ELI5: What is "mining for cypto-currency?" : explainlikeimfive

DFINITY Research Report

DFINITY Research Report
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
ABSTRACT
The DFINITY blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. At its core, DFINITY contains a decentralized randomness beacon, which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS.
The DFINITY blockchain is layered on top of the DFINITY beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking. A “weight” is attributed to a chain based on the ranks of the leaders who propose the blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to select between competing chains. The DFINITY blockchain is layered on top of the DFINITY beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking blockchain is further hardened by a notarization process which dramatically improves the time to finality and eliminates the nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks.
DFINITY consensus algorithm is made to scale through continuous quorum selections driven by the random beacon. In practice, DFINITY achieves block times of a few seconds and transaction finality after only two confirmations. The system gracefully handles temporary losses of network synchrony including network splits, while it is provably secure under synchrony.

1.INTRODUCTION

DFINITY is building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource. The company’s platform uses blockchain technology which is aimed at building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource with unlimited capacity, performance and algorithmic governance shared by the world, with the capability to power autonomous self-updating software systems, enabling organizations to design and deploy custom-tailored cloud computing projects, thereby reducing enterprise IT system costs by 90%.
DFINITY aims to explore new territory and prove that the blockchain opportunity is far broader and deeper than anyone has hitherto realized, unlocking the opportunity with powerful new crypto.
Although a standalone project, DFINITY is not maximalist minded and is a great supporter of Ethereum.
The DFINITY blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. At its core, DFINITY contains a decentralized randomness beacon, which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS.
DFINITY’s consensus mechanism has four layers: notary (provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers), blockchain (builds a blockchain from validated transactions via the Probabilistic Slot Protocol driven by the random beacon), random beacon (provides the source of randomness for all higher layers like smart contract applications), and identity (provides a registry of all clients).
DFINITY’s consensus mechanism has four layers

Figure1: DFINITY’s consensus mechanism layers
1. Identity layer:
Active participants in the DFINITY Network are called clients. Where clients are registered with permanent identities under a pseudonym. Moreover, DFINITY supports open membership by providing a protocol for registering new clients by depositing a stake with an insurance period. This is the responsibility of the first layer.
2. Random Beacon layer:
Provides the source of randomness (VRF) for all higher layers including ap- plications (smart contracts). The random beacon in the second layer is an unbiasable, verifiable random function (VRF) that is produced jointly by registered clients. Each random output of the VRF is unpredictable by anyone until just before it becomes avail- able to everyone. This is a key technology of the DFINITY system, which relies on a threshold signature scheme with the properties of uniqueness and non-interactivity.

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3. Blockchain layer:
The third layer deploys the “probabilistic slot protocol” (PSP). This protocol ranks the clients for each height of the chain, in an order that is derived determin- istically from the unbiased output of the random beacon for that height. A weight is then assigned to block proposals based on the proposer’s rank such that blocks from clients at the top of the list receive a higher weight. Forks are resolved by giving favor to the “heaviest” chain in terms of accumulated block weight — quite sim- ilar to how traditional proof-of-work consensus is based on the highest accumulated amount of work.
The first advantage of the PSP protocol is that the ranking is available instantaneously, which allows for a predictable, constant block time. The second advantage is that there is always a single highest-ranked client, which allows for a homogenous network bandwidth utilization. Instead, a race between clients would favor a usage in bursts.
4. Notarization layer:
Provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers. DFINITY deploys the novel technique of block notarization in its fourth layer to speed up finality. A notarization is a threshold signature under a block created jointly by registered clients. Only notarized blocks can be included in a chain. Of all RSA-based alternatives exist but suffer from an impracticality of setting up the thresh- old keys without a trusted dealer.
DFINITY achieves its high speed and short block times exactly because notarization is not full consensus.
DFINITY does not suffer from selfish mining attack or a problem nothing at stake because the authentication step is impossible for the opponent to build and maintain a series of linked and trusted blocks in secret.
DFINITY’s consensus is designed to operate on a network of millions of clients. To en- able scalability to this extent, the random beacon and notarization protocols are designed such as that they can be safely and efficiently delegated to a committee

1.1 OVERVIEW ABOUT DFINITY

DFINITY is a blockchain-based cloud-computing project that aims to develop an open, public network, referred to as the “internet computer,” to host the next generation of software and data. and it is a decentralized and non-proprietary network to run the next generation of mega-applications. It dubbed this public network “Cloud 3.0”.
DFINITY is a third generation virtual blockchain network that sets out to function as an “intelligent decentralised cloud,”¹ strongly focused on delivering a viable corporate cloud solution. The DFINITY project is overseen, supported and promoted by DFINITY Stiftung a not-for-profit foundation based in Zug, Switzerland.
DFINITY is a decentralized network design whose protocols generate a reliable “virtual blockchain computer” running on top of a peer-to-peer network upon which software can be installed and can operate in the tamperproof mode of smart contracts.
DFINITY introduces algorithmic governance in the form of a “Blockchain Nervous System” that can protect users from attacks and help restart broken systems, dynamically optimize network security and efficiency, upgrade the protocol and mitigate misuse of the platform, for example by those wishing to run illegal or immoral systems.
DFINITY is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform that is implementing some revolutionary ideas to address blockchain performance, scaling, and governance. Whereas
DFINITY could pose a credible threat to Ethereum’s extinction, the project is pursuing a coevolutionary strategy by contributing funding and effort to Ethereum projects and freely offering their technology to Ethereum for adoption. DFINITY has labeled itself Ethereum’s “crazy sister” to express it’s close genetic resemblance to Ethereum, differentiated by its obsession with performance and neuron-inspired governance model.
Dfinity raised $61 million from Andreesen Horowitz and Polychain Capital in a February 2018 funding round. At the time, Dfinity said it wanted to create an “internet computer” to cut the costs of running cloud-based business applications. A further $102 million funding round in August 2018 brought the project’s total funding to $195 million.
In May 2018, Dfinity announced plans to distribute around $35 million worth of Dfinity tokens in an airdrop. It was part of the company’s plan to create a “Cloud 3.0.” Because of regulatory concerns, none of the tokens went to US residents.
DFINITY be broadening and strengthening the EVM ecosystem by giving applications a choice of platforms with different characteristics. However, if DFINITY succeeds in delivering a fully EVM-compatible smart contract platform with higher transaction throughput, faster confirmation times, and governance mechanisms that can resolve public disputes without causing community splits, then it will represent a clearly superior choice for deploying new applications and, as its network effects grow, an attractive place to bring existing ones. Of course the challenge for DFINITY will be to deliver on these promises while meeting the security demands of a public chain with significant value at risk.

1.1.1 DFINITY FUTURE

  • DFINITY aims to explore new blockchain territory related to the original goals of the Ethereum project and is sometimes considered “Ethereum’s crazy sister.”
  • DFINITY is developing blockchain-based infrastructure to support a new style of the internet (akin to Ethereum’s “World Computer”), one in which the internet itself will support software applications and data rather than various cloud hosting providers.
  • The project suggests this reinvented software platform can simplify the development of new software systems, reduce the human capital needed to maintain and secure data, and preserve user data privacy.
  • Dfinity aims to reduce the costs of cloud services by creating a decentralized “internet computer” which may launch in 2020
  • Dfinity claims transactions on its network are finalized in 3–5 seconds, compared to 1 hour for Bitcoin and 10 minutes for Ethereum.

1.1.2 DFINITY’S VISION

DFINITY’s vision is its new internet infrastructure can support a wide variety of end-user and enterprise applications. Social media, messaging, search, storage, and peer-to-peer Internet interactions are all examples of functionalities that DFINITY plans to host atop its public Web 3.0 cloud-like computing resource. In order to provide the transaction and data capacity necessary to support this ambitious vision, DFINITY features a unique consensus model (dubbed Threshold Relay) and algorithmic governance via its Blockchain Nervous System (BNS) — sometimes also referred to as the Network Nervous System or NNS.

1.2 DFINITY COMMUNITY

The DFINITY community brings people and organizations together to learn and collaborate on products that help steward the next-generation of internet software and services. The Internet Computer allows developers to take on the monopolization of the internet, and return the internet back to its free and open roots. We’re committed to connecting those who believe the same through our events, content, and discussions.

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1.3 DFINITY ROADMAP (TIMELINE) February 15, 2017

February 15, 2017
Ethereum based community seed round raises 4M Swiss francs (CHF)
The DFINITY Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation entity based in Zug, Switzerland, raised the round. The foundation held $10M of assets as of April 2017.
February 8, 2018
Dfinity announces a $61M fundraising round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz
The round $61M round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, along with an DFINITY Ecosystem Venture Fund which will be used to support projects developing on the DFINITY platform, and an Ethereum based raise in 2017 brings the total funding for the project over $100 million. This is the first cryptocurrency token that Andressen Horowitz has invested in, led by Chris Dixon.
August 2018
Dfinity raises a $102,000,000 venture round from Multicoin Capital, Village Global, Aspect Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital, Amino Capital and SV Angel.
January 23, 2020
Dfinity launches an open source platform aimed at the social networking giants

2.DFINITY TECHNOLOGY

Dfinity is building what it calls the internet computer, a decentralized technology spread across a network of independent data centers that allows software to run anywhere on the internet rather than in server farms that are increasingly controlled by large firms, such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud. This week Dfinity is releasing its software to third-party developers, who it hopes will start making the internet computer’s killer apps. It is planning a public release later this year.
At its core, the DFINITY consensus mechanism is a variation of the Proof of Stake (PoS) model, but offers an alternative to traditional Proof of Work (PoW) and delegated PoS (dPoS) networks. Threshold Relay intends to strike a balance between inefficiencies of decentralized PoW blockchains (generally characterized by slow block times) and the less robust game theory involved in vote delegation (as seen in dPoS blockchains). In DFINITY, a committee of “miners” is randomly selected to add a new block to the chain. An individual miner’s probability of being elected to the committee proposing and computing the next block (or blocks) is proportional to the number of dfinities the miner has staked on the network. Further, a “weight” is attributed to a DFINITY chain based on the ranks of the miners who propose blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to choose between competing chains (i.e. resolve chain forks).
A decentralized random beacon manages the random selection process of temporary block producers. This beacon is a Variable Random Function (VRF), which is a pseudo-random function that provides publicly verifiable proofs of its outputs’ correctness. A core component of the random beacon is the use of Boneh-Lynn-Shacham (BLS) signatures. By leveraging the BLS signature scheme, the DFINITY protocol ensures no actor in the network can determine the outcome of the next random assignment.
Dfinity is introducing a new standard, which it calls the internet computer protocol (ICP). These new rules let developers move software around the internet as well as data. All software needs computers to run on, but with ICP the computers could be anywhere. Instead of running on a dedicated server in Google Cloud, for example, the software would have no fixed physical address, moving between servers owned by independent data centers around the world. “Conceptually, it’s kind of running everywhere,” says Dfinity engineering manager Stanley Jones.
DFINITY also features a native programming language, called ActorScript (name may be subject to change), and a virtual machine for smart contract creation and execution. The new smart contract language is intended to simplify the management of application state for programmers via an orthogonal persistence environment (which means active programs are
not required to retrieve or save their state). All ActorScript contracts are eventually compiled down to WebAssembly instructions so the DFINITY virtual machine layer can execute the logic of applications running on the network. The advantage of using the WebAssembly standard is that all major browsers support it and a variety of programming languages can compile down to Wasm (not just ActorScript).
Dfinity is moving fast. Recently, Dfinity showed off a TikTok clone called CanCan. In January it demoed a LinkedIn-alike called LinkedUp. Neither app is being made public, but they make a convincing case that apps made for the internet computer can rival the real things.

2.1 DFINITY CORE APPLICATIONS

The DFINITY cloud has two core applications:
  1. Enabling the re-engineering of business: DFINITY ambitiously aims to facilitate the re-engineering of mass-market services (such as Web Search, Ridesharing Services, Messaging Services, Social Media, Supply Chain, etc) into open source businesses that leverage autonomous software and decentralised governance systems to operate and update themselves more efficiently.
  2. Enable the re-engineering of enterprise IT systems to reduce costs: DFINITY seeks to re-engineer enterprise IT systems to take advantage of the unique properties that blockchain computer networks provide.
At present, computation on blockchain-based computer networks is far more expensive than traditional, centralised solutions (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc). Despite increasing computational cost, DFINITY intends to lower net costs “by 90% or more” through reducing the human capital cost associated with sustaining and supporting these services.
Whilst conceptually similar to Ethereum, DFINITY employs original and new cryptography methods and protocols (crypto:3) at the network level, in concert with AI and network-fuelled systemic governance (Blockchain Nervous System — BNS) to facilitate Corporate adoption.
DFINITY recognises that different users value different properties and sees itself as more of a fully compatible extension of the Ethereum ecosystem rather than a competitor of the Ethereum network.
In the future, DFINITY hopes that much of their “new crypto might be used within the Ethereum network and are also working hard on shared technology components.”
As the DFINITY project develops over time, the DFINITY Stiftung foundation intends to steadily increase the BNS’ decision-making responsibilities over time, eventually resulting in the dissolution of its own involvement entirely, once the BNS is sufficiently sophisticated.
DFINITY consensus mechanism is a heavily optimized proof of stake (PoS) model. It places a strong emphasis on transaction finality through implementing a Threshold Relay technique in conjunction with the BLS signature scheme and a notarization method to address many of the problems associated with PoS consensus.

2.2 THRESHOLD RELAY

As a public cloud computing resource, DFINITY targets business applications by substantially reducing cloud computing costs for IT systems. They aim to achieve this with a highly scalable and powerful network with potentially unlimited capacity. The DFINITY platform is chalk full of innovative designs and features like their Blockchain Nervous System (BNS) for algorithmic governance.
One of the primary components of the platform is its novel Threshold Relay Consensus model from which randomness is produced, driving the other systems that the network depends on to operate effectively. The consensus system was first designed for a permissioned participation model but can be paired with any method of Sybil resistance for an open participation model.
“The Threshold Relay is the mechanism by which Dfinity randomly samples replicas into groups, sets the groups (committees) up for threshold operation, chooses the current committee, and relays from one committee to the next is called the threshold relay.”
Threshold Relay consists of four layers (As mentioned previously):
  1. Notary layer, which provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers and eliminates nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks, providing Sybil attack resistance.
  2. Blockchain layer that builds a blockchain from validated transactions via the Probabilistic Slot Protocol driven by the random beacon.
  3. Random beacon, which as previously covered, provides the source of randomness for all higher layers like the blockchain layer smart contract applications.
  4. Identity layer that provides a registry of all clients.

2.2.1 HOW DOES THRESHOLD RELAY WORK?

Threshold Relay produces an endogenous random beacon, and each new value defines random group(s) of clients that may independently try and form into a “threshold group”. The composition of each group is entirely random such that they can intersect and clients can be presented in multiple groups. In DFINITY, each group is comprised of 400 members. When a group is defined, the members attempt to set up a BLS threshold signature system using a distributed key generation protocol. If they are successful within some fixed number of blocks, they then register the public key (“identity”) created for their group on the global blockchain using a special transaction, such that it will become part of the set of active groups in a following “epoch”. The network begins at “genesis” with some number of predefined groups, one of which is nominated to create a signature on some default value. Such signatures are random values — if they were not then the group’s signatures on messages would be predictable and the threshold signature system insecure — and each random value produced thus is used to select a random successor group. This next group then signs the previous random value to produce a new random value and select another group, relaying between groups ad infinitum and producing a sequence of random values.
In a cryptographic threshold signature system a group can produce a signature on a message upon the cooperation of some minimum threshold of its members, which is set to 51% in the DFINITY network. To produce the threshold signature, group members sign the message
individually (here the preceding group’s threshold signature) creating individual “signature shares” that are then broadcast to other group members. The group threshold signature can be constructed upon combination of a sufficient threshold of signature shares. So for example, if the group size is 400, if the threshold is set at 201 any client that collects that many shares will be able to construct the group’s signature on the message. Other group members can validate each signature share, and any client using the group’s public key can validate the single group threshold signature produced by combining them. The magic of the BLS scheme is that it is “unique and deterministic” meaning that from whatever subset of group members the required number of signature shares are collected, the single threshold signature created is always the same and only a single correct value is possible.
Consequently, the sequence of random values produced is entirely deterministic and unmanipulable, and signatures generated by relaying between groups produces a Verifiable Random Function, or VRF. Although the sequence of random values is pre-determined given some set of participating groups, each new random value can only be produced upon the minimal agreement of a threshold of the current group. Conversely, in order for relaying to stall because a random number was not produced, the number of correct processes must be below the threshold. Thresholds are configured so that this is extremely unlikely. For example, if the group size is set to 400, and the threshold is 201, 200 or more of the processes must become faulty to prevent production. If there are 10,000 processes in the network, of which 3,000 are faulty, the probability this will occur is less than 10e-17.

2.3 DFINITY TOKEN

The DFINITY blockchain also supports a native token, called dfinities (DFN), which perform multiple roles within the network, including:
  1. Fuel for deploying and running smart contracts.
  2. Security deposits (i.e. staking) that enable participation in the BNS governance system.
  3. Security deposits that allow client software or private DFINITY cloud networks to connect to the public network.
Although dfinities will end up being assigned a value by the market, the DFINITY team does not intend for DFN to act as a currency. Instead, the project has envisioned PHI, a “next-generation” crypto-fiat scheme, to act as a stable medium of exchange within the DFINITY ecosystem.
Neuron operators can earn Dfinities by participating in network-wide votes, which could be concerning protocol upgrades, a new economic policy, etc. DFN rewards for participating in the governance system are proportional to the number of tokens staked inside a neuron.

2.4 SCALABILITY

DFINITY is constantly developing with a structure that separates consensus, validation, and storage into separate layers. The storage layer is divided into multiple strings, each of which is responsible for processing transactions that occur in the fragment state. The verification layer is responsible for combining hashes of all fragments in a Merkle-like structure that results in a global state fractionation that is stored in blocks in the top-level chain.

2.5 DFINITY CONSENSUS ALGORITHM

The single most important aspect of the user experience is certainly the time required before a transaction becomes final. This is not solved by a short block time alone — Dfinity’s team also had to reduce the number of confirmations required to a small constant. DFINITY moreover had to provide a provably secure proof-of-stake algorithm that scales to millions of active participants without compromising any bit on decentralization.
Dfinity soon realized that the key to scalability lay in having an unmanipulable source of randomness available. Hence they built a scalable decentralized random beacon, based on what they call the Threshold Relay technique, right into the foundation of the protocol. This strong foundation drives a scalable and fast consensus layer: On top of the beacon runs a blockchain which utilizes notarization by threshold groups to achieve near-instant finality. Details can be found in the overview paper that we are releasing today.
The roots of the DFINITY consensus mechanism date back to 2014 when thair Chief Scientist, Dominic Williams, started to look for more efficient ways to drive large consensus networks. Since then, much research has gone into the protocol and it took several iterations to reach its current design.
For any practical consensus system the difficulty lies in navigating the tight terrain that one is given between the boundaries imposed by theoretical impossibility-results and practical performance limitations.
The first key milestone was the novel Threshold Relay technique for decentralized, deterministic randomness, which is made possible by certain unique characteristics of the BLS signature system. The next breakthrough was the notarization technique, which allows DFINITY consensus to solve the traditional problems that come with proof-of-stake systems. Getting the security proofs sound was the final step before publication.
DFINITY consensus has made the proper trade-offs between the practical side (realistic threat models and security assumptions) and the theoretical side (provable security). Out came a flexible, tunable algorithm, which we expect will establish itself as the best performing proof-of-stake algorithm. In particular, having the built-in random beacon will prove to be indispensable when building out sharding and scalable validation techniques.

2.6 LINKEDUP

The startup has rather cheekily called this “an open version of LinkedIn,” the Microsoft-owned social network for professionals. Unlike LinkedIn, LinkedUp, which runs on any browser, is not owned or controlled by a corporate entity.
LinkedUp is built on Dfinity’s so-called Internet Computer, its name for the platform it is building to distribute the next generation of software and open internet services.
The software is hosted directly on the internet on a Switzerland-based independent data center, but in the concept of the Internet Computer, it could be hosted at your house or mine. The compute power to run the application LinkedUp, in this case — is coming not from Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, but is instead based on the distributed architecture that Dfinity is building.
Specifically, Dfinity notes that when enterprises and developers run their web apps and enterprise systems on the Internet Computer, the content is decentralized across a minimum of four or a maximum of an unlimited number of nodes in Dfinity’s global network of independent data centers.
Dfinity is an open source for LinkedUp to developers for creating other types of open internet services on the architecture it has built.
“Open Social Network for Professional Profiles” suggests that on Dfinity model one can create “Open WhatsApp”, “Open eBay”, “Open Salesforce” or “Open Facebook”.
The tools include a Canister Software Developer Kit and a simple programming language called Motoko that is optimized for Dfinity’s Internet Computer.
“The Internet Computer is conceived as an alternative to the $3.8 trillion legacy IT stack, and empowers the next generation of developers to build a new breed of tamper-proof enterprise software systems and open internet services. We are democratizing software development,” Williams said. “The Bronze release of the Internet Computer provides developers and enterprises a glimpse into the infinite possibilities of building on the Internet Computer — which also reflects the strength of the Dfinity team we have built so far.”
Dfinity says its “Internet Computer Protocol” allows for a new type of software called autonomous software, which can guarantee permanent APIs that cannot be revoked. When all these open internet services (e.g. open versions of WhatsApp, Facebook, eBay, Salesforce, etc.) are combined with other open software and services it creates “mutual network effects” where everyone benefits.
On 1 November, DFINITY has released 13 new public versions of the SDK, to our second major milestone [at WEF Davos] of demoing a decentralized web app called LinkedUp on the Internet Computer. Subsequent milestones towards the public launch of the Internet Computer will involve:
  1. On boarding a global network of independent data centers.
  2. Fully tested economic system.
  3. Fully tested Network Nervous Systems for configuration and upgrades

2.7 WHAT IS MOTOKO?

Motoko is a new software language being developed by the DFINITY Foundation, with an accompanying SDK, that is designed to help the broadest possible audience of developers create reliable and maintainable websites, enterprise systems and internet services on the Internet Computer with ease. By developing the Motoko language, the DFINITY Foundation will ensure that a language that is highly optimized for the new environment is available. However, the Internet Computer can support any number of different software frameworks, and the DFINITY Foundation is also working on SDKs that support the Rust and C languages. Eventually, it is expected there will be many different SDKs that target the Internet Computer.
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[Summary thread] Chapter 1: Our Riches

Summary: Chapter 1 - Our Riches
Summariser's preface
Allow me to preface this summary by disclosing some of my personal motivations for picking this book up in the first place. Feel free to do the same when writing yours!
I have/had an academic background in modern European philosophy which I pursued until postgrad level. My focus was on the French epistemological tradition, ideology critique, formal ontology, logic, etc. So, basically, this meant that I spent more than my fair share of time thinking in pure abstractions – not that that's inherently a bad thing; as any self-respecting Hegelian Marxist will argue: a fully self-constituted material reality without a grasp of its abstraction is a mere delusion! That's my “excuse” for not reading enough political economy – beyond the very tip of the iceberg anyway (e.g. David Harvey's companion). So, there's one motivation: CATCH-UP. I have one further (hopefully more interesting) motivation though: I'm fascinated by the rising tide of decentralised technologies (e.g. bitcoin, the blockchain, smart contracts, etc.) and the GNU/Linux/Free Software/Open source movement which it stems from – esp. Peer-Production Theory. But even as a novice reader of political economy I rapidly grew frustrated by the crypto space's assimilation by the usual suspects of anarchocapitalist utopians, “free” market-fundamentalists, etc. My instinct though is that this isn't necessarily their innovation, tool or protocol on the one hand, while on the other I'd admit that this is probably due to the lack of initiative taken from leftists on this terrain. But in order for me to discern whether or not I'm barking up the wrong tree, I'll need a better grasp of the fundamentals of decentralised social formation and the modes of production and consumption this entails, in all its historical detail. So that in short is why I'm reading Kropotkin.
Our Riches: premises and promises
Chapter one is merely ten pages long (three sections) yet it establishes the basis for the book's overarching argument in an extremely robust way. The plain-speaking nature of the prose should have also struck you immediately. But what I appreciate very much about this is that the simplicity belies the (scientific) method underpinning his claims. And these claims are unequivocal. They are scientific claims enhanced by lucid prose, rather than flowery rhetoric treading pseudo-scientific waters.
What I'd like to underscore first, then, are the conventions of scientific declarations Kropotkin immediately puts to use (as opposed to certain relativistic tendencies in social theory). These are: universality, enlightenment, genericity, and absolutes in the address of humanity as an entire species, our world's ecological reality, and the common geo-resources that we – the generic human “we” – have inherited. The opening paragraph which I'll cite in full is exemplary:
The human race has traveled far since, those bygone ages when men used to fashion their rude implements of flint, and lived on the precarious spoils of the chase, leaving to their children for their only heritage a shelter beneath the rocks, some poor utensils—and Nature, vast, understood, and terrific, with whom they had to fight for their wretched existence. (p.53)
The axioms of Kropotkin's arguments, then, are that humanity needs to be considered racelessly, and the world borderlessly, in order to conceive of our situation in the correct terms. Yet that is not to say that humanity is devoid of difference (which are categorised as contingent) only that the generic is what's rational (the category of necessity).
On these terms then it follows that we are modern.
We have have a common inheritance of skills as modern humans to care for one another, and provide for our essential human needs as a species. These have been accumulated by trial, error, sacrifice and transmission ad nauseum. And we have conquered the pathos of Nature in the process: 'Climate is no longer an obstacle. When the sun fails, man replaces it by artificial heat; and we see the coming of a time when artificial light also will be used to stimulate vegetation' (p.54).
There are many more examples of anthropological and scientific achievement like these which Kropotkin will recount and dignify, understandably, but in doing so he is not merely celebrating.
There is a rational promise to this grand premise: we are rich.
Let's read this in his words:
Truly, we are rich, far richer than we think; rich in what we already possess, richer still in the possibilities of production of our actual mechanical outfit; richest of all in what we might win from our soil, from our manufacturers, from our science, from our technical knowledge, were they but applied to bringing about the well-being of all. (p.54)
Let's put aside all the arbitrary constructs of our bureaucratic world (included there in that quotation's final clause) just for a moment and reflect upon this thought.
How could it be refuted?
We, in this humble reading group, can certainly debate it, scrutinise it, pull empirical data and form analytical responses to test it if it takes anyone's interest. But I'll get my view in first: It's a rock of materialist postulate, attack it at your peril!
Civilisation vs. civility
After leaving that subjunctive clause hanging, Kropotkin moves into section two by rolling up his sleeves and delving straight into the muck of politics. He offers reasons for what went wrong. What he doesn't do here is to consign it psychoanalytical impulses, of the sort Freud did in Civilisation and its discontents) but pursues it on ideological terms.
In other words he takes the fact that we do have civilised societies wielding more than enough productive power to make good on the well-being of all, but presents how ideology obstructs humanity from allowing itself to be civil on a (global) societal scale.
There is a dialectical side to the modern dignity he establishes in section one, and here it is the shame of having the means of production forcefully stolen by the profiteers and monopolists that constitute the capitalist class.
Endorsing uncontroversial socialist criticism, Kropotkin writes:
… all that is necessary for production—the land, the mines, the highways, machinery, food, shelter, education, knowledge—all have been seized by the few in the course of that long story of robbery, enforced migration and wars, of ignorance and oppression, which has been the life of the human race before it had learned to subdue the forces of Nature.
We have been returned to (anti-modern) barbarism, in other words.
It's important to note the temporal order of civility in his argument here: we were once a nomadic species which became modern through productive settlement, but under capitalism we now have a bizarre form of spatial temporality which makes modernity subterranean to our anti-modern lived-experiences. See this fascinating passage imbued with all sorts of archaeological back-and-forths:
The cities, bound together by railroads and waterways, are organisms which have lived through centuries. Dig beneath them and you find, one above another, the foundations of streets, of houses, of theatres, of public buildings. Search into their history and you will see how the civilization of the town, its industry, its special characteristics, have slowly grown and ripened through the co-operation of generations of its inhabitants before it could become what it is today. And even today; the value of each dwelling, factory, and warehouse, which has been created by the accumulated labour of the millions of workers, now dead and buried, is only maintained by the very presence and labour of legions of the men who now inhabit that special corner of the globe. Each of the atoms composing what we call the Wealth of Nations owes its value to the fact that it is a part of the great whole. (p.56, my emphasis)
We can be forced to live in an anti-modern, and irrational civilisation but the accumulated value of the modern-past, the common inheritance borne of human labour, persists, nonetheless, against the present. There is certainly a strong whiff of Marx's “spectre” here isn't there?
It's useful to note how Kropotkin, as a scientist and social theorist, places maximum emphasis in his conception of progress on continuity and accumulation; unlike, say, Popper or Bachelard, who prefer to emphasis scientific breaks, ruptures and so on. But we won't dwell on this too much here. But to round off this point, I'd like to cite my favourite quotation from this chapter, which manages remarkably to crystallise everything he's covered so far:
There is not even a thought, or an invention, which is not common property, born of the past and the present. (p.57)
This declaration is but a logical progression of his premise on our riches. That is, it would on these terms be absurd or a matter of disavowal to say something like “I've invented something absolutely new, without any historical grounding or help. And, oh, by the way... the product and its methods belong exclusively to me”.
Property: Wage-slavery: War (rinse and repeat)
The final section of the chapter revisits the consequences of property-relations, wage-slavery and the familiar socialist argument of imperialism as its inevitable outcome.
Kropotkin vividly recalls the seizure of industrial machinery by and for the benefit of the few as a travesty against the generations of workers that contributed to their research, development and manufacture. Imagine a communist version of Dr. Who, where we visit, in turn, the lace factory at Bâle or Nottingham only to witness the workers shrinking away from threats of being shot had they resisted against the taking of their machines; or the excavators of European railways assembling for bread from shareholders under threat of 'bayonets and grape-shot'... (p.59)
The device of wage-slavery, which renders workers in a state of affairs where '[e]verything has become private property, and he must accept, or die of hunger' is the very mechanism, Kropotkin argues, that drives enterprise against the needs of a community rather than serves it. And in agreement with Marxist analysis claims (anticipating what David Harvey would later call “the spatial fix”) that 'industry seeks foreign markets among the monied classes of other nations' in order to sustain itself (p.60). Kropotkin's observations in 1892 (contemporary with the Treaty of Nanking) remain strikingly prescient today; see this passage for example:
In the East, in Africa, everywhere, in Egypt, Tonkin or the Congo, the European is thus bound to promote the growth of serfdom. And so he does. But soon he finds everywhere similar competitors. All the nations evolve on the same lines, and wars, perpetual wars, break out for the right of precedence in the market. Wars for the possession of the East, wars for the empire of the sea, wars to impose duties on imports and to dictate conditions to neighbouring states; wars against those “blacks” who revolt” The roar of the cannon never ceases in the world, whole races are massacred, the states of Europe spend a third of their budgets in armaments; and we know how heavily these taxes fall on the workers. (ibid.)
Plus ça bloody change.
Kropotkin then proceeds to close the chapter in two moves.
First, to ridicule the notion that pseudo-scientific institutions (state), with their suspect legislative apparatuses, and promotion of moral uprightness (church) is unfit for service—were one so inclined—as little more than a monolithic sham. Kangaroo courts, systems of espionage, and endemic corruption are recounted. And we are pushed toward a rationalisation of all these open-secrets. 'We accustom ourselves and our children to hypocrisy, to the practice of a double-faced morality...we cheat ourselves with sophistry' writes Kropotkin: 'Hypocrisy and sophistry become the second nature of the civilized man' (p.61).
A moral and political decision is forced upon us then as a result:
… a society cannot live thus; it must return to truth or cease to exist.
How we are to return to truth takes the form of his call to action: a complete revolution of social life that re-opens the historical view of humanity's common inheritance as a principle, which works collectively towards a state of affairs consistent with the maxim: 'All belongs to all' and 'All things are for all' (p.61).
He signs off this chapter with the slogan familiar already to collectivist anarchists, but, importantly, with a crucial modification/rejection: not “To each the whole result of his labour” or “The right to work”, which serves only to preserve wage-slavery-anarchism, but, instead:
'THE RIGHT TO WELL-BEING: WELL-BEING FOR ALL!' (p.62)
As we will have read for ourselves the chapter is quite broad even though it establishes only a few premises upon which the book will draw on and expand. But there should be ample material already here to discuss. I'm interested in your readings of this chapter. What else did you see in it that I may not have picked up on? Have I misread anything in particular?
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[Table] IAMA full time Indie games developer, head of Chucklefish Games. Lead dev on Starbound + previously artist on Terraria. AMA

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Date: 2012-08-19
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Well, will you actually control and fly spaceships in Starbound? And what is your motivation for making games? Have you started thinking of your next project? Any idea on the genre it would be? What indie project are you following right now? What's the most complex spriting work you've ever done? Right now spaceships are more of a planet link, though you will be able to get inside them and play with the controls. A lot of people are saying they desire actual space travel gameplay, so we're looking at adding it to our post release update schedule. But right now we're focusing on the planet driven gameplay.
We've not really discussed a next project yet but I've wanted to do a multiplayer harvest moon/rune factory style game for a while.
I'm following secrets of grindea a lot at the moment, the game seems really tight. Also under the ocean looks really pretty, but I haven't actually had a chance to play it yet. Finally I'm eagerly awaiting the multiplayer update on tower climb.
The hardest spriting I've done has probably been anything that requires 4 legged animation. It makes my brain hurt. Luckily Starbound has much better artists than me working on it!
Also on the Terraria website you once mentioned that pets may be coming soon. Do you think pets will be added to Starbound? It's going to be possible to capture almost any monster in Starbound and have them fight by your side.
Is there even the slightest hint on when the game will be out? Also i love you. We're aiming for the end of the year. I love you too.
What did you dislike most about Terraria, and how will you go about fixing that in Starbound? The games actually play very differently. I wouldn't say Starbound is a Terraria sequal, so it's difficult to say I'm going to improve on X Y Z.
That said, I think a problem with Sandbox games in general is that they become a little dull once you've experienced all the content. When you're discovering new things, new items or new recipes there's a thrill there that disappears eventually.
My goal with Starbound is to keep that thrill going indefinitely.
What do you look like in real life? I like to think of you as a slimmer, younger version of Malcolm Reynolds , with or without the coat. This is a picture I sent in response to a magazine asking for a photo of me. Link to i.imgur.com
That, and I really enjoyed Terraria, and can't wait for Starbound! They printed it unedited >:D.
You are now RES tagged as "MR. HANDSOME". TIL you can tag people on RES! Thank you!
You look a little high in this picture. Are you? Maybe.
How did you come up with the name of your company, Chucklefish LTD? I was at the aquarium one day and this fish looked as if it were laughing at me.
What's your favorite aspect of making indie games? My favourite aspect is seeing an idea just come to life. Sooner or later it begins to evolve beyond your initial concept and takes on a life of it's own. You just have to try your best to steer it.
Is there any possibility of being able to pre-purchase Starbound and get beta access once it gets to a stage where it is in a properly playable state? We're still talking about this internally. On one hand betas are great for feedback.
On the other I feel as if some people purchase a game in beta on the basis of what they hope the game will become, rather than what it actually is. It would be good to deliver a product and let people know exactly what they're buying before they put down any cash.
That said, I expect Starbound to evolve for a long time post release. So perhaps I should just do it. The debate goes on.
When did you start designing art in the style of Terraria/Starbound? Was it Pre-Terraria or was Terraria the start of the style of drawing? The art style in Terraria was purposefully low-fi and I think it completely fit the concept of the game but it was my first attempt at that style of pixel art. Here's the one that we found most inspiring for Starbound's art style I think: Link to www.gamesetwatch.com (sorry I couldn't find the original link).
Hey Tiy! I know you can't give any details, but how many playable races can we expect? And will there be any racial bonuses that effect gameplay or will it be mostly an aesthetic choice? We're aiming for around 6 for release. Races are largely aesthetics only. Giving them bonuses isn't difficult, but I hate presenting a player that has never played the game before with an early choice that will affect the rest of the game for them.
One thing that is unique per race is the visuals used when they craft basic objects. So an Avian will craft an Avian chest whilst a human crafts a human chest.
I have a few questions. The terrain generator has a ton of settings that we haven't really shown off yet, it's capable of generating mountains, canyons, hills, flats, chasms, etc. It's also capable of building very different tunnel systems. Sometimes these two systems come together to produce really cool, unique and alien terrain.
For Starbound, does the terrain generator generate REALLY WEIRD stuff? Not just regular rolling hills, but stuff like floating islands, sideways trees, floating water blobs, etc.? I'm happy to say it never looks "broken" though, it's intelligent generation.
Aaaand third, did you expect Starbound to get such a big reaction to its development? I didn't expect such a big reaction, we're all just doing our own thing. But I'm very thankful for it and I'm going to make sure the game is awesome.
(Fourth: what's your favorite type of weather? sun, overcast, rain, snow, thunderstorms, etc.) I love the thunderstorms in the game right now, archvince worked on generating lightning in real time, the sky gets much more cloudy, trees sway in the wind and it pours with rain. It's very atmospheric.
What are some of your favourite video games of all times? I'm massively into fighting games. So any of the capcom classics, street fighter 3/4 etc. As a kid I grew up on the (good) sonic the hedgehog games, mario games, snes rpgs and a bunch of classic C64 stuff.
Do you play other games? What are they? (board games, P&P RPG, anything) My mrs gets me to play boardgames now and then, Carcassonne is a great game. I haven't had a chance to try a P&P RPG before..
Is game development going according to plan? As in, have there been any major hiccups? Largely according to plan for a long time now. Honestly all the difficult mind bending parts have been completed, so it's just a case of trucking along.
How will the main space station in Starbound work? The space station is still heavily under development, so a lot is in flux there. That said I'll tell you where it sits right now.
The space station is the games hub, it serves as a meeting point, a place to conduct research, a cooperative building and management activity and more.
In servers with open PVP enabled, it serves as the only place in the universe that's completely safe. There are no hostile monsters and players can't damage each other. But outside of the station the games takes on a bit of a DayZ feel. With players forming groups, building their own homeworlds and making up the rules as they go. Other players could become valuable allies or dreaded space pirates, it's up to the players.
Everything I've said so far is up in the air, but that's it's current purpose.
How many players could be on a server at a given time? If your server could handle anything, what would the max be? It's entirely down to the server specs, there's no real built in max right now. Although the game runs well on low spec machines presently (60fps on a basic macbook air), it's actually completely unoptimised at the moment, so we haven't done any stress testing yet.
How did you get into developing indie games? The first game I worked on was actually a mod for unreal tournament. From there I joined a couple of open source games which really helped me to understand the development process and confirmed for me that this is what I wanted to do with my future.
I think largely getting into indie development now is about having a good idea, having a skill that contributes to the construction of that idea and having the ability to inspire people so they'll join your cause.
Will starbound feature steamworks? like cloud saving, matchmaking, achievements, steam server and so on? or do you guys build your own server infrastructure? I can't talk about that yet, sorry :(
I know Starbound will have random weapons, But there will be also unique weapons? I think the charm of Terraria was that every weapon was different and had its own characteristics. We're drawing a bunch of unique special weapons too :)
Are there different types of ammunition besides "energy" and "normal"? If yes, can you give examples? We've kept ammunition extremely simple so it doesn't turn into inventory management hell. However the way the gun FIRES that ammunition will differ per gun.
How mining will work in Starbound? Can we make machines / robots to mine automatically ? There are no automatic mining machines in game at the moment, though vehicles are on the table, so it's entirely possible we could add a mining vehicle.
I'm a big fan, can we expect space ships? My curiosity got the better of me. There are spaceships in the game, their primary purpose at the moment is to take you from one planet to another and carry any crew you want to take with you.
On that same note, can we expect any major customization from the spaceships? Regardless though that sounds awesome. We're going to try to work in some spaceship customization if we have time. Ideally spaceships will provide a mini base when exploring an alien world and give you a bunch of benefits.
How will the weapons be balanced? Weapons are intrinsically balanced through the generation system.
How will interplanetary travel work in multiplayer games? Capture the flag style games will be part of the arena asteroids, might have to wait until post release though.
How will melee weapons work in Starbound? There are energy weapons in Starbound that take from the players overall energy pool. There are healing items for teammates.
Melee weapons are interesting as there's blocking and counter attacks.
There are no coop arena modes at the moment, but that could change post release.
No hired helpers, but you can capture monsters.
Weapons are procedurally constructed both in terms of their visuals and their stats. They also fire or handle differently, every gun is different.
If you want to form a band of evil space pirates and go around attacking other players homeworlds you can do that.
What advice do you have for someone getting into the game development industry? Make friends, learn a valuable skill, don't be afraid to make an ugly prototype of your idea to show it works. Joining open source projects is a great entry point.
What is your favorite game/mod that you've made? Haha well honestly my favourite game right now is Starbound, I'm having a blast developing it. I also still love a mod I made a long time ago for unreal tournament 2004 called Deathball Tennis.
Will there be a playable demo for Starbound? I'd like to put out a demo at some point.
When are you aiming to release Starbound? We're aiming to release the game by the end of the year, but will take as long as it requires for it to be fully baked.
What platforms are currently planned for the release of Starbound? Just Windows, or are you considering OS X and/or Linux? It already runs natively on OSX and Linux. Hell it runs at 60fps on a macbook air :) So, windows, osx and linux.
How do you plan on showing people, customers, that starbound is more than a terraria 1.5 (or even 2)? how is the game different? I think it'll become pretty clear once we show off more of the gameplay, we've been taking our time with the initial impression because it's such an important one.
Outside of all the different features..
Gameplay in Terraria was more jump and run, classic platformer. Gameplay in Starbound attempts a slower, more strategic approach. We've actually been looking at games like dragon's age and guildwars whilst working on the combat and spelunky with the underground portions.
Some of my work is on fortytwopixels.net. Cool stuff, I like the back to the future art.
Is that still in on release? That's still in for release.
has it been relegated to a post-release feature? Worlds loop like pacman.
Also, will the worlds have a horizontal end like Terraria or will it just loop to the other side like, say Pacman? Alpacas are cool.
Do you think that you will be happy with the game's progress and release it by the end of the year as it's been said? or do you think it will need more time. It's looking good for the end of the year at the moment, but I'll just take as long as it needs to be polished and sexy.
Do you have an actual copy of Terraria? The sound guy who did an AMA a while ago didn't have his own copy. :( I have a copy yeah! I'll see if I can send one to the composer.
Is the game expansive enough that you could settle down on a single planet and get enough resources from that planet that you could play on it as if it were a similar game to Terraria? The engine certainly supports planets of that expanse. But it's actually something we've been experimenting with recently. Starbound supports a bunch of "biomes" at the moment, and the same biome is different on a per planet basis.
So we're thinking that perhaps making a single planet so expansive might be a bad idea. We want players to explore multiple planets and see how a forest can look on various alien worlds. On top of that, the great thing about encouraging the player to keep moving is that planets can become throwaway. That allows us to do things like blow them up completely or have meteor showers that completely destroy the landscape.
The important part is making sure the player isn't disturbed by those elements once they decide to set up a home base.
Will you be adding a modding API to the game for launch, or perhaps post-launch? Even the simple ability for hosting players to add new skins, sprites and objects to the game world would be fantastic. Minecraft still doesn't have chair or table objects for simple decoration purposes. We'll be adding a fully fledged modding API post release, but the way the engine is built makes it incredibly easy to add new objects, monsters, weapons, etc etc. With zero programming knowledge required. I'll see if we can allow access to that for release.
How many cats feature in Starbound? Rho has added a lot of cats.
What's the origin of your alias Tiyuri? It's from a blues song :)
Can you make a workshop like TF2 or Dota2(place where you can show your monster sprites and concepts and if many people upvote this it will be in a game?) The game would work really well with these kind of additions. I'll see what I can do.
How do you react when people call Terraria a copy of Minecraft? (It really isn't in case anyone was wondering). By the way Starbound looks amazing! Well I think minecraft is the key player in something that's become it's own genre. You can draw the same comparisons between any two games that share a genre.
In Starbound, there are ton of features and goals that's gonna be planned for the game. Aren't you worried about that it's gonna be too much work or is that in control? Honestly it's pretty much under control. The large majority of those features are already complete and everything challenging is already done.
So what awesome stuff should we expect to see in Starbound? Besides, well, Starbound? Lots of penguins.
Will there be a kickstarter, buying the beta (the same way as minecraft) or anything like that? This game looks really promesing. I haven't planned a kickstarter, I'm also from the UK so I don't think I'm able to do one?
Have you considered bitcoins as payment method? I don't know enough about bitcoins at the moment.
If we could only try one Indie game, what would you suggest? Oh god, just one? Hmmm.. Spelunky maybe? It has a ton of replay value.
Where there any armor sets in Terraria that were unreleased or not added into the game, but were actually drawn? And could We see them? NDA stuff :( I'm sorry.
B. Will there be stronger or better versions of unique weapon mods (for instance, split bullets could be improved to a double split, 25% extra speed mod to 35%, etc) C. Will there be a way to make pets stronger, or do we need to get a stronger pet? I. Will there be any areas with alternate physics? There should be... Players have a form of digital currency that they can't hide in a chest, it's always with them, attached to the player. There are good gameplay reasons for this decision. Mods will have variants There will be ways to make pets stronger.
D. Can pets die, or be gone forever? Pets can't die forever.
E. Can you capture bosses? G. How do you capture pets? You can't capture bosses.
As a closing note, transmutation abilities or spells. I wanna turn into a dragon, or an elemental. Or maybe a living explosion. Anything that makes me the uber cool god of everything I touch. You know what I'm talking about. I do know what you're talking about ;)
How is the difficulty of the game? One of the reasons I loved Terraria was that hard mode was actually really hard - in an enjoyable way. Can we expect the same? Depending on server settings the game can be very difficult.
Side question, do you get annoyed at the constant comparisons to Terraria? Not annoyed, but I do think people will see it's a very different game once they get to give it a try themselves.
Server settings? are you allowed to explain that in more detail? :D. We plan for a survival mode, that requires food/water at some point, open PVP mode and so on.
Hello Tiyuri! sorry if this has been asked already, but is there a decided price on release? D: i'm probably blind! but I suppose it's better to ask than be ignorant. keep up the good work, loving the looks of Starbound! Probably $9.99-$15.00 depending on what the distributor suggests. Thank you for the support <3.
Do you make only the art for Starbound or do you work on other parts of the game as well? I direct the game as a whole as well as implement content and draw some art. The other artists are far better than me though, so they do all of the difficult stuff.
It has been mentioned earlier that you will be able to visit your friends' planets using sets of coordinates, but I never saw any confirmation as to how: Will you actually visit your friends' planet and play with them like multiplayer, or will it function like seeds in Minecraft where it just generates a planet similar to your friends' that you visit alone? Coordinates are indeed like seeds in minecraft. For you to actually meet your friend there, you'd need to be on the same server.
I've noticed that enemy appearances vary quite a bit, but what about their AI and behavior? How much will enemies differ behavior-wise from each other? This one has been eating at me for some time: for the different threat levels, will enemy types be selected in accordance to those threat levels? (Would enemies appear more threatening on harder threat level planets than easy threat level planets?) Enhancing weaponry is still up in the air, on one hand it takes away from finding new stuff.. on the other, it's cool. Enemy AI and behaviour is rather varied. Monsters have different ways to attack, different stats based on their construction and different Diablo/Torchlight style behaviours, such as "runs away when low on health" Enemies will be more threatening on the higher threat level planets.
Will bosses be procedurally generated as well? Bosses will be.
I'm curious as to what framework/engine and language Starbound is written in. Terraria was written in C# with the XNA framework, is it the same for Starbound? Starbound is written from scratch in C++
I am not sure if it breaks the NDA, so if it does I'm sorry. In the FAQ you have mention that it is possible to ride a machine. Are there any flying machines besides the land machines? There aren't yet, but I would like there to be.. so there probably will be.
Tiyuri: Gameplay in Terraria was more jump and run, classic platformer. Gameplay in Starbound attempts a slower, more strategic approach. We've actually been looking at games like dragon's age and guildwars whilst working on the combat and "spelunky" with the underground portions. The underground varies from planet to planet, some are complex and some are not. The depth also varies but it is rather deep. Resources vary as well.
Spelunky eh? So then does this mean that the underground will be much more expansive and complex than Terraria's was? If so then I must know, in some at least estimated measurement, just how deep will the underground go? Will it vary from planet to planet? Also Will resources from the different planets actually be different from one planet to another? And lastly, also sorry for so many questions xD , how will server play work? Will anyone be able to go to any planet they wish and, if so, how is each planet saved in the system? Such as how Terraria saves everything to a map and Minecraft saves everything per chunk. Will Starbound save each planet to its own file? Players on a server can go to any planet they wish. Different players on different planets works fine. The server saves the difference between the seed + the changes the player has made.
What is your role as lead developer? Do you do any programming etc? or work on idea and concepts that make the game more interesting, or stick to art / project managing roles? I do a little bit of everything, I work on the art, implementation, etc. I guess most importantly I keep the project on track.
How deep storyline Starbound will have? We're hoping for a light hearted story with lots of lore. You can examine any object in the game to get a description, point and click style, so the lore plays a part there too.
What programming languages or programs do you use to make video games? Do you have any thoughts on Multimedia Fusion 2? What is your advice for others to be as awesome as you? And who is your favorite My little Pony? I've worked on games using a number of languages, currently we're using C++. Multimedia fusion 2 is as good as the games it produces and there have been some superb MF2 games. I think it's only really the end product that matters.
I've been told to say Derpy Hooves
If Chucklefish needed a programmer right now, what qualities would you look for? The most important thing we look for in a programmer is the ability to get things finished. We meet a lot of extremely talented coders who get so wrapped up in the complexity of their programming they never actually just get anything shipped. To prove you're that kind of person, a portfolio of finished work is absolutely the best thing. Even if the work itself is somewhat simple.
Also, how much do the artists and programmers interact and what's the office environment like? The artists and programmers interact non stop, we're all good friends, we spend a lot of time playing games together and otherwise goofing around.
Haha thanks for the answer. I think artists and programmers alike can get stuck on the "just one more tweak and..." stage. I look forward to playing Starbound! I'll try and make it really easy, maybe a radio item or something that plays music files in a specific directory.
Is there any future in game development for the Microsoft XNA platform, or do you consider it just a hobbiest's platform? I think XNA has a future, but I think people are increasingly wanting their software to be multiplatform and XNA doesn't jive too well with that.
Do you think there is a point where it is "too late" to break into game development? Do you hire people who have been programmers for years, but have never done game development? It's certainly never too late, and we do hire programmers who've never done game programming before. What's most important is the ability to deliver, a lot of very talented programmers just never seem to get their projects to the point that they can set them free.
Do you have the game code backed up to somewhere other than one other computer you keep next to your main coding computer? I'd hate it if someone broke into your flat and stole all your code... Yeah we use version control :P.
Will there possibly be a way to engage in other game modes after reaching a certain point in game, such as a ladder of endless waves that consecutively increase in difficulty? (similar to the goblin army in Terraria except it gets harder and harder) Or enable difficulties that are more survival based where you would have to upkeep a farm for food or keep moving from planet to planet hunting? maybe something such as "hunger" in Minecraft? We have plans for a (potentially post release) survival mode with hunger, thirst and so on. Which will play into the DayZ style open PVP server settings.
There will also be asteroids with PVP style arenas on them, making waves of monsters spawn in those wouldn't be difficult :)
So far I've seen that Starbound has confirmed Humanoid, Avians, and Ape races. Are you ready to announce a new race just for the Reddit AMA? If not its okay. I love your work and look forward to forfeiting so much productivity once I buy Starbound. I can't just yet :( sorry. But we'll announce one soon!
Hey Tiy, There isn't an option to choose a dominant hand at the moment (though you could just to always wield your single handed weapons in your left hand), but it's an interesting idea.
I was just watching a WelshPixie video from about 5 Months ago which highlighted NPCs, Shields, and Weapon Usage. She mentioned the fact that there will be a Left and Right-handed system corresponding to the Mouse buttons. Now my question is during character creation will we have the ability to choose a dominant hand? With that hand would we have specific perks like a Quicker draw, higher Crit Chance, or higher Damage with that hand due to being more adapted to this hand? Because I know that I am Left-handed and it loses most of the... Fluidity and (I'm drawing a blank as to what I'm thinking... How you're drawn into the game and get sucked into the feeling...) when I see a game where you are supposed to be able to customize it to your liking and you are always Left-handed I always feel slightly left out. Also, will there be the possibility to be attacked in Space and crash land? Asteroid fields requiring a certain skill (Skill as in mouse skill not in-game skill) to traverse otherwise you crash into one and go into a sort-of survival mode and wait for rescue? Space attacks don't exist at the moment as we're mostly concerning ourselves with the planet based gameplay, but space flight gameplay seems to be the number 1 request for post release.
I just thought of another point I would like clarified :3 will there be GUIception? By this I mean will there be equipment which we have that has a GUI of its own that we may open with a mouse-click or Hotkey? Kyren wanted to do microchips this way.
What does "implementation" mean, as far your job goes? If not programming, what does that entail? Or is it just a masterful system of delegation? Well, our engine is such that implementing assets doesn't actually require any programming anymore. You can add objects, items, enemies, biomes, etc etc with zero programming knowledge.
do you mind disclosing your REAL name, you puppet-master of art and innovation? My real name is Zerk winklebottom.
Last updated: 2012-08-22 19:02 UTC | Next update: 2012-08-23 01:02 UTC
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Extreme Mining at CoinPot - YouTube How to mine $1,000,000 of Bitcoin using just a laptop ... Mining Bitcoin From CoinPot 2017 Live Crypto Mining Farm at Apartment  January 2020 Update ... Inside of a HUGE BITCOIN mining FARM ! - YouTube

Executive Summary. 1. Turbulence In the first half of the year, the Bitcoin market experienced severe volatility.The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter and the sharp drop in global stock markets caused the market to experience a "Black Thursday" on March 12.In the other hand, the third halving of Bitcoin mining reward happened in the second quarter once again stirred the ... Bitcoin mining = "Guess a random number between 1 and 5" If the network guesses too fast due to more cumulative guesses per second, the target number increases. Interesting historical antidote, in early November of 2017 there was an event where it became more profitable to mine Bitcoin Cash. During that time about 60% of the miners left BTC ... C1 — Bitcoin mining has a comparatively extreme carbon footprint. C2 — Bitcoin is bad. The first assumption is true, we all know that. It’s one of the fundamental reasons the Bitcoin network ... As it happens, everyone in the world keeps a copy of every payment ever completed anywhere since the beginning of Bitcoin (or whichever crypto currency we are talking about). Anyone in the world who is interested in confirming transactions can go through their own records and see if Alice actually owned the money she paid to Bob. If they think the payment is legit, they send a message to Bob ... Mining for bitcoin can cost a household £5,000 a year in electricity: How Economy 7 could be the tariff of choice for cryptocurrency geeks. Many bitcoin miners may be paying over the odds for ...

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Extreme Mining at CoinPot - YouTube

The virtual goldrush to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies leads us to Central Washington state where a Bitcoin mine generates roughly $70,000 a day min... Bitcoin Cloud Mining Extrem Profitable?! Gute Rendite auf Hashflare!!?? Lohnt sich das? - Duration: 11:30. Crypto World Germany 407 views. 11:30. I am Making Thousands of Dollars with Hashflare ... Hello everyone! Today I demo a program I made this weekend that allows you to mine Litecoins with only an account on a litecoin pool and knowing what your GPU is (5970, 6990, 5850, 6870 ... Mining Bitcoin is as easy as installing the mining software on the PC you already own and clicking start. Anyone can do this and see the money start rolling ... August 2020 Update - https://youtu.be/IRtAgmOaIkw January 2020 Update on my Crypto Mining Farm at my Apartment. I'll be going over my mining rigs, my cpu rig...

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