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July 1, 2015
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July 1, 2015
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Mojang closes the book on Scrolls  
by Alex Wawro [06.29.15]
Minecraft developer Mojang is wrapping up work on its strategic digital card game Scrolls, noting in a farewell post that the game's servers will be kept online through at least July of next year.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Report: 24% of games in Steam's Summer Sale generated 94% of revenue 5
by Alex Wawro [06.29.15]
Sergei Galyonkin, developer of the Steam Spy analytics platform, has published a blog post that offers developers some intriguing insight into Valve's most recent Steam Summer Sale.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Don't Miss: Blizzard's Diablo II postmortem, 15 years later 4
by Erich Schaefer [06.29.15]
15 years ago this week, Blizzard released Diablo II. Celebrate by reading EP Erich Schaefer's account of what went right and wrong during development of one of Blizzard's most impactful games.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Nvidia deconstructs its VR game rendering tech for developers  
by Alex Wawro [06.29.15]
Nvidia continues to pitch devs on its VR tech with a technical deep dive into its "Gameworks VR" suite of virtual reality rendering tools written by a former Sucker Punch graphics programmer.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Taking your game the direction it wants to go, and finding an audience 2
by Gamasutra Community [06.29.15]
A postmortem of Lemma, a first-person, voxel-based game which evolved during its production and eventually found an audience on Steam, thanks, in part, to YouTubers.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Rewarding failure, and focusing on control in platformer design 12
by Gamasutra Community [06.29.15]
Rude Bear Resurrection focuses on tight control and on letting players -- all players -- make it through its masocore gameplay experience. Developer Alex Rose details both in this blog.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

This Week in Video Game Criticism: What's old is Shenmue again  
by Kris Ligman [06.29.15]
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Johnny Kilhefner on topics ranging from reactions to Shenmue 3's Kickstarter to Tale of Tales' decision to take a break from game development.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Why did the ending of Mass Effect 3 sink the audience's opinion of the whole series? 4
by Gamasutra Community [06.29.15]
"One has to wonder if the game would have benefitted from some kind of more enjoyable coda or epilogue. Going into that fun experience for just a few minutes might have made a large difference."
Console/PC, Design

Getting the music right: Atmospheric vs. ambient 1
by Gamasutra Community [06.29.15]
"Most importantly, figure out if you want just atmospheric sounds to make your soundtrack, or if subtle ambient music should be used instead."
Console/PC, Indie, Audio

Designing a mobile game technology stack 10
by Gamasutra Community [06.29.15]
"We have invested a lot of time in building a solid platform before even thinking about game ideas. Our goal was to be able to develop games in a short period of time by sharing the underlying technology stack."
Smartphone/Tablet, Programming

6 lessons from developing Schell Games' VR project, I Expect You To Die 15
by Gamasutra Community [06.29.15]
Jesse Schell shares what he and his team learned while developing VR spy thriller I Expect You To Die -- created after his years of experience in the medium, dating back to the 1990s.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, VR

Innovative VR ideas from Oculus jam winner Bazaar  
by Gamasutra Community [06.26.15]
Bazaar won a silver prize at the Oculus VR jam, and now its developers share ways the 100% gaze-controlled game leads the player -- techniques you could use in your own VR game.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, VR

Get a job: Hangar 13 is hiring an experienced Level Architect 1
by Staff [06.26.15]
Novato-based Hangar 13, the newest 2K Games studio, seeks a seasoned level architect to join the team working on designing 3D environments and optimizing game levels in its Novato, CA offices.
Console/PC, Design, Recruitment

Devs work with Apple to restore games cut for Confederate flag use 18
by Alex Wawro [06.26.15]
After a surprise culling yesterday, reports are coming in from affected developers that Apple is allowing games with Confederate flag imagery back on the App Store -- with some caveats.
Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Video: How Bungie built the technology to render Destiny 1
by Staff [06.26.15]
At GDC 2015, Bungie's Natalya Tatarchuk cracks open the renderer Bungie developed for its striking, open-world cross-platform shooter Destiny to show fellow developers how it works.
Console/PC, Programming, Art, Video, Vault

Don't Miss: Classic Easter egg saboteurs, smugglers and stowaways 16
by Jamey Stevenson [06.26.15]
Developer Jamey Stevenson examines how and why Easter eggs came to be hidden in games from the likes of Maxis, Naughty Dog, Nintendo and Atari in this classic 2011 feature.
Console/PC, Design, Business/Marketing

Robbie Bach remembers lessons learned from a decade leading Xbox 2
by Alex Wawro [06.26.15]
In a new interview with Polygon to promote his book, former Xbox chief Robbie Bach shares some interesting anecdotes about what it was like behind-the-scenes at Microsoft during the Xbox and 360 eras.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Composing adaptive music for games: Advanced concepts in Elias  
by Gamasutra Community [06.26.15]
A veteran composer breaks down an exciting new tool: "Elias, like a good video game, is easy to use but difficult to master. This is a new type of tool with some new features."
Console/PC, Indie, Audio

21 CRPGs that brought something new to the table 19
by Gamasutra Community [06.26.15]
"I've examined almost 300 RPGs, from the latest releases to PLATO titles from the 70's. I've decided to make a really, really, really abridged version of my book, focusing on one single aspect: cool stuff."
Console/PC, Design, History

Making gender matter: Lessons from tabletop RPG Night Witches 16
by Katherine Cross [06.26.15]
How can you make gender relevant and interesting without subsuming characters beneath stereotypes? Night Witches, a tabletop RPG based on female members of a real Soviet bomber regiment, has some answers.
Design