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August 7, 2020
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Updates » Design
Don't Miss: Neo Cab and the effort to make an empathetic game about gamification 1
by Staff [03.12.20]
"We're less interested in creating a character that players will empathize with than we are in creating a character whose empathy is core to her strength," says Neo Cab dev Patrick Ewing.
Design

Deep Dive: Turning phone UX into game mechanics in horror game SIMULACRA 2  
by Jeremy Ooi [03.12.20]
Jeremy Ooi, co-founder of Kaigan Games, explains how he and his team turned the common mobile phone user experience into game mechanics in the "found phone" SIMULACRA horror games.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu moves on from Blizzard  
by Bryant Francis [03.11.20]
Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu is departing Blizzard after a 20-year tenure with the company.
Console/PC, Design

Don't Miss: Moon Studios' Ori and the Blind Forest postmortem 5
by Staff [03.11.20]
The CEO of Moon Studios pours his heart out in a lengthy postmortem of what went right -- and wrong -- during the 4-year development of Super Metroid-inspired Ori and The Blind Forest.
Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Blog: The importance of themes for video game composers  
by Chris Kerr [03.11.20]
Game composer Winifred Phillips shares additional research from her Game Developers Conference 2020 lecture, 'The Importance of Themes: Creating Musical Signatures for your Games.'
Audio, Design

The tale of porting No Code's text-based Stories Untold to Switch 1
by Andrew King [03.11.20]
When No Code ported the text-based adventure game Stories Untold from PC to Nintendo Switch, the studio had to alter the game's original input method--keystrokes--and make it work for a game controller, among other challenges.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Video

Don't Miss: Designing the stealth, economy, and encounters of Horizon Zero Dawn  
by Staff [03.10.20]
Horizon Zero Dawn designer Eric Boltjes shares some of the lessons learned making an open-world game filled with machines meant to act like living creatures.
Design

Pixel Pets: How game developers bring animals to life  
by Stacey Henley [03.10.20]
We speak with developers behind games including Shelter 3, Pupperazzi and more to find out various approaches to imbuing virtual animals with real emotions.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

Don't Miss: 7 games with great learning curves that all developers should study 13
by Staff [03.09.20]
Which games offer a masterclass in how to design a well-shaped learning curve? Corey Davis of Psyonix, Chris Bourassa of Red Hook, and Global Game Jame co-founder Ian Schreiber weigh in.
Design

Blog: The importance of a well defined core gameplay loop 4
by Gamasutra Community [03.09.20]
We're talking about the core gameplay loop of a title in today's post, and how it's crucial for getting someone invested in playing your game over the long term.
Design

How John Wick Hex establishes character through action 1
by Jack Yarwood [03.09.20]
"While we copy the tropes of the action movies, the idea that you should be able to define a character by what the gameplay verbs are is just something that we don’t really talk about, but it just seems really obvious to me," says John Wick Hex dev Mike Bithell.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

Video Game Deep Cuts: Not For Broadcast, The Longing Of Kirby  
by Gamasutra Staff [03.07.20]
The latest highlights include looks at Not For Broadcast & The Longing, as well as a pretty odd video about Kirby, the history of Iran's game biz, the history of Dropmix, secrets in games, & more.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Get a job: Be a Gameplay Engineer at Heart Machine  
by Staff [03.06.20]
The folks at Hyper Light Drifter dev Heart Machine seek a gameplay engineer skilled in UE4 to join the team at their Culver City, California studio!
Indie, Programming, Design, Recruitment

Don't Miss: A Game Design Deep Dive into Amnesia's 'Sanity Meter' 18
by Staff [03.06.20]
"Instead of having the darkness being directly linked to player's health, it made a lot more sense if it affected their mental well-being," writes dev Thomas Grip in a look at Amnesia's sanity meter.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

An upcoming UI tweak will make The Outer Worlds infinitely more accessible 1
by Chris Kerr [03.06.20]
The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian has been quietly working on a font scaling feature that'll let players adjust the size of the microscopic text in the sci-fi RPG.
Console/PC, Programming, Design

How 'classical game mechanics' and physics converge in VR hit Boneworks  
by Aron Garst [03.06.20]
"There was nothing stopping us from writing this code four years ago, other than that nobody knew how to do it," says Brandon Laatsch, one of the developers behind Stress Level Zero's VR hit Boneworks.
VR, Design, Video

Don't Miss: The shape of God of War III 4
by Staff [03.05.20]
Sony Santa Monica senior producer Steve Caterson discusses just how the development team tackled the development process, particularly from tools, engine, and workflow perspectives.
Console/PC, Design, Production

Blog: Making particles twice as fast through cache optimization 7
by Gamasutra Community [03.05.20]
Cache optimisation is one of the most hardcore, low-level topics in game programming. In this post I explain how our particle systems went from tons of cache misses to good memory coherence.
Programming, Design

Blog: The secret AI testers inside The Division 2 2
by Gamasutra Community [03.05.20]
In this final part on the AI of the Division 2, I chat with lead AI programmer Philip Dunstan about the secret AI testers that help playtest the game and the story behind their creation.
Design

Writing, directing, and designing FMV censorship simulator Not for Broadcast 1
by John Harris [03.05.20]
Gamasutra speaks with Alex Paterson, creator, director, writer, and artist on Not for Broadcast about the dev team's non-traditional background, making FMV games in 2020, and his approach to writing game scripts.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video