Ask Me Stuff

It's a brand new year, I'm all rested up (except for some incredibly sunburnt feet) and I'm ready to be asked stuff. So if you chaps/chapettes have any burning questions about the games industry or anything else for that matter, drop the questions below and I'll answer them this afternoon.


    *Braycen is dressed in a trenchcoat and fedora*
    "Psst, wanna buy a comic?"
    *Braycen opens trenchcoat, inside has pockets full of links*
    *Braycen hands you a link*
    *Braycen runs off before anyone else sees him*

      *Braycen doesn't really need an iPad.*
      *No one really needs an iPad.*

        *Braycen really needs an iPad 2*
        *Actually, he probably won't have enough money till the iPad 3 comes out*
        *So, Braycen really needs an iPad 3 then*

      Has anyone actually bought a comic yet? lol

        Not yet, non-lol (un-lol? de-lol?)
        I'm starting to think I'm going to need more free comics on the website to get peoples attention :P

    New years resolution??

    Also, that email - did you resend it? It's still not there lol

      New Year's Resolution: To die a glorious death on a longboard.

      Email: Will resend!

        A longboard you say? Most rad!

    Whats the best way of getting into the game industry if you live in australia.

      Don't :P

        As a customer.

          At the prices they charge here, I'm pretty sure you'd be better off getting into it as a publisher/distributor :P

        :) The games industry is kinda like Russian Roulette. You never know if you or your studio will go down. It also sucks visiting websites like Kotaku looking for some fun games news and getting a face full of "studio x has just closed down making everyone redundant" I feel sick every time I read one of those headlines.

      you should check out this article, talks about the Australian game industry.

      Depends on your definition of 'getting into'. What do you want to be? Designer, Writer, Programmer, Tester, Modeller, Producer, Critic etc. etc.

      It is quite different for each, but one thing doesn't change, you have to actually *do it*. So if you want to get into design, then get your traditional art skills up and take some courses and never stop drawing. If you want to be a writer, then write, and get criticism and then re-write. If you want to model, then get some traditional art skills with sculpting and learn a package like MAX and get criticism and put together a portfolio.

      You need to do some work, and keep at it every day, then knock on doors with a portfolio and enthusiasm and an ability to take criticism and improve and get along with others. That is about it really. Some areas may require university or industry qualifications, or you may be able to get them along the way, but basically read everything you can and just work at your passion every day and never be afraid to front up and ask for advice or a job.

      In addition to all the other advice, I would suggest doing unpaid volunteer work. Will look awesome to any prospective employer, and contacts are everything.

        Actually that's not a good idea at all. Game studios don't want people who want to work for nothing. They want people that cam do the job. Some might offer internships but very few if any provide any kind of volunteer scheme.

        Unless you're talking about volunteering in something other than game development, which is a nice thing to do but still won't help if you want to break into the industry. You need to show them you have the skills they are looking for.

        BTW Peter Richards I think you're getting a bit confused between a designer and an artist. Designers don't draw anything. Designers create gameplay content. Level designers are a little more artistically focused but are still there to create game levels. Artists are what you are calling modelers, but there's a lot of different art disciplines to consider...concept art, 2D art, 3d art (modelling), layout art etc

    If Kei$ha goes to the UK, does she become Kei£ha?

      She becomes a slapper instead of a skank :D

      Jimi Hendrix died age 27, yet Ke$ha is allowed to make music and walk the streets. Proof there is no God.

        Yeah Mark but in 10 years these two questions will be asked:

        "You like Jimmy Hendrix?"
        "I LOVE Jimmy Hendrix. Hes a guitar GOD! His solo at Woodstock when he set the guitar on fire is amazing... also, he set the standard for modern rock. Legends such as Dave Grohl quote Hendrix as a major influence..."

        "You like Ke$ha?"
        "No thanks Im not hungry-a."
        "No seriously the chick in the early decade who had some hit songs..."
        "Seriously, stop pulling my f***ing chain..."
        "No man, seriously, do you like Ke$ha..."
        "I'm gonna back away slowly now..."

        One died young and will remain an eternal influence, amazing to all. One has one maybe two years left of popularity before its all over and shes broke and in rehab or on reality tv trying to salvage her career...

    Is there any FPS's coming out this year (or the next) that doesn't have a regenerative health system?
    I am getting quite tired of these MWish single player games

      Hear hear! I'm quite tired of first person shooters period.

      Don't know if this is a question, but I agree. I've got mad shooter fatigue.

    WOOO! Its a new year!

    Will the industry invest in new ip's that will actually be different? If not, will we be satisfied with the constant rehashes and sequels?

      Off the top of my head I can only think of Bulletstorm and LA Noire, but yes 2011 is mainly a sequel year it seems.

      I think when you look ahead it always looks like the landscape is dominated by sequels, but that's because early hype is always built around sequels.

      LA Noire, The Last Guardian (kinda), Bulletstorm should be good. And I'm sure we'll see a couple of other top notch new IPs.

    Mark -


    How do you feel now?

    Do you think the hacking of the PS3 represents some kind of apocalypse for the machine as some are suggesting? Or do you think it'll carry on regardless like the PS1/PS2 did in the face of rampant piracy?

    What are the implications for the PSN and online play, especially in regards to cheating? And what, if anything, can Sony and/or developers do about it?

      If it gets to the level where people can just resign a game and torrent it/usenet it, then yeah, the PS3 is in real trouble if the only skill required is to download a game and burn it to a disc.

      i.e. if any noob can just download a file and it will work as-is on the PS3 and the PSN can't pick it up, then the impact could be huge.

      It will be a good test I guess of what a DRM free world would look like.

        One option that has been put forward is that Sony could update the encryption key (presumably with a firmware update?) which would then secure the console again, but at the expense of breaking all existing games using the old key.

        Would it be possible to update the key in those games via updates? Obviously it'd be a lot of hassle and expense to create and release a patch for every single game on the market, but probably not nearly as expensive as mass piracy.

        Otherwise the other option suggested was updating the key in the firmware and using the new key for all new games, while having the firmware use a "white list" of existing games so they'll still work despite having the old key. Which I guess would probably mean old games would be pirateable but not the new ones?

      The potential for hacks and piracy seems enormous, but the details escape my tiny tiny mind.

      My main issue, personally, would be cheaters online. Which ruins the online experience. That could severely effect Sony with multiplatform shooters.

        Yeah, online cheating is my biggest worry about it as well.

        But presumably there would probably be ways for developers to mitigate that on a game-by-game basis. I mean, doesn't the same potential issue exist on an open platform like the PC? How do they handle it there?

    Happy New year Mark! Hope you had a crackin' Hogmanay.

    With LBP 2, Mass Effect 2 and Dead Space 2 all out this January with Dragon Age 2 following in march, is 2011 the year of the sequel?

    If any game hits its no 4, can we hit people who use the word 'Quadrilogy' with a stick?

    How in the blue blazes of hell did you get sunburnt feet? Whatever your doing, I think your doing it wrong.

      Lol! As I mentioned before I think when you look ahead it always seems like sequels are dominant, mainly because they get the most coverage. There's a lot of promising new IPs though.

      Homefront, Bulletstorm, LA Noire, etc.

      Also – feet are peeling. Feels like I have trench foot.

    Are you going to change the image when Dragon Age 2 launches... now that its got the radial wheel too?

      I'm going to put it to you guys – what image should I use for Ask Me Stuff?

        LA Noire!

        If that's the case will you be the good cop or the bad cop?

        That's how we got the current one.

        Goose found that pic, and after wide public demand (from 2 people, I think) it was changed.

        Mass Effect, with Shepard being interviewed by the biased reporter, with the wheel highlighting "This conversation is over"

        Hell, when I get home tonight I'll send a screencap your way if you feel like it.

        A picture of you with Star Trek Uniform from waist up, kilt and long socks from waist down. Braveheart facepaint doing a "Kanye Shrug"
        You did ask for our suggestions....

        PS did you get my email, seems i opened a can of worms yesterday. Sorry bout that :D

          Haha! No can of worms at all! A lot of stuff goes into my junk mail which I always forget to check.

        You know what, Mr. Serrels? Just go with it. Use the most relevant, universal and poetic picture of the 20th century.

        Sometimes something just feels right.

        It's Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, white dress, in the interview/interrogation room.
        There really is no other image that captures the tensions, themes and ethos of Ask Me Stuff -

        I mean, the parallels are frightening.

        Sharon Stone plays Catherine Tramell; Tramell sounds a bit like Serrel.
        Catherine Tramell is answering questions in this particular scene just as you do on this very page.
        Catherine Tramell is a writer; you are a writer.
        Catharine Tramell doesn't wear pants; you don't wear pants.
        etc . . . etc . . . etc.

        A case of the most obvious solution being the best solution.


      Also, saw the picture of your feet on twitter... you numpty.

      Also, I've picked up the kilt for my xbox avatar... who do I have to email to get a bagpipe prop made?

        Totally love that every now and then you drop in some scottish slang. *tear.

          Damn your tears man... my avatar needs a bagpipe prop. Who do I email...

          Tell me, or I'll send you doon the Clyde.
          *shakes fist*

    On a (slightly) more serious note, what are you looking forward to more, Lego Star Wars 3 The Video Game (coming out in February), or Lego Pirates of The Caribbean The Video Game (coming out in May)?

      I'm looking forward to Lego Dream Club Zero

      Is this a rhetorical question?

        Not sure :P
        I'd like to see what the games look like for iPad seeing how huge an improvement Lego Harry Potter for iOS was over Lego Batman for iOS.

    I'm moving into a new house soon and will be setting up a new gaming hub across two rooms. Study for a new PC. Lounge for consoles.

    Any tips for such a setup? I'll have broadband across the PC/consoles and would like to know the best way to make it all user-friendly and basically awesome?

    Bear in mind, this will be my first desktop PC since the 90's. Also, what the deal with the media server/centre stuff on the PS3/360? Worth looking into?

      My tip, if you have the option, then run cables.

        Yeah I'm definitely leaning that way. A benefit of moving into new place is I can set this thing up from scratch.

        Definitely cable if you can, mainly for HD streaming.

        My personal favourite thing is PS3 Media Server – awesome program. Free download. Makes using your PS3/360 as a media centre really easy.

    Sunburned feet. My sympathies.

    Do you have to wear shoes, or are bare feet okay in your office? I'm assuming your feet are commando, given that pants seem to be optional...

      I usually wear shoes. My feet are in the mad peely stage! Which is itchy, yet satisfying as I peel off the dead skin!

    If you could play only 1 game for only 1 hour what game would you play?

      Something quick and accessible like Super Mario or Super Meat Boy... X-Wing vs Tie Fighter!

      The first 10 minutes of any JRPG..


      Aw man... maybe Reach? Loving the multiplayer right now.

      [/mostboring answer in history]

    What do you think of Firemint's acquisition of Infinite Interactive?

    Mark -
    Me business reporter for newspaper.
    Business reporter boring. Too much business talk. I want to moonlight - full time - for video game journalism. How? Where? Why? When? Who?
    Possible? Impossible?
    I write good stuffs & fun stuffs too. Too fun for business. Business don't like no fun.

    Suffocated by the finance,

      I love how you write like a Russian stereotype! This is a difficult question. I'll answer more fully in an hour once I do all my worky stuff.

    1) Am I meant to be expecting 1, or 2, Community Kudos prizes?

    2) Any more competitions on the horizon? Preferably ones that have nothing to with art or joke-writing, as I clearly suck at both xD

    3) Let's say one was looking into a full-time career in IT management overseas, which country would one look? (If you say Canada, you get bonus points)

    4) MLB or NBA? (There is only one correct answer. I have faith in you)


      1) I need to do a big check of all the CK prizes, because I'm about three weeks behind! (Sorry guys!)

      2) Def more comps on the horizon. But need to sort out the ones currently running!

      3) Umm… Canada?

      4) MLG!

        1) That's fine. I was just checking ;)

        2) There are comps running at the moment?

        3) That's EXACTLY where I wanted to go! How did you know?!

        4) Disappointing... MLB is infinitely more exciting than MLG. MLG is made up of over-testosteroned guys who think that having every second word they say as an expletive, they will somehow appear to be more appealing to viewers :\

    What are your favourite XBLA titles, or anyone for that matter.. .I got given some points for Christmas and wants to spend them.

      Depending on how many points you got, I highly recommend the following:

      Shadow Complex
      Puzzle Quest 2
      Streets Of Rage 2
      Street Fighter 2 HD Remix
      Monkey Island 1 & 2

      Don't get tempted with leftover points and buy dumb shit for your avatar. That's just money down the drain. I know that lightsaber looks cool BUT DON'T DO IT. It's 400 points!


        Bloody Vegans.

        Super Meat Boy... FTW.

          Super Meat Boy and Trials are fantastic. Peggle also rocks

      Personal faves:

      Trials HD
      Shadow Complex
      Super Meat Boy

    Hi Michael,

    I returned from living in Canada and am wondering why games in Australia are double what they are over there, even more so now the exchange rate is 1-1?

    The prices here have even increased since being away. It's painful!

    I support the industry but this is causing my mind to look for other options. Already i am back to renting games as so many have such short lifespans and only a very limited few are actually worth keeping around.

    Its pretty rough. Trading in games is also robbery as the stores who do it offer you next to nothing then put it back on the shelf for $5 less than the brand new ones.

    Hope your feet feel better!


      oops, I meant Hi Mark!

        Poor Mark seems a little under the pump today. So many questions!!! He may also get upset that you got his name wrong. However he wrote this a few months back

        Hahahaha! What James said!

        That feature answers all your questions as best as I could! It's a big issue.

          All your replies done by 5pm!
          You sir are a machine!

          Thanks for answering, your article explained it very well.

          cheers Mark and James!

      If noone else said trials hd I wad going to lovingly slap everyone in the face. Thanks Mark from stopping me. Other games are good but this just has it for me.

      Also do yourself a fav and get Doritos crash course. Good fun and free!

    hey does anyone know some good online stores besides playasia to get games from cheap :) been trying to find a good website for a year now lol

      There's It ships from the UK which takes anywhere from a few days to two weeks but the prices are much cheaper than what you get in a retail store. I have yet to try it, but it's got good reviews from other Kotaku-ans here ;)

        I second this, but their catalogue is limited. Other good sites include, (some good sales from time to time), and basically anything linked to by either and

        Personally, I tend to rely more on eBay and patience than anything else.

        (As a completely irrelevant sidenote, as much as I am in favour of importing cheap games, I looked at my collection last night, and blow me down if I didn't have 90% Australian versions. I was as surprised as anyone.)

        Good luck. :)

          D'oh, forgot to mention which is a price search engine that'll find the best price for you.

            thanks guys much appreciated :)

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