Ask Me Stuff

You guys have any burning questions? About anything? This is Ask Me Stuff, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Leave me a question in the comments below and I’ll endeavour to answer it before the day is out.


    Any hints for raising a Golden Retriever puppy who has a predilection for chewing on cables?

      There are sprays you can get that "repel" dogs. You can get them in the dog food aisle of supermarkets and spray them on most surfaces (corners of couches, cables, shoes, stuff that puppies generally chew on as they're teething etc.) -- the taste is bitter to dogs and it stops them from chewing on things.

    Do you think backwards compatability will be a priority for the next gen consoles?

      I'd like it to be! I don't know if it's going to be a priority, though, largely because it's quite profitable to re-release a game in HD or with whatever technology they have in the new consoles than it is to make them backwards compatible.

      My prediction (and anyone with a differing opinion should jump in and gives theirs too!) is that when a new console comes out with features X, Y, Z, there's probably going to be a lot of re-releases of older games, and the selling point will be "Play your favourite games... now in X, Y, Z!"

        I certainly think the 720 will, I predict it will use similar languages... which should allow for upscalling and compatibilities.

          The same languages as in C/C++ that's used for Xbox360, Wii, PS3, PS2, PC, Xbox...etc?

          The problem with backwards compatibility is that you have to support the bad as well as the good. If developers have programmed to rely on a 'mistake' or bad design decision in the architecture, you can't fix it without breaking anything that relies on it.

            Um, I think so?

            Microsoft have based both their previous consoles on DirectX... I imagine the third will be the same.

              Yeh, but DirectX is only the graphics API, and a lot more is involved in making a platform backwards compatible.

              For instance, the Xbox I believe used a Pentium 3 based chip, running the x86 instruction set with some extensions. The 360 used a Xenon based CPU running a PowerPC instruction set, so at a binary level games made for one are not capable of running on the other. This is all independent of the use of DirectX as a graphics API, and could happen again with the 720 (or whatever the successor might be), especially given the inclusion of ARM support in Win8.

        Here's hoping there's room for both! *gazes longingly at games shelf, contemplates the future.*

      Backwards compat is always a good feature, but it's definitly not the focus of the developers.

      Personally I think they could implement some really good features, Dolphin can upscale Wii games on PC and make them look amazing, why can't the Wii U do the same thing?

      There was footage of Uncharted 3 played at 60FPS, imagine if the PS4 could run old games with 30FPS limitations removed?

    What do you think of "analysts" saying that consoles only have one generation left before mobile gaming and social gaming take over? Kinda seems like bollocks to me.

      Which analysts are saying this? Have they heard of CoD? Or Uncharted? Or Skyrim? Or any of the console games that sold MIRRIONS of copies this year? I think those predictions are a bit extreme (and cynical!). I don't doubt that social/mobile gaming will continue to grow, but I don't believe that one comes at the cost of another. People don't decide that because they have an iPhone they don't want their Xbox any more.

        I think it's more what they want to happen. >.>


        Thats... uh... racist?

        Consider, though, that this generation will last (assuming the predicted 2014 release of the next XBox) 9-10 years. Assuming the same for the next generation, that's 12 years from now. Think of where mobile devices were 12 years ago, and where they are now.
        The gap between 'desktop' and 'mobile' computing performance for consumer devices is constantly diminishing.
        It's reasonable to assume that in less than 12 years time, we'll have a device that is both the console and the controller. A handheld device that can wirelessly connect to a TV screen (Already done), store 10's or 100's of GB of games and media (already done), and have the processing performance for fluid 1440p (the predicted successor to 1080p) visuals.

        The only way for consoles to remain relevant in the context of this is to go the way that MS is taking the Xbox, and make it a universal media platform.

          Yeah if we continue to have 8-9 year cycles for console's it's going to be a long time before the end of the next gen. And by that point the whole landscape of gaming will have changed.

          By that point tech will either have stalled(seeing as currently they are running into issues in making component's smaller hence why cores came into effect.)

          Or will have shot off in a exciting new way. in 10 years time anything is possible.

          But i don't think that in 10 years time mobile/Social gaming will be anything near what we have today

    Is Loops' christmas fervor starting to make you a little nervous? I can hear his maniacal laughter in Geelong all the way from Richmond :)


    Are you excited for the PSVita and in for a day 1 buy or is it all abit meh for you?

      Meh. I am more interested in it than I am with the 3DS (because 3D gives me a headache so I turn it off anyway), but I'm happy with my PSP and the launch line-up doesn't look like it's worth the investment. (I like katamari Damacy but I could play that on any of my consoles.)

      I'm not much of a fangirl about anything, in case you haven't noticed. ;)

    Will there be a Vita hardware revison before Xmas 2012?

      Let me consult the Magic 8 Ball!


    The last video game enemy you killed is now your surprise room mate, will you survive?

      My mum would never allow an enemy to move into our house. THE END.

        DLC weapon: Tracy's mum.
        Coming soon.

          I remember when Tracey's mother used to be packaged with the game.


            I remember when DLC was still called expansions.

              I remember when DLC was still called "cheat codes".

          Oh man, you're gonna be in so much trouble for calling Tracey Tracy when it says Tracey right there in front of you! She's not called 'The Crushinator' for nothing.....

    When people talk of the doom and gloom for the Australian game dev industry, would there be any merit of establishing in a state that's not Queensland/New South Wales/Victoria?

    I know they are out there, but I never see any stories about them. That's not Kotaku's fault but hey, why not?

      Studios around Australia (but outside of NSW/VIC/QLD) do exist, although there aren't many of them. The reason why so many studios centre around those three states is because there are a few decent government grants available for game developers, so it works out to be financially worthwhile to be based in those states.

      Krome was in South Australia.

        There's Spinfast in Perth as well.

          Ratbag Games was also in Adelaide, before it was bought out by Midway and closed.

    I asked this in the Syndicate article but it was too late for Mark/Tracy to reply so I'll just re-post it here.

    Hey Mark/Tracy,

    I’m curious about something. When a game is refused classification, even for a little while, is that useful PR for the game company? Sure they might miss out on the Australian Market but maybe the RC influences buyers in the US and Europe to buy the game because of its gory nature.You know forbidden fruit tastes sweetest and all that jazz.

      I don't know the specifics of this, but I will ask someone I know who has worked in games PR and let you know!

      [UPDATE] I've gotten a comment from one PR person who looked after a game that eventually got RC'd. He says that it's incredibly frustrating when a game gets RC'd because it means a lot of the work you've put into it as a PR person has gone to waste. So I'm not sure if it's a case of any publicity is good publicity as much as it's "Oh man I spent all that time putting together presentations trying to get the game classified and preparing marketing materials for it and now I can't use any of it!"

      Other companies and individuals might approach it differently, but that's the one comment I received. :)

        I'm jealous you have the ability to update your posts. :D

        Thanks for the quick reply. I hadn't really considered the issue from the PR teams point of view.

    What's your most rewarding moment in a video game?

      and your most rewarding moment covering games in 2011...

        Shane -- Defeating Seymour in FFX. It. Took. Forever. And once I did it I felt like I never had to play a videogame ever again.

        D.C. -- The response I received to this article was quite nice: Also, being asked to guest edit Kotaku while Mark was on holiday back in September ... it was a pretty big deal for me!

    Do you have a PSN account? Will you be my friend? Mark has snubbed my PSN friend request for months now, and I'm so ronery.

      I will be your friend, except i dont have a PSN account, ROCKETMAN away!

      I use my brother's account because it is linked to a credit card, but I don't have anyone on there as a friend because I play all my PS3 games on my lonesome. :)

    Any thoughts of doing a 'serious games' article? it's an interesting area that a couple of industries like defence and mining are examining very closely

      I am actually working on one right now! I just need to transcribe an interview and get pics for it and then I should be ready to write it. :)

        Ah cool- as a follow-up- have you thought of going to SimTect (serious games/simulation conference) in June?

          I was at the Serious Games Forum at GCAP last month and found that the thing with serious games is that it's hard to make them sound interesting in an article. I won't be going to Simtech, but if anyone does and has some cool stuff to share we'd be happy to listen. :)

            Ah, in that case don't go to SimTecT- lots of engineers giving technical presentations.

    There are now three things that are certain in life - death, taxes and now Serious Sam 3 gets classified and RC'd.

    What will happen to my copy of the game on steam?

      sorry i should clarify when SS 3 gets banned for sale.

      Its coming out for consoles next year and no doubt that it will get banned once they submit it for classifying.

    Do you know who is responsible for the creation and use of those little staples that aren't easily removed with a normal staple remover?

    More importantly, are you willing to join me on my quest to hunt them down and use a staple remover on them in painfully interesting ways?

      Just use a bull clip, bro.

        I do.

        The people who send cheques to my work that I have to bank seem to love these little staples though. Makes me rather sadface.

          I'll hit them for you.


        I agree.

    Did you ever get the Minecraft paper box head you were eyeing off at E3?

      No, because I had to wait in a long line and I had to go to an interview!

        I meant did an Award Winning journalist,caber tossing, Pepsi-Max swilling, co-editor of Australia's largest gaming blog buy you one?

          Lol! No, but that's a good thing because the last thing I want to do is accumulate stuff.

    Another question what happened to community game nights. I remember there being articles promoting a game for the community to play together on weekends.

    It would be great to have a game night with Mark/Tracy and the rest of Kotaku community. Kotaku users could even exchange PSN IDS and Gamertags in such an article.

      Hey dude we usually do this in TAY or something where the regulars here organise a game to play. If you would like to be involved join the kotaku steam group.

        Thanks for replying. I don't play many PC games but I'll join the steam group anyway. Just to confirm it's the Kotaku Au group right? Because there are a bunch of Kotaku groups and I just want to be sure.

        I'll also trawl through this weeks TAY to see if anyone is playing something interesting. That being said a community Game night is usually useful as everyone plays the same game on the day.

    Whats your favourite video game soundtrack? I just played To The Moon and was very impressed with it musicwise

      Hmmmmm! I really love the soundtrack from The Lost Odyssey. Monkey Island also had some great music... and Pokemon! Man, there are so many good ones, I can't say which is my favourite.

    Do you find this fair?

    Because of the CD Projekt and their law firm sending out letter saying either pay up or see you in court. That isnt fair, but because piracy is illegal blah blah blah, a fair amount of money to pay is double the amount of the original game.

    I find this fair because you are paying for the game in the end and a little for lost revenue.

    Do you or anyone else find this fair?

      Do they have free wifi in McDonalds in Germany?
      I foresee alot of new customers popping in around release days.

    Is there a six foot bat loose in Gotham City?

    And if so... is he on the police payroll?

    And if so... what's he pulling down, after taxes?

      I heard a rumour he's a billionaire... so he must be pulling down a lot.

      Or the police are on HIS payroll.

    Why don't you and Mark do a video blog each week next year, talk about all things games of course and anything else that crosses your mind.
    Fairly sure you will have enough followers.
    And after the first one we can all ask for subtitles so we can understand what the hell Mark is saying.

    Merry Christmas.

      I think if we were to do anything, we'd try a podcast. There have been talks about it but I'm not sure when it's happening or what format it would take. It's something the whole team has to discuss a bit more. :)

        But we want to see you crazy kids in the flesh.

        That's cool, It's a start anyway.

        Even if it was a shared podcast between Giz, LH and Kotaku, I'm sure it'd be all kinds of awesome.

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