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February 7, 2016
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February 7, 2016
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Updates » Design
Don't Miss: How BioWare addresses sexism and sexuality in games 39
by Staff [01.22.16]
In this classic 2013 presentation, one-time Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider takes a look at how BioWare's romantic characters evolved from Baldur's Gate II to the Dragon Age series.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Design

Emotions and mechanics: Lessons about pride  
by Gamasutra Community [01.22.16]
"In sum, when considering being proud, consider three keywords: Efforts from players, Outcomes by efforts, Evaluation on outcomes. Puzzles and accumulative progress enhance the feeling of being proud."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

The design of episodic games 4
by Gamasutra Community [01.22.16]
"Episodic games rely on strong narration, a skill which is not common among game designers. I will share with you my vision and my recommendations on the best practices on storytelling for this game format."
Console/PC, Design

Dev think-tank looks to solve game design's 'toughest problems'  
by Chris Kerr [01.22.16]
Project Horseshoe, an invitation-only think-tank style conference that aims to address the challenges of modern game design, has published its official 2015 report.
Programming, Art, Design

Blog: Tying Dark Souls' concept art to its environmental design 1
by Gamasutra Community [01.22.16]
"Dark Souls has no map for us to consult, yet the general consensus seems to be that navigating Lordran on its own terms works anyway. What is this clarity, exactly?"
Console/PC, Art, Design

Vainglory vs. Clash Royale, and the future of 'hardcore' games on mobile 38
by Gamasutra Community [01.22.16]
Why Supercell will beat Super Evil Megacorp -- an in-depth analysis from a seasoned dev: "A hardcore mobile player isnít someone who wants to play a PC game for hours uninterrupted on their tablet or phone."
Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing

The not-so-simple process of porting The Banner Saga to game consoles 3
by Kris Graft [01.21.16]
John Watson, co-founder and technical director at The Banner Saga developer Stoic, describes the process of bringing the tactical, narrative-driven game from PC to consoles.
Design, Production

GDC 2016: Rhianna Pratchett deconstructs Rise of the Tomb Raider's narrative design  
by Staff [01.21.16]
As the GDC 2016 approaches, organizers highlight a multi-faceted panel discussion on narrative design in Rise of the Tomb Raider featuring writer Rhianna Pratchett and Crystal Dynamics devs.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

Apple to train mobile devs with new App Development Center  
by Chris Kerr [01.21.16]
Apple will open Europe's first†iOS App Development Center, with a view to giving "thousands" of students the skills and training they need to develop apps for its ever-growing marketplace.
Smartphone/Tablet, Programming, Design

The math that drives Hearthstone's Arena 4
by Gamasutra Community [01.21.16]
A look at how Hearthstone's Arena mode works -- from the perspective of the math that drives it: "Equal opportunity, meritocracy, the chance to win big: it's the American dream in its purest form."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Design

Designing levels for mobile puzzle games 4
by Gamasutra Community [01.21.16]
"How do you keep players engaged through 1000+ levels of content without continually introducing new mechanics? This task is no small feat, yet it is the objective of many game designers working in evergreen games as service titles."
Smartphone/Tablet, Design

Roll for your life: Making randomness transparent in Tharsis 3
by Roy Graham [01.21.16]
"Human beings have this innate understanding of stuff that we can touch and hold and look at," says Zach Gage. "The dice in Tharsis are an analogue for something everyone is familiar with."
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

Road to the IGF: Noio and Licorice's Kingdom 2
by Bryant Francis [01.20.16]
We spoke with designer Thomas van den Berg to talk about†Kingdom's†origins, and the challenges of creating a procedurally-generated game.†
Design, IGF

Don't Miss: How Blizzard designed the immersive UI of Hearthstone 6
by Staff [01.20.16]
Hearthstone senior UI designer Derek Sakamoto breaks down Blizzard's approach to UI design at GDC 2015, in the process shedding light on how you can best craft a great UI for your own game.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Art, Design

Blog: I relentlessly cheated at Avernum 5, and it made me think about morality 4
by Gamasutra Community [01.20.16]
"Does it constitute cheating when you hit a hidden button because it's literally impossible to stay afloat, let alone get ahead, otherwise because the world around you has been rigged?"
Indie, Design

Placing kid characters in a tragic situation in This War Of Mine 1
by Alex Wawro [01.20.16]
Gamasutra speaks to some of the developers at 11bit about how and why they decided to add children -- modeled by their own kids -- into their grim war survival game This War Of Mine.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Video: Cinematic storytelling in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor  
by Staff [01.19.16]
At GDC 2015's Narrative Summit Monolith's Ethan Walker takes the stage to showcase how the studio designed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to feel like a cinematic story you can play through.
Console/PC, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Video, Vault

Don't Miss: Designing Darkest Dungeon to inspire despair 8
by Phill Cameron [01.19.16]
We talk to Chris Bourassa and Tyler Sigman of Red Hook Studios about the difficulty of Darkest Dungeon, and why they want their narrator to compound defeat by insulting the player.
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Riding the rails to GDC: A Q&A with Train Jam conductor Adriel Wallick  
by Staff [01.19.16]
There's another Train Jam happening on the way to GDC this year, and GDC 2016 officials speak to organizer and game developer Adriel Wallick about where the Train Jam came from -- and where it's headed.
VR, Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, GDC

Blog: Narrative negative space in games  
by Gamasutra Community [01.18.16]
"I have a strong belief that the player can, when encouraged to, create and embrace a variation of the character they are playing. But itís really on the designers to allow for that to naturally grow and be encouraged."
Console/PC, Design