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.

Now, fire away with those questions.


    Which game is the header screenshot from...?

    It looks vaguely familiar... XD

      That's Alpha Protocol isn't it? But the interface layout resembles Mass Effect in my opinion.

    I was a bit late in getting this up to day, so I'll keep it running overnight and answer any qs you guys have tomorrow!

    Really, what on earth is happening with the XNA creators club here in Australia (AKA, AppHub, XBox Live Indie Games, or the reason we don't have Rockband Network)?

    MS have been completely silent on this, so far the best excuse I've heard is because of our classification (censorship) laws. But they've completely ignored those laws now by allowing unclassified games be sold on the Windows Mobile app store. What on earth are they doing?

      Last time I heard about this the content has to be rated in Australia and OFLC rating prices are prohibitively expensive for the nature of this service so MS have no plans to launch it ever.

        That's what I heard as well. Yet MS go right ahead and launch the Windows Mobile marketplace without any requirements to get apps classified (against the law). They say one ting and do something completely different.

          I don't have any official word on this but from what I know it is indeed the classification system to blame. The reason this is different for mobile games and Games for Windows is that there is such a body as 'XBox Australia' who support the local XBox Live content. As an Australian branch they have to abide by Australian law, such as filtering out unrated content, or by providing access only to modified version of games like Left4Dead for example.

          This gets very mucky when dealing with online bodies like iTunes and whatnot, but, technically all that content 'should' be filtered. Its not really a case of "this isn't so that shouldn't be" its more a case of the technical hurdles that would have to be introduced to actually create such a filtration system--like, oh I don't know, a national mandatory internet filtration system.

          Not that it's a valid excuse, but I think there was a precedent set early on with mobile phones and it just doesn't happy so MS is good to go with the flow.

          As for the Creators Club, I remember (relatively) a lot of publicity early on where MS detailed the issues trying to get it off the ground down here - I can only assume because they dealt so closely with the classification board that it would've then been impossible to sneak it past them. On top of that, we're probably too small as a market to justify the expense of getting it all approved.

            yeah until the australian govt sues the apple App Store for the iphone MS have free rein with their app store

            the reason it hasn't happened for the console's is that it's unknown if anyone would kick up a stink

              Seem to me that about the only way we'd ever see any change here.

              Most people couldn't care less if games have to be classified or not. But once you start to actually enforce it on mediums that haven't had it before hand you'll start seeing people care. All of a sudden iPhone/iPad users who sit down to a game of Angry Birds with their latte can't any more because the indie dev didn't want to pay the $1000 to get it classified in Australia.

              Right now it's only us ("Enthusiasts") and Game Dev's who care about the classification of these games. And as we've seen with the R18+ debate, no-one cares about us in Canberra or (insert your capital city here).

    Whad'ya think of the xbox 360 dashboard update?

      It's far too stripped back, probably to prepare for the influx of new gamers they expect from the Kinect launch.

      I hate that I can't find the store stuff as easily.

      But I love the new startup noise. WHEEEEEEE!

        Can you elaborate?

        I found it a little hit and miss. Some thigs were harder and some things were easier to find.

    Alright, this is a question more regarding Kotaku, and has probably been answered before, but;
    How does the moderation process for comments work?

    I assume that every time someone posts something it gets moderated, presumably by you (or maybe some mystical fairies who work behind doors at the glittering golden Kotaku AU headquarters), so, when I post my weird, early morning posts, do they exist in some sort of transdimensional limbo until you get up in the morning and check over them?

    Because I'm sure I've seen comments appearing late at night, does this mean that you occasionally pop-on to moderate things at night, or does someone else handle all this?

    Finally, apologies if this makes little to no sense, I'm attempting, but mostly failing, to stay awake right now...

      Question totally makes sense!

      We have to approve every comment before it goes on the site, but it isn't as big a job as might sound.

      Usually I still keep approving comments when I get home, every couple of hours I'll usually jump on and quickly go through them.

      At the weekend the approvals obviously slow down, but I'll still try and jump on at least a couple of time a day unless I'm sans net connection.

    On the scale below, how angry should I be that Gearbox Software pushed back the long-delayed never-talked-about-but-potentially-awesome Aliens: Colonial Marines to work on probably-gonna-be-really-dumb Duke Nukem Forever?

    - Nick Nolte in Thin Red Line
    - Nick Nolte in Hulk
    - Nick Nolte in Tropic Thunder
    - Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs
    - Nick Nolte in I Love Trouble

      Nick Nolte in Entourage, when he squeezes Turtle's shoulder and lectures him about and half scares the shit outta him.

      This is the best question ever.

      Nick Nolte in I Love Trouble.

        Hmm, alright fine - I'll take your advice. And here I was being all Nick Nolte in Thin Red Line angry because POSSIBLY FIRST EVER DECENT ALIENS GAME YET AGAIN DELAYED FOR HURR HURR BOOBIES FPS THAT PEOPLE STOPPED CARING ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO.

        Now just imagine that in Nolte's voice screaming into a telephone. Bulging vein in neck etc.

    1) What's been the worst part of working at Kotaku so far?

    2) What's Nick Frost like, off camera?

      1) The fact that it's impossible to find a cheap can of Pepsi Max and all the stores nearby have $10 minimum EFTPOS. Also, no Vienna Sandwiches.

      2) Frosty

    Where the heck are all the Rock Band 3 bundles?

      I have a confession to make, I'm sorry, but I ate them.

      It wasn't worth it...

      I can't speak for any other game store, but the EBs around where I live are asking for you to ask them to order them in- they're not selling bundles off the shelves. Whether that's MTV not giving a shit about Australia to get distribution going or retailers not wanting more massive boxes on their shelves, I have no idea.
      Also, totally have seen about two keyboards per platform in my local JB (but Amazon is 60 dollars less).

      They're coming, but apparently it'll be exclusive to EB and JB. I don't think HES can keep up with demand.

    are you as angry as I am that GT5 isnt out on Friday?

    I just remembered you've already played it...
    ok let me rework my question...

    Should i be angry (based on your experience) that GT5 isnt coming out this week?

      Yeah, you should probably be angry. But not too angry. Nick Nolte in Another 48 Hours angry.

    Has there been any word on Half Life 2 mod Black Mesa?

      It's an ongoing joke at flamehaus (the sister-site to hl2world) that it's never coming out. Most of the team seem to be working on a really casual basis.

    If one has a question one needs answered, does it help to ask about pants to get one's question noticed?

      I generally go through every question. But I answer the pants one first because it's easiest.

    I'm not sure whether you'd be able to answer this or not, but what are you thoughts on the 3DS in terms of comfort? Does it looks like it's going to be a comfortable console to hold?

    The reason I ask is because I found the original DS to be really comfortable, then I upgraded to a DS Lite and found that the console was way too thin, and I didn't like the feel of the buttons. I havn't tried a DSi or a DSi XL so I'm not sure how they are in terms of comfort, and I'm just loving every new detail I hear about the 3DS, so I hope it's going to be a comfortable console to hold.

      I actually havent had the chance to hold one yet. When I was at E3 I was purely covering Sony. Didn't have time to wait in the 5 year queue. It'll probably be closer to the DS Lite though.

    Firstly... you know.

    Secondly... there was talk of the kinect games having a lower price point than regular games.
    Did that end up eventuating?

    And finally... hearing his voice in the background of the kinect australia advert prompts me to ask.
    How hard up is Rove McManus for work... really?

    What's the most-awesomest-goodly part of working at Kotaku? The legions of fawning fans? Endless adulation? The knowledge that you're advancing the cause of gaming with every mighty post? Swag?

      Mark is allowed to have a desk that resembles a teenage video game fanboy's bedroom. The rest of us are not.

      He's also the only one who can sit in front of the TV and play games and not be accused of bludging.

    Is there or has there been any news on a new Shadow Complex?

    When will Fable 3 be patched? And will it have DLC?

    - When will this annoying flashing red dead redemption go the hell away and stop trying to inflict a seizure upon me?

    - Does GT5 have a new release date?

    - Would Bear Grylls beat Chuck Norris in a fight? cause i think he could.


    If you would waste your day at work playing a game you shouldn't be (As in, I'm stuck here for 9 hours with absolutely nothing to do), what would you play?

    Hit me up, It can be a browser based flash game or anything that runs on a Mac.

    .... (My job has random moments of boredom between awesomeness, but sitting around in a school's IT room for the whole day without students or teachers is boring. Maybe I should play the "Restore 2002 backup" game.)

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