Specialized ProfessionI’m a real estate and personal finance expert and the author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask. AMA!
Feb 22nd 2018 by IlyceGlink • 56 Questions • 15 Points
My short bio: My name is Thomas Brush, and I've been making games for over 10 years. I just released my first commercial release, Pinstripe, on Xbox and PS4.
My Proof: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/80348891/once-upon-a-coma-from-the-creator-of-pinstripe Also, my Tweet about this convo: https://twitter.com/atmosgames/status/966739833350746113
What's one of the first things people should do when they're thinking of buying a home? I'm hoping to start the process soon and am pretty stumped.
Hello Dr. Kaku,
I don’t hear as much about String Theory as I used to. Are people giving up on it? Are we closer to developing experiments that could prove or further the research? What is the state of String Theory?
Do Pinstripe and Once Upon A Coma exist in the same universe?
I think you (and whoever is buying this property with you should make what I call a Wish List and a Reality Check. The WL is everything you want in a home. the RC is everything you can't live without. Make your own separate lists then get a big bottle of something you enjoy drinking and merge your lists into one. Then, figure out what you can actually afford to spend - not what the lender tells you but what fits into your exact budget. Once you know those two things, you can start to look for homes to buy.
Any theory has its ebbs and flows. String theory is so advanced and sophisticated mathematically that we physicists are still trying to find its ultimate form. So string theory continued to dominate the agenda of physics conferences and physics publications, but there are no sensational results that can generate popular headlines. The problem is that the theory is not in its final form, so it has many, many solutions, each one a universe, giving us a multiverse of universes. Which one is our universe? String theory can predict our universes, but it also predicts parallel universes as well. But I personally feel that once string theory is in its final form, we will understand whether or not there is a multiverse of universes.
Sorry if this is wrong or insentitive, but how much traffic did Jack's video bring you? Edit: jacksepticeye
Buyers who spend their lives on Houzz, Pinterest and Zillow (not to mention all the time spent watching HGTV) can be very disappointed when they see what they can afford. But you have to remember, your first house isn't the last house. It's far better to buy a smaller home now rather than throwing more money away renting - as long as you know where you're going to be for the next 5 to 7 years.
Let me stick my neck out. I personally feel is that within this century, we will make contact with an alien civilization, by listening in on their radio communications. But talking to them will be difficult, since they could be tens of light years away. So, in the meantime, we must decipher their language to understand their level of technology. Are they Type I, II, or III??? And what are their intentions. Are they expansive and aggressive, or peaceful. Another possibility is that they land on the White House lawn and announce their existence. But I think that is unlikely, since we would be like forest animals to them, i.e. not worth communicating with.
I'll say this: within two days of his post the campaign went from 32k to 46k. I don't know if that's all from him, but it was really cool to watch! He certainly has an amazing attitude about supporting indie devs!
My short list of the worlds greatest scientists are: 1) Isaac Newton, because he created calculus and found the laws of motion all by himself, without using the great achievements of his predecessors (which were extremely few) 2) Albert Einstein, who created Special and General Relativity all by himself, and was the God father of the quantum theory 3) Charles Darwin, because he found the basic principles which go era all living things. As far as living scientists go, of course Stephen Hawking has done path breaking research on black holes. As far as string theory is concerned, Ed Witten of Princeton has been a path breaker and pioneer. Today, its much easier to keep track of science because of great web sites dedicated to brining the best research to the public.
Nope! it was with the help of about 20 or so other campaign creators who gave me a shoutout. JackSepticEye did eventually play the demo, and some other streamers, which certainly helped! It was mainly the other campaign creators :) Thanks for such kind words!
It used to be that research scientists who interacted with the public were criticized. Carl Sagan, in a very embarrassing episode, was actually denied entry into the National Academy of Science by scientists who declared that he was "a mere popularizer," not a real scientist. But times have changed for several reasons. First, the Supercollider, the $10 billion machine that was to be America's premier scientific laboratory, was cancelled because the public did not understand the machine. At that point, it was humiliating to know that scientists had no one who could tell the public what the SSC was all about. After that, scientists realized that they had to engage the public, or else the public would cut their budget to zero. Second, the rise of Stephen Hawking showed that it was possible to engage the public without dumbing down the science.
Zero. He's such a nice guy he just said "Sure I'll play!" when I emailed him! :)
I think Elon Musk has made a great contribution in creating a genuine moon rocket, the Falcon Heavy, and doing it with private funds, so now we have 2 (not one) moon rockets, the SLS and Falcon Heavy. That is what is important. Time tables, of course, come and go. So personally I think his time frame may be a bit optimistic, but that is not the point. The point is that he is making it possible to enter a new Golden Age of space exploration, almost free of charge to the tax payer.
Yep. I pay nothing to streamers
Don't just run it, run it for a while. Previous owner of the house we bought knew the furnace would run for about 10-15 minutes after the circuit breaker is reset before inevtibably tripping the breaker again. Turns out that the heat strips were arching and the unit was so old there were no replacement parts. Required replacing the whole furnace, they don't make furnaces so small anymore (this was actually built in the early 70s and the "furnace" is actually just a strip heater attached to the venting and uses the A/C fan to blow the heated air through the system) so installing a new one meant cutting a large opening in the ceiling as well as cutting out some ceiling joists. The home warranty company would only finance the furnace and installation of the furnace, they would not cover any of the joist modifications or ceiling sheetrock replacement. So it turned out to be extremely costly for us.
What are you thoughts on Deep Learning and recent AI trends? Any plans to write an updated version of "Future of The Mind" that would include all the success field of AI has achieved?
In The Future of the Mind, I wrote that, about 50 years ago, we scientists made a big mistake. We assumed that the brain was a digital computer. Big mistake, because the brain has no programming, no pentium chip, no CPU, no subroutines, etc. In fact, you can remove half the brain and it can still function, yet if you remove one tiny transistor a computer fails. Why? Because, as I wrote, the brain is a learning machine, some sort of neural network. Your laptop today is just as stupid as it was yesterday. But I wrote in my book that eventually scientists will begin to explore learning machines. Guess what. A few years later, now Deep Learning is all the rage. But it is, in some sense, 50 years late. This should have happened 50 years ago.
Exactly. The marketing for Coma has been all grass roots. It’s all I can afford C:
In your opinion, why some kickstarters fail horribly in delivering what they promised, and what is the hardest part of doing stuff via crowdfunding?
The younger you are when you buy your first home, the wealthier you'll be later in life.
While that sounds like one of those truisms that can't possibly be real, buying a home forces you into making a million decisions about what you spend and how to prioritize.
It also doesn't hurt that every mortgage payment helps repay your principal balance (building up equity).
As for buying too early - only if you don't know where you'll be for the next 5 to 7 years (it's expensive to sell and you need a few years of appreciation to recoup those expenses) or if you're below majority age in your state.
Terraforming, in my book The Future of Humanity, will proceed in slow steps. 1. using lava tubes to form underground bases to protect against radiation 2. mining ice to get drinking water, and oxygen for breathing, and hydrogen for rocket field. 3. using genetically modified plans to thrive on Mars 4. using methane to create a green house effect 5. using solar mirrors to beam sunlight down to the ice caps to melt them.
I had lunch with a friend of mine who I consider a successful business man. He started a really incredible jean company, and he told me he despised Kickstarter. Basically, he told me so many individuals set out to make something great, and they have a super cool trailer and rewards, but they don't know a damn thing about actually starting a company or finishing a project. So they actually just dug themselves a hole. So I'd say that's one of the hardest parts! Knowing the cost of creation going in, and ensuring your budget is accurate! I'm guilty of this to some degree: if Pinstripe hadn't raised 100k, and only raised the goal of 28k, I'm not so sure I would have made a game that people actually felt proud of. Are you talking about a specific campaign in general?
The current Kickstarter campaign happens to have a goal of 28k... do you feel like you need less this time, or did you set it low to ensure funding with the belief that you were likely to exceed your goal?
I can't remember what number Questions this is in my book, but it's the lifestyle Question: How will these fixed expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance) work within the lifestyle you want to have?
That's particularly important for millennials.
And, on that note, the other hat I wear every day is CEO of Best Money Moves, which is a financial wellness platform. Everyone here is welcome to use it to calculate their own lifestyle costs. You can find it at my ThinkGlink.com website. (It's free and there are no ads on it.)
Actually, Jupiter would have to be many times larger than it is in order to become a star. You have to reach what is called Lawson's Criterion in order to create a thermonuclear explosion capable of creating a star. But if we assume that Jupiter were more massive than it is, and attained Lawson's Criterion, then, depending on where it is locate and how big it would be, there is a change that it might (a) disturb the orbit of the earth around the sun (b) light up the sky with two stars, like in the movie Star Wars (c) raise the temperature of the earth and change our climate.
28k ensure we make... a game. But the Stretch Goals are there to make the game even better. Sometimes it's a bit scarier setting the goal really high, because you need to hit your goal to get the money. I'd rather get 28k just to ensure the game gets made :) But I'm super grateful we're knocking it out of the park!
Well....How did you learn to start your own business or finish a project?
Treehouses are great. Wish I had one in my backyard!
I think you'd want to use a pulley system. Or, install an elevator. Either should do it!
For sub-light speed rockets, I think a. fusion rockets b. antimatter rockets c. ramjet fusion rockets hold the most promise within 100 years. The ramjet, for example, is like an ice-cream cone that scoops hydrogen in space and then fuses it, so that it can run forever without any refueling. For greater than light speed, the details are much less clear, but it might be possible to warp space in 2 ways. One way is via a wormhole that can rip the fabric of space time, which were first introduced by Einstein himself in 1935 with his student Nathan Rosen (so these are called Einstein Rosen Bridges) and also the Alcubierre drive, which compresses the space in front of you, so you hop across vast distances. Also, I think the urgent questions on the earth (e.g. global warming, nuclear weapons) have to be addressed first. No rush in reaching for the stars.
I found support from people all around me. I emotionally leaned on my dad for the business side of things (he also helped me understand budgeting, taxes, and accounting), while I found financial support from publishers when I was in college, and KS in 2016. I like to work with publishers that are honest, because they support you from the marketing side! Marketing is tough, so having that part knocked out is really important to be able to have time to make a great game.
No one knows. But one possibility is that the universe is a bubble of some sort. We live on the skin of the bubble. If you travel in one direction far enough, you come back to where you started. So the farthest object is the back of your head. In this way, this bubble universe is infinite in two dimensions, since you never hit the end, but finite in three dimensions, since its just a bubble. Likewise, our universe might be infinite in 3D, without boundaries, but finite in 4D, because it is a hypersphere. Sadly, our data is not developed enough to determine if our universe is finite or infinite. But the leading theories (e.g. inflation) seem to indicate that the universe is infinite. But in inflation, our bubble universe can have big bangs all the time, so baby universes can peel off our universe. In other words, we live in a bubble bath of universes, the multiverse.
Oh wow. That's horrible...
what are some things to consider when buying an apartment?
As we're developing smarter and more effective machine learning algorithms, it seems inevitable that AI will start to replace human intelligence for more precision and efficiency. Professor Michio Kaku, my question to you is will Artifical Intelligence eventually render human labor and intelligence obsolete? If so, in what areas can humans excel at that machine learning algorithms can not?
Some things that are different from buying a house:
- Check building board minutes for the last few months to see what's being talked about.
- Make sure you get a copy of the building rules and regs, particularly if you have animals or plan to rent.
- Check real estate taxes and monthly assessments to make sure you understand them.
- Ask if any new big projects are being planned and what those costs will be.
- Look at reserves for the condo.
Right now, robots have the intelligence of a bug. They can barely walk across a room. Simple tasks done by humans (picking up garbage, fixing a toilet, building a house, solving a crime) are way beyond what a robot can do. But, as the decades go by, they will become as smart as a mouse, then rat, then a cat, dog, and monkey. By that point ,they might become dangerous and even replace humans, near the end of the century. So I think we should a chip in their brain to shut them off if they have murderous thoughts. But what happens centuries from now, when robots and evade even our most sophisticated fail safe system?? At that point, I think we should merge with them. This may sound strange to some people, but remember that it is the people of the far future (not us) who will decide how far they want to modify themselves to deal with supersmart robots
A simple form of telepathy is possible today. In The Future of the Mind, I write that (in epileptics, for example) one can put a patch of sensors directly on the surface of the brain, connect it to a computer, and have software decipher the messages. Then it is possible for this person to type and communicate mentally. In fact, my colleague, Stephen Hawking, using this. He has lost control over his fingers and vocal cords. So in this glasses ,there is a chip which picks up radio signals from this brain, and feeds this into a computer, which then deciphers the message and types out what he is thinking. (This is, however, a very slow process). Also, it is now possible to upload and record memories in mice. Also primates. Next: Alzheimers patients. So they will wear a brain pacemaker that reminds them who they are and where they live.
There are things which science and math may have difficulty explaining. As Galileo once said, the purpose of science is to determine how the heavens go. The purpose of religion is to determine how to go to heaven, i.e. the purpose of science is to explain natural law, while the purpose of religion is ethics, to determine what is right and wrong, to be nice to each other, how to behave, etc. So science by itself cannot dictate what is absolutely right or wrong. There is no law of physics that tells us what is proper behavior and what is right or wrong. It all depends on the society you are talking about.
Briefly, each sub atomic particle we see (and there are hundreds of them) are nothing but tiny vibrations of a string, a rubble band. So each particle is just a musical note. That explains why we have so many particles. Then physics is the laws of harmony of these strings. Chemistry is the melodies we can play on these strings. The universe is a symphony of strings. And the Mind of God, that Einstein searched for for the last 30 years of his life, is Cosmic Music resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace.
There were a lot of games on Newgrounds that I really liked, and I always kind of idolized the devs. I obsessed over newgrounds games for years. They motivated me in strange, almost spiritual ways haha. As for story design, I'm unashamed to say M. Night Shyamalan movies are my fave. I love how he tells emotional, haunting stories salted with beauty!
How do you respond to criticism that your comments are sometimes over reaching?
What impact do you feel that has on science communication?
so what you're saying is, we can expect a plot twist near the end of your game, gotcha.
I am a futurist, in that I have interviewed over 300 of the worlds top scientists (many Nobel Laureates) who are inventing the future in their labs. So my predictions are based on the latest scientific research. But some people come up to me and ask "where is my flying car?" But the prediction of a flying car did not come from a scientist. It came from a cartoon show. Unfortunately, most people's understanding of the future comes from cartoon shows and science fiction movies, which have no obligation to be scientifically correct. So I personally feel that we need more scientists to engage the public concerning future technologies which will affect their lives in the future (e.g. AI, biotech, nanotech).
He was dead all along...
Hey Thomas! I supported your first game because you were from Greenville. I will support your second game because Pinstripe was amazing. Do you write all the music? It's seriously amazing.
Einstein was asked this question. He replied there are two kinds of Gods. The first is the personal God (that answers prayers and smites the Philistines). He did not believe in that God. But he did believe in the Old One, i.e. the God of Spinoza, the God of beauty, harmony, and order . The universe could have been ugly, random, lifeless, but its not. So he believed in the God of order.
Sorry for the two answers...just getting the hang of it.
Are you from Greenville? Yep, I write all the music!
Dr. Kaku, may I expand on that question:
Which relatively "godlike" beings/civilizations would you deem possible? (e.g. "we're in a simulation", "super-aliens watching us" [& fermi-paradox], "beings of higher dimensions", type 3++ civilizations, classical religion [our existence is a divine test], etc.)
If we eventually (want to?) make contact, could they have "higher" ethics or will universal "Good vs Evil" continue?
Yes sir! Been here since 1999. You can usually find me running up and down the swamp rabbit.
You seriously have a talent. Glad we can benefit from your creative avenues.
I get asked if the aliens are evil and want to destroy us. Maybe, but I think in the main they will be peaceful because they have had thousands of years to resolve sectarian, fundamentalist, nationalist questions. However, they still might be dangerous if they simply don't care about us and we get in the way. In War of the Worlds, the aliens did not hate us. We were simply in the way. In the same way that a developer is a threat to forest animals because he can pave the first, the danger there is from someone who sees that we are just in the way. But for the most part, I think they will be peaceful, but view us like we view forest animals.
I'm five mins from Swamp Rabbit. Come say high. Email me at my email on atmosgames.com
What have you found to be the most effective method to help to change the minds of individuals who are firmly anti-science?
I saw you were 17 when you started thinking about the story to Once Upon A Coma. Are there any tips you would have given your past self (and current aspiring game developers) while making a game?
Sometimes it is futile to argue with someone who, for deeply ideological and personal reasons, is against science. But one way to win some of them over is to explain how the wonders of modern technology, which have more than doubled our life span and lifted us from poverty and disease, have benefited us. Modern medicine, for example, would be impossible without evolution. The space program and telecommunications would be impossible without understanding basic astronomy. Then explain what our world would look like without science, when we lived to only 30 years of age on average, when most of us died of starvation and plagues.
This might sound cheesy... but only work on what you're passionate about! Especially when you're doing it in your spare time. It's really hard to finish something that 's only motivation is "success" or money. Do something that makes you feel something, because you're going to need to feel it for perhaps years. Are you working on a game?
You put up the Switch as a stretch goal, which probably will make it. Yet why does your schedule read:
Once Upon A Coma will be released for PC, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Switch, all because of you.
Seems like you already decided to go for the Switch?
Good catch! Yep, I actually intended to make the campaign start with the Switch, but after some research I knew 28k for that was just not realistic. Not at all! Thanks for finding that! I've adjusted it: "Once Upon A Coma will be released for PC, Mac, Linux, and maybe even Nintendo Switch, all because of you."
Which lesson did you learn from creating Pinstripe and will you use or don’t in Once upon a coma?
It's super important to plan and prototype. Years of creating garbage and then removing it were why Pinstripe took so long. I would illustrate and design things fully, and then realize they didn't work, so weeks of work would be flushed down the toilet. In Coma, I spend a lot of time just planning and thinking :)
The prologue of the game has the main character dabbing back, and that sets up the narrative of the entire game.
It's interesting... the first puzzle of the game uses the piano notes D-E-B-A-B. Debab. It's a new kind of dabbing.
Since it's doable in Yo Noid 2, it should be doable here :')
Hi Thomas! Across the development of both Pinstripe and Once Upon A Coma, what has been the weirdest/funniest bug you've encountered during testing?
In Once Upon A Coma, I was watching a YouTuber who somehow launched himself so high he broke the camera.
That Coma game you did way back when was one of my biggest inspirations going through multimedia school. thanks for that, Also can I be a QA tester on Once upon a coma? (it's an AMA I just thought I'd ask)
Aw thx that means a lot! Email me via my email on my website (atmosgames.com) about being a tester!
Boom, just funded your KS! This oddly reminded me of Limbo, so naturally I had to take a look.
You mentioned your father being a huge support of yours; is he also a video gamer... possibly a software engineer too?
Hey thanks so much archangelmdc! My dad is an accountant, and a super duper supportive father. He was the one who pushed me to not get a job my summer before college and just make Coma.
- How long did it take you to master the basics of game development?
- What's your game engine of choice?
- What engine would you recommend for people who are just picking up game development?
- For me, I've been constantly learning since I was 16. You're never really a master because the industry is always changing.
- Unity 3d
- Unity 3d!
Do you plan to ever intertwine your games in a way that Bioshock has with unexpected connections, since you say the games take place in the same universe?
Certainly! My games tend to focus on the spiritual and cerebral, which I think allows various characters and concepts to mesh in ways they wouldn't in the physical world :)
Given that it's Kickstarter, did you ever consider not actually developing the game, taking the money and fucking off to a private island?
Hahahha Nope! Believe it or not, 50k doesn't really get your very far in life. I can imagine I would be stranded on the private island in less than a year haha.
I do all the art, music, design, and story. Erik Coburn is the coder! He's brilliant, and gives me time to focus on what I do best :D
What engine did you use and what kind of hours were you working on it? I'm thinking of making my own game but because of work and school I don't have much time.
I used Unity. In college, I worked on Pinstripe after school (and sometimes during lectures). I was absolutely obsessed :D When I got married, I would wake up around 5:30 or 6 am, work for an hour, and then go to work as a graphic designer. I'd work through lunch, and then often times come home and work for another hour. My wife was very gracious during this time!
Hardest part is abolutely 100% staying confident! I spent 5 years working on my previous game, and even after release, I really wasn't sure if I spent my time wisely. A lot of family, friendship, and time was sacrificed during development, so I'm never fully sure if my time was worth it :)
What was the best and worse part of making the storyline?
My favorite part was "pitching" the storyline to my office wall. Basically, I find it super helpful to pitch your story over and over to a pretend audience, for me, I pretend to pitch to a studio in Beverly Hills, and imagine them being super skeptical and impatient haha. If you feel that audience is glazing over, it's important to re-craft your story so it's sticky, punchy, and makes sense in a couple sentences!
Hi! Do you mind telling us about the process of creating a game? Like having an idea first, thinking about story elements, drawing until eventually programming - what is your personal workflow? Also which software do you use? Thank you!
Certainly. I think the best answer I have is here: https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/02/07/pinstripe-available-now-xbox-one/