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April 24, 2014
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Using Scrum in real-world game production 9
by Gamasutra Community [04.24.14]
Veteran triple-A producer Harvard Bonin (God of War: Ascension) shares insights into scrum methodologies from the real world: Their advantages and their drawbacks.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Production

GDC Europe welcomes new board members from Rovio, DeNA and more  
by GDC Staff [04.24.14]
GDC Europe organizers add 3 experienced game developers to the event's advisory board, where they will help program lectures, panels and sessions taking place at August's conference in Germany.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing, GDC Europe

Epic releases Unreal Engine 4.1, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One support 1
by Christian Nutt [04.24.14]
Subscribers can now download the new version from GitHub, including both the stable build and "bleeding edge," untested new code.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Programming

A veteran producer's take on how to write a game concept doc 4
by Gamasutra Community [04.24.14]
"There are a lot of resources online that talk about game concepts and game design documents. So instead of retreading used ground, I wrote a game concept for us to examine together."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Design, Production

Blog: Forcing hard currency use in F2P games 2
by Gamasutra Community [04.24.14]
"Depending on the game, a very closely calculated time in the gameplay comes, when the give-aways stop. No more free Diamonds for you, sir!"
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing

Investors throw $3 million at the Virtuix Omni treadmill 4
by Mike Rose [04.24.14]
The Virtuix Omni treadmill went up for pre-order recently, due for release later this year. Today the company announced that it has received $3 million in a round of investment.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Advanced Input and Output , VR

Blog: Gamification design vs. game design 6
by Gamasutra Community [04.24.14]
Is there no middle ground? "Game design starts from the desire to make something that people will enjoy. In gamification design, you are making something that will achieve a particular goal."
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing

Close encounters with console indie execs, part 2: ID@Xbox's Chris Charla Exclusive  
by Brandon Sheffield [04.24.14]
What are the tastes, backgrounds and experience of some of the biggest decision-makers at major console companies? Developer and senior contributor Brandon Sheffield talks to ID@Xbox's Chris Charla.
Console/PC, Indie, Exclusive

In second quarter, Apple's iPhone sales rise as iPad sales fall  
by Christian Nutt [04.23.14]
More phones sold is good news for game developers, but tablet sales falling may be bad news for Apple -- even if profits are jumping.
Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Facebook game revenue growth falters as users move to mobile  
by Alex Wawro [04.23.14]
The growth of Facebook game payment revenue is stalling as users abandon the desktop -- where all game payment revenue is currently generated -- in favor of accessing the service via mobile devices.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Zynga founder Mark Pincus steps down as company poaches Xbox Live point-man 2
by Christian Nutt [04.23.14]
Pincus stepped aside to let Microsoft exec take the CEO role; now he moves away from the day-to-day entirely as Mattrick brings in more Xbox talent.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

That Dragon, Cancer developer shares grace through game design  
by Alex Wawro [04.23.14]
Josh Larson exhorted fellow developers to think of games as a form of communication between themselves and their players in a talk given today at the 12th annual Games for Change festival.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

See Jane study exobiology: A new approach to role models in games 1
by Gamasutra Community [04.23.14]
Rob Jagnow writes on how scientist Jane Van Susteren became a character in Extrasolar: "her transition from biology consultant to in-game character wasn't the intent from the start."
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Spoiler: Steam games with high Metacritic scores tend to sell well 8
by Alex Wawro [04.23.14]
According to data gathered as part of Ars Technica's ongoing Steam Gauge project, games with extremely high Metacritic scores tend to see significantly higher sales on Steam than those with extremely low scores.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Automatic avoidance for player characters on an indie budget 2
by Gamasutra Community [04.23.14]
Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone) describes how he's emulated the smart input optimization you see in triple-A games in his upcoming Volume -- in a quick and simple way.
Console/PC, Indie, Programming

Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR gets FTC approval  
by Alex Wawro [04.23.14]
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has granted antitrust approval to Facebook's proposed acquisition of Oculus VR, allowing the deal to move forward as planned.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Hack-Man: An interview with Watch Dogs' creative director 3
by Christian Nutt [04.23.14]
Creative director Jonathan Morin speaks about decisions made during the development of the hotly anticipated Watch Dogs, and his expectations for the next generation of games.
Console/PC, Design, Production

Blog: Are innovative games too risky for Kickstarter? 20
by Gamasutra Community [04.23.14]
"Hex Heroes didn't take off on Kickstarter as we anticipated. This campaign was in the works for over four months. Why wasn't Hex Heroes funded in its first three weeks?"
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Cloud Chamber: The TV show you play on Steam Exclusive 2
by Mike Rose [04.23.14]
How the heck do you describe Cloud Chamber? Imagine following along with your favorite TV series, and after each episode you're able to jump online, dig deeper into what you watched, and discuss the twists and turns with fellow viewers.
Console/PC, Design, Business/Marketing, Exclusive, Video

Have you played the Train Jam games? 2
by Mike Rose [04.23.14]
In the days leading up to the Game Developers Conference this year, dozens of indie developers all boarded a train from Chicago, and sat together for 56 hours to create games.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing