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February 12, 2016
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Updates » 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 aboutKingdom'sorigins, 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 its really on the designers to allow for that to naturally grow and be encouraged."
Console/PC, Design

Road to the IGF: Dinosaur Polo Club's Mini Metro Exclusive  
by Alex Wawro [01.18.16]
Gamasutra's Road to the IGF continues in this interview with developer Peter Curry about how Dinosaur Polo Club built Mini Metro from a jam game into a strikingly streamlined transit puzzle game.
Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, Exclusive, IGF

Dragon Age companions: Social cognition and decision-making 2
by Gamasutra Community [01.18.16]
"Players often seek the approval of their party members... but why? In terms of gameplay, there is little to be gained from their approval."
Console/PC, Design

Tip: Don't be afraid to cut features!  
by Gamasutra Community [01.18.16]
"It's all too easy to add new features. What's a lot harder is really looking at the design and deciding where and when it is time to cut something."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

Let's talk about That Dragon, Cancer 2
by Gamasutra Community [01.18.16]
"I spent a lot of the game laughing, perhaps nearly as much as I spent in tears. Its not just an endless chain of sad or frustrating moments strung together; there are also moments of silliness and joy."
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Get a job: Remedy is hiring a Lead Designer  
by Staff [01.15.16]
The studio working on Quantum Break is looking to bring on an experienced game designer to work in a lead role on its projects at its headquarters in Finland.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Recruitment

Road to the IGF: Question's The Magic Circle Exclusive 4
by Alex Wawro [01.15.16]
Road to the IGF 2016 continues as Question's own Stephen Alexander, Kain Shin and Jordan Thomas chat with Gamasutra about The Magic Circle, the IGF award-nominated game that lampoons game development.
Indie, Programming, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, Exclusive, IGF

Don't Miss: How Capcom tackled Western fantasy with Dragon's Dogma 5
by Christian Nutt [01.15.16]
In this 2011 chat, Dragon's Dogma director Hideaki Itsuno & producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi talk about how the team that made Devil May Cry 4 ended up on a road inspired by Lord of the Rings.
Console/PC, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Building tension through game mechanics 7
by Gamasutra Community [01.15.16]
Making a scary game isn't just about art and narrative. Really frightening games employ game mechanics specifically designed to induce tension through play.
VR, Design

John Romero just released his first Doom level in over two decades 3
by Alex Wawro [01.15.16]
Veteran game developer John Romero took to Twitter today to spread the word that he's made a newDoomlevel, E1M8B, something he says he hasn't done in over twenty years.
Console/PC, Design