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October 1, 2014
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Features » Design
How to be a Better Game Designer 27
by Phil O'Connor [01.29.13]
"Regardless of what kind of game you work on, design leadership is at the center of success or failure," writes design consultant Phil O'Connor, whose credits include Far Cry 3 and Operation Flashpoint 2.
Design

Postmortem: 11 Bit Studios' Anomaly Warzone Earth 13
by Paweł Miechowski [01.28.13]
The popular "inverted tower defense" game was the first created by 11 Bit Studios, a team of Polish veteran developers. Here, Paweł Miechowski, the studio's senior writer, talks about the difficulties and successes of booting up and building a game at the same time.
Business/Marketing, Design, Postmortem, Production, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet

An Alternative to Achievements 76
by Keith Burgun [01.25.13]
Are achievements really good for your game? Could there be a better alternative? Designer Keith Burgun examines the very concept at its core, looking at how they're used, how they might be used in the future, and how they might even change totally -- for the better.
Design

Focusing Creativity: RPG Genres 53
by Jordane Thiboust [01.24.13]
What defines your RPG experience? This article, written out of research undertaken while in preproduction for a next generation title, helpfully delineates the essential ingredients for each type of RPG -- and what should be included, and excluded, from a title in these sub-genres.
Design

Best Practices: Five Tips for Better Playtesting 11
by Vin St. John [01.23.13]
How do you best set up a playtest, and then use that playtester feedback in the development process? Facebook and mobile developer Arkadium offers up the best practices it uses when both running and interpreting tests.
Design, Production

Postmortem: Vivid Games' Real Boxing 14
by Tomasz Strzelczyk, Grzegorz Brol, Krystian Komisarek [01.21.13]
How did developing an Unreal Engine 3-powered sports game for iOS impact the team at Vivid Games? Read this postmortem to find out just what triple-A production values do to a mobile studio.
Business/Marketing, Design, Postmortem, Production, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet

POMMS: A Way to Get Your Players to Test Your Game!  
by Robert Hoischen [01.17.13]
Player-facing testing has rapidly changed from bug-finding to simply an early release model. In this article, indie developer Robert Hoischen explains how his studio set up a gamified bug-testing system using your player base.
Design, Production

The Metrics of Space: Molecule Design 24
by Luke McMillan, Nassib Azar [01.15.13]
When designing maps, you have to think about the player's perspective -- and this article, which examines design in Borderlands and Fallout 3, as well as an experimental map created in UDK, offers techniques for making maps interesting.
Design

The Storytelling Secrets of Virtue's Last Reward 7
by Christian Nutt [01.11.13]
What makes Virtue's Last Reward one of the best storytelling games of all time? Gamasutra speaks to director Kotaro Uchikoshi and analyzes the gameplay to uncover the secrets that make this suspenseful graphic adventure tick.
Design, Interview

Understanding Challenge 12
by Chad Kilgore [01.08.13]
What is challenge? Day 1 Studios (F.E.A.R. 3) technical designer and Iowa State University instructor Chad Kilgore examines the types of challenge that games present to players, putting them into a usable framework.
Design