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. Except for today. I'll be out of the office this afternoon, so hit me up with your questions this morning!

Now, fire away with those questions.


    With the new/remade Goldeneye 007 games coming out on DS and Wii, does that officially kill off any hopes of a rerelease of Goldeneye 64 akin to the Perfect Dark port?

    Also, do you prefer working from home or from the office? Which one do you find yourself working at the most?

      Given that any HD remake of Goldeneye would involve Activision, Nintendo and Microsoft/Rare all shaking hands and coming to some sort of financial agreement, yeah I'd say it's pretty unlikely!

      Right now, I work from home when I have games to play. I prefer working from the office since I think it's important to maintain a separation between work and leisure time. That's not always possible when your home is your office.

    Morning Dave!

    Just a bit of a random question - as you may have already seen, i'm writting a bit of an article about gaming on a budget which i was just going to post in the "talk amongst yourself thread". Problem is that it's getting pretty long.

    Is there a word limit for posts? Or should i email it to you before i do anything and maybe (just maybe) if you like it enough you'd post it on the site?

    Thanks for your help mate! :)

      Email it to me once you're done and we'll see what we can do.

      Didn't i already prove there is a massive word limit with the backbreaker post lol.

    I haven’t gotten a new phone in about 4 years. The one I have now is the Nokia 6120c. It actually has buttons! Anyway, I’m in the market for a new phone. Which brand is better for games?

    Also, what good RPG games should i pick up when i get a new phone. I've heard Chaos Rings is an awesome throwback to the days of FF7

      Right now the iPhone is clearly the best phone for games. Some of the better RPGs I've played include 100 Rogues (you guessed it, a Rogue-like), Zenonia (a top-down action-RPG), The Quest (first-person, like the old Might & Magics), Undercroft (simialr to The Quest but you have a whole party to manage) and Sword of Fargoal (another Rogue-like, but friendlier than 100 Rogues). I haven't played Chaos Rings.

      Your options would be limited by the support platform they are running off. Nokia are using both Maemo (Linux) and Symbian and both hook into OVI store which is.. limited to Nokia I think. iPhone4 which uses iOS4 would be one of the best for game (app) support with their iTunes app store.

      But my recommendation would be one of the many Androids out (and coming soon) from a number of manufacturers including HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Garmin. Android doesn't have many games at the moment (and even less professional ones) but developer support is skyrocketing and sales are eclipsing every other phone market out there:

      iPhone has Final Fantasy, so I think that pretty much makes it the winner as far as RPGs go.

        If you're talking about FF7 PSX4iphone there's PSX4droid as well which I'm playing atm. Android doesn't have the FF1 or FF2 remakes, though we have the usual SNES emulator.

    Have you experienced playing games in 3D? If so, do you see it taking off in the future or is it a flash in the pan like 3D movies?

      heyyyy... down among the dead men was an AWESOME song...

      I've had the chance to look at a few 3D games. My first experience was with the Avatar game on 360 last year where I thought it was a cool novelty, but I barely played for more than a couple of minutes. Since then I've spent more time with Motorstorm, Super Stardust, Wipeout, and more recently Killzone 3 and the Nintendo 3DS. I do not enjoy wearing glasses at all. Not only do I hate the feeling of something on my face, but my eyes feel uncomfortable and I can quickly sense a headache coming on. The 3DS, on the other hand, has the advantage of not requiring glasses and, although I didn't spend a huge amount of time with it, it didn't hurt my eyes.

      I've not yet seen a 3D game that is doing interesting things with the technology beyond "Look! I'm in 3D!" My personal take is that Nintendo will have the right kind of software ready for the 3DS, stuff that could only be done in 3D and brings some really cool and quirky gameplay to the table. I don't know if we're necessarily going to see that on console and PC.

    Now that the new demo of Mafia 2 is out, what effect do you think it will have on the Australian censors?

    I've noticed that it received MA 15+ classification back in February, but after playing the demo, I can see that it is going to be a game that the media and others will want reviewed in terms of its classification.

    If not, then why does a game like this get through?


      From what I've played of Mafia II, the MA15+ rating seems very reasonable and in accordance with the guidelines. I'm not sure what the demo has to do with it.

    Will XBOX LIVE here in Australia EVER bother to listen to what the users want to see on the ZUNE section? And will they actually ADD things instead of just nodding and smiling?
    (I know about FOXTEL, I'm talking other things like The Guild indie stuff, TV and movies without the FOXTEL fee.)

    So far we have any movies they can be bothered cutting and pasting from the US version (which contains a difference in content of 1000 to 1 in volume without Netflix added. I've seen it, and it's insanely full) - The Guild, one episode of "Dicks" and a game tie-in ("Bright Falls" for Alan Wake). The rest is infomercial level stuff.

    There's so much they can add that members want. Do you think they'd bother having a census from GOLD and SILVER members?

    Paying GOLD all the time seems only half worth it, if that. Not a good way to keep staff paid and bottom line fed.

    I know, half the service is multiplayer, which is well run. The video however could use some improvement.

      Sam, first of all, your Gold subscription has nothing to do with the Zune marketplace. You pay for Gold in order to play online games and take advantage of the occasional deal or early demo. You do not gain access to any additional movies, TV shows or other Zune content as far as I'm aware.

      Yeah, the Australian marketplace is lagging well behind the US one. But bear in mind they had a considerable headstart - the Video Marketplace launched in the US in 2006, after all, whereas we only got it in 2009. It's also not simply a matter of Microsoft grabbing a bunch of content from the US store and sticking it on the AU store. Rights need to be negotiated for every movie in every territory, and each market is different with various studios and distributors to deal with. It's not a simple process.

    Don't want to hijack Sam's post, but on a similar line of thinking, do you ever think we wil see the xbox indie games here in AUS?

    Also, with 1 v 100 killed? do you think there will be anything similar ever released,.

      I've covered the Indie Games question a few times here. It's a classification issue. Our classification system doesn't sit well with the peer-review process in place on Indie Games. And there's no way Microsoft would be able to submit every single Indie Game for classification individually. Things will need to change in that regard for it to ever happen.

    Morning David,

    Got any suggestions for breaking into the voice acting industry here in Oz? Would love to audition for roles in indie games/Australian-made games, in addition to commercials, narrations, etc.

    There is one thing I've always wanted to ask: Is your name really David Wildgoose?

      Is yours really Dire Wolf?

    Hey Dave,

    Bit of a philosophical question.

    Do you think there will be a time when the majority of big budget games are not primarily about fighting and shooting? If games like Alan wake are successful, How long do you think it will take or will they always be the minority?

      But... Alan Wake IS about fighting and shooting, as much as Resident Evil or any other 'action adventure' game is. It just wears a less violent coat over a core of shooty-ness.

        sorry my mistake, I haven't played it yet. I was just trying to think of an example of a mature big budget game not primarily based around combat.

          Heavy Rain would be a good example.

            Whish I had a PS3 to play that. I guess I will get around to it eventually when one of my friends lends me theirs. Any downloadble 360 games that you can think of that fit the bill?

              Not too many "big budget" games for download on XBLA. But there are plenty that don't involve fighting and shooting, e.g. Braid, the Monkey Islands, Sam & Max, Lucidity, A Kingdom for Keflings, and loads of puzzle games.

                Yeah I've played some of those. I guess a really serious point and click mystery might not sell too well.

                Thanks Dave

      It seems unlikely, doesn't it?! This is something I touched on a couple of weeks back in my "End Game Of Violence" post. Fighting and shooting is a simple, immediate form of interaction; it's a lot easier for developers to simulate than, say, talking and other more sophisticated forms of human interaction. There are huge design and AI challenges developers will need to surmount before we'll see fighting and shooting sidelined as the dominant form of gaming.

      Also, isn't Alan Wake primarily about shooting and fighting?

        I guess thou you need a new game play mechanism to make it a game. I only recently played and finished Fallout 3. I had said to my friends I was going to make a talking character and solve things diplomatically, and they all said that it wasn't going to work. They were right of course, I was able to end a few quest non violently but you still can't get by all the raiders etc. I still really enjoyed it. its a great game.

        But i would have really enjoyed a similar game where there was a more tense interaction when you meet strangers in the waste and if you get into a fight you really probably don't want too because a couple of hits and you die.

        I guess it goes back to something more D&D but thats almost impossible to program i guess.

          Yeah I have to say fallout 1 and 2 were better for that sort of thing. For quite a few things actually, but lets not get into that.

          I'm actuallly reminded of The Sims. It's basically a life simulation game, and yet it is incredibly basic. You have a few simple needs, a money system that forces you to have a job so you can buy things, and relationships that are really just a single number that goes up and down based on a few actions you do.

          Compare this to the complexities of real life and its a pretty poor simulation, though entertaining enough. When something like the sims can achieve a higher level of gameplay, while still being able to remain fun, maybe we'll see more non-shooty games.

    Have you had a chance to try out the Scott Pilgrim game? Any good? I can't try the demo I'm at work. Working.

    Why do you think publishers actively neglect the potential revenue from re-releasing their back catalogue on digital distribution services?

      I mean when they own all the rights to the game that is

      It's probably a combination of a few things. One, publishers often sell their back catalogue rights to other companies to sell in budget lines. If there's an existing deal in place, it may preclude those games from also being released on Steam or GOG or any other digital channel. Two, the digital distributor may not necessarily want those titles at that particular time; GOG in particular seem to like to drip-feed releases thus allowing them to promote each new release in a way that flooding their store would not. Three, the publisher may feel that the timing isn't right; perhaps they'd sell more or be able to market a re-release better at a later date.

      I don't think any publisher looks at potential revenue from digital sales and says, "Nah, we don't want that."

    Dou you know why Jason Hill's Screen Play blog on the conditions at Team Bondi and other studios was pulled yesterday?

      I could speculate... but no, I do not know the reason.

        Is there a chached version of this around? I can't find one. I'd be interested in reading it as I've heard a lot of things and recently passed up work there.

    When is the Scott Pilgrim game out in Australia? I read that it was today, yet here I am with no Scott Pilgrim game. Profound sadness.

      It'll be up sometime tonight. The AU PlayStation Store always gets updated on Wednesday evening/night.

    I've noticed you cover a fair amount of Collector editions for certain games on Kotaku? Most recently, the Gran Turismo Signature edition.

    So, my question is do you actually buy/receive any of these collector editions or just opt for your usual standard/promo copies?

      I do sometimes get sent special editions, but mostly I just received the standard or "not for resale" promo copy. And as you may have noticed with the Pile of Crap and Community Service Award, I'm often happy to give them away. The only special edition I've actually bought recently is Demon's Souls because that was the only version available when I ordered. Before that, maybe BioShock for that Big Daddy statue?

      I like the idea of special editions that include genuinely interesting content - ie. a nice hardback artbook, a strategy guide (that isn't from Prima or Brady), a proper soundtrack CD, developer commentaries, etc. But if it's just a cat helmet or toy car or poster or in-game content that'll be free DLC later, then no thanks.

    Hi Dave,

    My old 60gb juggernaught of a PS3 Console passed away for good last night. It YLOD'ed about a month ago and i was able to fix it via the reflow method. Getting an extra month out of it was decent enough.

    I was just wanting to know if there are any great deals the PS3 Slim are at the moment? Keep in mind that i will most likely be trading in any of the games that come with the bundles since my games library is quite extensive.

    Cheers, Danny.

      The 120GB Slim is going for $438 at Harvey Norman right now. That's the cheapest I've seen a standalone PS3. Everywhere else seems to have it for RRP with bundled games.

        Check out too, Danny, if you're not already familiar with it

      did you try reflowing it again

      it can work, sometimes the first one wasnt done 100% or whatnot(though eventually it will die foreva)

      when i got my 120g slim,i got it for $399 and that was last december. It was not technically 'new' but it was a reconditioned slim that Sony were selling via Gamesmen. I beleive they still have the deal.

      This is NOT in original packaging but is manufacturer wrapped, just ina cardboard box. Console was brand new as was all the internals. The gamesmen advise me there are NOT returned consoles that have been played with then died.
      I was very happy with the price, still has full warranty and was absolutely brand new!

      Worth considering...

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