Ask Me Stuff

Ask Me Stuff
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Here’s where you ask me questions about games and I answer them.

Is there something you want to know about the industry or a specific game? Or do you just want to get my opinion on a particular topic? Drop your query into the comments and I’ll be answering them for the rest of the day. (Well, except between now and about 10am when I’ll be out.)

So, go on, ask me stuff!


  • Hey David.
    I want to get into the gaming area for a job, but in retail (eb ect.) I don’t have the patience to si behind a computer all day coding actually making games and i’m a people person, meaning retail is probably my only option.
    My aim is to eventually have my own independant game store after building some experience. what i want to know is if there is actually much money to be made in this area if i did have my own outlet… I am obsessed by games and want to share my love of them with everyday people, but i also want to be finacially sound in the future.. any thoughts? thanks mate.

    • @Chuloopa

      I’d suggest opening your own indie game store is a risk. If you really want to share your love of games with people, there are plenty of careers available in the industry other than actually coding games. Have you considered marketing or public relations?

  • What do you think of the iphone gaming revolution?

    I’ve been playing a LOT of iphone games recently and some such as Lets Golf! are as good a quality as a PSP game

    However the PSP game would be $60 and the iphone game was $8

    How worried do you think Nintendo and Sony should be because I know a lot of people using iphone and gaming who do not have any other console and love it

    • @Choc

      Nintendo and Sony (and Microsoft) would be mad not to take the iPhone very seriously. I don’t have one myself so I can’t vouch for the quality of the games available, but it’s clear the iPhone is leading the way in terms of honing the business model of digital distribution. The success of low cost and low commitment – dare I say casual – games is something all three major console players need to respond to.

  • Hey David, what did you have for breakfast?

    Oh and something games-related… do you think the whole GH/RB market is heading down a saturated path? I mean there’s more sequels than not (a lego one… wtf?!), and with this whole movie talk that’s happening at the moment, it all seems like it’s getting beyond a joke.


    • @Gobbo

      Peanut butter on toast, of course.

      Both Guitar Hero and Rock Band are becoming platforms in their own right and I can’t see them going away any time soon. Both franchises will see annual bundle releases to attract new consumers while those of us whose living rooms are already full of plastic peripherals will be sustained through weekly DLC and the occasional band-specific pack. The Beatles Rock Band will be a fascinating test case. Are you really prepared to pay more for a game than you spent on the console you’re playing it on?

      • The only irk I have with the way GH and RB are headed is that GH isn’t allowing reverse-compilation of it’s tracks; ie, if you buy GH:Aerosmith, you have to physically reboot the console with GHWT for instance if you want to play tracks off that. Unlike RB where RB2 enabled you to import the songs from RB1, and I gather newer RB titles will do the same also.

        It’s a fair call with the DLC value being more than that of the game itself, and I really hope that with the cheapness of iPhone apps, and iTunes song titles costing peanuts, the price of RB/GHWT song DLC drops – because currently it really is too expensive (once you’ve already forked out $300+ for a game+hardware), and I think the actual DLC sales reflect this.

        • @Gobbo

          You can’t really compare iTunes prices to GH/RB DLC prices since they’re not the same thing, even if it may be the same song. Activision definitely needs to solve its licensing issues around importing old tracks into a new version of the game, as Harmonix has done. I’d pay $5 for the convenience of not having to swap discs.

  • i dont really understand the reasons why we cant have every single PS1 game (or even PS2) available on our PSN store. i started a japanese Psn account and its amazing to see all these great games sitting there out of reach Ehrgeiz, Einhander, its killing me i could easily drop over $100 in one afternoon im sure many others would too. whats the deal

    • I think it would have to fall in with the distribution rights of the games, sony didnt own distribution rights of all PS1 games so its up to the publishers of those games.

      Still saying that a lot more should be on the store

      • yeah i guess but there out in japan and sure if everyone gets some sort of slice of the pie every body wins! Its not like they make any money out of those out of production titles anymore

        • @truncheon

          “Its not like they make any money out of those out of production titles anymore”

          But perhaps they stand to make even more money by re-releasing those old games on PSP or DS for full price?

          • i see how they’re just waiting to see how they can maximise profits out of hard earned IP. but they made their money on playstation in the first place surely there is some loyalty. ps one games on ds!! i guess stranger things have happened, when monster hunter became wii exclusive i unched my mum in the face

      • No it doesnt make a lot of sence, but the distribution rights are different in each region.

        Look at Tatsunoko vs Capcom, arguably the best fighter on the Wii but they have had a lot of licencing issues to bring it to other countries.

        Its really depriving a lot of gamers from some classics and is really sad.

    • @truncheon

      Sam Lawrence gets the points. The publishers of those games clearly feel there isn’t a sufficient market for those titles outside of Japan to justify the cost. And, to complicate matters, perhaps the publishing rights are held by another company for territories outside of Japan? Totally understand your frustration though.

  • Hey David

    I’m trained as an economist and have experience working in various statistics and administrative roles (like Business Analayst, admin policy etc). Supposing I wanted to work for a games company.. whats the chance of that happening? I mean I know I’m not a coder but surely there’s gotta be some administrative roles in the company keeping everyones shit together? :/

    Or should I give up now and get back to work?

    • @Adnan Choudhury

      Sounds like you need to keep an eye for finance positions at games publishers. It’s not as close to the actual games as some other publishing jobs, but you’ll be working in the same office as the marketing people and seeing new games every day.

  • played through the inFamous demo last night, it’s not bad.

    will prototype have a demo as well?
    how do the two games compare?
    is the infamous/prototype -> gta4/saintsrow2 comparison valid?
    get one, or both?
    also – prototype is censored? is that right?

    • @clawster

      No, Prototype is not censored in Australia. I haven’t yet played Prototype, but I understand it’s considerably more violent than inFamous. I doubt the difference between the two games will be as clearcut as it was between GTA IV and Saints Row 2.

  • do you think developers on retail PS3 exclusive titles have made good use of sixaxis controller? and which titles do you think have implimented motion sensing well? i personally like the grenade system in uncharted: drakes fortune(sixaxis ajusted throw angle), i think it will be a good balance in the propsed multiplayer for the second game.

    • @Ryno

      Can’t say I’m a fan of motion control when it’s as shoehorned in as most Sixaxis implementations have been. Did anyone seriously enjoy turning valves in Killzone 2? My advice to developers would be: unless your game is built around motion control (i.e. Flower), forget Sixaxis and please don’t tack on what are essentially mini-games that pull me out of the experience.

    • @James

      I’ve written a few pieces for the Official Nintendo mag since starting at Kotaku last December, but that’s about it. I’m not contractually bound to only write for Kotaku, but I am enjoying being able to focus on one thing.

  • Do you see any future in game companies contracting cheap labour (coders) from overseas?

    It seems weird that in the code-heavy environment that gaming is, with all the closures and layoffs at the moment that they can’t keep the companies afloat by spending a fraction of the money to get the work done overseas (eg China, India etc).

    The ‘big’ companies seem to do it without hesitation, so why not games developers?

    Yes, the work’s probably a little more in-depth than normal database hack-n-slash work that gets shipped off, but surely there’s future potential here?

    • @Gobbo

      It’s already happening. Every major publisher has at least one studio in China or even Eastern Europe. And while they may not yet be solely responsible for developing whole games, they’re doing plenty of work in collaboration with the core development team in the West.

  • Hello David!

    E3 could potential see a PS3 console price-cut announcement from SONY. How much do you anticipate the drop to be in AUD?

    Also, crunchie or smooth?

    • @HotDamn!

      Sony Australia isn’t tied to what Sony America does with regard to price. So even if SCEA announces a price drop at E3, it doesn’t mean it automatically applies here as well. I’d expect we won’t see one until much closer to Xmas and even then, I’d be amazed if it fell lower than $599 (with bundled game).

      I reckon we might see a PS2 price drop before we see a PS3 one…

  • Quick Question: Will Fuel for xbox360 have split screen multiplayer?

    While I’m on the point, which do you prefer; online multiplayer or couch multiplayer?

    I just can’t warm to online multiplayer.

    • @DeanoMajik

      No splitscreen multiplayer has been announced and given the scale of the world, don’t hold your breath for it.

      I’m more of a couch multiplayer gamer, and even when I’m online I’m more inclined to play co-op than competitively. Most of my gaming time is spent playing solo, however.

  • What’s your favorite aspect of working at Kotaku Tower? Is it the view down upon the great unwashed? The access it give you to developers? Or maybe just having an established and reliable audience to read your stuff?

  • FIFA or PES?

    Did you see the screenshot Atari sent out yesterday to media as a preview Dave. Kinda hopeful on PES this year….

  • Hi David,
    I’m currently in my second year of an IT course at uni, majoring in programming. So far we have covered java and c++. I’d like to get into games programming but i’m not sure how useful these languages are for that… What kind of outside courses and qualifications should I be doing/getting to get into games programming?

    • @kup_o

      C++ is the most commonly used in the industry, so you’re on the right track. Depending on what type of coding you’d like to get into, scripting languages such as Python or even UnrealScript could be useful. C# is also becoming more common given its integration into XNA. I’d advise messing around with UnrealScript in your spare time, if you’re just going to pick one.

      Any devs out there got any other suggestions?

    • For a scripting language, you might also want to look at Lua. There’s lots of games that have some, if not all, of their gameplay done in Lua.

  • hey Dave, just a quick question
    whats the dealio with PSN in oz, demos seem to be released in the American version, but don’t seem to make it to ours, the same holds true for some DLC

    two examples that spring to mind are is no demo for Red Alert 3 in OZ, even thou the game is released here.
    and no DLC for Disgaea 3, and again the game in released here.

    i don’t really understand how it is so difficult to get such things released everywhere at once, or even released at all over here any ideas?


    • @hips

      These things cost publishers money. So, my guess is that, to use your example, EA’s marketing budget for Red Alert 3 in Australia didn’t extend to hosting a demo on PSN. It all goes back to the point I made in the Monday Musings this week: while EA may be a global company, the local office runs its own business and makes it own decisions for the Australian market.

  • Hey David,

    I’m a very big gamer, I love games, I also work in the games industry; I love selling games to people.

    My question is regarding digital distribution, What are your thoughts on it? It’s still the new kid on the block, but between blockbusters closing down due to these “Digital Rentals” of movies like on Foxtel Box Office, how long until some of the big games stores close down due to people just not wanting to fork out that extra effort, or money, to go down to the local video games store and buy a hard copy of the game.

    Now i know the main one is PC Games, and with my experinece the only thing keeping people coming into the stores are Pre-owned sales and Console games. PC Sales are very low, due to price? Digital Distrubtion offers a cheaper product with less effort required to obtain it.

    PS3 And 360 Both have marketplaces/stores to buy addons to games, and in the case of PS3, Download full games.

    What are your thoughts on it? Is it a scary monster coming to eat the games stores I’ve visited as a child and worked as teen, or is the console hard copies/pre-owned going to keep people like me in a job, and people coming back to us?

    I’m asking this now only because especially during the Economic crash, digital distrubtion seems to be rising from the seas.

  • Hey David,

    A bit like Adnan, I’m wondering what the best way to move from one industry to another is. Specifically, I’m a publisher with a large multinational scholarly publishing house. I’ve always been interested in video games and I’ve been wondering if my business skills, acquisition skills etc might be useful/transferable to working for a games publisher.

    The only problem is that I don’t know where to start – all the info I see about working in the games industry is about the creative/technical side. are there games specific recruitment agencies and the like?


  • Hi,

    Was it the deal with Fallout 3? I have been searching every retail store for a copy of it for the past few weeks and cannot find it. Not even a preowned copy. I heard a rumor that their publisher/distributor has closed down.
    Are you able to explain why there are no copies of it on store shelves?

    • @Tristan Hennessy

      Bethesda’s Australian distributor went bust earlier this year. Atari has now picked up Fallout 3 and will be re-releasing it next week.

  • Hi David, was just wondering what your source is for prototype not being censored in australia. If it isnt it would save me the much trouble of having to import it from playasia. So yeah if you could give an article saying it isnt censored it would be much appreciated. 😀

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