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Features » Design
The 50 Games That Defined 2012 4
by Gamasutra staff [12.26.12]
This isn't a list of awesome games from 2012, but instead, it's a list -- containing not-so-great games, games that didn't release, or even will never appear -- of games that are representative of a trend or interesting story that captured the zeitgeist of 2012, and they all say something about what happened this year.
Design

Gamasutra's Best of 2012 4
by Gamasutra staff [12.24.12]
2012 has been a landmark year for shifts in the game industry, and that's why Gamasutra, in the form of this round-up feature of our annual year-end pieces, has taken an expansive look back at the year -- to closely examine what has happened in the past 12 months.
Business/Marketing, Design, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

The Designer's Notebook: Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie! XIII 22
by Ernest Adams [12.21.12]
Hostess might be bankrupt, but the denial of Twinkies continues! In the 13th annual installment of The Designer's Notebook's popular column, Ernest Adams tackles more reader-submitted design decisions that mystify and dissatisfy players.
Design

The Case for Casual Biometrics 7
by Stefano Gualeni [12.20.12]
Plenty of triple-A productions use biometric testing of players -- but can it work for casual games, too? Developer Stefano Gualeni writes here about how he and his team tested iOS puzzle game Gua-Le-Ni using a simple lab setup.
Design, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet

What Magic: The Gathering Can Teach Us 32
by Will Luton [12.17.12]
In the midst of the collectible card game craze taking over the social space in the success of Cygames' Rage of Bahamut, Will Luton examines the original collectible card game, Magic the Gathering, and the important lessons it has for today's video game designers.
Design

Designing Freemium Titles for Hardcore Gamers 39
by Pascal Luban [12.12.12]
How do you get hardcore gamers interested in your free-to-play game? What is the perfect tension between compelling gameplay and frustration? Designer Pascal Luban explores the lessons he learned since moving to freemium.
Design, Social/Online

From Torment to Eternity: Chris Avellone on RPGs 14
by Saul Alexander [11.30.12]
Obsidian creative director Chris Avellone talks to Gamasutra about the tension between player stories and written narrative, how players are resurrecting the past via Kickstarter, and what Project Eternity will be.
Design, Interview

Postmortem: McMillen and Himsl's The Binding of Isaac 19
by Edmund McMillen [11.28.12]
How did a game destined for failure become a cult smash? Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy) discusses how he added religion to The Legend of Zelda, mixed it with a roguelike, and came out with a surprise hit.
Business/Marketing, Design, Postmortem, Production, Art, Indie

Persuasive Games: Wii Can't Go On, Wii'll Go On 53
by Ian Bogost [11.27.12]
What is Nintendo really attempting to do with the Wii U? Ian Bogost, in the latest installment of Persuasive Games, searches for the meaning behind the dual-screen play of Nintendo's freshly-released console.
Design

Games from the Trash: The History of the TRS-80 20
by Dale Dobson [11.26.12]
Radio Shack's first computer was an underpowered but accessible and affordable unit -- and as with nearly any platform, quickly became home to games. In this retrospective, Gamasutra pays homage to a system beloved by many but mostly forgotten by everyone else.
Business/Marketing, Design