's not something that's especially common in big and well established studios: they know good talent is important and they want to foster it as much as possible. You'll see this more for QA or for very small studios.


Q:

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

A:

Thank you :)


Q:

What's your favorite color?

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:

HES A GOOD BOY


Q:

Hmm, haven't really given it much thought. Probably red in general? But I wear a lot of black personally :)


Q:

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

A:

HE'S THE BEST BOY! :)


Q:

Well, black is a shade, so red is acceptable.

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:

Any before and after photos of your pupper?


Q:

I figured it was a trick question so I didn't answer black! Haha! ;)


Q:

Being a little too trusting of others :)

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:

How long did it take to plan the Kickstarter and is it really taking your full time to manage it as I've heard other Kickstarter project owners mention?

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:

Just edited the comment with pics!


Q:

While not directly part of the Kickstarter, it took us several months to build a community and a social presence to ensure the Kickstarter would have a chance at success.

Then, it took us about 2 weeks to actually craft the Kickstarter page, including creating images and such and acting on feedback from trusted sources. We already had our trailer video ready by then, but that took a bit of time to create (although that was outsourced).

It is definitely a full-time task overall if you count all the work that needs to go in promoting it on social media, answering questions, trying to get the press to cover it, etc. It doesn't occupy all of your day, but enough that it's hard to get any other task done frankly. Also, the real drain is that it's 30 days straight, all day long. There's still questions to be answered and work to be done during the weekends and during all hours of the day: someone, somewhere in the world, is up and about and asking you a question, all the time, lol.


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.


Q:

Kickstarter's looking iffy :( I've backed you What happens if the kickstarter fails?

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:

Please share your story over at /r/pitbulls


Q:

Hey! Thanks again for your support friend! :)

The Kickstarter is definitely going to be a close call, that's for certain! At the same time, it's very feasible at this point, especially if fans give us a hand in promoting the critical final 48hrs on their favorite platforms (like reddit, twitter, etc)!

I can't tell you in details what will happen if the Kickstarter fails, as frankly, we're too busy working on making it succeed to tally exactly what's to be expected otherwise, but you can expect us to keep working on the game and still release it, as a baseline. There might be delays and we might have to slim down on a few things, but it'll get done nonetheless :)


Q:

4&20

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:

Only 54 hours left on KS. What things have you done to market the game?

A:

Who is the most vocal of your group?


Q:

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?

A:

this needs way more upvotes


Q:

It's a long process for certain! We've used some facebook and reddit ads. We've created threads on reddit and various facebook groups. We have a fairly strong presence on twitter and we have our own facebook page. We've mailed several hundred online gaming publications for some coverage. We've encouraged the fans to spread the word and they've posted on many forums, etc.

We've asked many big game companies to give us a shout-out if they liked our project and Obsidian, inXile, Stoic as well as a great many indie devs liked our game and did just that :)

Well, I'm sure I'm forgetting something somewhere, but the gist of it is that a Kickstarter lasts around 30 days and you'll be busy drumming up support and visibility the whole time! :)


Q:

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

A:

I agree!


Q:

You down wit OPP?

A:

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


Q:

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

A:

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


Q:

Hmm, could you clarify? I'm not sure I know what OPP is in the context, sorry >.<


Q:

About the same.

A:

Thank you!


Q:

Can we tell poop stories on here?

A:

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


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


Q:

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

A:

Thank you!


Q:

How do you do your quick changes?

A:

What are your thoughts on Canada? Friend or Foe?


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.


Q:

BFF's

A:

Great job and keep it up!


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:

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!


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:

Thank you!


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:

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


Q:

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

A:

No.


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:

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


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:

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:

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?


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:

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:

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


Q:

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

A:

Replied above, thanks!


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?


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:

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:

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??


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:

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:

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

A:

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?


Q:

The beaches. Just extraordinary. Best in the world.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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:

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:

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:

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

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:

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:

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


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:

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:

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:

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

A:

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


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:

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:

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.

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:

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:

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?


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

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

A:

strangest thing you've ever put in your mouth?


Q:

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

A:

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


Q:

Kevin, I'm a member of the ALP, and want to enter politics (NSW). Any suggestions?

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:

My key piece of advice is, as I write in my book Not for the Faint-hearted, what the country needs is people of deep experience, professional knowledge and judgement before they stick their hand up to be an MP. All the best.

A:

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


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:

Whats your favorite color?


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

How long do you give Turnbull and why?

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

How do I convince a love one to become healthy? He’s only 21; however, he’s on the verge of high blood pressure. He refuses to eat healthy or exercise, no matter how much I try to convince him.

A:

He has to decide that he wants to live before you can help him. It took a dog for me to want to live, and want to get back into life, because I formed a bond of unconditional love with the dog and realized that I needed to work on my own health so I could help with his health also.