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April 23, 2014
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Updates » Indie
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

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

Blog: Are innovative games too risky for Kickstarter? 15
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

Close encounters with console indie execs, part 1: PlayStation's Adam Boyes Exclusive 3
by Brandon Sheffield [04.23.14]
What are the tastes, backgrounds and game industry experience of some of the biggest decision-makers at major console companies? We find out, starting with PlayStation's Adam Boyes.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, Exclusive

10 insightful playtest questions 5
by Gamasutra Community [04.22.14]
"Playtests are always a valuable way to evaluate the state of your game, but it's important to observe the right signs and ask the right questions in order to get objective and worthwhile feedback."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

3 tips for organizing internal hackathons  
by Gamasutra Community [04.22.14]
"Before organizing a hackathon, think about the goals you hope to accomplish, as well as the strategies and logistics that will resonate well within your company culture."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Production

Electronic music for fun, games, and profit: A complete beginner's guide 13
by Gamasutra Community [04.22.14]
Paul Taylor of Mode 7 Games (Frozen Synapse) shares "the absolute basics with an emphasis on the practical rather than the theoretical" when it comes to getting started with game music.
Console/PC, Indie, Audio

Rebel Jam aims to turn a game jam disaster into something positive 4
by Mike Rose [04.22.14]
The games industry read on in collective despair last month, as it came to light that a production company had attempted (rather hideously) to film a game jam in the format of a reality television show.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Rehearsals and Returns: A game about conversations that'll never take place Exclusive 1
by Mike Rose [04.22.14]
Rehearsals and Returns, from Independent Games Festival 2011 nominee Peter Brinson, plays with the ideas of effort vs. rewards, life, and death.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Exclusive, Video

Think you don't have the resources for user testing? Think again 2
by Gamasutra Community [04.22.14]
"User testing is critical, especially when you donít have resources to spare. The long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs, and if you do it right, you'll make a better game."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Production

An evolutionary algorithm in action: Darwin's Nightmare 1
by Gamasutra Community [04.22.14]
"In this game, all enemy craft designs are obtained by varying a unique genotype: whenever a new ship appears on the screen, digital DNA is recombined to create a new type."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Design

Q&A: How self-publishing brought Age of Wonders 3 back to life Exclusive 2
by Alex Wawro [04.22.14]
In the wake of this fantasy 4X strategy game's remarkable launch, Gamasutra sits down with Age of Wonders 3 lead designer Lennart Sas to find out why the studio waited 11 years to return to its roots.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, Exclusive, Video

This Week in Video Game Criticism: Everybody Loves Garrus 4
by Kris Ligman [04.21.14]
This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics including the political agenda of Halo and why Garrus Vakarian is Mass Effect's most enduring character.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Design

How I beat burnout and started having fun making games again 7
by Gamasutra Community [04.21.14]
An independent game developer writes about the dangers of crunch, the wonder of flow and his path from recovery to burnout.
Console/PC, Indie, Production

Blog: Ethical game design - My precepts 1
by Gamasutra Community [04.21.14]
"A simple set of precepts that I can easily remember and refer to for guidance. They aren't perfect, but they're enough to remind me of what I've decided is important."
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Blog: Diversity, Halo, and the 'sexual/political agenda' of Fragments of Him 12
by Gamasutra Community [04.21.14]
"It is possible to see an agenda in Halo, if we wish to look for it, just as it is possible to see one in Fragments of Him, but I know which game is more likely to be discussed in terms its agenda."
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Improving freemium design: A Cardinal Quest II analysis  
by Gamasutra Community [04.21.14]
Independent game and monetization designer Ben Sipe takes a close look at turn-based hack-'n'-slash adventure Cardinal Quest II, a free-to-play game from developer randomnine.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

'Let them slug it out on mobile or Steam' - the quiet benefits of Nintendo's eShop 9
by Staff [04.21.14]
While game developers vie for players' attention on increasingly crowded digital storefronts, there is one online market that, to some developers, is quieter and more manageable: Nintendoís eShop.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Reflections on an indie failure: A StarLicker postmortem 12
by Gamasutra Community [04.21.14]
"StarLicker was an unsuccessful game in almost every way imaginable. We made a lot of mistakes on this project, but through this process, our skill as game developers improved dramatically."
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing