Subscribe

Get updates via e-mail:

Monday
Apr072014

Yomi on iPad: April 17th

Yomi is finally launching on the iPad on April 17th. Press kit is here.

 

First, a reminder of what Yomi is: it's a fighting game in card form. Each deck represents a character and the decks follow poker conventions to help you learn the contents of your deck more easily. Numbered cards are "normal" moves, face cards are special moves, and aces are super moves.

Furthermore, Yomi is a competitive game. I'm really sad to have to explain this next part, but these days lots of competitive games have turned their back on what competition is all about: even playfields. An even playfield is when you can play against opponents who don't have material advantage over you because they grinded more or because they spent more. Nowadays, even some of the top e-sports have either forced-grinds before you're allowed to get gameplay-relevant elements, or they put some kind of collectable barrier between you and gameplay elements so that you play weak, gimped stuff while you grind or open packs of random cards to eventually get to the point when you can finally be even with others (and have material advantage over those who aren't there yet.) Those things trample on the spirit of competition, so I'd like to be clear that in Yomi:

  • There's no forced-grind to get characters.
  • There's no random packs of cards that would have you end up with half-assed weak characters.
  • You always have full-powered characters and you play against other players who do too.

Strategy

Although Yomi looks simple at first, it's really an excellent strategy game. It's something you can play for years and years and continue to get better and better. If you think there's not much to it, watch some of Aphotix's casts and you'll start to realize just how much strategy stuff you aren't aware of. Even *I* realize that watching his casts! Here's a link to our twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/sirlingames

iPad Specifics

The iPad version has cross-platform play with the web version. That means any time you join the quickmatch queue, you could end up playing someone from either version. If you have an account already on fantasystrike.com, you can log in with that in the iPad version to keep your same username and your leaderboard stats.

The iPad version will launch at a price of $9.99, and will come with all 10 base characters from the print version of the game. These characters used to cost $5 each ($50 for 10 decks), so that's kind of ridiculously cheap at $9.99 for 10 decks. It's 1/10th the price of the tabletop version.

The iPad version also has an in-app purchase option for $9.99 to get the 10 expansion characters as a bundle.

Yomi has these game modes:

  • Tutorial
  • Practice vs CPU
  • Survival
  • Quickmatch (online vs humans)
  • Custom game (online vs humans)

You *can* play offline without an internet connection. There are two difficulties of bots: easy and hard. The easy one is pretty easy and is good for learning basic familiarity with the game. The hard one is quite sophisticated though! If you flop around and play randomly, expect to lose.

Leaderboards

There is a leaderboard system where you start out in the "student" ranks, and go up by winning, but don't go down by losing. This is to ease you into things. You also get a longer timer in the student ranks. When you rank up enough, you'll then get to the "master" ranks. Here, you do go down for losing so your rank will become an accurate reflection of your skill.

Replays

Yomi lets you save and watch replays of your games. The most fun aspect of this to me is that you can go to the leaderboard, and by everyone's name there is a "view latest replay" link. So you're always one touch away from watching games from all the top players!

The future

We'd like to add more features, and the more of you who support us, the more we'll be able to do. The first things I'd like to see are an iPhone / iPad Touch version added, as well as translations into a few other languages. After that, we might experiment with random packs of sparkly cards (*cosmetic only*), but not in a way that would restrict you from any gameplay. I'm also looking to add an automated tournaments feature that would let you easily form 8-person tournaments any time. There could be even more, too, if you help spread the word.

Links and Stuff

For more Sirlin Games news, follow us on:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SirlinGames
Twitter: @SirlinGames
Twitter (personal): @Sirlin

Press Kit for Yomi on iPad
Print-and-play versions of every deck in the tabletop store

And please come to Fantasy Strike Expo in June!

Tuesday
Mar252014

Codex Design Diary: A Rocky Road

At some point I said "What if Codex could be played asynchronously?" That means playing your whole turn without waiting for the other player, so that you could someday play multiple games at once online, taking your turns at your leisure, whenever.

First, we discovered that cutting out instants had way less strategy impact than we expected. So many, many times there was just a convoluted correct thing to do with the stack (as you may know from Magic: the Gathering) that wasn't a real decision. The game played faster and smoother without instants or a stack, even though most playtesters were wary of that change beforehand. They ended up liking it after trying it.

But then there's combat. It was difficult to even think of a way combat could possibly work without waiting for the defender's decisions. There's also the worry that it would be bad even if it did work, but the experiment was to just see if it could even work at all, then figure out if it's bad later. I thought it would either work or not, and I didn't realize that all these months later (or has it been a year by now?) that I'd still be in limbo on that.

Version 1 of Patrol Zone

There were several ideas of how to make combat fully asynchronous, but only the concept of the "patrol zone" really came together as one that could work. You put the guys you want to block with in that zone, then somehow, they magically block attacks automatically when the opponent attacks. Yeah I glossed over exactly how, but you get the high concept.

I tried it with one playtester. He loved it, to my surprise. Then I tried it with more people. They really liked it too. This kept happening. People really latched onto this whole thing and said it felt different and interesting. Ok great, more positive than I expected. Let's go with it. Oh, and any spells that interact with the patrol zone are basically like instants, by their nature. In Magic: the Gathering they'd like "deal 2 damage to target blocking creature." So that's good.

But then there were problems. Several people got through multiple games of this without issue, but then someone brought up "what if you attack in this certain way, that is strategically stupid? What would happen?" And it was kind of undefined. So I guess the patrol zone rules needed some answer to that. Then someone else had a different situation like that. Damn. Also, you could attack more than one target during combat, and do you resolve each of those one at a time, or all at once? It hardly ever matters, but in some situations it does. One player said of course it's one at a time. Another said of course it's all at once. But each of those answers created problems. Also, there is something called "harassing" that defenders can do that's different from "blocking." Do harassers harass at the same time as blocks? Or slightly after? Again, it hardly ever matters, but when it does, each of those answers creates some problem.

To describe the feel of all that, it's like 95% of this system worked fine, and that's the 95% you experience in any normal kind of playing. But the other 5% around the edges that you'd almost never encounter is really deeply screwed up. I started to realize that these weren't just bugs to fix. It was more like if a program is architected all wrong. It also felt like there was a "conservation of fuckup" going on, like conservation of energy in physics. No one could see how to really solve these bad cases, just move them around to create other different bad cases.

I actually spent days on this. Just this. It was really troublesome to not even be able to progress on this game or even know if the patrol zone was workable at all. It affects the whole game so I can't even tune how all the cards work without knowing this. I can't continue playtesting. I asked myself what a solution could even possibly look like. It seemed like any solution would have to be some patchwork of exceptions that you have to know about how the patrol zone blockers operate. Even if we thought of answers, these answers would just be a mess.

I felt like my experience with game systems was helping me here by telling me this was not just a list of bugs to fix. This required some kind of big sweeping, systemic change. And it's just "too hard" for my brain, at least my conscious brain. So I tried to leverage my unconscious. Make sure this is the thing I'm grinding on. I took walks. I played Diablo on Xbox. I watched Law & Order. But really I was thinking about this, going over and over it. I would restate the problems over and over, explain them to myself, so that I very clearly knew what the problems were. Maybe something would magically solve them? I talked to a couple playtesters, going over this stuff at great length, asking for even bad ideas. They gave some. All bad. (But that's ok, sometimes bad ideas help.)

Then the lightning struck. I was actually laying in bed in the middle of the day. Waiting. I don't know why at that moment I saw the connections I hadn't seen before, but I sat up and knew I had something. You see, there's something all those fucked up cases had in common. Combat goes like this:

1) Say which guys are your attackers and WHAT they are all attacking (they can attack multiple things)
2) The opposing patrol zone guys somehow block you
3) Resolve it all

All the problem cases involved various ways of choosing WHAT you attack in step 1 that then cause the maximum amount of weirdness in step 2. One of those "bad ideas" that one playtester bounced off me involved choosing what you attack after step 2. The way she said to do that was too complicated and long, so I didn't like it. But now I think she had the right general direction of an idea. All the problems we had go away if it's this order:

1) Say which guys are your attackers
2) The opposing patrol zone guys somehow block your guys
3) whichever of your guys aren't blocked in step 2, you can now MICROMANAGE them to hit various targets
4) Resolve it all

The RTS word (micromanage) makes the flavor feel right for how the mechanics are working. Would that sell people on it? Would they think it's backwards to do combat this way? We have played this game for years now and never done it that way.

The answer is that people bought into this right away. In fact, one guy who had played for a long time said "this new thing isn't backwards. The way we've done forever is the backwards way. I always had to work out which guys of mine would end up being unblocked if I were to attack, resolve it all in my head ahead of time, then figure out the right targets to say at the beginning of combat so that it will work out right. But now I can attack, see which guys get through, then direct those guys where I want. It's simpler to think about and faster to do."

Everyone was happy. The patrol zone was solved. Except...it wasn't.

Version 2 of Patrol Zone

I saw a problem that no one was complaining about, but it was a big deal to me. People were playing the game, it was functioning and all, but all your guys died too much. I thought the much older version of the game before any asynchronous stuff was probably too defensive, and this new version was intentionally more offense oriented, so this wasn't entirely unexpected. The thing is, your guys died so much that it was hard to really put much of a plan together. You needed guys so desperately to block that a 1/1 for 1 became incredible. That really limits design space when we make some new cool thing and you say "yeah whatever, too bad it's not a blank 1/1 that cost 1! That's what I really want."

So why were your guys dying so much? See if you can follow this logic. You have heroes and tech buildings that you want to protect, so you put your guys in the patrol zone to protect those. If those patrol zone guys end up dying, you're actually ok with that result. They protected what they were supposed to and in the previous version's rules, the opponent had to pay 1 gold to even attack those things. So this lessened the slippery slope. But in this current version, they don't say what they attack until after their guys engage your guys in the patrol zone. They don't pay anything to do that (they only pay to micromanage after that step, if anything is unblocked). They basically pay 0 to kill your guys. Furthermore, they might just be attacking your life total and in that case you probably wouldn't want to block early game. You wish your patrol zone guys would sometimes back off rather than die if they are only protecting your life total. You NEED to have guys there though in case they attack your heroes or tech buildings.

So in short: you're forced to block when you don't want to. And when that happens, the opponent is now paying 0 for it when in previous versions they paid 1 gold. This is causing your guys to die constantly and it's causing the kind of excessive slippery slope that we fixed a long time ago, but now it's back. It's causing most abilities in the game to be useless because guys don't even live long enough to use their abilities. It's a major problem.

How the heck do we solve this? Every solution put forth was very complicated. If this is to be asynchronous (meaning you can get through your entire turn without waiting for your opponent) then you have to create a really complicated algorithm that simulates reasonable choices for blocking. Even if you do all that there's still the screwy thing about how the opponent can pay 0 at times they are really "supposed" to pay 1 gold. It was miserable and maybe this whole asynchronous thing wasn't going to work out.

I asked pretty much everyone who ever played the game what they thought. Their answer was almost universal: they wanted it to stay asynchronous and they wanted the patrol zone to work. They said I should figure out how. When I dug deeper in their answers, they fell into these camps: 1) some people wanted the game asychronous because they envisioned how good that would be for a digital version someday, 2) some people didn't plan to ever even play that version but they just liked that async made it faster to get through a turn, and they had time to play multiple games in a row. And then here was a real curve ball for me: some people said they hoped the patrol zone would say no matter digital or not, and no matter async or not. They just really really liked it. It's different and interesting they kept saying. "Please solve it," they said. Yeah, great.

There was another really frustrating period where I decided we just had to give up on the patrol zone...or maybe not...yes we do...or maybe we can think of some answer? I really needed an answer or we can't even progress on development. With one friend, I would txt him every few hours with a new Codex combat system.

"If you don't like Codex combat, wait a few minutes."--Mark Twain

We had all sorts of ideas, all of them crazy. Multiple special slots in the patrol zone that each blocked in different ways. A "battle plans" concept where you had to say what you wanted to attack the turn before doing it, so that the opponent could choose their patrol zone guys accordingly. (That one sounded like it would solve everything but turned out really bad.) This was getting so bad that I said maybe we should give up on this entire year's worth of effort to make the game asynchronous. It's just completely falling apart here.

Then as a thought exercise, I wondered "what if we allowed the patrol zone rules be as complicated as we wanted, to the point where it's insane and unshippable? What would it be like?" So I listed out what it would be like. I would summarize it this way:

1) If you attack anything except their life total: follow these fairly simple rules.
2) If you attack their life total, follow this ridiculously huge bundle of rules.

Then in frustration I yelled out "if you attack their life total, they should just choose exactly how they want to block! I don't even care if it's asynchronous anymore!!" But wait a minute. It CAN just be that way. If we already have workable rules for attacking everything else, the maybe there are two different kinds of attacking. One that follows the fairly simple rules for patrol zone blocking, and another that lets the opponent block how they want, but that *ends your turn* when you declare the attackers. It's still asynchronous that way. In the first case, you are "micromanaging" and choosing exactly how it all plays out. In the second case, you're "auto-attacking" and letting the opponent micromanage their blockers, basically. Maybe a bit complicated to have two kinds of attacking? But unlike everything mentioned so far...it seems to actually work.

Testing showed right away: yes it worked. It really did fix the previous problem. People seemed to accept the auto-attack vs micromanage attack concept readily, too. It mapped to something they understood from RTS video games so it made sense to their brains. That's really good when the mechanics of how a thing "should" work line up with the flavor of how it feels.

So finally, this whole mess was solved. Except...it wasn't.

Version 3 of Patrol Zone

Kevin. The terror of Codex: Kevin. He's a playtester who got better and better at the game over time to the point that he's scary. If he finds some card that's too good, that's no problem. We can just fix that card. The problem is that Kevin was starting to uncover a systemic problem, something that was beyond the scope of adjusting any particular card. He showed that rushdown was very, very strong. We had just fixed one problem that made rushdown too good (being forced to block at times you didn't really want to), and even though that problem really was fixed, rushdown was *still* too good. Playing against Kevin was like playing playing Starcraft where the enemy's zerglings start right next to your command center or something. He was just way too successful with focusing entirely on early game and avoiding even using more mid-game and late-game tech.

So this damn combat system was broken yet again, basically. Is there no end to this??

I suggested a fix, and people seemed to think it wouldn't work. Testing has so far showed that it does work though, so I get some prediction points, ha. The fix is that the "patrol leader" (the only special slot in the patrol zone) gets +1 HP when it blocks. People had asked for a long time if the patrol leader could get some sort of bonus anyway, not for gameplay reasons, but just because they thought it felt like it should. In this case, that +1 HP on just one of your units is enough to give you a bit of breathing room against an early rush. It lets your guys live just long enough that their abilities start to matter, and surviving Kevin's rush becomes a realistic thing. You might not think such a small bonus to one thing would transform the game, but it does.

In addition to that, I buffed every unit in the entire game except the very first units you play at the start of the game. The effect of that is that when you do survive that early rush and start teching up to more powerful stuff, the jump in power is bigger. It's big enough that even Kevin needs to care about it and do it, rather than only build the equivalent of basic zerglings all day, forever. It also seems to have helped the fun factor. I personally had more fun playing this latest version of Codex than I can ever remember having before. The other day I chose to play Codex over Guilty Gear!

Conclusion?

So finally, this whole mess was solved. Or is it? Actually as of this writing, it is. I don't know what will happen next but I really hope this current system works out. All the *rest* of the stuff the game is about that makes it stand apart from other card games has been working well for a long time.

I planned on making a public print-and-play version a long time ago, but there have been way, way too many system changes that kept pushing that out. Sorry for the wait, it will still be a bit longer. You will be able to play Codex at Fantasy Strike Expo though, in June. Don't forget to sign up now.

Wednesday
Mar052014

New Online Option for Fantasy Strike Games

There's a new option to fully unlock Yomi, Puzzle Strike, and Flash Duel characters at www.fantasystrike.com/store

In addition to the options we've been offering, there's now the option to unlock 10 characters at a time for unlimited play, in each game. We used to sell those characters for $5 each, half the price of a physical Yomi deck. But now, you can get a 10-pack of characters online, not for $50, but for just $14.99. Yes really, at least for now. You can even gift the games to your friends.

So dive in, tell a friend, and get some matches in!

Other New Things of Interest 

 

Thursday
Feb272014

Fantasy Strike Expo 2014

Announcement!

The second Fantasy Strike Expo will take place June 6th-8th 2014 near the San Francisco airport. It's a tournament series and casual play event showcasing the Fantasy Strike tabletop games. Come compete, watch, and make new friends with other Fantasy Strikers. There's also a chance to try out Codex, still in development. Last year's event was really fun so don't miss out.

Registration link: www.fantasystrike.com/fsx

Location: Marriot Courtyard San Francisco Airport.
1050 Bayhill Drive, San Bruno, California 94066 USA.

Discuss Fantasy Strike Expo on the forums.

Tournaments

All tournaments will take place Saturday and Sunday June 7th and 8th. Tournament finals will take place on Sunday, June 8th.

Tabletop tournaments:

  • Pandante (first ever tournament for this new gambling game!)
  • Yomi (latest beta version)
  • Puzzle Strike

Codex

The Codex customizable card game will be playable the whole time, but especially on Friday. It's been through quite a few changes since last year, and I think you'll find that it plays faster now, and that it has a bunch of real art.

Who should come?

Really anyone who enjoys these games who can. Like I said, it was great fun last year.

Note that this is not just a local event. It's located right next to the San Francisco International Airport to make travelling as easy as possible. There's even a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Last year we had several from Canada as well as Kasumi who came all the way from Japan!

One reason to come would be if you're actually good at any of these games. You don't want to let some shmoe win do you? That said, all skill levels are welcome. Attending a tournament is usually quite a learning experience regardless of your skill or lack of it. Even if you don't enter any tournaments at all, plenty of casual play is encouraged as well. It's fun to be in an environment with like-minded people and to make new friends, so you might be interested in attending for the social aspects alone.

Some fun from last year:

3-Day Passes

Keep in mind that three day passes are only available for early registration this year, which runs until April 30th. After that, only single day passes are available. Sign up now.

Wednesday
Feb052014

Two Science Videos

You have probably seen or at least heard of the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate about science.
Here's the video:


(starts at about 12:30)

 

In that video, you can see Bill Nye saying informative things about how we know the age of the Earth and so on, and you can see Ken Ham make painful linguistic distinctions that lack any explanatory power. Ham is obsessed with the distinction between "observational science" and "historical science" which is a concept he made up to cover the part where his theories about the past don't reconcile with science in general. Bill Nye explains the many, many problems with believing the Earth is 6,000 years old and how that belief conflicts with overwhelming observable evidence.

The most striking contrast to me between the two men is actually the quality bar each has for what qualifies as an "answer" to a scientific question. For example, "where did stars come from?" is a question. Ham is enthusiastically satisfied with the answer "the bible tells us God created stars." Meanwhile Bill Nye (and I'd hope any thinking person) finds that empty, and basically a non-answer. Nye wants to know the process through which stars form, the natural laws and physical states that made it possible for them to form, the nature of the fusion chain reaction going on, and so forth. If Ham were to read my words here, he would predictably say that the fusion chain reaction is part of "observable science" so Ham is just as interested in that, but that where a star came from is [arbitrarily placed in the made-up category of] "historical science" so "the bible says God created stars" is a complete answer. Astonishing. I'd hope for more intellectual curiosity than that.

Logic students could study the debate to see the many fallacies Ham uses. There's undertones of the common "if you can't explain a given phenomenon, that means a supernatural being must have done it, rather than a process we do not yet understand." What a strange thing to default to! If you want to argue something, I guess you can just declare your position as the default. (I declare that a teapot is orbiting Jupiter. If you have no evidence on it either way, I guess there really is such a teapot!) This same fallacy came up several time when Nye was asked to explain things currently unknown by science. Nye honestly tells us he doesn't know, and shows us this yearning to learn the answers from more science. Ham tries to frame this as a "gotcha," as if not knowing any of several currently unanswerable problems somehow means we throw out everything we do know and default to Ham's fantastical, supernatural non-explanations.

He also uses the fallacy that non-perfect data means "we can't know anything." Don't dozens of different radioactive dating methods show the Earth is billions of years old? Maybe, but they don't all say exactly the same thing (pretty sure he's exaggerating that, but let's just go with it for now). Check this out: THEREFORE the Earth is 6,000 years old. Again, if there's any shred of non-perfect data, you can declare that we can't know anything about the subject, so we should default to the crazy impossible situation that the Earth is 6,000 years old, and created by a supernatural being that acts outside the laws of nature. If there's perfect data on a subject, just declare it non-perfect and use the same tactic. I laughed when Nye said that if Ham walked into a clock store and saw that the clocks were all set to slightly different times, that he'd think it means we can't know anything about time.

Nye used a clever rhetoric trick at one point that I think is good for dealing with a nonsense claim. The thing about a nonsense claim is that it implies other nonsense if true, so can you expose that from more than one angle. Nye subtly attacked one idea from two sides at once, forcing Ham's position to rest somewhere inbetween two impossibilities. The two sides of attack had to do with how many species were supposedly on Noah's arc and how rapidly species branched into more species since then. In one argument, Nye explains the infeasibility of caring for tens of thousands of animals on a boat built by 8 people who were unskilled in boatmaking. In a separate argument, Nye compares the number of species alive today with the number supposedly on the Arc 6,000 years ago, and computes that it must mean there are 11 new species every day. Wouldn't we notice 11 new species every day?

Ham defends his figures saying that Nye greatly overestimates the number of animals that needed to be on the arc. It could have had just 2,000 he says. And that's the trap. Nye points out that if that's the case, it just makes the other problem even more absurd. Now there has to be even more than 11 new species every day for the story to be true.

Another fallacy that is at least more interesting is something I'd call "appeal to catchy phrase." For example, "You can't get something from nothing." Or "you can't get life from matter without God." Ham made both of those claims, and assumed them to be true. The thing is, those are actually incredibly bold claims, far stronger than Ham seems to realize. On the second one, "Non-living matter usually does not turn into living matter" would be a pretty conservative claim (not one he made though). What I mean there is that if you have a rock, it doesn't tend to turn into something alive. Or if you have a pool of sludge with no life, it doesn't tend to actually create life (though it might attract already existing life). Those are fine claims. But to say you CAN'T EVER get life from non-life would require you to know everything that could possibly ever happen. What if actually you CAN get life from a pool of sludge rich in the protein building blocks of life if you wait trillions of years and repeat this on trillions of planets or something. I certainly can't prove you can't. And we have pretty strong evidence that this unlikely thing did happen once. You can't start your debate with a first principle of assuming otherwise, simply declaring that catchy phrases are true statements about what's possible.

Then there's "you can't get something from nothing." That sounds nice, but is that really true? The physicist Lawrence Krauss wrote a book explaining that you can. Krauss says a discussion of this topic is basically just nonsense unless you have a pretty advanced understanding of physics. When you talk about "nothing" you mean "the absence of things." Ok fine, but what things? If we have a given space that might have "nothing" in it, then what things aren't in it? Obvious things like rocks and trees and apples, meaning things we can see. Ok that's a good start. But at some point in science we learned about *air*. That's an invisible thing and from then on "nothing" probably meant "no air, either." What about photons(light) or electrons? Quantum mechanics shows that space is actually teeming with quantum particles that leap into and out of existence. You have to know this stuff to even talk about what "nothing" means, and Krauss says that when you do know it, it becomes more like "of COURSE you can get something from nothing, we'd expect that, and it's what we've observed to be true as well." By contrast, Ham's counter-argument uses the appeal to catchy phrase "you can't get something from nothing," and ends all examination and critical thinking right there.

Honestly, it's painful to list out more fallacies from Ham. I leave it as an exercise to the viewer to find more. It's also painful to watch the debate at times because it's just so remedial. Bill Nye could surely teach us more about science if he weren't so hamstrung explaining the most basic things to someone with an absurd, untenable position. So...let's raise the level of discourse.

I mentioned the physicist Lawrence Krauss. Krauss, Daniel Dennet, and Massimo Pigliucci have a long conversation about science in this video:

They talk about what science can know, and what it maybe can't know. They talk about how if science can't know something, it's not like another way of knowing would have a shot either. Are there even other ways of knowing? This video starts out with Krauss saying maybe they won't disagree at all because they are all smart and reasonable people. I'm not sure how ironic he meant that. They are on the same page on many things and that allows them to discuss things at miles and miles higher of a level than Nye was able to in his situation, but the the rift between Dennet as a philosopher and Krauss as a physicist does come out. A lot is under the surface of their discussion.

Dennet deals with the philosophy of consciousness. I recommend checking out his various books and videos. Here is my short summary of his work, which I think he would agree with. Consciousness is deeply difficult to study. There's a large set of ideas you can have about it which are almost certainly wrong. If you haven't thought about it or studied it at all, you are pretty likely to think wrong things. Dennet can't necessarily tell you right things, because we don't quite get it yet, but there's a bunch of wrong things he can identify that we can pretty safely cross off. He's basically trying to keep sciences honest and steer them into framing their questions correctly. (Example of bad framing: "where is the immortal soul located in the brain?") Scientist tend to be pretty skeptical of philosophers, and I think for good reason. Reasons Krauss explains in very diplomatic terms. Yet he also acknolwedges what the value of philosophy is to some parts of science. It's interesting to see Dennet's take on these things.

Anyway, if you have several hours, then there are two science videos for you. The first showing a bunch of bad answers to questions and why those answers are bad. The second raising good questions to stimulate your mind.