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April 29, 2016
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April 29, 2016
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Why beta testers are so valuable: Examples from real life  
by Gamasutra Community [04.15.16]
"One of the last efforts has been balancing the game using beta testers outside of our own dev team. We feel that this final testing phase has turned out to be possibly the most important phase of the development."
Smartphone/Tablet, Production

Porting a game to the real world with Real Escape/Zero Escape  
by Kris Graft [04.15.16]
What are some of the principles of Escape Room design, and how do they overlap with video game design? We checked in with the makers of the Zero Escape puzzle room in Los Angeles to find out.
Console/PC, Design, Production

Obituary: Veteran Finnish game developer, Antti Kallioinen, passes away  
by Chris Kerr [04.15.16]
Veteran Finnish game developer Antti Kallioinen has passed away suddenly at the age of 42. 
Console/PC, Serious

PixelJunk Eden art and sound director joins series creator, Q-Games  
by Chris Kerr [04.15.16]
Japanese multimedia artist and composer, Baiyon, who made a name for himself working on PixelJunk Eden, Panoramical, and LittleBigPlanet 2, has joined Q-Games as creative producer. 
Console/PC, Production

How Undertale's soundtrack tells the story of its characters 7
by Gamasutra Community [04.15.16]
"We come to perhaps the most common use of leitmotif -- the representation of characters. Nearly every major character in the game has an associated leitmotif, often spanning multiple tracks in the soundtrack."
Console/PC, Indie, Audio

Blog: The 3 factors driving China's indie revolution 7
by Gamasutra Community [04.15.16]
"I've opened my own game studio and we've begun work on our first game, Stardust Command. Until recently doing this in China would be almost impossible."
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Minecraft: Education Edition heading to classrooms in May 2
by Chris Kerr [04.15.16]
Microsoft has announced it will be hosting a Minecraft: Education Edition beta program in May, before beginning a more expansive early access program in June. 
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Xbox veterans form mixed reality studio, Loook  
by Chris Kerr [04.15.16]
"We want to harness the power of holographic, mixed reality to create meaningful applications to raise awareness and empathy, connect people, and protect our planet."
VR, Business/Marketing

Player profiling in practice 1
by Gamasutra Community [04.15.16]
"While player modeling has been the subject of research for quite some time and has seen its use in games, player profiling is relatively new and many of its uses are still being explored."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing

This Week in Video Game Blogging: Getting closer  
by Critical Distance [04.15.16]
Games are often about traversal, metaphorically or literally. Many mechanics are, at their core, about closing the gap between self and other, between the familiar and the unfamiliar, and critical writing on games often walks the same ground.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

The story behind NetHack's long-awaited update--the first since 2003  
by John Bridgman [04.15.16]
Meet the team behind the 3.6.0 update of the venerable NetHack--the first update since 2003. Some are former fans. Others have been involved with the game since it first debuted in the summer of 1987.
Indie, Programming, Design, Production, History

How video games helped the world cozy up to computers 1
by Alex Wawro [04.14.16]
In a new feature The Atlantic rounds up insights from experts (John Romero, Laine Nooney, Bill Budge, et al) about how computer games in the '80s helped usher in today's tech-heavy culture.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Now Google Play has its own indie game showcase 1
by Alex Wawro [04.14.16]
Heads up, Android game devs: the Google Play storefront has been updated to include a new "Indie Corner" that aims to showcase the work of independent game developers on the platform.
Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Get a job: Media Molecule is hiring a Server Developer 1
by Staff [04.14.16]
The LittleBigPlanet developer is looking to hire a network and server development expert to develop online services for its upcoming game Dreams, including real-time game systems and content storage.
Social/Online, Programming, Production, Recruitment

Mobile studio JuiceBox is closing because 'we didn't build good enough games'  
by Alex Wawro [04.14.16]
Nearly 4 years after it was launched by Zynga expats as a "mid-core" mobile game studio, JuiceBox Games is now closing because, according to its CEO, "we didn't build good enough games."
Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Don't Miss: The strange, unresolved conflict of Animal Crossing 7
by Ian Bogost [04.14.16]
In this classic piece, game designer Ian Bogost turns a critical eye on the design of Nintendo's popular Animal Crossing franchise and its unresolved conflict between consumption and naturalism.
Console/PC, Design

Survey: eSports fans are a small (but overwhelmingly male) demographic  
by Alex Wawro [04.14.16]
According to recent Nielsen surveys of over 2,000 men and women, the audience for eSports is a small sliver of the population (less than 10 percent) and overwhelmingly male Millennials.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Video: A brief history of PlayStation, from one-time frontman Phil Harrison  
by Staff [04.14.16]
Phil Harrison's microtalk on the history & impact of the original Sony PlayStation, a segment of the very special "Flash Backward" presentation at GDC 2016, is peppered with interesting insights.
Console/PC, Production, Business/Marketing, Video, Vault

What it means to grow up under the influence of Minecraft 2
by Alex Wawro [04.14.16]
"They think they’re just playing a game, but they have to solve some of the hardest problems facing humanity," a social scientist told the New York Times. "They have to solve the tragedy of the commons."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Design

Organizing and reporting on unstructured Steam data  
by Gamasutra Community [04.14.16]
"Having your (impressions and visits) data structured over time is really useful, because it will help you to view what are the underlying trends in your data. Furthermore, you can supplement this data-set with sales data."
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing