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May 23, 2017
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Updates » Indie
Video Game Deep Cuts: That Cute TOSE Burnout  
by Gamasutra Staff [05.01.17]
This week's longform article/video highlights include a GDC talk on 'the aesthetics of cute', the hidden story of TOSE, & the return to car wrecking of key Burnout developers.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Don't Miss: A postmortem for the tree-trimming puzzle game Prune 17
by Gamasutra Community [04.28.17]
"Prune is a tiny mobile game about the simple pleasures of growing and cultivating trees. It's a delicate dance to remove that which does not matter in favor of that which does."
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Don't Miss: Dealing with malicious game clones 12
by Gamasutra Community [04.27.17]
What happens when your game earns its own ad-ridden malware clone? We explore the issue on the basis of Robot Gentleman's experience with a clone of 60 Seconds!.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Production

Designing the giant battle royale maps of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds 1
by Alan Bradley [04.27.17]
"Building an open world that was suitable for 'battle royale' gameplay from scratch -- and doing it fast, based on iteration -- was the biggest challenge for us in terms of design, tech, and art," says Brendan "Playerunknown" Greene.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Video: Rendering the striking visuals of Capybara's Below  
by Staff [04.26.17]
Capybara Games' Colin Weick speaks at GDC 2017 about the techniques used to achieve high visual fidelity in the context of the simplified yet dense aesthetic of the studio's upcoming roguelike Below.
Indie, Art, Design, Video, Vault

Developing Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator's large-scale carnage
by Joel Couture [04.26.17]
Robert Weaver's sandbox game needed an engine that could render tens of thousands of combatants. "There really aren't any engines that support battles on that scale," he says.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Video

Given unlimited money and time, 'What Remains of Edith Finch probably never would have come out'  
by Alex Wawro [04.25.17]
"Or it would have been some strange, hopelessly delicate monstrosity," added creative director Ian Dallas in a recent Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session. "I'm very happy with the way things turned out."
Indie, Production

Video: Game localization shenanigans in the Chinese-speaking world  
by Staff [04.24.17]
At GDC 2017, IGDShare organizer and experienced localizer Jung-Sheng Lin tries to help devs avoid calamity by running down some of the potential pitfalls of localizing for the Chinese-speaking world.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing, Video, Vault

Making repeated deaths a reward in What Remains of Edith Finch 1
by Jessica Famularo [04.24.17]
In most games, death is associated with failure, or a narrative break that forces you to reattempt a challenge. What Remains of Edith Finch turns death into a key feature of story progression.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

Video Game Deep Cuts: Deus Ex's China Lineage 1
by Gamasutra Staff [04.23.17]
This week's highlights include a classic Deus Ex postmortem, making Steam games successful in China, and the surprise smash hit Lineage 2 mobile game, among other things.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Video: Put a face on it! The aesthetics of cuteness in game design  
by Staff [04.21.17]
What's cute, and why should you care? Game dev Jenny Jiao Hsia (Beglitched) answers both those questions in a talk at GDC 2017 about the aesthetics of cuteness, and how they make games better.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Art, Video, Vault

Unity devs can now sell actual hats (and other merch) in-game via new Shopify SDK  
by Alex Wawro [04.20.17]
Digital commerce platform Shopify is betting that game devs want more ways to sell real, physical goods from inside their games as the company rolls out a Unity plugin for doing just that: Unity Buy.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie

Video: A postmortem look at the making of Spelunky HD  
by Staff [04.20.17]
At GDC 2011, Derek Yu and programmer Andy Hull talk about the process of revamping Spelunky for consoles, in the process shedding some light on how the procedurally-generated game is built.
Indie, Art, Design, Production, Video, Vault

Don't Miss: Designing for mystery in Kentucky Route Zero 1
by Staff [04.20.17]
Take a look back at this talk from Cardboard Computer's Jake Elliot about how and why the studio's development approach evolved to focus on creating mystery, rather than puzzles.
Console/PC, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production

Steam games in China: Making the most of a lucrative opportunity 3
by Chris Priestman [04.20.17]
China is an enormous and potentially lucrative market on Steam. Here are some tips and insights that can help you to access this untapped audience.
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Dont Miss: Unpacking The Silver Case, A Q&A with Grasshopper Manufacture 1
by Brandon Sheffield [04.19.17]
The HD remaster The Silver Case hit PS4 this week so now is the perfect time to take a look back at this conversation with the game's devs about character design, story, and the port itself.
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Design

Crafting the multiple victory states of the RTS Northgard 2
by Alan Bradley [04.19.17]
“Vikings are always portrayed as strong warriors, but they were also explorers and merchants, with a strong oral culture. This is translated into the game through the Lore, Trade and Fame victories.”
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

Last Of Us lighting artist offers devs a tip: set the mood with a single light  
by Alex Wawro [04.18.17]
While it sounds oversimplified, if you can get a strong base for that end result as much as possible, it goes a long way," Naughty Dog lighting artist Gabe Betancourt tells 80 Level. "Less is more."
Console/PC, Indie, Art

Don't Miss: How culling works 2
by Vaughan Young [04.18.17]
In this timeless feature, veteran coder Vaughan Young breaks down how different kinds of culling (frustum, occlusion and back face) work -- and how they can be applied to help devs make better games.
Console/PC, Indie, Programming, Design

New Facebook game initiatives aim to win back devs and reshape strategy 2
by Kris Graft [04.18.17]
With web-based social games years past their prime, Facebook has been looking for realistic ways to reshape its games business and rebuild interest -- and trust -- with game developers.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing