Diecast #268: 7 Billion Humans, Moonlighter, Fract

By Shamus Posted Monday Aug 5, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 65 comments

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
00:00 Issac Needs a new GPU – Suggestions?

I’m currently planning on picking up a GeForce GTX 1650 to replace the dead card, but I want to do a quick sanity check before I spend the money. I know how easy it is to get confused / misled / make a mistake. When Nvidia names their products, clarity is not their top priority.

If you have any advice, please share it in the comments. Thanks!

07:56 Stop asking me to turn on notifications!

Ugh. I’m not annoyed at having to click “No thanks”, I’m annoyed by the sheer pointlessness of the entire system. It didn’t occur to me until after the show to wonder if there is a plugin to auto-refuse any such offers. After searching around, I discovered you don’t even need a plugin. Chrome has an option somewhere in the menus to block all such requests. Ideally, this popup:

…would also offer some sort of link to a way to turn off these silly things forever.

I found a site that explained how to disable notification popups. While reading it, I got a full-page popup that obscured the content with an invitation to subscribe to the site’s newsletter.

The internet was a mistake.

18:24 7 Billion Humans

Link (YouTube)

34:56 Moonlighter

Link (YouTube)

37:55 Fract OSC

Link (YouTube)

47:08 SkillShare isn’t… very good?

To be fair, my only experience is with the music tutorials. Has anyone explored the other domains? Anything to report?

58:37 Mailbag: Crowdfunding

Dear diecast,

Currently the two big crowd funding possibilities are kickstarter and patreon. Yet both seem to fail different ways. Kickstarter is a lump sum, but if the developer doesnt know how to ration the money they run out with nothing to show. Patreon in this regard is better, they know how much they can spend every month, and if the project is more difficult than anticipated they can just work on it a month longer. At the other hand there is no reason for them to complete the game, ever. The system encourages feature creep.
So the question is (or two questions, if I may cheat)
1) which system would you say is the least bad
2) could you suggest a third system that would combine the strengths of these two platforms and avoid the pitfalls.

with kind regards


From The Archives:

65 thoughts on “Diecast #268: 7 Billion Humans, Moonlighter, Fract

  1. Kai Durbin says:

    Show-notes on the front page!

  2. Wide And Nerdy says:

    There are very few sites where I could conceivably want the push notifications and even with them I get tired of the notifications I get. Basically I get push notifications from reddit and it’s not horrible except when I’m playing games. The one thing I dont like that reddit does is push trending threads. I check reddit often enough to catch those. I want to know when people reply to my posts and comments.

    But yeah otherwise this is a pet peeve of mine too. 99.9% of the sites I visit I dont want push notifications and that prompt is just one more thing getting in the way of the browsing experience along with the “disable your ad blocker” and “this is the 3rd of 5 free articles you get to read. Sign up for more”

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Like it’s not enough that you’re making me disable my adblocker so that your ads can spill out and cover half your article so I cant read it because they’re poorly positioned and variable in size. No you want me to pay 5.99 a month for your website when it doesn’t provide half the content of the major online newspapers that charge the same.

      If I paid the premium for every site I browsed that would be enough to cover my rent and possibly my utilities.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        Like it’s not enough that you’re making me disable my adblocker

        Get something like Noscript or ScriptSafe and you can kill those obnoxious “We’ve noticed you’re using an adblocker, stop it” popups. The good extensions will let you configure them site-by-site so you just click the button whenever you go to a new site that tries to adblocker-blocker you.

        I guess that script disabling tools could be called adblocker-blocker-blockers.

        1. Fizban says:

          Well, unless they’ve set it up properly so that you can’t disable the ads and the ad-ads without disabling the content. Last time I was on Crunchyroll the script that ran the video also ran the please disable adblocker ad. But on other sites all I’ve noticed are occasional static banner “ads.”

      2. Thomas says:

        I don’t even ad block and I get those half the time, either because

        a) A website is set-up so poorly it mistakes firefox’s default flashblocking for ad blocking

        b) They treat the ‘Do not track’ request as ad blocking.

        I deliberately don’t as block and they still won’t let me use the site! I emailed once to complain and the response I got was ‘stop using an ad blocker’

        1. Decius says:

          “Do not track” requests are ad blocking in a very real sense.

      3. Decius says:

        I’ve never encountered a site that actually made me disable my ad blocker.

        I regularly encounter sites that make me open the HTML inspector and delete the ad-blocker-blocker, and some of late where I have to cancel loading the page before it loads a script that truncates the content as punishment for not loading everything it wants, and even a couple convinced me to disable ad-blocking by pointing out that ads are their revenue stream and that they aren’t offensive.

    2. Chad Miller says:

      I agree that in general toast notifications are good for things like messaging websites where you want a trickle of time-sensitive notices. Not a “news” site where you probably don’t want to drop whatever you’re doing to check it. For that we have stuff like RSS and email lists where not being in your face is a feature.

      The one thing I dont like that reddit does is push trending threads. I check reddit often enough to catch those. I want to know when people reply to my posts and comments.

      I actually uninstalled the reddit app because of an particularly dark variant of this. I lost my father to leukemia this year. I made one comment, in one cancer support subreddit, to tell a terminal patient that her own comment was helpful to me and thank her for it.

      Not long later, reddit notices I haven’t subscribed to this sub and decides it needs to send me push notifications telling me what I’m “missing.” Need more cancer in your life? Here’s what’s new in cancer! Check out what people are saying about cancer today! I couldn’t find a way to selectively disable that crap, so I uninstalled the app, dialed my time on the site way back and have considered leaving entirely. Nice engagement algorithms, guys!

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        That’s intolerable. I couldn’t handle getting constant updates about cancer either and I haven’t lost anybody close to that.

        1. Chad Miller says:

          Thank you. I know it’s obvious that this is horrible but it still feels good to hear it.

          By the way, one thing that occurred to me after posting my last comment; don’t think that this is some kind of one-upsmanship where I’m responding to general annoyance with “You think that’s bad? Mine’s worse!” I find your annoyances and the ones in the podcast perfectly valid. It’s part of the reason that incident enraged me as much as it did.

          I understand that unexpected things happen, especially where programming is involved. I understand that perfectly benign actions can have horrifying results. The problem is that these aren’t benign actions. reddit, and Google, and Facebook, and anyone else running large-scale social platforms know that we would turn off stuff like this if we could. They also know they have giant “free” services that people will grudgingly use even if they have negative feelings toward the service itself. So reddit tries to drive more ad clicks from me, accidentally goes from “only-barely-consensual pestering” to “giving unwanted reminders that my father is on his death bed.” That’s not trying to do good and accidentally doing bad so much as it’s trying to do bad and accidentally doing terrible. If someone’s best defense is “our intentions were malevolent, but not that malevolent,” then something is seriously rotten.

          1. Baron Tanks says:

            Rough story. With regards to certain elements of the internet and engagement culture/algorithms, we truly are living in the darkest timeline. It’s something I’ve felt for a number of years now, where many systems are built on directly interacting with your brain chemistry to create a form of dependency, eventually all in the name of selling advertisement space (or whatever equivalent)? Your extreme example just reinforces how terrible things have gotten. My sympathies, this is not something anyone should have to deal with, much less in the name of corporate profit. I guess what they say is true, nothing in life is truly free so if you’re not paying to use something, it is because you are the product, not the customer.

  3. Dreadjaws says:

    I haven’t tried Skillshare. I’ve had good results with Udemy, though, but that one doesn’t have a monthly fee, it’s a “pay for each course you want” service. At least the courses I’ve seen are well edited, include suplemental material and allow you to either directly contact the instructor by personal message or, if you wish so, write in the course dedicated forum to engage with them or with the rest of the alumni.

    Courses have user reviews too. I don’t know if Skillshare has them.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      If you’re trying to self teach coding Codecademy is good for the basics. I learned my initial web development skills there and picked up the rest googling as I worked.

      Khan Academy is good for academic subjects. I’ve been using it to brush up on my math before I retake Calc (i last took it 20 years ago, I feel I need to review it.)

      1. Nimrandir says:

        I usually recommend Khan Academy if students want a different look at material in my courses. Tough to beat the price.

    2. Supah Ewok says:

      I use Coursera. Most courses are “pay only if you want an official certificate.” Some courses, usually the ones structured into multiple courses which will take a couple of months or more to get through, require a subscription in it while you work through it.

      All the courses I’ve tried range from excellent to just alright, nothing I’d call bad yet. All the ones I’ve done have been made and uploaded by real college profs, and so far I haven’t run into one that’s just bullshit (although I’m sure they’re there).

      Annoying thing is that there isn’t a wishlist of courses, so eventually I just signed up for all the free ones I had an interest in and just let them lapse; they stay in your course history and you can reset the deadlines in them at any time.

  4. Hector says:

    Hey SHamus,

    I have something in the way of a suggestion. Having gone back and played some older RPG’s like Might and Magic 6, I thought it would be cool to you to compare something like that to a modern game. It was astoundingly fun. not that I don’t like modern games, but there was a joy in overcoming the challenges. It’s not very skill based but still pretty cool. I’ve been annoyed that UbiSoft is basically dumping M&M in a ditch due to their inability to make a functioning game with it.

    The other thing is the Ooblets controversy. Well, I say “controversy” but it’s more like the people that were making an adorable game people were loving for its innocent sensibility before it ever game out now look like callous jerks, in one of the most un-necessarily self-inflicted PR moves I’ve ever seen. They started out with a meandering, sneering, condescending post explaining their decision to go Epic Exclusive (money), but apparently they didn’t that was enough of a trainwreck. They ended by actively insulting customers who have problems, apparently not for the first time.

  5. tsholden says:

    Shamus, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on Neon Beats (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1064610/Neon_Beats/). It’s got neon colors and gameplay that integrates well with a catchy soundtrack, buuuuut… it’s a platformer. It’s also free and fairly short, so I don’t think you’ve got anything to lose, but it might serve as an interesting “what factors outweigh each other” example.

  6. Lino says:


    Stop asking me to turn on notifications

    No need for a “to”.

    With regards to funding videogames, I haven’t actually seen any that have gone for Patreon (there certainly are some – I just personally haven’t seen any). But I think it does make more sense than Kickstarter, because the majority of costs studios have are on a monthly basis. It also makes sense for all those projects that are in a very early phase of development, because in those early stages you very often end up radically changing concepts and mechanics. I think feature creep could be lessened if the developers just have a ship date for the game. Yes, they could delay it, but you can only delay so many times before most of your supporters lose faith in you and stop donating.
    I think the main reason we haven’t had that many high-profile games funded using Patreon is because it’s very unreliable – backers can drop for any number of reasons, leaving the devs with not enough funding to make it through the month. Also, having that Sword of Damocles constantly hovering over your head is probably something many studios don’t want to deal with.

    1. Retsam says:

      “Stop asking me to turn on notifications” seems correct to me.

      1. Lino says:

        I don’t know what sort of brainfreze possessed me to write that!

        1. Hector says:

          The ‘to’ would be recommended but un-necessary with punctuation:

          Stop asking me, “Turn on notifications.”

          1. Exasperation says:

            That’s incorrect in a different way; “Turn on notifications” is in the wrong form to be asked.

            1. Hector says:

              It would be an impolite way of “asking”, but the sentence is coherent and grammatically correct.

              1. The Real Grammar Police says:

                No, it’s not correct, nor completely coherent. “Turn on notifications.” is not a quote of a question, but the first half implies that it is a question. “Stop asking me to turn on notifications.” implies that the full question is something like, “Would you like to turn on notifications?”, but leaves it out for the sake of brevity.

                1. Hector says:

                  It is grammatically correct regardless of whether or not you like it.

                  Additionally, a request, such as but not limited to “turn on notifications,” is a request and may be correctly identified as such. I would recommend against such usage as being awkward, but it’s not definitively incorrect to do so.

                  1. Exasperation says:

                    It’s not grammatically correct. “Stop asking me “Turn on notifications?”!” (note the question mark instead of a period, as well as the removal of the unnecessary comma) would be grammatically correct, but would have a different meaning from the original sentence, “Stop asking me to turn on notifications!”. If you ask someone to do X, you are requesting that they perform that action. If you ask them “do X?”, you are instead asking them if they want you to perform that action, which is not the same thing.

                    1. Shamus says:

                      I never would have guessed that the discussion of the grammar of notifications would be more controversial than the notifications themselves.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Patreon isn’t meant for big one time projects at all. That’s what Kickstarter is for. Its certainly not meant for video game production.

      Patreon is designed for people who produce smaller chunks of content on an ongoing basis. Blogs like Shamus’s site. YouTubers and Twitch streamers, even news and review sites. If you produce content regularly on an ongoing basis, that’s what Patreon is for. Its not meant for big one time projects where people are paying for many months before they see any results.

      As for Kickstarter projects running out of money, that’s what Early Access is for (just make sure beta access wasn’t something you promised in the Kickstarter). You release the game in whatever state you can manage and hope you can raise money to continue development till you reach a finished state. Granted, I don’t buy early access games, but lots of people do seem to do that, so that’s always a route you can go and you know your game is going to get some attention if you had a decent Kickstarter.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Indeed. There are very few developers who actually rely on Patreon for their projects, but in general platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are much better suited for this kind of thing, while Patreon is more like an optional subscription fee for regular content.

        Of course, there are people who try to use both platforms for the opposite purpose. Developers who set up a Patreon for their games are usually much more lucky than the kind of people who create a Kickstarter campaign for their YouTube channels.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          I don’t understand why people do Indiegogo either from the backer side or the user side. With Kickstarter at least you know if the money’s changing hands, you’ve got, in theory, a fully funded project, if the studio asked for enough money. Its like “Ok we reached 500,000 dollars, we’re actually going to do this.”

          But with Indiegogo, you can ask for 100,000 dollars, get a mere 500 dollars in pledges and not only do the backers have to pay that money but you have to accept it and ostensibly attempt to do the project with so little money. So the backers are stuck funding an underfunded project and you’re stuck trying to execute on an under funded project. With Kickstarter there’s no commitment unless the fundraising goal is met.

          That said, Kickstarter has its own drawbacks. People pitch low Kickstarter goals in order to try to get at least some funding whereas on Indiegogo you can pitch your actual fundraising goal without fear of losing out on the funds you’re pledged because you asked for too much. But I still view Kickstarter as better overall. I don’t know how many projects I’ve seen not reach their goal and if you aren’t reaching your goal, I’d rather not be on the hook.

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    I quite dislike Wikipedia asking for donations. Their ads usually have a tone of “We desperately need your money to keep the lights on!” and that’s just not true. Their financials are public enough that we can tell if they have any budget overruns, the response is going to be “downsize a couple dozen bureaucrats” not “turn off the servers”. Not only is it misleading in its urgency, but the very idea that your money will keep the lights on is wrong. They used to get by with three employees, now the Wikimedia Foundation has over three hundred. I don’t know what they’re doing but they clearly aren’t producing a hundred times as much value. The vast majority of a Wiki donation goes to paying for administrative bloat rather than anything Joe Average pictures when you say “Wikipedia”. It’s not surprising that this happened: if your only costs are three employees and text plus light image hosting but your donation campaign brings in millions, bureaucracy will expand to fill the available budget.

    You totally got three dollars of value out of Wikipedia last year, but to generate that value they spent the same pennies it was costing them fifteen years ago, while wasting dollars.

    1. Shamus says:

      That’s sad. I haven’t looked at the organization in years, and last I heard it was a small handful of people.

      I’ll still give them three bucks when they ask, but now I’m going to resent it a bit.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      My problem with them is their reliance on secondary sources which creates problems when its not in the media’s best interests to be truthful, or when they’re hasty in their coverage which happens often. The hot take represents the preponderance of the coverage and the corrections and retractions don’t get as much attention. This can affect the quality of Wikipedia’s articles.

      They’re great when it comes to purely academic topics but in a number of areas there’s reason to doubt their accuracy.

    3. Joshua says:

      Administrative bloat is the worst. Government gets a bad rap for it, but it can be pretty bad even in the private sector too. Too many people feeling the need to have employees reporting to them as a sign of their career success, so you have too many meetings with the same information being passed up the chain to handle all of this additional hierarchy. My dad used to refer to this as “everyone carving out their own little fiefdoms”.

      Kind of humbling when you go through a sizeable layoff and you realize that productivity actually improves without the need for increased workload because of the reduced redundancy.

      1. Sabrdance (Matthew H) says:

        As this is actually my day job, I figure I should comment: any large organization with multiple goals is going to require bureaucracy. The simplest case is the one Selznick described in 1948 -those who work to achieve the mission, and those who work to support the organization. Resources that are used to achieve the mission cannot be used to support the organization -too much focus on mission and the organization dies as you run your workers out. Too much support spending and your organization collapses under its own weight, no longer able to do its own work.

        The problem is that -unlike market transactions -there’s no easy indicator of when you have the balance of support and activity wrong -there’s no supply curve, demand curve, market clearing price, or bottom line. You do sometimes see people carving out their own little fiefdoms (called featherbedding), and hooo boy can I talk about people feeling the need to have employees report to them. But it’s actually rather rare. Most of the time, the people creating the new procedures do think they are necessary -either for doing their mission or for supporting the organization’s mission. And they aren’t necessarily wrong -it just may be that the resources could have been better used somewhere else.

        It’s actually really hard to hit that balance -which is why so many companies don’t survive the death of their best CEOs. The real value the founder/CEO brought was hitting that balance. It requires constant shifting. The best CEOs can do it so naturally that they work all the slack out of the organization and reap massive benefits. Then they die or retire. And the next CEO has to walk the tightrope without a net.

        All that to say -have some sympathy for the poor people trying to do it. But yes -it is a hard job.

        1. Kyle Haight says:

          The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises wrote a very interesting short book on these kinds of issues called, aptly, _Bureaucracy_. I found it illuminating.

    4. Ninety-Three says:

      If you were looking for a more specific critique, here it is. As of June 2018 they had $73 million in cash, another $50 million in short term investments, and $10 million in long-term investments, minus $10 million in accounts payable and other liabilities. Their total yearly expenditures of $81 million were dominated by salaries ($38 million) and grants ($13 million), because apparently they take in so much extra money that they’re literally giving it away. Their internet hosting costs were $2.3 million, smaller than their travel/conferences budget, smaller than the salaries of their fundraising staff, and half of the cost just of processing all the donations they get.

      Wikipedia has too much money.

  8. Geebs says:

    Re: graphics cards: you might get better value from a cheap / second hand Radeon RX580 or even an Nvidia GTX 1660. A 4Gb card isn’t very future proof, especially when the next generation of consoles is coming next year.

    1. Borer says:

      Since Geebs has started the graphics cards talk, I’ll put in my two cents here:

      While Nvidia has the fastest cards right now, AMD are currently the kings of price/performance. I say this as an avid Nvidia fan. A Radeon RX 570 gets You about 10-20% more performance than the GeForce GTX 1650 You suggested, Shamus. And even better: The RX 570 is cheaper.
      You could visit Amazon real quick, look at the very first search result and pay just $123 for an RX 570. According to a random YouTube video I found, the RX 570 can get You a very, very comfortable 1080p 60fps in GTA 5 on very high settings. Also note that GTA 5, a game that came to the PC in 2015, already eats up 3.5GB of video memory. This supports Geebs’ claim that 4GB VRAM isn’t future proof. The card can apparently also manage about 1080p 50-ish fps in The Witcher 3 on max settings. And TW3 only seems to use 2.5GB VRAM – so, not all the big games are as hungry as GTA 5.

      With all that in mind: If You’re willing to go a bit over budget and spend, say, $170 You can get an RX570 with 8GB video memory.
      And if You’re willing to pay $185 You can even get an RX 580, also with 8GB memory (and the 580 should get you about 10-15% more performance than the 570).

      Don’t forget that those were just the first results I’ve found on Amazon (and on YouTube, for that one GTA 5 video I linked). Two of these cards are from Sapphire. I don’t know that brand; at all. Maybe it’s good? But they did come up first.
      Also, You can probably find better offers if You’re willing to look around for more than a few minutes. Maybe there’s a sale somewhere. Or, as Geebs suggested, get something second hand. After all, You’re going to put it in a 5-ish years old computer.

      Anyway, I hope this helps more than it confuses.

      1. Lino says:

        My previous card was a Radeon, and I noticed that some games had problems with it, because they were optimized for Nvidia (or at least that’s what I assumed when I saw the Nvidia logo in the starting splash screen). A very famous example of this was the Tomb Raider reboot which chugged on Radeons, especially when you turned on HairWorks. So, I’d like ro ask, since I’m also due for an upgrade: does this still happen, or has it always been just my imagination?

        1. Geebs says:

          Those “plays best on” splash screens are mostly a reflection of which manufacturers paid the game’s publisher some money.

          Outside of GameWorks features and raytracing, and somewhat higher power consumption, AMD cards are pretty competitive at the low end; and to be fair, you’re not going to have a good time trying to run HairWorks or RTX stuff on a GTX1650, either.

          If you’re aiming for a slightly higher part of the market (RTX 2060 or above), Nvidia is pretty much the only option. I’d wait for the next generation, though, as it might finally have the performance to justify Nvidia’s inflated prices.

          1. Lino says:

            Thanks for the info! I’ve been an Nvidia fanboy for a long time, to the point where I haven’t even looked at AMD’s offerings for a long time. But ever since Nvidia’s huge price hike around the crypto mania, I’ve been hesitant to upgrade. After the prices went down a bit, I started looking into some options, and a couple of months ago I was looking at some of Nvidia’s 900-series, but looking at it now, AMD’s 500s seem much better.
            I guess AMD made a bad impression on me because of all the gaming laptops I used to use right before I went to university. Even though they were very high-end at the time, it only took them about 1-2 years before they started chugging and overheating. Of course, that wasn’t solely because of the video card (I think in most cases it had to do with the CPU), but I guess my view of AMD suffered as collateral damage.

          2. John says:

            The power consumption was one of the deciding factors back when I was trying to choose between Nvidia’s 1050 Ti and whatever the nearest AMD card at the time happened to be. (The RX 480? I can’t remember.) I’m not in the market for new hardware now (and probably won’t be until the 1050 Ti dies) but if I had to get a new card today, odds are it’d be an AMD . . . unless doing so meant that I also had to replace my 450 W PSU.

      2. Moridin says:

        Seconding this. Either get a RX 570/580 or go up to GTX 1660(or possibly look for a deal on a GTX 1060/1070). The GTX 1650 is a good card if you’re stuck on a crappy PSU and therefore need a card that draws no more than 75W(which you get from the PCI-e slot), but it sucks if you just want the best price/performance.

        If you’re aiming for a slightly higher part of the market (RTX 2060 or above), Nvidia is pretty much the only option. I’d wait for the next generation, though, as it might finally have the performance to justify Nvidia’s inflated prices.

        Not true, especially since the RX5700 series just came out. Unless you either really want raytracing or are getting a 2080/2080ti, AMD is definitely an option(and generally has better price/performance, although that obviously depends on which games you play and whether you can get the cards at MSRP). The only problem is that only reference models are out right now, and cards with better coolers come out soon-ish.

        1. The RX5700(XT) and the Vega cards will probably get software raytracing (or rather compute based raytracing) later as the new Xbox and Playstation consoles will have raytracing support.
          Developers do not like fixed function stuff they prefer compute and shader based stuff as they can then allocate GPU resources to what they need it for. (if a game does not use raytracing the RT cores on the new Geforce RTX cards stay unnused)

          Also for reference the Xbox One X’s graphics is almost the same as the RX580, I’m gonna take a wild guess that the new Xbox and Playstation will have graphics equivalent to a RX5700.
          (a RX5700 has roughly twice the performance compared to a RX580).

      3. Warlockofoz says:

        Concur with this.
        Nvidia 1650 or 1650ti: unless you’re out of cables or capacity from your power supply, get a radeon 570 or 580 instead. The 1650 sells on brand more than anything else; it’s not a bad card, but the admittedly aging 570/580 are astonishingly powerful for the price.

        Above that it’s a pretty smooth curve. The AMD version at each price level tends to be more powerful but less efficient. Stick to Nvidia for VR (unless AMD have added stereo rendering and I’ve missed it). Get ‘barebones tier X’ rather than ‘souped up tier X-1’ when the price is comparable.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      What form is the next generation of consoles going to take? Are they going to be souped up versions of this gen of consoles completely backwards compatible because of the PC architecture or is this going to be a true new console generation with a clean break.

      1. Moridin says:

        Apparently they’re going to have Zen 2 cores(probably 8 of them, likely with SMT) and some kind of Navi based GPU, since both Sony and Microsoft are still sourcing their CPUs and GPUs from AMD. If I’ve understood things correctly, Navi is compatible with the GCN instruction sets(GCN 1.0 is what the Xbox 1 and PS4 GPUs are), so backwards compatibility should be easy.

        Of course, I’m pretty sure this is all just rumors at this point.

      2. shoeboxjeddy says:

        The new Xbox will be backwards compatible with all XB1 games and every BC game supported by the XB1. The new Playstation… we don’t know. HOPEFULLY it will be fully BC with Ps4 games at the very least, but Sony has shown a very careless approach to their history. And the Ps1 Classic was the worst mini classic system out there, so that alternative approach was a flop for them too.

  9. Kylroy says:

    I would argue less that Kickstarter and Patreon fail in different ways, so much as they are designed to do different things: Kickstarter is designed to fund a specific task, and Patreon is designed to fund ongoing efforts. Most of the Patreon accounts I know are for websites that are looking to produce content indefinitely, and it’s perfect for that.

    Kickstarter efforts, however, frequently fail at the one-off projects the site was designed to support. As Chris points out, this is because people can’t accurately predict their costs at the outset of a project – combine this with the fact that they’ve already *got* their money, professional pride is the only reason to keep going if the Kickstarter money runs out while there’s work undone. I don’t know that there’s a good solution for this. Professional accountants with reams of data struggle to accurately predict costs a year in advance, what chance does a rando with an idea and a dream have of getting it right?

    Kickstarter works great for board games because they have a turnaround of months, and because the vast majority of the planning is already done before you ask for money – all you need to do is set up production. I see a lot of theater projects on Kickstarter as well; I don’t fund them, but I suspect they do OK for similar reasons. Kickstarter is a fine system for short-term projects, but you’d need to do something different – probably something involving making people share/stakeholders, which opens up a big legal can of worms – to fund anything long-term but finite.

    1. Lino says:

      Yeah, any project that has a design phase is a bad fit for Kickstarter, I feel. Most games go through so many iterations in the early stage that it’s just too hard to hit the initial ship date you’ve planned. And that’s not even getting to the polishing and bug-hunting stage which can also take a ton of time…

      1. Kylroy says:

        I’d qualify it as anything with an *expensive* design phase – designing/playtesting a board game or writing/revising a play can take months, but you don’t need much for resources beyond free time and things to write on. But yes, any project whose post-funding actions are much beyond “arrange production, make product within 3 months” is going to have a very uncertain path.

  10. Mikko Lukkarinen says:

    “It always feels good when one of those people then shows up on the latest post”
    “I’d imagine most of the traffic never leaves comments at all”


    I read your Mass Effect retrospective about half a year ago, plus a bunch of other articles, and binge listened to most of the Diecasts and have been hooked ever since. Figured I’d chime in for the good feels.

    Back to lurking.

    1. Jason says:

      I read pretty much every article, and listen to the Diecast every week, but it usually takes me until Wednesday morning to finish listening to it, because I only listen to it on the way to work in the morning, so I typically don’t leave comments.
      I probably leave a comment in about 1 of every 10 articles on the site.

  11. RFS-81 says:

    It’s not like Kickstarter doesn’t encourage feature creep with the whole stretch-goal culture.

  12. tmtvl says:

    Kickstarter too big of a chunk and Patreon too vague? Bountysource to the rescue! Pay developers per feature delivered.

    Only downside is the current dependency on GitHub, but aside from that it’s great.

  13. evilmrhenry says:

    When it comes to buying computer hardware, I use logicalincrements.com. This is basically a listing of various pieces of computer hardware at specific price points. It’s recommending: GTX 1050 ($130), RX 570 ($140) or RX 580 ($185)

    seems to indicate that the 1650 is like the 1050, but a bit faster. A quick Google shows it to be not that more expensive, so I’d go with the 1650 over the 1050 if you’re alright spending the extra ~$20. It is recommending the RX 570 above either choice, though, so it’s at least worth looking at if you’re not dead set on GeForce. They even have a direct comparison between the 1650 and the 570 here:
    that shows the 570 being a bit better, while being about the same price.

  14. Uristqwerty says:

    Minor mechanical spoilers ahead: On Fract, looking back at the game, each machine starts with a spatial puzzle, which unlocks a door, forms a bridge, activates an elevator, etc. that lets you access a timing puzzle. Completing the timing puzzle rewards you with text on the screen saying that you unlocked something in the main menu’s studio machine (musically fun to play with; there’s a button in options to unlock everything immediately, and maybe that removes the in-game unlock text?), and contributes, somehow, to unlocking that branch’s final machine. The first few inputs of each branch’s first timing puzzle are grey, and that’s the only explicit hint they give. IIRC, each solved machine also shoots a beam of light into the roof.

  15. kdansky says:

    GPU: Check the youtube channel Hardware unboxed, or their patreon. If you look at any of their reviews for GPUs they have price / performance graphs at the end, and their patreon has a ton more benchmarks if you prefer non-video content. If you need a decent budget card, probably the 1660 or the Radeon 590 are the correct choices. I believe the 1650 is just worse than an equally priced Radeon, but I might misremember.

  16. @Shamus get a card that has 8GB of GFX memory (like the RX 570 8GB). That will extend the lifespan of the card even when a newer card is bought later.


    Though you might want to look at a used AMD RX 580 8GB.

  17. Mark says:

    Guys guys the shopkeeper game you’re talking about already exists. It’s called Recettear. It even has the thing where you want to get the heroes to level up so they buy more stuff from you.

  18. Duoae says:

    I was thinking about your comments on music creation vs writing. It’s an interesting premise because, unfortunately, music theory is a bit like academic excellence (it can be impervious to non-academics). I know about rising thirds:
    …but really, most music “secrets” are opaque to the non-gifted (as you suggest). You may try to break into this world by parroting the original in some manner but you will usually never generate a situation that garners you the ‘hit’.

    1. Duoae says:

      Just in case the email is gobbled up by the spam filter – I still have that RX480 8GB card (unused) I can donate to you if you want. It’s better than both the RX570 8GB and GTX1650… though not by much. It’s essentially equivalent to the card that died – I forget, was it a GTX970?

      1. Shamus says:

        Heather needs an upgrade. If you’re willing to donate to her machine, email me at the diecast address.


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