D+PAD Editor speaks - PS3 flak, Italian food and Wii worries
We managed to get some time between issues to quiz David Scammell, Editor-in-Chief at D+PAD magazine, on all things gaming.
For those of you that don't know, D+PAD is a PDF-based web magazine that is frankly so well put together it makes us feel mildly envious. This month's edition alone had a great review of GTA: IV and some exclusive Motorstorm: Pacific Rift screens that made us sit up and take notice.
Here's the interview in full:
[PS3A] What is your background and why did you start D+PAD magazine?
[DS] Video games have always been one of my greatest passions, and as a kid growing up in the late 80s/90s when gaming really started to take off in the mainstream, it was hard to avoid them.
Back in the day when the internet wasn’t readily available, I remember picking up heaps of gaming magazines at a time to get my fix, and I was even an avid reader of ‘Sonic The Comic’ if anyone out there can remember that!
As a result I always wanted to be a part of the gaming press and found myself writing for a few websites before wanting something I could call my own. I thought about starting my own fansite (albeit with an added twist) but felt the market was saturated and that it would struggle to gain a decent following.
With the industry leaning towards digital distribution, the idea of D+PAD came along with the plan to give consumers a free digital publication with high quality content and a design comparable to that of equivalent print magazines.
[PS3A] How long does it take to put together each edition?
[DS] D+PAD’s a monthly publication so we generally turnaround the magazine from start to finish within four to five weeks. However, with D+PAD being digital we can be a lot more flexible with dates than print magazines could ever be.
So, if postponing the publishing date for a few days allows us to fit in a review of the next big title, we’re able to do so. An example of this would be way back in Issue 3. We were just about to hit the upload button when review code for Call of Duty 4 landed on our desk.
Delaying the issue by a few days allowed us to provide one of the world’s first reviews of the multi-million selling title.
[PS3A] What does a PDF-based magazine offer that you can't find at the newsagent?
[DS] Well, not only is D+PAD completely free and available without having to trek down to your local newsagent, being PDF-based allows us to experiment with other ways to deliver content to our readers.
We’ve introduced video streaming into the latest issue of D+PAD so our readers can check out gameplay footage and trailers on the same page as reading the review.
There are also some other exciting features that we’re currently working on implementing into future issues...
[PS3A] When you're not putting D+PAD together, what do you enjoy doing instead?
[DS] I’d be lying if I said I didn’t play a lot of videogames, but there’s plenty more I get up to besides. I’ve recently put a lot of time into GTA IV in a desperate attempt to gain membership to Rockstar’s 100% Club. And with that 19th May date looming there’s not that long left to achieve it!
But of course, with summer approaching, I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time out in the sun with my fantastic girlfriend and our little puppy dog.
[PS3A] Where do you stand on the 'console wars' debate?
[DS] It’s a very touchy subject and admittedly not one that I like to get myself involved in all that often. I’ve never considered myself to be a fanboy of any sorts, and as editor of a multi-format magazine it’s crucial to remain open-minded.
With that said, I think the PS3 took a lot of unnecessary flak early on and I believe we’re really going to see it come into its own later this year with the exciting 08/09 lineup. I recently had the chance to play Killzone 2 at PlayStation Day which has the potential to blow every other FPS out the water should it all come together for February.
Having said that, the Xbox 360 has proven to be a fantastic console with some great exclusive titles, and in my opinion at least, it still houses a superior online experience – even if it does come at a cost.
Wii, as much as I love the little white box, bothers me slightly. It’s home to a few classic titles, but I’m concerned that targeting casuals as much as it has done and being host to some truly awful, yet worryingly popular, ‘casual’ games may harm the industry in the long run.
It’s great that a wider audience is being introduced to gaming, as long as it doesn’t harm the hardcore that the industry has grown on.
But with all that said and done, I always had a huge fondness for the SEGA consoles and was shocked when they pulled out of the console race. Hopefully one day they’ll be back...
[PS3A] What's the best place to eat at in St. Albans?
[DS] There are so many great places to eat in St. Albans it’s unreal! One of my favourite places though has to be Sazio, a lovely little Italian restaurant that offers an all you can eat lunchtime menu. More than enough to fire you up for a productive afternoon back at the office!
[PS3A] We can vouch for that - we've been there and the food is excellent! Bonus question: Was it really necessary to point those things at us on pages 21 and 22 of Issue 7?
[DS] This is going to sound like a horrendous generalisation on my part, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about the majority of gamers it’s that they love their female leads dressed in revealing outfits. And with assets like that, it would be rude not to.
You can get the latest edition of D+PAD at their website, and add yourself to their subscription list to be notified when the next edition is available.
Our thanks to David and please keep up the good work - D+PAD is truly a great read every month.