One of the most rewarding parts of working for Gamasutra is that we tend to have a lot in common with you guys, our readers.
We all share a common enthusiasm for making games -- and by extension, our lives and our careers -- better for everyone. We care about important issues that could hurt or help our industry, we celebrate when our artistic achievements get recognized, and when something goes wrong, we want to know why.
That has never been clearer than today when, as part of our normal year-end routine, we checked to see what our most popular stories of the year were. As you'll see below, our readers rewarded us in 2012 by devouring and sharing some really killer and diverse articles, the kind of content we love to create around here. A lot of these ranked as our personal favorites as well, so it was gratifying to see that they resonated with you guys, too.
This year we thought we'd give you a little peek at what those articles are. The following, in ascending order, were the ten highest-trafficked articles on Gamasutra in 2012.
10. The Burning of Star Wars: The Old Republic
In its quest to quickly push out a free-to-play model for its flagship MMO, has BioWare burned all players -- both subscribers and the new free crowd? MMO consultant Simon Ludgate takes a look at what the developer has really wrought with its adaptation of the game.
9. Congratulations, Your First Indie Game is a Flop
An indie developer reflects on how he spent too much time and effort trying to make a failure into a success, sharing his experiences about going from iOS to PC and Mac, and why being first out of the gate doesn't substitute for having a truly compelling game.
8. The Cabal: Valve’s Design Process For Creating Half-Life
has seen resounding critical and financial success (winning over 50 "Game of the Year" awards and selling more than a million copies worldwide), few people realize that it didn’t start out a winner — in fact, Valve’s first attempt at the game had to be scrapped. This article by senior designer Ken Birdwell is about the teamwork – or "Cabal process" — that turned the initial, less than impressive version of Half-Life into a groundbreaking success.
7. The Fundamental Pillars of a Combat System
Senior designer on the Assassin's Creed
team Sebastien Lambottin takes a look at how combat systems should be designed -- taking in everything from the Mario
series to Call of Duty
6. Cliff Bleszinski's Game Developer Flashcards
Having trouble putting your finger on the behavior of your development team? Cliff Bleszinski [now formerly of Epic] here "identifies communication techniques that are often used in discussions, arguments, and debates among game developers."
5. The Next Twenty Years: What Windows 8's Closed Distribution Means for Developers
In this highly detailed article which originally appeared on his site, programmer and game industry veteran Casey Muratori takes a long, hard look at what the closed game market in Windows 8 will mean for developers not just immediately, but down the road.
4. Sad But True: We Can't Prove When Super Mario Bros. Came Out
When did Super Mario Bros.
first go on sale in the U.S.? You'd think this would be an easy thing to answer, but dig as deep as we did and you'll find more questions than answers.
3. Turning down Zynga: Why I left after the $210M Omgpop buy
When Zynga paid around $210 million for Draw Something developer Omgpop last week, only one person turned down the offer to join the FarmVille house. Game designer and programmer Shay Pierce writes how a difference in values drove the decision.
2. Newell: Valve would 'disintegrate' before selling out
"It's way more likely we would head in that direction than say, 'Let's find some giant company that wants to cash us out.'" - Valve boss Gabe Newell explains why his company is never going to sell out.
1. Opinion: Video games and Male Gaze - are we men or boys?Game Developer
's Brandon Sheffield claims the game industry at large still treats women primarily as a vehicle for the display of boobs and butts, saying this is a natural extension of who we put in charge.