Binary Options Australia 2020 - "Top Picks" (40+ Brokers
Binary Options Australia - 2020's Best Trading Brokers
Addressing Canada’s Employment Insurance Gap For Self-Employed Workers
Source: TD Ksenia Bushmeneva, Economist Dated July 15th, 2020
While the pandemic had devastated the overall labor market, workers in more precarious and non-standard work arrangements have been especially hard-hit.
Yet, many of these workers do not have access to employment insurance (EI) or run a higher risk than regular workers of not meeting qualification conditions. Only 64% of unemployed Canadians contributed to EI in 2018, meaning that millions would be left without financial assistance in the absence of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
Extending EI coverage to non-standard workers does have challenges. However, there is a growing understanding among many countries that these workers require social protection. More than two thirds of the OECD countries offer at least partial coverage for the self-employed. Their experience offers valuable lessons if Canada decides to follow suit.
The labor market recovery is likely to be uneven and protracted. This is especially true for self-employed and other non-standard workers, since their hours and incomes are more volatile and less protected. Having a more inclusive system with a broader contribution base, which accommodates non-standard workers but also includes a larger number of regular employees would help strengthen the recovery and build on economic gains achieved so far through the temporary CERB program.
The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a sudden and devastating blow to the Canadian labor market. Between February and April, millions of people lost their jobs as employment plunged by 16%. Unlike in previous recessions, the impact this time around has been disproportionately felt by workers in more precarious employment arrangements: part-time, temporary and self-employed, who are less likely to have access to unemployment insurance (EI). These types of work arrangement are more prevalent in the service sector industries, many of which have been hard-hit during this downturn. As of June, year-over-year (y/y) employment in part-time and temporary positions was down by 17% and 24%, respectively (Chart 1). For multiple job holders, employment fell by nearly 40%. By comparison, the 7% y/y decline in permanent positions seems relatively modest.
As dramatic as these declines are, they may still under-represent the pandemic’s toll on employment and incomes. Notably, overall hours worked fell more than employment during the months of lockdown and social distancing. This is especially true for non-standard workers who were more likely to work fewer hours than regular employees. For example, while self-employed workers saw only a 3% drop in employment since February, 43% of self-employed worked less than half of their usual hours in May (Chart 2). By comparison, among all employees, only 9% worked less than half of their usual hours. Moreover, self-employed people who were away from work were more hard-hit financially as they were far less likely to still be paid. Among incorporated self-employed workers with zero hours, less than 1 in 10 received pay compared to 1 in 4 for regular employees in the same situation.
As a result of the significant drop in hours worked, a far larger portion of the labor force was underutilized than suggested by the unemployment rate alone. While the official unemployment rate was 12.3% in June (equivalent to 2.45 million people), Statistics Canada noted that nearly 27% of the potential labour force was ‘underutilized’. The significant gap between the drop in the hours worked versus the more modest decline in employment helps to explain why 8.3 million of people have applied the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (at any point during this crisis).
It is clear that self-employed and other non-standard workers were more impacted by the pandemic. Yet these workers usually have the least access to social safety nets, such as EI. Currently, EI unemployment benefits are mostly accessible to employees in the most traditional sense of the word: those that work full-time in a permanent positions for a single employer. By contrast, self-employed workers are not eligible for EIi, and, while those in temporary, contract and part-time positions are eligible, they might not have a chance to accumulate enough insurable hours to qualify because their work arrangements are less stable. Due to lack of EI coverage and significant loss of hours, nearly 40% of self-employed workers applied for CERB benefits, while only 12% and 5% of private and public employees did (Chart 3).
The reasons why some workers, such as those that are self-employed, are excluded are rooted in the design of the EI program. The program is based on insurance principles, with both employers and employees paying into it through mandatory contributions. The corollary is that those workers who have not paid in, as well as those who have left voluntarily without just cause, are disqualified. Contributions are also intended to make the program self-sufficient in the long-run as has been the case in Canada in recent years. In the case of self-employed workers, there’s also an issue of moral hazard when it comes to determining what represents a valid job separation (more on this in the section below: “What Complicates Offering EI Coverage For Non-Standard Workers”). For this and other reasons, many non-standard workers are currently ineligible for unemployment insurance.
These gaps in coverage have been growing as the job market has steadily tilted towards more non-standard work arrangements. In 2018, only 64% of unemployed Canadians had contributed to EI.ii Even among workers who have contributed, only 88% had accumulated enough insurable hours to qualify for benefits, which, depending on the regional level of unemployment, ranges between 420-700 hours in the 52-week period. The combined influence implies a relatively low EI coverage ratio for Canadian workers – out of 1.1 million Canadians who were unemployed in 2018, only 56% were eligible for EI.1 The share of unemployed workers who actually received EI benefits is even lower, averaging slightly above 40%.2 This is considerably below the median coverage among developed counties, which is around 60%.3
Due to data limitations and because non-standard workers include many different types of employment arrangements which may overlap, it is difficult to know with precision the prevalence of non-standard work in Canada. About 15% of Canadian workers are self-employed, while 17% work part-time. In 2016, Statistics Canada estimated that gig workers (self-employed freelancers, on-demand online workers and day labourers) accounted for roughly 8%-10% of Canadian workers. About half of those workers were relying exclusively on their gig income and had no other employment, making them ineligible for EI benefits.4
The low coverage rate and other limitations of the current EI system have been highlighted extensively in other research literature.5 For example, the fact that benefit eligibility and generosity varies geographically across Canada implies that there’s significant variability in coverage rates across provinces. EI coverage ratios are particularly low in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta – all three provinces which also have above-national prevalence of self-employment (see Charts 4).6
In order to mitigate these shortcomings in the near term, the Canadian government rolled out the CERB program. Compared to EI, CERB qualification rules are very straightforward and were a quick means to provide financial assistance to an extremely broad and large number of applicants that included previously uninsured workers. CERB’s eligibility replaced the insurable hours threshold with a low and uniform income threshold, with anyone over the age of 15, having earned more than $5,000 in income in 2019 and who have lost their job or hours due to COVID-19. This had provided a helping hand to millions of non-standard workers in Canada. However, it has come with a steep price tag: in just three months since it was launched the government had already paid out $55 billions in benefits (as of July 5th) – nearly three times last year’s annual spending on EI and $28 billion more than it had predicted at the conception of the program.
CERB coverage was originally offered for 16 weeks, and was recently extended for an additional 8 weeks. However, it will start expiring in September for the earliest recipients, long before the labour market and certain industries are back to health. Unless adjustments are made to the EI program to accommodate non-standard workers, many of them may suddenly find themselves without unemployment assistance.
What Complicates Offering EI Coverage For Non-Standard Workers
Limited social protection for self-employed and other non-standard workers is not an issue unique to Canada. In most developed countries, non-standard workers have lower social protection compared to regular employees, with unemployment benefits being the least accessible benefit (Charts 5-8). Why is that and what makes implementation of unemployment insurance coverage for self-employed workers challenging for policymakers?
First of all, providing unemployment insurance for self-employed workers (and other non-standard workers) raises the issue of moral hazard. Put another way, presence of EI coverage may change behavior of self-employed workers making them less likely to take on work and more likely to remain unemployed. Non-standard workers tend to have more variable income, and they are far more likely to have lower future earnings than regular employees due, for example, to smaller assignments and contracts, or flexible pricing on various labor platforms (e.g. Uber). Lower expected future earnings could prompt them to quit in favor of EI benefits. More volatile earnings also make it more challenging to determine the appropriate income replacement rate. However, one solution to this could be to use income averaged over a period of time.
Secondly, for regular workers, reasons for leaving a job are transparent and can be verified with the employer. This is difficult to achieve in the case of non-standard workers. For example, if they avoid smaller assignments, then they will lose work but this will be impossible for government agencies to determine.
Some countries (e.g. Sweden, Austria, Slovakia, Spain) offer a voluntary option for self-employed workers to enroll into an employment insurance plan. However, a voluntary arrangement raises the issue of adverse selection. Workers with the highest risks or those that are most likely to make a claim have the greatest incentive to join, which limits the risk-sharing aspect of the program.
Adverse selection is something that Canada experienced first hand when it introduced the Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers (SBSE) in 2010 through the EI system, which allowed self employed workers to opt-in to gain access to maternity and parental benefits, sickness benefits and compassionate care and caregiver benefits. A 2016 program review study found that the characteristics, such as gender, age and income, of the self-employed workers who participated in the SBSE program were considerably different from the general sample of self-employed workers. In focus group studies, participants also indicated that the likelihood of making a claim was an important consideration for their decision to register for the benefits.7 Other issues with the voluntary scheme included a relatively low take-up rate, which in turn led to relatively high administration costs and required significant government subsidies to cover benefit payouts. Longer-run, low coverage is problematic for voluntary, contributions-financed, unemployment insurance schemes, as adverse selection could lead to a vicious cycle of rising insurance premiums and falling coverage. Meanwhile, achieving high coverage may require significant public subsidies because individual willingness to voluntarily pay for unemployment protection appears to be low.8 For those reasons, voluntary coverage schemes do not appear to work well in the case of non-standard workers.
Lastly, the current EI system is based on contributions from both employees and employers. In the case of the self-employed, it is not clear who will pick up the tab for the employer portion of the contribution. If the government subsidizes the employer portion, it could create adverse incentives for employers to hire a self-employed worker to reduce non-wage related labor costs. However, a lack of coverage for non-standard workers could also lead to this outcome, contributing to a rise in non-standard forms of employment. For example, in Italy, para-subordinate workers (self-employed but highly depended on one or very few clients) used to pay significantly lower pension contributions and were not eligible for unemployment and sickness benefits, resulting in significantly lower non-wage labor costs and a rising number of para-subordinated workers. In response to this Italy had gradually increased their contribution rates and expanded coverage. Levelling the playing field led to a significant decline in the prevalence of this type of employment. Austria had a similar experience with independent contractors.
Some Solutions Based on The International Experience
Despite the challenges in expanding unemployment insurance to non-standard workers, there is a growing understanding among many countries that the growing share of non-standard workers need social protection. As a result, more than two thirds of the OECD countries now offer at least partial unemployment benefits to self-employed workers. There’s a great variety of schemes, ranging from mandatory to partial and voluntary coverage, and no two are exactly alike. Still, their experience offers valuable lessons for Canada if it wishes to incorporate self-employed (and potentially other non-standard) workers into its EI system.
So what are some of the solutions of dealing with the higher moral hazard issue for non-standard workers? Lower level of EI benefits or a more restrictive access could be imposed in order to incentivize individuals to search for work or to keep their current job, and to offset higher level of moral hazard. In Sweden, for example, the moral hazard issue is mitigated through more restrictive access, allowing self-employed workers to claim benefits only after 5 years have passed since the previous claim. There is also a requirement that the firm has been shut down, which acts as an additional deterrent.
To mitigate adverse selection, upon starting a business, self-employed individuals in Austria have six months to decide whether they would like to participate in the voluntary unemployment insurance scheme, and that decision is binding for 8 years. In Canada, only half of startups survive to their eight-year anniversary, so there is a high likelihood EI could be used at least once by many self-employed business owners during this time period.10
Generally speaking, based on the OECD review,11 there appears to be a consensus that voluntary coverage schemes, particularly the ones with little or no commitment, such as Canada’s EI SBSE for the self-employed, are quite rare and do not work well to accommodate non-standard employment due to prevalent adverse selection, low participation and the significant public subsidies required to operate them.
On the other hand, mandatory EI contributions and coverage, like the one that currently exists for regular employees, would resolve the issue of adverse selection, hold more closely to the principle of risk sharing within their peer groups, and help to lower program costs. However, results from past surveys conducted in Canada found that there was little support among the self-employed for a mandatory contribution scheme.12 Due to the nature of their work, many self-employed workers indicated a preference to minimize their absence from work (to avoid the risk of losing clients etc.) suggesting that, unless their contribution rates are significantly lower, self-employed workers may get less “value-for-money” from EI programs, such as for example maternity/paternity leave, than traditional employees. The less predictable nature of their income means that they are likely more in need of an income protection program rather than employment insurance.
Indeed, based on surveys, their preferred financing option for temporary work/income disruptions was a tax-sheltered savings account.13 This is another viable alternative to contributions-funded EI, however, the downside is that individual contribution rates would need to be significantly higher in order to generate sufficient savings because there will be no splitting of contribution between employers and employees. There is also a risk that individuals, particularly those in part-time or low-income jobs, may not be able to accumulate sufficient savings to weather the unemployment or low-earnings spell.
For other non-standard workers, such as those with flexible hours or doing work for an online platform, one solution would be to introduce a wage premium for employees doing flexible work. This would compensate workers for the added income uncertainty. In Australia, for example, casual workers are entitled to a wage premium or have a minimum hours guarantee.
Lastly, if the goal is to make social protection more universal and harmonized across all forms of employment, a means-tested social protection system financed through general taxation, similar to that of Australia and New Zealand, could be adopted. However, moving to these systems would require a complete overhaul of Canada’s current contribution-based EI.
The labor market recovery is likely to be uneven and protracted. Even those workers that were able to return to work could remain underutilized and continue to face lower earnings due to social distancing restrictions and weaker consumer demand for a considerable period of time. This is especially true for self-employed and other non-standard workers, since their hours and incomes are more volatile and less protected. The rollout of CERB during the pandemic has been very helpful to address gaps in coverage within the current EI system. However, looking ahead, a more sustainable and permanent solution is required for workers outside the EI system. Having a more inclusive system with a broader contribution base, which accommodates non-standard workers but also includes a larger number of regular employees through more inclusive qualification criteria would help strengthen the recovery and maintain economic gains that were so far accomplished through CERB.
The traditional EI system is based on a binary choice of whether or not someone has a job. It is clear that with non-standard forms of employment becoming more prevalent, fewer people fit into that box. These workers need some form of insurance against joblessness as well as income volatility both during the current economic recovery and in the future to address the changing nature of employment relationships. Many OECD countries now offer various options for non-standard workers to participate in unemployment insurance systems, and their experience offers valuable lessons if Canada decides to follow suit.
Since 2010 self-employed workers can voluntarily participate in EI Special Benefit for Self-Employed Workers (SBSE) to gain access to many life event-type benefits accessible to regular employees, such as maternity and paternity leave programs, leave due to sickness or to care for an sick family member. In addition to this, current EI system allows certain exceptions for some non-standard workers. For example some individuals who work independently as barbers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, drivers of other passenger vehicles are eligible to receive benefits through the regular EI program. Fishermen are also included as insured persons under the EI Fishing Regulations. In the case of the self- employed fishermen, EI qualification is tied to income. In order to qualify for up to 26 weeks of benefit, they need to have earned between $2,500 to $4,200 in the last 31 weeks.
The two main reasons for not contributing to the EI program were not having worked in the previous 12 months, and non-insurable employment (which includes self-employment).
r/TheWalkingDeadGame's TWDG Survey Results (see top part of post for more info)!
EDIT: The results are now completely finished! Hello everyone! As many of you know by now, we did a big survey 2 weeks ago where participants were asked many different types of questions about the series. First off, I am proud to announce that a total of 259 people took the survey. I was honestly expecting around 100 people to take it, so for the final amount to be more than double than what I predicted is absolutely stellar. So with that said, here are the results!
Age: 40.2% are within the age range of 12-17 years old, while 39.0% are 18-22, 13.8% are 23-27, 4.3% are 28-32, 2.4% are 33-39, and 0.4% are 40-49. Gender: 83.1% identified as male, compared to 14.2% female, 0.8% trans, 0.4% non-binary, and 1.6% who chose not to answer. Region: 53.1% of participants live in North America, while 36.6% live in Europe, 5.9% live in Australia, 2.4% live in Asia, and 0.8% for South America as well as Africa. One person actually put in Antarctica which... I'll assume was a misclick.
You and the Series
Click here to see a visualization of the results Entry point: 16.2% of people got into the series during season 1 (May 2012 - November 2012), while 15.4% joined after The Final Season had ended. The third most popular entry date was a tie between the start of season 1 (April 2012) and after season 2 had ended (September 2014 - December 2016), which had 12.7% participants get into the series for each of those timeframes. First entry: 81.9% of participants said that their first Telltale experience was a TWD one, compared to 18.1% who played at least one other Telltale game beforehand. TWD Media: 34.4% of participants were already TWD fans before getting into the games. The other 65.6% responses were various combinations of whether game players gave other forms of the TWD series a shot. Platform: The most popular platform for playing the games is PC with 38.2%, with the runner-ups being Xbox (28.2%) and Playstation (26.6%).
Nick or Pete? To my surprise, 61.4% of you saved Pete instead of Nick who 38.6% of you saved.
Sit with at Dinner? 87.1% of you sat with Kenny as opposed to the 12.9% that sat with Luke.
Watch Carver die? 77.0% of you watched Kenny kill Carver as opposed to 23.0% that didn't.
Chop off Sarita's arm? 62.3% of you whacked her arm off while 37.7% didn't.
Rob Arvo? 55.5% of you did NOT rob the commie piece of shit, while 44.5% of you did.
Shoot Kenny? Whether it was an easy or a difficult decision, 74.3% of you did NOT shoot Kenny while 25.7% of you did.
Final Ending? There were many different places to end up during the finale of season 2. For 41.4% of you, the final ending you got was Clem and Kenny leaving Wellington together. The two runner-up endings were Clem at Wellington with 28.9% and at Howe's with Jane and the family at 13.7%. The least common ending was not shooting Kenny only to ditch him at the frozen car with 1.2%.
Stay the night? Wanting to have all of that sweet pudding, 53.3% of you stayed in the trailer while 46.7% of you wanted to hit the road.
Shoot Conrad? 77.4% of you shot Conrad during your first playthrough while 22.6 of you didn't. I remember the in-game stats of the Conrad choice were in the high 80's/low 90's when the episode first released, so perhaps newcomers were more likely to spare Conrad after seeing his later actions.
Spare Max? 66.8% of you spared Max while 26.6% of you shot him and 6.6% of you couldn't decide in time before David shot him.
Date Kate? 64.7% of you started a relationship with Kate while 35.3% of you friendzoned her.
Tripp or Ava? 69.2% of you tried to save Tripp while 30.8% of you tried to save Ava.
Final ending? Due to the nature of these endings they were a tie for the most part, but the most common one was Javi going with Kate while Clem looks for David (only David dies) with 32.0% of you getting this ending.
Louis or Violet? Four questions in this survey were ones that involved Clem's two romance options: Louis and Violet. You can see the results of each specific question by clicking the link above, but for the most part people often chose/sided with Violet. Examples of such include spending the day with Violet/Brody (51.2%), appealing to Violet at the end of episode 1 (59.3%), romancing Violet in episode 2 (40.2%), and saving Violet from Lilly's group (55.0%). To any Louis fans who might be letdown about their favorite piano-playing survivor not getting the spotlight, fear not, as Louis will make a surprising comeback for some of the later results in this survey.
Abel's fate? 81.9% of you were merciful to Abel as you promised to killed him and actually did so in the end. The least picked option was to let him sweat and not kill him (2.8%), which is surprising to me since promising that you'll kill him and not doing it (which got 5.2%) seems much more crueler.
Kill Lilly? Whether it was to avenge Carley/Doug, get payback for Louis' tongue, or just to shut her up once and for all, 55.6% of you let AJ kill Lilly.
Trust AJ? 79.1% of you trusted AJ to make the hard calls, meaning that Tenn died on the bridge.
Put down Clem? Most of you did not want to live in a world where Clem as a walker could possibly exist, so 85.6% of you chose to "put down" Clem.
Best Episode: The best episode according to all of you is the season 1 finale No Time Left with 21.2% of the votes, while the second and third best episodes were Take Us Back (19.3%) and Starved For Help (13.1%) respectively. Runner-ups were Broken Toys (11.6%) and No Going Back (6.9%).
Worst Episode: You might be shocked by this (I know I definitely was), but the episode that was ranked as your least favorite was... 400 Days at 18.9%! Second and third worst episodes according to you all were Above the Law (12.7%) and a tie between Ties That Bind Pt. I and Thicker Than Water (12.0% each). Runner-ups were Amid the Ruins (10.0%) and From the Gallows (9.3%).
To those who voted for either 400 Days or Above the Law, I would really like to hear your feedback on why you voted for those two as your least favorite. 400 Days was generally liked and I often see Above the Law be regarded as the best ANF episode, so I'm not really sure how to explain these results.
Best Season: Another close call, but season 1 was regarded as the best season at 46.7%, followed closely by The Final Season with 40.2%.
Worst Season: To the surprise of absolutely no one, A New Frontier was voted as the worst season with 79.2% of votes.
Best Graphic Style: The more realistic and less glossy approach of The Final Season was voted as the best style with 69.1% of votes.
Times replayed: The amount of times you've all played the series is almost evenly split, but 33.6% of you have played through the series 4 or more times.
Killing Larry: Most of you thought that it was right for Kenny to saltlick Larry as that option received 63.3% of the votes.
S2 Kenny: In S2E5, Jane said that Kenny was "a bomb waiting to go off." I used a similar quote to convey Jane's feelings about Kenny through this question. The results were nearly split but 47.1% think that Kenny is NOT "a ticking time bomb."
S3 Clem: Clem's actions in S3 are sometimes questionable and it was later found that the choices from the previous two games have almost no affect on her character. Despite this, 47.1% of you thought that Clem's character in S3 did justice to how she acted in the previous two games.
Clem's S3 inclusion: Despite the results of the above question, 39.8% of you think that Clem's inclusion as a secondary character made the game WORSE. Perhaps a duo Tales From the Borderlands approach would've been better. This was the most split question of these opinion-based ones, as the results were nearly tied and about a quarter of you couldn't decide.
David's character: 50.6% think that David was neither terrible nor perfect when it came to being a father, husband, and brother. Meanwhile, 40.5% of you think he was awful at all three of those things while a meager 3.9% of you thought he was perfect. Out of curiosity, I checked the specific votes from the females who took this survey but could not find a correlation between gender.
Jesus in S3: I probably should've reworded this question to something like "do you like seeing comic characters in the game?" The answer to that question remains to be seen, but as for Jesus himself 78.8% liked his inclusion.
AJ shooting Marlon: 68.7% of you thought it was wrong for AJ to shoot Marlon compared to 23.9% thought he was justified.
Clem in groups: 87.6% of you think Clem/AJ are better off in groups. I imagine this score would have been incredibly low if a survey like this were done right after the end of season 2.
Best protagonist: As expected, Clem won with 65.6% of the votes followed by Lee with 32.0%. While he has his fans, Javi's 2.3% shows that he will always remain in the shadows of the protagonists that preceded him.
Favorite Clem: Your favorite iteration of Clem is S4 Clem with 63.3% of votes, followed by S2 Clem (23.2%), S1 Clem (9.7%), and S3 Clem (3.9%).
Best 400 Days character: 40.1% of you voted for Vince as your favorite 400 Days character. From there, the votes decreased based on the chronological order of when you play as each following character. This was a bit surprising since Bonnie got more votes than Shel despite Bonnie's actions in S2.
Best cabin group survivor: 71.7% of you said that Luke was your favorite survivor, while Pete (12.8%) and Alvin (7.4%) followed along from a great distance.
Best Ericson's survivor: It was a close call but Louis won the vote with 43.7%, followed by Violet (36.9%) and... Rosie? (4.4%).
Best villain/antagonist: The best villain according to you all was Carver who took home 44.8% of the votes. The St. Johns (13.9%) and Lilly (13.5%) place in second and third while somewhere in the herd you can hear Minerva singing (12.0%).
Best Clem love interest: Despite Violet winning almost all of the S4 choice questions a while back, people think that the best love interest for Clem would be Louis with 38.2%. Violet was a close second with 36.7%, while 15.8% prefer Clem to be alone and 6.9% of you didn't know or didn't care.
Most annoying character: Although Gabe sucks at keeping secrets, he is great at one thing: being the most obnoxious character with 28.7% of the votes. The two other "screw-up" characters from the previous two seasons followed afterwards, with Sarah getting 17.8% of votes and Ben getting 11.2%.
Favorite and most hated characters: I'm way too tired to explain this part in depth so click the imgur album above to see the top 5 results yourself. I'll probably do a better favorite characters poll in the future.
Most difficult choice: Hardest choice for most of you was choosing whether to stay in Wellington or leave with Kenny which got 18.1% of the votes.
Most intense moment: On the verge of her possible death, both Clem getting bit and the final barn scene were voted the most intense scenes as they received 14.7% votes each.
Saddest moment: As expected, Lee's death was voted the saddest moment with a staggering 39.8% of the votes.
Most epic/applause-worthy moment: Learning that Clem survived her bite easily took the top spot with 36.7% of the votes.
Scariest/creepiest scene: Never mind the darkness... or the fact that Minerva singing on the bridge won this vote with a high 39.4%.
Most shocking/jaw-dropping scene: Since it seemed almost impossible for her to get out of that predicament, Clem being alive was voted by 15.8% of you as the most shocking moment. Tying in second place was both Lee and Clem getting bit, which both received 13.1% votes each.
Worst death: Imagine surviving two entire games only to get killed at the start of the third. That was the case for Kenny's S3 death which was voted the worst death at 31.7%.
Favorite quotes: Too many quotes to go through, though the clear winner was "Still. Not. Bitten." which got over 30 votes.
Unexplored fates: There were many characters in the series who have come and gone only to never be seen again. When asked which of these fates you'd like to learn about, the top answer was Christa with 31.7%. The other two highest rated contenders were Kenny if you stayed in Wellington (29.7%) and Javi/Richmond survivors after S3 (15.4%)
New Clem sequel: Clem's journey has finally come to an end, though whether it is actually the end is something that I often see get questioned on this sub. Despite Clem's adventure ending on a good note and the game being called The Final Season, 50.6% of you voted that you would like to see a sequel game featuring Clem/AJ. Conversely, 40.9% would not like to see a sequel while 8.5% of you were unsure.
New game ideas: We asked you to pitch us your ideas for a TWD game as long as it wasn't a Clem sequel. All of the ideas were great but here were some of the common/notable ones:
Kenny side-story set either between S1 and S2 or set after leaving Clem at Wellington.
Javi and Richmond sequel where they're at war with Delta.
400 Days spin-off featuring unexplored characters like Molly and Christa.
A 'what-if' game where things are different, like Lee never meeting Clem.
Lilly spin-off between S1 and S4.
Ericson kids prequel.
"The continuation of Javi’s adventure of ‘what the fuck is going on’"
Favorite Chet quote: The 7 famous Chet quotes have been passed down from generation to generation, but the legendary quote "It's hotdish night" was the winner with 27.4% of votes.
Did you lick it? ...77.2% of you didn't know...
Reggie what the fuck happened in here? Click the imgur link above to see the full results or click here for the brief summary to this question. EDIT 6/6/20: After nearly 2 months I'm gonna post a pastebin of all the responses to the Reggie question just so you can see what people said https://pastebin.com/pugxsUif
Chet vs. Omar: In what was undeniably the most important vote of 2020, the person who would win in a fight would be... Omar with an extremely close 50.6%. It was a very intense battle as when I would check on the status during the voting phase, there were many times where the results were tied. I may have screwed up by adding "Chef" Omar to the question and not giving Chet his own unique moniker, so perhaps a rematch is due for sometime in the future especially since this was the most split result in the entire survey.
What to do with Arvo: There were a ton of funny responses to this question. The ones that I thought were the funniest can be viewed by clicking the imgur link at the top of this section. I also took the liberty into visualizing a couple of the responses.
And with that, I AM FINALLY DONE MAKING THE RESULTS! This entire thing took forever but overall I think it was worth it despite there being several areas where I could've improved. I might do something like this again in the future (specifically with a favorite characters poll since I messed that up here), but that definitely won't be for a while. So for now, enjoy these results while I go to sleep for a long time.
DD: gamble recklessly RIGHT NOW (ASIC cucks hate fun)
Last week we had a couple of amazing threads about the magic of CFDs and binary options (aka roulette). I hope all of you instantly opened up accounts on a platform of your choice, got that thicc signup bonus, and lost ten thousand dollars before the week closed. Anyway, if you're in the position of holding such an account, you may want to become aware of this report: https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/consultation-papers/cp-322-product-intervention-otc-binary-options-and-cfds/ (the actual report is described as CP322 on that page) TLDR: ASIC is very likely clamping down on CFD type products in Australia in the near future once this review is finalised. The proposed actions are included in full in the report but essentially boil down to: 1) Banning binary options (also described as 'countdowns' etc on some platforms); and 2) absolutely raping the insane leverage limits for retail clients (ie. from 1:500 to 1:30) my DD is therefore please use these tools as much as possible before the fun police kill us all. if you have $10,000 you only have limited time to bet literally five million dollars on exceptionally risky financial products
2018 report 2017 report Despite the solid number, this was a bit of a mixed year. Free/nominal fees for subscription services meant I spent a fair bit of time on games which were not on my backlog (albeit most were on my wishlist, so I can treat them as a preemptive elimination!). I also had a few timesinks which I regularly went back to as I found many new games to be unsatisfying.
1) The Outer Worlds 2) State of Decay 2 3) Warhammer 40,000 – Space Wolf 4) Purrfect Date 5) Tom Clancy’s The Division
Thoughts on each game
The Lion’s Song Quite an interesting little game. It manages to link stories about music, painting, mathematics and war in a clever and engrossing way. The choices are genuinely impactful and make for tough decisions at times. AER: Memories of Old A short game, but quite relaxing and pretty – especially in the flight sections. I had no interest in the story, but the relatively gentle puzzles and enjoyable flights made it worthwhile. Mad Max Much like Mafia III, this is a 10-hour game elongated into a 30+ hour game by copy-pasting tasks. While in theory most tasks are optional, the slow progress and gating of upgrades essentially requires completion of much of them. This becomes a grind, and the gameplay isn’t quite enough to keep it interesting. Quantum Break A mediocre story and a mediocre shooter, yet somehow more than the sum of its parts. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the days of FMV integration in games, but this wound up being quite entertaining. Hitman – season 1 My first and only other Hitman game is Absolution, which apparently was a departure for the series. That leaves me in the position of finding this return to normality for the series as rather jarring. I prefer the linear and tighter nature of Absolution – since I don’t care enough to go back and complete them in different ways, it felt like a bit of a thin and shallow experience with a threadbare story. Grim Fandango Remastered I’m dreadful at P&C puzzle games, and quickly realised I wasn’t going to get far without a guide. As such, I cheated my way through most of it and just played it for the writing. Thankfully, the writing is so good that it was still fun. I wasn’t keen on Full Throttle, which I played last year, but this was amusing throughout. The Deadly Tower of Monsters A fun concept – a B-movie spoof – combined with surprisingly forgiving platforming mechanics. I’m not a fan of platformers generally, but the frustration-alleviating features and general sense of humour in the game made for a good experience. Overfall Solid roguelike tactical combat, marred by some sloppy writing [I don’t think English is the first language of the writers, but at least a spell-check would have helped], a wonky interface [pertinent information like resistances is obscured] and a strangely harsh unlock system. Not a bad game by any means, but could have been better with a bit more care. Rock of Ages 2 Bizarre concept, even more bizarre writing, but entertainingly so. It’s surprisingly good-looking and quite fun, but five hours was quite enough for me. Battlefield 1 I haven’t played a Battlefield game since Vietnam, so this took a bit of adjusting. The campaign is very well presented and offers a nice bit of variety, but it’s over so fast. I had no interest in multiplayer, so this made for a brief, if fun, experience. Soul Gambler A very brief visual novel, but at least it had distinct story paths. The writing was decent, if a bit awkward. My main gripe was that you had to individually click through each line on subsequent playthroughs, which is something many visual novels these days manage to avoid. Stikbold A rather strange dodgeball game. I didn’t find the strangeness nearly as amusing as Rock of Ages 2, but it was a moderately entertaining experience with a bit of variety through the different settings and objectives. Cultist Simulator I’m a bit mixed on this. On one hand, it had a surprising amount of content and complexity to it. On the other, it drastically inflated the complexity by veiling basic gameplay aspects. That could mean a lot of wasted time – or worse, inadvertently wrecking a multi-hour playthrough - because it wasn’t clear what you should be doing next. Walkthroughs and guides were essential. While there’s merit to a game which rewards experimentation and discovery of mechanics, there is a point at which it’s just too obtuse, and at times the game did go a bit too far in that respect. Ziggurat A quite clever blend of roguelike and FPS. I’m not much of a fan of the latter, but the gameplay was fun and the roguelike elements softened the blow of failure. Tyranny I disliked Pillars of Eternity and went into this with some trepidation. Fortunately, it was a more enjoyable and accessible experience. Where Pillars just threw a mindnumbing amount of lore at me, this offered a relatively comprehensible story doled out in appropriate chunks. While it did have some of Pillars’ mechanical issues, like poor pathfinding in combat, they did not seem nearly as bad (perhaps due to the smaller scale of battles). The base management stuff seemed tacked on, confusing and wholly unnecessary. It was far from my favourite RPG, but solid enough – and didn’t overstay its welcome. Orwell: Ignorance is Strength I enjoyed the first Orwell game and initially found this a similarly good experience. The few changes were worthwhile ones, and the story seemed to be building up well. Then it suddenly ended. Surely I done something wrong and met an early endgame? Nope, that was it – a mere few hours of gameplay, with an ending so abrupt that I had no idea it was one until the credits rolled. There are different endings, requiring additional playthroughs, but after that disappointment I wasn’t interested in going back to it. Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure This was my first game in the series, and I found it enjoyable. I only had to cheat a few times (which is remarkably good by my standards!) and the cheesiness of it was all rather endearing. The sequel is now on my wishlist (though it seems to be a fair way off). Train Valley A decent puzzle/strategy game, which quickly escalates from rather placid to chaotic. The simple concept still requires a fair bit of thought to succeed, and while I bumbled through somewhat, it was fun. Rakuen Beautiful. One of my favourite games, evoking the spirit of To the Moon by dealing with weighty topics in a whimsical manner. Wonderful soundtrack and great design. Dangerous Golf I enjoyed this more than I’d expected. It’s all a bit messy, as one would expect from a heavily physics-based game, and almost throws in too many variations, but it is fairly satisfying. In some levels it’s all too easy to get a platinum medal through sheer luck, but in other levels it takes a fair bit of skill and thought to get a good score, which is rather more satisfying. Mutant Year Zero This was frustrating. It has the ingredients for a solid game – great presentation, imaginative world, decent writing and voice acting and the core of a solid tactics game. The problem is that it is structured essentially like a puzzle game. The odds are so intensely stacked against you in a group battle that you must pick off enemies one by one. This makes for a slow and tedious process, especially when combined with the impact of RNG and the unsatisfying ending. Dishonoured 2 I felt a little let down by this. Presentation was good, story was fine, but the powers were mostly unengaging and the combat was frustrating. The combat issues were partly my fault in that I tried a non-lethal run, but while there were a few more non-lethal options, I would have loved an option to just punch someone in the face rather than having to stand around waiting to parry in order to launch a non-lethal attack. Finding Paradise This had a lot to live up to – To the Moon and A Bird Story are among my favourite games – but once again Kan Gao delivered. Touching, funny, surprising and engrossing. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – GotY Edition I went into this with a bit of trepidation, having strongly disliked the first two games in the series. While I am a big fan of the books, the gameplay never clicked with me. This was an improvement to some degree, but I still found the combat in particular frustrating and relatively shallow. I wound up just playing it as a story, and it delivered in that respect – even many of the side quests were more memorable than the main storylines of a lot of other RPGs I’ve played. While I certainly won’t be joining the “Praise Geraldo” crew, I at least had a better experience than I did with the other games in the series. SteamWorld Dig 2 I loved the first game. This was certainly enjoyable but did not reach quite the same heights; perhaps through lack of ambition if nothing else. Solid enough, but lacking the impact of its predecessor. Batman: Arkham Knight This felt like the weakest of the three main Arkham games (I didn’t like Origins much at all, but that is somewhat separate). The combat, setting and presentation were all as interesting as ever, and the story got genuinely interesting towards the end, but the damned car seemed to drag down everything it was involved in. From puzzles to battles, it always felt a bit wonky to me – a particularly sharp contrast to the famously smooth and refined movement and combat the series is known for. Unlike Asylum and City, I didn’t complete the Riddler challenges. This was primarily due to the car, which I was thoroughly sick of by the end. Perhaps I was rendered a bit grumpier than usual by that, but I also found the Rocksteady tendency to lead the player by the nose at some points, and then leave things utterly oblique at other times, to be particularly grating. West of Loathing Genuinely funny at times, and I loved the art style, but it did drag on a little. The Flame in the Flood Quite an atmospheric and appealing game. The presentation is gorgeous, albeit marred by irritating pop-in even on a GTX 1080. The gameplay is pretty easy to pick up, and while it can be frustrating in the way that a survival game with randomisation inevitably can be (and why the hell can’t I boil water to remove the bugs?!), the checkpoint system is generous enough to ameliorate this. Monster Prom I am not usually one for VNs, but this is great. Entertaining characters, often hilarious (and oh so wrong) writing and easy enough to play through in 15 minutes (it says the short game is 30 minutes, but it doesn't take me anywhere near that). There is plenty of content, some of which is unlockable, meaning there is substantial replayability. Yakuza 0 The first in the series for me, and quite enjoyable. It was funny at times, though the main plot did cause me to drift off towards the end – I wound up doing crosswords during some of the interminable cutscenes. The combat got a bit repetitive, but it was easy enough to get the hang of. I didn’t enjoy it enough to get stuck into the numerous side activities, but the main game was decent enough. Dominique Pamplemousse This is a curious game. It is brief (barely an hour long) and linear. The puzzles are simple. Much of the dialogue is sung, for no apparent reason - and not particularly well. The art style has been described as "claymation noire"; there's little er..."mation", and it all looks a bit muddy. Writing is fine. I chuckled at a few bits, but it's hardly memorable.For all that, I quite liked it. It's original and there's heart to it. In a sea of lazy asset flips, generic AAA games with no respect for your time and visionless projects, here's an example of people actually daring to have a go with a unique vision. South Park: The Fractured But Whole Not nearly as well-written as its predecessor, but with significantly better combat. The badge progression system was clumsy, and at one point I was left with a stack of grinding to do. Generally a solid experience, though. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Wonderful presentation, with some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in games. The gameplay itself was decent. Combat was a little too simple, and puzzles could be frustrating at times, but it’s really all about the experience. Pizza Express I feel a little silly having spent a lot of money on a gaming rig when I use it to play stuff that looks like something out of the early ‘90s. Nonetheless, this was good fun – amusing story, addictive gameplay and a surprising amount of content. Yoku’s Island Express Cutely presented and an interesting concept. It can be infuriating at times, requiring a degree of precision which is perhaps best not associated with pinball, and getting around can be a bit confusing. Overall, though, it’s quite fun. The Darkside Detective A pretty simple point & click adventure (aside from one strangely hard instalment), broken into small episodes to make it easy to get through a portion at a time. Nothing exceptional, but a decent way to spend a few hours. Tales of Berseria A surprisingly engrossing tale. It's frequently funny and features likeable characters. The voice acting is excellent - it's a tour de force for Cristina Valenzuela in particular. That helps mitigate a convoluted combat system. It was still throwing tutorials at me after 15 hours; I wound up ignoring them and button mashing, which seemed to work fine on Normal difficulty anyway. Performance is rock solid. Smooth FPS, fast loading and limited pop-in. I have never played a Tales game before, and may not play another one, but it doesn't take a love for the series to enjoy this game. Perhaps the group best warned to stay away are achievement hunters - some of them seem to take a heck of a lot of work. The Outer Worlds Disappointing. The simplistic combat not only makes that portion of the game dull, but also weakens the RPG aspects since you can pour all your upgrade points into speech skills, making those challenges a breeze. The writing is one-note (everyone is quirky, snarky or both), the choices are binary and rarely provoke thought (indeed, the hardest choice was one of the very first) and the characters aren't particularly interesting - nor are they given much chance to be in their shallow quests. It also performed poorly on a decent rig - though that's to be expected from Obsidian. Agents of Mayhem It's...not that bad. Sure, it's flawed - repetitive quests, buggy at times and nowhere near the level of Saints Row's writing - but it has an enjoyably distinct set of characters (sadly enough, the character missions were more interesting than those of Outer Worlds) and the combat is enjoyably free-flowing. PixelJunk Nom Nom Galaxy I liked the idea of discovering ingredients and turning them into various products, but it quickly became centred around ever more complex process designs which were of no interest to me. Action Henk A fun runner; gorgeously presented. I sucked at it though! Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Presented in an enjoyably light-hearted manner, but it felt like it was dragging on even after four hours. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition I was quite excited to play this, since it featured three of my favourite actors – Patrick Stewart, Robert Carlyle and Jason Isaacs. That’s the only reason I managed to last five hours. I hated pretty much everything about it; the shoddy fixed camera, the tedious fighting, the cringeworthy writing… The sad thing is that I bought another two games in the series. Sheltered A solid little survival management game. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as Zafehouse Diaries or Dead State, mainly because the RNG was a bit too impactful. It’s far too common for a game to simply be unwinnable due to a lack of rain and/or the distribution of resources in nearby locations. When things are fairer (or the difficulty is lowered) it becomes quite a grind – with no real winning condition and little in the way of variety (there are a few shallow quests of minimal value or interest) tedium ensues. Civilization VI Quite liked the new mechanics and enjoyed playing as Australia (though Walzing Matilda is so distinctive that it gets a bit grating). Having spent many hours in its predecessors though, there was nothing particularly groundbreaking which compelled me to play more than a few games. Porno Studio Tycoon I’ll give pretty much any management game a go! Unfortunately, things weren’t particularly well explained and while there seemed to be a bit of depth, a lot of it was blocked off (to add to the confusion, the tutorial focused on mechanics which were blocked off for much of the early game). Aarklash: Legacy I normally like tactical games, but this was just too unforgiving and there was no ability to grind to reduce the difficulty. Intergalactic Bubbles It’s basically Bubble Bobble, which is fine. It’s quite nicely presented. The problem is that each level is meant to be completed in a certain number of moves, but since the bubble colours are randomly generated, it’s mostly down to luck – you might be able to wipe out half the bubbles on your first move, or might struggle to get any matches at all. Tom Clancy’s The Division I got fairly close to the end of this game but was just so fed up with it that I couldn’t push myself to get through it. The story was forgettable, the shooting mechanics were mediocre, all the extraneous gameplay elements were just an annoyance and I felt the game was balanced against me as a solo player (only twice did I find a co-op partner, and both of them screamed in Korean throughout). It looked impressive, at least. Kingdom: New Lands Edition I really thought I’d like this game, and had it on my wishlist from release. I love management games, and have no issue with passive management. It also looked gorgeous; this is one of the best-looking pixel-art games I’ve played. Unfortunately, it did not click at all. The AI was not bright, which is inevitably a source of a lot of frustration in a passive management game. Further, the gameplay was just dull. I felt like I was running back and forth endlessly for little reward – pretty though it may have been, I found myself wishing for a button to speed up time. The positive reviews suggest it is a relaxing and chill game – I just found myself frustrated with the AI and bored by the gameplay. Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition For some reason I thought this was more of a starbase management sim rather than a tactical space battle sim. The starbase elements are there, but they are pretty thin. Most of the game is about the tactical space battles, which were interesting and varied enough early on, but after nine hours and no end in sight I was sick of them. FIFA 18 I haven’t played a FIFA game since ’98, so it was interesting to give this a go. The story mode was okay – quite well presented, but the player rating system was infuriating at times (the out-of-position penalties in particular). I did find that there was a huge gap in the difficulty settings – one was ludicrously easy (insultingly so; the AI kept missing from close range), but the next was a bit too steep for someone essentially new to the series. An option between the two would have been nice, or at least an easier difficulty which at least tried to mask how easy it was making things! I also tried management mode, but having been used to Football Manager’s detail I was not able to get into this. Seven: The Days Long Gone This was a frustrating experience. I really liked the concept of an isometric thief RPG, and did my best to give it a fair chance. It had its positive aspects; freedom of movement, decent voice acting and reasonable graphics. However, the freedom of movement also worked against it; confrontations with enemies often spiralled into circular chases suited to Benny Hill music and I lost count of the number of times I plunged to an untimely death through a misstep. Moreover, it didn’t really work to its premise. The game started with a tutorial centred around a stealthy heist, which seemed to be the central premise of the game. The next time I encountered a situation close to that was six hours later. Age of Wonders 3 I loved Shadow Magic many years ago but struggled to get into this. Maps seemed to take an inordinately long time to the point that armies were monstrously large and there was no research left. Maybe I was too defensive, but the AI was very passive. The Dweller A decent little puzzle game with minimal assets. Out of the Park Baseball 19 A slight improvement on its predecessor. The main addition was an online card-game mode, but I’m not sure that works well in a management game. My squad was rapidly full of high-end talent and I felt no real connection to the team. Niche: A Genetics Survival Game Nice concept, but a rather wobbly execution. The genetics aspect tended to be lost due to the fast paced and tough nature of the game; the focus was so much on just keeping any creature alive that genetics didn’t come into my thinking. Apparently the best strategy is to sit on the first island for ages and build up a tribe, but the tutorial didn’t make that clear at all. Royal Heroes A grindy and buggy mobile game. Endless Space 2 – Digital Deluxe Edition I thought I was falling out of love with the space 4X genre, having been very disappointed with the last few I placed – particularly Stellaris – but this hit the mark. The alien races are distinct, making for significantly different gameplay. The gameplay itself is always interesting; unlike Stellaris, it doesn’t hit a dead patch mid-game. I found the combat a little frustrating – seemingly even contests would often have completely one-sided results for no apparent reason – but aside from that it was a solid game. Monster Slayers An enjoyable little rogue-lite deck builder. While I normally prefer a bit more flexibility in deck building, tying cards to characters meant that each one had a distinctive feel which gave the game plenty of replayability. Dark Train This sounded interesting in concept, but was way too oblique for me. State of Decay 2 This seemed like the perfect game for me – I love survival management and settlement building. Unfortunately, it wound up feeling rather like a shallow MMO – trite dialogue, grindy tasks and no real sense of purpose or direction. I just found myself engaging in long, dull runs between locations, engaging in the same shoddy combat over and over again. The Banner Saga 3 I played the first two games in the series to completion and seem to recall enjoying them, but something about this did not click at all. I had zero interest in the story – the time between instalments has dulled my memory of it – and the gameplay just felt so flat. I’m not really sure what changed between playing the last two games and now, but I had no motivation to keep playing. Gremlins, Inc A reasonably enjoyable but forgettable board game. Warhammer 40,000 – Space Wolf This is a game plagued by odd design choices. It has turn-based combat (which I love), but it is deprived of so much of its strategy by the way it is designed. Enemies appear at arbitrary moments from arbitrary locations (including amid your troops) without warning or logic, meaning that success requires either a degree of fortune or grinding missions to know when and where enemies will appear. Perhaps this is to compensate for the weak AI, which is prone to boneheaded acts, but it just makes things irritating and dull. It also has a card collecting and deck building mechanic (again, which I love). The distribution of cards, however, is bizarre – completing tasks in missions (which can take 30+ minutes each) will give a couple of low-level cards. In contrast, activating one of numerous codes from the forums provides a pile of high-level cards. “Legendary” cards are so readily available in this form that a deck can be filled with them with a few minutes’ effort. There is a clumsy system for upgrading each card, none of which is explained in the shallow tutorial. There is also an upgrade path for your squadmates – again poorly explained – which is reliant on grinding missions. They don't use your custom decks, so while you're flooded with Elite and Legendary cards for the leader, you have to grind just to eke out a few more Uncommons for the rest of your squad. There's really nothing else to recommend the game. Graphics and sound are serviceable and the story is barely there. It just feels like yet another Warhammer game pushed out for the sake of it. Warhammer 40,000 – Dawn of War II Another disappointing Warhammer game. Again this had things I liked – a strategic layer with character progression, equippable loot, choice of missions and ebb and flow of the wider battle. However, I found this constrained by the limits placed on that strategy, with constant time pressure funnelling me into the key missions . I’m not sure how much that time pressure would have impacted on the outcome – would doing side missions result in overall failure – as it was never properly explained. Moreover, I found the RTS gameplay really quite dull and repetitive, such that I didn’t feel compelled to continue. Road Redemption Incredibly dumb – horrible dialogue, clumsy gameplay (trying to aim guns while riding was a nightmare) and buggy (the one round which I won was as a result of a bug which caused me to be invincible for most of it), but it did have some entertainment value. Moonlighter Having spent 125 hours in Recettear, it's fair to say I am very much open to the burgeoning shopkeeper-by-day/dungeon-crawler-by-night genre. Unfortunately, this fell flat. Even after a relatively short period it became a dull grind. Much of that is due to a distinct lack of charm; it looks nice in screenshots, but lacks any real character or presence in game. The absence of any decent writing is another problem; what there was of the story didn't interest me in the slightest. In contrast to a game like Recettear, filled with charm and heart, this was utterly bland. Add in the clumsy storage system, shallow shopkeeping, sluggish combat and irritatingly repetitive music, and seven hours was more than enough for me. Shelter Was rather surprised to dislike this. I found myself getting lost far too easily, which given that it was a very linear game meant a lot of frustration. The visual presentation was grating and confusing. Mainlining Moderately interesting hacking game, but too shallow, linear and not particularly well written. Reassembly Took a while for this to click, but once it did it was decent enough. I could have spent many hours playing this in the ‘90s, but it didn’t have enough of interest for me to do so now. 12 Labours of Hercules V: Kids of Hellas Cute enough, I suppose, but quickly became repetitive. Aaero A music-based shooter with poorly explained shooter mechanics and music which was very much not to my taste. One track really stood out as effectively blending the music and game mechanics, but that should have been the standard rather than the exception. Purrfect Date This game is presented as a cutesy, tongue-in-cheek game and for the most part it pulls that off pretty well. If that was the sum of it, I'd be reasonably satisfied. Instead, there is a dark, unpleasant story underneath, with numerous descriptions of animal abuse. It's utterly jarring - a game which is presented as being for cat lovers (not that kind of lover), yet featuring descriptions of them being victims of torture, experimentation and killing. The closest thing to a warning on the store page is a reference to "black humour", which doesn't cover it in my view. There is no humour in these scenes, so it’s not “black humour”. I don’t know what it is, other than a simply bizarre choice. Even putting aside the lack of warning, it's an unpleasant and jarring experience. I'm at a loss as to what on earth the devs were thinking. The writing is otherwise reasonably good. The structure of the game, however, is poor. It requires multiple playthroughs to get a proper ending, and there is no way to quickly skip the text. Prepare for RSI, clicking through page after page of dialogue, if you ever want to get to the ending. Suffice to say, going through this once is quite enough for me. Space Hulk Ascension I normally love turn-based combat, especially with RPG progression, but this was just dull and frustrating. Not having a good year with Warhammer games. Super Daryl Deluxe All very QUIRKY, and constantly at pains to remind you of how QUIRKY it is, without ever being particularly amusing. The art style is at least eyecatching, and some of the music is decent, but the writing didn’t grab me at all. The combat was a grindy battle of attrition – the only thing worse than “kill x monster” quests are “collect x items which randomly drop from only a small percentage of monsters after you kill them” quests. Add in the ever-frustrating boss fights where you had to win through repeating an unintuitive set of actions several times, and I didn’t feel like going much further. Think of the Children Nice idea, and it’s good to play a locally-made game, but it’s dreadfully designed for a single player. Although it can have up to three co-op partners, it doesn’t adjust the difficulty in the slightest to cater for a solo player rendering it near-impossible. Legend of Grimrock 2 Obtuse puzzles, clumsy combat and bland design made this quickly unappealing. FIFA 19 I mainly just played for the story mode, which was fine. Didn't notice much of a difference from 18. Out of the Park Baseball 20 No discernible improvement upon its predecessor. Oriental Empires Some nice ideas, but thoroughly dull. In six hours I was attacked three times by bandits and spent the rest of the time painstakingly building farms. Iratus: Lord of the Dead An enjoyable little strategy game. I will probably go back to it since it's in early access and is constantly being rebalanced. Into the Breach Moderately interesting strategy, but not enough to keep me coming back. There Came An Echo Iridium's previous game, Before the Echo (aka Sequence) was a flawed but enjoyable hidden gem. There Came an Echo has a similar level of charm, but two fundamental problems. The first is that it was simply unplayable on my PC. A black screen after loading; no way past it. Apparently it was due to an incompatibility with my microphone which is rather problematic when I don't HAVE a microphone. The second is that (having used my partner's computer to run it) ultimately it's a very raw proof of concept. Like its predecessor it has charm in the voice acting and writing, but unlike its predecessor it is just not a lot of fun to play. Put aside the gimmick of giving voice commands and you're left with a short, clumsy, shallow and frustrating experience. World of Mixed Martial Arts 5 As usual for the series (indeed, the dev in general), a stack of good ideas marred by fundamental flaws. Good as a hypnotic experience between other games. Star Trek Timelines I tried this briefly a few years ago and didn't get into it, but I certainly did this year. It's all pretty shallow, but as a fan-friendly timewaster it's decent enough. Football Manager Touch 2019 Endlessly infuriating, and a bit buggy, but always manages to draw me back in.
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Hi guys, first off I just wanna say a huge thank you to you all for taking part in the survey! I was aiming for 5,000 within a week and we got 10,000 in less than 48 hours! I closed the survey off at 10,013 responders – sorry to all who didn’t get to take part, there will be more! Here is the information in a very simplified format. If you would like any more specifics please just ask below and I will try my best to help! Thank you all for taking part – hope you enjoyed it and hope you find some interest in the results! Please note – This information is not a representation of the entire Overwatch community/player base, but is a somewhat good indication of the users who frequent this Sub. Even so, there 10,000 responses while there are over a million subscribers so take the information with a grain of salt. Make of the following information what you will! Results are posted in order of most votes, second most, third most and least due to time constraints. I will post more later along with the actual raw data. UPDATE: Sorry it took so long, but here is a spreadsheet of all 10,013 responses for whoever is interested. Again guys, thanks for taking part! Link: https://goo.gl/JQgR54 Gender
Last – 40+ (0.9%) (combined % of all ages above 40)
North America (63.3%)
Australia & New Zealand (5.7%)
Last – South America (1.7%)
Between Launch and Christmas 2016 (35.8%)
Between January & March 2017 (8%)
Last – Between June 2017 and Now (5.1%)
Statements on Sexism/Racism/Homophobia
41.6% of Female players have been subject to, or have witnessed, sexist abuse on Overwatch.
24.8% have not.
20.9% do not use voice chat out of fear of being abused
9.2% do not use voice chat
The remainder do not remember if they have experienced it or not
23.1% of Male players have been subject to, or have witnessed, sexist abuse on Overwatch.
61% have not.
9% don’t use voice chat.
The remainder do not remember if they have experienced it or not
45.2% of players have been subject to, or have witnessed, racist abuse on Overwatch
54.8% of players have not
40.4% of players have been subject to, or have witnessed, homophobic abuse on Overwatch
59.6% have not
400 (99 votes)
250 (93 votes)
300 (89 votes)
Last – 155 (15 votes) | Also note, over 5820 different levels were recorded.
Most Played Hero
D. Va (8.3%)
Last – Torbjorn (0.5%)
9.7% have no favourite and choose the hero necessary for the team
Last – Bastion (1%) (no pun intended)
Class which needs a hero the most (even when Moira is considered)
Last – Offense (2.4%)
Class least fun to play
All are fun to play (26%)
Last – Offense (8.6%) (Many minute percentages were placed in the “other” category, stating a distaste for playing specific characters, but not classes)
Most played Game Mode
Quick Play (40.8%)
Most popular Skill Rating
Last – Bronze (2.7%)
Favourite Arcade Mode
Mystery Heroes (27.1%)
3v3 Elimination (8.8%)
Last – 6v6 Elimination (2%)
Would you consider playing Arcade even after you get all your loot boxes?
Maybe/Depends how I feel (50.4%)
Favourite Assault Map
Temple of Anubis (25.3%)
Volskaya Industries (18.4%)
Last – Horizon Lunar Colony (8.7%)
Favourite Hybrid Map
Kings Row (40.2%)
Last – Numbani (7.1%)
Favourite Escort Map
Watchpoint: Gibraltar (24.6%)
Route 66 (24.5%)
Last – No preference (9.2%)
Favourite Control Map
Lijiang Tower (28.7%)
Last – No preference (11.1%)
Favourite Arcade Map
Chateau Guillard (33.8%)
No Preference (25.8%)
Black Forest (16.4%)
Last – Castillo (7.1%)
Uprising 2017 (26.5%)
Enjoyed them all equally (23.2%)
Halloween Terror 2017 (14.3%)
Last – Summer Games 2016 (1.9%)
Loot Boxes Purchase Frequency
Never Purchase (50.1%)
Only at Events (46.1%)
Once every few Months (3.1%)
Last - Once a Month (0.5%)
Loot Boxes average spend per transaction
Last – 50$+ (5%)
Overwatch Improved in Year 2?
Yes it has (81%)
No improvement or decline (12.4%)
Overwatch community improved in Year 2?
No improvement or decline (32.5%)
Season Length - too long?
Fine the way it is (52%)
Yes – I get bored of it very quickly (26.1%)
Other responses/Unsure/Don’t know(21.9%)
Would you like a Clan System?
More options to spend Competitive Points on?
Is content released at a reasonable pace?
Would you consider paying for an expansion including an array of maps, characters, cosmetics, game modes or Story?
Would you like to see an Overwatch animated mini-series/movie?
Not concerned/don’t care (6.8%)
Would you like an Overwatch story mode?
Not concerned/don’t care (10%)
Have you lost interest since purchasing?
A little bit, I still play a lot though (50.8%)
Not at all, still play as much as when I first got it (21.9%)
A lot, I rarely play now (13.8%)
Last – Nope, I play even more now (13.5%)
Do you follow Overwatch ESports
Not really, but I’ve seen some matches (39%)
Console players, do you want a PTR?
What’s a PTR? (6.1%) #lul
Top 3 most recommended features – excluding Clans & Story Mode
https://codevalley.com/whitepaper.pdf This document treats Emergent coding from a philosophical perspective. It has a good introduction, description of the tech and is followed by two sections on justifications from the perspective of Fred Brooks No Silver Bullet criteria and an industrialization criteria.
Mark Fabbro's presentation from the Bitcoin Cash City Conference which outlines the motivation, basic mechanics, and usage of Bitcoin Cash in reproducing the industrial revolution in the software industry.
Building the Bitcoin Cash City presentation highlighting how the emergent coding group of companies fit into the adoption roadmap of North Queensland.
Forging Chain Metal by Paul Chandler CEO of Aptissio, one of startups in the emergent coding space and which secured a million in seed funding last year.
Bitcoin Cash App Exploration A series of Apps that are some of the first to be built by emergent coding and presented, and in the case of Cashbar, demonstrated at the conference.
How does Emergent Coding prevent developer capture? A developer's Agent does not know what project they are contributing to and is thus paid for the specific contribution. The developer is controlling the terms of the payment rather than the alternative, an employer with an employment agreement. Why does Emergent Coding use Bitcoin BCH?
Both emergent coding and Bitcoin BCH are decentralized: As emergent coding is a decentralized development environment consisting of Agents providing respective design services, each contract received by an agent requires a BCH payment. As Agents are hosted by their developer owners which may be residing in one of 150 countries, Bitcoin Cash - an electronic peer-to-peer electronic cash system - is ideal to include a developer regardless of geographic location.
Emergent coding will increase the value of the Bitcoin BCH blockchain: With EC, there are typically many contracts to build an application (Cashbar was designed with 10000 contracts or so). EC adoption will increase the value of the Bitcoin BCH blockchain in line with this influx of quality economic activity.
Emergent coding is being applied to BCH software first: One of the first market verticals being addressed with emergent coding is Bitcoin Cash infrastructure. We are already seeing quality applications created using emergent coding (such as the HULA, Cashbar, PH2, vending, ATMs etc). More apps and tools supporting Bitcoin cash will attract more merchants and business to BCH.
Emergent coding increases productivity: Emergent coding increases developer productivity and reduces duplication compared to other software development methods. Emergent coding can provide BCH devs with an advantage over other coins. A BCH dev productivity advantage will accelerate Bitcoin BCH becoming the first global currency.
Emergent coding produces higher quality binaries: Higher quality software leads to a more reliable network.
1. Who/what is Code Valley? Aptissio? BCH Tech Park? Mining and Server Complex? Code Valley Corp Pty Ltd is the company founded to commercialize emergent coding technology. Code Valley is incorporated in North Queensland, Australia. See https://codevalley.com Aptissio Australia Pty Ltd is a company founded in North Queensland and an early adopter of emergent coding. Aptissio is applying EC to Bitcoin BCH software. See https://www.aptissio.com Townsville Technology Precincts Pty Ltd (TTP) was founded to bring together partners to answer the tender for the Historic North Rail Yard Redevelopment in Townsville, North Queensland. The partners consist of P+I, Conrad Gargett, HF Consulting, and a self-managed superannuation fund(SMSF) with Code Valley Corp Pty Ltd expected to be signed as an anchor tenant. TTP answered a Townsville City Council (TCC) tender with a proposal for a AUD$53m project (stage 1) to turn the yards into a technology park and subsequently won the tender. The plan calls for the bulk of the money is to be raised in the Australian equity markets with the city contributing $28% for remediation of the site and just under 10% from the SMSF. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid 2020 and be competed two years later. Townsville Mining Pty Ltd was set up to develop a Server Complex in the Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland. The site has undergone several studies as part of a due diligence process with encouraging results for its competitiveness in terms of real estate, power, cooling and data.
TM are presently in negotiations with the owners of the site and is presently operating under an NDA.
The business model calls for leasing "sectors" to mining companies that wish to mine allowing companies to control their own direction.
Since Emergent Coding uses the BCH rail, TM is seeking to contribute to BCH security with an element of domestic mining.
TM are working with American partners to lease one of the sectors to meet that domestic objective.
The site will also host Emergent Coding Agents and Code Valley and its development partners are expected to lease several of these sectors.
TM hopes to have the site operational within 2 years.
2. What programming language are the "software agents" written in. Agents are "built" using emergent coding. You select the features you want your Agent to have and send out the contracts. In a few minutes you are in possession of a binary ELF. You run up your ELF on your own machine and it will peer with the emergent coding and Bitcoin Cash networks. Congratulations, your Agent is now ready to accept its first contract. 3. Who controls these "agents" in a software project You control your own Agents. It is a decentralized development system. 4. What is the software license of these agents. Full EULA here, now. A license gives you the right to create your own Agents and participate in the decentralized development system. We will publish the EULA when we release the product. 5. What kind of software architecture do these agents have. Daemons Responding to API calls ? Background daemons that make remote connection to listening applications? Your Agent is a server that requires you to open a couple of ports so as to peer with both EC and BCH networks. If you run a BCH full node you will be familiar with this process. Your Agent will create a "job" for each contract it receives and is designed to operate thousands of jobs simultaneously in various stages of completion. It is your responsibility to manage your Agent and keep it open for business or risk losing market share to another developer capable of designing the same feature in a more reliable manner (or at better cost, less resource usage, faster design time etc.). For example, there is competition at every classification which is one reason emergent coding is on a fast path for improvement. It is worth reiterating here that Agents are only used in the software design process and do not perform any role in the returned project binary. 6. What is the communication protocol these agents use. The protocol is proprietary and is part of your license. 7. Are the agents patented? Who can use these agents? It is up to you if you want to patent your Agent the underlying innovation behind emergent coding is _feasible_ developer specialization. Emergent coding gives you the ability to contribute to a project without revealing your intellectual property thus creating prospects for repeat business; It renders software patents moot. Who uses your Agents? Your Agents earn you BCH with each design contribution made. It would be wise to have your Agent open for business at all times and encourage everyone to use your design service. 8. Do I need to cooperate with Code Valley company all of the time in order to deploy Emergent Coding on my software projects, or can I do it myself, using documentation? It is a decentralized system. There is no single point of failure. Code Valley intends to defend the emergent coding ecosystem from abuse and bad actors but that role is not on your critical path. 9. Let's say Electron Cash is an Emergent Coding project. I have found a critical bug in the binary. How do I report this bug, what does Jonald Fyookball need to do, assuming the buggy component is a "shared component" puled from EC "repositories"? If you built Electron Cash with emergent coding it will have been created by combining several high level wallet features designed into your project by their respective Agents. Obviously behind the scenes there are many more contracts that these Agents will let and so on. For example the Cashbar combines just 16 high level Point-of-Sale features but ultimately results in more than 10,000 contracts in toto. Should one of these 10,000 make a design error, Jonald only sees the high level Agents he contracted. He can easily pinpoint which of these contractors are in breach. Similarly this contractor can easily pinpoint which of its sub-contractors is in breach and so on. The offender that breached their contract wherever in the project they made their contribution, is easily identified. For example, when my truck has a warranty problem, I do not contact the supplier of the faulty big-end bearing, I simply take it back to Mazda who in turn will locate the fault. Finally "...assuming the buggy component is a 'shared component' puled from EC 'repositories'?" - There are no repositories or "shared component" in emergent coding. 10. What is your licensing/pricing model? Per project? Per developer? Per machine? Your Agent charges for each design contribution it makes (ie per contract). The exact fee is up to you. The resulting software produced by EC is unencumbered. Code Valley's pricing model consists of a seat license but while we are still determining the exact policy, we feel the "Valley" (where Agents advertise their wares) should charge a small fee to help prevent gaming the catalogue and a transaction fee to provide an income in proportion to operations. 11. What is the basic set of applications I need in order to deploy full Emergent Coding in my software project? What is the function of each application? Daemons, clients, APIs, Frontends, GUIs, Operating systems, Databases, NoSQLs? A lot of details, please. There's just one. You buy a license and are issued with our product called Pilot. You run Pilot (node) up on your machine and it will peer with the EC and BCH networks. You connect your browser to Pilot typically via localhost and you're in business. You can build software (including special kinds of software like Agents) by simply combining available features. Pilot allows you to specify the desired features and will manage the contracts and decentralized build process. It also gives you access to the "Valley" which is a decentralized advertising site that contains all the "business cards" of each Agent in the community, classified into categories for easy search. If we are to make a step change in software design, inventing yet another HLL will not cut it. As Fred Brooks puts it, an essential change is needed. 12. How can I trust a binary when I can not see the source? The Emergent Coding development model is very different to what you are use to. There are ways of arriving at a binary without Source code. The Agents in emergent coding design their feature into your project without writing code. We can see the features we select but can not demonstrate the source as the design process doesn't use a HLL. The trust model is also different. The bulk of the testing happens _before_ the project is designed not _after_. Emergent Coding produces a binary with very high integrity and arguably far more testing is done in emergent coding than in incumbent methods you are used to. In emergent coding, your reputation is built upon the performance of your Agent. If your Agent produces substandard features, you are simply creating an opportunity for a competitor to increase their market share at your expense. Here are some points worth noting regarding bad actor Agents:
An Agent is a specialist and in emergent coding is unaware of the project they are contributing to. If you are a bad actor, do you compromise every contract you receive? Some? None?
Your client is relying on the quality of your contribution to maintain their own reputation. Long before any client will trust your contributions, they will have tested you to ensure the quality is at their required level. You have to be at the top of your game in your classification to even win business. This isn't some shmuck pulling your routine from a library.
Each contract to your agent is provisioned. Ie you advertise in advance what collaborations you require to complete your design. There is no opportunity for a "sign a Bitcoin transaction" Agent to be requesting "send an HTTP request" collaborations.
Your Agent never gets to modify code, it makes a design contribution rather than a code contribution. There is no opportunity to inject anything as the mechanism that causes the code to emerge is a higher order complexity of all Agent involvement.
There is near perfect accountability in emergent coding. You are being contracted and paid to do the design. Every project you compromise has an arrow pointed straight at you should it be detected even years later.
Security is a whole other ball game in emergent coding and current rules do not necessarily apply. 13. Every time someone rebuilds their application, do they have to pay over again for all "design contributions"? (Or is the ability to license components at fixed single price for at least a limited period or even perpetually, supported by the construction (agent) process?) You are paying for the design. Every time you build (or rebuild) an application, you pay the developers involved. They do not know they are "rebuilding". This sounds dire but its costs far less than you think and there are many advantages. Automation is very high with emergent coding so software design is completed for a fraction of the cost of incumbent design methods. You could perhaps rebuild many time before matching incumbent methods. Adding features is hard with incumbent methods "..very few late-stage additions are required before the code base transforms from the familiar to a veritable monster of missed schedules, blown budgets and flawed products" (Brooks Jr 1987) whereas with emergent coding adding a late stage feature requires a rebuild and hence seamless integration. With Emergent Coding, you can add an unlimited number of features without risking the codebase as there isn't one. The second part of your question incorrectly assumes software is created from licensed components rather than created by paying Agents to design features into your project without any licenses involved. 14. In this construction process, is the vendor of a particular "design contribution" able to charge differential rates per their own choosing? e.g. if I wanted to charge a super-low rate to someone from a 3rd world country versus charging slightly more when someone a global multinational corporation wants to license my feature? Yes. Developers set the price and policy of their Agent's service. The Valley (where your Agent is presently advertised) presently only supports a simple price policy. The second part of your question incorrectly assumes features are encumbered with licenses. A developer can provide their feature without revealing their intellectual property. A client has the right to reuse a developer's feature in another project but will find it uneconomical to do so. 15. Is "entirely free" a supported option during the contract negotiation for a feature? Yes. You set the price of your Agent. 16. "There is no single point of failure." Right now, it seems one needs to register, license the construction tech etc. Is that going to change to a model where your company is not necessarily in that loop? If not, don't you think that's a single point of failure? It is a decentralized development system. Once you have registered you become part of a peer-to-peer system. Code Valley has thought long and hard about its role and has chosen the reddit model. It will set some rules for your participation and will detect or remove bad actors. If, in your view, Code Valley becomes a bad actor, you have control over your Agent, private keys and IP, you can leave the system at any time. 17. What if I can't obtain a license because of some or other jurisdictional problem? Are you allowed to license the technology to anywhere in the world or just where your government allows it? We are planning to operate in all 150 countries. As ec is peer-to-peer, Code Valley does not need to register as a digital currency exchange or the like. Only those countries banning BCH will miss out (until such times as BCH becomes the first global electronic cash system). 18.
For example the Cashbar combines just 16 high level Point-of-Sale features but ultimately results in more than 10,000 contracts in toto.
It seems already a reasonably complex application, so well done in having that as a demo. Thank you. 19. I asked someone else a question about how it would be possible to verify whether an application (let's say one received a binary executable) has been built with your system of emergent consensus. Is this possible? Yes of course. If you used ec to build an application, you can sign it and claim anything you like. Your client knows it came from you because of your signature. The design contributions making up the application are not signed but surprisingly there is still perfect accountability (see below). 20. I know it is possible to identify for example all source files and other metadata (like build environment) that went into constructing a binary, by storing this data inside an executable. All metadata emergent coding is now stored offline. When your Agent completes a job, you have a log of the design agreements you made with your peers etc., as part of the log. If you are challenged at a later date for breaching a design contract, you can pull your logs to see what decisions you made, what sub-contracts were let etc. As every Agent has their own logs, the community as a whole has a completely trustless log of each project undertaken. 21. Is this being done with EC build products and would it allow the recipient to validate that what they've been provided has been built only using "design contributions" cryptographically signed by their providers and nothing else (i.e. no code that somehow crept in that isn't covered by the contracting process)? The emergent coding trust model is very effective and has been proven in other industries. Remember, your Agent creates a feature in my project by actually combining smaller features contracted from other Agents, thus your reputation is linked to that of your suppliers. If Bosch makes a faulty relay in my Ford, I blame Ford for a faulty car not Bosch when my headlights don't work. Similarly, you must choose and vet your sub-contractors to the level of quality that you yourself want to project. Once these relationships are set up, it becomes virtually impossible for a bad actor to participate in the system for long or even from the get go. 22. A look at code generated and a surprising answer to why is every intermediate variable spilled? Thanks to u/R_Sholes, this snippet from the actual code for: number = number * 10 + digitgenerated as a part of: sub read/integeboolean($, 0, 100) -> guess
; copy global to local temp variable 0x004032f2 movabs r15, global.current_digit 0x004032fc mov r15, qword [r15] 0x004032ff mov rax, qword [r15] 0x00403302 movabs rdi, local.digit 0x0040330c mov qword [rdi], rax ; copy global to local temp variable 0x0040330f movabs r15, global.guess 0x00403319 mov r15, qword [r15] 0x0040331c mov rax, qword [r15] 0x0040331f movabs rdi, local.num 0x00403329 mov qword [rdi], rax ; multiply local variable by constant, uses new temp variable for output 0x0040332c movabs r15, local.num 0x00403336 mov rax, qword [r15] 0x00403339 movabs rbx, 10 0x00403343 mul rbx 0x00403346 movabs rdi, local.num_times_10 0x00403350 mov qword [rdi], rax ; add local variables, uses yet another new temp variable for output 0x00403353 movabs r15, local.num_times_10 0x0040335d mov rax, qword [r15] 0x00403360 movabs r15, local.digit 0x0040336a mov rbx, qword [r15] 0x0040336d add rax, rbx 0x00403370 movabs rdi, local.num_times_10_plus_digit 0x0040337a mov qword [rdi], rax ; copy local temp variable back to global 0x0040337d movabs r15, local.num_times_10_plus_digit 0x00403387 mov rax, qword [r15] 0x0040338a movabs r15, global.guess 0x00403394 mov rdi, qword [r15] 0x00403397 mov qword [rdi], rax For comparison, an equivalent snippet in C compiled by clang without optimizations gives this output: imul rax, qword ptr [guess], 10 add rax, qword ptr [digit] mov qword ptr [guess], rax
Collaborations at the byte layer of Agents result in designs that spill every intermediate variable. Firstly, why this is so? Agents from this early version only support one catch-all variable design when collaborating. Similar to a compiler when all registers contain variables, the compiler must make a decision to spill a register temporarily to main memory. The compiler would still work if it spilled every variable to main memory but would produce code that would be, as above, hopelessly inefficient. However, by only supporting the catch-all portion of the protocol, the code valley designers were able to design, build and deploy these agents faster because an Agent needs fewer predicates in order to participate in these simpler collaborations. The protocol involved however, can have many "Policies" besides the catch-all default policy (Agents can collaborate over variables designed to be on the stack, or, as is common for intermediate variables, designed to use a CPU register, and so forth). This example highlights one of the very exciting aspects of emergent coding. If we now add a handful of additional predicates to a handful of these byte layer agents, henceforth ALL project binaries will be 10x smaller and 10x faster. Finally, there can be many Agents competing for market share at each of classification. If these "gumby" agents do not improve, you can create a "smarter" competitor (ie with more predicates) and win business away from them. Candy from a baby. Competition means the smartest agents bubble to the top of every classification and puts the entire emergent coding platform on a fast path for improvement. Contrast this with incumbent libraries which does not have a financial incentive to improve. Just wait until you get to see our production system. 23. How hard can an ADD Agent be? Typically an Agent's feature is created by combining smaller features from other Agents. The smallest features are so devoid of context and complexity they can be rendered by designing a handful of bytes in the project binary. Below is a description of one of these "byte" layer Agents to give you an idea how they work. An "Addition" Agent creates the feature of "adding two numbers" in your project (This is an actual Agent). That is, it contributes to the project design a feature such that when the project binary is delivered, there will be an addition instruction somewhere in it that was designed by the contract that was let to this Agent. If you were this Agent, for each contract you received, you would need to collaborate with peers in the project to resolve vital requirements before you can proceed to design your binary "instruction". Each paid contract your Agent receives will need to participate in at least 4 collaborations within the design project. These are:
Input A collaboration
Input B collaboration
Construction site collaboration
You can see from the collaborations involved how your Agent can determine the precise details needed to design its instruction. As part of the contract, the Addition Agent will be provisioned with contact details so it can join these collaborations. Your Agent must collaborate with other stakeholders in each collaboration to resolve that requirement. In this case, how a variable will be treated. The stakeholders use a protocol to arrive at an Agreement and share the terms of the agreement. For example, the stakeholders of collaboration “Input A” may agree to treat the variable as an signed 64bit integer, resolve to locate it at location 0x4fff2, or alternatively agree that the RBX register should be used, or agree to use one of the many other ways a variable can be represented. Once each collaboration has reached an agreement and the terms of that agreement distributed, your Agent can begin to design the binary instruction. The construction site collaboration is where you will exactly place your binary bytes. The construction site protocol is detailed in the whitepaper and is some of the magic that allows the decentralized development system to deliver the project binary. The protocol consists of 3 steps,
You request space in the project binary be reserved.
You are notified of the physical address of your requested space.
You delver the the binary bytes you designed to fill the reserved space.
Once the bytes are returned your Agent can remove the job from its work schedule. Job done, payment received, another happy customer with a shiny ADD instruction designed into their project binary. Note:
Observe how it is impossible for this ADD Agent to install a backdoor undetected by the client.
Observe how the Agent isn’t linking a module, or using a HLL to express the binary instruction.
Observe how with just a handful of predicates you have a working "Addition" Agent capable of designing the Addition Feature into a project with a wide range of collaboration agreements.
Observe how this Agent could conceivably not even design-in an ADD instruction if one of the design time collaboration agreements was a literal "1" (It would design in an increment instruction). There is even a case where this Agent may not deliver any binary to build its feature into your project!
24. How does EC arrive at a project binary without writing source code? Devs using EC combine features to create solutions. They don't write code. EC devs contract Agents which design the desired features into their project for a fee. Emergent coding uses a domain specific contracting language (called pilot) to describe the necessary contracts. Pilot is not a general purpose language. As agents create their features by similarly combining smaller features contracted from peer, your desired features may inadvertently result in thousands of contracts. As it is agents all the way down, there is no source code to create the project binary. Traditional: Software requirements -> write code -> compile -> project binary (ELF). Emergent coding: Select desired features -> contract agents -> project binary (ELF). Agents themselves are created the same way - specify the features you want your agent to have, contract the necessary agents for those features and viola - agent project binary (ELF). 25. How does the actual binary code that agents deliver to each other is written? An agent never touches code. With emergent coding, agents contribute features to a project, and leave the project binary to emerge as the higher-order complexity of their collective effort. Typically, agents “contribute” their feature by causing smaller features to be contributed by peers, who in turn, do likewise. By mapping features to smaller features delivered by these peers, agents ensure their feature is delivered to the project without themselves making a direct code contribution. Peer connections established by these mappings serve to both incrementally extend a temporary project “scaffold” and defer the need to render a feature as a code contribution. At the periphery of the scaffold, features are so simple they can be rendered as a binary fragment with these binary fragments using the information embodied by the scaffold to guide the concatenation back along the scaffold to emerge as the project binary - hence the term Emergent Coding. Note the scaffold forms a temporary tree-like structure which allows virtually all the project design contracts to be completed in parallel. The scaffold also automatically limits an agent's scope to precisely the resources and site for their feature. It is why it is virtually impossible for an agent to install a "back door" or other malicious code into the project binary.
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