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July 21, 2018
arrowPress Releases
  • Editor-In-Chief:
    Kris Graft
  • Editor:
    Alex Wawro
  • Contributors:
    Chris Kerr
    Alissa McAloon
    Emma Kidwell
    Bryant Francis
    Katherine Cross
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Gamasutra - Gamasutra's GDC 2018 Live Event Coverage
To prevent toxicity, design games with community management in mind 1
by Alissa McAloon [03.29.18]
"Community is now, more than ever, an actual part of game design," argued Flaregames' Tara Brannigan. "It’s not something you staple on the end."
Social/Online, Design, GDC

GDC celebrates record-breaking attendance and confirms 2019 dates!  
by Staff [03.28.18]
The 32nd edition of GDC is over, and in its wake organizers confirm it hosted over 28,000 attendees (a new record!) and will return next year the week of Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22!
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing, GDC

Telling an emotional tale through mechanics in Monument Valley 2  
by Alissa McAloon [03.23.18]
“The team didn’t want to add the story by usual methods; the goal was to leverage games as a medium and allow the player to feel the game through its mechanics.”
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, GDC

LGBTQ devs & players speak up about the need for authentic queer culture in games  
by Alex Wawro [03.23.18]
 "For many of the [queer] people we talked to, when they were young...games were safe," said Playing With Pride producer Matt Baume at GDC today. When they got older, that changed."
Serious, GDC

One Life Left x GDC podcast: PlayerUnknown, pro wrestling, and positive death  
by Staff [03.23.18]
Gabby DaRienzo, Brendan Greene, and other incredible guests join One Life Left's Ste Curran & Ann Scantlebury & Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft as they bring the best bits of GDC 2018 to you.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, Podcast, Video, GDC

How a lack of control fosters empathy in Bury Me, My Love 3
by Emma Kidwell [03.22.18]
Bury Me, My Love's Florent Maurin spoke at GDC to explain how designing outside of conventional norms helps create a feeling of helplessness.
Smartphone/Tablet, Serious, Design, GDC

SteamSpy creator says 2017 was Valve's most profitable year yet  
by Simon Parkin [03.22.18]
2017 was Steam’s most profitable year yet, claims Sergey Galyonkin and the creator of SteamSpy, a website that, since 2015, has provided estimates on the number of game sales on the titular digital game store.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, GDC

How Capcom designed Monster Hunter: World to feel approachable and alive 1
by Alex Wawro [03.22.18]
"This is how we were able to realize Monster Hunter: World’s most ambitious change," said game director Yuya Tokuda at GDC 2018 today. "To make it possible to use the environment.”
Console/PC, Design, GDC

How (and why) you should better represent Muslims in your games 35
by Alex Wawro [03.22.18]
“Muslims have a public image problem. And it’s sometimes dangerous to be Muslim,” game designer Osama Dorias said at GDC today. “So we need help addressing the public image problem.”
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, GDC

Laralyn McWilliams on rediscovering creativity following trauma 3
by Simon Parkin [03.22.18]
“When you are in times of distress you feel lost and broken, because you can’t set aside fear and anger," she said. "And if you feel broken your creative work is broken.”
Console/PC, Indie, Serious, Production, GDC

Night in the Woods, Baba Is You win big at the 2018 IGF Awards  
by Staff [03.22.18]
Chuchel, Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy, and Celeste were also among the games honored at tonight's Independent Games Festival Awards.
Indie, GDC, IGF

Breath of the Wild takes top prize at the 2018 Game Developers Choice Awards!  
by Staff [03.22.18]
Other big winners tonight include Gorogoa, What Remains of Edith Finch, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement honorees Rami Ismail and Tim Schafer, respectively.
Console/PC, GDC

Ubisoft opens two new studios in India and Ukraine  
by Alex Wawro [03.22.18]
The company adds another two beads to its global chain of offices: new studio ins Mumbai and Odesa. Each will be hiring game devs and working alongside Ubisoft's extant studios in the regions.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing, GDC

Sonic the Hedgehog's origin story, according to the devs who made him 1
by Alex Wawro [03.21.18]
At GDC today original Sonic devs Naoto Oshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara talked about how they designed the game's iconic main character and its many twisting, turning levels.
Console/PC, Art, Design, History, GDC

Fortnite's unconventional launch 1
by Simon Parkin [03.21.18]
Head of publishing at Epic Games Ed Zobrist discusses Fortnite's unconventional beginnings.
Console/PC, Production, Business/Marketing, GDC

Game Workers Unite to Jen MacLean: 'We want to work with you' 5
by Katherine Cross [03.21.18]
A member of Game Workers Unite sits down to discuss the organization's movement during GDC.
Serious, Business/Marketing, GDC

How Platinum designed and tuned Nier: Automata to 'feel' good  
by Alex Wawro [03.21.18]
Game director Yoko Taro talks about how the game's multi-layered narrative was designed, while game designer Takahisa Taura digs into the nuts and bolts of how it was tuned to 'feel' good.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

How Mario Kart influenced Nintendo's fighting game, ARMS  
by Simon Parkin [03.21.18]
While there may appear to be few surface-level similarities between the games, lessons learned from Nintendo’s long-running racing game series informed many aspects of its new fighting game IP.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

There is no right way to be queen in Reigns: Her Majesty 1
by Emma Kidwell [03.21.18]
Narrative designer and writer Leigh Alexander discusses the narrative design of Reigns: Her Majesty.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Production, GDC

Sex as a narrative tool: The dos and don'ts of writing sex scenes in games 2
by Alissa McAloon [03.21.18]
As Michelle Clough explained during her talk “Eros in Play: Writing Sex Scenes in Games,” sex can be a useful tool for writers and narrative designers looking to flesh out their characters and worlds.
Design, GDC

HTC to launch standalone Vive Focus headset outside of China  
by Chris Kerr [03.21.18]
The headset had previously only been made available in China, but HTC now wants to put it in the hands of developers and consumers around the world.
VR, Business/Marketing, GDC

Nintendo working to improve discoverability of Switch titles on eShop  
by Chris Kerr [03.21.18]
Nintendo is aware of the discoverability and visibility issues facing Switch games on the eShop, and is actively working on solutions. 
Console/PC, Business/Marketing, GDC

As Fortnite rises, Epic champions community & cross-platform tech  
by Alex Wawro [03.21.18]
The current phenomena driving games and driving players -- it's Twitch, it's YouTube, it's these influencers, right," Epic chief Tim Sweeney tells Gamasutra. "They'll bring you the users."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing, GDC

Ex-BioWare scribe Mike Laidlaw shares storytelling lessons  
by Katherine Cross [03.20.18]
Mike Laidlaw, who recently stepped down as creative director at BioWare, took a break from his new consulting firm to talk to GDC about what he’s learned about writing and narrative design from his many years with the legendary game studio.
Design, GDC

Military-themed video games can promote a damaging vision of real war 6
by Simon Parkin [03.20.18]
“We need less killing and more war,” argued writer and veteran Andrew Barron. “Combat is dangerous and game mechanics should reflect this.”
Console/PC, Design, GDC

Atari reveals its nostalgic 'Ataribox' game console as the Atari VCS 2
by Alissa McAloon [03.20.18]
Atari’s shadow-shrouded return to the hardware business has been detailed this week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Console/PC, GDC

Darkest Dungeon devs share golden rules for good creative partnerships  
by Alex Wawro [03.20.18]
“Having two bosses...it’s not streamlined,” said Red Hook's Tyler Sigman at GDC today. “But we truly believe the game would not have been successful without that messy, imperfect structure.”
Indie, Production, Business/Marketing, GDC

Writing comedic games the West of Loathing way  
by Alex Wawro [03.20.18]
“Taking about comedy is one of the least funny things,” said West of Loathing game dev Zach Johnson as he opened his talk at GDC 2018 today about the art of writing good comedy games.
Indie, Design, GDC

The player-directed level design of Tacoma  
by Emma Kidwell [03.20.18]
Fullbright's Steve Gaynor and Nina Freeman discuss the level design of Tacoma and how different facets of design depended on each other during development.
Indie, Design, Production, GDC

Gorogoa: how the hit indie game derived from a failed comic book  
by Simon Parkin [03.20.18]
"I came to realize that composing the page was more interesting to me that sequential storytelling," shared Gorogoa dev Jason Roberts "I had to do something with it, even if it wasn't going to be a comic."
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, GDC

SimCity creator Will Wright's new game will harvest your memories 3
by Chris Kerr [03.20.18]
"This is a game where we actually uncover the hidden you, your subconscious, your inner-Id, and bring it to the surface and bring it to life so you can interact with it."
Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Video, GDC

Unity getting new rendering, machine learning, and performance tools  
by Chris Kerr [03.20.18]
Unity shared a glimpse of its 2018 roadmap at GDC, explaining it'll be focusing on building out next level rendering, machine learning, and performance tools.
Programming, Design, Production, GDC

The AI systems that govern Final Fantasy XV's believable NPCs  
by Katherine Cross [03.20.18]
Square Enix veteran Youichiro Miyake talked in detail about the AI that governs NPC behavior in Final Fantasy XV in a fast-paced, data-rich talk: “Eos is Alive: the AI Systems of Final Fantasy XV.”
Console/PC, Programming, GDC

Building a partnership between writers and narrative designers  
by Katherine Cross [03.19.18]
Telltale Games' Eric Stirpe and Molly Maloney discuss the difference between narrative design and writing for games.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

A Mortician's Tale deconstructs how death should be designed  
by Emma Kidwell [03.19.18]
Laundry Bear Games' Gabby DaRienzo discusses how A Mortician's Tale innovates on death mechanics, and shares strategies on how game developers can best explore death in their own games.
Indie, Design, GDC

Life Is Strange writer on how to run a successful writer's room Exclusive  
by Simon Parkin [03.19.18]
Narrative director at Deck Nine and lead writer on Life is Strange: Before the Storm Zak Garriss discusses how to run a successful writer's room.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Exclusive, GDC

Scope Creep: A useful, treacherous tool, says Heat Signature dev  
by Kris Graft [03.19.18]
"Scope creep is a bad, dirty term, yet it’s also been my fundamental development technique," joked Tom Francis, developer behind the games Heat Signature and Gunpoint.
Indie, Design, Production, GDC

In order to create empathy in players, writers need to get personal  
by Emma Kidwell [03.19.18]
iThrive Games' senior creative director Heidi McDonald opened her talk at GDC this afternoon on the narrative burden that writers carry when creating empathy.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

Appreciating the magic (and power) of hidden game mechanics 1
by Alex Wawro [03.19.18]
At GDC 2018 game designer Jennifer Scheurle breaks down how some of the biggest games "trick" players, showcasing how being a good game maker sometimes requires taking advantage of human perception.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, GDC

Facebook releases engagement-focused Games SDK  
by Alissa McAloon [03.19.18]
Facebook has released its new Games SDK that aims to let developers build Facebook-based sharing functionality into projects with the goal of boosting community engagement.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing, GDC

Google Play is launching download-free instant games  
by Alissa McAloon [03.19.18]
Google Play Instant is currently in closed beta. The company hopes that the friction-free download option will bolster the power of social shares and marketing campaigns.
Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing, Video, GDC

Microsoft launches DirectX Raytracing to streamline real-time rendering 1
by Alissa McAloon [03.19.18]
Microsoft has introduced four new concepts to the DirectX 12 API that aim to give developers entirely new rendering options and bridge the gap between commonly used rasterization techniques.
Console/PC, Programming, Video, GDC

Unreal Engine 4 adds Magic Leap One support  
by Alissa McAloon [03.19.18]
Unreal Engine 4 developers can now create for Magic Leap’s Magic Leap One mixed reality headset thanks to recently added Lumin SDK support.
VR, GDC

Amazon debuts GameOn, a new cross-platform competitive game platform  
by Alex Wawro [03.19.18]
As the Game Developers Conference kicks off today Amazon unveiled GameOn, a new platform aimed at helping devs implement cross-platform (mobile, console, PC) competitive multiplayer in their games.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing, GDC

Reminder: Know and abide by your GDC Code of Conduct! 4
by Staff [03.16.18]
With GDC 2018 kicking off next week, GDC general manager Katie Stern is here to highlight the official code of conduct for GDC and all of its related events.
Serious, GDC

Don't miss your opportunities to make new friends and contacts at GDC  
by Staff [03.15.18]
The 2018 Game Developers Conference is just days away, and that means now is the right time for attendees to brush up on all the ways you can meet interesting new people at the show!
Social/Online, Business/Marketing, GDC

At GDC 2018, get expert insight on how to teach game dev around the world  
by Staff [03.15.18]
At GDC 2018, educator and American University Game Lab director Lindsay Grace digs into some important questions for game dev educators around the world.
Serious, GDC

Hone your game design skills at the GDC 2018 Game Design Workshop  
by Staff [03.14.18]
GDC 2018 attendees are invited to attend the two-day workshop and take part in hands-on activities, group discussion, analysis and critique of the art and science of game design!
VR, Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, GDC

Learn to better fight toxicity from the new Fair Play Alliance at GDC 2018  
by Staff [03.14.18]
Heads up, game makers: the 2018 Game Developers Conference starts Monday, and this year organizers are excited to welcome a lineup of great talks from the folks at the Fair Play Alliance!
Serious, Design, GDC

Supercell, Pixar, and top devs share insights at the GDC 2018 Vision track!  
by Staff [03.13.18]
GDC 2018 marks the return of the Vision Track - a series of mini-keynotes featuring great speakers and forward-thinking companies discussing the future of the game industry!
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, GDC