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March 21, 2018
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Updates » Indie
Attend GDC 2018 to hear from The Long Dark's creator on storytelling in a sandbox game  
by Staff [11.10.17]
At GDC 2018, Hinterland Games founder Raphael van Lierop will examine how it's possible to successfully marry a linear, authored narrative experience to an open-world sandbox.
Indie, Design, GDC

Conveying backstory via character and dungeon design in Sundered 1
by Alan Bradley [11.10.17]
“For Sundered, we built a world with a very complex backstory,” says Thunder Lotus Games creative director Will Dubé, “and then tried to communicate it throughout the game: through the monster and dungeon design.”
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

Video: Balancing trust, creativity, and business in game UX  
by Staff [11.09.17]
At GDC 2017's UX Summit, a panel of prominent user experience researchers, creatives, and producers acknowledged the challenge and spoke frankly about the tricky business of making good UX in games.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, Video, Vault

Don't Miss: How paying for content ratings can hurt indie devs 9
by Alex Wawro [11.09.17]
This timeless 2015 story examines why some indies pay $300-$1k per platform to get their digital console game PEGI-rated for release in Europe, and how that charge affects their ability to make games.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Come to GDC 2018 for real talk on staying creative in difficult times  
by Staff [11.09.17]
Veteran game dev Laralyn McWilliams will explore the challenges of working in a creative field while dealing with stress, grief, & change, drawing on her own experiences dealing with cancer.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, GDC

Video: Telling game stories with unsaid words and unreliable narrators  
by Staff [11.07.17]
At GDC 2016's Narrative Summit, game and narrative designer Mata Haggis took the stage to walk devs through the value of leaving things unsaid when crafting stories for their games.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video, Vault

Kan Gao on the benefits and drawbacks of designing in RPG Maker 2
by Joel Couture [11.07.17]
“I compare RPG Maker to a pencil. With a pencil there are techniques to learn, but compared to the other writing tools, it’s the most simplistic one. But you can still create elaborate works with it.”
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Video

Video: 30 things to avoid when pitching your game to a publisher  
by Staff [11.06.17]
At GDC 2017, experienced dev (and PlayStation expat) Brian Upton runs down a list of common mistakes devs make when they meet with publishers and shares perspective on what publishers are thinking.
Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, Video, Vault

Q&A: Alejandro González of the prolific Milkstone Studios 3
by Thomas Faust [11.06.17]
Spanish dev Milkstone Studios has released 30 games on different platforms in the last 8 years. chatted with CEO/programmer/designer Alejandro González about what they're up to now.
Console/PC, Indie, Design

Zen Pinball dev Zen Studios is getting into the indie publishing game  
by Alex Wawro [11.06.17]
The studio is branching out to help other indie devs market and publish their own games, starting with Rocketwerkz' Out of Ammo. Here, Zen exec Mel Kirk explains why this seems like a good idea.
Indie, Business/Marketing

Video Game Deep Cuts: Donkey Crossing? Let's Observer!  
by Gamasutra Staff [11.05.17]
Some of this week's longform article & video highlights include a look at the new F2P Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong 64's speedrun history, and the cyberpunk horror of Observer.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Video: A game dev's guide to staying satisfied and mentally healthy  
by Staff [11.03.17]
At GDC 2017, psychiatric care professional Dr. Jennifer Hazel and Framed game dev Joshua Boggs  explored the issue and offered some tips on how to remain well while working in games.
Console/PC, Indie, Serious, Video, Vault

The two-man team building Disc Jam as an eSports platform  
by Connor Trinske [11.03.17]
“I'd like to say we had a marketing strategy targeting a key demographic. We were actually just playing a ton of old Pong-likes and saying, ‘Why aren't there more simple, PvP-first games like these?’”
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, Video

Q&A: Depicting administrative evil in The Shrouded Isle  
by Joel Couture [11.03.17]

The Shrouded Isle places players in the role of a high priest, it's up to them to choose sacrifices, suss out sinners, and keep a vicious god contented, doing so through merciless, cold choices.
Console/PC, Indie, Video

Postmortem: Building The Turing Test around a secret mechanic 2
by David Jones [11.03.17]
"Our most unique central mechanic could not be shown in marketing, reviews or previews because the mechanic is tightly integrated with the story." - David Jones, design director of The Turing Test.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, Video

Dev Q&A: How Bloober Team created 'hidden horror' in Observer  
by John Harris [11.02.17]
Observer is a cyberpunk horror game from Polish studio Bloober Team. They stress that it isn't a survival horror experience--they prefer to call it "hidden horror" or "catharsis 2.0."
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

Video: How game developers define 'success' for themselves  
by Staff [11.01.17]
At GDC 2017 researcher Dana Ruggiero gives a talk (based on interviews with over 50 notable game makers, from Brenda Romero to Davey Wreden) on how game developers define success for themselves.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Video, Vault

Opinion: When Big Oil attacks your game 7
by Katherine Cross [11.01.17]
In Thunderbird Strike, which draws on Anishinaabe and Métis imagery, you play a thunderbird who gathers lightning to destroy pipeline building equipment. One Big Oil exec labeled it "eco-terrorism."
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, Video

How Cuphead nailed the look and feel of classic 1930s cartoons 2
by Willie Clark [11.01.17]
Cuphead's uncanny recreation of classic 1930s toons isn't just about art style. The game captures every element of the source material, from fonts and technical imperfections to scratches on the film.
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Video

Video: Juggling the chainsaws of work-for-hire vs. original projects  
by Staff [10.31.17]
At GDC 2016, ClutchPlay Games' Amy Dallas tackles the practical realities of balancing work-for-hire projects vs. developing original IP, and what she & her team have learned from doing it for years.
Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing, Video, Vault