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May 27, 2017
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Updates » Indie
How Kona's devs used the Canada Media Fund, and why they won't use it again 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.19.17]
What's it like to fund indie game development in Canada? For its game Kona, Parabole made use of one option Canadian game developers have at their disposal: the Canada Media Fund.
Console/PC, Indie, Production, Business/Marketing, Video

How Scanner Sombre immerses players in a pitch-black cave: sound and lasers 1
by Jack Yarwood [05.19.17]
Inspired in part by a Radiohead video, Scanner Sombre has players explore a cave using a LIDAR sensor . "My aim was to put the player in an environment that perhaps they'd never seen before.”
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Audio, Design, Video

Inside cleans up at the 2017 Nordic Game Awards  
by Alex Wawro [05.18.17]
The long-running Nordic Game Awards took place this week in Sweden, and Playdead stood out among the nominees by taking home Game of the Year and a few other awards for its 2016 game Inside.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing

How a single dev turned a side project into a successful sailing sim 1
by Alex Wawro [05.18.17]
Richard Knol once wrote software for golf courses. Now he's a full-time indie with a game on Steam (Sailaway), and in a chat today with Gamasutra he opens up about how (and why) he made the switch.
Indie, Design, Production, Video

Come Sailaway with us and dev Richard Knol at 3 PM ET on Twitch!  
by Alex Wawro [05.18.17]
Sailaway dev Richard Knol is an avid sailor, and he's agreed to join us on Twitch today at 12 PM Pacific/ 3 PM Eastern to chat about his work on the game as we play and try not to sink any boats.
Indie, Design, Production, Video

The art of the chase: Level design and player orientation in Outlast 2  
by Joel Couture [05.18.17]
Outlast 2 comes alive when players are being chased through the dark game world. “It has to feel chaotic, yet intuitive. When you make it too obvious, some players start to feel they’re on a track.”
Console/PC, Indie, Audio, Design, Video

Video: Designing conflict & high-tension moments in 'Secret Hitler'  
by Staff [05.17.17]
As part of GDC 2017's Board Game Design Day, dev Mike Boxleiter offers a postmortem look at his work co-designing Secret Hitler, a Kickstarted tabletop game with some interesting social mechanics.
Indie, Design, Video, Vault

Salvaging a dying F2P browser game by going premium  
by Thomas Faust [05.17.17]
Aquiris Game Studio acquired the rights to the browser FTP title Ballistic, and decided to revamp it as a premium game.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, Video

Crafting the bizarre, off-kilter gameworld of Little Nightmares  
by Chris Priestman [05.17.17]
“We want it to feel like you could almost reach into the rooms and touch things, but maybe also wonder whether you should,” says Little Nightmare's's senior narrative designer Dave Mervik.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

In the name of the algorithm, Valve nerfs Steam Trading Cards  
by Alex Wawro [05.16.17]
As part of its ongoing efforts to revamp Steam, Valve today outlined how the platform's Trading Cards system will be withheld from games until they reach a certain "confidence metric."
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Video: Composing the music and sound of Hyper Light Drifter  
by Staff [05.16.17]
At GDC 2017, audio wizards Akash Thakkar and Rich Vreeland (aka Disasterpeace) opened up about how they found the right soundscape for Hyper Light over the course of 3 years and countless revisions.
Indie, Audio, Video, Vault

Q&A: The indie curator behind the '1000 Game Makers' Twitter feed  
by Joel Couture [05.16.17]
"A big goal with all of my work is to demonstrate just how many videogames slip through the cracks," says Steve Cook, creator of the 1000 Game Makers thread on Twitter.
Indie, Business/Marketing

Don't Miss: Tactical level design - Understanding space in games 16
by Luke McMillan [05.15.17]
PhD and game educator McMillan examines how POV affects players, showcasing a variety of gameplay scenarios and different tactical choices players may be confronted with in this timeless 2012 feature.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

The 'unstructured, creative process' that brought Inside to life  
by Alissa McAloon [05.15.17]
Artist Jeremy Petreman dives into why Playdead favors creative flow over structured creation, and how that unique outlook informed the decisions behind Inside.
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Design, Production

5 design lessons 90s-style shooter Strafe cribs from classic games 1
by Alan Bradley [05.15.17]
Pixel Titans' new game Strafe looks like a retro shooter straight out of 1996. But beneath the chunky low-poly graphics, the game is a unique and original synthesis of classic game styles and mechanics.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: Phoenix Point's Typeshift Prophet  
by Gamasutra Staff [05.14.17]
This week's Video Game Deep Cuts longform articles/videos include Julian Gollop on Phoenix Point, the making of Typeshift & the SteamProphet contest.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

How Zach Gage fine-tuned the difficulty curve of TypeShift
by Rollin Bishop [05.12.17]
“You have these words stacked on top of each other, you can move columns up and down, you try and spell words in the center row, and if you use every letter one time you solve the puzzle.”
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Video

What can student game devs do to avoid crunch? 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.11.17]
The structure of a typical college semester seems to almost encourage crunch, so what can devs do to move away from what is often regarded as an unhealthy but all-too-common element of game making?
Indie, Production, Video

Don't Miss: How feedback from eSports pros improved a casual matching game  
by Staff [05.10.17]
Intropy Games wanted their casual matching title Astral Breakers to be competition-friendly. So they took an early build to fighting game tourneys and got valuable feedback from eSports pros.
Indie, Design, Production

Designer Interview: Crafting Flinthook's hookshot wasn't easy 1
by Alex Wiltshire [05.10.17]
Flinthook’s fluid, accessible hookshot is the result of months of design work, solving problems from controller mapping and aim-assist to the role it takes in the game. 
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video