Ask Me Stuff

Every Wednesday I ask you to Ask Me Stuff. If you have a burning question about the games industry, leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it this afternoon.

I’ll be doing this every Wednesday from 1pm.

Now, fire away with those questions.


Comments

    Know any Sydney-based developers that would be at all interested in talking to a tertiary educator about a degree structure, maybe some event nights and generally being involved with cultivating the next generation of designer/developers at a university level? Shoot me an email or FB message if you want to keep details private :)

      I'll shoot you an email, Adam.

        That'd be awesome David, thanks.

    When's the AFL game coming out? I've seen a few leaked screenshots, but I'm dying to play it (even if it will be shit).

      Good question. Big Ant aren't talking about it. I suspect their resources have been tied up with the Rugby League game due out in September, so I wouldn't expect the AFL game until next year now.

      The Big Ant website says it's due for 2010, though I can't say when that was last updated. It also says to expect news soon.

    I appreciate the Friday matchmaking but is it possible to expand it?

    In its most simple form, on the Kotaku homepage you could just leave a list of links (under the Editor's Picks?)to a single persistent article per game which just serve as a hub for comments for people to advertise when they're looking for a game?

    Although if you have to moderate comments on the site this would be a huge burden and understandably implausible.

    PSN:iambergerk

      As part of some grander plans to expand the Kotaku community, we're looking at ways to make the Matchmaker more useful. Any suggestions you have will be taken on board.

        I have always wondered with this site didn't have a proper forum. Piece of advice though is to start small. Have something like 3 separate forum areas for whatever topic discussions, not 30. 3 forums with 20 topics each looks much busier than 30 forums with 2 topics each, even though its the same amount of conversation. Nothing worse than a forum that looks dead.

          I like the comment system. You see the same faces everyday and you get to know people a lot better.

          i always saw it as the fact that the comments are moderated

          once you let people post what they want on the forums it all goes to hell

          as many moderators as you have forums discussions normally move to fast to allow pre moderating, and post moderation is all to late anyways

          kotakus a nice place id hate to see it burn like some other places

    Any news on the LBP2 collector's edition?

      You mean for Australia? Nothing from Sony as yet, but I can't imagine we'll miss out.

    is the slimmer xbox worth getting if you already have one? im planning to buy the limited edition halo reach one when it comes out and most likely trade mine in.

      i mean if you already have the elite lol

      Not really. I mean, it's quieter and presumably more reliable. But if your Elite is still working fine, I can't see any reason to pay several hundred dollars (including trade-in value) for what is essentially the same console. The Halo console is a different proposition, I guess, since it does look rather lovely. But personally, I'd rather spend the money on some extra games...

        I upgraded mine. Not by trade in though, what a rip off. Even though it only cost me $100 in the end, it just didn't feel worth it. It basically does the same stuff and if you don't use wireless or own EVERY SINGLE XBLA game then your fine. To be honest I miss my old chunky Elite more. I have regret :(

          lol fair call. i wouldnt mind the new one purely based on the fact that its smaller, quieter and looks sexier but I guess ill just save up $$ to spend it on clothes or something (:

    I just went into GAME and sold my old 60gb 360... Picked up the new 360... Then spontaneously a ps3, playtv, GoW3, inFamous, killzone 2 and LittleBigPlanet...

    Almost a grand later I'm on the bus on the way home looking at this stack of stuff wondering 'am I insane???'

    I mean it was tax return money but still...

    Most importantly did I make good choices with the games???

      If you have never played a GOW game before then GOW3 will be awesome.

      Definitely for GoW3, LBP and inFamous. They're all awesome games. But no Uncharted 2? :O

      Forget the cost, how awesome does it feel seeing all that now sitting next to your TV?

      As for the games, they're not the PS3 exclusives I'd have picked - I'd have opted for Heavy Rain, LBP, Valkyria Chronicles and Demon's Souls - but plenty of other people seem to like the ones you went for. So what do I know?!

        Yeah I saw heavy rain, that's next on my list. I think I'll be focusing on exclusives for the ps3. I had to get lbp and infamous, having a kid I had to sort of get something he's able to play too and I don't think GoW is suitable for him yet. Not even sure about infamous, will play that first and see. Got GoW free from Game, they always look after me, which is why I love shopping there.

        Now I wanna replace my 37" LCD with a 50" LED... Time to start saving...

          yeah killzone 2 wouldve been a no buy imo

          i mean i bought it day 1

          but as a shooter its a little samey with nothing the really distinguished it

          plus like most shooters released these days they all have little story arc incrementation and end on

          but yeah uncharted and heavy rain you gotta pick up

          and as dave said valkyria is an awesome game tho im not sure how easy it is to find

            LBP would be in all of your top 5 PS3 exclusive games?! And you'd recommend it with LBP2 coming?

            I played through campaign, had a quick go at making levels but found it frustrating and played some user made levels but haven't touched it since. Am i missing something?

            Then again I don't know what my top 5 ps3 exclusives would be...

            I dunno, been playing KZ2 for around 2 hours now, for 28 dollars brand new I have to say it was great value. Dunno about paying 110 brand new though, would've felt ripped off.

            LBP for 28 was brilliant value :D :D :D :D

      If you like Zelda type games, then you need to get 3D Dot Game Heroes also...

      Yakuza 3 is also a must if you like some brawling and alot of text...

      Also think of it this way, spending over a grand you will have a nice voucher coming to you so you can go back and get more games!

    Regarding choice and morals in games, do you prefer moral ambiguity? Where you need to draw your own conclusions from an open ended situation, or a more clear cut good guy/bad guy choice.

    I personally like the bigger game changing decisions to have clear distinctions between right and wrong. Personally, I think this way just tells a better narrative. But, I like the smaller things I do in a game to be open to interpretation.

      Binary moral choices - ie. do you pat the puppy or kick the puppy? - are not very interesting to me. Neither are those that are merely narrative dressing for a stat improvement - ie. do you want +5 Good or Evil points? A particularly poor example of moral choice is those scenes in inFamous where the action pauses and you're asked whether or not you want to be a normal person or a complete arsehole. Not only did the latter make very little sense in the context of the broader story, but really all you were doing was choosing which powers you wanted to unlock.

      I'd like to see more games explore moral temptation. That is, make it harder to be good. BioShock nearly went there by rewarding you immediately for harvesting Little Sisters while giving you a slightly smaller and delayed reward for rescuing them. But the difference wasn't noticeable enough in the long run.

      Generally though, I think games need to move away from morality systems that are so heavily tied to statistical mechanics and reward systems. Morality shouldn't be something you can game in order to min/max your character.

        Whenever I’m presented with moral choices in a game, I usually go for the good option. I just always like to be the good guy. My big problem with moral choices (good guy choices in particular) is that they are sometimes totally shoved down your throat. Dragon age origins had all this great evil and wacky character dialogue. But you have no incentive to go for it; it will actually impact you negatively.

        One option may be to have any “reward” for taking a particular choice the same regardless of what road you take to get there, that way people don’t get distracted by fancy bonuses or trophies. The only possible thing that could be the deciding factor is your moral persona. Who you have to screw over and stab in the back along the way just may change your mind.

        The idea of moral temptation is interesting. Didn’t heavy rain do something to that effect?

    Any idea when Earthworm Jim HD is going to hit the PSN?

      I have a hunch we'll see it by the end of August, alongside the WiiWare release.

      http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2010/07/27/introducing-earthworm-jim-hd/

      July 28th!

    We all know about what it is you do and how grand it can be - but what's the hardest part of your job?

    Also i know you're not much of a fan of fighters, but there seems to be a slew of them on the way - have any of them got you excited?

    Lastly - There's a lot of great Australian games out there that a lot of people don't actually know are home grown... could we maybe see a weekly special article focusing on Australian made games (new and old) to showcase what we, as a nation of gamers, have achieved and encourage people who read Kotaku to go out and purchase these games to support Aussie Studios?

      1. You'd think I spend all my time playing games, but actually I - as I'm sure many of you do - find it hard to find the time to play all the games I would like to.

      2. I'll get excited when a new version of International Karate+ is on its way.

      3. Have you hacked into the top secret Kotaku planning file? Because that's precisely what we'll be doing very soon.

    Yuigoh:Decade Duels XBLA release? :p

      Not yet! Konami has yet to confirm a release date.

    Do you think Xbox Live Indie Games will ever hit Australia? For that matter, do you think Sony will ever do a similar thing for the PS3 and/or PSP?

      It's going to take some changes to our classification system for this to happen, I feel. I'm not just talking about an R18+ rating either, I mean the Classification Act as it relates to digital media needs sweeping changes. We saw that recently with Blacklight: Tango Down and we'll no doubt run into more and more issues like that while we rely on a 15-year-old piece of legislation.

    Hey Mr Wildgoose, I'm going to Dubai and London on the weekend are there any good game stores over there you or anyone else can reckonmend?

    Cheers.

      Anyone?

      ...the UK GAME store? It's been a while since I was in England.

        I mean, the conversion rate is just awesome. 40 pounds (their RRP) for a new game is about $AUD70. They have the Halo Reach Console Bundle for 250 pounds, which is $AUD435! Where as EBGames is selling it for $550. So it's pretty much going to any store in the UK that'll get you some decent savings.

      I would head into GAME uk, they seem to have the better deals all the time.

      I don’t know of a specific place. But go crazy, both regions are PAL and both have cheap games. My guess is Dubai would be better, seeing as they have a huge gaming expo coming soon.

        Thanks for your suggestions guys :)

    This has probably been asked a million times before, but I'm a fairly recent reader of your site, but what's the difference in the breakdown of profits between retail and digital distribution?

    With the bottom line of the question being: I'd be happy to pay a little bit more for one of the versions, if I knew that the people who actually made the game get a lot more of my money.

      If you want to give the actual developer of the game more money, you're out of luck when it comes to most commercial games. Typically a developer is funded by its game's publisher - ie. publisher X pays developer Y an amount of money to make game Z - and beyond that the developer may also receive royalties and/or bonuses based on that game achieving certain sales targets. None of this changes whether the game is sold on disc or via digital download.

      However, digital distribution makes it easier for independent, self-funded developers to release their games. When you're buying these games, you can be sure that a far greater percentage of your money is going straight to the people who actually made the game.

    Hey Dave, any news on the sequel to Beyond Good and Evil? I know you didn't hear from it at E3... but one can hope :D

    I was just wondering why most games sold in Australia don't come with coloured user manuals?

    For instance, I've had street fighter 4 and starcraft2 shipped from play-asia, and the user manuals were in full colour. However, a friend of mine who got his copies from a local jb hifi store ended up with games with black and white manuals.

      There have been a few articles over the last few months where some publishers have said that an extra page in a manual can end up costing 'millions'.

      And some were exploring the idea of stopping them completely. I'd imagine it simply comes down to the publishers for our area are doing their part in cost cutting, nothing more.

    Dave, do you think there will ever be a new Legacy of Kain game?

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