Ask Me Stuff

Ask Me Stuff
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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time once again to ask me stuff. Hit me up with your games industry related questions by leaving a comment, and I’ll respond as best I can between now and late Thursday.

And thanks to Ben Abraham for a brand-spanking new Far Cry 2 screenshot.


  • Sitting here with a broken wrist for the past couple of days has given me a fever, a downloadable games fever. I’ve spent so much money on steam its silly, namely because there seems to be very little restriction on what I can buy (not since the company of heroes cufuffle a while back). My question is, why do games companies hate my money? I want to play Bit.Trip Beat on Wiiware, but Nintendo wont let me. I want to play XNA community games, but Microsoft wont let me. I just want to turn my real money into their voodoo spacebucks. Whats the deal?

  • Two questions, similar topic.
    1. Any news on the Warhammer 40K MMO? Last news I heard was around May last year.
    2. Any news on the Space Marine game that we saw a leaked alpha build?

  • How come Scrabble isn’t available on the Xbox Live marketplace in Australia alongside all the other Hasbro games?

  • 1. Is the Nintendo dsi worth the extra money or is the Ds lite sufficient. The only appeal for dsi is the so called ‘app store’, better sound and the better wi-fi encryption but is that enough to pay an extra 100 bucks.

    2. When are the next Professor Layton coming out on DS? I think the japan release are about to release the third chapter of the series

  • @Chris Lowery

    Lots of really boring reasons for this, involving licensing and marketing and scheduling. However, I’ve sent some questions to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft in the hope of hearing an official answer.

  • @NRD80Y

    1. Nothing official, but stay tuned.
    2. I’m hearing that particular Space Marine game is no longer in development. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be one coming out…

  • @Jasper

    No. EA, which owns Pandemic and dissolved the Brisbane studio, lost the Batman license at the end of last year.

  • Why do you only use images of Far Cry 2 in your “Ask Me Stuff” posts? Can you please screens from different games for your next post, or at least more interesting screen from Far Cry 2 like – say, the flaming skulls of dead zebras?

  • On a scale of Rhesus Monkey to Michael Parkinson to Chicken Sandwich (Chicken Sandwich being the highest), what are the actual real chances of seeing Lucasarts classic point-and-click games being released on Xbox Live Arcade? In your opinion.

  • @Gavin McDarren

    If any readers wish to send me pictorial evidence of animal cruelty and other atrocities committed in the name of niihilism, please send them to the usual address.

  • @David Rayfield

    I’ll go with Parkie, if only for the surprising inclusion of Fate of Atlantis as bonus content in the upcoming Indiana Jones game on Wii. It suggests LucasArts is entirely oblivious to its point & click history. And maybe – just maybe – if the likes of Sam & Max, Strongbad and the Broken Sword reissue sell well enough, they might just be tempted to follow suit…

  • David,

    As you may be aware, if you still read the mag, I currently write for Hyper. It’s fantastic. I love it. And being able to do the work whenever I have the time is great, because I’m in my Honours year at Uni. But I’d like to make more *money* freelancing, and the various other mags and sites I’ve tried to crack haven’t yielded many results. When you started off in the industry, how did you get your foot in the door? Are you aware of anyone at the moment on the lookout for more writers, or *different* writers, or anything? I figure my writing resume should be impressive enough that people would at least be interested…

  • Is there a patch in the works for GTA 1V Lost and Damned?
    I can’t play the game for more than 20mins before getting stuck on the road riding my bike. Textures not popping in causing me to fall into grey nothingness, I was in a race and the textures all dissapeared, Missions unable to load/freeze, and when pressing Start to view map screen remains black.

  • Telltale is doing a pretty good job reviving the point and click. I’ve been addicted to their releases for a while, and am looking foward to Wallace and Gromit I must say.

  • @James O’Connor

    Games writing opportunities are few in Australia; fewer still are paid opportunities. You shouldn’t feel disheartened by knock-backs. I was probably quite lucky in that I started writing about games when the market was expanding and the future looked quite stable. We’re in a situation now where the transition of games media from print to online is almost complete, so hopefully we’ll see more paid positions open up at various websites. As I suggested last week or the week before, I’d recommend any budding writer to start their own blog and become involved with the global games blogging community. This will open more doors than a print byline that no one outside Australia will pay attention to.

  • @bob squiggles

    There’s been no news aside from confirmation that it is still in development. When it finally emerges, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it look quite different from the last time we saw it…

  • Hey David,

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on the future possibility of writers finding positions in development companies. I’ve always been on the lookout for possibly expanding into writing for games – dialogue/story/design or what have you – but am always stymied by the lack of actual ‘Writer’ positions.

    Do you think that developers will soon realise the importance of good writing in games (BioShock and The Darkness spring to mind as great examples)? And, by extension, will this increase the quality of games in general if such positions are formalised?

  • I don’t know if this classifies as a games question but wasn’t then PS3 was supposed to be getting PlayTV in Australia at the start of this year, do you know what happened to it? Should I just blame Freeview?

  • @ James

    Are at all privvy to Hyper Magazine’s Daniel Wilks’ email replying habits? Is it a constant, evolving action or is it something with is no longer able? I sent him an email a while back and I received only the sounds of tumbleweeds in return…

  • Hey David.
    Do you think this freeze on game developer jobs will thaw a little after GDC? There’s only so much day time TV a man can watch before he begins considering violently usurping a position.

  • Hey David,

    I wonder what your thoughts are on the onlive system that was recently announced at GDC. Specifically your thoughts on whether you think that this is even a practical option in Australia because of the generally low internet speeds here in Australia, compared to the rest of the world, meaning that this will be an almost impossibility to play basically any game on the service lag free in HD.

  • @ David Rayfield

    In my (admittedly limited) experience, Wilks is the most reliable e-mail replier I have encountered in the industry. However, the Next e-mail services have a habit of going down on occassion, meaning that sometimes he simply won’t receive e-mails. What were you trying to contact him about?

  • Three questions.

    Is there a solid release date for Banjo-Tooie on XBox Live Arcade yet?

    Do you think there will be an F-Zero on the Wii anytime soon?

    And do you know any details or a release date for Forza Motorsport 3?

  • @ James

    Ah, I see. I’ll send again. It was just about contributing. Thanks muchly.

    @ David Wildgoose

    Here’s a question: Can you forgive me for hijacking your comments for my own nefarious benefit?

  • Hi David,

    I was wondering what would be the best avenue to get into a marketing position with a video game publisher or developer, such as SCE or EA. I have a degree in marketing and currently work in market research, and also very familiar with the entertainment retail environment.


  • @Brendan Camilleri

    I’m not sure there’s any real trick to it. Having worked at a games publisher before, all I can really suggest is to keep applying for any jobs you see, include something creative and games-related in your application, and – if you get an interview – make sure you convey your interest in the industry.

  • @Old_Skool_Gamer

    1. Nope. It’s not part of their “Days of Arcade” promo either, so we’re looking at May at the earliest.
    2. I would be amazed if there isn’t an F-Zero for Wii in development. Not sure how it’d utilise motion control though…
    3. Just a hunch we’ll see it announced at E3 and released in time for Christmas.

  • @matt30822

    These services have been on the cards for a while, so I’m a little surprised by all the attention OnLive has received. The practical issues you mention for Australia (and other territories outside the US) are clearly a hurdle we’re some years away from overcoming. I can see it working with casual games and certain other genres that don’t require a lag free environment. But trying to play, say, Gran Turismo 5 online and at 1080p via that kind of service? I have my doubts.

  • @Eldar Sadri

    I’m not aware of any plans Microsoft have to release a new wheel. If Forza 3 is actually coming out this year, it does present an opportunity for them (or someone like Mad Catz) to bring out a better wheel,

  • @Ryan

    Almost every Sony press release this year has mentioned PlayTV. Likewise, in almost every interview Michael Ephraim has given this year, he’s mentioned PlayTV. It’s coming, but we don’t know exactly when. (At least it’s not quite as overdue as Xbox Live’s Video Marketplace…)

  • @Dylan Burns

    Writers are a rare breed in development, outside of dedicated RPG studios like Bioware and maybe Bethesda. Generally, a games writer needs another string to his or her bow, such as being able to demonstrate an appreciation of game design and how their writing ability can complement that.

    My advice for a “writer” hoping to work in dev: learn how to use the NWN, Oblivion or Fallout 3 editing tools and create a mod. You don’t need to create new art assets, but you need to understand how to script, structure and pace a quest of your own devising. Great writing or great characters are only worthwhile if they’re part of a great game.

  • Hope I’m not too late with my question! Why do Oz gamers have to wait until nearly June to get Guitar Hero:Metallica? It’s a PAL thing, right?

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