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Updates » Design
How Japanese mobile game makers go after whales: 5 popular gacha mechanics 5
by Gamasutra Community [03.31.16]
"Today, the once simple mechanic has spawned a whole array of variations. In the context of this post, I introduce five of the top gacha variants that were or are being used in mobile games."
Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing

Deck-builder design analysis: Epic Card Game  
by Gamasutra Community [03.31.16]
"Epic is an extraordinarily ambitious game. Its creators are trying to build a skyscraper on a cracked foundation. Whether they pulled it off is subjective, but their efforts are definitely worth a look."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

Vainglory dev and Twitch announce multi-million dollar eSports partnership 1
by Chris Baker [03.31.16]
The developer Super Evil Megacorp has announced a three-year, multi-million dollar partnership with Twitch to promote and support the eSports community around their touchscreen MOBA Vainglory.
Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing, Video

Why we open-sourced 80 Days' narrative scripting language, Ink 6
by Gamasutra Community [03.31.16]
"We know it would be hugely valuable to other developers and writers, especially those who are used to Excel and Word. Ink has been designed from the ground up to have a certain set of affordances."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Design, Business/Marketing

Inside the lo-res Roguelike FPS inspired by Canadian politics 5
by Tim W. [03.30.16]
This tough shooter with base management elements harkens back to the glory days of classic FPS titles like DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D.
Indie, Design, Video

Don't miss: Hands-on: Looking at AR game dev through Microsoft's HoloLens 9
by Alex Wawro [03.30.16]
From 2015: Microsoft brought a few crates of HoloLens prototypes to its developer conference in San Francisco, so Gamasutra spent an afternoon tinkering with the upcoming augmented reality headset.
VR, Design, Business/Marketing

Perceiving without looking: Designing HUDs for peripheral vision 10
by Gamasutra Community [03.30.16]
Practical considerations with examples: "To achieve this, UI elements would benefit from being big, stark, and obvious, and convey information through variations in brightness rather than color."
Console/PC, Art, Design

How The Church in the Darkness turns real events into a dynamic story 3
by Bryant Francis [03.30.16]
We found out how Richard Rouse III's The Church in the Darkness uses a chapter from history--1970s cult communities--and a little randomness to drive a dynamic narrative.
Indie, Design, Production, Video

Video: Animal Crossing: Turning a New Leaf  
by Christian Nutt [03.29.16]
In this 2014 talk, Animal Crossing: New Leaf producer Katsuya Eguchi and director Aya Kyogoku discuss the different approaches they tried in order to develop ideas that would take advantage of the environments surrounding players.
Console/PC, Design, Production, Video

Blog: Transparency in mechanics and game design 3
by Gamasutra Community [03.29.16]
"There is always a constant struggle between showing too much or too little information for the player; even more so in strategy or RPG games built around player choice."
Console/PC, Design

Video: Designing morally difficult characters  
by Staff [03.28.16]
Designing a morally questionable character doesn't have to railroad your players into moustache-twirling villainy: done right, it can present a truly meaningful study in compromise and complicity.
Console/PC, Design, Video

From interactive fiction to quitting PlayStation: GDC podcast in review  
by Kris Graft [03.28.16]
During GDC 2016 earlier this month, Gamasutra and video game radio show One Life Left teamed up for the official GDC podcast. We had dozens of guests, some of whom we’ll be highlighting all week.
Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, GDC

Study combs through 155 Gamasutra postmortems for what went right and wrong 2
by Christian Nutt [03.28.16]
A scholarly review of 155 Gamasutra postmortems -- produced by academics from the Rochester Institute of Technology in conjunction with Microsoft Research -- gets to the heart of game development.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Blog: The pros and cons of procedural generation 6
by Gamasutra Community [03.28.16]
"This type of analysis is a good way for you to understand when you should use it and it varies depending on what you want to do. The root cause for some of these arguments in favor or against might be the same."
Indie, Programming, Design, Production

How one studio is building game AI to replicate a human storyteller 10
by Alex Wawro [03.28.16]
"The intention behind Toska is that it provides for a computer game experience what a good human DM provides on a tabletop experience," says Evodant of its "procedural AI narrative engine." Could it?
Console/PC, Programming, Design

Using familiar objects to enhance 'the raw accessibility' of games  
by Christian Nutt [03.25.16]
"I'm more concerned with the raw accessibility of a game. And I want to make brand new games for the widest possible audience. ... What they're familiar with is the stuff that we have culturally: soccer balls, billiards, playing cards, dice."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

Devs Answer: What are your favorite video game Easter eggs? 5
by Bryant Francis [03.25.16]
Easter is upon us, so we asked developers to share some of their favorite gaming Easter Eggs, with a few explanations for finding them yourself.
Console/PC, Design

Don't Miss: How Dark Souls' multiplayer mechanics invaded other words 18
by Alex Wawro [03.25.16]
What is it about player invasions in Dark Souls that's so compelling? In this classic feature, we chats with devs to explore why the mechanic is exciting, and how they put their own spin on it.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Design

The importance of conversation and player stories in Moon Hunters 2
by Joel Couture [03.25.16]
"Most heroes' and villains' interpersonal skills are at the core of their identity and legends because they're what drive how we act, and why we act."
Indie, Design, Video

Video: How NetherRealm built Mortal Kombat's cinematic story mode  
by Staff [03.25.16]
In this GDC 2013 talk NetherRealm's Adisak Pochanayon explains how, exactly, "there's a full-length feature film rendered in our game, with seamless transitions in and out of gameplay."
Console/PC, Programming, Design, Production, Video, Vault