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February 13, 2016
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February 13, 2016
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Updates » Indie
Building empathy through game design, from Valiant Hearts to Lost In Harmony  
by Alex Wawro [02.10.16]
Valiant Hearts directo-turned-Digixart cofounder Yoan Fanise shares lessons learned in the wake of launching his first indie game, and how developers can design games to inspire empathy in players.
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Production

Spend a day sharpening your level design skills at GDC 2016 1
by Staff [02.10.16]
From the remarkable wilderness of Firewatch to how level designers are adapting their skills to the world of VR game development,Here's a preview of the Level Design In A Day tutorial which will help kick off GDC 2016 in San Francisco next month.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, GDC

Road to the IGF: KO_OP's GNOG  
by Phill Cameron [02.10.16]
"Everything had shaders and lighting but it didn't quite look like what I wanted. So I tried to make it look as close as possible to my 2D art. That's where we decided to remove lighting."
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Design, Video, IGF

What happens when your game is an unexpected success on the App Store 4
by Gamasutra Community [02.10.16]
"Once the game went live on the App Store I noticed that I had about 100 downloads a day. This seemed very strange to me. A few days later I noticed that in between 15 minutes I had about 1000 new users."
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing

Tim Schafer on the future of crowdfunding and publishing, post-Psychonauts 2 11
by Christian Nutt [02.10.16]
Psychonauts 2 has been successfully crowdfunded, to the tune of nearly $4 million. 49 percent of that came from investment. Here, Double Fine's Tim Schafer talks about the future of crowdfunded games.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Blog: Pony Island and the horror of social anxiety 3
by Gamasutra Community [02.09.16]
"Pony Island appeared to reach outside of those confines, out into the real world, into the world of my friends. The game scared me in ways that no game has ever scared me before."
Indie, Design

Come to GDC for a behind-the-scenes look at Vainglory's eSports success  
by Staff [02.09.16]
Kristian Segerstrale, COO and executive director of Super Evil Megacorp, will share some lessons learned from the development and promotion of the studio's standout mobile MOBA Vainglory at GDC 2016.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, GDC

Structures and techniques for interactive story 2
by Gamasutra Community [02.09.16]
"We’re going to run down a list of some of the techniques existing games have used to promote a sense of player-involvement in story. We’ll start by looking at a few variants on the Path Structure."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

Encrypting in-game text in Unity 2
by Gamasutra Community [02.09.16]
Want to include encrypted text in your game? This highly technical how-to spells out everything you need, complete with programming code and font examples.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming

These 15 games will be playable in the Indie Megabooth Showcase at GDC 2016  
by Staff [02.09.16]
The Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase is coming back to GDC 2016 with a lineup of 15 interesting indie games that all conference attendees can play, including We Are Chicago and Elsinore.
Indie, Business/Marketing, GDC

Road to the IGF: Garbos, Kvale and Nyström's Progress to 100  
by Phill Cameron [02.09.16]
"I completely stopped looking at an iPhone as a touch screen device and started looking at it as a magic little box full of possibilities."
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Art, Design, Production, Video, IGF

Hard stats on the development and sales of a 2D survival adventure/RPG on PC 2
by Gamasutra Community [02.09.16]
Candid game development costs and sales stats, as well as a breakdown on player behavior, piracy, and lessons for the future: it's all here, served up by Dead in Bermuda devs.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Writing Firewatch, and capturing the beauty of being alone  
by Roy Graham [02.09.16]
"People go to Wyoming because they’re captivated by the beauty and the aloneness. Growing up there creates a certain feeling inside you that you don’t really get rid of for the rest of your life."
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Design

Short vs. long-term progression in game design 1
by Gamasutra Community [02.08.16]
How do you keep players interested? "Combining both short and long-term progression provides the best combination of progression models to keep someone engaged in your title."
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Don't Miss: Designing for choice and exploration in Firewatch 1
by Staff [02.08.16]
Campo Santo team members Nels Anderson and Jake Rodkin speak at length about how Firewatch is being designed to tell a story and allow meaningful player exploration/choice -- without combat.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video, Vault

State of the Industry: Enough with the skeletons 5
by Brandon Sheffield [02.08.16]
Over 2,000 devs surveyed in GDC's State of the Industry survey answer the vague question: “Is there anything else you'd like to say about the game industry?” As you can imagine, it gets quite heated.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing, GDC

Road to the IGF: Red Hook Studios' Darkest Dungeon  
by Kris Graft [02.08.16]
'Developing in Early Access is like working while naked in a transparent cube suspended above Times Square. But Darkest Dungeon is a stronger game for having gone through it.'
Indie, Audio, Design, Production, Video, IGF

Techniques for procedurally generated worlds in Unity 1
by Gamasutra Community [02.08.16]
This post gets deep into world generation technique: "A heat map defines the temperature of our generated world. The heat map we are going to create will be based on latitude and height."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming

Blog: Austin's secret histories 3
by Gamasutra Community [02.08.16]
"I'm fascinated by all the things that lead up to people making up pastimes, toys and time-wasters generally referred to as 'games.' That includes where they live, who they associate with, how they regard themselves and each other."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing

Final Fantasy Tactics designer's crowdfunded RPG, Unsung Story, put on hold 1
by Chris Kerr [02.08.16]
"For the financial strength of the company we need to focus on a few products in the near term that have the ability to get to a retail release before Unsung Story is able to."
Indie, Production